But it must only be used for a shot seemingly launched from a catapult with reckless abandon. We also have mails on Dimi Berbatov, Cesc Fabregas and lots more...
That's the question posed in a wide and varied Mailbox, along with several others including Lloris dropping bollocks, Stewie Griffin's return & a thank you to David Healy...
If you have anything to say on any subject, mail us at email@example.com
Look Lads, Look Who I Met In Tesco!
I can't help but think the photo of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Mesut Ozil on your 'Six Debuts We're Looking Forward To' feature sums it up for Arsenal over the last 8 years.
Oxlade-Chamberlain, Arsenal first teamer, looks like an excited fan who has just met his idol and got his mum to take a picture, leaning towards him and pointing as if to say 'look lads, look who I met in Tesco!'. It really does seem to show how low the club have been aiming in recent years that a prominent player can look so excited in the presence of a new teammate.
Players CAN Win
Prajay (of the situation B type, fulfilling all obligations) AVFC, players CAN move without angering fans. They just have to observe the following rules.
Note: The assumption here is that the player is a top-class one. No one usually minds when a lowly reserve exits the club.
1. Be honest
Whether you are looking for more money or a bigger challenge, tell the truth. No one likes a player who claims he needs to win medals, only for him to move to a weaker team that just got bought over by some Middle Eastern oil consortium.
2. If you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything
If you say that your life at Team A is like a living hell, is it any surprise that supporters of Team A will be baying for your blood the next morning? Many of those supporters would give an arm or leg to be in your position, so don't insult their allegiance to the team.
3. Show appreciation to the club. Don't burn all your bridges.
It helps to thank your teammates, the managers, and the fans for their support in your time at the club. This is particularly important on the day your departure is announced. If you leave without so much as a 'goodbye', then expect abuse from all directions for appearing to be ungrateful.
4. It helps if you've already helped the club achieve much success.
Fans do remember if you've contributed to a league title or two.
5. It helps if you aren't leaving for a direct rival.
For us Gooners, we don't have many bad words for Henry and Fabregas. They both played their best while they were here, they showed appreciation for their time in red and white, and most will agree they left for a better team in another league. Henry was welcomed back with open arms in his second stint here, and I guess Cesc would receive a similar reception.
While RVP remained largely silent throughout his transfer saga, it was his comment about 'the little boy inside him' that rankled with many of us. That same 'little boy' who wore an Arsenal jersey all those years ago now wanted to join Man United? Most fans support one team their entire lives, so forgive me if that comment doesn't sit well with us.
Plus, RVP fails on points 4) and 5) above. If he had thanked Arsenal profusely for standing by him all those injury-riddled years, moved to Juventus and won titles there, and been up front about the whole thing, then maybe he wouldn't be booed whenever he returns to the Emirates.
Aaron, Singaporean Gooner
...In response to Prajay (of the situation B type, fulfilling all obligations) AVFC, I don't think the manner of the move is as important as this check list of criteria:
1. He must not move to a big rival.
2. The player needs to say the right things: 'It was a privilege to play for such a great club but it's time to move on' rather than 'the city is a dump' (Mr Tevez was definitely let off a bit lightly by City fans for that!).
3. He also needs to have an acceptable reason for leaving. I only know one Everton fan, but I don't think they'd give Fellaini too much grief for leaving as he gave them years of good service and moved on in search of the trophies/Champions League experience he was never likely to win at Everton. Whereas if he'd pushed for a move to some no name club for a bigger pay cheque, he'd have lost the fans' respect.
The problem for RVP is that, in the minds of many Arsenal fans at least, he violated all three. He moved to United, he criticised Wenger and finally, some won't accept that he was more likely to win trophies elsewhere and so assume he moved for money.
He Wouldn't Join United Now
Touching upon Prajay's mail from earlier today, if RvP had indeed seen out the last year of his contract with Arsenal and then moved somewhere on a free transfer, it certainly would not have been to David Moyes' Manchester United.
Greg Benham, AFC
Prajay asks the question 'in what circumstances can a player transfer to another club with the blessings of the fans and in good grace?' And helpfully offers Scenario A (transfer request), and B (sees out contract and leaves on a free). Now whilst I imagine it would depend upon which club the player is leaving (does the club desperately need that £20m, or would keeping him keep them in the PL by the end of that season?), there is another scenario.
