At least he wasn't in Bayern's defeat to Real Madrid, says one chap in the mailbox. Plus, more excitement over Van Gaal at Man United and thoughts on FFP...
Man United fans know who they want to replace David Moyes, with Louis van Gaal the favourite to take over at Old Trafford. Plus, thoughts on Real Madrid v Bayern Munich...
If you have anything to say on any subject, mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Berbatov For Arsenal?
Proven Premier League goalscorer, experience in a title-winning squad, not-cup tied for the UCL with no issue of relocation available for relatively low price. Seems to tick a lot of boxes with the exception of his +30 age but would Berba be a welcome signing at The Emirates?
And perhaps another obvious one for the press to make up but with the clowny clowness of late from Boruc wouldn't Julio Cesar be a safe bet and cheapess improvement on loan to Southampton?
Bri Belfast Gooner (I'd have snapped him up in the RVP deal tbh)
...Having read the piece on Dimitar Berbatov wanting out of Fulham (who can blame him), it got me thinking, why don't my beloved Arsenal buy him? He's got years of Premier League experience including winners' medals. He has a great first touch and close control and so could play a similar role to Giroud and he should be cheap as his contract is up in the summer, He isn't cup-tied in Europe, and won't get in the way of our young prospects as he would simply be a boost to the squad for a year or two and could give Giroud a break should he need one.
Smithy (first attempt at the mailbox so probably wont get in, but I still like the idea anyway), Gooner in Austria
Chamakh: Not That Bad
I suppose Palace fans may know better, but after having watched their last few games, I've come to believe that Marouane Chamakh may not be such a bad footballer after all. On a lower level, he has the same skill set as Olivier Giroud: good in the air, creative with a short pass, good at link-up play, doesn't get into scoring positions very often. He wasn't good enough for Arsenal, but if he's on his game, he might be useful in a relegation fight. Pulis did well to play him in a somewhat withdrawn role against West Ham, where he could play to his strengths. He and Cameron Jerome could form a nice complementary partnership. Anyway, it was nice to see him get a goal last night, and I wish Palace and their fabulous fans the best.
PeterG, Pennsylvania, USA
Mourinho Is Right
Before fellow Arsenal fans start throwing their toys out of the pram about Mourinho's comment about "Chelsea can easily catch Arsenal"...he is absolutely right!
Chelsea's next four fixtures are Sunderland, Stoke and Palace before they play Arsenal whilst after tonight Arsenal have to face Everton, Man City away (after a tough game in Napoli while City can rest their players having qualified already) and Chelsea themselves. It is not beyond the realms of possibility (however well they are playing) that Arsenal only pick up one or two points from that trio of league games, whilst Chelsea will have picked up at least nine!
We are all enjoying the ride and Arsenal's great form right now, but unlike our Spud compatriots, we realise that the season is a long hard slog and December is way too early to shout from the rooftops and that the team that is in the mix come mid-March that puts the best run together to the end of the season will take the prize!
To be honest whilst Adrian Durham would love to beat the team with a stick if they do not go on to win the league...I'm just enjoying the fact that they are competing again, which is being made all the sweeter by the fact that RVP looks like his cronies will be competing with Liverpool for fourth place, whilst AVB is in a negative spiral of results (by the way since AVB made that comment Arsenal have lost only two league games in 8 months - what a good judge)!
Chris (actually being able to enjoy the ride for a change) Charteris
Cesc v Mesut
I loved Cesc Fabregas. I loved that he lived in digs and took the bus to training. I loved that he made his debut on my birthday. I loved him when he smiled up at the North Bank as we sang 'he's only 17, he's better than Roy Keane'. I loved him when he had a mullet. I loved him when he made us forget Patrick Vieira. I loved him when scored that goal in the Champions League and ran to hug Arsene and just for a moment we all believed again. I loved him when he threw pizza at the Mancs. I loved him right up until the very moment he was photographed holding his new team's shirt in front of the Barcelona logo.
But I love Mesut Ozil more. Why? Well, if you want rational thinking, because I think he is a turning point for us in a way that Cesc never was nor could be. As other Mailboxers have already pointed out, Mesut has already inspired his team-mates, energised Arsenal fans and enhanced the perception of our team. But honestly, it is very much simpler than that: Mesut Ozil is an Arsenal player now and Cesc Fabregas is not. Therefore, I love Mesut Ozil way more than I love Cesc Fabregas.
