‘F*** off Danny Rose’ and more eloquent mails…

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Angry at Danny Rose
Here’s a short five-point version of what I think happened this year for all this to go down.

1 – Some time earlier this year – Danny Rose and Kyle Walker are both made aware that either Manchester City or Manchester United (or both) would like to sign them and pay them 2.5 times their current salary. this sounds wonderful to two Northern lads, so they tell Tottenham they’d like to leave.

2 – May – Mauricio Pochettino decides that Walker and his wayward crossing can go but Rose must stay. Walker is happy but Rose obviously isn’t.

3 – July – Walker is sold to Manchester City and takes his pay to £170k a week. Rose obviously still wants to leave, but Tottenham still won’t entertain the idea. Pochettino doesn’t want to lose the player he’s closest to. Rose and his agent are so angry they can’t leave that they decide on a scorched earth policy in a bid to force a move.

4 – early August – Rose’s agent sporadically leaks a few stories to the media, saying that Manchester United/Manchester City/Chelsea are interested in signing Rose. As the player is currently injured, they don’t get the traction they’d like.

5 – August 10 – Rose gives a massive interview to The S*n, stating that not only does he feel he’s not being paid what he’s worth, he thinks that’s also true of many of his teammates. he says he doesn’t want to leave, but would like to talk to any club that comes in with a concrete bid. He talks about how he’s not forgotten that some Tottenham fans thought it was a mistake to offer him a new contract at the start of 2015. He states that he wants the club to sign more ‘world class’ players because he doesn’t want to go his whole career without winning a medal. And most importantly of all, he times the interview perfectly to mess with the start of Tottenham’s season as much as possible. He clearly wants to leave – and he feels as if Tottenham have left him with no choice but the act in this way.

And tbh, the only bit that rankles with me is the last bit.

I’m not surprised that he wants to leave. I suspect most people would jump at the chance to earn 2.5 times what they’re currently earning (especially if it meant being closer to family and ‘home’). I suspect most people can understand the desire to win things as a footballer. but let’s not beat around the bush here. His main motivation for wanting to leave is financial. Despite what he said in the interview, he doesn’t want to leave because some fans thought giving him a new contract in 2015 was a bad move. He doesn’t want to leave because Tottenham haven’t signed enough ‘world class’ players. They’re all just bs excuses. He wants to leave because he wants to earn what is likely to be an extra £15m over the next five years in what should be his last big contract.

And that’s what I hate the most – the sheer dishonesty of it all. You want to move Danny? Fine, put in a transfer request? You want to give an interview saying you want to earn the money that you think you’re worth? Fine, give that interview. But to throw the entire club under the bus in the worst way you can? To try and destabilise the entire squad three days before our first game of the season? to try and blame others so you appear to be the victim?

F**k off Danny. No-one’s going to believe you’ve been treated badly by Tottenham and Pochettino – the team and manager that put you in the position you’re in. And seriously, giving the interview to The S*n? Have you no shame?

People talk as if Tottenham should pay the wage that their best players want, but anyone with the slightest understanding of football economics knows that Tottenham can’t afford to pay the wages that the richer five can (and I am sure Rose’s agent knows that too).

In 2015/16 Tottenham’s revenue was £210m – the 6th highest in the League. It was closer to West Ham in 7th (£142m) than it was to Liverpool in 5th (£302m). Chelsea’s revenue was £335m. Arse**l’s was £354m. Manchester City’s artificially inflated revenue was £392m. Manchester United’s revenue was £515m. Though Tottenham are clearly no paupers, the gap in financial muscle between them and the richer five is significant and when you factor in that we’re the only ones in the top 7 building a brand new stadium, it’s a minor miracle that we’ve done as well as we have these last two years.

So what do Tottenham do now? Assuming Rose is sold, and I bloody well hope he is after that interview, Walker and Rose won’t be the last two to leave for financial reasons. Despite what many Spurs fans like to think, the days of Tottenham selling their best players are far from over.