I'm a Manchester City fan and Pablo Zabaleta epitomises the heart and soul of the fans, and I, and everyone else, would be devastated if he ever left. Or would we? What if, at the age of 33 he let it be known he wanted to play at his boyhood club for a season or two before retiring (and then coming back to be an Ambassador at City - go on, Pablo, y'know you want to)? I can't speak for everyone, but he would go with my blessings, irrespective of whether a transfer fee was involved or not.
He has served the club well - the man virtually bleeds blue - so there would be no animosity, no cry of 'sell-out', and no notion of moving on for one last big pay packet.
Mike (actually, I'd still be upset) MCFC
If I Were Roy...
...I'd tell Lineker, 'at least no one shat themselves.'
Mort Snort, Saints
What Happened To Playing Through The Pain?
As seems to be the fashion these days, I wish to give my two-penneth worth on the perennial puzzle that is the England football team. I realise I am late with this and probably everyone is talking about the Premier League again, but I don't care, it's been festering and I need this off my chest.
We don't have one of the world's current great managers - we have had and we still didn't win anything. We don't currently have any of the world's current great players - I am not going to comment on why that is, only to say that I agree completely with Mediawatch the other day when it said that in '92 when the PL was launched we had 2/3 Premier League teams with England-qualified players and finished bottom of our Group in Euro '92 and then failed to qualify for USA '94, so it's clearly not the foreigners' fault.
I have long thought that England's major problem has been mental, not technical or managerial. Or at least, it wouldn't matter if we had a great manager and yeam, because the mentality is wrong. There is no commitment to the England team. And by 'commitment' I do not mean hard work or effort or anything like that. I mean commitment to the cause. I think the recent spat between Psycho and Phil Jones and also the recent case of Daniel Sturridge highlights my point.
Sturridge played with a thigh injury for Liverpool against Manchester United. Liverpool v Manchester United is generally regarded as Liverpool's biggest game and Liverpool's striking options were limited. Sturridge played, scored and Liverpool won. Great. But why wouldn't he 'play through the pain' for England, at least against Ukraine? It was generally regarded as the biggest game of the Qualifying campaign. Our striking options were limited. But he pulls out, leaving Roy with Rickie 'two caps' Lambert and Jermain '0 mins' Defoe. And it appears to be no better in the Under 21s either. I think Stuart Pearce is right on this.
Neil (you must know when you've 'made it' as a Premier League footballer when your manager tells you you're pulling out of the England Squad) Saints fan
Taking Issue With Stuart Bloody Pearce
I haven't written into Football365 for some time now, but the recent comments of Stuart Pearce have really got my goat. I think his idea of what the U21s represent is different from mine.
Surely the idea of U21s teams competing at international level is to give these young players some experience and a chance to grow and learn, both on the pitch (playing against players of similar quality) and off the pitch (experiencing tournament football for instance). Despite their talent, many of them are not regular starters for their clubs, especially in the Premier League and similar where so many players are imported.
Whilst it is no doubt very competitive and to be taken seriously on the pitch, U21 football is surely not a prestigious, win-at-all-costs affair. How many people reading this can say off the top of their heads who won the last three European tournaments?
With all this in mind, surely when a player has already graduated to the senior team at a young age (recent examples being Rooney, Walcott, Wilshere), it completely defeats the object (and hinders the development of another player) if they are still picked for the U21s. Moreover, I don't think I am alone in thinking that it can damage a young player in the long term to be playing so regularly. If they are starting for their club side, then involved in qualifiers at the end of the season for the senior side, followed by a tournament for the U21s the same summer, and then a tournament for the seniors the following summer, when are their young bodies supposed to rest exactly? I have heard people in the game say that Michael Owen's career was damaged by him playing too much football at a young age, and we have already seen players such as Wilshere suffering long-term injuries, possibly due in part to fatigue.
Put simply, it should go without saying that a player is either an U21s player or a senior player, but not both. I know that Stuart Pearce is always portrayed as a patriot who would run through a brick wall with a broken leg if his country needed him, but I would suggest an alternative reading of the situation is that he is a careerist who is putting his own glory and win percentage as a manager over the long term wellbeing of the players he is (sorry, 'was') employed to develop.
