Somebody mentions Paul Scholes and everybody writes in with those quotes from Zidane etc. Dull dull dull. We've ignored them. There's plenty more to enjoy here...
It does seem logical that the best thing to do with the best players is to play them from the start, when they have the most time to make an impact, rather than the last 15 minutes...
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Why Sign Iniesta When You Have Jones?
Man United don't need players like Iniesta who is coming to an end of his football career.
What United need are players who still have years to contribute...Phil Jones is good at defensive midfield, why not letting him play?
Playing Phil Jones in various position like O'Shea is a waste of his talent.
No one becomes a footballer by being a star in training. Even Ronaldo had poor performances in the first year he joined. He dribbled all the time, with poor finishing, but he still had the opportunity to play on field.
Otherwise Known As 'I'm A Man United Fan'
Rooney is massive, his ability and work rate is an asset for any team. I wonder what you would say about the ageing Frank Lampard and the selfish Steven Gerrard, who are both out of their depth and lack the commitment which is greatly needed at international level. Whenever I see these 2 take the field, I know immediately that England are 2 players down, but to underrate Wayne Rooney, is a misrepresentation of class and ability and greatness.
No Passion At City
Nick Miller asks 'What is wrong with Man City?' I think the problem they have is the same reason that I struggle to support them anymore. Watch clips of Stevie Ireland in his pomp (I know that sounds strange, but he really did have a pomp once.) That is a Man City player right there, loves the club, runs his heart out, playing with desire and motivation despite the odds. Playing for the noisy fans that noisily love him for it.
I don't think a lot of the current players care enough. Some of the new chaps might grow to it in time, but right now we lack a club spirit. Lots of them only joined for the money, from which you could infer, based on the huge contracts they left to come to City, that they don't really love football like, say, Rooney loves football. Then again, he's not exactly on a pittance himself... What do we really expect from players like that though?
Big game, they are 'on it'. Easy game, they are 'on it'. Rainy day vs a scrapping Sunderland side, fighting for their lives? They can't be arsed. You can't buy love for the club and it shows. Some of the foreign guys have it, don't get me wrong, there are a few players that regularly appear for us who I do class as 'real' Man City players. Zabaleta is, for example, the epitomy of a club man. Seeing him put in that early crunching tackle in each match still set my blue blood racing. I think Aguero and Silva are genuinely there for us too, but they are not leaders.
Mancini, for all his faults was a Man City man, he could instil it in his players, and that is why he is up there the best managers we have ever had. Sacking him, especially in the way we did, with that announcement just before the cup final was sickening to me, and is a good example of the way the club is run these days. Look at what happened to Hughes (even though he is a cock). Disgusting. That great arse we hired from Nike, who was sacked for abusing Nedum's mother over a serious illness. Not for the abuse mind, but for getting caught.
It is not necessarily leadership qualities that our players lack per se. Admittedly, Kompany is a true leader, but so is Toure. The difference is that Kompany loves City, loves football. It is that intangible mentality, the relationship with the fans that is missing when Vinnie is out of the side. Other guys are capable of stepping up to the plate, but they just can't be bothered. They aren't Man City players, they are mercenaries.
We still have vestiges of the old City reputation, people still like us a bit, because we used to be funny and nice and stuff. We aren't that club anymore though. Man City is not Man City anymore, we are an unsporting monster, run on an unsustainable basis, with no loyalty.
Pretty simple really. See what happens to Chelsea when Terry, Cech, Lampard and Cole are gone.
Ben, MCFC (sort of anyway)
No Credit For Big Joe
Replying to Mike from Geneva.
Just to confirm a few points. Newcastle didn't get Remy for nothing, they paid a £2M loan fee and are covering all his wages (£5M). Secondly, they could've bought him outright in the summer for only £8M due to a release clause that has now expired, and thirdly, although a fee has been agreed, the decision rests with QPR, who I'm sure will say no to Newcastle and sell him to someone else for more money, or just keep him themselves. So not such a good deal if they're just increasing the price of another team's player for quite a considerable fee.
...2 points - Mike Geneva - "Newcastle spent nothing on 1 loan player" - while I agree with the main thrust of your argument, the Remy loan has not cost nothing [horrible double negative there, I can't see my way round it]. I believe a £3m fee was mentioned, plus I imagine the Toon are paying a large chunk of the £80k-a-week that they refused to match in the first place.
