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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Mourinho's Chelsea lose to Basel on the same night Benitez takes Napoli to victory over Dortmund, last season's runner up?
Smashing evening. Simply smashing.
Well, You Would Say That
First Manchester United and now Chelsea have underestimated the Swiss.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, Basel are a dangerous team.
Good to see all Mourinho's Champions League experience came to the fore last night. Getting a victory in their first home match is par for the course, but goodness didn't they do well. I just wish that European novice Moyes could learn a thing or two from the special one. If only we had've given Mou the job; at least then we wouldn't have been embarrassed at home.
Oh no, hang on, Mou is managing Chelsea not Madrid, and in fact Moyes won his first match easily. Jebus, sales in A4 paper will be going through the roof in London if this continues. Come back Rafa, all is forgiven.
I shall finish by quoting gittopolo, a Chelsea fan who had this to say in the comments section when F365 reported Moyes was relishing the thought of managing in the Champions League, "AHAHAHAHAHAH....just gimme me a sec... AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA".
Garey Vance, MUFC
While watching the Chelsea highlights tonight it occurred to me that Roman Abramovich, the crazy, evil, rich Oligarch, James Bond Baddie and all round bad egg that he is, has never forgiven Jose Mourinho for slighting him. After a couple of years biding his time, buying up short technical players and waiting for the Real implosion, he built up a brilliant squad of players that Jose has no use for. With all of those lightweight, midget, dribblemeisters and '11 year old on a playstation' defenders there is a complete lack of the traditional large, physical, runny abouty physical types that Mourinho tends to like (who incidentally were all bought by Tottenham). This has meant that the homecoming of Jose will probably be a complete cock-up, further trashing his name after Madrid and taking him from the messiah to just another very naughty boy. With most of the bigger teams in Europe taking new managers recently there is nowhere for him to go, leaving Jose humiliated and unemployed, wandering the streets of London looking to pick a fight with a traffic warden.
This is why they bought Willian.
Harry (possibly as part of a conspiracy with Levy to stitch up Portugese managers by getting the wrong players) North London
Well? Has He?
Has Jose ever won anything when taking over a team that wasn't top two in their prospective league the season before ?
* Chelsea were piss poor last night against Basel.. Whether Basel were too good in their tactics or Chelsea were awful or both we don't know, but we were piss poor
* I have been hoping we sign a CDM (we have the quantity in that area but not the quality). A player who would smoothly transition defence to attack and take responsibility when we are not in possession... Those Man United fans who crib about missing out on your targets, think twice.. I thought Moyes made a superb purchase in Fellaini to address a real problem in the squad.. While I cannot say the same for Chelsea.. We have added depth to an area where we had strength (which is also essential but not the priority) but completely ignored our problems in central midfield and striking positions
* And that is clearly biting us over this season... While lampard's role in CM is to start attacks (which he has been doing quite effectively which unfortunately many analysts ignore), we are lacking that Makelele who would shield the defence yet be a part of the fluid attack...Against Basel, we were out of sorts every time they broke with our central midfielders nowhere to shield the defence.. It was a fair result they won..
* What exactly is the system we're trying to play - is it a conservative ball holding system or an aggressive counter attacking system? Whatever it is meant to be, clearly it is not being implemented properly.
* It is unfair to bash Jose or individuals at this stage. Having said this, ideally I'd have liked Jose to continue with what Rafa left us at the end of last season (mind you we were very good from January till May) and slowly implement his own ideologies and introduce the new players to the system.. But jose is jose!
* Which means we're playing a new system and we're going to take an awful lot of time to figure out (a) our best team and (b) the playing style.
* But I am not worried like I was when RDM was managing us (absolutely no offence to the man) where I seriously doubted us to go past the group stages after our performance at Donetsk. But with Jose I am certain we'll qualify for the later stages of the champions league....
* Maybe time Jose started writing Mata's name first in his team sheets.
Aravind, CFC (Hazard was woeful last night and seems to be in a state of confusion as to attack or defend, Jose please allow him to express himself), Chennai
...I decided to watch Chelsea last night on the basis that Basel were decent to watch last season.
My only two observations are:
- Chelsea could put Robin Van Shearer up front and he would not score in that set up.
- Redknapp must have felt ugly/ordinary sitting beside Ballack.
Be Careful What You Wish For
This is the point where I say - be careful what you wish for, fellow Chelsea fans.
