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1 minute ago, Atomiswave said:

Spurs only 3pts behind us......man we fucked up badly earlier. We gave away too many pts, too many.

Villa look like shit without Grealish

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If Spurs beat United they have the easiest games remaining. Quite worrying if we are honest here.

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3 minutes ago, DDA said:

If Spurs beat United they have the easiest games remaining. Quite worrying if we are honest here.

They still gotta go to Everton, Leeds and Leicester, TBF.

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Man, we have a pretty brutal run in as well. West Ham, Arse, and Leicester all in a row I think. Plus a couple of teams that may be super desperate for points to stay up. Sprinkle in some massive cup games and CL and I’m not sure we’re anywhere near favorites for top 4. 

We 100% have to win those top 4 head to heads and also not pull a typical Chelsea in between and drop silly points to sides like WBA, Fulham, or Villa.

It would be pretty inexcusable to miss out on top 4 to a Liverpool side who have been without a starting CB for months and went on a historically poor run, a Leicester side who have also been ravaged by injury to some of their best players, West Ham who have maybe 1 player who makes our starting XI, and fucking Mourinho and his horrific football carried by 2 players. 

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1 hour ago, DDA said:

If Spurs beat United they have the easiest games remaining. Quite worrying if we are honest here.

what is their 9th EPL game left? I only see 8, and 8 takes them to 37


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51 minutes ago, Laylabelle said:

There's definitely 9 there lol...4 in April..5 in May

one is the carabao cup final

april 25th versus citeh

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10 minutes ago, Vesper said:

one is the carabao cup final

april 25th versus citeh

Ooo did wonder..how did they get there?!

It's Southampton..was meant to be weekend just gone but changed.

Edited by Laylabelle
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2 weeks off until the full madness begins. 

If I speak from my mind, I don't think we will end up with any trophies this season given the opposition who are still in the competitions and top 4 may even be a huge struggle from this point.

If I go with my heart, we can end this season with a top 4 position and 1 of 2 trophies. 

If we somehow manage to pull the later off.. it would be with alot of luck and great determination.

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3 minutes ago, Laylabelle said:

Ooo did wonder..how did they get there?!

It's Southampton..was meant to be weekend just gone but changed.

oki, so the I see 3, maybe 4 loses for them

out of the 9

call it 3 loses and a draw

so 11 points dropped

64 points end of the season

we have  great shot at over 70

I think we end up between 70 and 75

gun to my head, 73 (draw to Leicester, loss to Citeh)

71 if 2 draws  and a loss  (loss to Citeh)

72 if two losses and no draws

even if Spuds only lose twice and no draws, they are on 70


4th place for us I think

meaning we REALLY cannot have Pool win the CL and Arse win the EL

as we will be fucked

only 5 EPL teams can go to the CL

so Pool and Arse would go, along with Leicester, Manure and Citeh

so all in for Real Madrid and Slavia Praha

if Pool bear RM, then we can eliminate them ourselves

and if Arse beat Slavia

then we have to hope that one of the other 6 EL teams (Manure, arfff, do NOT want Ole winning a trophy, but odds are in his favour he wins the EL), Roma, Ajax, Dinamo Zagreb, Villarreal, or Granada takes out Arse along the way (all that only matters if Pool win the CL, which I cannot see happening)


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The Fiver

Reducing the chance of having his own ego massaged this season


Manchester United
camera.png Ain’t nothin’ but an ego thing. Photograph: Ash Donelon/Manchester United/Getty Images
Barry Glendenning

Barry Glendenning


When Ole Gunnar Solskjær mused aloud last week that winning cup competitions is sometimes “more of an ego thing from other managers and clubs to finally win something”, The Fiver was at a complete loss to know who on earth he might have been talking about. While it was almost certainly a total coincidence that the Manchester United manager was speaking before Tottenham’s comedy exit from Big Vase but ahead of their appearance in the Sickly Sweet Caffeine Drink final, the Norwegian drastically reduced the chances of having his own ego massaged this season by masterminding Manchester United’s emphatic defeat by Leicester in the FA Cup quarter-finals.

