The stark realisation for Manchester United fans is that their Everton counterparts seem much happier without David Moyes. Even more so after their 1-0 win...
Great value on the golf course but not in the TV studio, John Nicholson and Alan Tyers wonder if Alan Shearer just serves as a source of comfort for the average viewer...
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The Excellent West Brom
No doubt the mailbox will be full of crying Man Utd fans and laughing haters on Monday morning.
Just to balance things out, can I congratulate West Brom on a fantastic performance and a well deserved victory.
Gav, exiled Gooner, Melbourne
Damn those Premier League ABU schedulers who dared to put Man Utd against West Brom so early in the season. No wonder Moyes is livid.
The Instant Reaction Is In From United
Can you blame Rooney for wanting to leave?
Kelvin (Success for Moyes is staving off relegation)
...Worst ever start of a Premier League campaign...
Worst ever for a league campaign since 1989...
If David Moyes has a likeness for stats...then he should know ths as well...
Am trying to recollect when did I see United so flat, uninspiring and disinterested at Old Trafford. Some task to turn around for DM...
Ricky (MUFC, SAF told me i need to support new manager... Sir, I am trying. .. Still)
Moyes = Bebe?
Most big firms have to, eventually, create a succession plan. Apple have done it post Steve Jobs, Microsoft will have to post Bill Gates, and Manchester United are currently in the process of watching their succession plan in action. It is a terrifying and wholly damaging sight.
Much has been made of the shambolic summer transfer dealings, and it does indeed seem that the same wide-eyed naivity displayed by David Moyes for much of the buildup to the new season was experienced by Ed Woodward. Calm was the buzzword, then. These were two men plucked from relative obscurity and placed in command with a behemoth of world sport. They couldn't believe their luck. As the two of them drunkenly stumbled from one failed transfer bid to another the signs were beginning to illuminate. The two novices at the helm were not really sure what they were doing.
Not that experience is the be all and end all of success. Jose Mourinho, Andre Villas-Boas, Pep Guardiola, and Frank Rijkaard are a few managers who experienced quite a lot of success very early in their careers. The current manager of the club David Moyes left currently has a better trophy count than the man in charge of Manchester United.
One of the greatest attributes of Sir Alex Ferguson, noted by many of his peers, was his ability to adapt with the evolution of the game. David Moyes is creating the distinct impression that he wants to try and mimic Sir Alex's career year by year, game by game. Ferguson started slowly in his tenure, but he could always rely on title winning campaigns in Scotland for reference.
Manchester United have started nearly every game this season in a very rigid 4-4-2 formation. This was the formation they played in 1986, so it would seem logical for David Moyes to play these tactics now. If it was good enough for Sir Alex at the start of his career, then it is surely good enough for Moyes. Replacing the most creative attacker on Saturday, who has a tendency to drift inside, with a player more likely to stick to the wing was indicative of Moyes' obvious hardon for these dinosaur tactics and ideas. This is not the first time that comparison has been made.
Nearly eight hours have passed since Manchester United scored from open play. In not one minute of any of those hours has it actually looked like that statistic would change. The worst kept secret in the Premier League is out; have one extra man in the middle of the pitch, and you can dominate the Manchester United midfield. Since most teams play some variation of 4-5-1, with one notable exception, there will be more days like Saturday.
A couple of years ago Manchester United gave a young Portuguese forward a chance. Many said at the time that that inexperience would prove a costly mistake. Bebe was labelled a failure early on, surely David Moyes must be painted with the same brush.
Any Odds On Giggs For United?
I am by no means a member of the #MoyesOut brigade, but you don't have to be to realise he's in enormous trouble unless things change. Whilst he has time, there's not much of it left should the Club continue along this course.
Should Manchester United enter salvage mode (as in qualification for fourth place) at any stage this season, no one would be surprised to see Moyes relieved of his post. Its a harsh reality of the industry and, indeed, his position. Whether he deserves it or not would be immaterial at that point, should such a decision be made.
