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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It All Starts With One...
As panic fills the stands at OT I believe that one big signing for David Moyes in the midfield area should be enough to guide United to a top-four finish this season and build for the summer. That lone signing wont be enough to fill the gap in the middle of the United park , but it will act as a springboard, a statement of intent. We all saw how Ozil lifted the spirits of the whole Arsenal squad and brought the best out of the likes of Ramsey and Giroud, and that is what United need. World-class players follow world-class players. And if one of these players signs for the red outfit this month, then the rest will follow in the summer.
TONY (Optimistic) MUFC
Jose's Chelsea > Fergie's United
I know there has always been a distinct, let' call it, lack of love towards anything Chelsea/Mourinho at F365 (it's kind of cute, like that girl that hits you and then runs away at primary school) but seriously Nick Miller?
'While Mourinho's Psychology 101 got tiresome some time ago, the power shift between the two sides has never been more obvious. Indeed, there's a reason Football365 ran a 'Five Ways United Can Beat Chelsea' piece rather than the other way around. Chelsea are the clear favourites in a way that they would not have been with Sir Alex Ferguson in the other dug-out, just one more way in which the whole fabric of the league has changed since the old boy left.'
'Still, facing United is always one of the great challenges for Mourinho, and a win always a feather in his already pretty feathery cap.'
Let's just for a moment examine Chelsea's record whilst both men were at the helm together and see how great a challenge the 'old boy' has been for the, what should we call him, the amateur psychologist/Man who stares at Goats? And see how Nick's reasoning stands:
2004-05 Season: Won 3 (2 PL, 1 LC) Aggregate score 6-2
2005-06 Season: Won 1 Lost 1 (Both PL) Aggregate score 3-1
2006-07 Season: Draw 2 (PL) Won 1 (FAC Final) Aggregate score 2-1
Overall record then: Won 5 Drawn 2 Lost 1 Goals For 11 Goals Against 4
Power shift indeed! You're welcome.
Tony Pintos, CFC
Anzhi Tale Will Happen to Chelsea...
Reading your article on the fall of Anzhi Makhachkala made me realise something in relation to the existence of clubs bankrolled by sugar daddies. Let's take Chelsea as an example. It's not a question of 'If' something similar will happen to Chelsea. It really is a question of 'When'. The reason being that, you know, no one lives forever. Eventually Roman Abrimovich is going to get old, retire and kick the bucket. Does anyone really think Chelsea will carry on their lavish expenditure habits when this happens? Or that they will ever be truly sustainable in their own right without being bankrolled by his gazillions?
Commentators asking the 'If/When' question just have their timeframes mixed up. Stretch out the time horizons and its not really a question anymore is it?
Andrew (feeling profound) Stevens
If Only There Were A Test...
I really enjoyed reading your article about Anzy Mackashkala/Anzi Machahckala (Ctrl C/Ctrl V) Anzhi Makhachkala, and their current plight. It's a view I have thought about ever since Roman Abramovich took over at Chelsea.
But, if only there was a test. A test for owners. A test to see if they are fit and proper. A fit and proper test. A Fit and Proper Owners Test to see what the prospective owners intentions are. Surely this would establish their credentials and their history and what their plans are for the club. Surely this would alleviate some of the fears of this kind of thing happening here.
I think I may be onto something here.
...I'm just after reading the story on the rise and crash from Anzhi in Russia and the risks faced by clubs in England. I was wondering does anyone actually know what goes into considering if someone is a fit and proper owner? At least in England, I'm not sure that this happens in other countries.
Personally, I find it a bit worrying looking at lunatics like Vincent Tan running a football club. He may well be a very successful businessman but I think we can all agree that he is f*cking mental, and a danger to the club despite his money. Looking at his recent treatment of Malky Mackay, he is very liable to upsticks and leave a U-O-ME note behind him. Then you have Allam at Hull, who seems slightly off the reservation as well (although I do think that his name change idea is purely commercial - there are millions of clubs with the appendage, (can I say appendage here), sounds all wrong, and now I've brackets inside my brackets), City, whilst I'm not aware of any well-known clubs with Tigers as an addition to their name. It probably would help to increase merchandise sales and awareness of Hull in Asia and the US. My issue with Allam is his complete dismissal of the supporters, as if to say 'I invested x millions so you can all f*ck off', without making the obvious realisation there would be no club without these supporters in the first place.
