Mails: Bergkamp, Cantona...Or Zola?

Another name has been thrown into the mix on this lazy Thursday afternoon. Plus, shock at Cleverley's England call-up, a Man United fan already waiting for payback and more...

Last Updated: 27/02/14 at 16:03

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Mails: Are Footballers Just Big Kids?

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Bergkamp Or Cantona?
I'm biased but it's Bergkamp.

Cantona didn't cut it at international level and his goals weren't as spectacular. Bergkamp's Newcastle goal is the greatest goal I have ever seen any Premiership play ever score. Everything about that goal is wrong, in terms of the difficulty of pulling it off, the audacity and the sheer genius in even thinking of it in the first place.

Dennis also signed for us at 26 and was a world class name, agreeing to join us when elite players viewed the Premier League as a place to go when you'd had it like Gullit or Vialli. He was the first and then others followed.

I remember the day we signed him - I refused to believe it. When you've grown up on dear old JJ, Dennis just didn't seem realistic.

In short, Bergkamp was already great before we signed him, Cantona became great at United so it's Dennis for me. Cantona was a fantastic player, mind and one of the few United players I don't hate with a passion.
Graham Simons, Gooner, Norf London


...Cantona!

He won the league in 5 of the 6 seasons he played in England, and some would say the reason why it wasn't 6 out of 6 was because he was suspended for the run in of the season United missed out to Blackburn by a single point.

Bergkamp was brilliant as well, obviously, and was one of the players I enjoyed watching the most. Football is all about opinions and I personally believe Bergkamp was better than Henry!
Kev The Clarke, MUFC (probably better letting neutrals answer, but I think I've presented a pretty good case for Eric) Skem


...Bergkamp, Cantona or wait for it....Zola?

My order of preference:

Bergkamp
Zola
Cantona
Ash, LFC


...I'd take Zola over either. Every bit as good a footballer as the two of them, able to travel to away games in Europe and not at all likely to kick a fan. Likeable chap, scorer of great goals and returned to his home team despite the offers of wealth from Abramovich.

Whats not to love?
Lee


Dirty Harold Bishop
Further to the Cantona or Bergkamp conundrum...I was in Melbourne years ago and went to a Neighbours Night, where a load of English tourists got hammered and met some of the soap's cast (not even ashamed!) We also got to ask them questions. I asked Harold Bishop 'Flik or Steph?' (the two hottest women on the show). Without hesitation and in front of hundreds of people, he answered 'My dear boy, why choose?'. Great advice in my opinion!
J (LUFC - so, contrary to the above, I'd obviously go for Bergkamp!)


Yup, He's In There. We Checked It Twice
Did Tom Cleverly just get picked for the England Squad? Seriously? Why do England managers consistently select their squads on auto-pilot with no attention to the form that players are in? I know that we're pretty clear on Gareth Barry's attributes but on form I defy anyone to say that he's a worse option than Tom.

Then again, we are the country that accepts statements like "Emile Heskey isn't there to give you goals" from our 'experts' in the media (that always wound me up). I'm sorry, but if you're a striker that doesn't provide goals then you're not a frigging striker - you're at best, a functional midfielder. And Tom, if you're a midfielder that "doesn't pass like Scholes, or dribble, or score or tackle" then let me tell you bro - and Roy Hodgson for that matter - you are not a footballer.
Henry (I just can't get excited at the thought of Rooney's sweaty, angry, frustrated, red face in Manaus) Annafi


Waiting For Payback
Weirdly, alongside the anger, frustration and misery that has come with being a Manchester United fan this season, there have been aspects of our malaise that have been enjoyable. Mainly the sweet promise of some serious in-your-facing of our own. Many, many people, but disproportionately Liverpool fans, have decided that this season means United are finished blah blah. Clearly this is nonsense. I think we all know that money talks- were Monaco in the champions league when they signed Falcao, PSG when they started spunking cash around like Peter North? No.

This season has been appalling, but it is a blip - United have too much spending power, particularly with regards to FFP, for it not to be. And so I have been carefully CNTL+Cing these mails, like Gregory Whitehead's, for a future orgy of vindictive, merciless baiting.

It's going to be superb.
Ben (Oh, John, Dublin- congratulations, you have the same musical taste as my 15 year old niece. And she is F*****g annoying) MUFC


Thoughts On Moyes' Style
A friend sent me a link to the following Youtube video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qj2xSQU1Avw&feature=youtu.be) containing individual highlights of Kagawa on Tuesday night, which is interesting as it's a great expose of one of the biggest flaws of Moyes' United side, namely that of having a style of play that doesnt suit the best personnel currently at the club. United's reliance on the 'get it wide, cross it in, repeat ad infinitum' style of play has been obvious all season but the video highlights how the style of play reduces the effect that a player like Kagawa could have on a game. The video shows how United continually look to play long balls to the striker or work the ball to the wings and 'pump it into the mixer', ignoring passes through the middle into areas where intelligent players like Kagawa and Mata work best.

Kagawa repeatedly takes up good positions but is continually ignored which effectively neuters him. During his time at Dortmund Kagawa excelled as he was trusted with the ball and allowed to influence matches, but United seem unwilling or unable to adapt in a way that would allow them to harness the players potential. This would be fine if United were experiencing a degree of success with their current style of play, but obviously this isnt the case and there hasnt been any evidence of a Plan B. The danger with the current style of play is that, by continuing to adopt the 'get it wide, cross it in' approach, United are forced to rely on Valencia and Young, who could be useful squad players but should not be starting for United on a regular basis. There is also the possibility that, by persevering with the current formation and style of play, Kagawa's fate may also befall Mata.

