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The Opening Mail
Please put this email first in tomorrow's mailbox. It's not that I crave pole position or the spot/lime light, but it will all make sense in the next paragraph....
....and that's this. Dear fellow readers, if, like me, you're bored witless with constant emails about any of the following; Bale, Rooney, Suarez et al, skip the first 80% of the mailbox (excluding this of course) and go straight to the last 20%, where you'll discover original and mirth-filled gems filled with hi-jinx and youthful folly.
Otherwise if the constant merry-go-round of will he won't he floats your boat, then simply leave that mouse alone and scroll on.
As Our Graham from Blind Date used to say...'the choice is yours'....
So I see that this morning's development is that Suarez is being made to train alone.
Despite all that has gone on, I just hope that as he walks through this storm, he can hold his head up high...how does the rest of that go again?
Terry Hall, Switzerland
If The Workers United...
Have the aggrieved Bale (and Suarez) considered walking around with the word 'slave' on their faces like Prince did when he tried to leave his record company? Maybe Bale can call himself 'The Artist Formerly Known As Gareth'? or Suarez change his name to 'Squiggle'?
I am sure in these economically challenged times their stances will be well received by the proletariat.
David Harris, Sydney
Liverpool Or Arsenal - Your Choice?
I've been following the Suarez saga with remorseful interest. Logic and reason try to steer me away but I keep getting drawn back to same old websites (according to a Sky Sports source...). The past few days have seen some real quotes in the media and it looks like turning into a top drawer sh*t throwing contest. As soon as Phil Thompson gets involved, you're onto a winner.
What I have found reasonably interesting in all of this is the assertion from the Liverpool camp that they are at least equal to Arsenal, whether that be in history, ambition, recent trophy haul...pretty much anything where the comparison is of course favourable to Liverpool.
With that in mind, I'd like to pose a question to the mailbox - You are an international footballer, some say one of the best strikers around. You have the opportunity to play for either Liverpool or Arsenal. Who do you choose and why?
Answers from sane, impartial folk please. Don't even bother Brendan.
Mark (and no 'turd vs. French turd', 'I'd go to Utd' stuff please) MTFC
Only Hope Is To Sell
Liverpool fans' moaning about selling to rival are really missing the big issue, they are not rivals to Arsenal as they cannot hope to topple Spurs. Bale's transfer saga is the key to their top-four place; if Spurs manage to keep Bale then Suarez will be most likely be signed to Real Madrid <£40 making Liverpool unable to compete with Tottenham. If Bale leaves to Real Madrid then Liverpool are left with an unhappy and disruptive player without not enough cash to improve their squad.
Liverpool's only hope of a top-four place is to sell Suarez for as much money as possible and hope that two £20m+ players want to join a team not competing in Europe, i.e. Eriksen and Wiilian. This looks unlikely, Spurs have recruited well and Arsenal may be able to sign another top (top) forward so 6th/ 7th place looks like Liverpool's home for the next few years. Why else would they have employed Brendan Rodgers?
Graham Davies, Derbyshire
Applauding Brendan For Suarez Stance
People have been known to mock Brendan Rodgers. Fair enough - he leaves himself open to it sometimes.
I will say this though: he should be lauded for the way he has and is handling the Suarez situation.
There isn't any loyalty in football - we all know that - and you can't demand it from your own players when you expect to be able to unsettle other team's players when you want them to sign for you. But this is a unique case in many respects given just how much of a c**k Suarez is and just how much the club has defended and protected him when he should have been hung out to dry.
Personally I want him sold. A position I have held ever since he racially abused Evra and not due to his petulance in the past few weeks or his biting of Ivanovic. A c**k is a c**k and the fact that he is a footballer shouldn't put him beyond reproach. It's been said a million times before but in any other business he would have been fired for gross misconduct by now.
Brendan - get him sold and move on.
Nope...Bad Move Brendan
What a bad move by Rodgers. By publicly dissing Suarez (rightly or wrongly), he has definitely weakend Liverpool's negotiating power. Now they have to get rid of him. Maybe, by playing the waiting game, we have been shown that 'Arsene knows' again. He must be having a quiet smile to himself as Rodgers makes the situation even more toxic.
As for Arsenal fans who think he'd somehow be bad for the image of the club, don't be daft! Remember when everyone hated Drogba, Ronaldo, Keane etc? Why don't you let us know your thoughts after he's banged in 25+ goals at the end of the season. He is a bit mad, but that's what I love about him (well that and the fact that he's making it painfully clear to Liverpool fans that they just aren't big enough club for a world-class player).
Defending The Charity Shield
I agree to a disagree with Andi Thomas' discussion of the 'Charity' Shield. It is dusty and it may be doomed. But the notion that it is a glorified friendly is not a revelation, and at 28 I don't remember a time when I believed it to be anything else. Nobody (other than Mancini I hope) includes it in their honours list, and despite seeing United as the losing side almost as frequently as the winning side in the 'Premier League Era', I've yet to be pulled up by my mates for crying on the telly.
That said, I quite enjoy the Charity Shield. I certainly enjoyed it two years ago when United were two down at HT and then brought Phil Jones on who flipped the game even if it was Nani taking the plaudits for scoring two and winning the game. In every game of football there's an element of competition and I'll want United to win on Sunday, but it's a game with no real pressure, it doesn't matter if you win or lose, and it does signal the start of the season - and (almost) the end of my longing for league football. And normally, the teams involved would be able to showcase a new signing or two in a semi-competitive game that's actually shown to a mass audience. But I don't see this Varela chap making an appearance so...
It's harmless fun and I don't think it's necessary to give it a bashing. And I do believe that the Premier League bosses would go for it if it was floated to them today. Except the words 'charity' and 'community' would be nowhere in sight.