At the top it would be a complete catastrophe if the Sheikh was to pull his funds on City or Abramovich decided he was tired of watching Torres ponce about the place - 'better to spend my time on my yacht in Cannes with Olga and Svetlana (or whoever he sleeps with). Then you have the Glazers at United, who firstly used the club as collateral to buy the club (I've no idea how you can actually be allowed do this to be honest), which created a mountain of debt. Now they seem to just siphon off huge chunks of money.
This all seems like a load of sh*te to me! Surely, now that they've put FFP rules in place, UEFA and governing bodies should be looking to take a stance on this issue. Maybe supporters' trusts could be set up where a controlling 51% of club shares was given to the supporters to ensure proper management of the club with profits reinvested in the club and community rather than to boost a multi-billionaire's bank balance. To me this doesn't seem completely mental, given it already happens around Europe, in Germany, Spain, Portugal, and so on. I'm not saying investors should get no money back but it should be controlled much more carefully, or there'll probably be many more examples like Anzhi, and Portsmouth and Leeds before them.
Donough (Anderson potential beaten by Macky Ds - good riddance).
Worst Player To Win The Ballon?
Having followed the debate about who was the best player not to win the Ballon D'or I was reminded of the thought I always had when I saw Michael Owen's name on the list of winners.
I always considered the award to be for true magicians of the game and I think the list of winners mostly reflects this except for the odd instance when legendary defenders are recognised in exceptional circumstances (eg Cannavaro).
This is why I always thought Owen to be an exception, even as a Liverpool fan, with his qualities of searing pace and excellent finishing not enough to elevate him to the true elite of world football. And especially considering how his later career developed I think his name stands out even more.
I can't remember who else was up against them particular year but I'm curious if anyone else thought this?
Adam (another transfer window another £20m-plus Chelsea midfielder) London
Cautionary Tale About Changing Points System
Having read the fellow mailboxers' proposals for no points for nil-nil draws, let me share with you that this idea has already been put into life in my native Bulgaria back in the '80s.
It was a complete disaster and was quickly abandoned because of the farces that followed.
When the matches were heading to a 0-0 result, usually with no more than 10 minutes remaining, there was a quick exchange of one goal for each team...and I believe the norm would be the away team to score first.
I have even witnessed a very comical situation in a match of my hometown club Locomotiv Rouse (now non-existent) in the second division. With the score 0-0 5 min. to the final whistle the away team (can't remember which one) dully allowed Locomotiv to take the lead, and respectively immediately started to play like world beaters and bombarded our goal. Everybody in the stadium knew what was happening, I think there was even a collective laughter...
Everybody knew, but not everybody has bought into it - our goalkeeper refused to allow the ball into his goal. He was making heroic saves, charging from his line, defending like Leonidas in '300'...and he was actually playing against 21 players! At the end one of our defenders had to grab absolutely needlessly an adversary in the penalty area and that's how it ended - penalty and 1-1.
Rado A., Sofia (Brazil for the World Cup!)
P.S. I am ill at home for the week and it would give a tremendous boost if I can read this story in tomorrow's mailbox, honest!
Sorry, The Free Content Is Not To Your Liking
It's Friday morning, you stagger to work after a big Thursday night. Fried breakfast in hand. Open F365 and look forward to the quiz, the big weekend and the cheeky punt. It is part of my ritual to begin the weekend and get some excitement going to make it through the final hungover day of work. I suspect there are many like me with the same routine.
Then you get a horrible quiz which no one enjoyed (tell me I am wrong, people), a shortened Big Weekend and the most mailed-in Degsy column of all time, distinctly lacking in humour. And let me tell you Degsy column without the comedy is...well, it's not great, let's put it politely.
I hope the mailbox and mediawatch are high quality today, there needs to be some amends being made.
The Peng, FFC, SW6
Whenever I look at the football365 website, I sing the 'who ate all the pies' song to myself, except it's 'football365, football365, you fat b**tard, you fat b**tard, football365'. There. I've said it.
Just wanted to congratulate F365 on breaking the 100,000 likes mark on Facebook. Wonder how long it will take to get one million.
Ahmed, Egyptian Gunner