Chelsea Buy A Superfluous Playmaker? Pfft

The suggestion on Tuesday that Chelsea might buy a lightweight, skilful playmaker who has no realistic chance of regular football is well & truly dismissed...

Last Updated: 13/11/13 at 10:51

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Mignolet Is The Reason For Liverpool Flying

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Mignolet's bad kicking is the reason for Liverpool's success, whilst one man keep notes on F365 mails. Plus England excitement, Arteta and a bad Walsall experience...

City: Bottle Jobs, A Laughing Stock...

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There are some harsh words for Manchester City and Manuel Pellegrini in the Mailbox this morning, as well as some rather nicer ones for Tony Pulis and his magic hat...

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Read This Book Instantly
It may be a couple of days late, but I just want to acknowledge the anniversary of Robert Enke's death. I am just finished his life story, A Life Too Short, and it makes all the pettiness between fans seem more trivial. A man who was so caught up with fear and problems, he never enjoyed the terrific career he had, our thoughts are with his family. We should enjoy having the arguments about all these players while we can, and remember its only a game at the end of it all
Kevin, MUFC

Arms Around Juan Mata
If Juan Mata had his arm around me, I'd be making the same face as Luis Figo in this picture.
Stu, Chiswick

Pogba's Shocking Hair
As much I mourn the departure of Pogba, surveying a midfield that now comprises, in Fellaini, Cleverley and Jones, a strategically shaved Wookie, a non-alcoholic version of Xavi, and the antithesis of passing football, he does have colossally bad hair. Not since Djibril Cisse or Abel Xavier has a player misused peroxide to such widespread and horrible effect.
Chris MUFC

Andy, London wants to know if Chelsea want to take Kagawa off United's hands does he?

Ok Veron was one thing, but where he gets this idea that Chelsea would ever consider buying a lightweight, skilful playmaker who has no realistic chance of regular football and is totally surplus to requirements from I have no idea.

You must think we're idiots...
Simon CFC

It Wasn't A Wind-Up, But Whatever...
The wind-up, 'click-me please ' piece (Time For Villas-Boas to Turn to Adebayor) was amusing I suppose, but I've got my knickers in a twist about a bit in it (and it isn't the idea of dropping Soldado for Ade). Over in the Mediawatch section there's often brilliant and funny exposés of the daily torrents of football-flavoured sh*te that stream out of the papers and internet, shown up for what it all is. Sh*te.

So, in the same spirit, I have to flag you up on something. The 'negative spiral' quote by AVB. I remember watching the interview after the derby last year (, and at the time it was fairly clear he wasn't suggesting Arsenal were in a fundamental negative spiral, doomed as a football club, destined to drop out the football league etc. What he actually said was:

"We are on an upward spiral in terms of confidence and they are in a negative spiral in terms of results," he said.
"To [get] out of that negative spiral is extremely difficult."

Key bit: 'in terms of results.'

Now, AVB has got a job on his hands at the moment. There are plenty of things he needs to sort out with that team and how they're playing, but is it really necessary to get all 'Durham-esque' in how you're covering it?
Dan Eastop

On Johnny & Arsene,/B.
Johnny's latest missive on Wenger has brought about in me a great desire to, once again, get the following quote to the attention of the mailbox's legion of readers:

'If I asked you who was the best team in the world you would say Brazil. And do they play good football? Yes. Which club won everything last year? Barcelona. Good football. I am not against being pragmatic, because it is pragmatic to make a good pass, not a bad one.'

Johnny still (and I say still because in January he published a very similar article about Wenger and Bob Dylan fans) makes the false and un-evidenced claim that Wenger sees passing football as somehow 'morally' superior. I get why, it fits in with the persona which Johnny adopts in his articles for this fine website - the straight-talking Northern rocker who sees through bullsh*t. Who sees the passing game as 'smug and self-indulgent', who loves crossing, even wasted and poor crossing, over passing (to the point that a picky reader might describe it as a moral issue), and who amusingly stretches anecdotes to fit a theme. But the vast bulk of this article on Wenger, whilst interesting and at times amusing (Johnny was once a part of the rock scene in Northern England), is just wrong. Primarily, as above, Wenger has never claimed that keeping the ball is a moral point, but a pragmatic one. Secondly, the idea that Wenger is not an innovative manager who has, at times, set trends himself, is obtuse (and I'm sure Johnny knows this).
Joe Rice (seriously though Arsene, innovate a new coat.)

You Can't Argue With The Numbers
United subs versus arsenal on sunday - Giggs, Fellaini, Cleverly - Number of WC and euro goals between them - 0 !
Arsenal Subs - Lord Bendtner - number of WC goals - 1 !
The Greatest Striker to Ever Live, bench strength of arsenal, etc.
Raman, a very optimistic gooner, this is not our year (but may "2014" will be !)

Trumps Fail
The problem with your argument Will 'Substitute top trumps could be fun' Brackley is that the Arsenal bench was missing:
Tomas Rosicky
Per Mertesacker
Theo Walcott
Lukas Podolski
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
And Abou Diaby (sigh)

The argument as I understand it is not whos bench was stronger on the day but who has a stronger squad. An argument you have yet to support unfortunately, scientifically or otherwise.

