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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Marouane Over Marquee Please
100% agree with Sarah's article about United buying Fellaini. Signing Fabregas is not going to happen this season, and not because of some loyalty to Arsenal as some of the gooners would have you believe - why would he forego trophies and re-sign for Arsenal? He has only been at Barca two years and he won't want to be seen as some sort of a failure as no doubt that would be a tagline that would stick with him for life. How could he possibly sit peacefully, as an old man, sipping coffee on some cobbled street in Cataluña without some passing wag shouting, 'fracaso!'? He'll give it one more season at Barca, but if it doesn't go as planned I am confident he will sign for United next year.
For the here and now, we should buy Fellaini; I cannot understand why we haven't already. We already have plenty of creativity in the ranks; especially when you look at the kids coming through, such as Januzaj and Lindgard, and players such as Zaha and Kagawa feeding the strikers. Bring in Fellaini to play alongside Carrick and to provide the muscle and foundation to allow the forwards to play. I don't care about 'marquee signings'. I just want to see the right players brought in and I would be very happy with Fellaini. Throw in Cabaye and we'll be sorted - imagine in big games playing a 4-3-3/4-5-1 with a midfield three of Carrick, Fellaini and Cabaye; the balance would be awesome.
Do it Moysie and forget about expensive pipe dreams. Oh and keep Nani. That bitch be crazy, but he has mad skillz.
Garey Vance, MUFC
Fellaini Would Not Improve United Squad
Am I the only one who doesn't really understand the 'desperation' of Man Utd fans for a new central midfielder? I mean, from the squad that walked the Premier League last year they have only lost Scholes, who was by no means a regular anyway. That leaves them with Carrick, Giggs, Cleverley, Anderson, that's four players for two positions. Add to that Phil Jones and Wayne Rooney who both filled in there when needed without detrimenting the side. Kagawa is yet to find his role in the United side, it could well be in central midfield in the same way that Modric did the deep-lying playmaker role for Spurs. Then you have Darren Fletcher who is due to return from long-term illness/injury in September this year.
So all together Carrick, Giggs, Cleverley, Anderson, Jones, Rooney, Kagawa and Fletcher, eight viable options for the two midfield spots - where is the desperation?
That is a lot of weekly wages on the books, and this isn't Football Manager, you can't just move people on as easy and you don't want to be in a situation where you have a plethora of squad players twiddling their thumbs I understand that Man Utd would be interested in top-class players like Fabregas who can come along and give them something they don't already have, but James McCarthy from Wigan as one person wrote in? Promising player but he would not improve that current squad, he is no better than Cleverley. I'm also not sure that Fellaini/Thiago would really improve that squad either, it's almost as if the Football Manager generation of fans just find some kind of comfort in transfer activity regardless of whether it actually improves anything?
Nani, Zaha And RVP In Front Three?
LOH, Basel is so very, very right. Nani has been the primary victim of United's quest to accomodate Rooney at all costs, and is actually a bloody good player. He suffers by inevitable and reflexive comparison with Ronaldo, but remains one of United's most dangerous players: when fit (and his injury record, apart from last season, is pretty good), and when made to feel wanted by the club, he can be devastating, and by attracting two markers whenever in possession, creates space for others. Nani's putative inconsistency is similar to the charges of inconsistency levelled at Stuart MacGill in comparison to Shane Warne. Genuine wingers/wide attackers are, by necessity, inconsistent in their brilliance, like legspinners in cricket. Simply because Nani isn't as good as Ronaldo, as MacGill wasn't as good as Warne, does not mean he isn't a special player, worthy of the care and special treatment instead extended to Wazza.
A front three of Nani, Zaha and Van Persie, with Kagawa playing behind, would be far more mobile, technically competent, quick and intelligent than one containing the relics of Fergie's follies in the past few years, Young and Rooney.
Evans = That Kind Of Player
Now then, I realise that there is a small chance I might get pilloried for this, however I was saddened by the news that Stuart Holden has suffered a recurrence of an ACL injury. Holden had an excellent season for Bolton in 2010-11, and I was convinced he could have gone on to do a job at a club near the top end of the table. He seems like an affable chap as well.
