What the f**k is wrong with football fans of the larger clubs?


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A view of Spurs from a former local
I’m no Spurs supporter, but having lived in the area for a few (15) years, I just wanted to have a word to share my thoughts about the current state of things. And I completely agree with Darragh.

Firstly, there seems to be a lot of negativity about the club, including from their own fans. While I can understand that they have been sold a bit of a yarn about when the stadium was going to be complete. But having passed it on so many occasions over the past few years (I could see the cranes from my house!) it was clear it wasn’t going to be ready by September, or even December.

If I could see that, I’d have thought that any/all Spurs fans would have been aware of this, so why the shock?

Secondly, I can’t be the only one that thinks the stadium will be worth the wait? It’s an incredible effort and if everything I understand about it is true, it’s easily going to be the best stadium in the country. Spurs will be raking in money from all areas (and I believe the extra monetisation will assist with the debt, so it’s kind of a no-brainer) and, given that they are also investing in one of the most impoverished areas of the city, it’s hopefully going to have a seriously big effect on people who need investment that – even after the area was heavily damaged in 2011 got next to no support from the Government. Hell, it’s even on the same spot, something very few clubs can/will do when building new stadia.

This new stadium will mean that fans will be more happy to spend money locally (home and away fans) in the shops, pubs and cafes, players will want to play there, fans will want to visit. For just a couple of years of annoyance, I suspect Spurs will become a proper footballing powerhouse in a significantly improving area of our capital.

I do also appreciate that many locals have been put out by the works, but I’m hopeful that the long run will see them good.

Finally, I may have missed something, but Spurs are still pretty good aren’t they? OK, they didn’t annihilate City and Liverpool managed to dust them away, but generally they are still there or there abouts. And have a settled squad. And a decent manager happy to wait a couple of years for his Real Madrid move.

I’ve seen some Liverpool fans moaning about how Cardiff were only just beaten (4-1?). What the f**k is wrong with football fans of the larger clubs that means that if they don’t win every match 6-0 they seem to think it’s all going to sh*t in a bust up ford cortina?

Ah well, just had to get that off my chest.
Rob, no longer in N18, now in BN1

Let’s give Emery some credit
Arsenal’s biggest problem remains naivety and nerves?!! Really?!

We’re 17th in the first half table – sorry why is this relevant? You don’t get points for finishing the first half in front.

Then we have the tweet saying it wasn’t a good idea to play Xhaka at left back. Emery is no Mourinho in playing players out of position when he has ample cover – he had literally no left backs to call upon as both Monreal and Kolasinac were both out injured.

It’s almost as if people were just waiting for us top drop points so they could write this rubbish – we didn’t lose, we were away from home and Palace is difficult trip at the best of times as it’s a derby – but more so when you’ve had a Monday evening match followed by a tricky trip to Lisbon.

Emery does deserve criticism in his treatment of Mustafi but I actually think it’s because he removed him from the team for the Sporting match. Mustafi seems to do better when he’s given a run of games and he’s actually been one of our top performers recently – taking him out of the team didn’t do him any favours.

And yes, we do have Liverpool next up in the league and we may well get stuffed but it’s unfair not to give Emery his due.

The winning streak was going to come to an end at some point but let’s give the man credit for achieving such a run rather than lambasting him for the run coming to an end.

ArsenalFanTv is usually a good bellwether of whether there’s a crisis at Arsenal – there’s scant evidence of that so far.

Lose to Blackpool and Liverpool and no wins in a week would add fuel to the fire but at the moment I would venture most gooners are happy enough with their lot.
Graham Simons, Gooner, Norf London

Apathy list
May I add to your apathy list? May I?  Thanks!

Footballish things I just don’t care about:

–          How much a player cost.  Doesn’t matter, does it? And should have no bearing on how that player’s performance is analysed.

–          What a player’s wife/girlfriend/spouse/other half/booty call looks like.

–          Assists.  Assists will not tell you if a player is any good or not.  A player with more assists than a different player is not necessarily a better player. It’s such a flawed statistic that it’s virtually meaningless.

–          Who’s bestest out of Messi or Ronaldo.

–          How your football club got all it’s money. Spending millions of pounds on buying a human male is morally unjustifiable regardless if the money came from a corrupt oil regime or tractor sponsorship or flogging badly made clothes/Andy Carroll for £35m, so pipe down.

–          What format an article about football is in.  I quite like lists. 75% of my mails are in list form. Nothing inherently wrong with a list.

–          Rochdale FC.

