There’s a ticking time bomb in the world of football. Well, actually two ticking time bombs…ah hell, they’re not ticking anymore. They’ve gone off and we don’t even realize it yet.

We have known about them for a while. Years regarding one, and just six months with the other, and they’ve been played down to varying degrees. Singly, football might have been able to survive, but with both problems bubbling away I don’t think the season is going to finish and more important, I don’t think a lot of teams are going to survive.

The two turning points are COVID-19 showing up in the West Ham team and Lewis Kinsella having to crowdfund so his team, Aldershot, could afford to have his knee fixed. Are lower league teams so tight that they can’t afford health and injury insurance for their player?

I was aghast at the fact that a lower-league team didn’t have COVID-19 testing and it resulted in forfeiture for one of them in the Carabao Cup third round as the whole team tested positive. Why didn’t the National Health Service cover their costs for testing? £5,000!!! Cup games are where a good portion of the year’s revenue come from for the lower leagues. Will they survive that?

Closing down the leagues continent-wide last spring was the only path that could have been taken. Football isn’t an essential service, but in reality it provides a diversion to everyday life, so in my mind it is part of everyone’s life. This sentiment covers baseball, hockey, basketball, and American football. As an aside, the Canadian football league cancelled the season for 2020. The chances of it surviving is 50/50. This is a league that is older than all the football leagues in Europe and all the professional leagues in North America. So you can see how precarious it is for league play for all the rest.

COVID-19 will be beaten by the medical services on this planet, but with severe consequences left behind. As I write this, global deaths have surpassed 1,000,000 in just six months. Canada has just entered the second wave, and both Britain and the U.S. have been rattled heavily economy-wise: as have Europe and most of the world. But, amazingly enough, we have Messi on £700,000 a week, Bale on £600,000. Holy shit, Batman, something is out of whack when the world is reeling and paydays like that go on.

Just taking football into account, without financial help flowing down into the lower leagues football will dry up. Where else do tomorrow’s players come from but from the lower leagues? Where else will the next James Vardy come from? Or a future Jack Grealish to get senior playing time? The lower leagues are the lifeblood of every top team on the planet, regardless of the sport.

Either TV money needs to filter down to make them viable or Premier League teams need to step up and keep them solvent. What a shame Bury got gassed with no one stepping up to help. One week’s pay from an elite player would have done it.

Who do you think will step up and help this listing ship? Who in the Premier League would step up if asked? Would Sky Sports? This question has to be asked. This problem has always been there. COVID-19 has just ripped the covers off it.

I’d like to see Villa step up.

Comments 100

  1. Thanks Ian , I work in construction, today I’m working on a 7 bedroom three story country house , the builder will have to live in it soon and just make it look nice to sell will be at least £.5m. Footballers are not the only rich people. When billionaires have more say in society than society does you know somethings broke.

    COVID to me is close to fraud, sure it can kill, but as 99% of us won’t die from it don’t we wish that was true for all the real health pandemics like diabetes and cancer? Apparently no they are good payers.

    As for lower league teams I have seen in my local two teams go to paying players where they used to turn up and pay. Usually a local millionaire in a village decides to pump money into them. In the Uk we have the most teams and leagues anywhere and it hasn’t made us the world champs more than once. Maybe losing a few won’t be that bad.

    It’s a funny old world when the majority of jobs are really surplus to us just being alive. Our government are giving free education for jobs that don’t exist yet 🙂

    It’s certainly a ducked up world.

  2. Nice write up. Agree it’s not just footy. Lots of smaller businesses etc are folding but aren’t having help from bigger richer businesses. Footy does get picked on so much. But if businesses can afford to help others it would be nice if they did

  3. Frem

    You get a bit of stick on here but I’ve been thinking and think your 100 right. We do get carried away in a window with no proof what they’d be like. We are rich, it’s a buyers market and we need quality cover. All summer we have been reported to want number 8 st and lw. Make it happen!

