Checkbook Conte has to go. March too. And Sancho is on his last chance at Man Utd…


The Mailbox reacts to the Prem weekend by calling for the heads of Antonio Conte and Jesse Marsch. The sacking of a manager certainly seems to have worked for Villa.

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Midfield misery
Quick transition from an opposition error…long ball over Salah…1-0

Salah ricocheted off a defender for a corner. Van Dijk goes up… 2-0

In the alternate universe (e.g. Ancelotti/Real Madrid/Champions League) the opposition don’t play a suicidal high line and give Salah freedom from Liverpool (Hi Pep), they set up a low block with a few fast guys hanging around waiting to pounce on Salah and prepare for the dead ball assault.

It’s been happening for a few years, and it’s pretty simple. Liverpool have no creativity in midfield – just runners and blockers. Henderson manages a goal every year or so, Thiago has always had laughable goal/assist/key stats, Fabinho has the occasional flare in him, and that’s about it. Compared to, for example, Man City (De Bruyne, Silva, Gungodan, Foden, etc.) – it’s like night and day. Same even for ManU and Arsenal. Even Chelsea and Spurs occasionally score from midfield.

Liverpool don’t score or create from midfield. They are a one trick pony and now they are in transition. Maybe Harvey Elliott can be that creative guy, but right now he seems more focused on winning those all-important free-kicks from 40 yards out.

Bellingham can’t come fast enough.
Matthew (ITFC)

Last chance saloon for Sancho
Great result and made even sweeter by the way we ripped it off at the end. Casemiro’s passion is glorious to behold and that roar in the crowd while celebrating was paramount! I think we were well worth the bare minimum point and maybe even 3.

It’s been a very promising start to the season in many ways (improving defense, phasing in the Ten Hags system, getting points from the games we lost last season) but one lingering disappointment that remains is Sancho. I’ve defended him fiercely since he signed, but now resign myself to the fact that maybe it’s not meant to be. There’s just no drive or belief in his game and he doesn’t seem to have the type of personality to come out on top in games.

And I don’t want to hear a word about his age. Haaland, who is the same age, is certainly a freak, but even if you look at other clubs, Kulusevski arrived mid-season last year and got off to a flying start. Diogo Jota was just under a year older than Sancho when he joined Liverpool and his impact there was immense. Age is an excuse we like to throw around to protect players. If you’re good enough, you’re old enough.

The truth is that I think Sancho has the rest of this season to prove he has what it takes to be a key player. And he has to be, because we all know he’s talented and that’s why we spent a lot of money on him. But if he doesn’t have the personality to turn that talent into the end product and start influencing games on a regular basis, he needs to be traded at the end of the season before his profile and subsequently market value plummets. His end product just isn’t good enough for a player of his talents and the resources that have been invested in bringing him to the club.
Addy, Brisbane

Marsch has to go
I write this after leaving home with Leeds 2-1 up at Fulham.

Jesse Marsch has only been in the job for 10 months, but I hate to say it – he has to go.

No wins in eight, leaky goals and no clear system other than switching players every game. He was backed – 5 new senior players for the loss of two and I don’t think we missed Philips (we did miss Raphinha though).

It’s like Bielsa’s ball but much worse. The Chelsea game feels like a fever dream now, even though we truly played the best we’ve had for about 18 months. He seems distraught (what does the American mean “fackin run around a bit”?).

I hate firing managers, but it’s a form of relegation and all of Bielsa’s solid work has been undone. Going down would be disastrous for our team.

Nuno would be my replacement. The Spurs job was too much for him but his Wolves teams were still strong and I would settle for mid-range football. What do other Leeds fans think?

Oh, and F365, you were right. Not an apology more than an acknowledgment.
To M

Read more: Leeds’ shaky defense brings Marsch to the brink of farewell to Elland Road

Thoughts from Arsenal
Well, we didn’t lose. But if Arsenal are serious about trying their luck against City, they have to be much better than this. I realize it’s not exactly terrible to be 2 points clear at the top of the table but games against Southampton are the kind to win if you want to challenge and keep City at arm’s length for as long as possible.

