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 add on any subject, mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Let's All Calm Down
I can't help but feel like this whole Rooney situation is being blown completely out of proportion by the papers.
Firstly, Moyes did not say that Rooney would be a backup to RvP. He actually said: "I want to be able to play the two of them" - that's both Rooney and Van Persie, which has been clearly (intentionally) over-looked by the media.
He also said: "Overall my thought on Wayne is, if for any reason we had an injury to Robin van Persie, we'll need him." But what the papers conveniently left out was the rest of that quote: "Overall my thought on Wayne is he'll be key. If for any reason we had an injury to Robin. Robin, we are going to need him." So, from that actual quote, you can see there's no hint of backup, more like prudent planning & common sense; if one of our two main goalscorers is injured, we'd really need the other. Hardly earth-shattering.
Thirdly, Wayne Rooney is "angry and confused" - he told us so, didn't he? No, actually, he didn't. There is not one single direct quote from Rooney anywhere, at all, never mind anything about being angry and confused. All these quotes have come from one source - reporter Kaveh Solhekol. Yet this is deemed to be indisputable fact; I mean, it's not like journalists ever lie, or are wrong, is it?
Let me be clear: I'm not saying that everything we've read is a lie - maybe Rooney is angry and confused - but we haven't seen any solid evidence (i.e. direct quotes) that he is. We haven't seen any definitive evidence of a transfer request, other than Sir Alex's claim, and we've not heard anything other than "Not for sale" and the words "vital" and "key" (to describe Rooney) from the club.
So the current situation, as seems logical (see: Ockham's razor) is that the papers have printed misleading quotes from Moyes, and used some comments by a random journalist about Rooney's feelings to sell more papers.
Let's all calm down a touch, shall we? It's lovely outside, go and have a Solero.
Versatility Is Rooney's Curse
The whole Rooney saga is taking on a very predictable pattern. Both sides are now positioning themselves for the inevitable transfer negotiations.
The reality is Rooney's time at Old Trafford has come to an end. He no longer commands a position on the field that he can call his own. RVP is a better centre forward and finisher. Kagawa will play in the hole this year and with one season under his belt will improve. We have better wide players. We even have better central midfielders and god knows we've been crying out for re-enforcements in this area for years. Versatility can be a blessing or a curse and in Rooney's case it has definitely been a curse. His performance do not merit the wages he is getting paid nor deserve a new contract. The sensible option for both parties is a transfer.
Now the reason I write is regarding the names that have been mooted as part of any possible player exchange. Mata and Luiz are fine players but we don't need them. The player I would love to see coming in the other direction is Romelu Lukaku. The kid is built like a tank, has speed and can finish. He offers something different to RVP, Hernandez and no goals Welbeck. Football these days is all about options and Lukaku would give us another option. With time we could even build a team around him. RVP will be 30 this year after all. He came on in leaps and bounds last year and WBA. Look at the goals he scored last season and tell me the kid doesn't have talent. I reckon he will be terrorizing premier league defenses for years to come and I would love to see him wearing a United shirt while he does so. Remember he is still only 20.
I reckon Jose would play ball if he wants Rooney badly enough. He doesn't have a great track record of developing young players so I'm sure we could convince Lukaku to join us given our tradition of giving younger players a chance.
What do other United supporters think? Do you think Lukaku would fit in at Old Trafford?
T Mullarkey Melbourne (Why the brackets?)
What Would Be A Good Season For Moyes?
With so many United fans losing their collective sh*t over Thiago and now Rooney, it got me thinking, come the end of the season, what would satisfy most fans? Transfer dealings are all well and good but ultimately it will be the results on the pitch that will win the fans over for Moyes.
Personally I think if we are still in the mix for the title in March, even if we are third, then it will be well done to Moyes. Let's be realistic, it will be difficult to win the league this season. Even Sir Alex had a hard time beating Mourinho and City will strengthen some more with a much more pragmatic manager in charge. Moyes is definitely a good manager but it is still a big step up for him. Not only will this be the first time he will be constantly under pressure to win, he will have to compete with a relatively weaker squad (atleast on paper) against much more seasoned managers. Given all this, I don't think third will be too bad. But it will be the way they finish third that will definitely matter. United just HAVE to be in the hunt, even if they don't ultimately win the title. If United's season fizzles out by October (a.k.a Arsenal) then Moyes might really find the fans on his back.
So, fellow united fans, what could be considered a reasonably successful season for Moyes?
On a different note, am I the only one who feels some sort of sympathy for Rooney (just a little bit). I can understand his frustration. I don't think he fears competing with RvP, I think he knows he won't have the chance when he will always be shunted out to the wings or midfield or anywhere where the cracks need to be papered. He will always be slotted into the position where there is lack of quality because he can play good almost anywhere.
Apoorv, New Delhi, MUFC
United and Moyes cannot win this one if they sell Rooney to Chelsea, no matter what (who) they get for him.
The Rooney that is at United now is a shadow of his former self and has arguably never been the same since that ankle injury against Bayern in the 2010 quarter final. He was absolutely flying that season. That injury (and the targeting of it by Bayern in the second leg) ultimately led to United's elimination, the loss of the league title, that absolutely shambolic World Cup performance (by Rooney and England), his lack of confidence, the transfer request in October 2010 and the breaking down of his relationship with Ferguson and the fans.
