'I'd Rather Lose Rooney Than Carrick...'

Interesting claim in an excellent Wednesday afternoon Mailbox, the rationale being that at least there's a decent bit of cover for Rooney, while Carrick...not so much...

Last Updated: 13/11/13 at 16:08

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Jossy's Giants Or Dream Team
I have just finished watching the excellent Four Year Plan and wondered if any mailboxers could recommend any other football related documentaries or films?
Burty (have lined up The Two Escobar's for the next viewing) Southport

Kinnear: Less Is More?
Looking back now with a few games gone, is it fair to start wondering if Newcastle didn't have one of the better transfer windows in terms of value for money. A lot of other clubs from the bottom half jizzed a lot of money on a large number of average players. For example:

Norwich spent 20 mil on 8 players, Palace 15 mil on 14 players, sunderland 19 mil on 14 players, Villa 19 mil on 7 players and West Ham 21 mil on 5 players.

Can anyone argue any of these teams are much better for all the money spent? In contrast, Newcastle spent nothing on 1 loan player who arguably has improved their team much more than all of the above 94 million put together. Remy's goal have essentially turned Newcatle from relegation contenders to a decent mid-table team. When you look at the other players with around the same number of goals in the PL, Aguero, RVP, Suarez and Sturridge, each would have been way north of 20 million whilst Remy cost Newcastle nothing for the season and I'm sure way less than his value if the reported permanent option is taking up.

Apparently the main reason given by Kinnear for not spending more was that the quality of players at the prices they could pay were no better than their current players focusing on "buying only the right players for the right prices and not paying over the odds or making costly knee-jerk decisions." ie better to get one player in who will genuinely improve the team than a whole load of dross to appease the fans and justify his job which are only as good as the players you have already. Looking at the strategy of other teams around Newcastle, I can't help feeling he has been proved right on this. Similarly Cabaye claims Kinnear alone could explain the jettisoning of his proposed transfer, which looks like a good decision in hindsight, given his early season form.

OK, I understand JFK is a buffoon and easy to poke fun at, but if you look objectively on record in the last window, I could understand why Ashley might be delighted at the improvement of the team vs how much he had to fork out.
Mike, Geneva

Rather Lose Rooney Than Carrick
As a United fan I am gutted at the loss of Carrick - he was integral to us having (at least) a semi functional midfield. Now we will have to rely on either Jones (not too bad), Fellaini, (oh dear), Cleverly (oh dear oh dear), or Giggs (bugger).

Honestly, I'd of rather lost Rooney for 6 weeks. Least we have some decent cover there.

Oh well, the recovery was nice while it lasted.
Malin (glass half empty kinda guy), Stourbridge.

Positional Fluidity
I keep reading comments like those by Chris MUFC yesterday, "Shoving two players up onto the opposition centre-backs tends to leave the team undermanned in midfield". Whenever I watch Rooney he seems to spend a lot of time doing his best Paul Scholes impression some distance from the opposition's centre backs. I see van Persie out on the wing and Evra running into the penalty area.

It's a fluid game and positions aren't cast in stone. I think that most of the time beard-stroking comments -- the manager played a double-pivot with a triple-inverted false 9 resulting in them overloading the midfield and creating 2v1 situations on the left -- are people trying to over analyze a fairly chaotic event that has already happened. Let's see someone could consistently look at the line-ups and formations and predict the situations that will keep occurring before the match.

And if you hear "yeah but that 4-4-2 was at times a 4-5-1 when the striker dropped back or a 3-5-2 when the centre back played as a sweeper" then it might be time to start thinking more at fitness, technical ability and motivation than reading tea leaves on a touch screen.
Yogi, London

Thank you, Dan Eastop, for clarifying that when AVB said Arsenal were in a negative spiral, he meant IN TERMS OF RESULTS!! Ohhh!! Here we all were thinking he meant in terms of alcoholism, or maybe that they kept not calling their friends because their friends kept not calling them, but their friends didn't call them BECAUSE Arsenal didn't call them!

