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Ron B

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  1. From ‘The great hope of English football’ to ‘A poor man’s Karen Brady’ https://www.goal.com/en/news/restart-from-scratch-if-we-cannot-finish-the-premier-league/1w84dx2r0z7d213bxkvjnkr99k
  2. “The name’s Oxlade-Chamberlain. Alexander Mark David Oxlade-Chamberlain. Licence to... hang on, where’s he gone?”
  3. I like Wilson. He skilful, intelligent, and can score goals. I also think he’s not quite good enough and will leave in the summer. If I were to go out on a limb, I’d say that in three or four years he’ll be a top Premier League player, and various people will bemoan why we ever let him go. But he won’t reach that standard sitting on our bench, and he won’t get off our bench by staying at his current level.
  4. Ron B

    Daniel Sturridge - 2020

    What’s the verdict here on his worldwide ban being extended on appeal by the FA? Ostensibly it looks harsh but I’m open to being put right...
  5. The other day I stumbled upon a video interview with Tony Warner - as you do - where he spoke at some length about Stan Collymore. It turns out (surprise!) that Stan was a prize prick. He tried bullying Warner when they were room mates. He also attacked Warner from behind by hitting him with a chair at dinner. The most favourable conclusion you could come away with was probably “Well, at least it wasn’t only women who Stan liked to knock about.” Anyway, when all that is said, Karius is just a bit of a tool who had a bad game at the worst possible time. I’m more than happy with the keepers we have now, and I have no desire for Karius to return. But I’d rather save my real vitriol for the likes of Collymore - not just a waster on the field, but a nasty bully off the pitch too. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=1GkIsh6hNUw
  6. Ron B

    Football opinion amnesty thread

    Not sure this one needs an amnesty. Threw a strop when he didn’t get the manager’s job in ‘85 (I can’t remember whether the board made the right call then), refused to call Dalglish ‘Boss,’, came across as a complete tool in that Graham Taylor documentary, highlight of his management career seems to have been ‘Laid the groundwork for Bruce Ricoh’ which is hardly one for the ages. Maybe he gets some small kudos for contributing to that season when City had around 15 managers.
  7. Ron B

    Man City - the new bitters?

    For me the nightmare scenario for them is perhaps if they appeal, only manage to drag the process out for another 12 months whilst the lawyers argue the toss, and the ban instead gets imposed for 2021-22 and 2022-23. The indecision will drag out that much longer, and their every dealing for the next six to 12 months will take place with the will-it-won’t-it looming, and then for another two years during the ban. Lovely stuff. According to transfermarkt.com Silva and Bravo are out of contract this summer - Bravo is no great loss, and every City fan is convinced that Phil Foden will instantly replace Silva (that’s why he’s barely played a minute of first team football this season - the best way he can prepare for regular first team football is to play virtually no first team football). In the summer of 2021 it will be Aguero, Fernandinho and Sane who are out of contract. They definitely won’t worry about the prospect of all three leaving for free in the space of a few weeks. And 12 months after that it will be just the three central defenders (Stones, Otamendi, and Garcia). The prospect of them losing all those players for nothing, and still having another year without European football to come, would be lovely stuff.
  8. Ron B

    Man City - the new bitters?

    Agree up to a point, but the best way to encourage youngsters to come/stay is the give them opportunities in the first team - and not just when it’s cup line-ups which are almost entirely made up of kids. Trent’s breakthrough is obviously a big deal on that score, and if Curtis can do the same then there’s a clear pathway for young players to break into the side. Obviously they have to be exceptional to make it, but even those a level below that (Harry Wilson, Ryan Kent, Camacho, and about two-thirds of Bournemouth’s squad) are brought up to become good players and we don’t act like dicks when we cut them loose. However if they want to be dicks then they can fuck off and play for Fiorentina’s under-19 squad.
  9. Ron B

    Man City - the new bitters?

    Good point by Brennan about Stones on Twitter - definitely too early to judge. He was the world’s second most expensive defender and has only been there three-and-a-half years.
  10. £22.5m for Rojo - and presumably picking up his reported £160,000-per-week wages? Bold.
  11. Agree, depending on how broad your definition of a top side is. He’d struggle to be more than a squad player for us, Real, Barca, City or PSG, and he’s not pulling up any trees at Bayern. The sides below that level I think he’d largely be a key player, depending on the managers and the rest of their personnel. Chelsea and Man Utd he could be the star man, but I don’t think he’s a Mourinho player and Arsenal are ridiculously top heavy with attackers already. Equally, just about anyone in Italy would be delighted to have him.
  12. This, plus McManaman utterly threw himself into life at Madrid. He was one their stars before they went into Galactico mode; when the club changed he reinvented himself; when he didn’t make the World Cup squad in 2002 you had some of the world’s best players making incredulous statements about it to the media; when he started getting squeezed out of the side he buckled down and fought for his place rather than immediately quit. Above all, McManaman left Anfield for something new and completely embraced that something new. Fair do’s, it’s just a shame that we didn’t get the cash we might have wanted for him - although Fowler’s (first) autobiography makes the case that the club messed him about - I don’t think that Owen was ever in any doubt that the club wanted him to stay and they spent a lot of time and effort trying to make that happen. I can’t hate Owen for failing to embrace or succeed in Spain, but there’s a large chunk of schadenfreude after he thought he was bigger than Liverpool only to find that leaving was the beginning of the end of his career.
  13. My favourite bit: “Our recruitment process focuses on analysis and selection of players over the course of a season, with a view to the following summer transfer window. It just highlights how (relatively) short-term they are. Take the Suarez signing by us - we’d been scouting him since Rafa’s time, and Hodgson had been to watch him in person. There’s nothing wrong with honing in on your immediate targets, but the signings under The Goblin so far have a distinct reek of “He had a good World Cup, let’s scout him for a year,” or “Everyone says that Palace lad looks good, but we’d better scout him for a year just to be on the safe side. No, I hadn’t heard of him before now either.”
  14. Ron B

    John W Henry

    Appoint a good manager; Provide him with the necessary backing (not just financially, but behind-the-scenes personnel, infrastructure, etc); Know when to be patient with a manager and when to be ruthless; Don't treat owning the club as an excuse to have a public ego trip; Don't leach vast sums of cash out of the club. I’m sure that somebody else will have some additional requirements of a club’s owners, but those seem like the top five to me. FSG have ticked all of those boxes - and better still, they’ve got better at fulfilling those criteria as time has gone by. I don't really care whether or not owners are committed fans before they took over. I don’t think anybody doubts that Moores was a fan, but FSG have been far more successful owners and not by chance.