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...
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Come On United...Just To Shup Up F365
For the love of everything in the universe can Manchester United win this weekend, please.
Not because I want them to. Oh no.
Just so this website can stop f**king talking about David f**king Moyes for ten minutes.
Stu (John Nic will still find angle though, right? Of course he f**king will), Chiswick
Rooney And RVP Aside, What Do United Have?
I read Chris MUFC's response to Liam MUFC's previous e-mail this morning. The first thought that came to mind was that this is the type of debate you have over a pint; the second was that the response is a load of c*ck. You can't attribute United's poor performances due to Vidic's pace. Chris, lad, the reason United are not playing well is because you've got a squad of mediocre players. It's because you've lost a world-class manager and replaced him with a mediocre one.
What SAF did so well was getting an average team to play like a world-class one. He won titles, delivered trophies and generally was a man of his word when it came to success. Now your team looks to the bench for answers when things are not going as they expect and all they see is a chap who looks a bit bewildered and, at the moment, out of his depth. Moyes doesn't know what it's like to win trophies, he doesn't know how to deliver success. And everyone knows it.
Which brings me back to my other initial point. Rooney and RVP aside, there isn't one other United player I'd put in a Premier League top eleven. For every other position I can think of another player to pick ahead of them. Without thinking twice. It's that easy. The gulf in class between this United squad and that of Chelsea, City, and Spurs right now is massive. Arsenal currently have a stronger first eleven, although maybe not quite the depth.
The funny thing about all of this is there's only one person responsible for United's current predicament but no one wants to admit it. The chap didn't strengthen the team, because he didn't have to. And he hand-picked the current manager to succeed him. Brilliant. I hope he stays the full SIX years.
Vidic's pace/quality might not be what it used to, but you've got much bigger issues than playing a bit deeper, mate. Your round?
Dazza, Dublin - growing more and more confident of seeing LFC in the Champions League next year.
Quoting Louis CK Will Get You In The Mailbox
There's a hilarious Louis CK bit from one of his stand-ups in which he talks about being white as a massive advantage in the world compared to being of any other race (not that white people are better of course, but that BEING white is clearly better, as he clarifies).
Towards the end he muses that there is going to be some serious misfortune coming the way of white people in the future, stating that "we're gonna pay hard for this sh*t". White people have been receiving preferential treatment for so long that surely there is some sort of payback coming eventually.
This is exactly how I've always felt as a United fan. We've had everything our own way for basically my entire time as a fan. We've been the best team for 20 years and never encountered the sort of problems most teams do, and in that time most of our fans have been lauding it over everybody else and rubbing it in that we're United and we're the best. We've won 13 league titles in my time as a fan which is a lot more than most clubs have won in their history.
So I've always feared the day when the run ends and, like white people (according to Louis CK) there's going to be some sort of payback for everything that's happened in the last 20 years. Like Louis says, we're not just going to fall from number 1 to number 2. It's going to be a much harder fall than that. Although I've enjoyed all our success immensely, it's often been coupled with this nagging suspicion that this is all too good to be true and that one of these days we're going to suffer big time to make up for the priveleged life United fans have led all these years.
Hopefully this isn't the start of that payback and we turn it round, but at the moment, it's vaguely resembling what I've been fearing all these years. Yep, we're gonna pay hard for this sh*t!
Tom - MUFC (Cheshire)
PS - Please don't write in to say this email is racist. It's not.
United: Really Not That Good
N O'Reilly, you thought that was a good performance? What game were you watching? United were very poor in the first half and even worse in the second, they were lucky to score and even luckier not to lose, no creativity, no flair, no ambition. nited were of course poor in Europe a lot of the time under Fergie but then they at least were clinical and when they were playing games were they didn't have much of the ball at least they knew what to do with it when they did. A draw away is a great result under the circumstances but if you think that was a great European performance you better not watch Bayern München, you'd die of excitement.
Why Oh Why?
Why didn't Arsenal just pay Flamini what he was worth five years ago? I bet they'd have at least one more trophy if they had.
Bruce in Chicago
Liverpool: Chicken Or Egg?
I have being going to Anfield for years and am trying to put my finger on Liverpool's home form and how flat the players and supporters can be! One thought is that unless it's a top-six team or a great European team that the Reds are up against the crowd are flat and so too are the players! Should it be up to the supporters to get the team going or is it up to the team to get the supporters going? So my question and point is this...which comes first, the chicken or the egg? There's no doubt that Anfield is the greatest stadium and holds the best atmosphere when it chooses but lately if we play Southampton for example then the supporters can be none existent!
What Happens To The Miserable...
To the gentlemen who wrote in suggesting that Arsenal fans don't 'deserve' their glee, it's almost as if doing good things in the transfer market (such as buying world class talent) and showing ambition through tactical pragmatism (by acknowledging that six 2-0 wins is better than two 6-0s), creates this magical change in people's perceptions. It's also as if, set against the explanations...no, no, let's not have nuance hurt your pretty little heads, shall we?
