We don't think AVB will be opening his mouth even if Arsenal lose at City but there will be plenty asking questions. It's also a big weekend for a Spurs side yet to claim a scalp...
Considers Alan Partridge circa 1992 a style icon and enjoys over-vaunting the England team, English players or English teams in Europe. It's Andy Townsend...
If you have anything to say on any subject, mail us at email@example.com
City look to have done some great business this summer. If Alvaro Negredo's denim hotpants are anything to go by, this season could be a cracker.
Andy B, RFC
Some Arsenal Fans Don't Want Suarez
Well, this is divisive isn't it? I honestly can't remember a time when being linked with one of the top players in the game has caused any set of fans to be so torn between two camps. I should probably get this out in the open from the off, I am a fully paid up member of team "no thank you". I can understand why come people might be prepared to put aside any reservations they had about the player as they seek that allusive first trophy in eight years, we all want to see the club do well after all; But at what price?
As talented a player as Suarez is, he doesn't half come with a metric fu*k-ton of baggage. For a start, he will miss the first six games of the season. There will be those who say that that's small price to pay on a player who will (hopefully) bring as a lot of glory over the course of the next few years, but I very much doubt I could find anyone who would be able to look me in the eye and say the were certain he would be around for a long time. Look at the guys history, he doesn't stick around for long wherever he goes and he has causes an inordinate amount of strife, with alarming regularity, wherever he goes. To my mind at least, it is usually as a means of engineering a move away from his club.
There are many Arsenal supporters out there of, which I am one, who still believe in the Arsenal "way" of doing things. I am aware of how pious that sounds but I make no apologies for it. I can't help but feel that should we eventually sign this player, that some of that will be lost in the pursuit of success, something which up until now we have managed to avoid by sticking to our guns despite the howls of derision from all comers. I look at how Liverpool's reputation has been dragged through the mire through defending Suarez through all of his misdeeds, and I wish no part of it for my club. Make no mistake however, if he can do it to a great club like Liverpool, he can (and probably will) do it to us.
It truly is a curious time to be a gooner. For years we have been crying out for a transfer of this magnitude only to find that when it comes along, a large section of us don't want it and the other lot think we're a bunch of f**k-knuckles for thinking so.
Ooh to be a, gooner!
Patrick Dalton, AFC
Are Liverpool Being Fools?
Are Liverpool so desperate to try and put their ridiculous transfer policy of the past few years behind them that they are going to make themselves look incredibly foolish with this whole Suarez transfer saga?
£40,000,001 is a perfectly acceptable valuation of a player with Suarez's 'baggage' which I won't go in to. Liverpool paid £22.8million for Suarez, they got a good season and a half out of him if you take away his suspensions, he now wants to leave and Liverpool have the opportunity to almost double what they paid for him, with 6 weeks and a bumper kitty to find a replacement that will better suit Brendans style of play, with some change left over for that new left back he wants and a first choice centre half (Kolo's concentrating on the car dealerships a lot more now)
Perhaps I'm missing something here, but how exactly are Liverpool losing out in this deal?
Also, that incredibly unprofessional tweet from a man in John W. Henry's position was absolutely ridiculous and will no doubt burn a few bridges with a club which John and his cronies could definitley aspire to be more like. "What do you think they're smoking over there at Emirates?" - Imagine a football club making an offer that triggers a clause in a players contract where he must be made aware of the bid, woah John, tell them stoners down at the Emirates to lay off that sh*t for a while.
Hopefully they get their hands on whatever you were smoking when you paid £35million for Carroll, £20million for Henderson, £20million for Downing, £6million for Charlie Adam, £15million for Joe Allen, £12million for Borini...not everyone is determined to get their club into enormous debt by signing players well above market value John.
Are Arsenal Being Fools?
I think it has become quite apparent that Arsenal football club need to take a long, hard look at their negotiating team when it comes to Transfers. Year after year we lose out on great targets due to their incredible inability to close deals. We seemingly bend over and take it from anyone who wants any of our brightest players, while we scrabble around, failing to sign anyone.
The moment we are linked with anyone, we are immediately gazumped by the bigger teams, the brighter teams, and the teams willing to pay for the talent. There is no point banging on about your war chest if you're never going to spend any of it.
And the embarrassment of the £40million+£1 bid to let us talk to Suarez. What a joke. This isn't Football Manager where you snag a player on a technicality. If there was a realistic way for me to turn off my access to all football news, I would do it in a heartbeat, but I just can't. I am drawn to it, and all the BS rumours, like a fly to sh*t because I have some vain, ridiculous hope that things will change. But I know, come the end of next season, we'll finish 4th, be trophy less, and we'll hear the same crap from the board around season ticket renewal time with speculative bids for Benzema so the board can say they 'tried their best'.
