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...
Even the lesser teams have players like Luis Suarez and Romelu Lukaku so it's all bloody good fun. But mostly the mailbox features United fans being told to grow up...
If you have anything to add on any subject, mail us at email@example.com
Good News/Bad News
Upside - Champions League Qualification.
Downside - Wenger will think everything is all rosy in the garden of Arsenal again.
Well, This Is Completely Unworkable
Watching Chelsea v Aston Villa was fun. It was a great game, even for a City fan. However, I draw your attention to Ivanovic.
This fella was extremely lucky to not get a red with his elbow challenge. Now whilst he received a yellow and therefore is unlikely, retrospectively, to get a red, it asks a question.
What if, his goal was ruled out? If, in the eyes of the FA and the Red Association, he should have received a red, he would not be there to score the winner. What if 'retrospective action' went this far to rule out a goal scored by a player who should have been sent off? How about assisting a goal?
But what of defenders stopping a goal? Goal-line clearance? Goal. Last ditch tackle? Goal. What about the Keeper? Every shot on goal? Goal. Goal. Goal.
I am not suggesting this should be the case, but ask the mailbox for their opinions on what was possibly the biggest controversial incidence thus far this season.
Happy Or Hitler
As an Arsenal supporter I currently have this 'Happy or Hitler' syndrome. Happy that we won yesterday, but Hitler when we lost to Villa the way we did. When I mean Hitler, I mean in terms of that viral video that's gone about Youtube with Hitler's reaction on Arsenal's lack of transfer signings. Watch it for a good laugh.
And this syndrome might go on till the transfer window shuts. Who knows, as we stand, the fixture on Sept 1st could possibly bring out the Hitler in me. Now after the victory yesterday, Arsene said this: "Quality-wise we don't need anybody but number-wise we are short,". What does he mean by this? Or what does he really expect us supporters to hope for? Another Gervinho, another Chamakh or Santos? This squad is lacking in quality and especially at the top level. So even if that quality signing is going to displace one of the current starting eleven, then so be it. And with our teams poor injury record, it's only a matter of time before Gibbs & Associates take the bench. As it is, Oxlade is expected to be out for 3 months, which in Arsenal terms is basically till Jan, when he will return like a new signing. Hopefully, he will beat Diaby to that.
For Arsene to suggest that only the numbers need to be made up, it means that once again, he will take the gamble, go for a cheaper option who may or may not deliver and yet again sign someone who could just end up being deadwood for us supporters to bitch about in the not so distant future. This is not the sign of a manager who really wants to win, but someone who just wants to maintain the status-quo, which for Arsenal is the 4th place trophy. This team is already halfway through to the CL group stages. What Arsene needs to do is sign 1 or 2 top class players who will affect games especially where we just drag about with our passing with no alternative, rather than sign 3-4 mediocre ones who will only end up as the deadwood that left us.
I'm happy now. I don't want to return to Hitler mode on Sept 1st.
Arsenal claim not to have spent any of their money thus far for footballing reasons (the players aren't available) rather than economic reasons (the shareholders are pocketing the cash). I'm sceptical myself, but there is an easy way for the club to show this.
Assuming they can earn 2.5% pa on the £80m they supposedly have to spend, which would otherwise purchase, say, four players on £150k a week, my (possibly dodgy) calculations indicate that the club are saving £14m in the five months between now and the end of the next transfer window by operating with an underreseourced squad.
That works out at £106 for each of the club's estimated 55,000 season ticket holders. Personally, I'd rather spend the money on players, but it would be a very well-received gesture to a group of fans to whom the club have not been entirely straight over the summer. It would also demonstrate to them where the board's priorities lay.
Actually, given that Wenger hates buying in January, let's call it a year. It's going to be a long one. So, £254 please. You've got my bank details.
Tom, Brighton Gooner (OK RvP, you were right. But did it have to be United?)
In Defence Of Ramsey
Can we please stop saying Aaron Ramsey had disappointing performances last season. In the first half of the season when he was played as a winger, he was terrible. But when Wenger seemed to realize what most of us already knew, that Ramsey is a midfielder, he was magnificent.