  4. Excellent Ian
    I have noticed that there is a conversation taking place re bigger clubs helping smaller clubs during this time and for the good of the overall game I hope they do not allow any clubs to fold due to covid

    As for players who get huge wages I have never had any issue with this as football itself generates huge money and its only right that the best performers have salaries that reflect there talent ,the money would just line the pockets of the board otherwise

    The game last night really held up everything Frem keeps banging on about , lack of quality in depth …. I don’t think it is feasible for us to have 22 top notch players just yet .. if you want the likes of Benrahma on your bench you need to be in Europe …ffp will hold that possibility back otherwise … Benrahma was class last night would love him at villa

  5. Runts, I don’t have a problem with players earning wages that your ordinary Joe thinks is outrageous. But what winds me up is the greed that comes with it in some players. Just recently the Arse have been trying to offload Ozil who prefers to sit in the stand whilst refusing to accept 1p reduction to his salary. Bale preferred to play golf at Real for his weekly lottery win. We’ve had a few of these at our club, N’Zog and Dick Turpin come to mind.

    Last night we put out a very expensive team salary wise. The minimum requirement is to put in a shift. Instead we got apathy. House has great difficulty passing the ball from A to B. El Gassy wasn’t eye catching against a second string team from the second tier. Lansbury had a great chance and hit the corner flag. Traore was anonymous and we have more chance of spotting Lord Lucan than seeing Engles.

    But Ian is right, the time bomb has already exploded. I can’t see football doing much to bale out the lower leagues and prevent them from folding. The media companies who buy the TV rights should step in and insert percentages into their contracts that would be paid direct to the lower league clubs. As that can only happen at renewals, many of the famous minor clubs will disappear.

  6. Good write up IAN, covid-19 what is it scam or pandemic,we had golf gate in Ireland few weeks bad just after our government put us all on lockdown ,but as usual it was only small people had to obey, ministers meps judges all went to do ,some resigned when story broke ,but an investigation into judge wolf cleared him of wrong doing unbelievable,
    Frem keep up the work just not as frequent lad,Taylor is equal to mutton as worst pair fullbacks to grace our beautiful colours

  7. I expect at least 1 more. Has to be that lw/st type. My number 1 hope was having a new front 3 this window. if it means mcguinn dropping out and having john and ross as 2 number 8’s its all good. Need that depth. This season is hectic and will be impossible to keep playing the same 11. We need that bench stronger. Like frem says an injury to watkins would see us struggle. Lets not make the same mistake as last season

  8. Ian- Sorry mate that was my 1st thing in the morning post, got up at 5.15am drove 85 miles in torrential rain to the aforementioned Country house, I had just finished my Starbucks coffee 🙂

  9. I would like a few answers please, how second string was stokes team? they did knock wolves out previously and didn’t seem that second string to me. Ours was definitely a second string and I thought Elghazi did more than Traore.

    All in all we could of had 2-3 goals easily just didn’t put them away.

    At the end of the day you can’t make a silk purse out of a pigs ear but as its was mentioned by me and JC on the night I’ll repeat it, Those 11 players will not been seen together in the prem ever, Many will probably not make a single start or sub appearance.

    So stop pissing your pants about not enough quality, we didn’t have enough last season and survived, we now have more and should survive, what we will likely not do is crack the top 10 how is that a problem at this stage? or are we getting greedy?

  10. Mark, Stoke made 8 changes from their starting eleven at Preston the previous game. Assuming they play their A team for league games, we played their B team. At least substantially.

  11. we have been promised a season of not accepting relegation and having big plans.

    Selling a striker (samatta) and not replacing is madness. Did we not learn last year!

    Sounds like we may sign another if we let players leave! We lost samatta! If anything happens to watkins it will be a struggle. We have got off to a great start, but it’s against fulham & blades. This league will be bloody tough. I just want us prepared properly and no relegation worries!

  12. Yeah, Ian. Watching the fallout is hard all round.

    Can’t pretend to understand any other team’s finances when I can’t break ours down, but it’s clearly going to exact a toll on clubs who need gate receipts.