Burty - Southport - after 'The Two Escobars', try and find 'Premier Passions' for some light relief - it is the story of Sunderland's fight to avoid relegation before they move to the other Stadium of Light, and chairman Bob Murray's fight to get gold taps in the executive toilets. It is hilarious.
Alex Stokoe, Newcastle upon Tyne
...Mike, Geneva , I completely agree. Newcastle have had a good transfer window. But I highly doubt that that joke of skin Kinnear is responsible.
Ohhh how I yearned for West Ham to make a cheeky last minute swoop for Remy, not just for a top player but for the poops and giggles at him turning down Newcastle for another London club. But it didn't fit with Big Sams policy of signing former players or spunking his budget on one injured pony tail, so alas poor TJ didn't get to go into the season with a crumb of hope.
But enough about my falling out of love with my West Ham (a mail for another day) I guess Mike, Geneva missed the story about Kinnear trying to sign a player he had loaned out. You really can't get worse than that when your head of transfers or whatever he does.
To summarise, yes great signing, but it is more about Kinnears incompetence and QPRs desire to get a player of high wages off the books than a great transfer recruitment strategy.
TJ (What's worse - playing Carlton Cole or playing no striker? I just don't know anymore)
I love reading John's articles as much as the next guy, but I can't help but take a little offence to his "polyester duvet covers sold in Singapore to people who know only three clubs" comment. Without opening the old can of worms discussing whether all overseas fans are plastic, I would just like to let John know that despite living in Singapore, I support my club no less than any fan who lives locally.
I watch all the games at unearthly hours, including those that involve our youngsters loaned to other clubs, subscribe to the club TV channel (knowing that its rubbish); follow club news 24/7; listen to fan podcasts for potential insights in around the club; write-in to sites/forums to discuss about the club I love; and yes I do purchase the replica kit (don't understand your hate) annually at exorbitant prices. I get to work the following day feeling like crap after a poor result just like any other fan would.
The fans in Asia or any other continents are not as fortunate as you lot living in the area, and we would gladly give up a huge portion of what we earn to go watch our team play every other week. Would really appreciate if you could respect the overseas fans a little more and cut out the slight digs to make you sound witty (it doesn't).
Roy Kirk (Singapore, and proud Blue)
I must say that was a fantastic article by John Nicholson on United's self-promoted concept of the ABU. I particularly enjoyed it because I've come across United fans in my life who have replied to any criticism of Ferguson or United by saying "your hate makes us stronger". As if they were a legion of countrymen fighting tooth and nail against invaders who had subdued them for centuries. You are fans of a football club damn it, stop acting like you're out for a war.
While John makes a point about possibly their recent success being the reason for such nonsense, there's more to it. As he says, Liverpool after arguably greater success both in country and in Europe didn't form the concept of ABL. Not many hated them. And not many hated Arsenal who played the most gorgeous football the league saw when they were at top. But people dislike United not because they win, but probably because they come with an attitude of "praise us as the biggest greatest most beautiful club ever, or be called an ABU!"
As if that makes a difference to others. They're probably disliked because their manager, while great, was bitter and disrespectful towards anyone who was better than him in any area of importance. And they dislike them probably because they have the nerve to criticise City and Chelsea for spending when they themselves have been one of the top spenders for over two decades (they add up numbers over the years to support their point, as if there has been no inflation in player prices).
While most United may not be like this, there's a large bunch out there behaving in this ludicrous manner. Hate is a strong word, no one hates your club - but I'm sure many take pleasure in your defeats just to shut up some of your annoying fans.
I've been following football for many years now and don't believe I'm stupid but I find myself more and more confused by all the stats now available. Can someone please explain what these are:
Key pass - what exactly is one of these?
Attempted interception - does simply sticking your leg out as the ball goes past you count?
Clearance - is this just getting the ball out of the area or 10 metres out of the area or what exactly? Can you make a clearance from outside the area? If the ball goes straight to the opposition does this count?
