Jose Mourinho is getting a fair amount of credit for what Chelsea did to Tottenham while Daniel Levy and Man City are defended. Oh and there are more penii...
Is it a sacking offence if Arsenal don't win the FA Cup from here? Is it the players, the manager or the board who should go at Spurs? We have a bumper mailbox...
If you have anything to say on any subject, mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We Won't Disappoint You...
Never have I looked forward to a mailbox more than today. That's all I have to say. I'll let the Utd fans do the talking!
Mark Wilson COYB
It is clear that Moyes is not capable of leading Utd to glory but instead, sink the ship into a new low post SAF. This team is "the team" that won the league last year for god sake, how on earth Moyes managed to sink it so fast?
Nobody except Utd to win the title this season as this will be treated as a "learning season" to Moyes, but surely the board will expect nothing less than finishing 4th (thus CL) and a good run in FA Cup & CL. Although only 5 points off 4th place, at the current rate Utd will struggle to finish 4th and will be knocked out when they face a decent opposition in cup competitions.
Don't blame this on injuries. Every manager has to cope with injury to their players and if Moyes can't cope he is not fit to manage a football club.
Utd are so much in debt they need the money from CL football to keep it afloat. If they don't get CL next year they will be in deep trouble. They will start losing the pulling power (especially in Asia market) which will further deepen them into financial trouble.
So Moyes has to go. Fast. To give the board sufficient time to get a replacement before the next transfer market.
...It sounds reactionary and shortsighted (and I may be feeling grouchy having woken up 6.00am to watch a replay of last night's game - I live in Dubai) but playing Giggs and Fellaini in centre-midfield last night against a predictably dynamic and energetic three man Everton midfield finally broke me - Moyes needs to go. He is out of his depth and simply not up to it.
There are so many reasons that I have been bottling up for the last few months but it has come to boiling point:
- Fellaini and Giggs in centre-mid in any game, let alone in a game against what we know will be an energic three-man midfield, goes beyond being a mistake - it is embarassing and gross misconduct.
- Janujaz - refused to sign a contract until he got more game time so he got more game time - was brilliant - signed the contract - he has hardly played since.
- Unable to change a game or a system - his only ever changes are like for like wingers.
- Players do not like him - clearly RVP does not fancy it. Under Fergs, RVP would have played with a broken leg. Now he is back to the bad old days when he first joined Arsenal - slightest knock and he is not interested.
- Unable to identify talent. He hasn't got a clue what united's strongest team is. He stumbled across the strongest starting 11 vs Arsenal and has been nowhere near that team since. I appreciate injuries have not helped but his team sheets are so inconsistent it defies logic.
- Signing Fellaini - either (a) it was a flop signing or (b) he doesn't know how to get the best out of him. Either way, as he'd managed the bloke for several years beforehand, it shows what a poor manager he is.
- Everton - as pointed out in F365 article, Everton are much better without him. Moyes claim that the team could play without a manager and it is "his" team that are doing so well - it is complete b*******t. Barry, McCarthy and Lukaku are not his players. Barkley and Coleman hardly played last season (more evidence that Moyes cannot identify quality). Mirallas is a different player. Martinez is a much better man-manager and plays much better football than Moyes.
- Too stubborn. In Moyes head, he is his "own man". In reality, he has no self-awareness and is too stubborn.
In conclusion, Moyes hasn't got a clue. Get rid of him, take the hit and let's get Martinez in.
Tappla - Dubai (geographically primed to be a Man Yoo fan)
Nick's article is spot on in terms of United's display. United look tired, frustrated, limp, uninspired, listless etc. But then that has been their default setting since the season started. The games against Swansea and Leverkusen aside - I cannot remember a single game where United have actually produced a dominating performance.
A damning indication of how bad things were was the stat that was displayed at one point in the second half - Everton had 69% possession. At Old Trafford. It is one thing to allow teams to have possession and hit them on the counter. Fergie mastered the art and did it to Arsenal regularly. But to be so docile at home and allow yourselves to be outplayed by Everton is a different matter altogether. And I do not mean to be derogatory - Everton were brilliant and Martinez has really taken them to a new level. Lukaku and Barry were probably the loan deals of the season. They look composed, strong and confident in every game and with their passing style and Plan B in Lukaku - I'd be surprised if they did not make Europe this season.
For United, it is hard to understand what's going wrong. It has been a mixture of players not performing and a manager who seems clueless as to how to get them on a winning run. Moyes might still get it right in the future but it looks to be too late for this season. Come January, it is imperative that investments (cheaper and better investments) are made and hopefully United can put together a winning sequence to end up in the top four.
The United fans at Old Trafford have been brilliant in keeping their word and have continued to support Moyes as Fergie had instructed them to. I feared boos after the final whistle but I could barely hear any (from the United supporters that is). I am not sure how long the patience will last but right now this team needs all the support it can get.
Budhaditya (Come on Moyes. Sort it out!)
Longer and Balanced On United
No doubt you'll be inundated this morning with mails from fellow United supporters slating Moyes or from gleeful opposition supporters filling their boots on our latest poor result, but I want to give a balanced perspective on both the match and our future.
