It does seem logical that the best thing to do with the best players is to play them from the start, when they have the most time to make an impact, rather than the last 15 minutes...
We have lots of people suggesting lots of things to Roy Hodgson but we suspect you'll be more interested in relative XIs, World Cup cliches and drawing Alonso...
If you have anything to say on any subject, mail us at email@example.com
Enjoying The Break From Moyes
Is it just me or are the other Man U fans also relieved that Man Utd's Dubai trip has meant that we will not have to endure the ridiculous press conferences of David Moyes for a week? The gems like - "I was at Everton so I wasn't 21 points worse off", "I have done it with Preston", "The squad won the league last year because the other teams were weak", "I don't know what else to do to win a match", "I did not need to lift my spirits - that raised my spirits" (this was after the home defeat to Newcastle), "We're going to make it as hard for them as we possibly can" - this was before the above Newcastle Match - are embarrassing for the club as well as the fans. We are now having to endure defeats as well has this down right excruciating press conference, so this Dubai trip actually a welcome break.
Alas, this respite won't last long and the Moyes Comedy Show will again start on Friday. We can expect it go on the lines of "My Everton teams tend to end the season on a high, so we will give it a real go in the last 12 games", " We will try to win the next game", "We'll try to win the league. No, OK 4th Place. No, OK, Champions League. No, seriously, I have played a couple of CL qualifiers with Everton once, so I know what it takes. No, Ok we'll try to cement our 7th place. I have definitely done that with Everton and Preston too."
Imagine how the players must feel to first-hand experience day in and day out that the manager has no clue whatsoever.
Isco To City
As a City supporter, the Isco gossip that died down in the Summer and is once again resurrected is exciting. I was longing for the Spaniard to be in Manc but alas (he's been quite the stud in FM). Anyways, can someone with a little more in depth and up to date knowledge of the year in La Liga explain why he has found his way on the bench? Is this hyperbole i.e. is he actually a pretty big part of the team still? A quick search showed that his return is 8 goals and 6 assists on 31 appearances, which makes it appear that he is neither wanted out of Madrid or so out of form that he warrants a kick out.
Thom (CTID by way of Columbus, Ohio, USA)
There are several rumors circulating that WWE Chairman, Vincent Kennedy McMahon is again looking to buy Newcastle United, all I can say is please please please please let this happen, it will be beyond amazing for all involved (well except maybe NUFC fans).
Matt, Manchester (Wrestling matches at half time, refs being hit with steel chairs etc)
...I have no idea where this Vince McMahon to but Newcastle rumour has come from, but I so hope it's true.
* Rolling subs tagged in.
* turnbuckles instead of corner flags.
* Fireworks after every goal.
* Outside interference when losing.
But most of all the pre match press conferences.
Imagine Mourinho putting down Pardew/Newcastle like he did midweek with Wenger. In rushes said wrestler, slaps José about a bit then does his finisher on the table.
Picks up the mic and says, see you Sunday...Lol.
Will (oh the hilarity) F
Some spectacular mental gymnastics on display from United fans trying to justify Rooney holding their club to ransom (again) in yesterday's mailbox. With so many hilarious comments to choose from it feels cruel to single one out as particularly misguided but Marky B. MUFC's really does deserve a special mention:
"For those of you that aren't aware, Rooney gets paid fairly handsomely as we speak, so a slight increase on these wages shouldn't necessarily represent Utd caving in to pressure from Rooney and his advisors."
i.e. "Getting mugged off for a second time isn't really getting mugged off because, when you think about it, we're already getting mugged off"
Why Doesn't Rodgers Try Mind Games?
After Jose Mourinho's latest bout of verbal diarrhoea, I started thinking about what effect it actually has on other teams. I'd say he doesn't mean anything he's saying, he's just piling the pressure onto everyone else. Obviously. So, why don't the like of Brendan Rodgers start doing the same? If I was him, looking at the current form of Spurs, I'd start doing a load of interviews claiming that Spurs should be favourites for 4th place given all that money they spent. Which is actually true, but just come out and say it. People tend to believe this sort of guff, and the pressure is instantly back on Sherwood and his players if they're seen as favourites.
At the moment I'm absolutely bricking it that they're just never going to stop winning. Liverpool's season could easily unravel in a matter of a couple of games. So come on Brendan, leave your dignity at the door and start slagging off the rivals. It's probably going to work for Chelsea, maybe it'll have a similar effect for us.
Daniel (Sort of hoping Adebayor gets injured) Benvenuto
Arsenal Squad Depth
I'm not sure if the mailbox can take another day of Arsenal/Liverpool/Webb emails but one thing that hasn't really been pointed out in the fall-out of the match is the number of top quality players that didn't start the game for Arsenal. Fine, that was Wenger's choice for many but to beat this current Liverpool team without starting Szczesny, Gibbs, Sagna, Vermaelen, Wilshere, Ramsey, Rosicky, Cazorla, Walcott and Giroud not to mention the best player in the world ever...Bendtner, should deserve at least a bit of praise. Wenger rolled the dice with his team selection and they repaid him handsomely.
Arsenal have been criticised many times for lack of squad depth but this season the whole squad is chipping in despite the usual list of long term injuries.
Yesterday's goal scorers have both barely started their season after 4-5 month lay offs. Walcott, last season's top scorer hasn't made 10 prem starts and is out for the season and world cup. And a couple more starts for RvP in the league and he will have more minutes on the pitch this season than Ramsey! - the outstanding midfielder in the prem up until Christmas.
A massive deal was made when Man City missed just 2 of their important starting 11 players against Chelsea the other week but Arsenal have regularly been missing two first 11 players in most games this season.
Arsenal could quite easily end up the season trophy-less again, and probably be ridiculed for it (are arsenal genuinely expected to beat the money of city and chelsea to the league title?), but to be where they are despite the injuries and without the luxury of a raft of £25-30m players on the bench to replace them like our main competition, deserves credit.
It seems after the latest tete-a-tete with Mourinho most (sensible) people are coming down on Wenger's side. yes he has made mistakes but as Moyes and Man U are finding out it isn't quite that easy to nonchalantly qualify for the Champions league every season. All this whilst spending nothing, rather than a £27m summer signing and a £37m winter signing.
A word of caution to Liverpool fans, firstly your team 100% deserve to get a champions league spot this season, but you've also had one of the easiest campaigns to get it in terms of lack of games and maximum rest. It reminds me of the year Spurs got Champions League having played the bare minimum 40 games in the season, had a great time in the competition but couldn't cope with the extra work-load and haven't been in it since.
Rich, N.London Gooner (I think I just about managed to insult most of our rivals in that email)
Showing up when it matters, scoring an own goal or being Kolo Toure, Who can better my attempt?
A. Boruc (GK)
K.Toure (CB, Capt.)
T. Cleverley (CM)
M. Demichellis (CM, lol)
H.B. Arfa (RW)
N. Anelka (FW)
van Wolfswinkel (FW)
...and Mark Hughes as manager, because I don't like Mark Hughes much.
Completely agree with Alex, Brisbane in his love for James Milner.
It really is a shame what's happened to him. When he was at villa he was fantastic, he really was the heartbeat of the team.
It must be difficult thing as a footballer, you have to rate yourself, you have to believe you can make it into the team, but just imagine what he could have done if he followed a slightly different career path and went to right club who used him properly.
Instead he's played out of position, to do job. But at least he's got all that money, memories of sitting on the bench for the big games and medals from finals he played no part in.
Alex (not bitter at all) Sheedy