He is one of a number of solid shouts for players that look old before their time. We also have the final words on lovely D-Beck and a rejection of end of season playoffs...
That's one opinion, but others give their thanks to the man. We also have ideas for a relegation playoff, happy memories of the season and a defence of Liverpool's campaign...
If you have anything to say on any subject, mail us at email@example.com
The Perils Of Honesty
In light of the latest Suarezgate episode, Ed CPFC argues that "it's not about retrospectively admitting your transgressions, but of not doing them in the first place". A noble thought and one that I think the majority of football fans would love to see become a reality. However, I would like to share a true story that happened many moons ago on a wet boghole of a field in rural Ireland to highlight that even honest transgressions and heroic admissions can ultimately backfire.
It was the 75th minute of the match when I came on as sub against the league's easy beats. We were around 4 or 5 up and the easy beats were mentally in the pub sipping hot whiskeys by the fire. I quickly scored 2 goals and with a minute or 2 to go I was put through against the keeper. The last defender made a valiant effort to catch me, probably because he feared frostbite if he stood still. Anyway, keeper to beat, defender couple of yards behind, one on one. Then I slid slightly in the mud, tripped myself over and went face down into the mud. Ref blows the whistle and points to the spot. Their guys couldn't have cared lass as 8-0 was just as embarrassing as 7-0. So after about 10 seconds of fierce internal debate between a hatrick or doing the right thing I decided 'you could make a real name for yourself here son', so I approached the ref calmly and said 'ref, to be honest, I tripped myself up, number 4 didn't touch me.
The ref blows his whistle a second time, indicates a free kick the other way and promptly produces a red card. The whole crowd, our supporters included, nearly pissed themselves laughing and as I trudged toward the sideline I though 'well son, you've now definitely made a name for yourself'. I'm still reminded of it 15 years later.
Mick (honesty is overrated) Dubai
Stoke Have Ruined The Cup For Everyone
Since the majority of giant killings over the years have been the result of robust defending and scoring scrappy headers, have Stoke basically ruined it for everyone? All the Premier League teams are now used to playing those type of games thanks to Tony Pulis, making it a less effective tactic for the lower league boys. I mean, the only difference between Stoke and Mansfield is that Stoke do it better with better players.
It was interesting to read Silvio's thoughts on what he'd have done better than the bestest manager of all time (TM), I don't much care about United so let's assume he is correct...oh, hang on. Beckham. I like Beckham, excellent player, fine professional. Did he ever 'fly down the wing at pace' though? He certainly ran around a lot. But at pace? My recollection of Beckham, even as a young player, was of him pushing the ball a yard in front of him and pinging in a lovely cross. Perhaps the rest of that United team were so unbelievably fast that he just looked slow in comparison?
Suarez is a genius. After being found guilty of doing a racism, pretty much anything else you do seems tame in comparison. Handball you say? Did he use the N word? No? Could've been worse then...
We Missed This One
I had the ESPN coverage of the Mansfield Liverpool game in the background and after the game I could have sworn I heard the following (or something similar) come out of John Barnes mouth in reference to the Luis Suarez incident.
"When Thierry Henry handled the ball against Ireland, nobody complained"
Now, I must have been imagining this as John either speaks to no Irish people (including the Irish team mates in his Liverpool team of the 80's), has removed from his memory the John Delaney / Sepp Blatter / 33rd team fiasco or I simply picked his comments up wrong.
Did anyone else hear this or is the lack of sleep getting to me?
Change The Rules
I have a particular bugbear about the rules of football (among many, it has to be said) that Suarez's handball perfectly exemplifies.
Why is it that a handball need to be deliberate to be an offence? Do we really want the possibility of situations like yesterday's, where non-deliberate handballs change the outcome of the game? Personally, I'd rather that the game was the result of deliberate skills with feet and head.
So my suggested rule change is this: any handball which is of any benefit to the offender's team is an indirect free kick to the opposition. Deliberate handballs would still be direct free kick and yellow card. This also takes pressure of the referees as the difficult judgement about the intentions of the player is less important.
John Yeldham, Gunner
The Bad Result Of Good Intention
There will be people grumbling that Suarez's handball came against a non-league team, that the paucity of the opposition makes it even worse. These people are not accounting for the fact the Suarez could not give a damn who the other 11 blokes on the pitch are. There are many, many criticisms you can level at Suarez but the usual 'big game bottler/flat track bully/only plays in big games/wet Tuesday night in Stoke' accusations cannot be leveled at him. He hates all his opponents equally and plays each game with a rabid need for a victory.
I mean this as a compliment. One thing that is clear about Luis is that it doesn't matter whether it is Mansfield or Madrid, Suarez will do whatever it takes to win and every win is vital, regardless of the opposition. This was evident during his other handball scandal at the World Cup. The means of the win where not important once the win had been secured. In some ways, it is an admirable trait. In an age of inflated entitlement from footballers, it is nice to see someone approach their work with such fervor. Sadly, his will to win can manifest itself in some nasty ways. I am not a fan of Suarez or some of his methods but I can recognise that it is the bad result of good intention
Kevin (it's a face I would never tire of punching)
Quite disappointed at the sale of Brady, he had good potential as a winger and looked exciting on the pre season tour - even though he played mostly left back. It's quite a concern that all United's youngsters seem to not be making the grade and being moved on, it's looking like only Michael Keane may end up sticking around.
