There's more in the afternoon Mailbox about Jose Mourinho and his potential return to Chelsea, while there's also a link to some pictures of eagles that look like Arsene Wenger...
After a disappointing end to his three years at Real Madrid, could Jose Mourinho struggle to bring immediate success if he completes his anticipated return to Chelsea?
If you have anything to say on any subject, mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Putting aside all the footy talk for a few seconds - get well soon Peter Ndlovu.
Do Sunderland arrive at Old Trafford with their trousers down, lubed and ready?
I would dearly love to see Fergie's reaction if a United player took the club to tribunal over fines.
Malcolm Tucker would pale into serene civility by comparison.
Following Matt Stanger's piece on the guilt of watching your team play an away game from the home stand, I wonder if anyone can outdo my behind enemy lines escapades.
I'm an Arsenal fan, and in the past few years I've done this twice.
Game one: the infamous 4-4 draw with Newcastle. Probably the most electric atmosphere I have ever felt, in any sport or ground - and the most fantastically compelling of matches. I can barely describe the sensation, should you wish to call it that, of suffering the ultimate comeback humilation in the wrong crowd.
Game two: our 7-5 comeback against Reading in the Capital One Cup. An equally bizarre situation to be in, witnessing an immense comeback but being unable to celebrate.
In summary, I saw my beloved Arsenal score 4 goals, then concede 8 in succession, then score 7 - all in just 210 minutes of football "Behind Enemy Lines" football. Maybe I should do this more often... or possibly seek professional help for the trauma?
Shaun Russell, London
Not Missing Drogba
Interesting mail titled ten things I miss about Drogba got me thinking what do I miss about him. Simple answer nothing.
This is a player that single handedly shot down any argument I had in persuading some friends in California to embrace the soccer World Cup in 2006 as they called it. We went to a local sports cafe where the management were trying to promote the tournament, the Ivory Coast were playing I can't remember their opponents but after bigging up the beautiful game I then had to explain why this huge mountain of a man fell over so often and why he feigned death every time an opponent came within 10 mtrs of him.
So to this day all I think of him is a diving, cheating embarrassment that I would not possibly miss, good riddance.
Graeme (Love football not diving dog breath) P, Southampton
Dial The Villa Love Down, From A Villa Fan
I am a Villa fan, and was bloody pleased about Saturday, despite my Secret Santa present being £5 on Liverpool to win from a scouse 'friend' in the office. (2-5?! It's not 1988 you know)
But I think the scousers are going a bit over the top with the anger. Villa were top drawer, but I don't think it would have taken much happening differently for the result to have gone the other way. eg Chris Herd shanking that cross straight to Guzan at 0-0; that goes in and Liverpool can just sit back and keep the ball.
As it was, Pepe Reina still hasn't come out of retirement and has no idea what his near post looks like, Bentekkers puts us one up, and suddenly we're the ones who can just sit back and pick holes in the defence.
I also think the sudden media lovefest for us needs to be dialled down a notch. We have been great recently, but we're not 15th in the table by mistake; and we'll do well to still be that high up by the end of the year. But things are definitely moving in the right direction.
And lastly - big love to the Kop for joining in with the 19 mins Stan applause. All teams have got involved so far (more or less, ahem Man Utd) and it's always a nice moment, but the scousers really went for it on Saturday which was great to see; especially with football fans not getting much love at the moment.
Neil ('we glow in the dark, we glow in the daaaaaaaark') Raines
Hard Done Toon
I'm starting to think that nobody in the media actually watched the Newcastle - City game, even though it was televised. In a game where Yaya Toure did nothing, barring one good pass and a scuffed finish, and looking clumsy in possession, has been hailed as being "back to his best". A game where Newcastle matched City and created just as many chances, forcing 2 good saves early on from Joe Hart and had a barrage on the City goal in the second half which has been acclaimed by the media at large.
These aren't wild claims by a delusional Newcastle fan; they are backed up by statistics (the ever reliable whoscored.com). It's just strange that Newcastle have barely had a mention, despite being harshly done by to come away from the game without a point. The same could be said about the Stoke and Fulham games where we matched both sides but conceded sloppy goals. A corner has been turned, but we just aren't getting the rub of the green.
Now watch us implode against QPR...
David Loxham, Newcastle
On Most Liverpool Fans
My heart sunk a little when I looked on the main page this morning and saw ANOTHER feature about Liverpool and our crisis / woes / blip (delete as appropriate). Every time things build up to this crescendo of hyperbole I find myself compelled to write in to defend the sane majority.
My first point is that I have read many, many similar articles recently - not least from F365 - preaching about how Liverpool supporters need to be patient, realistic etc. I should point out at this stage that I am a match-going Red of nearly 25 years, an avid contributor of LFC forums and generally feel that I have my finger on the pulse when it comes to the general feeling of the fanbase. The facts of it are that most Liverpool supporters ARE realistic, and ARE willing to give Brendan and the team the time they need to get it right. Liverpool supporters are renowned - with good reason - as among the more objective fans, the problem we have is that the unrealistic, shouty 'this is our year' majority get all the attention.
It is a long time since we were top of the tree, a generation infact, and like I say the majority of Reds I know and come into contact with - match-going or not - tend to share my view. We are sick of the rotating door for managers the last few years, the false dawns and the almost Groundhog Day like recurrence of the same problems. However, we (mostly) also see that the board have put faith in Brendan as a long-term option, that he does have a vision for how we need to progress, and that we were always expecting a bumpy ride this season.
