There has been much discussion of Manchester United's departed or injured defenders, but far less of Michael Carrick. Will his return to fitness cause notable improvement?
Arsenal fans have been sucked back into believing Wenger can bring the glory years back after beating Borussia Dortmund. Plus, more on Liverpool's worrying decline...
Anything to say on any subject? Mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
A few points to address regarding the Community Shield before you get too carried away:
- It was a glorified friendly.
- City didn't give a nano-f*ck.
- You beat a team featuring Scott Sinclair, Micah Richards and Dedryck Boyata.
As many of you have pointed out, Yaya Sanogo played well. This really didn't set off alarm bells?
...Adonis - you are aware that, since moving to City, Nasri has won the league twice and the League Cup once? (as well as the Commmunity Shield) I bet his chips taste just fine, whereas I suspect anything you eat leaves a vaguely bitter taste as it goes down.
Naz - Can I suggest you ask Bacary that question again at the end of the season? I genuinely hope that you'll still have something to gloat about but I'm not putting any money on it.
Yusuf - the only acknowledgment anyone who is stupid and childish enough to call United 'Manure' deserves is this.
Sensible Gooners - I really do hope your team does well. Assuming my team, Liverpool, don't, I hope you guys win the Premier League.
(I don't think Liverpool will win it, by the way - I'll be happy with fourth and not being spanked in the CL).
I just found some of the comments in the mailbox sad and more than a little classless, after a victory in a match that was little more than a meaningless pre-season friendly.
Paul the Gamer
Surely describing your striker's best attribute to be 'robustness' is a sign that he is useless. He can't score but at least he is strong and healthy. I can just imagine the rest of the Prem is quaking at the thought of facing the pace of Arsenal, oh and their robust striker.
As regards Yusuf (obligatory name and parantheses) Bulama AFC, hopefully he wakes up this morning with a hangover and a regret that he went near his computer last night. Expect a phone call from your ex Yusuf demanding an explanation of the photos you sent.
Roll on Saturday.
Garey Vance, MUFC
We Are Not Dicks. Honest
The race is on. Following pre-season, us fans are now ready for the real stuff. As can be seen from this morning's mailbox there's an awkward clamour amongst supporters to win the pre-season war:
We do not want to sound like Dicks. Not surprising it's Liverpool and Arsenal fans are leading the charge on contrived modesty. We've been stung before when it comes to planting our flags on false dawns, and we felt bloody stupid when things have gone belly up before. For the next year's pub chatting, tweeting and mail boxing we can't afford to slip and open ourselves up to accusations of delusion and bitterness again. Celebrating anything come May will feel much better as a 'who'd of thunk it' than a 'told you so'.
So nominations, who are this year's deluded fools? Or is it me for missing an opportunity to gloat about dicking all over City?
James, Gooner in Cardiff (Yusuf (obligatory name and parantheses) Bulama AFC didn't get the memo did he?)
Trying To Wean Off Evil F365
Just over a week ago, I wrote an unpublished letter to the mailbox stating my recent indifference to everything football and that I would not be looking at F365 again (yes, I know I was obviously full of it, but I'm a security guard, I have to read something). One of the reasons stated was the unapologetic pandering to Manchester United by 'certain' websites. I used to love this site, and despite my intentions to boycott it, I admit I'm still sucked in a tad and have been visiting daily, albeit to mainly look at the front page headline and boil with fury.
Time and time again, real football stories are relegated to the limbo of the side bar, as non-story after non-story punches us in the eyes from the looming pedestal of the headline article. I have been checking daily and the amount of coverage Manchester United rumours are getting is sickening. Rumours, hearsay, like Vidal supposedly knocking united back, twice, as actual transfer news and football results are whimpering for attention from the sidelines.
Frankly, I find it pathetic and hypocritical, considering the sh*t you give other sites for using bad journalism to generate attention. So I'd just like to say bravo to Yusuf for writing in and I suppose, bravo to F365 for publishing it. Hopefully the fact you did publish it means an impending re-evaluation of your priorities.
