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
The saddest thing about Owen's retirement is the inevitable appointment to the MOTD team and coverage team of the next big tournament.
I can hardly wait.
Alex Tristram, Gooner
...I hear that he is retiring to pursue a television career after his charismatic appearance on Celebrity Family Fortunes...
No Respect From Rio
So Rio can't play for England because he has a strict fitness regime, what utter boll**ks. England in theory have some of the best fitness coaches and physios in the country and in St Georges Park, we have the best facilities in the country. If he really wanted to play for England, it is quite simple, all the Man U staff have to do is to pass on his regime to the England staff and ensure that he follows it. You don't need to be a genius to work that out.
Rio has played the most games at centre-back for Man Utd this season, more than any other player at the club so playing games can't be an issue for him. The game against San Marino, he really wouldn't need to play in, you could probably stick any of the squad in at CB for that game so he wouldn't even be playing two games in a week. So again, fitness and his regime would not be an issue.
That leaves us with one of two possibilities, he doesn't want to play for England or he is bitter about his previous omissions. No shame in retiring, plenty of other players have retired in the twilight of their career, but why can't Rio be a man and tell us what he really thinks rather than trying to brush it off with platitudes of how much he loves representing the country. He may well love playing for his country, it may well be the greatest honour in his opinion but I wish footballers would stop trying to pull the wool over our eyes, be honest. That is how you show respect and honour.
Not Believing The Theories
Having read on various different sites and forums everything from Ferguson is too controlling to Roy Hodgson is a racist, I wondered if anybody has stopped to think that the official 'line' of reasoning for Ferdinand withdrawing is actually true.
Why do we have to find such totally ridiculous things in every piece of news in football?
Firstly, Ferguson may give the press and the FA a tough time, but look at his record with players. Read any book by one of his ex-players and you will see that he is loyal and respectful to them, and treats them like adults. Look at his record with players and look how long them play under him for - as long as possible.
Ferdinand has made it clear that he wants to play for England when possible, and wants to have one last crack at winning something at next year's World Cup. He has played for Ferguson for around ten years, and has been one of his very best performers. There is nothing to suggest that Ferguson would be so totally unfair as to go against Ferdinand's wishes, and potentially ruin his chances of winning the biggest prize of all. And it really would be grossly unfair. If he had treated, and does treat, players like that, I don't think he would have the record he has. Again, he might seem like a b**tard to the rest of the world, but he must be doing something right with his players.
Secondly, what about the player's recent injury record suggests that the reasons given for withdrawing are not true? He has missed huge chunks of recent seasons, and has had to be nurtured back slowly just to be able to play two games in a row. With all the theory and technology around now, it's not so unlikely that he actually does have a specific training routine, that he can't just mess around with at short notice.
Hodgson has also stated that the player phoned him, and there are no problems.
Lastly, as an aside, is it that bad if they did decide to say thanks but no thanks to England? I wouldn't really blame Ferdinand if, after the way he was left out previously, and the service he has already given the national team, he politely said that he doesn't feel he wants to play anymore.
I'm sure plenty of people on here have sensible opinions to the contrary of all this, which is fine, but some of the complete trash thrown about by people who are just anti-Man. Utd-everything is...TRASH!
DISCLAIMER: I do support Man. Utd., but only since 98-99, so I am not that biased. I also like Barcelona.
Yours in eternal faithfulness...
Honestly this is just getting plain ridiculous.
Newcastle to sue Wigan? I really hope they do. Then Wigan can sue United for that Rooney elbow on McCarthy a few years ago. United can sue Liverpool for Carragher cutting open Nani. Liverpool can sue Everton for one of the thousand terrible tackles in the various derbies over the years. And Everton can then counter-sue citing another tackle.
And eventually someone can bankrupt Joey Barton.
I see great potential in this market: football lawyers.
Can we also start suing people for just being utter c**ts and looking ugly?
Harry Redknapp first then.
Abhirath (Starting a degree course in it. Bachelor in Suing, Harassing and Idiotic Time Wasting - Better known as BShit)
Whoever has threatened Mark Halsey is just enthusiastic. It was his debut tweet. He is not that kind of twitterer.
Alex Stokoe, Newcastle upon Tyne
Trying To Explain Bale's Off Day
Having slept a couple of nights after the disappointment of the Fulham match, I'm beginning to make some sense of what I saw, to my mind at least.
There may have been some tired legs, but it wasn't really so much the whole team being knackered, but rather that Gareth Bale was having an off-day. His pace was there, even after the knock, but his sharpness wasn't.
