Wright is wrong about AFCON, PL’s Ross and Rachel and more mails…

 Is Ian Wright wrong about the AFCON? Are Jurgen Klopp and Sean Dyche the Ross and Rachel of the Premier League?

Let’s have your mails to theeditor@football365.com… 


Wright is wrong
I just read that Wright and Vieira are claiming that any criticism of AFCON is akin to racism. The reality is that it is nothing to do with racism. I respect their pushing to ensure racism is eliminated from football – as it has a long way to go – but putting up straw man arguments about AFCON is only going to detract.

Wright says we had no problem with the EUROs being played across Europe during a pandemic. Well, I recall a ton of objection to the fact it was played in so many countries as it made it difficult for fans and was unfair to some teams that incurred significant travel. Having said that, a quick look at a map would show Europe fits into a part of Northern Africa. The games were great quality but no one said it was a great idea or loved it being played across Europe.

So why do people have disdain for AFCON?

It is played every two years. It seems we hear about it non stop. Something for FIFA to ponder on as it proposes playing the World Cup every two years – the frequency decreases the value.

While playing competitive games more frequently should make their FIFA coefficients go up, African nations still do not rank high. The top ranked nation is Senegal at 20, with the Northern nations Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia coming in at 28,29 and 30 respectively. This indicates these teams are not that strong – no matter how poor the ranking system – reflected in the quality of football.

This is reflected in the fact that a list of competitive club leagues has the South African league in at 32, just above English League Two. English League One is at 30 and the Championship at 11.

20 African nations have competed at the World Cups in the 2000’s. 15 have been knocked out in the first round, 3 made it to round two and 2 to a QF where they got knocked out. None made it knot R2 during the last World Cup and the last WF appearance was in 2010.

The reality is that while we see some great players come out of Africa, bribery and corruption is rife and exacerbated by FIFA vying for votes. Money that should go to improve grassroots football is skimmed off for delegates swimming pools over playing fields or coaches or referees. How often have we seen national teams refusing to play because they are not paid?

So no Wrighty, it’s not racism but the fact the higher quality football in European leagues is disrupted to play a biennial tournament of lower quality that could be played at the end of the season like other tournaments.

Wright would be better served by focusing on getting more funds to the grassroots and battling the corruption that prevents it. Think about it. Why are 4 of the top nations in Africa from Northern Africa (Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and Egypt)? Because there is less corruption.

I wish the players who go over well. It is always an honour to play for your country and they are bigger heroes as a result. But it doesn’t mean they could be served better, without conflict, without being pawns in some African delegates push for grift.
Paul McDevitt


PL’s Ross and Rachel
When are Jurgen Klopp and Sean Dyche going to take this very public sexual tension it to the next level? It’s the football romance we all need right now!
John, Shropshire


A Christmas tale+
It turns out the Pogba was inside McTominay all long.
Thomas, MUFC


Are Man Utd only one player away?
To Badwolf, adding one CDM will not make United an excellent side. It will make huge difference to the way they play but this side needs a lot of work and adding one player will not change it overnight. As a Liverpool fan I can tell you that. Rangnick is a great appointment but will make a few mistakes and hopefully learn from them too. It is important to give him time to modernize the structure at the club, even if they do not win anything for a few seasons…
Dushyant Jamwal, LFC, Dubai

Tainted title?
As a Manchester City fan I’m constantly reminded that all our titles are achieved by some kind of oil based, 80 man squad cheat code as opposed to having the best team of local lads done good playing for the love of the shirt which characterises every other title winning team in recent memory. So one more tainted title to add to our growing collection of tainted titles is more than welcome seeing as no other team seems to want it.

Of course it helps when after half a season our competitors have already given up but that’s obviously our fault as well by taking maximum advantage of Financial Foul Play and investing our income back into the squad which hopefully one day might feature a specialist left back and a recognised striker which may push our squad size to the insanely huge and unfair 20 players all of who presumably have some kind of taint as well.

Wishing everyone all the best for 2022 and that we all find peace with our own accomplishments without feeling the need to denigrate others.
Richard (listening to Tainted Love by Soft Cell)


People’s collective memory is short. Never stops being interesting seeing that in action though.

A “new” topic of conversation seems to be how terrible it is that City’s money has directly lead to a situation where a team is out of the running for the league if they lose 4 or 5 games. This conversation is being lead by a lot of actual football journalists; people paid literal money to write about football.

I can understand Pool fans getting cranky I guess but Chelsea fans and journalists really should stop moaning.

Does anyone remember Jose Mourinho? Does anyone remember what it took to win the league in the 4 or 5 years after his arrival? As a United fan, I can remember thinking they were out of the race if they lost twice!