Assuming they continue to be outstanding (and even if Tottenham actually win something), I expect Alderweireld and Dele will likely be off next summer – with Lloris, Dier and Eriksen not too far behind them. They all deserve to be paid more and have no real affection for their employer. Kane is the only one who could stay longer – but given the way Tottenham are run, I think we have a maximum of three seasons left.

In a perfect world we wouldn’t sell to an English team, but since Rose has practically named his desired destination (to one side of the City of Manchester), the best Tottenham can do is hope that a bidding war starts for his services – even though he’s currently crocked.

And then Tottenham have to invest that money well. If Rose fetches similar money to Walker, then that should leave about £120m in the kitty. By my reckoning Tottenham will then need a new RB, a new CB, a new LB and a new RW (or two if Sissoko is sold) before the end of August.

Get those signings right, and Tottenham will still have a bright future fighting for major honours. Get them wrong, and our new stadium will likely host a team fighting for Europa League qualification.

Tottenham’s next 12 months are huge. for this team to get the success it’s deserved, it really is now or never.
Lloyd Stiles, THFC, Vienna

 

…Ergh. Where to start? I get his point of view, well sort of. He continuously states his ‘worth’ but at the same time talking about trophies. I get that more chance of winning something at a bigger club but we’ve finished above Man Utd and City the last two seasons, his likely destinations. Granted Man Utd won two cups last year but we all know Rose probably isn’t interested in that, he wants the Premier League.

Why does he need £100k extra or whatever he wants? £65k is more than enough, I know football is a business but footballers need to be humbled. He was happy six months ago and suddenly he wants to go without even playing in that time due to injury! And btw we’ve done pretty well with a Ben Davies in his place. Then he says we need players to compete with our first 11. Now if we were to sign players who could compete and maybe knock Dele and Kane out of the first 11 for a few games they would instantly look for a move. Why would Kane and Dele then stay getting paid less than £120k a week which they could get doubled anywhere else and now aren’t guaranteed starters.

We’re on a very thin line, how we work. We have a structure in place that may get players wanting to leave for more money that we can’t offer them as of yet. But surely being part of a team that is growing together, bringing youngsters through, trying to do it differently than any of the other top teams, getting a new stadium, Nike now sponsor us etc etc the is a club on the rise. We shouldn’t have been finishing third or second when you compare wages and Net spend with the other clubs but we have. Because football really isn’t about money. If you believe in something, a philosophy, a structure, you can do something special.

It’s not the end of the window yet, so we have time to sign players. I hope we continue to sign younger players that could flourish and have potential, rather than instant egos and self entitlement. This is the proudest I’ve been of my club since supporting, I love what we’re doing and how we’re doing it. Rose has been utterly disrespectful to the club, Levy, Poch and the fans. The cliched saying is the grass isn’t always greener and I’m sure Rose will find this out.
Matty Giles

 

Actually….fair play
Danny Rose has just given an honest, straight forward, to the point interview and I like it. How refreshing when compared to the usual politician-esque gumf we get from those in football.

Spurs are at a true cross roads…building all the things needed to become a super-club but not increasing the wage structure accordingly to bring in big-time players that will keep those already at the club happy and hungry….how Levy treads now will be very interesting as a poor season with a couple of stars leaving (Rose and Walker) means Alli and Eriksen will be doing the same next season and then surely Kane will go too.

