Even the lesser teams have players like Luis Suarez and Romelu Lukaku so it's all bloody good fun. But mostly the mailbox features United fans being told to grow up...
It's all very well having a go at David Moyes (and a few more do), but just who else would they get in? Plus, England in the Group of Death, Pantilimon and the helicopter...
If you have anything to add on any subject, mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Pool Fans Sobbing
Mkhitaryan probably not coming and Alonso going to the Blues. Transfer window bubble thoroughly burst. Just called one of my LFC mates - we're going to meet up, put on some dark music, turn the lights off and cry together for four hours. The occasional outcry or sob of "Iss-tan-bul"!.... or "Ra-ra-fa" may be heard.
Gladdis Stotepamphlet, LFC, Brisbane
Please No Tennis v Football
Maybe if we filled our national team with monosyllabic players who always look a bit down in the dumps then we'd end all those years of heartache waiting for another major trophy. Let's be honest, it was the pep talk that Fergie gave him that was the tipping point.
I await with trepidation any 'How football can learn from tennis' mails because, you know, they're so alike.
Chris ITFC, Liverpool
A Star Wars Rebuttal
Keith (Vincent I love you, Vincent: I know) Atkinson,
I am a massive geek and have watched the Star Wars films many times, but I may have missed something. Is there a deleted scene where Shiek Jabba The Hutt suddenly appears and supplies the rebels with enough Credits to buy 4 Death Stars, 8 Super Star Destroyers, and a machine on Kamino that clones the long dead Jedi Council in order to battle the evil Empire? Because from what I remember the rebellion were very much the plucky upstarts that were hopelessly outgunned, but were lucky to have a potential match winner (Luke Skywalker) play a blinder in the last chapter after acting a bit of a dick previously (when he went off to fight Vader against the advice of Yoda).
In recent football terms, Callum McManaman could be a good comparison to Natalie Portmans baby boy. Remember when he did that brutal tackle on Newcastles Massido Haidira? That was him losing his hand down the big hole in Cloud City and finding out that his dad was the Green Cross Code man in another dimension. A few weeks later, he went on to be the best player at Wembley in the FA Cup final for a team that looked pretty hopelessly outgunned against their much more powerful rivals, contributing massively to the eventual toppling of their arrogant counterparts who thought just turning up would be enough. Face it, Man City are the Empire, and they got beat by Dave Whelans Ewoks.
Jae (Hate having to defend Manchester United... Maybe they can be the Trade Federation from the maligned Prequels) Hodgkin, Tunbridge Wells.
...In response to Keith ( Vincent I love you, Vincent: I know) Atkinson's wonderful Manchester/Star Wars anology...
Where does Jar Jar Binks come into this?
Aaron (obligatory brackets) Roles.
...In response to Keith ( Vincent I love you, Vincent: I know) Atkinson question; supporting Newcastle I'm constantly reminded of The Truman Show.
A constant existential angst that all this can't be real and someone out there, for their own entertainment, is just manipulating events in order to push your buttons.
Neil "Bring Keegan back, that will boost the ratings" Ryan.
A Christmas Carol
In response to the interesting Star Wars mail, I'd like to add my own offering.
It would be a based on Charles Dickens classic novel, 'A Christmas Carol', starring Tottenham's very own Mr Scrooge, Daniel Levy.
In this adaptation, Daniel spends most of his time working his little urchins to the bone (AVB and his coaching staff) tying them down to long contracts (so they are stuck working for him when there are probably better places to work, like PSG) , ignoring their pleas for a striker (to improve their working conditions) and generally just being the miserly misery guts that he is.
He leaves Bulls Cross for the day, has a pint in his local in Goffs Oak and then gets home around 11pm and dozes off. He is awoken by the ghost of Christmas past, who has a rather eerie resemblance of Leandro Damiao. He guides Levy through last season and pays particular attention to the first three games of the season, where we won just 2 points from 9 available where 7 points were perfectly gettable and effectively cost us 4th place. He guides Levy through that difficult period in late January where we had no strikers and shows Levy how his selfish attitude and obsession with balance sheets is hurting everyone around him.
