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Show some faith in Arsenal’s kids, Unai
We’re not in the Champions League so we don’t have Champions League money to throw around.
The message to the manager appears to be to make the most of what we have.
If Sokratis and the right-back from Juve are the only players we bring in, I’m won’t be that bothered.
I’m not sure we need a marquee statement signing. Consider Arsene’s first signings – one was a lad from AC Milan, by the name of Vieira, can’t quite remember what happened to him and the other was Remi Garde.
The priority is to get these players organised so our brilliant attackers can flourish.
But why are we eyeing up everyone’s else players and youngsters like they’re the next big thing?
We’re crying out for a defensive midfielder and a winger – so why not show some faith in Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Reiss Nelson?
What are we waiting for with these kids? They’ve won the Premier League 2 last season and they’ve experienced winning silverware with England.
Back in 1986, George Graham rid our squad of quite a few old pros to bring in youngsters and imprint his vision of how we should play – that’s much easier to do with a fresh play and youth players.
Yes it was a different time but it’s worth remembering that those boys were champions in 89 and 91 and Andy Cole couldn’t get in the team!
Emery needs to show some faith in Arsenal’s kids – he can’t afford not to.
Graham Simons, Gooner, Norf London
Don’t Man United need defenders?
Reading Daniel Storey’s piece on Fred (which was very interesting) left me considering whether Fred, and I’m sure he brings a lot of qualities to the squad is the answer to the problem that Mourinho has in part inherited but in part perpetuated. I agree that Manchester United have been awful to watch (and I’ve watched them as often as I could last season) and it there has not only been a lack of fluency in midfield but as was pointed out they play as the sum of parts, not more, relying on a moment of excellence to break through, and also that there is a Mourinho sized handbrake on the team.
However, is the answer to this to bring in another midfielder to replace the already very capable midfield we have, or should the attention go to fixing our neglected defence? To be fair, Mourinho inherited most of the defenders he has now, however, he has also had two summers to bring in better defenders or improve those that he has. Admittedly I couldn’t keep a straight face at the thought of Mourinho improving a player, and even the improvement that Smalling made under LVG have long since been lost. My basic point is this, no team with aspirations to win anything, League Cup or 4th place trophy, should be playing a central defensive partnership of Smalling and Jones. When you throw in Valencia and Young who are neither defenders nor ever really been good enough for Manchester United (in my opinion of course) perhaps even I can see Mourinho’s logic in trying to shield the defence better.
This would beg the question then, why isn’t he going in for better defenders rather than buying Fred? It seems like he’s trying to solve a question that no one asked.
Daniel (hopes to see Shaw play next season) Cambridge
Super Danny Welbeck…
To the Spurs fan yesterday and all the other Danny Welbeck naysayers, surely you accept that if England are going to win the World Cup it’s going to be through a combination of luck, bad referring decisions, injuries to the opposition etc, rather than us outdoing everyone else with our skill, tactics and squad depth?
Given that, name me one person in the England squad who’s more likely to attempt a pass that ricochets off a defender, hits a low flying bird and comes back off his arse, before trickling over the line; than Danny Welbeck? We’re not going to go out because he was chosen over the plethora of alternatives we have but if we make the final I’d definitely stick a tenner on him to score the winning goal.
Stop taking chances with concussion
Written about them before, but if Karius was indeed concussed from that Ramos hit onwards, he cannot be blamed for anything that happened subsequently.
It gets many things wrong (and arguably it only got there after denying the problem and costing hundreds more lives) but American Football now has exactly the right policy on concussions.
Take a hit to the head? You’re straight off for a test by a medical professional. If you’re cleared, you go back on. If you’re not, you cannot.
American Football obviously allows unlimited substitutes, so football should allow a ‘floating’ sub, which is a temporary player on during the break of the injury/assessment. If the player can’t return, the floating sub stays on without costing the team a substitution.
It shouldn’t cost you anything to remove a player with a suspected brain injury.
‘But won’t players fake it?’ Doesn’t matter, player welfare more important, but if a club is found to be constantly abusing the power, dock them points. No pissing about.
There is enough money in the game, at least in the top few leagues, to correct this and protect people.
…I am sure there will be an awful lot of comment on the news regarding Loris Karius suspected concussion in the Champions league final and the inevitable meltdown of many people on twitter. I am not interested in talking about Sergio Ramos imprisonment or knighthood but rather footballs approach to head injuries.
Karius was treated following the incident with Ramos and deemed by highly qualified medical professionals that he was able to carry on playing. We are now told that he had sustained a brain injury.
