Hello readers! This is a feature we probably should have started a while ago, but better late than never, right? We’ll do these weekly, and we each try to answer a separate you propose. You can always drop mailbag questions, either in the comments or on the blog’s account. Without further ado…the first edition of the EDIZD Mailbag!
Q: Is even a day with blizzard-like conditions and record snowfall still Zlatan Day?
A: Yes. Of course. Sometimes our Lord Zlatan wants it to snow.–Jeremy
Q: What’s the worst gameplan you’ve ever seen a manager enact?
A: There have been many managerial blunders throughout football, but for me, the job Ossie Ardiles did at Tottenham in 1994 was the worst one.
Tottenham Hotspur began that season with the heaviest punishment ever handed out to an English club. As punishment for financial irregularities committed under the club’s previous owners during the 1980s, they were fined £600,000 and were deducted 12 league points as well as being banned from the 1994-95 FA Cup.
In response, Ardiles decided that the best way to climb up the table would be to score goals – lots of goals. To accomplish that, he adopted a 4-1-5 formation, which even video games have decided are a faux pas.
He stuck with the formation until November 1, when after allowing 33 goals in 15 games, he was fired by chairman Alan Sugar after a 3-0 loss to Notts County in the League Cup.
Since then, Tottenham have become known for having decent players who never achieve anything.–Ahmad
Q: Why are Everton bad?
A: Now under normal circumstances, a Liverpool fan answering this question will get major scoff. Fortunately This Liverpool fan is very much of the self loathing department so there’s no worries of a lack of objectivity. Everton have been bad this season. Very bad in fact if you compare to the exploits of what’s happened last season. Injuries have hampered the club through long stretches, Sylvain Distin has aged and Lukaku and Barkley haven’t been the same spark plugs as they were last season. Oh and the whole “you must pass your way out of trouble” idea isn’t exactly selling like hotcakes this season.
And we haven’t even mentioned America’s Secretary of defense in Tim Howard. Tim Howard has been a really good goalkeeper for a long time and in a position as volatile as goalkeeping, that’s a big achievement. His play this season has been erratic, but in a way unexpected. It’s true that Everton have the lowest SV% in the league this year but that’s mostly come as a result of the regression of Howard’s ability to save shots deep inside the penalty area. I’ll let Max Odenheimer explain (note: the data used in this was from January 10,2015):
Last season, Howard was able to save 60% (21 of 35) of the shots he faced in and around the six-yard box. The rest of the league saved those shots at a 48% clip. That’s either superhuman, the aberration of a small sample or something in between. This season Howard has saved 38% (8 of 21) of those same shots. Feel free to draw your own conclusions.
Welcome back. So Everton are more or less the same team defensively as they were last season though Gareth Barry has lost a step or two and Tim Howard just isn’t having a freak statistical season to cover it up. Their attack has been at times almost too much of what Roberto Martinez idealizes, which is the smooth passing tempo. Everton have a considerable amount of talent, but this season from hell hasn’t been too much an outlier despite the talent on hand.–Moe
Q: If (When) Harry Kane leaves Spurs this summer, where would you most like to see him transfer?
A: I’d like to see him go to Manchester City, because it would give me the chance to reel off a bunch of Citizen Kane puns. Plus, City will need a new third striker once Džeko/Jovetić leaves.
(I kid! I kid! Partially!)
I can’t see Kane leaving this summer. Spurs just tied him down to a new deal, he’s really young, and while he’s been outstanding this season, he doesn’t have much of a track record. The Real Madrid whispers are completely unfounded, so don’t worry about that. Although, an eventual move to Arsenal would be fun because…he has history there.–Jeremy
Q: Why does LVG continue to use horrible formations and use ADM up top when he’s clearly not comfortable?
A: Two headed answer!
First part, and the less fun one, is that Louie inherited this team. Both good and bad. The fact of the matter is, despite his unbelievable finishing thus far this year, the offense for United is stifled when Robin Van Persie is roaming up top alone or with Rooney/Falcao. There’s no threat of pace. Quite the opposite really, Robin can’t move. It’s why the team creates so few chances with him in the game. Thankfully for the United faithful he’s putting them in.
So Louie tries to compromise. His tactics are in the need of an Arjen Robben presence, and unfortunately for Di Maria he fits the billing more than anyone else on the squad. Which is why it was so shocking for some to see United go through the window without picking up a striker who is a threat running down the field. Di Maria isn’t Robben, and that has been the crux of United’s problems with the tactics they’re trying to run.
As for that second part… and the more fun one! LVG continues to run the tactics — I’d call it a formation but there’s been a mix of formations both in the WC and for United — he made famous at the World Cup because he’s LVG. He’s the tactical mastermind who made the three-in-the back systems trendy again. He’s the one who made Holland over achieved. AND HE’LL BE DAMNED if he let’s a bunch of English ninnies boss him around and dictate what formation he’ll use.
LVG is a very smart manager, his resume says it for him. And he’s inherited a team that’s far from perfect or even a resembling a cohesive unit. And he’s done well with them! But he sure can be hard headed as well, and that’s a major reason why Di Maria is seen up top and his creation of a formation will be ran into the ground the season regardless of result.–Cole