I thought he was our best player in the 2nd of the season. Yet that seems to escape people who continuously underrate him. I think he might actually be one of the most underrated players in the league. I actually think he will be in the premier league's team of the season this year.
Guillaume (after leading us to the treble... Maybe... Ok maybe not) Ottawa.
...Last night saw another great performance from Aaron Ramsay who has been our best player by far this season. He's finally turning into the player he promised he could be before that horrific injury.
I sincerely hope the Arsenal 'fans' that got on his back, booed him and sent him threatening messages on Twitter are now really feel ashamed of themselves - if they are even capable of that emotion. The kid is in his early twenties and was getting over a horrible injury that could easily have ended his career and they weren't willing to give him a bit of time. He had his leg snapped in half for goodness sake and then was played out of position for most of a season.
Arsenal aren't the only team blighted by idiot knee-jerk fans. The internet can be a great thing. It allows sites like F365 to exist so that we can be entertained by alternative viewpoints to the mainstream drivel. Sadly, it also allows these cretins to have a voice.
Well done Rambo. The guy must have balls of steel and Arsenal could do with a few more like him.
Adonis (We still need to buy at least 4 world class players though) Stevenson, AFC
In Defence Of Wenger
Last night's 3-0 win against strong Fenerbahce surely ease some pressure from Arsene Wenger's back. He has been under fire for the last few weeks -- because of his transfer policy. Missing out some great names like Gonzalo Higuain, Luiz Gustavo, Luis Suarez, and potentially Yohan Cabaye during transfer window leave a lot of passionate Gooners worried.
But am I the only one who thinks that Wenger faces a very harsh criticism? I am an ardent Liverpool fan but I have always respect Wenger.
Yes, he sold Robin van Persie to the arch rival Manchester United. Yes, he failed to hold so many star players like Cesc Fabregas or Samir Nasri. Yes, he did not buy any top class players (so far) during this transfer window. But I am sure Wenger is not stupid (as being harshly portrayed by the media). In fact, he knows what he is doing. Every year he brings Arsenal to the Champions League. He has never finished below Tottenham Hotspur (and I'm sure he's going to do it again this season). I laughed when Spurs fans sang "We want Wenger to stay this season". Does that mean they want to finish below Arsenal again?
Trophy drought may be cruel to Wenger, but I do not really think trophy is the fair judgement about Wenger's supreme ability to manage a team to stay competing in top 4.
Given time and respect, I am sure Wenger will role back the years to dominate Premier League or even European competitions. I always admire his playing style, because he shows football's main essence -- to play beautifully and entertain. I remember during the old days of football training in my school, my coach always emphasise to play like Arsenal. Always looking out for a pass, always moving, and always entertaining. That is Wenger's great philosophy.
So please Arsenal fans, stop whining. Just enjoy the process of supporting your football team. I myself a Liverpool fan (despite the darkest of times) still passionately supporting my beloved club.
And oh, shut up Piers Morgan.
Vincentius, Newcastle upon Tyne
While I get the impression that Arsene Wenger is still a pretty good manager/coach, it occurred to me yesterday that he gives off the air of not doing any conventional managing or coaching.
Instead I picture him playing some form of 3D footie chess, with one set of pieces delicately crafted likenesses of his select eleven, the opposition set fixed in the kaleidoscopic matrix of his nuanced imagination. And all this while pausing, now and again, to stare fixedly through the window at one of the players, during the morning session of 'free form ball expression', and thereby weirding said player into an intuitive tactical adjustment. In the afternoon the squad get to play a practice match, with Steve Bould screaming at them from a giant wicker man. Somehow this all comes together, because football's a simple game at heart.
As for the transfer market, he spends half an hour each day during August and January making subtle passes at the ladies in Aldi for inspiration. At night he mates with his wife and she eats him, which is why he always looks a bit drawn and pasty, and his infrequent hissy fits at the media are really quite spent and gentle really.
