Now Arsenal know how Man Utd fans felt watching the Class of ’92 win it all…
One Arsenal fan feels he is watching something truly special from their answer to the Class of ’92. Also: Antonio Conte. Loads on Tottenham, Spursiness, and what’s next.
Get your views in to firstname.lastname@example.org…
Arsenal’s answer to Class of 92
As an Arsenal fan, the class of 92 always stuck a little in my craw. While every other club was struggling, United’s academy produced one of the finest crops of young players I’ve ever seen. I’d watch as United fans seemed to find another level of passion in support for those boys and I never really understood why…until now.
I’m not saying Arsenal, or the players who have come through Hale End are of the same level as Giggs, Scholes and Beckham, but they are on their way. This is not a competition to see who is better. More that I understand why United fans loved that team so much. And as I watched Saka this weekend, I realised why. He’s ours, like Emile Smith Rowe, or Reiss Nelson, or Eddie Nketiah and hell, I’ll take Martinelli like we took Anelka as our own, they came as babies so we’re claiming them. Something about being with us all that time, growing through the club, it changes things. I’d give anything to see Saka raise a trophy for us in his lifetime, and I think most of the other Arsenal fans I know feel the same.
However the remainder of the season goes, I know I’m seeing something as rare as the Class of 92 or The Invincibles coming to fruition. And the most exciting thing is they can only get better.
John (I swear international breaks come at the worst times) Matrix AFC
…I wasn’t able to watch the match as I’m on children duty because Mother’s Day. However, I just wanted to say that I remember a time when watching Arsenal almost felt boring as we swept away side after side, often with high scores. Those invincibles!
Having heard that we demolished Crystal Palace 4-1, it does feel like I’m approaching that complacent feeling once again. And I love it.
But what’s more exciting than that, and highlighted by my children when I showed them the league table, we are on 69 points. Sexy times indeed.
What Spursy really means
I support Arsenal so I, of course, find the whole Conte thing hilarious. Even better is the feeling of being proved right. It’s petty for sure, and really, most of football besides a few deluded spurs fans knew it would end badly, but still, it’s enjoyable when the world makes the sense you thought it did.
But. As much as Levy is to blame here, for hiring Conte, for hiring Nuno, for hiring Mourinho, for going two (three?) transfer windows without making a signing when they had an actual good manager that had built an actual good (great?) team, Conte really is a man child. His refusal to accept any responsibility for his actual (not good) team and instead blaming it the history of the club is almost sociopathic in its narcissism.
Spursy isn’t a thing. Not really. Now don’t get me wrong, I will lob that phrase around with gay abandon because it’s very funny. And I’ll chuckle at the spursiness of it all come their next disaster. But all spursy really means is poor management. And in the pantheon of poor spurs management Conte is the worst. Yes even worse than Sherwood. Because to abdicate your responsibility, to think yourself so above the club, even as you fail to make it any better, that you are doing them a favour merely by being there, to be so unprofessional as to torch the club in order to get yourself, an already multi millionaire, a pay off of a few million more, is far worse than being tactically incompetent or not up to the job. I hope this whole episode costs him jobs in the future, though I know he will find employment somewhere. But it’ll be ‘beneath’ him. And the whole sorry saga will continue anew.
Spurs need a United-style reset
So Conte has gone full John Rambo and is spitting out truth-bullets, spraying down his enemies with gay abandon and a manic look in his eye that would make Sly proud. Nice of him to seemingly absolve himself of any blame, as suggested by Dave’s article. Someone might want to point out to poor Antonio that self-evaluation is the key to being a good manager in all walks of life, perhaps even more so than the ability to evaluate others.
I never liked his style of football when he was at Chelsea and don’t think I am wrong to say he has only had Spurs firing intermittently. Although, I have never really enjoyed watching a team play 3 at the back in general as it just feels turgid and defensive at times, with some exceptions (Napoli in recent years for example). This is why I was delighted when we didn’t appoint him at Utd, as he very much felt in the Mourinho mould and I was surprised that Levy went down that road again.
