We have lots of people suggesting lots of things to Roy Hodgson but we suspect you'll be more interested in relative XIs, World Cup cliches and drawing Alonso...
The morning Mailbox has the usual wide and varied e-mails about England, with some taking a very gloomy stance but others just going with it. Oh, & the band is mentioned...
If you have anything to say on any subject, mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Stick Young On The End
If Sturridge and Suarez are the SAS, what does that make Welbeck, Anderson, Nani and Kagawa?
Somerset Dave (Wish I could lay claim to having made that one up, but seen it doing the rounds on Facebook!)
Reality Check For United Fans
FAO Dave Mack & Garey Vance;
*You're 6 points behind after 7 games. At this rate, you'll finish 33 points off top spot.
*You can't keep blaming the fixture list for the quality of the Premier League. There are 5-7 teams who may challenge for the top 4; 'tough fixtures' are going to be a very common occurrence.
*You've lost to two of your closest rivals (Citeh & Liverpool), neither of whom really had to break sweat. You failed to beat Chelsea at OT. You've looked very average against some 'lesser' opposition - West Brom, Sunderland, Crystal Palace etc.
*Your manager doesn't seem to understand...well, much about football - 'we're really good...no, hang on, we're really not very good, although we were proper good when we lost against Liverpool. But we've got no chance in the CL. Overall we need to buy more players because I forgot there was a transfer deadline. Oh, & Fergie only won the title last year because other teams were crap. But we'll be OK - I managed Preston North End, don't you know?'
*Januzaj isn't Lionel Messi.
*If Liverpool (my team) were having Man Utd's season (CL aside, obviously - the chance would be a fine thing!), I'd be seriously worried.
Fan Mail For Stanger
Is Matt Stanger just trying to be controversial with his inane ramblings in Winners and Losers this week? Two teams win yet they are in the losers section (well, one and a half). But Arsenal, the bestest team in the world (who were the first team ever to be given the Premier League, European Cup, FA cup and League cup trophies in September), eek a draw and are considered winners. Perhaps that's a reflection of the relativity of the column i.e. Arsenal can't realistically win the league so any points make them winners; akin to the kid in school who would get awarded 'most improved' player - just because you improved, doesn't mean you're not still sh1te. If that's the case then you carry on Matt.
Given our (United's) current form and ongoing teething problems, I think it was widely accepted that any win would do as suggested by the "Big Weekend" feature. It certainly wasn't pretty at times and we are a work in progress but a win is a win is a win (unless you're Matt, when a win is a loss). I expected to see a line or two about us (and Chelsea) in the winners section, not Matt going to town onboard the old and trusty anti-Moyes locomotive. You keep bashing Moyes Matt, but expect to be called out when it all starts to click as it should.
And talk about labouring the Liverpool second half point. OMG you're right Matt, there is nothing worse as a fan to see your team win the match and get 3 points but lose or draw the second half! They are winning matches so I think it will only be a major concern when they aren't. Chances are they are trying to find the right balance in terms of pressing which will impact on energy levels in the second half. How lucky for Liverpool that football is a game of two halves and each half counts towards the final score eh? Surely we should do something about this unfair situation like make the goals in the second half worth twice as much as the goals in the first. I know we'd get at least 2 signatures on that petition (mine and Matt's).
Sorry Matt, I still love you.
Garey Vance, MUFC
Yesterday was awful but it's not like the signs weren't a tad worrying beforehand. 13 from 18 was a great haul but only 6 goals scored in 7 games now for a side loaded with attacking players isn't going to cut it. AVB's favoured 4-2-3-1/4-3-3 is as F365 noted very predictable given the overload of central midfield and central attacking players we possess. Townsend and Sigurdsson are nominally the wide players but each is more likely to cut inside and shoot that beat a player on the outside or look for Soldado/Defoe. West Ham set up 4-5-1/4-6-0 and did a job on us. Our defensive solidity deserted us for 20 minutes and we were done, but our struggles to open up the opposition are nothing new. We've been the anti-Tottenham for 18 months now and we need to find our attacking groove and soon.
To this end I propose it is worth taking a gamble on a 3-5-2 formation for certain games. 4 defenders are not necessary to mark 1 forward player. Daws/Kaboul/Vertonghen with Chiriches as cover (could take over from the unfortunately too slow Daws long-term or the perma-crocked Kaboul when not fit). Walker on the right and Rose/Townsend on the left. Sandro (Beast) should start if fit to cover the attacking wing-backs fronted by Paulinho/Dembele and Eriksson (Holtby and Siggy can cover).
As a bolt from the blue I would bring Ade (You're the manager, motivate him) back to partner Soldado or play Lamela (he has played up front for Roma and Defoe has never been, or never will be, top 4 standard). It will offer more of a threat up top while retaining a strong defensive spine. Maybe. I think. Worth a try at this stage me thinks.
Thoughts, Spurs fans?
Sean, THFC (very difficult to shoe-horn all those central midfielders into one team)
In regard to Mike wanting to call him Rickyflop Van Wolfswinkelflop, surely if we follow the Dimiflop Berbaflop protocol of inserting flop where it is funniest then it would be Floppy Van Floppywinkel? Far better, I'm sure you'll agree.
Paul Milton, Man Utd
A Few Thoughts
I see Silvio Dante's remark about Januzaj being Messi like brought out the Scouse keyboard warriors, also love irony especially Adonis after his whiny email regarding Wilshire then commenting about United fans being Whiny, good work Adonis.
As for my beloved United, as soon as Moyes gets out of his Everton "not get beat" mindset and gets into a United "play to win" mind-set and starts to play something other than 4-4-2 we will be fine. This season is starting to look very interesting, some good young players making their mark and in general looking very open. Ravel Morrison was always a good player he just needed to get out of Manchester and concentrate on football, hope we put a buy back clause in his contract.
