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 email@example.com
Zlatan Is Thunderbastard
That old pantomine villain Zlatan did it again last night.
That was the Thunderb@stard to end all Thunderb@stards!
In fact, Zlatan IS Thunderb@stard!
How Do Russia Have The World Cup?
While watching the City vs CSKA match, i have really started to wonder how Russia have been awarded the 2018 World Cup.
This is a country ran by a dictator, where racism is common place and homophobia is now institutionalized. In fact, merely stating that you are not opposed to multiculturalism or homosexuality can result in abuse or even imprisonment.
Surely FIFA should have some basic standards for the country chosen to host, such as the adherence to basic human rights.
The choices of Brazil, Russia and Qatar to host the next 3 world cups really show the type of characters that are in charge of Fifa and may also go to explain why these issues are still quite prevalent in the game.
In conclusion, FIFA are b*llends.
Cian M LFC (Can we end the season right now?)
Why The Hodgson Joke Mattered
You had a few idiots in the mailbox a few days ago moaning about how the media and more specifically, a couple of F365 writers overreacted when talking about how ill-informed Roy Hodgson was to make the monkey joke when a black player is involved. One even said finding racism where there is none is worst than actual racism. These mailboxers were more or less trying to dictate how they feel a black person should react to what could be interpreted as racist. The monkey chants aimed at Yaya Toure last night is exactly why the presumably black England player has the right to be offended.
While I do believe Hodgson meant no harm or racist intent in using the joke, any black player has the right to take offense to it. This is the football world where UEFA believe fining a club a few thousand pounds is enough punishment for fans doing monkey chants. It should be no surprise that black players might be sensitive to a joke putting a black man in the place of a monkey. White people need to stop telling blacks how they should react to racism. It's extremely arrogant, ignorant and proves that even in these shores, many white people still don't truly understand how racism works.
Seyi (Not expecting this to get printed) LFC
Suggestions To Stop Racism
Listening to 5Live discus what UEFA would do to eradicate the racist chants in Russia, I was struck by an idea that I think might work. There are a couple of inherent problems with the existing punishments:
- Fines: arbitrarily small, and insignificant. Don't punish the perpetrators, don't help to drive cultural change, nothing real attempt (other than lip service) to address the root of the problem
- Stadium closures: do punish the perpetrators (don't get to see the game), also punish the opposition as they lose out on their share of gate receipts, no UEFA led drive at changing prehistoric mindsets, club is responsible for driving social and cultural change
- Kicked out of competition: pushes perpetrators, but doesn't really address the problem. It won't stop clubs from refusing to sign black players, or fans from racially abusing players in their own leagues away from the spotlight of major club competition.
My solution: UEFA/FIFA make a condition of entering a competition the following: Any club whose fans are found guilty of racist abuse in any competition are required to play the next 2 games behind closed doors. They agree that they will pay the entirety of gate receipts that would have been generated by playing in front of a normal crowd to the opposing clubs in those 2 games and forfeit their share of television money to a Kick It Out equivalent in their country. The only way to prevent the loss of revenue is if the culprits are identified, charged and punished in a court of law. In this instance, the punishment is reduced to just giving the share of gate receipts that would have been generated as per normal. Given UEFA games are usually every 2 weeks, and international less frequently, there is time enough to get through the majority of the judicial process - its amazing how fast things get done when there are significant sums at stake.
The goal is not just to punish clubs (who in some cases are doing all they can to combat racism) but to help to change the mentality of those responsible. Clubs are incentivised to find those responsible and also to improve policing to help identify them. There is also the chance that the clubs will push local authorities to help facilitate this process, starting with grass roots education, helping to effect real social and cultural shifts towards acceptance. Understandably this is still driven by a desire to protect their revenue but the bottom line is that its a punishment that (a) punishes those responsible, (b) doesn't punish future opponents by removing revenue streams, (c) shows a consequence to those who perpetrate racism by actively encouraging the seeking out and sanctioning of those responsible and (d) helps to address the root of the problem - education and acceptance.
