We made it through another international break – celebrate by sending a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org…
With the recent mails on Roberto Mancini and the love from City fans toward him and what he built it made me want to chime in myself but in terms of a manager I loved at Chelsea, step forward one Claudio Ranieri, the tinkerman, sometimes for worse not better, we all know about that infamous Champions League Semi Final against Monaco, a game I talked recently about on my podcast, it was such a “what could have been” moment but I am not hear to talk the negative, I am hear to talk the positive.
So the positives, well first of all he is one of the loveliest managers in football, you can imagine him managing a “Lovely 5 a side” consisting of Ben Foster, Juan Mata, Ngolo Kante, Juninho Paulista & Gianfranco Zola, but lets remember that before we were purchased by Roman our club was in financial ruin, yet Claudio managed to secure us a Champions League place in that 02/03 season, his only signing that season was on a free from Espanyol and that was Enrique De Lucas, without that magical season we would not have been bought and it is a very real prospect the club would have gone under.
In that first season under Roman Abramovich’s ownership Claudio brought in some key players that would cement Chelsea for years to come, Damien Duff, Joe Cole, Wayne Bridge and Claude Makelele, you can also add in Petr Cech who had agreed to join Chelsea in the February a few months before Ranieri would be sacked and finally he convinced the club to take a look at and eventually purchase Didier Drogba, the man who would become a true club legend and a Premier League icon, it is incorrect that Mourinho was the one who identified Drogba as a target, it was in fact Claudio and he has made this quite public knowledge in various interviews, if you have the time do a quick google search on the topic.
Before the takeover his signings included Jesper Gronkjaer, Frank Lampard and William Gallas, all players all playing their key roles in the success Chelsea would go on to have under not Ranieri but also more famously the tenure of Jose Mourinho, some becoming club icons during their time at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea fans will always be grateful for what Ranieri brought to the club and what he did for the club, I for one especially will.
READ MORE: Dilly, ding! Claudio Ranieri’s top 20 quotes
Three is the magic number
Denmark: Three CBs and Peter Schmeichel.
France: Barthes, Blanc, Desailly, Deschamps
Brazil: Three CBs. Gilberto Silva as a DM, and Marcos in nets.
Greece: Park the bus.
Italy: Buffon, Cannavaro, Nesta (Materazzi his injury replacement), Gattuso
Spain: Casillas, Puyol, Ramos and probably the greatest midfield of all time.
Are we getting the message yet? The only way England will be successful with the current crop of players is to play 3 at the back. Comparing our current spine to previous 4-at-the-back tournament winners is actually laughable. Now, please accept that three at the back is inevitable. So let’s stack the midfield with what the kids might say ”ballers”*, have some fun and try and play like Brazil 2002 rather than Greece 2004. Bottom line, if we actually win something, no one will care if Slothgate (I’m keeping that typo) plays Reece James left back, Wayne Rooney in “nets” and AWB up front. Let’s see it Gareth
* no one over the age of 25 should be allowed to use this term, lest they be shunned by polite society.
What’s the point of Saka?
This might be a bit harsh on the young lad, and to be fair I haven’t seen many games with him in, but just what does Saka bring to this England team? He doesn’t seem to dribble or shoot so offers nothing in attack, and he seems very light weight in the tackle so doesn’t seem like a natural defender either.
Am I missing something?
Chris (Grealish though, what a player!)
If they give it to Lewis Hamilton or pretty much anyone but Marcus Rashford I would suggest that rioting in the streets and burning of Gary Lineker and Sue Barker effigies would not be a step too far. Can this finally be the year where this farce of an award actually goes to someone worthy of it…..
Also let’s face it little Marcus is unlikely to see any other silverware soon apart from maybe a knighthood.
Saint Marcus of Rashford
Dean, WWFC , I have some disappointing news. The process for canonisation in the Catholic Church traditionally begins at least five years after a person of extraordinary virtue’s death. There HAVE been some “santo subito” exceptions where a person has been immediately beatified after their death, and then shortly afterwards canonised, which indicates that the five years is not entirely mandatory. It is, however, beyond question that the “being dead” bit definitely is.
So Marcus will, we sincerely hope, have to wait quite a while for his hagiography. Which we hope that Carl Anka will get to write as well.
…So this is a take that like may rub some people the wrong way which is totally fine we can disagree but I want to preface this by saying that the Daily Mail post about Marcus Rashford was disingenuous, dishonest and had clear racist undertones and I’m not excusing it. F*ck the Daily Mail. And also that everything Rashford has done on his campaign for less children to starve is obviously incredibly good because it means less children f*cking starve. I think Marcus Rashford is pretty great and has done some fantastic work in the past year.
