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...
There are a few explanations for why Man United seem so comfortable in Europe but not so at home, while some people really aren't very happy with Roy Keane...
If you have anything to say on any subject, mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
A Picture Says A Thousand Words
It was disappointing to see that the 'Barca turn down 30 million bid' headline on the F365 homepage wasn't accompanied by the 'Cesc says LOSER!' picture, which many of us have gotten quite fond of seeing over the past couple of weeks. I was gratified that that very same picture was proudly displayed on espnfc.com's homepage, right above the glorious headline of 'Pique scoffs at Utd's third Cesc bid'. I can only imagine Pique breaking the news to his Barca teammates, before they all spontaneously break into fits of laughter while flashing 'L' signs at each other.
Can F365 find some permanent spot for that Cesc picture on its homepage until the transfer window closes? At least I wouldn't have to feel so guilty about getting my laughs from a rival website.
And to those Man United supporters disgusted by the picture and how much enjoyment it's giving others, I point you to Chris ITFC, Liverpool's entry in yesterday's mailbox. Most definitely agreed that 'a lot of people would like to see Man U get seriously wedgied'. Now if only there was an appropriate image to go with that...
Aaron, Singaporean Gooner
Worried About Pool
Obviously it's far too early to hit the panic button, but Liverpool's transfer strategy seems to be a little illogical to say the least.
We've signed 3 squad players in Aspas, Luis Alberto, and Kolo Toure at an outlay of roughly £15 million quid. Ok, fair enough - I'd question whether that £15m wouldn't have been better spent on a single player to improve the first team for a season in which we're only playing one game a week - but on the whole, understandable.
Next, the £10m for Mignolet. I was on the fence about whether we needed a new keeper, but assumed that if we did buy one the cost would be offset by selling Reina. To discover he's being loaned out was a bit of a surprise to say the least. Yes his wages are now off the bill, but this is now a total of roughly £25m spent that doesn't actually improve the overall team that much.
Rodgers has talked about injecting goals into midfield, and with Suarez (inevitably) gone this is doubly important. Sam Drury echoed the thoughts of many fans when he wrote about how Suarez would probably play some time out wide next season anyways, so it makes sense his 'replacement' doesn't have to be a striker. The gaping holes in the team are real quality out wide, and in defence. The competition for players like Mkhitaryan, Bernard, Eriksen etc means that decisive action is needed to even have a chance of getting them, and the lack of this despite obvious interest in each suggests to me that the club aren't really sure about what type of player they want. It's a lot easier to hedge your bets across a number of squad signings, but these aren't going to bridge the gap to 4th place.
This isn't a scouse maths rant, more of a concern that Liverpool seem to be having a transfer window less like January and more like last summer - significant outlay that ultimately only strengthened the subs bench - and Rodgers simply cannot afford it. After all, there won't be a £40m striker to sell again next year to have another go at this transfer market malarky.
Right, so I'm confused. I fundamentally operate on simple mode, excelling only when nobody is watching, (that's the Ipswich way), but this is all getting a bit Twin Peaks and difficult to follow. So, I am going to attempt to summarise what should happen for the 'fussin and-a fightin' to stop and peace to ensue, Swap Shop like. My theory is based on Barca looking for a new manager, so Arsene has a word with Cesc and...
Cesc goes to Man U, therefore Rooney goes to Chelsea, Torres goes back to Liverpool who then sell Suarez to Arsenal. Arsenal then sell Walcott to Spurs, who play him as a front 2 with Bale, Adebayor and Defoe are sold to Ipswich who release Mick McCarthy to Barca, who plays 5 in the middle, two out wide, one in the hole... (any excuse).
Job done, with no discernable unhappy parties as far as I can see, unless the Mailbox can see fault? I could mediate in the Middle East you know. I'm not saying I'd be good at it mind.
Chris ITFC, Liverpool
*19 goals for Swansea last season.
*Very classy forward.
*Wouldn't look out of place in a top four team.
What am I missing?
Colin Williams, THFC.
