Moyes is lacking 'charismatic authority', Kieran Gibbs is defended, Chelsea's problems are examined and a dreadful chant attacked. It's a glorious mailbox...
Fear is stopping Moyes dismantling Fergie's team, we are told. Plus, one Arsenal fan digs at Gibbs and mails on Martinez, the Group of Death and a Spurs Christmas list...
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Not Every Day, No
To Whom is may concern,
Please can you put a new picture of Shakira on the Football365 home page every day please?
Adam (She is different league) Egginton
Brains > Beards
Just read Ian Watson's insightful piece on Mignolet joining Liverpool and for me the most pleasing piece about the article was learning that Mignolet has a degree in Political Science. I then felt the need to share this with all and sundry and realised that for me, it's brains that does it, not a beard (although they're not mutually exclusive, thank the lord).
Another member of my beloved reds is also a closet bookworm, despite the infrequent on-field brain-farts Glen Johnson has studied Spanish and is currently doing a Maths' degree, yes, really!
Also, years ago I remember watch Football Focus and Bolton's Gudni Bergsson talking about his degree (haven't a clue what it was in now) and I was hugley impressed.
So mailboxers, has your club possessed a brainiac footballer that I should admire lovingly?
So, What If He'd Said Something Really Racist?
Jonno McSchmonno raises an interesting point about Glenn Hoddle. As someone with personal experience of disability, I would seem to be an unlikely person to defend what he said 15 odd years ago but that's what I'm going to do. I'm not defending the content; it was fairly reprehensible, deeply offensive to many and incredibly stupid. A leader in science or sense Hoddle will never, and should never be.
But he was a football manager. Is it right to punish someone (now or back when he was sacked) for holding beliefs far removed from his job? He doesn't have the opportunity to discriminate against people with disabilities (a legal issue) and I struggle to believe his sphere of influence in general society extends to the point where anyone takes his views outside of football seriously. He is unlikely to cause any actual harm outside of offense to others and a savage destruction of his own credibility. Who are we to say he can't hold a job in football because he holds some, ahem, interesting views?
That's not to say he shouldn't be called up on such bullsh*t. He was victim to a ruthless media reaction and rightly so. However sacking him or saying he shouldn't have a job in the England set up now because of his beliefs seems wrong and against freedom of speech, religious belief and thought. That being said, I don't want him in the England set up because I think he'd be awful, so I suppose this is a moot point.
Coach Not A Manager
Jonno says, accurately, that Hoddle hasn't held a significant managerial position for many a year. He could have added that it was hardly a successful one at that (Wolves, not pretty) but I would argue that as a coach, Hoddle is very astute. As a man manager, he is was a nightmare at Spurs but Tottenham were a gnats hair away from finishing top 7, which at the time was a lofty position, reached a cup final where Les Ferdinand decided it was best to wear ballet shoes as oppose football boots, and we played fantastic football.
But it isn't really at Spurs that Hoddle was at his most impressive; his England side was brilliant. Watch the match in Italy to secure WC qualification, watch our games at the WC (Romania aside, and even then, England played well). Hoddle has a tactical brain to match his own footballing abilities, he just couldn't quite figure out why most players weren't remotely as good as he was.
If these are faults he has ironed out, then a team, whether it be league or international will have themselves a very, very good manager. One that is nuttier than squirrel shit but all the same, very good.
It riles me that Neymar is getting his much deserved plaudits at the expense of Oscar. The two of them serve entirely different roles in the Brazillian national team. The reason why the likes of Neymar and Fred can go on and perform like they did is because of the work-rate and tireless running from the midfield trio of Oscar, Paulinho and Luis Gustavo. Yes, that's the Oscar that won the ball and played it to Neymar to score his goal in the final.
It is my opinion that Oscar plays in a way that is under appreciated by casual fans who make their judgment on players based on the one or two games they actually watch. While he has the undoubtedly has the Brazillian touch and vision, he has never been the flashy sort of player compared to Neymar, or Mata and Hazard at club level. At the end of the final yesterday, leading 3-0, Marcelo laid down injured but the referee lets the play go while Brazil floods forward. What I saw was Oscar running to the left back spot and covering his defence. The thing that makes managers pick him in their starting 11 week in and week out is his constant pressuring of defenders, defending from the front. Towards the end of matches, Benitez always chooses bring off the likes of Mata and Hazard but always keep Oscar on the pitch because of the work rate he provides. This is something that Neymar doesn't provide, but it is not something that everybody sees and appreciate.
The under-appreciation has even gone to a stage where one of my United supporting mates reckons that he wouldn't even make the Barcelona bench, while Thiago would walk into the Brazilian team (had he been Brazilian) and the Chelsea team in his place.This is a Thiago who has played less than 60% of Barcelona's games last year with most of them being substitute appearances, and only real international exposure coming at U21 level.
