We have a long mail about the travails of supporting Spurs, plus Friday thoughts on Marko Marin, marketing, victory v beauty, travelling and vanishing sprays...
Change is afoot at Manchester United as Louis van Gaal switches the team's formation to 3-5-2. Will he find the defensive additions to make the system work?
We Did Ok, Y'Know
Man Utd were close. They were outplayed by the best team in Europe, but if you look at the squads that isn't surprising and definitely is not something to be ashamed of. On another night I think that may have gone our way. We didn't win, but we challenged and fought and had a chance, and when you're playing a team significantly better than everyone else that is all you can hope for.
Overall I think we've proven that we can hold our own at the top stage of European football. If we have to take a year out then we'll be back, but the team did very well over the two legs.
I think on the night, a 2-1 score line would have been a fair result but that heavily deflected goal leant a gloss to the evening for Bayern. This Bayern side is just obscenely good though. With Lewandowski coming in in the summer they're going to be a scary, scary prospect for another 2-3 years.
Calum, MUFC, Reading
Blaming Moyes For The Manner Of Defeat
Watching this United side limp out of Europe for the foreseeable future with an inept, unenjoyable and one dimensional performance must surely dispel this notion that Moyes was tactically astute in either leg. Let's be brutally honest here, for the first three quarters of this tie Bayern did not perform. The only time they actually got out of second gear was when they were at risk of going out of the tie. Sitting deep and knocking long balls up for Welbeck to chase is beneath even this United side.
While I completely understand the need to use direct, counter attacking football against a team like Bayern, I refuse to believe that the likes of Rooney, Kagawa, Carrick, Fletcher etc are incapable of stringing more than three or four passes together. Watching United regain possession in midfield and proceed to pass the ball back to de Gea to kick away possession time and time again is unbelievably disheartening.
What makes this even worse is the few times United actually got the ball down a bit they actually managed to cause problems. Evra's goal came from a great run by Valencia down the right and good link up play on either flank created chances for Rooney as well as the disallowed goal by Valencia.
It is plainly obvious that Moyes has nothing else in his locker. Other than a change in personnel there was no obvious difference in how United approached the game after they went behind. It is not enough to simply throw on an extra striker, especially when your team aren't creating any chances. Leaving Rooney on the pitch was also a mistake, he was clearly still injured and offered nothing to the team.
It was always going to be a tough match and Bayern were rightly favourites to go through but while I don't blame Moyes for losing to Bayern Munich, what I do blame him for is the manner of the loss.
...I'm sorry but I think you are being rather to nice about the inept David Moyes and last nights game. Buttner had the measure of Robben in the first game yet he is dropped for Evra who was at fault for 2 of the three goals, Rooney was blatantly unfit yet Moyes plays him the full 90 mins then in the presser afterwards claims Rooney was struggling striking the ball if he was struggling why bloody play him?, he played Welbeck inside (shunting Kagawa out wide) when in the first game he was more effective on the wing.
I know I may sound churlish but Bayern where there for the taking they looked out of sorts and we had some good chances but Moyes lacking any semblance of bottle wouldn't drop golden boy Rooney even though it's obvious to all and sundry when he isn't fully fit he plays gash. The much maligned Smalling showed what a good centre half he is, amazing what happens when you get played in the position you are meant to play in.
Finally back to Evra, he needs to be dropped permanently and Buttner given a run in the side, Evra runs forward jogs back doesn't cover and goes missing at crucial times it's all well and good scoring a good goal but switching off 22 seconds later isn't good enough.
Paul Murphy, Manchester
Wayne '£300,000 per week' Rooney
I have given myself an hour or so to cool off after that finish from Bayern.
However, there's something that is really bothering me - Wayne Rooney. It is absolutely absurd that he gets to be paid £300k a week to be (at best) a really good trier. I'm sick of him not getting the job done on anything near a consistent basis.
Pep filling his head with nonsensical sh*t before the game was well and good but he delivered nothing. Rooney out asap.
...England fans will be glad to see Rooney hitting his usual pre-international tournament levels of form and fitness.
Jamie R, Dublin
...I tell you what, that Wayne Rooney is world class.
Stu (can't wait for more of that in the world cup...), Chiswick
United = England
If you ever wanted England's World Cup this summer to be summed up in one microcosm of a match it was tonight.
Rooney starts, even though not even fit. Rooney runs around a lot. Rooney fluffs everything. Rooney gets frustrated. Rooney / Manchester United / England go out at the quarter finals.
Said it from the start that if I was David Moyes, I know it made me feel physically ill as well sorry, that I would start Alexander Buttner as unlike that buffoon Evra he can actually play in the position where hes meant to be aka left back.
