While other managers have been quick to speak about limitations, Brendan Rodgers and Roberto Martinez have pushed the boundaries to embarrass their peers...
Liverpool cult hero Luis Garcia is returning to Anfield on Easter Monday to take part in the 'Celebration of the 96' charity match. Jon Holmes caught up with him...
If you have anything to say on any subject, mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Wanting England To Get A Tough Group
I am interested to know whether anyone else is excited by the idea of England being in a 'group of death'?
Not that I'd expect England to get out of it just that it would be fun. The World Cup is about excitement and intensity and I'd rather we played some good games against good opposition in the group stages, than scraped through a nothing group in second to go out on penalties in the last 16.
The attitude shouldn't be "oh well we made the quarter finals, that's a good effort" You either win it or you don't, we should go there , play some good teams and enjoy it.
I'd love a group with Colombia, Holland and Japan, all exciting teams... and England.
More Moyes Out
With United increasingly distant from fourth, showing precious little evidence of any real form, and dropping points as Moyes sets out to hold leads rather than expand them, frankly United should be very, very worried. Liverpool have demonstrated that it can take a long time to get back to the CL, and I doubt that the combination of the Europa League, scrabbling for fourth place, and playing for a tactically negative Scotsman with no international reputation, will be hugely attractive to the sort of players United need to buy.
And, above and beyond this, testament to the Moyesiah's failure is that United are worrying about finishing fourth at all. He simply isn't up to the job. He plainly can't inspire the players to play at the same level they did previously, tactically he's intrinsically and instinctively negative in almost every game (United managers do not think a draw away to Cardiff is a good result), and he wasted an entire transfer window when the squad he inherited needed urgent and substantial additions because he wasn't sure about players. It doesn't matter, at all, if Thiago et al. weren't perfect. They were better than anything United had, and Moyes' failure to show any urgency or dynamism is at the heart of the current malaise.
Realistically, he won't be sacked until the summer, and will probably keep his job (which he's done absolutely nothing to earn or justify) if United fourth. But he isn't fit for the job he's been given. He was appointed on sentiment and Scottishness alone, as a retirement present to Fergie. No major corporate or business would allow a major succession to be handled in this way, and United are being taught a bitter lesson for doing so.
If United were bold, they'd sound out replacements, and, if any were available, take the financial hit of firing the Moyesiah, and replace him with somebody capable of the job.
I knew that fans of every other team would be praying for over reacting United fans just so that they could laugh their heads off at us collectively. I was hoping there would be some sensibility from United fans, and was praying that no one was asking for Moyes to be fired. Obviously some of our fans are only there for the glory of winning trophies, so they go batsh*t crazy when we go through a slight patch of bad form. Let me just firstly say that these stupid fans are only a minority.
We are only 5 points away from 4th, this is not a disaster. Lets not forget the run of 12 unbeaten games that we had, which included beating the league leaders and spanking Bayer Leverkusen away in the CL. Yes we should have beaten Cardiff, but other 'big' teams have dropped points there as well. We were never going to be title contenders from the start, people who think we would have been, are deluded. The only reason why this team won last year was because everyone else was piss poor, and they were managed by one of the best managers in history who constantly made the team over perform.
Also, lets just take a brief moment to think here, if the stupid minority of United fans get their way, and Moyes gets the sack, who the hell are we going to bring in? Who would want to go to a team where every small move they make is viewed intently, every loss someone calls for their head, whilst any win they get is always greeted with "It's Fergusons team anyway". Do you not think that firing Moyes will make things at United even more unstable? I still think that he should get at least a season to prove his worth, we are still only in early December guys, so can everyone please calm the f*ck down, and stop embarrassing yourselves.
Will Halse (a sensible United fan)
...I knew there would be an overreaction but some of the points raised in this mornings mailbox are beyond belief.
"This is the same squad that won the title last season" - Yes, it is. But what you're forgetting is that the other five teams below us strengthened as well. Arsenal, City, Chelsea, Spurs and even Liverpool brought in new players to refresh their squads. United only brought in Fellaini, plus, players such as Ferdinand, Vidic, Giggs and Evra are entering the final years of their careers now. Furthermore, players such as Young, Cleverly, Nani, Valencia and Welbeck have stayed at the same level they were as last season. This might be the same squad, but it was damn lucky to win the league last season and with all the investment in other squads over the summer United have fallen behind.
"Moyes hasn't got a clue. Get rid of him, take the hit and let's get Martinez in." - Oh so lets get the new flavour of the month in to manage us instead then shall we? What a ridiculous thing to say regardless of if you're joking or not. Anyway, even if United sacked Moyes during this season, who the hell are they going to replace him with (have a long think about it before you say Fergie in reply to this). I don't see anyone of high class who will be willing to take the reigns.
This is a transition period for United, deadwood needs to be removed from the squad and we need to strengthen in the middle of the park as we are seriously, seriously lacking there. I want to add also that I'm sick of hearing United fans preach about how 'This is United, we deserve success' - we don't, you earn it by hard fucking work like any other aspect of life. Don't expect success to fall straight into our lap after we have changed manager and everything around the club is still very raw, it's making our fans sound like pathetic, spoilt children. Give it time, Rome wasn't built in a day either guys.
Interesting Definition Of 'United'
Ah the predictable plastic United fans. I knew I would be reading all this rubbish this morning. David Moyes is taking over from one of the most successful managers of all time. A feat anyone would struggle with. He is also inherited a team that are lacking in key areas (mainly midfield). He tried to address this in the summer but it didn't work out. I don't blame him for that, I blame Woodward.
