Happy Hammers? No optimism at West Ham amid fears over relegation battle…

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 Credit: PA Images
Credit: PA Images

The Mailbox takes issue with the assumption that the mood is good around West Ham. Also: Sadio Mane on his way; and plenty on Trent Alexander-Arnold’s anthem choices.

Get your views in to theeditor@football365.com

 

What next for Liverpool’s front three
Agree with your article on Monday – The time is right for Mané to leave. It was always going to happen – age catches up with all of us and all that. Not that Mané is not performing, but having all 3 main(? – though Bobby is down the order now) over 30 means you need to refresh ASAP.

On the subject of the ongoing contract sagas though, I think Liverpool are in a really strong position to either get the cash for the player or see him leave on a free next summer. As with Salah, unfortunately.

A couple of things seem to put Liverpool in the driving seat for me. First, the season we just had means the money coming in to the club is historically high. I get the impression we don’t need to sell to buy as has a been the case previously – e.g. no way we buy Van Dijk without selling Coutinho. Or in some cases the cumulative money from selling fringe players.

The other is the investment in these players. It is known that Liverpool prefer to buy a player with resale potential. However, the initial investment in both Mané and Salah was ‘only’ ~£75-80m. And that was 5-6 years ago. The time for making big profit on both has passed. Personally I think Liverpool have found themselves in a situation where, for once, we can say – ok wind it down, we’ll take one more year on each of them rather than selling for around the same price as the purchase.

Sadly the time has come to break up the iconic trio, for me if Mané leaves now then great for him, he leaves an absolute legend and I expect him to pick up silverware for a few years yet. However, Liverpool are in a strong position to retain if the deal isn’t right and take their time to find a replacement. My predictions are always wrong, but I’m going out on a limb and saying if the deal isn’t done by end of June – Mané starts against City on the 30th of July.

Cheers,
Marc

 

It feels like time for Sadio Mane and Liverpool to part ways; Bayern makes sense

 

Irons not in the mood
I was interested to read the early summer moods article. Spurs first, err, ok, I’m sure City, Pool, Chelsea, even Arsenal would beg to differ. At any rate, when I looked for my team, West Ham, I was shocked to see us in 6th.

West Ham just finished a season where we, at best, had 15 full first team players throughout. The fact that we overachieved by getting to the semis of the Europa is an unbelievable anomaly. We had literally no strikers in our squad (Antonio is a bloody hero, and surely the most likeable player in football, but a striker he ain’t). Our owners (GSB OUT) have shown that they have zero interest in the team’s achievements. Last season we had a very genuine shot at 4th place, and in the summer they provided almost zero reinforcements to the squad, whilst knowing that we had a long Europa tournament to navigate. Despite GSB’s negligence, the squad just about held together (despite our best defender, Ogbonna, being out for the season early on, our best midfielder last season, Soucek, being utterly run into the ground to the extent that he was a shadow of his former imperial self), but understandably were all so utterly exhausted by March that we had nothing left at the sharp end of the season. Much as we love him, the fact that Balon’Dorson was our most important player in February through April (no Ogbonna, no Zouma) is a shameful indictment of our ownership, and cost us any chance of real success this season. I do not believe that we should accept this very patronizing “just be happy about where you are” view.

So from 4th being genuinely within reach last year, but us running out of steam, to 7th this year year with a Europa semi pulled out of our very proud asses, this does not give us a feeling of optimism. One would expect that going into next season with such a tiny squad it would force our owners to, at the very least, spend the huge amount of money which they make from our position in the premier league and our profits from such a long Europa run….. I think it is fair to say that no WH fans expect our owners to do anything even vaguely significant this summer. And why would they? They just see that the likes of Everton, Villa and many others spending far more and achieving far less. They are looking for sell on value and it is just how they think. They have no interest in spending whatsoever.

We pinned our hopes on the new billionaire Czech investor, and yet thus far he has contributed nothing. Which seemingly leaves us stuck with GSB, the worst case scenario. So as to your Summer Moods gauge, I humbly submit that I would put WHUnear the bottom. Without significant investment I genuinely believe we are relegation battle fodder this season. I very much hope I’m wrong, but I bet I’m not. GSB OUT.
Mike, WHU

 

Ranking the moods of all 20 Premier League clubs

 

Anthem angst
Has Sarn Smith ever paid attention to the words of our national anthem? ‘God save the Queen’ it drones. I love this country as much as anyone, but to me the country is its land and its people. I don’t believe in the ludicrous narcissist Christian ‘god’, and I am a republican, so were I a footballer I wouldn’t sing along either, despite my love of our country.

Sarn has clearly mistaken symbolism for patriotism, and given little thought to what those symbols actually represent – class oppression and brutal imperialism (which is theft, rape and genocide all rolled into one).

I suggest you stop waving your silly flag and revelling in your own oppression for a moment Sarn. You should learn about how the ruling class in this country have always fucked the rest of us over (Liverpool even more than the rest). Then fire up your other neuron to consider why a mixed-race person from Liverpool might not want to sing that tedious song.

As far as I’m concerned, there’s a strong case to be made for not singing it just because it is the most ear-achingly boring anthem in the world, regardless of my other points.
Hulmy, Stoke.