Some of you may recall that season was ended by a tackle that was, shall we say, a little over-zealous by Jonny Evans. The tackle left Holden needing 20 stitches and nursing an ACL injury, ruling him out for six months. Unfortunately, Holden has suffered the same injury playing for the US. Evans' tackle clearly plays a part in this.
I find it curious that Evans escapes the same sort of press as another young British defender who put a bad tackle in on a promising talent who has never been quite the same since. The press that this person receives is such that you all know who I'm talking about and I haven't even mentioned his name.
Perhaps it's because this was a one-off incident for Evans? A quick stroll of the internet will show you Evans appearing to punch West Brom's Marcus Rosenberg in an off the ball incident, as well as kicking Didier Drogba square in the chest (possibly unintentionally to be fair). And then of course, there was the tackle last year where Jonjo Shelvey was sent off, with Evans perhaps lucky to avoid a similar punishment.
I've tried to refrain from being sensationalist here. It's a genuine debate opener. On the face of it, Evans' misdemeanours are at least as severe and as frequent as Shawcross'. Anyone care to present a sensible riposte as to why the reputations of both players seem to be so different? Or do we agree that they are both 'that type of player'?
I should also point out that I'm not frowning upon this. I believe that there is a place for a rough-housing centre half in football and I like a big, firm tackle (stop it!) as much as anyone. I am merely pointing out the apparent inconsistency. If it helps, imagine the reports if Aaron Ramsey were to suffer another leg break.
Losing Marbles After Mailbox
I'm not going to lie...this is how I felt when reading todays mailbox.
Real Madrid aren't a big club and only have history to their name? Do me a favour Silvio, I guess by your logic then Chelsea are a bigger club than Real Madrid as they have won more leagues titles and champions leagues titles than Real in the last ten years?
I agree to an extent with LOH regarding Nani, it's not that he's good enough to stay it's that we have nobody better than him at the moment. Nani, Young and Valencia are all frustrating players who just aren't that good. If we had some decent wingers he'd be packing his bags this season. It's good to have a flair player but when they have one good game for every 10 games it's a p***-take.
And Chris.. what do you smoke when you write these emails in? Me and my buddies would love to know we're thinking of kicking back tonight. On James McCarthy you said 'tends to play by quickly recycling the ball forward or wide (much like Carrick)'. Oh, so you want another Michael Carrick do you? Well that would be just great, also, you may have missed the moment when Dave Whelan quoted £20 million for his services.
A Carrick that's more expensive than Carrick? No thanks.
All right, Silv. I'll bite. I don't think I'll be the only one given how ridiculous your Real Madrid = poo e-mail was. (Maybe you've been eating some bad provolone? Not enough sugar in your struffoli?)
"You won half your European Cups when about 4 teams were in the competition during the stone ages."
- Badabing! But seriously though, Silv. Should those European Cups be chalked off? Chucked out of their museum's trophy cabinet for being...too old? Did dinosaurs not exist either? Did Jimmy Savile exclusively give kids little quaint medals?
"You've won the same amount of these trophies as Manchester United since 1968. Three in 45 years."
Liverpool have been in a CL final more recently than Real Madrid. Therefore they are the better team. Yeah, that's how that works.
"You haven't even been in a final for 11 years."
Madonn'! Haven't EVEN been in the final. When it's like SOOOO easy. Where's your swag, Real? I can't even remember what happened the last time Real Madrid were in a final, it's not like any good goals were scored or anything...
"You have won the league once in five years."
Yeah, which is totally unacceptable when you consider the dearth of world-class competition in that league in the last five years.
"You couldn't beat Barcelona so resorted to violence and having the excuse of red cards as a reason why you lost."
Two words on this one, Silvie: Jose Mourinho.
And, not to split hairs, but you've totally glossed over the fact that Real beat Barcelona without kicking them by the end of his time in Spain. Also newsflash: both of those teams kicked the s**t out of each other long before Sky started televising 'The Classico'. You should probably get over the kicking bit when we've got Ryan Shawcross in England.
"Your club is a circus."
