In a Sunday Mailbox which is understandably dominated by Manchester United, there are a few little bits for the rest, specifically Chelsea & a Liverpool Christmas list...
One Mailboxer may have spent lunch in the pub in suggesting Van Persie could go back to Arsenal. Also, some Premier League meh-ing and a fine Acewatch suggestion...
If you have anything to say on any subject, mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Trequartista And Other Nonsense
Chris ITFC, Liverpool's rant about bulls**t footy terms was spot on.
While we're at it can we ban the terms regista, trequartista and false#10 (I sh*t you not)
I perused an internet forum earlier today when a thread was closed because a ridiculous debate concerning whether Thiago Alcantara was actually a deep-lying trequartista , a 'DM', a 'CM', or a false #9 got so laughably heated, that keyboard warriors were threatening to do each others mums with alarming regularity.
S*** indeed does need to stop.
...I have to agree with Chris ITFC in this morning's mailbox regarding the appearance of this 'false 9' position. I bloody hate reading any mail that describes somebody as a 'typical number x' or something else along those lines.
I'm all for tactical innovation. I love watching players like Maggio whose attributes allow them to bring a more flexible take on their position. The thing is though, he's a wing back with good positioning and stamina. He's not some sort of deity melding the roles of Cafu, Maldini and Titus Bramble into a freakish conglomerate known as the Deep Lying Titus Cafuldini 5 role.
Jono, it's less of an alias and more of a name, Nottingham
...Chris ITFC Liverpool
You are correct false stop.
Chris Cohen, Arsenal, a true
Defending The 'False 9' Concept
Whilst I generally agree with the sentiment of Chris, ITFC on the 'false 9', I think he's missed the point a little. It's about the physique and style of the lone striker. In the days of 4-4-2, teams played with a big man/little man combination, or a big man/ tricky player combination, or in England occasionally the big man/ big man combination. The tricky player never played alone up front. In a 3-5-2, the two were typically a big man/little man, with a tricky player just behind. The 'number 9' was either a poacher of (generally) diminutive stature (think Michael Owen), or a big lad who put himself about a bit (think Shearer/Carroll).
Then came the 4-3-3 craze. In this formation you play with two wingers and a big man - the little man poacher is all but dead in today's game. The tactical innovation that's come to be known as 'false 9' is to have the tricky player playing up front without the big man as foil - previously thought impossible because you needed the big man to keep possession when your centre-backs booted the ball up field (think Chelsea/Drogba). It only works if your players are all very strong technically and keep the ball well and/or when your 'false 9' is an exceptional player (hence it works for Barcelona, not so much for Liverpool). It's not really caught on - only Barcelona have consistently made it work, Spain to a certain extent. Everyone else plays with a pretty traditional model.
Brendan's 'false 7' is of course ridiculous.
Tim Colyer, Chelsea fan, London
Disappointed With That
I realise summer brings a significant football void but Chris ITFC, Liverpool needs to find something to occupy his time because his usual meaningless drivel has turned pointless, and I can't cope with pointless meaningless drivel.
The traditional formation explained in numbers (4-4-2 for example) is so simple as to be meaningless. It's basically a starting point for instruction or analysis depending on your perspective. Further layers of detail need to be added before an understanding of the roles in the system is achieved. While the phrase 'false 9' is a bit Brendan Rodgers it now describes the role concisely in the same way as anchor man, target man or wing-back would. If you prefer it really simple then maybe just look at those diagrams in the newspapers, the shirts with names on laid out over half the pitch. Then you can stick to berating England for playing 4-4-2 while demanding a switch to 4-2-3-1 without ever having to stop and wonder what the actual difference would be (besides the lay-out of the little pics in the Sun obviously).
I think fans broadly agree that lots the football coverage in this country lacks insight and tactical analysis. Chris is apparently the type of fan Alan Shearer is aimed at. Keep it simple, don't complicate things, he'll be pleased with that.
Chris, EFC, London
...Is Chris ITFC channelling the spirit of Mike Bassett?
It's not hipsterish to discuss false nines, they're a legitimate (and very specific) role and require very different skills to an orthodox, Drogba-esque striker. It desperately difficult to understand. The original modern false nine was Totti, who dropped deep (rather than wide) as the four midfielders behind him ran from deep, overloading the full-backs, and leaving the two centre-backs redundant.
It isn't the same as floating across the defence, as Ronaldo did later in his United career when played centrally, and it isn't a modern definition of a player given the freedom to roam. The false nine has a very specific role, which is to drop off the two centre-backs towards midfield, and dictate play like a traditional 10 (which is probably why Messi and Totti have played in the position so well).
The exasperated man of the people act, affecting to be confused and frustrated by anything remotely complex, theoretical or abstract, in football, is tedious even when coming from 'arry. It's a two-dimensional caricature of a certain type of English fan whose attitudes are a very large factor in why English football remains in the Dark Ages.
Further to Narayan's mournful montage musings from the summer of 2004 (the year that Wayne Rooney pretended to be world-class for a month in order to sign for Manchester United), could I suggest you cast your eyes at this:
Yes, Des Lynam reciting Rudyard Kipling over Faures Pavane to scenes from World Cup 98. It was used primarily to eulogise 18-year-old striking sensation Mickey Owen...Who would go on to win us the World Cup in 2002 with 19 goals in the finals, or so we hoped.
It still brings a tear to my eye, but not as much as it does to my current 38-year-old flatmate. The night England went out was also the last time he engaged in bestial congress with a lady. That's quite the arid dry spell.
