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 add on any subject, mail us at email@example.com
As The Seas Rise To Claim Us All...
With the end of the world looming near, I was a little discouraged to read about the negative feelings Barrington, Hereford had towards Chris, ITFC. Can't we all hug and make up, so that our last feelings don't consist of anger towards a fellow football lover?
Anyway, I'm not sure if you fine folks at F365 will be squeezing out one final Mailbox, but let me take this opportunity to thank you for the excellent work done all these years. Kudos to you for sieving through the mountains of emails coming your way everyday, and presenting to us the very best and worst of them, so that we can spend the rest of the day pondering over what to put in our next potential entry to the Mailbox. It's been a pleasure.
Aaron, Singaporean Gooner
The Mean Streets Of Rural Nottinghamshire
What kind of upbringing did Nick Miller have that led him to think it was necessary to advise people not to call their gran a c*nt?!
Nick Hamblin, Bristol
Messi To Stoke
Messi for Stoke?
After reading yesterday's mails on both Messi being bored and doing something crazy, and Swansea being unexpected favourites to sign David Villa, over the day the two ideas kind of amalgamated in my head and now I have the perfect plan for Leo once he gets bored of owning everyone in Spain!
He could prove he could do it on a wet windy night in Stoke... by signing for them!
Ben (Yes I know Stoke and Swansea are completely different!), SFC, Southport
Will Ronaldo Really Be Welcomed?
Since the draw was made for the next round of Champions League pairing Real Madrid and Manchester United it has been said Ronaldo will return to Old Trafford to a heroes welcome, but will that be the case with all Manchester United fans????
I agree he was a great player for Manchester United scoring bags of goals and winning lots of trophies.
However, I can still remember when he was courting Real Madrids interest in signing him for over a years before he finally made the move!
The summer previous to his move there was major talk of the transfer happening which he played up to it by giving vague answers about if he was going to join Real Madrid. His comments fed the media speculation and you would see his face everyday on skysports news during that summer!
When he didn't move that summer you could sense it was only a matter of time, you felt he had agreed to stay one more year with Manchester United! This was even mentioned in the press at the time and Ronaldo continued to feed the gossip until he eventually got his way.
I believe he was very disloyal and acted in a manner that forced the club to sell him, I for one remember this and therefore will not give him a heroes welcome!
May I please, on behalf of all Man Utd fans, sincerely and wholeheartedly apologize for the very existence of one 'Chris, MUFC. There are few words that can adequately surmise the loathing with which I regard this peculiar species of Utd fan.
Anyone who characterizes our current team and recent achievements as 'comfortable mediocrity' and our acquisition of the Leagues no.1 forward as 'no longer able to exercise the same leverage in the transfer market', deserves some sort of gruesome fate, one that would likely grace the last entry in the Mediawatch page.
p.s. I can still taste a little bit of sick at the back of my throat
Well, well, well. That draw against Madrid has quickly had a sobering effect on Man Utd fans writing in. The mindset appears to have supercooled, being now as ludicrous in it's negativity as it appeared when optimistic.
Utd have never regularly bought 'World Superstars', developing young players has always been the game. Of players not currently in the team, I remember notable (at the time) transfer fees for Keane, Cole, Yorke, Veron, Berbatov. Unless I've missed someone, arguably only Veron was a 'World Superstar' and he was never a key player anyway. Total and utter bollocks.
Disregarding that Van Persie was clearly the big signing planned for this summer, there is nothing new in Utd's media-hyped 'main transfer target' going to Spain or elsewhere for more money either, e.g. Figo, Zidane, Ronaldinho, Robben. They have also always sold their best players to Madrid / Barcelona / Italy as soon as the player in question gets too uppity. Mark Hughes, Paul Ince, Jaap Stam.
Player comparisons are typically subjective, and selective. I could reel off a few Utd players that would get into Madrid's team too. It's going to be a bloody awesome game, tie of the round. If you're being honest, nobody has a clue who will come out on top.