I probably wouldn't say it to his face, though.
The USA And Japan? Really?
Surely you only published that soccerball fan's email to mess with us? Picking Japan and the USA for joint fourth favourites at the World Cup?! That's worse than Liverpool claiming they'll be in the Champions League next year.
Japan I can see making it to the quarter-finals, maybe even the semi-finals at a push, but the USA? Sorry, buddy, not going to happen. I mean, I know your country's entire self-conception hinges on the unshakable belief that the USA is the best at everything, but there's absolutely no way you're winning the World Cup. Uruguay are not going to win it either, by the way. Given their tendency to underestimate the minnows and overexert themselves against the big teams, I can see many potential pitfalls before them.
But my main point is that to discount Spain, Germany and Italy's chances because of 'the Brazilian climate' is idiotic. True, no European country has won the World Cup in South America, but the game has changed a lot since the last time that was a possibility. Spain and Italy's performances in this year's Confederations Cup showed what the application of a little common sense would tell you anyway: that those teams, largely comprised of players who are used to playing in the heat, are perfectly capable of dealing with the conditions in Brazil. Spain's status as favourites needs no elaboration and Italy have perfected the art of making it to the last stages of big tournaments without playing a single watchable game. As for Germany, there's too much quality in their team to rule them out, and they play the sort of attractive, fresh football that, in a perfect world, should win big tournaments. They have some players plying their trade in Spain as well, to address the climate point, but more importantly, they will certainly have the best planned, most scientifically sound acclimatisation period it is possible to have. Germany are not a bunch of self-obsessed behind-the-times bunglers like, say, England; they know the importance of modern science, tactics, long-term strategy, and off-field work.
All that being said, Argentina should win this if there's a God. To paraphrase an F365 forum classic, 'I'm glad she's a virgin; Messi deserves it.' But I have a feeling that the hosts will nick it in the end.
Kalina, the London Hotspurs
Slán Leat Giovanni
And so, Granddad Trap seems to have divided our football family like Uncle Roy did back in 2002. Since our limp and timid elimination from the 'Rio Reckoning' the only people who seem to be giving any viewpoints on this situation in comment sections of articles, blogs etc. seem to be those who have an incredibly short memory.
'TRAP OUT'...'Through the TRAP DOOR'....The Cat Is Out Of The Sack'...
Darragh, Spurs, Ireland...self-bestowed 'originator and administrator of Facebook's first and best 'TRAP OUT' group' is not alone in his views of Trap.
However...just for sh!ts and giggles and for balance, I would hope that the fine gentlefolk of 365 allow a positive and sensible mail (from me) for once.
Of late, I too have been baffled by some of his decisions. Left dejected having trudged to Lansdowne Road for each home game to see a barrel-load of goals fly in when we least needed it...I may have parted with a few choice words and spoke Trap's name in vain in the heat of the moment. However, I'd like to take the opportunity to say 'Thank You Trap'. For each of the recent harsh accusations fired at you let's hope people do not forget the positives you have given us. From three campaigns we've finished second place TWICE and finished fourth place (All but confirmed TBC). We've been to a European Championship in 2012 and we're a French hand away from getting to a World Cup 2010.
Having come the far side of Stan f**kin Staunton, I'm fairly f**kin certain that most of the Irish supporters spouting sh!te would have given up his tracker mortgage to if these type of achievements were on offer at Trap's appointment! All in all, he is one of Europe's most successful managers, brought to Ireland with him, one of Europe's most passionate footballers in Marco Tardelli and introduced us all to his translator Manuela (Aaahhh Manuela). We should be grateful that he has, regardless of popular opinion, taken a collection of (predominantly) limited players to the dizzying heights of a European Cup finals and gave us 'That Night In Paris'.
Go n-Éirí an bóthar leat Giovanni.
Dig (#savemanuela) Dig, Ireland
Ireland Still > Scotland
To GTF, Glasgow, you would only take Coleman? WOW. I would take aging Richard Dunne and John O'Shea over your cack centre-backs any day. James McCarthy is a better centre mid than anything Scotland have, you have Kenny Miller starting up front for God's sake! He did score a good goal against England but should have been turned into glue a long time ago. Gibson when he returns also would get into your team as would Marc Wilson at left-back. Solid in defence, good in attack unlike anything Scotland have in defence. Ireland have every advantage over Scotland really, Shaun Maloney and Scott Brown are only players of yours I would take with Jordan Rhodes maybe at a stretch. But even then only Scott Brown would maybe get a start.
