One Mailboxer inserts his tongue into cheek to offer his thoughts on Liverpool's newest signing. Plus thoughts on league-owned clubs, badges, and swearing...
With only two weeks to go until the start of the season, Man United still have plenty of work to do in the transfer market. It seems the enormity of the task is dawning on Van Gaal...
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Sometimes when I'm about to click on your website for the first time in a day I sing 'Football Three Six Five' in tune to War's 'Why Can't We Be Friends?'.
Not sure if it's been documented anywhere (and I'm not getting overly excited having endured decades of disappointment) but if Man City drop any more point,s assuming Liverpool win their games up to the point of Man City's dropped points, then the title is officially in our own hands. Ooooooo!
So...Come On Man United
I don't understand the number of Liverpool supporters taking the p*ss out of United's thin silver lining in an otherwise big sh*tstorm of a cloud. I was ecstatic by their turnaround (however fortunate) against Olympiakos. I'm full of hope that the result can actually inspire some confidence in a team that is playing way below their level and finally show the character of incumbent Champions.
Why would an LFC fan be so supportive of our hated rivals, who've twisted the knife in us at every opportunity? Because they play Man City on Tueday, and a win would mean that our fate is completely in our own hands.
Stop planning the next time you'll get to sing 'Are you watching Manchester?' and keep your eyes on the goddamn prize.
Glory Glory Man f*cking United!
Sid (God it's weird actually being in a title race) LFC
Arsenal Are In There Too!
I will admit it from the outset, I'm an Arsenal supporter, and that may contribute to my bewilderment as to why there is a general consensus that Liverpool are firmly in the title race and Arsenal are rank outsiders. I'm failing to see why there is such a wholly accepted difference between the two clubs' chances of winning the championship.
I will admit that I believe Chelsea will ultimately win the league but I fail to understand why one of the above clubs is a contender and the other has to ensure 4th place. Both teams are four points behind Chelsea and both teams have a game in hand. Arsenal have to play Chelsea (a) and Man City (h) while Liverpool must still play Chelsea, City and Spurs (all h). Liverpool are scoring more but Arsenal are conceding less.
I'm not saying Liverpool aren't in the title race. I'm saying both teams ARE! They are the outsiders but it's not like an outsider has never won in football!
Sean, AFC, Dublin
Let Down By Carrick
When Michael Carrick joined Manchester United, he was much maligned for playing the game much differently from the former occupant of the number 16 shirt. Slowly but surely over the years he went on to become a fixture in our side, winning and scoring a spot-kick in the 2008 CL final. In the years since, he has lifted a few BPL trophies and has been the perfect partner for Paul Scholes. He feathered the ginger maestro perfectly, helping create space and supply the occasional killer pass himself.
This season though, Carrick has looked a shadow of his former self His game has not improved one iota in the past few years. He is a fully fledged England international with bags of experience, so is it unfair for us to expect a bit more from him? This season he has offered next to nothing going forward, and in a defensive capacity he has proved a bit of a liability, failing to close down opponents and contributing to deflected goals by sticking out wry legs. Of course the deflections are unlucky and not having a regular midfield partner has something to do with it, but I feel a bit let down by Carrick this year, he could be doing a lot more.
Try A Diamond, David
Where to begin with Manchester United? Moyes seems desperate to play his best players out of position, with no real sense of structure or forward thinking plan. Mata is not a winger and Rooney is not a Zidane-esque number 10. And pumping cross after cross in to a lone striker definitely isn't working. So where does the solution lie? I believe Liverpool's 3-0 demolition holds the answer. The diamond formation they used is perfectly suited to United. Liverpool showed that they could play with width better than United did, without any wingers. Rafael and Evra are certainly better forward-thinking players than they are defenders, so let them bomb forward as wing-backs.
Gerrard at the bottom of the diamond - for all his long passing skill - performed the key role of simply keeping possession moving, and giving the Liverpool defenders the chance to build from the back. That's all you have to do Mr Carrick, keep things moving. How impressive was Jordan Henderson in his role? A player who is technically not great, but works hard - making simple passes and basically being a nuisance was all that was required of him in that role. Sound like a certain Tom Cleverley?