As Sean Connery said in the Rock, 'Losers whine about their best, winners go home and f*** the prom queen'.
John Matrix AFC
Spurs Have A Great Team Without Bale
In reply to Chris THFC and Ross THFC, both your mails were sound - and I especially enjoyed Ross' thoughts. But I think you are failing to take note of something very important.
With all the hype around Bale going/staying and him being touted as just one step behind Ronaldo and Messi, Spurs have quietly put together a quite bloody good team. With or without Bale. A spine of Lloris, Vertonghen, Dembele, Sandro. Those four guys are definitely in the conversation when we are looking at the best in the EPL in their respective positions. When you pad out the midfield with the likes of Paulinho, Lennon, Townsend and the rest of the guys I mentioned in my original "Bale out" mail, there are so many who have the potential to be top class.
Then realize Kaboul (remember him) will be back soon, a back four of Walker, Kaboul, Vertonghen, Assou-Ekkoto is arguably the most mobile, dynamic rearguard in the Prem, even if they look a bit leaky. Caulker, Naughton and Dawson are there for days we would like to be more sturdy and sensible. We haven't even seen Fryers yet.
All these guys have chosen to be at Spurs. For the most part they look committed to being there for the near future. Bale doesn't want to be at Spurs, well not wholeheartedly at least. He looks too good to not be playing for a Champions league outfit, more importantly he feels he is too good. If he stays and we get a target man, then our frontline is sorted out and we look proper deadly. If we sell him for massive bags of cash, we don't need to replace him - we need to replace his goals. We may have missed out on Benteke and Damiao seemingly, but there is still goal-getters out there.
So I see your point about building a team to absorb his loss, but we are literally two forwards away from doing that. If we bring in two players like say Loic Remy and Soldado with that cash, we will be more than capable of taking a run at fourth. This is the best all-round Spurs team in a LONG time. Don't let the fact that we might lose the best individual Spurs player in a long time blind you to that.
Neil Green, THFC
In reply to Patrick John, who believes that Liverpool's top 4 prospects are slim, and utilized the classic move of having an opening which pleads objectivity but then ends with the sentence:
"If Brendan Rogers gets Liverpool into the top four this year, it will be one of the greatest managerial performances for many a year."
Liverpool gained four fewer points than Arsenal in the second half of last season, and if you cast your mind back then you'll remember Arsenal more or less matched the eventual champions point for point. We probably would've finished sixth and close to Tottenham if we had the squad depth we'll enter next season with and that's not considering the poor start we had to the season.
I personally believe that Tottenham vastly overachieved with a limited squad and that past bale they lacked any attacking quality (probably on par with everton for the worst strikers in the top 6)
For the record I reckon we'll probably finish fifth or sixth with one or both of arsenal or Tottenham ahead of us and a Chelsea or Manchester city win.
Manchester United to meander to third.
Disagreeing With Anon
Anon, I don't know how you managed it, but through your one missive you succeeded in becoming more annoying than any amount of obsequious royal baby coverage could produce. I agree with your core point that more good/great players should come to the EPL, but then you seem to think that we'd all be happy if Manchester United snaffled them all ahead of those beastly, soulless monoliths called Chelsea and Manchester City, United, of course, being the warm, friendly and understanding institution we all know and love.
I can hear the chuckles of the mailbox compiler now as he/she put your letter at the top of the heap thinking 'they'll bite, they'll bite!' and, so help me, I did. You ought to team up with the author of the missive the previous day, the umpteenth loser with a 'everybody hates us? Good' outlook that I thought we'd seen the last of. Together, you'd be a destructive force, a letter-writing Godzilla so lacking in self-awareness and consideration that it crumples any decent argument underfoot, leaving only consternation, bemusement and a sense of 'are these people real or just made up?'
Please 'Anon' (wonder why he's called himself that?), just turn off your laptop, go for a walk and evaluate the simple piece of cookie dough that appears to be your sense of worldly perception. In fact, that goes for any fan of a top club who sees any other supporters outside his/her club as either contemptuous serfs not fit to kiss boots, lackeys who should bow down to the reflected glory of their club, or who seems to hate them with a passion that's not entirely properly explained.
Or seek therapy, which would possibly be a more realistic solution.
...Anon, I have nothing against great players playing in the Premier League. There've always been great players in this league, and I dare say there'll always be.
Still, this is a results based business, and when entertainment comes at the expense of your team, then the picture becomes much clearer. Recognising that the likes of Man United, Man City, and Chelsea already had strong squads that finished above us last season, do forgive me if I'm hardly excited by even more brilliant players joining their ranks.