    You’d like to think there’d be a sense of common cause throughout the ranks of football and everywhere, really. The more everyone pulls together, the quicker we stop the bleeding.

  13. Plug thanks mate , at the end of the day it was our B-team, Nobody knows how many of those Stoke players will break through or play this season, the same team beat a very strong wolves line up, they are not conceding many whatever team they put out and I thought they defended very well as a team.

    One things for sure Only Davis and Traore have a chance of realistically starting games and more than likely its just Traore.

    I must admit on the night he didn’t take players on like I expected him to.

  14. MK, Plug:

    Read 8 changes, but this from the Mail’s sister publication in Stoke didn’t really shed any light on what that actually meant:

    “O’Neill made eight changes as he mixed up the selections he had been keeping separate for league and cup pre-Preston. Or, perhaps, pre-Bristol City, a game, performance and result that forced his hand and opened the door for some of those who had impressed against Wolves and Gillingham.”

    I guess he’s looking for his best XI and players are making cases.

    Thought Dean’s comments were clear and to the point: No one from last night should be knocking on his door about first-team opportunities. Felt like a friendly, gave them a rollicking at halftime.

    I kept getting interrupted, so I couldn’t really follow the game as closely as I’d have liked, but Traoré did seem to see a fair bit less of the ball than at Bristol, while Ghazi had a lot of it.

  15. H&V,

    Keep saying we’re in for at least one more. Everyone seems to be waiting for prices to come down, and they will, depending on the club.

    Assuming there’s a bit of back and forth with the two deadlines.

  16. MK,

    There was something going on in the flow of play. He was there and bypassed often in the bits I saw. I’d have to watch again to really have anything worth saying. Could be Stoke marked him as the danger man and just made it harder for us to get it to him than Ghazi, or that when he did get it, there wasn’t a lot on.

    I seem to recall one lower-angle view where he got the ball wide, and I could see four players strung out in front of him. So, who knows. Saw a lot of balls to the center played straight back instead of players turning when they had room. Overall pace of play may have been a factor.

    I will say, I did see at least one or two lovely crossfield switches from him. He is a player, and it was going to be hard for anyone to distinguish themselves given the overall lack of energy in the side.

  17. According to Smith he’s happy with what we have, if any of our players are sold then that will change. Bit of a strange one but says we are looking to offload the likes of Lansbury etc. Window between Prem teams and abroad stops 11pm Monday the efl one closes two weeks after.

    Maybe we are waiting for something and he’s keeping stum? better get that prayer mat out if you want a few more.

  18. JC yes he looks classy on the ball, I’m sure with better players he will look the part, maybe he had caught the teams pass it backwards mentality but I did expect him to run at players but saw nothing.

  19. Thanks for the comments guys.
    Regarding players who sit on their butts collecting a paycheque. It’s a two way street in some instances. Plenty a manager decides someone isn’t a player he wants in his XI. Nowhere in the contract has there ever been a performance clause. A fuck you fuck you senario can easily crop up. McCormack comes to mind. A player who was bought past his sell date. Can’t play him, got to pay him, ensuing pissing match culminating with a balky gate (hahaha) trip to Oz to work on his tan. Yep the fans were ticked but honestly, would any of you say, “Aw, fuck it Bruce i know Di Tomao bought me and i dont fit in you plans so Ill just be a ball boy for all the chips left over at game’s end.” Naw, didn’t think so.
    None of that changes the absurd prices and pay packets these guys get. The pay, really, is no different than the pay here for football, hockey, etc but its the nutty buy prices. Is there really 30 mill difference in talent between jadon sancho and jack? It’s become a vanity project for owners with money.

  20. Ian- I agree mate the fee’s are stupid now and bear no relation to a players ability outside of the team he’s currently in only how much the other team want him. He can come in for £40m do nothing for the team, get the manager sacked and still be ok. Might not be his fault or suit his style but what a waste. If I was Ozil I would say your the prats that gave me £350k a week now f off.