Jim NUFC (obligatory parenthesised witticism)
Reading the email from Yusuf (obligatory name and parantheses) Bulama AFC, I was struck by how little knowledge of the real world mailboxers have.
Yes Arsenal played well yesterday and yes Man Utd get more than their fair share of coverage on this website, but surely you get that Football365 just like the Mail online and the other publications we all love to hate are about making money. Pithy and irreverent only work in so far as they pay the bills, at some point everyone this website included needs to worry about revenue, and for that we need Man Utd, whether we all like it or not, the sheer numbers and reach of their fan base mean more hits and more money..
So please rather than sending emails berating people for doing their job, save your energy and concentrate on pithy and irreverent.
Andrew, QPR, Twickenham (I realise that was neither pithy nor irreverent, just frustrated)
Cooling The Chelsea Hype
Mr MC. Monday morning greets us again. Hope you had a nice weekend. Just wanted to address a couple of things...
A number of meeeeja outlets seem to be pushing Chelsea as favourites for the title this season. Now we're very flattered, however most of the Chelsea fans I know still see us as a risky bet. This is due to the fact we have signed a striker who - although has undoubted skill and ability - plays a very physical/aggressive game and also has a slightly mental streak, meaning we are very likely to lose him to injury, suspension or both - more than once. This wouldn't be a problem but for his 'replacements'. Anyone and everyone can see that Torres is going to struggle and Drogba, whilst undoubtedly a club legend, is that little bit older (37?) and probably more susceptible to injury himself. He got injured last night and will now miss the start of the season. This combination of strikers/abilities/characters/ages/concerns won't successfully get us through a potential 50+ games.
"I have no strikers," he (Jose) said a good few months back. And in early 2015 he could be saying the same thing. Strange that the club still don't seem to address this problem.
In 2010 we had six strikers.
Finally, just to put things straight. I haven't heard a single Chelsea fan call Lampard a traitor but Pellegrini and others seem to think we have all turned on him. I know I speak for Chelsea fans everywhere when I say that Lampard will always be a Chelsea legend. He can break in to my house at Christmas and p*** on my kids. I'd still consider him a Chelsea legend. He can play for Man City. He will still remain a Chelsea legend.
Ash, CFC *brackets are so last year* London
We're Back, Baby
The following are United's opening fixtures for the forthcoming season. Swansea (H), Sunderland (A), Burnley (A), QPR (H), Leicester (A), West Ham (H), Everton (H), West Brom (A). Predictions in football are a dangerous thing as we all know. However, I would be interested to see if many of you (Neutrals especially) predict United to be top of the league upon their completion on Oct 20th? It is worth noting that City, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Spurs all play each other a hat load of times over that same period, which is bound to result in some losses, draws etc...
Many of you with rightfully point out that United dropped points to Sunderland, West Brom and Everton last year and so are far from guaranteed to beat them this time round. I think we can all agree that they won't be facing the same Utd side this year. The bookies will also without doubt make Utd heavy favourites in each of these fixtures, which any gambler will tell you adds weight to this conclusion. Please don't start with the arrogant United fan crap - it is just a question. (Forgive me my optimism)
If your answer is 'Yes' this would make for a hugely entertaining Christmas run-in this year. Van Gaal strikes me as a man who knows how to dig in and get a result against the better sides in the league. A United side with the bit between their teeth and something to cling on to could make for a very dangerous opponent. See Liverpool as an example last year - they sustained their challenge right till the end once they got their noses up amongst the league leaders. No doubt not playing in Europe helped which again strengthens United's chances.
In summation - are you frightened?? No!! You bloody well might be!!!
Crookster - (Fightin Talk)
No Need For Red Alert
So we are now five days before the start of the Premier League season and Man Utd have only made two signings to their much derided squad...cue mass hysteria and mocking from fans and rival fans accordingly.
