Souness doesn’t do ‘macho nonsense’ as well as Keane

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Graeme Souness has rattled my cage
So I’m on holiday in Cyprus and will be watching the Champions League final in a random bar with the family. I’m still giddy with excitement and keep going over all the great games and moments Spurs have given all us Spurs fans in the tournament this season.

What’s rattled my happy cage is that I’ve just witnessed the video where Souness says that Spurs don’t deserve to be in the Champions League final! Mainly due to Spurs losing a lot of games over the course of the season.

I read somewhere on the internet (must be true) that every team we have played during our run to the final have been top of their league. PSV, Barcelona, Inter, Dortmund, City and Ajax. We’ve done it the hard way, shown massive character, and come through it all.

I’ve come to the view that he has now cultivated such a caricature of himself that he no longer feels he needs to have any reason to his arguments and just needs to deliver this macho nonsense and repeat what he would have done in a time gone by. And in doing so, not doing it as well as Roy Keane.

Liverpool lost 19 games in the 2005 season, did they not deserve to get there either Graeme?

Here’s to what promises to be quite an amazing game.
Dave (weirdly probably more able to cope with a defeat than victory) Winchester Spurs

 

Liverpool fan perspective
Got to agree with Wayne Germany about perspective. I saw Ipswich win one playoff final in my time supporting them so far, 20 odd years. Sure they had a couple of entertaining group stages in Europa, never got past the knockouts mind, and in the second of those seasons they got relegated. I had hope they may return mind, for 16 years I had hope. The closest they got was being knocked out by Norwich in the playoff semi-finals.

Still, as noted with my optimistic mail at the start of the season I thought you may see something special this year. You did. They got relegated bottom again and Norwich won the league. Oh rapturous joy of football. A lot of Liverpool fans do think they have it hard, and I do keep them in my thoughts (I have many friends that are Red supporters who don’t fit that description… well not that much) but I’m reminded of Jim Carey in Liar Liar when I hear them complain “Oh Come On!”

Don’t need to put up with it as much now, opportunity has knocked elsewhere.

So for reasons of variety, I’m gonna back the Spuds, and given my record supporting teams, you can now put your house on Liverpool
Chris ITFC, Bourne

 

Fergie & St Mirren
On Sunday there was a massive result for my humble Scottish team, St Mirren.

In a similar system to the Czech playoffs outlined by David Szmidt, 2nd-4th in the Championship have two rounds of playoffs, before the winner goes on to play a two-legged relegation/promotion playoff against 11th in the Premiership. In this case, Dundee Utd from the Championship, vs. St Mirren of the Premiership.

The 1st leg was very uneventful (yes, as is typical of Scottish football, etc) and ended 0-0. The 2nd leg at St Mirren Park saw Dundee Utd get an “I’ve seen them given” hand-ball decision, putting away the penalty to make it 1-0. Within 2 minutes, Danny Mullen capitalised on a defensive error to volley home the equaliser. 1-1. Into extra time and it’s all very tense before substitute Nazon is harshly dismissed for an elbow, when his eyes were on the ball the whole time. This sets up a nervy finish with the dreaded penalty shootout looming.

St Mirren hilariously piss the shootout 2-0 after Dundee Utd missed all four of their attempts. Cue a pitch invasion.

For those who have never heard about or care about St Mirren, they are infamous for being the only team to sack Sir Alex Ferguson.

This young, charismatic manager was well respected for reconnecting the people of Paisley, whom a lot of were travelling into Glasgow (7 miles away) to see Celtic or Rangers, to their local team, which had a big stadium but low attendances. My late uncle, whose back garden shared a wall with Love Street Stadium, described how Sir Alex was drinking in the club bar, when a wee Irish woman (my late grandmother) walked up and pulled on his shirt. As he turned round she said, “Mr Ferguson, my boy has been coming here since he was 12, you better not let him down.” For the next two hours drinks kept getting sent over to her table, courtesy of Mr Ferguson.

Unfortunately the Saints’ beloved Love Street, home since 1894, was sold off to Tesco in 2009 to make way for a bloody supermarket which never even materialised, and the club moved to its new home a mile up the road.

This article does a great job of outlining Fergie’s early career, including his rise and ‘fall’ at St Mirren. His crowning moment was winning the league in the second tier, having implemented a strict regime with exacting standards, and a full-blooded style of football. But by the end, he had lost his relationship with the Chairman and was flirting with the idea of moving to Aberdeen. All the same, he felt he was unfairly dismissed and the case went to a tribunal.

The tribunal went in the Chairman’s favour, with the ruling describing Ferguson as: “possessing neither by experience nor talent any managerial ability at all”.
Brian Badonde, London & Paisley

 

Silly Mail…
Quiet week in the mailbox, maybe a good time for a stupid mail? it’s always a good time for a stupid mail!

