Another rotten day for David Moyes, whose desperation for a win was epitomised by the selection of an unfit Robin van Persie in attack. It's looking pretty worrying indeed...
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...
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Reading your article this morning containing exerpts from Zlatan Ibrahimovic's autobiography hit home the real tragedy of this transfer window, the fact that no English side managed to sign him.
Chris MUFC Barnet
Ozil Isn't A Coward Because Real Is A Circus
Is Ozil a coward for not staying in Madrid and fighting for a place in the starting 11? If this was most other clubs there might be a point to this line of argument. The idea that a great player could just put his head down, focus on the job and play his way into the team. Make yourself the 1st name on the team sheet (or 2nd after one Ronaldo, C) and nobody can steal your place.
But this is Real Madrid. They aren't rational. They buy players they don't need, bench players that are playing great, freeze out talents that become jewels in other sides. Politics of the boardroom clash with politics of the dressing room and managers just try and contain the chaos long enough to not have their picture burned in the street. The only thing predictable about Real is that they'll behave in some completely insane manner at some point soon.
They've signed their shiny new toys (Isco and Bale) and those will be crammed into the team no matter what, because that's how it works. Players aren't judged on talent, but instead by membership in dressing room cliques, the desire of the club president and the whims of management that changes too often to keep track of. Ozil did the smart thing and said "no thanks, I'll go somewhere I'm needed and wanted".
Brinton, San Francisco, The Arsenal
...T-Mac asks if Ozil is a coward for not fighting for his place. Perhaps at any other club he may be, but Real Madrid is a circus club where logic does not dictate. Players are not chosen on their abilities and capability of fitting in to a team. Instead they are chosen by their transfer fee. Ozil and Higuain have been kicked out. Why? They did not come as galacticos that were bought for big big money. They were bought for relatively modest fees and broke their way in to a team with players that had greater reputations and cost far more. But Perez does not like this. It's not how he operates. He doesn't consider a player a star unless they were brought in for big money. He feels Real Madrid should buy stars, not make them, because buying stars shows his powers; his political clout. Robben and Sneijder made the same decision as Ozil a few years ago and were vindicated for this. Ozil would only have been fighting a futile battle if he had stayed. No matter how good he would have been, it would not have been good enough.
I doubt very much whether this mail will get published but here goes. From one Dave to another Dave about a completely different Dave:
Over the course of the next seven years I can see Moyes winning a League Cup.
I really believe he can do it.
Somerset Dave (mails published since 2001)
In response to Dave's email, I'm willing to further lower my standards and say maybe one PL trophy and a couple of domestic cups. The reason is not because of my long standing pessimism but because as a Liverpool supporting friend of mine said: Fergie was given time and allowed to succeed because he was a proven winner prior to taking the reigns. Breaking the Old Firm monopoly and beating Madrid is no small feat. I believe that is why United were willing to wait knowing that he would succeed eventually. Moyes was recommended by Fergie and I believe that six years is what Charlton and the board are willing to offer as a mark of respect to Fergie's choice.
Moyes has had tremendous experience in guiding Everton to top flight finishes in almost all the seasons. But his inexperience is in winning trophies. I do believe that the next three years will be a learning curve in the CL as he realizes and tries to adapt to European tactics. Hence, the minimum requirement would be to finish third at the very least for the next two seasons to qualify for CL.
Coming to the trophies bit, I don't see United winning in the next three years unless RVP suddenly goes on a madcap scoring spree and single handedly delivers us the title like last season. Plus, despite having finally bought a CM after what seems like centuries - there is still quality lacking in certain departments as well as the burning question - what formation do we use to fit Kagawa and Rooney?
Chelsea and City will always be perennial challengers and I can also see Liverpool slowly start competing along with Arsenal and Spurs for the top four spots. That would make the title race harder as well as getting CL qualification which should be the bare minimum to say the least.
The cups would be his best bet for now - winning them would give him the confidence that he can do a good job and would also go some way in allaying some of the fans' fears regarding his appointment.