Regarding Stretchy's mail... I have sent my share of mildly-crazed, over-exaggerated and ranty, e-mails into the mailbox in my time, so won't say anything. Thankfully, I am less coherent when mid-rant, and so only a couple ever got published.
Ben (Hyperbole: is it worse to needlessly say it or employ it) MCFC.
I know for a fact I'll be 1 of a gazilion readers to write in to say this, but quite how you managed to overlook Van Persie when comparing Man United's 'front four' with Real Madrid's I have no idea. In fact you talk about the fact they don't seem to sign 'superstar talent' anymore.. Didn't they just buy RVP from Arsenal this summer just gone?! If he's not a good enough signing, who the feck is? What a load of balls you talk sir. Really, totally shocking. Possibly the most useless mail I've ever read.
Tristan (he was our 'superstar talent', we'll gladly have him back), Gooner
Not The Same Force In The Transfer Market
Sometimes I hate the pessimism and the reverse pschycology factors in Chris, MUFC's mails but I think he got something bang on yesterday. United have not been an influential force in the transfer market as they used to be. For a long time now.
I still remember the day , and I am bad with my memory (heck!! now I come to think of it, I can't even remember the day I got my first bike), when Cristiano Ronaldo made his debut for united. That joyous,exciting moment of anticipation when fans knew something big was coming. That Rooney debut too!!!
And now I realise that we haven't had that kind of nervous enjoyment for a long long time. All we are satisfied with is the constant returns of reasonably good players from injuries(no disrespect here). Hell, even now when probably Neymar is "the next big thing in football"(no pun intended), UTD have never been strongly linked with the player. Hell even Chelsea have had a go at him it seems.
We have now lost (or failed to sign) more extraordinary players than we have signed. It's a worrying fact.
I might add that its not that the team is really reeling or playing pathetically. No. But they are not extraordinary. And that's what we crave to see.
Donnie(its all about adrenaline rush, you see) MUFC
On Porto & Monaco
To Simon Fitzwilliams, Cambridge: I actually remember everything about the Porto versus Monaco final. Monaco's captain and arguably best player Ludovic Giuly getting injured and coming off in the first minutes of the game, Porto then ideally scoring before the end of the half, Deco in his prime running the show... everything till Alenichev made it 3-0.
If you genuinely cared about football beyond clubs that sell shirts in Asia, you would have followed this final keenly as it was the last game in what was perhaps the most epic Champion's League progression in history, that of the devastating 2003-04 Monaco. An amazing team with players such as Evra, Hugo Ibarra (a right back prone to crossing with Rabonas), Rothen, Giuly and Morientes in their prime, which scored classic goals throughout the campaign. In group qualification Monaco defeated Arjen Robben's PSV Eindhoven away, drubbed then top Liga club Deportivo La Coruna 8-3 (Plasil scoring with a lob from the middle of the park), eliminated Real Madrid in a thrilling quarter-finals come back (2-4, 3-1), with a Giuly back-heel that was the first nail in the Galacticos' coffin, then fought another classic two legged bout versus a rising Chelsea FC in the semi-finals. Sadly, Monaco missed the last step to glory, arguably due to Giuly's untimely injury. Credit to Mourinho's Porto as well, a vintage team whose many players moved on to having good to great careers: Bosingwa, Maniche, Deco, Carvalho and more.
Watch this and tell me you'd rather watch artificially scheduled perennial match offs than these "minnows" in the CL.
