After a disappointing end to his three years at Real Madrid, could Jose Mourinho struggle to bring immediate success if he completes his anticipated return to Chelsea?
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...
If you have anything to say on any subject, mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
What Swansea Prove...
Can Swansea's season now please put to rest this ridiculous notion spouted by people like Tony Pulis that you have to play the way Stoke do because they 'don't have the resources' to play proper football?
Stoke have spent far more than Swansea in the last few seasons and are a million miles behind them as a footballing team. Time for Tony to be honest and Stoke play the way they do because they want to, not because they have to. Then have his boys go out and start swinging more punches.
Swansea The New Everton?
After their triumph, the most realistic way to move forward for Swansea must be to emulate one of the best-run clubs in Premier League, Everton. They already have many similarities.
1) A classy manager in Laudrup with realistic ambitions and can run a team on tight budgets.
2) They have a classy midfielder turned in to a forward, Michu similar to Tim Cahill.
3) They have box-to-box midfielders like Britton, De Guzman (betting on his loan move to become permanent this summer) and Ki. Remember Gravesen, Carsley, Fellaini and Osman.
4) Most importantly, they have players who know their limitations and are proud to play at a club and fight for the position they are in. They do not dream of winning the Premier League or even Champions League spot each season, but they take one game at a time and see where they can end the season with. It's David Moyes attitude written all along.
Notable improvements needed are in the area of defence with their full-backs and center-backs of not notable quality as compared to Everton. But I believe with top-eight finishes in consecutive years, they will acquire them sooner rather than later.
Sagar Deo, MUFC, Mumbai
A Rare 'Moyes Out' Mail
I am an avid Evertonian, follow home and away and always have done, seem some shocking teams and managers I must admit, but for the duration of my years David Moyes has been the manager. Against Norwich on Saturday we bossed the game for a good hour granted we could have been two/three up but we never so why change it? Why fix what's not broke!? Moyes was settling for a 1-0 win and trying to grab it with both hands! As soon as this started to show I knew we would draw or possibly lose!
It's ridiculous - all the big teams like City, Chelsea, Spurs and Arsenal would have won 2/3 nil! Why the media think Moyes could do a job at United, City and Arsenal is ludicrous - he is too negative! And he is not bigger than the club. If Kenwright was the Blue he says he is he would put the contract on the table and say 'sign or go'! Don't blackmail Everton!
Chris (timeforachange) Everton
PS. Preparing for another Wembley heartache against a top-four team as Moyes will s**t it again!
Some Musings From The Weekend
1) How stupid do you feel about all that guff you wrote about how Ryan Giggs should never start a league game again, that he's past it etc? I said at the time he has these dips of form every few years, he'd be class again soon, and so it proved. Shame on you!
2) It's not over. City just closed it by three points, playing second may have given them a psychological boost when it really shouldn't have. A draw for United and a win for City in the next fixtures and suddenly it's 10 points, a whole five points closer than they were the previous Saturday night. Plus they beat Chelsea, and Toure scored - so they'll probably be buzzing.
3) Get fit please, Robin.
4) Is that the first time ever that the neutrals wanted the favourites to win?
5) The captain for Bradford genuinely looked like he'd never played football before, his little legs going as he tried to run with the ball was amusing. I honestly think I could have done better.
6) Shame on Bradford in general really. They put up no fight, they didn't hassle Swansea and did they even commit a foul? Looks like they really were there for a day out.
7) Didn't like the commentators' nonsense about how great it would be for Bradford to win and upset the big boys. Was it United, Chelsea or City? No, it was Swansea, trying to win their first major trophy ever. If any of those two teams actually deserved some silverware for their efforts it was the Swans.
8) Becks showed his class last night in his 15-minute appearance. His first touch was to control under pressure and deliver a gorgeous long-range pass with very little space to move in. I really wish Fergie had brought him back, he'd have been another changing-room general with the calm head under pressure on the field. Becks - still the man.
9) From watching the game on ESPN last night, I'm not sure that United/Juve 2nd leg in 1999 really was the Roy Keane show people make it out to be.
10) Who wouldn't pass the ball to a teammate on a hat-trick, especially when (if my memory is right) they are the ones who won the penalty?
...* It's very hard to pick between Cisse's goal and Rafael's. I can't entirely explain why but I just love goals that hit the crossbar and go in. I don't know if it's the sound of the ball thundering against the metal, the keeper not knowing whether a goal has been conceded or not, or watching the ball bounce around like it's in a pinball machine but it really does bring a little joy to my heart every time.
* Coloccini doing a bicycle-kick clearance in the corner of the pitch was delightful. I have a soft spot for Ray Wilkins and think he would have had a verbal sex fit had the game been on TV. It was really marvellous though. Bravo.
* Newcastle's second half of the season form might leave them wondering 'what if' given how shocking their first half was. Also credit to them for going to Ukraine on Thursday and winning on Sunday; not many teams seem to manage this quite so well.
* Swansea won but did anyone expect anything too far different? The manner in which they did it was nevertheless outstanding and they do have a few brilliant players. I wonder if Scott Sinclair is enjoying keeping the bench warm at Man City for double the money or if he'd prefer to be a part of what is happening at Swansea. You can't help but wonder what another summer of great transfer acquisitions might do for them. Is it entirely unthinkable that they might challenge for a top-four place with a few more decent players? They already have a starting 11 to challenge most good teams.
