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
I watched the episode of Black Books last night where Bill Bailey's charachter, Manny, becomes distracted by a door repairman having a Subbuteo man stuck in his hair.
This lead me to wonder something... How many Subbuteo men could Marouane Fellaini fit in his hair? I reckon a comfortable 27 with a goalkeeper through the middle.
Well, the transfer window is over now. What else are we going to talk about? Actual football??
Kevin Walsh, Luimneach.
Why Don't We Learn?
After watching this summer's transfer window pantomime come to a chaotic and also immensely confusing final day conclusion, I was forced to remind myself why oh why don't I & clearly many, many other football fans learn from our mistakes. Last season for almost 2 weeks, maybe even more, Utd fans were led to believe we were signing Lucas Moura. The year before it was Wesley Sneijder who was in the bag! At the start of this summer it was Thiago Alcantara, seriously it was being reported on almost all news sites that he had chosen United and was agreeing terms. Truth was Utd never even approached Mr. Alcantara (his own words at the Bayern unveiling). Where do these stories come from?
Where did Guillem Balague hear that the Herrera deal was "practically done" when in fact United never agreed to match the release clause and never even spoke to Herrera? Should he not have to answer for this slurry that he produced to sell a headline? Twitter only adds to the problems now as publishing sites can take a bloody tweet from Jamie Oliver spotting Wayne Rooney on the Kings Rd and turn it into a full page transfer "Exclusive".
Taking all this into account I propose to every United fan and other club fans that they choose to heed this advise but since there is so much furore around the "amateur hour" occurring this summer at Old Trafford, please take any story other than what's published on the club's website with more than a pinch of salt. The whole transfer window smacks of sensationalism and we don't need that in our lives do we? Let's all go buy some furry afro's wigs and get locked!
Browny the Towny (my boycott of dailymail.co.uk could soon include skysports.com based on this window)
England To Win World Cup 2022!
Shocked to see not a single email yesterday regarding Greg Dyke and his aims for the England team and his idea of a quota. I got bored of reading 9 paragraphs about West Brom, all the mails about Arsenal and Man Utd and decided to write this instead.
Mr Dyke probably isn't going to achieve his target of a Semi Finals at the Euros and the World Cup win in Qatar. Quite simply we're not good enough. If our "golden generation" couldn't manage it, this current set up with their struggles to qualify for the next tournament definitely won't. I know they're cup competitions and anything can happen, but our team isn't as good as Spain, Germany, Holland, Italy, and potentially Belgium. There's a distinct lack of creativity to break down the teams that set up to defend, and against the big boys we look out of our league. I'm not even going to talk about the manager...
Sure, every tournament we have hope, it could be our year, but we're kidding ourselves. We haven't had a prayer since Rooney stormed into Euro 2004 and ripped everyone apart.
As for the quota system, I'm game so long as it doesn't impact on the overall quality on display. Team should have a minimum of 3 English players in the starting line up and 1 below the age of 22 - to help the youngsters get a chance. I'm a believer in the cream rising to the top, so our best players will always come through, but I think in the future our youngsters will take more of a chance and drop down a level to gain regular first team football - Zaha, Redmond etc. The likes of Rodwell kicking his heels at the big clubs is wasteful. It really does irritate me watching good English players sitting on the benches of the top teams - Sinclair was an idiot to move to Man City - he surely didn't think he'd be starting instead of Silva et al?
I'd like to see Premier League teams take more of a chance on players from the Championship too. At Burnley one of our best players is our right back, Trippier, but no-one took a punt on him in the transfer window surprisingly. I guess teams like average foreigners instead of above average English players - maybe their names sound more exotic or something? West Brom paid 6 (?) mill for Anichebe - he's rubbish. Why not have a look at Rhodes at B@stard Rovers. Might cost a bit more but scores for fun down in the Championship.
...How do we draw the jingoistic conclusion that foreign players in the Premier League are the problem? We failed to qualify for successive World Cups in the 70's when there were probably zero foreign players. This is just a glib attempt to divert attention from the desire in the FA to maintain its current position. They should look at how we coach kids - most of the current England team are successful in spite of their early development, not because of it.
Best Summer Signings
I was rather surprised to see Maarten Stekelenburg not on your 10 best summer signings list. £2m for an international goalkeeper of his quality is an amazing deal. He won't score lots of goals like Michu did for Swansea last year but I'd consider this transfer no less of a great signing. Like with Caulker, I imagine there were a number of other clubs kicking themselves (Arsenal?) at this one slipping past them...
Walcott Has Improved
No doubt I will be one of many to pick up on Gary (FF is a nightmare this year) McClean's assertion that Theodore Walcott hasn't improved as a footballer in 6 years. Simply he has.
Season 2006/07: Apps - 16; Goals - 0; Assists - 3
Season 2012/13: Apps - 32; Goals - 14; Assists - 10
He will never be one of the greatest footballers ever as he simply doesn't have the natural talent. However he is very very good at what he does, namely stretching the opposition team, pinning their defenders deep (thereby creating more space in front of them for the playmakers), or forcing exploiting high lines, and setting up tap ins for the rest of his team to, er, tap in (see Sunday with Giroud). He can certainly still improve as maybe the defensive side of his game isn't quite as good as it could be (see Sagna's dip in form last season, partly a result of Walcott offering little to no cover) and his technique and delivery can still be a wee bit erratic.
