Another chap in the mailbox has been keeping notes on comments made by optimistic Man United fans. Plus, Garey Vance is offering a double-or-quits on his new tattoo...
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...
If you have anything to say on any subject, mail us at email@example.com
Well that was depressing!
Tim (Spurs and England cricket fan)
Heart Or Head With Spurs?
With my head
* Rather than have a go at AVB can we now please get behind the team. They are obviously short on confidence and do not believe they can score the goals we need.
* We have plenty of creativity and goals within this team, we need to find our stride. Other than yesterday's game our defence has been water tight. The statistics back this up.
* We have a new team, with an new system of playing that needs to bed in. None of these players have previously played in the Premier League and need time to adapt. Players such as Paulinho, Soldado, Chadli, Lamela and Capoue are all seasoned international players and will make a difference to our team.
* Yesterday was a freak result against a rampant team at home, which we should treat as such. It wasn't so long ago practically the same team hit Utd for six.
With my heart
* What on earth is this I have been watching? Possession football with no end product, no goals and no one with the balls to put a decent through ball in.
* We are a big side, powerful, lacking the incisive bits of quality we need to win football games. It's all well and good keeping a clean sheet, but goals win you games, and we can't score any.
* Lamela appears to have nothing in his locker, we have been taken to cleaners by Valencia for Soldado, Chaldi (what is a Chadli?), we sold our new Ledley (Caulker) and replaced him with an untested Romanian. Sold our English core and replaced with foreign rubbish. There was obviously a reason Schalke weren't fussed about losing Holtby too....
* Where is the game plan you spoke of by the way? You mean the one which involves us passing it around, waiting for Townsend to come on to then give it to him and shoot waywardly? Great.
* This is a team which once had Berbatov, Carrick, Modric, Van der Vaart and Bale (at differing times may I hasten to add).
* Now we have Sigurdsson, Holtby and Dembele. And somehow we are a better team? Bigger, yes. Hardworking, yes. But lack a lot of quality.
Sorry, but I think this team has gone backwards, not forwards. Bale clearly got us out of a lot of trouble on his own last season and we have no one that can do the same this time round.
Chris, Southend, a confused Spurs fan.
An Incredible Final Paragraph
I know I'll be put down as a typical Spurs fan but after that shambles today, enough is enough. I've been saying it all season to anyone that will listen but AVB hasn't got a scooby.
I was worried at the start of last season when we looked like a team with no game plan, system, ideas etc and then one Gareth Bale came to the rescue and away we went. Now though there is no Bale one man rescue act. We are all over the job, I haven't got a clue what Spurs play like any more except boring, static or (statistics should I say, of ball possession, shots on goal etc that AVB loves to refer to) predictable etc.
I actually detest the way we currently play and we are on a one-way trip down the table if he stays in charge. I've been a Spurs fan for a long, long time, I've seen it all before and this is only going to end in bitter tears. I still believe we have some serious talent in this current squad and with the right manager we can really take this to the next level but let's not waste any more time. Levy is a great chairman, we're lucky to have him and the vision he has for club but as they say, I think he's been sold a pup in AVB.
AVB is a decent guy, we all like him but the cracks have been appearing over the last few weeks, it couldn't go on and the players look broken with his tactical crap after today, we're only more sorry defeats and one press conference away from him producing a tube ticket from his pocket a la Christian Gross style and we all know how that ended.
Just get Harry back, shake hands, forgive and forget and get us back to where we've been for a number of years now, challenging at the top where this great club belongs.
Strangely Calm Spur
I feel strangely calm after the humiliating defeat to Man City yesterday. Not because I don't care, but because it confirmed what I've been thinking for a while now - that a top four finish is beyond us this season. In the last four seasons we've finished fourth twice and fifth twice, including last season's record Premier League points tally. Things are definitely on the up for Spurs but our summer transfer activity has hampered us in the short term. The media focus has been on the departure of Gareth Bale but if you compare the team that lost 6-0 to City yesterday with the team that lost to them away last season, there are just four players that started both games. That's seven changes with all six of the midfield and attack different, despite the last City away game being just seven months ago.