Mindful of the fact that his employers hold the competition in such high regard that they immediately sacked the last manager to win it for them, Solskjær elected to leave his Portuguese Get Out of Jail Card on the bench, only introducing him after his Brazilian Accident Waiting To Happen happened twice. It was too late to stop Kelechi Iheanacho further riffing on Manchester United’s pain, prompting him to once again offer thanks to the man above before scaring the bejaysus out of TV viewers across the land with an impromptu roar of “COME ON!” at the end of his post-match pow-wow.

Leicester last appeared in an FA Cup semi-final 32 years ago and will play Southampton, who swatted aside a knack-ravaged Bournemouth with a minimum of fuss to earn their place in the FA Cup tombola. Having ordered a pint of whatever Iheanacho was having, Nathan Redmond channeled his inner Leo Messi to score two beauties and create another. “If we would know this, then we would change it, that’s for sure because we need a Reddy that we have seen today,” said Ralph Hasenhüttl, upon being asked why sightings of Redmond in full flow are rarer than those of Halley’s comet. “I always think about a very sensible player who is not always 100% convinced about his qualities and I think this is what we have to do.”

Southampton and Leicester both owe Dion Dublin a pint for keeping them away from Manchester City and Chelsea, who will contest the other semi-final. By their own lofty standards, City made heavyish weather of beating an Everton side whose manager had no complaints about the exit. “I am satisfied because we were beaten by the best team in the world – they are the best,” gushed Carlo Ancelotti, whose own team are currently eighth best in England but now free to focus on reclaiming their rightful place of seventh.

Chelsea, meanwhile, advanced at the expense of Sheffield United, despite not having it all their own way against the soon to be relegated side. In mentioning this match, most daily football emails worth their salt would aim towards the open goal that was David McGoldrick’s scarcely credible miss, but we’re not sure our own fragile ego could survive the hammer blow of emulating the Blades’ striker and somehow putting our effort wide.


“Édouard Mendy will stay because he has an operation on his tooth. He needs to see the dentist because it needs to be done. It’s why we do it now” – Chelsea boss Tommy T makes a trip to the dentist sound even scarier than our monthly toenail-clipping session with Granny Fiver as he confirms toothache has led to his goalkeeper skipping Senegal’s Afcon qualifiers.

Édouard Mendy
camera.png Édouard Mendy displays his soon-to-be worked on gnashers. Photograph: Dave Shopland/IPS/Shutterstock


21 January 2018: “The scary thing is that a large % of people now actually support these sackings as they’ve become accustomed to it … How can you build a football team without getting 2-3 years. A rule change is required to moderate sackings of managers mid season in their first year at a club” – Gary Neville says clubs can’t achieve anything if you don’t give managers time.

22 March 2021: “Salford City Football Club has parted company with Richie Wellens by mutual consent. We would like to thank Richie for his time and efforts at the club and wish him well for the future” – following a Gary Neville-led inquest into the club’s poor form, Salford City mutually consent Richie Wellens through the door marked Do One after just 122 days in the job.


Max Rushden and the pod squad invite your ears for a date with Football Weekly!


“I am quite sanguine, I’ve had a vaccination, my children are back in school and Brighton have even picked up a couple of points. So, if you don’t print this letter pointing out that an anagram of Martin Ødegaard is Rita Armageddøn it won’t be the end of the world” – Tony Crawford.

“I too dwell in the land of soccer and am informed, with authority, that the woof god (Friday’s Fiver letters) is not at all malignant but is in fact warm and snuggly. Rather like a border collie” – Peter Harper.

Send your letters to [email protected]. And you can always tweet The Fiver via @guardian_sport. Today’s winner of our prizeless letter o’the day is … Tony Crawford.


The BBC and Sky have agreed a three-year, £24m deal to broadcast WSL matches from the 2021-22 season. “It is a landmark moment for the women’s game,” cheered FA director Kelly Simmons.