However I think it is also important to acknowledge that good people can do things that are flawed, and that him buying up houses to rent out does raise some questions.
Firstly, wealthy people buying up houses in bulk, and the entire rental market has been shown to have an undeniable negative impact on housing prices, availability and the quality of life for the majority of poorer people. So albeit inadvertently Marcus is contributing to this really serious problem. And like I’m a lefty bastard but like landlords are kinda immoral leaches on the working class who serve only to damage people’s quality of life in the name of profit so like when looking at Marcus Rashford’s work it is important to look at the harm this does, through ignorance or knowing selfishness, although of course it does not outweigh the good he has done. People can do good and bad things you just have to acknowledge it.
This is obviously not what the Daily Mail were criticising him for but as the left praises and highlights all the work he’s done it is important to caveat it with anything he’s done that detracts from the specific goals he is campaigning for, which in this case is ultimately a better quality of life for poor people.
This isn’t the same as me typing anti-capitalist messages from a smartphone. He is someone who holds the power in the capitalist system due to his wealth hoarding property for financial gain, and any figure praised by the left should rightfully be criticised for that. Assuming anyone is flawless is just not correct.
But again overall he’s a pretty neat guy doing cool things and the right wing press is a cesspool so like ignore their nonsense but like we have to be open to criticising people we like and the level of blind praise while ignoring how this decision does contradict his work to aid the working poor is kinda uncomfortable for me, like yes defend him from the right wings attacks but also acknowledge that he is not being completely flawless in this one instance.
READ MORE: The Guardian v Mail On Sunday v Marcus Rashford
It has vexed me for many years that people employed to commentate on football, during games or more generally, frequently mangle the names of players, especially non-British players.
It also seems strange to me that this is accepted by these commentators’ employers. If I were employing someone specifically to communicate, I would expect them to try hard, at least, to say words correctly. If I were employed as a commentator, I would ask foreign language experts to explain to me the basics of pronunciation in their specialist languages. Nobody could claim, these days, that it was a shock to find a Spaniard, Frenchman, or German playing in a game on which they were commentating.
After an international break in which we have been subjected to the repeated mispronunciation of ” Roberto Martínez” (see below), even by usually articulate journalists (who may have worked for Football365) on usually excellent podcasts, I feel compelled to offer a basic lesson in Spanish pronunciation to anyone who cares. As follows:
In Spanish, unlike in English, the rules of pronunciation are constant. Letters (in any given regional variation) always sound the same, no matter which word they are part of, and the placing of the stress in a word never needs to be guessed if you know the following rules:
Stress always falls on the last syllable of a word (example: “radiador” (radiator) is pronounced “radiaDOR”) unless:
1) The word ends in “n”, “s”, or a vowel (sometimes known as the “nose” rule), in which case the stress falls on the penultimate syllable (example: “mesa” (table) is pronounced “MEsa”, not “meSA”);
2) There is an accent on one of the letters (i.e. “á”, “é”, “í”, “ó”, ú), in which case the stress always falls on that letter (example: “Martínez” is pronounced “MartINez”, not “MARtinez”). There are literally no exceptions to this rule.
So, “Raúl” is “RaUL”, not “RAul”, and “Joaquín” is “JoaqUIN”, not “JOAquin”.
The letter “z” is pronounced like an English “z” in Latin America, but it is lisped (“th”) in (almost all parts of) Spain. So, Denis Suárez (Spanish) would be known in his country as Denis “SUAreth”, but Luis Suárez (Uruguayan) would be known as Luis “SUArez” in his.
You now know the basics of Spanish pronunciation, and it probably took about two minutes to learn. You know more than 90% of British commentators.
I would be delighted to learn from other readers about pronunciation in other languages.
Love to all
Juan Carlos, Cádiz (“CAdith”, in Spanish) CF
England and climate change
Yeah think Johnny Nicholson is looking a bit too much into why people enjoy England losing. Fact is and this is a massive generalisation but there is nothing more English than criticising the English and Johnny is therefore the most English person in the world. Absolutely hilarious considering Johnny says on a weekly basis how nationalist England are when most are clearly indoctrinated to be embarrassed of their country while the other home nations are obsessed with the glory of their own – more often than not this can be healthy when channeled well – I live in Wales and the difference in national identity is incredible to England but the difference in personality is nothing – a sense of place is a healthy thing to have but English people are not really allowed it.
