In a Sunday Mailbox which is understandably dominated by Manchester United, there are a few little bits for the rest, specifically Chelsea & a Liverpool Christmas list...
One Mailboxer may have spent lunch in the pub in suggesting Van Persie could go back to Arsenal. Also, some Premier League meh-ing and a fine Acewatch suggestion...
If you have anything to say on any subject, mail us at email@example.com
Friendlies Are Meaningless
Re. Malcolm, AFC, Tony Lafource. Do you not see the mistake you're making? You're trying to draw conclusions about the season to come from friendlies, you shouldn't, they mean absolutely nothing. When I say absolutely nothing, I don't mean, 'yes, but...' I mean absolutely nothing. I remember a few years back watching a charity friendly for UNICEF, one of the right wingers looked quite handy, he could cross reasonably, pass and had a decent shot, his name? Michael Schumacher, no-one was clamouring for him to switch F1 for professional football. As Frank Rijkaard once said "You don't judge Pavarotti by the way he sings in the shower". Many a team has been known to rip up trees in preseason only to flounder when the real stuff starts, and vice versa.
Stop it, you're making yourself look silly.
...If Arsenal had won the Emirates Cup, and Arsene Wenger had claimed that as proof that Arsenal were strong enough, most Arsenal fans would have jumped up and down to point out that these are just meaningless friendlies.
Isn't it strange then that Malcolm and Tony Laforce choose this morning's mailbox to claim that defeat proves Arsenal aren't good enough.
Arsene Wenger can't win with some Arsenal fans, can he.
United Still Need Rooney
I'm not Wayne Rooney's biggest fan and haven't been for some time but after taking some time to ponder the thought of him leaving and the situation that it will leave the squad in I feel that selling him would be a massive step backwards.
If he leaves not only is he strengthening a Chelsea team that I think will walk away with the league this season but it also greatly inhibits this current United squad. One month ago this would have been acceptable but now at this stage of the transfer window it isn't. We have failed in our bid to lure Fabregas away from Barcelona and this has been our only big name link and, after spending the entire summer tracking him, we have now lost a awful lot of time fannying around with this guy and another signing of this quality looks unlikely given the amount of time we seem to take in negotiating transfers! (offer 35 million in the next 24 hours or move on for f**k sake).
What this could mean is that United enter the season without Rooney who can operate in midfield to an extent and can score goals upfront on his day and without Fergie being able to extract every ounce of talent from a lacking squad, leaving us more vulnerable than ever.
The next few days are going to be key for United's season they can sign Fabregas or another midfielder and keep Rooney, which would enhance the squad and give it some much needed life in the middle of the park or instead of failing to build on the title winning side they could fall flat on their face without a midfielder and without Rooney.
The times they are changing...
The Lonely Boy At The Disco
The likely outcome of United and Arsenal's search for anybody to join them, Liverpool's brouhaha with Basil Brush, and Spurs attempt to retain Bale, is that at least three of them (United, Spurs, and whoever doesn't end up with Suarez) will spend the last weeks and days of August buying players for grossly inflated fees, who aren't radically better than anything they have anyway. United's travails this summer are, I think, largely a product of the disruption caused by the simultaneous departure of Fergie and Gill, and of entrusting transfer negotiations to Gill's replacement, who has no experience of them.
But if UEFA are consistent in their pursuit of greater financial prudence, the logical solution should be to either abolish, or loosen and relax, the transfer windows. The only beneficiaries are agents, who twist and manipulate clubs into higher fees and wages using the urgency and desperation created by an artificial deadline, whilst pimping their players around the market. The origins of the transfer window, to preserve football's time-defined contracts whilst maintaining freedom of movement, are sound enough (given that UEFA are unlikely to tell the EC/EU where to go any time soon). But the current transfer system plainly encourages clubs to overspend in pursuit of competitiveness, driven by fear of being the only boy at the disco without a £30m new transfer at the end of August.
A long term lurker and first time poster here. I just felt I had to respond to Keith in Maidenhead and his post which essentially let gloryhunters off the hook.
In my opinion glory hunters are far from just people "wanting to see the best football", they are in general fairly sad individuals who feel they need to attach themselves to something successful in order to give themselves some self-esteem. I am an Aberdeen fan (from Aberdeen!) and in Scotland we have evidence of glory hunters all around us in the form of the supporters of the 2 shameful arse cheeks of Scottish football, the old firm, most of whom have never set foot in Glasgow or have any reason to support them.
From knowing many of these individuals they really do fit the stereotype of sad individuals who are inadequate themselves yet constantly quote the success of the team they have latched on to for no reason, very sad.
