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Disillusioned of Arsenal
Following on from the recent miserable Arsenal mails, I thought I’d add to them. This is the first transfer window I’ve ever experienced where I’m actually looking forward to us selling players rather than buying them.

The reason I don’t want us to buy anyone at the moment is because anyone we buy will be players that aren’t wanted elsewhere and will likely be rubbish and/or injured. Also, it means we have a chance to get rid of players who don’t want to be here anyway.

I have never felt as ‘meh’ about a season as I do this season. Honestly, the only excitement about Arsenal that I can look forward to is the hope that Wenger goes and the board gets thrown into disarray. With only hopeless players left after the best one leaves it could be the catalyst we’ve all been praying for to change the ridiculous ticket prices and half-arsed approach to treating Gooners with any modicum of respect.

Still, sure nothing exciting will happen. It never does for us anymore. I think the Arsenal social media person realises this and has uploaded the video of the time Henry returned 6 years ago (briefly) and socred one of the most emotional goals I can remember. Mainly because it felt like a sad reflection of what could have been. Feels almost Black Mirror-esque.

With kind regards


…There’s something that’s been bothering me for sometime and that’s due to people demanding us to sign defenders.

Arsenal won’t solve any of their defensive problems by signing new defenders no matter how good they are.

The root of the problem is our defence isn’t coached properly. If you look at Burnley, you’ll see a manager sell centre backs but then still have shut out after shut out the following season. Conversely, it doesn’t matter whether we field the reserves or the first team, we’re still going to defend like amateurs.

This cannot be solved until Wenger leaves so even if Arsenal does shell out loads of money on one of the best centre backs in the world, don’t expect him to make the blind bit of difference.

Only one of Arsenal’s famous back four played at a World Cup – that shows the difference between making the most of what you have and wasting careers.
Graham Simons, Gooner, Norf London


Holgate’s escape
Whilst I agree with Mediawatch’s view that there should not be even the slightest hint of equivalence between unnecessary physical contact and racism, I do feel Holgate appears (as his actions need to be judged in isolation from whatever occured afterwards) to be getting away scot free with his act of dangerous petulance on Friday night.

The one important point in the whole incident is that both Firmino and the ball were already out of play when Holgate decided on his course of action. This wasn’t a genuine challenge to win the ball where a player can claim the distraction of a physical contest with an opponent and has become temporarily unaware of the geography of the playing area. He was looking directly at man and ball at no great speed and knew exactly what he was doing. Holgate had played in the stadium less than a month beforehand, his own home stadium is of a similar stands in close proximity to the playing area nature, and he also has eyes.

It was a rash act of a man aggrieved at a big decision that had gone against him a few minutes previously. I’m assuming the FA are taking no action as it comes under the, ‘referee took action’ at the time rule – but it would be interesting to know if at the time Madeley made his call assuming that the ball and man were still in play. If he did that, which was incorrect, then surely the FA has grounds to censure Holgate? As it was the epitome of endangering your opponent.


Lukaku has peaked
Dear Man U fans referring to Lukaku as a ‘long term project’…

Lukaku is in his prime. He may only be 24 but this is his 9th season of professional football having made 350 appearances. If he were to drastically improve his first touch and movement he would have done so by now. Different players develop at different stages, a better indicator of a players prime is apps/number of seasons rather than age. For comparison, let’s look at 3 of the premier leagues greatest strikers:

In his 9th season of professional football, Alan Shearer scored 37 goals, a tally he never bettered. At the end of that season he had made 330 professional appearances.

Wayne Rooney scored only 16 goals in his 9th season of professional football, however this season was marred by an ankle injury and a fallout with Fergie. The season prior and following saw him reach his career high tally of 34 goals. He reached the 350 appearance mark in his 8th season.

Thierry Henry reached the 350 apps in his 9th season scoring 32 goals. The following season he reached his record tally of 39 goals.

