It's a very thin silver lining, but at least it looks like no Thursday night Europa League for United. Plus Flanagan, going to ground, Fergie, and managers' coats...
Despite the obvious anger from United fans, we actually have some composed thoughts, plus praise for Joe Allen and some mean things said about Ramires...
If you have anything to say on any subject, mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Nope, We're Not Having It
No this isn't an email about their talents and prospects.
Rather why is Mata lauded by this site as a handsome devil and Rooney is known as well, it's best left unsaid.
Is it only me or do they not look like long lost brothers!?
...This is something that I've been holding back for sometime now. F365 seems to have an unhealthy interest in the Juan Mata's looks.
Now that the transfer is complete there's something I want to get off my chest. Juan Mata is simply a slimmer more hirsute Wayne Rooney. They could have been separated at birth.
There. I said it.
And now they'll be in a lot more photos together I'm sure you'll agree.
Martin Todoroski, MCFC
Did anyone see the Musketeer football league results this weekend? It was pretty exciting stuff.
4-1, 4-1, 4-1, 4-1, 4-4.
Elliot, Market Harborough
Get A Room
I'm a bit late to the party here - mostly because I've been pretending football doesn't exist for a few days while all the photos of him standing next to an grinning idiot goon do the rounds.
I'm going to avoid all the pros/cons talk of letting the little man go, because god knows we've all heard enough of that.
I just want to say thank you.
Thank you Juan Mata, for choosing to sign with us in the first place, for being the first genuinely exciting creative magician to sign for us since Arjen Robben.
And thank you Juan Mata, for, unlike the afore-mentioned t*sspot, being an absolute gent on and off the field, for doing everything for the club, for being a hard - worker who gave your all in every game, even when things weren't going your way. Thank you for choosing not to slag off Jose + Chelsea after we abandoned you like a stray pup.
Thank you for all the magic moments - countless wonderful passes, crosses and assists - you seemed to take more pleasure in setting up goals than scoring them.
On saying that - you did score some beautys, and thank you for scoring so many of them against Arsenal, Spurs, and 'sob' Manu.
Thank you for having the best first touch in world football. Your ability to trap a dropping long ball 99% of the time was breathtaking.
Thank you for being damn handsome, obviously.
Thank you for working your little socks off against Barcelona and Bayern Munich in balls to the wall defensive games that clearly didn't suit you, and still having the strength, composure and skill to curl in a perfect corner for super Didier's header. And then doing the exact same thing a year later for Branislav against Benfica.
But most of all, thank you for changing the DNA of our club, for being the first piece in our puzzle. If, IF, Jose succeeds in his long term plan, if five years from now we are a team that can work hard and defend while, most importantly, playing attractive, magical, attacking football - we will look back to you as the point where it all started.
Let's hope Barcelona snap you up in the summer to replace Xavi. That would be nice.
Ollie, CFC, London
...Watching Chelsea yesterday was an emotionally confusing experience.
On one hand, the realisation that Mata wasn't there and was never going to be there in blue again was about as heartbreaking as his open letter to Chelsea fans (which felt like I was being broken up with). At the same time, there was a feeling of relief: Relief that one of the best players in the world is not sat on the bench looking and feeling unhappy, and that Chelsea would kick on as a more focused unit. I've read every tactical analysis article now about how Mata didn't fit Mourinho's ideals and have understood every point made...but that hasn't made it any easier.
Back when John Terry slipped in Munich, I'd promised myself that I wouldn't become emotionally attached to the success of a football team again. By and large I actually managed this. However, I hadn't banked on how I'd feel about a player: The last week has, at times, felt more like a nightmare. Juan Mata was the breath of fresh air after the staleness of the first-Mourinho-years fall-out. A wonderful professional and human being, capable of a style of play I appreciated and that Chelsea were missing. He felt like evolution. He felt like our future.
I don't yet know what seeing him play for Manchester United will feel like. Most likely it will be similar to watching Chelsea yesterday: A bittersweet combination of yearning and resolution (such are the emotions right after an event that forces your life forward). Like seeing an ex with her new boyfriend: There's part of you (that part that desperately wishes you to be noble) telling you to be happy for them...but the tug at the base of your chest that spreads across your body reveals that actually, no, you're not over this at all.