Few points I would like to raise...
- No need to panic - the transfer window doesn't shut until the end of August so that leaves approximately three weeks to get players in.
- Put some trust in LVG - He has said he wanted to assess all the players and according to 'reports' he has now done that and told some of the dross to go (Nani, Anderson, Fellaini etc) It is not like he has assessed the players and told De Gea, Rooney and Mata to go has he? Whether or not he is the bestest manager ever or just a very good one, he does quite clearly know what he is doing when it comes to managing football teams so lets just wait and see shall we?
- Fixture list - Man Utd's first six league games reads as Swansea, Sunderland, Burnley, QPR, Leicester, West Ham.... Now I am not counting chickens but 15+ points would be people's expectations even without a single new signing. Even if they add players right up to deadline day, it gives them a nice easy September to settle in and adapt. Utd have Everton on 5th October and then Chelsea on the 26th, which are their first two 'big' games.
- Goals - Now scoring lots of goals does not guarantee winning the league but it does almost always guarantee a high-placed finish (see Liverpool last year). Does anyone really see a team containing Rooney, RvP and Mata, all playing in their preferred positions, not scoring a shed load of goals?
Make Rooney captain so he is happy, RvP will be happy as LVG is manager and Mata is happy as he is playing in his preferred position...
Over the last three seasons in the league, we now arguably have three of the best six players (Suarez, Yaya and Aguero/Silva aside) so it's not all doom and gloom people!
...September the 2nd can't get here fast enough. This is especially so because I'm a Man Utd fan.
United being as big as we are I guess it's natural that so many players are constantly linked to us for a move. Every day it seems someone new has just 'agreed personal terms' with us, whatever that means. And after a while it gets really tedious, especially because none of these moves are ever going to happen.
Remember the whole Wesley Sneijder episode? This summer is just like that. Vidal, Hummels, Di Maria etc. etc. It's not happening and I know it. The reason is because Utd already have a great squad. I'm not interested in a debate on if it the greatest ever or something, it just simply is a great squad. The deadwood - Nani, Anderson etc are still contracted to us. Unless we actually manage to sell them or are allowed to leave after their contracts run out don't expect major signings to happen.
Furthermore, United already have done some excellent transfer business this summer. Plus, Van Gaal gave the biggest hint yet that "maybe we don't need to sign players". Yes I know that he recently mentioned Di Maria's name in passing, but he also said repeatedly on many occasions that he will change the system to suit the players he has.
The two signings we have made have been done in typical Utd fashion. Identify them, approach to sign them very early, pay up, and done. This is how we have signed Nani, Anderson, Cristiano, Hernandez, etc. Whenever there have been long drawn out 'sagas' we have traditionally never ended up getting those players and I don't expect the trend to change even if the upper management at United has because the source of these rumors, the media is still the same money making corporation that sees good value in feeding off of United's brand value (yes).
Having said all this, I believe new signing could still happen. Van Gaal might think that he was too hasty with his comments. In case they do, don't expect that the names currently doing the rounds to be the eventual arrivals. I didn't see any rumors about the arrival of Van Persie before his transfer. Nor were we told of Herrera, or Shaw, or Cristiano, or Nani, or Hernandez etc etc. I suspect if something actually happens we will know of it only after the fact, and for everything else my motto is to believe it only after it actually happens.
United Fan, (That glorious feeling when you see your entry in the MB for the first time), India
Has anyone else noticed the number of footballers who whinge, look upset or ostentatiously brush off the vanishing spray when it sullies their pretty new Nike football boots?
Quite apart from the fact that top-flight players could afford to buy a new pair for every day of the year and still have enough left over for a fleet of baby Bentleys, it not only makes them look like a pernickety school girl showing off her new Clarks, but worst of all - it's VANISHING spray. The clue's in the name, kids!