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
Defending Matic Signing
Slightly confused by the reaction to the Matic signing. I'd say:
- He's clearly a player we need, as we've lacked a decent defensive midfielder for a while now. Our midfield (if you take that to mean the '2' in the 4-2-3-1) is anything but formidable
- He appears to be a quality player - winning player of the season in the Portuguese league as a defensive midfielder can't be easy. 21M doesn't strike me as a bad price in today's market (7M less than Fellaini). And he wanted to join Chelsea
- Those saying 'selling a player and then buying them back epitomizes what a bad club Chelsea presumably think the same about Barcelona resigning Fabregas
- Our stockpiling and loaning of talented young attacking players strikes me as a good idea and a good thing for football. This allows Chelsea cheap access to top-class players; allows those players to develop without rotting in the reserves; allows some smaller teams access to players they could otherwise never get (Lukaku at West Brom and Everton, for example), and makes some good commercial sense in getting the club loan fees (4M for Lukaku just this season if reports are to be believed) and eventual transfer fees a la De Bruyne; and means Chelsea don't need to sacrifice results to play kids who are not yet quite good enough. KDB is now going to a good German club having just not quite made the grade at Chelsea; others (Lukaku, Courtois) are likely to make it into the first team soon.
I don't see an issue with any of this - it's certainly better than the stockpiling and non-playing of top young talent that was the norm a couple of seasons ago
Tim Colyer, Chelsea fan, London
...I'm certainly not going to defend Chelsea's youth development (stockpiling) policy or our seemingly capricious attitude towards talented footballers like Mata or De Bruyne but I really don't see what is so unique about buying back Matic after selling him once already.
Of the top of my head Marco Reus and Cesc Fabregas both returned to former clubs for considerably higher fees than they were sold for but people don't consider this an example of Barca and Dortmund's irresponsible management of their youth products.
In fairness, both teams have a far superior record of developing academy products than Chelsea but please just let me enjoying the signing of a cut-price 25 year midfielder we actually f*cking need for once.
...Nialls comments : "Chelsea football club embody everything that is wrong in modern football and this particular transfer leaves a very bitter taste in the mouth" is utter nonsense.
What is wrong with a team doing the following -
1. Signing a young player and playing him a small number of times.
2. When buying another player, use the young player with potential as part of the transfer deal, benefitting both the club and the player
3. Years later, see that the young player has realised his potential and, presumably know his mentality and are confident that he can settle in at the club, decide to scout him again
4. Re-invest in the player, paying more than they sold him for
At the very least, this would appear to be a relatively sensible transfer policy - resigning a player once he has realised his potential having got game time and experience elsewhere in combination with having the background knowledge of the players personality and mental strenghts? Also, Chelsea have already invested time and effort in developing him - what in earth is wrong with bringing him back?
If you're just sickened at the value of the transfer, then please, don't just criticise Chelsea, look at City, Spurs, Man U, Arsenal, Tottenham etc All the big teams do it.
It makes absolutely no sense to criticise Chelsea for signing a player they know well and who has developed into a strong footballer.
No Goals = No Points
Having read a few mails suggesting various fixes for the not really broken league points system, I thought I'd put my own not all that well thought out system forward.
It strikes me that the essence of football, or the objective, is "to score more goals than your opponent". So why not stop rewarding teams that don't get anywhere towards that aim? Simply reserve the '1 point' for a score-draw only. If you don't score, you get nothing. You lose. Good day Sir. Imagine the final stages of a nil-nil as both teams really have to try and score!
The Final Word On Points
I have read with interest people's emails regarding changes to the points system over the last few days but I feel they are missing the point somewhat. Football is a game of fine margins, the beauty of it is that with a bit of endeavour, plenty of hard work and a bit of luck, a minnow can achieve something against the odds, whether it be a hard fought draw or a lucky win. With a bit of skill, cunning and tactical nous you can build a team better than its parts, fighting hard for 1-0 wins to propel yourself up the table.
