There is some more considered reaction to Arsenal and Liverpool's results, plus a big get well soon message for Jonas Gutierrez. And an apology to Merse...
Arsenal supporters given their understandable reaction to the debacle in Dortmund, whilst Liverpool fans weren't too impressed either. Still, at least they won...
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Chelsea As Fragile As Arsenal?
So with Mourinho's Chelsea falling apart in consecutive games which may decide their season, can we begin talking about them in the same terms of 'resilience' as we do about Wenger and Arsenal?
Sid, (doesn't lose big games? Two words: Garcia and Luis) LFC
- As I sat here watching Mourinho's cautious tactics backfiring against PSG, while Real Madrid racked up the goals on the other channel, I can't have been the only Chelsea fan asking himself, "What if we'd kept Ancelotti?"
- While there were some good individual performances, with Willian showing the drive and purpose that was missed at Selhurst Park, Ramires was poor. He faces a fight to retain his place in the team, which is not helped by him picking up another ban with his yellow card against PSG.
- Schurrle doesn't understand the role of a striker. Never again please.
- What with Eto'o's injury and Torres's recent form, how glum must Ba be feeling after consistently being overlooked?
- A comeback against PSG sounds harder than a comeback against Napoli...
James Bruschini, London (cue obligatory emails declaring undying man-love for Lavezzi and his beard)
A Matter Of Motta
I don't get that much enjoyment out of football these days, the cheating and ridiculous money has ruined the sport I loved.
A chap even mentioned in the mailbox yesterday, 'football is losing him'. Perfectly put.
But last night's match is why I still watch football, Thiago Motta was a joy to behold.
PSG were not accustomed to Chelsea's quick pressing and Veratti lost the ball several times due to complacency. But I could have watched his partner Thiago Motta all night. What. A. Player. He appeared to be in complete control the whole time, I had no idea he was that good. So basically, roll on next week. Can't wait.
Strevs, AFC Canada
Loving Veratti Actually...
As he limps off I've concluded Veratti is the type of midfielder that stupid people think Cleverley is.
Plays very deep and constantly gets the ball with his back to goal yet always keeps expanding the play and moving forward. Great feet, brilliant eye for a pass, be it a 10-yard slide rule into a teammate's feet or a 30 yard ping over the opposition defence into the path of a striker. Seems to know when to play a killer ball or a safe pass to keep possession.
Plus Ronnie Whelan on co-comm on RTE kept having heart palpitations every time he did something daring in his own half, which definitely brough a smile to my face, the little scamp.
Jamie R, Dublin (forgot to put something about his boyish good looks in to annoy the overly panicked chap from yesterday)
It's A Shame...
With all the money that's been spent by both Man United and Chelsea, it's embarrassing to see them play with their backs to the wall in Europe.
Best league in the world my ar$e.
Kolo Not Up To Scratch For What?
I am suprised you picked on Kolo for the players not up to scratch article. Yes he has made a couple of howlers. But he was signed on a free to be a bit-part player. He is also a winner, not many of the players in the Liverpool squad have won a league title. Kolo has won at Arsenal and Man City. He can't be that bad a player. On top of this he was free! Look at how much Sakho cost us, Surely if he can't get into the team ahead of Kolo, Skrtl and Agger he is the player not up to scratch. I know he has been injured but he never looked that good when fit.
You cannot have four top-class centre-backs and expect them all to be happy. Kolo has been great in that he brings experience and is happy to sit on the bench. Yes he is not as good as some of the other centre-backs around but he is what Liverpool needed at the time. What they didn't need was to waste however many millions on Aspas! There - another player not up to scratch!
Title-winning teams from Man U down the years had a few world-class players and then a healthy squad of players who where happy to play their part when needed and understood they would not always be first choice. Where the likes of John O'Shea and Silvestre ever really good enough to be first-choice players in a title-winning team? No, but they played their part when needed. Kolo has done the same. Many fans where suprised at the impact he made in the first few games when Luis was not there to bail us out and we were winning games still.
Liverpool have a couple of world-class and a few very good players. We are also working on the squad. I think you have been harsh on one of those squad members and there are definitely other players more worthy of being labeled "not up to scratch" Victor Moses anyone?
There must be others...