Spurs need a Ten Hag type manager and a total reset. Pochettino seems to be the right man for the job but then it didn’t work out before for a reason. They’re not exactly flush at the moment, with the new stadium and their fancy bottom-up pints, so whoever comes in needs to focus on bringing youth through. Kane should be sold and the money used to buy a few younger players who can develop over time.
Finally, speaking of Mourinho, Wayne JHB metaphorically poked me in the eye in the mailbox, Jose style, for having the temerity to mock Liverpool for their loss to Bournemouth. He obviously wasn’t about when Liverpool fans were lording it up all week after that result we do not speak of; that’s part of the fun of football – dish it out to your rivals and expect to take some back. Strap on your big boy pants and stop being so precious. You can consider this to be a Fergie glare in your direction.
Garey Vance, MUFC
Read more: Will Tottenham learn from Mourinho and Conte to avoid old Messiahs?
…Time to go Antonio. There’s not one player you’ve improved, Not one youth player you’ve established into the first team (Skipp is 22 and is our 4th choice midfielder – there’s no one else on the horizon).
Team moral and team resilience is within your control. Spurs can’t just buy a first eleven… some level of coaching is involved. And what have you done? What’s your imprint? The tactics are dour, the mental fortitude is non existent.
Please someone tell me what Conte has contributed to this club (bar Arsenal imploding last season and Spurs stealing 4th)?
Poch raised the club higher than its means. Conte has done nothing of the sort and had relied on other teams’ failings to have his own ‘success’. It’s time to end this inevitable fiasco now.
The fans and the players are being failed. Conte is culpable but Levy is responsible. Conte out. ENIC out. Now.
…Conte reminds me of Geroge Costanza trying to get sacked by Steinbrenner at Yankees.
Next move would be to drive around the stadium calling out Levy on the loud speaker dragging their troph…… oh nevermind…. guess streaking across White Hart Lane in a bodysuit will have to do.
Hats (greatest post match conference ever)
Antonio Conte has to be the most annoying manger in football. Sure he has won stuff (in Italy mostly, he’s not won anything in England since pep and klopp have moved in). I loved him in the first season at Chelsea, but the second he wasn’t given the money he thought he deserved he gave up, and I can’t see him as anything other than a petulant child since.
He constantly whines about not spending enough on new singings regardless of the amount of money he spends on new signings. It’s never his fault when his team loses. He cannot manage in a competitive league.
I would be incredibly wary of hiring him to any job in the Premier league, he’s just not worth the hassle.
What happens next
I’ve not watched a lot of Spurs this season, I’ve had more important things to do such as enjoy my life and not get frustrated by the way Spurs keep finding new ways to reach new peaks of Spursiness.
Now with Conte looking to go, I believe I can accurately predict the next couple of seasons:
Spurs hire Poch or a different up and coming manager and splash the cash on a big money signing.
The season starts with a bang and we win our first 10 games including a scrappy 1-0 win against City where we have 0 shots on goal and City have 25, and a massive high scoring entertaining win against another big club, ie United or Chelsea.
After 10 games we wobble. But ultimately get knocked out of all cup competitions, finish the season strongly and end up 3rd. Our big money signing however has flopped hard.
To rectify, Levy buys a few more players for key positions, problem is, the manager asked for the Rolls Royce types, and got the 1972 Massey Ferguson tractor equivalent.
2nd season bizarrley starts well, optimisim is rising after a good battled draw against Liverpool away.
Unfortunately, we subsequently lose or draw to Club Brugge, Young Boys and Sparta Prague in the CL group stages and are knocked out. Manager decides f*ck it not trying anymore and plays a 9-1-1 formation.
Levy announces a new deal whereby we can now launch rockets to Mars from the new stadium.
Rinse and repeat.
Karma’s a bitch
I’ve seen a lot of emails and articles about what needs to change at LFC and I wanted to pipe in. Everyone has their theory on what is going on at the club and I can tell ya exactly what it is – we f*cked with karma.