In conclusion, a striker’s goals per season follow a bell curve relationship, generally peaking between at 8-10 seasons / 300-400 appearances. Romelu Lukaku is in his prime.
Nik (taking the fun out of the mailbox since 2k12) NUFC


Profit on Ings
Everyone knows that transfers are ridiculous, but reading the article on biggest windfalls, I am reminded that Danny Ings cost £8m two and a half years ago. 14 appearances and 3 goals later, he looks to be on his way out of the club, and realistically, who would be surprised if Liverpool made a profit? Given the money flying around I imagine they’d keep him as a gamble for anything below £10m, so he could have actually increased in value despite being injured for two years.
We’ve seen this in the Chelsea model before with Salah, Cuadrado, De Bruyne and Lukaku, but at least they were playing. Beginning to wonder how much I’d be worth on the books of a Premier League club, despite having zero football skill whatsoever.
KC (And transfer value rising as fast as Benteke’s stock falls is equally hilarious)


VAR worries
There has been more reaction to John Nicholson’s recent article on VAR than on any other subject I can recall, particularly in the forum. And it’s not just related to his article either because many fans who don’t necessarily claim to be responding to it are also concerned. As they should be.

When I first heard about the bare bones of this footballing “innovation”, I had honestly thought that it was only going to be used as a useful tool for referees who were unsighted or just plain undecided. Did the ball cross the goal line, or not? That sort of thing. You know, maybe once or twice a game. And I thought at the time, and given those parameters, that that would be a good thing. I sort of compared it to Hawkeye at the tennis and whatever review system the cricket has(because I don’t follow cricket yet I am still aware of the hot-spot and the snickometer technologies). But, think about it, both those sports already have natural breaks as in every two games in the case of tennis and change of overs, tea breaks and so on, in the case of cricket. Supporters of both those sports are used to stoppages and readily accept the extra few moments so that the correct decision is reached.

But does the success of technology in those two sports necessarily translate across to football because I don’t necessarily think it will, not if Nicholson’s premonitions for football’s future are accurate? Football, in England at least, has massive support worldwide because it is very quick and there are a minimum of stoppages. The players don’t even get a quick breather when the ball goes out of play because a different ball is quickly passed back in. So, when there is a stoppage for a VAR, will the TV coverage be like that of American football and go to a commercial break at every opportunity? I suspect it might.

So where does this start and exactly where does it end? John Nicholson’s version of where we might well end up in a few years’ time of an ever increasing escalation of VAR provisos doesn’t bear thinking about and may well see supporters leave stadia in droves and armchair warriors turn off the telly in disgust.

Nic’s version of what may come frightens me. It will not be the game I’ve loved for decades and not one I will particularly want to watch.
Jonesey Melbourne

…Interesting argument against VAR this morning in regards to the lost moment of a goal celebration. It’s a fair argument but not one I necessarily agree with.

Firstly, will we be looking to the referee after a goal is scored? Well yes, sometimes, but we do this already. We do it for offside. Whenever my team scores a goal that looks marginal I celebrate whilst looking over to the linesman for a flag. It doesn’t detract at all. Besides, we’re only going to do this with VAR if it looks like there has been any foul play in the build up to the goal. For 95% of goals you’ll be celebrating as normal.

I’d also argue against the idea that it takes away the moment of euphoria. This hasn’t happened in other sports. If anything it adds some drama. Take rugby. A try is scored, people celebrate then it gets checked. There’s an agonising wait then the decision is made and everyone goes mental.

Another example springs to mind. 1st test of the Ashes in 2013, England beat Australia (those were the days). The finish was incredible. England needed one wicket, Australia needed 14 runs. Brad Haddin appears to feather one behind. Not out, but it’s reviewed. After an agonising wait he’s out and everyone celebrates like mad. The wait added to the drama.

Remains to be seen whether this will be the case in football, but let’s wait and see before we make judgement.
Mike, LFC, Dubai


…One of the issues I have with some arguments against introducing more tech into football is the romanticised idea of the football/pub debate. It’s the idea that football is some kind of glorious chaos of infinite madness happening all over the place that we can all chat about, but no one can ever claim to be absolutely correct, so well grin and start the chat again the next Monday. I think this is just too dated an idea, and as people mentioned this morning the game has changed and everything around it has changed too. Frankly I think there are 2 ways that football can approach the future of officiating that would give a satisfactory game for us to enjoy.

