...what happened to the fourth Champions League place the last time an English team won the thing. Plus, who would want to pay £60 to watch the current England team?
A Sunderland fan in the mailbox is surprised by Jack Colback's call up to the England squad. Plus, thoughts on Welbeck and Liverpool's Champions League draw...
If you have anything to say on any subject, mail us at email@example.com
Can we all at least agree that Pardew is that kind of Manager?
...Maybe there is something in those Vince McMahon rumours after all....
Paul (shame he's given the press a reason to save the children after such a great away win) NUFC
Let's Not Lose Our Sh*t
I guess you are going to be inundated on this subject so thought I would get in early...
Watching MOTD last night and Mr Savage rightly expressing outrage at Pardew's head rub, let's get that one out the way a head butt is very different, and managing to try and put aside Robbie Savage attempting the moral high ground was difficult but possible. However let's cut through all this crap about never seeing anything like this before and Pardew has stepped over a line that has never been crossed before!
I present to you the darling of the media and every pundit's new best mate (poor 'Arry) Jose Mourinho....http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJS_RceEgk8
So yes Pardew was/is ridiculous and should be punished accordingly, Newcastle actually already have (and should be applauded for their prompt action), but let's not kid ourselves that he is the first manager to "cross the line". Just because one manager can give you all your headlines in a press conference does not rule him out for criticism. In fact no-one slammed Real Madrid for not sacking Jose so please pipe down about all this nonsense that Newcastle should sack Pardew (as if we'd be so lucky!).
It's happened, we've dealt with it and no doubt the FA will deal with it....let's move on now!
David (only two points behind ManUre) Redden, Blyth
A Happy Liverpooler
- A lot has been said about Liverpool abandoning their 'death by football' philosophy in favour of a more counter-attacking, opportunistic method, but I think one of the keys to Liverpool's attacking prowess is their versatility. Today's game perfectly illustrated this, with the first goal being a smart finish from Suarez to capitalise on a defensive error, and the second being as the result of a period of play where Liverpool held the ball for about a minute and 15 passes, starting from Mignolet and going back to him, involving both full backs in the opposition half to stretch the play before the space opened in the middle to allow a through ball for Suarez to cut back for an on-rushing midfielder.
Similarly against Swansea Henderson's first goal was as the result of the ball being patiently worked across the front of the 18 yard box, using the whole width of the pitch, his second a result of sheer bloody-mindedness, and Sturridge's as the result of a delightful through ball from inside Liverpool's half as soon as they won it back and the second due to Suarez brilliance in the box.
- Liverpool score a superb range of goals, from the patient, to the opportunistic, to the sublime, which is what makes it so damned difficult to defend against them at the moment. 3-0 absolutely flattered Liverpool, make no mistake about it, but it's hard to see how sides can limit Liverpool to less than 2 a game at the present
- Liverpool defended a lot better. A few more games for the first choice back four to gel (maybe even Sakho back in for Skrtel and eventually Enrique for Flanagan) and talk of a genuine title challenge may not be quite so silly.
- There appears to still be a consensus that Joe Allen was a bad buy (I keep seeing mention of only Sturridge/Coutinho being good Rodgers signings). This is wholly unfair. Whenever Allen has got a chance to play this season (mare against Everton aside) he's been excellent, he's tactically very disciplined, and is very intelligent on the ball - he's not a Tommy-10-yards passer at all.
- How good has Gerrard been in his 'new' role of late? Good news for England fans if it continues, although Carrick was very good in qualifiers, it almost renders his role redundant. If Hodgson really wanted to go balls out he could go for a front six of Gerrard, Henderson, Lallana, Sterling, Sturridge and Rooney and not sacrifice much defensive stability (compared to if, say, Cleverly or Wilshere played instead of Lallana/Sterling).
- I love watching Southampton play. I loved them under Atkins, and, as much as I like the guy, they're even better under Pochettino. Lambert and Lallana are excellent, as is Jack Cork in a very understated way (he's keeping Wanyama out of the side), whilst the exuberance provided by the likes of Davis' constant effort, and Chambers/Ward-Prowse is really refreshing. Luke Shaw is an absolute monster and should be the best left back in the world soon.
Alex (tra-la-la-la-la), LFC
Arsenal Being Arsenal
Boring, boring Arsenal. Spend the entire first half defending against Stoke City. Wait until the hour mark to register one shot on goal. They didn't deserve anything from that game.
I knew they would lose after going a goal down the same as I knew Özil would miss his penalty against Bayern. Just what is it about Arsenal that have turned them into jibbering wrecks, every spring?
Why did they give Stoke so much respect? Why didn't they attack them from the off? Why does Podolski never play more than 60 odd minutes? Why does Wilshere keep giving the ball away? Why rest the Ox? How is it possible to be a professional footballer but have the worst technique I have seen hitting a ball from ten yards out (Sanogo).
..Yaya f*****g Sanogo.
Andrew (Am I the only one who sees a lot of Thierry Henry in Loic Remy?)Mbogoh
Hazard And Handballs
I watched the majority of the Chelsea Fulham match until Chelsea went 2-0 up, and then switched over to Stoke Arsenal. I'm a Spurs supporter but I have no choice except to recognize Hazard's amazing quality. His performance today confirms for me that he is up there with the best in the world just behind Messi and Ronaldo. I knew he could beat players, cut inside and score, and have moments of brilliance.
Today he showed complete composure every time he got the ball and great awareness and passing skills. There are very few attacking dribbling types that can pick a pass like him. At the moment Chelsea are hugely dependent on him, he is their best goal scorer, passer, creater, and dribbler without him how would they be getting any goals??
Now onto Stoke and Arsenal. Yes I am going to discuss the penalty. These kind of penalties have to be done away the sooner the better. Was it a blatant handball inside the box? Yes. For me the rules and the ref are there to make sure the game is fair, and awarding Stoke an almost automatic goal that decided the match this made the result unfair.
If you see replays you see Walters make a fist pump, this is something I see far too often and annoys the f*ck out of me. What did Walters do that was so great?? Did he show some great bit of skill? Did he score a goal? Did he put himself one on one with the keeper? No!! He got lucky as hell. Mediocrity should not decide a match or be rewarded. It's almost to the point where I think players aim for hands. Anyways I could go on and on, I'm happy that Arsenal didn't pick up any points but sad to see another decision like this. Change the rules!! It should be a free kick from the spot of the foul.
I know it was the weekend's big talking point, so I'm just going to get my two cents in before the irate Derby fans take over the mailbox. From a biased Burnley perspective, who saw the highlights on The Football League Show with Manish, the Derby player Chris Martin was unfortunate for a 2nd yellow in his 'dive' and you probably should've had the goal awarded, though it wasn't a penalty.
But, the good news is none of that happened, and we won 2-0. Enjoy the play offs. With QPR who failed to win again.
Nick P, Burnley FC (We need a decent North West team in the Prem!)
Broadening Your Horizons
I know it can't just be me, but I spend a worrying amount of time following the links to gossip pages at the bottom of the mailbox. For example, this morning I read the top 9 celebrity couples destroyed by fame which was really rather fascinating.
Keep up the good work.
Theo (the mailbox has been really funny this week) LFC