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Aubameyang is worth £200m
Dear Zil (fed up Man Utd supporter)
£70M for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (that’s more than Arsenal paid for him and based on Lukaku price)? Thanks, I needed a laugh. Do me a favour – if Lukaku was worth £70M, Aubameyang is worth £200M at least. See you on Monday night
Graeme (2006 was a long time ago) exiled Gooner living in Yorkshire
Rules that aren’t enforced
Seemed a slow day in the mailbox today so I thought I would chuck in a question about why certain rules in football aren’t actually enforced. I have got three which annoy me but there might be others.
1. The Six Second Rule. This has been in place since 1998 and was an amendment to FIFA’s Law 12, which states that “a goalkeeper is not permitted to keep control of the ball in his hands for more than six seconds”. Straight forward stuff, in place for more than 20 years. I watch (on average) four or five full games a week and the highlights of a stupid amount of football and I can recall one instance of a keeper being penalised for this (Simon Mignolet in a Europa League match). That is the same amount of times as I can recall for a keeper being pinged for timewasting pre the rule change (Neville Southall in a league match). Why is the rule not upheld?
2. 10 yards from a freekick. Law 13 states that “Until the ball is in play, all opponents must remain: at least 9.15 m (10 yds) from the ball, unless they are on their own goal line between the goalposts”. Until the ball in in play, all opponents must remain 10 yards from the ball… and yet they don’t do they? They stand over the ball, they mill around, they sprint towards the ball to then amble past with their hands up to say sorry for accidentally getting in the way. Increasingly, for free kicks in the middle of the park players are only a couple of yards away and the ref does nothing. The onus is on the player to stay 10 yards from the ball until the ball is in play but, unless the ref marches them back they don’t. There is nothing in the laws of the game about waiting for the referee’s whistle on direct free kicks and yet I have seen players booked for taking a free kick before the referee blows their whistle. It has become convention for defending players to stand over the ball until the referee indicates the attacking team shouldn’t take the kick until the whistle is blown… but there is nothing in Law 13 which states this at all. Why has the advantage swung so far in favour of the defending team?
3. Substitutes leaving from the nearest touchline. Of the ‘new’ rules in from June this is the least enforced. I have seen very few players leave from the nearest touchline except where the player is genuinely injured (fake injured players still hobble to the dug outs, including Juan Mata limping off against Leicester after pretending to have been hit in the throat which was really bizarre). Why is this one selectively not enforced?
Micki ‘rule follower’ Attridge
Don’t apply logic to Manchester United
Liked the Fight, fight, fight! article on Solskjaer, however where both Will and Ian fail is trying to apply logic to Manchester United.
The club is so far passed logic, so beyond reason and thought that you’re wasting your time. I half expect most of United’s decisions involve Woodward, a dart board, a blind fold, and few measures of whiskey.
If Solskjaer survives past Christmas it won’t have anything to do with performances
Dave, Manchester (if they can get Poch, they should, soon)
Local lads XI
Phil’s criteria are excellent and hugely scientific but I would like, if I may, to make a small addition to the “120 games on the bench if you’ve never played for the first team” rule. I fear that this is open to abuse by less scrupulous correspondents than Phil, so would like to suggest the following wording:
“made the first team bench a minimum of 120 times AND have the same initials as ANY TV programme presented by BOTH Judith Hann and Howard Stableford.”
I like to think this slightly more stringent approach will prevent spurious entries by closing a hitherto gaping loophole.
Chelsea team made up of Londoners ( no spurious sit on the bench for 120 games rules here)…
Kevin Hitchcock ( decent-ish keeper for an average Chelsea, and Sparky’s right hand man)
Reece James (the second coming at RB, hopefully set to displace Azpi then set his sights on the most highly competitive England slot; Trippier, Alexander Arnold, Walker, Wan Bissaka)
Michael Duberry (career went astray once he left for dirty Leeds, but looked a real contender on his breakthrough)
David Lee (Rodders, nuff said, prototype Rio Ferdinand)
Ashley Cole (Undisputed best left back in Prem History)
Glenn Hoddle (Some dubious beliefs but a baller)
Dennis Wise© (Gobby team leader, great dead ball delivery, wind up merchant, club legend)
Jody Morris (Chelsea through and through)
Joe Cole (Chelsea fan, Prem league winner, showpony)
Tammy Abraham (New inhabitant of our legendary #9 shirt)
Callum Hudson Odoi (Sorry Bayern, he ain’t from Munich so he stays with us)
Reckon they’d give most teams a decent game. Little weak at Centre Back, but couldn’t think of anyone else other than Frank Sinclair.
Coventry City’s youth academy is well-known for producing talented players (indeed, it’s been an excellent source of income for decades as well somewhere young players seem to be happy to go, knowing the facilities and reputation). Building a team of players born in Cov, however… well, it’s relegation-from-the-Champonship-tastic!
GK: Lee Burge
The world’s most inaccurate left foot is currently in nets at Sunderland.
LB: Marcus Hall
270 games for the Sky Blues, as well as spells at Stoke and Northampton.
CB: Jordan Willis
Also now at Sunderland, the elegant centre-half looked like a big loss until we discovered Michael Rose.
CB: Graham Alexander
Preston legend and current boss of Salford City.
