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
Fight! Fight! Fight!
In response to Liam, Manchester, regarding which Prem players would be able to pummel the living daylights out of any other player or deflate like a burst balloon when fisty cuffs break out against any other single person in the league...
Naturally, you look at the team you support first and I have to say one man I think could damage most people is Branislav Ivanovic. Look at him. He looks like he eats small people for breakfast and crushes skulls for fun.
On the smaller side Oscar would be an obvious candidate, but he is under 21 and actually a lot stronger than appearance would have you believe...so that points me to none other than Marko Marin. You only need to look at him aggressively and he's injured. God help him in a fight.
Across the whole of the Prem, other players I suspect to be pretty 'unbreakable' are Kompany, Williams at Swansea (he's a brick) Kolarov, Vidic, Huddlestone, Kenwyne Jones...if de Jong was still here he'd be clear winner, no? I honestly think young Romelu Lukaku could be a contender too.
The list of more breakable players in the league I think would include a fair few Villa players (sorry villa fans - signs of 'fight' but not enough).
Ashley (Love football, loathe Rafa), CFC, London
...Liam, Manchester, what an excellent question you raised in the mailbox, and I'm sure that we are not the only ones with circles of friends that discuss this sort of thing. Your question reminded me of the end of last season, in THAT game where Aguero's name will forever be painfully etched into my memory (yes, I support Manchester United), when Barton went in to kill mode and tried to take on the entire Man City team!
I suspected that a match up between him and Ballotelli would have been thoroughly entertaining and fairly even. But, when Kompany started towards him one just felt that he would have never, EVER stood a chance. So in a Mortal Kombat meets UFC style fighting tournament between BPL players I would go for a Kompany vs Pavel Pogrebnyak finale!
The likes of Samba and Yaya Toure would get far but may lack a bit in the department of inflicting pain, even though they can take a beating. Your wild card fighters would be the likes of Agger and Lennon looks like quite a tough lad while John 'Lionheart' Terry who will fight with, well, heart, would hand out a few good blows here and there, but seriously, can you picture anyone handing out a beating to those two finalists?
Di Santo reminds me a bit of that 1-2-3 Kid fella who tried his heart out in the World Wrestling Federation but constantly got the snot beaten out of him. So he is my pick for the weakest player in the league. Here's to hoping this letter makes it because if it doesn't, then I got nothing left.
The Chetty (London and Manchester greatest Cities in the world? They got nothing on Cape Town! Pfff...)
...In Response to Liam, Manchester regarding the strongest and weakest players in the Premier League.
As a United fan I feel I have to stay loyal and I would like to put forward Javier Hernandez as the weakest player and Nemanja Vidic as the strongest player.
Putting to one side Chicarito's lightning pace, superb predatory instincts, incredible positional awareness (when he does manage to stay onside) and his ability to do a backwards header from any angle (see Stoke game a couple of seasons ago) and still score, he still has the build of and looks like a 12-year-old schoolboy and is easily thrown to the floor by most defenders (if they can catch him that is), I feel he must at least be a contender for the weakest crown.
Meanwhile, at the opposite end of the scale you have the brick wall that is Nemanja Vidic, I would like to throw down the gauntlet and offer anybody (Brock Lesner aside) the chance to try and beat Vidic in any sort of violent contest. (barring Brock Lesner or Roy Keane I do not think you will get many takers).
It is by no coincidence that United have all of a sudden stopped leaking so many goals this season since Vidic has been back in the side (I still consider his absence for the most part to be a valid reason for missing out on the title last season).
He is absolutely solid, (his forehead appears to be made from titanium and Chris Samba wouldn't stand a chance) I would have to go back as far as Roy Keane or Vinnie Jones before I can find a worthy comparison.
Phil - (even Patrick Viera wouldn't stand a chance) - Salford
...Tomas Rosicky has to be the weakest Premier League player.
Plays for Arsenal. Check
Constantly injured. Check
Not considered a 'combative midfielder'. Check
Looks a bit like a girl. Check.
Simon Fitzwilliams, Cambridge
...I would say in response to Liam about who is the strongest and weakest there were two answers that came to my mind straight away.
I would say the one football who could win any fight in the prem would be Skrtel. Mainly cause who would look at him then decide it was a good idea to try to punch him, also he once got caught in a fight and was about to lose so through one of the vowels out of his name at them.
