He might have been rendered 'unfashionable' even as they bought him, but Marouane Fellaini showed Manchester United why they bought him against West Brom, says Adam Bate...
In recent times Arsenal have appeared cowed against the better teams, so it was perhaps encouraging that they imposed their own game on Everton, says Nick Miller...
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Spurs have managed an 11-1 aggregate loss this season against Manchester City.
But who else has been on the wrong end of a double (figure) dicking? To qualify for membership of the DFD society, a team must have lost home and away to the same club in a single premiership season, letting in 10 or more in the process.
I will give a shiny gold donkey to the first person who can fit a chant for Konoplyanka to the tune of Uno Paloma Blanca.
Make it happen 365, make it happen.
Al (Still hoping that we get M'Vila or a defensive MF rather than a winger), Nottingham
We Are All James Milner
Just to echo Mike, Aukland from this morning about English defending. Whenever I visit family back in Italy and the conversation with my many male relatives eventually and somewhat inevitably turns to football they always say the same thing about English players. They will give absolutely everything they have, run for 90 minutes and throw themselves in front of the football to block shots, but they have to do all of that because they don't have the skill or game reading ability to get by without giving 100% effort.
Essentially, England is the James Milner of countries.
Luca James Sparks
I love a good stat, and as it's Friday and I'm hung over I've spent most of the morning poring over previous league tables to find some evidence for the likelihood of Liverpool winning the league. I have found some pretty solid figures.
Based on current performance we should score 94 goals by the end of the season.
This number of goals has only been beaten by the league champions on 2 occasions over the last 50 years (Chelsea with 103 in 09/10 & United with 97 in 99/00). Whilst I feel this is quite a compelling statistic its clearly far from foolproof. Perhaps a better barometer of likely success is goal difference as evidenced by fact that the premier league champions have had the best goal difference in 16 of the 21 completed premiership title races. Liverpool, again based on current figures, should amass a goal difference of +48. This figure would have been enough to take the premier league or 1st division title in 36 of the last 50 years. I'm filled with optimism....
Of course the only issue with the above is City, who are doing rather well themselves. They are on course for 112 goals which has never been bested in 50 years, and a goal difference of +69 which beats that generated by the title winner in 49 out of the last 50 seasons.
LFC are good and have come a long way, City are remarkable.
Skippy (Brendan Rogers, there's a name which needs a full stop)
What Could Go Wrong?
Not that I'm worried about Konoplyanka joining Liverpool but... Alex Evtushok, Oleh Luzhnyi, Sergei Rebrov, Andriy Shevchenko, Andriy Voronin are the other Ukrainians to play in the EPL. What could go wrong, right?
Chris Wrightson is sick of the City love-in on F365? Teams can't play exciting football and be praised for it now apparently. City have had long periods of darkness, let us enjoy our time in the sun for a day or two at least. Would he prefer to read more insufferable posts about David Moyes?
James, MCFC, Gibraltar
...I think Chris Wrightson should take a few deep breaths. If the current City dominance is getting him down then I doubt he will like what is to come. The financial clout that is behind some of the teams like City means that they are going to be at the top for an extremely long time, and it will get to the stage where people simply wont want to invest in other teams for risk of throwing good money after bad. Lets be realistic, you need to be a billionaire to crash the Premier League top table right now, and that's to compete with 3 other billionaires.
Those 3 will probably be reduced to one super rich and utterly dominant club, City most likely, and that will probably be the benchmark for all other countries. One astronomically rich side in each country, likely limited to 16 countries so all of them make the last 16 of the Champions League. This will continue until their qualifying for the last 16 will be so predictable they will form their own league. Breakaway and start alone. A league of giants.
The only foreseeable step from there is when the monsters start coming and the league becomes a 16 man squad made up of giant robots named after the clubs to form a world series set of matches featuring Jaeger Universals v Kaijus Knights. Some things won't change mind, Big Sam will be the manager of the Universals and will widely be known for parking the tanker as they say. Tedious indeed.
Ok, so the last bit may be a wee bit far fetched, (Big Sam is more likely to manage the less attractive but physical Kaijus), but the tipping point of money buying success has been reached. In short the only thing that could usurp City in the future is a richer City. This is not a dig at City by the way, they are doing what is necessary to be the best in the league, no this is merely the part in the film where everyone realises that money can give you power, but limitless money can give you superpower. I don't think you see a league winner without superpowers any time soon.
Chris ITFC, Liverpool
In response to Martin Todoroski, Arsenal are a self-sufficient business model. They buy small, they sell big, they spend their TV money (which everyone gets an equal share) well, and they charge fans a lot of money for season tickets. They also sign lucrative sponsorship deals and go on world tours in pre-season. If you can't tell the difference between what Arsenal do and what City are doing then there's only one simpleton here who's on a wind-up.
And anyway, I didn't say that City fans shouldn't celebrate their success. Far from it. All I'm saying is for pretty much everyone else we're watching by far the wealthiest club in existence buy the title, and it's soul destroying.
Dale May, Swindon Gooner (but yes, Martinez/Garcia, I always refer to both as Martinez)
Gary makes a very good about Aguero and his level of (non-recognition). It's something that has puzzled me for a while now.