There is a catalogue of examples of players being allowed to play on when clearly not in a fit state to do so following a clash of heads. This is medical negligence and something that the football authorities need to look at. Following the Fabrice Muamba tragedy football reacted and put measures in place regarding cardiac arrests on the pitch, do we need to wait for a tragedy to occur through head trauma before any action is taken?
Dave, Liverpool, Red
Are Liverpool preparing us for Karius stay?
Just saw the Karius concussion story.
Initial thoughts are it makes sense, after the Ramos elbow on him (but he was shoved by VVD, so can’t it was intentional). However, I’m not entirely sure what it’s meant to achieve. Opposition fans are still going to ridicule him everytime he plays and in all honesty it reflects badly on Liverpool. How come none of our staff thought to check on him after it had happened? Especially after the first goal?
Or is there another point to it? I emailed in a few days after the final and said I thought we’d keep Karius but sign an experienced goalkeeper, I think this might be why the statement has been put out. Laying the groundwork to keeping Karius on. Some of the fans who were against him might be more sympathetic towards him now. But to be honest I think it’s the wrong way to go about it, it looks a bit desperate.
Will Russia be South Korea?
I was reading David Hartrick’s very reasonable assessment of Russia as basically being hopeless at the World Cup, when suddenly a thought popped into my head.
This is going to be like South Korea ’02 all over again, isn’t it?
Having obtained the rights to host the tournament in, erm, controversial circumstances (trying hard to avoid doing a libel here), Russia’s attempts to build a passable national side have been a catastrophic failure. Even Fabio Capello’s magic touch with an international ‘sleeping giant’ hasn’t helped them. Now the World Cup starts in 10 minutes and Russia have turned up to school naked, blubbing about the dog eating their homework.
So, what can they do to not embarrass themselves? I’m not for a second suggesting FIFA, the Russian FA or the Russian government are up to any kind of disallowed-goal-here-incomprehensible-penalty-there mischief. But I’m also not not putting a cheeky tenner on them stumbling and VAR-ing it into the semifinals.
Of the giants that I predict will defeated during Russia’s unbelievable run, Spain will scratch their heads and remember the curious refereeing antics in Gwangju 2002, in which to perfectly fine goals were disallowed for obscure reasons. Argentina, meanwhile, will have no legitimate complaints, as they won their own home world cup through forking over a massive bribe to Peru.
Also, could you send David Hartrick to bed without dinner for describing Igor Akinfeev as ‘really good’? Has he ever even watched him play? Or checked out his stats?
Joe (tin foil hat) FFC
Why we cannot board the Belgian hype train
Here is my two-word explanation of why Belgium 🇧🇪 will not win the World Cup despite of the World Class players it possesses.
And the answer is
I wonder what he did that made him get the job at the first place.
Rezwan, Bangladesh. (Only 9 days to go now)
FMS loves the FML feeling
So Fat Man Scouse reckons the British public are negative to lower the expectations of life so then when something good happens it’s all the more exciting and that J Nic thinks we should happy clap ourselves to victory. Feels like point missed but proven. Essentially I took from the article don’t be a dick and maybe try and just enjoy what’s going on instead of looking for a reason to be negative. Then big boys email came in and said no I will be a dick and as an Englishman I have every right to be negative which is beyond parody really.
We know England don’t have the squad to win this, we know there are problems with our starting XI but we also know it’s sport and stranger things have happened and after years and years of peddling the same tripe and trying to create a scapegoat what is so wrong with actually trying to create a pressure less enjoyable atomsphere around the team. Irrespective of whether they are highly trained athletes they are still mostly all young men and arguably due to how they’ve grown up many are still boys so to think this this aggressive highly strung atomsphere the fans and media create around the team won’t effect them is bonkers to say the least. Let’s try something different for once, what’s the worst that can happen?
Sometimes you have to really wonder why people who indulge in such negativity even bother watching. Actually I guess it’s like those folks into sadomasochism in the fact they need to feel pain (in its variety of forms) to really enjoy something and so then i guess supporting England is a sure bet that they can get off at some point in June/July. That sort of thinking always reads to me ‘I shall break my fingers so when I can use them again I will feel more joy at using my fingers than I did before.’ Odd, maybe just, yknow, realise and enjoy what you have before slamming that car door. Try it, it’s a whole lot less painful.