The weakest I would say is Oscar, at first I thought no cause I could not believe someone that small and with his boyish looks could be 21 but apparently he is. I mean I'm not big but I'm pretty sure I could pick him up and just throw him further than I could kick a football.
...In answer to Liam Manchester's mail about strongest/weakest in the league, I think it would be hard to look past Martin Skrtel, although Samba is a great shout. Also mentions to Vidic and Ivanovic (Something about those Eastern Europeans that makes me want to hide under my duvet and cry.
For weakest I would look at someone like Yossi Benayoun who looks like he might get blown away on a windy Tuesday (in Stoke?)
...While Theo would probably lose becasue he would run away from the fight (very quickly!) surely the weakest player has to be little Joe Allen?
Unless we are going to give it to a brittle perma-crock like Kieran Gibbs, who could probably get knocked out just from the gust of wind from an air swing.
I can't really argue with Chris Samba as the strongest player in the Premier League, but I wouldn't want to get in a fight with Luis Suarez...I like my ears.
Laurence Garrod, AFC
...On the subject of strongest player I do remember thinking during Norwich v QPR last weekend that a Samba v Bassong collision might end the world. That would be a fearsome centre-back pairing.
Weakest has to be De Gea, he looks like he's made of matchsticks.
Dave, (still a good keeper though!) MUFC
Why Nice Should Be European Champions
In response to Mike Coxon comparing the Holloway Road to Cheshire - you do know that Wilshere doesn't have to live next door to the Emirates and can chose one of the nicer parts of London to live in? (and trust me there are even nicer parts than Harrow). Comparing Cheshire - by your own admission where the footballers live, to the Holloway Road is at best selective and at worst pretty stupid.
Perhaps a better argument he could have put forward is that if location was the true factor then Nice and Monaco would probably be up amongst the best teams in Europe.
RVP didn't move to Manchester for the weather or the lifestyle he moved for the same and only reason I would move to Manchester for more money and a more rewarding job.
Arsenal 2013 > Arsenal 2004
This Arsenal team is much better than the invincibles. Today, we have the likes of Wilshere, Cazorla and Walcott playing out of his skin. Compare this with the rubbish of Cygan, Graham Stack and Jeffers.
The more observant among you will notice I picked out the best of the current crop and compared it with the worst of the 2004 vintage. Which is kind of like comparing Finsbury Park with Alderley Edge, Mike Coxon. You find me an Arsenal player who lives on Holloway Road and I will buy you a house in Arkley, where the Arsenal players actually live.
A small point but Manchester is definitely 2013 Arsenal compared with London's 2004 Arsenal.
Jaimie Kaffash, Highgate (okay, maybe Archway), north London, Arsenal
To End The Debate
There's no point in having this debate; Jack Wilshere is a central midfielder. Of course United aren't going to sign him.
A Fraction Of The Carragher Biters
In response to Conor, Dublin about the fact that Carragher would not have made it anywhere else. He speaks of passion for the cause or in this case, LFC, as an aside, as though it is not necessary in the game. This man obviously does not watch football at all and probably much prefers a game of bowls at the country club on the weekend. Any manager would take 11 players with passion for the cause since passion is what drives players to success. We as supporters hate seeing players give half-hearted performances, with Carra this is never an issue.
To say Rio is more 'gifted' than Carra is laughable. How he has managed to get any caps for England is beyond me - how does he even get into the United team, he is more prone than many to making errors in judgment and skill. This leads me to believe that Conor must be of the United tendency because no supporters of any other club would even mention Rio in the same breath as the best defenders in the game.
While we're at it, how did Gary Neville get a Champions League medal? The only thing he had going for him was passion for his team. Sol Campbell? Ledley King? A poor man's John Terry? I'll take Carra over those three any day. At least with Carra we know that he's a great man (unlike Terry), he'll play on through pain and injury (unlike King) and he's not a cross-city/rival traitor (unlike Campbell). Goal contributions are great from defenders but it is not what they are put in the team for - a poor argument.
In modern-day football where loyalty no longer exists, Jamie Carragher has given the club he loves everything he possibly can and all LFC fans love him for that. His organisation of the back-line, his leadership on the pitch and his sheer determination to ensure that his team doesn't go down without a fight are traits we'll miss when he hangs up his boots at the end of the season.
You can have all the defenders you mentioned, Conor. Give me four Jamie Carraghers, thank you.