I'm interested to know what you were thinking about on this one as you moodily smashed your keyboard like a menstrual Germaine Greer having accidentally received an annual subscription of Zoo Magazine. Real Madrid has won more European Cups than any other team, more Spanish league titles than any other team and a fair few things in between. The best players in the world have turned out for Real, year after year, decade after decade. Without even going into the sociopolitics of the club's rivalry with ANOTHER one of the world's most biggest football clubs, (Barcelona's yang to the Madrista ying) - Real Madrid is simply one of the most iconic clubs in the world in the same way that the Eiffel Tower is one of the most iconic landmarks in the world. There are many reasons why is this the case, going back a long way. But at this stage, why not just accept it, bro?
"Why do other people think they are so great?"
"what is the point in playing for a revered club who actually live in the past? Might as well play for Liverpool."
Gareth Bale's current employers = Tottenham.
So basically paisano, if I were you, I'd stick to whacking people.
This Is Not Liverpool's Year
In reply to Silvio Dante from this morning's mailbox. I actually quite enjoyed reading your mail until the very last line. And then I genuinely got so angry that I couldn't read any more mails, as my focus was now on formulating a reply in my head as I sat waiting to get my wig chopped at the barbers.
I am 27 years old. I am a Liverpool fan, for my sins. And I am unbelievably fed up with the persistent, non-stop, ongoing (out of synonyms) drivel about Liverpool fans living in the past. There are a new generation of Liverpool fan, and I shall tell you our past, since you obviously are incapable of seeing these things yourself and have to spout out what everyone else does. You should work on MOTD.
I don't not remember Liverpool winning the league. My earliest memories are of the great Graeme Souness and what I can only describe as a hairy turd on his upper lip. The Roy Evans era (a Coca Cola cup and not much else) and the not-comical-at-all joint manager scenario with Big GED H are all that stand out from the mid to late 90s. This must be the past that I and many more LFC fans under 30 miss so much and wish we had once again!
Granted, the Noughties were more successful in bringing 'the plastic treble' and a fifth European Cup with Djimi 'The Legs' Traore at left back, but I would hardly call the past 25 years of LFC as something I'd want to live again; I want more!
I hate it when people mention Dalglish and Super Sub and all that rubbish, it means nothing to me and so many others. So get a brain and think of something original.
And just to clarify, this will not be Liverpool's year. We won't get top four and we will do well to finish top six.
I feel better now.
I'm going to assume that Conor, Dublin was being sarcastic about comparing Coutinho with Oscar. To me, it makes perfect sense to compare Oscar and Coutinho (as well as Neymar) because they play in very similar roles and positions. Oscar has done well, and he has broken into the Brazil team, I can't argue with that.
However, I do feel I should point out to him that Coutinho is actually about nine months younger than Oscar, and also moved to England aged 20 as a result. Perhaps he didn't have the best of times in Italy, but then again he did move as an 18-year-old trying to break into the previous Treble winning side and Italy is a rather defensive league so lets cut him a little slack.
If we compare the stats, we'll see that in 13 league games, Coutinho managed three goals and seven assists whereas Oscar managed four goals and seven assists in his 37 games. Alas there aren't many more ways to compare them yet, as it's both just been their first season in the league (aside from perhaps transfer fee, with Coutinho coming in for 11m less). For me personally, Coutinho looks an exciting prospect but he needs to prove himself this season that he can make a difference against the top teams, but he does seem a lot more suited to this league and we could see a proper international breakthrough if he keeps up the form he is in.
Andy Greer (Wishing England had some players like these)
...Conor has clearly forgotten that the excitement over Coutinho doesn't stem solely from a friendly in Thailand, but from him playing very well over the second half of the season last year. In which he managed three goals and five assists in only 13 Premier League appearances. While Oscar had four goals and seven assists in a total of 34 Premier League appearances.
While Oscar has certainly proven more and is on the Brazilian national team, I don't think it's as clear-cut as Conor makes it out to be. Especially when Coutinho's recent form paints a completely different picture than his time at Inter Milan.