And then the most basic and oft-quoted stat of all - Shots. Is hammering the ball vaguely goalwards from 35 yards straight into an opponent 1 yard in front of you a shot? (Andros might be interested in this answer). If not, if the opponent is 5 yards away does this count? Or 15 yards? At what point does it become a shot?
Myself, I love numbers and always read your Number and Stats page with interest. I often find myself nodding and thinking 'that's impressive' then wondering what the hell it actually means.
Someone please explain to an old man.
John, THFC, Saigon
Couple of films for Burty to watch. The Damned United is very good from a dramatic/character study point of view. And if you find that period in foorballing history interesting then get on YouTube and watch the videos of Brian Clough's interview vs. Don Revie after leaving Leeds - absolutely brilliant to watch. As far as fly on the wall documentaries go - An Impossible Job, which is the story of Graham Taylor's unsuccessful stint as England manager (and was what inspired Mike Bassett - England manager, though somehow I always find the real life version more comical). Leyton Orient; Club for a Fiver - is also a good shout for its Malcolm Tucker-esque levels of brilliant swearing and anger, but meant entirely seriously. There's no need for satire when you can watch the real thing!
Mike, League 2, BRFC
...I assume you'll get plenty of these but here, to answer Burty's question about "...other football related documentaries or films...":
ID - Great undercover cop film. East London scum
Cass - brilliant film. Deals with more than just football. West Ham scum
Football Factory - absolutely no football in it but fun. Chelsea/Danny Dyer scum
Rise of the Footsoldier - football, hooligans, criminals, guns, Range Rovers. Essex scum.
Green Street Hooligans - not much football, lots of fighting. (More) West Ham Scum
Green Street Hooligans 2 - don't bother. Prison scum.
Green Street 3 - not watched, no intention of doing so
Goal! - great film! Mexican kid comes good. Ends up in Newcastle. Poor kid. Geordie scum.
Goal 2 - imaginatively named, I'm sure you'll agree. It's rubbish. Spanish scum.
Goal 3 - quite what made them think that after the stink of Goal 2 a further sequel was necessary, I don't know. English scum
Arrivederci Millwall - very old English doco that has recently been put on DVD. Highly recommended. English/Millwall scum.
To avoid: Danny Dyer's trips around Europe meeting up with Jonny Foreigner scum. It's rubbish.
Just writing that list, I see a very clear pattern but for me to tar everybody east of N5 with a scum brush but would be overly generalistic.
Al, Arsenal/Sydney FC
Not exactly a chant that never was, but when Manchester United toured Australia earlier in the year a man seated in the row behind me was particularly proud of a song he claimed to have invented. Whether he did or not I'll never know.
Initially it grated on me, I couldn't pick the song he'd used as inspiration and I thought he was generally very daft. But in the days following the match I found myself humming it under my breath.
To the Clash's classic 'Rock The Casbah' he kept yelling "the keeper he don't like it (beat), shot from Zaha, shot from Zaha!"
It's all got a bit heavy in the mailbox with all this scientriffic stuff so I thought I'd bring it back to the status quo of petty football jibs......
Mark, SAFC, my dad's a better footballer than your dad.
Anthony (Catlin Darts team currently 5-0), Kilburn
This Is What International Week Does To People
It's the international break. You can tell, strange things are happening. I for one am a little bit worried at what appears to be a fracture appearing between the Mailbox and the Comments section allowing characters from both sides to slide through at will, disrupting the Mailbox/Comments continuum. I'm pretty sure my Doctor friend said that won't end well.
If my recollection is right this crack, if unattended, will allow a race of ruthlessly efficient humanoid beings to come here to cause devastation and beat us all into submission, most likely arriving Tuesday in the Wembley area (I've been there, it's actually bigger on the inside!). We should not consider this a friendly encounter, because these guys are very good, and very tough, and more than capable of manipulating time and relative domination in sport. They've done it before to us, but we know how to beat them too.
Vigilance should be maintained on both sides, we can't have contributors and commenters running amok, not during the relative calm of the international break, because we have a far bigger test to come next year, hopefully at the Pandorica do Maracanã.
With apologies for the amalgamation of several series, Bad Wolf people, Bad Wolf!
Chris ITFC, Liverpool
(p.s. I'm glad Mark, SAFC confirmed Newton's Second is F=ma, hope that Daniel Guerre chap has learnt something)