The dream has to be that the BBC produces mediocre football TV regardless of gender. Women threw themselves under horses for that dream. The boys like the girls...
We thought we would have to resort to another mailbox about maths but we've had some grand opinions about Man United, Newcastle, Tottenham and more. Oh and maths...
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More On Messi's Suit
To be fair, even the best footballer in the word has an idol..
Kev R, London
...Is it just me or did he strongly resemble a whale shark? Go on, Google it....
Jamie Bedwell, Cheltenhamshire
In reply to Oliver Dziggel regarding the Ballon d'Or and his Michael Jordan analogy, I think you have it backwards. Michael Jordan should have won the MVP on many more occasions (see 1992-93 and 1996-97 as reference points to start with) but suffered from voter fatigue when the voters got sick of voting for the same guy year in year out (it should be pointed out that Jordan was insanely competitive and won the NBA championship both of these years, beating the voted MVP in the finals both times). Lebron James will probably suffer from this at some stage despite being the best player in the league for the foreseeable future. The best player is the best player, my point being...I have no problem with Messi being given this award every year if he is the best candidate, not sharing the award around for the sake of it.
Basketball is awesome by the way.
The Peng , FFC, SW6
So I usually hate the Ronaldo/Messi comparison as they are quite different players, but since the Balloon Door was yesterday, I feel it is actually pertinent. Here's my question:
At the end of their careers (assuming both retire at their current clubs), will it improve your opinion of Ronaldo that he won two leagues with two different clubs? Vice versa, would it tarnish your opinion of Messi if the only club he ever wins at is Barcelona?
I value the esteemed mailbox's opinion.
Derby (Drobga or Pirlo should have won anyway) NYBlues
Oliver Dziggel talks as if a bunch of UEFA bureaucrats have just decided to unfairly award Messi the Ballon d'Or.
The award is voted for by journalists, national team captains and national team coaches, They voted for Messi. How is this the fault of UEFA? Blame the journalists, coaches and captains.
Oliver also refers to UEFA ''ignoring the previous criteria you used to evaluate candidates''. What pre-existing criteria? And how can UEFA be doing the ignoring when they don't actually vote for the winner? Neither Ronaldinho (2004) nor Figo won a trophy when they won it (that's just off the top of my head - I'm sure there are others). Messi did actually win a Copa del Rey last year. It's not a league championship or Champions League but it's more than Figo or Ronaldinho won.
Both Ronaldo and Iniesta also deserved the Ballon d'Or but it's not some unprecedented injustice that Messi won it. It was richly deserved.
John, Blackburn Rovers
Lampard: Not The Answer
So it seems all the papers are running stories linking Manchester United for a 'shock' move for Frank Lampard. Quite what's so shocking about it, though, eludes me. A seasoned professional is available for a short time for no up front fee. Sure, Lampard comes with some rather extortionate wages, but with a turnover like United's that's not really an issue.
I just don't understand the point of the transfer. Phrases like 'replacement for Giggs and Scholes' are being bandied about with reckless abandon. It seems that people genuinely believe that replacing a 39 and 38 year old with a 34 year old makes sense. If United had some promising central midfielders, and the United stalwarts were planning on retiring I could sort of understand. But, thus far, neither have indicated they plan on being anywhere other than the United first team come the start of the 2013/14 season.
The dearth of talent in the centre of United's midfield is obvious. Michael Carrick will be 32 this year, and seems the most obvious candidate to fill the experienced man in the middle that Ferguson loves so much. Darren Fletcher, 29 soon, may never recover his best form despite his inspiring comeback. Anderson is 25 this year and were it not for his atrocious fitness record would be at the peak of his career. Tom Cleverley is 23 and still developing. Shinji Kagawa is more forward player so shouldn't really be considered.
United really don't need to be looking towards an experienced midfielder, as they have plenty of those. They desperately need to look to some younger players who will be able to plug the inevitable gaps when the older players powers have completely vanished. Ryan Tunnicliffe won't cut the mustard, but there are high hopes for some of their other youngsters like Andreas Perreira.
Given that Tom Cleverley is the first youth team (yes I know he moved from Bradford) midfielder to become a regular starter since Darren Fletcher, it does make one wonder whether it will be another 10 years before United actually produce a decent central midfielder.
