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 rather than moaning that there's too much Man Unuited in here. You can get us on firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Respected Football Chairmen/Managers And Joe Kinnear...
It's Friday the 10th of January and assuming no deals will be completed this weekend, we are over a third of the way through the January transfer window with no real Premier League activity as of yet. The only arrivals thus far are; Roger Johnson (West Ham) and Magnus Eikrem (Cardiff).
Five new managers were appointed before the start of the season and an additional six managers have left their helms since the summer. With this being one of the tightest Premier League seasons ever, both at the top and bottom, I urge you to back your new managers and grasp this opportunity for reinforcement. Any squad improvements could have drastic effects on the outcome of the Premier League table, and in the current climate where club underachievement can have huge financial implications, failure to cease this opportunity should be considered a criminal offence.
So on behalf of bored football fans around the world I'd like to say 'Pull your finger(s) out!'
Why Not Plan?
I wouldn't be surprised if others have asked the same question...but why do so few teams have any deals completed in the months September-December ie having a deal wrapped up for a player to join their club on January 1st?
I just think it would be a good way for certain clubs to avoid the idea of any panic buying and uncertainty when it comes to the transfer window.
Pavitar (Louie), Rainham
I would just like to express I am with WBA's appointment of Pepe Mel as new Head Coach. Although the view of the media and the 'experts' was that Steve Clarke should not have been sacked, our record in 2013 had been that of a team destined for relegation. As had happened with Roberto Di Matteo, Clarke had an excellent start to his career at Albion but once things started to go wrong he had no idea how to stop the rot.
Although certain parts of the media have suggested that we're taking a risk on bringing someone in without any Premier League experience I'm pleased that the club have opted for someone who hasn't just been round the clubs without much success. There are no decent British candidates available and Mel will be eager to prove that he can succeed in the Premier League.
We've got a squad full of good players and some exciting talent. From what I've read about Pepe Mel he's got a good track record and likes to play attacking football. After a rather frustrating first half of the season I'm looking forward to hopefully a more fruitful few months and some exciting football. Keith Downing has done an excellent job of steadying the ship over the last month. Hopefully we can now push on and achieve a similar final position to last year.
Come To Arsenal, Adnan
About a year ago the mailbox was full of mails from Manchester United fans who called for their club, having successfully completed the signing of RVP, to go back for Jack Wilshere.
At the time we were languishing outside the Champions League places and we were told Wilshere should up sticks and move north as United could guarantee him Champions League football and the chance of silverware.
A year on, while we may not be able to offer Adnan Januzaj a guarantee of silverware, we currently top the league and with United facing a squad-rebuilding job of epic proportions given the age of a number of their key playing personnel may I extend the invitation for young Januzaj to join us at the Emirates.
We can't guarantee silverware or a starting place as young Gnabry will be ahead of you but we can ensure you develop at your own pace and not have to carry a squad of aging has-beens.
Graham Simons, Gooner, Norf London
Although I can see why Jose might like to sign him I can't say I'm Rooney's biggest fan and wasn't convinced we should go for him BUT when I saw this quote from David Moyes I thought we really might as well if he is going to all that trouble...
"We have sent Wayne away on a hot weather break. We have sent a fitness coach with him. He's away with the family. Hopefully we will get him fit for Chelsea."
Fergie would never have made the effort just for us!
Shut Up And Sort It Out
I know we are all bored of this topic, but I'd like to add that the only thing that would make me as a Man United fan happy right now is if the club came out with a vow of silence.
Quite frankly there is nothing anyone can say that will help anything. We need good performances and good results, everything else is just b*llsh*t. Saying we will try to win the next game, it was the refs wot done it, we got near their box once, we're close to being almost good, I'm not sure why we aren't good, we have 12 zillion pounds to spend, but wait oh actually we can't buy anyone because it's 'difficult', it's all b*ll*cks, it means nothing and no-one's buying it.
There is only one way you can affect opinions or the fate of the club at the end of the season, and that's on that big green thing out there (or with the chequebook but that's clearly not happening). So everyone at Old Trafford, just shut up and sort it out.
When Does Supporting Moyes Become Blind Faith?
I've been observing all the criticism and discussion of Moyes for some time now and I've kept relatively quiet, but it's not until now that I feel I have to ask the big question about supporting Moyes.
