We thought we would have to resort to another mailbox about maths but we've had some grand opinions about Man United, Newcastle, Tottenham and more. Oh and maths...
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...
If you have anything to say on any subject, mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Look In The Mirror, Brendan
LFC's last three games have seen us completely battered for 45 minutes, put up a 'good show' for the next 45 (although we still lost), turn the corner (!) and then perform shambolicaly against a third division team who have lost seven of their last eight games. Whilst taking nothing away from Oldham, who deserved their win, they did play with all the traits of their manager, aggressive, non stop motion, snarling, elbowing, leaving their foot in, generally being a pain in the arse, but also with skill, determination and belief.
Unfortunately, so did Liverpool's - inoffensive, ineffective, no substance, no backbone, no ability to change the situation and unable to live up to the hype and all too keen to blame someone else. Just why Wisdom was replaced when both Coates and Robinson were hopefully pulling on a red shirt for the very last time, baffled me. Robinson even told Suarez to f*8k off at one point when instead of playing a dangerous cross into the box, he instead shinned the ball 10 yards wide and 20 yards high, Stuart 'back to my best' Downing didn't attempt to go past his full-back once, an England international against a third division player who has spent the last four years on various loans. The Suarez/Sturridge instant chemistry went awol and Raheem Sterling again convinced that he needs to have some time on the weights and perhaps a few weeks rest. And I haven't mentioned Brad Jones yet!!!! Or Borini!!!!
BR has to take the blame rather than (yet again) expressing his disappointment, just how many "one of those days" are we going to have to endure before the end of the season? He states that some of the youngsters failed to take their chance, yet there was only Borini, Coates and Robinson who haven't been involved on a regular basis, but only one was substituted. His tactical genius involved moving a midfield player to right-back, playing a left-footed winger on the right and having NO left-sided attacking option other than a full-back having a nightmare. The Emperor's new clothes are looking a little threadbare.
Howard (at 3-1 down you have to go three at the back surely) Jones
Brad Jones > Ross Turnbull
To all the upset Liverpool fans laying into Brad Jones after his butter-fingered display on Sunday, please note that you could have Ross Turnbull as your second choice. I was actually hoping the referee would send him off yesterday just so we could get him off the pitch (even Hilario would have been better option)
How a club with the resources of Chelsea allows this situation to occur is ridiculous. Please bring back Courtois from Athletico Madrid next season. Or re-sign ex blue 42-year-old Neil Sullivan from AFC Wimbledon, even that would be an improvement to dear old Ross.
Chris Nixon, Surrey
Minty, LFC, that is a ridiculous mail and I'm a Liverpool fan.
...Minty LFC is talking absolute cobblers.
Just look at the FA Cup's even uglier, younger sister! I will be watching the final to see how Bradford get on, just like I watched them against Aston Villa. If the final was Chelsea against Swansea I probably wouldn't have even bothered in all honesty. You lose the Premier League team fans' support but with it you gain the 'underdog' support which is pretty much a staple of English culture! This weekend I watched my team Arsenal, I then watched Spurs, Chelsea AND Liverpool because I could really get behind the other team in a way not too dissimilar to supporting my own. I never watch these teams play usually unless it's a big game so I would counter that actually the viewing figures would stay the same or even increase.
Luca James Sparks
...This is the first time I've ever bothered to write into the mailbox, despite reading it every day for the last eight years or so, but Minty LFC's e-mail has finally been enough. I can't be the only one who read that and imagined a small baby crying and complaining that life isn't fair.
Chiefly the point that' Leeds and Oldham will both end up going out in the next round and all the fight and bluster they showed today will end up being for nothing'.
Firstly, someone should tell Bradford City this. Secondly in recent years Leeds have given the top teams (Man Utd, Arsenal, Spurs, we'll ignore Chelsea) a decent game. I might be biased here, but Leeds are still a decent draw for the neutrals, even if it's just becuase they hate us, so I'd say the Leeds-Man City game is the pick of the next round.
Finally, since I know the internet is based on taking an argument to the extreme, arguably evey year everyone's endevours mean bugger all, since only one team can win the cup.
If he wants to blame anyone for yesterday, I'd be blaming his team, it didn't look like it took much 'fight and bluster' from Oldham to dispatch them did it?
...As a lower-league football fan, I take some exception to Minty, LFC's assertion that he 'suspects Leeds and Oldham will both end up going out in the next round and all the fight and bluster they showed today will end up being for nothing.'