The first is basically everyone just agrees to stop whinging. My issue with the pub debate argument (which was also used as an argument against goal line tech, as debating which side of the line a ball went in a pub was apparently an enjoyable use of anyone’s time….) is that it’s not confined to a local pub and it’s not even close to civil anymore. Every time there is a dodgy or incorrect decision against a top 6 team I feel deflated because I know even 365 is going to be chock full of emails whinging about it, saying someone is incompetent, should never referee ever again or has made the worst decision since a football team paired a red tie with a white suit. Add to this; managers constantly moaning and having a pathetic excuse to shield their ineptitude or their team’s poor performance, every other football site lambasting the ref and social media losing its collective single hive mind and it’s just a constant negative unpleasant sewer of hate. If we add in the fact that refs get death threats and serious abuse on social media then the idea that these discussions or arguments are limited to a few scoops in the pub between friends is a rose-tinted idea that doesn’t meet reality. It’s all well and good saying we love football for its innate unpredictability and chaos, but it’s not really true. We crave better officiating and everyone uses the line “we just want consistency”. Each incorrect decision made by a ref looking at two professional athletes colliding at top speed while he is sprinting across a pitch to catch up slows down my week much more than taking a short break to asses the reality of the situation. I just don’t see there being a collective decision to lower the priority of refereeing decisions enough to change this attitude.

The second way of moving forward for me obviously is adding tech. I don’t think VAR is perfect, and I do think it will need amending and improving the same way all progression and rule changes do. The idea of each manager having a set amount of reviews isn’t something that sits well with me. Adding this tech in is supposed to improve the quality of decisions (note improve not perfect), not weaponize them into tactics. I understand and agree with the concerns about VAR encroaching further and further into each move so this should be kept in mind with the developments of the tech. I don’t know whether incorrect decisions going for or against you balances out, and frankly I don’t really want to. It’s the same over the course of a season as over the course of 90 (or 60 which I’m in favour of too) minutes. When the incorrect decision is made it alters the immediate and everything after is affected. Another decision going for you in the future doesn’t balance out the season, it just affects its incorrectly again but this time in a positive for you. Does it mean you end up on the same points as you would do? It’s too much butterfly effect to possibly be a legitimate argument.

I don’t want to stop football debate, obviously not as I’ve spent my morning reading it and responding to it, so I’m not trying to say stop talking or do it my way, but everything in football has changed. The speed of the game, the nature of clubs as businesses, the difficulties of decisions being made and the exposure to a global social media armed viewership who refuse to accept any failing from a ref without resorting to vile behaviour. I appreciate why you want to keep the game pure with the ref making decisions and all of us enjoying its joyous unpredictability, but the truth is far from this. If VAR helps no one else but the refs themselves then frankly the people getting the sick abuse should get the benefit. I know they’ll still get slaughtered for the decisions which go to VAR and are still a subjective opinion, but if they get another look at a potential leg breaker they missed because of all the chaos going on at the same time that seems like a good thing.
DBM (Or maybe we could put more refs behind the goals with even bigger wands?) MCFC


No sympathy for entitled United fans
Poor Man Utd, having spent hundreds of millions of pounds on average players, Ted, Manchester believes he has the answer…… buy quality players! Not happy with second in the league or a league and Europa cup win, I think the word “entitled” is best illustrated by Ted’s email. Strange because he is normally quite agreeable. Making it email number 1 just says “clickbait” to me

Poor Arsenal, having spent years at the top table, they are now in decline. John Matrix is angry, but unfortunately for him, being unhappy with Arsene is like being unhappy with your dad.

Listen sad sacks, you could support Everton. You could support Exeter (vaguely referencing a previous mailbox). What I’m saying is that you guys need some perspective. I could write in an email saying who Everton should sign, I did, but the sarcastic undertone negates it being published.

Shame, as long as F365 give credence and priority to self-entitled tripe, they are actively encouraging this mental instability in the football community. Veruca Salt clearly supported a top 6 team
Fat Man Scouse


What Arsenal need
Ok, this is what Arsenal need and, alongside, what we’ll probably get with a note in brackets:

– GK: Nobody (We wont be linked with any player)
– CB: Jonny Evans (very underwhelming but necessary)
– RB: Nobody (We wont be linked with any player)
– CDM: Nobody (We wont be linked with any player)
– LW: Nobody (We’ll be linked with Lemar/Zaha but nothing will happen)
– RW: Nobody (We’ll be linked with Mahrez but nothing will happen)

Wow, that was easy.