How so? You might ask. Well first of all we let go of the one truly humble and ego free people that was solely keeping our universal balance in check – Sadio Mane. While he was building hospitals and remaining ego free the universe was rewarding us with last minute winners and questionable penalties.
We replaced that with new contract negotiations for Salah. Record cash was spent which fueled ego’s and the karma gods did not like that. We also went and threw ourselves a massive fucking parade for winning the FA Cup and almighty Carabao Cup. We planned that parade before the CL final and Premier League final game and the Karma gods did not like that one bit and they let us know.
You would have thought by now that we would have picked up on the errors of our razzle dazzle ways but no. Just the other week we thrashed our biggest rivals and we took to social media, talk shows, fancy soda can placements in the pundits booth, got t-shirts made, mugs made, sweaters for poodles made all celebrating the score line and how did the universe repay us – by having us lose one week later to Bournemouth.
We are f*cking with karma folks and the universe is going to keep letting us know until we begin to practice some humility in how we behave on and off the pitch.
Time for Deepak Kloppra
Jason G, Montreal, Canada
At what point do premier league clubs seriously consider legal action against the PGMOL for their sheer incompetence week in week out?
I’ve watched a few Wolves game recently and you don’t see it as fans of other clubs because it doesn’t directly involve you, but having watched the matches even as an impartial I can see the decisions are terrible.
Against Newcastle that was as clear a penalty as you’ll ever see. Red card for Pope, and assuming the penalty scored, 1-0 against 10 men and the home crowd turn against.
Yesterday against Leeds, another stone wall penalty turned down, then the blatant shirt pull on Traore before Leeds fourth goal. Would it have made a difference? Probably not but coming from 3-0 down back to 3-2 and who knows?
Howard Webb has already apologised twice to Wolves this season and will have to apologise again. But what use are they? They’re not points on the board to use against relegation.
There has to be serious repercussions against referees when they make decisions that ultimately cost people their livelihoods. I’m not taking about the multi millionaire player I’m talking about the minimum wage staff who will inevitably be let go if relegation happens.
So what do we do? It has to start from the bottom. Serious protection at grass root level to persuade good people to become referees.
Accountability. Rugby leads the way on this, wire them up so we can hear what their talking about. Get them after a game to explain their decision. At Newcastle the referee was on the halfway line. Come out and explain what you saw and why you didn’t go to the monitor to see it.
It won’t happen until a club like City with all their money and solicitors are on the receiving end of an awful decision but legal action is the next step towards accountability.
…We have got enough decisions over the years but when looking back I cannot believe how many decisions have gone against Man Utd since the Rashford decision. Please indulge me!
Post City decision
Crystal Palace (A) – Martinez was smashed and busted by an obvious forearm/elbow smash. obvious and with a replay there wasn’t as much as a free kick
Crystal Palace (A) – I am not showing bias but there was a blatant foul on Bruno yet no penalty awarded
Reading (H) – shocking over the top tackle on Eriksen, which is hoped that it won’t be, but seems that it will be a season ending injury – Yellow card
Leeds (H) – this was more debatable but there was a strong belief by utd for a handball In the build up to the 2nd Leeds go – nothing awarded
Crystal Palace (H) – melee results in Casemiro being sent off for an apparent choke yet there were angle which shows the hands being on the shoulders, close to but not on the neck. There were no squeezing or shaking of Will Hughes neck and there seemed to be good relations between them – Red card
What is frightening is the inference that VAR simply need to find an angle to back their decision rather than looking at them all when one’s would contradict them
LEICESTER (H) – OVER THE TOP CHALLENGE BY SABITZER COULD HAVE EASILY LED TO A RED CARD. IT DIDNT
Betis (H) – Betis player brought the ball down with his arm in the build up to their goal – seemed clear yet it was overlooked
Southampton (H) – Casemiro sent off. Seemed to win the ball but momentum carried him over the top and was dangerous – Red card
I will return to this when putting this into its proper context.
