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I wish I had enough plausibility to be seductive.
Mailbox Tennis With Liverpool
Does Liverpool's success in the league inversely correlate to the mood of Liverpool fans published in the mailbox? I call it Liverpool Mailbox Tennis.
String a few wins together and, (whisper it carefully), the aspiration is top four. Their league position hovers around seventh. Whack!
Inevitably Liverpool then drop points and the knives are out. Criticism and simpering ensues. Rodgers Out! cry the locals from anywhere but local (embodied perfectly by the delightfully reactionary Daniel Benvenuto, who clearly renewed his Fox subscription despite his initial mailbox flounce). Their league position hovers around seventh. Whack!
To and Fro, back and forth, like watching a tennis match cautious optimism and apocalyptic pessimism trade blows. Although this could be said for any number of teams chasing 4th, it's Liverpool whose head appear above the turret, probably due to the sheer numbers of mails you get I imagine. Their run of 3 games after the success against Spurs seemed to put an end to that, but nope, not in the rules for Liverpool Mailbox Tennis. I know the mails you publish don't always reflect your commoner level-headed Liverpool fans like some you see in the comments section (a John Barnes fan springs to mind) but honestly, everything I have read from Saturday and this morning could have been mails from after the West Brom defeat.
What a shame we have to pause for the international break before the run in. Let's call it 6-6, Tie Break! (Liverpool currently sit in seventh by the way)
Chris ITFC (the other one to Ilkeston), Liverpool
...Oh what a difference a week makes for Liverpool FC and the Monday morning mailbox. Where are all the giddy Liverpool fans dreaming of champions league this morning?
Josh, Equality Street
I was pondering what Roy Hodgson's notebook looked like following his trip to St Mary's on Saturday:
1. Lambert - Top English scorer in Premier League? Really. Why am I picking Defoe?
2. Lallana - Didn't Gary make me put him in a squad recently? Why the hell didn't he play?
3. Rodriguez - Can't be English with a name like that, surely. Get Gary to check
4. Shaw - Apparently Sir Alex is scouting him. Must be decent.
5. Clyne - Another defender. One for the future.
6. Send Gary to repatriate Morgan Schneiderlein
I doubt Roy will visit a game during his tenure where the players he went to see were totally and utterly over-shadowed by their non-international counterparts!
Neil Patel ("No love, the team in Red is not Liverpool")
Who Needs Glory?
Everything that's wrong with supporters of the most prestigious teams has been summed up by Andrew of Woodford Green when he came out with this phrase:-
"Yes, we'd love to have a day out in Amsterdam but by far the most important thing is finishing fourth."
Trophies, eh? Glory, eh? Who needs 'em?
Matt, East Yorkshire
......I have to laugh at all the Tottenham fans complaining about AVB apparently prioritising the Europa Cup over CL qualification.
Simply because lots of Arsenal fans are complaining that Arsene Wenger puts CL qualy before any silverware.....
... In today's mailbox both David Harris and Andrew, Spurs supporters, slag their manager off for prioritising the chance of European glory in the EL league over a 4th placed finish. Whether this is true or not, have we really now reached a point where fans are parroting the ultra pragmatic management/chairman mentality of disregarding silverware as a distraction from the main goal of grubbing for league places and entry into future competitions?
Andrew states that the 'most important thing' is finishing fourth, which just about sums up all that is wrong with the modern game. David slags off the 'meaningless competition' AVB is rather admirably taking a decent stab at winning, the ungrateful swine. When you're Barcelona you can swan around like the Europa League is beneath you, but for a run of the mill premier league team you should be excited for this rare chance to get some actual 'glory' for once. You idiots do know that's the whole point of supporting a team, right?
A Bit Loud, But He Has A Point
OK, Spurs fans ("we're labelled fickle, it's SO UNFAIR!! WE'RE NOT FICKLE!!!)
