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 add on any subject, mail us at email@example.com
The most interesting thing about the numerous transfer sagas is Luis Suarez's ears.
Seriously, what is up with those?
Andrew (I hope this doesn't count as trolling these days), London
This Was Sent At 4.11am
Let's put the football to one side for a second and talk about the two beautiful footballs in Arsene Wengers pants. We all know hes a bit of a fox, has a bit of that Eric Cantona charm. But my boys have you really looked at him, stared into his pearly blue eyes. I have, and I swoon every time. Suffice to say he's sexiest man ever to grace the premier league. Have you seen him in his beautiful grey suit, hes absolutely stunning in it. He wears his suit so much more coolly than me and I'm only 58! Just wanted to give my views on this! Happy mailboxing!
I read Daniel Storey's article yesterday evening and nodded in agreement all the way through. Although I had been sceptical about Rooney-to-Chelsea, I was coming around to the idea, particularly as Mourinho would surely deploy him as an energetic out and out striker: Rooney's stats when put next to Torres swung me around even further. I am now in a position to say that yes, I would quite like Rooney at Chelsea please, so long as we don't spend silly money on his wages.
As I read the comments below the article, I was struck by how so many Man Utd fans were against the transfer. A few weeks back my Man Utd supporting friends and clients were happy for him to leave, but it seems now that the lack of reinforcements being brought in at Old Trafford thus far in the transfer window has made many re-examine their views on Rooney's importance to Utd. It is often implied in these comments that the appointment of David Moyes is to blame: He's not experienced enough to entice the best players/won't be able to handle the egos/keep Rooney at the club and in check etc.
I think these Man Utd fans are in need of a little reality check: Your previous manager is to blame for most of these problems. Ferguson watched his team completely dominated by Barcelona in midfield and did not address the issue by purchasing at least one midfielder, creative or defensive. Ferguson's reluctance to spend even when players were available left Utd weak in midfield and weak in Europe: His side were utterly battered by Athletic Bilbao to the point of hilarity, and yet Ferguson still did nothing to sort out his sides problems in the middle of the park. A bizarre proliferation of simplistic wingers combined with pushed out of position centre backs and the likes Danny Welbeck simply does not make up for not buying at least one Modric/Gotze/Mata/Dembele/Thiago/half-a-dozen-other-creative-players-that-were-available, or a deeper lying Cabaye/Fellaini. Although his purchase of Van Persie helped win the league back from Man City, that was all it was designed to do: Purchasing a 29 year old, injury prone striker because you're miffed that the neighbours pipped you to the post is a quick domestic fix and little more.
There was value in the market for creative midfielders over the last five years, for sure. I'd love to know why Ferguson focused so heavily on league dominance: Why he surrendered in Europe. Did he feel he'd been in the game too long to adapt his tactics? That he couldn't think beyond soaking up pressure against big teams and using wingers to break? Whatever the reason for his failure to strengthen where the evolution of the game was demanding he strengthen, it has created a situation whereby he successor is basically f**ked. The bids for Fabregas are either desperate, token or misguided, perhaps a confused combination of all three. They are likely to fail: Fabregas is part of Barcelona's future, not Manchester United's urgently needed midfield quickfix.
And so to Rooney. A deep striker that Ferguson made play on the wing, in the midfield, then on the wing again and then benched. A striker made second fiddle by Ferguson's purchase of Van Persie. A striker about to pass into his prime years and desperate to play his natural position for once. It's also worth remembering the years of service that he has already given to Man Utd and that a footballers career is short and needs to be made the most of. If there are still Man U fans who can't understand why he might hand in a transfer request then please get real about where your club is right now. And also remember that your new manager is having to inherit and deal with the negligence and short-sightedness of your previous manager in his final years in charge.
Regarding the Rooney to Chelsea saga, I think that the one thing that is being overlooked is the fact that United play Chelsea on August 26th at home. That still leaves the transfer window open for another 5 days. What's the odds that Rooney will sit out that game and be transferred to Chelsea before the deadline for a cool €40 million. The last thing United want is Rooney turning up in a Chelsea jersey at Old Trafford to exact revenge. Is that far fetched?