I would still plump for Moyes over some of the other names that were in the reckoning. The reason being that some of the other managers would probably start a spending spree and would be expected to deliver trophies every year. No trophies would mean the sack and we'd be back in the market for a new manager. My worst fears are turning into Chelsea with a managerial roulette at the end of every season. I'd take stability and a touch of apparent mediocrity over that any day.
Same Old, Same Old
Having read every article on your website over the last couple of weeks regarding trasnfers, non-transfer, kneejerk reactions etc. I decided to have a quick search for last September's mailbox. Unfortunately you can't search that far back, or on F365 Says..... My only request would be that you could publish the first three weeks of September mailboxes in conjunction with last years.... the similarities might be fairly similar?
- Manchester Utd. didn't buy anyone except an overrated teenager who is being loaned back to his club. Need to spend big money on the worlds biggest centre midfielders and a left back, didn't. Two promising youngsters coming through who had good pre-seasons should be played and given a chance. Non of the above has happened (ok so they did sign RVP) and everyone said that they were doomed, even with RVP they wouldn't cope and would be overrun and finish fourth.... look how that ended up
- Chelsea. Spent more money on great players, but in positions they already had players, too reliant on Torres up front, what if he gets injured (not much)?
- Tottenham. Daniel Levy is a genius, they have an amazing team, will break into the top four as they have a better squad than Arsenal. A bit later, maybe their squad isn't that good but with the signings they have they should break into the top four.
-Arsenal. OK here I concede, optimistic Arsenal fans....weird.
- Liverpool. This is our year, Brendan is the right man to get us in the top four...I mean win the league
Maybe I am completely wrong and every teams reaction is completely different but it could be interesting to have a look?
Tom, Tractor Boy in Switzerland
Baines Is The One
Just in response (and for information) to Ciarán (Destiny Sausage) Dorney, Dublin
Cardiff away is exactly the sort of game where Fellaini will need to drive forward and create...we played them him last week when Everton came to town.
He came, he played, he was dog sh*t.
Baines looked absolute World Class, right foot, left foot, up and down the pitch, sticking to the line, drifting inside...Fellaini is kidding himself thinking he can sit and dictate like a Carrick or even be box to box like Cesc. He'll be effective for Utd if they change their style to a more direct style.
Baines is the one you should have got, £20m for him and I'm sure your left back slot would have been well served for the next 6 years.
The Big Teams Don't Play Each Other Enough
Another mail bitching about international football for you.
One of my many gripes about the international football schedule is that the big teams simply do not play each other often enough for it to be interesting. A big reason the champions league is so widely followed and enjoyed is that we get the chance to see the best up against the best, whereas in international football the bigger countries like England seem to have an interminable procession of eastern European minnows to play.
Ignoring friendlies, the big teams are like ships that pass in the night. Spain have a good case for being the best international football team of all time. England last played Spain in a competitive game in 1996. We have played France twice in the last 20 years., Brazil once in 40 years. The 4 games we've played against Italy since 1980 starts to look colossal.
The international football calender is broken in many ways, but surely more games that matter between the top teams would do so much to build interest?
Try Wearing A Cap
The inevitable reaction to Dyke's speech has been a(nother) call for an English quota system for Premier League clubs, but it occurs to me that what is actually needed is a cap (stick with me for a minute...). By capping the number of purchased English players in a squad to, say, 4 (no limit on the number brought through youth ranks), the following benefits would likely occur:
1. Top clubs would only buy English players that would be likely to start on a regular basis. This would prevent England's best young talent spending their key development years warming the bench at these clubs (Rodwell, Sinclair, Smalling, Zaha, Sturridge, Moses and Walcott, to name a few). The same applies to more mature players like Milner. Would Leighton Baines be the player he is now if he'd become a back-up at Chelsea or United instead of signing for Everton? Wayne Bridge might know the answer.
2. It would reduce the ridiculously inflated prices paid for English players.
3. It would encourage club academies to develop and hold on to English talent, not cast them aside at 17.
4. Limited places at PL clubs would lead to decent English players looking more seriously at playing in overseas leagues, which I'd argue will make for better, more rounded and tactically more astute players (this is what most English players who play abroad seem to say happens, and it doesn't seem to have done Holland any harm, for example). Foreign clubs might actually buy them if the prices come down, as per point 2.
