It's clear that Jose Mourinho has a problem with Romelu Lukaku, and it appears he will be leaving Chelsea for good. Is Jose in danger of cutting off his nose to spite his face?
Are pre-season tours really a problem? Liverpool went to Australia last summer and it didn't prevent them from having a good season. Plus, thoughts on LvG and keepers...
If you have anything to say on any subject, mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Nick Miller's Profile365 column provoked a flurry of comments about the merits of the Oasis album Be Here Now. A lot of the defence seems to centre on "well it's not as good as the preceding Oasis albums, but judged on its own merits it's still good". I think my antipathy towards it - and the band - comes from being at school with a lot of Oasis fans, when I preferred Blur. Of course, when you're in year 7, you can't like one thing without insisting that a similar thing is rubbish. By coincidence, I was at school with a lot of Manchester United fans, one of whom once spent a whole Geography lesson trying to convince me that they should make Manchester the capital city and Wonderwall the national anthem. He'd never been to Manchester, he just supported United and liked Oasis. I grew up in Kent having been born in South London, you can probably guess my response.
While the Gallagher brothers would probably beat me up for saying this, there are similarities between their band and the Manchester United team of that time. There was certainly a swagger about both, a confidence that bred success simply by being who they were, and there seemed to be a sense of "you're with us or against us, but with us you'll be on the winning team" - the Blur versus Oasis "Britpop war" was probably the closest popular music has come to emulating supporting a football club, at least in my lifetime. Additionally, both Oasis and Manchester United back then were picking up new fans all the time who weren't all that bothered about buying into the history of the club or musical genre they were now "supporting" - not all Manchester United fans are plastics, but a lot of plastics are (or were) Manchester United fans.
Personally, the comments under Nick's article seemed to support one of my main theories of music, which is that if you're up against a fan of Oasis, Bon Jovi or Queen, there's little point in trying to reason with them because they're just not interested. Likewise, my experience of plastic Manchester United fans since has been that they're not interested in anything other than their team - Arsenal v Spurs could be 5-4, and they won't have seen it, they'll have fast-forwarded through it on Match of the Day to get to their team's drab 1-1.
According to Wikipedia, Be Here Now was released in August 1997, just after Manchester United had become champions for the fourth time in five years. The following season's Premier League title was won by Arsenal - maybe Noel and Liam had their revenge on the world after all.
Ed Quoth the Raven, CPFC the Glaziers, Notts
On The FA
The FA made similar comments in the aftermath of the Suarez debacle. In fact, both the report and the FA's press around it went to great lengths to establish that they did not believe Suarez is a racist, nor that his actions were motivated by deep-seated racial prejudice; but distinguished that his conduct was racist, regardless of whether he held such values.
Of course, you're free to draw your own conclusions about his subsequent actions and failure to properly apologise for the incident.
It seems to me that the FA want to cover their own backs and minimise reputational damage (and probably their own liability for it in court) that arise from these judgements. In these circumstances, they need to set a precedent about what conduct is acceptable and this line allows them to condemn the action without making any judgements about the man.
It is, of course, a rather uncomfortable fudge but it at least puts the ball back in the court of the player to accept the judgement and make proper apologies.
Nick Glover, Scouser in Brum
It Won't Last
As an ABU club card carrier since back when they were being handed out, I think the main reason we are all enjoying United's struggles this season is because deep down we know it won't last.
For years they have been equally bad losers and winners. We know this summer they will throw money at the problem and then they'll be back up challenging again. But this season is the reason we have held on to our ABU card for so long. So we are going to cash in our club card points while we can and enjoy Moyes break every record available, while United fans moan, whine, cry, and whinge at the dour football on display. They outrage from the fans that they no longer get to win every single game anymore is just hilarious. It has been pure gold entertainment. The manger looks clueless, the players look clueless, the fans look clueless and Rooney is running-a-muck on the clubs finances.
It's been years and years of waiting, but I tell you what, it has been worth the wait. It may only last this season, so I'll enjoy it while it lasts.
Tobi, Gooney Boy London (Moyes in! 5 More Years!!, 5 More Years!!, 5 More Years!!)
A 'Neutral' Perspective
As a United fan who would rather Man City or Chelsea win the title than Arsenal, can I just be the first to say that I hope Arsenal put 5 past Stoke tomorrow.
The Last Band Names
Congratulations to Brian Sheehy on his new arrival. But, not to ruin his special day, I reckon my Man United music team would trounce his!!!
1. MARKY MARK Bosnich
2. Gary NEVILLE BROTHERS
3. Phil NEVILLE BROTHERS
4. Steve BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN AND THE E-STREET BAND
5. Nicky BUTT HOLE SURFERS
6. Roy KEANE
7. Eric CLAPTONA
8. Paul NINE Ince NAILS
9. BOY GEORGE Best
10. FOUNTAINS OF WAYNE Rooney
11. TOMMY LEE Sharpe
I know I have taken some liberties and the formation would be a bit fluid, and being a band they have sacked the manager, but that's Rock and Roll!!
