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...
If you have anything to say on any subject, mail us at email@example.com
Watch The Women's Euros
So I hope to put these footballer crushes to bed (ahem) with a new one, Kosovare Asllani. Striking Swede.
But to be more serious, where is the coverage of the Euros? In the football starved summer it is just a tad better than speculating upon where x will be!
We will skip the poor penalties of Sweden and move to two time winners Norway against minnows (or should it be cods...?) Iceland. So the first half was poor, long ball nicely headed on and finished to open the scoring for Norway aside. Then it livened up as Iceland tried very hard to get back in, finally a cool penalty from Margret Lara Vidarsdottir (now 70 goals in 89 matches, check out her stats, a sexist commentator might say). The penalty was won by the lively Sara Björk Gunnarsdottir, a great combative midfielder who never gave up pressing and driving forward. She's one to watch but might pick up a few yellows.
Iceland could have won it but then so could Norway as the codlings tired. I guess Iceland will be happy with their first ever point at the finals but then again as a country with a population not much larger than Rotherham's they are happy to be at the finals... for the second time in a row!
So, women's Euros, watch it. There's some good football and its competitive, not like Bourneton Leyburn vs Real Madrid C Old Boys Select 11 or whatever friendly you can find.
As it happens, our own Johnny Nicholson has written just the thing for you...
The Big Event Of The Weekend
Never mind Thiago/Suarez/Arsenal/Mourinho. Saturday sees the biggest day in the football close season. The 6th annual F365 Forum Rule 1 Tournament. One hundred people descending upon Leeds this weekend to play football, drink beer, turn a deep shade of lobster red (I assume even the North has sun this week?) and hopefully talk to at least one woman between us all. With teams from Glasgow, Manchester, Leeds, London, Birmingham, Reading, Newcastle, Sheffield and Teesside it's truly an international extravaganza(ish). So while you're all out shopping or watching the Ashes in beautiful sunshine, hopefully you'll think of the forum running around in the heat.
Come on R1 Reading! (With an average age over 30 we'll need a lot of luck!)
KingGman (R1 Reading), the mighty F365 Forum.
Nice bit of short-term hand-wringing by Alex of Ipswich. Claims about the demise of the Premier League are about as accurate as claims about it's dominance back when 3 clubs would regular reach the latter stages of the CL. The time frames are too short and the results dependant on such a huge number of variables that sweeping conclusions are just unreasonable.
If anyone thinks Yaya Toure, Aguero, Cazorla, Mata, Hazard, Oscar, Rooney, Van Persie, Cech, Bale, Kompany, Vidic, and many others I cannot be bothered to mention, are basically the factory seconds of European football, well, what can you say? Oh, and who were the last two Real Madrid managers again?
To cap things off, your comparison to the Serie A is wholly inaccurate. Let me know when English football displays the sort of racism, violence, and corruption that exists in Italian football. The downfall of the Serie A has systemic social and cultural factors at it's root, and the Premier League, for all it's faults, is still a great footballing environment.
Andre (still enjoys football when his team isn't involved??) E
...I thought I'd write a little response to Alex, Ipswich who wrote in about the seemingly smaller amount of world class players making the move to the premier league.
I've thought about the exact same thing over the past few years and you are spot on highlighting the 2008 CL final as a real high point for quality players in the Premier League. I began to believe that the quality of the players in the league was getting worse until I listened to a Fergie interview on the topic of the return of Ronaldo. Fergie suggested that football fans are incredibly nostalgic and often yearn and dream of bygone eras of football and he is absolutely right. Back in 08 there was the standout man which was Ronaldo and he was a freak of nature, he was also joined by others who you mention, but now there has been a fresh influx of quality players such as Mata, Hazard, Ramires, Aguero, Yaya Toure, Kompany, Suarez, Cazorla. Furthermore, we still have players like Van Persie, Rooney (yeah... each to their own!), Hart and others who have stayed and become better players since 08.