  21. Just a reminder of why Frems having to moan so much.

    Villa’s then sporting director Suso was replaced in June and it is to Smith’s great credit that he refuses to criticise what came before, defending the work that was done alongside chief executive Christian Purslow in the aftermath of the club’s promotion at Wembley.

    “I just think it was the circumstances when we got promoted,” he explains. “Any team that is promoted through the play-offs has the shortest time to get a squad together.

    “We were in a position where we had a lot of contracts coming to an end and we wanted to go for a younger, fresher, more energetic team. That is how we saw Aston Villa going forward so we had to make an awful lot of changes and bring in lots of players in a month.

    “For any sporting director that is tough. Suso and Christian did a very good job in the time they had, but there was always going to be an adaptation period.”

  22. Good read mark

    I thought Suso was ok tbf but think the January window was curtains for him.

    I realise we ain’t going to get a settled 22 until summer window 3 or maybe 4 but to sell samatta and leave us with Watkins and Davies is mental. That’s if we don’t sign anyone! Come on Villa at least 1 more .

    King available for 10mill apparently!!

  23. H&V- last season we had the injured Kodjia and the also injured Davis plus Wes, we now have 3 fit players that can play CF, 5 wingers 6 if you count Cash. i think we will see another player in but what I don’t know.

  24. Ian
    Thanks for the writeup.
    Football sort of reflects how things are done across the board as far as I can see, & I haven’t noticed much different except for one or two exceptions.
    In fact so far during the pandemic football hasn’t been anywhere near the worst offender, as they at least seem to be using some form of logic.

    The problem seems to be their slowness in officially recognising that there is a problem & attempting to deal with it [without being a patsy].
    With the current climate of fearing a rodgering prevailing it seems, it is a miracle that any positive action has happened so far at all.
    I mean, you only have look at the establishment permanently looking for scapegoats.
    We are sadly going to unnecessarily lose some valuable clubs, along with the grassroots being in hibernation, along with much of our cognition.

    Just reacting & shouting loudly & constantly as if one is the oracle, doesn’t change anything, it just channels those who are using the problem for just their benefit, & is 5hit.
    I was musing on how Steve Bell would draw Frem in a cartoon, then I realised that he’s already become one.

  25. H&V
    Speaking as someone who takes it all with a large pinch of salt, reacting to the current excuse for the press & is pretty pointless, & more like having consumed one’s dinner before you eat it.
    At this rate Frem will be anorexic.

    I will be interested in who we end up with, & fortunately we’ve got til Monday 5th [midday?] for the EPL & then til the 16th to & from the EFL.
    Plenty of time to panic.

    The flatness has been appearing regularly throughout the Premiership since the season resumed, & mainly seems to reflect the lack of a crowd to offset it when the shared focus goes offline, along with the extra artificialness of the whole situation, along with the new microscope.

  26. deffo was as close as you can get to two b teams last night and i am pretty sure our lot are getting paid a lot more than the opposition I am glad at least felt what he was getting is now unexceptable in a villa shirt for a lot of the players ..we will definatly have to depend on a number of the players for good periods of the season ….. thought Taylor was doing his best to have an effect and after watching Benrahma beforehand it made our guys look even more woeful

    You cant polish a turd but you can roll it in glitter so i am hoping the players that have some X-factor will have a positive effect on the less talanted ones when they get thrown into the mix

    Dean sounded more than open to letting squad players go in his sky interview today so I am guessing he gets some bids so he can free up room to increase the depth in quality …so many players out there getable that would improve us but no wiggle room , lets see if anyone likes any of our fringe players

    that all said the first team looking very good

  27. runtings
    Ah the glitter!
    Definitely a step forward from last season so far.
    I think DS & the coaching staff deserve credit for us still being in the Premiership, & they have proved themselves to a degree so far post lockdown.
    How far they can take us is not my focus, more hoping for a gentle upward slope for this season, although it looks like there will continue to be weird results until the fans return.

