That's the advice from a Liverpool fan who knows a thing or two about joshing from rival fans. Plus, Andy Townsend as eye candy and answers to Martin's question...
These are truly exciting times in Spain. There are three teams who could end the weekend top of the table and there's a very decent chance that Atletico could lead...
If you have anything to say on any subject, mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Time For Chicharito To Leave?
Just a random thought during the typically dull interlull: some club should really try and buy Hernández during the January transfer window.
So far he's made just two league appearances for Man Utd, and despite scoring the winner against Liverpool in the League Cup a fortnight ago, hasn't even appeared in their last two games. I can't imagine Mexico has a wealth of attacking options if they are to qualify for the World Cup this summer (Carlos Vela?) but surely he'd want to playing a hell of a lot more than he has so far.
I suppose you might think fair enough if you're not playing every game but still winning trophies as it was under the Fergie era, but surely the players even more than us members of the public can see that the Moyes era is a drastic departure from what has come before - and that's putting it nicely.
Plus he's behind Danny Welbeck in the pecking order. That has to be depressing.
Surely some Champion's League-level club can give this horribly mistreated striker a decent home?
Greg Benham, AFC
Ozil > Januzaj (If It Needed To Be Said)
Is Hrishi REALLY comparing the hype around Ozil to Januzaj?!
Ozil is an established international going into hopefully his third world cup.
Ozil holds the record for assists in Europe over the last season.
Ozil has since his debut scored one of the best goals the Emirates has ever witnessed and managed all three assists on his debut for a team who habitually uses set pieces to return the ball to the opposition.
If you want a comparison to your 18 year old youngster, try comparing him to ours - young Gnabry.
Ozil is already a world class talent while Januzaj only might be - that's the difference.
Overhyping young players while your rivals sign the real deal isn't a good idea - us Gooners were doing it for years.
Graham Simons, Gooner, Norf London
England For The English
'The only people who should play for England are English people'
While the possibility that Adnan Januzaj will play for England is as slight as frame, our proper geezer Jack Wilshere's comments on the matter are worthy of admiration. He has so accurately clarified what English footballers are. And, by extension what the English spirit is all about. Thanks Jack!
'We have to remember what we are. We are English. We tackle hard, are tough on the pitch and are hard to beat'
'We have great characters. You think of Spain and you think technical but you think of England and you think they are brave and they tackle hard. We have to remember that'
Great characters. Great lads.
You think of England's national setup and it simply would not suit little Adnan. He would not fit into their tough-tackling aggressive system, their banter-filled training sessions, their acts of swashbuckling physicality which would dominate their opponents by force. You couldn't see him down the pub with the other blokes. Blokes who you could have a pint (or a fag) with after a hard training session of endurance and weights. Blokes who will give a hundred percent to the cause. Brave, committed England heroes who are pillars of honesty and bravery on and off the pitch in recent years such as Young, Terry, Rooney. Remember them; the great characters.
You think of Spain with their technical riff raff, slight frame, delicate touches, their falling over, lacks of aggression, commitment, bravery and honesty (1) here's looking at you Sergio and 2) What nonsense! They don't give one hundred percent on the pitch. They have no character. And 2 World Cups and 2 European Championships in the past 5 years? Who cares? There are no characters on that team. They are all so boring the tabloids won't even catch them engaging in any fun or rowdy circumstances on a proper lads night out.
Lets remember that is not what England should be. No way José. That's their game, not England's. Those technically astute, dashing, successful, dishonest, cowardly, characterless Spaniards. Januzaj would fit in with them. Hell, he even has a decent tan and dashing hair to boot. He's the sort of lad who would be excellent in a hot climate, but would he do it on a cold night in the North? He'd probably take to the field with a pair of gloves on him. Hah. Oh wait... erm.
But why would England want him? Honesty and bravery are not in Adnan's makeup. See his dive against Sunderland!? Typical foreigner trying to cheat honest players. Flash and flair will only get you so far. England's tradition of bravery and honesty is the way to go for success. Who needs technical ability?
Yeah... Really Jack? Are you really saying what we think you are saying?
Conor, Ireland, MUFC.
Footballers Don't Owe Fans Anything
Not sure whether the role model "debate" is over before it began but it is something that has come to annoy me more and more lately, culminating (for now) in this Wilshere cigarette furore.
