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 firstname.lastname@example.org
What Makes Your Heart Sink?
Desperately trying to forget about the shambles that was Moyes' teamsheet on Sunday I recalled something that occured in the, quite entertaining, Arsenal vs Stoke game.
Watching Mertersacker's header loop into the corner of the net I was filled with a sense of loathing and dread. Not because I have any particular hatred of the eleventy eight foot teutonic beanpole or because I feel much negativity towards Arsenal these days, Like Fergie towards Arsene, my feelings towards Arsenal have mellowed since they stopped being a threat. No. This surge of despair was because Arsenal had scored in a 'Stoke fashion' and it meant I knew exactly what I would have to listen to for the next ten minutes.
Cue Alan Smith pouring out cliche after cliche about how 'Stoke will be disappointed at conceding from a set piece' 'Stoke have been out-Stoked' 'Stoke have had their own tactics used against them there.'
If I had been playing cliche bingo with a bottle of vodka in front of me I would have been 'kin sh*tfaced by the start of the half-time analysis.
So my question to be mooted is...
Are there any events that happen in a football match that make your heart sink because you know you will be subjected to some of the most banal commentary c*ntery for a good portion of the rest of the match.
John Terry doing something brave?
Wayne Rooney being shit for aaaages and then shinning one in?
Arsenal 'passing the ball into the box' but not scoring?
Salford Chris (Two in midfield! Against Toure?! What a twunt.)
Fergie Still Winning
It would appear that nobody gets one over on Ferguson, right to the very last. To recommend a man for your job who is clearly not up to it ensures that his reign appears even greater. It looks like Ferguson's presence itself was worth 10-15 points a season on the evidence of the current campaign. No more, what an abject defence and midfield. They've not been left in great shape, have they? Still, all empires fall eventually.
Dave Edwards, Arsenal and England
Would This Be A Success For Moyes?
I suppose after dominating the PL for the last 7 years I should have expected such premature exuberance (for want of a cruder expression) of the ABU press at United's tough start but the rush for commentators, such as Miller, Powell and Samuels to dance on Davey Moyes grave is positively lemming like. It clearly reveals just how much frustration they have accumulated during their lengthy sentence of Fergie proving them wrong year in and year out. (I had constructed an analogy of prisoner being released after seven years meeting girl friend but couldn't keep it suitable for family reading!)
However my real gripe is with the many United fans who are now wistful concluding that "we now won't win anything this year", revealing that they had somehow been expecting United to carry on post Fergie as if nothing had changed! How naive is that?
I'm sure all at MUFC, Moyes in particular, fully accept that 3rd in the league and quarter final in CL would represent a highly successful transition from the greatest manager of all time. As someone who followed United in the second tier of English football hopefully you'll understand why I'd say .... it's time you all to grow up!
Moyes Will Fail, But Stop Saying Moyes Will Fail
The way the media is reacting you would think that winning the league is already beyond United - they are 3 points behind City ffs!
I believe that Moyes will ultimately fail at United but he needs to be given time to do it.
I know this was a pretty bad result and performance. Not just the team but by Moyes. But let's just remember that Sir Alex didn't exactly come racing out of the traps, and that worked out ok, didn't it?
It's a horrible set of fixtures to start any season (though at least it gets them out the way early doors), let alone your first in charge. Yes, he's a bit dour and negative at times, and the PR team need to get some time with him before he does something really silly like blame inanimate objects for defeats... but there's no reason to panic.
As I said at the start of the season, with the money City have spent on top of the squad they already had, and the return of Mourinho to Chelsea, any United fan expecting better than 3rd needs to have a serious think.
I am hopeful of better, but i'll take third for his first season.
Guy S (I always blame the computer too)
...Well, that went well.
Unfortunately, Aguero, Kompany and Yaya Toure have a nasty habit of playing really quite well against United, which is exactly what they did again on Sunday. Getting hammered by a pumped up City is nothing new, hell they used to beat us when they were awful.
It's not the end of days, it's not Man United's death knell and, despite the crowing of many internet commentators, it's not conclusive proof that David Moyes is out of his depth. It's one admittedly disastrous match - if the season finishes and United are scrapping for fourth then we can all say that perhaps he's not the man for the job.
Some of the spleen vented towards Moyes is justfied (the whole fixture conspiracy thing) and some of it has been utterly baffling - I recall when Moyes was appointed, his quotes about getting the job and working with the players were ridiculed as that of a new work-experience lad who was just happy to be there in the presence of greatness. Now, Johnny Nic publishes quite the tirade against him for having the temerity to shout at his team of winners when they are not playing well.
