Have yourself a lovely weekend and send us some mails: firstname.lastname@example.org
So once again the Mailbox is full of the idea that Mourinho is ‘trying to get sacked’ so that he can get whatever pay-out his contract would be (Apathetic Anon). Presumably this has been the case for a fair while, given our problems have existed all season and are not new.
Take a step back though, and realise what utter, mouth-breathing horse-sh*t this conspiracy is. Mourinho has been a top level manager for 16 years. He’s won the Champions League twice, the Europa League, 8 League titles and numerous cup wins. He’s managed at two of the three biggest/richest clubs in the world (Real Madrid, Man Utd). Don’t you think that he has enough money? Or at least he has enough not to spend six months working hard to make a team fail for the sake of another few million? According to a quick google search his net worth is somewhere around £40m. Walking out and going to whatever club (PSG) for free would net him far more money in a far shorter time.
Finally, for someone who is always called self-obsessed, don’t you think his public persona might be a little more important to him than another few mil in the bank on top of the many millions already there? Don’t you think he’d rather be loved unconditionally by tens of millions of United fans worldwide for winning the league again and toppling the petro-dollars across the road? But that isn’t happening, for numerous reasons that are partly his fault, partly the club’s fault, partly the player’s fault, and in all likelihood it won’t happen for a long time until all of those are addressed.
Calum (yes he’s underperforming and deserves to get sacked based on that, leave all the other bullshit out. Jardim in please!), MUFC, Wokingham
Hmm, even as a neutral I can see ‘Dominic LFC’ lowering the barrel of the gun towards his own foot. Whilst I whole heartily agree that De Gea is overrated – he is a very good shot stopper, but not close to being the best keeping the world, Dominic might be getting a little ahead of himself. I think you had most reasonable people on board with your Super Dave assessment, we can all agree it seems common place in the current media (present company excluded) to throw yourself on whatever bandwagon is popular this season. Dave Saves is the current one, where no matter the volume of evidence to support the fact he’s been a bit shit recently, pundits and commentators alike willfully ignore his mistakes for fear of being ejected from their flock. However to proclaim Allisson as the next goal keeping messiah might also be a bit premature. De Gea has shown he can single handily win UTD points over the last few seasons, and it’s not unknown for Mr Becker to have a little wobble himself now and again is it? Given he’s only had about 5 months of PL football, you might want to hold fire till after the game before proclaiming him the new Buffon. (The greatest keeper in history – Fact).
David Moore (PS – Kudos to SFC board, gambling on a progressive attacking manager rather than an easy PFM choice).
Can Liverpool fans please get a grip, Allison is not a better keeper than De Gea, basing this on one mistake is truly grasping a straws. Allison is a fine keeper but until he is sat behind Smalling and Jones watching attackers stroll past them with ease peppering you with shots then he never will be in the same league as De Gea who has saved us on countless occasions making saves which defy logic and description, Allison doesn’t face a quarter of the sh*t De Gea has to put up with.
Paul Murphy, Manchester (Dave can save a pdf on a calculator)
Big Weekend made me step in a puddle
Walking through the park just now, reading Big Weekend on my phone and as I read that Chelsea have had the ball for an average of 67% this season…my left foot went straight into an almighty puddle.
Your site is somewhat distracting (as I’ve been told in many an appraisal).
Stu (and his one soaking wet NB), Twickenham
…no puddles this time, it made laugh.
Fair to say I haven’t enjoyed Mediawatch for some time but that was a good one. One of the parts made me think of The Crackpots And These Women episode of The West Wing (CJ trying to work how people are killed by vending machines).
Stu (“hippy crack” makes no sense. I can’t see a hippy doing it because they haven’t existed for decades, and I’m fairly sure it’s nothing like crack), Twickenham
Man up! No hippy crack for you!!
Given the S*n’s out rage at a football player using nitrous oxide, I do hope they extend this to the next time a player suffers a serious injury on the pitch and needs gas and air pain relief.
‘Forget about your broken leg. No hippy crack for you!!’
Gez Errico (In hippy crack rehab following a dental extraction last week.)
Watch Villa v Albion…
I see that unfortunately, after a glorious few months off, we are now back to the point where the entire football media is talking about Arsenal non-stop again. Well, if anyone fancies a break from all that, and the prem in general (Citeh have won it. And next year’s. And 2010/21. Wake up ffs), I would point you in the direction of the Championship, which continues to be a mixture of Enter the Dragon, Return of Django and It’s a Knockout.
In particular, Villa are playing Albion at the Heathens tonight. They’re the two highest-scoring sides in the division; in the last four Villa games, there’s been a goal every 17 minutes; the poor dears down the rowd have had to sit through a full 27 mins between goals in the same time. Also since the start of last month, Villa have notched up a goal difference of +17 – at the minute, Leeds’ is the best in the division for the season on +16.
Oh and it’s a derby.
So yes, get your money on 0-0. But do watch this, as there will be a) singing, b) handbags, c) at least one penalty, d) at least one red card, e) lots of swearing, and f) no clue as to what’s going to happen next, or even what’s happening at the moment. Although there may be some Lee Hendrie and Scott Minto.
Neil Raines utv
Thought the article on Dembele made some valid points, but I’m not sure that being habitually late for work, having a poor diet and being unfocused can be allowed to slide because he’s young.
