That's the advice from a Liverpool fan who knows a thing or two about joshing from rival fans. Plus, Andy Townsend as eye candy and answers to Martin's question...
Yes, that means we have some cracking mails on Andy Townsend. We also have a selection of the dozens of retorts from Gunners to a Liverpool fan and much more...
If you have anything to say on any subject, mail us at email@example.com
Why Don't The Kids Go Abroad?
Good to see Rio's thrown his opinions about the England squad in to the ring. Makes a change from him calling England players names on Twitter. Greg Dyke's comment have brought to the attention the lack of English payers in the Premier Peague. I don't see what the problem is! The most successful Premier League manager was Scottish, most successful club is owned by Americans and two of the teams are Welsh!! Where the problem is the number of English kids abroad.
Spain, Germany and Italy (the other top leagues) are all producing kids and players for the top leagues. As the Premier League standard raises, our youth products are just unable to keep up. If you were to add together the percentage of players in each of the top four leagues, the English would probably be around the FIFA rankings. (Someone will do this as my Google is broken - honest).
Trouble is this won't change. Three reasons. 1) The UK allows pro contracts to be signed at 16, rather than 18 so there will always be in influx of players, 2) In this country we don't learn how to speak foreign so players and their families won't move abroad, 3) we don't want it to change. Club over country. Barclays Sky BT MacDonalds Premier League over England. Better players no matter where they come from or who they bite, beat up or abuse on Twitter.
Jonesy LFC (International break...pft)
Rio Et Al Should Step Aside...
So having listened to Greg Dyke and the subsequent furore over them-there foreign players in our teams, and the refusal of our brave young lads to join overseas leagues, which ironically is where most of our Premiership teams buy players from.
It appears that there is a problem with foreign players blocking off the plucky English players and stopping them from becoming good enough to play for England. There is also another list of players that are preventing England based players from progressing.
I give you the 'Retired from International Duty' players, Messrs John Terry, Rio Ferdinand and until recently Ben Foster, Paul Scoles and Andy Cole (Hmm is there a link here?) amongst others, who are also blocking English players from getting the 'gametime' they require and they have no intention of playing for England again, perhaps once a player resigns from the England team they should step aside from club football for fear of stifling an English players development?
Andy (Will never forgive Ben Foster or understand why it took so long to give Lambert a try-out) Gallagher, Bristol
Dear Young Aspiring English Premier League Footballer...
As you lace up your boots for your youth team game for (insert English Premier League team name here), have a look around your dressing room. See Enrique beside you, boy he's handsome. Check out Boris across the way, such big muscles. Notice Umfafu slipping his shorts on, my goodness that's a HUGE...Armani logo on his boxer shorts. But wait, what is this...these boys don't look right...these boys ain't Engerlish, not one bit. But they are in Engerland playing football? How is this? Isn't Rio going to tell them they're all merked and kick them out? Aren't the borders protected against this sort of thing? No?! Then how did they get here and most importantly, why are they stopping you getting the $50k a week that you are entitled to as a young Engerlish footballer.
Now have a think, Enrique, Boris and Umfafu aren't from Engerland, but they are playing football there. Could you possibly do what they did? Do you have the balls, intelligence, drive, courage or ability to do this? Do you want to learn a new style of football or are you happy to stick with the legendary 'Hoof the Ball' to the tall guy Engerlish style. Be warned, You might not be able to get a Pot Noodle in (insert other European country name here) and they'll probably speak a few different languages but as they are a smart bunch most will know enough English to help you settle. But as I said, there's no Pot Noodles, I'm serious about this. They might not even have Eastenders or Zoo magazine. However I'm pretty sure they have good-looking birds, but maybe not the soulless types that you're used to. Some might even have hairy armpits. BUT HE WHO DARES RODDERS, HE WHO DARES!!!!
So, in five or six years' time when you are actually a decent footballer and not some workhorse with the touch of a BBC TV personality, you may actually be worth a place in the Premier League. You don't need to be as good as Henry, Bergkamp or Drogba, you just need to be as good as the rubbish ones who play left-back for (insert rubbish Premier League team here). The ones nobody knows their names. But if an English guy is there, we all know him. He's the next Roberto Carlos. That'll be you, you'l have earned it, you'l be cultured and intelligent and might speak a new language. You'l be a new breed of Engerlish footballer. Look at Joey Barton, he's hailed as a trailblazer for doing his job in a country that isn't Engerland, something countless teenage girls do each year on their gap year. Can you summon this Herculean spirit?
So next time you see some clown complaining about there being too many foreigners in the Premier League, summon the inner Umfafu inside you and strive to make yourself a better player...a better person. You can do it. And if not, at least you tried...
A Scenario Inspired By Rio
There was a consulting company started by graduates of a college, let's call it College A. As it grew, the company started to hire graduates from College A.
Eventually, as per market demand, the company also recruited various talented people from College B, C, D and so on, who excelled and improved the reputation of the company in the market.
However, the proportion and number of graduates it employed from college A kept on dwindling, only to be replaced by better candidates from other colleges.
The company was loyal to its alma mater and decided to do something about it. It came up with two actionable possibilities.
1. Keep maximum limit for the number of graduates it could hire from colleges other than college A. Thereby, reduce your overall quality of work by depending upon current crop of average college A hires.
2. Keep no such limit, but help college A find out where their graduates are lacking, and help establish facilities that would create better graduates. As a result, College A hires would come in with better skills, get to improve further by working with excellent employees from other colleges, and increase the overall quality of the company's work.
