Some have said that it doesn't matter how Chelsea played as long as they won, but is that true? Plus, we've found the one chap who enjoyed Tuesday's game...
There is plenty of 'that's 90 minutes I'll never get back' sentiment about Chelsea's 'performance' in Madrid, but at least one person thinks they did what was required...
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David (David Moyes) Moyes
Lovely story from Greg Benham yesterday about Van Persie mournfully watching his ex-Arsenal colleagues in their posh restaurant.
I wonder if as he turned away and headed towards Wimpy in the rain he smiled slyly to himself whilst rubbing a Premier League winners medal between thumb and forefinger in his trench coat pocket?
Reaction To The Mata/United Thing
Please happen. Please happen. Please happen. Please happen. Please happen. Please happen. Please happen. Please happen. Please happen.
Matthew, Cape Town
Two points surrounding Anelka and the Quenelle (sounds like a bad 80s pop duo):
Point 1: does the fact that the media have no problem with posting a picture of the gesture on every story surrounding the hullabaloo caused show that either a) people aren't offended by the gesture, b) the media don't care if people are offended by the gesture or c) it's a complicated issue and maybe the FA were right to take their time to properly investigate it? I didn't see any pictures on the BBC website of Wilshere's one-fingered salute to the City fans, a gesture for which he received a 2 game ban, whereas Anelka is supposedly looking at more than 5 games for something which is plastered all over their front page. Why the difference in treatment by the media?
Point 2: does anyone else think it's ironic that a company are ending their sponsorship of a club for an allegedly racist gesture, where the gesture actually involved covering up the said company's name?
James Pender, AFC
Anyone who watched the game last night can finally see exactly why Mourinho loaned out Lukaku. Slow, ponderous, poor touch, poor shot and not as strong as you might think.
Sure he is a man mountain, but is he really any better than Victor Anichebe or Jelavic were for us (apart from staying fit that is)?
We miss Pienaar and Barkley so badly and Traore can't get here soon enough. Not looking forward to the derby at all.
Fat man scouse, EFC, London
United And Transfer Numbers
In response to Graham from London's call for United to be more transparent in declaring how much United has to spend, I completely disagree that this would benefit the club in any way.
Regardless of what calming effect this would supposedly have on the fan base or the sponsors, the negative effects would be far worse.
Clubs know that United must reinvest in the club to maintain their status in the game as a top club to insure they keep bringing in sponsorship dollars. Their growing desperation caused by their league position will only induce clubs to drive prices up on any available players in order to extract as much as possible from United.
Declaring they have X amount to spend won't hurt them as much if they go after players with predetermined release clauses, but putting a huge number out to the press will only mean the selling clubs will chuck away the lubricant before they f&@k Moyes and co on the transfer fees. Their best bet in negotiating with clubs is keep their budget quiet and hope clubs will be gentle.
Arta, Ajax FC
Why Not Cabaye To United?
So I see Mata to Man Utd is doing the rounds as they still have a total lack of quality in central midfield. G Nev is right when he says where would Mata fit in with Rooney in the hole. So why in Gods name does the most obvious central midfield acquisition go unmentioned with Man Utd still.
If anyone bothers to notice there was a midfield performance that shone over every other AGAIN at the weekend. I'll give you a clue...he wears black n white.
The man is available for a similar price to Fellaini and has the all round midfield game to match anyone you can think of.
Moyes heres some advice. Get Woodward to sign a £20 million cheque, send it first class to Mr M Ashley at St James Park and your midfield headache would be over for a few solid years as Yohan Cabaye finally sorts you out.
If you dont want him then PSG will...act quick. World class central midfielders are very very hard to find.
Challenge: Name 5....
In Defence Of Phil Jones
At best, you all have short memories. Failing that, you're all idiots!
The criticism Phil Jones has been getting for his performance against Chelsea is ridiculous! He's been out injured for a number of weeks, playing out of position against a team that is guaranteed to finish in the top 2, either just behind or just above City, so it was asking a lot of him to be at his best in this game.
Even though midfield isn't his best position, people seem to be forgetting that he bossed the media darlings Arsenal's midfield for 45 minutes before moving to centre back the other month. He also did as well as anyone in keeping Ronaldo as quiet as humanly possible from midfield last season, and also marked the beast version of Fellaini out of the game last season at Old Trafford against Everton.