Smiling does not make England better
I’m sure that the mail sent in by SC, Belfast is a recurring one that is on auto-send every few months, with just minor details changed. Much like the (ridiculous) net spend argument, it seems to crop up every so often; some fan of another team/nation tells England fans that it’s us that are the problem, not the bunch of underachieving, overpaid prima donnas who wear the shirt and pick the teams. If I have to listen to some random Icelandic, Irish, Zimbabwean fan tell me that I should just be more cheerful and it’ll all be better one more time, I’ll bloody scream.
The English team attitude does not reflect the fans, the fans reflect the team. That’s how it’s supposed to be. If anything, the attitude of the England players reflects their apathy towards, and inability to relate to the average working fan. Footballers haven’t got a clue what is going on out in the real world, so how could their performances possibly be related to that? Are you honestly telling me that Harry Kane has a sodding clue what it’s like to not know how long you’ll have to work before he dies, or if he’ll get to retire at all, or even whether he might be able to afford to just watch the football? Of course he’s not. Will Raheem Sterling get a pleasant little boost if the fans sing a nice song about him? Maybe. Should the fans have to do that to get anything better than a mediocre performance out of him and his teammates? Absolutely not.
If the English team reflects one thing then it’s the attitudes of the players and coaches. Let’s say England were supported by the apparently better fans of Iceland during our 2010 or 2014 World Cup campaigns: are you genuinely suggesting, SC, that we would have managed to do better than we did (W1, D2, L1 and W0, D1, L2 respectively) because the supporters were optimistic, cheerful and singing? Does a good crowd chant mean that you can tackle, pass and shoot better? No. No, it doesn’t. If you’re relying on a happy crowd to improve your performance then you’re already stuffed.
I’ll give you an analogy for it. Let’s say you’ve been given access to the best resources available to build a brilliant car. You hire a team of designers and mechanics, source and assemble all the best parts you can, and they spend a lot of time figuring out the best configuration for those parts, before building it and handing it over for you to drive. It looks like a decent car actually, and you think it’ll get to where you want to go – it’s certainly taken a lot of time and money to get this far, so you feel pretty happy and enthusiastic about the car. It even came through the QA stage quite well and did pretty well on the test track. Only, when you try to drive it for real, it turns out that the car is actually shit. The parts are all there and it looks like a car, but it’s just not working as it should at all, and you have to stop after the first stage of your journey.
Now, SC, how much better do you think that car is going to drive, or the journey is going to be, purely on the basis of being cheerful and pleasant to the mechanic team and the car itself? Does having a smile on your face make the parts work right? Does being optimistic mean that the faults disappear? Regardless of how much you believe that the car should work well, it doesn’t change the fact that it’s not fit for purpose. So you get it back to the garage for more work, hopeful that the next time you take it out it might be better. You change a few parts and maybe even get a new mechanic team but, lo and behold, the same thing happens again. And again. And again.
That’s what being an England supporter is like, except with some brass-wielding morons inexplicably playing Colonel Bogey non-stop. Having a smile on your face does not make it any better.
Lose the sodding band
Reading that letter from SC in Belfast, one line stood out for me:
‘playing in a stadium akin to a funeral with the band playing a dirge for 90 minutes’
Let’s get something said now, straight off the bat; that band that follow the England team around the world playing that horrific din need sacking off as soon as possible. They’re sh*t. No one ever asked for them, no one that I know likes a single note they play, and whoever’s idea it was to commission them to follow the team around the way they do needs to be tied to a stake at burnt at dawn. Their cover of The White Stripes’ Seven Nation Army makes my skin crawl, and it’s reached Abba-levels of annoyingness, now. That song has been forever tarnished by that shitty little brass band. It just reminds me of poor quality, frustrating qualifying games away at Macedonia or Estonia, in the pouring rain, normally with someone like Jake Livermore propping up the midfield, toiling away to a laboured 1-0 win, while Germany or Spain are knocking seven or eight past whoever it is that they’re playing. Everything they play seems to have a touch of the Les Dawsons about it; slightly off key, or with a dropped note in there somewhere, the audible equivalent of someone running their finger nails down a chalk board. It cannot possibly be inspiring for any of our players, surely? Some rickety little collection of (I imagine) rusting, dented brass instruments parping out a wall of white noise while our players collectively lose their minds on the field of play.
Can we not, for once, have a tournament where they’re not the soundtrack to our pitiful demise in front of the watching world? Am I the only one who thinks that we need rid of this silly little band once and for all? They just sum up everything that English football is trying to get away from. Plucky, pitiful, pathetic and mildly annoying. It’s no wonder our manager can’t get a tune from our players when the support band are all tone deaf. That band are a pimple of the backside of international football, and they need popping as soon as possible.