Attempts at skillshots flew awry, dribbles ended in losing the ball with ill-timed touches. He looked like a man who hadn't slept well the previous night. Baby kept him awake? Stranger things have happened, and it wouldn't necessarily be the sort of thing you want to tell the assorted media if you want to keep your family life private. So I hope you forgive my speculation, Gareth (as you no doubt are a regular Mailbox reader).
Whatever it was, in situations that normally would lead to Tottenham piling up the pressure or even getting goals, possession was gifted to the opposition. Because so much of our attacking play was going through Bale as per usual, the effect on the balance of the game was tremendous.
It would take some courage, but maybe AVB should change or even reduce Bale's role if he's not performing to his usual standards; it's up to the manager, of course, but I've heard that Bale could be a handy winger. With the defence doubling up on him on the wing, the rest of the team could conceivably find a way through elsewhere. Just an idea, but it's not as if we don't have other options in the middle. By the way, I loved the way Tom Carroll played after coming on.
Oh, and Defoe finding the net would help a bundle. Just aim for the corners, lad, aim for the corners. I don't care if you sometimes miss completely, as long as you try to actually beat the goalkeeper with the shot.
Samuli, THFC, Helsinki
On Prioritising Fourth...
According to Col BCFC, I am an idiot and not a real fan if I prioritise CL qualification over Europa league 'glory'. I am merely articulating the real world of modern club football. For Spurs's short-medium term well being it is imperative we qualify for the CL. It generates more revenue, helps retain our better players e.g. Bale, Sandro, Lloris and helps us attract better players - Eden Hazard is on record as saying he would have joined us last summer if we had qualified for the CL.
I am old enough to remember the halcyon days of Hoddle, Ardiles etc and feeling like we were at Wembley every other week for a cup final. The reality is the CL is effectively a Euro Super League which placates the big clubs from forming a breakaway from their own domestic league. It is the most important club competition in the world and therefore it is important we qualify for it each year.
The UEFA cup was a great competition in its knock-out format and before 3-4 teams could qualify for the CL. Give a CL spot to the winner of the Europa Cup and also the FA Cup then both competitions will not be as devalued as it has become.
Is the above an example of prancing around with our noses in the air like Barcelona? No.
Col, I will leave you to hanker after the days of standing on the terraces with all the other flat-cap heroes.
David Harris, Sydney
No Such Thing As An Easy Run-In
From the 24th November to the 1st of December, Arsenal played Aston Villa, Everton and Swansea. I said they should be looking to pick up seven of the nine possible points, and they ended up getting two.
My point is, talk all you want of Arsenal's 'easy run in'. but the way we've been performing over the last three years has just been so unpredictable I'm taking nothing for granted until the end of the season. In addition to Villa and Everton (who we drew against), we still play Norwich, who beat us earlier in the season. Throw in Man Utd, and this top-four spot isn't as easy as some people are making it out to be.
Andrew M, AFC (AVB really shouldn't have let Townsend go, just who they need right now for squad rotation and positional play), Australia
It's Not So Bad Being Mediocre You Know
In response to the predictable mass mailbox whinge by the Scouse fans following the even more predictable Liverpool defeat to Southampton:
You're a mid-table side now. Deal with it. Your club is massively in debt, so you won't be buying your way to the top any time soon. Your team is full of mid-table players (Suarez and Gerrard the only exceptions), and you have a mid-table manager. Mid-table managers and mid-table players achieve mid-table results. They may win the occasional game you didn't think they would (both our teams against Tottenham, for example), and quite often they flatter to deceive in 'smaller' games. So you won loads of stuff ages ago? Leeds and Forest did that too, and you don't hear their fans huffing with indignity whenever they lose to an inferior opponent.
Honestly, it's not that bad out here. Us mid-table teams have our concerns and prides, our victories and disappointments. To speak from my own perspective: Martin Jol is by no means a perfect manager, he's made some fairly cack transfer decisions (Kalanicic out on loan? Manolev, who is famous for being rubbish in Holland?) but he gets a lot right too and has us playing decent football. You can say the exact same about Rodgers (Allen, Borini and general David Brentness bad; Coutinho, Sturridge and playing style good). You're in it with us now. You're Newcastle, Fulham and Everton-level, not United, City and Chelsea. You will be here for the foreseeable future so quit throwing your toys out of the mailbox pram and just support your team. It was funny for a while, but now it's just boring.
Joe (Mediocrity Rules) FFC
Can we all agree, after RVP's poor form since February, that this United side is not a 'one man team'?
Mike, MUFC, UEA