  28. Jota released. Good news. Makes some more room for a forward

    I imagine Lansbury next.

    Hope Taylor, Hause and Ghazi released next

    Sign a CB. LB and forward

  29. I wish Jota all the best for his future. He needs to be playing regularly and if that doesn’t happen at AVFC then move somewhere that provides that option.

    Don’t think we saw the best of him due to his hernia, but he goes with my best wishes all the same.

  30. Iang- amazing isn’t it that governments around the world are using fear tactics yet are ruled by fear themselves. Where did common sense go and real science.

    I think with the massive amount of games some teams will be forced to play, plus the no home advantage , plus the hand ball fiasco there will be some very strange results. A team built to defend and counter will do very well I think.

  31. Still absolutely desperate for more attacking quality

    We simply don’t have enough. Davis isn’t going to score. So it leaves Watkins

    Wide, we aren’t good enough. Trez and Gahzi are very poor players

    I still worry. We still aren’t balanced yet

    Go get Sarr. Go big

  32. Great article,Ian

    I share your concerns

    My son has just started playing semi-pro football for my local team Baldock Town FC

    He is a young goalkeeper- 16 years old. He starts today

    I help out on the gate to help with the COVID restrictions.

    The players will not be paid there modest salaries this year.

    I have been trying to encourage the folks in town to come down and support the team.

    There is no attendance allowed as we know at PL – Championship etc, so I would ask everyone to go and support their local side.

    You will see some super football and potential stars of the future

    Money is extremely tights and if grass roots football ceased to exist then football dies.

    Hopefully those Chelsea’s and Crystal Palace scouts will be in attendance today and my son plays a blinder. We can all live in hope

    I am truly looking forward to the game against Liverpool


    Peace and love to all

  33. Richard s

    Good luck to your son today. Lovely conditions for a gk!


    Sarr is prob out of our reach but King a no brainer surly. Covers exactly what we need

    I’m still dreaming of rashica though!.

  34. H and V. Yes he’s probably out of reach, especially with what we’ve spent. King is ideal. Covers 2 positions

    I can’t understand Smtih saying he’s happy with what we have

    We have 2 strikers.

    We have our best player out of position, because our other wingers are so bad

    We have trez who managed one assist. That’s dire and he hasn’t looked any better.

    And Ghazi who just gets worse and worse and worse and put in another shambolic display against Stoke

    He certainly shouldn’t be happy because we lack depth and quality stil

    Our bench is still week

  35. Frem- what was shambolic about elghazi? Other than didn’t finish he was one of the busiest players on our side busier than traore and created one of the best openings himself by beating 5 players. Watch the highlights.

    Still Liverpool appear to be losing players by the minute mane has the lurgy .

  36. I also wish Jota well, as he did what he could & didn’t throw a wobbler.
    He also stood up to Drinkwater in training, which was the beginning of the end for the spoiled one at Villa, thank goodness.

  37. JG- Covid has more chance than Biden, and having been in close proximity and not a very healthy chap should he be dosing himself with disinfectant.

  38. Surely we’ll also have an U23 player break through with all of the investment. Time to develop vs just buy. How much more do we take pride in seeing JJ make it vs signing someone?

  39. VillaMD I wonder what has happened to Mungo Bridge? he was touted as being our next CB coming through and made the squad last season, although that was “in the summertime” sorry couldn’t help it 🙂

  40. You guys have to stop using acronyms and initials. They’ve always been a pain for me. I do my nut trying to figure out who it is you’re talking about then feel like an idiot when i find out.

  41. Mark

    Team for countering and defending well. Sounds a lot like Martin o Neil footy! Just for once I’d like to see a team ok in possession. Able to boss a game and keep the ball for more then 5 passes

  42. A good article Ian which echoes just how I feel on a number of points.
    The players do seem to have excessive protection. I do understand that they have a limited career, and their effectiveness can wax and wane so they may deserve more employment protection than some other careers but the balance is currently too far in their favour. In what other walk of life could a player get away with deciding he can’t be arsed to even turn up to training because his automatic gates weren’t working properly? It seems that there is no disciplinary mechanism at all for footballers and that cannot be right.

