That's the question that kicks off an afternoon mailbox full of debate over Arsenal and the size of Patrick Vieira's head. Plus, thoughts on colouring and Chelsea strikers...
The mailbox is very much split between Arsenal fans saying 'f*** you, we got through' and the doom merchants. We also have a mails on Chamakh for Chelsea and...
If you have anything to say on any subject, mail us at email@example.com
The Whereabouts Of Kiko Macheda
I found this left on the tram in Manchester. I feel it answers Bradley Kirrage's question from the morning's mailbox.
It's Kiko here. So, another transfer window has passed on by, just as my snake-hips allowed me to bypass the Aston Villa defence when I scored the goal that won the championship.
Why does nobody want me diary? I feel as dejected as the Aston Villa defenders must have felt when I scored that goal that won the championship.
Even Palace were after Bendtner up until the dying minutes and he has never even won a championship single-handedly. Why can nobody see that I would do a sterling job for any club in the division - apart from Aston Villa, they will never forgive me. Or forget me.
They must be intimidated. That can be the only explanation. Not many 17 year olds have won a championship with just the swivel of the hips and a beautifully struck, curling effort, that left Curtis Davies and Luke Young looking like they were chasing a ghost. A handsome ghost. A handsome ghost that selflessly won my club a championship, single-handedly.
Got to go diary. The ticket inspector is trying to make me pay. Does he not know I single-handedly......."
The rest of the writing is smudged with, I suspect, tears.
Jim, Bali (#FreeKiko)
...I saw him at a Brazilian all-you-can-eat buffet in Manchester on the opening day of the season. Just an hour or so after United had played in Swansea so he obviously hadn't travelled with the team.
I can report that he didn't over indulge on the non-stop meat, that he appeared to be wearing man make-up and that his girlfriend was fit but nothing amazing.
...Happy to hep Bradley Kirrage with the current whereabouts of one Federico Macheda - The Independent reported during the last transfer window that he was close to going on loan to Donny Rovers on loan. Considering however that he isn't named in either the Manchester United or Donny Rovers squad lists, maybe he's just done the opposite of One Direction's Louis Tomlinson and has fulfilled a childhood dream by joining a boy band?
Macheda for X-Factor 2014 - you heard it here first.
Terry Hall, Switzerland
...In response to Bradley Kirrage, for lack of a better way of putting it, Federico Macheda is *still* with Manchester United.
I know, right?!
Huw (who?) Ohlson
It's been nice to be at the top of the league for 2 weeks straight.
It's the first time we've been top in 4 years.
Hell, it's the first time we've been in the top four in 4 years.
No real point to this, just a bit of wistful nostalgia as I await the end of the week.
Hope you all have a nice weekend.
Kris, LFC, Manchester
Arsenal Have Depth
A lot of people are going on about Arsenal's lack of depth saying we needed a defender, a central midfielder and a striker. Let's have a look at who can play where. I'm only including players with a decent amount of experience or that have proved they are good enough at PL level, so Sonogo, Gnabry and Miayichi don't make the list.
Szczesny has been very good so far this season (bar the penalty he gave away against Villa) and Fabianski proved last season that he's a good enough back-up if needed. Don't know much about Viviano but I'm sure he will be fine in the Carling Cup.
Full back - Any 2 from these 7
Jenkinson, Sagna, Monreal, Gibbs, Flamini, then Koscielny and Vermaelen have filled pretty well in in the past if needed.
Centre Back - Any 2 from these 4
Vermaelen, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Sagna. Sagna's performance at Fulham showed that he can play there without us having to worry too much.
Central Midfield - Any 2 from these 7
Arteta, Flamini, Ramsay, Wilshere, Rosicky, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Cazorla. I'm not including Diaby as that would just be silly.
Attaching Midfield / Wing - Any 3 from these 6
Oxlade-Chamberlain, Podolski, Walcott, Ozil, Cazorla, Rosicky. Ramsay and Wilshere could also play behind the striker at push but it's not something that you would do out of choice.
This is where it gets hairy. Giroud is clearly better than most people give him credit for and fits our system perfectly. If he gets injured though our options are Bendtner (who is not as bad as everyone says, just a bit of a d*ck) or a Spanish style 4-6-0. Imagine Flamini (or Arteta) holding and then Wilshere, Ramsay, Walcott, Cazorla and Ozil wreaking havoc ahead of him. Tasty.
