The Premier League season has only been over for about 20 hours and already we're well into the summer-type Mailbox. Plus, a shout for the 2014 player of the year...
Arsenal fans are largely positive after their top four finish, whilst one wag suggest buying Bale from their rivals. We also have an interesting final mail. Enjoy...
If you have anything to say on any subject, mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Arsenal And Wages
To say that Arsenal can't afford the wages is simply not right. Our wage spend is 50% higher than Spurs, which shows that we could have the Spurs squad's wages, and then on top afford Yaya, Aguero, Rooney and Van Persie. They would certainly have sorted Spurs' lack of forwards over the summer.
The problem is we have taken a hollistic view, and given big contracts to average players (Denilson, Squishy, Big Nic, Park) and the physio room regulars (Rosicky, Diaby), which have hamstrung the club. Diaby's wages per appearance must be staggering, and this is the problem. The Boss (and I don't condone the booing, or the idea of getting rid, its ludicrous) can't moan about finances when a fair chunk of the pain is self inflicted.
I can't help but feel that somebody should have looked at the offers during contract negotiations and said no. He shows a loyalty that is rarely forthcoming from the players when they get a chance to leave.
Tips For Arsene
How Arsene can turn it all around:
-give up on the Champions League, we're not going to win it and we've got our cash from the group games -concentrate on the cups, especially the League cup as we're in the later stages
-(inevitably) buy instant impact players in January. Others find value, so can Arsenal. DON'T wait until the summer even if the same player costs a bit more to get in January
If Arsenal finish the season strongly and win the League cup then gooners can have some optimism for the seasons ahead. I'm not saying that will be classed as successful or that this is our aspirational target but all of the depressing evidence points towards a steady decline. We (and Arsene) just need to show a turn-around and that we're heading in the right direction.
Spence Gooner (pleasantly surprised by the mornings measured response about Arsenal, maybe Stewie and friends just enjoy a lie in)
Would You Prefer Sparky?
There were plenty of sensible fans of other clubs extolling the virtue of patience and suggesting that Arsenal should stick with Wenger in the morning mailbox. I am of the same mindset because Wenger has turned Arsenal into a huge club competing at the highest level every year, even if their current target is "only" fourth place. There are many teams who spend a season or two looking like the real deal, only to disappear into relative obscurity - in the last decade I can think of Seville, Deportivo, Zenit St Petersburg, Lyon and Monaco. Atletico Bilbao looked like absolute world-beaters as recently as nine months ago, now look at them. Borussia Dortmund are back, but they have spent the last decade in the doldrums, and in terms of domestic support and silverware are at least as big a club as Arsenal.
Arsenal fans, look at yourselves and appreciate just what Wenger has done for your club. Even in the last five trophy-starved years, only three teams (Man U, Real and Barcelona) can match the consistency of your results on both the domestic and European stage. You have to accept that every club goes through a transitional period at some time or another, and a top four finish is by no means beyond Arsenal this season. I know you pay the highest ticket prices in the world yada yada but Wenger has earned a stay of execution.
Think of your relationship between him and Arsenal as a marriage. You are going through a rocky period, but you still love each other. If you divorce Arsene for a younger, trendier husband (Guardiola) the chances are he'll end up getting caught pants down with a dirty whore (Chelsea or City) in the near future anyway. You'll be left sad and alone, wishing that you had tried to work through your problems.
Or you could employ Mark Hughes.
Jamie Bedwell (No Ronnie Radford-style screamers tonight please!), Cheltenhamshire
So F**king Special
"Arsenal aren't that special without Wenger?"
Seriously?!! So what are you going to do when the man does leave? Decide Arsenal aren't special enough for you now.
Here's some reasons why Arsenal are special:
Reason 1 - 1989 - Without doubt the greatest end to a league season ever - a story so fanciful that Sylvester Stallone would probably have passed up the script - going up to Anfield and beating the champions by two clear goals by a club that hadn't been champions themselves for 18 years
Reason 2- title wins - even before Wenger Arsenal had won the league 10 times which is still more than any of the other London teams have managed combined
Reason 3 - There are at least two clubs I know of - Braga and Lokomotiv - who wear Arsenal's red and white in honour of our all-conquering 1930s team
Reason 4 - The 1930s team - we dominated the English game before United and Liverpool
Reason 5 - We are the Arsenal - plain and simple - a club Ted Drake referred to as "the club" and coming from a man whose record of 7 goals in one game - still stands as the most any one English player has managed in one match - actually means something.