After a while, the ghastly Damiao stops trolling the visually shaken Levy who drifts back off to sleep, only to then be met by the ghost of the present, who seems to appear in the form of AVB and Gareth Bale holding hands. Levy is shown through a typical summer jamboree at THFC, with June and July slide by without a care in the world, but August becomes increasingly fraught with tension until it all culminates on August 31st with the dream collapsing for another season...very similar to the collapse of the city created by Leonardo Di Caprio and his Mrs in Inception. Everything falling apart, disappointment, regret, fear, anger and thousands of other emotions flood though AVB and Bale's head, whilst Levy remains completely unmoved. Unmoved by the situation, unmoved by Bale and AVB's grasp of each others hand loosening as each day passes, unmoved as anarchy reigns and hope dies. Basically, he's doing what he always does...fiddles whilst Rome burns.
The end to the story is fairly apocalyptic. The ghost of Tottenham future arrives and it is everything Levy should fear. He can hear the four horseman of the apocalypse approaching,and they come into focus in the form of Michel Platini, Richard Scudamore, Florentino Perez and Joe Lewis. Levy is dragged, kicking and screaming from his office at White Hart Lane and tossed into the trailer by Joe Lewis. Richard Scudamore can be heard cackling in the background, singing 'You'll never win the League' and going on about winning the league in black and white. Florentino Perez drops in at Bulls Cross training ground and kidnaps Bale and last but not least, Platini puts the stereo on full blast, blasting out the Champions League music, taunting Daniel Levy and screaming maniacally that 'you'll never hear this again' and cackling in the most provocative of Gallic tones. Levy's screams ring out across North London to the joyful singing of 'oh to, oh to be, oh to be a, Gooner' coming from N5 as Tottenham Hotspur Football Club is left in ruins, never to return.
As quickly as the dream began, it ends, and Levy wakes up in a pool of sweat. Will he take heed of the warnings of the spectres in his dreams?
TO BE CONTINUED...
...So Spurs have splashed out £17 million and now is the time to continue to spend big on top quality players. With a new stadium hopefully around the corner the purse strings need to be loosened before they are inevitably tightened.
With AVB reportedly going for a 4-3-3 next season the team may currently look like this...
Lloris, Walker/Kaboul/Vertonghen/Rose, Paulinho/Sandro/Dembele, Lennon/Defoe/Bale
There is weakness: left back needs strengthening and Lennon and Defoe can be definitely be improved upon. But there is also a need for strength in depth if AVB wants to continue to push on all four cup fronts. For instance it's no good selling Lennon and getting a better replacement. We need to improve on Lennon and keep hold of him. That's strength in depth.
If we look at the realistic targets then things start to look a lot whole lot better... Coentrao looks unsettled at Madrid, Villa looks like he could sign and Benteke and Damiao are constantly being linked. Affellay is another player who may be moving on and Spurs would surely fit the bill. If we get these four players (choosing between either Benteke or Damiao) then Spurs' team will look a hell of a lot better...
Lloris, Walker/Kaboul/Vertonghen/Coentrao, Paulinho/Sandro/Dembele, Affellay or Villa/Benteke or Damiao/Bale.
Signing four of those players could cost another £50-£60 million but it would future proof the squad. Then when the new stadium gets built we wouldn't need expensive mass changes. Just the one or two additions each season. As it would be a young team (bar Villa) there isn't the need to replace ageing stars. Spurs could then invest in quality youth players and aim to bring them through with the knowledge that there's no pressure for them to be instant stars.
To summarise; get your fackin' cheque book out Levy!
David (Loving life under AVB) Clarke, Cambridge
In response to Joe (kids are spoilt for football nowadays) O'Grady and his email on memorable commentary moments; hearing Motty say "...and Gillespie's come inside Irwin" during a Man U v Arsenal game remains a commentary highlight that will never fade. He sounded so excited.
Phil "Irwin up" Duffy
...My favourite bit of football commentary was: "It's Dyer, it's brilliant!"
To which my brother responded: "Make your mind up!"
...Ok, I had to write in for Joe O'Grady's question on best commenntary.
I clearly remember a match with a certain Kanu trying very hard soon after returning following cardiac surgery, the great Keegan said "Well, he's obviously not match fit but at least his heart's in the right place."
...In reply to Joe regarding memorable commentary moments; mine would have to be F365's favourite commentator Clive Tyldesley's reaction to Benzema making it 1-0 against Dortmund in this year's CL semi 2nd leg (making it 2-4 on aggregate).
