Moyes is lacking 'charismatic authority', Kieran Gibbs is defended, Chelsea's problems are examined and a dreadful chant attacked. It's a glorious mailbox...
Fear is stopping Moyes dismantling Fergie's team, we are told. Plus, one Arsenal fan digs at Gibbs and mails on Martinez, the Group of Death and a Spurs Christmas list...
If you have anything to say on any subject, mail us at email@example.com
With all this Rooney and Suarez transfer talk, am I the only one thinking...SWAP DEAL! What could possible go wrong?
Jamie (Sorting transfer dillemas since 2011) Dowsworth
Always A Blue?
Maybe the solution to Man Utd transfer dealings this summer lies in one simple statement made many moons ago, Mr Rooney once said 'Once a Blue, always a Blue'.
Man Utd should test that theory and offer Everton cash plus Rooney for Baines AND Fellaini. I know it sounds overly simplistic but it might just work. Maybe Rooney see a Moyes-less Goodison Park as suitable destination, it would certainly be a challenge for him, he would have the ego boost of being the 'big fish' and he would play every week as a centre-forward plus he is a fan of the club.
Whether Everton could afford his wages is another question mind
Chris S (a Newcastle fan that wouldn't mind Rooney at St James')
Why Rooney's Not Worth £40m
Come October, FIFA's glorious Webster Ruling will enable Wayne Rooney to buy out the remaining duration of his contract, which at two years would be anything between £12-26m or so, depending on the basic and which particular brand of sensationalist tripe you buy heedlessly into. Now, the chances of Rooney using this rule to leave United are slim but it is clear from plenty of other transfers that contract value, particularly when you get down to the last two years of a deal, heavily influence the negotiations and eventual selling price.
The problem Paul, Ireland is having is that he's measuring the potential worth of Wayne Rooney against the sale of one player who had a long, expensive contract and was bought by the richest club in the world AND the completely arbitrary and made-up possible values of two players who haven't gone anywhere yet - potentially because the price their clubs have set for them are laughably unrealistic to possible buyers.
I don't believe Van Persie cost £24m, the same way I don't believe Chelsea conned £12m out of Liverpool for Sturridge when he had just six months of his contract left. Sometimes it's better to use common sense than simply believe whatever journalists with literally no accurate insight into football's finances tell you. Rooney will be sold - not because Chelsea will bully United into it, but because United very clearly want to sell him, and it will be for very little more than his remaining United wages.
...In response to Paul, Ireland, no Rooney is not worth £40m, and the reason is that a players worth on the transfer market depends on many factors:
- length of contract remaining
- current form
- who the buying club is
- situation of the selling club
Now MU don't need to sell so its situation is not an issue affecting Rooney's value. However, comparing him to Cavani or Falcao is not always helpful as these two players were bought by mega-rich clubs for whom £50m is pocket money. If those two clubs (+ Man City, Chelsea, Barça and Real) aren't buying, then no one else will pay that sort of money. It's just those six clubs really. Even the likes of MU, Bayern, and all the Italian clubs won't pay stupid money. And the selling clubs know it. If PSG, Monaco, City and Chelsea hadn't been interested, Cavani would have gone for a lot less, I reckon.
Now length of contract remaining is another interesting point: as a player approaches the end of his contract, his value is bound to diminish. Not his value as a player, but the transfer amount that the selling can extract from the buying club. How long has Rooney left on his contract? If he has just two, then it means that next year he can start speaking to clubs for absolutely zilch money for United. This means that even this year, with two years remaining, Utd are under pressure, and that surely will affect the value they can hold out on when negotiating with others.
Finally, form: a bad (or average) season will worry everyone. Whereas in comparison, a great season (like Cavani just had) will excite people and inflate a player's value, not necessarily for rational reason, but in the eyes of the mega-rich club owners, he becomes a 'must-have' player. But Rooney's last two years don't quite place him in that category, I don't think he has been 'exciting' enough.
Last point, you mention Suarez and Higuain 'valued' at £40m and £35m respectively, but they haven't gone for that, have they? This is just speculation. Personally, I don't think Liverpool will get £40m for Suarez. And I'm not convinced whoever gets Higuain will pay £35m. Didn't David Villa go for £7m? I know they're not in the same league, but still..
Mike, 'Having said that, I would like Rooney at Chelsea', Auckland Blue
What Would United Fans Do If They Finished Fourth?
