The mailbox is very much split between Arsenal fans saying 'f*** you, we got through' and the doom merchants. We also have a mails on Chamakh for Chelsea and...
More on the great Keano debate this afternoon, and who is and who is not bitter and so forth. Plus, a footballer who became a WWE wrestler, and Gaius Julius Caesar...
If you have anything to say on any subject, mail us at email@example.com
Good Feet For A Big Lad
Paddy F on Christian Eriksen: "He is the type of player they need tall, strong, technical and can score goals perfect for playing behind Van Persie."
You have obviously never watched him - 5'9 and 10 stone wet through. Classic unsubstantiated fan excitement
...In response to Paddy F and Orts MUFC from yesterday's mailbox.
Who is this gentleman you speak of, Christian Eriksen, one of whose primary attributes seems to be his tallness.
The Christian Eriksen I've watched play for Ajax and Denmark is quite a modest sized individual with an exquisite touch and good eye for a pass, tall he is not.
Wikipedia confirmed my suspicions. He is in fact 5ft 9 1/2. Not small by any means, but tall, hardly. Which leads me to a number of possible conclusions:
1. Paddy F merely read Orts email from this morning and regurgitated his description of Eriksen. In which case he has never seen him play in real life and his opinion is invalid.
2. Orts states that he has in fact seen him play before. Does he sit very close to the screen like my daughter watching Peppa Pig?
3. Both Paddy F and Orts have been scouting Barcelona on youtube of late for players to sign and so all players above 5 foot 6 appear tall to them.
4. Perhaps Eriksen is really tall in one of those football manager games.
5. Both Paddy F and Orts are of short stature themselves and so most players appear tall, in which case them using it as an adjective does not add a lot to their emails, perhaps they should omit this in future player descriptions?
6. Paddy F and Orts suffer from a rare form of football myopia. Having followed Manu for so long, they have only ever had to look forward to next season for the next trophy and Sir Alex has been able to keep the big bad world away from them. Maybe now for the first time in their adult lives these man-children are having to stand on their own two feet for the first time and thus the real world looks very big and scary all of a sudden. Hence even players like Eriksen appear very "tall" to them.
7. Paddy F states that Eriksen should set his "sights a little higher than Liverpool", in Paddy's world does this mean he should be actually be aiming lower than Liverpool. Do you mean to say you think Manchester United will finish lower than Liverpool next season? I know Manu fans are panicking a bit at the moment but even as a Liverpool fan I can't see this happening for 2-3 seasons at least so settle down there son.
Whatever the answer may be I do hope Liverpool sign this giant of the Eredivise soon. Not least to see if he can defend a corner better than Daniel Agger and because it will most likely mean that someone has taken Mr Bitey off our hands for a large sum of money, Hurrah.
A Nautical Mail
I cannot believe some of the naivety on display by my fellow United fans. Let's face it: the minute SAF announced his retirement, the rest of the footballing fraternity were rubbing their hands in glee waiting to pounce on the frailty and chaos that would follow. And instead of bunching together as a group, they're opening themselves to more ridicule with ridiculous assumptions like 'Thiago is stupid to join Bayern'. Be honest chaps - did you really expect Thiago to join an untested (relatively) unknown coach at United rather than his old mentor at the treble winning champions of Europe?
There will be a lot of Liverpool fans welcoming us to their level and a lot more laughing their heads off at United bidding for Fabregas etc. The next one year will probably be one of turmoil and chaos as Moyes tries to adapt and establish control over the club. And the time for holding your head high and swaggering has gone because we have lost our magic potion. We've enjoyed the best part of the last two decades being undisputed champions all because of that talismanic figure at the helm and laughing at the likes of Liverpool and their paranoia. Now we've lost our captain and we're becalmed in unknown waters with a new captain. Let's not follow Liverpool fans' and wistfully remember our golden years and pretend that the world still belongs to us because it does not. As someone mentioned in the Mailbox, every team has a cycle. We've been at our peak for quite some time and maybe now for the next few years we may not be. The way forward is fraught and full of potential pitfalls and the only way to navigate past this is to stick together as a bunch.
Another Great Own Goal
In the 2006 world cup, Italy allowed only 2 goals past them. Zidane's penalty in the final, and this beauty of an own goal. How this didn't make it in to your top 10 I will never know.
United Have Done Nothing Wrong
Forgive me for being old fashioned here, but isn't that how transfers are supposed to work? Club A wants a player, club A contacts club B and offers cash. Club B say yes or no and club A either amend the offer, move onto something else, or get permission to speak to the player, who may or may not sign. Isn't that the general gist of a how a transfer works? Quite how Manchester United can make themselves look silly by actually trying, or at least appearing to try, to sign a player in the correct manner is beyond me. Should they have had their players tapping him up for the last 6 months, as is the norm in most other transfer scenarios.
