The afternoon mailbox has plenty more views on the fixture list. Plus, a sublime piece of skill from Emile Heskey, more cool 'ballers and dull football matches...
A Gooner in the Mailbox seems to genuinely think that the world/fixture computer is against his team. Sigh. That, plus more cool footballers & Mike Ashley: Supervillain...
If you have anything to say on any subject, mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
'It's Not A Tea Party'
Just a quick point on Liverpool vs Spurs yesterday. I was watching at home and the person sitting next to me said the following after watching Gareth Bale fall the ground again after having Gerrard win a header against him & having Lucas tap him on the shoulder.
"Why is he on the floor again Daddy, it's a game of football, it's not a tea party."
This person is my daughter. She is 6 years old. I really couldn't have put it better myself if I tried.
After the match we did have an actual tea party to celebrate Liverpool's win.
Alex (Milk & sugar please) Jegede
Who's Been The Worst Player In The Prem?
I'm rather bored by all this Player of the Year debate. Bale, Suarez, Suarez, Bale, blah, blah . . . A far more interesting question, surely, centres upon the identity of this season's worst player. Personally, I'd plump for Joe Hart whose numerous howlers seem to have scotched any serious debate about him being "world class". Fernando Torres is obviously in with a shout and I've also been particularly impressed by the buffoonish performances put in by Aaron Ramsey over the last few months. Any other suggestions?
Rob (Hugo I still love you), in answer to your point around which Liverpool players you'd take, I give you a combined XI. I'm going to ignore your ridiculous assertion that you wouldn't take Steven Gerrard and assume you've just had a bit of a moment. I'll also assume you haven't noticed that both your full-backs are, how should I put it, not particularly good, and both ours, whilst having their moments defensively, are pretty good.
AN Other (I think Agger shades it, but frankly you'd have any of Kaboul, Agger, Carra or Dawson and be pretty happy)
That's a pretty handy team come to think of it, although we might have some serious issues with bans for diving.
The insular arrogant attitude of those who support a top 4 team is hardly a revelation, but it surely plummeted to new depths in today's mailbox. First we had Donnie, a United fan who asks, without apparent irony ' So am I happy that we are winning the league? Not really.' There it is in a nutshell - the endpoint of the entitled whiny plastic fan, still bleating about only being about to win the league with a probable record points total. Next up Cozzy, Chelsea supporter, who believes the FA cup has been 'ruined' by the lack of a Sky 4 final. Clearly watching the possibility of a cup final upset and a team's greatest ever achievement will be far eclipsed by seeing a couple of the usual suspects competing in a competition they don't care about.
F*ck off both of you and the rest of your kind.
Col 'You never publish me, but I'm sure you'll get plenty of similar emails so at least publish one of them', BCFC
Forecasting Great Things For Liverpool
I know there is a time & place for sensible optimism but today is not it . . . . .
With 2 or 3 signings in the summer I can see us winning the double next year & not only that but also the World Cup, Dancing On Ice, the Ashes & maybe even Strictly Come Dancing.
Dave (next year's our year) Walsh LFC
Fantastic stuff from Nev, Birmingham, this morning. His subtle ticking of all of the 'deranged Liverpool fan' boxes, without ever slipping too far so as to blow his cover and 'out' himslef as a wind up merchant, was simply a joy to behold.
- Para 1: hyperbolic reaction to a good result.
- Para 2: there's a media vendetta.
- Para 3: repeat para 1.
- Para 4: next year is our year.
- Sign-off: textbook use of 'YNWA', combined with 'living in a city other than Liverpool' climax.
He is an artist, and has set the standard to which all future Mailbox fisherman must now aspire.
Obviously Nev had watched a different game to everyone else yesterday. As a Spurs fan, I'm obviously frustrated having pissed three points up the wall, and piss away those points we did. At 2-1 up we were cruising, the momentum was going to Spurs and Liverpool were struggling to hold on.
Enter Mr Walker and Mr Defoe, who between them decide to have enormous brain farts that lead to two goals. I can't blame Lloris, Walker sold him up the river with that back pass. The Liverpool fans that I know (and they are a reasonable bunch) all pretty much agreed that Spurs probably deserved a win, a draw would of been the fair result and they are bloody thrilled with three points. Not one of them is dreaming of a top four finish, let alone a top three, so I can only conclude that Nev is Rodgers in disgusie.