Am I missing something here? If he acts respectfully towards his new charges (and to be fair, most of what he said was standard new manager statement stuff), he is over-awed and out of his depth. If he shouts, at his players for putting in one the worst performances for a number of years, something you would rightfully expect any manager to do, then he is disrespectful and out of his depth.
Perspective and patience, we hardly knew ye.
What About 3-5-2 For United?
In response to Joel from Chester, you are the sort of fan we could do without to be honest coming to United games, or lending your support via the TV. May I suggest you wait until the end of the season, see who wins the league then perhaps start supporting them instead?
On Moyes, I think some of my Everton supporting pals got a little fed up with him being so conservative. It will take time to change the mind-set but I think he will get there. This is Manchester United, not Preston, Everton whoever. You are expected to at least have a go in the big games, not set up to nick a goal or a point. We've been too negative for a while in my opinion even under SAF.
Please, let's have a look at Nani, Zaha, Januzaj and Kagawa. Has to be better than Welbeck and Young? I'd rather lose 4-1 having a go than limping to it with that dross in there.
The other option is to adapt to what we have in the squad - why not play a 3 in midfield of Fellaini, Carrick and Shinji supporting RVP and Rooney up top, Valencia/Rafael and Evra playing as wingbacks with a solid back line of Evans, Vidic and Rio?
Russ, frustrated United fan but don't think we are too far off.
Why Only One Sub?
There are a lot of questions about Moyes' selection and tactics - which is fair enough, given the performance and the result. But I'm surprised to see the lack of comment about him only using one sub. Rooney was the only player who wasn't terrible in that first 50 minutes, before City eased off.
I can't see the logic in only using one substitution. It was like Moyes froze after that fourth goal went in (Cleverley was already warming up to come on at that point). You could have used all three subs at half-time, and there would have been five or six players lucky to see the start of the second half.
The one change Moyes did make had a positive effect. Why not make another? I don't get it. Did he see his managerial life flash before him after that fourth goal?
Joel Sparks so Man U are going through a transitional period where things will change and so therefore you have stopped supporting your team.
What a [bad word redacted].
Martin "supporting saints for the crack not the glory" Ansell
Less Pithy, Similar Point
Fair few hissy fits thrown this weekend then? Check. Grown men crying? Check (probably). Glory hunting football supporters? Check.
As an Everton fan I was just starting to think that perhaps I should be wanting both Liverpool teams do well (provided Everton are doing better) as it could only benefit the city as a whole if both teams were at the top of their game. Then old Martin pipes up and reminds me why I dislike Liverpool FC so much: their fans are complete douches. Did you manage to get all your toys back in your pram after the tantrum Marty? Is something anyone lost 20 years ago in any aspect of life really "theirs" anymore?
And now to Joely: so you only support your team when things are going well? Good work there matey. What's that? Players could do with your support when things aren't going so well because they're (admittedly, mostly thick) human beings and they need some confidence every now and again, especially during periods of uncertainty? Don't come crying to Joely, Wazza: he won't be there with that big hug.
So many football fans are complete ar$ewipes.
I also can't believe it's taken so long for anyone to suggest playing Baines on the left of England's midfield.
I wish all those level-headed folks out there a lovely day.
It Might All Be Very, Very Bad
Ive heard quite a few of my United loving mates make the following statement:
"Everybody relax; we lost 1-6 to City under Sir Alex and still only lost the season on goal difference" or "we've had worse starts playing worse teams under Sir Alex and still been ok".
Ok great, but the issue with that lies somewhere in the statements; Sir Alex. That happened whilst the club was under the care of one of the greatest club managers of all time. Now its happening with a novice (at this level of expectation) manager who a) looks unable to get his team playing the way he wants (does he even know what that is), b) looks to be failing in his team selections, c) seemingly doesnt have the faith of the full squad or supporters behind him and d) is following in the footsteps of a giant of the game. So no, its not necessarily going to "be alright". In fact, it could go very very wrong.
Someone once said that playing for the Chicago Bulls after the Jordan/ Pippen/ Rodman era was like arriving at the worlds greatest party after the lights had just been turned on, everyone had gone home, youre handed a mop and told to clean up. I imagine Moyes must be feeling something like that
Sbu "Theres only one David Moyes" Ngwane (Liverpool supporter in Johannesburg)
So after first place last time around, your reward this time is having to face three of last season's top teams and having a tricky away fixture at another top ten team in addition to that, all in the course of the first five games of the season. You really could understand it if the manager gets as red as his team's shirts.
