The mailbox reminds Liverpool fans they haven't won anything yet, while the crisis at Spurs continues to hog our inbox. At least there are no more jokes about a wet night at Stoke...
Because football did not start in 1992, basically. We are exasperated by the hundreds of 'wet night in Stoke' LOLs but what remains is pretty decent on Spurs and...
You know what to do if you have anything to say on any subject. Mail: email@example.com
Why Don't Clubs Punish Naughty Boys?
In light of the whole Torres and Vertonghen incident, many people are suggesting, rightly may I add, that the FA's retrospective punishment rules are ineffective and toothless. Of course, this is not a novel suggestion and has been made any time a referee has had a split second to make a decision on a clear red card incident and got it wrong by awarding a yellow. Having just read the latest instalment of Ref365 gave me an idea, though. Why don't clubs retrospectively punish?
Why don't Chelsea say the behaviour of Torres was unacceptable and ban him for a game? These questions are rhetorical; I know why they do not. Because they want their best players available in their matches. But, the reasons I think this would be great are a) it would show that certain things come above winning at all costs and b) such vigilante action would almost certainly pressurise the FA in to reviewing their stupid retrospective punishment rules. Everybody was effusive with praise when Moyes and Holloway criticised members of their teams for diving yet neither are prepared to act on it. Such bravado, rooted in winning above all costs, merely perpetuates the behaviour.
Genuinely interested in what others think? This system obviously would have gaping flaws but do others have any better suggestions? The obvious solution, the FA reviewing and correcting the policy themselves, seems even more unlikely than my proposal.
Big Red, AFC
So It Seems
John Ed, LFC, Ireland
Fantastic performance from Arsenal last night. Just to point out; Arsenal still have Santi Cazorla, Theo Walcott, Lukas Podolski and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to return. Not bad for a team with, supposedly, no squad.
Si (Per, I love you.)
It is said that Ozil even assisted the nurses during his own birth.
Thoughts On Arsenal
Some thoughts on Arsenal vs. Napoli last night:
- Napoli didn't have a single clear-cut chance against Arsenal. That highlights two points: a) Arsenal's defense is stronger than what they are given credit for, b) Napoli got their tactics wrong and lost the all important midfield battle
- Giroud's hold up play was excellent - can you mention in your "numbers and stats" piece how many aerial duels did he win?
- Interestingly, whenever Giroud couldn't get to the ball first in the air (a rarity), Arsenal almost always claimed the second balls. I haven't seen recent Arsenal teams being this disciplined
- Napoli's defense was all over the place. They consistently invited Arsenal to attack and tear them apart. They should've been punished more ruthlessly
- As much as Arsenal's midfield was dynamic, Rosicky had a rather poor game for his standards - his pass completion rate was only 82%
- Isn't Flamini brilliant? He nicked possession in the build up to the second goal and kept Hamsik quiet throughout the game. What would Arsenal do if he were to get injured?
- Why didn't Arsenal utilize all three substitutions? Why did they wait until 88th minute to bring on Monreal for Ramsey? Had Arsenal made all substitutions by, say, 75th minute, it could have given some players - Ozil, Giroud - some much needed rest
- Similarly, Napoli made a like for like replacement by substituting Albiol for Fernandez (83'). This decision implied that Benitez had already lost the match in his head
- Insigne looks like a real prospect. Whatever little Napoli threatened, it came through him
- It appeared as if Napoli doubted their own ability of creating good chances by taking so many unnecessary shots from outside the box
- Didn't a lot of 50-50 decisions go Arsenal way?
- There are reports of Napoli fans guilty of vandalism and sending one person to hospital in a North London restaurant. Why are there always reports of hooliganism when an English club plays an Italian club?
- Graeme Souness wrote a piece in Skysports describing this game as an "acid test" for Arsenal. So Graeme, how did you think Arsenal fared in the game? Good enough for you to acknowledge that a run of 10 successive wins isn't a mere coincidence?