I guess, just like most relationships, it will slowly fade into memory. Some moments you'll look back and laugh at, some you won't even want to think about: Feelings consigned to the past, never to be experienced again. You'll think you're over it when from nowhere an image or song triggers the memory of a perfect time that should have worked out, your past echoing off the walls like it was somebody else's life and making you realise that in the grand scheme of getting-over-stuff...you're nowhere.
Farewell, Juan. Thank you for being you.
Miller's Opinion is Wrong
So Chelsea get rid of their best player, to their rivals and bring in a former player they chucked into a deal like '...a set of training bibs...' and an unproven winger and are considered to have played a 'blinder'.
Maybe that article was written to get some clicks by Nick Miller (well played), but how does strengthening your main rival in an area they are severely lacking constitute a January that '...could barely have gone better for Chelsea'. Matic, who I admit looked pretty beastly against Stoke, is still unproven and Salah is essentially flavour of the month, the old 'we will have him so Liverpool cant ' mantra Chelsea are employing. I expect he will be on loan shortly like Atsu, Moses, Lukaku, Piazon, Courtois etc etc.
I'm really interested in Chelsea's fans opinion on this. In my eyes, it's on the same level as Barcelona selling Real Madrid Messi for a decent profit. Why would any club strengthen a rival? Are Chelsea really that short sighted in thinking this won't come back to haunt them beyond this season?
And really Nick, you're going to mention 'financial sense' and 'Chelsea' and 'Jose Mourinho' in the same article. If Chelsea had brought a world class striker and still made a healthy profit then MAYBE just maybe I'd be tempted to agree but their stockpiling of half decent players in positions they already have more than enough options with is hardly financial sense. And at the same time they haven't addressed what they really need Chelsea so how is spending money on a luxury item like Salah when they already have Willian, Schurrle, Hazard and Oscar ahead of him a good move.
And I know your singling out just January but in the summer didn't Willian cost £32million!!! Schurlle cost £18million!!! Van Ginkel £10million on top of Salah £15million and Matic £20Million. Out of them five who is guaranteed a first team place week in week out. Whereas if Mata and Man Utd claw back an unlikely at this moment in time Champions League place then Chelsea have really shot themselves in the foot.
If you would have said to me 18 months ago Man Utd would sign Van Persie and Mata I'd have asked to have whatever your drinking. The winners are Man Utd in this window, aswell as Van Persie, Rooney and the team carrying Januzaj. Chelsea may win the league this year, but long term I'd wager Mata will have more impact than his replacement Salah, and where's the financial sense in that.
TJ (West Ham have had a decent one too - apart from Carlton)
Four Random Thoughts
1. I feel referees should have their names behind their jerseys for easier recognition. All the players on the field have, why not the 23rd player?
2. We have female assistant referees, physios, owners and all that. Why not a female commentator and obviously referees too?
3. When a GK stops a goal-scoring chance, I feel the sending-off, penalty kick and a match-ban is to severe. Can that player miss only that match? Can he still remain after conceeding the penalty kick? I also feel that's what makes diving attractive to attacking players. Oscar's dive against Southampton should have been followed by a red-card. It was that bad.
4. Why ain't free-kicks called goal-kicks and vice-versa? Free-kicks leads to goals but goal-kicks rarely do. You get the point?
West Ham Zing
Instead of reversing the alphabet for new features so James in Sunday's Mailbox doesn't have to wait so long to read about his beloved West Ham, why not write it in order based on the league table before the first article? Oh ...
Ed Quoth the Raven, CPFC the Glaziers, Notts
On my morning commute this morning I was really touched by an Evertonian who heard about a young child's plight and decided to do something I feel is quite the sacrifice.
George is a 4 year old boy and having a 3 year old myself I shudder at what this little lad has been through - 75 and counting operations and as yet no one has been able to diagnose his condition - he now needs 15k to go over to America in the hope it can be at least diagnosed - then the treatments could run in to the hundreds of thousands.
Anyway the Evertonian in question (Matty Bowman) is doing what I would deem the unthinkable and today getting You'll Never Walk Alone tattoo'd across this shoulders for sponsorship. I must say Im very impressed, and I also thought it may spark some discussion in the mailbox anyone got any football related sacrifices for such worthy causes ?
Nod, LFC - Donation page if anyone is interested is gofundme.com/teamgeorge
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