…A very brief observation on the negative reaction to Trent Alexander Arnold choosing not to sing his national anthem.
A point made earlier was that if you choose to not sing it (the anthem) that shows you have no allegiance to the country so why are you on the pitch wearing the shirt ?
In this particular instance, the song isn’t a tune that professes its love and loyalty to a nation.
It’s a song devoted to one person. It is in the title after all.
It’s about allegiance and most significantly, deference, to an individuals hereditary title.
It’s possible that Trent isn’t being unpatriotic.
It’s possible he actually knows the lyrics and chooses not to sing such sycophantic nonsense.
A footballer having a mind of his own? PFMs seem unable to process that.
For a nation that espouses its own independent spirit it is astounding how readily some bend the knee and criticise those who don’t conform.
Eoin (It’s also possible he knows he has a dreadful singing voice) Ireland

…Just a thought on Sarn Smith’s mail, and their preference for England players to sing the national anthem. I can think of a few reasons why Trent, or any of the players, might not want to sing: they might not know the words (how many people really know beyond the first couple of lines?); they might be terrible singers and not want the up-the-nose camera to hear them as it wobbles past; they might be trying to stay focused for the game; and so on.

I’d say the fact that Trent (and all the players) decided to put in 90 minutes for England in what is very much a second-rate competition (as fun as it is, and much better than friendlies) rather than bogging off on holiday to somewhere presumably very expensive is more of an indicator of commitment than singing the anthem.

The same goes for a lot of examples in a lot of fields – it’s more useful looking at actions, rather than words and gestures, when trying to work out how truly patriotic someone is. It’s easy to sing the national anthem, it’s easy to pay lip-service to ‘making Britain better’, ‘giving Britain a pay rise’, or whatever variation is being used at the time. It’s easy to stick a St George’s flag sticker on your wheelie bin, and it’s easy to insist that all public buildings fly a Union Jack flag all the time (as our current government did not long back – presumably they got a great deal on flags from one of their donors).

But for me, being a patriot is all about making sure your country improves – so, no sewage in the rivers, no pensioners sent back to care homes straight from Covid-ridden hospitals, nobody working a full-time job who then still can’t afford to heat their homes and to eat, no banana-republic levels of corruption (such as billions of pounds of public money being given away in dodgy PPE deals, then subsequently ‘written off’), and so on. But maybe ditching metric measurements is more important.

Cheers,
Dan, Worthing

Sarn, if you can’t separate a Player’s desire to play from their country from not aligning themselves with everything that country represents (and singing a song before he goes to work) I worry for your mental state. I assume that if you worked for LIDL you’d pledge allegiance with a jaunty ode to pan-European discount shopping before each shift.

Alexander-Arnold is really good at football so gets selected for his country. You don’t have to love (or vet) everything about someone before you deem them fit for a job. I’d take a geography expert into my pub quiz team even if their favourite TV show was Police Interceptors. You’re presumably an England fan. Enjoy the embarrassment of riches you have at RB instead of worrying about who is singing a song about Kings and Queens and other stuff that generally lives in Fairytales.

Not sure if you are aware but Trent is from a city that the incumbent PM has ridiculed as enjoying it’s “victim status”. A city the tabloids have repeatedly painted as a pantomime villain. Can’t speak for the man but maybe he’s proud to play for his country without supporting every single facet of it’s (complicated) history.

A generational talent and you care more about his singing than crossing. Weird.
Endboss (non Liverpool/England fan)

 

…Refraining from singing God Save the Queen does not necessarily mean that one has no allegiance to England or doesn’t want to see the country prosper.

There are many reasons that one might choose not to sign to the glory of a monarch, not least of which being opposition to the idea that anyone, by virtue of their birth, is inherently better than other citizens and therefore has a divine right to extraordinary wealth and status. And that’s before we even begin to discuss the colonial legacy of this specific monarchy.

Just because someone does something you don’t like, does not mean that they hate you or what you stand for. People can just have different opinions.
Amro (Still reeling from arsenal losing 4th)

Trent Alexander-Arnold Credit: PA Images
Trent Alexander-Arnold Credit: PA Images

…I was born in England, and whilst I have lived in many places around the world, I am still English.

But I don’t sing the national anthem, and in fact will do all I can to avoid even hearing it.

I object to the existence of the Royal family (you or I, however remote, can be the PM, but we will never be King or Queen, ergo it shouldn’t be a thing), and I am not entirely sure I believe in God either. Seeing as though this is a major part of the lyrics, I don’t want anything to do with it.

Does this make me less English or patriotic? Not in the slightest, so if Trent doesn’t want to sing it I don’t give a damn.
Mike D

 

…An excellent article from Jon Nicholson this week. Maybe he is a Republican like me and could we actually have some common ground for once?! (added my own narrative and virtues to someone whom I know little about)

I do however suspect that he will be branded a conspiracy theorist so I thought I’d write in an express my support for the article, and sentiments therein.

Can’t be arsed to write supporting arguments mind. What’s the point trying to convince people who read the sun/mail and support the queen?
Fat Man (the UK is simply a financial support mechanism for the queen, abolish it, give back the territories and finally we can start, in some part at least, atoning for slavery)

 

 

Man Utd won’t be tempted by Bale
Relatively no angst mailbox yesterday morning. That was nice.

If I was Welsh, and the VAR had been overturned I’d be bloody annoyed. The defender was in the process of kicking the ball (already back lifted his kicking foot) when suddenly the Ukranians leg appeared in the way.

And if Man United sign Bale, I will run around starkers on a route of Plato’s choice. This is the time that United have finally realised what a clusterf of an organisation they are.

Not sure the Nations League should be a thing this summer. Lots of countries picking trial teams due to the WC. Makes it lose credibility, which it did well to engender in the first place.

Already looking forward to 1st September and the closure of the transfer window when we no longer have to read all the transfer gossip/click bait. Even the broad sheets are up to their necks in it.

cheers
Ged Biglin

The article Happy Hammers? No optimism at West Ham amid fears over relegation battle… appeared first on Football365.com.

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