Richard THFC (Eire and now Hull)
Irish Fans Don't Support Irish Football
In response to Graham's mail on Irish football, he is absolutely correct. Irish fans (the ones lauded by all and sundry in the Euro') are nothing but event junkies. They are up for the craic of the big dazzling games but have no idea how to support a team on a week-to-week basis. The majority of Irish football fans are barstoolers who only want to live off the reflected glory of big English teams (or, worse, the Oirish club Celtic).
They lack interest in their own domestic league, deriding it as poor but not bothering to actually go to games. The LOI is also not helped by an awful FAI who don't engage in any marketing or promotion of any kind. If we look at recent squads the following players all plied their trade in the LOI before heading for England: Madden, Meyler, Long, Forde, Houlihan, Ward, McClean. All of whom where overlooked whilst playing in Ireland but, miraculously, appeared to be 'international' players a month after moving to England....and suddenly Irish fans are waxing lyrically about the latest player on the scene, despite the fact that they have been playing in their own league for a number of years.
The problems facing Irish football are myriad - poor football player development, poor grounds, lack of prize money, apathetic public etc and these are not going to be improved by the FAI splurging out more cash on national managers instead of developing their own domestic league.
BTW as an Englishman I am not against people supporting teams from a different league but support your local team as well.
Steve (Why support Celtic when there are 18 real Irish clubs on your own doorstep?), Dublin
Spare A Thought For South Africa
Reading Nick Miller's Five Big Teams in Worse Shape than England, I noticed he left out one particular nation, South Africa. Now, yes I hear you saying 'South Africa isn't a big nation' or whatever but spare a thought that once we were in the top 20 Fifa Rankings. We had Champions League winners in our national team, the likes of Benni McCarthy and Lucas Radebe who at one point was Leeds' favourite African and don't forget Quinton Fortune who at the very least had a EPL winner's medal with Man United. Those days are long gone now, we have Kagiso Dikgacoi (I dare you to try to pronounce his name) and Bongani Khumalo, who has never played a game for Spurs since joining them three years ago. The national team has been on a flaccid slide since 2002 kinda like Hugh Hefner's penis. So please as you bemoan and cry at the impotence of the English national squad, spare a thought for SA and remember as bad as things get you have never lost to Zimbabwe.
At least FIFA 2013 will have our national football league. The small things matter in life.
Tommy Dennis, Johannesburg
Dziggel Answers Questions
To answer Matt Pitt's questions from this morning:
1. I 'half-lived' in Tottenham Hale from August 2011 to May 2012, as my ex lived there while at university and I was there every 1-2 weekends, plus days off. The idea of me floating perilously between life and death at a hospital somewhere in the vicinity was quite amusing though!
2. I picked a football club at age 17 upon arriving at university in California. All of my friends were big sports fans, and tried getting me to care about NFL, baseball, basketball, etc. I did my best but never really picked up a passion for them. But being in a sports-obsessed environment and being a bit homesick from Europe caused me to develop an interest in club football (I had previously only cared about international football - embarrassing, in retrospect.) Before long, club football (and Liverpool FC) became an addiction, and I did my best to spread it to my college buddies.
Oliver (People can always me such things on twitter at @odziggel #shamelessplug) Dziggel, Geneva Switzerland
After having to endure the mindless ramblings of Andy Townsend in the past week, my mind began to naturally wander and I began to reminisce about those microphone wielders who actually entertain and are a joy to listen to, and which one of of these wonderful chaps deserve the title of 'Greatest Commentator Ever'.
Many would automatically select Martin Tyler, the ever -resent voice of football since it was first established in 1992. Or there's John Motson (for the traditionalists) and Jonathan Pearce (if you like being different). Personally, my choice is between one of the more classical voices - Peter Brackley (hipster's choice), Brian Moore or Barry Davies (his commentary of that Gazza miss in England's Euro 96 Semi Final vs Germany will live with me forever). Get your votes in, Mailbox!