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...
More on the great Keano debate this afternoon, and who is and who is not bitter and so forth. Plus, a footballer who became a WWE wrestler, and Gaius Julius Caesar...
If you have anything to say on any subject, mail us at email@example.com
In response to Matt Stanger's article today - given his recent comments, surely Jack's best position would be on the (far) right...?
Stu in France
I'm a little disappointed by Kevin Pietersen's attack on Jack Wilshere. To prefix this; I'm not a Gooner, I find Wilshere petulant and arrogant (give a sh*t about his ciggy though). I also think his rhetoric re: England's tough-tackling hard-nut mentality is everything that is wrong with English football, but that's for another day.
I genuinely feel it was pretty clear from his first set of comments what he meant regarding the England team: only those of English identity should represent the side. Pietersen, Farah et al. all consider themselves English (though KP's case is a little tenuous). The player in question, Januzaj, is Albanian and grew up in Belgium; he did not grow up in England, has no English identity and hasn't even expressed a desire to represent England at any level. Any comparison between him and the aforementioned is quite simply absurd and, in that regard, Pietersen is completely unjustified in his attack.
I can't help feeling that if there was some genuine football news e.g. Suarez chewing someone up or Terry racially abusing someone whilst banging his wife, Wilshere's comments would have drifted uncontested into the ether.
Scott (Where was this furore when Hodgson was appointed > Guardiola?), London
...All this nonsense around the Jack Wilshere comments is amazing. He's right in asserting that Januzaj shouldn't play for England because neither of his parents are English and he has only been in this country a couple of years. Surely this defeats the object of international football. its true that potentially in a few years time we could have national teams of 'naturalised' Brazilians, such is the talent pool in Brazil. Seems ridiculous to me.
As for Kevin Pietersen getting involved, this is a man who once stated that he's not English, he just 'works' for them. A slightly different case though as he qualifies through an English mother but a little hypocritical of him to get involved.
Well done Jack for creating such a lively debate during the emptiness of international week. When we draw with Montenegro tomorrow I expect my views will change.
Play For Your Real Country
I agree with donnieclark's mail that one should play for their country of birth. From an African perpective I would have liked to see promising star Berahino play for Burundi, who have not been on the scene football-wise for some time, or Zaha crossing the ball on to Drogba's head to finally end their AFCON curse.
When you think of it there wouldn't be so many 'minnows' if players stuck to their countries which would ultimately improve the quality of football.
On Jack wilshere, I usually base my arguments on whether something is wrong or right. In short Jack's statement (ie play for your real country) is RIGHT but the statement was made by the wrong person.
Jamo (I enjoy watching Stoke), Nairobi, Kenya
Or The Country They Choose
Here's hoping I am not contributing late to the Januzaj issue.
I am a Nigerian and looked in horror when Agbonlahor chose the Three Lions over us. Maybe it was because I knew he wouldn't have a successful international career with the Three Lions and he would have been better of being a Super Eagle.
Victor Moses chose us and he already has an African Nations Cup medal and hopefully may be on the plane to Brazil next year (injuries permitting). Shola Ameobi may also join him.
In Victor's case, the Three Lions' loss has been our gain. He would have helped us during the Confederations Cup had he been available.
Finally, the point is players would choose where they want to play. A curious example is that of the Boateng brothers. Jerome plays for Germany while Kevin is a Black Star.
Tackling And Technical Please
So Neil from London decided to take Xabi Alonso's comment on tackling not being something to aspire to as footballing gospel.
I wonder what Roy Keane, Patrick Vieira, Fabio Cannavaro, Franco Baresi and many others (I could go on for ages but I have stuff to do) think about tackling? Well I suppose it's probably because they haven't won much, right? Oh wait. Well I guess they're probably not highly regarded. Oh, wait.
You do realise that it's not an either/or situation right? You can make a tough tackle and then when you have the ball, you can play some silky football. Crazy right?
As an Arsenal fan I have to say that I like silky football (they would kick me out otherwise) but I have to admit I really miss seeing Vieira and Keane smash into other in a full blooded challenge, both going for the ball but taking everything in the vicinity.
