Moyes is lacking 'charismatic authority', Kieran Gibbs is defended, Chelsea's problems are examined and a dreadful chant attacked. It's a glorious mailbox...
Fear is stopping Moyes dismantling Fergie's team, we are told. Plus, one Arsenal fan digs at Gibbs and mails on Martinez, the Group of Death and a Spurs Christmas list...
If you have anything to say on any subject, mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Which is Better?
Are you a Wilshere man, or a Kasami man?!
I am a Kasami man myself! As a kid you never grew up dreaming of scoring the Wilshere goal, but that doesn't make it any worse than Kasami's effort last night, what a hit.
Both great goals, both great skill, but comes down to whether you are an ego-maniac and prefer Kasami's goal, or a team player and prefer Wilshere's!
I reckon Zlatan is a Kasami man too!
Which is Better? Who Cares?
Okay, so Marco Van Kasami has just scored the thunderb**tard to end all thunderb**tards - you've seen it by now, you'll know how fantastic it was. Then I went on Twitter and some of the Arsenal badgers I follow are saying things like 'yeah but Jack's is better because team goals are more special' or 'Jack's > Kasami's', blah, blah, blah.
Really? I literally cannot think of one reason why it matters. Wilshere's goal was excellent; an intricate move which required brilliant touches and fantastic movement to pull it off. Kasami's on the other hand was pure instinct - pulling the ball out of the air to slam home a really special goal. Two different goals, two different games. Both brilliant.
A similar thing happened last week when Andros Townsend - he of (at the time) a good 90 minutes in an England shirt - was suggested in this very mailbox to be better than Theo Walcott. Walcott is a frustrating player sometimes yes, but to dismiss a man who scored 20 goals last season and has produced special moments against teams such as Barcelona, Chelsea, Spurs and even Croatia is stupid. I didn't bite to that one at the time but this obsession with 'the best' all the time is so annoying. Why can't we appreciate two great goals, or two great players with declaring that ONE MUST BE BETTER THAN THE OTHER?
Messi or Ronaldo? Erm, I'll watch both thanks as they're on at different times...
Then again, Steve Sidwell has just rocked up and scored another banger. I suppose anyone can score a well-hit volley...Jack's probably is better after all.
Joe, AFC, East Sussex
Oh Kevin. Silly Kevin
Okay I am just going to ask this, can we please have just one day where the mailbox isn't filled with emails from whining United fans? It is making the thing incredibly boring to read now.
In fact so saturated with United is the mailbox that people have simply failed to realise that West Ham's Kevin Nolan said some truly hilarious things the other day. Now according to Nolan, West Ham have the strongest set of English players in the league, yet they are ignored by the England manager. Players including Stewart Downing, a man who has so far earned 33 caps! Including some given by Hodgson, so clearly he isn't being ignored he just didn't do enough to impress him. Then there are Mark Noble and James Tomkins, two admittedly good players, but do England really need them? They are pretty well stacked in midfield and defensively some cover is needed, but why would Hodgson go for someone who has never played a full international now, surely it's time to use the players that are already there and on the fringes of the squad. Nolan also mentions Ravel Morrison, who has only played a handful of Premier League games and in an U21 game had a fight with Zaha, so it';s not the time for him to be called up.
Perhaps the most hilariously inept thing said by Nolan was his bizarre praise of some of Man City's English players. Nolan claims that Joleon Lescott, Micah Richards and James Milner should be Man City's main men in his eyes and should be regulars for Engand, ummmm what? Okay, you have Lescott who has been given his international chance and largely failed, having said that I don't think his international career is completely over. The same can be said for Richards, but with Johnson, Walker and even Carl Jenkinson ahead of him, he is unlikely to play. James Milner I think has been in every England squad since the win in 1966, he has 43 caps so far and despite being good in patches is largely there just because every England manager seems to be blind to just how average a player he is. So really you think these guys should be the main men Kevin? Well all I can say is thank God you are not England manager!
Responses To The PL Diary
I'm an Arsenal fan. I read the latest edition of the diary by Andi Thomas and Alexander Netherton. I am annoyed. Well done.
As I do not wish to appear smarter than I am by writing long-winded paragraphs and using unnecessarily long words (Andi, I'm looking at you), I will summarise my feelings in a succinct manner using bullet points.
1. I agree, Wilshere's goal was a fluke. Giroud plays the ball in behind him and he just sticks his leg out and it finds its way back to Giroud. Doesn't take away from the visual spectacle of the goal though, or the fact that they were trying to do something similar.
2. Arsenal do not have a sugar daddy, Wenger has spoken out against them. Arsenal sign young players from foreign countries. So do other clubs. Arsenal are not alone in this practice. Wenger, as is his responsibility to do the best he can for the club, will move to sign any player that he feels has potential to contribute to the club within the laws and regulations that are applicable. That's called doing your job, and if people have a moral problem then the government or the FA should be taken to task, not Arsenal.
3. Suarez was found guilty of being racist. Once. He served his punishment. People make mistakes/commit errors of judgement. They serve their punishments and get on with their lives. It is admirable that people stand up and speak out against racism, but it is equally unadmirable (not a word I know, but I'm sure Andi will forgive me) that people do not allow second chances and forgiveness. Football is littered with (employed) questionable characters.