One last thing - David De Gea is fast turning into one of the best keepers in the Premier League, his save to keep it at one-nil was top notch and of all the goals United have conceded this season he hasn't been at fault for any of them. Are you reading this Rio?
...It's absolutely PRECIOUS to see mainly Liverpool fans biting back after the Januzaj adulation. Who cares who he is really like? He gave us a reason to be happy after some lacklustre team performances and someone exaggerated his abilities.
They have so many reasons to be cheerful, great start to the season, top four already, Suarez back and firing. Yet, a small glimmer of hope of Man Utd is all they need to start feeling insecure again.
This is why, as a Man Utd fan, I am loving this season. All this laughing at us will be great to revisit (and rub into various faces) if we win the league with Moyes, even if it's not this season. And if we don't win anything for some time, this is great training in the inferiority complex that we are receiving from our Liverpool friends.
Jay (I thought I saw Januzaj welling up as he thanked the travelling fans after the match... Aww, if true), York
...Januzaj has scored more goals in one start than Valencia and Young did in 49 last season.
No Credit For Allardici
Can I just clear something up? Sam Alardyce is not a tactical genius. He didn't set his team up with a false 9 like Barcelona. He set his team up with 10 men behind the ball so he could hit spurs on the break, the only difference to his usual ugly and boring tactics was that he didn't have a man mountain / horse to bounce the ball off up front.
They scored 2 goals from set pieces where the ball bounced around inside the area and then a top class individual goal on the break when the opponent was chasing the game.
For him to say on MOTD that if he was called Alardici he would get more credit was almost as funny (wrong) as when he said he could manage Real Madrid. It's not about him being English, it's about him being sh*t.
Simon (Spurs were toothless but never deserved to lose 3-0) London
The Laughs We Would Have Had
Harry Redknapp would have brought in Brendan Rogers as his England number two... that's basically Delboy and David Brent working in tandem right? To think of the laughs we could have had.
Shaun Russell, AFC, London
Arteta Does His Job And Does It Well
To Joshua, South Africa.
Not quite sure what the point is that you're trying to make. No Arteta, isn't as good as Bastian, but that's like saying Wilshere isn't as a good as Iniesta.
And why use key passes to judge a player whos purpose on the pitch doesn't involve making key passes. Key passes is a stat that will be dominated by the players that operate higher up the field, i.e strikers, attacking mids, wingers, overlapping full backs. To put things in perspective, Oscar, Yaya, Lampard, Cabaye, to name but a few provide just about 1 key pass per game.
In fact the only non truly attacking player I could find in the top 60 of key passers for the season was Michael Carrick...
Arteta's job is to act as a foil to Flamini, ala Khedira and Alonso at Real, and allow Arsenal to build from the back while also providing a solid platform for the front 4 to have a more fluid approach in attack without the need to be overly concerned with the defensive side of things.
There will be some matches where the Arteta/Flamini pivot wont be needed (probably in the next home game against Palace) but I would argue that their combination was key to the win against Napoli and influential in an away trip to a team that had just hammered Man U and were playing 3 attacking midfielders behind Anelka.
West Brom Conclusions
After a shaky start, we have found our feet and but for Anelka's misses, we could have won.
* Great to see the midfield machine clicking into life at last. Yacob and Mulumbu are the league's best central midfield pairing and there are none better at winning it, giving and going, harrying and hassling when both are on their game. Mulumbu's touch and pass for the goal was simply sublime. Amalfitano is fitting in extremely well and am excited to see how Clarke is going to set up our attacking system when the likes of Brunt, Morrison and Dorrans are fit once again and ready to start consistently.
* What a performance from Berahino. Although he didn't score, he tested the 'keeper in the first half, but I was so impressed with his touch, turns, hold up play and willingness to run at defenders. The guy is playing like he's been in the first team for years and he's only 20. Sign him up, Steve.
* I am concerned up front though. A few weeks ago I wrote in slating our transfer business. I stand by a lot of that argument still, with Amalfitano and Sessegnon being the only successes thus far. Anelka hasn't scored yet and after missing two sitters yesterday, he'd better get firing soon. Anichebe was out injured (surprise, surprise) and Long seems to be hell bent on trying to win as many free kicks as possible instead of taking people on and making darting runs. If we can put away half the chances we create, we'll be fine.
* Stonewall penalty we should have had at the end.
* Just a reply to Adonis Stephenson in this morning's box; it was never a penalty on Jack Wilshere. Mulumbu's last ditch tackle was timed to perfection and clearly got the ball first. It was his trailing leg which caught him AFTER the ball was taken. Not sure of his assertion that there were two instances... Jacky Boy was lucky not to have been dismissed for his lunge on Yacob in the first half and he can get a little wild when things aren't going his way. It was a little disingenuous to say that we kicked him into submission.
Yacob, Mulumbu and Jones tracked him all over the park and allowed him no space to play. He kept falling over, but that does not always equate to a free kick. He was simply found out by our hard working midfield, except for the one time we didn't and he scored. And his goal was deflected. We know what he's going to do; get the ball, turn, cut inside, spin around a bit and then either concede possession or fall over. He did that loads of times yesterday and expected a free kick each and every time.
Richard (good result Baggies), Cambridge
Couldn't agree more. Totti has excelled, for nearly twenty years, playing variously as a striker, trequartista, and as the original false 9. He can do spectacular goals, finishes well, and I've never seen anybody better at chipping keepers.
I can't find a video, but some of the goals Totti created and scored playing as a false 9 in the Spalletti Roma team c. 2006 were extraordinary.
And the following is joyous: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6D8jdqhQwYE