Everything about Nevs email stinks of the reactionary idiots that tar Liverpool fans with the same brush. Claiming that it was an "annihilation" after a toughly contested match, won by defensive errors. And then going on to claim that Rodgers has proved that Liverpool can match and beat any team in the league? Sure, as long as they are in the bottom half.
The game itself was bloody brilliant, as a fan of one of the teams you never quite want a game to be so open but it does make for great viewing. Suarez really is a special player.
Also, John Ed - Completely agree with that mail.
Glen Stuart - Did you not see Dembele getting a bit physical with Jones at the end?
...Thanks F365, for choosing to publish probably the most blinkered Liverpool fan email out there on the Tottenham match. You've thrown the bait, now you just wait to reel them in (including me).
As for Nev, YNWA, Birmingham, your definition of "annihilated" must be different to what those Oxford fellas have it. Hows about we focus on the next game before looking at the table position. Lest we forget, not too long ago, we "annihilated" Fulham 4 - 0, then Stoke schooled us with the Long Ball. And a 5 - 0 "annihilation" of Norwich was followed by a loss to Oldham. Oldham!
I am as optimistic as the next Liverpool fan, but please, lets have some perspective and give opposition teams the respect they deserve. And hows about we focus on winning the game first, before tallying up the points? Thanks.
Nathan, (Glad we won, frustrated that this brings out the LFCrazies again), Cape Town
'Put A Bit Of Effort In Matt'
To start with, I need to make it clear that I don't like writing in to criticise the writers on this site. I don't think you're biased against my team, I understand you're all likely intelligent and knowledgeable commentators who have every right to an opinion, and despite my best efforts this will probably come across as the deluded ramblings of a paranoid f*ckwit (I can promise you I'm not). That being said, Matt Stanger's comments regarding Liverpool in W&L are garbage.
Let's start with the game. Liverpool didn't deserve a win yesterday and a draw would have been fair. We started well, Spurs came back into it, looked very comfortable and scored as a result of two 'soft' free kicks, made a mistake to let us equalise, and we finished the stronger. Overall Spurs were better, but not by too much. Vertonghen and Dembele are top players as well. Fairly succinct, but to me that summarises the game quite nicely.
His assertions on the game are generally fair, although there seems to be a reticence to give Liverpool much credit and an exuberance to highlight where Spurs let Liverpool win. His talk of missing a big opportunity and next season however is, for want of a better word, sh*te. We finished 8th last season. How anyone could think a team with a new young manager, a very young team, a (somewhat over emphasised) change of style, and a squad with an unhealthy mixture of underperforming and poor players would challenge for top 4 is beyond me. We are improving on last season whilst blooding young players and attempting to transform the squad into something resembling decent. This isn't to say Rodgers is perfect (he's made some mistakes), or that not signing a striker in summer wasn't a mistake (it was), but overall I think he's done a pretty good job. We are improving as the season has gone on, picking up a decent amount of points and starting to improve. There was no big opportunity.
As for next season, yes other teams will strengthen, or at least try to. Chelsea spent large sums of money last summer but it hasn't exactly panned out, has it? They don't even have a f*cking manager! Arsenal are going to spend big every year, are we to assume that potentially dropping out the CL is going to lead them to finally signing some world class players to stop the rot? Spurs may spend and continue to improve, or they may sign a couple of duffers and regress. Every year we hear it's the most open battle for top 4 in years, by that logic next year should be even more open. You seem certain that all three of the London clubs will improve, whilst Liverpool will struggle. A possibility indeed but far from a certainty and if this year is anything to go by, pretty bloody unlikely.
Everyone is entitled to their opinions but Matt, at least put a bit of effort in and think of something a bit more coherent and less cliched.
Cozzy (Why people thought Utd would walk all over Chelsea in their own competition was foolish),
Cech did exactly what he should have done for Uniteds second. He did exactly what every other keeper in the world would have done. Keepers follow what might happen on crosses because the majority of the time, someone gets a touch on the ball and then he's in a position to make a save. If he had gone and stood on the back post to catch the ball and someone had got a touch on it do you not think that everyone would be calling him an idiot for being so badly out of position?
Watch any other keeper when a ball like is crossed into the box (whether it's heading into the net or not is irrelevant) and you'll see there are two choices that keepers will make.