The best option? Swap Rose for Shaw and £20m then increase the wage ceiling by 20k a week and give everyone an increase….it’ll keep them happy for another year while you build that stadium and hopefully have another title challenge. Spurs and the Scousers have done well to get back amongst the moneyed big boys…it’d be a shame to see the full back and Coutinho situation send then back out of the mix.
Duck

 

Transfer request, schmansfer request
The line that a player is considering submitting a transfer request, when they clearly want to leave, always makes my blood boil. It is the epitome of the bubble they all live in. Apart from maybe some CEOs, don’t they recognise they are the only people in the whole country who get paid a lot of money just for changing employers, so long as they don’t actually ask to do so.
Ged (Hoping Lindelof is not the flop of the year) Biglin

 

Scouse maths
Irked by Barca’s lowballing, here’s how Liverpool can anchor high:

1. Without a doubt, Coutinho’s importance to Liverpool > Neymar’s importance to Barca
2. Probably, Coutinho’s importance to Liverpool = Messi’s importance to Barca
3. What would Messi go for? Let’s say £500m. Coutinho = at least 1/2 the player Messi was at 25 (from Liverpool’s perspective)

Therefore, Coutinho’s price: £250M. Do you have the cojones, Bartomeu?
Gio

 

On Barcelona’s decline
Following Barcelona’s chase of Philippe Coutinho, I started to have a look at their squad and their club as a whole.

Barcelona has been a club in decline for a few years now, due to the focus on the front three that was MSN (continuously offering them upgrades on their contracts) the rest of the team has suffered.

Gerard Pique, Andres Iniesta, Ivan Rakitic, and Javier Mascherano are clearly declining.

Player such as Denis Suarez, Andre Gomes, Lucas Digne, Paco Alcacer, and Arda Turan haven’t produced anything like the club expected. Admittedly some of these players are young and they can improve, it seems like Barcelona are entering a phase that they were in before the 2003 Ronaldinho era. There is no shame in being second best to Real Madrid, Real Madrid have bought the best young players in Spain and have always consistently done well in the market (whether it’s selling and buying) and this is where Barcelona’s technical team has failed there club.

If Barcelona were to get Coutinho to replace Iniesta and Dembele to replace Neymar then congratulations to them (no release clauses and they’re on long-term contracts), but if Liverpool and Dortmund stay strong like PSG did with Verratti, Barcelona will get further and further away from the Champions League and La Liga title, especially if teams like Man City, Juventus, Bayern (?) continue to progress.

In an ideal world, Barcelona would like to add Coutinho, Dembele, a centre-back and possibly another attacker.

In my eyes, it seems like Juventus and AC Milan from Italy and the big five or six from England will be bigger players in the Champions League than Barcelona unless drastic changes are made to their approach in the transfer market and hierarchy at the club.
Gerald M, Liverpool fan from London

 

In defence of ‘pashun’
Just sitting here listening to the excellent Irish ‘Off the Ball’ podcast where Kevin Kilbane, Jason McAteer, Niall Quinn and Shay Given are discussing the intangibles of the transfer market and some of the difficulties associated with scouting players. Shay gave one particularly interesting insight when discussing he’s time at Stoke City. As we know Stoke broke their transfer record signing Giannelli Imbula from Porto for 18m but he has stuggled for gametime since then strangely. Given claims that in the time that Imbula was at the club, he showed no interest in being at Stoke or applying himself at training. He also claims that Imbula has never tried to integrate with others and has not even bothered to learn basic English so he could communicate. Given argues that that these are the intangibles that scouting will find it hard to show you. Imbula is obviously a fantastic talent and had shown great potential prior to being at Stoke. Is this what the PFM are talking about when they discuss “pashun”? Is this why they are less trusting of foreign players? One could argue that when dealing with players of the same culture as yourself it might be easier to identify character traits due to the lack of cultural or language barriers, and therefore have a better idea if a player will fit in/has the required attitude? Personally I don’t really know, just playing the devil’s advocate here. What do people think?
Irish PFM (I love talking sh*te)

 

Man United are NOT better than Spurs
So it tried to resist saying/writing something, but I finally couldn’t while reading the season predictions.

It seems to me that according to F365, quality of any team is now based on money spent per transfer window, and the predictions are a reflection of this.

Let’s consider the two best teams last year, Chelsea and Spurs.