In fact British people are basically all roughly the same as they would be having been exposed to an extremely similar culture. For some reason there has been a deviation where English people, particularly people like Johnny, have picked up this quirk of hating their countrymen and thinking it is ok to generalise about this one group of people (In a way of it were any other country they would be decried as xenophobic). Basically stop talking about a country’s people like they are all the same you massive hypocrite. I think if everybody did that then probably your issues about people loving to criticise England would go away miraculously…
Enjoyed his piece on climate change though – rather than pointless baseless subjective puerile bile about whether there are subtle differences about a country’s inhabitants which encourages division Mr Nicholson actually focused on something that really matters to us all as a species. I’ve often moaned about you politicising this website I would have said fair game with climate change. The government boasting 4bn being put in to the environment despite it being a sliver of what is required, while pushing forward with the 100 billion destructive HS2 is unforgivable. Write more about that than what a few random trolls say on Twitter about a country when ultimately countries don’t matter and aren’t really particularly important.
Lockdown and Liverpool
Firstly Gary B, the likelihood is neither TAA or Fabinho will start v Leicester so that’s where your argument breaks down.
Robertson & Henderson are 50/50 too.
That’s 4 starters possibly out on top of VVD & Gomez.
Over 50% of the team missing v Leicester.
I know Leicester are also missing players before people start piling in.
You then sign off your email with a snide(&I’m paraphrasing here)-They wanted last season completed, now there are too many games in a shorter period and THEY are still not happy.
I’m assuming the they you refer to is Liverpool?
Do you think Liverpool were the only team who wanted the season completed?.
Even ending it on points per game and Liverpool were still champions.
Do you think the club has that power?.
Clubs needed the TV money, simple as.
Klopp consistently came out and said “whatever we are told to do, we will do it.”
Let’s be honest here, every fan base wanted it made null and void for their own reasons.
Karen Brady wanted it made null and void as it looked like West Ham would go down.She then complains about the big 5 looking after themselves with this super league yet she had no issue with Leeds,Fulham and WBA not being promoted if it meant West Ham stayed up.
Don’t get me started on Rio “I’m not saying it cos Liverpool are top, people is dying, we need to null and void the league” Ferdinand. He said this a week into lockdown. Not a peep from him now even though you in the UK are still in lockdown.. funny that.
Southgate, Pep, Klopp all have said publicly there should be 5 substitutions for the safety of players.Clubs have a duty of care towards these players.
Yes, you can argue the 5 subs will help bigger clubs or you could argue the bigger clubs can absorb more injuries so it is insane smaller clubs vote against the introduction of more subs.3,4 injuries kills smaller teams.
The other big leagues also competed last season and introduced 5 subs for this season.
Why did THEY do that?
Were THEY helping Liverpool too?.
Liverpool: World Cup of Desire winners 2020
Replying @Paul the Evertonian, it is quite clear that you are a bit sad that LFC is no longer in the mid table wilderness with everton. I am very sorry that you feel that way. I am also sorry that you are coached by such a nicety like Ancelotti and you have a lovely footballer like James playing for your team. However, I really am not too sorry whenever I remember your keeper’s flying boots.
Now, to your mail, I must tell you that I feel very proud of LFC’s achievements over the last 2 years. But it is not arrogance. It is self belief. I weigh up the teams around us and I know that none will beat us for desire. They may be more talented, but none will beat our desire. If desire was a world cup, we would be champions. I didn’t say we will win the league but I said that Klopp might just spring a big surprise. Klopp is not too humble a man by the way. He is simply a man who understands the limits of his importance. But er, you can call that humility if you choose.
Now, replying @Garry B, I must say that the line up you posted is quite wonderful. Let’s assume it happens. A semi fit 3/4 back line. A semi fit 1/3 midfield and an attacking 3 that have not started together as a 3 before. If that is not a disruption to your plans, I wonder what you class a disruption.
Mind you, before these guys came to Liverpool, there were just one or two who could be considered world beaters. That you deem that 11 you listed better than all the 1st eleven players of the teams lining up this weekend is further testament to the miracle working powers of Klopp. I can however state that, man for man, Spurs, City, Chelsea and United will present an 11 stronger than what we will present by the weekend.
Anyone care to write about a proposed 11 for the weekend matches for all the teams?
A while back I wrote in saying one of the top six should go for Shane Duffy as a back up defender. He has just finished 2020 as Ireland’s top goalscorer with one goal. Thank god we have a manager that is playing attacking football.
Jack Cavan ( future is bright )