1. Come out and try to collect/punch. While this works well sometimes, often the keeper can get held up through the bodies coming the other way. This can result in some quite calamitous goals where the keeper allows a striker a free header into the net which he could have saved if he'd stayed back.
2. Move along your line making sure that you are in the best place possible to cover both sides of the goal should someone get a touch on the ball. If the ball is missed either see it wide or try to stop it going into the net. While this doesn't work 100% of the time when the cross ends up going in, it works over 99% of the time.
Think of it this way, he's paid millions a year to keep the ball out of the net. He has been taught by multiple goalkeeping coaches, multiple managers while training alongside multiple other keepers across the years. He is an International Goalkeeper who was at one time classed as the best player in his position in the world Do you not think that someone would have pulled him up in training and told him that he's doing it all wrong? Or maybe, just maybe, there's a reason that you're not a professional goalkeeper.
Personally, I think it's the latter.
Chris (Millwall, Blackburn or Wigan for Europe. It's got to be Millwall, just to see how long UEFA will ban us from European football for. Nothing to do with not wanting rivals to get into Europe at all...), BWFC
Is there another player who gets more of the rose-coloured glasses treatment than Benoit Assou-Ekotto?
Every time I watch him, it looks like he genuinely isn't sure which team he plays for, and regularly loses possession, gets lost, and makes errors that lead directly to goals.
But every time a Spurs fan writes in to the box, they rate him among the best in the league.
Most of us are biased towards our own teams, but this seems to me to be the most extreme example since Dirk Kuyt.
Why Write Before The End?
RE: TomBo (Nothing to do with my Rooney to score/United to win double going up in flames) MUFC....
Finding time to write an email with time left in your teams game. This annoys me. What if Valencia scored the winner after you had sent the email? Would you want to retract it? Would all be forgiven? People like you are the equivalent of those who leave the ground 5 minutes early just to beat the rush to the bar.
The Ferret, LFC
AVB Got It Right
I have to disagree with Rob (Hugo I still love you), THFC London from this morning's mailbox when he says that AVB got his tactics wrong.
I too was worried that we would really miss Lennon and when I saw the team sheet I was very depressed. The lack of any backup for Lennon seemed to mean that we were completely changing our formation and style of play and that we were going to come unstuck. I know that in the end we did lose the game but it took some very sloppy finishing and a collection of awful defensive errors for us to lose - none of these were the fault of AVB's team selection and tactics.
We went away to an improving Liverpool side who are in great form with one of our key players missing. We dominated possession, had the better chances and were unlucky to lose. It was a cracking game and while I am gutted we lost I think that AVB played a blinder.
Oscar (Sturridge may be even more selfish than Defoe) THFC, Geneva
So last week when Real Madrid utterly destroyed Barcelona at the Camp Nou, a friend of mine, who happens to be a huge Ronaldo fan went on a crazy rant. The highlight of his 43 continuous text messages was referring to Messi as a Smart Car when compared to Ronaldo the Ferrari.
This just got me thinking, if Messi is indeed a Smart Car, would that make Antonio Valencia a wheelbarrow?
Imran (one wheel etc.) Manchester MUFC
My friends and I have developed several highly scientific laws of football, these are (in order of development, earliest first)
- If you score in the first 5 minutes of a game you will lose 2-1. This has been frequently disproved and is only kept in the list for sentimental reasons.
- If you make a defensive substitution (striker off, defender on) to protect an unlikely result this will backfire. And deservedly so.
- If you are a goal down in the last five minutes of an FA Cup tie you WILL get a gilt edged chance to equalise.
- The team more pleased/relieved to get to pelanties (Waddle) will win the shootout.
And finally, and most recently, you can spot a team in a false position in the league by looking at the goal difference. Usually, by the end of the season, GD follows the finishing positions.
There are exceptions, but usually only a goal or two either way, so from halfway through the season you can see a team which is storing up trouble for later. On this basis, I am totally confident of two things, one is that Villa will go down (probably with Wigan staying up). The other is that Spurs are going to finish fourth at best, definitely being caught by Chelsea and possibly by Arsenal/Liverpool.
This could, of course, be wrong.
Even men with steel hearts (love to see a ferret on the pitch)
I feel a song coming on.