...Here I have my rap-based football XI. And a manager. And a Chairman. Obviously I am all about the Old Skool.
GK Pavel Srnichuck D
RB Des MC Hammerlton
LB Ulises De La Soul
CB Gordon McQueen Latifah
LM Fabio Ad-Rockemback
CM Coolio Baptista
CM Lil' Kim Kallstrom
CM Pele Mel
CF Ruud Vanillaicetelrooy
CF Szilard Neminemeth
CF Afrika Bambatistuta
Manager - Sam AllardIce Cube
Chairman - Grandmaster Stan Flashman
Sub Keeper - Tupac Shakur Hislop
Alex Stokoe, Newcastle upon Tyne
AVB To United?
Oh I f**king hope so, after mis-guidedly expecting him to do well at Spurs this season, I lumped a tenner on him being the next Man Utd manager last August (no time frame) at 66/1.
Let's get this trending.
...AVB to Utd? Did you actually watch a Spurs game over the last 2 years? I have watched pretty much every single game Spurs have played in the last 10 years (including the pre-season friendlies when they are on the telly or tinternet) and I can tell you now that AVB was the worst manager we have had in that time. Even the "Ticket Collector" had us playing more entertaining football. On paper, it looks like he did well with us, highest points tally in the PL, a very rare away win at the THEATRE OF BROKEN DREAMS, the QF's of the Thursday night trophy. But he took over a very good team that Martin Jol started and Harry improved on. I have never felt such a lack of passion for watching my team as I did when he was in charge, the most boring 1-0 football you have seen. I honestly think, if Bale wasn't with us last season we would have finished 10th and had even more draws than Everton, the draw specialists.
Will, I would rather have Adebayor. We only want good looking players in our Spurs team and he has a very hipster beard also.
Olly, I watched the game on a Channel called 3e in Ireland and we had to listen to Gary f******Steven. He has the most annoying voice and accent and he just talks and talks and talks about whether or not every decision the ref made was correct. I actually turned it to mute for the second half. Please 3e, if you are reading, never ever let him back on again. He is worse than EMO.
Oh yeah, just so this is published...MOYES OUT, KAGAWA RUBBISH, CLEVERLY FOR ENGLAND? ROONEY ON HOW MUCH?
Stuart (If we win at OT next season again, I will start calling it THE THEATRE OF 3 POINTS) Mackenzie, Jersey (C.I.) boy in Dublin
...In response to AB MUFC, I think AVB would be able to do a better job than Moyes and I think we needed someone like him to start a "Project" (most overused, random word in football but anyway) and create a vision and style of play while keeping the players motivated. Moyes seems devoid of all ideas on how to go forward, use the players we have and motivate them but the worst of all, he can't even make us hard to beat in the way he did with Everton. It's depressing how easy it is for teams to score against us and how we then look to have no idea or fight to get back in the game.
But with AVB I'm not sure how the players would take to him given how his spells at Chelsea & Spurs went and what I propose is, why would you have beef burger when you can have steak. And that huge piece of prime loveable fillet, cooked to perfection with a nice beard, step forward one Jurgen Klopp. I think he would be able to bring all that we currently need to United and be a good long term appointment for the club. I don't really understand how Bayern can so freely rape and pillage Dortmund for all their best players and it feels like he has had his time with them and would possibly jump at the chance to join United.
On Bergkamp v Cantona, I think Bergkamp had better technique and scored some great goals but didn't have the same impact. Cantona still had fantastic ability, revolutionised United and scored more. Quite simply he was the mutts nuts.
Mark MUFC (still sing ooo ah, ooo ah, ooooo ah, Cantona every day in the shower, mmm steak)
Things Brendan Rodgers Hasn't Said Yet
*If I can't improve him as a person, then I won't improve him as a footballer.
*(On a foreign player) It doesn't matter if he can't speak English because he's fluent in football.
*This city of Liverpool needs someone to believe in and I want them to believe in me.
After watching a bit of Coppa Italia football as well as the Italian teams playing in the Europa league recently I realised that despite all of the problems within Italian football, it sure looks like a lot of fun if you score a goal for one of those teams. The stadiums are never full, yet always seem to be extremely hostile and intimidating. The stadium announcers have wacky ways of reacting to a goal like the Napoli guy who does the chant after every goal. I also love the way the stadiums are old and rickety and all of them seem to have a running track around them.
I think it looks like so much fun when someone scores a goal and they hop onto the track and over to the fanatical fans banging their heads against the plastic barriers. It all seems still to be old school and in a day where players are booked for touching the fans and stewards telling you to sit down if you stand up, I think it's refreshing to see a bit of wackiness left in the game and if I were a footballer I think I would like to get involved with it.
Peter(Marvin Emnes' hair is also wacky), AFC