I watched the Madrid and Barca games last night. Ronaldo scored as usual but it's no wonder, he must shoot at least twice per minute throughout the game. The one moment of humility on his part came when he tried to give Casillas the captain's armband. He played like he did against Barca in the final for United in 2009 - trying to be a one man team. By contrast, Barca were utterly boring to watch with their incredible team display. The way Iniesta glides past people with close control and feinting one way then going the other is marvellous, I wish United's wingers would copy him.
As brilliant a goal scoring record as he has for Madrid, I think Ronaldo was at his best in 2007 when he had over 20 goals and over 20 assists. Back then I didn't immediately look for his reaction when someone misplaced a pass to him - HOW DARE THOU MISPLACE A PASS TO THE GREAT RONALDO!
You know what does my head in? How it's not Real Madrid, it's Mourinho. Listening to the commentators you'd think Madrid had changed their name, there's one quote from last night I tried to remember but I can't, it was something like "I wonder what the opposition substitution will have on Mourinho". I think it was worse than that actually, but it just summed up how it's never about the team, but about him. Anyone see his big dramatic tirade apparnently toward the ref (for not sending the defender off who Ronaldo dived over) when Ronaldo scored the free kick? ME ME ME, EVERYONE LOOK AT ME. Keep them both in Madrid, we'll take Guardiola and Messi when Fergie goes, thanks very much.
Silvio (Throw Iniesta in there too please) Dante
Just to clarify things on Klose, he told the referee that he handled the ball only after being surrounded by half the napoli team and then having the ref come up to him. I dont think he would have done it if he didn't feel the immense pressure and if he wasn't asked by the referee. I don't think it's the same as a player stopping right after scoring and saying I handled the ball. It's still noble but not the same thing. The time he told the referee to not award him a penalty when he got one, resulting in a yellow card for a dive was much more honest, and funny!
Becks And Flying
Silvio Dante in this mornings mailbox
"I really miss seeing a young Giggs, Kanchelskis, Ronaldo, Beckham etc flying down the wing at pace. This fannying about is annoying"
I was with you right up until the 'Beckham etc flying down the wing at pace' bit, can't say I ever remember seeing him 'fly down the wing', or anywhere else on a football pitch when he was at United! Great crosser of the ball from anywhere on the right side of the pitch he may well of been, one of the best deliverers from a dead ball too, probably one of the best in those two scenarios there's ever been at Old Trafford, but a flying winger up there with the other, genuine wingers you've mentioned? Come on man, give yourself a shake!
Mal (MUFC) Thomas
I didn't write in yesterday since I expected quite a few funny one liners about Valencia using his left foot for the first time in HIS LIFE PROBABLY! But there wasn't a single mention. Come on mail-boxers, you can do better! Or did no one notice his two attempted left footed crosses in the West Ham game. Or does no one think it was unusual?
That will be it.
AJ (4 points from the next 2 games would be great...referring to Man Utd obviously! in case you were wondering :)
Ramsey: Did OK
Nick Miller, you're right, Aaron Ramsey isn't a winger, he has been in poor form for some time, and Wenger's insistence in playing him there is frustrating. But yesterday was one of his better games - he was certainly more dangerous than Wilshere or Walcott, the former being ineffectual and frustrated, the latter ineffectual and frustrating. And you might have forgotten a wonderful cross whipped in from a difficult position by the corner flag, right onto the head of our only striker who, from seven yards out, shanked his header wide. I'm not disagreeing with the point as such - it just feels like it was written before or in spite of the game just played.
Matt H, Battersea Arsenal
The King Is Dead, Long Live The King
Since Robbie Keane's move to the colonies to play 'soccer' he has effectively abdicated his crown for King Of The Sh*t Goal Celebration.
All hail Daniel 'Two-Step' Sturridge?
Daniel (The King is dead. Long live the King), London CFC
Settling down to catch a bit of the Newcastle vs Brighton game got me and a few mates thinking...
Why don't we have an all-dayer of live FA Cup football on the opening of the 3rd round? It's one of those sporting days in the British calendar that gets everyone going. Think the Grand National, Wimbledon, and the final day of the Six Nations. You know the days: TV crews all over the place interviewing every Tom, Dick and Harry about their cup shaped steak and ale pie and whatnot.
Why can't we have 5 live games on "the normal man's" TV on the saturday? Think about it...games kicking off at 10am; 12pm; 2pm; 4pm and 7pm or something like that. They do it every Sunday with the NFL. People end up having all-day parties; smashing in endless buffalo wings; chips and dips and a healthy supply of ales. Why not here?
There's obviously the fear about early morning drinking. So, if the 10am kick off doesn't tickle the FA's fancy, why not push them all back with the last game kicking off at 9pm or something? It's rare that I come up with any good ideas. My mind wanders back to the English Fry-Up Pizza that sounded pretty tempting on paper...not so much in real-life...but I think this time I've hit a winner (pardon the pun)!
I think a petition is on the cards...who's with me??!!
Phil (wondering if this querky idea will get me a posting in the mailbox) Pearce, London
Being Ginger Is A Lifestyle
Silvio Dante asked at the end of his letter "did no-one think to mark that giant bald ginger man?" Is it possible for someone to be bald AND ginger? Seems a bit harsh on James Collins to have a pop at him for being both?
Also CB, West Palm Beach, FL, I don't think anyone is going to say that Daniel Sturridge is not worth 12M. After seeing what Liverpool got for 35M Daniel Sturridge looks an absolute bargain.
Dave Rumsey (please include this mail as I could do with the kudos at work that appearing in the f365 mailbox would bring)