I'm not sure how you get from the article that F365 were suggesting AVB said Arsenal would drop out of the league. There's nothing in that article to imply that. The obvious implication is, well, a negative spiral in terms of results, i.e. those things that they go out to try and get every weekend, that being their, and every other football club's raison d'etre...

Anyway, now I know you're Clarifier-In-Chief, a Clariffic Bloke, a star in the hit show Clariffa-Explains-It-All, I'd like to run a couple of questions by you, as I need clarification.

- My friend asked me if I wanted to meet for dinner tonight. Does he mean dinner in terms of food?

- When I touched my Oyster card this morning, the little screen said "Seek assistance". Does it mean in terms of my Oyster card? Or am I being asked to get psychiatric help?*

- My supervisor just told me my report needs work. Does she mean, in terms of my report?

* Remarkable foresight, if so

Let me know!
Shaun (witty comment in brackets, in terms of witty comments in brackets) Livingston

Point, Over, Head

I think my point has flown over your head, akin to RVP's sheader flying in to the net over Gibbs' head on sunday.

Yes, I am fully aware you have all of those players injured. But I am sure someone as intelligent as yourself can appreciate that is what a squad is for; Replacing unavailable players with other players that are available. Everyone knows you are almost certainly not going to be able to play your first choice 11 week in week out, hence why having a strong, deep squad is vital to maintaining a challenge for trophies.

Let us say for example that (god forbid) RVP gets injured. We could potentially replace him with Rooney, Hernandez or Welbeck. If Giroud gets injured, you can replace him with, um, ummm, Bendtner?

This is why people have thrown around the thin squad accusation at Arsenal. As demonstrated, when you have key players unavailable you are struggling to replace them with adequate replacements.

I agree that International appearances and amount of trophies won is in by no means a 'scientifically proven' barometer of a players quality. But it certainly provides an accurate gauge in to a players ability. The other two (which you conveniently missed out) would provide an even more accurate gauge on the strength of a players ability. I would love to explain in greater detail, but I fear you would just provide moron (see what I did there) how Arsenals treatment room is the strongest in the country.
Will, Brackley

If I could add my unbias opinion to the Mike/Will bench debate in the hope of stopping it.

When I was a young lad my brother and I asked my Dad who was better Mick Carthy or Pele to which my Dad replied, "Different players ." Serious question, serious answer. Mick was a centre half whilst Pele was a centre forward....my Dad was right. So getting back to the point, the bench argument is pointless as they are different type of players. United had no defenders on the bench, Arsenal had no strikers (obvious Bendtner joke there) so depending on the circumstances in the match both teams are weaker than the other.
Gavin MCFC - Rome wasn't built in a day.

I believe both Martin Samuel's and Mediawatch have missed something very important when talking about the Toulon Tournament.

Emile Heskey was joint top scorer in 1998. I imagine his prolific international career might never have been without this vital experience of the pressures of scoring within an 80 minute period.


Or maybe it was that experience that made him so relaxed about not scoring from then on, perhaps he always felt there was more time to put the ball in the back of the net.

Yeah, Yeah, We've Changed It Now
Good afternoon!

Just for the record, and particularly as Mediawatch does enjoy pedantry, I would like to point out that 'around 7 years ago' (even allowing for 6 months) Micah Richards was in fact 18 years old.

Therefore, Mediawatch should argue that the 25-year-old Richards got to the age where he wasn't 18 anymore around, oh, six years ago.

Pedantry On The Pedantry
Although I'm an occasional fan of pedantry (you have to be if you're a scientist), pedantry that's entirely wrong I don't like so much. Looking at you, Shegsi.

If you're playing at double speed then accelerations will be different.
This is pretty f***ing obvious - if you play something that takes 10 seconds to fall at normal speed, at double speed it will only take 5 seconds to fall.

If you want a technical explanation (and I'm sure you all do):

The force between two objects is independent the flow of time, just on their relative position (so far so good re: Shegsi)

To turn that force into an acceleration we use Newton's Second law - F = ma. But a is, more strictly, d²x/dt². See that t squared? Halve time and acceleration is going to go up by 1/(1/2)², or 4 times. Just like David from Salford said.