So in summary; Walcott is a very good footballer and has the system at Arsenal to exploit his strengths resulting in his improvement in goals & assists over the past few years.
James Earl Jones (I'd say Real Sociedad for the "Hipster's Choice" award this year). STFC
...Gary (FF is a nightmare this year) McClean I understand that you, like many people feel it is fashionable and cool to bash Theo as we hasn't lived upto the hype, expected of him thanks to that ridiculous call up to the 2006 World Cup squad.
However your statement that he hasnt progressed as a footballer in 6 years is nothing short of utter bull****, as dear Gary, the statistics alone show that is nonsense and that you have clearly not watched much (if any) of the games he has been involved in for the last 6 years. For if you took the Theo Walcott from even 2 years ago, I think you should notice a much improved, more clinical player than then.
So as 6 years ago would have been the 2007/2008 season :
In 2007/2008 Theo made 36 appearances (17 as a starter) scored 6 goals, 5 assists
In 2008/2009 Theo made 38 appearances (29 as a starter) scored 8 goals, 3 assists
In 2009/2010 Theo made 37 appearances (20 as a starter) scored 4 goals, 3 assists
In 2010/2011 Theo made 47 appearances (33 as a starter) scored 13 goals, 12 assists
In 2011/2012 Theo made 50 appearances (45 as a starter) scored 9 goals, 11 assists
In 2012/2013 Theo made 52 appearances (33 as a starter) scored 22 goals, 16 assists
Now that does include England games beacuase quite simply, that took long enough without filtering out England games. However I think that should be a clear demonstration for you Gary that your notion of him not improving in the last 6 years is poppycock. From the statistics alone you can see he has kicked on since 2010 (incidentally the season after Capello didn't take him to the World Cup.
I agree sometimes he does go missing in a game too easily, and sometimes his decision making can be poor, but at the same time his pace his frightening, his finishing has improved and his touch has improved ten-fold, so please Gary spare us the nonsense that Walcott has not improved in the last 6 years, as it is clearly not true.
Jamie (I promise I'm not related to Walcott) AFC
The New Darlings
To Dave, Dublin, and others wondering which team is the new hipster's darling: Real Sociedad.
Unlike the longstanding hipster's choice Shakhtar, Sociedad won't last long as they'll get picked apart by the mainstream clubs, without having the finances to continuously rebuild (the fantastic Illaramendi is already gone, and it's only a matter of time until Wenger's 24/7 scouts discover Griezmann).
Enjoy this team while you can.
...In response to Dave Dublin, asking who the hipster's choice will now be, it clearly is Real Sociedad. They field the most homegrown players in all of European football (more than Barca & Athletic Club), make small-budget, sensible purchases and play outrageously good football. You may have seen them give Lyon an absolutely pasting in the CL qualifiers recently and they arguably played the best football in La Liga last year.
CB, Gloucester, FORZA ROMA! (I'm not biased, honest)
...Other contenders for the hipsters choice.
Juventus - Resurgent after a few years in the wilderness and some (cough) financial issues, much like current incumbents Dortmund. The presence of Llorente, Buffon and Pirlo ensures that hipsters will flock to the Old Lady in their droves whilst Paul Pogba will have them reminiscing of the times when they saw him play for United's reserve team. They knew he was a player then, of course. They also have a number of sexy, sexy players. I think they'll do pretty well this year, which will aid their cause.
Bayer Leverkusen - They possibly have a start on the others because they're German, and as everyone knows, German = Wunderbar right now. They also have Sami Hyypia as manager, and everyone loves Sami and his laid back approach to life. Have plenty of obscure players compared to others, and this could well work in their favour, particularly after the release of Football Manager 14.
Atletico Madrid - I think we could have a winner here. Up against the perennial giants of Spain? Check. Working class history? Check. Unhinged manager? Check. They were pretty good once? Check. Belgians? Belgians! Potential to self-destruct? Check. They have David Villa as well. If they can squeeze out of their group and beat one of the money rich clubs, this is nailed on.
More On The Baggies
As a fellow Baggies fan I wanted to comment on Neil's email about West Brom. I find his view very negative and his dismissal of Richard from Cambridge's email quite condescending.
It's almost as if his view is "Well, we're doing better then the Wolves and the Blues, and we used to be rubbish in the 90s, so everyone just needs to chill out." What does it matter what the Wolves are doing? Why worry about a team in League One? West Brom have had a shocking start to the season. The football we've served up has been dross, we haven't scored a goal and our recruitment this summer has been equally poor.
Why should we just accept that? The last three years we've finished 11th, 10th and 8th, why not push on now and not miss this great opportunity. I'm not saying we should spend £30/40m on players like Southampton, Norwich and Cardiff have done as he rightly says we don't want to end up like Portsmouth but a bit of ambition would be nice. The TV revenue from finishing in the top half this season is around £90m. That's huge money for a club like West Brom. Speculate to accumulate?
Peace has waited all summer as he is so reluctant to spend any money on fresh blood and then in the last hour of the window in blind panic he spent £11m on two average, average players. Anichebe is perennianly injured. When he is fit he barely scores. Of the paltry amount of goals he has scored, the majority of them have been against the Albion. Sessegnon plays well about 1 game in 6. I know it's early days and it's a bit rash to jump to conclusions, but we are in trouble. We have been a very well run club in the last ten years or so and Peace and the board deserves credit for that, but if we do go down again there is no guarantee that we are going to come back up again, the Championship is a much more competitive place now.
Simon Wilding, WBA FC