The backlash has begun: Why are Barca letting him go if he's any good? We have mails on Alexis Sanchez, Luis Suarez, the World Cup and the wonder of F365...
Oh and honey, put the kettle on. We have more World Cup mails but it's mostly an orgasmic explosion at the signing of Alexis Sanchez. Could this be Arsenal's year?
If you have anything to say on any subject, mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Today. Or Maybe Yesterday. Possibly Tomorrow
I'm writing this today but it will be read tomorrow, so I'm referring to yesterday. Yeah I know its the morning mailbox, too early for this mind muck. Anyhoo wasn't yesterday just the most boring day of football news. Ever. Rodgers may have said something we already knew and something about Leeds I don't know. That's it. So here's to today, bringing us better news for us to muddle through our day with.
Muck (essays don't write themselves... but copy and paste sure helps) Alt Ctrl V
Mes Que Un What The F*ck?
I really feel the subject of this article, written by my good friend Yogi's Warrior, ought to be talked about in the wider media - perhaps F365 might take up the baton?
Many thanks for your consideration,
So after watching yet another expose of Russia's attitudes to the LGBT community, I can't help but feel the world's sporting governing bodies seem to be engaged in some type of weird brinkmanship/arms race to see who can hold their showcase event in the least suitable location.
The World Cup will of course be visiting Russia in four years time, after it's probably provoked more mass rioting and social unrest in Brazil this year, and we'll all get the chance to become acquainted with their somewhat 'robust' views on ethnic minorities, Jews, gays and whoever else. Then after that the facilities at the next stop will have been built (almost literally) on the bones of indentured laborers (in other words, slaves)...where next? Pyongyang?
Should we, as fans, be boycotting events when they're held in circumstances like the above, or do we buy the line that shining a light on these views is the only way to change them?
Ou Est Clyne?
Reading the latest F365 World Cup Ladder, I don't have that many complaints (just praying that Welbeck and Milner get crocked).
However, I am baffled at the exclusion of Nathaniel Clyne. Hodgson said after the last two England games that Clyne was 'very close' and his recent performances have been pretty good- that cheeky low cross to set up a goal at the weekend was quality. Arguably, the biggest thing counting against him now is his lack of experience with England.
Whatever you think though, Clyne surely has a better chance of going than Joel Ward, with all due respect for the Palace man?
On Time, Brendan And Michael
The year (nearly) between Swansea's League Cup Final victory and Brian Laudrup's sacking is a great example of how quickly things can change in football. Thinking back to the day after their win over Bradford....
- You could have been forgiven for suspecting that Laudrup was an improvement on Brendan 'progress is never linear' Rodgers. Having added a few players to Swansea's squad and tweaked the tactics a bit, he had seemingly taken Swansea to the next level, with a trophy win and European qualification.
- Meanwhile, Rodgers was pushing an empty envelope, hiding behind talk of philosphies and transition periods to excuse Liverpool's inconsistency. There are some similarities with Moyes' situation here, which may or may not be misleading.
- Liverpool had just signed Sturridge, who lots of people thought was a bit of a waste of money at £12 million. That Michu only cost £2 million was considered monotonously notable.
- Jordan Henderson was a total waste of space and Ross Barkley had been unable to get a game at Leeds Utd, whilst Tom Cleverly appeared (to me at least) to be the future of England's midfield.
- A more impressive, double bluff was been played out by Andros Townsend, who has transformed from a roving, headless chicken into 'Roy of the Rovers' and back again faster than he can run 100 meters.
- After 24 matches, Stoke (10th, 6 wins, 24 goals, 29 conceded, 30 points) were hatching a plot to simultaneously puliss and depuliss themselves at the end of the season. The nets are comparatively bulging at the Britania this season (11th, 6 wins, 24 goals, 38 conceded, 25 points.)
- Dastardly, outdated pragmatists had cunningly occupied the top three positions in the league, and occupied 6.5 (not sure about Laudrup) of the top ten spots. The highest ranked Philosopher had used his dossier to hack a path upto a thought provoking 4th position; backed up by two and a half Alumni in 6th, 7th and sort of, you know, that 7.5th sort of position.
- The Philosophers this season occupy the top 5 positions in the table and six of the top ten; if you pretend not to notice Pragmatist-saboteur Mourinho's cunning grin beneath his false goatee, as he picks their pockets clean.