With kind regards,
This Is The Problem With Getting Too Emotionally Involved
Luis Suarez, shame on you. Shame on your racism, shame on your assault of fellow professionals and shame on you for dragging the fans of a football club supported the world over through your own personal nightmare... and shame on your 'ambition' which no doubt drives your mental self to engage in behaviour that, if acted out in public, would have you arrested. You can go... under the same conditions as any other player. When your market value is realised or when your contract has expired. Apparently you owe us 18 matches. Matches you should have been eligible for but were not because you were banned for contravening the laws of the game. But being a violator of the law and agreements to honour the laws of the game you'll understand if Liverpool don't fancy 'honouring' an agreement with you probably because you hold other agreements and responsibilities with such contempt.
I travelled from Italy, drove 19 hours to watch a testimonial match with you in it the other day. I watched as you warmed up, clapped as you ran the line and wondered why you couldn't be bothered to acknowledge the support and applause you received? I saw meander onto the pitch, run the channels a bit, and then skulk off for a bit of a rub down. I then drove four hours back to London thinking, amongst other things, about how boys become young men, young men become men, and men become champions. I was part of a testimonial at the weekend, the testimonial of a champion. He has played with poise and dignity, commitment, passion and skill. He has enriched the lives of those that follow him and is aware of and grateful for his place in the world. I lost my respect for you at the weekend. Before then I admired your tenacity and energy and overlooked your 'misdemeanours'. I didn't applaud you on Saturday because I admire your ambition. I applauded because I thought you understood what it was to be a Liverpool player and be supported by fans' like us. But you don't. So you're welcome to leave, don't let the door hit you on the way out lad. And hopefully we'll spend the money on resourcing someone whose a little more Gerrard than Suarez and your biting/racist ways can be acted out under someone else's roof.
Seriously, if Arsenal are only two signings away, then so are Liverpool. Or perhaps three. Think about it, a team of Mignolet; Johnson, New CB, Agger, New LB; Lucas, Gerrard; Coutinho, Allen/Henderson/New CM (Eriksen?), Suarez; Sturridge is really rather decent. I can't see that the side Arsenal can put out being much better. Additionally, the likes of Toure, Kelly, Enrique, Aspas, Sterling, Wisdom, Alberto, Henderson, Borini & Allen would provide plenty of competition for places (assuming Skrtel gets sold to fund a new centre half).
Alex (teams are always a couple of players away from being truly complete, aren't they?), LFC
Satellite Of Love?
Jay-C misses a fairly salient point about modern football: whilst it would be lovely if the Premiership further subsidised the lower leagues, it won't address the underlying structural problems driving their financial problems: declining attendances, and wage inflation, both of which are most acute in the Championship.
A BBC survey in 2012 discovered that six then football league clubs (Ipswich, Bristol City, Crystal Palace, Coventry City, Watford and Barnsley) had seen cumulative attendances drop from 2,338,933 in 2007/8 to 1,945,949 in 2011/12. A fall in attendances of 17%, over four years, amongst major Championship football clubs, is worrying, given the loss of income it entails. The inevitable consequence of this is that clubs identify the hardcore of fans on whose attendance they can rely, and then increase ticket prices.
Rising ticket prices are themselves a product of rising costs, which are largely driven by wage inflation for players. Until the relentless and disproportionate increase in players' wages is addressed, clubs will continue to struggle financially in increasing numbers and with increasing magnitude. The basic problem under all of this is the magnetic and distortive effect of the Premiership on the Championship: Championship clubs are competing against a division with numerous clubs enriched by parachute payments, which are still paying Premiership level wages. And so, to compete, Championship clubs without parachute payments and without sugar daddies are forced to either accept perennial status as a yo-yo club between League 1 and the Championship, or over-spend and hope they win promotion. Until wages stabilise in the Premiership, they'll continue to rise in the Championship. And given the continuing commercial profile and revenue of the PL, and component clubs, that's unlikely to happen.
Unless Championship clubs are happy to enter into a satellite status to larger clubs (similar to Watford with Udinese), the Football League allows B teams to play in it (which amounts to the same thing), or Championship clubs can radically improve their commercial operations and revenue, they have no naturally sustainable place in football's financial landscape. The Premiership won't pay for the Championship: why should it? It's a different legal entity to the Football League. Many elite Premiership clubs would be overjoyed if competition for youth players was reduced to their immediate Premiership rivals, and I doubt that relegation threatened clubs want to empower their rivals for promotion back to the PL.