And if you really think having more trophies and more international appearances makes you a better player than you are factually a moron (see what I did there).

Thanks for the effort though.
Malcolm S

In response to David, Salford - I've thought about it, and I will say that no matter how fast you watch Man U punt long balls up the pitch, Earth's gravitational acceleration will remain at 9.80665m/s/s.

In physics, gravitational acceleration (or g), is defined as the rate of acceleration on an object when acted upon by the force of gravitation. No matter how fast you move, this gravitational acceleration will not change, as it is dependent on the relative masses between the bodies that it acts upon, which of course do not vary on fast forward. The additional acceleration you are implying has to be due to some other external force, but certainly not from gravity.

I'm sorry, but every day people make claims in the mailbox that they can't back up. Normally, I'd let this go, but today I've had enough.....

You think about it.
Shegsi, Glasgow

The F365 Commenters Hierarchy
As I sat down on my off-white leather sofa to sip my £5.99 bottle of my 'notes of acid with a hint of grape' Chilean red wine, trying to 'mix it' with the serfs/students (but not totally, as I scoffed at the cheaper bottle beside it for £2.99, ewww), I felt the sudden urge to bring up an issue that has been heinously overlooked by my fellow contributors - the commenters.

Is it just me who pictures this funny internet hierarchy where the contributors look down on the commenters (It's takes time an effort to write an email, keyboard warrior)? Have I actually been spending too much time in my home-office? Was Marcus Garvey really betrayed by the CIA?

Sorry. Back to the point. What I get from reading the comments is what I imagine to be the equivalent of an evening watching a 'real housewives' marathon in comfy pyjamas with the ladies, if I were a lady. Even if not, for that matter. Point: guilty pleasure.

A brilliant example/admission would be when the latest 16 conclusions article had just been posted. I eagerly went online to see if [insert journo's name] had anything interesting to say about united's obvious psychological advantage over arsenal at OT (regardless of the performance), which I believe contributed greatly to the victory, or something along the lines of it being the perfect game to put us back in the ascendancy. I was slightly disappointed. But see, blatantly, the main reason for reading was to check out the brilliant comments that were sure to follow. To my disappointment, there was only one (I must have clicked on the article like 0.00001 secs after it was posted LOLZ), but my word was it worth it. Some dude by the name of diegotristan just went to town with the knee jerk of knee jerks. Perhaps his knee had a knee which was jerking its mutant knee?

Anyway, in one comment:

This match shows why United didnt want Ozil cant do it in big games at club level

[Arsenal] would have been soundly beaten had dortmund been able to finish

And: arsenal didnt get lucky, wouldn't have scored against united even if De Gea had a nap in 2nd half

I could address the above, but no. What I want to highlight is that there are some really awesome commenters out there that make such dross worth reading, and the funny thing is I have the sneaky suspicion that they are contributors as well. Here we go:

Hump3 - Quality input. Always there to mitigate the unnecessary aggression amongst the keyboard warriors with a truly 'outlandish style humour' comment. Since you support Ipswich, there's no other option than to assume you could be Chris, ITFC from the mailbox. If not, you should both hang out.

Tk421 - Same as Hump3. I really enjoy seeing random comments providing insight but also attempting to lighten the mood of the lynch mob. Perspective is such an underrated asset. There's an awesome Chelsea supporting contributor but I can't remember the name..editor, help me out!

Solskaer99 - I think he/she hates David Moyes but I don't want to jump to conclusions. There's brilliant subletly hidden in there somewhere. Take your pick from the contributors, but leave Silvio Dante out. I agree with his stance on Giggs . Not rooney though.

HarryBoulton - Even when the urge to create a profile and comment strikes, the 'scratching in a corner' ends as I see Harry has blessed the comments section with some objective wisdom. I enjoy Harry the Manc's mails also, is that you? No? Carry on then!

My observations are biased, of course. My mind has filtered from memory the posts not centring around my beloved United, or awesomeness. With that in mind, I would like to see some of my fellow comment readers come out of the closet and tell me who their favourites are.

Whilst typing this I will admit I finished that crappy wine, moved on to a very acceptable rioja, and entered in to a typical discussion in football with a Napoli supporting friend (an actual born and grown Neapolitan). Whilst wearing grubby (but rare and funky) Aasics Onitsuka Tigers and cutting-edge specs. I am your hipster. But don't call me that because it's not cool. I'm not cool.
DS United - No hate, just love. I love you all. Swoon.