David from Ireland asks a good question. The answer is probably screaming from the rafters and wails that the end is nigh, but I would hope that most level-headed supporters (rather than fans, there is a distinction) would not break step. But we would expect to see some decent and immediate action over the summer.
If anyone expects Moyes to win the league this next season, you need to reevaluate or you're almost certainly going to be disappointed. He is facing one of the world's best managers in charge of one of the best squads in the world, on his old turf with the fans all behind him. He is also facing another good manager, with a great squad and a book of blank cheques. Spurs are on the up, Arsenal are a wounded lion, and there will a surprise package from somewhere in midtable, maybe in the form of Liverpool.
Meanwhile, Moyes has his first proper challenge. Now, don't get me wrong, with the squad we have plus the addition of Fellaoni and hopefully Bale or some decent left-sided winger, and maybe Baines steaming up the left, we should be there or thereabouts by the end. I think fourth is quite unlikely, but third is probably where my money would go this season if I'm honest. United are like an oil tanker - they will keep going perfectly fine at the same level and pace, but it's changing the gears or turning that will be the problem.
Let me reiterate my mail from the other day: get behind the manager. He is going to have a tough enough job remolding that team and patching the holes, while battling the mind games of Jose and probably Pellegrini without fighting the terraces too.
Guy S (can't wait for us to sign Beckham as PR spokesman)
...David poses a question that I have been struggling with for the past month - what would happen if United finish fourth? With the appointment of Moyes, United sent out a message that they were looking for a long-term future plan and not for short success. Assuming that not much activity is done during this window or the worst case where United don't buy anyone - is there a chance Moyes can drag this side to a title fight? It seems highly unlikely. At least for the first season. The squad has to get used to a new manager, the manager has to get used to the hype and the pressure and the fans have to get used to Moyes. With the return of the Special One and the quiet business City have been doing across the road - it looks like the top two places are pretty much out of grasp. I would be satisfied with a 3rd/4th place but that is where the fun starts: Arsenal should be favourites for third while Spurs will not want to miss out on fourth place again. Liverpool have also been looking sharp with their transfers and it is quite possible that we may see four teams battle for these two spots. In the case that Arsenal do bag third - is fourth place really that bad? We'd still be in Europe (qualifying should be achievable) and Moyes would have gained experience. The team would also get used to his style.
I am not worried about the record of never having finished outside the top three. And with Moyes' record, fourth place would be a positive start. I would back him to learn from his mistakes and come back stronger next season with more experience. But I do hope we will not see a backlash calling for Moyes' head and get a new manager in. That is more terrifying than the prospect of playing qualifying ties for Champion's League football. Having seen the merry-go-round that the manager's seat at Chelsea is - I'd hate for United to start the same way in the hope that they can achieve short term success.
...David from Ireland asks seriously what Utd fans will think if we finish fourth this season.
As a (fairly) reasonable Utd fan I can only say that I will be disappointed, but not that surprised or worried.
I think the club had the option of going for another long-term manager, in which case Moyes WAS the best choice, or go like most other clubs and go for quick glory. I don't for one second believe that if SAF had called up Mourinho and told him he was taking over he would have turned it down!! Rubbish, simple as that! SAF took a long time to get it right, we owe Moyes to give him at least two seasons to learn his (big time) trade.
I also agree with Chav that they should just buy Fellaini and get prepared. Unless they really are willing to pay at least 60m for Bale or 35m for Fabregas then forget about it. It will come back and bite Moyes on the a***, as journalists won't shut up about it. Unless of course he is actually playing mind games....
Chelsea Fans Falling Out
Adam Corbett in yesterday's mailbox...what are you on mate?
1. Joe Cole went from being a lazy player who let the team down to an England regular and a vital component to Chelsea under Mourinho. There was still plenty of flair in Joe Cole, but he was a more well-rounded player, with a far greater value to the team.
2. Lampard has never done a stepover in his life? Unlike Joe Cole who did all the stepovers ALL the time, losing the ball regularly and never tracking back, until Jose sorted him out.
3. Did you watch Ozil or Di Maria to name two players beside Ronaldo play under Mourinho? These guys was unbelievably creative, not too far from how Mata plays for Chelsea now.
