Featuring XI players who have been in pre-season action for Premier League clubs who you might be forgiven for forgetting. Like N'Zogbia, Boyata, Obertan and...
The mailbox defends Everton's enormous outlay on Romelu Lukaku, while we also have mails on Spurs and Suarez. Oh, and worrying about the new magic spray...
If you have anything to say on any subject, mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Still Not Impressed
I've been baited hence I must respond.
First off, Congratulations to Arsene for equalling the monumental achievements of Harry Redknapp and Alex McLeish in winning one domestic cup in 10 years. To achieve this against all odds, and against the mighty Hull is some feat! This of course, banishes eternally the argument that he can't win against big teams and the 6-3, 6-0 and 5-1 defeats are forgotten!
I have a quote for you all: "There are two trophies. One is the league and the other is the Champions League. When you go to sign players they do not ask "how did you perform in the FA Cup?"
Who said this? Arsene Wenger did!
Then there's the assertion that winning the FA Cup will attract top signings. (Yet , I thought the 4th place trophy was supposed to attract the best?). When will Xavi be having his medical at Wigan then? They won it last year didn't they?
A club with a wage bill over £150mil a year, a manager that's earned over £60mil in wages these last 9 years and the most expensive ticket prices in Europe...and the FA Cup is being celebrated like it was the World Cup itself! Look well done for winning it.
This in the grand panorama though, changes nothing at all. Wenger isn't good enough, and all he's managed to do is finally match Wigan 'a achievements (Wigan beat a serious team in the final too).
So with all due respect: if a FA Cup win is the elixir, does this mean we accept that Portsmouth and Wigan had been more successful teams than Arsenal until Saturday?
Stewie Griffin (let's parade the Emirates Cup too while we are here)
Just a couple of points Graham:
1. Yes the 2004 Invincibles were Wenger's peak at Arsenal, don't be dense.
2. London is not the greatest city in the world, it's not even the greatest city in the UK. You're literally the first person I've ever heard suggest such nonsense.
3. You may have gotten the monkey off your back as you say and that's to be commended, and I certainly don't begrudge Arsenal or Wenger success as I feel they would have had more of it in recent years if certain players like Nasri, Song, Rvp etc had stayed loyal to the man who made them, but it's the FA cup; the third most important trophy on offer to English clubs every year. Let's have some perspective please?
Cheer Up, Chris
Alright, Chris Hodgson.
Since we strive to allow people their opinions, It was tolerable up until this line "What's happening in Islington right now has got to be the most tragic and pathetic example of triumphalism in sporting history"
Mate, are you for real? Did you ever even get a certificate for trying at school sports, or did you just boycott the entire idea of sport, and the wonderful silly little traditions that come with it?
Winning the OLDEST Knockout Football trophy is not a pathetic example of sport, triumph, and the two coming together my son. In fact, to most football fans (key requirement for understanding what is to follow), it's bloody fantastic to win!
I can only assume that your complaint is in reference to the fact that they did not beat Barcelona/Madrid/Munich to win it Well, understand this, Hull City played damn well to get there, and inspired their fans all along the way, including throughout the big day itself!
That kind of encapsulates the point of sport you see Chris...The spirit that gave rise to the FA Cup, when there was no other cup like it to imitate.
As a Manc, since we haven't got near winning it since we gifted Arsene his last trophy after a game we thoroughly dominated, I would absolutely love to win it again! In fact, as spoiled as we have been with league titles and fantastic European runs (thanks of course to my lovely friends at Barca) we would not mind AT ALL to win the FA Cup again Chris!
Europe is awesome in my personal opinion, but no matter the fanfare (or financial incentives that drive a lot of the hysteria), Home Is Where The Heart Is. Well done to the football club for letting Wenger stay on while they ensured their future after their stadium move, (smart, if a little sad, Highbury is a LEGENDARY ground )amidst ludicrous media agenda's determined to remove him.
And well done to the man, Arsene, the man is now on 5 FA Cups! (in addition to league and other cup titles, and still a humble, totally respectful man, what an advert for Arsenal and the ideals of The Arsenal!)
Manc in SA
Modern Football: Weird
As a Liverpool fan, being back in the Champions League is more important to our club than winning the FA Cup and I feel a little bit sad by that. When your sport is more about ability to generate money and interest than actually winning something you have a problem on you hands.
...A couple weeks ago on the mailbox someone asked what the definition of a plastic fan is, and I'd say that someone who can criticise their team, ask their manager to be sacked, and basically, do anything other than be out-of-their-minds happy after said team has won a cup is a plastic fan.
Honestly. That guy in the Mailbox this morning, my United and Chelsea supporting mates trying to make me feel bad about it... you expect that. But there are so-called Gooners in Arsenal blogs, in the comments section on here, saying the cup means nothing, saying Wenger must go now, that the team are sh*t. I mean, really? Criticism is good when it's expressed well, I suppose, but now is not the time for that. How can any true fan do anything other than smile and walk around in a sort of dazed manner?
