That's the difference between him and someone like Cristiano Ronaldo - his body just isn't right. We have mails on him, Sparky, Brendan Rodgers and the Europa Lge...
So who are the guiltiest Premier League players when it comes to gilt-edged chances? Our friends from WhoScored.com put a list together that features Mr Adebayor...
If you have anything to say on any subject, mail us at email@example.com
Rooney To Man-Mark Ronaldo?
With Jones out of the match, the obvious question is who will mark Ronaldo today? Rooney is the closest to Jones that United have. He is tenacious, team player, full of stamina and has the will of an ant. If played alongside Carrick to man mark Ronaldo whereever he roams in the midfield, he will take this oppurtunity up with both hands. Other advantages that follow with Rooney used in man marking role are:
1) Introduce him as the next Scholes in United. I can see him winning the ball, getting up and spraying a 40 yard cross to Van Persie's run or Valencia / Kagawa / Welbeck on the flanks right at their feet.
2) Surprise Jose Mourinho. Mourinho will not be expecting Welbeck, Kagawa, Valencia and Van Persie on top of the midfield in United line-up. With Rooney supplying the ammo, it might turn out that Madrid have to put Di Maria / Ozil on Rooney to stop him make plays.
3) Team spirit. How often have we seen the team get buoyed by a superb tackle, timely interception. Rooney almost guarantees 110% every game he plays and he will be an example of the work rate that others will need to put in through out the game, especially in defence.
1) Although Rooney might eventually do the job, he has shown historically he might lose focus, especially during set play thus conceding an oppurtunity for the opposition to score.
2) Rooney might not like to do this job. Well who will blame the poor guy who is used to run through defences, when asked to mop up floors at Old Trafford when Ronaldo makes it dirty?
All in all, an amazing setup for tonight. United to go through with match score of 2-1.
Sagar Deo, MUFC, Mumbai
A simple choice for Utd fans:
A/. With 83 minutes on the clock, it is 2-2 on the night, you are 'behind' and chasing one goal to qualify.
B/. With 83 minutes on the clock, it is 2-1 on the night, you are ahead yet wary of the fact that one Madrid goal puts you out.
Scenario A or B?
Simon, (83 just felt right), Paisley
When Did Arsenal Ever Sign Star Players?
I don't know if it's been mentioned on 365 or in the mailbox already - I was born out of the loop - but in light of Arsenal's well documented and perennially unaddressed shortcomings, all manner of "experts", from Alan Hansen to Jamie Redknapp to probably Andy Townsend (if I could muster the self-loathing to spend even a second of my life listening to anything he's got so say), have been queuing up to state that if the (pop-) Gunners fail to qualify for the Champions League this season, they can kiss goodbye to signing any decent players. "Cos everyone wants to play in the Champions League, don't they?", mused Louise Nurding's lodger. There was possibly a "triffic" in there somewhere. I don't know, I rolled my eyes so far back, my hearing cut out.
Because, of course, this is total bollocks. While, no doubt, there'll be a couple of high-profile footballers out of their reach by virtue of their diminishing reputation as a team of any substance, Arsenal have never been in the market for those players. Ever. Arshavin remains their record signing at about half an Andy Carroll. Will a lack of Champions League football prevent them from purchasing top quality ballsmiths? Well, considering they've been in the Champions League for the past fifteen or so years and yet contrived to sign such quality as Diaby, Chamakh, Gervinho, Andre Santos, Silvestre and numerous other duffers whose names I can't be bothered to look up for the spelling (but you know who they are), what's likely to change with a minor status downgrade?
In any case, the notion that you can't pick up stellar talent unless you're in the Champions League is entirely undermined by the multitude of rather handy players dotted around who - for some mental reason - decided to join non-Champions League clubs (at the time), and who would each improve the current Arsenal team by a distance.
Off the top of my head: Suarez, Kompany, Lloris, Vertonghen, Baines, Fellaini, Michu, Vorm, Sissoko, Debuchy, Berbatov.
And everyone's favourite fantasy striker Radamel Falcao joined Athletico Madrid when they were a mere Europa Cup team. It's hard to believe he didn't consult Redknapp first. Schoolboy error.
I imagine there's plenty of others I've not thought of. But, still, it's more than the "experts" appear to have thought of, so I shall award myself a banana and bid you good day.
J. Dello (Hants)
Is Arsenal's Defence That Bad?