The Premier League still has these quality players but I think we all like to think of the past as "the good old days" football moves on and so do players. You can also put the lack of activity down to the increasing appeal of the German and French league nowadays which, in my opinion, is a good thing for healthy European competition.
...I have to say that I really do not understand the logic in this. Silva, Van Persie, Mata, Suarez, Carzola (just kidding), Paulinho, Navas, Balotelli, Aguero, Hazard, Fernandinho, Vertonghen, Yaya Toure and Fabio Borini have all made big money moves to the Premier League in the last couple of years. All of those players, whilst some are maybe not in the very top echelon of footballers, have moved for large sums of cash to the Premier League (or, in Van Persie's case, to another PL club). And all of whom could be considered players who would be very desirable for the majority of clubs in the world, if not every. Ronaldo may have left, as did Luka Modric, but both went to the most successful club on the planet (and, Modric actually would have stayed in the PL if he'd had his way), and Fabregas went back to his home town club.
Apart from that, we have really not missed out on that much. Cavani, Falcao and Moutinho, like others before them (ibra etc), have gone to a sub-PL standard league purely because oil rich Arabs have offered them ridiculous sums of money which even Man City wouldn't compete with - and, in fact, by this logic, Spain and Germany are also falling behind. Lewandowski, Isco, and Gotze, to use the mentioned examples, all stayed in a league in which they are comfortable, and Thiago has followed his former manager. If Moyes decides to buy a midfielder, Man City don't experiment with bizarre formations against some of the best team in the world, Jose does what Jose does, and Arsenal... well, I try not to think about that too much, then the disappointment of the last English CL campaign will be swiftly forgotten. Seemingly, like the previous year's winner has been.
The quality of football, and footballers, on display week in, week out, competes with any other league in Europe - hence the astronomical sums Sky are willing to pay to show the stuff. The day that the stars of our top... er... five, start signing for Valencia, Bordeaux, Schalke or Fiorentina then we can start worrying. Until then, please stop being so pessimistic.
Alex G, THFC (the world class striker we are imminently signing will further back up my point)
That Sounds Great, Actually
In response to Alex, Ipswich, a league of "20 abysmal teams arguing amongst themselves about who gets to be mayor of shittesville" actually sounds ideal to me. An exciting, unpredictable, open-ended league where everyone has a chance versus the same-old same-old boringly consistent results of ManU winning it, with Chelsea, City, Arsenal or Spurs rounding out the Champions League places sounds perfect to me. When you can just copy/paste the top 4 of the league table year in, year out (oh, Manchester United won the league again? Did they just re-use the same article from the last year then?) it's not very exciting for most team's fans is it? If all 20 teams went into a season with legitimate title hopes, then wouldn't that make for the most entertaining year ever?
Keith, Liverpool, NY LFC/CUFC
The Interminable Transfer Window
This transfer window really is interminable. I admit that I'm partly culpable for it being so for myself because several times a day I'll check to see if anything's happened. I, like many, just can't switch off easily from the football and pretend that I like cricket or tennis.
I see now that the Higuain deal amongst others is 'fading' but with all the deals that are seemingly not happening it seems that all the top teams are going to start with exactly the same first 11 as last year. I know really that this isn't likely but please wake me up when the season begins.
In terms of Arsenal buying Suarez, some of you may have noticed that I don't believe him to be worth £40m. At the end of the day it's a buyers market and he's only worth what someone is willing to pay for him. If no one wants him except some granny who will buy him for tuppence ha'penny then that is what he is worth. Remember in Trading Places when Winthorp tried to sell his really expensive watch worth thousands and the shop owner said "In Philly it's worth £50 bucks".
I'll set my stall out and say that I don't want him at Arsenal. Why would I? There are many other fine football players out there who can stick the ball in the net for less that what Liverpool want for him and without all the baggage. I don't blame Liverpool for trying to get as much money for him as they can as it's just good business but even if they do settle for £30m it would be advisable to hold onto the money and not panic buy another overpriced 'potential' superstar. They could have Nicklas Bendtner if that's what they want.
