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Worst first half we have played. Do not understand why we start with the bad side then change it when we are losing. Shouldn't it be the other way round? Good luck to Uwe and Wigan they deserved their win. Could you please organise a vote or a petition or a lynch mob to get rid of Michael Owen he is absolutely dire. $ times he called us Manchester United, he has the dullest voice ever and he has no excuse. He is actually worse than David Pleat. Pleat has an excuse he is old. Is this really the best you can do, BT Sport? My basset would be more interesting than Owen.
Blame It On The Hoodie
This may sound silly but I believe that Man City losing to Wigan was all down to Pellegrini wearing a hoody.
If/when my manager strolls into the office wearing his jeans and a jumper his wife has obviously bought for him, my first thought is, "We aren't doing much today, might even end up in the pub at lunchtime."
Did his appearance give the idea to the players he wasn't really bothered about this competition or the opposition?
Jimmy (Unfortunately my manager has walked in wearing a shirt and tie today) Spain
Laughing At City
Too casual, Manchester City. Too fracking casual. You deserved to lose.
I'm telling you, dear F365 community, that in these circumstances victory or defeat is all in the mind.
I'm married to a sports psychologist and it is embarrassing how far behind other professional sports football is in this area.
City had some world-class athletes on the pitch, but they are not mentally prepared to manage or respond to the kind of adversity they experienced this afternoon. When faced with an inferior opponent you will lose the benefit of superior instinct. Go with me on this... In tougher matches when the game is end-to-end, instinctive players rule, they react instantly to small opportunities and this makes them stand out as the very best the game has to offer. In this case, this was a poor team selection from the City manager because he didn't adjust his tactics. His players were set up, as normal, to rely on their instincts. However, the as the City players had the vast majority of the ball they have more time to think, and less opportunity to react instinctively to opportunity.
Subconsciously or otherwise, City's players could not overcome the pressures of the afternoon. These players did not have the mental strength to match their physical abilities. If your coach dresses up like he's taking a training session when he is usually suited and looking smart, this absolutely, definitely, without question, has an effect on the team.
Also, the crowd are not used to seeing or being winners yet - and when things go wrong at The Etihad many of the fans expect City to fall apart. Hence why, thousands of fans are seen leaving with three minutes to go.
This is a period of incredible transformation at City, from a generation of failure and disappointment to, well, who knows what. But whatever this club ultimately achieves, at present those three recently won trophies just aren't enough to erase the memories of decades of failure. The fans will be looking over their shoulders for many more years, expecting that it is all going to go tits up again sometime soon.
The crowd did not believe, and the players do not know how to believe.
And oh my goodness Edin Dzeko is still an absolute donkey. I've been saying this for years and I'm glad this is now being recognised.
Can United Fans Really Laugh At City?
You can say what you like about David Moyes and United's wretched season so far, but at least they weren't knocked out of the FA Cup by seventh in the Championship Wigan!! AT HOME!!!
Also, for all the talk about quadruples, they are now out of the FA Cup, have a mountain to climb against Barcelona in the Champions League and are nine points back in the Premier League.
Is the Carling Cup a massive improvement on Mancini's time?
As a United fan, this is the best weekend of the season so far!!
Wigan: Still Getting Revenge For 99
Joys of joys! Another reasonably routine win against Citeh. I hope that they now feel about us as we have felt about them since they robbed us in the second division play-offs back in 1999. For those of you who don't remember that day of destiny (and there can't be many), both teams went into the second leg at Maine Road level after a 1-1 draw at Wigan's old 'Theatre of Pies' ground, Springfield Park. In that game Gerard Wiekens played in the revolutionary but as yet unnamed 'Demichelis Role', gifting us a hilarious goal within a minute and generally looking nonplussed by every encounter with the ball. But he did look like Bergkamp, which is handy for any footballer.
The Dutch Demichelis was at his comical best again at Maine Road, but this time he had an ally in black who somehow missed his assault in the box that the commentator 'had seen them given'. In the same way that Jonny Nic might say, 'I bet that smarts' upon viewing a live flogging. Shaun Goater then caught the ball and threw it into the Wigan net, and although the referee originally planned to disallow the goal, then thought it would be a shame since everyone seemed to be having such a good time.
Anyway, City won, got promoted and generally forgot about us for a decade. And we haven't been bitter about it, I swear. Now let's move along to some letters from Arsenal fans trying not to be too excited.
Let's Win This Thing
Don't wish to sound overconfident of our chances, but with Wigan, Hull and Sheffield Utd the only teams left in the FA Cup, I'm guessing what most other Arsenal supporters might be thinking: that we finally have a very good opportunity to win a trophy.
Sure there is the league too, but at the start of the season, I expected the league title to be between City and Chelsea. We sustained a good run until that Liverpool fixture, and we possibly could go on another good run in the coming weeks. But at this point, the FA has got to be more realistic than the league trophy, given the competition we face. Had City made it through, I'd still be worried about us making it past them.