Expect Borussia Mönchengladbach’s dressing room to be filled with the sound of hipster bands from June onwards after Xabi Alonso inked a deal to replace Marco Rose as manager.

Xabi Alonso
camera.png Xabi Alonso: Bayern boss by 2023? Photograph: Christof Stache/AFP/Getty Images

Fred has become the fifth Manchester United player to be racially abused online after his error in Manchester United’s FA Cup quarter-final defeat to Leicester. Meanwhile, police in Scotland are investigating alleged online racial abuse of Alfredo Morelos.

The Confederation of African Football has turfed Chad out of the remainder of the Cup of Nations qualifiers after accusing the government of sticking its oar into football affairs.

Mikel Arteta has praised Martin Ødegaard’s intelligence and influence after Arsenal’s comeback at West Ham. “When everyone was a little trembling he gave us that stability and that composure on the ball and he created chance after chance,” gushed the manager. Hopefully Real Madrid weren’t watching.

And Lucas Moura insists the Tottenham players are all behind José Mourinho even if a lot of the fans don’t seem to be. “We believe in the coach. We believe in the coach because we know his history,” the Brazilian parped.


RIP Peter Lorimer, a Leeds legend who had dynamite in his boots.

Tributes to former Leeds United legend Peter Lorimer at Elland Road.
camera.png Tributes to Peter Lorimer at Elland Road. Photograph: George Wood/Getty Images

The new WSL broadcast deal is the perfect riposte to the ‘no one cares’ brigade, writes Suzanne Wrack.

Youri Tielemans does everything and that makes him a very good midfielder indeed, so says Barney Ronay.

Ten talking points from the Premier League, WSL, Old Firm and FA Cup because we like to cover our bases.

Juve’s decline is not all Andrea Pirlo’s fault, says Nicky Bandini.

Sid Lowe on Bono and that goal for Sevilla will be appearing here soon.

Goal-guzzling Erling Haaland’s patience is wearing thin at misfiring Dortmund, reckons Andy Brassell.

PSG produced their best Pochettino-era display to go top of Ligue Urrrrrrrn, according to Adam White and Eric Devin.

And Spurs’ win against Villa got José Mourinho back to basics … for now, writes Paul Doyle.

Oh, and if it’s your thing … you can follow Big Website on Big Social FaceSpace. And INSTACHAT, TOO!


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The Fiver

Newcastle United shuffling Walking Dead-style towards the abyss


Steve Bruce takes in Newcastle’s shambolic defeat at Brighton.
camera.png Steve Bruce takes in Newcastle’s shambolic defeat at Brighton. Photograph: Getty Images
Barry Glendenning

Barry Glendenning


Say what you like about Steve Bruce but the Newcastle manager is no quitter. True, there was that time he quit Sheffield United to join Huddersfield. And the time after that he quit Plucky Little Wigan to join Crystal Palace, a club he would later quit to join Birmingham City. He almost quit them to join Newcastle, only to stay for a bit longer before quitting to return to Wigan. He went on to quit them for a second time to take over at Sunderland, who fired him before he quit his next job at Hull City and went to Aston Villa. They eventually sacked him too and he accepted the manager’s post at Sheffield Wednesday, a job he would eventually quit to take over at Newcastle.

Given his record of resigning from seven of the 10 previous jobs he has held in a management career spanning more than 20 years, Newcastle fans could be forgiven for hoping he might throw them a bone by making it eight walkouts from 11. Having originally greeted his appointment with disdain on the grounds he was unlikely to deliver the kind of Total Football they marvelled in during the reign of his predecessor Rafa Benítez, they have now reached a point where they are collectively frothing at the mouth over his continued presence as their team shuffles Walking Dead-style towards the abyss.

It is probably important at this juncture to point out that, never having met Bruce, The Fiver is not one of his apparently countless “media mates” that Newcastle fans obsess over as they bristle in the face of suggestions from the punditocracy that by wanting to see their football team win matches every now and again they are in some way entitled and have preposterously unrealistic expectations.

