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My son is the Messiah
Been a bit quiet mail-wise this season, if only because it’s a lot easier to find the passion to write in when you’re really cheesed off. And quite clearly things are pretty ruddy marvellous right now, however the season goes from here.
However , generally speaking I’m not a big believer in all that fatalistic/destiny/meant to be mumbo jumbo. Because it’s all crap if nothing else.
But for the first time in his young life my now 12 year old son started taking an interest in football because of England’s exploits in the World Cup. Incidentally his Dad has been force feeding him Liverpool whether he was interested or not since quite literally the day he was born. And he hasn’t been at all.
And the first season he actually starts caring and watching Liverpool we make our best title challenge in 30 years. Coincidence? Fate? He’s the clearly the Messiah we’ve been waiting for. And not a naughty little boy, whatever his Mum says.
What’s in a dive?
I notice the topic of diving has been raised again in the mailbox (I loved Dave J’s formula, by the way). It’s a particular topic of interest for me, for 2 reasons, and I often discuss it on forums and have previously sent in letters on the subject.
The 1st reason is because it’s an issue I feel at odds with, when compared to the general view taken on these British shores – it raises such emotive and vitriolic responses, but I really don’t think diving is that bad. It’s a negative aspect of the game, but no worse than other types of foul play, and certainly not on the same level (for me Clive) as a cynical professional foul, or a dangerous tackle. It’s also interesting that this view of diving being worse than punching an old lady in the face is almost exclusively British.
The 2nd reason is because diving is not a black and white issue. I think there are 3 types of dive:
DIVE-A) When a player is “low-level” fouled, and goes to ground to draw the attention of the referee to get a free kick.
DIVE-B) A player expects a foul or contact, and dives to get out of the way or reduce the impact or to pre-empt DIVE-A.
DIVE-C) A player sees an opportunity to fool the officials into thinking he’s been foul to gain an advantage.
All of the 3 situations above seem to get the same level of disgust aimed at them – slightly less probably for DIVE-A -, but I see nothing wrong with DIVE-A and DIVE-B. DIVE-C is the only one I would call “diving”. The reality is that the vast majority of DIVE-A fouls would not get a free-kick unless the fouled player goes to ground, so what else should they do ? Finally, I don’t consider feigning injury in the above, which is often lumped in with diving – that IS something that I think is abhorrent.
Everton, Watford, Z Cars and a couple of other things
Mark (Why Z Cars at Everton and Watford?) MCFC
It’s a fairly good question. First of all, why do both clubs play it? Well, there was a story when I was growing up that Watford stole it from Everton after the sides met in the 1984 FA Cup final, but this is – as most such stories are – in fact nonsense.
Everton first played the theme in the 1962-3 season, and Watford followed one year later – though Watford didn’t steal it.
No-one seems completely sure about why Everton chose it. The TV show was set in a fictional place called Newtown – but it was pretty obviously Kirkby, in Liverpool (where it was filmed), and the theme music is a rearrangement of a Liverpool folk song called Johnny Todd, about a sailor whose partner is unfaithful while he’s away at sea. So there are a couple of local links.
Added to that, the actor Leonard Williams, who played Sergeant Percy Twentyman in the show, was a Scouser and an Everton fan. One story says that he took the entire cast to Goodison one day (he definitely did – including Brian Blessed who I can only assume was having a day off from fighting a bear with his bare hands) and the song was played in honour of him and just… stuck.
But no-one really knows why it was chosen.
The following season, Watford’s manager Bill McGarry, who already liked the song, decided to have it played at Vicarage Road one day, and Watford won the match, then went unbeaten at home for 29 games (interestingly, the previous season – the first Everton used the theme – Everton won the league, having gone the whole season unbeaten at home).
McGarry reportedly said that he had the track played the first time because a taxi firm run from outside the ground – ‘N Cars’ – had its sign damaged, so when he arrived on matchday it appeared to read ‘Z Cars’. He thought it was an omen…
Wheeler LFC – sadly, no. You can’t listen to a radio station owned by News Corps and not be directly aiding the same firm which owns the S*n.
You make some fair points – it’s not their fault they got bought, they don’t appear to be forwarding the same horror-show the newspaper does – but the sad fact is that Talksport makes money from advertising, and that revenue is generated based on salespeople using listener numbers to persuade firms to advertise with them, rather than somewhere else. That money then goes to News Corps, so… Well, you get the idea.
It’s actually not your fault – ‘ethical consumerism’ is basically impossible, even for those lucky enough to be able to afford it, and in any case we all have to work out where our ‘line’ is and try to stick to it.