It was very obvious to the company that Option 2 was by far the better option.
Clearly Rio Ferdinand was not running the company.
Who Cares? The Foreigns Are Good
And so the debate 'rages' on about dirty foreigners comin' over 'ere and takin' our jobs, making England rubbish, fixing our leaky taps etc etc etc. Thrilling though the debate is, I couldn't care less. Because of foreign imports I get to watch incredible football week in, week out. So I may have to endure the odd dull international weekend, tournament heartbreak and whatnot, but for the majority of the year I get to sit back and watch the greatest show on Earth, the Premier League. It can't be long until the idea to represent your domestic league rather than country of birth gathers pace anyway.
Andy Hughes (some of my best friends are builders)
...Okay so I'm a little bit late to the ball on this one but it's been a hell of a week so bare with me. Regarding too many foreign players in the Premier League, those looking for a cap or quota etc. are looking at this entirely the wrong way. The Premier League is what it is BECAUSE of the foreign players, not in spite of them.
Riddle me this: if you reduced the number of foreign players in the Premier League by means of a quota, the overall quality of the league diminishes and what happens? Viewing figures decrease. What happens when viewing figures decrease, you ask? Less money for clubs, again lowering the quality in a vicious circle.
Speaking as a 'foreigner', albeit living in England for some years now, we tune in on a weekly basis to see football at the highest level. I do NOT watch football to see Gary Cahill, I watch it to see David Luiz. Not for Andy Carroll but for Sergio Aguero. I will not watch a game with 22 James Milners. You already have a league like that. It's called The Championship. Use that league for developing your players and giving them first team experience. When your Mrs. drags you to the ballet or whatever and she forks out 200 of the Queen's pounds on tickets, do you think she wants to see some good but not great English dancers give a 'solid' performance, or some of those crazy Russians who sprung from the womb in a flawless pas jete?
As far as improving the England national team goes....quite simply, foreign viewers (and we are many) do not care. Not one bit. The Premier League is not yours alone. If you get rid of foreign players, foreign viewers will follow and that will be the end of the league as you know it. I'm sure Mr. Perez and the like over in sunny Spain would happily take all of the top talent from the Premier League and scatter it across La Liga in return for the mass influx of global viewers. It wouldn't even be an inconvenience for us. It's on the same bloody channel.
England has a pool of some top-class players and a sprinkling of some world-class players (your Rooneys, Gerrards, Lampards etc.). Your pool however, is a lot smaller than some other nations (Spain, Germany, Italy, Brazil, Argentina, Holland, France etc.). The reason for this is not the number of foreigners in the Premier League, the reason is coaching at grass roots level. Go away, look at what say....Spain or Holland do with their kids, copy EVERYTHING they do and in 10 to 15 years, watch what happens. Use the foreigners as a plus. They make the PL exciting. This generates revenue. Use it to train coaches to a world-class standard. Have them train the kids.
Finally, you need to go easy on your players too. When they get thumped by a Germany or an Italy (I know it was pens but come on...we know.) at major tournaments, it's because they're not good enough, not because they're not trying and not because the manager played one lad out of position. When Rooney fires a blank for England and scores a hat-trick for United the same week, guess what? It's because he has much better players around him, let alone a better understanding.
The development of players like Danny Welbeck, Daniel Sturridge and Jack Wilshere should be a source of optimism but this isn't a quick fix.
Rant over. Good luck in Kyiv.
Keith (And then Dyke said..... We'll win it in 2022. LOOOOOOOL) London
Stop Your Whining And Think Of The Indians
Isn't playing regularly in huge competitions (i.e World Cup, Euros), which most of the world's football teams can only dream of, good enough for you lot? Point is, England may be sh*t (they aren't) but they still give their fans a chance to see them compete with the best sides in the world. Crib as much as you want, you know that England will surely qualify for Brazil.
My team lost to Nepal this week (yes, they have a team. Tiki-taka'd their way around our defence), our only hope to ever play in WC is if we host it (not happening considering our best pitch is part artificial). And our star striker couldn't cut it the Portuguese second division. To conclude, Stop whining and cherish what you have.
Karan (Can always watch cricket, can't I?), India
Best Mail Ever
I'm sure you will get a few e-mails today laughing at the wee guy from One Direction boking his ring up after getting hit by Agbonlahor. I'm taking a different stance. I watched it expecting to burst out laughing at the wee dweeb getting scattered but when I watched it I got angry. Here was basically an amateur kid playing in a charity match who got hit late by a professional footballer and athlete and got hurt. Well done Gabby, you are a big hard man. It is easy to go and scatter someone weaker then apologise about it after. Maybe Gabby was just frustrated that with no strikers left in England he still couldn't get an international call-up. Maybe it reminds me of being scattered in the playground at 11 years old by an 18-year-old who then thinks he is hard. Although unlikely to have hurt Gabby, if it was me I would have tried to stay on for as long as possible just to get a kick back at him. Dick.
Kevo2424 (no 1D fan by the way)
In the same way the English FA rejected Pep Guardiola I'd like to announce I am rejecting Emily Ratajkowski (seriously, Google her) as I have decided my next girlfriend will be Irish. It'll encourage the next generation of Irish women you see....
Barry (nothing to do with the fact she wouldn't touch me at all) J, Leixlip
Can we all take a step back and admire Anthony Pilkington's majestic beard?