I fully support David Moyes and believe that there are better times ahead for United, however, his appointment has come as quite possibly one of the worst times. The squad's age is incredibly imbalanced, several positions need strengthening as a matter of urgency, there are key players approaching pivotal points in their contracts and the small matter of servicing the clubs debt. If United finish out of the top four then it is impossible for United to address all of these and there is a strong possibility that United could be stuck in a vicious circle for years to come.
There's already talk of discontent among senior players such as Vidic, Evra, Rooney and Van Persie, two of which are out of contract at the end of the season. How will these players be replaced if United cannot offer Champions League football and/or they can't afford the top players due to the club's poor finances?
I'm sure fans of other clubs are sick to death of hearing about United's 'woes' but I just can't help think that this is a real make or break season for United and when considering that you must ask yourself when does fully supporting Moyes become blind faith?
Two Years? Two Years?
Anybody who thinks United will still be a sufficiently major club in two years for Moyes to make a project of vastly underestimates his capacity to f*** up.
Should have been Mourinho, Ole, Blanc or Quieroz, and it should be Quieroz now.
Bring Back Big Ron
I know they say that a manager should never go back to a club for a second term in charge but I think it's time for Manchester United to go down this route. Now I know you're thinking I mean bring back Sir Alex but I'm going to go with the manager who was in charge prior to Sir Alex none other than the legend that is Ron 'Big Ron' Atkinson.
Big Ron has been out of the game for a while now but as he showed recently on Celebrity Big Brother, he still has a great footballing brain and let's face it he couldn't do a worse job than the Moyesiah.
Chelsea's Stockpiling Leaves Bitter Taste
Kevin de Bruyne's sale to Wolfsburg (for a reported 10m profit) has brought home something that's been troubling me about Chelsea's 'youth policy' over the past few seasons. I know it's a free market and my own club has hardly been shy of snapping up young talent over the years, but does anyone else have a problem with Chelsea's seemingly constant stockpiling of up-and-comers? The likes of de Bruyne and Thibault Courtois are hotly in demand all over Europe - but rather than give them adequate playing time in the first team, Chelsea seem to be using them as little more than bargaining chips to secure themselves favours or further transfers down the line. With de Bruyne, Courtois, Lukaku, Marin, Atsu forming some of the most hotly-rated young players in Europe, it almost seems like Chelsea's policy is one of 'we don't need them but we'll sign them so no-one else can have them'. Admittedly, nothing technically wrong with it, but it does leave something of a bitter taste.
As a Spurs fan I'd like to say thanks and good luck to Jermain Defoe. 142 goals. A lot of those playing in a poor team in his early days with us. For a man who has scored so many times for the club amazingly he still divides opinon at White Hart Lane. Me, I've always loved him. Canada's blondes, get ready for the wee man.
Was Martyn THFC's email the first in the mailbox this year trying to dis-credit stats, or was it the first of the season? I'm sure it wont be the last.
The reason Soldado is often ridiculed is because you bought him to score goals...technically Vertonghen (or anyone else) could have scored all those penalties this season - take Rickie Lambert for instance...doesn't miss does he? Wouldn't pay £28m for him though.
So take it on the chin, this is the first email encouraging stats since you emailed discouraging them, and Spurs still haven't won't the league in colour. Staaaaaaaat.
Roger Johnson: Not That Unpopular
Roger Johnson did not have his shirt thrown back at him. I was at the Etihad and he came no nearer us than the 18-yard box after the final whistle. The only two players to throw their shirts into the Hammers contingent were Diame and Rat. Adrian threw his gloves. I think a wag on Twitter started this as a joke and it has been repeated by numerous people who were not at the game as true.
What Do West Ham Fans Want?
I notice the tickets for the second leg v City are £42. Good luck with that.
Serious question for West Ham fans. What do you want your team to do in that game?
1. Put out a full team. At absolute best you win the game by one or two goals and risk further fatigue and injuries.
2. Put out literally a team full of kids, and risk losing 6-0 again but all senior players have a rest ahead of some massive league games.
As a neutral I genuinely don't know which I would rather. I wouldn't want to see my team spanked again but at the same time, there is zero chance of qualifying.
Actually, same question reversed for Man City fans. A complete second-string City side would be good enough to avoid losing by six goals, so what do you do?
For Us, It's The Last Mail
I decided to start all my sentences with 'for me' in work today.
Now people think I'm the weird guy, instead of Stapleface.