That's if reports that Calum Chambers cost Arsenal £16m are to be believed. The English premium shows no signs of disappearing. Plus, worrying about poor Southampton...
Some supporters sound oh so confident on Louis Van Gaal's excellence. Plus thoughts on shirt sales, best signings, football sevens and a good deal more besides...
If you have anything to say on any subject, mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
No Reason To Keep Moyes
Let's nail this one - I have been a United fan for over 40 years and following the retirement of Sir Matt, United went through Wilf Mcguinness, back to Sir Matt, Frank O'Farrell, Tommy Docherty, Dave Sexton, Ron Atkinson and then arrived at Sir Alex (I think that was the sequence) and he was close to being shown the door before that Mark Robins' goal saved the day...and then they stuck with him because he won everything lots of times. If he hadn't would we have stuck with him - no! So this idea that we stick with someone who is patently in the wrong job is just untrue. If you can do the job, we'll keep you, if not, hop it.
The real problem is that David Moyes does not demonstrate any leadership capability anywhere. On the side of the pitch, at the press conference, in interviews, it just does not wash. If he is lacking that, then he can't do the job, because these players need leadership in spades. They need to believe that the manager is more important than them, that he knows more than them, that he will protect them, that he can plan and execute better than them. I don't think a single player believes in him, and partly that is that they cannot help but compare him to the old boss.
I have been in senior management for over 25 years. If you choose the wrong person, bite the bullet and change them.
Tim McKane (MU)
PS Bye Robin, thanks for last year.
No Conspiracy, Only Laughter
Further to this morning's Mailbox about there being a 365 conspiracy against one Manchester United...
Can I please point out that there isn't and that I remember very well when Liverpool were the laughing stock, ritually taking a kicking both in the Mailbox and the site at large. I also remember the daily put-downs from other fans, particularly Man U fans.
I'll reiterate again, there is no conspiracy, so suck it up.
And anyway, can't be long before it's Newcastle's turn again.
(Long may Moyes continue his record breaking run)
...As an Irish Gooner, the enjoyment of watching United crumbling week in, week out has been un-paralleled in its hilarity and my laughter did not stop last night and long let it continue. However, I still have a nagging discontent that holds me back in truly enjoying their dramatic fall. We have taken 1 point from 6 against United this year and considering how tight things are I think Arsenal could look back on two flat performances where an extra 5 points against the worst United team in 20 years could have clinched the title for us. I just can't help but thinking we might fall just short and those two games were such a missed opportunity.
It's like that we haven't been able to join in on the fun in piling misery on them because they took their standard minimum 4 points off us and its just a shame that I think that as bad as they are, they would still have stopped us lifting the title.
Peter(If Rooney gets 300,000 a week, Arsenal should give Sagna 500,000 a week), AFC
It Could Be Worse
Tom Boulderstone - last night was pretty dire, and we all say some silly things when we're upset, but "League One clubs play a better brand of football than we do"? You don't know how far there is still to sink.
I support a league one team (Colchester, you don't get much more league one than Colchester, we're always in league one. Around 14th), and I can honestly tell you that the football in League One is utterly awful. We have 2 types of player, ones which are good at kicking the ball, and ones which are good at running fast, none of whom can combine the two skills and certainly none of them can play the ball in a direction other then the direction they are facing. It's all jolly good fun, and the Balti pies are nice when they don't sell out by 2:30pm, but it's really not pretty. Not sure if this gives you any comfort, or just confirms that it could still get worse for you..but hopefully offers some perspective.
Our right-back falls over a lot less than yours though.
Jeremy (seriously, Col U catering managers if you are reading this - hot dogs and Balti pies..you always sell out early, how hard can it be?) Aves
Thought Of The Afternoon
Just imagine the brouhaha if AVB had done what Moyes has to United.
Managers Who Have Done Worse Than Moyes
Easy. Kenny Dalglish in 1997/98 was in charge of an established title challenging Newcastle side (who had finished 3rd, 6th, 2nd and 2nd) and in his first full season sold two of our best three players to a mid-table Spurs team (who we beat 7-1 the previous season). In the league he dragged us down to 13th having spent the whole season in the bottom half.
Kevin (I'd say Howard Wilkinson at Sunderland deserves a shout out as well) Nottingham
...In response to Alex, who asks if any Premier League manager has ever done a worse job than David Moyes, I nominate the one and only Steve Kean. After being being undeservedly and inexplicably promoted by Rovers' new owners he made a series of bizarre signings, many of whom never so much as kicked a ball for the club.
He inherited a side that was comfortably mid-table, and swiftly eased it out of the Premier League via statistically improbable performances such as a visit to Spurs in which his team failed to register a single shot on or off target. After that particular match he claimed that relegation "hasn't even been considered", demonstrating a level of delusion that did not particularly endear him to shellshocked Rovers fans.
He sold or alienated experienced players who might have saved Rovers, such as Ryan Nelsen, who Kean claimed was "in traction" with a serious back injury but ended up going straight into the Spurs team following his free transfer.
All of the above represents the mere tip of the festering turdberg that is Steve Kean's Blackburn Rovers reign, yet when Rovers fans had the temerity to protest about what was happening to their unfashionable but formerly well-run club, Kean's pals in media and football management circles drowned them out, calling their behaviour "disgusting".