Hands up who laid into Harry Redknapp for not taking the Europa League seriously enough. ("it's a TROPHY. WE WANT SOME SILVERWARE, NOT LIKE THAT LOT DOWN THE ROAD, WHO VIEW 4TH PLACE AS A TROPHY, LOL"). Oh, OK, lots of you, hello, yep, fair enough, cool
Now, hands up who's just laid into AVB for not taking 4th place seriously enough. Ohhh... seems to be a bit of overlap... Oh... OK.
Yep, definitely not fickle then.
AVB has a finite amount of players in his squad. We want to finish 4th, and we want to win the Europa League. Often he won't play the same players in the cup as he will in a league game, because he doesn't want them to burn out. The rather absurd situation he finds himself in, though, is that if he plays his better players in the league, he'll be criticised for not wanting to win a cup, but if he plays them in the league, he'll be criticised for not trying to finish in the top 4.
What if he takes a middle way? Say, rests some players for Europa League, but still plays a competitive side capable of beating the likes of Inter Mil.... Oh... wait. Oh. Yep, looks like he did that.
Take a look at yourselves, you numpties.
Shaun (That rarest of breeds. A non-fickle Spurs fan. I'm also ambidextrous. Interesting fact for you) Livingston
Text To Donate
There's been a lot of talk of bringing Ronaldo back to Old Trafford, for a figure varying from £60 to £100 million.
Now, here's my theory; Comic Relief managed to raise £75 million, just in the United Kingdom, with a population of an estimated 62 million.
It is estimated that Manchester United have 340 million fans World Wide. Subtracting all the 'fans', (you know who I mean) I'd hazard a guess that there are around 100 million actual fans. Ok, I know it's less, but just run with it for the sake of this theory.
These fans could surely raise £75 million a few times over if a decent percentage of them donated £5 each, as was done by text on Friday night. I'd say that a fair few United fans would in fact donate £10, £20, possibly even £50 to the club if it meant they could buy their beloved number 7 back.
I know some clubs are owned by the fans, and I'm not looking to get into that huge topic, but surely if Sir Al came out and said "if you want Ronaldo back at this club, text this number now and donate", then United would be well on their way to purchasing back the greatest player in the World.
Tom, Bath, United fan - I'd donate £21.99 in a heartbeat.
537 minutes without conceding. Given our early season vulnerability, that's fairly impressive, and I'd argue it has much to do with: the return of Vidic to form and fitness, and; Fergie's careful husbanding of Rio, and shuffling of defenders.
Just imagine what United would be like with a capable defensive midfielder.
After reading those mails from some very rightfully disgruntled Newcastle United fans, I searched the net to find the tackle in question. Oh mother. That got even my blood boiling, I can see the NU support being up in arms about it. That's a terrible challenge.
Here's an idea that may be of some use, though. How about if - above and beyond a ban on the player - the offending player's club is made to pay the injured player's wages till recovery, as well as full medical fees? This both punishes the club (the ban) and provides reparation to the victimized club. The offending club can then garnish it from the dirty player's wages if they feel it was an individual error of judgement rather than a team ideology (I'm talking about you, Stoke).
As a Manchester United fan I may be a bit blinkered but I can't really see it favouring the richer clubs, as the offending players will be banned anyway.
What does the mailbox think?
Demanding Better Interviews
Is anyone else getting more and more disappointed by spineless TV interviewers?
Rather than treat the players and managers with almost sycophantic levels of respect, why not actually ask some difficult questions.
Martinez is just the latest in a long line to use the "I didn't see it" response. I would love to see an interviewer at this point whip out their phone, show the manager/player a clip of incident on youtube (it will surely already be there) and ask them what they think about it now?
Or when someone tries to justify a very poor decision that has gone for their team, I surely can't be the only person who wants the person with the mic to ask if the manager would be happy for the exact same thing to go against their team? Even better would be someone who actually referenced a previous interview in which the same manager said the exact opposite of what they are now saying, and asking them if they still think the same now.
Instead all we get is "How important were the 3 points today?" and an equally inane response.
I know people will say that if this happened then no-one would make themselves available for interviews, but would we really miss much based on the current state of affairs? Clubs are more than happy to take money from fans/viewers in terms of ticket sales and TV deals, so there should be some accountability. Sadly, we just get Geoff Shreeves...