Oh and finally, I wonder if Neil realises the the irony of accusing Jack Wilshere of not having the right footballing qualities, whatever they are. Jack Wilshere, the most technically gifted current England player and player most similar to the Spanish ones who Neil seems to love so much. I'm guessing he doesn't.
Adonis (I thought whole point was that people played for the country they were from, otherwise it's not really international football, is it?) Stevenson, AFC
More Foreign Coaches Please
I don't have a problem with England having a foreign manager, or foreign-born players in the team, but I feel we're missing a trick that would assuage everyone's worries, and improve us across the board.
The issue of the number of qualified (A, B and Pro Licenced) coaches in England has been regularly highlighted - England have less than 6k, Germany 35k, Spain 25k...
We've had a couple of the most successful managers in European football have a go with our current cohort of players, and a couple of British chaps - the difference between Sven, Steve, Fabio and Roy isn't that great (Steve aside perhaps), we know our level.
So rather than lump out massive amounts of money on the England manager, why are we not trying to recruit huge numbers of foreign highly qualified coaches and inserting them throughout the system, and building a succession plan? This would raise the requirements (and hopefully aspirations) for English coaches to get the roles and succeed, and could actually lead to a long-term improvement both in coaching and the quality of the players coming through the system.
A shortcut, granted. But one focused on the longer term than attempting foreign management to get us ahead, or attempting to pick players who have a stronger tie elsewhere (though if they feel their tie is strongest to us then who are we to argue?).
Owen Griffith (AFC)
And Foreign Players. They're Good.
What a load of old crap. Lots of ex-players (though not Shearer surprisingly) saying that England will never win the World Cup without a cap on the number of foreign players. Riddle me this; Little Johnny likes to play football and wants to become a pro. Would the FA rather he a) modeled himself on Mezut Ozil or b) modeled himself on Lee Cattermole?
For youngsters, football is about heroes and if those heroes are the foreign players who make the PL so much better in terms of quality then surely that's a good thing? It's about starting them young and teaching the right techniques - not as Jack Wilshere says - tackling hard and being brave. By the way, which idiot let Wilshere start being a spokesman for the game? At this rate he'll get a mouth injury and be out for the season.
The minutes played by Scottish players in the Scottish Premiership has remained static - 57.36% in 2007-08 and 57.19% so far this season and I'm pretty sure nobody expects them to win the world cup. In France, 51.1% is the percentage of Ligue 1 minutes played by French players so far this season, down 2% since 2007-08 (Thank you BBC) - Their national side isn't very good and will certainly not be winning anything soon.
The real key is getting some of these foreign types to coach our your players. Dennis Bergkamp or Carlton Palmer? Tough call eh? I know the likes of Zola have begun to have an influence (we'll exclude Di Canio as he clearly has issues) but we need more of their quality and less of the usual English 'play hard, run around and it should be fine' attitude'. When Steve Bruce was asked about the possibility of a foreign coach he said he liked Volvos...
If the PL was 100% English (have fun with that one Jack), there would still only be a small pool of players who actually stood a chance of playing for the national side. Not every Spanish-born player plays for Spain. We need quality not quantity. A mailboxer was right yesterday when he said Wilshere wouldn't get into the Spanish team if he moved to Spain for five years and he's supposedly our best hope (Wilshere, not the mailboxer). Quality comes from natural talent and coaching. One is luck, the other is something that can be influenced.
Of course, change takes time and I know that England will never win a WC/EC in my lifetime, but to know that things are moving in the right direction would be a start. Like getting 'Arry in to knock it long to Crouchy...oh wait, that's not right. They're both sh*te......
Stu (exiled Gunner in France - though I actually quite like it - it seems more continental than Essex) Wallace
A Wishlist For United
I'm a MUFC supporter. As you all know we've had a horrible start to this season. This has already talked been about in length (especially on this website). I'd like to discuss for a change the next few games and the opportunity they present to kick-start our season.