It's no wonder the team looks disjointed. We don't look like a team, just a collection of good players that aren't used to playing with one another yet. Of last season's regular starters we have lost, for various reasons, Assou-Ekotto, Parker, Dempsey and Bale. Adebayor and Defoe have started one league game between them. Sigurdsson's started fewer games while Huddlestone and Caulker have been sold to Hull and Cardiff. Add to that the fact that seven new players have been brought in and Townsend and Rose have been recalled from loan and put straight into the first team and you start to see why it's not happening for us at the moment. There have been far too many changes far too quickly. Sandro said in an interview recently it took him six months to a year before he settled into life in England and the Premier League. That's potentially seven new signings, all with no experience of the Premier League, that could take up to a year before we see the best of them.
The players we've brought in are quality players but most of them don't look it at the moment. I'm confident that over time this team will develop nicely but it's not going to happen straight away and this coupled with the quality of the teams we're competing with for the top four means the Champions League will not happen for us this season. That's not to say the season needs to be regarded as a failure. Our squad has enough strength in depth to compete in all the cups and I'd be delighted to see us lift a trophy at the end of the season, even if it is just the League Cup where we're won home victory away from the semi-finals in. We've moved into a £30 million start of the art training ground, the manager is settling into his second season as Spurs manager, the new stadium plans are developing nicely and we have a young squad that doesn't need too many changes to it. The future is definitely bright for Tottenham but it's not going to happen overnight and it will require patience, something that seems to be in short supply in football these days.
...At least Spurs Navy kit is nice.
Kevin Walsh, Luimneach.
* Spurs attack far too narrow. Constantly trying to pry a hole open through the centre is difficult and not very productive for them
* Aguero is really good at football and seems quite likeable
* Soldado seems to have no idea what to do with the ball outside of the box.
* I wonder if a 4-4-2 would be better for spurs with Defoe and Adebayor up front. At least then the ball would be better held up at the front and the link up should be better too.
* Rooney should've been sent off. It was a poor weekend for refs - two of them bottled it and one seems to not have been watching the game. I suppose if the overall quality is poor then nobody can be punished.
* Man Utd look quite vulnerable to me. They're not devoid of quality but the mentality is certainly more brittle than seasons past.
* People on twitter seem keen to point out that Spurs had a positive net spend this summer. They'd do well to remember that wages typically have a better explanatory power of success and the wage bill has shot up considerably this summer. It's the increase in wages that has brought increased pressure this season for them and so far AVB isn't handling it well.
Negredo = Shearer
Does anyone else love Alvaro Negredo?
I didn't watch a lot of La Liga but I knew he was always scoring goals. Ever since he joined City I've developed quite the man crush, what is it? Have I been pining for a new Alan Shearer type these last few years? Because I think that's what it really is.
I was really looking forward to see what Jovetic could do, and I'm sure we all will, but Alvaro, he likes makin' bacon on the beach!
Dave (Swoon), Ireland
Rooney Is Our Zidane
Reading Nick Miller's piece on Wayne Rooney it hit me that this player will forever be judged under a negative light when he has done so much inside the pitch to deserve better. It's surely because he's so ugly but what can he do about that? That people go to the extent of wanting to see the back of him supporting united with the extraordinary talisman he has been and I, being fiercely Liverpool fanatic, would defend him seems extracted from a parallel universe devoid of all the passionate hatred that exists between our clubs.
So, the article adjudges that his red mist and overall behaviour is by now, a lost cause and he can't be trusted which makes him a liability and so on. Well... let me remind you of someone you wouldn't exactly associate with violence but with highest excellence. A genius with huge character flaws, an even greater genius than Rooney. Blessed with unrivalled vision, elegance and flair Zinedine Zidane was voted European football player of the past century as part of the UEFA Golden Jubilee Poll. And yet... he was violent and untrustworthy to a point of making roo seem like a child throwing the occasional tantrum compared.
