We have some conclusions from Louis van Gaal's perfect start, plus a dismissal of fantasy football, worries about La Liga's greediness and thoughts on Real with Ham-ez...
One Mailer is telling us to hold fire on our Woodward criticism, whilst we also have some wonderful PFA Team of The year geekery, a well done to Vieira and much more...
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I've never been Mourinho's biggest fan as when his teams are on TV I often develop narcolepsy but I did always respect his ability to manage the media and his players. It annoyed me how everyone in a football situation was putty in his hands and he simply moulded them however he saw fit.
That all said, I wondered what on earth he was playing at today. His team were struggling to create clear cut opportunities and were forced into hoping to score from outside the box, from a tight angle or through a set piece and his response was to chuck on striker after striker. Ba made no meaningful contribution at all and Torres won a corner. Genius.
To then try to make out like this is all a conspiracy was truly laughable. Mourinho has lost his veneer of indestructibility; the media are taking his words with a pinch of salt, or slating him, his unbeaten home record in the league is gone (didn't it stretch through to Inter and Madrid as well?) and he is staring down the barrel of a second season in a row without a serious trophy.
Given the money he has been able to spend, this season should be seen as a total failure, unless they win either the league of the champions league now. Despite buying a host of attacking midfielders the team seems woefully lacking in creativity when Hazard is out of the team and of course they are the only team in the top four without a striker that has notched 20 goals. Giroud, possibly the worst striker in the top four, has scored 20 in all competitions so with the players at Mourinho's disposal you also need to point to his failure to get the same out of at least one of his three as yet another failure of this season.
Lots of people here in the mailbox hailed his sale of Mata to United as a stroke of genius as it would mean Man Utd influenced the outcome of the league in Chelsea's favour given they'd already played each other twice. Watching their aimless passing around the box today, followed by another shot from distance made the sale look all the more foolish. His season has unravelled in truly remarkable fashion and so has his air of coolness as things has gone sour in every possible way.
It's All Coming Up Milhouse
Am I the only one who absolutely loves the irony of a Liverpool loanee scoring a potentially title challenge ending penalty, against the serial loaner outers Chelsea.
Nothing else to say, just enjoyed it that's all.
Jason Q, LFC
That's Why We Didn't Want Jose
We had to tolerate Fergie's ramblings after defeats, although I never liked that side of him. I also think post-match interviews are stupid and unnecessary. But that post-match interview by Mourinho? That and the stealth eye-gouging are 2 big reasons why I didn't really want him at Man Utd.
You don't have to be a d*ck to be a great manager.
You're well and truly forgiven for the beach ball incident...
Rob, LFC, London
Subs Wasting Time
Anyone else find it annoying when teams make substitutions just to waste time towards the end of a game.
Surely FIFA can bring in some rule to stop subs being allowed or restricting to just one substitution, in the last 5 minutes?
Jose The Failure
So I was just wondering what would be considered more of a failure. Missing out on the title because you lost to the other major contenders or because you lost to some of the very worst teams in the league.
It'll a likely be an FA Cup for Arsenal and a very, very special failure of a season for Mourinho. Maybe next year he'll focus on buying players he needs instead of buying players so other teams can't have them and loaning out his best striker.
Stop Public Criticisms
I have to say that the worst thing about Mourinho's ridiculous and self-interested comments regarding the refereeing that I woke to this morning (in Australia) is that they didn't surprise me in the slightest. The sense of entitlement is staggering.
One solution that seems to work well in our native Australian code is a rule that forbids players and club staff from publicly criticising an official's performance or neutrality.
It's generally sensibly administered - interpretations are fair game, for example - but fines and sanctions are deservedly handed out for criticism of an official's capability. Had a coach in Australian Rules said what Mourinho had, I have no doubt they would not be matchday coach for a month - and could have no complaints about it, either.
Stream Of Consciousness
There's something grinding my gears. Why doesnt F365 ever write articles admitting they got it wrong? I dont mean those rare paragraphs in Big Weekend or something, I mean full-scale articles.
Take For example earlier in the season when Liverpool were blowing teams away but not by enough to mask the defensive frailties. F365 lambasted them for not being able to score in the second half. Admittedly they have now adapted to score later in games. But you guys at the tower took credit for this, praising them.
Now switch focus to Tim Sherwood. Think what you may about him he is terribly unlucky. If he had a full season who's to say Spurs wouldnt have finshed in the top 4. The 1-0s were booed , but could have been twisted around to defensive solidity by F365 if sherwood was in charge. Let me explain why. One simple reason: Adebayor.
He would have scored from the very beginning and helped Soldado settle in. He may be rubbish tactically and in media handling. But he got the sloth to play, and for that he should at least have been given another year.
We should be more supportive of English managers. I mean Roy isn't going to be around forever to achieve that typical mediocrity is he?
Francis Franchise (MUFC)
Think about this. Which is more likely?
1. Some people with a lot of money swapped Connor Wickham and Neymar. Put a mask on both, like in Mission: Impossible and everything.
2. The real Connor Wickham scored against both Chelsea and Man City (twice), away.