On my way to work this morning I opened up a copy of The Metro to see an article questioning whether Mother Theresa was actually that nice of a person. Being a man with a one-track mind it made me instantly think of Arsenal. No, not because they are in need of a miracle, but because she is the perfect example of how once a reputation is formed, it is rarely altered. Ever since the departure of Sol Campbell to the foreign shores of, err, Portsmouth, Arsenal have had a reputation for poor defending and as soon as Lennon rounded Szcesney on Sunday I knew there would be a deluge of "Arsenal's defending is lolz" "What does Bould do?" and "Mertesacker, it should be Mertesucker!" comments.
Now, while I'll admit that this Arsenal defense is often found wanting and is hardly similar to that of George Graham's, it is much, much better than people would have you believe. In fact, a quick glance at the table shows that they have conceded 32 goals so far this season, the fourth lowest amount, which is only one more than Utd, and only 2 more than Chelsea. So the fourth best defense in the league then, which is surely around about where you would expect the team aiming to finish fourth to be? Well, not really, not when you take into account Wenger's gung-ho approach and infuriating refusal to employ a defensive midfielder. Putting those problems into consideration, it could even be argued that Arsenal's perennially exposed defense is overachieving. Fittingly for my argument, if this is the case then much of it would be down to Mertesacker, a player with a poor reputation despite playing well and being the club's best defender this season.
Anyway, that's enough about Arsenal (sorry, Andy LFC Danson). There's been plenty on them in the last few mailboxes and the point on reputations applies throughout football. Perhaps there are others out there who have similar gripes about their clubs' or players' reputations? I'm sure there are. After all, if gripes and pettiness weren't a big part of football, then I would never have written this mail and the mailbox would be quieter than the space between Ashley Cole's ears.
Nick (Still coming to terms with Spurs finally being better than us) Manchester.
So the 'Bananaman' will never get to go to another Arsenal match?
I cannot believe the lack of blame for Spurs' second goal apportioned to Aaron Ramsey. I have seen some poor players at Arsenal, having been a Clock End regular at Highbury during the Terry Neil and Don How eras, but I have surely not seen one as poor as Ramsey in the Wenger era. He has no pace, no vision, doesn't tackle, doesn't win (or challenge for) the ball in the air, can't cross the ball and goes to pieces regularly when in on goal...and to compound things he constantly demands the ball when it should be going elsewhere only to slow everything down and send the team backwards.
But we'll leave all those fine attributes behind us for a moment, as Spurs' second goal shows the player up for what he is. Caught in possession, he makes absolutely no attempt to chase arguably the slowest player in the Prem (Parker), thus allowing him to stroll forward and make an easy pass to Lennon. BFG and TV are the easy targets here, but that goal never happens if "Mr. Clueless - look at my 30th 180 degree turn of the afternoon and pointless pass" simply makes an efforts to put Parker under some pressure. It was the same with Denilson, who got vilified, so how does this guy keep getting away with it? Not being good enough is one thing, but not putting in the effort is another. A new five year contract - that, my friends, sums up the mess that is Arsenal right now.
One For The Time Capsule
Not to be opened until the end of the season...
This is a snapshot of 4th March 2013:
The Times - "Tottenham in the ascendancy as power shifts"
The Sun - "The Daws open: Spurs skipper dreaming of Champions League after opening up seven-point gap"
The Independent - "Tottenham are on the brink of joining the 'big clubs' predicts Andre Villas-Boas after victory over Arsenal"
Michael Dawson - "We showed the fighting spirit and commitment that you need to win matches. This has put us in a good position but there is an awful lot of football to be played"
Hugo Lloris - "We're all happy with the three points but the season is not finished, we have to continue in this form"
Andre Villas-Boas - "At the moment we keep our feet on the ground, still some difficult games to play against big teams - Liverpool, Chelsea and Man City plus Everton - teams who have the same objectives as ours, so it hasn't finished yet. Everything is still possible and we just have to gather the most amount of points we can"
All of the Spurs fans I know - "We're not taking anything for granted after last year's collapse"
Online blogs - Errm don't even get me started.
What the darn heck, I hear you say? I'm just saying that the club, the manager, the fans; pretty much none of them / us are spouting off about seven point leads, power shifts, qualifying for anything, saying we're awesome or better than London Club X or Y. If the worst comes to the worst, that's exactly what people will say we WERE doing.