I really don't believe that Arsenal will be buying him, not for that amount of money as it's not the sort of transfer that they've ever done. They would be smashing the club transfer record and whilst I do think he'd fit in well in the team in football terms I just can't see Wenger wanting a petulant ego in the team. He's sidelined or sold most of the players with those traits but would he sideline a £30m plus player as easily as Bendtner or that guy who some thought would be the new Bergkamp who went to Blackburn and then Spurs. I forget his name now.
Anyway, have a good Friday a look out for a flying hamstring that have twanged out of some fat bloke's leg. You don't want that to hit you in the eye.
Cliff Mallinder, AFC
Some remarkable logic from Graham on the whole 'does bad behaviour impact a player's career' discussion. I'll put to one side the idea that Tevez or Balotelli would consider playing for Juventus and Milan to be a step down from Manchester City...actually, no I won't. City might have a wad of cash right now, but I suspect a vast majority of players would consider both Italian clubs a step up based on them being two of the biggest and most historic clubs in the world, would see a greater chance for competing in Europe, and whilst Serie A might be slightly weaker, I think a non-"Premier League is the bestest bestest bestest league in the world" view might be in order here.
As for saying that you can't tell whether Terry has been impacted because he's never been transferred....er, you do get that this tells you he hasn't been impacted right? Because presumably if he had gone to, I don't know, Inter Milan, you would have said that by going to a "weaker" league he was being impacted!
I saw the post on the blog about Illarramendi's move to Real meaning his youth team receive a hefty windfall.
In light of the hubbub over the big teams cherry picking the youth from smaller clubs, would it not be fair to ensure that the club to which a player signs youth terms is entitled to, say, 5% or 10% of all future transfers? Surely this would help out those smaller clubs who produce players that go on to make it big.
I can't see any downside to it but I'm all ears to arguments.
Paul Lennon, Wirral
Good morning (well it's still afternoon) F365
Just a quick note to enquire that with almost every day now bringing a new missive about the Mediawatch NFSOTD not involving somebody having their penis cut off and how so and so is missing it.
Is this the new football hipsterism?
Lee (Festival in my high street this weekend, whooo) Tooting
p.s. If you're by the Emirates. Check out Alex Song and Bendtner's hair in the team photo mural thing. Andre 3000 and the baddie knight from the Ghost Busters films
Terrible Times At Coventry
Sure, my beloved Coventry City FC are on the brink of extinction, and even if we do manage to field a team when the new season kicks off it will almost certainly be one which loses and is made up entirely of schoolboys and the specters of Steve Ogrizovic, Darren Huckerby and Mustapha Hadji.
But I do have cause for celebration, Coventry have been mentioned in the F365 mailbox twice in the same week!
If this was a newspaper, i'd get it framed.
Just providing some lower league silver linings for all you lot who complain about some manager or other refusing to spend the golden doubloons available to him...
Pee-wee, Coventry (or is it Northampton?)
...The situation at Coventry City has got me thinking about the football league's part in this fiasco. With Coventry arranging a ground share with Northampton after the fixture lists were compiled there are now several matches which see both teams scheduled to play at Sixfields. Given how the scale of disruption this will cause how are there rules not in place to prevent such a measure? As a follow up to F365's article on SISU and the move I would be interested to see a follow up on the implications this move has on the football league as a whole (or other mailboxers knowledge on the matter).
Alternatively if for some reason an established Premier League had to move, how much disruption would it really cause? And how would you honestly feel about it?
Great email from Dig in Ireland yesterday about the potential impact of social media and the internet on past footballing stories. Made a nice change to Luis Suarez that's for sure..
I don't know why but it immediately made me think about how Mediawatch would have reacted to the John Wayne Bobbitt incident (Google very carefully if you are unaware)
I would suggest it would have taken pride of place as the final story for a good few months, with daily progress updates on the reattachment process.
Chris Nixon, CFC, Surrey