We have four home games coming up:
Southampton - PL
Real Sociedad - CL
Stoke - PL
Norwich - League Cup
It is vital that we build on our important win against Sunderland. Each of these games are winnable and would have been guaranteed three-pointers under Alex Ferguson. Winning all of them would put us in a good position and hopefully get the monkey off our back. However I think many changes are needed in order to create inspired performances. Therefore I plead to Moyes the following:
* Do not underestimate Southampton and field a weak team (see West Brom game). They have a good defensive record this season and we are struggling to create chances.
* Give Kagawa his chance to play at least one full game. If possible, in his favorite position. He is easily are most creative player and he hasn't had a chance to prove himself since arriving last year.
* Rest RVP until he's fully fit. Form will quickly follow. We can afford to rest him seeing as we have many back-ups in that position (Hernandez, Kagawa behind Rooney).
* Give Zaha a go. He was promising in pre-season and we could use some change of personnel on the wings.
* Ration out Rio and Vidic. Smalling and Evans are more than capable in CB.
* Play Valencia at right-back. He is becoming too one-dimensional as a winger and his strength and pace are useful defensively while still providing support for the man in front of him (Nani, Zaha, Zanuzaj)
* Most importantly, do not play Anderson and Young until the former loses weight and the latter remembers he is a footballer.
That is all.
Ameen Wehbe, MUFC optimist
Harry: The Gift That Keeps On Giving
If the residents of F365 towers arent sacrificing entrails to ensure the good health and unending career of Harry Redknapp, please put it on the daily schedule, quick. Does there exist any comparable top, top, top quality combination of loud-mouth, hypocrite and underwhelming managerial ability anywhere in European football?
I mean, Ferguson (or Mourinho for that matter) comfortably ticks one and two, Moyes arguably passes the grade on two and three and Brendan Rogers does much the same on one and three but for sheer blood-and-guts commitment to all round excellence, 'arry is a lad unto himself.
Three stories in a day on the same guy on Mediawatch - two of them on the same point - has to be some sort of personal record. If I didn't know better, I'd swear you were picking up part of the bill for the serialisation. Wait a minute...
TG (Waiting for 'arry to take credit for Gareth Bale's conception) Arsenal
He's A 16-Year-Old Girl
I remember my Chelsea-supporting mate once said how much he disliked Harry Redknapp. I wont use the exact word he did, but it began with a c. I thought it was a little harsh at the time, this despite him being Spurs manager and me being an Arsenal fan who is honour bound to hate everything to do with our north London neighbours. Recently however I am beginning to see just what my friend meant. He pointed out that Arry simply never takes the blame for anything that goes wrong. The man consistently places the blame squarely at the feet of anybody he can find and as John Nicholson pointed out he does it because he knows he can get away with it.
To me Arry is like a spoiled teenager, nothing is ever his fault and someone else must always take the blame. The reason I felt compelled to write this mail though rather than just ignore the man is the recent serialisation of his book which again complains about everything everybody else did wrong, but most ludicrously that he simply can't believe he wasn't chosen as England manager. Harry Redknapp has won just one major trophy in his career, the FA Cup with Portsmouth. I am aware he has won Division 3 and the Championship, but I am not counting those for now. This would perhaps be a reason why you were not named England manager Arry. I am aware that other people who have won sod all have managed England before, but the difference is that they did not act like it was a God-given right to manage England. The disrespect shown to Roy Hodgson is quite simply unbelievable but again I am sure he will just get away with it because he is seen as a 'Mr Football' type figure and he will probably throw a tantrum forcing us to go out and buy him something nice so he stops telling us that he hates us and wishes he had never been born.
Get over it Harry!
Andrew (btw somebody please give AVB a strepsil or something)
So it turns out Manchester United and Belgium star Marouane Felliani is delaying his surgery on his wrist injury despite missing last weekend's game at Sunderland, maybe he just had a touch of Welbeck, Anderson, Nani, Kagawa, Evra, Rooney, Smalling, Cleverley, Rafael And Moyes Possibly?