We seem to have reached a point where people view footballers in the same manner as the police or members of government - as being personally accountable to the hard-working taxpayer. What part of the footballing ecosystem causes members of the public to become so frenzied, that Jack Wiltshere is forced to hang his head and say sorry (more or less) for smoking a cigarette? It's not even about the severity (or lack thereof) of the incident - it's about people feeling that they own footballers and somehow have a say in how they behave.
And you know what? I don't even think it is a role model thing. People play this role model card when they look around and realise they have no other grounds on which to object. They see a rich footballer "lording it up" (aka smoking) but realise that their impotent... envy, really,... has no grounding - other than some half-arsed plea for someone to please think of the children. And so you get semi-sensible quotes from Wenger and the like, condemning the matter - which is a no-brainer given that he's a professional sportsperson - latched onto by the outrage brigade and taken to mean Jack owes the world an apology.
On the money, and on duty; Playing for England may be a great honour - but it's not f$%*ing national service. And playing for Arsenal is a dream for many but the guy hasn't been awarded the honour as part of some kind of national scheme. He's talented and has worked hard and he is where is he is with no help from Joe Public, thank you very much. Players haven't just magicked up obscene salaries and refused to play for not a penny less. There is money in the game. Lots of money. Driven by demand. If the players don't get their cut, well, someone will. But the lowly fans, of course, think that they are somehow owed for their part in all of this. Refusing, as they do, to accept that they do not control Jack in the same way they control their police or their politicians.
Conor (not THAT one), AVFC
That Doesn't Sound Like A Real Name
I don't know why everyone is getting in such a tizzy over Jack Wilkshire smoking a tab.
In 1933, Arsenal captain Charles 'Charlie' Charles used to puff away on a pipe during the warm up.
Alex Stokoe, Newcastle upon Tyne
Blame The Managers?
I've been about as surprised as most at Gervinho's form since signing for Roma (admittedly probably not quite as surprised as Arsenal fans) and it's got me thinking about whether managers should be sharing the blame for Premier League flops floppiness?
Off the top of my head Diego Forlan springs to mind as the most obvious example of a player arriving in England with relatively high expectations, stinking up the place for a couple of years, then heading off and almost overnight regaining be sort of form that caught the eye in the first place. The general consensus seems to be that certain players 'can't cut it in the Prem' and they only do well abroad because the leagues are of lower quality. I think that's a fair bit of bollocks for the most part and it attributes pretty much all blame to the player who couldn't cut the mustard and seemingly none at the manager whose job it is to keep his players performing at a high level. Forlan was clearly a great player but you never hear Ferguson being credited as 'pretty much the only manager who couldn't get him firing' do you?
Eden Hazard said Gervinho was the best player he'd ever played with (admittedly at Lille but he would surely have grown up playing with the Belgian super-brood) but Wenger seemingly couldn't get a Francophone African winger to click at Arsenal - at Arsenal! - but this is rarely considered his fault and if it is it's that the initial signing was the error, not the subsequent mishandling.
Maybe I'm over egging it (and I'm by no means singling out Wenger and Ferguson) but I think we should at least be willing I entertain the idea that maybe these players we're so quick to label flops are simply being poorly managed.
Why I Voted For 'Arry
In response to Alex, Ayr who is surprised that 52% of F365 readers think 'Arry would have been a better bet than Hodgson for England manager, I thought I should come forward as I voted 'Arry myself.
Firstly, a vote for 'Arry in a poll in which the only other option is Roy Hodgson is certainly not a ringing endorsement, as any Liverpool fan would probably tell you.
Secondly, Hodgson started the following in a European Championships quarter final:
Carrick meanwhile was presumably sitting at home eating popcorn, chuckling to himself as he heard the commentators come out with lines like "if only England had a player like Pirlo". Oh and Paul Scholes was sitting at home too, a man who later said he would have returned if asked. But Roy didn't pick up the phone cause obviously Parker was such a good midfield option in 2012 against top class opposition. The main reason Sandro was so sorely missed last season was that Parker was playing instead. And for those screaming that Carrick didn't want to be included as back up, why should he be? For any manager worth their salt he'd be the first name on the teamsheet considering how much we struggle to keep possession as a nation.
