One Mailboxer may have spent lunch in the pub in suggesting Van Persie could go back to Arsenal. Also, some Premier League meh-ing and a fine Acewatch suggestion...
Roy Hodgson is asked the perfect question, Mr Grumpypants is back, Jamie Redknapp hates making comparisons. Plus Ace-watch, you lucky things...
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A Better Baines Option?
With all the Baines talk recently, I can't help but think there is no way that a 28 year old left back can be worth 15 million pounds, never mind 20 million. At the same time though, I can't see why Moyes isn't giving Coentrao a look in on the position.
Coentrao was an ardent Mourinho supporter, so at this point he may be slightly isolated at Madrid, and with Marcelo in front of him, it would be difficult for Coentrao to get minutes. With a new manager coming in, Coentrao would probably be more dispensable and I'm sure even he's looking at different options. Coentrao would definitely give Evra plenty of time to rest and provide actual competition to him. However one area that I think Coentrao would be able to contribute a lot would actually be on left wing.
Nowadays the hype is about cutting in and shooting, but I can't think of a more effective winger than Giggs in the heyday (or Bale when he stuck to the left). Coentrao would be able to give us that option and because of his natural defensive instincts he would also be a protective layer when playing in big games against Chelsea or City and in Europe.
Jtan, MUFC, Hong Kong
Spotted - Arsenal Optimism
As a long-suffering Gooner, I should really know better - but I can't help but feel optimistic about our Summer this year. In recent years we've seen our best players go, but now it seems that we are (finally) getting rid of some of the fringe players and bringing in some quality.
The move for Higuain looks like it's approaching it's final lap and I believe that Cesar is on is way too, once he's recovered from the Confederations Cup. With the additions of Fellaini and Williams we will then have a new, stronger, spine (although I don't expect Williams to immediately break the BFG/Kos partnership that was so successful at the end of the season).
Of course, it can all still go horribly wrong and we'll end up with a couple of Togolese 16-year-olds snatched from the French 2nd Division, but at the moment I've decided to be optimistic. For a change.
He's Almost Certainly Reading
I am going to miss Jonjo Shelvey a bit. Not just because he looked a bit like Lord Voldermort but because he had moments where I thought he could develop into a really quality player.
Perhaps those glimpses were just too infrequent to convince Brendan sadly. Good luck at the new club if you read F365. I'll be hoping you become a hero
A Refreshingly Informative Mail on Iraqi Football
I have lived in the middle east all of my 33 years and have closely followed football in the region over the years. Kuwait and Iraq were the powerhouses during my formative years in the 80's. However, the fortunes of both countries nose dived following the devastating Gulf War in 1990. Iraq were banned from all sporting events and football in the country was severely affected as people prioritised their life, food and shelter over all else.
Following an easing of sanctions, Iraq were again allowed to field teams in international competitions and have since consistently produced positive results in the Asian Cup and the U-17 and U-20 World Cups. I was watching the group game between Iraq and Paraguay last night and must admit that these 19 year old boys showed not only fearless passion and grit but also tactical nous.
Which brings me to the question: If Iraq can consistently produce excellent performances at junior levels, why can they not translate it onto the senior stage ? The answer is simple: Football in Iraq does not pay. It is not even a career option. People barely manage to feed their families let alone buy studs. It is clear that the potential in this country is immense and makes one wonder why no European clubs have Iraqis on their books. I'm guessing political red tape.
Such a shame. Such a shame indeed.
Thought I'd come up with a few of my own new hip and trendy positions after reading the mailbox earlier:
- The out of place full back. Perfect example, Micah Richards
- Incorrect central midfielder. If you're not Spanish, you're not doing it right
- Unquantifiable striker. Probably offers something, but not really (Heskey)
- Player and a half. Always overweight, tricks you into thinking he can be good. Anderson has made this role his own in recent years.
- Pretend 7. A kid on the park imitating the likes of David Beckham against a wall, yet can still be described using a buzz phrase that reeks of middle management and free samples of Hugo Boss fragrance.
Jono, I'm more of a false player full stop, Nottingham
And more goals...
A goal that I wish had gone in:
Frank Lampard v Germany. If it had gone in, we'd have been back at 2-2, then gone on to lose 4-2 or 5-2 anyway, and we'd all have been spared the years of "we wuz robbed" by the press.
A goal that I wish hadn't (although it didn't):
Luis Garcia v Chelsea. If it hadn't crossed the line (not that it probably did anyway), Liverpool would have had a penalty, Cech would have been sent off for bringing down Baros, Gerrard would have put us 1-0 up in the 4th minute against 10 men, and we'd have gone on to win 3-0 with ease, thus ending years of Jose's soon-to-be-resumed whining about 'ghost goals' before it began. (Note to Chelsea fans, I'm well aware you'd probably have beaten us 9 times out of 10 but, hey, you didn't).
Andy Roscoe, LFC, London
...Baggio's penalty... every time I see a Brazilian shirt.
Nick "Balo is crazy awesome at penalties" M
...Regarding the goals I wish had never gone in, mine is Eto'o's goal against arsenal in the Champions' league final in 2006. We were up 1-0 and there was 15 minutes left. We actually dominated the game, and had it not been for an excellent Valdes, we could have been 2-0 up. Had we won this game, it's fair to assume our history in the last 7 years would have been different.
As for goals i wish had gone in, Bendtner's chance against Barca in the 2011 quarter final second leg. We would have been 3-2 down and through virtuoso of the away goals rule. It's not that we would have won the champions league, because let's face it, madrid would have most likely stuffed us. It was just to put one over Barca after the whole tapping up Fabregas thing.
Another one I wish had gone in was Zidane's header against Italy in the WC final in 2006 at the 110th minute. Buffon brilliantly palmed it away from goal, but instead of leaving the game with a headbutt, he could have left it with a winning header to lead France to it's second World Cup.
...The most painful goal to watch as a City fan was Rooney's overhead kick winner in the derby a couple of years ago. It is still played on far too many TV ads, cost us the game and finished off our title hopes. Martin Tyler didn't help matters either.
James (he made amends 12 months later), NYC
With all this talk about false positions and with the crowd being considered somewhat of a twelfth man, does this make the Emirates crowd a "false number 12"?
Stefan Pereira (it's OK, I'm a gooner, I'm allowed to make fun of us!)