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...
It's the Mailbox all but United fans have been longing for, with Davey Moyes copping so much stick. Also have love for Martinez, Luis Suarez and Southampton. Enjoy...
If you have anything to say on any subject, mail us at email@example.com
They're Just Like The Rest Of Us Now
Please keep printing the hand-wringing "the party is over" emails from Man Utd fans. Somehow, they managed to brighten this glorious morning.
Welcome to actual football folks.
...Judging by this morning's mailbox my one question is this:
Are United fans the new Liverpool fans?
Blue Tim (if so, what does this make Liverpool fans now?)
Someone Enjoyed Themselves
Yesterday evening myself and a couple of friends went out to a slightly upmarket restaurant for some decedent food followed by overpriced cocktails(the 10 quid kind that attempt to foist the notion you are enjoying art of some sort). It was the kind of evening that didn't come along often but is enjoyed once in a while. Anyway my point is, as delectable as the food & drink turned out to be it was nowhere near as ambrosial as the collection of mails re United this morning.
So good they had to be fattening.
Damien("Thiago is stupid": brilliant!)Quill
One good champions league showing from the German teams? Bayern have been involved in three of the last four Champions league finals, hardly a flash in the pan.
Why Thiago Was Right To Choose Bayern
Alan (I'll feel better when we get Ronaldo back) has written a mail that demonstrates how blind United fans (and those of any other club) can be.
Thiago was foolish to choose Bayern Munich over United? No Sir. Here are the reasons he was not:
1. They've got Pep who knows Thiago's game inside out. Obviously it will be good for his development.
2. Munich play a style of football similar to Barcelona's. United are as far off from that style as a top team can be - they made about 60 fewer short passes PER game than Arsenal, and were 5th highest in the division behind Arsenal, City, Swansea and Liverpool. Considering Thiago wants to get into the Spanish national team, he needs a place that will allow him to play similar, classy football.
3. Bayern Munich already boast a strong midfield. That's not great help for his plan of playing frequently, but imagine how much he will develop. The guy's priorities are in the right place. Winning a regular berth at Munich (and Pep will give him chances) will definitely be a bigger sign of competence than playing regularly at United.
4. Bayern Munich won the Champions League. Comprehensively. And they are getting even stronger.
5. Pep >>>> Moyes
In fact, if I were a United fan, I'd be worried that Thiago chose Munich despite United offering guaranteed starting place. That speaks of the mammoth gap between the two clubs today.
...I think the United 'fans' in this mornings mailbox are the epitome of all that is wrong with modern football. How on earth could Thiago go and play for that side who had "one good season in the Champions League" - I don't even want to get into that moronic comment. I just hope for football's sake that those people were a group of trolls who all agreed to send in those mails.
Given the level of intelligence from those mails as a yardstick to measure the footballing knowledge of the average United fan I will assume that a few youtube videos of Thiago is about as much as they have seen of him play. Pep wouldn't bring Thiago to Bayern if he wasn't going to play him, he will be the man given the role of making the midfield tick alongside any of Schweinsteiger, Kroos, Gustavo and Martinez, who can also slot in at centre half if need be.
I would also like to dispel this theory that Man United fans seem to hold that Bayern are a smaller club than them, Bayern are a proper football club, not a franchise who are spending their summer globetrotting playing meaningless friendlies against p*ss - poor opposition in far flung places to promote the "brand". Bayern's pre-season involves only 1 game outside of Germany, in Italy against Brescia, they also play Borussia Dortmund, Barcelona and Sao Paulo FC in Germany. Bayern are doing things the right way to push on from their incredible treble last season, playing high quality opposition, getting the squad together at their own training ground and allowing Pep to stamp his style of play on the squad throughout pre-season so they are ready to make sure their "one good season in Europe" wasn't just a flash in the pan, no doubt fearing those big English clubs like Man United will find them out for the phonies they are in Europe next season. Meanwhile the Man United circus trundles around the world with jet-lagged players and Moyes unable to really get his style of play or tactics trained into them, but they'll be able to make sure their loyal fans all over Asia get to see their heroes in action, which is of course exactly what pre-season is meant for.
The big difference between United and Bayern is that Bayern care about their fans in Bavaria, the ones who own the club, United care about one thing, the bottom line and boasting figures of how many consumers they can get to spend money on their product and how many people like their Facebook page.
United may have the bigger brand, but Thiago most definitley moved to the better football club.
Cool Thy Jets, United Person
I can't help but pick up the irony of some of the recent United mails, you'd think they were all from the Liverpool fans that they love to mock the way they have thrown all their toys from the pram and professed the end of football as we know it. Moyes has been in the job 15 days, they haven't won ONE pre-season game which was really only an excuse to sell merchandise and we're subjected to this drivel.