Currently unable to barrack their manager from the seats of St James’ Park for obvious reasons and having long been insufficiently organised to mount a protest worthy of the name back in the days when public dissent on British streets was still allowed, Newcastle fans have had to rely on voicing their disquiet through the always effective medium of raging on social media disgraces and paint-daubed bedsheets. Their pleas for Bruce to go have fallen on deaf ears and it has now emerged that the manager celebrated his recent vote of confidence by giving his players most of the international break off. While critics have suggested Bruce knows the jig is up and is actually trying to get himself fired so he can trouser a multimillion-pound payoff, given how poorly his side has performed in the wake of regular training sessions, a holiday could be exactly what his players need.


“We stood there, looking at each other, eye to eye. He was talking to me and his eyes never left mine, but he must have flicked the ball up 47 times. He flicked it up and caught it behind him on his neck, down the back of his neck, hoofed it over his back and caught it on his foot, something I could never do if I played forever. I thought, ‘How do you give him a telling-off when he’s doing that?’” – the late Ian Greaves describing an attempt to give Frank Worthington a rollocking during their time at Huddersfield. Worthington, the maverick’s maverick, has died aged 72.

Frank Worthington at Leicester.
camera.png Frank Worthington at Leicester. Photograph: PA


“Ralph Hasenhüttl will have searched for the answer to many mysterious questions as Southampton manager this season, but Nathan Redmond’s undoubted ability, combined with his ability to nearly produce the goods when it matters, is something that has vexed us fans since Ralph took over too. Clearly a confidence player, perhaps Redmond would have his self-belief restored for the rest of the season if his manager were to show him certain football tea-time emails (yesterday’s Fiver) that compare him – almost unbelievably, certainly conveniently – to the greatest player of all time” – Tim Miller.

“If you’re going to allow anagrams (yesterday’s Fiver letters), I would just like to point out that an anagram of Weird Uncle Fiver is cruel viewfinder. It kind of sums up your whole raison d’etre” – Steve Burton.

Send your letters to [email protected]. And you can always tweet The Fiver via @guardian_sport. Today’s winner of our prizeless letter o’the day is … Tim Miller.


It’s a Football Weekly special: climate crisis and the beautiful game.


Here’s David Squires with his tinfoil hat on … football conspiracy theories.

Mmm, Quavers.
camera.png Mmm, Quavers. Illustration: David Squires/The Guardian


Liverpool’s Thiago Alcântara has been discussing the difficulties of Covid football. “You lack the boost fans give you in the final moments of matches,” he said. “There’s also the fact you can do very little every day around the city. You go from home to training to training at home and get into a cycle where that’s all you do.”

Former footballer Gareth Bale plans to return to Real Madrid at the end of his loan deal with Spurs.

Cesare Prandelli’s second spell as Fiorentina coach is over after an underwhelming five-month tenure. “I came to give 100% but as soon as I had the feeling this was no longer possible, for the good of all I decided to step back,” he sighed. “I am aware that my coaching career can end here, but I have no regrets and I do not want any.”

A dismal run of form has prompted Bayer Leverkusen to fire boss Peter Bosz. “Our team has fallen into the same pattern over and over again,” sniffed club suit Rudi Völler. “We didn’t manage to put an end to the constant mistakes and get back on the road to success.”

Stephen Glass has hot-footed from Atlanta to take over as manager at former club Aberdeen, with Queen’s Celtic captain and sub-zero hero Scott Brown the favourite to be his assistant.

Gary Bowyer will be the latest manager to enjoy the long-term support of the Salford City board after succeeding Richie Wellens as manager.

And Cameroon will be without Eric Choupo-Moting for their upcoming Afcon qualifiers after their FA reportedly emailed news of his call-up to the wrong address.


The furore around Glen Kamara shows how racists can keep getting away with abuse, writes Jonathan Liew.

Glen Kamara and Slavia Prague’s Ondrej Kudela.
camera.png Glen Kamara and Slavia Prague’s Ondrej Kudela. Photograph: Andrew Milligan/PA

Heard the one about the former Ipswich coach who is working miracles in the Cayman Islands? You have now.