Chris, SAF Stand
United Not Title Contenders
Someone raised the point in yesterday's mailbox that United might actually finish outside the top four. While most of my fellow united fans will probably be screaming this is a title-winning team, I would like to point out it's actually not. The title-winning team had these players plus this guy called Alex Ferguson. Losing him in my view is a bigger loss to the team than Ronaldo (not that we replaced Ronaldo with much). And while Moyes is a pretty good manager (how good remains to be seen), he is nowhere near Ferguson's league. So if people expect the same team (albeit a year older and wiser I guess), minus Fergie to win then well, I would say they are a bit too optimistic.
We have a pretty good squad but we have lost its most integral part and while he is irreplaceable, strengthening needs to happen at other places to make up. And considering City, Chelsea and Spurs all seem to be moving forward, I highly doubt if the current group would be able to mount a serious challenge standing still or moving backwards considering our new manager cannot be as good as our old one. Fergie could win the title without a midfield, Moyes cannot.
And on the subject of transfers, I wonder whose fault is the lack in transfer activity. Is it Moyes' inability to find proper targets or the negotiation team to bring them in. Can't fault either for Fabregas though, it was worth a shot I guess. But they need to move on and fast. The mentality instilled by Ferguson might be able to keep them in the top four but I doubt it will be enough to deny Mourinho or City.
Apoorv (Just two more weeks!!!), MUFC
Why is Moyes Rated At All?
I totally agree with Miles' sentiments regarding Man Utd's loss of Ferguson, and indeed have mentioned it myself a number of times (great minds etc etc). I definitely don't believe that Moyes can continue the mentality Old Bacon Face built up, the extra 10% effort he squeezed out of the team, the utter refusal to even countenance the possibility of not winning. But the main point of this mail is the following.
Can anyone actually explain to me why Moyes is such a highly rated manager? It's widely accepted that wage budgets is a good indication of expected league finishes i.e. the more money for wages, the better a team should do. Now, I've had a quick peruse of wage tables and it appears that Everton are bettered by the expected big six, then QPR, Sunderland, Villa and Newcastle - all sugar daddy owned, all pretty poorly run with regard to managerial appointments etc, and all pretty much underachieving.
I appreciate that Moyes has a good football understanding, his players react well to him, but has he really performed miracles as people seem to believe? I just don't see it. All I see is a slightly above average manager, and I fully expect him to struggle at Man United. With no Fergie, an unhappy Rooney and no particularly inspiring mooted signings (Fellaini is good, but not title challengers good), they really could struggle this year. As an eternally optimistic Spurs fan, that's certainly the way I'm hoping it plays out.
Alex G, THFC (of course, I may be being biased due to him irritating me beyond belief with his regular post match whinging)
Man United's Worldwide Fanbase Speaks...
Entertainment can come from the most unlikely of places. As a Man United supporter I 'liked' them on Facebook and have been bombarded with regular photos and announcements. The beauty of these updates is the comments from our worldwide fanbase, some are hilarious and provide me with some proper laughs and others make me facepalm until the cows come home.
The recent pre-season friendly draw in Stockholm yielded some beauties, these are just a select few from literally hundreds of mad comments:
"get mi fellaine please even if he cost £200m"
"man u is stupid, never win"
"I'm very worry about the team!!"
"Moyer am very dis pointed with u, bcos u are not the right man for the job"
"awful ending tour"
"wts gng wrong wid u man united???? I thnk u r suffering bcoj of d absend of sir alex ferguson"
"I feel sorry for z team and z manager"
"united need highly rated midfielders to boost our midfield"
"we want mu win. No draw. Ok! Moyes"
But alas we have an optimist, step forward Herbert Ndugga of Kampala, Uganda:
"Who will stop us..."
Peter (It's gonna be Osman isn't it?) O'Brien, Dublin
Show That You Care, Chelsea
After being pretty annoyed at all this 'player loyalty' back and forth with Rooney and Suarez and having watched (my) Chelsea and Mourinho get taken down (nearly single-handedly) by Ronaldo and Madrid, I have to admit I did not at all like watching Chelsea players exchanging pleasantries with the Madridians (is that a word?). These are your sworn enemies (at least for the night) and ought not be so casually conversed with after being spanked by them (him). Torres, Mourinho, and the rest ought to have felt shame, disgust, and anger at having been so casual with their opponents. Of course we all get that it's only a game but for the time being IT MATTERS! Show the fans that you're as upset about your performance as we are, please! Hang your head, if only til you're in the locker room. Then, of course, I couldn't get a sh*t who you get on with. We know it's all a show, a performance. It's theater. But do my uncultured heart a favor and offer some solidarity. Mourn like me, you overpaid, privileged 20-somethings. I know it probably doesn't matter all that much to you, he who makes more in a week than I do in five years, but for the love of all that is holy, try to act like it.
Guy Adam, CFC, America
Shirt Name Kudos
Surely anyone with a Borussia Dortmund shirt (or Bayer Leverkusen shirt for that matter) with 'Bender' on the back deserves the highest of plaudits.
What If We Played With Balls, Not Foots?
When our great game was founded in Liverpool they called it football and used their feet to play it. Picture a different day, Tuesday for example, where they decide to play the game with their balls on day one. Swinging away, swinging balls in from corners etc and people see this and follow suit. Imagine that. It makes you think just how close games like tennis and squash could have been to playing the game with their actual balls. Flip of a coin is my guess.
I don't mean to get all political on your asses, I know the mailbox is meant to be fun boys, but with football being such a popular game worldwide, if the game was played with an actual guys balls and two men were passing the football to and from their balls, I don't think there would be as inequality in our world today. I'm just spitballing here.
I guess one possible counter-point is that a game played with jiggly bits might not have been as popular, we will never know that for sure. But foot ball, that's a penalty! Am I right men?