–          The idea of having B teams in the football league.  As a lower league fan, I’m supposed to be properly irate at the idea, but I sort-of think it might be alright. The 3 pm blackout and EPPP are much bigger issues in my mind..

–          What Mourinho just said.  Unless he’s offered to fist the Queen I just don’t care anymore.

Love and Hugs,
Jeremy Aves

I’m an apathetic millennial (I think, never quite been sure how old they are) and disagree with a few of the things you don’t care about. Thought I’d run through them with my thoughts:

Footballers’ Money/Haircuts – Totally agree, could not care less what they’re buying unless it’s something dodgy.

Poppies – Seemed from what you were saying that you actually do care about this? I’m sure you ran a piece on this a while ago that made the point that kits shouldn’t include these at all given it’s political. I care enough to think that they shouldn’t be on our kits and if footballers want to wear them it should be separate to their match day attire.

3pm Blackout – I’m really torn on this one, which means I just care, right? I don’t believe that lifting the blackout would damage the clubs lower down the pyramid based on the theory (alright, fine, hypothesis I can’t be bothered to look for evidence) that the proportion of fans of the club who attend match day (as opposed to those there for a day out) is higher and therefore less likely to be affected. That said, there’s at least one chairman who is concerned and surely they’ve got more knowledge than me (pretty sure a substantial number of leave voters thought like this though…)

Handshakes – Up to the individuals, don’t give a f**k.

Diving – No more than any other cheating (to the man who said Suarez was just taking the appropriate punishment: utter bollocks, he was cheating).

Celebrations – I think some of them look silly but that’s about it.

Waving Yellow Cards – I don’t like the players pushing referees on decisions at all and I’m hoping VAR etc. can cut this out.

Stadium Renaming – Only in the sense that it’s another indicator of the distance between fans and club. Not having sleepless nights over this.

English Managers Opportunities – I don’t believe anything is holding them back bar skill and the cost of coaching badges in the UK. I care about this as I would like to see British manager being successful in the same way I support the national team. Outside of the usual rivalries between clubs, I would like to see the British game be as good as possible and having young managers of quality in this country surely helpsthat. I don’t agree with over hyping them though.

Rugby Union – Don’t know which one this is despite my dad telling me about 427 times…
Dave, MUFC, Leeds 

It could be a lot worse
Been digesting the last couple of days’ Spurs stuff and have been compelled to give my thoughts. Whilst I’m generally a very cup-half-full type of Spurs fan, I’ve been very downhearted and pretty miserable this season, so far from a “happy clapper” (a term invented and solely used by morons on the internet to describe anyone who doesn’t throw their toys out the pram at the slightest issue, in case you weren’t aware)

This season has been a ballache from start to finish, make no mistake. But we’ve still shown the character to have (up until the last game, at least – haven’t checked since then) a record PL points total. In spite of half our squad being knackered, injured or out of form. And the second half against City was the best I’ve seen this season in terms of aggression and attacking intent; let’s not forget that this is by far the best defensive team in the league (at a combined cost of about £200m, you’d hope so). Had Lamela scored with the easiest chance he’ll get all season, we could well have won that game.

Not strengthening the squad in Summer was close to negligent: everyone can see we’re in real need of freshening up and strengthening a couple of key positions. Performances in the Champions League have been embarrassing. But in Lamela and Moura we do, at least have two fresh attacking players, and will presumably buy in January. We’ve traditionally turned on the burners in January onwards, so if we’re there or thereabouts, we can still have a perfectly acceptable season. Hopefully, we may even have a new stadium by then (although we need to blame whoever came up with that f*cking slogan entirely for the delay).

So doom-and-gloom and reasons for positivity in equal measure. Levy can be immensely frustrating and has made some fairly sizeable misjudgements in his time but has delivered CL football for the last few seasons and the most expensive stadium ever built on a relatively low budget. He also gave us Berbatov, Modric, Van der Vaart etc, so I think that he’s probably in credit overall (although doing his level best to Spurs up all that goodwill).

Still, at least we can be cheered up by Arsenal’s further transformation into the Spurs of the early 2010s: an inferior team playing out of their skin, still only being one point ahead and getting their fans all uppity in the process. It could be a lot worse.
Alex G, THFC

Man City’s will to win
One thing I noticed in the Spurs City game on Monday is how cynical this City team can be, and totally get away with it ! Let me qualify… All the best teams in history, as well as talent, need an iron will to win, a willingness to do the hard work, the dirty stuff when need be in order to get over the line. In English football this is often been exhibited through physicality – Don Revie’s “Dirty Leeds” of the 70s, Liverpool of the 80s, Utd in the 90s/00s, Arsenal in the late 90’s, Mourinho’s Chelsea etc. All were teams with talent but who were not afraid to mix it as well.