Fergie was a master of getting more out of his team than he should and that was obvious before Moyes took over the job, if you didn't realise this maybe start watching tennis or something. Now fans are turning against Moyes in December, in his first season! Can we please remember what the word 'United' means shutup and get behind our team.
Who Else Would United Get?
Its now pretty futile to explore further Moyes' shortcomings at United. Even some of the fiercest United fans (I'm looking at you Karthik T), find little ability to praise him. The fact now is that whilst perhaps United could have drawn a Klopp in the summer, he's recently signed a new contract and isn't going anywhere. Martinez? Hiring a manager even less proven and established than Moyes is hardly progress is it? As the six year contract points out, United have put their cards on the table. United is a huge job in itself, a United just after SAF is an impossible job and requires a big ego. Jose isn't available either, which leaves Big Sam? Moyes shouldn't be given time just because the fans need to adjust, but the players will need it too. Take a lesson from Chaucer, patience is virtue.
Karthik "not in Moyes, not in Sir Alex, But in United"
Get a grip.
...Did anyone else read the email from Karthik T this morning and vomit into their mouth? Hell of way to start a Thursday.
Phil (bran flakes, if you're wondering) Duffy, LFC
...Just a short reply to today's Mailbox contributor, Karthik T. Karthik, me old mucker, if I wanted a stomach pump, I could've bought one.
...Does Karthik T think he's living in a Nike advert? Sweet baby Jesus... get a grip man.
...Did anyone else puke a little in their mouths after Karthik T's cringeworthy monologue? I actually pictured him playing the harp in a Cleverly jersey, while he was at it.
I don't know if anyone's believing in United, but after that got in, I believe in getting published...
Girish, AFC, Chennai
Moyes Deserves Everton Credit
With regards to Nick's article about Everton trading up, I think it's too early to say that, given that a lot of our current success is down to a couple of players we have on loan. If we didn't have Lukaku, we would be nowhere near the top of the table, so next year will be a bigger test for Roberto. That said, he should be given credit for the ambition he has shown in the loan market, the consistently attractive football, and his positivity with his team selection and substitutions.
Moyes deserves enormous credit for what he has done for Everton Football Club, given where we were when he started and where he left us, and I don't agree with our fans bashing him during the game. He is definitely out of his depth at Old Trafford, and I honestly didn't think he'd be this bad. Just like when Martinez was appointed Everton manager after seeing his Wigan side relegated, I thought surely with better players his ideas and style of play will be more effective, I thought the same of Moyes' chances of success at Old Trafford. I guess one out of two ain't bad.
Torn On Daws
I love Michael Dawson. My wife loves Michael Dawson. I would describe him as I did Sandro when he banged it in against Man Utd last week: 'He just seems like such a lovely man'
But (and I feel bad saying this) I can't help but compare him with an unmanned shopping trolley when he takes off on a run. Erratic, uncontrollable, dangerous to all those nearby, inevitably falls over as a result of his own momentum and often ends up with a b0ll0xed wheel afterward. The only thing that surprised me when he did his trolley impression last night was that when Daws fell over he didn't land in a canal. It would have been fitting...
That said, I still love him. A lovely man in a team of (mostly) lovely men managed by another lovely man.
Bendtner Scoring Is Bad News For Arsenal
A key event occurred last night and while it has garnered plenty of attention, it has yet to receive any analysis. Indeed, I believe that fast forward 6 months, people will identify this as the moment the title was lost.
I am of course referring to the Bendtner goal, the goal that may have maintained Arsenal's four point lead atop of the table but will have reinforced Wenger's opinion that he has adequate reinforcements up front.
Cue the January transfer window where yet another midfielder will be brought in and Arsenal extend their lead to 7 to 10 points before Giroud suffers a loss of form from fatigue and the entire house of cards will collapse in March with successive losses in all competitions. May will come and go with either Al-City or Chelski winning the title and the Gooners feeling yet another year of close but no cigar.
Mark my words; Samurai Bendtner has just cost you the title...
Rithu, ManYoo (oh Moyes...)
I've got to take issue with Nick Miller's comments about Costel Pantilimon in Midweek Winners and Losers. Firstly to say he scored an own goal is ridiculous, yes it came off him last but it was obviously Kolarov's fault for doing his usual kick it really hard without caring too much where it goes act. The second goal was also Demichaelis' fault for being rolled pathetically easily by Anichebe. It would have been a cracking save to have pulled off, he did well to get down to it at all after being left completely exposed within the box.
It'll take a lot more than this to convince me that Joe Hart should be allowed back in, he's so far been solid and dependable and saying he hasn't done anything seriously wrong is also completely unfair because he's made some pretty decent saves too. I hope Pellegrini keeps him in and allows him to try and grow the same reputation that Hart lived off for so long.
You know, if you strangle the vowels a wee bit it sounds awfully like Demise of Man U.
Domhnall O'Neill - Ireland
The 'Proof' That Spurs Could Have Had Suarez
The proof! And it was the scouts fault, apparently..
It hurts to drag it up now. We could have had Bale and Suarez. Levy would have squeezed Real for €500 million and naming rights to The Bernabeu
Today's Mediawatch non-football story involved a man doing the 'helicopter'. In days gone by I frequented the F365 Forum (and probably got sacked because of it). Once there was a contributor (whose name I've forgotten) who told a story about how he once got so drunk on holiday that he forgot everything he had done.
The next day when waking with an almighty hangover he was informed that, amongst other things he did the 'helicopter' towards his own mother. Is this the same person?
JazGooner (I've dined out on that story for years - thank you whoever you are)
Can't believe it wasn't mentioned earlier but Charlie Adam really is that type of player.