If that does happen, what money for the installation of Ryan Giggs as his successor? The state and attitude of the dressing room is a concern, as is Moyes' ability to woo top tier talent based on his reputation. Giggs mightn't be a good manager, his appointment, should it come to pass, could be its own sort of disaster, but at least immediately it might well placate the fans and players.
I can't stress enough that I'm neither saying Moyes should be sacked or Giggs is the man to replace him and restore order. I'm simply musing about the possibility of the Welshman being offered the role should the board get toey and lose faith in Mr. Moyes.
A Confused Villa Fan
I don't think I can cope with being so unbelievably disappointed in a performance, whilst so incredibly ecstatic at the result.
Aston Villa lined up with a defensive 5-3-2 formation against a very fluid, attacking Manchester City. Villa's fullbacks offered zero options going forward, and had even less composure on the ball. Villa's midfield consisted of three identical players - not very creative, hard working, defensive minded. Villa conceded 2 goals from set pieces, a very familiar statistic over the last couple of seasons.
Manchester City had twice the possession of an inept Villa team. Manchester City had 13 corners and 21 shots on goal, 7 on target. How the hell did Villa manage to win 3-2?!
Does this mean they can cope without Benteke ( and Agbonlahor )? Will Manchester City now complain about a possible offside for the first goal, or will they just walk away from this game as dumbfounded as I was?
I don't have any answers just yet, but I will go to sleep wondering what the rest of the season holds for this puzzling club.
Ignoring The Laws?
I do not mind the fact that Chelsea drew away at Spurs, which I imagine will be a good result. Nor do I mind that Torres got sent off for a two decisions that while i might not agree with, I can understand the referee's decisions, especially considering the second yellow; Torres went in stupidly aggressively, and yes, he didnt touch Vertonghen, but Torres has been around long enough to know that if you go near anyone while on a yellow you leave yourself liable.
What I care about is the ignoring of the law of the game, mainly in so far as Vertonghen should have been sent off twice (arguably): once because he was last man when he brought down the quickest player on the pitch, and the second because "being fired up" or "having a great rivalry" is not an excuse for a pushing a player in the chest, i.e. a yellow. Mike Dean seemed perfectly fine to punish Chelsea players for getting too into a derby (which admittedly, there were), but to my reckoning, Vertonghen pushed Torres twice in the chest, both deserving of a yellow card.
I'm interested in Ref365's view, but I think that Vertonghen should have been nowhere near to pitch, both when Ramires was through on goal and when Torres was sent off.
Apart from that, I'd have taken a draw at the Lane beforehand, and I just feel a bit sick because I actually felt sorry for Man Utd fans, considering they have to deal with Manchester's best Sir Alex Ferguson Tribute band.
Chelsea's Best XI?
Since Jose obviously doesn't know Chelsea's best starting XI yet, I propose the Mailbox offer its opinion. Chelsea fans, who would you start? Chelsea haters/the majority of you, who would you fear your team starting against the most? My two cents...
Ivanovic (RB) Tough as nails and a better crosser than Azpilicueta.
Cole (LB)- Sub Bertrand when necessary.
Luiz (CM) Cheers, Benitez for this revelation.
Lampard (CM) Still too dangerous to drop, in my opinion. Sub Ramires for either two.
Hazard (LM)- Sub Schurrle
Oscar (CM)- Indeed do like his place in that no. 10 role
Mata (RM)- Obviously. Sub Willian
Eto'o (F)- Though in reality since none of Chelsea's 3 forwards have scored in the PL yet this is basically a toss up. At least Eto'o is still a (potentially) exciting unknown.
Guy Adam, CFC, America
Arsenal's Steely Desire
There is a steely efficiency about this Arsenal team that I've not seen before. Wenger teams are usually more elegant.
That is all.
Strevs - Canada
MotD: Getting Better?
Watching Match of the Day tonight got me thinking. The program has, in recent months, come in for a fair bit of criticism for various reasons, some of it justified. However, I actually think the program has improved this season where the punditry is concerned.
For starters, whilst Gary Lineker isn't the greatest sports presenter on television, you have to admit he's much better than the diabolical waste of time that was Colin Murray, and the frankly dire Adrian Chiles. I don't see Sky/BT Vision enough to make comment on their teams but I seem to remember finding the Sky presenter rather irritating.