5. A better spread of English talent around the PL, making it a more competitive league.
If clubs have 4 English players they have bought, plus at least 3 or 4 homegrown, we'd be no worse off than we are now in terms of total numbers in the PL, but all of the above benefits would accrue. A one in, one out system could apply, so if Man Utd want to buy a Baines, they have to sell a Rooney or (more likely) a Young, maybe to a foreign club.
If it counts as an example of a successful England team, it's worth noting that England's starting XI in the Italia '90 semi came from 8 clubs, including one each from Rangers and Marseille. 5 of the team came from Derby, Forest and QPR (16th, 9th and 11th in the Div 1 that year). England's starting XI in their last competitive game in Montenegro came from just Liverpool, Chelsea and the Manchester clubs, with 5 of them not regular starters for those clubs.
Please use the famous F365 influence to pass this on to Dykey, Anthony 'Barry' Fry and of course Woy of the Wovers.
Now I realise where all of the crazy, 'deluded' mails from Arsenal/Liverpool/Spurs etc. fans come from. You guys really are constantly on the wind up!
As a United fan I'm smug to admit that there hasn't been much to put us down with in the last 20 years, but now that you've got your chance you are making us look like chumps(!)
Van Persie confirming that he's happy to work with Moyes, speaking out against rumours (rumours!) that they're not getting on. A non-story.
Tying Nani to a new 5-year deal - a great piece of business, inconsistent as he may be he is still one of our only 'something from nothing' players and is twice the player of Ashley Young.
Rio Ferdinand saying we can retain the title. As champions I'd be a little worried if he came out and said we have no chance, always nice to see one of the leaders in the squad in a bullish mood!
I know, I know, I've bitten big time but at least now I can empathise with all of the other angry mails I have read in this mailbox!
...First of all, you can't be poking fun about the way David Moyes goes about doing his job when you've published half of your last mailbox in bold and hyperlinked it all to a page that has nothing on it!
Secondly, how much about Robin Van Persie and David Moyes' relationship do you know to publish such a super-sarcastic headline? I know F365 is more tongue in cheek than other web sites, which is why I enjoy reading it so much, but honestly, how can you go so b@lls out on a headline based on your own opinion and vendetta against David Moyes?
Also, I don't see the problem with giving Nani a 5 year deal. On his day he's one of the best wingers around and if he can stay fit, get a run of games and find his form, we've got a genuine match winner there! A lot of people forget that the season United won their 19th league title, were it not for Nani (and Berbatov) United would probably have been out of the running by Christmas. Left wing doesn't do Nani any justice, he needs to be on the right wing and stay there, asap! Very worse case scenario, if he doesn't find his form, we've got a few years to sell him for a fee rather than let him leave for nothing.
I love you F365 but you don't half annoy me at times. It's almost as you want your readers to react and send you content!
Kev The Clarke, MUFC (hope you sense the tone of that last sentence) Skem
Greg Dyke's Bedtime Reading
I'd like to suggest that everyone (but particularly Greg Dyke) reads a book called Soccernomics if they haven't already. It's written by a journalist and an economist and does a wonderful job of using statistics to explain, among other things, why Nicolas Anelka is bad at penalties, why nobody should expect football clubs to make money and why the FA Cup has become a bit rubbish.
The reason I recommend this for Mr Dyke is that the authors do a very good job of illustrating why England are perennial overachievers in a footballing context. They identify a good correlation between population size, GDP and the number of international football matches played and the success of that country's football team. What they actually found was that England performed better than expected over that timeframe (I could go into more detail, but I don't want to risk infringing copyright).
They also point out that if trends in economy and population size continue as expected, and England can somehow entice the middle classes to take up football in order to make the most of their increasing population, we should be roughly as good as Germany by 2032.
So there you have it, Greg needs to pay less mind to quotas and short-term targets and instead focus his efforts on immigrants and posh people. I'm sure The Daily Mail will love that.