Now no disrespect to Wigan, as they really gave it their all, and rightly deserved the win. And they could easily shock my team as well as that's the exciting part the FA Cup brings. But, given that we face Wigan and either of Sheffield Utd or Hull City should be get past the Latics, if this cannot motivate our team to actually win it for the supporters and the club, then I don't know what can. And if Arsene cannot enable this team to win a competition in which they quite possibly are the favorites, then he must just resign. I'm not trying to say we are entitled to win it, just that with our resources as a club, we should be able to take this competition seriously and actually go for the win, not prioritise the CL at the expense of the FA cup.
I really want us to beat Bayern and go on another good run in the league, but if Arsene is going to dick about, set up a slightly weaker side for the sake of the CL it's going to be very disappointing should we be on the losing end. The media vultures will be out as usual. We came close with Birmingham, a team that got relegated that season, and now we have good shot at the FA. I hope he doesn't cock this one up with his team selections. We need our strongest side regardless of who we face a few days later in different competition, if that's the case.
Carl (C'mon you Gooners!), AFC
...God has given you two wonderful opportunities to evaporate this tedious, silverwareless cloud. You have wasted one. Wasting another is a hanging offense. Focus, stay strong and organised, and everything will be fine.
Ahmed (between hope and despair), Egyptian Gunner
High And Horny
This will be the saddest mail you receive all day.
I'm worried about my increasingly keen love interest in Arsenal.
Last night I got particularly high, decided to watch the Arsenal vs Everton highlights, and thus proceeded to become extremely sexually aroused by their football at times (I'm looking at you OX ;) ) I need to sort out the priorities in life it would seem.
Alex, Kilkenny, (AFCTIC), Irish Gooner
Firstly let me start by saying that I am very fond of Mr RVP. He decided that his career was going nowhere at Arsenal, so bucked the trend and joined Manchester United. He single-handedly won us the league last year, despite relying on support from a waning supporting cast. Not since the purchase of one Eric Cantona has a domestic transfer had such an effect. Smashing - one PL winners' medal deservedly won, and a nice two-fingered salute to the club who made him the player he is. All is well.
Well now, all is not well. RVP cuts a disgruntled figure. He gives the impression that he would rather go and play for a 1980s Aberdeen, so long as it were managed by Sir Alex Ferguson. His head is not in the game, and as a result the performances have dried up and the injuries have crept their way back in. Last year I heard on the radio an Arsenal fan talk about how RVP would have a great first season at United, but that we shouldn't expect it to last. Obviously the radio station p***ed themselves laughing at him (and Arsenal) at the time, but he has proven to be spot-on.
So where are we going with all of this? The answer is becoming all too obvious. Mr van Persie will leave this summer. He may even hand in a transfer request, it's that obvious. To whom we might sell him to is another issue. We ought to use his sale to our advantage. I for one would love to see DM dig his heels in and drive a hard bargain - who knows, we might even be a more balanced team with him gone. It's unlikely of course, but we could use his sale as a makeweight for a solid centre midfielder - who knows eh? Thanks for last season Robin, much obliged.
RedArmy (For the love of God Woody get that De Gea contract drawn up!), Belfast.
But Van Persie >>> Rooney
If Van Persie leaves I'll be gutted and think even less of Moyes. Alienating our best player who just won us the league and bending over backwards for such an inferior player like Rooney is disgraceful. Does anyone reading today's gossip really see those three players behind Rooney? Rooney will be on the half-way line trying to ping passes like Scholes, not holding the ball up, turning the defender and making something happen.
Spurs Need New Board
Back in the day I used to regularly write in offering up my support for Daniel Levy. I used to roll out phrases like 'In Levy we trust' and 'Levy knows'.
I think I might have been smoking crack on a regular basis before writing in to the mailbox.
What a complete and total mess Tottenham Hotspur is. Total bollocks. He's been played by everyone. For a guy who prides himself on being a hard-nosed businessman who doesn't even know who's playing him. Bale, Baldini, Sherwood?
We're led to believe that a number of the players bought in during the summer weren't wanted by AVB. It doesn't work out and he goes. He can't attract a big name when he gets sacked and Tim Sherwood forces his hand. Tim Sherwood!! We let in five against Liverpool, six anf five against Man City, 4fouragainst Chelsea. You;ve got a midfield with Bentaleb, Sigurdsson and Walker but no room for a man who can walk into Brazil's first XI. He drops Eriksen. He's given it a go but he's bang out of his depth.
Levy creates an environment in which it becomes almost impossible to succeed. He can't finalise the new stadium. The guy hasn't got a f***ing clue what he's doing. And is ruining Spurs.
Thank god he allows us to sell our tickets for games against big teams against Stubhub so we can recoup most of the outlay of our season ticket.
Andrew, Woodford Green
Or Some New Players?