If you can’t win, don’t lose, and in fairness, we did.

My main concern is to score goals. We managed, but we really need a good goalscorer. Jesus is not that man. He’s really good for the team and works hard, but he’s just not going to get us more than 20 league goals.

Neither did Eddie. I don’t care how many people say they give it a chance. He’s not good enough for a top PL team. I doubt he will get more than 5 league goals by the end of the season. I appreciate that he comes off the bench a lot, but when he does the idea is that he scores, or at least looks like a threat.

Partey was a bit in pants today too. Too much given the ball. Granite though, wow! Where does this form come from?

It was a little too slow and flippant today, but given our recent excellent form, that can’t really be considered too bad. Just a small missed opportunity.

However, I realize that it makes me look sour and/or spoiled and it’s not. We are leading the league on merit. We’re miles ahead of where I thought we’d be, so thanks to the whole club for that. It’s a good time to be an Arsenal fan. No doubt about it.

We won’t win the league, but the top 4 looks very possible. We do, however, need a striker in the January window. The problem is who?

This guy from Haarland looks good. Cheeky offer in January?
Stu, realistic gooner in France.

Tale out
Nothing about Antonio Conte should come as a surprise now. He continually demands more money, more money, more money, despite the players he has recruited and the system he has chosen not to work. A midfielder from Hojberg, Bentancur and Bissouma not creative enough. Who would have thought.

I honestly think he gets more out of his job spending other people’s money than earning stuff.

Whoever employs Conte next had better be prepared to be constantly told to spend more money “for sure”. I think the only club that would put up with his petulance and financial demands is PSG. I would give this relationship a maximum of 4 months.
Will, London

Read more: Spurs are caught in a storm of their own making against a gritty Newcastle

Hot on Spurs
It’s the first time I’ve been really angry with Spurs in this second half. How badly do we need an Eriksen guy?

Also, no, Wilson’s goal was not a foul. Hugo was wrong.
Jon (chest), Lincoln

…I just spent a miserable 45 minutes watching the Newcastle players roll on the grass, Joelinton being the worst of the lot. Prayers and thoughts – what a soldier to somehow recover from all those grievous injuries. What a total shame it is, Podence’s tampering levels.

No idea who this referee was but so so naive. Why do they all have to wait for the keeper to waste time until their fourth or fifth goal kick which takes a minute, rather than booking them the first time? Nick Pope sprinting late in the game last season after cheating for Burnley was a huge highlight – he certainly takes over the role of Ben Foster.

Final whine – it’s just ridiculous that paying fans can’t see VAR incidents on screen – it seemed obvious to a whole stand that Wilson brought his weight back into Lloris to block him at the time, but I have to wait to go home to see him again?? What was this handball VAR thing all about – was it so obvious it was a block??

Dave (Levy out, Conte in. This back 5 is abysmal and it requires a massive investment – it’s to Conte’s incredible credit that we’re almost competitive), Winchester Spurs

To do
To adapt Phill Neville’s old chant:
“If Eric Dier plays for England, so do I.”

The triumvirate of mediocrity:
Dier, Mount and Sterling.
It’s going to be funny in Qatar.
The gift.

Villa according to Gérard
I really enjoyed that. What a victory and what a way to play.

Inevitably there will be discussions about where these players have been all season and why they haven’t played for SG. The answer is simple, he didn’t play this team and he didn’t play this formation. The 4-2-3-1 is very different from the 4-3-3.

Super John McGinn needed to be eliminated and SG didn’t have the cojones to do it. McGinn will be back in action and playing well, but he was being played in the wrong position and struggling. It looks like SG didn’t trust themselves to make this decision.

Anyway, until next time.


Wish granted
I loved reading Ryan’s Sunday Morning Letter in which he asks for consistency and somehow suggests United won’t be punished for being biased by the FA.

It would be funny if it weren’t for the fact that the FA accused Manchester United of the same offense less than a week ago.
Kim Johannesen (it doesn’t matter which team you support)


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