Carolyn, (this rule does not apply to Robert Pires though), South London Gooner
No Need For Cesc Apology
Why should Fabregas need to apologise to Gooners?
I don't remember him doing an 'upper decker' to any of the facilities at Emirates Stadium on his way out.
Like Terrence Henry the bloke is a champ.
Harro (West Aus. Gooner)
At least Arsenal fans can legitimately discuss whether they'd rather have signed Ozil, or Higuain, or Fabregas. For United, we got Fellaini.
'AB MUFC failed to mention that of all of Cleverley's 60 passes in the game, not one of them was a key pass' from Brian, MUFC, Dublin is a sentence that sums up how stats are ruining football. Quite frankly, stuff like that bores the a$se off me!
How about watching the match and judging with your own eyes if you think a player has played well.
Stats are basically maths and if I remember rightly; I enjoyed football a lot more than I did maths in school!
Kev The Clarke, MUFC (Stats are 100% boring) Skem
Welcome Back Stewie Griffin
Thank you Stewie for coming back and being all negative and 'realistic' about our title ambitions. I won't take the bait and I am in fact indifferent to the result against Hull tonight. Win, lose or draw I'm going as a guest to the SHAFTA awards tomorrow night (google it) so take that THUNDERB*STARD!
...Does anyone else get the feeling Stewie is annoyed at everyone else in the league for being crap so as to allow Arsenal to top the league?
The problem is this season isn't groundhog day in that Arsenal have already achieved something they rarely do and record a great start to the season. Groundhog day for us gooners has been characterised by selling your best player (this season it would have been Santi), lose a whole bunch of games so as to have the tabloids question whether Wenger can go on, before the team recovers in March to put a run together to storm into the Champions League places.
This season so far has been just the opposite - rather than sell our best player we've bought one better than all the players in our squad, we've made a fantastic start to the season so reason dictates come March we'll be rubbish and slide down the table just holding onto fourth place on the last day.
Graham Simons, Gooner, Norf London
Not Dizzying Heights For Newcastle
I've read a few articles recently on various websites/newspapers where Newcastle's league position is described as dizzying. Now I know the media in this country seem to enjoy patronising Newcastle fans and certain sections of our support do fit the stereotype/leave us open to people taking the piss but given this is a position we finished in two seasons ago it's really not that 'dizzying'.
Don't get me wrong it's great to be that high up the table and playing some decent football after the season we had last year but I can't quite work out why we should be about to faint with excitement, maybe this should be too much to take for our little Geordie brains. But do people forget we've been here before? In the Premier League we've finished: 3rd, 6th, 2nd, 2nd, 13th, 13th, 11th, 11th, 4th, 3rd, 5th, 14th, 7th, 13th, 12th, 18th (erm we'll forget about that) 12th, 5th and 16th. We've finished in the top five seven times out of our 19 seasons in the Premier League. That's just over a third. Hell, we've even finished in the top four a quarter of the time. We're not a non-league team who have won a competition to join in for a year.
I know we're not the team we once were but a lot of fans do remember being involved in title chases, playing in the Champions League and aspiring to more than getting 40 points in the bag. My point is that, even if we're not expecting anything more than mid-table and exiting both cups nice and early, we're quite used to being at this end of the table. The heights aren't dizzying to most of us, we're acclimatised and just enjoying the view.
Andrew (), NUFC
A Retort To A Riposte
I hope you'll allow me a final retort to Minty, LFC before everyone gets distracted because Jack Wilshere said something stupid or Ashley Young fell over.
There's a problem of a lack of trust between national and club managers, and Roy probably hasn't helped that, but teams have brought it on themselves with their overcautious (to put it nicely) withdrawals of their players from international duty.
If Liverpool were that convinced he might do himself damage, why didn't they withdraw him? They didn't, so Roy used him as he saw appropriate. A national team manager can't be told how to do his job by club managers.
Players get injured playing for club or country. It happens. If managers were that paranoid about their players picking up knocks they wouldn't let them play for their country ever. Or take part in training. Or in some cases buy jarred food or own furniture.
