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?
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Rooney Should Play Suarez Role For England
Now I'm not really a big England fan, but I can't help noticing that England almost never make the most of the talent they have available due to poor team selection, outdated tactics etc and this results in constant failure at international tournaments.
As a United fan it pains me to say this, but Liverpool are looking great at the moment and if England want to succeed I think they need to be picking more Liverpool players, not just for the squad but the starting XI. I've always thought it's preferable to pick players who know each others games and are used to playing together, since the main things England lack tend to be fluency and cohesion.
Therefore, why not replicate Liverpool's current system with Sturridge, Sterling, Henderson and Gerrard all handed starting spots (and Johnson if it since the only real alternative I can think of is Kyle Walker). Then you can have Rooney filling the Suarez role (not as good, but still good) and somebody like Wilshere in midfield with Gerrard and Henderson. Suddenly, England have a lot more fluidity and movement in their attacks, and half the side play together every week which should surely create more cohesion. For once England may look like a team rather than a group of strangers.
Anybody got any better ideas?
Tom - MUFC (Cheshire)
I was glad to see Sterling rightly praised for his performance this season in W & L's and he has been immense. Aside from the Tottenham game this was his best this season.
John Flanagan though has been the star youth performer for me. Without him Liverpool would probably be playing with Aly Cissohko or Brad Jones at LB and just-returning-from-severe-knee-injury Martin Kelly or Jordan Henderson playing RB. All of those players shouldn't be playing there. Enrique and Johnson look to be done for the season in all likelihood, our first choice fullbacks.
But young Flanagan has been spectacular. Twice during the match Saturday when the ball came back out to him on the flanks he made two incisive and quick passes back into the box. The first was flubbed by Skrtel and the second also didn't work (I forget to whom the pass went) but the passes were assured, precise and quick. When he played the pass it caught everyone off guard. Skrtel actually had a lot more time than he thought, Flanagan finding him in a pocket of space. It was better than, say, blindly crossing the ball into the box. You can see him learning, probing for the best option. Being an anti-Ryan Babel.
He constantly gets forward and makes intelligent runs, though he was often ignored early on, he has become a nice threat. His crossing isn't great but his vision is. His offense isn't top drawer however he has shown an understanding of what is asked of him and a desire to improve. Also his goal against Spurs was an absolute crackerjack.
Defensively he has been superb. He is tidy and neat and rarely caught out. Quietly our best wide defenseman this year, it could even be argued best defender. Kolo's boner vs. WBA, Skrtel's shirt pulling hi jinx, Agger's three-stooges ability to injure himself all the time and Sahko's maiden, injury addled Prem season all counting against them, I can say I can't think of a bad mistake Flanagan has made this season. I don't think I need to highlight what Cissohko has done to exclude him from this list.
So I think Liverpool could cope without Sterling, that front of Suarez and Sturridge are so talented and so ruthless they could make up for a deficiency in their midst. I don't know if Flanagan was injured or suspended they could replace his quality.
The contributor who said that he would like Rodgers at United is correct in saying he would be good there. He'd probably get the best out of the youth there: Rafael, Welbeck, Cleverly (look what he turned Henderson into) and Januzaj. He would and has changed tactics and philosophy more successfully than not, while having the players respect and belief. And he has Liverpool playing well above their talent level. All things Utd desperately need.
Liverpool Hat-Trick Value
Having read Daniel Storey's wonderful piece on the best PL era hat-tricks, it struck me that six out of the ten involved Liverpool.
So I started thinking, with the HT the pinnacle of striking ability, and therefore one of the most exciting things you can see at a football match, I decided to see which teams were involved in the most hat-tricks (for or against) since the start of the Premier League.
After a quick internet based search, I found the following:
Arsenal: F: 32 (unsurprising when you consider TH14 scored them for fun) A: 6 Total: 38 - 85% for / 15% against
Chelsea: F 20 (I think this is due to Roman's arrival being relatively late to the PL Party - he did turn up with a big bag of goodies though!!) A: 4 Total: 24 - 83% for / 17 % against
Liverpool: F 35 (Fowler, Owen, Suarez, Torres - god, even Petey Crouch got in on the action!) A: 8 Total: 43 - 81% for / 19 % against
Man Utd: F32 (Maybe even could have been more if they hadn't scored so many from midfielders) A: 4 - Total: 36 - 89% for / 11% against
Liverpool, who have never won the Premier League, despite being the Team who scored the most hat tricks in that period, are the best value for money on Match Of The Day.
