We have an example of league-owned clubs from Australia while Kiwi boys want more respect for refs. Plus, Van Gaal won't stick with 3-5-2 and worried if Koeman will cut it...
An awful lot of cash has been thrown in Southampton's direction for a collection of players with itchy feet who took them into mid-table. This is not a crisis; it's excellent business...
The F365 Mailbox: Defending The Honour Of Women
Have to say that Thom (have since checked Wikipedia and it really is just Gary McAllister) from this morning's mailbox sounds like an absolute div.
Gary Mac always seems like a decent bloke yet even he must have been narked by this drunken loudmouth with terrible banter. Was waiting for a decent punchline but instead it was just him being even more of a kn*b.
...I was reading through the email from Thom this morning, in complete awe of how one person could display such a head-scratching lack of self awareness about how much of a c**t they are when something struck me:
"Whilst out for a beer or 19 with my friend..."
You only have one friend? That's actually one more than I would have given you credit for.
pApAi$h (your 'hilarious' exchange with Gary McAllister aside why would you be proud about making a girl cry?)
...Thom (Have since checked Wikipedia and it really is just Gary McAllister),
Making a girl cry and swearing at a great Ex-Footballer are obviously nasty things to do.
But watching Rugby? You've lost it mate. I kid, but in all seriousness you sound like a proper git
Max, South London
...I'd say it was a pretty clear warning sign if you're in a bar with a footballer and you're the one acting like the tw*t.
Might want to think about that, fella.
Sturridge Is The Best
We've got the world's best striker.
So even though Laurel & Hardy appear to be our defensive coaches we still have a chance at making the top 4.
Luke, Red in Sussex
I felt I had to respond to your article on why England are already worried about penalties.
There's a very simple answer lads - because they're sh*t at them.
More Baggies Blues...
Good god, another WBA fan on this website who shares exactly the same opinion of me and no doubt every other season ticket holder in the Hawthorns at present.
I've been saying the same thing since Saturday. We were outplayed by Fulham from the first whistle, and if this is what we're allowing then how can we stay up. We can't score goals and we can't keep clean sheets, and that is a foolproof formula for relegation. It seems at the minute we're getting away with our 13 draws in the league because the equaliser always comes late, meaning you celebrate it like a win, but in truth it's just not good enough.
Richard mentions effort (or lack of) in his email, which I think really hits the nail on the head. Whilst a lot of our issues do look like the lack of quality has finally been found out, the fact that the players don't seem to try anymore makes it even harder to watch. Every week I turn up and watch the likes of Chris Brunt and Victor Anichebe look like world beaters simply because they seem to be the only ones putting the effort in, and the only genuine quality on display is Mulumbu and Yacob in the middle of the park. I also completely agree with his full back point. Liam Ridgewell simply isn't good enough to play left-back for a team that finished top half the last 2 years, and Billy Jones offers pace going forward but isn't too solid at the back.
The thing I'd like to ask Richard about though is another thing I've noticed that I think could be our real undoing this season. Whilst we've got issues all over the park which strikers that don't score and a leaky defence, it seems to be our ability to cause all of our own problems that hurt us most. As Richard mentioned, we only perform in the second half and Pepe Mel's ability to change a game mid match is something Clarke could never do, but there are so many occasions when a spell of dominance ends in an opposition goal because we decide to hesitate at the back or just play the sloppiest 5 yard pass you'll ever see in the Prem, and if we can't do the simple things what hope is there.
All in all, it's pretty sad times at the Hawthorns, and I can't see it getting much better for us. And Richard, I miss Roy too.
Joe (What has happened to Jimmy Morrison?) WBA
...First up we (West Brom) may go down. We've made poor mistakes and have had lots of bad luck and currently don't know how to win a game. However we are not in the bottom 3, have 11 games of which 7/8 are realistic chances to win points and there are about 8 other sides who are equally as bad. Things are not as cut and dried as you make out.
The chairman has struggled for years to make us relevant and competitive in the very unbalanced and unfair top flight. In the last 3 seasons his decisions and appointments helped us achieve that. Throwing him out is a) impossible as he owns the club and b) stupid and reminiscent of chucking babies out of bathtubs. What he does need to do is find out why we've so underperformed and make sure we fix those problems for next summer.
