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Pickford histrionics not helping Everton. Nor is Lampard…



Frank Lampard showed himself to be a worse coach than Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, so the Mailbox isn’t surprised to see Everton in a mess.

Get your views in to theeditor@football365.com


The point of Pickford
Simple question – apart from shouting, pointing and letting in goals, what does he do?

Robbie Mustoe summed it up for me on the NBC broadcast here in the US – “Pickford’s … comical dive”. Pickford set up his wall and his defense and still the ball is sailing over his head into the top corner and right away he’s into his pantomime beating the ground and shouting. From the first minute he was screaming at his defenders, beating his badge, holding his head, pointing at everyone. Looking a lot like Joe Hart, actually.

If I were an Everton defender I’d invite that man into a dark alley and invite him to STFU.

If I were Frank, my first order of business would be to invite him into my office, tell him to STFU (until I make you captain; never) and ask him to improve his own game.

Glass houses/Stones. Making your kit muddy might impress your Mam, but not anyone else.

Not a Pickford fan
Steve, Los Angeles


Give it Big Dunc
I don’t feel sorry for Everton, infact, if they do end up going down, I’ll probably say, “they got what they deserve”. Just because Ancelotti left, doesn’t equate to making dumb hiring decisions. What business head case chose to hire Benitez? I wonder if that same guy, chose Lampard. I will not go down the Benitez hiring lane, anyone who has watched football for the last 20 years understands the conflict of interest. Frank Lampard.

Frank Lampard lost his job because he couldn’t organise his 200 million assembled squad. His team had just spent more on the squad than every other team in Europe. But, and this is important, his team were below Ole Solskjaer’s team. Now we all agree, Ole was not good at coaching, so much so that I don’t think he gets a job offer in the EPL. Which then begs the question, Ole was better than Lampard at managing, Ole can’t get a job, how is it that Lampard got the Everton job?

I’m not hating on a man getting his money, but it seems some of these clubs are just taking the piss.
Dave (I’d hate for Everton to go down, but then…), Somewhere


Alisson among the Premier League winners and losers


Best of two terrible options
Question for Man United fans: which enemy do you prefer win the title?

If I had to guess, a pretty substantial majority would, without even having to narrow it down to 2 teams, generally answer with something along the lines of “not Liverpool” (maybe not?). But how many more (hypothetical) titles for the blue side in the next decade before your city rival becomes more provocative? Does such a threshold even exist as long as you have more leagues than them?

For example, in the NBA if the Clippers (this is ludicrous to think even hypothetically) somehow won 10 championships in the next 20 years, I might have to reconsider the whole “Celtics are the archenemy” thing just given the proximity.
MAW, LA Gooner


Calling out Qatar
I’m a relatively keen student of history Shz. I know the evils of the British empire, and the troubles our penchant for drawing straight lines on maps continue to cause. But if we’re going to adopt the policy that only the citizens of countries with unblemished, pure and innocent histories can criticise or call out the behaviour of others, then the world will fall silent. No country is pure. No country is innocent. Because countries are full of people. And people, well we’re not often great are we?

There are over 70 million people in Great Britain. Are we all equally guilty of our governments’ foreign policy? A million people marched against the Iraq war for instance. Do they share the same blame as those that took the decision? Are they not allowed to say how horrible and criminal it was because they happened to be born in the country that perpetrated it?

Ultimately, it’s fairly silly to tar millions of people with the same brush. In the same way it’s silly to talk of Man Utd fans or Liverpool fans as being all of one mind or opinion.

I’ve never enslaved someone, though I understand that part of the privileges I enjoy were built on the blood of that trade. But to suggest I should not condemn modern day slavery, because I was born in a country that once traded in slaves, seems to allow regimes like Qatar a free pass. And condemns me for the crimes of my grandfathers. I’m not sure that’s entirely helpful.


…Of all the imbecilic arguments written in the F365 mailbox over the years, shz’s note wins first prize. It is impressive just how many misapprehensions can be squeezed into one letter. Let’s take them one at a time.

1. The paternalist attitude of “the last thousand or so years” must have been news to the English when they were being subjugated as second class citizens under Viking and Norman rule. For most of the last millenia, Britain has been a global backwater.

2. The British monarchy has not “wreaked havoc all around the world” for the simple reason that they were ceremonial monarchs during the Colonial Period. The current Queen praised during the National Anthem actually reigned over decolonization, signaling to the British public that peacefully restoring sovereignty was a good thing.

3. While Britain has episodes of shame in its past, that is true of all countries, including some of the centres of anti-British sentiment, such as Ireland (who slave raided off the British coast) or the Arab world (who conquered and raped across the Middle East and Africa). But the idea that people in 2022 should not be able to speak out for morality because of stuff done by dead people before living memory is ridiculous. Oh, and William Wilberforce is far more celebrated than any slaveholder recognized by a barely noticed statue.

4. Britain has no “shameful present”. No-one is perfect, but the UK is one of the most democratic, tolerant societies in the world, which is exactly the reason so many people want to move there. The country is also a leader in the anti-slavery movement, in international development funds and in protecting countries like Ukraine and Kuwait from having their land annexed by others. There have of course been foreign policy mistakes in recent decades, but even these were taken against brutal dictators with far worse regimes than those the UK attempted to setup to replace them.