Spurs Shouldn't Sell Bale
And who prey-tell does Neil (I don't know if treasonous is a word) Green, THFC think we are going to get in with any amount of money that the sale of Bale will produce? It's not as if the world's best strikers are lining up at the door to play for us is it. Quite quickly they're either being snapped up elsewhere or committing to their incumbents.
Soldado doesn't count, if rumour is true then we're already trying that one on without the finances your sale would generate
Nice thought, but you're f**king mental.
... A polite request. Please do not print any more of Neil Green's mails!!!!
Gareth Bale must not be sold at any price, at least not this summer. He is the heartbeat of the team. The fact that he gets abuse from every ground in the country now just proves how envious the rest of the Premier League are of us and his talent. He is a threat to everyone and is only going to keep getting better.
I can understand Neil's point that Bale will not be around forever. I think this much is obvious, but, we are not yet ready for him to leave. Paulinho and Chadli are a start, and if rumours are to be believed we are already in for Soldado, but selling your best players rarely sends out the right signals for attracting new talent and pushing forward for success.
The players he mentions are not particularly full of flair...Dempsey, Dembele and Lennon for example are capable of creating more than they did last season and flatter to deceive quite often...(Dembele's creative output may increase though when Sandro returns from his long term injury.)
In my opinion, we need to sell Bale when WE are ready. If we sell him now and flounder to 6th or 7th in the league it will be obvious to everyone that we have reverted to being a selling club again, like we were 4 or 5 years ago. We need to build a team capable of absorbing his loss whilst also having the capacity to improve on current performance. It can be done, four teams finished above us last year which didn't contain Bale, but sitting here now on the 22nd July with less than 4 weeks to go until the new season, that isn't going to be the case this season.
What we should do is take a gamble this summer, spend a bit of money and leverage the financial risk, which is reduced anyway due to more TV money, against the value of Bale and have a big push towards breaking the top 4 again, and if it doesn't work out, we can wave Bale on his way...but NOT before. If we cave in to Madrid, then other clubs will start coming for any stand out player we have in the future knowing that we will buckle at the first sign of pressure. Levy has done a good job in toughening our resolve against clubs that try and hawk our talent and it would be a waste to undo all of that by selling Bale this summer.
I think he will go next year, and we will sign 4 players at £15m plus in his place. Levy may be tight but he doesn't profiteer from transfers...we always spend what we recoup, so there is no reason to suggest he will when we sell our biggest asset. But we will need to plan for the next year to achieve this. It will be interesting to see how we fare when he leaves, and I think a few trolls in the media (Durham/Holt) and on Twitter (supporters of all clubs) will be surprised at just what a good TEAM we are
Chips And Mayonnaise
Austin Maguire, you sour old fruit, Belgium aren't the faux-hipster team of choice: they're the team of choice ofpretty much everyone I've met who knows football, and is panting at the prospect of a team containing - one moretime - Courtois, Vermaelen, Kompany, Vertonghen, Fellaini, Witsel, Dembele, Mirallas, Hazard, Lukaku, and Benteke.
That, Gandhi, is a better team than England has, so see if you can find it in your heart to understand we just fancy the prospect of seeing an unusual team turning up at the World Cup to do something.
Too Much Fitba
To follow on from David P (p.s. Kagawa is not a winger) Manchester, I think we now live in a world where there is almost 'too much coverage' of football - especially in these summer months. To draw conclusions from a pre-season friendly against some no-marks is of course pointless, and Tom (and remember I told you first ;) Goldenballs claims about Gedion Zelalem just furthered the embarrassment.
In my old-fashioned eyes, football stops in May and resumes in August. I could not care less what Arsenal do in June and July on their money-spinning outings, as long as they're getting things done off the pitch to be ready for the new campaign.... ahem.
Anyway, in the Twitter driven world we live in, you cannot help but see this coverage. I'm not going to unfollow a few people having kittens over the likes of Zelalem because during the season when football actually matters, they generally have interesting things to say. It's just sad that some people care about the Asia Cup, Emirates Cup, Ajax Cup etc etc.