    The top teams receive huge sums of cash and must surely recognise that they rely on lower league football to nurture new players or assist their youth talent to develop through loan deals. It would be good to see them assist the lower leagues, maybe by ‘adopting’ some local lower league team(s)?

  43. Mark,
    I get why people feel that too much attention is paid to Covid and too many restrictions are being applied to our everyday lives. If you focus just on the death rate then it can seem that we’re over-reacting. There does however seem to be much online focus on the death rate as a percentage of infections and not enough on the complications rate and the infection rate and it’s the latter that’s the real problem. The number of cases reaching hospital wards is a combination of the number of infections and the proportion that lead to hospitalisation. If we let it run wild, the NHS, and more especially the staff within it, will become overwhelmed within just a few weeks and everyone else who needs hospital treatment will suffer dreadfully.
    Having experienced in a different walk of life just how draining it can be when the demands of the job are close to overwhelming you, I have huge sympathy for the NHS staff who struggled through the first wave, and must be living in dread of having to go through it all again.

  44. Belisa is unreal

    That Leeds team is absolutely bang average championship team

    Imagine what Belisa would do with our players

    I said before, how come Leeds have a word class manager. And Everton.

    It needs to be the next step for us

  45. It’s two games. Leeds will finish above us.

    Fucking Newcastle 4 shots all season on target, all scored. Bruce for you. Hate them

    St Maximum dribbling is unbelievably good

  46. Leeds can very easily be in bother in the Christmas games and end of season. The way they defend and rely on being at it all the time ain’t always going to work. Seen it with them in the champ.

  47. Now this is going to sound weird, but I don’t want us to buy a team that will get us straight into contention for the top of the league.

    I would be really happy for us to have a boring season between 10th and 15th and then progress steadily from there.

    Man City fans had the excitement of the huge spend and quickly contending for the title but if you go on the blogs now they’re hurting and hating that they’re not winning every game.
    We’ve had many years of underperforming and I’m enjoying us steadily and sustainably progressing until we earn the right to play at the highest level again.
    There seems to be pleasure in progressing but less in trying to stay there.

  48. One injury and we are absolutely knackered.

    If we have to move Traore up front then we weaken the wings because Trez and Gahzi will play more, and they just aren’t good

  49. Gutted if we miss out on Rashica. Better than our wingers

    We still need attacking quality, desperately.

    There are championship players out there better than Ghaizi and Trezeguet who we should have replaced them with l, and will regret not doing so

  50. We are just one winger/ striker away from having an acceptable sqaud to get us to January

    If we don’t add one it will make a huge difference to where we could be by January. It could be the difference between being 10th or 16th,because we lack quality and have so many games to play. We canty have Trez and Gahzi playing much because they just don’t have the quality to influence games

  51. Milot Rashica had hoped that RB Leipzig would make a suitable offer before the window closes, and is rethinking his stance on Aston Villa after their good start, according to Bild

  52. Robbo- I think you’ve swallowed the propaganda whole there mate. At no point was the NHS overwhelmed, empty hospitals all around especially the ones purpose built. I know a few consultants that say its a crock of shit. Remember the 2018 flu season with people sleeping in corridors etc? those stories where exaggerated too for political gain. What we have is a complete shit show.

    By almost every metric available the rates are dropping bar unaffected people testing positive which is actually good. For the last 15 weeks flu and Pneumonia has killed 10x more that the 24th worst killer (covid). Funny that all the lockdowns etc have done nothing to stop that or would we have had 100,000 die of Flu instead if we hadn’t worn masks etc, it beggars belief.