The Mata chat is clearly just rumour based on speculation of how the old Chelsea team under Jose played, not on how his Inter or Real Madrid teams did.
Lori Peri, London, CFC
If Fabregas Joins United...
Since becoming a grown-up I've felt like Buckaroo, with football slowly but surely laying more of it's crap on my back. The casual attitude to racism, players earning in a week what normal folk earn in 5-10 years for being able to kick a ball well, players being able to bite, put fags out on and fire air rifles at each other whilst remaining in their job.
Last season I thought I'd hit the final straw with RvP wiping his arse on the eight injury-ravaged years we stuck by him and nurtured him to go and placate the 'little boy inside him' and move to the Theater of Dreams. However I'm 100% sure Cesc Fabgregas to United will be it for me, I'll have to find something else to fill my weekends, perhaps medieval war reenactments or start a family or some sh*t like that.
Luca James Sparks
Arsenal Worth Punt For Title
Now I'm no Arsenal fan but I agree that people need to take them seriously this season. I think they genuinely do want a marquee signing this summer. A statement of intent if you will. Suarez would be a major coup. Yes he's got more baggage than Ryanair flights can handle but he's also box office. A bit of a menace that they could probably give them an edge. A player who can light up any team. And I reckon Wenger is looking at the landscape of the of the top teams and there is a certain amount of unknowns there.
Moyes at Utd is a massive gamble. Fergie gone is a boost to all their rivals. Pelligrini at City is another interesting one - I personally rate him but could it take him time to get them paying the way he wants? And for some reason I just see Mou flopping (I may eat my words as they seal the title by Feb). He's the kind of manager where two or three seasons at one club is enough and I think he wears players down after that. So going back to Chelsea to many new players granted but I wonder whether the old guard will remember and get sick of his antics sooner this time and some unrest kicks in.
With all that in mind, Wenger must fancy a crack at the title. I think they are worth a punt. They finished strongly in the second half of last season and a marquee signing may give Wenger himself a psychological boost that this is their year.
Strikers That Would Improve Arsenal
No Doubt you'll get a few of these but Tom (drives me nutts) Goldenballs' claim that there are only three available strikers that would improve Arsenal's strike-force, or in other words are better than Giroud, is frankly ridiculous. If we are to believe that Arsenal have £70m available to spend on transfers then that means they can afford to sign pretty much any striker on the market. So off the top of my head that means at the start of the transfer window they could have tried to sign any of the following: Higuain, Suarez, Rooney, Falcao, Cavani, Jovetic, Negredo, Soldado, Gomez and arguably Villa, Cardozo and Benteke. The last three are debatable but the rest would surely improve Arsenal's strikeforce. To say there aren't any available strikers out there that are better than Giroud for a club with £70 million to spend is mental!
Introducing An AB
I've had a brilliant new idea for a position on the football field.
The player technically takes the place that a CM would take, but he'd be an Angry Bastard, or AB, and could be utilised as part of a scheme to get the people of Glasgow back to work. We pair them with a technical, yet limited physically midfielder in a traditional 4-4-2, or at the bottom of the midfield in a 4-3-2-1.
Now here's the critical bit:
We arm them with a broken bottle.
You can hear Big Jimmy McF*ckOff now: "If you come near Carrick I'll fuckin kill ya!"
I'd love to see the match of the day analysis on that, seeing how the cliche peddlers describe Bradley Johnson being taken off with multiple facial wounds, with special guest Neil Warnock growling his approval.
Just an idea...
Strangest Bit Of Memorabilia
I have Chimbonda's match shirt from Spurs Vs Hapoel Tel Aviv in 2007. After the match he jogged over to the crowd and threw it in. The game was played in Tel Aviv and I literally has to fight off a mob of people who were trying to steal the shirt off me after the game.
I still get weird looks from other Spurs supporters when I wear the shirt.
Asher (Miss the glory day of Acimovic, Bunjevcevic and Kazuyuki Toda), THFC, Australia
...I've got a photograph of ex-Irish President Mary Robinson signed by Packie Bonner at home....top that!!
...In response to Conor, the day before the 1997 FA Cup Final, I went to the Bridge and to my surprise the whole team came out after training (Hughes, Wise, Gullit, Vialli, Zola...and Morris) and I got their autographs...on a pamphlet to get a Chelsea credit card. Which I was too young to have anyway, but it was the only thing I could find.