Two things, Minty. Firstly, I suspect a few people suspected Bradford would go out of the League Cup back when they drew Watford away in the second round...but oh look, after beating more than one big club on the way, there they are in the final. I wonder if you are equally as bitter about a League Two team appearing at Wembley as you are about your own team being beaten? Secondly, I don't think Oldham's win will end up being for nothing, regardless of the outcome against Everton. On the one hand, it's almost definitely saved Paul Dickov from getting the sack this morning. On the other hand, a sell-out match on live TV, with every chance of another televised game in the next round, is an extremely unexpected and welcome bonus to the budget of any lower-league club.
The fact is Liverpool did not play well last night, individually or collectively. They did not deserve to win the game, and ultimately Oldham did. Even despite that, you were still a whisker away from a late screamer of an equaliser from Gerrard that would have earned you a replay every bit as undeserving as Chelsea's against Brentford. As a fan of the losing team, I completely understand that you are not happy about this, but a long-winded and misguided rant against the magic of the cup, coupled with a ridiculous sense of entitlement that other 'neutral' fans care more about a Merseyside derby than they do about a victory for the underdog, just makes you look like a tool as well as a sore loser.
Terry Hall, Switzerland
...As a Liverpool fan, I'd just like to point out that not everyone agrees with Minty, LFC who was published earlier today. To say that Leeds and Oldham's efforts will be for nothing if they lose in the next round is ridiculous, quite frankly. No, neither side will win the cup but a decent run will provide cash and memories, which fans of both sides, especially Oldham will be more than happy with.
Oh, and he forgot Cardiff reached the final just five years ago as well.
Praise For Lower-League Teams
Having read this morning's mailbox I counted seven mails from Liverpool fans complaining about how bad their team were and giving out about Oldham's 'dirty' tactics, calling them a pub team and yapping about a foul on Sturridge in the build up to Oldham's secongd goal.
Not one mail congratulating Oldham on playing to their strengths, how they had chances to win by a bigger margin, how they made Liverpool's defence look like it was going to collapse every time Oldham came forward. If Oldham had tried to play a slick passing game round Liverpool they would have been well beaten, so well done to Paul Dickov on getting his tactics spot on against a top (I use the term loosely) Premiership side. They kept the feared SAS quiet all day (best strike partnership in the world ever) and won every battle all over the pitch.
Hats off also to the rest of the sides who didn't get a mention this morning. Luton Town, first non-league side to beat a top-flight opponent in 27 years or something ridiculous and a much needed positive story after their recent financial woes and fall from grace. MK Dons, well and truly hammered 'Arry's QPR side, featuring seven internationals if you didn't already know. Millwall adding further misery to Villa on Friday night and of course Leeds United with their third Premiership scalp of the season beating fourth-placed Tottenham at fortress Elland Road.
I'm sorry Minty, LFC but I'm sure the Magic of the FA Cup is alive and well for the fans of these clubs and who doesn't love a good giantkilling in the FA Cup, clubs like Luton can sustain themselves for a year or more with a good cup run. Your suggestion that the fourth Champions League spot should go to the FA Cup winner is ludicrous, just because your side isn't good enough to qualify for it through the league doesn't mean they will through the FA Cup, which I believe your team took very seriously last year, along with the League Cup?
Conor (Despite what the mailbox would have you think, there are more teams in England than Arsenal, Liverpool, Yanited and Chelsea) Dublin
The Mystery Of Andre Santos
Whilst watching yet another of Santos' diabolical performances at the weekend, the sense of anger that I usually get seeing him out of position or giving the ball away for the tenth time (in the opening five minutes) temporarily gave way to a feeling of sympathy for the guy. He's clearly not good enough to play for the club so it's unfair that he's put through these public humiliations - especially after the debacle at Old Trafford.
Then, after observing him closely for the rest of the game, the feeling of sympathy changed to one of bemusement. Despite being by far the worst player on the pitch, he also seemed to be the most relaxed and happy person in the whole stadium. The only time I actually saw him sprint during the game was to leap on the shoulders of the players celebrating Giroud's wonderful goal and, after being skinned again and again, his face would light up with a huge smile as he turned to watch the game develop in the position he was meant to be covering.
It might just be me, but surely most people would approach this game as a potential career-saving opportunity? Especially after his 'performance' at Man Utd where the only time he was in the right position was at half time when he was swapping shirts with our previous captain. Instead, he carried on where he left off against Man Utd and still looked as though he was having the time of his life.
Having woken up the next day, I decided to settle on the opinion that Santos is totally clueless. Despite regularly being on the end of fans' fury that would drive most people to becoming broken wrecks, he is simply oblivious to the whole thing. A point proven by the fact he was apparently 'liking' photos on a popular social media site at 4am before the game instead of sleeping. Surely anyone with a slight understanding of their position wouldn't do things like this as it's clearly going to irritate a lot of people?
