No disrespect & all that to those included, but come on people, you can do better than this. Are you all sleeping? Is there really nothing you want to talk about? Please?
There's something of a void at Real Madrid - a void that is usually filled by a shiny new signing, but things are being held up at the Bernabeu, writes Tim Stannard...
If you have anything to say on any subject, mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
The current Arsenal squad are not fit to use Patrick Vieira's sh*t for toothpaste.
Tom, Brighton Gooner (all downhill since Grimandi retired)
Adieu Monsieur Wenger
As a life-long gooner, after Saturday morning's adventure in masochism I am forced to face the conclusion that it is time for Arsene Wenger to go. I've never been one to call for the manager's head for the team's miserable performance (like the scousers every other year). I believe at the end of the day, the players are responsible for what they do on the pitch. That said, Arsenal's inane commitment to their golden rule that first and foremost the only good goal is one passed in from twelve yards has to be down to the manager. On Saturday, Blackburn had nine men behind the ball from the kick-off. They backed off us until they were essentially man-to-man in their own eighteen, yet we still refused to shoot in favor of trying to small-pass it into the net.
So, I ask, was there any Arsenal supporter (aside from Wenger) who did not see twenty minutes in that our strategy was not going to work and we were in for the all too common smash and grab win from Blackburn? Yet we still insisted carrying on with this pathetic strategy in the second half, broken only once with our closest chance by Rosicky with - you guessed it - a SHOT from the top of the eighteen. And after a full half of our usual impotent dominance, why didn't Wenger start the second half with Walcott, Cazorla, and Wilshere instead of waiting until the seventy-first minute mark? Doesn't he know the FA cup was our only (realistic) chance to earn a piece of silverware in lo these many years?
Arsene, you gave us some of the most glorious years in the Arsenal's long and illustrious history, but now the time has come to read the writing on the wall and bid a graceful, dignified adieu.
Billy Cicchino, Sad, Angry, Frustrated, Arsenal Supporter, New Jersey, USA
...Sir, 'do little to appease those that feel the gunners are in freefall'? You are doing the Arsenal a service they do not deserve. The Arsenal are in disarray. Bereft of ideas, tactics or nous, rudderless and without leadership either on the field or off it, the Gunners are a giant plunging to their death
This Arsenal side are a zombie waiting for the crossbow bolt between the eyes and Wenger is the lamest duck and deadest man walking. The Arsenal have been in freefall for 7 years. Time for this shambles to end and for Wenger to be put of his and our misery. We need a real manager now who will put the good of the club ahead of his pathetically misguided ideals, ill-judged tactics and woefully inept signings
Today was an embarrassment a long time coming, yet quixotically, one we've seen far too often
Get out Arsene and let someone more capable take your chair. Your time has long passed
At Least Someone's Happy
This may be schadenfreude, but after watching the highlights of Blackburn putting Arsenal out of the FA cup I'm really looking forward to watching them get royally humped by Bayern on Tuesday.
Mark (Spurs 3 in 4 if published) Gloucester
Not Happy With Us
There's a saying that 'History is written by the victors' it's very true in sports.
When a team loses you can pretty much make up whatever you want, even if you didn't see the game. Headlines like 'Blackburn stun dire Arsenal' immediately spring to mind.
Arsenal weren't 'dire', we controlled the game completely and just couldn't put away one of our many chances. Gervinho was dire, Diaby was dire, Blackburn were dire!
A scuffed shot finds it's way into the back of the net and suddenly you can write whatever you want. What if we couldn't put away any of our many chances, even missed an open goal, but one of our players simply smashed the ball on a free kick twice and a mixture of good fortune and poor goalkeeping help it find it's way into the back of the net. Then you are 'resilient' 'a talented squad capable of breaking down a defense' blah blah blah, oh and that player becomes the bestest player in the world ever even though the stats tell you otherwise.
Football Journalism makes me hate football.
Luca James Sparks
The Big Men
I'm not a fan of Oldham, or League One football, but I have a theory about Matt Smith against top level defences.
Could it be that Premier League teams are, in fact, very poor at defending against big, strong players. Is facing someone along the lines of David Silva, Juan Mata and Theo Walcott becoming the norm?
Think about it; What do people look for in a forward now? Skill, technique, forward thinking. Remember that Fergie got rid of Van Nistelrooy because he played with his back to goal. How many top clubs have players with that particular problem now? We saw an influx of forward thinking players who loved nothing more than to run onto a ball; Torres, Ronaldo, Bale, Suarez etc.
