We have a long mail on why Giroud isn't very good at all, plus some more thoughts on neutrality. Plus, who do you want out of you club this summer and Liverpool moving buses...
That's the real problem they're going to face next year, says one Man United fan who's already looking forward to the end of this campaign. Plus, thoughts on neutrality...
If you have anything to say on any subject, mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
After reading about Ossie Ardiles involvement in car accident this morning, it got me thinking about the quality of player he was and 'how the hell did he end up managing a pretty shocking early 90's Newcastle United team?'. This led on to a thought 'actually some damn good players went on to manage Newcastle' (often badly, I must add). So I've drawn up an eleven of players who went onto manage at St James' Park and I really don't think any team in the world could come up with better. We have World Cup winners, World/European footballers of the Year, record breaking goal scorers and even a decent goalkeeper. Beat this:
We have even had some very decent players in temporary charge too: Terry McDerrmott, Alan Shearer, Nigel Pearson and Steve Clarke have all sat in the hot seat on a temporary basis. You will notice I've missed out both J. Kinnear and S. Allardyce not because they were poor players (the exact opposite by all accounts) but mainly because I think there both c*nts.
Why Chelsea Are Selling Mata To United?
So could selling Mata to Utd be Mourinho's most devilishly intelligent move yet? He has already freely admitted after Sunday's result that now they have played Man Utd twice they hope they will take some points off of the other teams around them. He also is clearly not a fan of Mata (and to be fair other players such as Willian and Oscar have shone in Mourinho's system)
Not only would he strengthen a team he hopes will take points off City and Arsenal he would get rid of a player he isn't playing anyway and he can bend them over the barrel for transfer fees all by strengthening a team 12 or 13 points behind who have no hope of winning the title.
Absolute genius all around in the most cartoon villain way of all!
Chris - London
...To most of us United supporters, the Mata rumor seems just like the Fabregas "saga" from this summer. A total longshot, a player who has never given any indication that he wants to leave, and a rumor that will ultimately end in disappointment. However, there is one reason that the Mata transfer would actually make sense- financial fair play.
It is no secret that Chelsea have splurged quite a bit of money on transfers and just recently it was reported that they posted a £49.4m loss. In the past two years, they have spent £22m on Matic, £31m on Willian, £28m on Oscar, £35m on Hazard, £10m on Moses, £8m on Azpilicueta, and £7m on Marin (and the payments to former managers). which has only been offset by the sale of De Bruyne for £15m and Sturridge for £13m (all these fees are from transfermarkt). Selling Mata for £35-40m might actually make sense financially with FFP beginning soon.
Plus, it wouldn't surprise me if there is some kind of agreement to sell Mata now, and Rooney will head the other way this summer. I think it actually makes a lot more sense than people think. United get their creative "replacement" for Rooney, Chelsea get their striker.
If you send Mr M Ashley at St James Park £20 million, which is more likely to happen:
a) Sells star midfielder to you without hesitation, ignoring that a Mr A Carroll fetched £15 million more than that not too long ago.
b) Sends you Mike Williamson hoping you won't notice.
c) Laughs uproariously, cashes cheque, and shuffles off to the casino.
d) Returns cheque with note attached.Reads: "Not a F***ing chance"
Answers on a postcard...
SocraticIrony (b would be fun though) NUFC
I agree entirely with ToonBano's suggrestion that Cabaye is exactly the sort of feasible midfield signing that United need, but the challenge he issues is not a particularly difficult one. Without even trying I can name five world class central midfielders:
And that's only all-rounders (i.e. excluding playmakers like Pirlo etc.). Some people might disagree with Busquets or Gundogan (they'd be wrong to though), but they can easily be replaced - if we're going by the criterion of 'midfielders of multiple qualities who are as good as or better than Cabaye' - with the likes of Javi Martinez, Paul Pogba, Aaron Ramsey, Luka Modric, Sami Khedira, Claudio Marchisio, and doubtless a few more too. Obviously these are excellent players who would all probably cost more than the ~20 million mooted for Cabaye, but they are by no means a rarity at the elite level. As noted by Michael Cox, football is currently in a universalist phase, where top level all-rounders are relatively commonplace. Still, I wouldn't bet on United ending up with such a player this January; I would imagine that they're slightly reluctant to make another mid-level signing (i.e. in the 20 million bracket - players likely but not guaranteed to succeed) after what happened with Fellaini.
John Guillem, AFC
...In response to ToonBano's challenge, here's five world class central midfielders (in the one team no less):
1. Bastian Schweinsteiger
2. Javi Martinez
3. Thiago Alcantara
4. Toni Kroos
5. Philipp Lahm
That was easy.
And yes, we absolutely should sign Cabaye. It's makes total sense. That's why it won't happen.
