We have one Chelsea fan who recognises the job done by Rafa Benitez while there's maths from Liverpool, Newcastle and Manchester. And Shawcross to Arsenal? Nah...
You might notice that we haven't included a single mail about teams in pubs, because most of them were terrible. Instead we have a disgruntled Fulham fan and Scouse maths...
If you have anything to add on any subject, mail us at email@example.com
Two quick points:
Putting an e-mail about "Arsenal Need Tough Love" and then following it up shortly with "Vaseline: The Missing Ingredient", is potentially misleading. Reminds me of the time when I was stocking up for a marathon and went to the checkout with just bananas and vaseline. My last minute addition of chewing gum did not save me.
Second - was it vaseline? I always thought it was Vicks type decongestant stuff, why would they be lubricating their shirts? If the theory were true, then given the amount of petroleum jelly that Jim Leighton plastered on his eyebrows at the World Cup, he would've kept clean sheets for the following decade.
...In response to JR (Going for two out of three in mailbox posts) Arsenal, Saigon, Vietnam
It wasn't actually Vaseline on the Arsenal players' shirts. It was in fact Vix, the nasal passage clearer. I can confirm this having stood next to Patrick Viera as a 9 yr old mascot v Arsenal at Highbury 10 years ago.
Jake, MCFC (Doesn't get much better than keepie uppies in the centre circle with Nicolas Anelka and Ali Benarbia)
Gazidis Not To Blame
It seems wrong of me to defend a board member at Arsenal but after reading the line 'One of the answers to the question, "Ivan Gazidis, what the f*ck do you do?"' I felt compelled.
If it hasn't passed you by, and I don't believe it has, Arsenal have been in steady decline in recent years, finding ourselves in a scrap for a Europa League spot. Despite that, Gazidis has delivered a £30m-a-year sponsorship deal with Emirates airlines and is expected to follow that up with a kit deal with Adidas worth in the region of £25m a year.
Last year, on top of his seven-figure salary, he received a bonus of £675k for what Chairman and general waste of space Peter Hill-Wood deemed to be an 'outstanding year.'
Now, anyone who actually followed Arsenal, witnessed the 8-2 shellacking at Old Trafford or saw us trip over the line in third through a combination of one decent run of form all season and the mother of all collapses by Harry 'Hitzfeld' Redknapp's Spurs will tell you that, to coin a phrase, 'footballistically', Arsenal's 2011/12 was anything but outstanding. But we all know that Arsenal has ceased to be run like a football club in a traditional sense and is now much more an exercise in seeking profit.
Within that framework, Gazidis did a job that the board felt good enough to earn a fortune. It makes some, many, fans very angry, and I can understand it. But all the 'Gazidis out' stuff baffles me. He simply does the owner's bidding. And he seems to be doing a good job of it. Give the man some different targets, such as a bonus tied to on-field results, end-of-year position, or, heaven-forbid the winning of a trophy then who is to say he won't do an equally good job?
With the commercial deals coming on-stream, Gazidis is a potentially very useful tool in the running of the club. The issue is the people who pay him.
...I'd just like to point out that Arsenal's business model is not self-sustaining whatsoever.
Between myself and all the other Arsenal fans, we are sustaining Arsenal.
So the choice is that I donate money to Arsenal or a very rich person does.
I prefer the latter rather than the former.
Self-sustaining would be to grow everything you need in an allotment.
Spending Isn't The Answer Anymore
Arsenal have a massive war chest apparently. I've heard that before a few times but this time I don't actually think buying players will help that much. Apart from a striker, you can't look at our squad and think we are particularly lacking in any area, and there aren't any strikers for sale that will do what RVP did last year. Sure, we could do with more depth, but the fans won't be appeased by us buying a few more squad players.
The crux of the matter is that the player in the team should be and could be doing much better. Sadly, the only way to solve that is new management. I'm not saying sack Wenger now. That would be disrespectful to our most successful manager of all time. Let him go till the end of the season and move him upstairs - the boardroom, not heaven. It's not like we will win anything this year whoever they bring in, so may as well wait a few more months.
Another solution might be to tell the players to cowboy the f*ck up.
