That's the difference between him and someone like Cristiano Ronaldo - his body just isn't right. We have mails on him, Sparky, Brendan Rodgers and the Europa Lge...
Nice one UEFA, but not far enough. We have some ideas to make the Europa League better as well as more views on Wayne Rooney, Vermaelen in midfield and...
If you have anything to say on any subject, mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Madrid Fear Us Just As Much
I've been a daily reader of F365 for eight years now (you guys are amazing), but I've never read so many articles on the same annoying topic.
All people seem to talk about are Manchester United's weaknesses and frailties and how they wont match Real Madrid in February. To respond to these numerous critics (F365 writers included) I will simply look at things from a Real Madrid point of view:
Suppose you're a Real madrid fan (I said suppose), you draw Manchester united in the last 16 of the Champions League. If you are not up to date with the proceedings of the Premier League (You probably don't deserve to live ..) , the first thing you will do is check the league table, at first glance you will be terrified seeing united top the table , seven points ahead of a team that nearly snatched a victory at the Bernabeu in the group stages. And if you try to cheer yourself up by looking at the goals conceded (28), that smile will soon fade off your face when you see the goals scored (54)... (eventually you will end up looking at your computer screen like a schizophrenic psycho, although I admit that would be fun to watch).
Madrid are 16 points off the pace in La Liga, it will be a highly emotional tie for their top player Cristiano Ronaldo (which is the last thing you need really) and they are under extreme pressure to deliver. Not to mention they will be fearing Robin Van Persie (he really can't stop scoring), Wayne Rooney (he eventually hits top form by then), a fit Kagawa (people who watched Dortmund for the past couple of seasons know what I'm talking about), and maybe another big name (should Ferguson sign anyone in the January transfer Window). All I'm trying to say is, please stop stating how United should be afraid of Madrid, because it works the other way around as well.
Tony (I use a lot of parentheses in my writing so try to keep up) MUFC
...Manchester United: seven points clear of Manchester City, 13 points ahead of third-place Tottenham.
Real Madrid: 19 points behind Barcelona, seven points behind Athletico Madrid and only two points ahead of Malaga.
Why would we fear Dortmund? They're third and 12 points behind Munich.
What should we be scared of exactly? Never mind the fact we've beaten City away, Chelsea away, Liverpool away and Arsenal. Real will definitely raise their game but so will we, and half the players Dan Cunnington mentioned won't even be in the first 11.
This is not a vintage United team but it's very good at winning. By the Madrid game Vidic should be back up to speed, so will Kagawa. We may lose of course, but I think Madrid are more scared of United than the other way around. I don't think any United fan fears Barcelona either, we want revenge - I hope we get them in the next round if we get past Madrid. They're better than us but I think a two-legged tie would suit United better. Don't forget the improvements since last year, Chicharito barely got a look-in and it was Rooney and Welbeck. Now we have Van Persie, Chicharito scoring goals, Rooney and Kagawa supporting, Welbeck marginalised. The attack is much better, hopefully the defence is over the worst, Carrick is immense, Cleverley's energy is good and means we don't have to burn Scholes and Giggs out. Their quality can be shown from the bench when they're fresh instead of the start, which makes us much stronger. We need to sort those f*****g wingers out though - Valencia is awful lately but Young is improving a bit at least, he's using his left more and hitting the byline more often.
This United side know how to win and I think there'll be a lot more winning in the next few months. Van Persie has really added that edge we've lacked since Ronaldo and Tevez left - things are looking good.
Silvio (My 'once again' mail was the last one published in the esteemed Mailbox in 2012. I want a commemorative plaque) Dante
Man United > Real Madrid
In relation to Man United being sixth favourites for the Champions League, I wonder whether this is really fair and I would just like to have a quick look at some of the teams that the bookies are suggesting are more likely to win it this season and give my own opinion...