Dan (never scored a hat trick in his life) Geneen
I believe Wenger needs to bench Mesut Ozil for the Man Utd match.
He has been playing like cr*p the last few games. His form is uninspiring. His body language is all wrong. He looks like someone that has taken his job for granted. We need pace, pressing and urgency on the flanks and in midfield. Ozil can be replaced by Rosicky. We can go with a midfield of Arteta/Wilshere/Rosicky. Cazorla and Ox on the wings.
We need to bench Ozil as a stern to message to him and the whole squad, play like cr*p and you get dropped. Nobody should be guaranteed a starting spot.
Moyes Has Lost The Players
While there are many sticks to hit Moyes with, here's one that we haven't spoke much about; His man-management.
As a United fan who backed his appointment from the start, his apparent man-management skills since taking over were what disgusted me more than anything else. Perhaps over-zealous to step out of Fergie's shadows and stamp his own authority on the club, Moyes treatment of United's back room staff has been poorly handled and distasteful. Phelan and Meulensteen's comments post termination does shed some light on how it might have gone on, and it sure doesn't look pretty. It's easy to underrate the effect of such a change, since it's basically common practise for managers to bring along their back room staff, but critically, the way it occurred probably compromised on United's culture of being a tight knitted bunch (both players and coaches) and having stability within the club.
Next, his consistently tactless approach in managing the squad - Putting down the United squad in public with his CL comments, his very public pursuit of Baines, and also, his public views that the old guard will be replaced by younger players in his near future. And these bore two common themes; they all occurred very early on, and they all insinuated that certain players in the squad - especially the senior players - are not good enough. If you consider the context that Moyes, who haven't won anything thus far, stepping into a team full of medals and trophies, and then hastily making comments like these without giving the players sufficient time, then it's pretty obvious why a number of players are p*ssed off with him.
It's quite incredible how many players he have managed to alienate in such a short tenure. Trust works two ways and his lack of trust in the rest of his squad with his continuous insistent on using a select group of players - mainly the british players in United team - only served to further divide the dressing room. It also strikes me that Moyes is having difficulty relating to the squad, with his chief backing being Fletcher, a fellow scot. Potential departures this summer would include Vidic, Ferdinand, Evra, Giggs, Kagawa, Anderson, Nani, Rafael, Hernandez, RVP & Rooney - Which is essentially half the squad. While the remaining half, remain loyal to the club but doesn't seem to care much for Moyes.
It is quite obvious now that Moyes has already lost the dressing room, and so, the board has to decide between Moyes or the players. Realistically speaking, no team will gel overnight from scratch, and so, it's unlikely that a summer rebuilding of any scale would be able to provide a quick fix. The sensible approach in this case would be to let Moyes go, and have someone come in that can at least get the players to start playing.
Between showing loyalty to the players who have slogged and won the fans numerous trophies over the years or sticking with Moyes, I know which side I'm on.
Gabriel, MUFC (Continuity was what Fergie asked for, Change was what Moyes insisted upon) , Singapore.
Tactics Please Lambert
Dear Aston Villa,
No f*****g around tonight please,
Mr Lambert, please could we have a tactic and a game plan for tonight?
Every Single Villa Fan
If the FA disciplinary people wanted to stop looking like a bunch of inconsistent buffoons they should take a leaf out of ice hockey's book and put together these videos for each incident. Would add some clarity to what seems a completely random process at the moment
Friend First, Boss Second
"I came here to inspire the city as much as inspire the team"
Liverpool should lose points everytime Brendan makes me get a little sick in my mouth.
Jamie R, Dublin
Eau De Savage
We live in a world where a man who's befuddled points can only be made at 83 decibels, has won not only a prestigious SONY award but one for the 'Plain English Campaign.' Yup, Robbie Savage.
What Do You Call Nani?
From your own Winners & Losers...
"Rio Ferdinand, Patrice Evra, Ryan Giggs, Robin van Persie and Nani could all feasibly follow Nemanja Vidic out of the door. Captain, vice-captain, longest-serving player and top goalscorer."
Poor Nani... Presumably Daniel Storey couldn't find a nice way to describe him?