That video from Chris MUFC was a great watch, a smashing trip down memory lane. But it raised several points for me:
1) 100 top goals and you can't find a place for some of the greatest invention I've ever seen? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Z7VaZGEkVs
2) Ferguson's teams really treated us to some phenomenal football down the years. It almost seems like Moyes is being given leeway because last season the team wasn't great, but over the past 20 years, the bar has been set ridiculously high. Moyes has one hell of a challenge ahead of him if he wants to meet that standard.
3) Looking back, I feel like the constant media circus of David Beckham's life overshadowed just how effing good at football he was. I suppose it goes without saying when you look at his career, but you forget these things.
4) Oh, how Utd are missing their midfield. Scholes, Keane, Beckham, young Giggs, that brief spell when Anderson was good.... What is there now?
5) What happened to the aggressive, audacious Rooney? There were half a dozen goals in that video where he chipped the keeper from distance, put in a clever backheel, smashed in a surprise thunderbastard or something like it. The only time he's done anything surprising recently (even vaguely recently) was that overhead against Man City and that was what, two years ago now? England and Man Utd both need the creative, enthusiastic, intelligent Rooney back.
6) I love that old green and yellow kit. Fabulous stuff.
Harry (Still angry at what Ferguson did to Berbatov), THFC
The Moyes Ladder
Not sure if you've done this already, but probably worth a go..
With all the talk of who David Moyes was going to and is going to bring into Old Trafford, I ponder instead on who's on his list for the chop?
Based on your lovely World Cup ladder, here's my Moyes ladder:
Finally gone... but only on loan..
The kind among us will think back to the excellent penalty taken on a nail biting night in Moscow, but really above Veron, Kleberson or Djemba Djemba, this is one of Ferguson's poorest deals, mostly because he never offloaded him to anywhere else and instead endured his inability to stay fit, in shape or shoot at the big rectangle thing with any accuracy.
If Moyes gets money for him it'll be a good day's work
United's Adam Johnson (Sunderland) when he's on his game, but United's Adam Johnson (Man City) most of the time.
Recently signed a new deal, but still comes up as a likely exit every transfer window - even before the Moyes era, which says something.
If Moyes is gonna get real about an overhaul this is surely one man who's going off to one of those Russian billionaire clubs, or Galatasary... or QPR
3. TOM CLEVERLEY
Mmm no idea why he plays, what actual position he plays, if he can hit the target, or knock the ball not too far in front of himself...
or how he gets to play for Ingerland when for example Mark -keeps the ball, or passes forward- Noble or Leon -same thing- Osman doesn't. He's 25 when next season starts you know.
A quick test to see if he should stay a Red Devil: Could you see Chelsea or Arsenal in the frame for his signature if he was made available?
4. ASHLEY YOUNG
It's been all downhill for Man Utd's best diver since he signed in my opinion.
Cutting in from the left to score an Henry style curler every now and then doesn't cover up other general weaknesses.
David Moyes keeps selecting him though, and his age and nationality might make it sensible to keep him as a squad player over Nani or Anderson or Valencia or the other 'above average's.
5. WAYNE ROONEY
On his way to becoming one of the all time greatest players at the club, or simply on his way to Chelsea/Madrid after the World Cup. No one is quite sure.
"tick tock, tick tock" goes the sound on his contract...
6. RIO FERDINAND,
Nailed on as 'out the door' by some, but Moyes seems to love the fellas who've 'been there and done it' in this setup. Still, as he's out of contract at the end of the season it probably depends on what contribution he can make in the next three months with current injuries and midweek Champions League matches (well two anyway...).
7. JAVIER HERNANDEZ
If Wayne Rooney is the player most ManU fans fear leaving, this man is the one most would be sorry to see go methinks. Has gone all Jelavic on us now. Crucially, in Moyes' time of need he missed his opportunity with Rooney and RVP unavailable. Even Welbeck looked prolific at the time by comparison and he never seems to complete 90 mins.
He was once was mentioned in sentences with the words 'Real Madrid target', not sure what has happened to the new Solskjaer :-(
8. ANTONIO VALENCIA
Consitent, but predictible and just above average type of consistent, if he wasn't hard as nails he'd probably be gone some time ago, but is there a better option currently in the squad?
Or, more worryingly for United fans, is a midfield of Valencia and Cleverly and Young what we have to live with because we got the wonderful shiney Mata/Januzaj to distract us into thinking the midfield is OK now?
9. NEMANJA VIDIC
A bit like the club he recently captained, he's mot the colossus he once was and any new manager at big club in England needs to sort out central defence for the long term.
I'll leave it there
Picking up from Darren Fletcher's opinion that we can still make fourth this year; I'm glad to see that there's still some optimism in the team but I can't help but feel it's misguided.