Adonis Stevenson, AFC
Is Wilshere Really That Good?
I remember this issue being raised not so long ago, but Jack Wilshere - is he really that good?
Now obviously I'm not going to suggest the man is useless and is headed for the scrapheap and I also understand that he's not fully 'match-fit' yet. I also acknowledge that Wilshere was the best player on the pitch when they beat Barcelona a couple of years ago, a game in which Fabregas went missing. But seriously, on numerous occasions on Tuesday night he misplaced passes, got caught in possession and made some shady positional errors. Not only that, but the easy chance that he could have taken with his right foot, but refused, was unforgivable.
I don't think his inflated reputation is helped by the utter spunk-foam spouted by the game's commentators. With around 10 minutes left of the 90, Wilshere surged roughly ten metres and produced an elementary save out of Duke. Good, solid, but surely nothing more. It was at this point in which both commentators squeeled, 'Oooohhh, excellent work! Nothing short of remarkable, it doesn't surprise me at all! Everything good about Arsenal has come through this little magician tonight!' Cock the gun.
This post is essentially not aimed at Wilshere himself, it's about the hyperbole surrounding him. This video shows every touch he made against West Brom at the weekend. The stats for his game read fairly well and he made a couple of excellent key passes and surges forward, but let's not forget that this was against a recently wounded West Brom; perhaps not at their best. Notice the frequency with which he delivers a ball behind someone's run rather than into the space in front of them, or the occasions where he loses the ball in dangerous areas of the pitch, or the easy chance he misses.
All I ask for is perspective, let's not mind-f**k our way into a parallel universe before the lad has fully developed.
Chris Henderson, BRFC.
Still Hope For Arsenal This Season
I think that maybe some Arsenal fans need to take a breath. In a memory that seems like a lifetime ago, Liverpool lost to Burnley in the 3rd round of the FA cup due to a Djimi Traore own goal.
The year was 2005.
I wonder if we ended up winning any other trophies that year?
Sam, LFC, somewhere in the Caribbean.
It Means Something
Reading through the mail from Tim Colyer I can appreciate where he is coming from, but I think he misses the main benefit of being a giant-killer - money!
Bradford made around £300k from the Arsenal game and it is estimated that the semi-final will bring in an additional £1m in revenue. To a club in League 2, this is a hell of a lot of money and will not only ensure the medium-term future of the club but will allow Phil Parkinson to strengthen what is currently an injury-ravaged squad in January.
And in terms of the credit given, I think it's a bit unfair to say it was undeserved. Victory was only ever going to be secured through disciplined defending and no small amount of luck, and fortunately we got that. The players did their jobs well, rode their luck and scored more penalties than Arsenal. To me, that deserves praise.
Jim. Bradford City.
We are all men here. Well, except Sarah. And some of the mailboxers. But this is predominantly a male dominated website and as such I have some advice for some of "lads" who are likely to be out on Xmas drinks in the next fortnight.
I've recently been putting some shifts in at my local to make a little pocket money. It's actually great: Drink-pouring is interspersed with watching the football and having a chat with the locals. Lovely. Last night a large-ish group of guys in their late 30s were in for pre-Xmas drinks and one had seemingly prepared a football-based quiz that was sounded really very good: Tough questions but not impossible. They were a merry bunch, very well behaved. However...
Why, why, oh why, in every group of guys, is there a "hilarious shot buyer"? One guy who, whilst everyone is enjoying their (very well kept and poured) pints of ale, Guiness and continental lagers, feels that it is necessary to ruin everyone's taste buds with a measure of something grotesque? And why do they think it's funny? Seriously, I had one guy last night who kept on his mate to have a tequila, despite his mate a) not liking tequila b) not wanting a shot because he quite happy with his drink and c) not f**king liking tequila. I'm sorry for the rant but it really winds me up. There's always one pillock, normally with a stupid nickname like "Spud" or "Gooch" or some nonsense, trying to force neat liquor on people who don't want it.
So, F365ers: Order shots if you want. Think that they are funny if you want. The reality is that you friends probably don't actually want them and think you're a bit of d*ck.