Secondly, Lawro and Hansen are no longer on every week. I know Hansen's been the face of MOTD analysis for a millenium and more, but to be honest, I'm tired of his extreme negativity- yes, sometimes defending is bad- we get it! And Lawro... well, the less said about him, the better. Not only that, but some of the newer pundits (the ex-pros, not the managers) are quite good. Shearer's starting to give detailed analysis of controversial decisions and back up his opinion with a good knowledge of the law and clips that prove his point. Danny Murphy gives honest views from the point of view of the player, and Robbie Fowler was okay the other week too.
Before you disagree, just think about ITV's coverage of England games for a minute. Adrian Chiles presenting, Clive Tildesley and I think it's Andy Townsend commentating, and Roy Keane & Gaz Southgate analysing. Chinese water torture suddenly seems like an attractive proposition...
Alex (I still can't stand Robbie Savage on Final Score though), Leeds
...If only Danny Murphy and Roberto Martinez could do the punditry each week on MOTD. I learned something after each game about why the result had happened, which is surely the point of having a pundit. Maybe the BBC chiefs read the mailbox and have responded to the will of the people!
Mike (fiver says the 2 Alans will be back next week), League 2, BRFC
After seeing Saints climb into a position which has given everyone south of Winchester a nose bleed I've only got one question.
When are Hull City Stripey Cats going to get some respect?
Thoughts From The Madrid Derby
I'm sure your inbox will be filled with letters either moaning about/mocking Manchester United, and Arsenal fans crowing in victory so I thought I'd break the tedium and supply my thoughts after watching a cracker of a Madrid derby.
-Despite looking like a big-wig in a drugs cartel Diego Simeone has crafted a side who are tireless in their work rate with enough quality to trouble anyone. Indeed, their ability to counter-attack and a decent defence (rare for an Atleti team!) must make them one of the most feared sides in the Champions League outside of the usual suspects.
-Real were poor with Benzema largely anonymous while Bale looked a bit rusty in his brief cameo. Lucky to steal a win at Elche in mid-week they are drifting off the pace in La Liga. Ancelotti will have to close the gap or invest all his efforts into winning their 10th champions league or expect another managerial change at the end of the season.
-Diego Costa is an enigma. Credit to Liverpool scouts for spotting his potential and meeting his buyout clause (his stats last season playing second fiddle to Falcao weren't amazing but now as the main man he's scored 8 already this season), however I can only think for the sake of the clubs "brand" that it is a good thing he stayed in Madrid. He seems to need to be wound up to play well and goes about it in some very distasteful ways. Occasionally his behaviour last night made Luis Suarez look like a meek-mannered gentleman. That being said he did the work of two strikers up front (David Villa had a poor game) and took his goal well. He really should have wrapped it up in the second half but he was thwarted by Diego Costa when through on goal.
- Although he didn't exactly cover himself in glory last night, Thibault Courtois is THE best young keeper in Europe. Having watched a fair few Atleti games over the past few seasons he has it all and at only 21 Chelsea have a real future star on their hands. Already Belgium's no. 1 (ahead of Slumdog Mignolet) I wouldn't be suprised if he spent next season on loan at a Premier League club to get accustomed to the different style of play.
-Koke is a fabuloous player. Still young and already in the full Spain squad he can pick a pass, has a goal scoring threat and a tremendous work ethic. Expect big things from him in the coming years.
-Finally, and not related to the derby, how well is Rafa Benitez doing at Napoli? I know its early doors but he seems to have spent the Cavani money well and they are another dark horse for the Champions League-especially given Rafa's proven tactical European nous. I think everyone bar Chelsea fans are hoping Napoli shit all over Chelsea in the knockout stages.
Apologies for the length but feel the mailbox needs more variety. If I have to read another 30 mails on Moyes's merits (or lack thereof) I may start ingesting bleach.
Oliver, Cape Town
If you believe in causality, can you please get the Orient fan to write in every week, given his comments preceded his team dropping points for the first time this season?
Joe Boss (Wolves fan)