There is plenty of reaction to Mourinho's antics (Isn't that exactly what he wanted?) plus thoughts on Connor Wickham, Fabio Borini, beach balls and Tim Sherwood...
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...
If you have anything to say on any subject, mail us at email@example.com
We'll Just Leave This Right Here. Ha!
That is it. I can't take anymore. I give up on him. Can I be the first to publicly declare via your medium that for as long as David Moyes retains the job as team manager, I will no longer watch Manchester United play in any football match?
I feel duty bound to protest the mismanagement of an institution in which I have such significant emotion invested. He is evidently incompetent and the best thing that supporters can do is force the club into action by withholding their interest and money. Stop going to games and stop watching them.
Can others please do same until he is dismissed? We must do something!
Obviously part of my beef with the result today was that it was a huge 2 points dropped when two of our big competitors dropped points and we had the chance to put a sliver of daylight between us before a tough game against Arsenal. It was made worse by the mistake for the goal, and more frustrating because Opta tells me that Liverpool have made more individual errors leading to goals than any other team in the league.
But watching the game, our attacks lacked fluidity. One of my big frustrations was the gap Sturridge and Suarez were giving to Sterling. Their thinking was obviously to move away from the ball and drag defenders away from Sterling so he could take on one defender. The issue here is that Sterling's biggest weakness is his crossing, so when you put so much distance between him and a target it's much less likely you'll get a final ball of quality. This is often negated by runs from midfield from Henderson and overlap from the fullbacks but today neither of those things happened in sufficient quantity to offer much threat going forward. Our one goal did come when Suarez overlapped to give him the option which he gladly took.
This issue probably was more fundamentally due to an enormous lack of coherency between the entire team. Before we scored we were struggling to just string together a few passes. The West Brom pressure forced us to play long a lot and Suarez is great at shielding the ball at his feet but was always going to struggle to win many aerial duels and provide Carrol-sequel knock downs for the nobody running on. Perhaps it would've made more sense to play the taller Sturridge through the middle today and let Suarez play left forward as he does for Uruguay.
This result is not the end of world; it is an improvement on our zero points against West Brom away last season but it would've been nice to have won and had the certainty of knowing we would still be in the top 4 next week after the Arsenal game. As things stand now I'll be watching Everton play Spurs and hoping desperately for a dour 0-0 next Sunday.
Long, Slow Reality Check For United
Another false start for Utd. Wretched luck, awful conditions etc. but the glaring deficiencies in the squad haven't been addressed across two transfer windows now. Mata is undoubtedly a wonderful addition but he won't single-handedly halt these kind of results. More worryingly, new deficiencies have emerged.
Too many players have wildly under-performed this season, including every single centre-half at the club. Smalling's retrograde is most alarming. Solid enough in his Utd career to date - clueless since Christmas. You can file this under bad luck, a natural reaction to Fergie's departure, and so on, but surely it cannot reflect brilliantly on Moyes.
Furthermore, I lamented the decision to take Carrick off early in the key Spurs game over Christmas. Yesterday it was equally foolhardy to bring Welbeck on after the Jones injury. A case of going too attacking too early, as if a bullish point to prove. For a tight game, in difficult conditions, Fletcher was ideally placed to come on and do the job after Carrick drops back to defence. As it is, Welbeck gets to run around for an hour, whilst Rooney gets pulled back into his much loved midfield role. (This feeds a wider fear I have that Moyes is gambling too much on Rooney being his Roy of The Rovers, when in actual fact his on/off field limitations are well documented.)
Moyes therefore opted to play the guts of the game with a haphazard, imbalanced set-up. Worse still, when the game really was frantic late on, it was Welbeck and Hernandez up top, with Rooney and Mata reduced to doing dog's work further back. The highlights probably made it look a 'harum scarum anything could happen' Premier League' affair. In reality, it was a torturous game to watch unfold, with Utd almost looking for ways to lose it.
The season feels like a long, slow reality check for fans; first that the title was going to be lost, then that we might not challenge, then that 4th place would be a solid achievement. After Saturday, even that looks unlikely. Most fans were prepared for some version of this. Personally, I've almost enjoyed defending Moyes against all the lazy and bloated criticism. It was the right appointment, and needs to be given time to play out. However, it has been an almighty drop off and he needs to start making manifest that he knows the reasons why.
It's All Just Bad Luck For Moyes
I'm actually embarrassed by some so called United fans on here at the minute, we are having a terrible season it happens, against Stoke he lost both starting centre halves Stokes only shot in the first half deflected in and we can't buy a free kick or penalty at the minute.
Confidence is at a low ebb but instead of doing what supporters are meant to do, support their team many of you are pissing and whining that all is not well in the garden of Eden, welcome to the real World, for 20 years plus we have been a juggernaut winning everything under the guidance of one of footballs greatest ever managers, now when the team needs you most you spit your dummy out because we are not winning everything as per usual, yes this team won the league last year so what we don't have a certain ginger genius any more we are in transition it happens get over it.
I have been a United fan for 45 years and I have seen a lot worse than we are seeing this season, if David Moyes didn't have bad luck he would have no luck at all, get behind your team and support, the clue is in the name.
Paul Murphy, Manchester
Ooh Ah, Za-ha
So glad Zaha demonstrated Moyes' wisdom in completely marginalising him in favour of Young and Valencia by playing so badly for Cardiff at the weekend
If he'd shown more elan, flair and threat in one game than Young and Valencia have all season, I'd begin to have doubts as to Moyes' suitability for United.
v. pu.lis.sed, pu.liss.·ing, pu·lis·s
1. To play staggeringly antiquated and unattractive football in an attempt to take points from technically superior opponents, often involving outright physical violence. ('Crystal Palace are absolutely pulissing all over Arsenal here, Martin. That's the third fatality in under 60 minutes of football')
2. To play a flat 4-4-2 with conventional wingers, a big man/little man combination up front, and lots of direct long balls in order to bypass the midfield ('He's pulissed the formation today, Clive, and it could turn out to be a wise decision, though not for whoever decided to televise the game')
3. To keep a Championship-level quality team in the Premiership by virtue of pulse-stilling, risk-free football and a tightly organised defense ('Neutral fans may want to eat their own eyeballs but since the new manager came in he's definitely pulissed the team and they look likelier to keep their snouts in the trough of Premiership football as a result, to the detriment of civilisation, admittedly').
19th Century Football
What is this new '19th century football' phrase that has suddenly appeared? Stoke play 19th century football and West Ham play 19th century football apparently. What evidence is there of this?
I thought the 19th century was all about attacking football? In the first international game between England and Scotland in 1872 it was a 1-1-8 formation vs 2-2-6, hardly parking the bus.
Now before you start, I know that game ended 0 - 0 but I'm fairly sure it would have been more entertaining that watching West Ham play Stoke.
Let's just call their football for what it is instead of insulting the memory of 19th century football: sh*te.
Nic, Dublin. (Suppose I should say something here... errrr.... Moyes is cack?)
The Real Quiz
The title race? No. The relegation battle? No.
I'm all in to see who out of Palace's Scott Dann & West Ham's Roger Johnson (former teammates at Birmingham of course) will be relegated from the top flight with 3 different clubs. At the end of the day it might even be both. I cannot wait!