Modern football is weird.
Lily, (I'd choose our season over Liverpool's a thousand times. Honestly surprised anyone would choose otherwise) AFC
What Can We Celebrate?
I was wondering if someone would complain about Arsenal fans celebrating winning the cup and I wasn't disappointed.
Seriously? So we're not allowed to celebrate winning a trophy now either? Can someone please make a list of what we are allowed to celebrate so that we know in the future?
Oh, and if beating Hull is so easy, why didn't anyone else do it? If winning the FA Cup is so easy, where were City or Chelsea?
Seriously... Sometimes I despair at football fans.
Adonis (2 days till we last won a trophy) Stevenson, AFC
Agreeing With Chris
Chris Hodgson was almost spot on in his comments on Arsenal fans on Saturday night/ Sunday morning. It was a pathetic demonstration on Arsenal's decline as a footballing powerhouse in the last decade.
Firstly, I love the FA cup and we should all celebrate winning it but lets be honest. Has a team had an easier cup run in the recent history of the competition?
They avoided the banana skin of a 4th round Premier League opposition, got Liverpool in the 5th round when a surprised Liverpool were in contention to win the league so had their focus elsewhere (not a squad to cope with a battle on two fronts) followed by an Everton side who also had their attention on unexpected possibilities.
By some sort of miracle, they avoided Chelsea and Man City who would have dispatched with them with ease.
Then the Semi Final and the Final. Wigan should have been put to the sword at Wembley or at least comfortably beaten in 90 mins. 4-2 on penalties
The final. A massive day for Hull so you'd expect them to fight but for a team without a trophy for 9 years they should have been fired up. Extra time? Really.
A final result that made the rest of the league sigh with relief. Arsenal might be a dangerous prospect without Wenger dragging them down.
(The ridiculously over exaggerated celebrations support the idea that Wenger is a 'specialist in failure')
Good quiz set by Paul Halt about domestic trophy winning managers since the beginning of the premier league era. Think I've got it;
Scotland - 27 trophies (5 managers) - Ferguson, Dalgleish, Graham, Souness, McLeish,
France - 11 (2) - Wenger, Houllier,
Italy - 7 (4) - Manchini, Anchellotti, Vialli, Di Matteo,
England - 6 (6) - Redknapp, McLaren, Evans, Royle, Little, Atkinson,
Portugal - 5 (1) - Mourinho
Spain - 3 (3) - Martinez, Benitez, Ramos,
Chile - 2 (1) - Pellegrini,
Holland - 2 (2) - Gullit, Hiddink,
N. Ireland - 2 (1) - O'Neill
Denmark - 1 (1) - Laudrup
What do I win?
On an unrelated note, if Chris Hodgson can't understand Arsenal fans being happy that they have won a major trophy after what by their terms has been something of a (much publicised) drought, then perhaps he should give up on football or at least eat a lot loss sour grapes. Also for all those who bemoan the less of importance or 'magic' of the FA cup, may I draw your attention to events in north London this weekend.
To Be Continued
So does that mean Man United have half as much faith in van Gaal as they had in Moyes?!
Greatest Season Ever?
I could write 60,000 words on the sheer scale, effort and balls that it took Atletico Madrid to win the title against impossible odds on Saturday but my mind is already turning to Saturday's Champions League final against "the other" team from Madrid.
Obviously all trophies and achievements in football are impossible to compare/contrast but I would argue that if..if...(and it's a big IF) Atletico can also win "Old Big Ears" then this potential double would arguably be the greatest domestic season by any club since the European Cup was re-branded as the Champions League. Bias be damned!
Feel free to argue against this but Bayern and Man United's historic treble wins were done with large squads that were accustomed to winning trophies while both clubs have traditionally had the required financial power to compete for the big prizes. Ditto with Barcelona's amazing 2009 all-conquering squad when they (for my money) became the greatest club side of all time achieving levels of perfection that will probably never be matched. Real Madrid's array of "Galacticos" won the Champions League twice in three years but they finished well off the pace in La Liga both seasons.
Mourinho's win with Porto in 03 was a seismic shock felt around Europe but their domestic dominance , aside from Benfica, has rarely been threatened while Marseille's 1993 Champions League win was tainted with a domestic bribery scandal.
It's very hard to argue against Barca's clean sweep in one year but as an Atletico fan the sheer thought of a double (taking into account the clubs debts, small squad. necessity to sell and the current seemingly impenetrable landscape of Spanish/European football) could eclipse any of these previous amazing achievements. All we have to do now is beat Real Madrid...Christ almighty! Thoughts on a hypothetical situation?
Paul (A statue of Simeone should be built if they win the double)