Depending on the source, he has 13 or 14 red cards, 10 of which were straight reds for stamping, smacking and oh well, headbutting a rival. I remember with Juventus he once clearly cowardly headbutted a Hamburg player on the ground who lost consciousness, four teeth and had to have reconstructive dental surgery. Only imagine if Rooney did something like that, although I know speaking of Carvalho's genitalia is probably more appealling to some readers.. Zidane was expelled on matches on world cups 1998 in France and most famously 2006, both in which he was also (somewhat paradoxically) voted as the best player. Perhaps his brilliance is exactly why his very dark side is overlooked but if there is something I hate with a passion are double standards.
Wayne Rooney is one of the greatest players of his generation. He is absolutely magnificent at his best, understands the game like no other and his will to win is on a Suarez-level. Rooney belongs in a second tier only to Messi & Ronaldo who are uncomparable. If he's the unreliable, hot-headed, undependable, immature boy the media pervasively cast him to be, then I recall a bald French-Algerian who was worse, to the point of probably costing his country its second world cup at the expense of Italy who grew in morale the moment Zidane got himself sent off in such ignominy. And yet, Zizou is never mentioned under this obscure light but all too often as a gentleman (!) whereas journalism in general thrives in making Rooney the hopeless, helpless, perennial villain everyone loves to hate. Sometimes when he is culpable, but all too often, especially when he's not.
Raúl H. García, Liverpool FC 1892-YNWA
A Referee Writes...
I think football (in England) has a real problem. Yesterday I listened to a range of pundits complaining that refs get too many decisions wrong. I don't disagree that refs made some bad calls this weekend, but the vilification that is allowed to take place is going to become a real problem.
Let me explain a few things as a professional ref myself:
* I know that some pundits and managers understand that it is a difficult job, but they fail to really get it. Refs are running while watching the game and there is a lot of things going on around them, in 3 dimensions. When you watch things on a TV screen - even that first viewing - it is easier to see everything going on.
* Furthermore, just like in law, players are considered 'not guilty' unless the ref is 100% sure they are guilty. I completely understand why the ref didn't send off Rooney. Normally I would be at a loss to explain the sending off of Brown, but I think this is where the problem lies in the continued and unopposed criticism. Some refs now choose to send off players because they think it may have been a bad challenge and they don't want to be criticized for missing a 'career-ending' tackle. That is my only possible conclusion to the Brown decision.
* I am of the opinion that matches should be decided by who scores the most goals. Yes, a red card not given can be considered a game changing moment, but teams do not expect players to get sent off, so it shouldn't really affect their performance and if you were not good enough to beat 11 players, then you were not cheated.
Andreas Hasle, Brussels
I can't say I wish a bad injury for Marouane Fellaini, but I'm close.
Where do we start? The incomplete forward passes? Passing the ball backwards when you've got no one pressing you from the offense? Not being arsed to do anything while off the ball? And don't even mention the poor attempt at a header which the Cardiff caught and forgot to thank him.
Man United fans have very different opinions right now. Some want Moyes out, Kagawa fans keep bitching when he's not started and others tell us to keep calm. But we can all agree on one thing; Fellaini needs to step up. When you've been bought for 27M, we'd expect you to be bothered at the very least. Was he?
If there's an opposite to what Yaya Toure is right now, it has to be this guy (Yaya's 2M cheaper. *insert your preferred curse word here*). Someone completely absconds their duty and doesn't show any initiative at all.
Of course we have other options. As soon as Ando quits auditioning for Fat Camp he can come back to fill in that huge hole.
United Should Have Bought Jedinak...
I have a crazy theory, and the Mailbox seems like the perfect (only) place to air it. In January, when Manchester United went shopping in South London, they bought the wrong player. What if, instead of buying Wilfried Zaha they had bought Mile Jedinak?