There are a million other reasons too.
Wenger is a good manager and we have achieved much under him but don't give us all this pony about how we were nothing before him.
We are a special club with Wenger or without him - and if you don't realise that I suggest you either read up on the history of Arsenal or bugger off and support some other club.
Graham Simons, Gooner, Norf London
More On Lindegaard
Great contribution from Joe on the goalkeeping timeshare at Old Trafford... I was always led to believe that a ball in the six yard box is the keepers responsibility alone.. Reading managed two in the space of 10 minutes and the diminutive Rafael (on the verge of tears) gets the curly finger!?!
Lindegaard isn't subjected to the same level of scrutiny as his Spanish colleague.. Is this because of the vastly different sums paid for both, if so, this is both unfair and idiotic!! I would rather have De Gea flapping like a salmon than Lindegaard playing it safe on his line 'not making mistakes'!!
The perception is Lindegaard is likely to make fewer mistakes, not convinced on this argument.. He is also a hell of a lot less likely to be a match winner and can come nowhere near the potential De Gea has.. His distribution alone, off either foot is magnificent and makes Antonio Valencia's absolute refusal to use his left foot all the more annoying...
Amazed Gary Breen's name has yet to crop up in the team made of 1 person debate.. I was convinced we all dreamt of a team of Gary Breen's in Ireland?!?
Mark Fives, Dublin & MUFC
...re; De Gea and Lindegaard
Ferguson's continued selection of Lindegaard ahead of De Gea is illustrative of a basic flaw in his selection policy that's been present for some time; given a choice between youthful talent, and mature solidity, Ferguson will plump for the latter to the long-term detriment of United. Ferguson's refusal to give adequate game time to young talents in recent years has seen Rossi, Pique, and Tosic, all leave the club to become very good players, who would be welcome in United's first team. I'm confident Pogba will be equally successful at Juve. Even allowing for Pique's wanting to go home to Barcelona, and the strength of the defence in 2008, Ferguson's reflexive faith in Scholes, Giggs and Fletcher in midfield in the past two or three years has seen far too many talented players leave the club, as Fergie won't prioritise their development in the same way he did that of Scholes and Giggs in the mid '90s.
Lindegaard is a capable, reliable 'keeper, who is undoubtedly currently stronger and better against crosses than De Gea. However, De Gea, 21, can learn to deal with crosses better, it's a matter of experience and physical maturity, not talent. De Gea, however, has the talent to be a special goalkeeper. His reflexes are plainly exceptional, and he routinely makes saves that keep United in matches they should lose. Given a little patience, De Gea will become one of Europe's premier goalkeepers, and if Ferguson has United's best interests at heart, he should surely prioritise De Gea over Lindegaard.
p.s. If Fletcher or Giggs play against City, we'll be smashed. Yaya Toure will have a field day
After all the controversy leading up to the game, MK Dons beat AFC Wimbledon in the FA Cup. Yet some of the AFC fans still continue to go on about "Franchise FC" and how they're the real Dons and they claimed the moral victory that day.
Now don't get me wrong, what the ownership of Wimbledon FC did, taking a club with it's history and moving it to Milton Keynes is a horrible thing (seriously, has anyone been to Milton Keynes?!) but the way some of the "fans" carry on is starting to get tedious.
I put "fans" because the fact of the matter is: AFC Wimbledon gained fans out of people's sympathy towards the club and hatred to the MK franchise. It's those "post-2004" fans who are supporting a club because they dislike another, not because they care about the team. They moan about MK Dons like they're everything wrong with football as the club has no morals for what they did. It's football snobbery. They sound like a bloke who still hasn't forgiven his ex for leaving him and moving away. It was 8 years ago. There are worse things in football: Corruption, homophobia, racism the list goes on.
I realise that being a Gooner I'm well aware in due a backlash because we technically did the same when we moved North of the river from Woolwich early in the Clubs history but my views would still be the same irrespective of my team.
At the end of the team: you're beloved team moved and those who were fans of Wimbledon FC (with the help of others) created a new club to replace the departed club and you've made it to the Football League. Be proud of yourselves and focus on YOUR club's success rather than taking every opportunity you have to spite a club which (in your eyes) having nothing to do with you.
I will stress this is more so aimed at all people who decided to support AFC Wimbledon since their reincarnation. The football snobs who supported AFC yesterday but today, they have no idea where or when their next fixture is and couldn't name the starting XI.