Towards the end of last season, if you drew a Venn diagram for the question 'next Chelsea manager', a minority were in the 'Rafa's doing a decent job - let's give him the floor', a similar number were in the 'I like/hate Rafa, I think he's doing a good job - however he's also dropped a lot of points against the bottom half teams, I remember him doing similar at Liverpool - so lets carefully consider all options' camp. However, it felt like the majority, inexplicably, were in the 'It has to be Mourinho' camp.
Even if you were in the 'Let's consider the options camp' or dared to mention another managerial name, or even the 'R' word - you were accused of not being a real fan. The irony being that many of these 'real fans' were - home and away - chanting the name of another manager, when it was our team that needed our support.
Why did these 'real fans' think, for one second, that Mourinho was the right man for the job? Or any job? For all his 'qualities', long term thinking, successful integration of young players and attractive, possession football are definitely not amongst them. The man even played cowardly, gutless football at Real Madrid, the team with arguably the best collection of midfielders and attackers in world football - and rightly got rumbled for not being the real deal.
Thanks to Sky's La Liga coverage and a lack of a social life, I've probably seen Real Madrid and Barcelona over 100 times in the last three seasons. They're on every week. But not once did I think - look there's Jose, what a great job he's doing - failing to integrate Sahin, ruining the career of Pedro Leon and Sergio Canales, squandering the talent of Kaka, completely missing the point of Luka Modric - let's do what we can to bring him back to Chelsea, so he can do the same to our squad.
The real tragedy is - we were building something special. A team with its own identity. The three amigos, backed up by Kevin De Bruyne and Andre Schurrle (who was coming regardless) with just enough rotation for everyone to perform. All we essentially needed was a holding player (Capoue for that money - would have been the man) and a striker with an all round game, who comes alive in congested spaces, and we would have been laughing.
But the sensible ones amongst us have been denied by the idiots. 40,000 Rob Beasley's. They've all got their wish and now we're all going to suffer.
Somewhere, in a parallel universe, we hired a manager suited to the talents of our team. He appreciates Mata, he doesn't shackle Hazard. He lets him flourish. He understands how Ramires works and what his strengths/limitations are. He doesn't feel the need to play Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard in every minute of every game when they both clearly need rest. And he thinks one of the best fullbacks from last season, Cesar Azpilicueta, is worth more than the grand total of one minute of football this season. One minute.
I turned on Sky Sports News for some Chelsea team news yesterday. All I got was the big build up on something 'hilarious' involving Jose, a press conference and eggs. I thought 'what the f**k is this' and switched over to another channel. This is what it's going to be like from now on. Even if Mourinho finds a way, it's going to be nothing like what we could have been. We could have been THE team to watch. Now we're just going to be functional. Like a sofa bed. If it was up to be, Jose Mourinho should be leaving this club before Juan Mata, but if was truly up to me - he never would have been brought back in the first place.
Michael Chelseaington (Not my actual name).
Allocation, Allocation, Allocation
In response to Shravan in yesterday's mailbox regarding the location of away fans in the Champion League- All clubs in the UEFA club competitions must make at least 5% of the total capacity of their stadium available exclusively to visiting supporters, in a segregated, safe area. It is up to the club where they put them. Generally this is kept in the same area as in the Premier League as it is much easier to keep the same segregation and it avoids pissing off season ticket holders by having to relocate them.
City have been experimenting in the last couple of years with putting the away Champions League fans in the top tier- which was still amazing when Bayern came to town- and asked fans to vote on which they preferred. Not sure of the outcome but will find out in 2 weeks!
Main issue with big Champion League nights though is that you can't buy booze at the ground- no good when you support City as you've nearly sobered up by the middle of the second half....
Ben B, MCFC
Luca? Who Didn't Like Luca?
So Ross THFC thinks it was Mourinho who essentially turned Chelsea into the '2nd least liked club in London' does he?
Hate to piss on your chips mate but not so long ago we had a chairman by the name of Ken Bates, Gianluca Vialli for a manager and were captained by Dennis Wise.
You were saying?
Simon (Dennis chuffing Wise) CFC
On Southampton And Youth
Just read the response to Daniel Storey's article and I would have to ask if no-one has heard of the Southampton Football Club Academy responsible for developing (from a very early age) some excellent players who have proved capable of holding their own in the first teams in a few PL clubs.
Here are a few:
Theo Walcott, Gareth Bale and Nathan Dyer were all in the same Saints youth team together (and, interestingly, at the age of 15 Nathan Dyer looked the best).
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, sold to Arsenal for £12m having only played half a season in League 1.
Luke Shaw, James Ward-Prowse and Calum Chambers (all under 19) currently holding down regular starting places in Saints first team and all England internationals.