    On top of that interventions like raising Vit D which lowers those at risks chances of dying by over 50% are ignored in the race for the golden bullet of the Vaccine (worth trillions) which will most likely will not be needed or won’t work. Metabolic disease is that the heart of this (doesn’t matter if your an athlete if you eat crap you can have metabolic disease).

    Whatever the death rate has been (mostly end of life patients) its not worth the devastation that the so called interventions have caused (suicide and death from all causes, job losses etc ) and the misery to come and further death from poverty will be horrendous world wide. The mental problems alone will be a new pandemic.

    If this is all to save a system supposedly devised to save us then the loonies have taken over.

    Pretty much every person I have spoken to want an end to it whatever the result. Old people in the Girlfriends old peoples home want to die because it isn’t worth living the few years,months, weeks they have left and have not been asked their opinion and wishes but have to sign a no resuscitation order??

    Its just smacks of incompetence and fear of finger pointing, todays real pandemic.

  53. Bowen is quality. We fucked up in January not going for him and thinking Gahzi and Trezeguet were good enough

    I can’t believe they are still here. Look what Trezeguet does through games, nothing.

    Sarr. Rashica. Benrama. King. They are all there to go snd get. So get onem and more in January

  54. Frem,
    You are not wrong. Look what Bruce is now achieving at the Toons with Wilson alongside the unpayable Maxima. They are going to be a force as the season develops.
    I would have loved Bowen in January, and we then would not have been struggling like we did.
    It is a no brainer to bring in Sarr or Benrahma before we miss out, and maybe Rico Henry or Max Aarons.
    Targett was almost a disaster against Fulham with his dire tacking, and could easily have had a second yellow. His passing and crossing is ok, but defensively he is a loose cannon.


    I am mainly in agreement with your thoughts. Covid is not being dealt with properly at all. When the Nightingale hospitals were built, they should have been used exclusively for the virus, and normal hospitals should have been covid free, continuing to carry out there normal duties, and then the picture would be very different.
    The herd immunity should be developing now, as there is no vaccine that can prevent covid, anymore than a vaccine could be invented to cure the common cold, as 15 years research proved.
    In fact the belief is that if the common cold centres had continued, we would have been able to deal far better with this virus, which is in a similar group, and different to flu.

    All we need is the public to be sensible, and follow the simple rules when in public.

  55. PP- I agree, we have become divorced from common sense and the fact people die of things.

    The test that is used is next to useless, they magnify the fragments through 36 cycles which gives a few positive off and loads of false negatives. More cycles produce more positives, If they went to the next level of x60 everyone would be positive as we all have the viral fragments. Very easy to manipulate the amount of Cycles should you want different results and there is no standard cycle amount.

    The chap that invented it got a Nobel prize and spent a lot of time arguing about the way it was being used for aids etc. Sounds conspiratorial but he died Aug 2019 just before all this began 🙂

  56. Frem- We could of should of done many things differently, water under the bridge now and may not of been possible at the time anyway. To my mind no one player was going to make much difference last season it was more complex than that, Bowen looks good this season but didn’t do much for wet spam last season. Plus he’s played well in the two games the manager hasn’t been there.

  57. Hope we go at Liverpool tomorrow tonight. Don’t just defend all game. Take a leaf out of Leeds book and have a go and get in faces

    Don’t play slow on the ball. Don’t leave Watkins isolated.

    And Barkley has to start.. Can’t start Hourihane in these games. He can’t run

  58. The top teams have been taking a licking when they play a team who puts out a 5-4-1. West Ham just did it again against Leicester.

  59. Good starting 11,bar Trez.

    Smith right to start Barkley

    Bench is so poor though. Ghaizi shouldn’t be on it

    Get Rashica in and a striker

    Also Engles is fit but not on the bench?even with Hause injured

  60. Frem-Balanced? who cares about that its about making it work, Trez is there because he works his nuts off, offers defencive cover and I think he has done well when we have played Liverpoo.

  61. Mark. He’s a forward player.

    He should be judged on assists and goals

    And he’s not very good at that

    Leave the defenders to defend

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