Also we sold Peter Odemwingie because he acted a complete and utter idiot last January and never grew up. His performances this season are as far away from a 1 in 3 goal scorer as they could possibly be and the sale was a great decision. We sold Long because he asked for £50k per week to stay on. We'd have sold him ages ago if Hull had met our terms. £7m for a man who scored in fits and starts and had dubious injury record is good business. Lukaku was never our player and it was unrealistic to expect to get him back. Loans of really good players are like a bonus ball. They help you over achieve but should not be seen as long term solutions.
Big Vic will prove to be a good signing too.
Things are NOT rosy at the club right now. Things have to change. But things are not as bad as Richard suggests.
Andy (Can someone check the trees in Cambridge to make sure no-one is hanging from them), Leeds
...And Fulham Sadness
The mail from Richard the miserable WBA fan this morning really resonated with me as Fulham fan as I have felt the same emotions this year. In fact you could just substitute names and have yourself a letter about my club.
He bemoans the fact WBA couldn't beat Fulham at home, whereas I was left lamenting the fact we couldn't hang on to a 1-0 lead for the last 5 minutes against another struggler and suffered yet another late goal this season. Also, kudos for Magath for reuniting Parker and Sidwell in the middle of the park. Worked well all year hasn't it?
The fact we are about 3 wins away from mid table highlights how terrible the league is. There are about 8 teams worthy of relegation but we can't all go down. Anyway, we might have derbies against QPR and Brentford next year so that's pretty good.
Oh and that Thom seems like a great bloke doesn't he? Made a girl cry, kicked out of a pub, argued with bouncers, swore at a stranger twice and felt happy about the situation the next day. Epic story Thommy boy.
The Peng, FFC, SW6
Like Matthew Stanger, fully on board with Roy and his idea of using a psychologist. But I think his plan is (inevitably - he's the England manager after all) flawed...
The players don't need a lecture, nor do they need to be talked to by "one of them". What the players lack is confidence in their abilities under pressure. He simply needs to get the players to believe that they can hit the target - by a mixture of visualisation and effing practicing it a bit, properly. If you as a footballer can't at the very least pass the ball accurately and at pace to the corner of the goal... you should stop calling yourself a footballer.
Likewise, clubs should be doing this generally, especially with players (Soldado and Rooney spring to mind) who are prone to problems with form. Form being mostly psychological. If Soldado could snap on the mindset before games where he felt the confidence of having banged in back to back hatricks, he would stop shanking his shots every game. Similarly, Rooney could play entire seasons without losing form. Like Messi and Ronaldo basically.
Confidence really isn't that complex. But someone has to show these mental halfwits, before they punt the Country's chances over the bar again. It's not technical ability that separates us from Spain and Germany, just mental. Just lack of fundamental belief. Maybe at the same time we can teach them to read and write too...
Guy S (doesn't mean you can fly)
Loved your Top Ten Showboaters this morning - Your top showboater was my Granddad's Cousin Len Shackleton - unfortunately his skills haven't been passed down through the generations.
Made me think of some of the players that missed out -
Matt Le Tissier - THAT goal against Newcastle, many of the others that he just lobbed in from about 30 yards
Lee Trundle - OK, so he only did it in the lower leagues - but there wasn't a week where he wasn't on Soccer AM - great feet
Mustapha Hadji - back in the season of 1999-2000 when Coventry City were known as the Entertainers, Hadji (alongside fellow Moroccan Youssef Chippo) was outstanding, turning this way and that way - opposing midfielders didn't have a clue!
Dimi Berbatov - He plays in slow mo, but some of his touches make me moist - also see Ibrahimovic, Z
Adam (Gibraltar to do the Double over Scotland) Cov Fan, Coventry
Non-Football Story Of The Day
Had a story for Mediawatch's non-football story of the day, but it was not as good as chopsticks and a boiled egg up a fanny...
...The Mediawatch non-football story of the day really should come with a warning if it is un-recommended to read whilst eating lunch.....please. Egg and cress sandwiches don't seem so appealing now.
EGV, THFC. London
...I just threw up in my mouth.