So many people seem to like telling us their credentials as a fan such as signing off with the end they watch the game from or stating how they’ve been following their club for many barren years before the glory days – you get the picture…

I think we desperately need some way of ranking fans credentials so we can pass judgement on them based on how loyal they are. Plastic fan writes in, who cares, let’s trash them. So, in way of ranking, I’d suggest the following criteria, maybe whoscored or OPTA can run this on an official basis as I sometimes have to pretend to work.

Criteria 1: Where you lived when you grew up

Walking distance from the ground – 10 pts

A short Bus trip away – 9 pts

10 mins on the train – 8 pts

And there’s no way I can do this all the way down the scale so it just goes all the way down to…

I’ve never even been anywhere near the city this team plays in – 0 pts

Criteria 2: How many games did you go to this last season

All of them, Home and away – 10 pts

All Home games, some away – 9 pts

All Home games – 8 pts

down to…

Bugger all – 0 pts

Criteria 3: How long have you been a supporter (this ones easier, we’ll just give 1 pt per 5 years

50 years – 10 pts

30 years – 6 pts

less than 5 years – 0 pts

Criteria 4: How many games do you consume, including at the ground on the tellybox, radio, biddy printer, whatever you can get to:

All of them – 10 pts

I might miss one or 2 for a family wedding, birth or global event – 9 pts

Down to…

I don’t watch any – 0 pts

I’ll provide my scores so you can see what a shit fan I am – would love to know what the highest score is in the mailbox – I bet there’s a few high ones in there and probably lots as low as mine.

Criteria 1: I only went to Old Trafford once and that was an England game against Greece (2-2, thank you Becks), I grew up in the midlands so I’ll give myself 2 pts

Criteria 2: I live in Cape Town now so I get a big fat 0 there

Criteria 3: 35 years so I at least get 7 pts there

Criteria 4: In the past would have got 9 or 10 here but adulting gets in the way now, as does an often terrible playing style (plastic attitude, I know) means I’m probably an 8 now.

Click Here:

To turn this in an OPTA style, divide my 17 by 4 gives me an out of 10 fans rating of 4.25

I didn’t want to add things like travelling to European games or going to finals as that doesn’t apply to a lot of clubs. And unfortunately, all of us Ex-pats or foreigners on the site are going to score low for number 1 but that’s our fault for prioritising work or lifestyle or circumstances above footy.

How do you score? Did I miss any criteria? It should go without saying but if you’ve ever changed teams or support 2 teams in one city (I once knew someone who claimed to support Everton and Liverpool) then all criteria are overruled and you get 0 unless you can convince or bribe a 3 man panel of lifelong fans, all scoring 9+ on the scale otherwise.
Jon (6,170 miles from Old Trafford but the sun is shining in Cape Town)

 

Death or glory for Newcastle
As a Newcastle fan it’s never easy to remain calm about a takeover but this week has got me thinking that we’re probably looking at the biggest range of realistic fortunes of any Premier League team next season.

Even before this takeover noise I was quietly optimistic about next year. In Rafa stays, we have quite a good core of a team and second half of the season we were genuinely excellent – would have been top 4 since end of Jan. We have one of the best keepers in the league (look at Dubravka’s high claim stats, does so much more than shot stopping), a mean defence (Schar and Lejeune are seriously good), a great academy prospect in CM (Longstaff) and a nice mix of pace and skill in attacking positions (Almiron and Perez). With a Rondon (or similar) striker, some upgrades at wing back and a CM, we might be looking at a comfy top 10 finish and then let’s see… That sounds very optimistic, but remember the form guide since Almiron signed!

Then we get linked with this takeover and some actual money. Fans of opposition teams probably don’t appreciate how starved of investment Newcastle’s team is, but when we played Liverpool (and gave them a real good go), the whole 11 cost about £30m, less than we sold Sissoko for.

We’re not asking for billions, just a normal level of spend. Add that to this core and you start dreaming of top 4- Man U look awful, Chelsea may not have a team and Arsenal aren’t all that and you can paint this glorious picture where it happens (Although Leicester probably fancy it more).

On the other hand, this take over may be nonsense, Rafa may leave and we lose a couple of those players. Schar is a perfect signing for anyone looking for a ball playing CB and you could probably get him for £20m and Longstaff may yet go to Man U. Joselu and Gayle will not keep you in the league but if we don’t buy a striker, that is it. Suddenly you’re in the mix for relegation.

So, two huge parts to Newcastle’s story in the next few weeks – Rafa and Takeover = dream of top 6 versus No Rafa and No Takeover = relegation battle. It’s tenser than watching us play…
James, London

 

Where’s the love?
I’m a United fan and let me just say, I hate United at the moment.

I also hate UEFA.

Hate FIFA

Hate Azerbaijan

I hate City, PSG and their blood-stained Oil cash

I hate Barcelona, Real Madrid, Liverpool and Spurs.

Hate racist fans in Italy and everywhere else

Hate Woodward

Hate the Glazers

I hate Raiola

I hate De Ligt

I hate Football Twitter

I hate football. Because, well, football appears to be broken.

Thanks,
Keenon (up the Proteas for the CWC)

 

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