Zak (Wenger Out) du Toit


Bribed with nuggets
Bold shout from Mansfield Matt Stead in Big Weekend, making Colchester the Football League game to watch after two nil-nils in a row. Fair play to him though, this was not a dour 0-0. In case anyone didn’t see it, here’s a rubbish match report.

Mins 0 – 39: Some League Two football happened. Our best player is rested due to injury/about to be bought by Bournemouth. Cheltenham didn’t look much like scoring despite their classic big slow fella flanked by little quick fella combo. Brandon Comely put an 8 yard pass out for a throw-in. Tom Lapslie continued to look like a bit like Xherdan Shaqiri when not in possession of a football. Mikael Mandron continued to look like a man who has only just been introduced to the concepts of kicking and controlling a ball, is starting to get the hang of it, and hopes that one day soon someone watching will be able to tell which one he’s doing. Kid 1 starts doing drawings of the mascot around 20 mins in, and misses nothing.

Min 40: BOOM! A goal! The greatest player from the Channel Islands ever, Kurtis Guthrie, looks up, sees no passing options and decides instead to bang one in from 25 yards, to score the goal of the weekend. We’re comfortable, and we’re going 3rd in the league!

Min 44: We win a free kick outside the Cheltenham box. Kyel Reid then decides to punch/push in the face one of the Cheltenham players and is sent off for violent conduct.

Mins 46 – 57: We’re not very good. We’re not bad most of the time with 11 players, but we’re not good enough at defending to shut up shop and hold on to our lead with 10 men. They make early changes, we don’t respond, we’ve lost this game already despite it not having happened yet.

Min 58: Goal mouth scramble, we don’t deal with it, a former player scores against us.

Min 70: Cheltenham go in front. I forgive a great deal with this little club of mine, but there are certain levels of professionalism that I still expect, and allowing a player named Nigel to score against you falls well below them.

Min 78: The following conversation takes place between kid 2 and myself:

“I’m cold. Can we go to McDonald’s now please?”

“Not yet. We don’t want to miss the last 10 minutes, do we?”


Min 79: They score again. I don’t have a good answer to kid 2’s question, and kid 1 has also taken up the cause. We leave. We leave early. “why do people leave early” you hear people ask as if it’s the worst thing in the world. Because mostly my kids come to Colchester due to liking the mascot and the promise of salty high-fat food at the end, and it will pay long term to keep them sweet on the idea of going to football, because it means I get to go too. (side note: I think as a kid I mostly went because my Mum’s boyfriend who took me would buy me pear drops from the shop next to the ground, and didn’t tell me off for swearing at the game. Did anyone who supports a rubbish team, ever actually enjoy the football as a child?)

Min 83: They score a 4th. We’re already in the car, with the heaters on, talking about chicken nuggets and when the next home game we can get to will be.
Jeremy Aves


Christian’s beliefs
I love the comments made by Christian Purslow, seen them everywhere and to be fair, he’s an idiot just like the rest of these so called pundits.

A couple of months ago, Klopp wasn’t worthy for Liverpool let alone the Premier League, we just lost 4 -1 to Tottenham and he was the laughing stock in the PL.

Now he’s apparently ready to manage United
(Coz the pundits a.k.a United supporters have a problem with Jose’s style of football), City (coz Pep is sh*t at this footballing thing) and Chelsea because, well… its Chelsea, managers don’t last there.

I want to take this opportunity to remind everyone that Klopp isn’t a cheque book manager, he believes in hard work and training. That Liverpool managed to get his targets in an inflated market, which standards were set by Mourinho and United is pretty impressive.

United front 3 of Lukaku, Martial and Mkitairan cost 162mil
Chelsea front 3 of Morata, Hazard and William cost 120mil
City front 3 of Jesus, Sterling and Sane cost 125 mil
Liverpool front 3 of Mane, Firmino and Salah cost 95 mil and the only team that boasts a better goals scored record at this stage than Liverpool is City which is testament to the work Jurgen Klopp does on the training ground, long may it continue.

Let that sink in Christian Purslow…

Source: football365