Previous Saints' developed talent included the three Wallace brothers and a certain Alan Shearer, who scored a hat-trick in the 4-2 defeat of Arsenal at the Dell on his first team debut (aged 18).
It is Executive Chairman Nicola Cortese's plan to develop this further and make the pathway through to the first team a realistic aim for all the Academy players. They play the same style of football from the age of 7 or 8 (rather than "buy them in" at a later age) and so nothing is alien to them when they step up a level. Mauricio Pochettino also has an excellent track record of bringing youth team players through to the first team in his three years at Espanyol so the future for British youth players is still bright at Southampton. Another of the reasons behind the success of the Saints Academy is of course being a solvent club and not having to worry about "having" to sell young talent to balance the books.
Invest in your own future - this has to be the way forward for the vast majority of PL clubs with far smaller budgets than the top five, surely?
The Kloppy Man
I was Watching the Dortmund vs Napoli game yesterday with my little cousins. When Klopp started going 'hulk' on the assistant referee, my cousins ran out screaming "It's the Boogey man!!!". I stopped him and told him in a deep dark voice, "NO! It's the Kloppyman, RUN!". He couldn't sleep last night. Now I feel terrible, but not as terrible as Weidenfeller...
Valla Dalle, South Africa
Given the number of intriguing clashes in the champions league last night I decided to forego my Irishman's duty of watching another brave Celtic performance to watch the football hipster's wet dream that was Napoli vs Dortmund at the Stadio San Paolo. I'm sure you will be inundated with mails from sick Chelsea fans, Arsenal fans wondering how anyone could ever doubt the talents of Aaron Ramsey and the odd proud Celtic fan so here is some conclusions from an alternative game.
- Firstly the atmosphere seemed electric even though the rain poured, the stadium announcer sounded more like one of those ultras that uses a megaphone and really got the crowd going
- Jurgen Klopp was sent to the stands for abusing the fourth official - so much for Mr. Happy-go-Lucky
- Dortmund keeper's sending off was silly and showed a lack of bravery in my opinion. It was all caused by the pace of Higuain who was a huge danger throughout.
- Mats Hummels went off injured before the sending off and replacing him with the superbly named Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was curious but his pace and directness caused Napoli problems in the second half. He looks another great signing.
- Stand out players for Napoli were Gokhan Inler who spread the ball wide from the centre of the field and local boy Lorenzo Insigne who scored a sumptious free-kick (seriously look it up)
- Insigne caused havoc down the left, ably assisted by his full-back Armero
- Lewandowski was poor for Dortmund, he had one great chance in the first half that he should have scored. He looked lethargic at times and when he did get the ball he looked as if he was trying to do too much.
- Reus, Sahin and Mkhitaryan were disappointing and Gundogan's absence was noticeable.
- Rafa has a nice side on his hands and seems to have fostered a great attitude in the team considering the the way Napoli were snapping at the Borussians(is that right?) heels. An outside bet to go all the way? I'll leave that to Degsy but Rafa certainly knows how to do it!
- They nearly handed the draw to the germans with the own goal and were under some pressure when Insigne and Higuain went off.
- I flicked over to Sky Sports News at half time to find Le Tiss and Thompson discussing Rooneys confidence....Give me strength!!
- Overall a highly enjoyable game before the most important derby in the history of the world on Sunday
P.S. did anyone notice that the referee was wearing Dortmund colours?
Paul Merson's a miserable sod isn't he? Sometimes I think he exists just to moan about the current state of the Arsenal team.
At half time last night he was once again doom-mongering, presumably because Arsenal weren't 8-0 up with a hat-trick apiece from Walcott and Ozil. Any reasoned football pundit (fancy!) might think that to be drawing at half time in one of the more difficult and intimidating European away fixtures was a decent start to the campaign, especially when it's on the back of a 9-game winning streak away from home.
Instead, Merson opined that he couldn't see where Arsenal were going and that Napoli and Dortmund would have "no problem in coming here and winning". Fast forward 45 minutes Merse and we've won 2-1; 10 games away from home on the bounce, whilst Dortmund have lost in Napoli and Chelsea have been embarrassed by Basel.
Why are they all so knee jerk? Graeme Souness was almost to the point of being maudlin the day before deadline day, on account of there being no chance of signing anyone decent at this stage and deriding Wenger for waiting for so long (Ali Dia and Mesut Ozil; compare and contrast Graeme)
No doubt the press will however continue to get all glassy-eyed at Mourinho whilst coming up with more heeelarious egg puns, despite Wenger doing a much better job with a considerably more threadbare squad (admittedly self-imposed).
Andy Smith (Scunthorpe)