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
Wenger Is A Glorified Bean Counter
Ted (Fergie Is Only About Trophies, Wenger Is About Football) is an idiot..
Wenger is the biggest accountant in football, he cares more about balancing the books than how the game is played. He has abdicated his responsibilities to the game in favour of services to finance. He has turned football into a business like any other.
I won't even bite at the suggestion that Ferguson teams have never played great football, argue too much with an idiot and you start to look like an idiot yourself.
My point is about the sham Wenger has created, he has conned a large section of the footballing community into thinking he is a football purist, a philosopher, when he's nothing more than a glorified bean counter.
He has diverted attention away from the truth with all the talk of pretty passing - it is a grand deception, a fraud, nothing more than smoke and mirrors.. you, Ted, have been had.
Wenger has betrayed football, has betrayed Arsenal, has betrayed his fans, he has killed the soul of the game..
No Ted. Just No
I am sorry Ted, but "The ball has to be respected" is just about the most ridicolous thing I have ever read in the mailbox, and I have read it daily for many, many years. How do you come up with such utter crap? Football in England is accounting? Give me a break, what is it in Spain (or at Emirates)? Marketing? Remind me where in the laws of the game it states that "The ball has to be respected"? Football is about winning - end of.
If you really, really think that any Fergie's teams haven't played great football, you are seriously deluded. Which you must be, when you start comparing Mancini to Ferguson and saying that his team is playing better football - yes, last season they won, making them the better team (accounting), but how has Mancini fared in the Champions League? And are they currently in 1st or 2nd in the Premier League?
Kim Johannesen (that "poor cross" from which Rooney scored the scissor kick? It took a deflection, making the finish even more spectacular)
...In response to Ted's wonderful impersonation of Piers Morgan with his "reasoned argument" as to why Fergie will "never be great"....I've never heard such absolute self-serving, nonsensical, unfounded drivvle in my entire life! It was almost too funny to deem worthy of a reply but it's burrowed into my head that someone could believe such nonsense!
The idea that Man Utd have never played anything more than "pre-historic" football is absolutely astounding - he clearly has repressed the multiple occasions (particularly in the champions league ties) of United absolutely decimating Arsenal, playing.....oh wait, yes....FOOTBALL! Does he not remember the trio of Park, Rooney and Ronaldo flying up their pitch within 10 seconds of the ball being in our box, and I don't recall any wayward passing needing "3 bounces" to reach a player.
I would like to argue that all of the teams that Fergie has produced have, at their core, been good footballing teams. Look at the 1-2 passing between Yorke & Cole that slices through Barcelona in '99, the wonderful Paul Scholes goal against Panathenaikos in the champions league after we had played the ball around for about 2 minutes, just two of the most obvious examples of great football from United that come to mind.
I would, in fact, argue that Fergies ability to make a team that can still win whilst playing poorly, grafting out results and being able to match most teams in a physical battle, as well as being able to out-play the majority of teams, is what would make Fergie much better than the likes of Wenger, who - when his bluff is called over only being able to set his team out to play one style of football, always hides behind the long-since-tired saying of "this is the REAL way to play football".
I would challenge Ted to take a look at some of the "Premiership Years" before vomiting out such biased nonsense!!!
...No doubt Ted's extolling of Wenger's football genius compared to Ferguson's relative backwardness will have generated an avalanche of mails. The idea that good football arrived in 1996 with Wenger is laughable: the United double-winning teams of 1994 and 1996 were skilful, attack-minded, technically gifted and exciting (an attack featuring Hughes, Giggs, Cantona and Kanchelskis played some of the best football seen in the Premier League). And in contrast to Wenger, Ferguson has kept this exciting pattern going for almost two decades.
Phil Daniels, Newcastle upon Tyne
...Just a quick missive to object to the patent load of arse that Ted came out with in his criticism of Ferguson. The treble winning side aside, the sheer quality of football displayed by United over the years can't be airbrushed out of history just like that. Though Fergie's teams might be regarded for an aggressive use of wing play and counter-attacking football, he's also coached the team into producing scintillating football at times.
I remember a classic goal against Porto in the 90s with Irwin finishing off a thirty pass move. All long before Wenger supposedly 'revolutionised' English football with Ljungberg and Pires, who epitomized the football Ted is attacking.
John Daniels, your mailbox entry was interesting and I agree with a few points you made. However you argue that losing a few players, (Arsenal should be upset at losing Na$ri?) Arsene Wenger can not be considered a world class manager? How many undefeated seasons has Sir Alex managed in the Premier League?