1) Barcelona = Yes they are brilliant, yes they have Messi and yes they are breaking records left, right and centre. However I would pose the question as to how this is any different to last year?? Whilst I admit that it took an exceptionally lucky Chelsea team to beat them I still believe that a well-organised counter-attacking unit has every chance against them, as was proven by Celtic earlier on this year.
2) Real Madrid = Is it possible they are just benefiting from the belief that Mourinho's Champions League magic formula will work again. Undoubtedly a very talented team and yes they do also have Ronaldo. However they were hardly convincing in their matches against City and they were lucky enough against Dortmund. Futhermore their poor form in la Liga and their haphazard displays suggest that this is a team which is will not be looking forward to the idea of facing some of Europe's big boys.
3) Bayern Munich = Currently top of the Bundesliga by nine points and with a solid team as per usual. Will give any team a good run for their money. However while they have a solid team surely they could use one more top-notch striker. In addition they were hardly their usual ruthlessly efficient selves in the group stages.
4) Borussia Dortmund = Arguably should be ahead of both Real Madrid and Bayern Munich. Were very impressive in the qualifying stages in what was definitely the toughest group. They have not reached the lofty heights, as of yet, of last year in the Bundesliga however they seem to have a great team spirit and they have managed to hold on to most of their brilliant base of quality players. Overall I feel they have been undervalued by the bookies.
5) Juventus = For me these are the dark horses, as they have been consistent and solid. I would also venture that this is the team to knock out Barcelona from the competition. While one could debate whether Italian football is what it once was and what damage the match-fixing controversies have done for the moral of the italian game. Juventus have shown that they can still compete and I would argue they should be third favourties.
6) Man United = On paper this is a team that is lacking a midfield, lacking a real defensive steel and lacking a really solid keeper. However when have United ever really been the perfect team on paper and sure they are winning the Premier League by just doing enough. What I think has been really important this year for United is the Fergie Factor. Arguably the great man wasn't on fire last season, making tactical mistakes in the Manchester derby and admittedly being a tad complacent in the Champions League. However this year Fergie has arguable been back to his best, employing the diamond formation to good effect against Newcastle at the start of the year, using wingers and an efficient counter-attacking style against chelsea and figuring out that attack was the best form of defence agaist City. We definitely shouldn't be favourites however I feel sixth is probably too low.
Overall I feel my list of favourites baring in mind what I just said would be:
2) Borussia Dortmund
4) Man United
5) Bayern Munich
6) Real Madrid
Luke, MUFC, Dublin
No More Moaning About Wenger And Ferguson, Please
This has been pointed out before, but please, for the love of God, in 2013 can we put a stop to Arsenal and UTD fans clogging up the mailbox with their ridiculous bitching about their managers. You don't know you're born...'ooh we're only 4th/top in the league and the last 16 of the Champions League'...'we can't defend/pass/finish'...'all our signings are s**t'...'Fergie/Wenger has lost it'...blah blah blah. Get over yourselves, it's so boring and repetitive. The rest of the clubs in this country would kill to be in your position, with your manager. You really want Fergie or Wenger out - what do you see happening when/if that does happen? Seamless transition into perfect football, instantly integrated signings and quadruple winners for the next ten years? Do me a favour ... it's not Football Manager for Christ sake. Have a look what happened at the following clubs...
Wolves - sacked McCarthy, because they were on the borderline of Premiership relegation zone, despite a reasonable spell in the top flight of a couple of years...how did that work out?
Blackburn - where to start? Big Sam out? How did that go? Steve Kean out...how's that working out for you lads?
Leeds - Sacked Grayson for being one point of the play-offs not even hal- way through a season...they've now got Warnock, El Hadji Diouf, Michael Tonge and Michael Brown. I don't know how you begin supporting those kind of people.
Villa - Ok Big Eck was a tool...and a negative one - but you wanted him out. How's that going for you now?
Newcastle - missed out on CL football and removed the legendary Bobby Robson - how did the next ten years pan out fellas?
Liverpool - (Risky I know) Get rid of that clown Woy, King Kenny will save us - how did that play out? (Sure it's not King Kenny's fault though right?!)