Brian, MUFC, (ah go on you'll give me Lahm won't you!) Dublin
Lukaku vs Anichebe
Lukaku - 18 league appearances: 9 goals: 5 assists
Anichebe - 131 league appearances: 18 goals: 7 assists
Now I know that Anichebe rarely started, whereas Lukaku is the main man at the moment, but I can't think of any possible way that Anichebe's record would have transferred to a comparable one if he'd started more games.
Good god, I know he's been a bit off form lately, but I find that suggestion absurd.
He's still only 20 and he's been the focal point of the attack all season, I'd be surprised if he didn't go through a blip. I too can't wait for a striker to come in, but purely so Martinez can give Lukaku a rest.
If you think Lukaku is ponderous with a poor first touch and a poor shot you obviously don't remember watching Anichebe. How Everton got £4 million for him is beyond me!
Lukaku is the best forward Everton have had in years. Yakubu's first season (before his achilles went and he discovered the delights of Liverpools takeaway establishments) is the only relatively recent striker that comes close that I can think of (15 league goals). Jelavic was a one trick pony (find a bit of space in the box, hit it first time) but once defenders figured that out that was him gone. Rooney left before he was anywhere near the finished article.
As an Everton fan that remembers the likes of Mikel Madar, Tomas Radzinski, Joe Max Moore & Ibrahima Bakayoko I am absolutely loving watching Lukaku in an Everton shirt.
Tim, EFC (I love Duncan Ferguson more though, but that's for other reasons!)
...I was going to write a long-winded email with all kinds of stats to back up my argument, proving beyond doubt that fat man scouse needs his head examined. Let's leave aside the minutes per goal ratios, matches won percentages and the general hilarity of watching an entire Newcastle defence lose the plot at the very sight of the man running at their goal, chasing what should have been a lost cause. http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=KiiKkBMzGfE
All that aside, just ask Steve Clarke whether he considered Anichebe an equivalent replacement. I reckon he probably has an opinion on the matter.
Dimitri (I took the bait hook, line and sinker) Van den Reeck
...Just read the postbag effort from ''fat man scouse. EFC, London'', whinging about Luaku. Seriously, could he be any harder to please? The lad has 9 goals in 17 games, and the quote from fatman goes 'but is he really any better than Victor Anichebe or Jelavic were for us?''......this would be the Jelavic who scored something like one goal in 34 games?
And then he has the gall to say he's not looking forward to next week's derby, when his team are sitting 6th, one point off a Champions League spot, and playing their best football for years if not decades, and Liverpool are leaking goals?? Get a grip man, enjoy the ride, it doesn't get much better does it?
Steve, LFC, Essex
Coming Round To Jose
I wrote in close to the beginning of the season with the headline reading "Conflicted Chelsea Fan"...
In my email I stated that a few of Jose's decisions were baffling, stupid, terrible! The special one has lost it(!) I declared. I even asked for Rafa back, which a few of my mates gave me a bit of a grilling over - but who was the one in the mailbox, eh, suckers!
Spring forward a couple of months and, excluding a slightly problematic November, we're doing well. Playing awful football I admit, I mean I struggle to watch us. I miss Ancelloti's chubby face quite a lot and Michael Ballack, I don't know why, but you can never have enough Michael Ballack in your life. But yeah, we play crap football, its rigid or as my manager put it "like a game winning machine". I convince myself that we play nice because we have Hazard and Oscar and they do lovely things, but in general its individual performances that spark interest in place of overall team excitement.
But I think what really gets me is... I was wrong and Jose was right and will forever be right and I will always be wrong in comparison. If he said the sky was green and I argued it blue, the next morning it would be a glorious green... Saying that, he did play Luiz in midfield for a bit, watching sideshow Bob side-stepping the United midfield was quite fun, especially the reducer on Valencia.
In summary; Willian looks a fine, industrious player with PACE. Yes PACE in capitals. Oscar equally hard working and tackle loving (not like that). Hazard is Hazard and yet some people still fail to be convinced (I can't name these people, but they exist). He has even made Cahill look solid at the back, delayed the signs of ageing on Terry and it thankfully looks like Mikel might finally be moved on to somewhere... Anywhere... I'll even drive him there I promise.
I feel like we're finally fighting our way back to that saying which I loved but F365 seemed to vomit in their mouths when it was uttered - "It's the Chelsea way to find a way"... Now we just need to find a way to win at the Etihad. Its ok though Jose, I believe, I'm no longer conflicted about your management, just those complex man feelings I get (we all get, am I right!?) when I see the charming twinkle in your eye and wry, knowing smile on your face.
Poch And English
I believe the reason Pochettino has been able to "get away" with not speaking in English to the press is because
A) he isn't managing England
B) he doesn't care for the press
C) so what?