The tactical side of things, if he’s somewhat overwhelmed at being at Barca (seemingly less so every week), making bad decisions in games – those are all traits that should be forgiven in a young player, as they will learn/overcome them in time.
However, the idea that habitual lateness is a symptom of immaturity…. I don’t know about that. Any other 21 year old at work who continually turned up late would expect to be reprimanded – ‘I’m a bit young so it’s hard to wake up on time’ would not be an excuse. Hell – any child who is continually late for school would expect repercussions.
Having a poor diet – that is surely also inexcusable? How many nutritionists and dieticians will he have at Barca telling him exactly what to eat and what not to eat? If he ignores that, he’s an idiot. His diet relates directly to his work performance.
Raheem Sterling,as a contrast, always seemed like a good pro – seemed dedicated and committed. He made some mistakes, in his personal life and on the pitch, was perhaps a little immature, but the end product has now been coached into him and he’s much more potent. He couldn’t have been coached in that way without a desire to succeed and a dedication to his trade. I think to excuse Dembele’s lateness and poor diet on the grounds of him being a bit young does other young pros who are committed a real disservice. The idea that he is a mercurial talent so maybe we should cut him some slack on this front is, I think, pretty insulting.
I hope Dembele comes through this period stronger and better – the guy’s a huge talent who can be fantastic to watch – but when he ignores the work norms of timekeeping and diet, he needs to be called out.
Focus is now on Stan
I know it’s stupid to jinx it but I’m cautiously optimistic about Arsenal’s chances this season. Things are going well – certainly far better than most of us expected – and it certainly looks like a top 4 finish is on the cards, which is the target this year. The new signings have settled in well and even Guendouzi – who no one thought would be heard of except for when he’s sent on back to back loan spells for the next three years – is staking a claim for a regular spot. Most auspiciously, the incumbents seem to be improving as well, in particular Bellerin and Iwobi. Another player who has been excellent till his unfortunate injury this week was Holding who has quietly become, at least in my eyes, a more dependable option at the back than World Cup-winner Mustafi.
With such clear improvements being made, I think Emery has made enough of a case for some serious financial support from the Board. We now know that Welbeck, and quite possibly Holding, will be missing the remainder of the season. It seems Mustafi and Ramsey are carrying knocks as well and Ozil seems to have a long-running back problem that keeps him out for spells at a time (making the decision to give him a massive contract even weirder). In years past, the periodic fumbles and the frequent implosions on the pitch meant that the focus was much more on the managers and players than on those with the money.
Not wrongly, might I add. Emery has shown that, with largely the same core group of players, this squad can produce fresh and exciting football with tangible results. But now, we can’t ignore that there are areas on the pitch where Arsenal lack the requisite quality and strength and this has been largely due to years of ineptitude in the transfer market. Put simply, Arsenal are an almost entirely new defensive cadre away from being title challengers. From among the incumbents, only Bellerin and Holding should survive with the rest moved on for being either too old or not nearly good enough. There’s also the well-documented absence of actual wingers at the club and the lack of quality depth at the base of midfield.
One of the best aspects of Emery’s style, and a refreshing change, is his tactical flexibility and willingness to adapt to what the situation demands. There is no better illustration of this than his changes in the NLD which saw Arsenal employ three different formations over the course of the match. Another change which has won the fans’ full-throated endorsement is his policy of team selection whereby he’s willing to prick some egos if need be. His decision to make £25m-rated Leno earn his spot over 35-year-old and fading Cech set the tone quite nicely on that front. However, neither of these approaches are sustainable in the long run if he is not allowed to build a full-strength squad with the requisite depth and quality.
The new recruitment team at club have become mini-celebrities among the Arsenal fan base. So far, the praise has been well-earned. The issue is money and how much of it our Trump-supporting owner Stan is willing to actually spend on the football club, nay ‘sports-entertainment sector asset’, he has spent so much time not caring about. We are a little more than three weeks away from the January window and thankfully, for the first time in eons, we haven’t been subjected to lecture on how there is not enough ‘qualitee’ on offer. Hopefully, that mantra is a thing of the past and we bring in at least another attacker in this window.
It is interesting that much of the ‘noise’ around the newly constituted Jedi Council of Transfers has been about their ability to spot a deal and pick a diamond from the rough. Mislintat, in a recent interview, made comments about there being three ‘Bayerns’ (City, United, and Chelsea) and three ‘Dortmunds’ (Liverpool, Arsenal, and Spurs) in England. That seems to indicate a continuation of the policy that Arsenal need to be ‘clever’ when it comes to transfers. If that is the approach the club plans to employ going forward, then I’m afraid we are set for more frustration. After the disastrous StatDNA experiment, one would hope that the club have realised that sometimes what is right in front of you is, in fact, the best one can get.
Rather than constantly trying to beat the game, I wish we would just start playing it. Now more than ever, the clubs needs to “spend some fucking money”. Else, we run the risk of wasting this promising start under an exciting manager who seems to be intent on making an impact. If they think there are more Wengers in this world, then they’re in for a rude shock. Hell, there are managers nowadays who are actively trying to get sacked! So stop mucking about and back your man, Stan. Please.