The problem with all these suggestions is that they will reward the good teams far better than the plucky teams. Fight hard for 90 minutes and give everything you have to secure a hard fought draw, only to have it taken away from you on penalties (which are not a lottery despite what the papers tell you, in general the team with the better players will win). Awarding more points for scoring more goals, this only benefits the teams able to sign the best strikers - looking at the current table, Arsenal are above Man City due to losing less games, should Man City really be above them because they have scored a few more goals when the result was already sealed? Should West Ham really be above Fulham because despite having lost more games because they have conceded 16 less goals?
I appreciate that these suggestions are aimed at making the game more exciting and reward better play, but along with suggestions such as making the goals bigger, they remove the key factor in football, the fine margin. Alas I can't find it, but I remember reading an article which said that the reason that football throws up shock results is that a goal is such a rare event and so valuable that chance plays a bigger part in the result. In high scoring sports such as basketball, the chance deflection is less likely to affect the than a deflected shot.
The more we do to remove the fine margins, the less football will be able to shock us. At the moment the league is all too predictable, but there is still some intrigue in it, but the more we reward goals and wins the more it will become a procession.
At the end of the day there are 2 results, a winner or a draw. The winner takes all the spoils otherwise they are split equally between the two. I guess I am saying we go back to the 2 points/1 point equation. I do not think that 3 points encourages the lesser teams to go for the win more, it just makes the 1 point scrapped more valuable as losing rewards you opponent disproportionately.
Hull's Name Change
You may or may not know that the Brooklyn Nets are in London tonight to play a regular season NBA game. The Nets moved to Brooklyn about two years ago (only about 30 miles, not massive in relation to some of the distances that US teams seem happy to move in search of a bit more turnover) and changed their kit colours and logo and almost everything else.
When they moved they launched themselves as more of a brand then a team. They gave Jay-Z cut-price ownership in exchange for him plugging their team and have paid various pop stars to wear their kit in promotional videos. After doing that, and in moving to a 'cool' city, they have moved from the bottom of sales of NBA merchandise to the top 5, their brand is supposedly recognised in key overseas markets and they're able to recruit better players as they can pay them more due to increased turnover.
All of this has been done at a time when they have never won a championship, are currently doing pretty badly despite having brought in a few aging superstars, and don't look like they'll be improving any time soon.
The relevance to Hull is this; if being called Tigers allows them to market themselves in Asia, then the 'fans' in Shanghai or Jakarta or Pune or wherever won't care whether they win or lose or whether they're bringing through enough local kids. They'll have no connection with Hull or the North-East of England but will see a name and a brand that they think is cool. The only way a team like Hull can attempt to compete worldwide with teams with immediately recognisable names (either through success or through excessive spending on the world's best players) is to give them something else to associate with. In this case, the name Tigers.
I still think they'll change the name and in about ten years Hull will have about 5% more supporters in Asia, probably wearing knock-off tops and contributing nothing to the profit line of the business. But awareness of the brand will be high in various market research exercises. Woohoo.
Poor Durham City
Following on from the travails of Hyde and Droylesden, here's a tale from the Unibond Premier 2009-10 season:
Durham City were Champions of the Northern Premier Division One North in 2008-09. They were promoted, duly struggled, and lost every game up till Christmas. At some point they fielded an ineligible player (a player suspended from another club, who played under a false name) and they were docked six points - six points that they didn't have.
They spent a few games on minus six, before beating two clubs, including FC United of Manchester, then returned to form and finished the season with a record of Played 38, W2, D0, L36, with 0 Points (Zero) and a Goal Difference of -141. Fantastic.
Chris (glad I missed that game), Manc
It was May 1987, I was 8 years old, was with my Dad and it was love at first sight; AFC Bournemouth had my heart.
My first ever game saw them win the then 3rd Division Championship against Rotherham. I have never forgotten the excitement and how it felt to be a part of something so special.
The 1989-90 season saw them relegated, I was 10 years old, I was heartbroken. 2 weeks later my Dad left too.
Football and life eh?
After reading the non-football story of the day I confess to excitedly rushing onto Mirror website to see if there were any images or CCTV camera footage of said misdemeanour.
I must say I was disappointed to find out I had another Katie Holmes in mind, I don't think that one was married to Tom Cruise.
Chris ITFC, Liverpool