Andrew (Wolves victim), Birmingham
Some thoughts on last night's game
* In la liga, Barcelona average 65-70% possession against opponents, the game actually is boring as a neutral in one sense as its always one way traffic with opponents dropping shoulders. Last night, Chelsea averaged 70% possession throughout the game, but it wasn't easy, Villa were amazing for every ball they attacked or defended, passionate and pacy and this is what to me makes the PL better than la liga any day.
* Now on the game, we were lucky, a couple of decisions could've gone against us on another day (JT's handball, Ivanovic red) but I'm glad we had the bag of green last night
* Jose's tactics were interesting. We pressed them very well throughout the game and the interplay was very good (note, there is no more the 3 amigos but 5 mid fielders who dynamically change positions). Oscar began in the 10 role but later on played very deep in midfield towards the end of the game with lamps pushed up. This was evident in the Hull game also. And it helped us retain the ball and keep hold of it in midfield especially after we went ahead with Ivanovic's angry header. Conservative ball retention is also key in games especially when you take the lead. We were so poor at this last season causing us so many precious points at home (and away). I can already see Jose correcting the wrongs of last season, but we are still a work in progress.
* Ramires has improved tremendously this season for the pivot role. His passing, dribbling and distribution were top class. He is not yet the holding man we need but eventually, his game will evolve. My only worry is Jose is not allowing Rambo to run riot from deep with his pace. In the future I'd like to see Oscar and lamps coming deep and ramires given a free run during the end of games
* One of my biggest disappointments is why cant our strikers score? Torres and Ba are not what we want or what our midfield want. I was pissed with the off sides of BA last night. But hey, at least he tries to run at goal unlike nando. Having sais this, I still believe BA was not what we wanted or we need. For the benefit of both parties I'd like to see him leave.
* At one point in the game, after he came on, Lukaku chest controlled a long ball beautifully, turned around and shot at the goal (which didn't hit the target), immediately I was reminded of Drogba of old who scored so many goals of the fashion.
* Lukaku is our future. He will become one of the best strikers over the years, but he is not yet there.
* Now I know why Jose is so intent on Wayne. Last season at moments I have often wondered who would be the perfect striker that can link up with the little fellas behind as well as score tons of goals. The only face that came to my mind was Wayne, but he was at United, (and hence an immediate throw back). But now things are different, and I believe Wayne will complete our squad.
* Lastly, Jose's remarks of holding a bid for Wayne till the OT game is very interesting. Whether it is genuine or just to cause confusion at old Trafford is yet unknown but knowing Jose, I'd take the genuinity of this remark with a pinch of salt
Aravind, CFC, Chennai
Well it's obvious to all who watched last nights Chelsea Villa match - and to those who simply read the match report - how multiple bad ultimately key decisions went against Villa. But since I'm not an Arsenal or Liverpool fan I'm not going to post a thousand words crying about it. No no, I'm going to expand on what I said to my mate, "I can't wait for next season".
Firstly Benteke, I imagine Arsenal will bid 40 million next week for him. The man scores goals, he's just one of those players who will always get 20+ a season regardless. Since we've him tied to another 4 year contract if he continues as he has been we're into the £40 million + region as only acceptable amount.
But the whole team deserves credit, that's twice we've gone a goal down inside 7 mins away to a Top 4 club and twice we've hit back. The team has total belief in themselves, we know we can score goals no matter who we're playing. That has to be hugely beneficial to team spirit rather than if you're a boring defensive side trying to get a point away from home to bigger teams.
So we can continue to enjoy this season watching the team progress. Learn more about the new signings and then more select, more expensive, higher quality players can join next summer and we can start to aspire to achieve something.
This season is all about enjoying it.
More Moneyball Stuff
'Moneyball' is not signing inferior quality players because your primary targets don't want to sign for you. The Oakland A's only signed players overlooked by other clubs because they had no money. If they had the kind of funding Liverpool have (relative to the rest of the league) they would have resigned Johnny Damon and told Jeremy Giambi to go f*ck himself. And would have been better off for it. There is no benefit to signing undervalued players if you can afford better. Nor have the A's come close to winning a World Series in 20 years.