Chelsea has basically lost Costa (wherever the hell he might be) and Matic, while gaining Bakayoko and Morata. I know they signed Rudiger and etc but as far as the first team goes, it’s a like-for-like replacement. Perhaps a less effective scorer and a more mobile midfielder. How many points do you think they’ll drop vs last year? Since no one is picking them, I am guessing 10-15? I doubt it. I am pretty sure they will remain at least a mid 80s team with all the distractions of the CL.

Spurs? That’s a team that got 86 points, most goals and best defence. While dealing with a two-month absence of Kane, absences of Lloris, Lamela, Rose, Dembele, Alderweireld, etc for extended periods of time as well. How many point will they realistically drop vs last year? Even if they get about 10 less it still puts them comfortably in the fight for CL (mid to low 70s are usually the prerequisite). Now, is there any reason to assume that they will be worse off than last year? They had CL and tried their best, albeit while getting their tactics wrong, but who will fault them for coming unstuck against two very exciting teams and quarterfinalists in Monaco and Leverkusen last year? It happened to be their first time after all. How many years was it until ManU went on their 15 year run in the knockout stages? ManCity? So the only real question is how they will handle Wembley, but being a professional group of players who play on different sizes all the time I think they’ll be alright over the whole season.

So… how do they measure up against other amazing opposition that is expected to run away with the title?

Chelsea – Morata, Hazard, Pedro, Willian, Bakayoko, Fabregas, Kante, Luiz, Courtois (you can’t even have them all on the pitch at once unless you go all out)

Spurs – Kane, Dele, Eriksen, Son, Dembele, Dier, Wanyama, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Rose, Lloris, etc

Do ManU have a better striker than Kane? Do they have two better attacking mid than Eriksen and Dele? How about the holding mid of Wanyama and Dembele? Or perhaps a better core than Alderweireld and Vetonghen? A goalie that will save them more shots than Lloris? I honestly don’t understand what the hype about Man United is at the moment.

Lukaku vs Kane? Kane has been marginally better the last three seasons. Eriksen and Dele have certainly been better than any pair of attacking mid on ManU side, how can that even be an argument? Would you choose Matic/Fellaini and Herrera/Pogba/Carrick over Dembele/Dier/Wanyama? Objectively no at this point. Would you replace Vertonghen or Alderweireld with Bailly or Lindelof or Smalling or whoever? Doubt it. Lloris and DeGea are both excellent.

So yes, some teams spent sh+tloads of money on new players, but none of those players are of the standard that didn’t even win the league last year.

I reckon Man City will win the title purely on their ability to outscore the opposition. Chelsea will have a dip, but still finish second. Spurs will finish close third, possibly second. Liverpool, Arsenal and ManU will fight it out for the final spot.

My guess is that ManU will play the most turgid football of the top six (courtesy of beloved chequebook manager, 1bil), Arsenal might surprise if Lacazette if the real deal. Chelsea will continue more or less the same as last year but with more blips. Man City will hand out a lot of drubbings. Liverpool, you have to worry about their defence but they will give it their best shot. Spurs will play more or less the same style and even if they have a 20% drop-off due to playing at Wembley they will still be at Liverpool and Arsenal’s level come May.
Patrick (THFC), standing still is quite okay if the ground is solid…

 

Some predictions
I’ll play the prediction game.

Who will win the league?
Tottenham. I think we’ve forgotten the importance of a team gelling so I tend to downplay the negatives of not signing anyone. This can be a problem if it is done season after season but can actually be a short term strength. Especially when the team is relatively young and likely hasn’t hit their peak yet. Tottenham were very good last season. They will be just that little bit better this season. They only got beaten to the title by Chelsea, who have lost Costa and will be without Hazard for the start of the season. That extra bit of improvement will push Tottenham over the line.