Not A Fan Of Anyone, Hate Liverpool
Let me start by saying I don't support a football team. I love football. It's great. I love watching it. I love talking about it. I love it. I don't feel any need to 'belong'. It's not how I identify myself. I don't think I lose anything by not supporting a team. In fact, I think it enhances my enjoyment of the game. I always want someone to win or lose and I can assess issues objectively. I'm probably a hipster (although I haven't watched much foreign footy since the Football Italia days). It also means I can have 'bantz' with everyone and they have no recourse apart from saying 'well you're a bit fat' or 'why've you had your hair cut like Rihanna?'
Having said all that, I'm starting to foster a burning hatred for Liverpool. I've never been fond of them, I'm not entirely sure why. The fans' sense of entitlement maybe or because I prefer the Stones. I don't know. It's a real shame too cos with old Brendan in charge it should be a laugh a minute but their fans on here are really starting to grate my gears. Justin this morning writes 'apparently if you type 'pepe reina penalty save' in google it comes up with 'did you mean pepe reina concedes penalty?'' Now that would be well worthy of some lolz if it were true but it just isn't. I've just done it Justin. You've just wasted everyone's time mate. It would have been quicker for you to type 'pepe reina penalty save' into google than what you wrote in your mail. Then you could have ascertained that it was in fact not true. You could also have clicked on one of the links it provided to find out when he last saved a penalty. It's not rocket surgery man. Jeez.
Jamie, Leeds (glad Conor's back and happy)
Any Objections, Fellas?
I'm constantly seeing that Angel Di Maria and Fabio Coentrao will be offered as part of this Bale deal...no newspaper thought to wonder if either of them players would be happy with the drop in wages, lack of Champions League football?
No? That's alright then.
Come On Spurs. Do It For Adrian.
As the new season is looming closer I am sure I am not alone in thinking that, although I have no reason to wan them to do well, it would be good if Spurs won the title, and maybe the Champions League the following year. I say this because having seen the numerous attempts to undermine what Villas-Boas achieves with Spurs by Adrian Durham, I would love to see his attempt to convince us all that Villas-Boas should be sacked, whilst somehow giving credit for the trophies won to 'arry.
Just a thought.
Too Much Too Young?
I just wanted to ask a question of the fellow mailbox contributors regarding the 'possible' transfer of Bale to Madrid and David Pleat's comments.
Pleat said that Bale is too young to move abroad now and should wait a year.
My question is, why is Bale too young to go abroad but foreign youngsters are okay to come to England and succeed at an even younger age? See Fabregas, Ronaldo etc.
Is this just a desperate attempt from a Spurs supporter to stop him leaving or are our British players incapable of living in another country?
Are they too precious to learn a new language and live a different life style? Is this the reason hardly any of our players try to play abroad?
Just wondered what other people thought about this.
Thanks and have a good day.
The Dave Supremacy
That Dave, Leeds, feels the need to clarify that he's not a stalker, surely only helps strengthen the suspicion that he's exactly that. I can picture the scene:
SW: Hello, Sarah Winterburn.
D: I've been reading your stories.
SW: Who is this?
D: This is Dave (Leeds).
SW: Err...Hi. What do you want?
D: I just wanted to tell you, keep up the good work.
D: Get some rest Sarah, you look tired. (Dial tone)
Sarah turns and looks out the window onto nothingness...
Nick Hamblin, Bristol
He's Back; We're Scared.
Following this morning's revelation that I have worked next door to F365 Towers for several years, I have also discovered that my missus did some temp work for you a few years ago.
This is just a coincidence, I promise. I'm not going to start following you on your sandwich runs, fumbling in the shadows.
Dave (looking more like a stalker with every mailbox), Leeds
Metric F*ck-ton Of Pedantry
A "ton" is an imperial unit of measurement, equalling a shade over 907kg. The metric equivalent, at 1000kg, is a 'tonne'.
Even if it's made up to sound all clever-bollocks, in fact especially as such, there would be no such thing as a 'metric f*ck-ton'.
This has been annoying me recently.
Cheers, Jim (of course, the original French 'metric f*ck-tonne' is only about 950kg of f*ck) Essex