The fact that Cesc was a Gunner further spices up the equation - we've had former Gunners contribute to the Manchester sides winning the last 2 championships. I rather not have more of that, thank you very much.
To Garey Vance, MUFC and anyone else uncomfortable over people making fun of their team, my advice would be to take a chill pill. I read F365 not just to be informed but to be entertained as well, and I'm pretty sure many of you do the same. If my tendency to laugh at a funny picture results in me being called a school kid, then I'll happily remain in school for the rest of my life.
To F365 editors, thanks for restoring that Cesc picture to your front page yesterday. Keep up the great work in reporting, entertaining, and making this school kid laugh every day.
Aaron, Singaporean Gooner
People Have Always Hated United
It's not being hipsterish to hate Man Utd, everyone has always hated Man Utd. We have always wanted to see their downfall, we just gave up hope. If a team like Norwich had "the cheek" to finish ahead of Man Utd in 3 seasons time, that would be f**king awesome. I honestly don't think it's the fall of Man Utd but in the words of King Kev 'I'd love it'. Imagine it, a whole new different league, a whole new different top 4, what's not to love, I'd gladly trade Man Utd for a team that hasn't had a chance at anything monumental, like qualifying for the CL, which is the god given right of Man Utd.
I wrote in a week ago asking "what if Man Utd finished 4th", and I didn't really allude to it at all properly, but the answer I was kind of looking for would be how whiny would Man Utd fans be if they finished 4th? They would still qualify for the champs league, but it would still be disaster, it would be even worse than the tortuous 03/04 season where Arsenal were clearly ahead of them and Chelsea robbed second by virtue of money.
...In response to Chris, MUFC who says it's "hipsterish currently" to hate Manchester United.
I would argue that it's been "Hipsterish" (Did Hipster ever have any meaning? It's seems to have entered popular culture and been misinterpreted so quickly that it lost meaning before it had a chance to gain any) to hate Manchester United since before our grandfather's father's came down from the mountains. I mean, that joke about power points in Europe has been around since before your first 30kg mobile phone.
If anything I'd say MUFC are more warm and fuzzy at the moment because of Moyes. With Fergie, the rest of the world got frustrated in watching a guy play on the edge of decent conduct/sportsmanship and frequently cross the line for 20+ years - and (this is by far the more serious injustice) watch the whole English football establishment suffer a collective failure of courage in ever standing up to the guy.
I don't hate Man Utd, I really don't. And in choosing who I feel better about winning the league out of them and that London team bankrolled by Russian oil that should belong to the citizens of that country - I'll choose MUFC everytime. I think however most of us have a "thing" about schadenfreud with them - I mean when you've got millions of fans who will never miss a chance to tell you how they are the bestest evererest at every opportunity, who sing "Glory Glory Man United" and then collectively react like the apocalypse is here whenever their team drops to the shameful depths of 2nd on the table. I'm just saying it's nice to watch a small Argentine lad burst some bubbles marked pride, or see fat Ronaldo score a hatrick against them, or watch the single biggest mismatch in quality I've ever seen in Champions League when Barcelona toys with them.
Please note I'm not saying all MUFC fans need the peg taking down. I've a Man Utd supporting mate who is a humble guy. Every team has its embarrassing fans (see that horse getting punched) its just with such a large fan base, there's a large number that don't understand graceful winning. So anytime they lose...we'll its like hearing that a brilliant new school teacher has come to town. Some badly needed lessons will be learnt by a large number of naughty boys.
Hugo (NUFC) Adelaide.
Fork In The Road
The coming few weeks will define Daniel Levy's tenure as Chairman at Spurs. Is he kicking tyres or buying cars? Window shopping or breaking out the plastic?
We've seen Spurs linked with so many big names over the past few years, one of them even happened (VdV). We've done it all on a very modest, sensible (conveniently forgetting £9m for Hutton) and balanced (Carrick, Berbatov, Modric & others) budget.
Now is our fork in the road. Down one path is the risky option. £25m for Soldado who, at 28, is possibly overpriced but might just be the final piece in the Spurs jigsaw. Down the other path is mediocrity, painful mediocrity and frankly, we've walked that road for too long. I don't exaggerate when I say that we could be one quality striker away from a Premier League winning side. That's not to say that we will win it if we sign Soldado but I do think we are that close with our current squad + the missing piece.
Time to choose Mr Levy. Sometimes you've just got to roll the dice!
Thom (half-expecting to wake up in a year, we've sold Bale, signed Jay Rodriguez for £18m then finished in 5th again somehow), Bristol
In yesterday's mailbox 'Aaron, Singaporean Gooner' wished for an image to go with Man U getting "seriously wedgied".
Aaron, this one's for you:
Aidan, Liverpool fan in London (can't stop laughing)