Those who were fans of the Crazy Gang and saw players like Vinnie Jones, Hans Segers, Fash etc you have every right to still hold a resentment towards MK Dons, but I believe that the majority of you Dons, spend most your time cheering on your team and worrying about how you're to get out of the potential relegation battle you face, rather than a club who you want nothing to do with. It's your plastic fans who support you out of spite to MK Dons that are becoming more annoying than a student march through London.
Stevie Mac, (Gooner)
The Stages Of Grief
Dear Alan (did I use the semi-colon right?), LFC
I think you are ahead of your fellow LFC supporters, purely in terms of the 5 stages of grief. Your sensible email shows that you have successfully made the transition to Stage 5 - Acceptance.
Note to all other mailbox readers - For tips on dealing with/assessing/tolerating most other Liverpool and Arsenal fans; Refer to Stage 1 of grief.
Chelsea/City fans - unfortunately this model doesn't work on plastic. #fact
Maddy (3 paragraphs rule, some how!), MUFC, Coventry
On Away Chants
This may be the wrong place to vent this, or maybe I'm coming to the table too late after the Sloop John B debate the other week, but my god am I getting bored of the away fans coming to Anfield and singing the same old sad repertoire of songs.
It doesn't matter who we play, it's the same songs every week and it's getting tiresome now! I long for a day where I hear something more original than the following:
"your support is f**kin sh*t" and/or
"you're supposed to be at home" and/or
"shall we sing a song for you?" and/or
"this is a library" x8, followed by "sssshhhhhhh"
And the best of all "where's your famous atmosphere?"
Well, the 'famous atmosphere' only really comes on big European nights, which sadly became extinct in the Liverpool area circa 2009. No disrespect intended, but you are not going to get it at 3pm on a Saturday against Southampton!
I thought on Saturday playing Southampton we might get something fresh from the away end. Newly promoted team and all that. 3 minutes into the game, and we start to hear strains of "where's your famous atmosphere?"
Do any other fans feel this way about away supporters? I think we all, as fans, definitely need to start coming up with some fresh (and tasteful of course) chants because the current tripe on offer is just getting lazy and tiresome now.
The best chant I've heard in recent years was from the QPR fans last season when Andy Carroll was warming up; "he looks like a girl, he looks like a giiiirrrrl, Andy Carroll, he looks like a girl". Childish I know, but it made me chuckle and was a damn sight better than the rubbish quoted above!
What is the best away chant anyone else has heard recently I wonder?
Am I the only one who finds it funny that Arsenal are protesting about the commercialisation of their club? They have benefited from years of sponsorship and partnership with the Emirates, have financial stability in a time of economic difficulty, have a high wage bill, and have consistently delivered Champions League football for years.
If they truly wanted to protest the commercialisation of their club, surely they should just stop buying Arsenal merchandise and stop going to the matches. Does this country have an epidemic of moaning or something?
Daniel ITFC (I'd like Ipswich to have that sort of 'commercialisation' and so would almost every other club in this country)
Interesting Mail On Gambling Ads
Has advertising for gambling sites gotten out of hand yet?
Smoking adverts have been cut altogether and this has coincided with a reduction in young smokers (youth are also becoming more health conscious, so it's impossible to say the extent which the advertising cut has helped, but I doubt it can have had a negative impact). However 'get rich quick' and celebrity status seem to have much more appeal to youths, here I think that adverts on gambling could be a bigger draw. As has been mentioned on this site bookmakers have stopped being a place for old men with whippets, many young men and women are now regular visitors, if not to the shops then definitely to the websites.
Because of this I think there is a very real danger of people becoming addicts or getting themselves into financial difficulties. I think the adverts which take place during half-time (or around the advertising hoardings mid-match!) are the worst for a few reasons:
1. When these show live odds for a given event (ie. Next goalscorer) they are taking the decision away from individual who will now watch the game with that bet in mind even if they aren't a gambler. If it comes in then they may feel that they have missed out by not placing the bet which was spelled out for them on screen, next time, they'll be more inclined to back it.
2. They encourage gamblers to place another bet, particularly if what happened in the first half has meant that their first bet is a loser.
3. Celebrity backed adverts (Kammy, Ray Winstone) continue to make it main stream and these are advert slots with a lot of young viewers.