As for Jones playing for England. If England were playing against Brazil or Spain or the like in the knock out stages, in a game were England are not likely to have much of the ball, I would much rather have Jones in midfield ahead of the likes of Wilshere and Lampard.
The final point of this rant, when United ran away with the league last year, it was a distinctly average team that was only there because everyone else was rubbish. But this year, Arsenal are currently top and are the bestest team in the whole wide world. Absolutely nothing to do with the fact everyone else is going through some kind of transition or anything like that. Not at all! Whilst United being average last year can't be denied, can we stop with the double standards and accept Arsenal for what they are as well. Distinctly average benefitting from everyone else's circumstances.
Kev The Clarke, MUFC (although, I would still rather Arsenal win the league than the other two!) Skem
Some United Points
1) Sir Alex, if you're gonna be there every week, can you not just pick the team and do the team talks? You seem to have been quite good at it and it wont stop you doing whatever else you're doing in the week.
2) Antonio Valencia. You may not make mistakes, but neither do you run at defenders and try and cross the ball and generally do things. All you do is feint a bit, bring the ball back and pass inside or backwards. Occasionally you smash the ball into the legs of the defender in the hope the ball will bend like Beckham on its own.
3) Despite being sh*te on the left, Ashley Young is quite good on the right and (unlike AV25) has been known to make that bit of space and whip a nice cross in. I'd like to see Young on the right with number 26 Kagawa playing in that number 26 role behind the number 14 striker who should be Hernandez. (Januzaj on the left by the way, David)
4) Moyes has to go. It's been dire, and it's so bad that I'm feeling sorry for him. When you get to that phase just cut off the head and chuck it in a bin.
Silvio (Number 10 is a shirt number, not a position) Dante
If Only Someone With Access To E-mail Could Write Something About Those Subjects...
Can we please have a Man Utd free day. We could discuss:
- Hull city's new signings of Jelavic and Long.
- Jovetic almost back from injury and the fact he was a goal machine in Italy.
- Will Reina and Rodgers have an emotional reunion and all is forgiven?
Just so when Man Utd get knocked out tonight tomorrow's mailbox is going to be about that.
Jon Peck, MUFC (fingers crossed we do win then get stuffed against man city.)
Johnny Nic: Too Simplistic
I have to take issue with Johnny Nicholson's article about Utd and their current plight. That's not to say that some of the blame does not lie at Moyes' feet. However, to completely dismiss all other factors is overly simplistic and quite naïve. Yes, Utd should be performing better but their success last season (before Christmas at least) was so dependent on RVP's goals resulting in turning losses to draws and draw to wins. It's indisputable that had both been fit more often this season we would have won more games as they are two of the better players in the league.
Last season we heard all the time about how this wasn't a vintage Utd team with no real midfield talent and the lack of real competition from other teams but this season it's more "well this Utd team won the league last season so they must be good". The truth is somewhere in between. Other teams have improved and Utd have replaced their manager, losing one of the most successful manager's in the meantime.
Utd do have ageing players. The fact is that our squad is not as good as Man City's, Chelsea's or Arsenal's.
My point is that the factors mentioned in the article have had an impact. Moyes is a good manager who is not doing a particularly good job at the moment. I think he will correct those mistakes. But he is not the only reason Utd aren't doing well.
Ciaran, Kilburn, London.
Pepe 'Melle' Mel
Did anyone else think last night that Mauricio Pochettino needs to get hold of the number of Pepe Mel's English teacher?
The media were happy to beat Capello with the not speaking the Queen's English stick, if such a stick exists, but Pochettino has been allowed to engage with the media at arms length for well over a year no without much question. I liked Mel's attitude straight away yesterday as he seemed to take the Karl Pilkington approach, didn't always know what was going on but he got stuck in!
Bit scary how alike Harry, Tim is.
"He's blatantly French but to be fair, I only said to him recently in the development squad that I had never heard him speak French," the 44-year-old said.
"It's only in the last few weeks that I've heard him speak French for the first time. I called him on it because I had thought he was from Harlow (in Essex) or somewhere!"
Transfer Window Lingo
Dan, Banbury, no a player doesn't poor hot water on a rumour. He fans the flames.
Joel (no smoke without fire) Bradley, Japan