4. People who call those who question the MOBOs or the SOBL idiots are just as stupid as those people they insult. Dismissing people as idiots for holding an opinion is just as discriminatory as any other 'ism'. People like that are a large presence in society, and dismissing them as idiots will not help the process of opening their minds. Dismissive, narrow-minded attitudes are what cause fractures in society and those who take the moral high ground are just as bad as anyone else.
5. NASA sent loads of monkeys, or primates if you prefer, into space. If you're telling a joke/anecdote (or 'anecjoke' for a wordsmith of Andi's talent) about NASA, astronauts and animals, it makes sense that you would use a monkey as that animal. There is no more to his use of that word than that. It wouldn't make sense if he told the tale of the elephant in space would it? People creating racism out of nothing is worse than people being racist.
Can we please keep the left wing, Guardian/Channel 4 style, overly sensitive faux outrage over literally nothing to the Guardian and Channel 4 please? This is a football website for crying out loud. Leave that nonsense to the people with over-active imaginations and a desire to be seen to be whiter than white. And stop employing them as football writers.
Paul (Why did the monkey fall out the tree? Because he was racist) Halt
...Wow, top bantz, guys. Lol, jks, OMG!
Seriously, what the hell was that PL Diary about this week? It's like you read the Daily Mail's piece on Ralph Miliband and thought "Oh my, what a well-balanced piece of journalism, let's get something like that on our site!"
Arsenal fans are enjoying themselves for the first time in years? Let's write about them in such a way that it makes them look like they're being run by the b**tard offspring of Hitler and Darth Vadar. Roy Hodgson said something that was ill-advised and subsequently misinterpreted? Why, he must've invented the Klu Klux Klan!
Yes, it's fun to wind up fans of other teams, but maybe consider throwing some jokes in there along the way. To talk about Arsenal 'stealing children' and to portray Roy Hodgson as some kind of pro-Apartheid campaigner in such a dry and matter-of-fact way is so far beyond the pale that I'm amazed I even read it on your site.
A number of comments below this article point out how much time you dedicate in your Mediawatch feature to a) the Daily Mail's click-whoring and b) Adrian Durham's ridiculous mouth, but what you have here seems to be a conglomerate of the two, so beautifully constructed that you're likely to have to devote a whole Mediawatch page to your own site.
I've been a regular visitor to this site for I don't know how long (I think Ray Parlour was still a thing if that helps), and the real shame is that, just this morning, I was thinking about how well-balanced this site was, how well you dealt with the serious stuff, whilst also knowing when to work in the humour. Taking the moral high ground without getting on your high horse. The self-deprecating, humble pie-eating, really-quite-good-at-what-you-do writers.
That article though. That...that was just really disappointing.
Dinner's in the oven, I'm going to bed.
In answer to Alistair, LFC's question regarding one player making a huge impact at a football club.
The biggest one I can recall is Maradona joining Napoli.
Neil, LFC, USA
...In response to Alistiar LFC questions 'Which fortune reversing transfers are a better comparison to Ozil's?'
I would argue Maradona's arrival at Napoli had an even greater impact on the team and city. Prior to la Mano di Dio's arrival at Napoli they had never won Serie A.
In his five years playing for Napoli the club won the Scudetto twice, won a Supercoppa and played two Coppa finals, winning one.
Also, to this day, Napoli is intertwined with Diego. I was in Napoli last summer, and there are little shrines worshipping him all over the city. Young Mesut has a long, long road to go before being this revered in London.
I would like to add, that whilst technically not a transfer, the arrival of Johan Cruyff in 1988 as trainer/manager at FC Barcelona changed the DNA of the club and set the foundations for the 1990's dreamt eam, Rijkaard's Champions League treble and Gaurdiola's squad.
...I think one of the biggest transfers in history in terms of transforming a club's fortune was Gerd Müller's move from TSV 1861 Nördlingen to Bayern München in 1964.
At the time 1860 München were arguably the more successful of the Bavarian clubs, Bayern only had one national league and cup in their history. 1860 had also agreed a deal with Müller to move to the club and strengthen their cup-winning side. Then Bayern came in with a truck-load of cash and whipped him away from under their noses just before the deal was completed. This completely changed the fortune of Bayern, who went on to become the most successful club in Germany and one of the biggest on the planet, initially fired by Müller's goals and profile.
If his transfer to 1860 München had gone through then we would be seeing a completely different Bayern today. This transfer not only changed the face of German football but also the European game, and all because he went for the extra cash. So when people talk about the money-grabbing players in today's game, please keep in mind the same thing was happening half a century ago.
Paul, Gooner in Munich
On Inverted Full-Backs
Is it too much to ask that full-backs (or any other footballer really) can comfortably execute basic football skills with both feet? Andreas Brehme delivered two assists from corners in a World Cup final with his left foot and scored a penalty in a World Cup final with his right foot. I'm not expecting your run-of-the-mill Premier league full-back to reach similar dizzying heights, just being able to accurately deliver a pass over ten metres with your 'weaker' foot would be a good start.