It also solves that conundrum of how to get the best out of the front three. Van Persie and Rooney definitely have the movement and vision to move around each other like Suarez and Sturridge did so well, and with Mata in behind at the head of the diamond, he could pick out those cute through balls all day long. Time to drop the underperforming, overpaid and diving wingers, and play with a cohesive style that actually suits the players YOU wanted, David.
Robbie (Anything is better than Valencia, Nani and Young punting crosses to no one) Edinburgh
I'm Portuguese and can't watch as much Premier League as I'd like. I read Football365 every day and so I probably shouldn't be very surprised, but: Townsend is rubbish, isn't he? I'm writing this after half an hour of the match against Benfica and he can't seem to either dribble, pass or cross. What can he do?
Joao, Sporting Clube de Portugal
He's not suddenly a bad player. Sometimes they just don't suit the league or English style. Morientes had the same issue when he came over.
Spurs lose and I see stories on how it's time to cut the lose on Soldado. I think he is muck, but I believe more that he is the scapegoat in this odd Spurs year. So I suggest trying to put together a new team. Scapegoat Tigers. I'd have Hull City owner Assem Allam as owner with David Moyes as Manager. Tom Cleverly as captain and Soldado as centre forward. Any other suggestions?
Muck (If the owner got his way it would be Scapegoat Goats but the FA would never agree to that)
Five Annoying Things About Football
Perfect for a Friday mailbox.
1. Letting the ball roll out for a goal-kick
Defenders are allowed to block, shoulder barge, push attacking players to the let the ball roll out for a goal kick. NO THEY ARE NOT!! It appears to be part of football now but should not be allowed. As a minimum the defender should be in control of the football.
2. Goalkeeper protection
You cannot jump, challenge or look in the same direction as a goalkeeper. YES YOU CAN!! GKs have a great advantage of being able to use their hands and stick their knee/foot chest high when they jump. When two outfield players contest a header there is generally contact and its not a free-kick. Same with blocking keepers from corners. There is no rule saying you have to give a GK a free route to the ball. See point 3. All see Lofthouse - Nat.
3. Defenders at corners.
Already been highlighted several times in the media, the wrestling, shirt-pulling etc would be a free-kick anywhere else on the pitch. Why not from corners?? Why is this the norm now?? Going shoulder to shoulder is part of football, that should be the extent of defending from corners.
He had every right to go down, there was contact (looking at a zoomed in slow-mo replay). Of course there is contact. It's a contact sport. By that logic from corners every player will be rolling around on the floor. By allowing someone to tackle a football that is in close proximity to another player there will be some sort of contact. Players moving at speed and changing direction quickly means there will be contact. And while we are on the subject, please stop giving fouls based on how hard the challenge is. If the ball is won, that is it. It is a skill and should be recognised as one again.
5. Joey Barton
I turned on the England vs Wales rugby match and Joey Barton was giving his opinion. You see news of him appearing at debates. WHY! The bloke has styled himself as some sort of modern-day Descartes and people believe it. He is a dumb, arrogant over-paid waste of air that is famous for carrying out acts of gross stupidity both on and off a football pitch. That completely contradicts this manufactured persona. When he finally retires from football please can we start a petition to ensure he is never on a TV/radio show.
Thanks for letting me vent, these bits been bugging me for ages.
Dave (getting old and grumpy)
UWE We Go!
I feel I must write in and divert attention from the usual Premier League ramblings and mention my club Bristol Rovers. Ever since leaving Eastville Park in the 80s we have lurched to or had set-backs from one stadium project or redevelopment after another. Yesterday a Judge dismissed a Judicial Review against a local group that was trying to prevent a Sainsburyu's being built on our current site (The Memorial Ground) and enabling us to finance a new stadium (UWE Stadium in conjunction with a local University).
Hopefully said stadium can act as a catalyst for us to better ourselves as a club and look towards the likes of Hull, Swansea, Reading, Brighton etc as inspiration of what we can achieve. Today I am a chuffed Gashead, even if I am still not quite ready to believe it, until I'm sat in it.
Simon Phillips (UTG!) Bristol