I'm sure greater minds than mine will be able to pul this apart, and I'm not myself sure on the logistics (and legality), how it would be managed, or the competence of the respective governing bodies to implement and apply the system but surely its worth a go?
Dave (actually I am sure about the competence of the governing bodies, I let you guess in what way)
For all the people who bang on about the excellent football commentary and analysis on Irish television, Dunphy just said he thought Rooney didn't play well tonight and that he looked dispirited.
Just let that sink in.
Please could you continue to give Ryan Giggs a hard time in your articles, columns and in the mailbox? Every time you or a reader writes him off, Giggs (clearly a reader of F365 himself) plays his best football in the following match.
Is he the Moyesiah? No hes a very lucky boy...
I assume he crazies will be out saying thats much more like it.. Change of fortunes, la la la...
Just to be straight, Manu beat a bottom half side in the Spanish league (where there are only 2 or 3 teams apparently) by an own goal..... in the 2nd minute....
No further comment your honour.!
Still not gonna be in the top 4 probably 6 for me..
Al LFC (and loving it, Just like Keggy Keegle, Justin Timberlake and that burger place...)
For the first time in a while, it was nice to say that I was proud of the performance that Moyes's side put in. Against an admittedly limited Soceidad side, the scoreline wasn't flattering but the the team played encouragingly. There were some points for Moyes to consider for the upcoming Stoke fixture:
- Kagawa was impressive at last. So much has been written about his stock getting higher without him actually playing and tonight showed why the Man Utd fans love him. While a summer isn't made by one swallow, I really hope Kagawa can kick on and be the creative hub that we desperately need, which leads on to..
- How will Moyes deploy RvP, Rooney, Chico and Kagawa into the team? They all seem to combine with each other fairly well when played in their favoured positions but they're all vying for pretty much the same spots. It's a challenge that Moyes has to get correct, or he might lose one or more very good players among those four names
- Jones and Evans could possibly be the pegs that fill the Rio and Vidic shaped holes. Evans especially can feel hard done by, considering that he was our best defender last season. Rio so far has been overused and is probably due for a break from the XI now that fixtures have gotten less difficult, the future of Man Utd's central defence should be Evans plus another
- Valencia seems to be on a mini-revival too, showing the form that made the fans so fond of him. Nani is getting there as well and it is such a relief that the key positions that Moyes so favours in his ideal formation have players that are rejuvenating
- One thing lacking again was the famed killer instinct we used to display with regularity. While its early doors yet, our goal difference is paltry and its needs to be fattened. Although you can't have it all and I'll gladly take winning consistently again
- Giggs who was castigated in his last few games was back to his old self once again. He seems be a one in three games kind of player now, surely those ageing legs couldn't last another season? Enjoyed the performance though, cherishing it like a fine wine, with supply getting lesser each time its consumed.
- Can we actually try to play it from the back instead of hoofing the ball like it was an STD each time it goes back to DDG? We have a keeper that has sublime skills with his feet and its something that we could benefit from
- Man Utd seem to be enjoying Europe more than the EPL, who would have thunk it?
Wow, published on Tuesday, Holloway gone by Wednesday. I wonder if Ian reads the mailbox?
In all seriousness, it's never nice to see a manager leave their job. The fact Holloway cites exhaustion as the main factor behind his departure gives an indication of the work the man puts in. Sadly he himself seems to realise he isn't suited to Premier League management - as evidence by his admission that the signing of 16 mediocre players disrupted team spirit. What did you expect, Ian?
Anyway, now's not the time for potshots. Especially not considering the incredibly dignified and graceful manner with which Holloway has left the club. (Two qualities rarely attributed to him.) Not many men would have the courage to admit to their shortcomings, and even fewer would have the integrity to resign, rather than wait for the sack and subsequent payoff. Doesn't complain about the board, doesn't blame the players, fronts up and takes full responsibility. See that, Redknapp? That's called class.
