Two Years To The Day Since Football Got It Right

It's a wonderfully varied Mailbox with thoughts on Fabrice Muamba, workers' rights in Qatar, Liverpool fans being wrong and why now is the perfect time for Moyes to go...

Last Updated: 18/03/14 at 13:56

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A United Fan Happy To See Welbeck Go

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One United fan doesn't understand all the fuss over Danny Welbeck, while we also have mails on Arsenal being Arsenal, curious transfers and how to pronounce 'Gaal'...

Should Kagawa Play Ahead Of Mata?

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That's one question posed in the afternoon mailbox, although it looks like the Japanese playmaker could soon be on his way. Plus, tipping Palace to go down under Warnock...

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The Time Is Now
This season is a write off, nothing can be achieved. That's a fact.

If he get's sacked now, the players can play with a bit of freedom, gain a bit of confidence back which he's destroyed. New manager comes in in the summer with a chance to rebuild. Sacking him at Christmas - we'll still be crap, probably mid table, at best. So a new man comes in, with a January transfer window to work with, and is expected to drive us up to 4th, ish. Impossible job nobody would want.

I was at the game on Sunday, and me, nor anybody sat near me could figure out what formation we were playing (it was meant to be 4-2-3-1 / 4-4-2 / 4-1-4-1 / 4-4-1-1, I assume), but seriously, watch it again, there's no formation, we had Mata and Januzaj playing as wing-backs for crying out loud.

The man isn't made for United, trying not to lose, and trying to be 'hard to beat' might be acceptable at Everton, but not United. We don't have a divine right to win the league etc, but we expect to be entertained. A 5-4 defeat is better than a 1-0 loss, Moyes doesn't, and wont realise this. He also doesn't have the balls to drop 'big players'. RVP and probably Rooney should be dropped. With Kagawa as no.10 interchanging with Mata, Januzaj and Welbeck (or Rooney, if we must) , that gives pace, movement and we'd be good to watch going forward. With Moyes in charge, Valencia and Young are seen as better options than Kagawa, Rooney and Mata in their best positions (Rooney's is as a no.9, btw). This will never happen, as we might ship a few goals - though for a defensive coach, his team cant defend either.

Summary: it's a mess, Moyes isnt the answer, let somebody else have between May & August to try and clear up this mess and start again, rather than giving them another car wreck to try and reverse at Christmas
Jonny, Manchester

...As far as I'm aware, no one is saying that United's players are blameless.

Anyone who has watched the matches knows that they are as culpable as anyone else. The problem is the dramatic change in output from these players. The only things that have changed in terms of the squad are the inclusions of Fellaini, Mata and Januzaj and the fact that everyone is a year older; no one has left so you could argue in that sense that we haven't really been weakened.

The only other possible explanations are therefore the manager, coaching staff and the methods/tactics. If we're willing to accept that the players have been sub-par then you equally have to accept that the management of said players has been awful as well.

It isn't feasible to replace 8 first team players in one window, especially during a World Cup summer, and see an instant improvement in quality. It is, however, feasible to replace one man to see an improvement everywhere else; you see the new manager effect all the time.

Sacking Moyes now, for woeful underachievement (purely in terms of quality, not even considering competition results), and replacing him quickly would be a better situation for a new manager to come into;

1. He can't do any worse than Moyes; we'll have already been rogered by City and almost certainly will have been knocked-out of the Champions League. Everton, Newcastle and Villa are the only top 10 teams left to play, so there would be less pressure because there will be literally nothing but some semblance of pride to play for.

2. He will have time to properly assess his side; having watched them play and managed them in competitive games he will have a better idea than Moyes did of the improvements he needs to make.

3. It could re-invigorate players who have been marginalised under Moyes. Zaha when he returns, Nani (admittedly he's been injured), Kagawa and Hernandez all spring to mind, and you would hope that other players might respond as well. Smalling, Cleverley, Valencia, Young and van Persie have all been a bit lacklustre.

At this point, trusting Moyes with a large transfer fund to bring in the players he wants and be able to get the best out of them is a huge gamble, and one which (in my opinion) is significantly greater than trying to find a better manager out there. There are plenty of candidates, admittedly not all available right now (if at all), who could be prised away; Klopp, Loew, van Gaal or Simeone off the top of my head and I haven't really given it that much thought previously.

Hell, even if you got Sir Alex in during the interim it would be better than being stuck with Moyes. I really wanted to be able to be patient with him and give him a fair crack of the whip but he's made it utterly impossible by overseeing such a shocking and rapid regression that not even the most optimistic of Liverpool fans could have hoped for.
Ted, Manchester

The Bundesliga
This probably won't get much attention with Champions League games to talk about, but I will go ahead with a question that has been bothering me and has been of much discussion in the office today.

The question is what is the future of the German league? I tend to keep an eye on the table and results and I find it quite intriguing. Currently Bayern Munich are on 71 points from 25 games, wining 23 and drawing 2 with a goal difference of 62. 2nd placed Borussia Dortmond are on 48 points after losing 7 games this season already. Bayern are a massive 23 points ahead, it is an absolute thrashing and no other team comes close, add to that Borussia are selling their best player to Bayern for next season.