There are so many examples I can't be arsed to keep going, you get the point. One day both these managers will be gone, and I for one can't wait to see what happens to 'your' clubs. The one thing I can guarantee whoever steps in - it won't go exactly how you want it to...it never has...and almost certainly never will. Just enjoy the ride supporting your football club.
Thanks for reading.
An All-Star European Knock-Out Tournament?
Hello fellow Football365 readers. This is my first e-mail that I have been talking about with my fellow compatriots down at the local pub at 3pm most Saturday afternoons while supporting our lads in red (Manchester United).
Summer 2013 is set to be a rest for most of our Premier League heros but as they earn all that money, surely we can think of a way of keeping them occupied? Well I have. I propose an All-Star European League Knockout Tournament. The team of the year from each of Europe's top league competitions will battle it out. Going by league performance and stats. The top eight leagues will submit their team of the year to go head to head in a knock-out tournament.
This will provide us the opportunity to see Ronaldo and Messi, RVP and Suarez, Gomez and Lewandowski and so on line up alongside to battle against their European rivals. The manager of the year will set the formation and choose from a squad of 18. As this would be a knock-out tournament with a max number of three rounds, would any club manager complain? I doubt that.
I have chosen my starting 11 for the Premier League and La Liga. My knowledge of other European leagues is a little rusty. I'll leave the opinion of other leagues down to more knowledgeable folk. Please share your opinions and starting 11 from your favourite European leagues. The La Liga All-Star team is a little scary!
La Liga: 4-3-3
GK - Casillas
RB - Alves
LB - Marcelo
CB - Pique
CB - Ramos
CM - Alonso
CM - Xaxi
CM - Iniesta
FWD - Messi
FWD - Falcao
FWD - Ronaldo
Premier League: 4-4-2
GK - Cech
RB - Zabaleta
LB - Baines
CB - Kompany
CB - Vidic
CM - Gerrard
CM - Yaya Toure
LM - Bale
RM - Mata
FWD - Van Persie
FWD - Suarez/Aguero/Rooney - hard to choose one! I'd go for Suarez.
If You're Relying On The Mailbox To get You A Woman...
John (RVP is proving he was right to leave to win medals!) Matrix AFC, here's another one for you. You have an idea for an email - it's not a great idea (hell, it's a s**t one), but it's the beginning of the year, many people are still not back from the holidays, so the MC might publish it, even though it's clearly b******s.
You could send it in, be published and wallow in your glory for a little while. That night you go out for a drink and meet a gorgeous woman who thinks you're great and loves football. Buoyed by this, you proudly tell her you were published in F365's mailbox that day. She read it that day and immediately realises you're a k**b and tells you so. Your confidence is shattered and a few years later you're standing at the altar waiting for a lady you wouldn't even have looked at a few years ago and your life is destined to be one of misery.
Alternatively, you could not send in your dross. You may not get the babe in the pub tonight, but I wouldn't have wasted a few minutes of my life reading your brain drivel.
Michael, (This mailboxer thinks there are numerous possible outcomes for young upcoming players and that your letter is rubbish), Chelsea, London
Please can I use this forum to pose the following questions and recommendations to the people listed...
John Matrix, AFC - Worry about your own club, not who might be joining another while your club's best player could be leaving.
Brian F, LFC- Who are you to decide what other team's fans can or cannot do?
AP, Boro fan - Your so-called defence of Newcastle is nothing but an attack on another club, another club whose wealth has enabled your own team to benefit by borrowing one of England's young talents, Josh McEachran.
Happy New Year
I just wanted to say a huge thank you to f365 for providing a cracking start to 2013. I'm yet to see the 'hyperbole' anywhere so far and I feel far calmer for it. After every writer spaffed it left, right and centre in December as though they had an annual quota to meet, I felt like clawing my eyes out.
All we need now is for the utterly pointless phrase 'stonewall' to do one and we'll be in for a cracking year, that and Andy Townsend losing his voice permanently.
Happy New Year!