Arsenal v Sony, Or Something
The results against Napoli and Galatasary got me thinking about how Arsenal, a once great club in the early noughties, are now suffering because of their hubris. A similar thing happened with Sony. Sony were dominant, they had the PS2 which was 'the' gaming platform. They had the cultural cool with everyone associating with their brand. They felt 'invincible' so they then chose to carry on doing what they were doing whilst everyone and the world changed. Whilst Samsung looked to develop LCD televisions, Sony pushed on with the now obsolete Cathode ray tube. They banged on about how their image quality was better and how the others were wrong.
Gradually they stopped making the best televisions, the best stereos etc, and began to be squeezed out. Their PS2 was replaced with a PS3, a pig to develop for. They had to buy licenses off Samsung to keep themselves in the game with flat screen televisions and now they are circling the drain, pinning their hopes on one final push with the next playstation. To be fair to Sony, they saw their colossal mistake. This round, they have talked to their developers, they have talked to their customers about what they want, and they are giving them just that. No compromise, what their fans and partners want. It is paying dividends for the hype of their next machine.
Now let's looks at Arsenal. They replaced the Invincibles with substandard players, they have had an immense lack of tactical development whilst everyone else improved, they are obsessed with this fake moral high ground they attempt to take in the method of their play. All of these things show another dying entity circling the drain. Whereas Sony are at least throwing the dice one last time, Arsenal are stuck because their owner and their manager refuse to see what is right in front of them. They won't go out of business any time soon, but they sure as hell are on their way to becoming irrelevant. Some might think this a tenuous analogy, but the point is fair. Arsenal haven't changed, Arsene hasn't changed, and they are an entity blind to their own failings.
For Wenger to honestly say, with a straight face, that we have the squad to challenge for the league without signings is an insult to the fans. City have invested almost £100 million, and they came second, with an already better squad. I would love to hear how Wenger proves that Ignasi Miquel is better than Vincent Kompany, or Giroud the equal of Aguero.
Someone said the one thing football fans want before the start of the season is hope. Hope that we could win something. We don't have that at Arsenal. We have a crushing sense of inevitability.
John Matrix AFC
Bale Should Stay One More Year
To Jerry from this morning's mailbox - the point is fair from Bale's personal perspective, but from a fan's perspective, to build a team with more than one or two top class players that actually can challenge for trophies, the first top class ones have to stay while the team is being built - the return game against Inter was won in a large part by Modric and Van Der Vart, both of whom have also left, both because the club conceded to the player's personal demands.
While there will almost certainly be trophies immediately with a Madrid move, it isn't without it's risks. And while this mentality that 'smaller' clubs shouldn't 'hold back' great players by hanging on to them persists, then the status-quo will always prevail - the same teams will win everything, and teams like Spurs will always be blackmailed into perpetually being a one or two man team.
Waiting one more year and playing ahead of the fantastic midfield spurs are putting together would mean playing in a team which could arguably contend, and leading Spurs to something tangible before he left would make him a Tottenham legend. If he gave it a chance, could he not become our Henry? Why should that be something we should feel bad about hoping for? And surely from Bale's personal perspective that would be something to really be proud of.
Rich Goodspeed (he's going isnt he..sigh)
...I'm not a Spurs fan, but Jerry, Galway's email this morning made a lot of sense. I love Bale and want him to stay in the prem but I can see why he wants to leave. But, hopefully, he might stay just one more year and see what happens.
This is all in theory, but, the new midfield Spurs have bought looks great. And with youngsters, Kane, Carroll and Townsend coming through (if they stay) the future looks good. The goals situation should have been sorted out now with Soldado and Defoe as a back-up squad rotation. Try and flog Adebayor, to West Ham or QPR or something (they buy expensive rubbish players right?) and then take the money from selling Dempsey and Caulker, couple it with the bit of money from selling Parker (they don't need him anymore) and go out and buy Leighton Baines. Left back looks the weakest area of the team for me and imagine how good he'd be for them.
Hopefully, that should see Spurs finally usurp Arsenal, and possibly Man Utd (when things fall apart under Moyes) and they could cement 3rd or 4th and build from there. Bale can get his champs league football and in 2 or 3 years they can mount a serious title challenge (not an Arsenal style one).
Nick (is it a bit Football Manager?) Poninski
...Re: Jerry, Galway
If Bale was so unhappy at Tottenham he didn't show it as he was happily signing a new contract last year to see him through until 2016!!
Thoughts On Rodgers
So Arsenal are acting with a lack of class? Is it just me or has Brendan Rogers talked about Suarez to Arsenal far more than Arsenal have?
Player expresses desire to leave club, another club enter bid to sign player. I fail to understand what is so disgraceful about this. Perhaps it's indicative of Rogers being genuinely worried that Suarez could leave to a rival and he can do nothing about it.
This whole episode has thrust Brendan Rogers's transfer ability harshly into the spotlight. Between signing Joe "the Welsh Xavi" Allen for £15million and telling a wantaway player that he owes the city; how Liverpool fans would judge Rogers's representation of the club in the last year?