And given his replacement is tipped to be either Warnock or Pulis, we mightn't see that particular attribute at Selhurst Park for some time. Be careful what you wish for, eh?
I'd still take Dougie back, record at Bolton notwithstanding, but of the two I'd prefer Pulis, simply because he's an established Premier League manager and Warnock isn't. But it depends if we're focusing on this season's relegation fight or next season's promotion push. I fear it may well be the latter.
Max CPFC (cheers Ollie)
Contrary to what N O'Reilly said, Ferguson isn't a bitter old man, but also contrary to N O'Reiily's detractors, it isn't because of all of Ferguson's great works.
No he has always been a control freak, a megalomaniac, a man with a huge ego. Sure, now he can't kick boots at players and castigate them at will, knowing he has complete control over them, but he can do it in writing.
Clearly Ferguson had a problem with anyone willing to stand up to him. He says it in his book that he couldn't have anyone challenging his control.
But the irony is the hypocritical nature of the man that means he had to attack and continue to attack those who challenged. I don't like Keane, he is a knob as a person, albeit a great, committed player. But he is right to attack Ferguson as being a hypocrite for allowing his horse racing to play into his work life - the same criticism Ferguson used against Beckham. And for not being loyal. Ferguson was only loyal to himself, to his image, his legacy.
But it is insightful to think that Ferguson felt he could try to control who players married. He thought he was a king and had that authority. Beckham shouldn't marry Victoria, it will ruin his game. A player who was always professional on the pitch and in training. But hey, he married someone Ferguson disapproved. Off with his head! Almost literally.
In fact, picking Moyes as his successor seems to me to say look how I managed to win a title with a mediocre team - all due to my brilliance - and a good manager like Moyes is struggling with the same squad. Inwardly I am sure he is loving how much better it makes him look.
So no, Ferguson is not a bitter old man. Ferguson has been and always will be a megalomaniac.
The Inoffensive David Moyes
As my wife sits here watching Poirot, my little grey cells have been working overtime wondering why I'm enjoying the current predicament of ManUre and David Moyes so much and, I'll be honest with you, I'm a bit confused.
As a long standing Liverpool fan, it should be simple. But, as somebody closer to 50 years of age than 40 who enjoys watching good football, it's not.
Over the years, United have actually given me, as an English football fan, a lot of pleasure. I've followed them in Europe and enjoyed their success. Their players, from Beckham and Scholes to Rooney and even Ferdinhand have enhanced an England team and provided some memorable individual performances.
So why is it the current team's league position and performances are bringing me so much pleasure?
The answer, I have deduced, appears to be David Moyes.
If Mourinho had, as was touted following Ferguson's retirement, been announced as manager, I would have been happy. For United, for their fans and for English football. José would have taken the team forward, built on their success, developed his own team and his ego would have coped with the ghost of Ferguson quite easily. In much the same way I am enjoying the resurgence of Fernando Torres as a force, I believe I would have happily watched Mourinho's United improve, go forward and enjoy another successful era.
But Moyes isn't Mourinho. He achieved mid table mediocrity with a mediocre team playing mediocre football. As a Liverpool fan he never offended or upset me because he was just plain old simple David Moyes and his Everton team were, as neighbours, never that noisy He reminds me of the Norfolk oik who won a bloody fortune on the lottery and blew it all on sex and drugs and rock 'n' roll, before signing on the dole again. He didn't deserve his luck because he'd done nothing to warrant it. And Moyes is the same. He didn't deserve to inherit Manchester United from Ferguson.
I'm sure David Moyes is a nice bloke. But he's not a winner. And he's not a United manager. The sooner he goes back to an inoffensive mid-table team the better.
David, LFC living in Perpignan where they play bloody rugby.
I've got used to this over the years. I've put up with it to an extent, but now it is just getting tedious and annoying.