While Neymar is without a doubt a world class talent, take Oscar out of the Brazilian team and I think Brazil wouldn't have won the Confederations Cup quite so comfortably, and you may hear calls of bringing Oscar back from Neymar himself.
Roy Yorkes NY
Spanish Football: Not Dead
Please, please, please stop declaring the death of Spanish football everybody, and please stop over-reacting.
Yes, they struggled against Italy this year, but they eviscerated them in the Euro final last year (playing, tellingly, with a false 9).
The basic difficulty is that playing as Spain do at their best (the defeats of Italy and Germany in 2012 and 2010) is physically tiring. Spain are still programmed to press like Barca at their best, which, though effective, is very tiring, and the nucleus of this side is now five years older than it was in 2008. Although they're capable of playing like they did to beat Italy in the Euro final, it's plain that they keep their powder dry as much as anything else.
Playing with a false 9 is even more physically demanding, as it requires perpetual movement from the front three, and far more intricate passing, to compensate for the absence of a fixed point in attack. Spain may simply have wanted to test whether they could play with an orthodox 9 in a major match
They were also missing Xabi Alonso. Alonso, in a midfield three with Xavi and Busquets, frees Iniesta to play in the front three without requiring the compromise on possession that Javi Martinez does, and provides greater defensive responsibility and steel.
So please stop over-reacting. Yes, Spain had an off-day, but occassionally they will. Wait until they lose in an important match in a major tournament before reading anything into their performances.
Sergio Ramos, however, is a bellend, and Pique remains terrible against attackers who dribble at pace. Still, they could always pick Inigo Martinez.
While it is always a joy to watch the leading lights get battered (and in particular one whose lead has inspired nought but disdain in me due to their diving, cheating and general scumbag ways), I think this has brought Spain to an interesting position.
Unquestionably, their squad on paper will be in that elite group consisting of Germany and Brazil, though questions have to be asked about certain aspects of their starting eleven. The same weaknesses that have existed for their period of sustained success but been masked by the brilliance in other parts of the field were highlighted last night by the sheer exhaustion of the midfield. I'm talking about the defence here, mainly. Jordi Alba is a fantastic attacking full-back, though his defending can be questionable at times. Arbeloa and Azpilicueta are good right-backs, though mistakes are not exactly a shock when they rear their head.
However, the main issue is in the centre of the park. Sergio Ramos, I have always felt, is overrated. A good defender, he needs someone with an assured head alongside him and this is where Spain falter. Gerard Pique has been poor for the last 12-18 months. Whatever the reasons (I'd be exhausted on the field too but...) this is a major issue for the Spanish as, when coming up against a brilliant Neymar / Reus / Messi led side, they can be punished. And looking to their under age sides, this is a phenomenon that looks set to continue.
Isco and Thiago will pick up the mantle in midfield, Morata up front but defensively, there is no Hierro / Puyol or even another Pique coming through. Inigo Martinez is a solid player, while I think the current crop Barca and Madrid youngsters in Bartra, Nacho, etc. are a little more Pavon than Puyol. It is an area of concern for the Spanish - as far as I can see, their best option is to follow Barcelona's lead and play a DM out of position. Javier Martinez alongside Sergio Ramos - it wastes Martinez's talents somewhat but may prevent the laxadazical, criminally out of position performance of last night.
I think del Bosque has a few decisions to make over the next few months to ensure that Spain can retain their crown. When it boils down to it, there are 3-4 sides who can realistically win the World Cup and Spain most certainly lead this group. That said, the margin for error is so tight that a wayward kick by Pique, a missed header by Arbeloa or a series of bad passes by Pedro will lead to a defeat against one of the best of the best.
For me, the likes of Raul Albiol, Alvaro Arbeloa, Cesar Azpilicueta, Pedro, Santi Cazorla, Pedro and David Villa should not be guaranteed a place in the squad, in particular with the continued emergence of Isco and Thiago (though a run of games a club form might be useful), a hopeful return to form for Fernando Llorente in Italy, Asier Illarramendi's appearance and the potential of Daniel Carvajal to do something good for Madrid next season. It makes for an interesting set-up to what could well have been a foregone conclusion before a ball was even kicked.
Apologies for the length - remember the pull this up when a starting XI including Albiol, Arbeloa, Pedro and Villa trounce my beloved Germans in the final next season too please.
Kevin, LFC, Ireland
I kind of get the feeling that most of the mails published in this mornings mailbox were written by people who had only seen the final of the Confederations Cup.
*Yes Pique is a bit on the slow side, and he struggled against a quick forward with the space to cut inside. Just like he and almost every other central defender out there would when the midfield in front of you looks very tired indeed.