So what if they make an offer and don't get him, isn't that just part of football too? You win some, you lose some etc etc. If I remember correctly the Cantona transfer came around from a somewhat cheeky bid, look how that turned out.
Ian, mighty 'Boro fan in exile, Stavanger
Have United Been Encouraged?
There was much scoffing at Man Utd's "pointless" bid for Cesc Fabregas yesterday - and I'm sure you'll receive many mails on the subject. As a dispassionate observer I too wondered what they were playing at. Which got me thinking that if I were an Arsenal fan I might start to get a bit worried. There seem to be a couple of widely accepted facts: 1 - Cesc doesn't particularly want to leave, and 2: Arsenal have a first refusal clause if he decides otherwise.
So what hope have Man Utd got? Surely they'd simply be acting as a stalking horse for Arsenal? They have a bid accepted, which causes Cesc to re-appraise his position on wanting to stay. Then Arsenal swoop in and activate their clause, and they both skip into the sunset, leaving David Moyes standing limply like a stood-up prom date. (I can picture him in a powder-blue tux).
Here's the worry for gooners. Surely the above scenario has occurred to Man Utd too - it's too bloody obvious not to. So surely they wouldn't set off this chain of events unless they'd been given the nod by Cesc's "people" (ugh!) that he'd be open to linking up with his old pal RVP once more. Tapping up doesn't really exist as a crime in football anymore - no-one lodges a bid for a player without some kind of assurance that they're not wasting their time should it be accepted. If (and it's a big if) a genuine bid really has been made, this seems to be the only logical explanation. Why the hell else would United do Wenger such a huge favour?
Pete (if they Arse got Cesc and Higuain, I'd fancy them for the title), Singapore
Aren't you afraid you're going to be the ones to look daft with that headline if the Fabregas to United move happens?
I'd suggest that United wouldn't have made a bid at all if there hadn't been some informal contact, and they'd received some encouragement that it was a possibility. I certainly wouldn't rule out a deal as quickly as you seem to have.
United Need To Catch Up
Nice to know that Harold MacMillan, despite dying in 1986, lives on in Phil, Newcastle. Apparently, since we've had it so good under Fergie, we should be jolly grateful for our good fortune, not complain, and accept whatever happens in the future. B*llocks.
The comparison with Liverpool is instructive: Liverpool declined a little in the early '90s, looked up in the late '90s, and found themselves commercially, institutionally, culturally, and sportingly in an another world, having followed a business model outmoded by the Premiership. United are at a similar crossroads. Between sugar-daddies, the proliferation of elite and wealthy clubs, sustained transfer fee and wage inflation (£20m and £100k a week are the norm for decent signings), and the emergence of a fully globalised and commercialised game, United's previous modus operandi (domestic domination, sustained by domestic transfers and young foreign players) is no longer viable.
If a suitable volte face occurs, big names are brought in, midfielders signed, new financial realities acknowledged, and the scale of the challenge identified, United will be fine. We have one of the strongest brands and commercial profiles in world football, the potential for further revenue still, and an academy which (if only we kept hold of them) produces decent players.
But if United coast, compromise, and aim to tread water, they'll be left behind like Liverpool were, and will spend the next few decades scrabbling for scraps from football's top table, shooting jealous glances at the parvenus sitting in their old seat, and going home to remember old glories.
Moyes' Caution Is A Good Thing
While I find it highly amusing to wake up every day to a mailbox chockablock full of Manchester United fans already prepared to throw Moyes under the bus for missing out on Thiago, I have to say that the lack of transfers in for the Red Devils should - for now - be a good thing.
It was pointed out brilliantly by the superlative Soccernomics, but one of the worst things about getting a new manager in is that he inevitably wastes a heapload of money on bringing in all of 'his' players, who then take time to settle in and perform with the new team.
Rather than decry Moyes for losing out on Thiago you should thank your lucky stars that he's not gone on a ludicrous spending spree to make your team the Everton A1 squad for a princely sum. I for one am over the moon that Chelsea have not spent the much-rumored £100 million for Cavani + Falcao while sending off Mata.
Your squad won the league last year at a trot. Be thankful that the new manager hasn't taken your advice and shipped everyone off.
Lost For Words, Sort Of
'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
Maybe I have read this wrong but basically it might be pretty difficult to earn support if fans are printing out banners before the first game. Is the serious suggestion that you judge a manager these days not by what he manages to do (like I don't know win games, play decent football, not be a pain in the arse etc), but rather on his performance in the transfer window??? Or in other words as long as he buys fashionable players all good, however if not kick him out.
