...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
What An Idea This Is
I'd like to share with my fellow mailboxers a newfangled way of watching footie that I have embraced only recently, thanks to the delights of modern technology.
Due to various reasons (specifically the loud and crying type!) I have found it hard to find the time to watch football live. I've gotten used to recording them and catching up whenever I can, but I find myself fast forwarding a lot of it (I haven't heard Alan Shearer talk on MOTD in months, heaven).
In particular though, I've found that watching football at 1.5 times normal speed is strangely satisfying. Anyone who is familiar with the legendary computer game that is Sensible Soccer should feel right at ease watching this speed. It's just the right speed to still be aware of what is going on, while speeding up the boring bits.
I watched the full Madrid-Bayern match this way, and it meant that the 80-or-so minutes of Bayern sideways passing was neatly skipped, and I could slow it down whenever Madrid went on the counter attack, which was the only entertaining thing about the game. Also, I didn't have to waste undue time watching Pepe roll around with another mortal wound, and I didn't have to listen to the commentators at all!
I fully intend to watch the rematch next week in this manner. Any other mailboxers familiar with this strategy?
Rojo (Chelsea games can be watched at x2.0)
The Life Of Managers
Saw the following quote from Mr. Arsene Wenger regarding the high turnover rate of football managers:
"The average [job life] expectancy of an English professional club at the moment is 11 months, and that is quite unstable. Every guy who is married, has a family, will have a big hesitancy before he goes into that game. That means the quality of the coaching and the quality of the managing is under threat."
"If you want quality people in any job, you need to give them time to develop and to become good, or people with the quality will not come into our job any more."
Is he living on a different planet!? The most recent example, Moyesiah, is looking at a compensation package of £7million for his 11 months work - not to mention the astronomical wage he was undoubtedly on. What kind of lifestyle are these families living when £7+ million for a years work is deemed not worth the risk.
When a regular office worker is fired, which these managers often are, there is no compensation at all. Clubs essentially pay these people to stop doing a bad job...it's a tough life...
Andrew 'looking forward to the return of the 'player manager' with Giggs' Steer
What We Can Or Can't Learn About Giggs
Surprised that Big Weekend is arguing that Giggs can get anything out of these last few games, and your headline story is making something of his press conference. Let's be clear Man Utd and the world at large can learn precisely nothing positive about Giggs in this time, there is only downside. Witness one Timothy Sherwood, who you'll remember had an excellent start (longer than the rest of the season). If Giggs really is considered by the hierarchy to be a plausible next-but-one manager, then the club is more screwed than we all thought - the favourites for that position will be broadly the same list of people who are the favourites to take the role now in 1-4 years time.
Tim Colyer, Chelsea fan, London
Don't the FA watch South Park? Jose is just playing Sarcastaball
Duncan Armstrong (Don't want to piss on your chips, but Pep will manage Arsenal)
Clapping And So Forth
To the two Gooners who seem to think that Mourinho shouldn't be charged because he was being sarcastic - does that mean sarcastic clapping of a ref should go unpunished as well? Pretty sure Rooney got a second yellow for just that a while ago, but presumably he shouldn't have as clapping can only be positive in its intent right? On the legal issue: I'm not a lawyer, but Sally Bercow's sarcastic tweet about Lord McAlpine being a paedophile is probably a good precedent, it was found to be libellous and sarcasm was seen as no defence. Having said that, it would be great if sarcasm was a defence and managers did all their angry interviews in that high pitched sarcastic voice Homer Simpson does.
Morjaria - "I actually feel optimistic now the top dog at the club actually understands and, more importantly, thrives on the huge nature and responsibility of managing Man Utd."
Therein lies the problem. Yes they're a big club, but football goes through cycles. They've just come off a period of dominance, just like Liverpool did in the early 90's. Anyone who thought when Ferguson retired they'd just roll on has absolutely no idea about how football in England work and has worked the professional era began. Look at the sides that have challenged - Blackburn, City, Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea, Leeds, Newcastle. All now at different stages.