Actually, that was a quote from Kean's good mate David Moyes, for which he deserves every single one of the spittle-flecked boos he's going to receive at Old Trafford when Olympiakos dump his ineptly managed team out of Europe.
Giggs As Boss?
It might sound a bit strange but I genuinely think United should have picked Ryan Giggs as manager, or Paul Scholes. In the summer they lost a man who controlled every single aspect of the football club, a man who probably also controlled the lives of each and every player. You can see in their performances this season that they all look lost without their leader. They're looking for help, but they're not getting it from Moyes. Now, if they'd have appointed Giggs for a year, there'd have been less of a culture shock and more time for the players to get over Fergie's retirement. The players would basically have to fend for themselves, to fight for the cause. They might even have had a better chance of making the top 4.
Moyes isn't a bad manager, and I'm certain he knows whats wrong and maybe even how to fix it. But he's been thrown in at the deepest end possible and the players are quite happy to use him as the excuse. It's not Moyes' fault RVP missed that chance, likewise that Claverley, Carrick and Smalling couldn't pass to the guy stood 10 feet away.
They're in at together, it's about time they showed it.
James (What do I know though, I'm a Boro fan!) Bunce
Come To Scunny, United Fans
I'm seeing more and more emails from Manchester United fans containing variations on the theme of; "I'm not watching them any more until Moyes is sacked." Well with this in mind, I have a solution for you all that will keep the footballing wolves from the door for the next few weeks until the inevitable happens and Davey Boy gets the ol' Spanish Archer.
Come down to Glanford Park and watch Scunthorpe United instead. Lord knows we need your support more than those roustabouts over at Old Trafford (average attendance circa. 3500). We also play an exciting, flowing brand of football of the type not seen at OT since Cristiano packed his man-purse and left for Madrid. We're second in the league, currently on a 17-game unbeaten run, and have a manager who looks a bit like Bobby Davro, if Bobby Davro were a gritty northern ex centre-back.
We even have amongst our squad, such former Premier League leading lights as Gary McSheffrey, Andy Dawson, Andy Welsh and Deon Burton. So really, it'd be just like watching Premier League football anyway. We are also one of the few clubs remaining in the country to have terracing in our ground, thanks in part to a suspiciously convenient relegation through the leagues that meant we avoided having to bring the ground up to 'Proper' standards.
While Manchester United's proud history of winning everything is nice and all, we're not without history ourselves. Our ground stands on Jack Brownsword way, named after the man Bill Shankly called 'the finest defender to never play for England' (this was before the days of Titus Bramble). And as if that weren't enough, we also boast the honour of starting the careers of no less than three England captains, step forward messrs Kevin Keegan, Ray Clemence and...Ian Botham. See you all on the terrace a week on Saturday for the Northampton game?
Pete (£15 a ticket, use the saving for your train ticket up from London.) SUFC
A Word Of Advice
Whilst I enjoyed "Paul, Playa Blanca"'s rather succinct e-mail, I felt compelled to offer some advice to all Man U fans abroad.
As I used to work in a phone shop I know how high data roaming charges can be, so just find a pub.You get beer, footy and best of all free wifi to send your David Moyes hate mail for mine (and many others) amusement.
Personally, I'm loving the post Ferguson era and long may the Moyes' reign continue!
Dan AFC (let's be honest there aren't many United fans in Manchester....)
More On Liverpool's Defence
A few points on LFC's defence inspired by Sid's email:
Mignolet does need to be trained to come for the ball and to command his area. However, the time for that is in the Summer. If you try to alter his game now, you could end up compromising the strengths he has (ie shot stopping) for the remainder of the season.
Gerrard holding isn't a bad thing. He does well there when he gets support from the other 2 midfielders ahead of him. His shakiest performances have come when the other CMs are pushing up and he becomes isolated/targeted, i.e Villa at home.
Glen Johnson, on form, is a wonderfully talented full back. But stopping crosses has never really been his strength. With Mignolet not coming for them, all the onus is on the CBs. Simple maths means 'more crosses = more chances to f**k up'.
Aly Cissokho, while ponderous on the ball to point where the opposition try and force us to pass to him as often as possible, doesn't let too many crosses is. He affords opposition attackers a bit too much space but lets very few balls in.
Flanagan is Cafu, Dani Alves and Roberto Carlos rolled into one.
Kris, LFC, Manchester
Tony Cascarino's comment "...Average in the extreme" reminded me of my favourite joke.
Her - Look at that - that's one pretty ugly cow.
Him - That's an oxymoron.
Her - No it isn't, it's a cow. And you're the moron.
So eh, thanks for that Tony.
Rory Johnston. Galway FC.
Leave Brentford Alone
Although I broadly agreed with what Richard Hell was getting at in the last mailbox, I took a little offence to this bit:
"Sometimes, you wake up on a Saturday morning and realize that you're on a bus to Brentford and that the best part about your day will be a lukewarm hotdog".
Yes Wolves gave us a hiding last weekend, but we're in the mixer at the top of League One having gone to Wembley twice in the last few seasons (albeit losing both times) and winning League Two in 2009.
When making snide comparisons to a "joke" football team, can we please stick to convention and all agree to pick on Barnet!?
Matt G, London