Date published: Wednesday 18th August 2021 4:50 – Editor F365
The latest Harry Kane twists have sparked a flurry of e-mails, while Man United fans are getting cocky now…
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Love him or find him a bit annoying…
The Kane saga (quite confident that it’s now a saga, albeit a boring one) isn’t really like any other. Maybe it is for the reasons mentioned in the article; Kane isn’t well liked.
The oddity of it is that the reasons he’s disliked are extensive and yet each can be countered by saying so is ABC or XYZ and they’re not disliked quite as vehemently. What I have always felt about him is that even whilst cheering his every goal I can’t help but think he’s just pure vanilla, and not some proper tasty vanilla but the kind that sits in the freezer for years because it was bought when high/was the only option.
That said, I want him to stay, despite now spending the money Spurs don’t have in my head because he has been incredible. He’s in his third phase of his career, break through star, established player, world class, and I want to see him be a Spurs legend.
One comment under the article raised an eyebrow; Spurs fans have a tendency to overrate mediocre players? Such as who?
…Just a quicky. Some non-Spurs types tend to not like Kane because he pertains to have a clean cut, nice guy image, but his actions suggest he’s a douche – either when backing in to people, diving (he dives, and is terrible at disguising it) or just doing those weird little things that make you raise your eyebrow (eg when Spurs beat City).
He has loads of talent but he’s not the saint some people seem to think he his and it simply rubs people up the wrong way.
What have Spurs won with Harry Kane?
Harry Kane is world class. He is Spurs’ best player and has been for a good number of seasons.
There is no way we should sell him. He’s the face of our club and has been the key part of our recent successes.
Don’t get me wrong, Harry Kane walks into the Spurs team all day long. But, and this is a devil’s advocate ‘but’, what have Spurs won with him?
An extremely strong counter argument is that without Kane, Spurs would be further away from the pointy end of success than we already are. I agree. But could Spurs be better off without Kane if we replaced him with three £50m-ish players that would demonstrably their positions? If think we could be.
There is a huge IF in there. We’re losing out on some targets due to our lack of Champions League involvement, so recruitment is a big challenge. If it was left to Levy, the outcome would be disastrous (£50m on Ben White disastrous), but Paratici might be the one man who can pull this off.
If we sell Kane and fudge the recruitment, we’ll be worse off.
If we keep Kane and his head has gone (a la Eriksen), we’ll be worse off.
If we sell Kane and significantly improve in two positions (with a slight downgrade upfront) there’s a chance we could be better off.
Or we could keep a happy Kane, sign Paulinho and lose in the Conference League Final.
So… keep Kane or sell Kane? I have no idea.
Nobody likes Harry Kane, but does he actually care?
As a Liverpool supporter, I’m finding the continuing narrative around Kane a tad confusing. The man who scored the winner in England’s semi-final win was a legend and hero to everyone. A couple of weeks after he was a stone cold liability who absolutely had to be dropped. And now everyone hates him.
Apparently Manchester City absolutely have to sign him, they have no striker and they can’t possibly win another game of football like that, let alone a trophy. Even though they were a few games off winning absolutely everything last year. Without a striker.
He deserves to win trophies and get medals in a team he’d genuinely improve. He should do whatever it takes to make it happen. But conversely, in reality, he’s not actually allowed to do anything at all to facilitate that move beyond asking nicely and then giving up.
He signed a very long contract, genuinely believing Spurs were going to take the next step forward. Optimistic, if a touch overly so. Upon finding out they absolutely weren’t, he then bitterly regretted doing so and changed his mind. The blackguard! The villainy! Truly he should have assumed the next stage after getting to the Champions League was Poch getting fired and Spurs becoming more Spursy than ever. Inexplicable stupidity.
He was top for goals and assists last year, thus proving he could have done precious little more personally for Spurs than he has done. But wanting to better himself and have no regrets, he has betrayed his fans and positively *destroyed* his legacy! Or simply not turned up for training for a few days, depending on your perspective.
Grealish – who City didn’t need – is worth £100 million, despite being essentially unproven at this level. Kane – who couldn’t be more proven at this level and they need bunch more – is also worth £100 million to City. This makes even less sense than anything else. Why on earth would Levy sell for a penny less than £150 million if Saucy Jack is worth nine figures?
In short, all of these things absolutely cannot be true at the same time and yet they have all been parroted – at length – within the last month. It’s as inconsistent a narrative as I can think of.
His brother being a clueless clown is pretty hard to argue with mind you. Not that anyone is.
Giddy about seeing that first-choice Man United side
Hi there! Long time reader, first time writing in to the mailbox.
I’m really excited for the season ahead. This looks to be an interesting one with Liverpool, Chelsea, Man Utd and City battling it out for the PL title. (Sorry Barry, but I don’t see Spurs challenging come the business end of the season)
I’m mostly looking forward to seeing the Man Utd first team in action with Varane, Sancho, and Cavani (would move Mason out of his central position, where I would really love to see him develop) playing. That would give me a better idea of United’s chances this season. United need more consistency to beat the most likely challengers to the title…
Liverpool scare me. They have their fully fit first team and look ready again. Salah looks as dangerous as ever and Van Dijk with his precise diagonals was sweet to see.
Chelsea were so solid last season since Tuchel took over. I was making a killing off betting Chelsea/draw and under three goals scored. Now that they have Lukaku, I am sure that bet won’t come good as many times as last season.
City was another source of income from betting, I bet the same on City games… City/draw and under three goals scored. If Kane does not sign for City this will be my go to once again. Except if they play Burnley. Then they will score five goals.
