There are plenty of reasons why Frank De Boer would join Spurs. Plus, can West Ham spring another upset at Old Trafford on Saturday? And thoughts on Liverpool's challenge...
There must have been a few Christmas parties last night, because there weren't too many decent mails waiting for us. The ones we got were pretty good though...
If you have anything to say on any subject, mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
When my beloved Liverpool re-sign Xabi Alonso he will ride topless into the press conference, his heavily oiled chest glistening in the glare of the hurridly erected white lights while his glorious white stallion 'Bearsley' canters to the sounds of Taylor Swift.
This will happen.
Deal with it Deiseboy deal with it....
Barry Crier's bum hole
Goals To Erase
Following Paul Little's article about what goal you could erase from your clubs history,
For me it has to be Phillipe Albert's lob over Schmeichel to make it 5-0 to Newcastle.
October 20 1996.
I will never forget that and even now I can't watch it.
...Obafemi Martins, Carling Cup final 2011
Harsha, Gooner in Pune
After reading Paul Little's piece on removing any goal from history, makes me wonder... is there any goal that you would have wished to go in?
It's very interesting to read that the idea that selling Jonjo Shelvey for a supposed profit of around £4m after just three years is an example of shrewd business on Liverpool's behalf. It might be if taking in isolation 3M (forgetting player fees, agent fees, legal fees, sell-on clauses to Charlton) but, to me, it's an indication of how everything in football is subject to rampant inflation and proves only of benefit to the players, the agents and the owners.
The idea that a player who has been on the fringe of the England squad and appears to be no better than average is somehow worth £6M simply inflates the price of his equals and his peers. Liverpool will probably end up spending around the same amount on a player of a similar ability and so the merry-go-round continues. All the time, the people paying for this are the fans in the price of tickets and satellite TV subscriptions.
And, before everyone thinks about how great Liverpool have been on spotting young players and grabbing them at a bargain before selling them at a profit, should remember that they bought Andy Carroll about six months later.
In Defence (Ish) Of Diving
One brief point regarding diving (and broadly I agree that Neymar, and Barca's travelling company of thespians are terrible for it). How many times, even in the relatively enlightened past decade or so, have talented young players and technically superior players had broken legs and ankles, torn and snapped ligaments, and generally been kicked and buffeted ad infinatum? Eduardo and Aaron Ramsey are salient examples, but as long ago as 1998 Casiraghi suffered a career ending injury in a collision with Shaka Hislop, Lampard hobbled Alonso in 2005, and Carl Henry broke Zamora's ankle in 2008 with a similar challenge.
If David Batty's spiritual heirs are, as they now are, terrified of being dismissed for trying to rough-up technical players, they'll either spend so much of their careers suspended that they become irrelevant (Cattermole), or change their style. And therefore technical players, who most people enjoy watching more, and who are the future of football, flourish.
It might be tedious to watch Busquets, Neymar and others cavort on the floor when brushed by a defender, but it's a bloody effective protection mechanism against the leg breakers and ankle snappers of the footballing world.
Following on from the best montages ever, can I nominate the best opening theme tune ever.
Not only a cracking tune but some seriously powerful strikes (I'm sure players hit the ball harder in those days...)
Sure, none of this actually happened but it's still the best football montage I've ever seen that isn't focused on Dennis Bergkamp.
...To continue the talk about great montages, my answer is always this one.
Perfectly symbolises a final that, to me, has never been matched since in terms of two teams basically pounding the heck out of each other for a trophy.
Eoin (And this is coming from an Arsenal fan) Mason
Whilst I agree that people can get themselves tied in knots when trying to pin down a player's position, complaining about the use of new words and phrases to describe the actual goings-on of a football match is a bit petty.
Do these bitter sods also get upset when someone uses an anachronism like centre-half, when they really mean centre-back? After all centre-halves don't exist anymore. Or do they? Isn't the 'Makelele role' just a modern... oh dear.
Maybe I should just stop there, put on a VHS of 1995 Bundesliga highlights and grow a twirly mustache, as I'm clearly now a football hipster. Or a German. I'm not sure anymore.
PS. I'm sure I'm not the only one to notice the irony of Jono, whilst decrying the melding of positional descriptors, used a portmanteau himself when describing Christian Maggio as a 'wingback'.
Why Stop At Just A "False 9"?
My flatmate and I realised just how ridiculous (and serious) this "false 9" thing is when we saw that it had become a formation option on Fifa '13 video game. So it prompted us to (in jest) think of more "false" positions and what they entail, here goes:
- False 1 - Sweeper-Keeper ala Lloris or keeper that takes penalties and free-kicks ala Jose Chilavet of Paraguay
- False Fullback - fullbacks that act more as wingers ala Dani Alves and Alba
- False Centre-Half - Centre backs who can't curb attacking instinct like Vermaelen and Luiz
- False Wingers - wingers or wide forwards who constantly drift in-field like Cazorla and CR7 at Manchester United
- False Defensive Centre-Mid - defensive midfielder converted from a more attacking position and isn't the traditional "strong" presence in midfield ala Arteta
Needless to say, combined with the game of Fifa '13 we were playing, we had a ball. Can the mailbox think of more? Let's have some fun.
KT Mokhele, Gooner in Johannesburg
I might be a bit late to the party with the 'brainy footballers' mails, but I couldn't not give Kevin O'Flanagan his dues. O'Flanagan played for Arsenal between 1945-49. Sounds pretty unremarkable. That is until you're aware of some of his other interests. Whilst under contract at Arsenal, he was a regular for London Irish at rugby and he, like his brother Mick, holds the distinction of having represented Ireland in both rugby and football- in January 1946 he managed to represent both in the space of 7 days. All this whilst simultaneously running his own GP surgery in South Ruislip, as he was a qualified doctor. Prior to joining Arsenal, O'Flanagan was the Irish national champion at long jump, the 60 metre sprint and the 100 metre sprint.
Once he retired from football, he served on the Irish Olympic Committee as a medical advisor, the doctor to the Irish Olympic team and on the IOC drugs panel. His association with the IOC ran until 1995. Amazingly, he also played golf off of a 12 handicap and it's said that he might have made a decent fist of being a professional tennis player too if he had had the time to devote to it. He actually started out wanting to be a professional Gaelic footballer in his school days, but the GAA banned him when he was 18 when they discovered that he had been playing soccer. Unsurprisingly given his commitments, he never married.
To Clarify: Are You Asking Us To Filter Out Mails Because There Are Too Many From People With One Name?
Does every club have its own Chris-representative in the mailbox? I counted 3 Chris's answering a mail from another Chris in yesterday afternoon's mailbox. Can we please have a bit more variation?
Jeandre, Cape Town (How does the plural for Chris work?!)
An early Cheeky Punt for you all.
Harry Redknapp to leave QPR by mutual consent and Steve McClaren to take over, all before the end of December 2013.
I've got a tenner on it.
They Never Called Us
I think it's been pointed out before that F365 always seem to pop up at press conferences on the recent Football Manager games. However I was just wondering why it's always fictional journalists that seem to crop up, given how all the game's journalists aren't randomly generated. So my question to the MC did you all modestly reject being on the game or did the developers sadly never contact you?
Kevin (it's been a long week), Boston