He is one of a number of solid shouts for players that look old before their time. We also have the final words on lovely D-Beck and a rejection of end of season playoffs...
That's one opinion, but others give their thanks to the man. We also have ideas for a relegation playoff, happy memories of the season and a defence of Liverpool's campaign...
If you have anything to say on any subject, mail us at email@example.com
I think it was very wrong to throw a coin at Rio, but I wouldn't have minded if he was hit with a tomato.
Why Not Just Use ID?
An idea occurred to me last night on how to potentially put a stop to idiocy from crowds of grown men who can't seem to control themselves because a player celebrates quite close to them. Why not simply only allow entry with valid photo ID? Scan a copy of the ID in and store it with seat number, CCTV the crowd and it makes it incredibly easy to identify anyone guilty of this sort of behaviour. A lot of nightclubs have ID scanners so I'd imagine it's affordable, and I genuinely can't see why it wouldn't work. Not failsafe by any means, but I think it'd be a good deterrent. As for 'ruining football' etc, at least we're well beyond the point of football rivalries causing fights at under-11 games, wheelchair basketball and tennis opens. It could be a lot worse.
The less said about the actual football this weekend, the better.
Alex G, THFC
Not That Kind Of...
I see that the City fan who made a beeline for Rio on Sunday has issued a statement through his solicitors, who add the following gem:
Stott is now facing a possible banning order but his solicitor said he had never been in trouble before and was not the 'stereotypical drunken football fan'.
How fitting that, in a league where anyone who kicks anyone else is 'not that kind of player', someone who invades the pitch is 'not that kind of fan'.
Mike (parenthetically challenged) CCFC, Cork
Paddy Had A Point
I'm not sure if Paddy Crerand's rant has been discussed in the mailbox already, but it makes for a great listen, highly recommended.
It largely comes across as Crerand being senile, but I really appreciate him repeatedly asking the BBC presenters to specify how many texts/calls/e-mails from viewers they had received on the subject.
The radio hosts were clearly trying to create a controversial discussion for the benefit of their ratings by taking the views of a handful of people and making it out to seem like it was a commonly held view, and that is a trick the media loves to play. It is a particular pet peeve of mine that the BBC receiving 100-200 complaints about some television program makes headline news in UK newspapers, who then make it out to seem like everyone is outraged when really 100-200 complaints is minuscule in a country of more than 50 million people.
Oliver Dziggel, Geneva, Switzerland
Mata: More Than Just The Best Spaniard
So Mata is out in front as the best Spaniard in the league. Good stuff.
If there was a best looking poll he'd win that one as well. Look at him. What is he even doing in that picture? Business, that's what I reckon. He's saying "great idea guys, this is good business". When he isn't being best boss ever (he's clearly the boss in that photo), you know what he's doing? Being generally lovely in interviews or giving us his considered views in blog form.
And when he isn't wearing jumpers that none of us could get away with, or being really, really, seriously good looking or just being nice, he's keeping Torres company despite Fernando having some kind of freakishly enormous right leg.
What a guy.
Stu (following Granero on Twitter now. He posted a picture of his new shoes yesterday, I clicked on it and thought 'yeah they are quite nice', and then thought: 'Has it really come to this? Photos of footballers new shoes?'...apparently it has), Chiswick
There's Man Love For Chelsea
I'm sorry but I have to take offence of what Monterrey's head coach has said about Chelsea in Mediawatch. In recent years, Chelsea has actually had some of the most handsome players in the league! As already mentioned, if Juan Mata can't make the coach question his sexuality, then I don't know who can. Moreover, we also have the handsome features of Fernando Torres and Cesar 'Dave' Azpilicueta. Now if maybe the Spanish hunks isn't your type, fret not, for we have German Marko Marin, who's not exactly average looking either. Last but not least, we also have Petr Cech, who actually looks pretty good when not going around wearing a rugby-esque helmet.
However, now that we're on the topic of good-looking teams, which club do we think has the best looking team. And maybe even a Handsome XI?
Mohammad Ali Khan, 19, Southampton (need to go look at some porn to convince myself I'm straight)
Thierry As Arsenal Boss?
With Vieira at Man City, and Bergkamp at Ajax, Tony Adams somewhere it seems to me the most likely former Arsenal great to succeed Wenger is Thierry Henry. His proximity to the team has been maintained with his constant regular visits, training and now loan spells. Whenever he is there it's always put out that he is not only there for playing but what he can impart to the young players. I think Wenger has found a way to leave and still be in control by placing Thierry as the rightful heir. By him being constantly around the players he already knows and has a relationship with the current squad.
He is already a cult hero and that can buy him time with the fans if things don't go well and results are not what is expected. It may allow Wenger to move up onto the board and still have an influence on transfers and playing philosophy. If the six-month loan deal transpires Arsenal fans be prepared to see Wenger giving the reins to Thierry and attempt to create an Arsenal Guardiola. This means we can have more years of accepting top 4 as a target as we will be hoping for our coach to grow and be there for the long term. Would fellow Arsenal fans accept Thierry as coach in 2013/14?