This season has highlighted how strong Bayern are and they would probably have won the league in any country, but not by that margin certainly in Spain or England. It can be celebrated this year as an achievement by a great side but what about the future, the league is already starting to get boring, how long can this go on in Germany before the Bayern players get bored and want a challenge. Bayern have the best players, best manager, most money and biggest fan base surely they will only get stronger, how can other teams in Germany keep up? I think we should enjoy Bayern's success while it lasts but what are others thoughts on the future of the Bundesliga
Henry (not one mention of Moyes so won't get published) M

So proof appears to have been found of the well suspected bribery claims surrounding the Qatar WC bid and our good friend Jack Warner. So now we know what we all suspected, but I'm sure FIFA will dismiss and say that Warner and Bin Hammam are no longer part of them anymore.

However, these bribery claims pale into complete insignificance when compared to the truly harrowing plight of the migrant workers currently building the stadia for this complete and utter farce. The Guardian have published several articles on the subject.

Since the bid was won, 400 Nepalese workers have died on the building sites and more than 500 Indian workers have sadly lost their lives. Migrants live in working camps and are poorly treated, and some have had their passports removed to prevent them from leaving. This, to me, is truly sickening and what makes it worse is FIFA's complete and utter indifference.

I ask the mailbox readers, how many of you were aware of this? When all we hear everyday is about how Moyes is out of his depth, how Mourinho said something controversial for controversy's sake and why is Tim Sherwood managing Spurs.

This is the price of modern football, of the Premier League and the Champions League. Money talks and nothing else.

Something needs to be done about this travesty. I for one will be boycotting this World Cup. I know it will make absolutely no difference, but I don't want to be a part of it.
Mike, Essex

Agreed On Muamba
Whilst we all argue over who should be Utd manager, who should win the title, who talks the most rubbish in interviews etc: perhaps we could all take a moment to reflect on the fact that two years ago today, Patrice Muamba suffered a near fatal heart attack in Bolton's game against Spurs.

Fans of different clubs will always be divided but it is sometime nice to remember that when it all matters the entire footballing community can rally together to show unequivocal support for someone who truly deserves it. Beautiful.

Of course I have to mention the brilliant quick response and teamwork from each club's respective physio team which is enabling me to write this positive email with a smile on my face.

Football: sometimes we all do it right.

More Wrong Liverpool Fans
I've admitted this several times in the Mailbox previously, but I was strongly of the opinion that Fernando Torres would be a disappointment at Anfield and wouldn't score the 20+ league goals per season that some were hoping for - I was clearly wrong on this one.

Joe Allen is definitely in the process of proving me wrong. Its too early to say so, but I hope he keeps it up, obviously.

For several years I wanted us to sign Aly Cissokho purely because he was fast and was good in video games. Another (particularly) bad call.
Oliver (possibly the only one who always believed in Daniel Sturridge, though!) Dziggel, Geneva Switzerland

...I'd like to put my had up to one of your mistakes as a fellow LFC fan.

I wanted Suarez the hell out of the club as soon as he made his infamous heart had grown cold and cynical after Torres and I wasn't going to get hurt again. What I didn't realise that he'd refocus and turn into twice the player if we just said "no" to him, which in fairness, might not have happened with some other high-profile players that spring to mind.

But as for Gerrard...never, ever doubt him. The guy is a phenomenon. I am convinced that in two or three years time he could retrain as a centre back and become world class there if he wanted.

Other mistakes:
Thought Henderson would turn out to be useful but not as brilliant as he is
Thought Aspas looked ok in the first match as a sort of poor man's Kuyt
Never saw Flanagan holding a first team place down
Would have got rid of Skrtel in August because he was doing my head in, but he's decided to be good again.
Couldn't see Sterling fitting into the team, couldn't see a position for him.

I basically know nothing about football do I?

...I too believed that Gerrard would struggle to develop into his new role and that we should have sold Suarez last summer. I also confidently predicted that Kolo would prove to be the commanding, cool presence that we needed in defence, that Aspas was destined to become a cult hero and that Sturridge would reduce our attack to a stultified mess of selfishness and sulking. As recently as January I was certain that without major signings in midfield and defence we would struggle to finish sixth.

Even I could see that Moyes would prove to be a disaster though.
Jon Gibson LFC (also backed Henderson from day one)

Pray For Clive
With the near on certainty that Man Utd won't be in next year's Champions League, I think we are all forgetting one important person's feelings in all of this.....what will poor Clive Tyldesley be feeling like? No more Man Utd to eulogise over on a Tuesday night on ITV, the poor man must be in tatters.

My heart goes out to him in this difficult time.
Mark Estwick, (#prayforclive), LFC, Hertfordshire

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ven if United were to sign CR7 & Messi to play upfront, the fact remains Fletcher and Cleverly are playing in midfield. That's where the problem is. Fletcher is too slow with an awful pass, while Cleverly is simply rubbish

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Mail Box

A United Fan Happy To See Welbeck Go

One United fan doesn't understand all the fuss over Danny Welbeck, while we also have mails on Arsenal being Arsenal, curious transfers and how to pronounce 'Gaal'...

Should Kagawa Play Ahead Of Mata?

That's one question posed in the afternoon mailbox, although it looks like the Japanese playmaker could soon be on his way. Plus, tipping Palace to go down under Warnock...

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