Tony Rev (then again, I do enjoy the traditional yearly beating that Barca delivers to Manchester United), Chelsea
Second Legs And T*ts
To Stretchy (I have a lot of things on my tits today) MUFC Do you know what gets on my tits? People formulating opinions based on zero evidence and blarting them to the rest of us as fact. I'll say no more other than to include a quote from an academic article that took me a whole 15 seconds to find via everyone's favourite search engine (Lycos):
"A statistical analysis of roughly 12,000 matches from the European club competitions between 1956 and 2007 showed that around 53% of teams playing at home in the second leg won the tie (even after controlling for the fact that team playing at home in the second leg tend to be better teams"
Here if you're interested
...Hey Stretchy (I have a lot of things on my tits today) MUFC, there's something off in your scenarios. In the event of a tied aggregate scoreline away goals from the first leg count "double" too. If your team wins the first leg (away) 0-2, then loses the second leg (home) 0-2, the result isn't your team going out. The aggregate score of 2-2 with both teams having two away goals is a draw, meaning the result is extra-time at your team's home ground, which is *often* viewed as an advantage of having the second leg at home. Of course there are a lot factors involved in determining which team actually has an advantage, but the away goals rule is not inherently biased against the home team in the second leg as your mail insists.
Any time the two legs feature mirrored results (a tie where both teams have the same number of away goals) it means extra time after the second leg. In the event of a tie where the scores are not mirrored the away goal rule comes into effect (that is, they count "double"), for example winning the away leg 0-1 but then losing the home leg 1-2. Then your team would be out on away goals even though the aggregate was 2-2.
You're right that away goals can be crucial, but away goals in the first leg are just as crucial as away goals in the second leg.
BTW, Corinthians fans were absolutely bananas at the CWC final last Sunday. Fantastic atmosphere inside and outside the stadium.
Michael (Corinthians deserved it more on the pitch too) Tokyo
For No Reason...
I was going to ask this question on Sunday while watching the West Brom game on Sunday but figured it would be better suited to a Friday mailbox - nothing to do with being too lazy at the time.
A few years ago I was playing football manager while sat on the sofa with the girlfriend (who said romance is dead?) when Shane Long, who at that point was part of my very good Reading side, scored 4 goals. 'Watch this' I proclaimed, 'If I take him off he'll get a standing ovation!'
Despite her protests (yep she was actually protesting I keep him on) I took him off, for the commentary bar to say nothing of any ovation, not even a bloody clap! Since then we've always looked out for Long on Soccer Saturday and cheered when he scores, I even watched the West Brom v West Ham game the whole way through because he was playing! Thing is he doesn't even play for my club!!
So my question is this, what players do you watch out for or support for absolutely no reason?
Merry Christmas mailboxers!
Mark (3 1/2 years on and still going strong, must have been the FM) Spurs
Tiger Woods And Motivations
In response to Sanj, MUFC
Tiger Woods didn't go on a sex rampage because he was bored OR because he is an idiot. He went because he can. Did you not google the pictures of these women? I am a happily married man but hey...
Domingo, Little Oakley, THFC
I just prefer Chris, efc, London to be honest.
Chris, efc, london
Silvio (Let's keep Robin wrapped up until February 13th) Dante
Jose Reina or Josep Guardiola become Pepe/Pep because the name Joseph and its variants are derived from the biblical St. Joseph (i.e. Jesus' less smite-y dad) to whom the moniker PP or Padre Putativo (purported father) is sometimes applied. This has led to Pepe/Pep becoming a popular dimunitisation of Joseph in certain countries, especially spanish speaking ones where most people are Catholic.
It is also seen in Italy, another almost exclusively Catholic country, where the Joseph variant Guiseppe is sometimes shortened to Peppe or Beppe.
Harsha.(Forgot to cast my vote for Chris ITFC in my last mail) Arsenal.
Because It's Christmas
As it's Christmas, would you mind popping this link on your site:
It's an e-petition calling on the government to introduce defibrillators to all public buildings and give ECG scans to 12-35 year olds, set up by the Oliver King Foundation. If people could have a look and sign if they have a minute, it all helps to get the petition closer to the number of signatures needed to force the government to respond.
While not strictly football related, anyone who was moved by Fabrice Muamba's cardiac arrest and subsequent recovery, and anyone who would like to take a tiny piece of action to try and stop that kind of thing from ever happening again ought to take a look at the petition.
Rob (done my good deed for the day, so off to punch a squirrel now), Walton-on-Thames