I want to be clear that I am not stating that Jedinak is necessarily of Manchester United calibre. However, with a bit of hindsight, Jedinak has been one of the few bright spots in an average Palace side, and appears to have adapted better than expected to life in the Premier League. Some of Manchester United's problems this season have been in midfield when the first choice players are either injured or out of form. I don't think Jedinak is the answer to all their problems, but he would be a solid replacement player available for a fraction of the cost of Fellaini, for not all that different an outcome.
On the other hand, Zaha can't get a game in the league, seemingly behind Young, Nani and Januzaj in the pecking order (but ahead of Kagawa, obviously*) (*just a joke, United fans, calm down), whereas he would be first on the teamsheet for the Glaziers, tearing it up against defensively suspect full backs in the lower reaches of the Premier League (and Glen Johnson*) (*again, just a joke, Liverpool fans).
It's all crazy theory, and if this is published, there will no doubt be anger from all sides directed my way, but watching the highlights of Cardiff City Reds v Manchester United Blues last night, I just got to wondering "what if ..."
Ed Quoth the Raven (Milan signing Luther Blissett when they supposedly wanted/meant John Barnes doesn't count), CPFC the Glaziers, Notts
It's the last minute, Cardiff are down 2-1 and they draw a free kick. Gary Medel jogs into the box, which surprised me even though I am a huge fan of el Pitbull he is not exactly a tall man. He immediately goes and squeezes between Smalling and Fellaini, arguably Manchester's two best aerial defenders. He starts to pester the two of them and right before the kick gets taken slides in front of the big Belgian and gives him a nice smack on his pretty European face drawing a whistle from the referee, a re-kick, but no card. To the horror of David Moyes the Korean KIm stepped up to the plate (that has to do with baseball, American stuff) and scores a wonderful header with neither of the two Manchester giants anywhere to be seen.
That is the kind of play that has defined Medel's career coming from his boyhood club Universidad Catolica to Boca Juniors before beginning a career in Europe with plenty of continental experience filling his time at Sevilla. Oh yeah, and the entire time has been a key figure in La Roja, who have at their heights been able to take on the best in the world (but all you English know that now). He has played in the World Cup, two successful Qualifying Campaigns and multiple Copa America's always being one of the most important and consistent players, versatile enough to be a holding central midfielder and center back at the International level. Yes I love my real country Chile and we are one of the best national sides in the world, be ready at the World Cup.
All of this and Gary Medel cost Cardiff a cool £11million while Afro Jack cost the Red Devils nearly 3 times as much at 31 Million. To make matters worse, Fellaini is a Premier League veteran, someone who has been admired for years at Everton, but has really struggled to find his feet in Manchester. Medel is brand new to the country, the language, and the rapid pace of the Premier League, but has been extremely consistent for Cardiff so far this season and seems to be right at home booting up in Wales. The Chilean has even cleaned up his act and matured tremendously, so the fears that he would be a walking card magnet have quickly been answered.
This just raises the question of what a coach and scouting team truly look for. I have read numerous times from United fans on this site that they have not been the same team since the days of Roy Keane, one of my favorite players who I was too young to truly appreciate. Now I don't want to overstep my place as a first time American contributor, but Medel and Keane have a very similar style of play and place in a squad. Wouldn't this have been the perfect investment for David Moyes to establish his Legacy in a club that has seemed far too big for the wiry Scot.
Tomas, Boston, Colo - Colo FC
I have to give full credit to the guy who sits behind me at the Emirates. He has coined the wonderful phrase "Haaaa, he's TEAPOTTING".
Luis Suarez looking frustrated, left hand against his hip, right hand pointing nowhere, he was definitely TEAPOTTING (you so know how he looks when he is teapotting).
Artur Boruc after *that* mistake on Saturday, he was definitely TEAPOTTING too.
You have to imagine it being said with utter joy and disdain. I love it.
Oh and to give him his full dues, James Duffy, pour yourself a cuppa...
The Deserved Final Word
We're 19th!!!! Admit it, None of y'all never thought we would reach such lofty heights again!!! SUCK ON THAT, B*TCHES!!
Max, CPFC (consecutive clean sheets too)