Mata is a wonderfully talented individual who would ideally play in the centre, but instead has found himself playing mostly on the left behind Van Persie and, possibly as a result, has not yet sparkled at United in the way he often did at Chelsea. Personally I think that United's most effective formation would be to play 4-2-3-1 with Rooney, Mata and Kagawa all playing in the space behind Van Persie and continually rotating positions similar to the way that Ronaldo, Tevez and Rooney did so effectively during the 07/08 season (although that was in a different formation).

In short, I believe Moyes is trying to force square pegs into round holes by asking his team to play a style of football that fails to utilise the full capabilities of the squad available to him, which is in contrast to every other manager in the PL top 4 and may be the failing that ultimately costs United their place amongst Europe's elite next season.
Jonny Davison


Cheech Is Not The Answer
I feel I need to write in to dispel this myth, peddled by the likes of RedArmy, about Javier "Chicarito" Hernandez. Let me first say I love the lad. He's fantastic. His nose for goal is un-matched in the league, and his movement and ability to finish is fabulous.

But people calling for him to play more, and bemoaning his absence, are missing a crucial point here. Hernandez is a player who needs service in order to flourish. He needs the through balls to be good, and the crossing to be accurate. Without decent service, he is all but a hindrance to a team. He contributes almost nothing to the build-up play, his first touch is iffy, and his hold up play is worse than terrible. With the way our midfield is currently set-up, and operating, does anyone think he would solve anything? We'd be better off playing with 10 men. Rooney and RvP are, at least, capable players with the ball at their feet. Strong, technically accomplished and intelligent with how they use the ball, if they are struggling to flourish, Hernandez would be utterly lost. He is not the answer to this current malaise, trust me.
Harry The Manc.


...I always thought Moyes was a likeable, honest kind of guy and not one to take a risk. The perfect manager for Everton, who wanted a safe, happy spot just below the top 4. But then Martinez took over. While Everton may stay in the same position as before, they are so much more exciting to watch.

But it made me think about some other managers doing relatively well recently - Rodgers and Sherwood versus Moyes. Rodgers is closer to Ferguson - willing to pontificate, a whiff of arrogance showing through (just like Fergie until he started winning regularly and went into full on arrogant mode), willing to give his players a 'quiet' word when needed. Actually has an idea of what he wants to achieve and while it may not always work, is willing to risk it on attack over defence when needed.

Then we have Sherwood. The anti-AVB, the new 'Arry. Throwing out the books and going old school. But has the team playing better (although points-wise they were not that badly off before), playing with more confidence and élan. Picking attack over defence in trying to score more goals, which they have. Unconcerned by the media and not going to apologies for anything.

Finally Moyes. His honesty is now seen as a weakness in defeat. A little arrogance would have given the sense he knew what he was doing but his honesty shows he has no clue what is wrong or how to fix it. His risk-averse approach is now a negative. A team that is not that great but relied on a supreme belief in themselves and that attack wins the day are now caught in no man's land. Neither attacking nor defending. If Moyes had his druthers, he would pick his safety first team, win some, draw some lose less and be a creditable 5th place. But this is United, so the pressure is on to do something more and so it compromises his plan and he ends up nowhere.

Would either Rodgers or Sherwood do better at United than Moyes. Absolutely. At least they would have given the team confidence and they would have attacked with Gusto. Something the current team is incapable of.

The Olympiakos game was Moyes' whole career boiled down into one game. All the reasons people said Moyes would be a good fit for United were wrong. His history of safety first is never going to win anything.
Paul McDevitt


Newcastle's Time Will Come Again
Just a few points form the last 2 mailboxes-

Newcastle's shift as joke club is due to start just after the world cup when we sell all of our players and sack our manager. Seriously, I expect Santon, Debuchy, Ben Arfa and other assorted lots to be given the heave-ho and all of our strikers are either not ours (De Jong and Remy), retiring (Shola) or rubbish (Lovely Papiss where has your smile gone?). So don't worry Man U fans, you only have to suffer this conspiracy until mid-July.

I too find laughing at Man U more entertaining that if the same thing was happening to Sunderland. I know a lot of Sunderland fans, some of whom actually wash, and I don't like to see them suffer too much. However, Man U fans (for the most part) wind me right up. I would love it....LOVE IT! If we finish above them....not so funny now is it?
Paul (I love Peter Lovenkrands too), Newcastle


This Only Made It In Because Of 'Gradiohead'
Not really a fan of the hardcore scene, here's a bunch of footballer's names shoe-horned into the more melodic world of music... and Green Day...

Rob Green Day
Guns 'n' Danny Roses
Townsend & Sons
Johnny Evans-escence
Dario Gradiohead
Sandro Patrol
Willian Nelson
Lez Ferdinand
Snod-er-grass
Papa Crouch
Limp Busquets

I'm sure there are many more to add, there's a few I left out because the player/band were too obscure!
Thom (it's amazing what one can accomplish when one has work they ought to be doing instead), Bristol

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Mails: Are Footballers Just Big Kids?

That's what the mailbox thinks, with Brazil's players showing a lack of responsibility in their 7-1 thrashing by Germany. Plus, more on Ozil and the importance of passion...

'Wow' Says The Mailbox In Unison. Wow Indeed.

There is understandably a great deal of reaction to Tuesday night's lunacy, but we have added thoughts on the anti-Ozil 'agenda' and Liverpool acting like they're big-time...

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