But seriously, guys, if the thing that inspires you to share your feelings with the public is the unshakeable belief that people should not be allowed to be 'too' happy, you're going to wake up one morning next to John Terry, Wayne Rooney and Ryan Shawcross, the lot of them in flagrante delicto and you in a bunny costume. If you've ever heard the wise words of Statham's Turkish, you'll know what went down.
TG (Snatch was a pretty decent movie, just...not in the way I expected) Arsenal
A Three-Pronged City Fan Reaction
I'd like to fire off a three-pronged entry based on a trio of mails from yesterday's mailbox concerning my beloved City. Firstly, to Ena Parkinson who states that Gary Neville shouldn't be criticising a performance by Joe Hart and instead praise the delightful Bayern side. Your point fails somewhat when you chastise Neville for failing to criticise Manchester United for their performance in the derby, as he instead decided to praise City. Condemn or compliment...the guy can't win.
Secondly, to Derby NYBlues. I think you missed Nick Miller's point, really. Our acceptance that we were beaten by the better side merely shone a beacon of light on just how far we have to go get to that level. Bayern didn't make 'silly mistakes' like we did; their manager didn't make tactically inept (however well-intended) decisions...they were amazing, faultless and none more so than Schweinsteiger, the man I clapped off due to him performing the sort of midfield display I'll tell people about for many a year.
Lastly, to Matt. The man who scored a hat-trick in that Bayern-City U19 game has already played for the first team this season, scored for us last season and will play for us plenty in the future. Oh, and for Iniesta and Schweinsteiger, see Richards and Hart. If you're good enough you'll play. (The following is NOT a dig) Liverpool bought their youngsters in Sturridge and Henderson, United ditto with Jones and Smalling. So tell me, which Premier League side in Europe is filled to the brim with their own youth products? Football has changed. Ideals must soon follow.
JB (Moss Side, Manchester)
When City Tell Kids Not To Join City...
I'm sure Matt, Bognor Regis may come in for some heavy criticism after his mail about City's young players not getting a chance, particularly from City's fans.
However, reading it reminded me of a quote from Dario Gradi I read a while back. (I shall confess at this point that it's from the Daily Mail but there's a small chance it's true.)
'One of our 15-year-old kids was approached by Manchester City. I told him he couldn't go, certainly until he was 16 when we would receive compensation. Anyway, David Platt rang me up, City's assistant manager at the time and a former Crewe academy product. He said: "I've found out we are after one of your boys. Would you like me to come and speak to him and tell him not to come? There is no point in him going to City. We have hundreds of them here and don't know what to do with them."'
I'll leave you to make up your own mind about this but supposing it is true, what does that say for the attitude of our bigger clubs to their youngsters? It seems they're just disposable. What a waste.
More On City And The Yoof
Hi, never thought I would feel the need to act as an apologist for Manchester City and their buyingyouth strategy but I couldn't let Matt, Bognor Regis go unanswered.
Now he may indeed have Cassandra like powers of divination but his comment that it is a tragedy that none of these players will see the light of day is a little bit previous to say the least. My understanding, from City-supporting friends, is that vast sums of money have been spent upgrading the whole infrastructure at City including a fortune on the youth academy. Why would they spend this money if they had no intention of giving players a chance? These are businessmen at the end of the day and this makes no business sense. Wouldn't it be prudent to give it a few more years before judging City's youth policy and long-term goals? I suspect that if the players that handed Bayern such a thumping continue to develop as expected then they will get first team action. After all, rightly or wrongly, City pride themselves on being the 'local' team of Manchester and they would like nothing more than seeing their own academy products win trophies.
The only reason City are spending big on 'good but not great players' is that they don't have the global presence of United or Pool and this is a way of a) building that presence b) achieving immediate success c) giving the academy a decent amount of time for the improvementsmoney to have their affect. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see a conveyor belt of players coming out of the City academy within the next five years or so.
My impression, and I maybe wrong as I am not a City fan, is that the owners have put a long-term plan in place and the academy is major part of that plan. It just takes time for it to start producing.
Unfortunately, the FA delayed with Burton so long that we won't be seeing any benefits from that for at least 10 years.
Jonathan Wells (still not a Happy Hammer)
Hart: A Warning From History
Not that I think that Joe Hart should be nailed on to start every game, but just remember the last time that the established England keeper (David James) got dropped, and Scott Carson was brought in.
Having said that, I'm glad it's not my decision, because Hodgson will be criticised no matter what he does.
Too Obvious To Work
Just a quicky about the world cup in Qatar, why not play the matches at night? It's 10 degrees cooler and fans are used to World Cup matches being on the TV at funny hours so will make no difference there, Seems obvious to me but then FIFA never does the obvious.
We Had No Idea
You guys probably aren't aware but Michu only cost two million. Sam Matterface mentioned it last night and I thought it was worth passing on the info.
James '2 points from 8 games' Pow
Big Weekend, Big Praise
'That's more dogcock than Wolfswinkel.'
Now that is good
PS: Chelsea for the league, blah blah blah
Kev Conway, Eire