It's Funny Because They're Both Fat
Should Ferguson sign Lampard?
Definitely, even if only to use as a counterweight on the bench to offset Anderson.
Depressing That United Are Top - By A United Fan
Thomas Wilson's mail this morning was pretty annoying. I felt like printing it off just so I could stick it through the shredder. I can't be bothered to address it though. So here's something else... Lampard to United is a shite idea It'd be an attempt to fix a problem by replacing it with the same problem. I'm so sick of the disgrace that is United's current midfield, that if it weren't for Van Persie lighting up my life every time he does anything, I'm not sure I could've watched much of the season so far.
Someone on here recently described Carrick's performances as "immense". Immense? It's an insult to the genuinely immense men that have held the role in the past. I will concede that he at least discovered 'forward' as a direction over the festive season, which is some improvement, but not immense. My nightmares are filled with a Carrick/Veron partnership "Carrick passes three yards sideways to Veron, Veron plays a long ball into the stand. It's a goalkick."
Don't even get me started on what's going on out wide. I like Valencia. He's one of the few very decent human beings in top flight football, but he looks like he's never seen a football before in his life. I can't even call it a Torres like slump, because it's even worse than that. At least Torres is half trying, Valencia looks like he doesn't know how to. The other side is just as bad, Nani or Young take your pick. both capable of moments, but so is everybody. Real quality is being able to play at 7 out 10 game in, game out. That's not asking too much is it? These guys are giving us a lot of 3's and 4's at the moment. It's depressing.
But not as depressing (for everyone else) as the fact that this team is comfortably top of the league. This team, that would be struggling for a top four spot a few years ago, is cruising almost unchallenged to the title. Man City don't seem to be trying, Benitez will probably do to Chelsea what he did to Inter, Arsenal are just a bad team that talk about pretty football, Liverpool are in mid-table (note to 'pool fans, I didn't call you 'a mid-table club' even though you are one). La Liga winning absolutely everything in sight last night.
Anyone able to remember 2008? Three Premier League teams in the Champions League semi-finals? Damn, is this what it's like to be old and banging on about how "everything was better in my day", even though my "day" was back in the nineties when everything was actually better. Nineties Roy Keane and Paul Scholes would cut through any Carrick/Anderson/Cleverly/Kagawa combination with a laugh on their faces.
So Fergie, please, no old Frank Lampard, just someone who has the energy and drive to be capable of grabbing hold of midfield, offering a threat going forward, and the ability to help out in defence. And everybody else should sign people too! There's massive amounts of money on the way when the new Sky deal kicks in, so what are you all waiting for? Let's spend these Spanish off their el perches!
I have no qualms about the biggest prize on the night, Messi does deserve it. Could he make it five next year? That would be special.
What I take issue with is The 2012 XI. What did Alves and Pique do that's so special that it qualified them to be in the team? Pique was injured most of the time and when he did play he was average (especially without Puyol alongside him). The less said about Alves, the better. There were more deserving footballers, a certain Vincent Kompany comes to mind. Where's David Silva in the team? Isn't he the reason why Man City won the league and contributed immensely to Spain retaining their Euro crown.
I guess that's the problem with voting systems, deserved candidates don't always win - it's a popularity contest.
It's also telling that no player from the Best League In The Universe TM was included. Just goes to show that the EPL isn't all that it's made out to be. Sure the action is fantastic and all but the personnel isn't as great as they are made out to be.
Msuthu (hate it when they call it soccer. It's FOOTBALL) Soweto JHB
Fair point by Jimbles WFC regarding deliberate/intentional handball.
However I have to disagree with the following: -
It is very rare that a player's arm would be extended away from his body in a natural position during a football match
Clearly they haven't been watching Raheem Sterling running with the ball, who I always think looks a bit like an 8 year old pretending he is an airplane.
Sam in Birmingham
That's A Relief
A quick note to Mediawatch.
'Follow the Jelavic road' is a witty phrase sung by Evertonians on a weekly basis, it was not created by the geniuses at The Sun.
So please get back to hating their guts. Many thanks.
Just thinking this morning about the old saying when you've just watched your team play badly, "Gonna go home and kick the dog". Imagine if Thomas Hitzlsperger did it?
Gumbo 'dog lover' AVFC