Mind you it does crack me up when he is giving his interviews and he corrects his translator, it almost like a game now, he doesn't even wait for full translations. Personally I think it's funny. I've read so much sh*t written about Saints over the years, seen so many players heads turned that I honestly believe that regardless of what's said the press will only print to their own agenda.
Even F365 do, an agenda to cut through the bollocks, but an agenda nonetheless. It's just rare that the agenda is positive.
Post-match interviews are bollocks anyway, "Oh credit to the other team they came with a plan/made it tough for us/wanted it more" its the same shit in a different voice. Don't get me started on the players either, rarely is it anything other than trained cliche after cliche and when you do get a bit of passion and somebody accidentally swears and then the hand wringing begins again. Oh but think of the children! Fuck the kids, I want to see a player come out and say "well its west ham, they are fucking shit and we knew it would be easy. Allardyce is as much use as a scaffold tower made of emotional concepts so we knew if we passed it more than five times tactically they wouldnt know what to do"
Honestly have you heard J-Rod be interviewed? It's like listening to a mentally deficient stick of rhubarb speak. Lallana reckons we've got a new owner "the new owners come in and said nobody is being sold" (despite same owner handing him a new five year deal last year) and Lambert sounds like he's got a bees nest in his mouth.
Mate if you're truly interested in the preservation of the English language then I may I suggest football probably isn't for you.
If you're saying everyone in England should speak English then may I suggest UKIP, I hear they think the same.
Media Bias: No Such Thing
So reading this mornigs mailbox i skimmed over Kev The Clarke, MUFC's email abot Phil Jones but I was struck by one phrase "media darlings Arsenal".
I thought to myself, "Hang on what? Is Kev accusing the media as having a bit of a love in with the Arsenal?" I dove straight into keyboard warrior mode and drafted a scathing e-mail defending my beloved Arsenal, about his ignorance and how it was coming from a united fan of all people.
Then I stopped, and had a long hard think about all the times I have been annoyed at negative headlines about Arsenal. All the times we were featured so much later than I felt we deserved on match of the day and times where I have been annoyed at the media taking little interest in football outside of manchester.
It strikes me that the teams nearer to the top of the league seem to be getting the praise and focus on the good parts of their game, and those who are underperforming get criticism for those parts of their game that are failing. It seems like fairly standard across the board. Like last season where United were being lauded for being well ahead of everyone else, and Arsenal were being heavily criticised for spending vast ammounts of time outside the top 4.
Can we just stop with media bias being a thing, it is just stupid. We know that there are idiots within the media that favour their own personal teams but in general there is praise for those winning, and criticism for those struggling. Complaining about it just makes us all sound sad and pathetic. You don't find Palace fans complaining that Pulis isn't getting enough praise for the job he is doing with the dross at his disposal, because the media love Arsenal too much. Or Sunderland fans bemoaning the fact that Gus Poyet is lacking in credit on match of the day, for keeping Sunderland's points total ticking over nicely so they have gone from being so far adrift to having a decent chance of actually escaping relegation because Alan Shearer loves chelsea at the minute. It's just stupid, lets cut it out please.
Yes Arsenal have profited from other teams being "In transition" but it does give us the best chance at a trophy in years. Something that you may or may not recall being mentioned at every possible opportunity. But to call us average just comes across as bitter with the rest of your mail Kev. It isn't double standards at all, there wasn't much of the united are average talk last season, it is only hindsight that has shown that. We can't tell yet if this Arsenal side are average or not, they are most definately in a position to prove that right or wrong, and only hindsight will tell us that.
I haven't actually read the article that he wrote, I value my brain cells, but this in Mediawatch did interest me...
Where Did It All Go Wrong
The relentless examination of Manchester United's problems has certainly become a little tedious, so Mediawatch was delighted to see Neil Custis come up with a novel reason for David Moyes' woes in The Sun.
'When predecessor Sir Alex Ferguson was in charge, he had total control over all aspects of the club and ensured their global popularity never got in the way of the football,' writes Custis.
'On the very day it was announced he was quitting, the club revealed it had branched into the realms of Facebook and Twitter. That was just the start.'
It interested me because I know a little about Manchester United social media, it is my job to, but even a quick Google search will tell you that is utter bollocks.
Sir Alex announced his retirement on 8th May 2013
Manchester United Facebook launched on the 17th July 2010
Manchester United Twitter launched on the 10th July 2013
Re: James Pender:
Point 1: No. I don't think any illustration would be required to convey something as mundane and universally understood as a 'one fingered salute'.
Point 2: You have a very loose grasp of irony (and that notwithstanding, your point is still ridiculous).
Marky B. MUFC