Ahmed, Pakistani Gooner
P.S: I am over the moon to have more appearances in mailbox than the combined number of PL titles won by the Spurs and Liverpool.
Actually Gervinho's Doing OK For Roma
To really appreciate Ozil's goal, Imagine Gervinho in that position!At this rate we are demonstrating to city how to get out of a tough group. Don't whine about it (Mancini), and don't play stupid tactics. Was great to see a mature second half display where we didn't give Napoli a sniff. That is all.
Andy Townsend saying that Scott Brown didn't deserve to be sent off, seconds after seeing a replay which showed him quite clearly kicking out at an opposition player (aka a textbook red card) was absolutely embarrassing. I know Andy has taken a good kicking from the mailbox before, but rightly so.
Why do ITV feel the need to force feed us this over the top, blindly patriotic, biased nonsense when they could just commentate on the game neutrally?
Tom - MUFC (Cheshire)
PS: I am in no way condoning the embarrassing playacting of Neymar of course, but it was a red card. You know it, I know it. Let's not pretend otherwise.
I went to school with a guy who, whist performing WWF superstar Shawn Michaels signature taunt ( http://cdn.bleacherreport.net/images_root/slides/photos/000/156/695/hbkpose2_display_image.jpg?1266119988) an accident happened involving a pen in his trouser pocket and his genitalia, with the outcome being worthy of a Mediawatch story. While this is one of the most horrificly painful things you could imagine happening to you, he still squirmed/rolled around in agony less than when Scott Brown 'kicked' Neymar last night.
Now I am in no way defending what Brown did. It was stupid and probably just about deserved a red after a 2nd look. although the ref did have a yellow out till Neymars pathetic reaction, (Brown brushed his arm and Neymar went down holding his back?) and a little persuasion from Barca players changed his mind. I feel something needs to be done about this play acting malarkey as it is not only embarrassing to watch but also an act of cheating on a par with diving.
Match summary - Would have been a minor miracle for us to have won but we fared far better than many had reckoned. Even with ten men we had a chance or two to steal it at the end. We have nothing to be scared of going into the home games against AC and Ajax. Second place would be the dream but I would take the Europa league at this stage, it's going to be a lot tougher than last year though
If Forster doesn't get a start for England soon then it is a travesty. The big guy can really pull it out the bag when he is on top form.
LK, On the road again.
My housemates and I were discussing who we think is the 3rd best premier league manager of all time (after Ferguson and Wenger of course). One person came up with Benitez because he won the champions league but I am thinking about more domestic success. We couldn't agree on anyone so would like to ask for more opinions.
This Probably Qualifies As A Dig
I've seen a lot of Man Utd fans saying that Moyes needs to spend big in January but I feel I am missing something. Nobody wanted to sign for Man Utd when they were reigning champions of England enjoying a summer break - would any player really want to go to them if they're still well outside of the top four around January?
A Long Mail Defending Moyes
Seeing as our new manager has taken quite a kicking in the mailbox last few days (mostly justified), I thought to put in my two cents to try get some balance in the debate.
What broke the proverbial camel's back for me was all this nonsense about Martinez being considered a better manager and the BS about DM holding Everton back rather than overachieving.
It seems some of the Everton fans who said they would not have the Moyesiah back because Martinez is doing better have missed this stat from the ever-excellent Numbers & Stats page on a website not a million miles from here - "Everton's impressive 12 points from six games is still a worse start than last season, when they picked up 13 points from their first six games." Mind you Everton's impressive start last season opened with a well-deserved 1-0 win over a Man Utd side managed by the greatest manager ever, and this season's impressive start contains a barely deserved 1-0 win vs Chelsea.
Comparing the stats in the two home games against Newcastle (incidentally both were in September) also throws up an interesting factoid. Martinez's 'modern & stylistic' Everton had 19 shots with 8 on target and 50% of possession. Moyes' 'outdated' Everton had 18 shots with 6 on target but 58% of possession. This year Lukaku made the difference and last year it was Demba Ba who won Newcastle a point. (another interesting factoid - Moyes lost unexpectedly to Steve Clarke last September as well. Could Clarke be Moyes' bogeyman, just like Moyes was to Mancini?)