Crystal Palace (h) – during the melee a palace player made contact with the face of an opppnent. Nothing was done and it seemed it may not have been looked at. In comparison to Cas this was worse but it strikes of hypocrisy.
Liverpool v Everton – Conor Coady was guilty of a clear raised hands choke – yet no red card was shown
There was also a game, one which I forget the name of where a player slapped another with no card shown.
This moves me onto these dangerous over the ball tackles whether intentional or not
Wolves v Leeds -Jonny was awarded a straight red for one of these tackles
Brentford v Leicester – Baptiste received a yellow card for an appalling one of these tackle
INCONSISTENCY OCCURRING AT ALMOST THE SAME TIME!!!
I now bring you to Fabinho, Harry Kane, Virgil Van Diijk and separately Haaland.
The first three are of the same type challenge as Casemiro, some are significantly worse. Yet they all received a yellow card. There is absolutely no consistency. My view is that I wouldn’t have much of an issue with the red card as it is a potentially season ending tackle. But given the precedents highlighted, given the decision making of previous instances then this should be a yellow. Not cause it’s right but because that’s the decision the refs are reaching.
To even highlight the inconsistencies to the max a teammate of Cas (sabitzer) was awarded a yellow for a significantly worse challenge. How can you give one team a yellow a red and one a yellow
LET ME REITERATE
I’M NOT TRYING TO EXCUSE THE TACKLE – WHAT I AM SAYING IS IF THEY ARE IN THE MAIN DEEMED YELLOW CARD OFFENCES THEN THAT SHOULD APPLY EVERYWHERE
Howard Webb in one of if not the first interview he gave made the point of name checking one incident, the Rashford Derby goal. Could it be that subconsciously this has effected in their subsequent major decisions involving Utd? All but one major decisions have went against Utd and decisions of a similar nature have been decided in an opposite manner.
There needs to be consistency across the board. It’s a red or isn’t
City’s cheat code
Haaland, the young Norwegian prodigy is set to break (or has broken) records that stood forever and yet set ones unimaginable. What’s even astonishing is he’s doing it so effortlessly and at this point it’s funny now…
What’s even funnier is the ‘embarrassment’ he’s causing Pep Guardiola. Pep has made it routine to sub the man instantly once he gets on the loose. More like a man taming his wild dog from creating further havoc after demonstrating one already in his presence.
The alien went berserk on yet another game day and Pep took him off AGAIN soon after banging 3 in less than 60mins. (He already scored 5 in about 60mins 3 days earlier and was again subbed – we are already bored with his ridiculous stats). But, why is Pep taking him off in these games when he could go on to score a dozen in 90? We won’t take the cliche of ‘saving him from injury or preserving his energy’ serious in this case. Haaland style of play makes him less prone to tackles and injuries. Besides, he’s one of the the least workaholics there is on a football pitch. So Pep, taking off the kid in his moments is unjustified. Keep him on and let’s see what he can offer in 90. If he goes on to score 10 goals in a match, so shall it be. Let the boy play.
But no, Pep wouldn’t. He’s creating the illusion that his managerial task of a city is as difficult.. is it? It’s no argument that a Haaland as striker on a setup as city is a huge huge advantage already. So, in games that the kid is set to unleash, Pep takes him off right away – not necessarily because of respect for the opponent or avoiding injury nor preserving his energy but because he’s embarrassed. Pep doesn’t want it appear as though he’s having an easy ride. You are, Mr. Pep!
Haaland + City is cheating! And Pep antics in all of this makes him a disgusting, unrepentant cheat!
Read more: Erling Haaland: The ridiculous stats after his half-decent start to Man City life
I have a theory as to why you didn’t publish anything Brother Buzz wrote in the summer. The main issue I have with their mail is that Crystal Palace didn’t “force out” Roy Hodgson, his contract was expiring and they exercised their legal right to not renew it. That’s how fixed-term contracts work, and that’s why managers are announced as signing, for example, a three-year contract, not appointed on a permanent/indefinite basis.