Just because you're called Manchester United does not give you a right to be challenging every year for every trophy. It is not how the game works. I've got news for you - managing a club at any level is a huge responsibility. Just because United have a massive fanbase doesn't make it a bigger responsibility. When are people going to get it through their heads that football clubs don't owe people anything. It's not your right to be entertained, or that they play a particular brand of football, or that they win trophies. You support the club because they're your team and you support them through and through no matter what. Or you find another direction for your money and time.
This has turned into a nonsensical rant but it bloody annoys me when people talk like that.
Aidan, EFC, Strand (annoyed)
Is Ashley Metcalfe 'aving a larf suggesting Spurs "strengthened significantly"? We sold the best player in the Prem and one of the best in the world who single-handedly dragged us through last season to end up 1 point behind 4th. How in the hell do you figure out that we strengthened significantly? We have 7 inexperienced players and the whole lot of them did not come even close to making up for the loss of Bale. See Utd after losing Ronaldo.
Love the way Utd fans are thinking they can have any manager under the sun then discard him when Giggs is ready, the summer will be the same with them thinking they can get Messi, Bale and also re-sign Ronaldo. Deluded, arrogant spoilt brats and I for one, take great pleasure every time I see them loose (but I never read the mailbox after they do loose, I value my sanity)
I wholeheartedly agree with Thom about Moyes, I have never doubted he is a good manager, but "he just isn't Spurs". Everton have taken a step forward since he left and already amassed their record points haul in the Prem. He would make a great Pulis/Benitez in the way that he can stabilise a club and tighten up their defence, but I have never enjoyed watching any game managed by these managers and would never want them regardless of the silverware they could win us. I'm used to us being the bridesmaid by now and I have come to terms with the fact we will probably never get married (win the league) but I don't want to be a bride, I love my life (Spurs) the way it is.
Stuart (Would like to welcome Leicester & Burnley back to the chaos) Mackenzie, Dublin THFC
...I have to echo the exact thoughts of Thom re the potential appointment of Moyes. A dour man who plays dour football, and has no chance of raising us above the glass ceiling we seem to perpetually hit. He moans more than any other manager, except possibly Mark Hughes, and I cannot stand the man. This is also a chance for me to officially (where else would I do it?) endorse Pochettino as my preferred candidate, and I'll tell you for why.
For an inexperienced manager who came from a different league, he has adapted to and understood the Premier League. Many don't, Santini and Ramos in particular. He has a coaching philosophy and a footballing identity, something we seriously lack. The "classic Tottenham" blood and thunder of seasons past is archaic and outdated (which is not to say the attacking ideals can't be relevant), and we are at an age of teams needing real tactical input. Pochettino has shown at Southampton he can provide this, and this would be of real benefit to our players - Eriksen and Lamela are at crucial stages of their development and need to be taught how to improve. He would also not need to make sweeping changes to our playing staff, instead working to extract the best from our current squad, and is in the last year of his contract so would not be an expensive appointment.
He may also somehow persuade Lallana to come with him, and that would just be - for want of a better phrase - freaking awesome. A feeling that would be the polar opposite of appointing David sodding Moyes. Interested to know fellow Spurs fans' thoughts.
Alex G, THFC (wondering who Charlie Adam will try and break tomorrow)
FAO United Fans
1. Can we please stop with this idea that Giggs will one day be the next Ferguson. This is based on nothing other than the fact he has spent his whole career at the club. I'm sorry but what happened with Ferguson will simply never happen again. The modern game with its money and demand for instant success simply wont allow it.
2. Please stop assuming that all your manager picks want the job, so far Klopp and Guardiola have said no despite it supposedly being the biggest job in football. Lets not forget you have a pretty dejected team right now who will probably not be playing European football next year and possibly longer. The Man Utd job is not as coveted as you think and its arrogant to say so.