'Arry doesn't know what he's doing either, but at least watching England might be vaguely interesting if he were in charge. His Spurs team played some alright stuff. Who has ever really been entertained by a Hodgson side? Considering the long ball stuff he seems to favour, I'm with the crowd who say Hodgson is a relic of a bygone age and installing him as England manager was a massive step backwards. Can you ever imagine Hodgson doing anything in a big game besides holding on to a 0-0 and hoping for the best with penalties? As England manager that is the equivalent of throwing in the towel. You just don't win anything playing the way Hodgson does in 2013.
But what do I know, I'm just a United fan with little concern for England. It's just frustrating to see such obvious mistakes being made. In reality neither man is suitable and the fact that they were the two main candidates says a lot about the quality of English managers at the moment.
Tom - MUFC (Cheshire)
PS: Roy's England will probably spank Montenegro 5-0 now. You're welcome.
More Nets Love
Great mail. I immediately thought of the mid 90s Selhurst Park nets. It was like they were put up by a bunch of ten year olds who just got their first goal set. They were so taut that half of the goals scored in them would bounce back into the six yard box.
There was more than one goal mouth scramble where I wasn't sure if the ball has been cleared or someone had smashed it home. That being said, it was really satisfying to watch a last minute volley being scored in them, the ball springing back past the beaten keeper. It really added to the drama.
Those Anfield nets seemed so grandiose in comparison.
Kieran Nunan, Massachusetts
Thanks Peter for the mail on nets. Light relief from the ramblings of Man U 'fans'!!
Wembley Stadium had the best nets purely because there was none the same anywhere else on the planet and if you scored a goal in them it meant something. Why they weren't retained after the development ill never understand. Stanley Matthews, Geoff Hurst, Charlie George, Ricky Villa, Ian Rush, David Speedie(Hat-Trick hero, Full members cup 86!) and Roberto di Matteo must be rolling in their graves.
My personal favourite were the Loftus Rd. nets back in the 80's/early 90's which were quite narrow i guess due to the tightness of the ground. Our local sportsground had goals just like them which were dubbed the QPR's and there was nothing like seeing them ripple from the top corner... I think Luton had similiar ones too, so perhaps it was something to do with plastic pitches?
Baz (Baked) Dublin
...Re Peter, AFC mail on nets, I thought I was in small minority of people weird enough to appreciate nets. There was nothing more exciting than playing down the park when the nets were up pre and post match and trying to smash the ball in in a game of 3 and in just to get that ripple. However I found the old nets boring as every shot would eventually hit the sloping back of the net and roll down to the floor. I much prefer these post 92, square nets where anything can happen when it hits the net. It can rebound slowly and bounce slowly back out, or roll up the back, literally anything can happen. Also like some of the foreign ones that were miles deep and took ages for the net ripple.
Andy (Wish I could have scored in one of those) Brighton
Why Did Poyet Take The Sunderland Job?
I'm struggling to see why any manager trying to build a reputation (as Poyet clearly is) would want the Sunderland job and thought maybe someone in the mailbox could explain why they might in light of the following;
To reach the magic 40 points a team will need to achieve 1.0526 points per game over the course of the season. Having taken 1 point from their first 7 games Sunderland will need to accrue 1.2581 points per game to get to 40 points. If Poyet can achieve that rate of points, extrapolated over the course of a whole season this would achieve 47.8078 points total. Last season that would have meant 9th place in the league.
You can point to the rarely mentioned fact that Tottenham only had 2 points from 8 games when some manager or other took over, but they had a clearly underperforming team which was well capable of mid table or higher form for the remainder of the season. Sunderland's highest points per game over a season since their return to the Premier League in 2007 is 1.2368, which gave a total of 47 points. However, this was achieved with a goal difference of minus 11 which suggests that it was a real struggle. This means that in order to reach 40 points Poyet will need to get the team playing better than at anytime during their latest spell in the Premier League.
With this in mind, its fairly likely that Sunderland will be relegated this season. Given their managerial track record it is also fairly likely that Poyet would be sacked if they under perform in the early part of a subsequent Championship season.
So, back to my original question. Why would any manager trying to build a reputation want the Sunderland job?