Rest of the top four?
Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea. Both Manchester sides have improved their squad by buying good players for their weakest positions and their managers have now settled in. Chelsea will start poorly but when Hazard is back to full fitness and Morata has found his feet they will start picking up lots of points. Liverpool and Arsenal remain vulnerable to injuries. Everton players won’t gel in time but I expect a better second half of the season than first.

Which clubs are going down, down, deeper and down.
Huddersfield, Brighton and West Brom. Huddersfield because they were the weakest of the Championship sides to come up. Brighton because as good a manager as Chris Hughton is – he’s not quite as good as Rafa, and West Brom because I think their ennui means that despair has set in to the extent that I think even the players will lose motivation.

Which club will do surprisingly pleasant things?
Bournemouth will be great until January. I think Josh King will have ten goals before Christmas – and will get bought in January by whichever of the top 4 has the most injury problems. Bournemouth will then decline to mid table.

Top Scorer?
Lukaku with 30 goals. He is unplayable at his best. With better team mates I expect some premier league defences to be humiliatingly shrugged aside.

The Best Signing?
Lukaku again. Also I think Iheaneacho will score 20 for Leicester.

Which signing will stink the place out?
Rooney. Will be on the bench from October onwards.

Who will win the PFA player of the Year award?
Kevin De Bruyne. He’s the best passer in the league and gets a decent amount of goals. As City improve I expect him to dominate. Hazard is a slightly better player but De Bruyne will get the jump on him at the start of the season.

Breakout Star:
I don’t think Iheaneacho or Gabriel Jesus really counts as a “break-out” player but one of those two will be young player of the year. I like Loftus-Cheek to finally break through.

First Manager to leave?
The wording “leave” rather than sacked makes this easier. Tony Pulis. He’ll be offered a ridiculous amount of money to go to whoever is bottom of the league at Christmas and will take it.

Champions League winner?
Bayern Munich. They are very good, they have a winter break, they will be able to concentrate on Europe after wrapping up their league early.

20 pound bet?
I share Nicholson’s attitude to gambling and football. However to answer the question I think a club/player/manager of ref in the EPL is going to be done for match fixing this season. Which brings me back to the problems of gambling and football.
Hugo (NUFC) Adelaide

 

What managers would be doing if…
Since my pre-season predictions would be terrible, instead here’s what all 20 Premier League managers would be doing if they weren’t managing, based solely on their looks:

Rafa Benitez: Waiter. (Apologies for that.)
Slaven Bilic: With beard, lecturer in philosophy; without beard, radical political satirist.
Paul Clement: Prefect of Police in Paris.
Antonio Conte: Vice President for employee discipline, large bank.
Frank deBoer: Fitness guru.
Sean Dyche: Primary school teacher or prison guard. (Same thing.)
Pep Guardiola: Pitchman for fashionable soft drink.
Eddie Howe: Motorcycle gang leader.
Mark Hughes: Army captain.
Chris Hughton: Retirement financial advisor (friendly variety).
Jürgen Klopp: Mountaineer.
Ronald Koeman: Baker.
José Mourinho: Hairdresser to the stars. (You know it’s true.)
Mauricio Pellegrino: Restaurateur.
Mauricio Pochettino: Boxing coach.
Tony Pulis: Railway engineer.
Craig Shakespeare: Playwright. (Just kidding. Greengrocer.)
Marco Silva: Verdi tenor.
David Wagner: Rock promoter.
Arsene Wenger: Host of arts talk show.
Peter G, Pennsylvania, USA

 

Happy New Premier League
With the fast approach of opening day in the Premiership, I’m treating it as though it’s New Year’s Day and I’m making a couple of New Premiership Season’s Resolutions.

The first is to stop swearing so much in the Mailbox. I’ve had a quick review of some of my more recent mails (not that there’s been many of them) plus quite a few drafts which I didn’t send because I didn’t think they were up to par, and I can’t believe my bad language of recent times because I rarely swear at all. I think my bad language first started when Moyes got appointed, and I think many Manchester United supporters will sympathise with that.