I don't normally write into websites expressing opinions, but something always riles me. It's that great sentimental notion that if Premier League clubs/players donated just a fraction of the, admittedly, ludicrous figures that they receive then we could save the lower league clubs, like poor old Coventry (sorry Coventry, I could have said any one of a number of clubs and I have no grudge against you).
You could give every lower league club an extra £5m each season, but rather than save every lower league club from administration, all that would happen is that debts would be run up at an even faster rate and higher amount, with the likelihood of even more clubs than at present entering financial troubles.
The answer isn't in the amount of money that clubs receive, it is in the amount of money that clubs spend. This I am afraid is mainly down to pressures from fans, including myself, who want their club to be the best.
...Jay-C's idea of a "benevolent fund" funded by players' salaries, to help out skint lower league clubs is one of the worst ideas I've heard in recent times. It's hard to decide where to even start, but I'll try.
1. Moral Hazard - Not Eden's non-diving brother (couldn't resist). The benevolent fund is worryingly similar to taxpayer-sponsored bailouts of irresponsibly run banks. We all know how stunningly popular (and fair) those are. This was acknowledged in the original email, but hand-waved away. No Jay-C, this alone is enough to disqualify it as a terrible idea but there are many other reasons, so I'll go on
2. Players always get tapped for donations because their salaries are (mostly) public knowledge. Yet by no means are they always the highest earners at football clubs; that's usually the owners or chief exec or chairman (observe the millions the Glazers take out in "advising fees" every year). So why only ask players to pony up? Would you pay into a fund to prop up bankrupt companies in your industry? Which brings me to...
3. Players usually deserve to be paid what they make (discounting the odd Winston Bogarde). They work really hard to get where they do from a pretty young age and usually have short careers. Stop counting other people's money. And finally...
4. Every "bailout" is a lost opportunity for a club to become community-owned. When your club is penniless, it's the perfect time for fans to take it over from its clueless, couldn't-care-less owners. I'm confident Portsmouth will be better off as a fan-owned club in the long run and its fans will be happier
These must surely be terrible times for Coventry fans, but they will get over it.
The Money Could Be Better Spent
Jay-C, your idea is a great one. But surely that cool 16 million could be used in much better ways. Like feeding starving children or the homeless. Or finding cures for diseases. Don't get me wrong, I'm not criticising you or suggestion. I just think if we can make these prima donna's part with their millions, we should use it for truly good purposes. Footballers make their millions off the backs of their fans in one way or another. Some of these fans could become homeless or become severely ill. The millionaire footballers should help them, from their oh so very privileged positions.
...JAY-C... Mate all players already do this, it's called the PFA, the players union. Unfortunately it doesn't bail out clubs, instead helps players during and after their career in contract negotiations and helping people like Paul Gascogne overcome alcoholism.
Aston Taylor CFC
A Coventry Mail
Have read with interest general thoughts and musings around my club Coventry City FC's current predicament. Firstly appreciate the support from other clubs around the country it has been genuine and we thank you for it...A lot has been made of the "Bale 100m we only need 600k" point. Unfortunately this is not true. The size of the debt owed by SISU to the council isn't actually the issue. The issue is the fact that the two sides can't sit down and behave like adults to get a deal thrashed out between the two. It has now reached the point of complete and utter lunacy that SISU have decided to move us Northampton for our "home games" Another myth is that we can't be bothered to travel to games and we should "suck it up" *Looks at the S*n Newspaper*.... Fact is, it's the last straw for a lot us. If we go and fund the club in this move we will not return to our home city. This has torn fans apart, I have supported them for around 20 years but I know Season Ticket holders who have been going every year for 50 years who have said enough is enough. Also - It has cost SISU a 1 million "bond" to return to Coventry between 3-5 years.... Never will MK Dons happen again said the Football League? Well it appears it bloody well can for a princely sum of 1 million. Also worth noting the 1million bond is actually 400k more than the original debt owed on rent!
So what are we after... sympathy? Not really. We want the FA and Football League to investigate this mess and stop making snap decisions under the fear our retribution from our "owners" SISU and most of all we want to be supporting a L1 or L2 (most likely now) football club in our own city's walls.
If anyone would like to show their support for CCFC there is a legends game in aid of charity on Sunday at the Ricoh (expecting 10k) at 2pm to coincide with our home game at Northampton (400 tickets sold so far)
Once again appreciate all the support from all the other fans and we will hopefully come through this torrid time.
Michael "Play up sky blues" Gilbertson