Betting aside, Chelsea look really solid and with the addition of Lukaku will be really dangerous up top, too. It could also unlock Werner if they play two up front.
City is City. Pep will figure out what he needs soon enough then go and buy it in the January window. Then go on an unbeaten run that will guarantee them the title unless one of the others can be consistent enough to keep them at bay.
Again, I’m really excited for the season ahead and will be at Old Trafford for my very first time!
I’m sure Leicester will be registering their threats (of breaking into the top four) once again this season. But Arsenal? No chance unless #WengerIn. And Spurs? No chance unless… No chance, period.
Charlton (Cape Town, South Africa)
After reading the benchwarmer article, I should say I feel a bit sorry for Lindelof. I think of Maguire and Lindelof. Of the two I think Lindelof is actually a better footballer, looks more comfortable on the ball and is a better passer. Unfortunately, Maguire is the better defender and is very much the leader at the back, and Man Utd really suffer without him, as was plain for everyone to see in the Europa League final when literally no one in the box took responsibility for the floated free kick that led to Villareal’s goal. If Maguire was on the field I don’t think the defence would have been as passive and that goal would not have been scored.
This said, I think Varane is a big upgrade on both Maguire and Lindelof in terms of footballer and defender and I can’t wait to see him play!
Liverpool have been in decline with 2018/19
No Tuesday mailbox?! I suspect that’s due to a dearth of letters from disgruntled fans, given the teams with the biggest fanbases won easily at the weekend. It really is easier to write in to moan about a loss than bask in a victory. However I felt it only right to contribute as there has been a bit of chest-thumping in the comments section, with some Liverpool fans seemingly of the mindset that they have got the league sewn up now that VVD is back. One commentator (who will remain nameless to save their blushes) suggested Liverpool are currently a much better team than Utd because they won the league two seasons ago. I like to play (red) devils advocate, so let’s do just that.
Sorry to break it to you folks (and by sorry I mean delighted), but teams work in cycles and your team has been regressing in output since 2018/19. Let’s look at some key stats for the last three seasons, in the order of 18/19 – 20/21.
GF -89, 85, 68
xGF – 74, 69, 68
GA – 22, 33, 42
xGA – 29, 38, 44
Anyone not familiar with expected goal stats should go familiarised yourself now; it’s 2021, get with the programme! Everyone else, stay with me here.
Not only have their GF been declining, but their expected goals scored has declined. Same with defending, more goals conceded and more goals expected to be conceded. “But big Virgil was injured and we had to play midfielders in defence, so we conceded more and didn’t create as much” I hear some cry in anger (without acknowledging that all teams have injuries and that’s why you have a squad, or that even during their title winning season their mfs created bugger all – 8 assists and 10 goals between the three with most appearances).
The point is, they created as many decent chances (xGs) last season as the title-winning season before but the finishing diverged to the mean. On top of that, while they conceded 9 more goals, it’s worth remembering that VVD played in a game where they conceded 7 of those (against villa). Their xGA only increased by 6 but follows the unfortunate downward pattern.
So onto this season, it’s difficult to say if the new CB signing will help arrest this decline or if they can find their way back to previous levels. But take the game on Saturday and it doesn’t bode well, as they had an xGA vs Norwich of 1.6. On another day they could have conceded 2, and only 5 teams in the league had a higher level of xGA (Norwich wasn’t even one of those teams!). Of course it’s early days and only one game in, so no conclusions yet, but they’re already giving up chances at a higher rate than the previous three seasons.
Naturally leagues aren’t won or lost on expected goals scored or conceded, and I really don’t want to see Liverpool fans needlessly panicking. But these stats are arguably an underlying reflection of a general pattern of decline so maybe there’s a valid reason to panic (Klopp out?). Let’s wait and see if they can buck the trend – here’s hoping not.
Garey Vance, MUFC
Now Barcelona are interesting…
Bit of a curveball here after the opening weekend of the Premier League, but anyone else more excited to watch Barcelona this year now that Messi is gone? Amazing player, blah blah, but really after keeping the club hostage about his new contract, it feels like the he was holding the club back for the last five years, and I don’t mean just financially. Since Xavi and Puyol have departed, it didn’t feel like the club had proper leadership on the pitch. Messi being captain always felt like a requirement because of his ability rather than his personality. Top managers and top players always had to cede the stage to Messi. It was always about him rather than Barca. Now with Pedri and Ansu Fati, they have two genuine young stars they can start to market and bring to centre stage without Messi’s shadow looming.
Time for Barca and Messi to move on. Football fans shouldn’t be talking about the club’s debt burden and mismanagement at a corporate level, we should be talking about performances on the pitch. That feels like it was missing the last five years from Barca and I for one can’t wait to watch the new breed of Barca stars.
Sum Ting Wong
The woodwork does not move
Can commentators please, please, please stop saying that the crossbar/post saved a shot from scoring. They didn’t. They don’t move. The shot/deflection was off target. Not by much, maybe, but off target nonetheless. If it had been on target, then it would have gone into the goal.
While Barry Fox is rightly getting torn apart for his claim that this is the most exciting time to be a Spurs fan in living memory, his most delusional claim has to be that the half time queues were solved by the bottom up pint taps.
These work fine for the first 10 minutes but once they get dirty they end up pouring a 1/4 pint (if you’re lucky), an entire pint of foam or nothing at all. These were so bad that despite being in the south stand with ‘the longest bar in Europe’, we managed to miss the only goal of the game after queuing for 25 mins for a drink.
He is right about the ground being full though, beyond a few cup games against lower league opposition I haven’t been to a single game that wasn’t packed. I’m fairly sure people just make these things up now under the assumption nobody will bother to check.