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 firstname.lastname@example.org
On United And Januzaj...
There's a touch of Messi about this young lad.
How much of a difference does it make to have two genuine quality creative players out wide? Valencia's first involvement was to take a touch and boot the ball into the legs of the full back - the absolute juxtaposition of Nani and Januzaj.
That save from Dave was unbelievable.
Silvio (Young out, Welbeck and Valencia benched. At f------ last!)
...Fellaini for Cleverley, Evans for Vidic. Rotate Kagawa with Nani/Januzaj and switch to 4-2-3-1.
Can you play this team every week?
Thank you kindly,
AB MUFC (Now start giving Zaha a run here and there too) Atlanta, Stateside
...I know you'll get thousands on Man Utd vs Sunderland, so here's my thoughts in 20 seconds:
- Moyes picked the most attacking lineup yet, and was rewarded for it. Needs to keep doing this.
- Jazunaj and Nani on the wings was a good idea. Again please.
- Fellaini wasn't missed by the looks of things. I prefer Cleverley, but that's opinion.
- Vidic hasn't hit form yet. Neither has RvP. They probably will soon.
- This was a good win, but against the bottom team. Still work to be done.
...And Some Pithy Cynicism
...I wonder how long it'll take for a big club to poach that Janujaz kid?
A Belgian Minefield
As I was watching Manchester United move around like a tugboat while Adnan Januzaj played I heard the commentator say something like "if 'Adnan Januzaj' doesn't sound Belgian it's because his parents came from Kosovo". I found myself wondering what exactly sounded Belgian, was it Marouane Fellaini? Or maybe it was Moussa Dembele or Romelu Lukaku, or maybe even Axel Witsel. What exactly sounds Belgian nowadays?
On Back To Back Titles
It occurred to me whilst I was sitting at my desk, drinking a coffee (latte), reading the mailbox and pretending to do work that winning back to back premier league titles is extremely difficult. Good observation right? Bet none of you thought of that before...
But my point focuses around how more teams nowadays have larger sums of money and seem to take a reactive, rather than proactive approach. We all know SAF bought RvP to wrestle the title back from City. Subsequently City then bought Navas, Fernandinho, Jovetic, et al to bring it back the other way. I would argue that it's easier to convince the owners/decision makers to part with their cash when you're not winning, than when you are.
The best managers/clubs/teams in the world tend to do things with a long term plan in mind; I'm mainly thinking Bayern and Barca here, although I'm sure people will throw a hundred others at me (Porto, Swansea, Genk or something I don't know). They have a team which evolves, adding 1 or 2 players a season which fit their style. SAF probably didn't have much of a thought beyond "Lift trophy - laugh at David Moyes" at the end of last season and so wasn't laying the foundations for the next team to dominate English and European football.
United's squad undoubtedly needs an overhaul, needs an injection of cash and youth (or something, I'm not the expert just an armchair guru) and they probably don't have the time to do this using the drip effect of adding 1 or 2 new faces a year. Therefore Moyes shouldn't be judged so quickly. I do agree with some fans comments that SAF has left them in this mess, but I also think that even if he was in control at this point he would arguably be aiming for next season rather than this one. I'm not saying that he would go out thinking they would lose every game but I think he would have identified the difficulty, with the investment city have made, in winning a consecutive title this season and start to plan the necessary additions for the next one.
It looks so easy at the top, but when you're up there the only way is down. So, Moyes has inherited a championship winning squad - but maybe it would have been better if he hadn't...
Stevie (very few brackets this time), Camden
Van Persie Biters
To reply to Dave Edwards , I don't think Van Persie will regret his move mate. The problem with Arsenal fans this season is that it's been so long since they've actually got a couple of good results that when they won five in a row in the league (Albeit against half decent opposition) they started talking about Winning the premier league and how their current squad resembled the Invincibles. The same fans who were slating that same squad only a month ago.
Robin Van Persie left Arsenal after 7 years of torment and frustration of winning absolutely nothing. He left to arguably a bigger club , and won the biggest prize in England in his first season , and was probably the star man of that title winning side. His second season starts in a shaky manner (After a really tough start ) , his former team strings together a couple of good results (Again against "inferior" opposition) and you folks jump to the conclusion that he must be regretting his move ? Give me a break. Arsenal will eventually falter , this "party mode" won't last , they don't have the depth needed to win a premier league title. Moyes will settle in , he will bring in players in January and United surely can only get better from here.