I hope this has been illuminating and not at all deathly dull.
Mark, SAFC
ps. Just so no even more boring f***er writes in, this is an approximation in Newtonian mechanics and perfectly valid at the scale of football.

Other Pedantry
Just a quick response to Mike, CFC, Auckland Blue who shows either a very poor grasp on the English language, or David Pleat levels of name mispronunciation.

Aguero doesn't rhyme with zero. Rosicky doesn't rhyme with Loki. Sagna doesn't rhyme with Narnia. And Lamela very definitely doesn't rhyme with masala. Not even close.
Olly Cole, THFC (and cheque is basically the same word as Cech - that shouldn't count either)

Rhyming Slang - We Assume He Means 'Grunt' Or Something
Stephen Hunt
P. Čech, London

The Origins Of ABU
John Nicholson writes "Having an acronym for your own perception of how your football club is viewed seems self-regarding in the extreme".

Except it wasn't created by the United fans - the phrase has it's origins in Irish presenter Des Cahill's radio show - in which he specifically referenced ABU and then followed it through by supporting who ever was challenging United for the title that season.

As United fans, we are only surpassed in our paranoia by Liverpool ones, so there's no need to heap blame on us for something started by a Liverpool fan.
Thomas, once in Singapore, now back in the UK!

Feeling Bad
I was about to paste a youtube link of Alexis Sanchez diving to counter his claim that most of the English players are soft because of their privileged upbringing. And then i realised: what right do I have to do so? Just because he simulates a foul in an attempt to win a penalty does not make his journey to the top echelons of professional football any less tough or remarkable. Football is, for most of us, a form of entertainment; not day to day survival. I can never emphatise. I ended up feeling really bad about myself, and I just thought everyone should know.
Dominic, LFC, Singapore.

El Mailboxo
Reading the mailbox lately, where criticism for Joe Hart, Wayne Rooney, Mesut Ozil, title favourites Man City, league leaders Arsenal and actual Champions Man United were present, got me thinking. Considering nobody here thinks any team or any player is really any good, I wondered what the greener grass that is the pitches of La Liga would think if there was a Spanish Mailbox. Pretty sure it would go a little something like this:

Cristiano Ronaldo - 148 goals in 145 games is great for an attacking player. But that's just it. He's an attacking player. Attacking players aren't only supposed to score, primarily they are supposed to set up goals as well. A paltry 13 assists since the start of last season. Koke has 17. You can see who I rather have as attacking midfielder in my team.

Luis Suarez - I see Suarez scored another 3 goals at the weekend. Big deal. 3 goals in the Premier League. But considering he doesn't play in Europe every season and only scores goals in the Premier League, I just can't see him doing it on a warm summery Tuesday night at Osasuna.

Martino Out - All this talk of FCB being favourites for the league are ridiculous. Have you not seen them away from home? I'm looking at the Osasuna game in particular where they couldn't even score. Under Guardiola they were far superior to what Gerardo is putting out at the moment. Guardiola brought respect, trophies and most importantly fear. Gerardo has none of this and what's more, looks ridiculously out of his depth. Pep's shadow is larger than expected.

Harry Redknapp - With Pepe Mel surely on his last legs at Betis, I think they are already looking for a new manager and I can't believe nobody is looking at Harry Redknapp. He manages in Europe. Has plenty of European competition experience. And guess what, he's European. I'm sick of all this South American tiki taka style coaching methods from a media loving coach. Why not bring some exotic style and modern British tactics to our league. We're crying out for it.

Winning World Cups - Going into the World Cup in Brazil next year as favourites got me thinking. It's great n'all winning major tournaments but I can't help but miss the days of going to major tournaments as dark horses and living in the hope of possibly upsetting a few 'proper' teams as opposed to the boring 'favourites' tag we now can't seem to shake. I'm looking at you 1998. Still our best team, even if we did get knocked out in the quarters. Bring back the dark days... The dark horse days.