It's been a long time since I made it to the mailbox.
Ronnie Shumba AFC ( Maybe I just want a new coach), Johannesburg
Stength In Depth
Smalling, Jones, Vidic, Buttner
Nani, Fletcher, Anderson, Kagawa
Subs. Giggs, Scholes, Johnstone, Powell, Macheda, Wootton, Keane
Not a bad starting XI and bench and not one of them started the Manchester derby. United's squad, often portrayed as very limited, looks pretty good to me.
Phil Daniels, Newcastle upon Tyne
Carzola And All That
In response to Joe Rice (the Daily Star headline was literally SHAME ON YOU SANTI)
It's long been a pet hate of mine that certain reknowned football commentators and pundits appear to deliberately mis-pronounce foreign players' names (Thank God Aliadiere isn't playing in England anymore). I can't for the life of me understand why they do it. The only possible explaination must be to gain some form of covert prestige and to show that, despite being in prominent and highly paid positions as football experts, they can relate to the man on the street and aren't quite the squares you may expect. Although with many, I don't feel intentionally lowering their apparent intellect is neccessary.
...I wish the powers-that-be would give Cazorla a lengthy ban for his dive on Saturday.
Not because I'm getting my moral knickers in a twist about simulation, but just so we don't have to put up with any of the inevitable Santi/Santa based festive headlines whenever he does anything over the Christmas period...
Mike Shapland, CFC
De Rossi For United Please
Whilst I enjoyed Matt Stanger's piece with regards to 'The Ten' (I think that makes them sound like a crack crime fighting unit...), I must disagree with the identity of those whom United should've signed.
Whilst I have a lot of time for Dembele and Fellani, the later more so because of his magnificent barnet and his Toure-esque physique, I would suggest that as opposed to spending 30-40m on that pair, we should've gone for no.3 on that list.
As those in my immediate circle are aware, my man love for Mr De Rossi knows no bounds. The man can pass, tackle, defend, attack, the lot. And that snarl he has, my word. If ever there was a Keane Mark II out there, this man is it. He does that whole 'force of nature' bit brilliantly, and he seems to me to be the 'I'm dragging you there kicking and screaming' type player we have needed in the centre of midfield for about 10 years now. I think Fellani could do it, but that fiery latin temperant would be much more fun to watch!
The fact that De Rossi is routinely linked to City on an almost daily basis pains me in ways you cannot understand...
Conrad Wiacek (Fergie, sign him up!) MUFC
Bring Back The Libero
Is it time to try out a libero again? With most sides now playing a variant of 4-2-3-1, ostensibly having only one main striker, this leaves a spare man in defence and could counter the problem of picking up the player who drops deep or in the vernacular, 'in the hole'.
The libero needs to be pretty much a complete player, comfortable defending, stepping into midfield to augment numbers and having the footballing intelligence to know when to do these things. I am probably pining for the days of der Kaiser, Lothar Matteus, Ruud Gullit (later in his Milan career) and my favourite defender ever, Franco Baresi. I realise I have listed some of the greatest defenders in the history of the game and finding players of this calibre would probably only be open to the richest clubs, but it would be great to see a shift back to a proper ball-playing sweeper strutting their stuff at the highest level again.
There are certainly those amongst the F365 readership who will know much more than me about formations and be able to list reasons why the libero has died a death, but my romantic notion will not leave me.
Bring back Baresi...
Where Are The Defenders?
It seems that after Messi's absurd season many football pundits across the world are quite fairly declaring Messi the greatest player who ever lived. I'm not going to downplay his incredible talent but it really irks me how the players he is compared to are all awfully similar. The classic names are Kovacs, Puskas, Pele, Maradona, (fat) Ronaldo, (handsome) Ronaldo and Cruyff, all of whom basically spent their career as a final third player.
I follow three other team sports seriously and not one is as completely myopic as football when it comes to the greatest. Why isn't there a single centre-back, full-back, goalie or even a bloody water carrier in the conversation? Isn't football supposed to be a team sport?
Alfie (Franco Baresi = Lionel Messi) Tickell
The Letter M XI
With Leo Messi breaking Gerd Muller's record for most goals scored last Sunday - I thought to myself that players whose surnames begin with the letter M are pretty handy!
So I did a bit of research and created the team below who all have surnames beginning with M - I think the attack is unstoppable and there's a pretty solid defence as well.
Maldini - Moore - Maicon
Matthaus - Moutinho - Makalele - Modric
Maradona - Messi - Gerd Muller
Surely, no other team in a similar format can beat these guys!
John L, Uxbridge, west London
We're Not The Only Ones
I'd like to apologise to Tom Cleverley for annoying him and his ladyfriend in Selfridges yesterday evening, just before 5pm.