Stu (this in no way should discourage you from shouting "shoot" at an actual football match), Chiswick
On The Terry Pic
Was I the only one expecting 'that' picture of John Terry in Mediawatch to end in a mutilated penis story? Safe to say I was put off my lunch!
Mike, League 2, BRFC
... To be fair to John Terry, if Eva Carneiro was your physio you would probably rock up for treatment dressed like that too.
My eyes are still burning though.
Cliff, MUFC, Éire
...I think it's fair to say that the questions on everyone's lips at the moment are as follows:
1. Will John Terry be going up to collect the Club World Cup should Chelsea be victorious on Sunday?
2. Will he be wearing his shin pads?
Krug (I hope my SPAG is spot on, I spent an unnecessary length of time checking such a short email)
Platini Has Got It Right
Much as it pains me to say as much, Platini probably has the best solution to wage and transfer fee inflation in FFP. Notwithstanding a few subtle alterations to stop clubs continuing to be bankrolled via sponsorship from their owner, FFP makes an awful lot of sense as it limits a club's wages and transfer expenditure to their commercial revenue, and restricts them therefore to living within their means.
Although FFP (assuming it can't be made retrospective) cannot reverse what City, Chelsea, PSG, Malaga and others have already done (p*ssing away millions, distorting wage and player values, and damaging the prudent clubs whose value made them impossible for plutocrats to buy), it's an effective way of impeding further non-organic spending, and rewarding clubs who invest in academies and commercial revenue streams.
Because He's Small
To James in Geneva...an interesting fact too...Giovinco is only 12 inches tall and weighs just 12 lbs.
Evan (I think that part where I mentioned the forests/trees really helped my argument) Ireland, I admit I'm no expert on Twitter as I don't use it, but if you hate Piers Morgan so much, can't you just unfollow him? You make it sound like you have to read everything he writes. Just so you have something to be indignant about.
I'll go one further and say that you are responsible for him. Yeah, you heard. He has 3 million followers, and you're one of them. If you stop listening, he goes away. I'm aware that there is a man called Piers Morgan who says things I would probably find annoying, but it never bothers me because I never read anything he writes, so I never care.
Football is surrounded by people we disagree with, some of them obnoxious and self-righteous like our friend Piers. If you insist on feeding him an extra follower you deserve each other. Maybe it's you that needs to be separated from Twitter.
Ben Ghirardani, North London
...To Evan from Ireland,
Let's just recap your spot of bother
'Something needs to be done with Piers Morgan' (I totally agree)
'Anybody who frequents the hip social hangout that is Twitter cannot help but be subjected to his presence' (Ah that sounds terrible! What can we do to avoid him?)
'He is just short of 3 million followers' (Wow, that many!? So, how can we save them?)
'Most people with a brain cell know that most of what he spouts isn't worth a sprout ' (Yet still 3 million want to listen!? They must be brain dead! So, to the plan..)
'I didn't even start following him until......' (Wait, what?)
Oh deary me...
Ric Duncombe, Kampala, Uganda
Lost In Translation
I've never written to F365 before, I just like to soak it all up and not give anything back. I'm like a selfish sponge. However, I am currently watching Chelsea v Monterrey on Japanese television, and it has compelled me to write in. Not because of the astounding quality of football on show (ahem), but because the coverage on Japanese TV of this game has brought tears to my eyes and has made me long for Mark Lawrenson, let alone James Richardson.
Basically they stand 4 or 5 "talents" in a room (I assume these people are famous here for some reason or another - not football) and get them to talk about the game. As far as I can tell none of them have anything to do with football at all, any kind of experience which would lend credence to what they say, or indeed anything deeper to say than "David Luiz is good, isn't he?". One of these "talents" is token female eye candy, and one of the male presenters has hair like a 70s Rod Stewart in a completely non-ironic way.
Not only has this made me thirst for the stunning insight of Wor Al and co, it has made me want to use the obligatory third paragraph to spark some sort of debate - as many F365 readers are ex-pats, or readers from countries other than England, do any other countries' football programmes make MOTD look like the pinnacle of sports broadcasting?
Adam (grumpy northerner in Japan), MUFC