3. Lots of you seem to want Van Gaal because he is a bit of a pr**k, but in a good football way. Isnt that the exact reason none of you wanted Mourinho in charge?
4. Again on Giggs. Can we please stop attributing this saintly status upon him. John Terry shagged his teammates ex and has become one of the most hated players in England. Yet Giggs had and affair with his own brothers wife for years and people happily forget that. I'm not saying it should be brought up all the time, but dont ignore what a crappy person he is.
Andrew (I can normally tolerate you lot)
I keep seeing people asking 'why sack Moyes now?' in the mailbox, or questioning a six year contract and then ten months before the axe fell.
Understand people, the timing was financial, as soon as it was mathematically impossible for United to reach the ECL, Moyes was gone. The ECL clause in his contract allowed the owners to shorten his pay-off from the full term of his contract to a single year. The correct question to ask is: How soon would he have been gone if it had always said 'one year notice period' in his contract? A long time ago, I suspect. The players didn't respect Moyes, for reasons we'll probably read about in autobiographies of the future, this seems to have been from the first whisperings about players such as RVP and Rooney being unhappy around Christmas. AVB at Chelsea had a similar experience and he lasted 7 months and 4 days of a three year contract, after the players questioned him in front of Abramovich. Lose the dressing room and you are history, the timing is academic.
Paul Milton, Man Utd
A Big Moment For Newcastle
I know every Newcastle United fan including myself has a real downer on the club at the moment and rightly so but sometimes I little bit of context and reflection is required and today offers a chance for that. Today 22 years ago at home to Portsmouth, Newcastle United played and won arguably the most important game in its modern history. It was the 3 points that stopped us being relegated to the third tier of English football and quite possibly staved off the threat of liquidation. We won the game 1-0 with an 84th minute (it was 16.42pm) screamer from David 'Ned' Kelly, that goal and that moment will forever etched in my mind. Even as 9 year-old sitting on the concrete barrier behind the Leazes End goal I understood the importance of that game, I still remember vividly the feeling of relief, euphoria and panic (we had 6 minutes to hold on) rolled into one as the ball hit net. Ned is rightly remembered very fondly in these parts and that goal is widely regarded as the most important in our history
That game came off the back of 5 successive league defeats (sound familiar?) but one year later we promoted as champions to the Premier League. As the old adage goes 'a year is a long time in football' Roll on August
Chris '(We might be 9th in Premier League but still....#Pardew Out' Newcastle
Woke up from a strange dream this morning, involving being back at school and Neil deGrasse Tyson (look him up) being my teacher. A newspaper in the dream said Ryan Giggs' first game in charge ended 7-0, but it didn't say to which team. I woke up worried.
Another Out Of Position XI
My out-of-position XI, definite relegation fodder.
GK - Glen Johnson
RB - Steven Gerrard
CB - Sandro
CB - Yaya Toure
LB - Gareth Bale
RM - Mousa Dembele
CM - Tom Cleverley
CM - Jan Vertonghen
LM - Ryan Bertrand
ST - Chris Samba
ST - David James
Manager - David Moyes
More Of This
In response to Mike, London, LFC from this morning's mailbox asking if anybody else uses footballers names in general conversation, my answer is simple.
...I think this one might tip over the edge into full blown "banter" but a friend of mine has been known to use Hugo to as a short form of "Hugo Roda-jaeger bombs".
...Here's one for Mike, London, LFC
If after a night out one of us fancies a kebab, it's always a trip to the Landon
Oh, And Zing
Mike, London, LFC and his mates sound like a bunch of (German International Striker) Stefans.
Al H, Leeds
Sorry, We Understnad How Embarrassing That Must Be For You
I would like an apology from Mediawatch for posting up stories about my wife. She is very embarrassed about what happened and doesn't want it plastered over the internet.
I await a swift response.
...Hands up all of you who didn't immediately go to youtube and search 'Orgasm'
Joff, Barton Gooner