Firstly, last night's match; Nick Millar generally summed up our performance when he said "United look tired, frustrated, limp, uninspired, listless". To that I would also add turgid and insipid. We did have a few glorious chances, but any points here would've masked a poor display. Nevertheless, Everton had chances too and were good value for the win as they produced a great display of counter-attacking football. Moyes took Rafael off as he was visibly tiring and Fergie used Valencia at RB on a few occasions so I am not overly concerned about that change. I thought he could have taken Welbeck off sooner but the other changes made sense. Nani put a couple of decent crosses in to warrant his introduction and Januzaj also had a few moments of brilliance.
However, once again we looked pedestrian in the middle of the park. Slow build-up and nobody willing to carry the ball or get beyond the striker. Giggs can't do it week in week out any more; how could he be expected to, he is 40 after all. Felliani, god love him, was trying but he just doesn't give us what we need at this moment with Carrick being out. Rooney had an off day (which he is allowed every once in a while) and nobody else stepped up to the plate; I don't even think RVP would have made a difference last night because the service was mostly poor. Jones might have given us more drive but we'll never know. The only one who stood out was Evra who has matched Rooney's performances this season in terms of energy and attacking impetus.
In regards to moving forward, we really need to splash some cash and fill the gap in the middle as it is becoming critical. It's the engine room yet we are using one of those little motors you find in physics classrooms in school, good enough to power a mini fan but put it into a lawnmower and see how well it cuts your grass. The Glazers need to financially back the manager or we could we'll be staring down the barrel in terms of making the top four. We need short-term investment ASAP or it could be detrimental to our long-term goals. Worrying times indeed.
Garey Vance, MUFC
Cheesy Belief In United
I Believed in Sir Alex.
I followed his final command and supported Moyes from day 1.
Pre-Season was a mess. We said he was new and learning the capabilities of the team. We Stood by Him.
Season started, we struggled. They embarrassed us in the Transfer window by bidding for . We still stood by Him, he was still learning the ropes.
Results became better. We finally thought the worst was over. We defeated Arsenal, we thought we were back in the Title Race. Now where are we?
It's nearly Christmas and we are 12 adrift in 9th. Our Hope wanes.
But we still believe we can turn this around. We still believe. Not in Moyes. Not in Sir Alex.
But in United.
Loving Midweek Matches
Did last night's fixtures finally settle one argument once and for all?
I think quite clearly that midweek-evening fixtures are better than weekend ones!
I just feel there is something about the atmosphere of evening matches which makes them better, as well as the fact that there were 9 fixtures all kicking off at pretty much the same time. It seems much more 'old-school' than modern, weekend football where fixtures are strung from saturday lunchtime to Sunday evening. Everytime a goal went in, it was so much easier to see what effect it had on the table. There just seemed to be so much more happening.
I reckon one of the reasons commentators always mention the atmosphere on 'Big European Nights', is precisely because of that last word: Night. There just seems to be something slightly intangible about evening matches. Maybe its because people have just come from work and feel like its more of a release.
In fact, I would be quite happy if a couple of times a season the CL/EL and PL fixutres were reversed so all the European games were played on the weekend, and then the PL games were all packed into a couple of evenings during the week. Especially if, like last night, at least 8 of them take place at the same time.
Although having said all that, I would have preferred it if Southampton had won a dull 1-0 than losing a 5 goal cracker!
Shopping Lists Are For Morons
They said United needed a creative midfielder. Against teams that come to spoil, a spark was needed to unlock the defence.
They also said United needed a defensive midfielder. The lack of a snarling, Roy Keane like player (because in England defensive midfielders have to be aggressive and angry) was why the best teams dominated United.
United signed Kagawa and Fellaini. Now, they say that Kagawa is misused and Fellaini was the wrong man. I say that's missing the point. Some people confuse fantasy football with the real thing - buy players and that's that.
Of the teams to have beaten United this season, only city and, at a push, Liverpool have better personnel. The personnel isn't the reason for United's slow start. After all, it's only a week since they won by 5 in Germany.
A successful team needs a clear style of play and the players need to be able to execute that consistently. United have been spoiled in recent years by a solid defence and a succession of individual match winners (Ronaldo, Rooney, RVP), so the style of play has been neglected.
Still, I expect the mailbox to be full of "X isn't good enough" and "we need to buy Y" this morning.
This won't be solved by a shopping list unless Ronaldo and Messi are on there. Shopping lists are for morons. Maximise what you have (which Moyes did very well at Everton) and if it's still not enough, then let's talk about transfers.
Neil C, Leeds
Oi, Give Everton Credit
This might be a good time to remind everyone of the "Did Moyes hold Everton back?" debate on these pages a couple of months back.
Martinez showed what, let's be honest here, a mainly Moyes's team could do.
No more taking a knife to a gunfight rubbish. We now take a Ross, a Romelu, a Garry Barry and a Bryan Oviedo. And massive set of nuts and an attitude that says f**k you.