Look at the last two seasons; Grant Holt, Rickie Lambert, Andy Carroll (think Newcastle) and Romelu Lukaku come into the Premier League and score a hatful. I'm not questioning whether they are good players or not, but the awkwardness of playing against them is clearly an issue for some defences. Look at the fun Didier Drogba used to have on a weekly basis.
Go down to League One and it's a bit different. I'm not saying Matt Smith is poor, or that he's a world beater, but I'm pretty sure there's a lot of players of his style and physique. League One defenders are used to playing aginst men of that style. So, when he comes up against a defence that is not used to such a physical presence they will naturally find him harder to deal with. On the reverse, good movement and pace will split many lower league defences.
Still, well done to Matt Smith, he clearly fancies the cup this year. Last time a player had this much noise made about him from a game in the FA cup it was DJ Campbell, so let's not get too carried away though...
Brendan = Arsene?
I only just read that Brendan Rodgers got his managerial education being an assistant to Jose Mourinho at Chelsea. I have to say, I'm very surprised as I thought his approach at Liverpool is much more akin to another famous manager of a big London club. Let's examine the evidence:
1) Prefers pretty, possession based passing football to the rather humdrum practice of actually scoring goals.
2) Can't coach a defense to save his life. His defenders and keeper (an ageing Spaniard who was once considered quite good but now just looks a bit of a clown) were once renowned for being virtually unsurpassable. Now they commit howlers every week, seemingly without any sort of punishment.
3) His team can beat weak opposition with ease but they choke every time someone half decent (or Stoke) shows up.
4) Fields a lot of kids you've never heard of.
4) Defends even the worst individual and collective performances, seems to have gone to the same school of PR training as that Iraqi Minister of Information who kept denying that America had invaded.
5) Loves his needlessly complicated management speak.
Is Rodgers Arsene Wenger circa 2008?
I love Football365, I really do. But Friday, you dropped the ball. While your headlining stories were a frankly pointless Mancini quote and yet another hyperbolic and overly-positive Brendan Rodgers press conference, there was another more important story concerning a different Mr. Rogers that seems to have passed you by. For the first time since Justin Fashanu, a British-based footballer has come out. Robbie Rogers may not have a particularly high profile in England, but he has 18 caps for the U.S., and has played for two clubs in the Football League, Leeds and Stevenage.
I understand that this might be irrelevant to some. After all, Brendan Rodgers had positive things to say about the fact that Liverpool lost a closely-fought game away to a very good team - which has definitely not happened at least 12 other times this season. But in the struggle against homophobia in football, visibility is important. It's critical that we create an atmosphere in sport where players feel comfortable that their decision to come out won't be trivialized or swept under the carpet in favor of another story about Fergie. Simply generating awareness can go a long way towards building a culture of acceptance.
Part of the reason why I enjoy Football365 so much is because it offers a nice change from the bombastic, in-your-face approach of most American news sources. But to their credit, the team at ESPN really dealt with this issue nicely. They printed a short article, highlighting a few passages from Rogers' blog post, followed by a few supportive tweets from fellow footballers. No interview with Rogers on Oprah, no Lebron James-esque "Decision" farce. Just a simple story about a guy and his struggle over adversity.
I genuinely hope that Rogers reconsiders what appears to be a very untimely retirement at the age of 25, because if his reasons for retiring are related to his sexual preference, then I think football has really let us down here. To think that a player should have to retire from football before he can feel comfortable about his sexuality is frankly a shocking indictment of the sport's hyper-masculine culture. I think former U.S. defender Eddie Pope summed up my sentiments in saying: "Brave men like [Robbie Rogers] will make it so that one day there's no need for an announcement. That day can't arrive soon enough." Until that day comes, a little coverage, and a little support, would be nice.
Dave, Hartford, CT, USA
In our defence, nobody really picked up on it until late-ish on Friday, and we did have a story on Rogers when it did come through - here.
A Few Too Many ! In Here, But
Every manager has his favourites, every Everton manager has had at least one who's past it and crap!
Moyes constantly plays Phil Neville - he may be a good leader granted but as a footballer he still makes me wonder how he has made a career with he obvious lack of ability. At Oldham on Saturday the amount of times we had possession and ended up shifting it over to Neville, and he either panicked or his first touch was atrocious and ending up putting us under pressure and have to hoof it or recycle was ridiculous! I lost count!
He is scared to tackle a winger one on one in case he gets made a show of with a trick so he allows countless crosses into the box! Even that kid Obita got 5 or 6 crosses in were he shouldn't have! And the first goal was a prime example! He should've put the winger under pressure and forced him wide but he just let him have time and let the cross/shot come in! Neville is by far and away our weak link! Moyes consistently plays him as well! Why is this can anyone enlighten me? Don't give me the experienced leader crap either! And who is your managers pet who's crap?