So Thiago has chosen to play under his former mentor at the European Champions? Well, that really is proof that United are finished and can no longer attract the world's biggest names! Leon in this mornings mailbox says that "another transfer window passes", really? United have missed out on one player they were rumoured to be in for, someone whom United fans seem to have convinced themselves was the next (insert name). With a mere 46 days left in the window, they have no chance of signing anyone else. Phil seems to almost blame Moyes for still having Bebe, Anderson and Nani in the squad as if Fergie didn't sign them all and play them, regularly. You've complained about your midfield for years under Fergie, please allow Moyes more than a fortnight to asses his squad and make a move. If he moved to hastily, you may sign another Anderson, Djemba Djemba, Veron, Bebe......
I know it must be difficult, those of you under 30 have known nothing but sustained and glorious success. Then, with David Moyes having the audacity not to be Alex Ferguson it is almost enough to put you over the edge but please, let's have a more reasoned stance, maybe wait for a month, when the games matter and you've made some signings that aren't just because they're flavour of the month.
Your club is going through a huge transition, the man who built and embodied your club has left and the chances of such monopolised success rolling over without a dip are slim. However, this reactionary and Scouse-like "woe is me", "we're all doomed" attitude will only make the situation worse. You don't know how lucky you've been and are.
Buying RvP: A Mistake
United made a decision a year ago to replace Rooney at the spearhead of their attack with Robin Van Persie and now at the end of the season we find RVP lauded by ever fickle United fans, whilst Rooney is roundly vilified and 'should be be sold.' I put it to you that this was a mistake and that Rooney is the better striker.
Yes the league was retaken this year, but this was more to do with City's poor form when compared to last year than anything else. RVP bagged 30 in 40 which is of course an impressive return, but worse than Rooney's ratio the year before (34 in 41.) It's hard to tell exactly how many Rooney would have scored had he not been ousted from being the focal point of the attack but one look at the pairs goalscoring stats from the previous 3 seasons would suggest he would have done just as well, if not slightly better:
RVP: 69 goals in 101 games (0.68 GPG)
Rooney: 84 goals in 119 games (0.7 GPG)
You could argue that Rooney had an advantage playing for United during this time, but I would suggest that Arsenal created just as many chances over these 3 years (with their hilarious defence and lack of 'steel' leaving them behind in the table.) These 3 years are post Ronaldo and Tevez at United and although Rooney still had the likes of Giggs and Scholes teeing him up, for 2 of the 3 years RVP had both Nasri and Fabregas doing the same.
United have now destroyed the morale of arguably their best player in order to fit in a player who is older, more injury prone and had an (albeit very slightly) inferior goalscoring record prior to this decision. The calls by many United fans for him to leave are short sighted and typically petulant. I understand he's been half way between 'out of sorts' (better than 1 goal in 2 just for the record) and full on strop for a lot of the season but try signing Drogba (a slightly worse, older striker that used to front a rival team) and putting RVP out wide, deeper or on the bench next season to accomodate him and see how long he's a happy bunny for.
Andy (all the best to Nathan Redmond) BCFC
Kroos To United?
After spending the day weeping about Thiago being stolen away by Bayern from United, I realised this just doesn't make any sense for Bayern and could yet benefit Man United.
Fresh off winning the Treble, you would think only minor adjustments need to be made to the squad, but instead, Guardiola has added two incredibly talented young midfielders to build his new dynasty, but the question is, how do they all fit? Let's say Guardiola plays a 4-2-3-1. For the "2", there's already Schweinsteiger and Martinez as dead certainties with Luis Gustavo, Emre Can, Hojberg and now Thiago to back them up. That's 6 players to compete with for two positions, so something has to give. However, that's not the only area stuffed chalk full of players. For the "3", Bayern have Ribery, Robben, Muller, Kroos, Pizarro, Gotze and even Thiago and Alaba can play there. Arguably if there are any positions that didn't need more players, it would've been in the stacked midfield, whereas quality and cover could've been added to the defense and striker positions respectively.
So how does this work for United? There's no doubt that someone has to go and most people would choose Luis Gustavo as the odd one out. But there's one quality he has that many of the other players don't, he's happy sitting on the bench. Instead the real odd one out seems to be Toni Kroos. Kroos can play two roles: a deep lying playmaker and as a number 10, yet Guardiola has just signed two players for those two positions, and even discussed playing Ribery as the number 10. On the other hand, Man United could definitely use the creative spark and goal threat that Kroos could provide as a deeper midfielder, or as a number 10 (if Rooney leaves). I doubt Kroos is very happy with the current situation, so there could yet be a possibility here. Thoughts?
jtan, MUFC (praying for a miracle), Hong Kong
Wanyama > Thiago
To all the United fans out thier busting a gut over Thiago going to Bayern, listen to yourselves. Did you really want a player for whom the key decission is to go to a club with an ex manager who left him on the bench so he can sit on the bench again? Really because United have plenty of bench warming midfielders already. What has gutted me is not even attempting to get Victor Wanayma. A defensive midfielder has been required for ages, United have plenty of forward thinking midfielders, but no one to hold back and break up the counter attack and for 12 Million surely thats good value even with the African Nations up took into consideration.