Don Preddy, South Africa
...Anyone who argues that Jamie Carragher wasn't actually a very good defender should be sat down with their eyes pinned open and be forced to watch every minute of every clean sheet Liverpool kept away from home in Europe under Rafa Benitez.
Those performances were a trademark of that side (roughly 04-09) and saw Rafa lauded as a great defensive tactition, the pairing of Hyypia and Carragher (and interchanged alongside Agger/Skrtel later in Hyypia's career) was formidable, a match for any side in Europe. Although neither was particularly quick, it was their reading of the game which enabled each to excel for Benitez's side. The current pairing of Agger and Skrtel seems average in contrast, both of whom are assured international captains at centre-half.
Furthermore, his versatility surely has to be admired? Even today he makes the occasional cameo as a holding midfielder, and is comfortable anywhere across the back four.
Tom, (please don't mention Monsieur Henry and destroy my argument), Halifax
....This my first ever mail to F365 and it's in response to 'Conor, Dublin' whose mail regarding the legendary Carragher left me flabbergasted!
Carragher is a player that has been criminally underrated by so many football fans around the country including some Liverpool ones! This is a player who was won everything at club level apart from the Premier League. He has played in two Champions League finals, winning one where he put in a superhuman performance (in the second half obviously.) He is/was a defensive rock whose positional play is/was second to none.
You say he is a 'limited footballer' who is 'terrible on the ball'. How many times have you actually seen him? Carragher didn't spray 50-60 yard Hollywood passes, but that was never his job. People seem to forget that he had a midfield consisting of Gerrard, Alonson and Mascherano. Why attempt risky passes when you had three of the best midfielders in Europe at the time? Carragher did his job perfectly. Stop the attacker, get the ball and give it to Gerrard/Mascherano/Alonso to create an attack.
It really annoys me when people spout the stereotypical 'he had no ability' because it simply isn't true. People again forget that he regularly kept clean sheets against top European sides in the Champions League for 3-4 consecutive years including Barcelona (1-0), Juventus (2-0) and Real Madrid (4-0).
With everything he has achieved in his career I find it incredulous that Conor, Dublin spouts the notion that he wouldn't have made it anywhere else. Carragher is an absolute hero to me and I am absolutely gutted he will be retiring. Last of a dying breed.
Martin (race for fourth is still on!)
...Conor, Dublin wrote in to say how Jamie Carragher wouldn't have made it anywhere else other than Liverpool, and if he'd come through the ranks at United, Arsenal or Chelsea, he'd have been on the scrapheap at 19. Aside from the fact that he's just plain wrong, and you don't go on to play at the level Carragher has for 15 years without having something about you, I'd also like to point out that in the 1996-97 season, when Carragher broke into the Liverpool team, and the phrase 'It's going to be our year' wasn't quite so silly, the footballing behemoth that is Chelsea FC finished sixth, sandwiched in between Aston Villa and Sheffield Wednesday. With world-class players such as Steve Clarke, Frank Sinclair, the diving sensation that was Erland Johnsen and Scott Minto all getting regular games, I think Carragher might have had a sniff of breaking in.
United Fan Talking Carra Sense
I'm sure that this afternoon your mailbox will be full of responses to Conor's spiteful swipe at Jamie Carrgher. I'm a United fan and hated the whole second half of 'Istanbul' but at the end I had to take my hat off to Gerrard and Carragher who were astonishing that night. Carragher was incredibly brave and put his body on the line time and time again to thwart Milan and it's either just provocative or plain stupid to claim that its 'amazing' that he won a Champions League medal. Unbelievably, Conor quotes Arsenal and Chelsea as two clubs he would never have made the grade at. Well John Terry did that at Chelsea and he has no more ability than Carragher and Arsenal fans would give their right arms to have had Carragher in their back line this past ten years. He is a model professional and doesn't try to be something he isnt and has been a great servant to a (once) great football club.
I'm off for a wash.
Denis Cohen, Shalford
Formerly Of Coventry...
In response to Phil (remembering the optimistic times following the '04 Youth Cup Winners for 'Boro) Pearce, London - here is my team An Ex Coventry City Premier League Team! Including two backroom staff who appeared for the City!