This summer has been bloody brilliant for sport what with the cricket, golf, tennis and even cycling again. Some people need to broaden their horizons because Premier League teams swanning around Asia is not real sport.
Joe, AFC, East Sussex
Thanks For The Advice
Hi F365, I'm just writing in to let you know that you don't have to publish every mail that Chris MUFC sends in to your brilliant mailbox section, seriously, he's in about every single one of the mailbox's from the past month and his opinion changes more times than my underwear.
Chris, what an earth are you talking about now? Moyes is more open with the public on his transfer dealings than Fergie was so he's now become your overnight favourite manager has he? Didn't Fergie go balls to the wall last season when publicly talking about his transfer move for Eden Hazard? What about the very public Robin Van Persie saga? I'm guessing these have slipped your mine as they were a long time ago now weren't they.
Furthermore, you suggest that by acknowledging bids for players and divulging details of the offers that this demonstrates urgency, ambition and interaction with the clubs fans...What? I'm struggling to understand if you're actual serious with this sentence I'm not even joking. Didn't it occur to you that clubs like to keep certain transfer dealings quiet for several obvious reasons, such as rival bids from other clubs which could increase the price, a player demanding more wages because of his newly realised self-importance or total collapse of the offer because of public interest?
Just because a club is keeping certain deals secret it doesn't mean they don't interact or show urgency and it quite clearly suggests that they ARE showing ambition by making these moves. I apologize if Fergie didn't give you enough transfer updates to entertain you whilst you were bored stiff throughout your entire day Chris, but that's not how transfers usually happen, I guess Fergie should have been a little bit more like Harry Redknapp? Jesus, you actually make it sound as though Fergie was in charge of Area 51.
And after that completely pointless mail of yours you round it off by almost suggesting "well, Fabregas probably won't come, oh well", Chris, if a manager just makes a cheeky bid for a player to test the water I'd rather I didn't know and wasn't so let down when it is rejected, it's like taking a girl back to your place after a long night out grafting for her to reveal when you're trying it on with her that she has a boyfriend and she has to go home.
Smyth, MUFC's query over the logic and dynamic of a transfer request is one that has always bugged me too. I stumbled across a useful conversation the other day between journalist, Raphael Honigstein, and sports lawyer, Ian Lynam (@honigstein and @ianlynam, for anyone who can be arsed venturing into the Tw*ttersphere) where Lynam clarified the ins and outs of it all. According to Lynam, all the player loses are any unpaid installments of the signing-on fee owed to him by his current club. The fabled "loyalty bonus" is lost too - but this is lost whenever a player leaves, regardless of transfer request.
So, in a sense, I think the suggestion of recouping lost fees from the next club is valid - and probably does happen. But that leads me to a more fundamental question; if a transfer request is intended to keep a transfer fee down, doesn't loading the cost into signing-on fees defeat the purpose for the buying club? Or, more simply, what's the point of the transfer request?
Conor (not that one), AVFC
More Trophy Chat
The ultimate cup, got to be the Isle of Man TT Senior trophy. A great, big, beautiful silver beast of a thing that you need the strength of Geoff Capes in his prime to get above your head. It's everything the Ashes Urn isn't. Closely followed by the Thameside Under 14's League Winners Cup circs '77. Three people clapped when I hoisted that above my head. C'mon you Denton Boys.
...Thanks for the info Austin, but sadly I'm old enough to mean the original Jules Rimet Cup! I can even remember when Gillingham won their first and only other proper trophy back in 63/4. And I actually think the current FIFA World Cup Trophy is rather nice.
...Best trophy? It's got to be the current FIFA World Cup. Not the actual World Cup, but the miniature replica you could get for your Subbuteo. Oh, the pride of sticking that beast in the middle of the pitch so it towered above your tiny players.
Much like the Star Wars AT-AT, this trophy was the pinnacle of any Subbuteo collection (along with the spring loaded goalies). Did anyone manage an entire stadium set up where the stands were full (like in the advert)? I could only manage one stand and 24 (badly painted) fans.
Dylan (the players are made of bloody card now) WHU