We hear he now smokes regularly and his weight fluctations and loss of consistent fitness suggest he either does not put the right stuff in, or does not work hard enough on, his body for a professional athlete. He is on enormous wages and is not justifying them. It is obvious that United would be better off without him.
But make no mistake, if Rooney is sold to Chelsea, is hungry again with a new challenge and new environment and Mourinho manages to galvanise him, then with Oscar, Hazard and Mata (please swap him) behind him, he could score 40 goals next season, win the league, maybe the Champions League again, and it will go down as a brilliant signing.
The Rooney of United and the Rooney of Chelsea are not the same man. United should try and sell abroad, but Rooney is unlikely to want to go abroad, even to Real Madrid, the most likely destination now.
United will be better without Rooney, particularly if they get Mata in a swap deal (which they won't) but I'm not sure they can compete with Chelsea if a "hungry" (for goals and success, not burgers) ends up there.
Nick (writes in when no one else has said it) Hughes
Is Rooney Vital To Chelsea?
Before I read yesterday afternoon's mailbox I am going to work on the assumption that every United fan suddenly doesn't rate Wayne Rooney, or Judas. This is a player who has won countless titles (sorry that's foolhardy of course you can count the titles he has won but those who suddenly don't rate him maybe cannot thus there new found confusion) and players don't win titles while first team regulars without ability.
As a Chelsea fan I'm not sure I see Rooney as that vital to improving our fortunes though. In terms of average hold up play and an erratic first touch we already possess a better looking blonde lad. However Rooney has an explosive side (he can be our incredible Bulk) that if harnessed can produce a glut of goals. A glut of goals. Actually that kinda is what the side lacks.
What has brought me round to the idea more than anything else though is the fact that David Moyes, if he sells, will have created a situation where one of his best players leaves and he doesn't have the pulling power ("So Thiago do you come here often?", "Manchester? No of course not, this is Sydney David, it's really nice here" "Oh, okay, sorry, em, what about your pal Cesc, does he come here often?") to bring in a replacement that doesn't player for Everton. Darren Gibson returns to United is my hope.
Is Moyes Just Giving Him A Kick Up The Arse?
I think Nick Poninski is bang on right when he says that Moyes is trying to test Rooney's character. The lad was once renowned for being one to express his emotions on the pitch, whether it be in chasing attackers 50 yards downfield or getting sent off in a fit of fury.
This Rooney however is the one that United fans have been crying for this past year or two though. Under Ferguson he became a more disciplined yet slightly constrained figure, perhaps to the detriment of his own happiness but most likely to the benefit of the team. Maybe, just maybe, David Moyes is trying to smoke out that angry little bulldog in Rooney, the one controlled only by hormones and testosterone, by sending him a message with bids for Fabregas and threats of being dropped to the bench. Now we have another consistent goal scoring striker in RVP, United no longer need the kind of player Rooney has been since Ronaldo left. Instead of just selling him and buying Ibra like some fans seem to think is a good idea, letting the guy revert back to his instincts and rediscover the raw talent that made him so brilliant as a kid could well prove a masterstroke.
Then again, Rooney could well shirk in the face of a challenge. Sometimes you can throw the best managers and sports psychologists in the world at a man and he just won't budge. I'm sure it wont matter too much what with all those medals and the enormous personal fortune he has, but at the end of the day it is his choice and his alone whether or not to go down in history as a player or a hero for Manchester United.
Stick Him In Midfield
Respectful advice for Mr. Moyes. Just put an uninjured Wayne Rooney in the gaping hole of central midfield every week, all problems solved. When United need a goal, RvP is injured or a formal 442 is used, then Wayne can roam up front too. RvP and Hernandez are limited to being out and out strikers, Wayne is not. Welbeck is simply limited as a footballer, although a very fit athlete, sell to Everton.
No thanks needed. You're welcome.
Michael N. W. Baigel
Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow
With Fellaini and Luiz linked with United over the last couple of days, I really want Moyes to get them both. The hair alone would be terrifying....
James "Flash" Hamilton
Time For Arsenal To Act
Good piece by Matt Stanger.
I think the main reason as to why Arsenal's guff about splashing the cash has continued longer and louder than it normally does come close season is the lack of uptake of season ticket renewals.
Regular contributor Carolyn of South London clearly isn't on her own as word has it Arsenal has now begun targeting Red Members due to a surge of season ticket holders deciding to vote with their feet.
The problem is Gooners just don't believe Gazidis or Wenger so the club has chosen to embark on a strategy in which players talk about impending transfers in the hope fans will at least the trust the heroes who wear that famous red and white.
For once Arsenal are either going to have sh*t or get off the pan because the fans just aren't buying the bulls*t anymore.
Graham Simons, Gooner, Norf London
Winter World Cup
I'm no great bard but usually I'm quite good with expressing my feelings, if only through extreme sarcasm. This morning after hearing that Sepp Blatter is determined to hold a summer tournament in the winter because it's only recently become apparent that Qatar is an unsuitably hot place for such a thing at such a time, I'm almost literally lost for words.
I'm just about able to express that I am unable to express my feelings on the matter. As an alternative, I am just about able to rant uncontrollably and unintelligibly using unlikely and startling combinations of violent swear words. I look forward to someone with sang that is more froid giving voice to my impotent rage.
I mean, really. What in the blue f@ck?
Cheers, Jim ( ) Essex