But yeah, sadly, you’re contributing to The S*n, albeit indirectly, and helping it stay in business if you listen to Talksport. Or watch Sky. Or buy The Times. Or… well, you know.
In other news, Salah definitely definitely dives and isn’t alone in that, Lineker was wrong, but probably meant well (I saw a lot of similar comments made by other well-meaning people yesterday) and actually, Dave J, I think there’s a case that even using your self-chosen and quite arbitrary formula, Salah would still be 10x worse than Sterling for diving. Once again, he wouldn’t be alone in that…
Rory O’Keeffe, Thessaloniki
Love for the Herrera love
It was great to see some love for Ander Herrera in Winty’s excellent article. I’ve been one of his long term fans, constantly banging on about him and why he should be starting every game since we bought him and LvG ignored him so it’s been great to see him being used as a central midfield under Ole rather than second defensive midfielder and him playing incisive, intelligent balls forward rather than sideways or backwards (last point applies to Matic as well). I think he’s generally underappreciated in our squad and so it’s great to see him getting a little bit of recognition because due to Pogba being a lot more flashy and Rashford being both English and also a local lad he can go a bit under the radar.
Average home attendances in PL stadiums
Michael, Philippines, rookie mistake using ‘DATA’ to support your point and not thinking it through. The reason why Spurs (Wembley), Arsenal, West Ham and City had a higher average home attendance last season than Liverpool was due to the stadiums they played in being bigger.
Now, what I suggest you do Michael, is use YOUR data and compare that to the capacity of the stadiums. You will then see that (out of the teams you mentioned) only Arsenal have a (marginally) better average home attendance for 2017/2018 than Liverpool, followed by City, West Ham and Spurs.
Hi Michael, Philippines,
West Ham have a higher average attendance than Liverpool! Ha-ha- that should shut the scousers up. What’s that? Their stadium holds 12,000 more. City and Arsenals are bigger too! What! Spurs play at Wembley!?
Chris, Belfast (Dinamo Tbilisi’s ground is bigger too- they could have a higher average attendance if they wanted)
Just noticed Giroud’s contract is expiring soon.Wonder where would he play next? Any takers for a recent world cup winner?
Spurs can appreciate him, I believe.
What a line!
Never has a sentence filled me with so much joy
“Not when there were points to make and goats to scape”
Especially when i read it first as “scrape.” I had this image of jose in his classic suit and overcoat putting in some serious effort in scratching a grateful goat to oblivion. Now superimpose that image by placing ander herreras head on the goat…..God…i need more sleep…..and a coffee.
Nu (sleep deprived in bristol)
Lineker’s self-appointed role as the games conscience
I am going to start this off by saying what happened in relation to Emiliano Sala is nothing short of tragic.
Its desperately sad for everybody involved, and we can only hope, one way or another his body is recovered to give his family some small bit of peace.
Yesterday, Cristiano Ronaldo tweeted a picture of himself on a private jet on his way back from Madrid to Turin following his court case.
I do not know if Ronaldo knows Sala, or has ever met him. But I doubt his tweet was intended as any form of disrespect.
Gary Lineker seemed to think so, tweeting “Not the day for this tweet, it really isn’t”.
Again, I don’t know if Lineker knows Sala, and defended himself saying he was only trying to highlight that the tweet was poorly timed.
I think Lineker was doing more than that, and in his self appointed role as the games conscience, was trying to shame Ronaldo for likes and re-tweets (19k retweets at time of writing)
Terrible things happen in the world everyday. Does that mean that everyone elses life should go on hold, and what place is it of Linekers to be pointing this out to everyone.
Its another form of clickbait dressed up as doing the right thing.
I don’t have any skin in this game. I am Irish and live in Dublin. I have no connection to Cardiff City, Nantes, Sala, Ronaldo, Lineker, the BBC or what it pays him.
As I said, whats happened to Sala is tragic, but just because Ronaldo tweeted a picture of himself on a plane the day after it happened, doesn’t mean he doesn’t care.
The tweet was narcissistic as you would expect from Ronaldo, but for Lineker to link it to the Sala tragedy was equally self serving.
Pozzo dynasty warriors
As it stands, it’s seems every mid-table premier league team is just two back to back wins away from an editorial extolling their virtues and giving them plaudits.
This usually makes for awkward reading when they lose the next three matches and are back to being shite.
For what it’s worth the good write up by DS on the Pozzo dynasty warriors called Watford FC makes for good reading although I’d rather every team regardless of form gets same flowery tributes at regular intervals as opposed to only when they are on the up and up.
(Glory Glory Man United, and a big kiss in the direction of that babyfaced assassin)
Tosin Collins, Lagos.