The money City’s owners throw around comes from the labour of actual slaves. Pep bobs about the place with his Nina Simone shirt while at the same time giving full-throated aggrandising quotes about a monarch that get used in real propaganda comms that are designed to make him look like something other than a sociopath. None of that changes the fact they are brilliant at what they do. (John Terry was an out and out cunt and he was still the best central defender in the premier league for a decade. Incidentally, he recently bought his wife an NFT and bragged about it on twitter so he’s still a cunt but we now know he’s also dull and stupid)

City’s resources moved them up a level but they didn’t become dominant until Pep because you need to know how to use those resources. Chelsea have never had the sustained dominance they enjoyed under Mourinho since he left. I think United have spent more than anyone since Ferguson left and have basically nothing to show for it.

Respect Pep and try and remember the fact football has been around beyond the past 2 years, especially if you get fucking paid to know that.
Eamonn, Dublin


Chelsea loss
Excited to see Will Ford’s article on which Chelsea academy graduates are going to cover the £145m annual loss.

In case he needs a start, how about this from the Guardian: “Chelsea’s accounts state they are “reliant on Fordstam Limited for its continued financial support”. The company is owned by Roman Abramovich, and has indicated it will continue to support the club “for the foreseeable future”.

Happy New Year, everyone.
Will, LFC


Kane explained
James would like to know why Kane was offside and for Martin Atkinson as VAR to appear on TV to explain. Should be an easy one for him, as even I can explain it!!

Kane’s shirtsleeve was beyond the furthest back point of the last Soton defender, as the two lines draen on the picture clearly demonstrated. There, simple.

If you want more detail: the shirtsleeve is considered the point from which an offside is judged because so many people moaned about “armpit offsides”, that they changed the laws so that this particular part of the shirt where the PL badge or another sponsorship logo are (for Spurs, it’s Cinch, for Arsenal Visit Rwanda) is considered “the shoulder” and thus a valid part of the body with which to score a goal.

That you appear unwilling to accept that this is the way the law is written is kind of immaterial. I would assume this is because you’ve grown up with the concept that players can be “level” and thus advantage given to the attacker.

This interpretation made sense when asking humans to look in two places at once; but now we can use technology and a freeze frame, the likelihood of two people being identically level is incredibly small. One person is highly likely to have a small part of their body either the right or wrong side of the other player. So you’re never going to get “level” ever again would be my assumption; without creating a faux sense, such as using thicker lines that might occassionally overlap… But even with this, the Kane line didn’t overlap Bedranek’s. He was in front. He was offside. Simple.

Oh, and before you ask – Foden was onside because his shirtsleeve was the correct side of the last defender’s further back body part. It was inconsistent use of VAR, it was correct application on both instances, it’s just one player had gone too far, and one times his run/pass perfectly!!
Paul (Spurs), T.Wells


Some musings
I have a few responses to some of the mails that have been coming through. First, Klopp and Tuchel complaining about the Christmas schedule. Now, assuming something is naive, but if you watch football, you know the epl plays games through the Christmas period.I’m no football coach, but I know when others take a Christmas break, the epl keeps playing. So it’s quite surprising to hear Tuchel complain about fixture congestion. It’s clearly disingenuous from Klopp. He has done this for 5+ years. How is this now an issue? It’s not surprising that this has come after dropped points. The Christmas schedule is one thing that sets the league apart, and as other leagues wither away, it’s bizarre that newcomers from those struggling leagues want to change the fabric of the strongest league. To hear Klopp counting games just makes what Fergie achieved incredible. Maybe the Bundesliga would want to copy from the epl, and not take a break, the idea being, mimic the strongest to get stronger. I hope the epl don’t take these 2 seriously, file it under consideration but hopefully don’t remove the Christmas period fixtures.

The second point was Johnny Nick on Punditry. I hate them, all of them, so I developed a 2 pronged strategy. 1. Start watching the game 15 minutes late. When it gets to half time, fast forward 15 minutes and the second half will be right on time. 2. Do something that you have been putting off when the pundits are on. Fix a bulb, take a shower, run around the block, wrote to f365. All things that can be done fairly quickly and in time to get back to the game.

Third one is injury, from Jonty9. I don’t know if he has ever been hit or injured, but I’ll tell him this, sometimes there is a sharp pain, which subsides gradually. Just because an individual is able to get up and run a few minutes after looking incapacitated, doesn’t mean they weren’t in pain a few minutes before. Sometimes the sharp pain goes away and only soreness remains, other times, the injury is severe that the pain remains. To suggest that a team should be undermanned and compromised because of a head injury is ridiculous. If the worry is concussion, the team should be allowed a free substitution, which can be reversed if the player is ok.
Dave(Is Brendan Rogers the leading English manager?), Somewhere

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