Jae (It's a good thing he has no interest in football, or I'll be looking for new lodgings tonight) Hodgkin, Tunbridge Wells
...Narayan, London; A football montage done well is one of my great loves.
Try this one (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KKw3EO3xpQc) from RTE during the 2002 World Cup.
Great accompanying song as well!
Dowey (Woke up in my clothes at 12 twice last weekend)
...My personal favourite has to be this Des Lynam narrated number from the '98 World Cup...
I also remember a closing BBC Euro 2004 one set to 'Dry your eyes mate' but can't seem to find it. Any takers?
Matt 'Mr Montage' Stafford
...In response to Narayan, London's mail about montages, please allow me to nominate http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KKw3EO3xpQc
The hairs on the back of my still stand on end at 1.41.. Happy days indeed.
...So, according Narayan, London I have no heart. Or maybe that montage was only middling to fair. Try this on for size: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KKw3EO3xpQc
Dave, Cork (Gary Breen!!!)
A Fine Anthem
Good morrow fine sirs.
Quick one, that hopefully no one has covered, but Jesus H Christ the Brazilian national anthem in the final?!
Sent a genuine tingle up my spine. When the backing track cuts off (if it wasn't just drowned out) and what sounded like the entire crowd roared out the remaining lyrics in tandem with their team. Truly amazing. I even rewound it to watch it again straight away. I'm not sure if this is a regular occurrence or if it was magnified by the unrest in the country in general, a heartfelt display of unity less direct than speaking out against the government, but it was jaw-dropping.
Right better get back to work. I suppose. Cheerio!
Mark Hamilton, Everton
PS: Is Kone actually any good? I didn't think he was. Oh well, fingers crossed for the season.
On Neymar And Brazil
To the F365 question 'Now Do You Believe Neymar Is Any Good?' the answer from me is a resounding 'Yes.' I understand from some reports that he can go missing in some games (but which top player doesn't?), yet this young man has so much ability to burn and is, quite simply, the most exhilarating young player I've seen in a long, long time. It surely can't be too long before he is challenging Messi and Ronaldo for World Player of the Year, especially since he is moving to Europe and will be more visible to a large(r) audience.
But he should watch himself with the playacting to win free-kicks. All that diving around and squealing as though he is in agony is just not on and is most unattractive. I'm almost certain he won't care about opinions such as this but, if he's going to keep up the cheating, going to Barcelona is a smart move to complete his education. And not just a basic education either, more like a post-graduate course in fooling match officials. Just think of all those Barca grand-masters waiting to share their hard-won knowledge with him. You can just picture Ramos (and many others) saying 'Now first of all, youngster, you have to leave any sense of personal shame in the car park. You are simulating with the big boys now....' And so on.
I can well understand the mailer who didn't believe Brazil should be made favourites to win the World Cup because Spain looked really knackered. I can't really argue against that, and don't really want to, but it has to be said that most of the Brazilian players have also endured long, testing seasons as well, with many individual players getting to the end stages of different competitions for a variety of clubs. But, even allowing for that, (the worn-out factor) this Brazil team looks special if, like me, you love wildly attractive, innovative, pacy football. I'm not at the stage of saying it out loud to mates just yet but, quietly, I'm starting to hope this might be the re-birth of the Brazil team of the late 1960's and 1970's. I know, crazy, crazy, crazy.
But I hope so. I really, really hope so because I thought that those sides would never, ever even be approached for quality, technique and sheer attacking excitement. Is it possible that we are on the verge of a new period of Samba football?
(Back to the World Cup, I don't think home advantage should be ignored, either. If you look at the history of the competition, it seems to be a proven factor. Plus, don't overlook those intimidating crowds. The noise generated is incredible and just has to lift the Brazilian players, even if they are hot, sweaty, cramping up or just plain knackered. If a game involving the hosts goes to extra-time, look for a Brazilian victory.)
Players With Brains
Barry Horne has a first in Chemistry and scored this goal: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvbvavLJwvU (1:20).
Rory O'Keeffe, Brighton
...And Slaven Bilic has a Law degree and is reported to be fluent in Italian, German and English.
But a West Ham fan might want to claim him...
Rory O'Keeffe, Brighton
...Nilesh, Harrow and other contributors on the subject of brainy footballers...Shaka Hislop is a rocket scientist.
End of discussion.
Dan (school of hard knocks) Eliasson
...Sorry to rain on Matt's parade, but Chamakh isn't a qualified accountant - he merely has a degree in accounting.
And in terms of clever Scots, Gerry Britton, he of Partick Thistle fame, is a qualified and practising lawyer.
GF, (qualified accountant), Glasgow
Jesus Navas: Eighties Villain
Jesus Navas looks like he's the baddie in an 80s Eddie Murphy movie.
That is all.
Seeing Penises Where here Are No Penises
'A 42-year-old man stabbed his mother with a penis while eating from a jar of penises (is that even a word)'
That's how I read the opening to the Non-Football Story of The Day. I will now forever be scarred with that image in my mind. Thank you F365 for making me insane.
Danzyl Prins, MUFC, South Africa (don't know what to put here so I'm rambling)
...Haha what a good finish! I was waiting, line by line for her to hack it off.
Very good work!
Somebody Doesn't Appreciate The Man-Love
Is it just me or us anyone else getting really fed up reading emails and articles about how good-looking certain players are? Man crush etc.
Seriously guys if I wanted to read about how hot certain players are I'm sure I could find sites frequented by teen girls or sections of the gay community, since I don't can you just stop this rubbish now? Honestly, who cares what a player looks like?