It seems like your 'Van Persie happy with Moyes' front-pager brought the best out of some of my fellow United supporters. You dun did it now 365. It's OK to be blatantly sarcastic with any other team, every day, in almost all of your headlines (regardless of the fact that the actual articles are pretty unbiased) - I mean, we are quick to laugh at other club's fans - but not with my beloved United. Dun did it this time.
Seriously, people need to realise the front page headlines are just very funny s**t(s?). Reading some of the comments from the readers it's apparent quite a few haven't grasped the idea yet. Like myself, you enjoy taking the piss, in a fun way. Mad bantz, if you please. Some people seem to find this really hard to comprehend though, and whereas I'm used to seeing Liverpool and Arsenal fans pop digital blood vessels at some of the quite hilarious article titles, I'd have to say it really became most humorous to me when it came time for United, due to the whole transition/moyes/failed transfers malarkey, to take centre stage. As that guy in that ad said (sorry I don't watch much English TV, he's probably someone famous in the UK), "Calm down dear, it's only another sarcastic F365 headline."
Yes, calm down guys. This is our preferred website and in my opinion is the hipster corner of the internet (in a good way!). I don't know any other site which produces the madness/randomness this site does. I completely get it, and other regular visitors really should too by now. So please, random angry person, don't liken F365 to the Daily Mail ever again. Being fully aware of what you're doing and using it to mess around is different to what the red tops do.
I would've posted some of the dumb comments from readers (don't think I'd be bothered to comment if I really disagreed with an article that much, I'd probably just go to another article), but I'll share the one that I think summed up what I am saying perfectly.
'Your United baiting is top draw'.
DS United - Leave Britney Moyes alone!
...I swear to god, all football websites look like they have been taken over by the Daily Mail these days. Everything Man Utd related is exaggerated, there's hyperbole left right and centre. CRISIS, DRAMA, DISGRACE, JOKE, LAUGHING STOCK, MESS, OUT OF HIS DEPTH ETC ETC Blah Blah Blah. Everyone's guilty of it these days, none more than F365.
So, Man Utd have tried to buy a central midfielder before the transfer window closed. They succeeded in this by securing a proven premier league player. A reasonable bid was made for Fabregas which was turned down, bit of time wasted, no real big deal. Oh wait, CRISIS, DRAMA, HULABULOO, RABBLE RABBLE, AFRO MADNESS, WHAT ARE THEY PLAYING AT!!!etc etc.
Chelsea tried to buy Wayne Rooney but failed and then went on the loan out one of the leagues most exciting talent and best finishers last year. SHREWD, JOSE MASTERCLASS, MINDGAME KING, WAZZA UNSETTLED, ROO'S YOUR DADDY (JOSE THAT'S ROO) etc etc
United tried to buy Leighton Baines an excellent player but with Evra looking half decent in no way essential. They tested the waters with a cheeky low bid and got rejected, and rightly so. SHOCK REJECTION, MOYES EMBARESSED, BAINES SNUBS WEAK MOYES. MOYES IS A LOSER, FERGIE WOULDVE GOT HIM FOR FREE!!! Etc etc
Chelsea buy Willian because he happens to be around the corner having a medical with another club. GENIUS JOSE, WHAM BAM WILLIAN, SMASH AND GRAB JOSE, CHELSEA SPLASH THE CASH WITH WELL THOUGHT OUT TRANSFER. Etc etc
I know Moyes is boring and doesn't give many sound bites/headline grabbers. Lets not make a fool out of him for buying an excellent midfielder and sticking with the team that won the league a few months ago...
That wont get you many clicks though will it... Its all about the clicks...
Keane To Real
Further to Browny the Towny's mail on crazy transfer window stories, I was reminded of a January deadline day 7 or 8 years ago when our friend Guillem Balague stated that the transfer of Roy Keane from Man U to Real Madrid was 'practically done'.
Great call Guillem (if that is your real name).
And since when, according to sensationalist journo's everywhere, did Man Utd conclude all their transfer business early on in the window? I clearly remember footage of Berbatov & Ferguson backslapping at around midnight on deadline evening.
Baz (perhaps not so clear) Dublin