Lawrence (Should I judge Sir Alex on the sale of Ronaldo to Real Madrid?) Gooner in Melbourne
This is getting ridiculous.
Sturridge is a perfectly decent young player who apparently, based on medium-term precidents, is worth about £12 million quid. That's the market.
I can see the value in a smattering of domestic players (as per a recent mail about City) over a team full of foreign players. Teams who win trophies usually have some...Mourinho's Inter acknowledged. British players who are even just average are short in supply, and high in demand; Michael Carrick plays for Man Utd every week, you know. I was gutted when Sturridge went to Chelsea. Not because I thought he was a world beater, but because he was a decent, young, British player, who could play for England eventually.
At 23, he seems to be the player he looked like he was going to be at City. I don't think many of us blues understand all the new negativity surrounding him. He's always taken the choice that he thinks is best for himself, like when he left us. What's new? Plus, he always looked likely to be one of the 30 best English players in his prime, no better, and was always a striker. Nobody at City ever expected more than that.
Any striker played exclusively on the wing/bench will moan and groan a bit. Some strikers played up front almost every week f**k off to Argentina for a whole f**king year.
Pretty sure none of the people writing in will have seen him play for City, so how they can decide his rumoured bad attitude has wasted his world beating potential, I don't know. It's amazing how many people know him so well as to be able to disect his personality to the degree that he can be totally written off, based almost totally on newspaper transfer rumours.
You're all guaranteed to eat your words.
Best, Ben (putting balls on the line here) MCFC
Super 8 (Eight)
A nice tribute to Lampard that Chelsea scored 8 on his 500th game, but it got me thinking about who leads the 8 or more charts recently? I say that because I remember Chelsea hitting 8 a few times relatively recently (last few years) and other than our (Spurs) win over Wigan and United's win over Arsenal I can't remember anyone else doing it. I'm reasonably sure United did it a season or two ago when Berbatov got 5 goals, and I think they almost did it against Roma in the CL a while ago.
Any other times, or are Chelsea the most likely to rack up a (very poor) cricket score?
Indie, North London
More On This
Yes Fergie was deflecting from dropped points by claiming Van Persie could have been killed, but please people, when complaining about exaggeration it kind of undermines your complaint when you exaggerate yourself. Eduardo's foot didn't "nearly come off", Scholes has never tried to "decapitate" anyone, I have told you a million times etc etc
Our season over at the Cottage has gone from Europa League potential to relegation scrap in a frighteningly short period of time.
Here's why we're struggling in case you care (remember when we were everyone's second team? It's Swansea now, isn't it? Isn't it!)
1. The DNA of the team has been changed - Ever since I have supported Fulham, we have been a fairly boring, safety first, build from the back kind of team. Solid defense and a usually defanged attack led by inept strikers like Collins John or Bobby Zamora (save his one good season). Jol has completely changed the team's style into a fast paced, attack minded club epitomized by younger players like Kacaniclic and Rodallega. This felt wonderful when we were beating up on Norwich early on but doesn't seem sustainable against the superior clubs like Spurs and Liverpool, as we have seen.
2. Team defending has gone down the drain - An add-on to point 1 is that as a team we are defending terribly. The Hughes/Hangeland center back partnership, while aging, is still effective. It's the rest of the team that is not closing down and allowing opposition midfielders to waltz 50 yards through the midfield that is the problem. I have never seen such comical defending as in the Spurs and Pool games and it never would have been allowed in the Hodgson years.
3. John Arne Riise has not performed - I'm not sure why Fulham loves to sign burned out Liverpool players but in this case it has not worked out. Riise dangerousness going forward is overrated, as are his freekicks, which usually fly into row Z. Defensively he is consistently out of position and has recently played onside two different attacking players for goals in recent games. He looks a step behind and doesn't particularly seem to care. Would much prefer an out of position Stephen Kelly in his place.
4. We are really missing Bryan Ruiz- I was befuddled as any fan when Jol brought this fancy pants in last year but it was clear he just needed time to settle as he has become, along with Berbatov, our most dangerous attacking player. In the six weeks he's been out injured we have won just 1 game and been shut out three times. Teams are now keying in on and isolating Berbatov and we have no consistent plan B in attack.
I like Jol as a man and a manager but he seems to be a bit of a Redknapp in that he sets his teams up aggressively and has them go out there and play. If the team stays healthy and the younger players mature I could see us moving comfortably into mid-table as the season goes on, but any more injuries to key players and we could be in big trouble.
Justin, football fan