Eboue was generally far from our best player but the reason many fans liked him was because he actually tried very hard. The Ronaldo-esque stepovers were comical and totally unnecessary but, when he inevitably gave the ball away, you'd see him try his hardest to win it back. I remember Curtis Davis being mortified at one of his performances and calling himself a 'pub player' and Sol Campbell taking himself off against West Ham because he was having a torrid night but I can't think of many players on the opposite end of the spectrum (aka 'the Santos end').
Does anyone know of any other player that gives them such mixed emotions?
£30m For Rooney? Make It £45m
This is the bestest best player ever, isn't it? This is 'Super Roo' who 'ROARED BACK' with that incredible tap-in against West Ham. For his ability I'd take 10 million. But for his reputation, 45 million please! The one thing you can't argue with is his goalscoring record. However - he doesn't want to score goals anymore. He wants to be a Scholes kind of player now, and with the way he runs you would think he was in his 30s not 20s. Perhaps all the football he has played is now catching up with him, there's just no pace or sharpness there anymore.
It's definitely time to cash in, but the price should match his reputation.
Silvio (See the catchphrase of Andy Millman's character in When The Whistle Blows for my views on this Schmeichel nonsense) Dante
Think Of The Merchandising
I didn't have time to read the mailbox this lunchtime (Mediawatch comes first) - but I noted that someone suggested selling Rooney, cashing in and spending the dosh on players. In Championship Manager world it's not a bad idea - but in the real world, it trips up on the word 'merchandising'. Allegedly Real Madrid recouped the £80m fee they paid for Cristiano Ronaldo in the first week, in shirt sales alone. That's the missing piece of the puzzle. This is also the explanation for "why on earth do English players command such a premium?". If a player is an England regular, they will bring a level of merchandising revenue that foreign players simply can't bring. In that respect (alone) Welbeck is worth more than Hernandez - and it's also why David de Gea will leave United for a major Spanish club, for a seemingly inexplicable fee.
A friend of mine asked me this weekend 'which United player(s) would you get rid of'. After he felt I got off lightly by saying Macheda and Bebe, he asked "who would you sell if the club needed money" - to which the answer was "Wayne Rooney - at least £50m in the bank, City would buy him all day long". However, fortunately, we don't need money - because this would clearly be a stupid decision.
Personally I would keep Rooney because he's a good, committed player. Moreover, I would keep him as an asset because he brings in huge amounts of merchandising revenue and adiitional global profile for the club. I understand the suggestion that with the money you would get for selling Rooney, you could bring in some arguably better players - but on-the-pitch is now just one facet of the business decision of whether or not to sell the lad.
Chris (capable of hypothetical ruthlessness), Manc
Nani Out? What About Valencia?
Getting fed up of United fans both virtually and in the ground laying into Nani when he's been back from a long injury for a couple of games whilst conveniently ignoring the frankly Bebesque form of Antonio Valencia this season.
Nani is one of the few game-changing players United have and even on days where he is frustrating as hell he'll come up with a great goal/pass/cross to make something happen. He's done the business in games against top opponents like City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Bayern down the years but it doesn't seem to get him any respite from fans when he goes on a poor run of form (usually because he's penalised by Fergie for being more versatile than Valencia and played out of position on the left).
Valencia is the most one-footed player I have seen at Old Trafford and is a footballing coward. If he can't run past a full-back with brute force and speed (which I've noticed he seemingly can't anymore) to stick one on Rooney's noggin his arse goes and its a sideways or backwards pass to Carrick or several needless touches. There is no skillset to beat a player with skill or cut inside and he couldn't dream of scoring some of the goals Nani has. He has been diabolical for months so where are the groans from the stands and persistent rumours of being binned off to Russia?
It's widely regarded United's most enterprising play of recent years was early last season when Nani featured. Give him a run on the right and see what happens - he couldn't be worse than Valencia right now and he could serve up the sort of goal or assist filled form he delivered through 2010 and 2011.
Disgruntled Jimmy, MUFC
May We Rodney, May We
The Newchateau thing would be amusing if there wasn't a place called Neuchatel which is (in old French) a direct equivalent of Newcastle.
But there is, so it's not, it's just a bit annoying.
Cheers, Jim (Bloody Millwall). Essex
Schmeichel Never Battled Relegation
Dave (I can't believe you forgot about Bobby Mimms), Ireland moans about trolling then says Schmeichel played for a 'struggling' Villa team flirting with relegation. No, you are mixing up now with then. Schmeichel played for us in 2001-2 when we finished eighth. Considering we'd not finished outside the top eighth in the previous six or seven years, we could hardly be described as relegation threatened...Oh and after a quick Google check, Man City finished ninth when he played for them. Obviously your league table only goes to 10.
But the rest of your email was correct. Unlike Ben (We've finished above the Villa once in about 30 years, let's laugh like far superior drains) Baggie's, which was utter tosh.