* Wigan were either excellent on Saturday or Reading were horrific. As a Liverpool fan I feel like this is not the ideal time in the season to have to play Wigan given how much we love to drop points against teams near the bottom of the table anyway.
* I got very drunk on Saturday night and sent some extraordinarily homo-erotic tweets to Steven Gerrard's wife hoping she would relay them to the man himself. People shouldn't be able to use the internet when under the influence. By people, I mean me. And by the internet I mean any form of social interaction.
United Have So Many Plans
The thing that will surely win United the title this season (unless they royally f*** it up) is their excellent plan B.
Against the likes of pass masters Arsenal and Swansea? Soak up the pressure and hit them on the break.
Everton? Man-mark their strength out of the game.
At Loftus Road yesterday United played simple triangles, and didn't buckle under the thuggery going on. They matched QPR strength for strength, and deserved their 3 points.
Kel, MUFC (a friend is just an enemy that hasn't struck yet)
I thought it must have been a great day out for the Bradford fans regardless of the fact they got humped 5-0.
It's just a shame the commentators didn't mention it a few hundred more times so I could patronisingly empathise with how fantastic it must be for people from lowly Bradford to spend the day in glorious Neasden.
Adam (this is not a tally of how many times I've written in and been published or not) Camden
A Letter From A Bradford Fan
A few notes after attending the cup final from the point of view of a Bradford fan.
First off, well done Swansea, deserved winners. Played some great football not just yesterday but against Chelsea and many other teams this season.
I think the main reason they didn't slip up against City like the other Premiership teams is that they're mentally strong. Wigan are decent on their day but when they're not firing they've no chance, Arsenal suffer from being made up of mostly invertebrates and Villa are full of kids who can only play on confidence, something which is in short supply when losing to a League Two team. Swansea are well disciplined with a manager who seems like he's got his head screwed on.
For some reason Bradford seemed to just sit back and watch them play, not really bothering to help Hanson who was left to flick the ball on to imaginary runners most of the match and letting Swansea pass their way through the lines. It's a shame after making it so far but hell, never mind, they did make it to the sodding final after all.
It was such a shame that Duke conceded the penalty during the minute's applause for the 56, but the applause didn't stop.
The Bradford fans were stunning. It was a bit flat in the first half when there was still hope at 1-0 then 2-0, but once we were down to ten men and 3-0 down everyone seemed to start enjoying the occasion more. For the last half hour it was a riot of colour and noise from the Bradford end. Non-stop chants (we heard 'shoes off if you love City' as some lad chucked his socks down the rows) and waving of flags (great idea, it looks awesome) reminded me more of a South American following rather than a team from the Pennines.
Although it must have been weird for the Swansea fans, having pretty much wrapped the trophy up after 15 mins, there was only ever much noise from them when they scored. If you looked at the two crowds in the last ten mins, you'd have thought Bradford were 4-0 up, not the other way round.
Any one who patronised Bradford, f*** off and patronise Wigan, Arsenal and Villa, they're the ones who lost to a team that's plucky, gritty, spirited etc etc.
Also the people who say that the final was a damp squib, don't blame Bradford. They earned the right to be there.
My friend said if Bradford won he'd get a tattoo on his you-know-what. For his and the tattoo artist's sake the result was probably for the best.
If Harry Redknapp was not a well-respected man-manager capable of working wonders with poor sides, Queens Park Rangers could be in a wee bit of strife, don't you think?
Nope. Just You.
Did anyone else notice that Oscar seemed to be, erm, very 'excited' about coming on as a sub against Man City (please let me not be the only person who spotted this).
All Hail The Nevin
I would just like to say that Pat Nevin's appearance on Match of the Day 2 last night was nothing short of wonderful. The way you could practically hear him thinking "what the f*** are talking on about?" and watch him sigh with the frustration of a teacher talking to a particularly slow child when talking to Alan Shearer was marvellous.
I now believe that Pat Nevin should be the only person ever allowed to be a pundit on Match of the Day.
Rob Mason, MUFC, Kingswinford
Damn You F365
I try earnestly to avoid watching terrible sports coverage because it annoys me to the point I get headaches. That means any sport on ITV and the BBC's football coverage are out of bounds.
But when a site like F365 has a headline as magnificent as 'Cisse Scores Thunderbastard As Toon Beat Saints' it only leads to a deeply unpleasant feeling as I realise "Oh bollards. Now I have to watch MOTD2 to see said Thunderbastard".
So thanks a lot F365, it's your fault I'll have to take a painkiller and spend an hour in the shower later to get the filth of the viewing experience off me. Next time, just say he shinned it.
Chris (I'm not kidding about the headaches. Andy Townsend and Alan Shearer make me want to vomit with frustration).
Dear Football365, I love your site and have oft longed to compose witty and intelligent mails in the hope of getting printed in the excellent Mailbox. However, today, I would just like to say thank you, for your headline 'Cisse Scores Thunderbastard As Toon Beat Saints'.
Thunderbastard. Simply beautiful.
Luke, MUFC, Dublin