Oh and one more thing , Wenger would have never bought Ozil if he hadn't sold all those stars so Arsenal fans fantasizing about Ozil playing with Fabregas and Van Persie had they stayed are delirious.
TONY (We'll march up that table , you'll see ..) MUFC
...Hello Dave, thank you for the facepalm email you sent in earlier today. Well done.
Firstly, you asked "Does Robin regret leaving?" and whether he "jumped ship too early?". You were also sweet enough to blow your argument to pieces by saying "He moved to win titles, is that very likely to happen in the future?". Well, clearly, in the summer of 2012, staying at Arsenal would have been a very flawed decision wouldn't it? At least read what you're sending in.
Secondly, the basis for your arrogance is kind of lost on me. You say that poor little Robin is going to be deprived of playing with world class players now that he's at United and not Arsenal. And you back this up by saying the reason for this is Ozil??! Hmmm. Poor little Robin only spent 8 years waiting for such a player to arrive. Poor little Robin watched United win 5 or 6 premier league titles in those years while your lot spent those very 8 years in a corner or something. I really can't remember. My point is that, while you can point at Ozil, United can point at their trophies. Right now, at this very moment, the Arsenal name is associated with underachievement. The United name is associated with trophies but also the departure of Ferguson. I would argue that BOTH clubs may struggle to attract the world class players they crave. But please, do not make the mistake of simply writing off the last 8 years of our history, and the last 8 years of yours. Maybe you woke up from a coma or something, and in that case I apologize.
See Dave, Robin was right in leaving Arsenal when he did. It was the right thing to do at that moment in time. Instead of spending your email commenting on his lack of hindsight powers and implying that he should have stayed at Arsenal, what you would have been better doing is asking if he moved to the right club. Who knows, maybe he could have taken City to the next level (who doesn't like the thought of an RVP - Aguero combo?). Maybe he would have been better off playing for Chelsea behind a wealth of midfield talent. My 2 cents? In an ideal world he would be playing for Madrid.
Nilesh, Dubai, UAE
In your comment you wrote:
''Wilshere smoked a f**king cigarette. That's it. It's not like he's addicted to the hippy crack.''
I strongly believe you are very misinformed about tobacco smoking (and nicotine addiction), it is one of the most addictive substances and in top competitive sports it is the end of the high end career. Have you ever wondered why England never win anything, might some player's smoking have anything to do with it? In a World Cup everything matters (even doping if we think about Spain's recent resurrection), a proper manager would now never take Wilshere to Brazil. If Wilshere is already addicted, he will do nothing really relevant in football- it is as simple as that. Never in a million years has this crossed your mind, right? Do Messi and Ronaldo smoke?
Some players have smoked and some of those were very talented, but you can easily say they did not have as long and successful careers they should/could have had. See also how some of those chaps ended.
It is very logical that the top managers, like Fergie and Arsene and many others are strongly against smoking, it's a real shame you are trying to portrait it as some little funny mishap.
Think about all this a little, before you make fun of the stance against smoking.
It is not only being politically correct, smoking is a deadly disease, killing 6 million people per year according to the World Health Organization, it is not like alcohol at all. It's more like heroin. COPD, cancer, disability etc. and even impotence and wrinkles are not funny at all. (Alcohol can be very damaging but to the minority of users.)
No (Hi Ho) Silver Lining
Whenever I hear pundits blathering on about the need for a 'sea-change' in English football, generally I take it with a hefty pinch of salt. Adopting the attitude that X + Y = lots of good players is no more likely to win us a world cup than relying on Ashley Young and Andy Carroll.
However - whatever is needed to turn England into a good team, I'm quite sure that hiring John Beck to coach the next generation isn't part of it. John f***ing Beck! Are you serious?!
Who's next for the FA setup? Pulis? Bobby Gould? Joe Kinnear? Bill Beaumont? Sid the Sexist? The Thing from Fantastic 4? The Hairy Bikers?
Here's an idea: hire young coaches with new ideas, rather than old codgers stuck in the rut of Kick Ball Run Fast Put Head Where It Hurts which is keeping us in the stone age; and go and get Glenn Hoddle back.
Neil (Jeff Beck I can deal with) Raines