Chris, London (Probably only care because my team is doing crap) CAFC
The Daily Mail School Of Football Coaching
Just thought I'd fill you in on a conversation I overheard whilst I was coaching an U13s team last night.
Two dads were discussing City signing the 'New Messi' 14-year-old Brahim Abdelkader Diaz from Malaga for £2.3m (it's only £300k down payment but who cares about details) and how absolutely mortified they were that a club could sign someone for so much at such a young age. They then went on about how it will give English lads no chance in the academies and how City were ruining English football and in particular the National team. They seemed quite passionate in their disgust until another Dad said that as this 'New Messi' will be schooled in England then he could play for England which then amazingly made it all alright. Best of all they were saying that if City got a few more in then England could win the World Cup in Qatar as they'll be use to the heat.
Gavin MCFC - Incidentally the sons of the dads are scared of heading but, hey, that's wingers for you! (us defenders stick together!)
A Related Question
I also read (and found very interesting) the article regarding Belgium and immigrants improving their pool of talent and recent fortunes.
It just made me think of something, which I have pondered and sat on because I thought to myself I can't possibly send it in. It's one of those where you don't know if you're being incredibly brainless or it is a borderline genius Eureaka moment. I did even think about google-ing or asking Jeeves but feel he'd judge me and quite possibly has retired now, is he still around anymore? (That does not matter)
As an almighty amount of players from all sorts of nationalities are currently playing in the EPL and therefore living in Engerrrland, most of whom, with their WAGs I think this...
Surely when they all have children born in England, could their offspring not opt to play for England as they are part English? (is that right, are they part English I just do not know - it's melting my brain!!!)
And if so surely Mr Greg and the Mr FA's can chill their boots and relax, obviously a baby Vincent, baby Nemanja, baby Yaya, baby Mezut with a baby Nasher Suarez will be blessed with such natural ability leading us in 15/20 years have the greatest amalgamation of talent ever?
BC (Please do not abuse me if I have been mistaken, I'm only little) THFC
The first time I read the word thunderb**tard on this site I truly marvelled at its brilliance. There are many words to describe a goal struck with great force, the types of goals fired into the top corner from 30 yards, i.e., a screamer, a rocket, an exocet, a tonk and there are others to describe a goal curled in with finesse such as a pearler or a peach (and maybe 'worldie' fits in this bracket). However, the thunderb**tard encapsulates those rare goals that are more than just speedy shots into the top bag. Thunderb**tards are the goals that seem like the ball has been launched from a catapult with reckless abandon. These are strikes that seem like the ball is destined to dismantle the frame of the goals like a wrecking ball that has come loose from its chain or like Thor's hammer blundered at full force . The thunderb**tard is the footballing equivalent of an artillery strike. See Yeboah v Liverpool, Shearer v Everton, Zlatan v Anderlecht. Can we get an F365 top ten!?
Brian, MUFC, Dublin
...Thunderb**tard is a perfect word and Chaz is a fool for thinking otherwise. It's that phenomenal 'Woof!' feeling from the goals it describes that needs a more visceral and even primal word and Thunderb**tard, screamer, rip-snorter, or tit-honker all help a reader who hasn't seen it know exactly what type of goal you're talking about.
Sorry Chaz but you're just plain wrong
Steve Bradley (City are away tonight. We're doomed)
World Cup Group Of Death Is Going To HAPPEN
When I checked Mediawatch today on my lunch break (as I always do) the chances of England getting the group of death was 0.0434%, when I just checked again now (I don't know why, it's a slow day!) it's at 0.0868%.
By my reckoning, with this rate of exponential increase, come this time tomorrow it's going to 88%!
We might as well give up now. Brazil, Italy and the USA. We never stood a chance!
James (Are England ever in anyone's group of death?) Davies, Darlington
Things That Rhyme With Pundit
'Fund it' - as in a massive new stadium, at the cost of eight years of no trophies.
'Bunned it' - rasta word meaning burn, presumably how Emmanuel Frimpong describes what he did with his Arsenal career. Most likely in rap form, too.
'Rotund sh*t' - Arsenal's favourite dubious penalty winner, Wayne Rooney.
'Unfit' - any Arsenal player for a period at least double the time Wenger claims they'll be out (pushing it here, admittedly)
Alex G, THFC fam