Last season, they made a marquee purchase, paying top dollar to beat off competition and sign unproven Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes to a lucrative contract. Sound familiar? If any Liverpool fan is genuinely OK at missing out on Willian because it means more playing time for Sterling and Suso needs to take a long hard think.
Will, THFC (but Bale is still staying, right?)
Joe Kinnear: Fall Guy
I've got this suspicion that Joe Kinnear may actually be doing a good job - it just isn't the job the football world thinks he is supposed to do.
See NUFC fans and the general football world hear "Director of Football" and Joe tells us that his role is the buying and selling of players - so we think that his role is the buying and selling of players. But it isn't. We already had Carr for that and I doubt Kinnear is actually the one doing the negotiations over price. So what if Kinnear's role is actually to simply take the heat for not buying players? Allow me to justify my thinking.
See Mike Ashley is reportedly almost a recluse, and I don't think he likes the pressure from fans. If they think it's because of Joe not doing his job, they shift their sights on him. Classic management right? Don't blame the failing health system - blame the individual doctor or nurse for making a mistake - forget that the reason they made the mistake is they were finishing a 16hr shift because the hospital CEO/Health minister won't hire enough staff. Find the individual. A fish must rot from the bottom because lets face it, rich people have the resources to sidestep the blame. Mike has Joe to take the heat, and he also probably thinks Joe getting the blame also takes some of the heat off his manager too (it doesn't).
The only problem I can see with my theory is of course, like all conspiracy theories - what's the point? But the point is the strange man that is Mike Ashley. He thinks about football differently from most owners - he applies normal logic to the nuttiness which is football. He plans to run NUFC at profit and applies normal logic to that - buy assets on the cheap, keep labour costs down ect. The only problem with this thinking is that in football - you have to spend money just to stay in the game. NUFC were two points off the drop last year. The premier league is better than it was last year with the addition of a lot of quality players from overseas. As football followers - we know that this means "he who stays still" will move backward - and NUFC have definitely stayed still this pre-season (brought in one player who could be in jail soon and selling a few other decent players is not progress). So it is likely, as most football followers know - that NUFC is going back to the championship.
Illogical of Ashley right? Because of his reluctance to spend a few million extra on players/wages he is going to cost himself 60 million (probably more cuz you can guartantee more boycotts of Sports Direct if NUFC aren't getting positive results frequently). But I think.....I think Ashley probably just suspects that the promoted three will go straight down and he'll scrape it in (and this time escape the blame thanks to Joe Kinnear taking the anger). The team stays in the EPL - with a low wage bill, sells a few of its bright stars and its budget is the black right? But its not going to end well. One or two crippling injuries, one of the promoted sides going on a run of results and bye bye EPL TV money. And also long term.....I don't think NUFC's season ticket sales will even remain half-decent if this year is like the last one (or worse). I may get pillored for this but, if I was actually living in the Toon.....I think I'd be supporting Gateshead this year, or you know, just turning on the TV. I'm sure I'm not the only one who thinks this way.
Long term, its going to cost Mr. Ashley a lot more. He's too smart right? He's a business man he understands long term thinking. We've seen in the last few years that long term thinking absolutely is not a strength of the business community globally. And professional football is an entertainment industry (amateur football of course remains a sport) - and if the product isn't entertaining. The customers won't come.
Hugo (NUFC) Adelaide.
Thank You David Villa
Dear David Villa,
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for you celebrating your goal yesterday against your former team. I think I saw it all in your eyes. I had a good time at Barcelona, I'm sure I will enjoy Madrid just as much, because you know what it's a game and I'm getting paid to play it and I just scored a goal and that's great so there is absolutely no need to be a fake or a poser by pretending it matters more than the great fun it is. Oh and that twinkle at the end must have meant that you wish those lesser players who won't celebrate should get over themselves and be glad they scored a goal because they really aren't that good to be denigrating a goal with anything less than sheer jubilation.
Thank you again,
Niall, Washington DC