I mean, this obviously is a conspiracy against Cardiff, isn't it?
Can They Have Their RvP Back Please?
Steve, Quito - United bought van Persie last season. His parents are bloody artists! He couldn't really be further away from the type of player you described. If that's not good enough, you can just send him back.
Ross, AFC London
On Jose, Mata, Oscar & Casillas
Disclaimer:I am not nor have ever been a Chelsea Supporter/Admirer/Sympathiser
Chelsea finished 6th and 3rd with Mata as their number 10, (yes a Europa cup but Mourinho has no interest in that). Mourinho has a different agenda than Benitez, 4years versus 4months.
Mourinho favours Oscar as the number 10, as he thinks he is a better no 10 than Mata. Its simple really.
Remember the fuss when he dropped Casillas , now Ancelotti has dropped him too , seems Mourinho was right there.
This is similar to what is happening with Mata.
So Seyi (can't believe Mourinho has managed to use Jedi MInd Tricks to fool people into believing Mata suddenly needs to adapt his game - best player in 2 cup winning seasons, YOU should adapt your game to him pr*ck) LFC Cop on
I'm sure there are far more pressing and important matters to be discussed, but someone in the Mailbox the other week was trying to put team players' names together for amusement.
(Topical bit - ) as we know Mata might well be looking for another team to ply his trade.
If he moves to Villa there'd be Bacuna and Mata.
What a wonderful phrase.
Anyway that's it, sorry (oh look a tumbleweed).
As a decimal: 34750
As Hexadecimal: 87BE
As Equation: 32768+1024+512+128+32+16+8+4+2
Pochettino into binary:
So, I think that tells you everything you need to know about Southampton's season.
Gerrard's Left Foot
In all the fallout of the Manchester derby, along with the refusal from pundits across the board to criticise the England captain, something has gone completely under the radar this weekened.
Liverpool lost by a single goal to Southampton. And had Steven Gerrard used his left foot to clear the ball on the line, they'd have got a draw from the game. And not a single pundit or report I've seen have even mentioned it? He should hang his head in shame.
Gareth Barry was quite rightly lauded for a goal saving tackle for Everton v Chelsea last weekend, and Gerrard saving the ball on the line is also as good as scoring a goal at the other. What is the point of being on the post if you're not going to do the correct thing should the ball come towards you?
It is a real annoyance of mine that players are unable/unwilling to use both feet. Seriously, these players train for a couple of hours a day, and get paid ridiculous amounts to do so. Surely if there is a weakness in your game, you should be expected to improve those areas? Clubs do all sorts of work on fitness levels, look at stats, etc. Why don't they work on a fundamental asset of the game?!
There are of course examples of players who previously were very one footed, but have improved this and now look far more complete, Van Persie and Sturridge spring immediately to mind, and kudos to them for doing so.
Russell (both footed), Guildford
The review of Lawro's predictions in mediawatch reminded me of how Degsy predicted Liverpool would beat Southampton comfortably.
Third Person Dismissal
The best thing about reading the headline "Paolo Di Canio Sacked" is that you can read it as if he's saying it. Never thought that third person stuff wouldn't annoy me, thanks Paolo.
Mike, (AVFC) London
The End Of The Curse
It's a good thing that the "Ramsey scores a goal and celebrities start dying curse" seems to be finished. The poor bugger would be looking at several life sentences due to the mass killings all these goals would be causing. And people said we needed another striker!
Haunted By Hair
Just back from holidays in France (very nice, thanks for asking). On our last night we were having a drink in the hotel before bed & the European footy highlights were on. My missus (not a big football fan, but trying, bless her) was amused to see some supporters wearing Fellaini wigs & even more amused when the camera shot to Fellaini himself. "Is that his real hair? No way!!".
In the morning she tells me she hasn't slept well. The reason? She had been stalked in her dreams by Fellaini's hair. Just to make this clear: not Fellaini himself. Just an evil, giant manifestation of his disembodied hairdo.
Now, maybe this nightmare can all be blamed on the all-u-can-eat chinese buffet (the only eating option in Beauvais after 10.00pm), but as a Liverpool fan I'm taking it as definite sign that he has truly moved over to "the dark side".