Ok, so a lot of the players have been listed in two positions meaning that if they got injured then you're actually losing a player from 2 positions, but I think this shows that our squad isn't in as bad a shape as many people suggest.
My bigger worry is how we get that indefinable quality that Manyoo and Chelsea have where you look at the individual players and think they are not all that, but they end up conquering all before them.
So in summary, I'm not saying we are definitely going to win anything, just that we have a chance. And yes, I may be overly optimistic and a defeat to Sunderland will make me think again about things, but hell, if I can't be optimistic now, I never will be.
Adonis (Embrace the umlaut) Stevenson, AFC
On Ozil And Assists
I am getting pretty tired of hearing the stat about how many assists Mesut Ozil has. It is an impressive achievement and possibly illustrative of his quality but it is getting extremely boring. Also, the principal playmaker for either Real or Barca is obviously going to rack up an obscene amount of assists in a league with a paucity of quality opponents.
Just looking at the league, Ozil got 13 assists in 32 games as playmaker in a team which scored 103 goals. Dries Mertens got 17 in 29 at PSV last season. More to the point, Nani got 18 assists in 33 Premier League games in the 2010/11 season. Ozil is a better player than having to rely on mindlessly repeating such stats every time we speak his name, especially when they are warped so heavily by non league games.
If you want to see crazy stats about a player, just look a Mario Jardel's wiki page.
Adam "equal second in cups of coffee consumed in my office today" Pickering
The Nasri Explanation
I'm sure you'll get plenty of replies to Marty Todoroski's rather ill-informed analysis of Nasri's move to City, so I'll keep it short.
After Nasri moved to City, in basically his first interview and several interviews since, he slagged off the Arsenal fans. Not the club, the manager, or the players, but the fans. That's why the fans boo him.
Ross, AFC London
...Is Marty Todoroski purposely rewriting Samir Nasri's history to suit his point or does he just have an awful memory? Nasri has on more than one occasion had a go at Arsenal fans (on Twitter no less) and in the pand the club's lack of ambition. So sure, yeah, he did win a trophy. But he also burnt about every single bridge between London and Manchester.
As for the other people saying that those points don't apply to the players that joined Citeh, well, yeah, we know. Kolo Toure and Gael Clichy are generally regarded with fondness by most rational Arsenal fans. I was actually quite happy to see good old Kolo back on the pitch with Liverpool and enjoying his football - one of the nicest guys in the game.
As for Adebayor, if anyone needs me to explain why we don't like him, then you probably need to join Marty on his much needed visits to the memory doctor.
Adonis (Mesut F*kin Ozil) Stevenson, AFC
Sympathy For Adebayor
I never thought I would say this, but I feel a little sorry for Adebayor. Obviously at Arsenal and City he became strangely complacent and lazy, and was rightly derided by the fans as a result. I think he has been treated a little unfairly at Spurs.
In his first season, he looked like the old Adebayor again, and managed a pretty decent scoring record. Last season, didn't score so many goals. This is really no surprise given that all the passes Gareth Bale made were spanked towards the goal. With the lack of service he got, it's no wonder he struggled to find the net, but he always appeared to be putting the effort in.
Now, given that Spurs are going to have to go the traditional way about scoring goals rather than 30-yard mega-hoons, I feel the system will be suited to Adebayor and he should be given another chance. I think his past behaviour at other clubs may preclude him from this though, as many assume he has settled into that lazy period again now. Maybe AVB thinks differently to the fans though, and will stick him back in there.
Ross (I am legally required to despise him though) AFC London
Just a quick one on my beloved Spurs regarding the Big Weekend.
Spurs have spent an awful lot of money in this transfer window (obviously they've made quite a bit back as well) so it's fair to say that AVB probably is under pressure for results. But as (I would hope) a fairly level headed and sane football fan I happen to think that AVB is a very promising manager with his best years ahead of him.
Lets say that whilst all these new players are finding their feet Spurs win one, draw two and lose two over the next five games and everyone goes mental at AVB, all the Arsenal fans start laughing and Chris MUFC writes in to tell us that Man Utd should use RVP, Rooney, Kagawa, Rio, Becks and Callum Best in a 'Magic Hexagon' formation, and AVB gets the sack.