5. The UK is not occupying anyone. From the Falklands or Northern Ireland, British territory outside Britain is based on the democratic consent of the populations living there. The UK also has signed international treaties that would release British territory if a democratic vote went agaisnt them – something few other countries would do.

6. Poppies do not “celebrate” soldiers or war, but commemorate the fallen. The symbolism comes from a poem by an anti-war poet regarding a war which Britain entered to protect a small, neutral country attacked from foreign aggression.

In short, I suggest those attacking the UK read some history books before engaging in Anglophobic false equivalency. Qatar is indeed bad, and British people should absolutely protest.

…Re Shz and his long letter about the tyranny of England.

Most of what you say is historically correct. And england have been the villains all over the world and if it wasn’t for the strength of the pound we probably wouldn’t be welcome anywhere.

But the difference between England and Qatar is England are not murdering people speaking out against its government now, today.

England are not sentencing people to death for the heinous crime of falling in love with someone of the same gender, now, today.

England are not employing a litany of migrant slave workers to build its palaces while simultaneously condeming said workers to an early grave through callous disregard for their safety and well being at work, now. Today.

I keep hearing this excuse from people that england did these things in the past…that doesn’t excuse anyone doing it NOW. The idea is that the world is supposed to learn from Englands (admittedly awful) mistakes and move forward as a species. Instead I see people using England’s errors as justification to make to exact same errors and harm even more people. That is a pretty indefensible position to take.

I’m no British patriot, I despise the way foreigners are viewed by the political and news media establishments here and I think the constant smears and lies about immigrants are a disgrace. I don’t refer to our armed forces (or any for that matter) as heroes and I do not watch England games (mostly because national football is slow and sh*t) but even as a skeptical non patriot person of this country I can say with confidence that it is a better, safer, more free country to reside than Qatar because the culture of some middle Eastern nations is a culture that we decided decades ago was archaic and cruel and made illegal.

We can criticise Qatar. British history does not make any British person a hypocrite for doing so.

…Dear Shz. Firstly, that’s a really large packet of McCain’s on your shoulder there mate. Secondly, I’m fairly confident that Monday morning’s mailbox will have readers providing far better responses to your rant than I could put together. Even so, I thought you might find the following quotes of interest:

“Never, and by this I mean never, criticize the English weather. Especially if you’re an alien. For an English woman, it’s as though you are scolding her firstborn child. For an Englishman, it’s as if you are criticizing the size of his penis. Or even worse: his football team.” Angela Kiss. Author.

“Being an England supporter is like being the over-optimistic parents of the fat kid on sports day.” John Bishop. Comedian.

“The English are not a very spiritual people, so they invented cricket to give them some idea of eternity.” George Bernard Shaw.

“The tearoom lady called me love. All the shop ladies called me love and most of the men called me mate. I hadn’t been here (In England) twelve hours and already they loved me.” Bill Bryson. Writer.

Shz, we might be a bit boring, and we dearly love to moan or form a queue at the slightest need but, at the end of the day, we aren’t all that bad. There are far, far worse nations out there.
Mark (Peace to you and yours) MCFC.


Spurs, Arsenal in a class of their own
Alex Keble wrote in his Spurs v Newcastle preview that Levy hadn’t realised ‘how little separated Spurs from the Premier League’s other middle class clubs’ when he sacked the overachieving Pochettino. Sorry, but even if you ignore the Poch era completely spurs had finished between 4th and 6th for 5 straight seasons before that, and have far greater financial power than anyone outside the top 6. The truth is there is a top 4, then spurs and arsenal, then the middle class. Finishing top 4 is huge for the north London clubs but more to keep in touch with the teams above than because failing to do so would make them move down
Phil, London


Celebrate the brilliant
From your tweet today about the West Ham free kick:

“How can your first instinct when watching that free-kick be ‘Keeper should have done better really’?”

This kind of punditry happens all the f**king time. Never an appraisal and appreciation of the attacking move/technique, always a laboured criticism of the defence/individuals who the goal was against.

I think it’s a historical habit within football broadcasting borne of having so many ex-players who played in defensive positions on the punditry panel, along with the broadcaster’s desire to make “incident” the starting point of their discussion.

It’s annoying, anti-football and it should change. Goals are brilliant, it’s a key part of why we watch football. They often happen because of skill and talent that cannot be stopped and nobody on the other team is at fault. Celebrate that brilliance, ffs.
Stu, Twickenham


Takeaways from the weekend
1. England’s WC draw. OH, look! How easy it’ll be! (Sigh) We’ll be going out in the group stage, won’t we?

2. Man United v Leicester City. No need for 16 conclusions here. Just one. And I’m not being in the slightest bit snarky when I say it. This was two mid-table teams playing out a drab mid-table match.

3. The eternal question. Have Tottenham finally turned a corner with their 5-1 thrashing of the ‘Toon or are they just being Spursy again?

Don’t mind admitting that I was quite worried before the Burnley game. (I’m an old City fan. Pessimism comes with the territory). In the end though, something of a breeze. What worries me is the goal difference between City and Liverpool. I wrote in a couple of weeks ago that the PL title would go down to the wire and I still think so. But on Saturday City seemed happy to conserve energy after going two-nil up whereas previously we would’ve gone on to put more past such a team. No disrespect to Burnley meant in any way btw. But I do wonder if the GD may yet bite us on the arse eight games from now.
Mark (Chelsea v Brentford. Seriously?). MCFC.

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