Whilst I don't expect many people to take interest in my wonderful West Bromwich Albion FC, I'm now struggling to understand what we have to do in order to get some respect from people.
In the last few days you've spoken about Morgan Amalfitano, saying "how did they sign him". Now whilst I might be bias, we are a team with England's current number 2 in goal, as despite all the talk of Frasier Forster, Hodgson chose Foster when he was fit as his number 2. We also have a recognised Sweden international in Jonas Olson at CB, recognised Uruguay international Diego Lugano can't even get a game at the moment, Mulumbu who was linked with a few of the bigger clubs (briefly I'll admit) and Stefan Sessegnon who was lauded at times whilst playing for Sunderland. We also have players like Yacob, Morrison, Berahino (who the media seem fond of, which inevitably leads to more patronising comments of "he'll probably just leave this season"), Vydra who was praised no end last season (granted in the Championship). Now I know that players like Anichebe can ruin everything I've just wrote in one hit, but I'm sure you see the point I'm trying to make. Our squad isn't as terrible as people would like to make out.
My second point is about your piece regarding relegation, and we are mentioned among other teams as being a team that may be scrapping at the end of the season. Why is this? Last season we finished 8th after a poor end to the season results wise. 2011/12 we finished 10th. 2010/11 we finished 11th. Since being promoted back to the Premiership we've been constantly improving, and results against the bigger teams show that we can hold our own when our best team is fit. We beat Liverpool home and away last season, beat Man Utd at Old Trafford weeks ago, were unlucky not to get all 3 points against Arsenal a few weeks back... Anyway you get the idea.
Your comment today of "Steve Clarke manages the most harmless team in the country" is just annoying. Like I said, I'm not expecting people to take an interest in my team, it's just annoying that even Mailboxers seem to speak of defeat to West Brom with such disgust. I've come to expect it from the media, now my fellow man won't even look us in the eye.
Joe Bingham, Annoyed Baggies Fan (Mulumbu woahhhh, he comes's from Africa, he's better than Kaka)
Hats off to Tom, Manchester in yesterday afternoon's mailbox for getting me to write my first mailbox with his perfect Chelsea "Greece-at-the Euros style Champions League victory" baiting. I know it's a couple of seasons now but I hate this lazy characterisation of our cup run. So in tribute to the Spanish waiter, here are some facts...
~Chelsea scored 13 goals in the group stages, Bayern scored 11.
~The Napoli second leg comeback was one of the finest two-leg comebacks you'll see against a very good Napoli side (RIP the three musketeers).
~We lost Cahill to injury and Terry to a red in the first half at the Nou Camp and we only needed a draw. What were people expecting, a Scarface-style blow-for-blow contest ending in our elimination?
~The final was a bloody home game for Bayern! When the banners came down in the Bayern end and it was clear that most of the neutral section were in red too, I cacked myself. On top of that, we were injury riddled by the time the final came around, summed up by Ryan Bertrand getting his CL debut in midfield (who, incidentally, should have retired afterwards with the hipster-est CL record ever of played one, won one CL trophy). Backs against the wall it was always going to have to be.
Overcoming a hell of a lot of adversity necessarily involves a lot of grinding it out. Many great teams have had to do the same - we just had to do it in the last two matches of our cup run which is probably when everyone else started paying any attention. Even during that we produced the Ramires Nou Camp goal and the Droba final header - which any fan would be proud of. We also made G Nev go weak at the knees but I have tried to erase that from my memory... disturbing.
I find myself in complete agreement with Lous Bazy, AFC, when he writes that Arsenal being defeated 'Might be what the team needs'. May they keep getting what they need from now until the end of the season.
AJ Richardson, THFC
Can someone please explain how in the world Vidal didn't get booked for the funniest dive yet?? Is Vidal's dive the footballing equivalent of peeing/shitting your pants?
Abdalla (I tripped over my pinky toe and blamed the nearest defender), Nairobi