GK Kieran Westwood (Sunderland)
DL Danny Fox (Southampton)
DR Reece Brown (Man United)
DC Leon Barnett (Norwich)
DC Elliott Ward (Norwich)
MR Jordan Henderson (Liverpool)
ML Jay Tabb (Reading)
MC Gary Gardner (Aston Villa)
MC Gael Bigirimana (Newcastle)
FW Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool)
FW Jay Bothroyd (QPR)
ML Patrick Van Aarnholt (Chelsea)
FW Alex Nimely (Man City)
GK Andy Marshall (Aston Villa)
MC Jack Cork (Southampton)
Manager - Martin Jol
Assistant - Sam Allardyce
Okay so only eight of the 15 were not on loan (and Sturridge didn't make an appearance), Marshall hasn't played in the Premier League for Villa, Bothroyd isn't wanted, Westwood has sat on the bench for two years, Fox has been ousted by a 17-year-old, Ward is on loan at Forest, Tabb is unwanted and Bigirimana is 'one for the future'.
Still - clutching at straws and all that!
Joining in the fun - so my new international team is Nigeria!!!!
Adam (We are going to win 4-0 at Crewe) Cov Fan, Coventry
Formerly Of Leeds...
This is in response to Phil (remembering the optimistic times following the '04 Youth Cup Winners for 'Boro) Pearce, London and for my Dad, a Leeds United fan since 1975, who reads the mailbox everyday although he would have no idea how to send a mail into it. Leeds United would have one of the best teams from players who have left the club and are still plying their trade in either the Premier League or other divisions across Europe.
GK Paul Robinson
RCB Frazer Richardson (sort of works)
CB Jonathan Woodgate
LCB Rio Ferdinand
CDM Bradley Johnson
CDM Johnny Howson
CAM James Milner
CAM Robert Snodgrass
RW Aaron Lennon
ST Luciano Becchio/Jermaine Beckford
LW Max Gradel
I believe that this team is a pretty solid team, with some decent players that would ensure mid-table security plus a cup run as well, which may still happen to the current Leeds team.
Jim (Leeds are still rubbish though, Dad) AFC
Formerly Of Blackburn...
I reckon my ex Blackburn XI would give the Middlesbrough XI a good game - a bit attacking though...
GK - Mark Bunn
RB - Steven Reid
LB - Danny Simpson (at a push)
CB - Chris Samba
CB - Phil Jones
RW - David Bentley
LW - Junior Hoilett
CM - Steven Nzonzi
ST - Franco Di Santo
ST - Nick Blackman
ST - Jason Roberts
England North v England South
I've never mailed in before so please excuse my lack of experience in this area. Having glanced at this morning's mailbox I was trying to think of a question I would like to pose to the vast pool of knowledge/enthusiasm that is the Football365 fan base. I then remembered an area that my friends and I have discussed over the years - that of a North/South divide. Now I don't mean in an economic sense, as this is mentioned often, and is quite frankly boring. What I am referring to is the idea of the England North XI vs. England South XI based on where the players are born (as opposed to where their club is based). For arguments sake I think players from the Midlands could be eligible for both sides unless strict selection criteria were to be imposed. Basically I can't be bothered to do that much research!!
Taking England teams picked under Hodgson I would select the following players for each side in the following basic 442 formation.
GK: Joe Hart
LB: Leighton Baines
CB: Gary Cahill
CB: Phil Jagielka
RB: Phil Jones
LM: Adam Johnson
CM: Steven Gerrard
CM: Jack Rodwell
RM: Aaron Lennon
CF: Wayne Rooney
CF: Danny Welbeck
GK: Jack Butland
LB: Ashley Cole
CB: John Terry (sorry but options limited)
CB: Chris Smalling
RB: Glen Johnson
LM: Tom Cleverly
CM: Jack Wilshere
CM: Frank Lampard
RM: Alex Oxlaide-Chamberlain
CF: Jermaine Defoe
CF: Theo Walcott
Please note that the accuracy of players' birthplace is solely down to Wikipedia so accept my apologies for any major inaccuracies.
Steve J (who is a southern Liverpool fan so would therefore support England South)
Weirdest Shirt Choice Ever
Since it's a Friday and all that, I'd thought I'd try and get this in.
A couple of weeks back at Old Trafford, someone a couple of rows in front of me turned up wearing Utd's third strip, with the name Bebe on the back! I thought this was hilarious, and after talking to him it turned out he got it as a Xmas present (I can only assume he requested it, since nobody would do that intentionally would they?). I never understand buying anything other than your normal shirt, since the idea is surely to identify with the club colours, but getting Bebe on the back seemed to make it work.
Anyone else seen weird shirt choices?
Jack (going to see the Pharcyde tonight!) Manchester