Based on the 14 remaining games for United, I think that we'll get 21 more points:
Win: Fulham (H), Palace (A), Villa (H), Hull (H), Norwich (H), Sunderland (H)
Draw: West Brom (A), Newcastle (A) Southampton (A)
Lose: Arsenal (A), Liverpool (H), West Ham (A), Man City (H), Everton (A)
I've guessed that we'll probably beat most of the bottom 8, with West Ham one exception as they always seem to get a result against us in the latter stages of the season - especially if Carroll is playing. There's no way we're going to beat any of the remaining top 6 opponents in this form, unless a dramatic improvement happens. And I think the draws are probably fair, given that West Brom and Newcastle both beat us and Southampton held us to a draw at home.
Of course, there may be some discrepancies, but I think 6 wins is the very best we're doing out of the next 14.
These results would leave us with 61 points in total, which (in the previous 10 seasons) has given an average of 6th - 7th (6.2 to be precise). Therefore, Champions League is not looking likely. All the top 6 teams are both playing better and, generally, in much better form than we are, so they'll definitely be looking to better our total of 21 from 42.
So, unless something suddenly clicks for the players and Moyes, it's no Champions League for us next season.
Am just watching Real Madrid vs Athletico Madrid and the commentators have just started to talk about Thibaut Courtois. Basically they're of the opinion that he ain't gonna be returning to Chelsea unless he's the No. 1. So with that in mind here's how I see the Summer panning out:
At the end of the season Chelsea recall Courtois and Mourinho states that he'll be the club's new First Team GK (and something about Man City funding the moon landings). Meanwhile after failing to finish top four Spurs are left with several first teamers looking to move away to teams regularly competing in the Champions League.
In the final minute of the Summer transfer window, in typical Levy fashion Spurs simultaneously manage to sell Hugo Lloris to PSG for £250m and buy a weeping Petr Cech for £2m (raising to £5m provided Spurs win the Premier League, X-Factor and Tim Sherwood becomes Mayor of London) .
And there it is, you read it here first (and most probably last).
Oh and just to make sure this gets published, something something David Moyes, blah blah Cleverley.
Jose And Attackers
Peter G, Pennsylvania, USA writes an interesting letter but I'm not sure he knows the point he's trying to make ?
It seems his main point is ''Mourinho has his weaknesses, most of them being in attack'' but, then admits that a better choice of striker would have helped. then says that ''the reason they didn't (win by 4 or 5) was because of the limitations of Mourinho's approach'' then almost immediately says ''Chelsea didn't have good attackers up front''
So, which is it ? Jose having limitations as an attacking manager or, the players he currently has at his disposal not being good enough to finish the chances presented by his attacking methods / players ?
As a manger you have to work with what you have. At Chelsea first time round he had a great mix so, was able to mix solid defence with speed (Robben, Duff, Cole) and Power (Drogba) in attack. At Madrid he had Ronaldo, so was able to create a team that scored a huge number of goals but, they were (relative to Chelsea and Inter) weak at the back. With this current Chelsea side he has identified the best way forward and is setting the team up in a way that suits them. The problem is the quality Chelsea have in the striking department. I think that most people would agree that if, Suarez , RVP or Aguero were at Chelsea, they would have a plenty more goals (and points) to their name.
In that Universe, Peter would perhaps then being trying (poorly) to argue that Jose's strength was his attacking style..
Neil (write something here) Surrey
I've always thought myself to be a regular, live and let live kinda guy, with not a bad word to say about anyone or anything. However, on reading the mail from "Paul (ABU on my tombstone, my grandkids won't even know what it means), MA Gooner," I've had something of an epiphany. I now realise that I will not truly relax until Manchester United go out of business.
Steve Smith LFC
Football Manager Tales
Jaimie Kaffash, AFC, north London, your mate John is certainly a character. Fair play, at least he can't be termed a 'glory hunter', almost the opposite.
However the Championship Manager thing is certainly not odd, I too used to wear a suit for all the cup finals. I also knew a guy at Uni who having won a bet with his flat mate, got her to be his 'secretary' for the day while he played Football Manager. Her duties were essentially doing all the clicking and fetching drinks for him.
Any more strange FM tales?
This Is Just Weird Though
Jaimie Kaffash, AFC, north London letter, made my laugh. especially the ''he changed into a suit for the Champs Manager Final part''
I have a friend, who shall remain nameless (he works for BSKYB !) who went through a stage of watching important games naked. (at home on TV, thankfully !)
On one occasion a group of us met up to watch England in the local pub, but he went home, got naked and watched the match on his own !
Neil (if printed, I do hope he reads this !) Surrey