After another dismal showing against a big team I think we (Spurs) need to face up to the facts that we just can stand toe to toe with the real contenders, we just aren't good enough. There are at least four teams in the division that are stronger than us at the moment and it will take an overhaul of ethos more than just a few shiny new expensive acquisitions to change that.
I like Sherwood and think he might be the right man to take us forward. I like that he is trying new things out with selections and tactics and at least unafraid to roll the dice a little bit My opinion is that there is a lot of deadwood in the Spurs squad and we need a bit of a clear-out, perhaps more so there than in the board room/managers office as some fans are clamouring for.
Senior players that spit the dummy when they aren't starting every game, despite having shockers when it matters, need to jog on, and Spurs should invest in a core of hungry talent, preferably home-grown, and build a team around them for years to come. Sell Vertonghen, Dembele, Paulinho, maybe Lloris, will get great money for those and none of them really love the club. Sell Naughton and Kane, they aren't going to cut it for a team that wants to compete.
Buy back Caulker, bring back Livermore and Holtby from loan, find another striking prospect (Coulibaly next season anyone?)...with a young, talented squad, an ambitious young manager displaying positive intent and hey ho maybe the future is bright if they can keep the group together.
We need to start from scratch, rediscover our playing identity, clear out the disruptive and frustrated senior players that have no real loyalty or passion for the club and if we do these things maybe we will be a healthier, more competitive unit in two-three years time.
Chelsea v Spurs From A Neutral
* I understand the virtues of being a supremely organised team able to grind out victories when not at your best but when it's being done by a team of world-class players who cost pots of gold a against a team they are suppose to be better than, it leaves a bitter taste in the mouth. Especially when this seems to be their default style of play. Don't let the scoreline fool you. Chelsea were average at best throughout this match and it was Spurs' errors that gifted them a handsome scoreline. If Chelsea go on to win the league, perhaps those sceptics of the quality of it are oN to something. I rarely agree with Jamie Redknapp but he was spot on when he said Chelsea lacked guile. I'd add to that invention, fluidity and imagination (save for Hazard). I can admit (as much as I dislike him) that Mourinho is a top coach but he doesn't deserve the crazy amount of props he gets. Here's hoping a more exciting team wins the Premier League.
* The two best performances from Chelsea this season were against my team Liverpool and away at Man City. In both these games, David Luiz played and the team played more fluid football with quick one-twos and defence-splitting passes. If the rumours of Barca's interest in Luiz are false, then a cheeky bid from Liverpool (if we get top four) would be much welcomed. He is being wasted at Chelsea.
* Tottenham were the better team in the first half, showing intent and a level of control. I'm sure Spurs fans will be calling for Sherwood's head and fair enough. But by being brave and playing Walker on the wings, he at least showed he was willing to experiment. How many times over the years have we called for managers to try out full-backs like Ashley Cole, Baines and Johnson on the wings? Sherwood showed versatility by trying this out. I'm not even Timmy's biggest fan but I think experience gained managing perhaps in the lower leagues in the future might help him tweak his faults.
* Ignore the statements given to the press by Eto'o regarding the false age joke by Mourinho. He's celebration after scoring and the way he didn't bother look at his manager in the eye when subbed off shows that he was not happy with what was said. Yes they shook hands, but it looked half-hearted from Eto'o and I don't blame him.
* Sherwood stated that he felt some players didn't care about the loss and in my opinion Vertongen might be one of them. After his error that gifted the first goal, he had a little smile on his face while doing the whole sticking-your-tongue-out-and-looking-to-the-sky thing (is that how you type that kind of thing?). If memory serves me right he was also in the papers giving indications of leaving the club earlier in the week.
* Forgive what may be my ignorance but I'm guessing the use of the Y word by Spurs' fans is similar to how us black people at times refer to each other using the N word but have an issue when others use it. If that's the case, then I still don't think it makes sense to use it as a chant. It would be like say, a club (e.g. Arsenal) with many black fans or with some kind of link with the black community having the fans chanting "N***** Army!". If I'm using the wrong comparison, then corrections are welcomed.
I see Timmy, Master of Tactics, has started trying to use Liverpool's super-effective strategy of comedy defending to achieve Champions League status. I think he may have forgot some key part though...
Frank, Toronto, Spurs
I had a much longer e-mail written but I no longer have the enthusiasm to highlight what a total shambles the club has become and what a pathetic season it has been. There is no heart, no talent and no leadership. Fulham has been in decline for a long time:
31st Oct 2012: 9 games, 14 points. Since that date: 58 games, 50 points.
That is relegation form for 18 months. We are going down, and we deserve to.
The Peng, FFC, SW6
I know F365 has already done a more thorough appraisal of EMO's commentary skills than this, but seriously - seriously - how, can any resident of planet earth, after watching two replays of Edin Dzeko planting a header wide of the post intone 'he's done absolutely everything right there'? Huh?!
Toby (the perfect blend of zero and 100% confidence) Sprigings