RB: Cyrus Christie
Slightly out of his depth along with the rest of Fulham’s defence last season.
LW: Gary McSheffrey
Sky Blues favourite, as well as having periods at Birmingham City and Scunthorpe.
CM: Daniel Crowley
Chose Villa’s youth system over ours (pfft!), joined Arsenal, currently at Birmingham City.
CM: James Maddison
RW: Marc Bridge-Wilkinson
Having to shoehorn him in over on the right. Had a solid lower league career with the likes of Bradford, Port Vale and so forth.
FW: Daniel Nardiello
Man. Utd. non-legend with a subsequently nomadic career.
FW: Callum Wilson
Maddison sets them up, Wilson sticks them away.
David (Zbrojovka list, anyone? Just me then.) Szmidt, Brno, Czech Rep
A slightly different local lads XI. South London is producing plenty of footballer footballers. Despite many of them having CPFC as their local club, few of them support or came through the academy, often choosing more illustrious clubs. Here are a team of players born/raised in the boroughs of Bromley, Croydon, Lambeth, Lewisham, Southwark and Sutton (ones where people typically would have Palace as their nearest Premier League club). I have gone with current players but also listed some former pros and subs.
GK: Jamal Blackman – Croydon born but first of many to go west to the Chelsea frontier. Slim pickings for GKs but Blackman picked on basis he is probably better than Marcus Betinelli.
RB: Aaron Wan-Bissaka – Croydon native. One of the few on the list to actually play for Palace. Arguably England’s second best RB and defensively one of the strongest 1v1 fullbacks in the league.
CB: Joe Gomez – Lewisham native. Came through the ranks at local rivals Charlton. In danger of becoming one of those given the late motif, “if he could just stay fit” but on paper is England’s best centre back given he hasn’t committed any howlers.
CB: Chris Smalling – Greenwich born defender has probably overachieved but this part of the world tends to produce skilful wingers so any knucklehead centre half will have to do. Still his experience and medal haul could be of use.
LB: Ryan Bertrand -Southwark born defender yet another player who was schooled in at Chelsea. Solid, reliable and has a Champions League winners medal to sit on top of his England caps.
DM: Nathaniel Chalobah – Sierre Leone born, Lambeth raised. Yet another Chelsea academy product and yet another one blighted by injury. Still an England cap and place amongst Southgate’s favourites suggests a good career beckons. As with Smalling not many other options.
CM: Ruben Loftus-Cheek – Lewisham native who was swept away to Chelsea, a common theme. Like Gomez in danger of being labelled a sick note due to a bad back but has fine ability to glide past people that bellies his frame and height. Also had a productive season on loan in SE25.
CAM: Emile Smith-Rowe – Croydon born, Arsenal reared. A skilful attacker who can operate in a number of forward positions. England career surely beckons if progress continues.
RW: Jadon Sancho – Southwark born winger has spent his career everywhere but south London taking in stops in Hertfordshire, Manchester and Dortmund. One of England’s most exciting prospects and great end product over the past 12 months.
ST: Tammy Abraham – Southwark local who was one of the many south London natives hoovered up by Chelsea. Certainly looks the part and is in with a real shout of becoming England’s second choice no.9 due to Vardy’s retirement and Rashford’s form.
LW: Wilfried Zaha – Ivory Coast born but Croydon bred. Palace academy hero and arguably one of the best players not playing in the top 6.
Manager: Roy Hodgson – puts the ROY in Croydon. Sella record and is also former palace academy player and current manager
Marcus Bettinelli, GK, Southwark
Nathaniel Clyne – RB, Lambeth
Jake Clarke-Salter, CB, Sutton
Kieran Gibbs, LB, Croydon
Trevoh Chalobah, Lambeth
John Bostock, CM, Lambeth
Jason Puncheon, CM, Croydon
Reiss Nelson, W, Southwark
Victor Moses, W, Croydon
Eddie Nketiah, ST, Lewisham
Rio Ferdinand (Southwark), Ian Wright (Greenwich), Kenny Samson (Southwark), Scott Parker (Lambeth), Carlton Cole (Croydon), Paul Elliott (Lewisham), Chris Powell (Lambeth) – These could all walk into the first XI or bench but gone with current pros to illustrate how the area is a hotbed for talent. The fact you can nearly field a not -to-outlandish 2020 England team with several more representing other nations/England youth teams is amazing.
Shame most of them didn’t go to Palace
Question: do local lads have to play for their local team, or the team they supported?
Robbie Fowler, Michael Owen, Steven Gerrard, Jamie Carragher and Steve McManaman all supported Everton but played for Liverpool. FACT (See what I did there Rafa?)
Pre-empting any Liverpool fans who may be triggered by this, I am just asking for definition of the rules. In this identity politics society, who you are or where you come from appears to be of meagre importance. I mean, if you are born in St Helens, does this make you an Evertonian or a Liverpudlian? How about Knowsely? or Speke?
In a woke world that wants to break down any sense of identity or belonging, I propose that a local lads eleven is entirely erroneous. Not least because the make up of most people is not tied to one area, but secondly because we are increasingly told that where we come from doesn’t matter so any player you don’t include may be offended.
So is it the team they worked for or the team they supported?
Have a nice weekend