Foreigners in the league - I've been saying it for years but this season in particular I've really just noticed how having so little foreigners in our game is having a really poor affect on the standard of Spanish players. How are we supposed to improve as a nation if we can only learn from ourselves? I suggest a quota of at least 7 foreigners in match day squads and maybe even 3 U21 foreigners as well.
Austino (Best league in the world? Ha. Not even top three anymore) Reyes, Somewhere in España.

'TK421, Why Aren't You At Your Post?'
I don't why I comment. But I do. And here are some other contributors worthy of mention:

Variocosegent: Smart Man Utd supporter with good sense of humour

Wheresmyhair77 : Often humorous Gooner with knowledge of Brass Eye references. Appearances very limited this days.

Dalglish Dagger: Seemingly schizophrenic 'Pool supporter capable of reason and madness in equal measure, which might actually be the norm.

Zedohey/Petulant_Radish/luca85/myself: Chelsea fan collective hivemind. Seems to have been here since this was all fields. Likely all groan together when reading some comments from (the often well-intentioned) Chelseablue_1 and utterly bonkers islidur1.


Nicobelic: Pious, pompous Andi Thomas hater. Can't get his head around the idea that you don't have to read articles from writers you don't like. Probably the sort of person who gives free apps that happen to not work on his particular smartphone a "0 out of 10" rating and then goes on to comment that the developers are "crooks"...despite the fact that the app was free.

Anyway...better get back to my post.

Well This Is Needlessly Pissy
'DS United' asks the question in this mornings mailbox "Is it just me who pictures this funny internet hierarchy where the contributors look down on the commenters (It's takes time an effort to write an email, keyboard warrior)?". Well, after reading your autobiographical contribution this morning where you felt the need to inform us about your increasingly sophisticated and alternative drinking habits (though you ought to have had the rioja first), classy choice of furniture, superior intellect, hip choice of lounge and eye wear, cosmopolitan choice of companion and your denial of being cool which makes you not just cool but super cool, well yes, I imagine it is just you, and I hope it's the 3 bottles of plonk you claim to have consumed that caused you to picture it. I am sure this afternoons mailbox will dash my hopes though.

Us "commenter's", many of whom have real lives outside our pseudonyms after work, and without the will or "time an effort to write an email" (!) can only aspire to your level of intellect and being, and can only hope that our opinions will be worth as much as yours someday. Or maybe this will be published and then I will have graduated to your level of importance. If so, I can only hope that the stardom does not have the same effect on me and i don't turn into a raving alcoholic that turns into a "keyboard warrior" at night time.
T (Guess who?) J- (Do F365 give out certificates for those who graduate from commenter to a 'real contributor'?)

More Chants
The guy who wrote in about non topical footie chants reminded me of one I came up with circa November 2006. We were rehearsing for our annual college carol service. To the tune of Adeste Fidelis (specifically the chorus: Venite Adoremus)

Benitez is the greatest
Benitez is the greatest
Benitez is the greatest, I-stanbul.

My friend Ste thought it was funny anyway
Danny G

...Like Mike Ahern, HTFC, Kentucky, I too am frequently left distraught by the paucity of imagination displayed by the people who think up football chants. So often a chance at a glorious, original chant is passed up in favour of "sod it, let's do something to the tune of Guantanamera again"

So, Fulham fans: if and when he gets a decent run in the first team, you opt for something completely generic ahead of "Zverotic, Zverotic, put your hands all over my body", I'll consider it a personal let-down
Steve (see also "Erik Lamela, ella, ella, eh, eh, eh"), Nottingham

The Problem
In response Mike Ahern I can confirm it was the inconsistency with the last line of his de Bilde chant that caused it to never reach the dizzying heights it was destined for.

I also saw Gilles turn out for us in the Yorkshire Masters a few years ago with little improvement.

For what it's worth, my admittedly meek effort to encourage a chorus of "Lowe will tear you apart again" during our last spell in League One also fell flat.
Andy (hat-trick letter) Broomhead, Sheffield

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