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 firstname.lastname@example.org
The Day's Big Issue
Why do footballers get paid weekly ?
A United Fan Who Wants United To Fail
Watching City spank United this past weekend, I realised something. I didn't mind it that United lost. Sure, the margin was really bad, and the performance of the players worse than that game at Old Trafford. But the fact remained that the result didn't affect me as much as such a result usually would. And it was not apathy. I realised it as I read the reaction, from twitterverse and from the Mailbox.
I want United to fail (according to Fergie's lofty standards) this season. Not too bad: fourth place, and quarters at the most in all the cups. I wouldn't have minded losing the Champions League spot, but that would surely mean the end of Moyes, so fourth it is, reluctantly.
The reason I want United to fail is because it would siphon off a lot of the chest-thumping, froth-in-the-mouth maniacs demanding instant success from a completely new regime. And hopefully transfer them to Chelsea or City or one of the other noveau riche clubs (PSG, Monaco). Just like it did when we finished third two seasons on the bounce (the Invincibles season and the Special One / Istanbul season).
We're better off without these deluded glory-hunting soulless fools.
Thank you kindly,
AB MUFC (Five games, Jesus Christ on a motorbike) Atlanta, Stateside
A Good Or Bad Time To Play United?
So following the defeat on Sunday, i'm asking Liverpool fans out there today do they believe now is a good or bad time to play Utd again? are Utd a team on the ropes waiting to be picked off or are they a wounded animal ready to unleash fury on the the next opponent? Given that Liverpool were beaten on Saturday and previously struggled in this competition against Notts County will they change their team much? Do Liverpool even have the squad to ring several changes (honest question, not a dig).
This cup is usually a chance for several squad players at Utd to get a run out but will they given that several so called first teamers have reputations to fix?
would like to see a United team a long the lines of Amos, Buttner, Smalling, Evans, Fabio, Nani, Fellaini, Anderson, Januzaj, Kagawa, Hernandez. Give Zaha a run out from the bench too. But is this team enough to beat what i believe will be a very strong XI for Liverpool?
Kevo2424 (one result does not a season make)
I have a question for your readers and possibly even your writers.
I'm interested in football tactics, though I don't have a very sophisticated understanding of them. I read zonal marking. I read a very interesting article (on the Mail website, I should add) providing a tactical analysis of the United/City game. I take a keen interest in tactical analysis whenever I read a match report.
Everywhere I read, the 4-4-2 is often criticised, sometimes excoriated. That Mail article make it clear that City won the game against United in midfield because Moyes played with a flat, conventional four man midfield. Fellaini and Carrick were outnumbered. I read something recently about the centre being the most critical area of the field in modern football. Hogdson gets criticised from all quarters for his 'dark ages' approach to the game.
So, my question. This being the case, if it's apparent to so many experts and commentators - why, exactly, do managers, mainly British managers, persist in playing 4-4-2 and not packing the central midfield? Isn't it blindingly obvious to them that you need 3 in midfield? Why this fixation on two central midfielders, two orthodox wingers and two strikers? Or are the critics wrong?
This isn't a rhetorical question. Can anyone defend 4-4-2? Hodgson and Moyes know more about football than me and, I'm sure, a lot of critics. Why, then, do they seem to like this system? It must be good for something.
An Uninspiring Future
As a neutral - Zaha, Januzaj, Kagawa, Nani, Evans, Jones - These are the players touted as the alternatives to Man Utd's current insipid performances. I can't be the only one looking at that list and being wholly uninspired? The inconsistent Nani and acceptable Evans aside, the others are relatively, or in some cases completely, unproven in the Premier League.
With Ferdinand and Vidic aging, the prospect of a back 4 of Rafael, Jones, Evans and Evra/Fabio is faintly terrifying. Add to this dross such as Young, Cleverly and Wellbeck and you'd have to say Ferguson has left Moyes with an unenviable task, not that Moyes seems to be going about it with any degree of conviction. I'm no fan of Rooney's, and I think the heralding of his recent form has been over the top, but he looks to be vital to any success this Utd team can hope to achieve. This can only be dispiriting for Utd fans, their hopes tied to the performances of the rotund one who doesn't even want to be there.
I think in time Moyes will put his own stamp on the side, but my concern would be that this stamp is a bleak, uninspiring one. Physical football, no shortage of effort, inherently cautious and reactive. For fans of exciting attractive football, Moyes' Utd is a sad prospect I fear
Gerrard's Left Foot And...Wait, Defending Shearer?
Re Russell (both footed), Guildford on Gerrard, I'm sure I won't be the only one to defend him, and credit where credit is due, but Shearer did a very good analysis of why Gerrard didn't clear Lovren's goal with this left foot due to zonal marking and the near post marker switching to the back post when the corner was hit longer.
Andy (Bet I'm the only one to check Rich (Binary Saints) was correct) Brighton.
...Russell from yesterday afternoon's Mailbox raises an interesting point about the Southampton goal scored against Liverpool. On first viewing it may appear that Gerrard is at fault but I invite you to rewind the footage further. As the ball is played in, it is in fact Lucas that is originally marking the far post but he runs along the line behind Mignolet to the near post, possibly instinctive movement towards the ball. Gerrard recognises the far post is unmarked and dashes in to make a clearance (and makes a bit of a hash of it in truth). I reckon if Lucas had stayed on his original post then he may just have cleared it. Ignoring the debate about the clearance, I would argue that any team with Toure, Sakho, Skrtl and Agger (some of the biggest b*stards in the game) should not be conceding from set pieces.