...To follow on from the e-mails about inverted full-backs, Martin O'Neill used left-back Robert Ullathorne on the right to neutralise David Ginola in the 1999 League Cup Final. Worked fairly well, especially as Neil Lennon sat deeper and doubled up on him too, but it didn't account for Allan Nielsen's lung bursting runs into the box, thankfully. That game also saw Robbie Savage start to become the tool he is today.
Fittest Team In The Prem
Whilst having a girly chat with the admin girls that I work with (the conversation being 'who would you turn gay for?') I started thinking which current Prem team is the fittest. My personal favourite would be Arsenal (biased) as there are probably only a couple of not-so-good-lookers (Sagna - hair, Ozil - eyes) but apart from that it is a pretty solid team.
Giroud, Theo, Ramsey, Podolski and Wilshere are all decent. Arteta has great hair. Gibbs, Oxlade and Gnabry are also up there. Jenko isn't awful and neither is Koscielny or Vermaelen.
Can anyone else match that?
Also, if we flip the question, who is the worst? I would personally pick the Liverpool team of a few years back. Kuyt, Skrtl, Konchesky, Voronin. I am sure there are others. Truly horrendous.
Good On You, Dion
I listened to the build-up to the Villa - Spurs game on Sunday and was interested to hear Dion Dublin's pre-match opinion, although obviously the 5-live broadcaster had other ideas and starting taking about the FA Commission, whether he thought Greg Dyke had made a mistake and suchlike.
Instead of the usual diatribe and poorly conceived opinion on a matter which is of little concern to your average footy fan he responded, "Don't want to talk about that it's boring, let's concentrate on the game which I think is going to be an exciting contest etc." At the end of the item the reporter again went back and asked why he thought the topic was boring, again he gave a great response saying he has been asked to cover the game and cut the guy dead - in the nicest possible way - before calling him 'mate'.
Anyway it was a quality response, twice. I was hugely impressed by Mr Dublin, clearly not in the least bit interested in getting all pally with the BBC broadcasters and securing himself a nice comfortable slot on MOTD. I wondered if any other readers made a note of this conversation and like me, had a little smile to themselves.
Good on you Dion.
In answer to Ed from Notts yesterday.
1) How desperate are they? Steve Kean is a huge name for a team of this standing. I hate saying this having lived in Singapore for so long but the standard of the S League is truly dreadful. I'd put it at Conference standard if I had to. As an example, Daniel Bennett played 20-odd games for Wrexham at his peak and has 128 caps for the Singapore National team. You get the picture...
2) How bad were the other candidates? Very bad indeed I am sure. Bringing any kind of professional organisation and training methods will be a huge boost to them.
3) Malay is the official language but pretty much everyone speaks fluent English so the signs will be easy to replicate. 'Kean out' is truly universal wherever you are.
Steve McBain, Singapore
Miracles In Football
I remember reading in summer about a man's dissatisfaction with football because the top teams always stay at the top and nothing ever changes. I wrote in (didn't get published - Suarez had done/said something and taken everyone's attention) and said how football is all about hope. How your team might get good, they might challenge, they might get into Europe/the play offs against all odds. It's unlikely, but it can happen.
Well anyway, it's happening to my team, Burnley. I spent all summer (some of it) worrying about how we'd sold our main striker, and centre-mid and goalkeeper and we'd probably be in the lower reaches. But in fact we're top of the Championship. It's amazing. I know nothing is settled yet, and there's plenty of time for it all to go wrong; we have a tiny squad and no money. But at the moment, it's amazing. It can also happen in the Premier League too. Check out Southampton punching above their weight.
So anyway, if you ever feel down about nothing changing and football being boring, chin up. It could be your team on the up and up next.
Nick (Love Kieran Trippier) Poninski
Spare A Thought For Hyde
To all football fans moaning and groaning about their team *glances over at United fans*,
please spare a moment for Hyde FC, who have won 0, drawn 2 and lost 14 of their 16 games this season with a -30 goal difference. They were winning against Dartford 3-2 after being 2-0 down on Saturday but conceded twice in the last six minutes and lost 4-3. Have their fans started crying about it? Well, let's see what their OFFICIAL twitter page has to say:
'Full time: Dartford 4-3 Hyde. Can't win 'em all. Or any.'
'Head count of 14 Hyde fans here today.'
'Hyde fans in fine voice. All 6 of us.'
I'm sure you'll join me in saying that it could be worse, but it could also be a bit of a laugh? Not saying your team dropping points is funny, but just chill out a bit, your PREMIER LEAGUE TEAM isn't doing too well, but look into the fifth tier of English football and think about how some of the fans in that league are feeling. Take into consideration teams such as Hyde, who are loving their season regardless.
Ricky, Lincoln (Gary Simpson's Barmy Army!)
A Fine Romance...
In your 'Nice Surprises of the Season' you described Ravel Morrison's rise as a Romcom. The only problem is that the only two protagonists you mentioned were Ravel and Big Sam. Ew. You are sick puppies at F365...
James S, London