Next, addressing Euros (German hipsters are loving this Everton team) Rees' bullet points:
- Was playing Phil Neville in midfield really that different from having Gareth Barry? Barry is only a slight upgrade to jack-of-all trades Phil in the midfield, but 1) Phil performed a similar role decently enough and 2) Barry was not available on loan earlier.
- DM has no idea how to change games? Is that why last season Everton was 3rd on the table of points gained when losing, with 22 points gained, only behind Spurs with 23 and Man Utd with 29?
- The moaning I totally agree he should stop with. At least be more like SAF and make it an us vs the world thing. But DM wasn't "making it look like he's doing a good job keeping them within five points of fourth." He was just DOING a good job keeping Everton withing five points of fourth.
- Refusal to play Barkley is a sackable offense? really? Is this the Dani Pacheco argument again? Anyways, have a look at this: http://www.caughtoffside.com/2013/05/17/man-united-look-to-make-12m-everton-starlet-ross-barkley-the-first-signing-of-david-moyes-old-trafford-reign/. Only a rumour but at least goes to show DM likely had/has some faith in Barkley.
- You couldn't see DM bringing in Barry and Lukaku on loan to Everton even though he got Donovan and attempted to get Thiago Motta and Victor Obinna on loan (granted Obinna was a bullet-dodged). There are possibly several other loan targets DM couldn't get because Everton could not afford the wages prior to this season's bumper TV deal (there was an excellent article on F365 about how the new TV deal is helping smaller clubs compete for better talent in case you missed it)
- You are absolutely right that Martinez is a people's person and DM is not. Martinez knows how to charm the media/public and say the right things. Moyes is a straight talker and can be brutally honest at times which is not endearing to most people. Also, while DM took Everton from relegation fodder to CL and eventually to best of also-rans, Martinez took Wigan from mid/lower table to relegation fodder and eventually to relegation.
And finally to Jamie Maher's "added to this a positive transfer window for the first time in years." I'm sorry, how is splunking over £20million on three players from a relegated team considered positive?
Vik M, MUFC (will be surprised if this email saying mildly positive things about Moyes gets published)
Moyes Wasn't Holding Everton Back
Was Moyes holding Everton back? Don't make me laugh. Look at these number sequences here:
a) 13, 17, 15, 6, 15, 17, 14, 13, 16, 15
b) 7, 17, 4, 11, 6, 5, 5, 8, 7, 7, 6
Sequence (a) represents Everton's league finishes before Moyes. Sequence (b) represents the finishing positions under Moyes.
So... Did Moyes hold Everton back? Should Everton fans be dancing on his grave? You don't have to be f*****g Fermat to realise that to even to suggest that would be as comical as Chris W the Liverpool fan (!) yesterday inferred. Any Everton fans who think anything of the sort are clearly a bit doolally. Or twelve years old.
Would Barkley have played under Moyes? Well, before he got injured, he did play him - if he was good enough, he would have played.
Moyes joined Everton in March 2002, one month before a 16 year old Wayne Rooney appeared on the bench, to make his debut four or five months later.
Couldn't believe what I was reading yesterday. Tossers.
Yeah! Woo! Go Toffees!
Can I tell you just how enjoyable it is to see Everton, not only doing well, but as much discussed subject of your Mailbox (and not in a deriding sort of manner.)
Here in the USA, most Americans think the top flight English football started in 1992 and that there are only six teams in the league so it's a nice change of pace from what we read/hear over here.
TX (yeah, sure we could finish 4th) Bill
Letting a 4-1 half time lead slip away due to a motivational half time talk by Steve McClaren, in which I understand he told them to try harder!!!
Honestly, some of you don't know you're born.
Chris ITFC, Liverpool