Paul M (Disappointed, but it was always going to happen) LFC
Why Rodgers Played Four Centre-Backs
I've heard a lot of people questioning Brendan Rodgers' decision to start the match vs Southampton with four CBs - the commentators and analysts on the match broadcast, MOTD later that evening, people on the Guardian, and Matthew Stanger's article this morning. The decision fully deserved criticism as Liverpool were ineffective and uninventive on Saturday, but since everyone keeps asking "what on Earth was Rodgers thinking?!", I thought I'd venture a guess:
I believe Rodgers was trying to give Touré, Skrtel and (especially) Sakho some playing time, in a defensively-sound and comfortable situation, to get used to playing in Rodgers' system, and in Sakho's case get used to playing in the Premier League. Benitez did this a few times back when Skrtel was purchased, using 3 CBs instead of 2, so that Skrtel could play alongside two experienced partners to learn the ropes, so to speak.
If this is true, Rodgers was guilty of underestimating Southampton, assuming Liverpool would score and win despite lacking fullbacks. That said, if Sakho and the others end up being more ready to step in and contribute as a result of such decisions, it could very well lead to Liverpool picking up more points in future, despite the 1-3 points dropped this weekend.
Its worth noting, by the way, that the goal conceded was from a set piece (so not the fault of Rodgers' formation/personnel decisions), and if Sturridge had been given the clear penalty in the first half, Liverpool might have gotten away with it.
Oliver Dziggel, Geneva Switzerland
A friend and I decided over the weekend that Giroud has tailored his running style to appear as handsome as possible. Chest puffed out, head at the perfect angle to accentuate his beautiful hair. We think he looks 25% more handsome because of this, but the price he pays is probably around 30% of his pace.
My real point though, after the slightly misleading title you granted my email yesterday, is that I like Giroud more than RVP. There is no doubt as to who the better player is, but there's something about Giroud, and the fact he is so unbelievably French, that I prefer.
I am absolutely 100% not clutching at straws because I'm still bitter about van Persie's departure.
Ross, AFC London
Digging at Degs
Have to take another issue with Dave, Eire. Bit of a wrong week to have a dig at Deg eh? He got the Manc derby right, Ramsey to score first, both Newcastle and Swansea correct, and came within seconds of getting the Sp*rs draw. If you threw a tenner on all of his punts, I reckon you'd have £112 to go with down the pub. And if it were for Paulinho's very late strike, you'd have another £70 to spunk.
Now I'm depressed I didn't do it.
"Re: Salford Chris (Two in midfield! Against Toure?! What a twunt.),
A Fernando Torres goal. Not just for the mind-numbing cascade of 'Is he back'-ery, but for the fleeting moment in which you, despite yourself, think, 'Is he back?' He isn't. He never is.
Sam (but we'll always have the Nou Camp big man), CFC SW6"
...Regarding Salford Chris's email about commentary that makes your heart sink, I think I have the ultimate contender.
It's 74 minutes into a Champion's League semi-final and Lionel Messi, who's already bagged two goals and an assist, miscontrols the ball and it spins off the pitch for a goal kick.
I immediately fall to my knees,weeping and crying out in a fit of despair, because I know, I just bloody know, what's coming next.
"Well there you go, Andy, he is human after all!"
Shut up. Just shut up, shut up, shut up.
Clive Tyldesley is the main culprit for this, but I'm sure I've heard others say it too, or at least a variation on the theme. Every time it happens I want to jam a flamethrower under my soft palate and flambé my mind.
...To answer Salford Chris question.
Any game involving Man U and an English commentator since May 1999 in which Man U need or indeed score an important late goal. The repeated references to magical, May, Champions league final, Solskjær and Sheringham are soul crushing as they are inevitable.
Is it a football thing, an English thing or a TV commentator thing that one needs to constantly celebrate a win in a game where you were the second best team for the entire game?
Murray (we all know the only 'five minute final' worth remembering happened in 1979 where the better team actually won)
...I'm not a Cardiff fan, I'm not Welsh, and I don't dislike suave good looking managers like Michael Laudrup. But commentators have caused me to end up hating Swansea. Whenever Swansea lead in a game now, it's inevitable that the commentators will mention the fact that they were in Division 3 about eight years ago playing Accrington Stanley (who are they?). We get it, the transformation is very commendable, we don't have to hear about it every week though.
Joe (Di Canio 4 Utd)
...In response to Salford Chris (Two in midfield! Against Toure?! What a twunt.) there is one very definite thing that makes my heart sink - Brazil at a World Cup scoring any kind of goal that involves more than 2 passes?
Why, because even though the goal is moderately good, at best, the commentators, operating at MOTD levels of punditry, will inevitably and smugly say "Well only Brazil can score a goal like that!", some clown in the stand will play a drum, they'll cut to some bird in the crowd dancing (OK that bit is fine, if you apply Likely Lads style standards) and you KNOW at 1/2 time they'll cut to Lineker or Shearer or someone smiling about samba magic, Pele, 1970...
And then you just know it'll be in the "top 10 goals of the tournament" even though it's not that good. Meanwhile, Germany will score a cracker and it's dismissed as "Teutonic efficiency" and we move on...
The best World Cup goal of all time was scored by a baldy Scottish guy, and it barely scrapes FIFA top 50 lists - if only he was Brazillian...