Betting is everywhere now, clubs have betting partners (BWIN paid Man U an estimated $98m in 2006) and shirt sponsors (BWIN - AC Milan, Mansion Casinos - Spurs), fantasy football sites and news sites (football365, sky sports) all have links to gambling sites. I am not suggesting that these are all outlawed, I actually enjoy a flutter myself and I think it can add a bit of extra fun to games. My gripe is the half-time stuff, it can be reaching out to gamblers who have literally suffered a loss minutes before and encourage them to have one more bet (chase their losses). Also advertising something which can be so destructive in prime time ad breaks with millions of children watching sounds hugely irresponsible.
James (and as for Floyd Mayweather's bet slip tweets ... ) Smythe
Having read that Roman is apparently considering bringing Avram Grant back as an advisor to/instead of the newly appointed Interim Manager Rafa Benitez I think I've worked out what he is doing.
Clearly having one Champions League winning/losing finalist manager (Mourinho, Grant, Hiddink, Ancelotti, Di Matteo, Benitez, Guardiola?) just hasn't worked out for him and it must be tiresome for the multi-billionaire to have to hire and then fire them individually, so why not just hire them all at once as special advisors, interim managers, tea ladies etc and bring together a meeting of some of the greatest tactical minds in football in a quorum of footballing genius - then completely ignore them and go over their heads to sign more Torres and Shevchenko style pet projects.
Hell even JT can throw in an idea or two, though Scolari and AVB might struggle for an invite given they only have a World Cup and Europa Cup to bring to the table.
Alternatively Chelsea fans could always continue with their demand to have their Chelsea back and ask cuddly Uncle Ken Bates to put a bid in now he is flush with cash from selling Leeds and take them back to their previous state of near bankruptcy - their choice.
Lindsay Bell, Belfast.
Mini-Moans Of Joy
In response to HBY, Sawbo (Would've welcomed him back in the summer with open arms and a pouch of Baccy), I was in the away end at the Cottage on Saturday, and myself and a great many others let out a mini-moan of joy at Berba's control at the moment you're talking about, so I think you'd have been alright. I still think of him as a Spurs' player. Pure genius, no substance.
...In reply to (HBY, Sawbo) who asks who else has appreciated skill at odds with their loyalty.
Dec 1995, my first game at Anfield against Manchester United. Cantona is not long back from his sabbatical for going Kung Fu on a Palace fan.
Liverpool are all over United, wave after wave of attack by players like McManaman, Barnes and Fowler (Sigh). Denis Irwin hits a long, high ball into the air. Cantona, surrounded by LFC players, lets it fall and does a mid air pirouette back flick with the outside of his boot direct to Giggs.
I applauded. Many around me did also. There were also gasps of admiration. It was magical.
I abused him for the remainder of the game of course. Not about his nationality though, aside from it not really being my thing - I was too close to pitchside.
...I stood up in awe watching Van Persie score that volley last season against Liverpool.
And I too know the love that dare not speak its name.
Jon (Dirty and disgraced Yid) Lincoln
I may be getting the wrong end of the stick here but did HBY, Sawbo just call Modric
a) "Modders"; and
b) a luxury player ?!
Unless I'm missing another Spurs legend referred to as Modders, please never speak again.
Indie (If we ever get to a point where I don't want Modric back I'll know we've made it as a club), North London
While reading Mediawatch today I came across the heading "Controversy". This was bringing our attention to Luis (the cannibal, racist, diver and all round cheat) getting booked for trying to score a goal with his hand.
Now most of the time I agree with you as the papers really do try and make things out larger than they are. Yet this time I have to agree with them as this is just another incident where he has cheated to gain an advantage. This wasn't a handball in the centre circle where you could say it wasn't a terrible thing but this was him trying to punch the ball in the goal!
Every time this filthy cheat does something like this he should be berated in every paper until he realizes how to play fairly as his talent is being overshadowed by his lack of brain.
Further to the mails on beautiful footballers, and Indie, North London's suggested construction of a perfect "Rest Of The World" player to rival the Italians, can I suggest a "Rest of The World Stomach Turner". To start with I'd have Wayne Rooney's mouth, which is grotesque; an effect amplified when he grins when celebrating a goal. As for ears, well I'd have to go for Rooney again. Hair? Rooney's got that sewn up. Squat, revolting troll like frame? Has to be The Roonmeister. Teeth? To show I'm not biased, Suarez (although Rooney is a close second with his "Shane MacGowans").
Has anyone else any suggestions?
Steve (I'm a catch, and no mistake) Smith, LFC