Moyes stated at the beginning of the tour that no transfer activity will take back till he returns (begining of August) therefore given Thiago's price went up then it was obvious at that point we weren't in the running, barring a Fergie like act of misdirection and I really don't think Moyes has this in his locker yet (A statement of how much he likes him, how good he is always puts the price up thus rivals bid more and have less available for whom you really want, in which vein Suarez must be the most complete striker ever). However Moyes will impress me if he manages to find this missing link and add it to the squad before next season though I fear we will be told how important keeping Rooney is and 'It's like having a new signing', at which point I am printing my Moyes Out banners.
Michael (sorry Fergie but fans support has to be EARNT) Piggott MUFC
Good Business From Saints & Norwich
With some trepidation, I'll admit to also being rather impressed with the business being done by Norwich and Southampton so far this summer. There's a certain amount of ambition being shown, and it's quite refreshing to see not-quite-fully-established Premier League clubs resist just throwing their new-found cash back where they came from to hoover up the best available players from the Championship, or recruit from those teams relegated from the top-flight.
I know Norwich have added Redmond and Olsson from Birmingham and Redmond, but they have tried to supplement those signings with a bit more punch in attack (RvW), midfield (Fer), and if they'd managed to tie down Toby Alderweireld, defence as well. Meanwhile, players like Grant Holt and James Vaughan have been identified as not good enough to help the club progress from their current standing, and have been sold. Clearly, they have learn't their lesson from Luciano Becchio.
Southampton meanwhile have shelled out over £20m and only brought in two players. Lovren should help improve their weakest department (defence), and I'm genuinely excited to see Wanyama alongside Schneiderlin in midfield. As for their attack, they're being linked to players like Osvaldo, rather than Rhodes, Austin, Deeney etc. And they've cut their losses on Vegard Forren.
I guess that my point is that I'm impressed that these clubs aren't panicking and taking the scattergun approach and recruiting a dozen players that are no better than those already on the books, instead making considered signings in each department. It may not provide depth, but teams in the bottom half of the table need to improve the quality of their sides in all areas of the pitch, to actually get results out of games and accumulate points.
The only concern is whether they'll adapt well enough.
Chris (They'll probably both get relegated now), SAF Stand
You are Cesc Fabregas. You left the manager who was "like a father" to return to the team you grew up with, managed at that time by your boyhood idol. You've perhaps not been the superstar there you were at your old Club but you've won enough and done enough to feel reasonably satisfied. You recognise that the two midfielders ahead of you in the pecking order are ageing, and your time will come, particularly as your club just offloaded another young midfielder.
a) Stay where you are (in the sunshine, at home, with all that lovely tapas AND win lots of medals)
b) Return to London where you will be welcomed with open arms by many of the fans who continue to love you (and who are thankful for the first-refusal clause in your contract)
c) Move to Manchester to be managed by Moe from The Simpsons
Hmmm...tricky isn't it?
Carolyn, (no longer a season ticket holder but always a...), South London Gooner.
Anyone else already wetting themselves at the thought of Piers Morgans twitter page if Cesc played RVP through for a late winner at the emirates.
Aah to dream.
Paul (Kinnears already on the phone "Mike, Mike! if they sign this fobreegash there sure to sell on park jee sang) NUFC
I just want to get this off my chest. If Christian Eriksen goes to Liverpool it will be the worst move since Thiago Alcantara went to Bayern.
He is (maybe) leaving a team that has won the last 3 Eredivise titles and get regular Champions League football to go to a team that have no chance of winning the domestic title for at least the next 5 years and aren't guaranteed Champions League football.
Now I'm not saying he should stay at Ajax (as much as I would love that too happen) but I think he should set his sights a little higher than Liverpool.
Rumours of Man Utd sound a lot better he is the type of player they need tall, strong, technical and can score goals perfect for playing behind Van Persie. He will be in with a chance of winning the league and will get regular Champions League football.
Paddy F, Dublin
F365 Forum Tournament Review
So the F365 Rule 1 Tournament is over for another year (as mentioned in Friday's mailbox), and amazingly 100 people from the internet managed not to keel over in the Qatar-esque heat on Saturday in Leeds.
Well played to Teeside B (as they were listed to their annoyance, "it's got a double s") as they fought off 13 other rivals and took the trophy north, with a high quality 1-0 win in the final against Regents Park A.
Many thanks to goldfinger and silverfox for their tremendous organisation and hosting. Roll on 2014 - (I'm sure F365 would encourage people to join the forum as well if this sort of thing sounds good to them too. it's not (that) scary!).
KingGman - R1 Reading (quarter finalists), The F365 forum.
We All Do
When I grow up I want to be Clarence Seedorf.
Philip (Clarence) Lewis