Let's face it, the bloke is a bloody genius, every bit as good, if not better than Suarez. Yet for all that he seems to get very little attention. Perhaps it's because he keeps a low profile off the pitch (despite formerly being married to Maradona's daughter) and a pretty low profile on it, apart from his brilliance. I also think that if he had been playing for Real Madrid or Barca now then he would without doubt be recognised as the 3rd best player in the world after R & M. He's better than Neymar yet look at the adulation awarded to the Brazilian every time he falls over and blazes a shot over the bar. Even Aguero being best mates with Messi doesn't help him out in the headline stakes. Partly this is down to the fact that although he is a goal machine he plays for team that carry on scoring whether is playing or not. And because Man City are winning games by 4/5/6 goals his goals are not being viewed as game clinching ones (although we all know he can score those as well). This is a guy who has already scored 100 plus goals in La Liga, is well on his way to doing the same in the premier league, yet is only 25 years old. Even for Argentina, where he has a remarkably good goal scoring record, considering how often he has come on as a sub for them, he tends to get less attention that lesser talented players.
Ultimately I don't the reason why he doesn't get the amount of attention/headlines lesser players do is important, the important thing is just to enjoy him playing because that is truly a joy.
Pardeep (e-mailing from work, but please don't tell anyone) Singh.
Spain: As Arse As Us
I'm sure someone with (officially / legally) more time on their hands will be able to summarily contradict Mike, Auckland's.. conjecture.. in greater depth than I will attempt to, but if what he says about Spanish football fans in particular losing their collective sh*t about the standard of defending in the Premier League is even remotely accurate, they might be even more amused by the standards closer to home, where La Liga strikers have won the European Golden Shoe 9 times out of 46, including the last 5, as opposed to strikers in the top English division who have only defied the bunch of defensive chimpanzees in front of them on 4 seasonal occasions.
Even Diego chuffing Forlan has won it.
As someone who watches both leagues regularly, I can inform you that their defending is just as arse as ours is. If not more.
Alex R (Defending has declined worldwide. Not just in the Premier League)
To Mike, Auckland (don't confuse hard with good: English defenders such as JT, as much as I love him, are 'hard' but not 'great'), CFC who claims that 'more often than not, it will be an England-based striker in contention for the European Golden Boot':
Since the inception of the golden boot in 1967-68 season an England based footballer has won it 5 times, come second 4 times and third 5 times. I would say this is more not than often.
It's transfer deadline day, it's the eve of the North-East derby, its Friday & its payday. But I've decided to take time out to have a sing-a-song and give some advice to Mr Hodgson at the same time
So here's to you Mike Williamson,
Geordie's love you more than you will know,
Wo wo wo.........
Take Mike to Brazil,
Take Mike to Brazil,
F*ck Gary Cahill,
And take Mike to Brazil.
'Iron' Mike Williamson according to another fine website (whoscored.com) is the form British centre half right now, plus he is huge and he has very nice hair. So Roy you know what you need to do...f*ck Gary Cahill and take Mike to Brazil. You know it make sense.
Chris, a bit excited. Newcastle
In response to Gavin MCFC - headshakes, the only thing ridiculous is your 'rid-godam-iculous' attempt at combining 2 words into 1.
May I suggest redonkulous or ridick as replacement for your God-awful take on the word ridiculous.
It's redonkulous to celebrate a fifth goal so manically against a side down to 10 men OR
the idea of celebrating a 5th goal on the stroke of full time is just ridick.
Hope that helped.
Ming Kiat Tan, Singapore (don't even get me started on 'headshakes')
We're Owned By Sky? Really?
Proper love your site, gets me through my days at work. Just a quick warning -
Mediawatch - you do know F365 is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bskyb? I know you couldn't care less, but I worry about you getting in trouble with Rupert for your bullying of Anthony.
Don't stop though, he thoroughly deserves everything he gets.
Dan (A starting to panic Tiger) Hull
Clap, clap, clap.
That headline ''Deal gets Konoplycated'' is the single greatest headline I have ever read.
Neil (4 pints at lunch. is that too many?) Surrey
I'm amazed you even published that ridiculous letter about ponytails. Hungover?
Two that spring immediately to mind: Manu Petit and Roberto Baggio (whose nickname was THE DIVINE PONYTAIL).
Think it through.
...Pete, does the name Ronaldinho ring any bells?
Zlatan is the answer.
...Good footballers with ponytails, now that is the classic mailbox Friday topic. By the way the best by far is Roberto Baggio and all I can say is if that was a ratstail it must have been some sized bloody rat. But as he has been banned so I'm going for a top 5 of:
5: Jonas Gutierrez, 4: Brian 'Killer' Kilcline, 3: Manu Petit, 2: Dave Seaman and the obvious answer....1: Zlatan.
That bunch is scary in many different ways
...In answer to the question posed by Pete (You can't have Baggio, that was a rat-tail not a ponytail.) SUFC, here's a team of footballers with ponytails. Some quite good ones, or in the case of Brian Kilcline, big and scary enough that you wouldn't call them sh*t loud enough for them to hear. And I am having - Roberto Baggio, his nickname was Il Divino Codino ("The Divine Ponytail", not the Divine Rat-tail.
GK: David Seaman
CB: Brian Kilcline
CB: Sotirios Kyrgiakos
CB: Rafael Marquez
RM: David Beckham
MC: Emmanuel Petit
MC: Mauro Camoranesi
LM: Jonas Gutierrez
F: Zlatan Ibrahimovic
F: Roberto Baggio
That forward line would tear the a*** out of most non-ponytailed sides...