Pep teams are a bit different, due to the way they play and press. Not overly physical with more small, skilful players, when they lose the ball they press fanatically to win it back. What is interesting is what happens when they don’t win the ball immediately – they foul the opponent to stop the flow of play. And it’s not isolated incidents. This happens EVERY TIME the press is broken or in danger of being broken, and so is an obviously coached / manager instructed tactic. What is astounding is the lack of fuss this causes. The ref blows for a free kick, the commentator mentions it was a foul, the fouled opponent gets up and dusts themselves off and play goes on. It’s almost like a magic trick, like no one realises how key this tactic is for them. For a team like City that press the ball heavily, breaking the press is when they are at their most exposed, and City have found a way of cynically combating this with a low risk/high gain approach – they give away a free kick in a less dangerous area of the pitch and they rarely if ever get booked for what seems a low-key foul, but they are actually stopping a potentially goal threatening attack, and getting back into their defensive shape in the process, and NO ONE SEEMS TO NOTICE, least of all their opponents who are the ones suffering the most !

I’m a realist about the dark arts in football, every team needs a bit of the devil in them to win, these are high stakes being played for, but while other dark arts get the justified level of umbrage they deserve, this tactic seems to go under everyone’s radar.
Phil (Promise I’m not being a bitter Red) MUFC

Heaven’s Eleven
Hi Mr Editor,

Let me first say, what a great site Football365 is. As I spend most of my time in Majorca, I eagerly look forward to it every day to keep me up to date with the world of football.

I read, with huge interest, the article Heaven’s Eleven…by Donald Macinnes. I am of a ripe old age to remember all of the players ‘picked’ for the team.

I have very fond memories of Lev Yashin, as you say, a wonderful goalkeeper. it is interesting you say he played in blue but it was thought of as black because of tv in those days. Whenever I played in goal, I always wore black because of Yashin. I believe, in later life he lost a leg to diabetes, awful for such an athlete.

As to Puskas, the ‘galloping major’, oh what a player. I still remember him and the rest of the Magyar Cherries running England ragged at Wembley. That wonderful pull-back, change of feet bamboozling Billy Wright and then putting the ball past Gil Merrick, (the only player in England I remember with facial hair..moustache…how times have changed!). And, oh those magical moments with the great Real Madrid…what a team, every player a legend.

I am sorry, I am reminiscing, easy to do with eleven picked. The main reason I am emailing is to ask, how hard must it have been for Donald to leave out John Charles and the greatest midfielder of all time, in my opinion, Alfredo Di Stefano. I am thinking of John Charles at Centre Half, as the position was known in those days. Of course, he was equally adept at Centre Forward. He commanded his defence and the opposing players with aplomb.

As for Di Stefano, he appeared to run every game he played in. He totally commanded the mid-field, and the game, more often than not, what a player. Of course, I would never drop ‘Besty’ from ANY team, just move him to another position.

Finally, I have to mention Johnny Haynes, who to me is the ONLY player I have ever seen who could pick a pass that no-one could ever see or even if they did, could not pass it onto the proverbial ‘sixpence,’ which is also in heaven now!! He was wasted at Fulham and I am from Fulham (but a Chelsea supporter with a huge soft spot for our neighbours)

I won’t bore you anymore other than ‘thanks for the memories’ and keep up the good work on 365,
Michael Jacobs

Social media is now getting out of control
Excellent, sobering and distressing article from Daniel Storey on the normalization abuse in the Twitter age.

The internet has given us many good things but social media is now getting out of control. I have recently deleted my own Facebook and Twitter accounts (nothing to do with Cambridge Analytica, I assumed that data theft was going on anyway) but because they repeatedly showed me a horrible side of people I would prefer not to know existed. This is people I know IRL as well as internet randoms. Rabid tribalism seems to be the only way, so engaging in civilised conversation is not possible in these platforms, and I found that I was just left with an empty feeling after spending any time in social media. I’m not looking for acclaim or anything like that for these actions, it’s just my way of dealing with the problem Daniel was highlighting. To be honest, I’m surprised any professional sportspeople have twitter accounts at all and something that will surely start declining.

As Daniel points out, football is really suffering from all of this and it was one of the many reasons I have been slowly falling out of love with the game. However after a few months of no social media and only reading articles in respected newspapers and F365, I am slowly coming back round to almost enjoying watching football again. Almost.
Adonis Stevenson, AFC

Source: football365.com