When Boredom & Cockney Rhyming Slang Collide
Here's a game I used to play when I were a lad: make up cockney rhyming slang names for PL players. Back in the days , there were a few good ones like Eric Tin (Tin of Tuna -> Cantona), Dennis Summer (summer camp -> Bergkamp), David Cricket (Cricket Bat -> Platt), Hristo Chesty (Chesty Cough -> Stoichkov), Ruud chick (Chick Lit -> Gullit) or Patrick Ta (Ta ra -> Vieira) and my own favourite the brothers Gary and Phil Dancing (Dancing with the Devil -> Neville). I am not particularly inspired with current players, however, wonder if the estimeed readership can come up with some gems. Here are my attempts which, on 2nd read, are decidely average:

Gareth Closing (Closing Sale -> Bale)
Sergio Ground (Ground Zero -> Aguero)
Kieran First (First dibs -> Gibbs)
Frank Lump (Lump o'lard -> Lampard)
John Port (Port & Sherry -> Terry)
Erik Tikka (Tikka Masala -> Lamela)
Theo Certainly (Certainly Not -> Walcott)
Olivier Aussie (Aussie Kangaroo -> Giroud)
Tomas Thor (Thor and Loki -> Rosicky)
Yohan Passing (Passing By -> Cabaye)
Peter Bouncing (Bouncing Cheque -> Cech)
Ashley Totem (Totem Pole -> Cole)
Andros West (West End -> Townsend)
Nemanja Shore (Shoreditch -> Vidic)
Robin Batter (Battersea -> van Persie)
Phil Bag (Bag o' Bones -> Jones)
Bacary Chronicles (Chronicles of Narnia -> Sagna)
Alexander Smooth (Smooth and rough -> Kolarov)
Kyle Bucket (Bucket of Water -> Walker)
Michael Nigella (Nigella Lawson -> Dawson) yeah, lazy one that one
Edin Gordon (Gordon Gekko -> Dzeko)
Mike, CFC, Auckland Blue

How Football Manager Helps
I know that many people who write in to your fine site get criticised for having 'Football Manager' opinions on the beautiful game, not to mention on certain individuals. However I couldn't help but feel that perhaps if more actual Football Managers played the game themselves they might really benefit from it. Case in point is Marco Reus and his release clause (

I've known for years about this release clause (despite this I'm still frustrated in my attempts to sign him for my beloved Reds.) Do we really need to wait for Dortmund to confirm this when it's been in plain sight for all this time to the countless well adjusted individuals who play this most magnificent invention? If Brendan and his scouts need more help identifying similar targets, please just have them contact me.

Kindest Regards,
Matt "Vernon" Baulch (if you publish this, Adonis Stevenson will be mightily impressed)

The Chants That Never Were
I know that it's not particularly topical but my mind recently wandered back to a discussion the mailbox had about different chants around the English leagues. I'm sure that we can all agree that there are some brilliantly creative people around when it comes to taking the piss out of opposition fans (or in Brighton's case, outwitting the nastiness regularly thrown at them).

However, I find myself regularly humming a chant about former Belgian striker Gilles De Bilde and while I probably made this up, I hope that a few Sheffield Wednesday fans may have thought of it in his couple of years there. Just think of Bob the Builder:

Gilles De Bilde
Can he score goals?
Gilles De Bilde
Yes he can!

Very catchy, I'm sure you'll agree. The only thing that might need altering there is the last line as he wasn't quite as effective at scoring as Bob was at building...
Mike Ahern, HTFC, Kentucky

Does This Work? Ah, Close Enough
These novelty line-ups are pretty good - I thought it was time to move on to team sheets that tell a story, starting with one made-up of current and recently retired Premier League players that would annoy a Scottish, Labour-supporting opposition manager (recently retired):

GK Gordon (Free agent)
RB Brown (Sunderland)
CB Innis (Crystal Palace)
CB Wisdom (Liverpool/Derby)
RB Potts (West Ham)
CM Fer (Norwich)
CM King (Spurs)
LM Little (Burnley)
RM Sterling (Liverpool)
AM Britton (Swansea)
CF Owen (Stoke)
AM Mutch (Cardiff)
Shappo (I'm sure you can do better)

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may well get slated by other United fans for this, but out of the three contenders, I'd far prefer Liverpool to win the title. Yes some elements of their fanbase can be a bit OTT, yes they're our biggest rivals and yes it will make our poor season feel even more like the end of an era (Fergie's gone, Liverpool are back on top). However I just have to applaud Brendan Rodgers and the way he's turned Liverpool around in just a couple of seasons. It...

Please Stop Telling Us What To Think


ooray! We are all excited now, we beat a very mediocre team! With all due respect to WHU supporters, not winning that game shouldn't even be a consideration. This is the problem, there is no winning mentality at the Emirates - we're all congratulating ourselves beating a team that we have a winning record against.

Wenger hails important win


s this meant to be an aspiration for United supporters? Moyes mediocrity strikes again. I see the Bayern boys don't want to sign for him, and his reputation amongst the senior European coaches make other key signings unlikely.

De Gea's Europa League target

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Mignolet Is The Reason For Liverpool Flying

Mignolet's bad kicking is the reason for Liverpool's success, whilst one man keep notes on F365 mails. Plus England excitement, Arteta and a bad Walsall experience...

City: Bottle Jobs, A Laughing Stock...

There are some harsh words for Manchester City and Manuel Pellegrini in the Mailbox this morning, as well as some rather nicer ones for Tony Pulis and his magic hat...

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