Tyldesley belched the word 'IGNITION!' which was brutally ignored by co-legend Andy Townsend (who undoubtedly would 'ave bin disappointed wiv that). A good 30 seconds of silence from the ITV faithful passed before Sir Clive took a second bite of the cherry: "Ignition! Got every man in here wishin". Andy once again refused to acknowledge Clive.
I sent about 11 texts straight away to share the lulz with some friends, but no-one else noticed it. I am starting to wonder whether I wanted to hear it so much I actually imagined it. If anyone can find it, I shall reward with them with... F**k it; the clip will be reward itself.
Scott (Can I get a toot toot?), London
What A Goal
Ok, late to the party on this one, but a goal I couldn't grudge (none of this bloody happiness) was Gazza's flick over Colin Hendry (one of Scotland's better defenders at the time) and volley into the net at Euro '96. Was an absolute peach of a goal and is still, ashamedly for me, one of my all-time favourites.
And has no-one has mentioned Gazza in unfulfilled greats? He did well of course, but never as well as everyone thought he could have done. Real shame hearing more news of his illness getting the better of him.
Nelson, Glasgow currently Malta (brackets are soo passé)
Against Fantasy Football
I read Chris, SAF Stand's reminiscing about Cazorla's goal last season at Old Trafford and was immediately reminded as to why I stopped playing fantasy football many years back.
There's just too many dilemmas if you balance your club loyalties with winning strategies for your fantasy football team. On one hand, I can understand why Chris picked Santi in his team - after all, odds were that anything good we created in attack would have gone through him. But at the same time, wouldn't Chris have been hoping for our Spanish wizard to play an absolute stinker on that day? What if Santi had scored a winning hattrick that day? Would those fantasy points serve as some sort of consolation?
Club loyalties trump everything else in my mind, so my fantasy teams used to be dominated by Arsenal players, and I would spend every week removing players who were about to line up against the Gunners. As everyone knows, this is hardly the way to win anything in fantasy football, so soon I decided to spare myself the trouble altogether. I'm proud to say that I've been fantasy-football-free for a good 12 years now.
Aaron, Singaporean Gooner
More Unfulfilled Potential
Mark Thorby, as if Zola's goal could have been any more special, he actually dedicated it to the memory of a terminally ill child that he'd visited a few weeks previous. What a lovely bloke. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8HE_FrwmL7g
And on the subject of unfulfilled potential, while it may be a little early/unfair to write him off completely, I'd like to nominate a certain Gael Kakuta. When Carlo Ancelotti was asked who the two most talented players he'd ever worked with were, he named Zinedine Zidane and Kakuta (and this was before Kakuta had even played a minute for the Chelsea first team). He also said Kakuta was the best teenager he'd ever seen.
Not long afterwards, Don Carlo began playing him in the odd fixture, he started against minnows Apoel Nicosia in the Champions League and came on a few times in domestic competitions as well. However, he spent the next year on loan at Fulham and Bolton to get more game time, and wasn't deemed worthy of beating Duff, Dempsey, Petrov, or even Chris Eagles to a starting berth - playing just 11 games that calendar year and scoring once. He then spent six months on loan at Dijon, playing 12 times and scoring 6 goals, a bit of an improvement, before joining Vitesse Arnhem on loan where he played 22 games but didn't exactly light sh*t up. It seems he's going back there now for another year. Additionally, after being a fixture for all the French youth groups up to U20, he only earned 5 U21 caps and at the age of 22, still hasn't a full cap.
Why the fall from huge talent to mediocre Eredivisie? Obviously Chelsea are partly to blame; the way we 'nurture' young players is quite awful at times - it seems that no matter how much money is pumped into the academy we are constantly reluctant to actually give the young players a chance. However, it seems that Kakuta may have conspired in his own downfall wherever he went; even at the age of 13-15 a coach described him as 'not trying very hard - because he didn't need to', and last year the Vitesse coach delayed handing him his debut because he was consistently turning up late to training. Here's hoping Kakuta can get his head sorted out and turn into a decent player; although I'm highly doubting it'll be for Chelsea. Any more unfulfilled talents that are still actually quite young?
Ollie, CFC (London)
...You'll probably get many of these. I agreed with Owen Dale but then checked stats ... record scorer for Holland at 1 every two games, 90 goals in 180 matches for Barca, 40 in 70 for Ajax including winning the champions league... jeez imagine if Kluivert had reached his potential!
Rob (are we done with brackets now? Thank god), Sweden