And Jason Humphreys assesses whether Germany can say farewell to Joachim Löw by winning Euro 2020.

Oh, and if it’s your thing … you can follow Big Website on Big Social FaceSpace. And INSTACHAT, TOO!


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That fucking neck block still infuriates me. How can these useless refs not register that was a stonewall pen? You are watching that shit in slowmo and on replay and you still get it wrong? Bent is bent....thats is the answer.

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The Fiver

Dreams of Qatar 2022: the stampede to get there is on


All roads lead to Qatar.
camera.png All roads lead to Qatar. Photograph: Handout/Getty Images for Qatar 2022

Scott Murray


In 607 days’ time, pandemic allowing, the 22nd edition of the World Cup will begin in Qatar. A month-long celebration of transparency, love and the dignity of labour for which The Fiver cannot wait. It will in some respects be a unique experience, the first to be held in the Arab world and the first not to be played in May, June or July. However, in other ways expect more of the same: a few goals will fly in during the group stage, everyone gets giddy with excitement and rushes on to the internet to disagree aggressively with anyone who doesn’t proclaim it to be the Best World Cup Ever, then after the fact folk reluctantly admit that it wasn’t anywhere near as good as 1954, 1970 or 1982, how could it be? Oh, and Lionel Messi will underperform. Shoo-ins, the lot.

It’ll be where you’ll find the in-crowd, and so the stampede to get there is on. A couple of confederations have been running their qualification competitions for a while already, so we know we won’t be seeing the likes of Guam, Chinese Taipei or Bangladesh, while the hopes of Nepal, Mongolia and Bolivia hang by a thread. But no dreams are yet to be extinguished in Europe, where qualification begins on Wednesday! Are England embarking on another campaign that will whisk them all the way to the last four? Could Scotland qualify for the first time since 1998? Will the Republic O’Ireland do a goal? Call us crazy, but anything is possible.

O’Ireland go to Belgrade hoping to take something off Serbia, though that may prove a tall order given eight of their regular starters are out and they’ll be forced to play a 19-year-old who can’t currently get a game for Bournemouth in goal. Still, Luxembourg are up next, so there’s that. Though if they face a tough start, that’s nothing on their Welsh counterparts, who begin what in theory is the toughest challenge in All Football: a trip to face the world’s No 1 team on their own patch. Not an ideal opener for a country that hasn’t qualified since 1958.

Wales go to Belgium, who haven’t lost a competitive match at home for 11 years, and Rob Page’s men could be forgiven for writing off the entire caper as a textbook exercise in futility. That’d be The Fiver’s inclination, but Wales are made of stronger stuff, and go into the game with genuine hope, not least because they’re on a four-game unbeaten run against the Belgians, the most recent meeting being that quarter-final at Euro 2016. More Robson-Kanuesque magic, please! “We know it’s going to be difficult but we’re going to give everything to get a result,” tooted Gareth Bale. “We want to take this opportunity to qualify.” Fans will be heartened to hear their star man speak with such determination, because Bale is notorious for looking like he wishes to be somewhere else – Madrid while at Spurs, the golf course while at Madrid, Madrid while back at Spurs – and he usually gets exactly what he wants. Qatar ahoy!


“Not bad for five training sessions and one pre-season friendly” – the Highland League’s Brora Rangers remain deadpan after a sensational 2-1 Scottish Cup win over 2019 and 2020 finalists Hearts in the second round. There were dressing-room scenes, of course.

