Game's Gone

By Patrick Surlis

Hall of Shame

#11・
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Hall of Shame
By Patrick Surlis • Issue #11 • View online
We took a break from Game’s Gone last week, what with the Tottenham game on Wednesday.
But we’re back.
Kind of.
As Saints were off last weekend too, it’s just a mini-newsletter for us today…

Hall of Fame
The increasing Americanisation of our sport may have been partly halted by the recent collapse of the Super League but it resumed on Monday with the first inductees into the Premier League Hall of Fame.
I’m actually a big fan of American sports, particularly the NFL.
Now, the Super League was pure nonsense as we hopefully articulated on our recent pod.
But there are certain things I’d be more than happy for football to borrow from the US.
The concept of a Hall of Fame wasn’t particularly high on that list but it’s certainly good pub talk.
And by that I mean good pub garden talk, you know, to have over a freezing pint of Heineken in 6 degrees Celsius.
Our very own Matt Le Tissier was not one of the initial inductees - Alan Shearer and Thierry Henry, can’t argue with that - but he’s on the 23-man shortlist for the next batch, of which six will be selected.
Unfortunately, this is where our Hall of Fame falls flat on its arse.
The US version is done properly. A selection committee made of the nation’s top journalists debates and decides who is worthy of inclusion.
These journos take their responsibility extremely seriously.
We’re talking white-smoke-in-the-Sistine-Chapel-serious. They are choosing new Popes.
You may disagree with their picks, but the discussion is rigorous and it’s undertaken by impartial observers who have watched hundreds, if not thousands, of games across all teams.
We, the esteemed Premier League, are settling things…
…via a fan vote.
Honestly, what is the point?
It’s nailed-on to be a popularity contest with players who turned out for Man Utd, Liverpool and Arsenal ushered in at the expense of the rest.
Just look at the 23-man shortlist.
Tony Adams, David Beckham, Dennis Bergkamp, Sol Campbell, Eric Cantona, Andrew Cole, Ashley Cole, Didier Drogba, Les Ferdinand, Rio Ferdinand, Robbie Fowler, Steven Gerrard, Roy Keane, Frank Lampard, Matt Le Tissier, Michael Owen, Peter Schmeichel, Paul Scholes, John Terry, Robin van Persie, Nemanja Vidic, Patrick Viera, Ian Wright.
Les Ferdinand and Matt Le Tiss - the only two on the shortlist that you could argue did their best work outside a top-six club.
The rest is just Arsenal, Man Utd, Arsenal, Arsenal, Man Utd, Man Utd, Chelsea, Chelsea, etc, etc.
Teams that won trophies. Incredibly boring.
There will be some element of a mysterious ‘awards panel’ who assist the fan vote, somehow.
That’s not very clear on the Premier League’s Hall of Fame website.
But the fact fans are involved at all makes the whole thing pointless.
They’ll just vote for their team’s players.
Which makes it unlikely Le Tiss will be taking his rightful place in the Hall.
So, for that reason, I’m out.
Salisu's report card
OWTS contributor Ben Thompson is back with his sixth column for Game’s Gone…
Ben is a Saints fan who is currently studying at the University of Edinburgh.
You can follow him on Twitter here.
I was a tad nervous in the summer when we only made one signing. In the end Walcott and Diallo did arrive.
Three signings, not bad given the pandemic.
For Mohammed Salisu to arrive so much earlier should have been a good sign.
It wasn’t a snap decision after priority targets moved elsewhere.
He was injured too. It was a clear statement that he was Saints’ No.1 defensive target.
He’d only played one season at Real Valladolid, but that’s 31 games, 30 starts for a mid-table team in LaLiga.
And at 20 years old.
So it’s been a shame to see his debut season interrupted so often by injury.
That did make it all the more exciting when he stepped out for his first against Wolves in the FA Cup.
Despite some highly questionable commentary - *cough cough* Steve McManaman – he had a decent outing.
His mistakes were largely saved by recoveries. Not an outstanding performance, by any means, but an encouraging one.
Since then, results have been poor.
He’s been thrown in at a tough time for the team, and he’s not starting. Not really one of the ones to blame.
In the league, Salisu wins 1.99 tackles per 90. Much more than our other backup centre back – Jack Stephens at 1.08.
Couple that with the Ghanaian’s 3.38 interceptions per 90 and you’ve got a promising left-footed defender to give Ralph another option off the bench, and for the future.
Allowing Salisu to be third choice is giving him opportunity to show what he can do without much pressure.
But the time is coming where he needs a run, and in his proper position at centre-half.
Not as makeshift cover on the left.
His stats have proved why we signed him and I’m sure he’s got much more to give.
Up next
Friday, April 30th, 8pm
  • Leicester (h), Premier League, Sky Sports
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Patrick Surlis

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