Admittedly Rodgers doesn't help himself with his comments to the press sometimes, but as always there is a fair amount of paraphrasing in a lot of these things and apart from anything else it must be the most difficult job trying to balance the expectations of supporters for a club like Liverpool with the reality of what you are trying to achieve. I would be happy with a top 6 finish this season, and that should be our primary target. I also think it would be great for everyone if the sh*t didn't keep getting stirred by patronising articles about how we need to be patient and realistic. For the most part we are, and to suggest otherwise is at best provocative and at worst pandering to the whoppers. That said, without the whoppers your Mailbox would be a much duller place so I can fully understand why you publish reactionist eejats.
Finally, I think this season is a real test of the mettle of our board, as well as the supporters. In the modern game there is no hiding place, no patience and quite often no long game. If we can get through this season in a respectable fashion I think the only way forward is progress.
I'm A Liverpool Fan And I Like David Moyes
I have something I'd like to get off my chest. As a Liverpool fan it's not easy to say but here goes. I like David Moyes. A lot.
If it's ok I won't be going into too much detail on how he clearly has an eye for a player, can unearth bargains (not a perfect transfer record but better than most) and how he has slowly but surely built an effective team that's really quite easy on the eye. It's all been said here before and probably better said by Everton fans that watch them week in week out.
I've never particularly liked him in the past, partly down to his bug eyed ferocious scowl and partly down to the fact that, well he is the Everton manager and that's the way it's supposed to be, right?
But on two occasions this season he has surprised and impressed me, the first being the Mersyside derby at Goodison a short while ago. In the build up to the game he mentioned the whole diving Suarez lark, bit of a Fergie manoeuvre that one I thought to get in the head of the ref (which has always boiled my piss but I digress). So when Suarez did what he did right in front of him I fully expected him to go proper mental in the post game interview. Similarly I expected him to brush aside the Phil Neville diving incident but he didn't and I thought he handled both situations in the interview extremely well - with honesty and integrity.
The second is this weekend, again when watching Fellaini's disgraceful attempted assault(s) on MOTD I was almost looking forward to see him trot out an excuse, "didn't see it", "not that type of player" etc but he didn't. I shouldn't have been surprised after last time but I was. But not next time.
Of course I'll always be a staunch Liverpool fan (cautiously optimistic since you ask) but for the first time in my 24 years of supporting them I'm ever so slightly envious of what they have. Not that I'll tell my toffee loving cousins of course.
Ronan (hoping said cousins don't read this or it'll be a cruel xmas) Aberdeen
A night or two ago I had a dream about a visit to Old Trafford. Having never been there (not yet at least, I hope to come over September/October next year) I was forced to fill in certain and not insignificant gaps to realise and explore the stadium and its surrounds. It was a weekday afternoon, with a grey scale sky above; there was an imminent and unmistakable winter chill in the air and the stadium was completely empty but for me. I wondered quite how I'd gotten inside and why no one had yet asked me to leave when a familiar figure appeared below.
My subconscious projection gave the stadium more coiled steel staircases and prominent catwalks than I imagine there to be (think Axis Chemicals from Tim Burton's Batman), as well as a collection of thrones at the rear of a stand that went back about 100 rows. The weirdest part wasn't that I wasn't wearing any shoes or that most of the Greater Manchester area surrounding the ground wasn't properly paved, sealed or excavated, it was that a run in and rather pleasant conversation with Nemanja Vidic culminated in him inviting me to his family's hair salon.
Suddenly thinking I was in need of a trim, or keen to take advantage of and or sample the Serbian legend's presumably magnificent, uncompromising and powerful talents with the clippers, I took my shoeless self (cutting my feet up terribly on the journey) to what looked like a strange sort of white tiled dentists that I was told was the Vidic barbershop. It was expansive, but in not too nice part of town so rent wouldn't have been too bad. Besides, I'm sure the fact he owned it would have provided plenty of custom.
Unfortunately Nemanja wasn't there, an elderly Serbian woman told me so. I'd been dudded into crossing town barefoot. Since I'd gone all that way and felt awkward that no one else was there I pointed to my head and asked for a "shorter version of this." After sitting down in a chair that was uncomfortably low to the floor and having a rinse I awoke to the sound of that ruinous default iPhone alarm, angry that consciousness and work commitments had robbed me of the opportunity to explore this extraordinarily strange environment any further.
Anyone else had any bizarre dreams involving footballers?
Sean Peter-Budge, Melbourne, Australia
Cheer This Guy Up
A plea to the mailbox:
I watched football and NFL this weekend while deriving no pleasure or emotion. Even as Liverpool were comprehensively beaten at home and my beloved Chicago Bears were beaten at home by their archrivals, the hated Gr**n B*y P*ckers, I couldn't bring myself to curse or throw the remote.
Between matches and whatever I had to flip back to see pictures of ... I can't even .... There are no words
It's bad in Connecticut right now, some really cracking XI's & Friday-ish non-sense would really help.
Ian, LFC Hartford, CT (suddenly a suburb of Newtown) USA
There Are Assists, And Then There Are Assists
So Darragh (MUFC) said he has never seen Dimitar Berbatov make a run like the one Van Persie did on Saturday. Well may I refer him to this sublime piece of skill by Dimitar (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VJh7mWWIzSg) that quite frankly, ranks as one of the most ridiculous
I've ever seen.
Just catching up on Saturday's mailbox and it appears to be full of Liverpool fans irate at Brendan for claiming they are aiming to finish second.
Not sure what the problem is, they clearly finished second on Saturday.
Dan G, THFC