Around the time Patrick Vieira arrived, I was published on this site saying that Hodgson’s approach was perfect for the “just get through it” mentality of the pandemic, but knowing supporters would be allowed back into grounds without restriction, it made sense to appoint a new manager and capitalise on the swell of support the club would feel. At the same time, fans would expect more from teams in terms of entertaining football and wouldn’t be as prepared to sit through week after week of turgid play that saw things like attacking or scoring goals as inconveniences not worth bothering with.
Above all else, there are two things that justify the decision by Palace to let Hodgson retire – with a very warm send-off, let’s remember – at the end of the 2020-21 season: how well they played under Vieira last year, and how badly Hodgson’s attempt to save Watford from relegation failed. That’s the point at which it became clearest Hodgson was yesterday’s manager. Vieira has repeatedly acknowledged he inherited a club left in a very good position on which he could build his ideas, but it has been repeating the negative aspects of his predecessor (minimalist attacking, aversion to squad rotation) that has been his undoing.
For the way the season has gone, and for how it will finish, keeping Vieira was every bit as much of a risk as removing him. The only thing that really makes sense is taking that decision now, presuming they have a preferred successor lined up: Paddy McCarthy and Darren Powell will oversee the team when they lose to the Arsenal, and the new boss will have an international break to work with the squad before the final ten games, which, as a reminder, feature eight games against the eight teams below them, meaning survival will be tough, but not impossible.
The squad is not perfect, but it is not broken. There is talent there, it just needs a bit of reorganising and a confidence boost.
Loving Leeds again
I bloody love football. Obviously our defending is still poor but at least javi gracia has got us two wins in four days. Plus rodrigo is back and scoring. Life is good again.
Before wolves fans complain – if you had taken your chances you would have thrashed us.
The barnstorming fixtures this weekend made me think:
1. Traore – play to the whistle son. Unless it’s a harvey elliot-type situation (as has been pointed out to me in this mailbox before), play to the whistle! You weren’t injured, it would have been a soft foul and you could have equalised. No excuse for you or your club ignoring the rules and then booting off.
2. Conte is right – his players have to share the blame but his pathetic “sack me so I get a payout” screams of a man who, like mourinho, risks getting left behind.
3. Cheers to Newcastle. Forest were looking like they could pull away.
4. Villa are decent.
5. Everton getting the draw is credit to them but why does it take an annual manager change to get them to play well?
A quick couple of points…
Fulham are a good team, just look at the table. That they were slightly better than a very weary utd in the first half is not a big deal as we both had our chances. You did feel that utd had a gear or 2 in reserve if they could find it. That they didn’t need to was Fulham’s fault and they really can have no complaints. Mitrovic and his subsequent punishment
could do a fair bit of harm to their league ambitions.
And on the earlier Mitrovic non penalty. Even after watching the slo-mo replays of him never having the ball and fashioning contact with the defender himself i felt this was the perfect example of where the diver needed to be booked. An improvement to VAR would be in being allowed to give yellows for simulation. It may cut out these theatrics that I am very aware utd also do all too often.
And lastly, utd truly need this international ‘break’. Sadly, most of their squad will probably not be rested but maybe the intensity will be less. I feel E10H really needs to rotate his squad more over the rest of the season as that all important 4th place trophy is not looking so secure now as every contender is trying their best to screw it up. After the penalty, utd could have brought in Pellestri, Mainoo or even Lindelof for fresh legs and to give others some rest.
And another lastly…how is it that Spurs, if you read the press and match reviews, are apparently by far the worst team in the land who must be mid-table at best….wait, checks table….they’re still 4th!!!!
Jon, Cape Town (starting to wonder how much better utd would be with a top class striker)
Saint slipped under the radar
I work in the hospitality industry so it’s been a hectic weekend, Liverpool weren’t playing so I missed out on most of the Premier League action…just catching up, did anyone else have no idea that Theo Walcott was back at Southampton???
Also just seen Conte’s post match interview, hilarious stuff! Looks like I’ve missed a good weekend.
Mark Jones, LFC, Liverpool
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