Now I have said it for a few years unfortunately that Evra was gone and not the player he was in his day and even though I'm not sure if its his legs or just a p*ss poor attitude but by jesus if he isnt attacking and barely jogging back hes trying to sit on the centre backs lap.
I would absolutely love to see us sign Luke Shaw (if your reading this Luke come on its not that bad ya might actually win something when he who must not be named is sacked) but If we could get Alberto Moreno off Seville id also be a very happy man as they both look to have the ability to be leading stars of the game.
Owen, (Atletico's Title to lose now in my opinion) Dublin
...Evra giveth, Evra taketh away.
Let's not pretend that he wasn't directly responsible for the first two Bayern goals.
Atletico v Barca Thoughts
Decided that my time this evening would be better served in front of Atletico-Barca and I definitely wasn't disappointed, having missed most opportunities this season to take in an Atletico performance I was keen to judge the hype for myself.
The start was absolutely phenomenal, having read a lot about their defensive stability and pressing/harrying style I expected a robust, almost backs to the wall performance but it was nothing such, I was taken straight back to the heart racing opening 20 minutes of Liverpool-arsenal and to a few seasons back the performance of Dortmund at man city (finished 1-1 unbelievably)
I thought they played the game perfectly, Barca on the other hand rolled the ball amongst each other like a team leading the tie.. Accruing 71% possession and almost four times as many passes, however only creating two clear cut headed opportunities, I found myself wanting to flick over during a lot of Barca's play, the slow, ponderous approach played right into Atletico's hands and when time ticked over and Barca started madly crossing the ball from any angle I was surprised not to see Atletico's defenders laughing such was the ease with which they cleared every header.
I'm a Liverpool fan so obviously the current position is amazing but I would like to say that it is the style of play that has me so happy this season, I followed Dortmund for a few seasons before the football they played really got showcased and from watching Atletico's performance I got the same genuine giddiness, I really hope they go on to win it. I honestly believe if everyone played or tried to play like Barca or Munich then people would stop watching.
Stephen (Can it be Sunday already)
Player Of The Year Revamp
After reading the who scored short list for player of the year it got me thinking how predictable these lists are year in year out. At the start of the season you could name most on the list I'm sure and I think there needs to be a fairer way of deciding who wins the gong.
I'd like to see the Premier League go down a similar route to how they do it here in Australia in AFL for example with there player of the year equivalent. So what would happen is after EVERY Premier League game the referee and linesman (or a special panel as the FA love a good panel) get together at the end of a match and award 3 points. Man of the match gets 3 points, second best 2 points and third best 1 point, This should also be used for Young Player of the year too.
Seeing as these ratings are done after every match it would give a much better indication of who the best player over the course of a whole season was. Because normally awards forget players early season form and focus on the more recent games and tend to forget games where the main men didn't shine.
Maybe then these lists wouldn't be so predictable and maybe throw up a few surprises as well rather then the same old names. I'm pretty sure Suarez would still win with this system as he's been amazing but a top ten would look interesting. Just a thought...
Nathan, AFC, Melbourne
No To Hull Tigers, Huzzah
Today the FA have announced that they've rejected Hull City's application to change the name to Hull Tigers.
Whatever the future may hold, this should be seen as a great results for fans of the club. In rejecting the application, the FA have upheld the tradition of the game.
Whilst the club were busy giving the line that the name change will increase sponsorship and revenues from the far East, recent interviews from Vice Chairman Ehab Allam have suggested that no such offers are currently forthcoming. It has indeed been suggested by many that the real reason behind the name change was due to an argument between Chairman Assam Allam and Hull City Council who refused to give the (council owned) stadium to Mr Allam. Therefore it was suggested the real reason behind the name change was to remove the similarities in the names of the football club and the local council.
Behind the scenes, a supporters group was formed called "City Till We Die". If anybody is not aware of the campaign, I suggest that they look them up. The efforts of this group have been fantastic. In the face of many aggressive remarks coming from within the club (recalling Assam Allams suggestion that "The can die as soon as they want"), the group have maintained a very composed protest and should be applauded and held up as a model for any football supporters groups finding themselves in a similar position.
Not only do I believe that my fellow Hull City fans owe thanks to the FA in supporting the traditions of the game, but we also owe massive thanks to the members of the CTWD who were prepared to raise their heads above the parapet, be on the receiving end of many pot shots, but stand by their beliefs.
Should we be fortunately enough to get past Sheffield United this weekend and reach the FA Cup final for the first time in the clubs history, I for one will sing "City 'Til I Die" long and proud at the end of the game
James, Hull City AFC