Dan (I was the biggest critic of signing Kolo last summer. Learning not to question Brendan!) T
Sarah, Get Off Wayne's Back
I always love Sarah winterburn's commentary, hilarious and insightful - enough with the sucking up. Every time you you mention Rooney, especially in the stats section/column, you are never shy to mention his failings. Enough already! He is on track to have the highest number of goals at Man Utd - stocky body allowing - and he is fourth in the EPL goal tally charts. Besides that he consistently gets 10+ a season. Also, his assist tally, especially this season is amazing for a striker. Will he ever be the best in the world? No. But as you have admitted before he is damn good. The alternative, well, I would rather have a bad player like him in my team - he will get me a goal every 2.5 games and will assist when he cannot score. Oh! if you are wondering, he dived. Glad to see a dive from anyone but Robben in that game.
Talk Everton Down Please
I know you must have contacts within mainstream media. I know you can help me with this.
Evertonians rarely write in, and even more rarely get published (small club, s**t ground, no fans in Surrey or Norway etc) but even the Cockney Press are getting all lovey about the Blues recently. So can you help get all that knocked on the head?
Fact is, the only difference this year is that Everton are good to watch. We'll still end up fifth or sixth. Barkley is not all you think he is. Baines is not the baby Jesus. Neither is Lukaku. And he is off anyway, probably alongside Gerard (not that one, learn to spell Kopites) and half of the truly good players are long-term knacked. Second-season syndrome for Bertie who I admire for trying to make EFC play again. After recent doses of David Moyes and Joe Royle, it is delightful, Once upon a time, Goodison was the 'School of Science'. Yeah I am really old.
So, EFC will end 5th, but with a twist. They'll do City at home, and all Evertonians will think 'OMG we just handed Liverpool the title' and hang themselves. But then LFC will implode, Chelsea will win it and Everton will lose away at Hull
Remember where you heard it. Talk Everton down please.
Jona - Maghull (and Warrington, for the Wire fans)
Can we assume Manc in SA is more of an Allardyce sort of guy?
...Manc in SA has really made me think twice about my Pep poster collection.
...Someone in South Africa needs a massive, massive hug.
I'll send Pep to give it.
David (it's because he's so dreamy!), Cambridge
A Big Gay Mailbox
Woah!! The Manc in SA is a bit hot under the collar isn't he?
Jesus mate it was much worse when everyone was fawning over Charlotte Jackson like 10-year-old schoolboys suffering with their first awkward erections all secretly hoping she was reading the mailbox thinking "you know thats exactly what I want in my life, an opinionated keyboard warrior". Chill out babes.
Maybe some of them are actually the 'Gayers' (I've been told by my hetero life partner Disco Danny that's an acceptable term) and quite fancy the bloke? I know, it's disgusting isn't it? Football people actually being attracted to other football people and then voicing an opinion about it. On a football f***ing website as well!! The nerve.
Sometimes when us lads are really drunk we joke about what bloke we would sleep with (if we absolutely had to you know, not like, for a laugh or anything bent like that) and I always seem to fixate on AVB. I think it's the voice. I think he would be gentle with me. Gentle yet firm. A velvet fist if you can pardon the analogy.
And certainly not like Big Sam. Christ you'd have a hoop like an arctic borehole.
Martin 'You can always read something else...' Ansell
Alternative Sports For PL Teams
In response to Pete Robinson's mail, some suggested alternative sports for PL teams:
Aston Villa - Athletics. The likes of Agbonlahor could focus on running fast without the need for that pesky round thing.
Spurs - Downhill Skiing. 'Bottle' more important than tactics negating the disadvantage of having a thick manager. His gilet may appear slightly less ridiculous in this context.
Arsenal - Rhythmic Gymnastics. Artistic merit more important than end product, no physical contact and almost certainly no need to play on a cold, wet Wednesday night in Stoke.
Fulham - Bowls. A sport more suitable for their lifestage.
Stoke - Netball. Would utilize their height advantage. It is quite clear to me that this is the sport Peter Crouch was really born to play.
Man U - Diving. Young? Januzaj? Nani? No further comment needed.
Man City - Formula 1. Comfortable in super-rich locations and would have access to cheap oil.
Chelsea - Boxing. Would anyone not pay to see someone big repeatedly punch John Terry?
West Ham - rofessional wrestling. Could you imagine a Big Sam and Andy Carroll tag team, both in resplendent leotards? Andy does the main damage, with Big Sam finishing them off by resurrecting the Big Daddy squash the opponent into submission move. Only sport where Big Sam would have freedom to celebrate by punching the ref and proclaiming himself to be the bestest in the world ever, without anyone thinking it abnormal.
Mike B, Geneva (OK, maybe big Sam in a leotard was a mental image too far)