Graeme Lomas, EFC
Why I Love Bobby M
I'd just like to express my love for Senor Roberto Martinez. I know it's not original in any way to love this man, but it's still very real. After growing suspicions following his pantsing of us with Wigan in the FA Cup last year, waking up in Australia following deadline day to see the names Romelu Lukaku and Gareth Barry on the Everton 'Ins' list and an increasingly impressive run of performances and results, today's result has tipped my attraction over the edge.
I love his suave, sophisticated touchline demeanour.
I love that because of him Lukaku, Deulofeu and Barry are wearing Everton shirts this season.
I love his jackets.
I love the faint, teasing Spanish hint in his accent.
I love that he has the team playing with the belief that they are every bit as good as their opponents, and not just the belief they can punch hard above their weight.
I love his one finger in the air, one arm tucked under his shoulder goal celebration.
I love that, weird '1.94 points a game' comments aside, he tends not to make a complete dick of himself in front of the media.
I love his sincere, earnest manner and expressions.
I love that we pass a lot now, and pass well.
I love that we've only lost once this season, at the Etihad, without shipping 53 goals and even managing to score one ourselves.
I love that he took us to Old Trafford and won.
But most of all I love that even after this season when we inevitably finish seventh, watch the usual suspects compete in Europe next season while Lukaku tears us a new one back in a Chelsea shirt after Jose sees the error of his ways and hundreds of discarded 'Barry' shirts are left to gather dust, I'll still love him.
On a side note Adnan Januzaj's face makes me want to hit him with a cold turkey. In fairness I guess I'd want to do the same to Deulofeu if he didn't play for us.
Will Wymant (nice to be an Everton fan at the moment), EFC
An Honest Villain
Now I'm a Villa fan, have been ever since I got into football and I will defend to the death their right to be the most boring, irrelevant football team in the top flight (apart from West Ham obviously) but seriously how did we come away from Southampton with three points?
There was only one football team at St Marys last night and they weren't playing in fetching white and purple check (no sarcasm I love the Villa away shirts recently.) Southampton were bright, inventive and always looking for the pass, in contrast Villa sat deep - defended well and launched an endless succession of long balls at big target men, I actually think that the stat of 78% possession for Southampton is probably underestimating their dominance. I know they came away with nothing last night but it must be so good being a Southampton fan at the moment, especially considering where they were a few years back.
As for Villa, I am ecstatic with the result and I think that there could be a good team hiding deep within the long balls but I would love to see them playing football again one day soon. This counter attacking style has proven to only work against teams that want to attack in the first place and we could do with a plan B.
As a final thought I am convinced that the reason Gabby Agbonlahor has never received a bid from another team is because his agent has rebuffed any contact, he is well known as a Villa fan and always seems like he is living the dream, what this means though (in my head at the least) is that every time there is a bid for a player the buying club already knows they are prepared to come. From now on you should never believe any protestations of loyalty if the bid has gone in.
Jay, Villa Fan (seriously how did we win that?)
The Real Quiz...
Rejoice guys for Nicky Bendtner is back !!
Donnie (can't wait for him to fulfill his self made prophecy about winning Ballon d'or) MUFC
... And Defending Bendtner
Now I'm not attempting to vehemently defend dear Nicklas for all his wrong-doings. He has said some extremely silly stuff as you all know and has burned many or almost all bridges with the fans due to his interviews he has given about the club, one of which was quite recently.
However the one thing I take issue with is the massive joke and disbelief that seemed to come from him scoring tonight on websites and social media et al. Bendtner may not be an Aguero or Suarez but he also is quite a competent striker, one who is more than capable of leading the line against Hull. He has scored 46 goals for Arsenal while never getting a consistent run in the team and scored 8 goals for Sunderland in his time there and has scored 24 goals in 54 games for Denmark, including crucial qualifier goals and goals in major championships.
Judging by the reaction tonight you would swear he has never scored in his career. I'm not saying he is the answer long-term for Arsenal but give the man some kind of break. He's not that bad you know. He's actually quite alright. I also quite like his pony-tail so i give him extra credit for that. If Aaron Wilbraham scores a Premier League goal then that truly would be an amazing occasion worth celebrating.
Peter (Chamakh's goal is as well), AFC
Not Sure We Knew About This
Harry decided that Spurs didn't need Suarez as he was too similar to Van der Vaart.
The same Van der Vaart who was frequently injured, a number of years his senior, and who Harry whipped off after an hour in almost every game.
It seemed a poor decision at the time. Now it seems like a world-class brain fart (in spite of the boy's general douchebaggery)
Wonder if the press will latch on to this one?
Sean, THFC (we're still a bit rubbish, thank Jeebus for Utd)
Mad Love For Luis
I became a dad a few weeks ago, and in a late-night feeding bout of tired self-introspection recently, I found myself questioning the amount of time I spend on football.
Could my time be spent on more meaningful pursuits? Is it all worth it? Why do I spend hours reading endless articles on the internet? Why do I spend time watching U-18 youth team football hoping to catch a glimpse of a future first teamer?
Thank you Luis Suarez. Last night was why.
Denis, LFC, Dublin