@brorarangers the troooooops ❤❤ pic.twitter.com/eiM206o3Xc

— Cammy (@craig_cam) March 23, 2021


“I never write these sorts of letters, but a combination of Tim Miller’s praise of Nathan Redmond, plus the tribute to Frank Worthington in his Leicester strip (yesterday’s Fiver), prompted me. Sorry! My father, a lifelong Leicester fan, took me to my first match in 1971 at Stamford Bridge, where I saw Manchester United beat Chelsea 2-1. My main memory, however, was of John Fitzpatrick passing across goal, albeit outside the penalty area, towards Tony Dunne. Alan Hudson intercepted, whacking it past Alex Stepney. This goal prompted my mild-mannered father to chunter on for some time about how you should never pass across the goal. Of course the current United team now make it a badge of honour to do that virtually every game, as close to the six-yard box as possible, and indeed conceded again just last weekend because they seem to not have mastered some obvious truths. My father’s heart, god bless him, would not have survived the current United approach, although he would have been gratified by Fred’s generosity. He died just before the season Leicester won the Premier League and I like to imagine it was not just Nigel Pearson who was an absent influence on their success. A whole fallow lifetime of support meant my father was always going to do something about that once he got past the pearly gates” – Neil Wells.

“Playing right-back for Walford Boys Club, I was, one Sunday in Scotland, tasked with marking Peter Lorimer in a charity football match. Neither of us felt like running around too much; he was nearly 50 and I was still smoking 30 B&H a day, so we had plenty of time to chat. He came across as a warmhearted and friendly man, who spent most of the afternoon trying not to humiliate me, which considering we lost 13-0 was quite an achievement. RIP” – Chris McHallem.

Send your letters to [email protected]. And you can always tweet The Fiver via @guardian_sport. Today’s winner of our prizeless letter o’the day is … Neil Wells.


Manchester City’s run of nine straight wins came crashing to a halt in Women’s Big Cup as Barcelona gave them a 3-0 schooling in the first leg of their quarter-final. “I think we can turn this around,” spluttered boss Gareth Taylor, while looking for inspiration in this match report.

City players after the 3-0 loss in Monza.
camera.png City players after the 3-0 loss in Monza. Photograph: Getty Images

City, meanwhile, will install more than 5,500 rail seats in preparation for a possible utopian future when fans not only go to games again – but also stand safely at them.

Slavia Prague’s Ondrej Kudela is expected to be questioned over accusations of racist abuse against Glen Kamara if he returns to the UK for their tie against Arsenal.

Marcus Rashford has vowed to reach the 390,000 vulnerable children in the UK who have never owned a book. “[It’s] time for that to change,” he said. “I want this escapism for all children. Not just those that can afford it.”

Xabi Alonso has apparently not agreed to become Gladbach boss next season despite, erm, Monday’s Fiver claiming otherwise.

And Egyptian painter Islam Battah is putting his supposed likeness to Lionel Messi to good use by entertaining kids at an orphanage. “When I started growing my beard, my friends told me that I look like Messi,” he honked. “When I grew my beard even more, the resemblance was clearer. The kids’ happiness is indescribable. When you make someone happy, God rewards you. I wanted to share this with them.”

Not Lionel Messi, earlier.
camera.png Not Lionel Messi, earlier. Photograph: Sherif Fahmy/Reuters


England might have an array of whizzy attackers but their hopes of finally lifting a shiny pot in the near-future rest in defence, reckons Barney Ronay.

Martin Laurence picks 10 players who could throw a spanner in the England works.

Ryan Giggs is the elephant in the room for Wales, reports Ben Fisher.

Having been short-changed in 2019-20 and with bigger concerns on their minds, will fans remain generous when stumping up for season tickets, asks Ewan Murray.

Which footballers have played alongside both Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi? The Knowledge answers this burning question and more.

Frank Worthington was a pure entertainer on and off the pitch, writes Simon Burton in this lovely piece.

Frank Worthington in full Elvis garb.
camera.png Frank Worthington in full Elvis garb. Photograph: ANL/Rex/Shutterstock

Oh, and if it’s your thing … you can follow Big Website on Big Social FaceSpace. And INSTACHAT, TOO!


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FFP officially binned, uefa knew once city forced their way out of punishment they had to bin it.

Edited by Atomiswave
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21 hours ago, NikkiCFC said:

He basically admitted that he was just using Spurs to be match fit for EURO.

Tbf, who would want to be there for Jose's upcoming meltdown year?

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