*Brazil are very fortunate to have two brilliant centre backs both of whom are confident on the ball and able to play high up the pitch in the knowledge that Fernando Torres is unlikely to pull away on the back shoulder. The Spanish were clearly uncomfortable as they failed to find space between the defense and midfield lines, something that Barcelona struggled with against Martinez and Schweinsteiger in the CL. Against almost every other team in the book, the Spanish tactics will work- in this instance however, players such as Iniesta were not suited for the task at hand. No national team manager could ever get away with dropping someone like him mind you.
*Speaking of Martinez, he could have made the difference last night for me. In fact, I think the Spanish 'second string' as it were could have done a better job against Brazil altogether last night. Perhaps if Martinez continues his form with Bayern, Llorente does well for Juventus and Navas is allowed to play in the right system, we could see a few surprises sprung by the Spanish in Brazil next year.
*Ramos is a nob. He needs a haircut. Navas needs a shave too.
*Julio Cesar certainly would be a decent signing for Arsenal in my eyes. He just looks naturally composed, something that cannot be said for the Arsenal backline at times. Szcezney (guessing) might even benefit from a year or two on loan, much like Courtois at Atletico- finding somewhere for him to go is another matter.
*I do hope Spurs sign Paulinho. Another winger thrown into the mix and they will finally have the squad depth required to have a good go at the top 4. Don't tell anyone I said this, but I reckon they could even get away without another striker if they can keep hold of Bale too...
*Back to the national teams for my final point, it pains me to see so much quality on the bench for the best national teams. Germany, Brazil, Spain and even Italy to an extent are able to leave out some of the absolute best on a whim. No single player is completely priceless. If any one of Gerrard, Rooney or Hart pick up a knock for England however, everything goes a bit pear shaped. Roy is right when he says that the talent pool just isn't big enough. Here's hoping that Wilshere, Chamberlain, Sterling and Jones can get a full season under their belts before next summer.
Okay, something has been bugging me since Neymar banged in a thunderbastard F365 TM last night.
He scored, jumped over an advertising hoarding, climbed onto a wall and dived into the crowd... Mass hysteria ensued and the crowd were celebrating wildly.. Great goal, great celebration.. (although I dislike the little diving twunt) Take a bow son...
Now, can someone clear something up for me. Same scenario, different location. Neymar, playing for a team somewhere in the English Leagues (you never know, AFC Wimbledon may get super rich?) and he scores a winner in the FA Cup Final and then runs into the middle of the celebrating fans.
The law in the English game "Celebrating a goal too close to the spectators after scoring a goal (The goal scorer will be cautioned)" rule kicks in and Naymar is booked...
Now I could be wrong, but this rule appears to not be present in international football (as stated above) and I have yet to see anyone be booked for jumping into the crowd during the confederation cup (which Brazil seemed to do each time they scored) or any other international tournament.
My questions are.
1. It's great to see such celebration, but why does it carry a caution in English League's and not in International football?
2. There is a rule from a FIFA perspective that carries a caution in the event "If a player climbs onto a perimeter fence to celebrate a goal being scored". Which is exactly what Neymar did last night and didn't get booked, why??
3. Have I missed something here completely and players in International football DO get booked for this type of thing but at international level its not enforced and is it a case where its down to referee discretion?
Reason I ask is that celebrating with fans is always great to see in particular where there is something to win (tournament) or avoid (Extra-Time or Relegation).. So why prevent it in one scenario and not the other?
Dig (Look, im not usually this boring but its Monday and Neymar is an annoying little f**ker) Ireland
Following on from the letter this morning about Vialli exposing Shearer and Hansen as incoherent dolts; a couple of weeks ago ESPN showed their Bundesliga review of the season, hosted by Gary Imlach. His two co-presenters were both former German internationals who never played in this country (their names escape me) and the show was fully conducted in English. They conversed fluently, offering detailed insight and even the occasional bit of 'bantz'. This show was on for 2 hours. If there are indeed infinite dimensions where every eventuality is played out, I assure you in none of these do two ex-England internationals converse fluently in a foreign language during a season review show. They can hardly do it in English.
Dave, Telford (From memory, I don't even think they resorted to "top, top player" either, show offs)
Sorry. Notts County Are Presumably Just As Irked
I read the following quote with dismay in yesterday's Mediawatch (01/07/13),
"But why stop there? Moyes is wearing a pale blue shirt - why not point out it's a 'Manchester City blue' shirt? And the car is black and white - or 'Newcastle black and white', you could say."
This being in relation Daily Mail's poor attempt to join a blue folder he had on his person to his Everton past. I can't help thinking you could have mentioned Grimsby's black and white colours here. We hardly ever get a shout out since being in the conference.
Tony 'this is our year' Marsh
Did anyone else start reading the Non football story of day (in Mediawatch) and immediately think - "dear god he isn't going to cut that hamster's penis off is he?!?!?"
Just me? Ok.