Declan Rice. Antony. Anthony Gordon. The Liberty Takers

Declan Rice

The punditry syndrome to be questioned, with Graeme Souness stating that Westham United’s Declan Rice is not the complete midfielder, with no creative play or goals in the locker. Rice’s game statue is the claimer as the World’s number 1 defensive midfield holding midfield player, shielding the defence from the central positions, and solidifying the team on the opposition’s counter attacks. To categorise midfield players contributing ten goals a season is not the norm alongside consistent players at a premium. Teams are set up to play across the opposition’s back line or to dink load the ball into the penalty area, that’s the modern game. The forward accurate pass over the shoulder is a low stat which cuts the creativity. Declan’s game is suited to playing across the opposition line, criticism of Rice, not on this watch to rebuff the Souness claims.

To compare Declan with Jude Bellingham, Carlos Casemiro, Bruno Fernandes, Antony, Rodrigo and Thomas Partey. Rice completes more interceptions, which gives confirmation on the defensive cover play, and commits less fouls than the above mentioned with the tackles being clean and efficient. Rice also has a higher possession stat and created chances and scores goals on a par with more minutes on the pitch, the stats bone of the Manero hits the marker, number 1, Declan Rice.


Manchester United’s Antony has been sighted as a show pony, but is the Brazilian being played out of position? A left footed player playing on the right of the forward line, opening the body gait to come on the front outside of the penalty box lines to create the angle to deliver in the main a central cross with the forward players striving to lay a boot or header on Antony flying ball come cross. To draw imaginary pitch lines on the predictable play movement with the ball is predictable. Managers play the wide players with the left footed players on the right hand of the pitch as is the case with Antony and vice versa the left side of the pitch. Most managers play this tactic, with wide players going beyond the fullbacks not the norm, the art of the dynamic winger is marginalised, being an unheard tactic pre the 1990’s. The modern match play dictates teams to play in front and across the opposition’s defensive lines and to play the ball across and through the opponent’s midfield on a creative opening being the driven forte. The tactic becomes repetitive when a team lacks a fluid tempo, energy and desire to deliver, the ball is invariably recycled back to the possession team’s defence. It can quickly become a snooze fest of the opinion that the system laid at Antony’s door does not suit the player. So would Antony adopt a more natural vibe if employed wide left, a natural left sided player who can ignite the pace for the Brazilian to become explosive to go beyond defenders with a cross or a cross shot, can go direct if the space opens up, three new alternatives which would be added to the Antony game, to utilise his quickness, capabilities and a likened skillset to task master the Ryan Giggs play of running at defenders with pace, to detail a strong free flowing movement. An adjustment to the mindst, with the training sessions laid out to work on the stride pattern becoming explosive and the physicality to change due to the demands of the role if offered to Antony. Time to hit the ground running, no time for show ponies, make the change Ten Haag.

One’s Black Book

The suck on that milked pictures of Anthony Gordon, first pumping his delight at Newcastle’s 4 to 1 thrashing of his former club Everton, sums up Gordon’s zeroed out character, classless. Gordon, the Claire Balding as known, failed to do the necessary formalities and show respect for his former club. A return to former pastures at a later date to result in a few bone crunching tackles, put some beef on Antony for one’s encounter, time is no healer on this one for the Evertonians.

The Liberty Takers

Into the crocking cockerel eye view comes Tottenham Hotspur’s chairman Daniel Levy’s nineteen year occupancy coming under fire from the club’s supporters. So does Levy wear the falsehood crown with the Spur’s cockerel spouting on top with the strings attached as viewed, can it be said that a mythical value can be attached. Of no doubt Levy has become bigger than the club you mention Spurs, you mention Levy, is it of a healthy note, no. The supporters cite Levy on a negative level with no track record of success, trophyless Spurs but can success be credited on a vernacular level. Time to span over the last decade with the club and it’s supporters to be blessed with five seasons of Champions League football, with the confirmed top four Premiership status. The other five seasons led to Spurs finishing either in the fifth or sixth slots on the ten year cycled decade, can this be termed as failure?

On the transfer pot, Levy has been heavily criticised with 876 million pounds being spent under the Daniel watchdog, a fair loaded outlay? It depends at which lens set you like to view through. The last five seasons has seen Tottenham net busted 420 million pounds on players. Does that suggest in recent times that Levy has the Spurs dining at Harrods? Are the club’s supporters justified with their gripes? Crush that grape. During Mauricio Pochettino’s reign, the Argentinian was handed a 440,000 transfer chest to counter the one billion plus new stadium build costs. Can Levy be credited for the Spurs number 1 football stadia, impressive on that count. The last incumbent, Antonio Conte, was given a large transfer kitty, splurging 237 million pounds on incoming players, there is no indicator of Levy not running a proper ship, climb on board. Can failure to land trophies crow at the managers feet? The crowed feet of the cockerel marks its stamp on that theory. So is Daniel Levy the architect behind the supporters doom and gloom propaganda for their perceived entitlement syndrome? Trophies in the cabinet to be rightly theirs, no such entitlement does not exist in football. The Tottenham supporters banner ‘The Liberty Takers’.

At Everton, owner Farhad Moshiri is entered into football’s dock for spending huge amounts of money on incoming layers to be rewarded with failure, link to article Farhad Moshiri March 2023. Over a six year spell, Everton has outlaid 750 million pounds, which averages out at 125 million pounds a season, so laid in these terms is could be termed as par for the course, that’s if we want to be pedantic. For seasons ending 2017, 2018 and 2023, 45, 80 and 70 million pounds was spent respectively, which cannot be umbrellered as big spending. Different lenses can alter the mindset, is it time to change the perception? Why not, the case has been laid bare, Levy Tottenham, Moshiri Everton.