Realistically, what would be the next step for Spurs? Mancini? (who I'm not too sure would be an upgrade) O'neil? Poyet? or Darren Anderton as Player Manager? I honestly feel that even if Spurs fail to finish in the top four this season, the team could strengthen itself simply by sticking with our good young manager and having our new and potentially very good players all with a season in the PL under their belts. Besides I believe that Spurs spunked all this money up the wall as a show of faith to AVB, so not giving him enough time to build his team and sacking him would be foolish to say the least.
Stephen THFC (cue backlash....NOW!)
Sensible Friday Mail
I know it's not the done thing to get all sensible in a Friday afternoon mailbox, but I genuinely don't think Mort Snort's perfect email from yesterday's mailbox will be bettered for quite some time. Direct, effective and hugely enjoyable - everything the current England team isn't.
I've had a slow day and my mind has been wandering. A train of thought developed into an idea that I think is worth sharing. There's already been a lot of discussion about the lack of young, talented English breaking through but these suggestions might form part of a solution.
1) Grassroots coaching. Obvious really, teach the kids more skills and they should develop into more technically gifted footballers. This is already starting, but have you seen the pitches they are playing on? These aren't football pitches to play a technical passing game on; is it any wonder some youth coaches resort to a more agricultural style of football when the pitches are only fit for that style? The FA and professional clubs should be investing in local playing fields so the kids can have a go some 'proper' football for a change
2) the 25 player squad needs some tweaking. Despite it being a 25 player 'limit' most clubs have treated it as a 'target'. How many squads are carrying average players who spend most of the season keeping the bench warm and trousering large wads of cash, just in case the 1st and 2nd choice player isn't available? This is stifling the opportunities given to reserve/academy players to show what they can do in a genuinely competitive game. Instead we could limit the number of senior players to 20 and the remaining 5 come from reserve/academy players under the age of 23. I really don't care if these 5 players are English or not, the main thing is that youth would occasionally get its chance. Eventually more of these players would be English due to the coaching they received at an early age (see above).
I an see quite few benefits with changing the make up of the 25 player squad.
1) Your average bench warming cash-hoover is now surplus to requirements and clubs will be forced to sell. This floods the market with players who have a stark choice - start playing some actual football at a level that suits your abilities or just pack it in and do something more useful to society. Ever thought of coaching a few kids?
2) The transfer market becomes a buyers market not a sellers market. Transfer fees are reduced, wage bills are reduced, clubs retain more of their income. Tickets prices need not rise as quickly as they have done, and some of the profits could be invested in some of the local playing fields so that local kids can have a 'proper' game of football like they see on the telly.
One final piece of the jigsaw is for the FA to retain the services of one Stuart Pearce. His job would be to roam the country hunting down players 'too injured' to play for the national team but suddenly fit enough to play for their club the following weekend. He simply 'has a quiet word' and makes sure they remain too injured to play football for a few more weeks.
This won't fix everything that's wrong with our beloved game, but it's decent start in my opinion. Would love to hear what the rest of you think.
Simon S, MUFC (Daniel Sturridge - you'd better still be injured tomorrow or Psycho's coming for you first)
In response to Alex (I'm probably about to become very unpopular), Leeds how can you have an Irish/Scottish team and not have Keane in the starting line-up. This is a striker who is the 14th highest international goal scorer in the world EVER and the 4th highest in Europe EVER. Higher than the highest scorer for England, France, Spain and Italy. Only Muller/Klose for Germany and Puskas for Hungary are higher. He has a strike rate of almost 1 in 2 which for an international is impressive. And he plays for Ireland!!! Come on mate it's a no brainer!!!
KOD (Can't think of anything clever to put in the brackets) Galway
"So what you're saying is you get rid of the weakest to create a strong - or perhaps 'pure' - group of people?
Steady on, Paolo."
That's something I would expect from The Sun or other such rag.
That's a ridiculous way to twist someone's words for no other reason than to stir up something out of nothing.
Pathetic writing. (I nearly called it journalism by accident.)
We had a few of these. We thought it would be evident that this was a joke, and we aren't actually suggesting that Di Canio advocates eugenics - Ed.
Billy S Pedantry
Sorry to be a Shakespeare/language bore, but 'Wherefore art thou' doesn't mean 'Where are you', it means 'Why are you' (as in, Romeo, why are you a Montague?).
But maybe you knew this, and were just asking why Federico Machedo exists, which is an equally valid question.