...I've never written in before but I felt compelled to offer some perspective after reading and listening the press over-reaction to the north London derby.
I am a spurs fan and have been for 25 years. So it goes without saying that I would love Spurs to finish above Arsenal this season.
If the final ten games of the season bring a similar level of performance and, importantly, points to that which we have become accustomed this season then the club will very much deserve the reward of another Champions League adventure. However, for me, that is still a big IF.
Spurs have a very tough run of games coming up. Arsenal have a series of seemingly very winnable games.
I will avoid trying to predict exactly how the run-in might pan out because its clearly futile. However, my gut feel is that the difference in likely points attainable from each teams' run-in is around +7 in favour of the gunners.
The fact is: we have played easier games than Arsenal this season and Arsenal now have easier games left to play than us.
I thought Sunday's game was crucial because I couldn't see us finishing above our neighbours unless we won. Obviously we did and, as a result, I reckon its now 50:50 though the potential for a Chelsea collapse means even the lower placed of the two north London teams might have the consolation of a Champions League spot.
So I guess what I am trying to say is that Spurs fans, Arsenal fans and the media should keep some perspective. Spurs and Arsenal are at a very similar level, they have been for the last 5 seasons or so and I don't think that's changed this season. I've loved watching us play over the last six months and hearing the plaudits Bale, Dembele, Lennon, Vertonghen, Lloris and, belatedly, AVB have won. But, in the clamour to praise Spurs and criticise Arsenal I don't think we should lose sight of the fact that there is a very good chance the race for the Champions League spots will come down to the last game of the season again.
Given the farcical spending of Chelsea/Man City and the incredible consistency of Man Utd under Ferguson fourth place would be a fantastic achievement for either team - I sincerely hope its the boys from White Hart Lane who are celebrating come May but let's not be premature in our judgements.
Great website by the way.
More On POTY
So I'm reading the two mailboxes last night and I get to the entry from Leon, Basel about people just repeating opinions rather than thinking of their own. I was hoping to see a good reply in the later mailbox but since there was none I guess I'd better take the lead...
What really annoys me about this stance (which I've seen a few times over the years) is that it's always spouted by people who expect others to 100% agree with them all the time. Yes, van Persie is a good shout for the award, just like Bale and Suarez are in fact, they would all be worthy winners. But of course Bale is being talked up the most by everyone. In just his last two games he's scored three vital goals, including a last minute winner, and they've all been on TV. You even mention the reason why van Persie has been quiet; he hasn't played as much due to rotation and injury. Of course the most recent form is going to sway the neutral, just like it will swing back towards van Persie when he scores a few in the CL over the rest of the season.
It is not "lazy punditry" to suggest that a wonderfully gifted player dragging his team up the table can win an individual award; it's a perfectly valid opinion that is there to be debated. But of course if it disagrees with you then it can't be valid can it? As for your choice of Suarez despite your ballyhooing of van Persie, well there have been quite a few mentioning him since his hat trick on Saturday; where's your independent thinking?
What could have been an interesting debate about the candidates for the award descends into what I think is the main reason for e-mailing; an old fashioned attempt at denigrating a player who is among the best in the Premier League. The comparisons to Ronaldo and Messi are inevitable (as used by all the Bale detractors), along with the other players mentioned, but since none of them are eligible for a Premier League award (the supposed point of your e-mail), these comparisons are, ultimately, pointless.
So here's the bottom line: if all you want to do is criticise a player who others are talking up, just come straight out with it instead of couching it in a ridiculous argument about people not forming their own opinion.
Cracking mailboxes about footballers reactions to fans (especially the Geoff Horsfield story). Put me in mind of a random Tuesday on the tiles in Newcastle as me and a friend stumble into a Spanish wine bar to find one Nolberto Solano in a corner with a friend and two rather unattractive ladies.
The friend, short sighted as he was, bet £20 it wasnt nobby. I enquired and nobby replied 'it is me. He should give you the cash', stood on his chair and shouted 'It is I! You should give him the cash'. Trumpet playing, free kick whacking legend.
Jonny, (The Mayan calendar says 3rd paragraphs will die in 2013), South Shields
Craig Dawson has now scored in 3 consecutive games from centre-half. I'm wondering what the best scoring run by a defender is (any league or division) and thought your readers might be able to help me out.