Anyway, I now firmly promise, that’s firmly promise, to minimise my swearing in the Mailbox. OK, all right, I can do better than minimise: so I promise not to swear at all provided I can still say turd, sh*t, b**tard, pillock and dickhead. And, of course, bollocks. And I may well try and improvise later in the season whilst keeping to the spirit of this commitment, depending on how United are doing. But hey, don’t point fingers at me all you people who have ever made New Year’s Resolutions in the past to lose weight, regularly exercise, stop smoking/drinking/beating up the missus, visit your poor old mum more often and, for Liverpool fans, to stop playing with yourselves. (As if that’s ever going to happen).

I may actually switch to the Irish equivalent swear words which always seem to get included in full, such as fecking and shite. Don’t ask me why but it does happen and they do somehow seem to be less offensive.

Anyway, resolution two: stop swearing and yelling at home when watching football. I’m afraid I often wake up Mrs. Jonesey in the wee hours when I watch United live. I swear I’ve got two dogs who think their names are ‘You f***ing idiot, Rooney’ and ‘You dickhead, Smalling’. So, no more shouting, screaming, kicking dogs or that sort of loudmouthed, yobbo behaviour. All gone, a thing of the past.

Will this make me a better person? Of course it f***ing will. (OK, that’s it with the gutter talk).

As a final comment, I read a mail recently from someone who had just spent six months in Melbourne and, as part of his mail, he sent me the greeting ‘Hey, Jonesey’. I was completely surprised because my mails seem to fly under most peoples’ radar. I figure my mails are either so sh*t that nobody can be bothered writing back or else everyone agrees with every single comment I make. If the Liverpool supporters can get their hands off their d*cks for one moment, they’ll no doubt tell me it’s the former. I suspect they will be right.
Jonesey, Melbourne

 

Stats that confirm we write more about big clubs
Being at a little bit of a loose end, and being a bit of a nerd, I decided to have a look at the fabled ‘clicks’ that Mediawatch often teases other companies about.

Using the F365 sitemap, I made a note of all the URLs that reference a football club directly (excluding Saints but including United) for example. There were 52 links available approx.

For these URLs, I’ve then summarised how many times a club (and or variation) is mentioned below –

Manchester United 17
Liverpool 11
Barcelona 9
Chelsea 9
Arsenal 7
Leicester 3
Man City 3
PSG 3
Real Madrid 2
Watford 2
Brighton 1
Burnley 1
Coventry 1
Inter 1
Leipzigs 1
PSV 1
Spurs 1
West Ham 1

I don’t know if the stats speak for themselves, or whether it just flags that the sooner football comes back the better, but it is interesting how much traffic I imagine is driven to the website based on the above key terms. Unsurpringly, the Top 5 clubs are massive and for the most part dominate the Mailbox too.

The one irony of it all was the article talking about the use of cramming clubs into a URL, was then actual an example itself – /liverpool-van-dijk-transfer-man-united-chelsea-arsenal-live which includes 4 different club names. Well played.

So in truth, there was no reason for this email. I just, you know, erm….. SQUIRREL?!
Barry (SEO Investigator) Marelli

 

This could have been interesting…
I am a Premier League stats man and wanted to share with you the recent data that I published, the most common scorelines over the 25 Premier League seasons:

Disappointingly, 1-0 has been the most common!
Barrie

 

C5 > Sky
Lower-budget, lower-profile football than other channels, but very impressed with Colin Murray on Football on 5 Carabao Cup coverage, he deserves a slot on higher profile tv coverage.

Dirty Secret admission: I used to listen to TalkSport when Murray had an afternoon slot, he’s brilliant and has obvious knowledge and passion for the game lacking elsewhere. His coverage of Northern Ireland during the Euros on TS made them my second team.

Hoping for a John Nic love letter soon (apologies if I’ve missed it.)
Brian BRFC

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