I genuinely am lost for words.
Pete (sorry Fergie I take it all back I thought you acted like a tw*t out of choice but now I see you had to put up with these muppets) Cafferkey
Bayern Are No Fairy Tale
As a United fan, submissions to the mailbox have been quite interesting recently. For a long time, anti-United folk have used Barcelona's success as a stick with which to beat Manchester United. For years we have heard so much about how Barcelona are a proper club, owned by the fans. A club that has a brilliant youth academy and fields homegrown players as opposed to simply buying players for large sums of money like the evil Manchester United, and Chelsea etc. These people often simply choose to ignore the transfers of the likes of Ibrahimovic, David Villa, Cesc Fabregas (homegrown but still bought for around 25m), Alexis Sanchez, Ronaldinho, Henry etc. Not to mention the massive salaries that Barcelona are paying their homegrown heroes. But since Bayern Munich are now in vogue, people like Conor from Dublin must come up with some new reasons as to why United are an inferior football club.
I found it ironic that Conor, based on a few mails, suggests that the average United fan is of limited intelligence but then goes on to display the ever so boring intelligence of an average, whining ABU. So hats off to Conor for putting forward the argument that Bayern are a vastly superior club for choosing to prepare for the new season by playing high quality opposition in Germany as opposed to the United "circus" that doesn't care about its fans and that chooses to simply promote the brand and Facebook page in Asia. Conor lists off Bayern's high quality fixtures but for convenience leaves out their fixtures against Hansa Rostock, Wildenau Fan Club, Paulaner XI etc. Cricket scores in some of those games.
So let's all take a moment to conveniently forget about how common it is for clubs to go on pre-season tours and pretend it's only United, forget also about Barcelona's pre-season tour which involves visiting Poland, Germany, Norway, Israel, Palestine, Thailand and Malaysia (another circus that promotes the brand and doesn't care about its fans), and forget that only last year Bayern themselves toured China during pre-season and applaud Bayern for being the new best club in the world. A feat that is no doubt aided by cherry picking the best players from their strongest competitors in Germany.
Would also love to know how Conor has an inside scoop on Moyes' ability (or inability) to get his style of play and tactics trained into a squad that he has been in charge of for only 2 weeks!
PR Advice For David Moyes
1. Be less enthusiastic during press conferences - Yes. We all concede that being hand-picked by SAF to manage Manchester United is one amazing achievement and not a feat that can be understated. That said, David, please refrain from acting like a teenage girl who has been asked to come on stage for JB's rendition of 'one less lonely girl' when discussing your appointment. It's a tad, well, embarrassing.
2. Be less available - While I understand you managed Everton, also known as the people's team (have fifa 13 to thank for that little gem), and would like to avail yourself more to the adoring public, no self-respecting manager of a world class football club should be appearing on Talksport radio. Besides, I find it utterly disrespectful that you are cutting into Brendan Rodgers' airtime.
3. Be less vague - While I can understand that transfer talk should not be overly candid, a simple "we are interested in the very best players" response when asked about your transfer policy, leaves a lot to be desired. It sets very unreasonable expectations for your supporters. For example, following your 5 July press conference, I started a FIFA 13 managerial career with Manchester United under the alias, David Moyes, and proceeded to buy Garay, Baines, Thiago, Bale, Ronaldo and Lewandowski, having been convinced that these were probable transfer targets given your recent utterances. Imagine my surprise when Bayern snapped up Thiago yesterday evening? Does this mean that there is a chance that Ronaldo and Bale will not be playing at Old Trafford this season?
4. But don't be overly explicit - While I appreciate that you worked under a limited budget at Everton, I highly doubt that the likely 40 million pound (being very optimistic here) transfer kitty you have been given by the Glazers can quite be defined as being a limitless budget. All you have done by verbalizing the 'purported' funds at your disposal, is ensure that any potential United transfer target will likely have another 10 million pounds slapped on top of their overall value by their respective clubs.
5. Be more optimistic - While there are a lot of rumours doing the rounds regarding the Thiago saga, respected footie writers such Guillem Balague and Graham Hunter both alluded to the fact that Thiago's decision in joining Bayern was in some way influenced by your skepticism, and the lack thereof by Pep Guardiola, regarding Thiago's adaptability to England. While I know players such as Leon Osman and Darren Gibson are indeed a dime a dozen, would Barcelona's hesitancy in releasing Thiago from their team not perhaps suggest that this lad can actually play some football?
6. But don't be overly optimistic - No matter how influential Osman, Gibson or Tony Hibbert were in ensuring that Everton finished above Liverpool last season, please don't bring any of them along with you to Manchester United. I am still recovering from our club's earlier linkages to one Phil Jagielka.