Asks the morning mailbox, before hastily returning to the debate over who should replace Steven Gerrard. Plus, thoughts on Ed Woodward's spending plans and more...
There isn't a great deal of excitement in the Mailbox regarding England's potential new captain, but we have good stuff on Gerrard's development and a one club man team...
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Now will Man Utd fans stop masturbating about the thought of Giggs as their next manager? They thrashed Norwich 4-0 last week (but lets face it Moyes probably would have gotten that done too) and don't face a single competent side before the end of the season, yet still managed to lose to Sunderland at home.
What United need (and have always needed) is a proper manager who can whip them into shape the way Ferguson did. Giggs is not that manager. He's a man who looks good in a suit and ticks every box in the script for the post-Ferguson United dream story but history has told us (look at Shearer at Newcastle) that being a legendary player at the club and knowing it inside out isn't enough. Cut the crap sign van Gaal, let him hire his staff and give him his war chest so the rest of us don't have to listen to this endless back and forth about Giggs' future.
...I wouldn't read too much into United losing to Sunderland at the weekend - it was a sunny day and it's difficult to score when all the opposition are in their own box - but it definitely put an end to that whole "Giggsy for manager" thing we were all enjoying so much.
Moyes was a wreck on the sidelines. He looked in physical pain most of the time and his substitutions were absolutely dreadful. Giggsy is handsome, which is an obvious improvement, but his substitutions, unfortunately, seem to be just as bad.
On the hour-mark and chasing the game, Van Persie and Welbeck started warming up, and I thought, Wow, two strikers! Giggsy's going to do something brave, like pull off bloody Carrick or a defender, the type of cavalier move a Manchester United manager should be making. Maybe they're right! Maybe he is the one! Instead, he brought off Mata (Mata!) and a winger, just so he could send on two more strikers to stand in the box not moving. It was sad. He made things worse from the sidelines and I realised I had given him all this credit just because he's really handsome.
So Giggsy's not the next manager. Ah, well. It comes down to balls, doesn't it? United were losing anyway; you might as well get hung for a sheep as a lamb.
Stephen O'S, MUFC
United Need Gibson Back
Not sure why Moyes and Giggs admit to being mystified by Man Utd's mediocre performances; surely it's their job to understand what is wrong and how to fix it. The answer, of course, is buying back Darron Gibson.
It was plain that Sunderland were happy to sit on the edge of their penalty area, leaving no space behind or between them for incisive through balls. Fletcher and Carrick were allowed to move the ball back and forth around the perimeter unmolested, their unwillingness to shoot from distance inviting the defenders to stand off of them instead of closing them down. The result was a lot of sterile possession and hopeful crosses into the box, where they were greatly outnumbered.
Stand off a Gibson or a 2009 Nani when they're 25 yards from goal, and they'll eventually make you pay. Januzaj's introduction created some momentum for United precisely because he was so willing to make defenders commit, pulling apart their ranks and creating passing lanes.
Brian, Washington DC
Allardyce Is Likeable?
Jose- The hypocritical one
Whenever Chelsea play their negative ,bus parking, snoozefest "style" of football, everybody praises Jose like he's the "managerial god" and he talks as if he turned water into wine or something. But whenever another team applies the same bus-parking tactics against him, he behaves as if he's the prophet of attacking football.
The man loves to dish out his bitter medicine but cries like a little kid when it's force fed down his own throat.
He might be a rich man's Sam Allardyce or Tony Pulis but at least they are likeable blokes. Lose the smug look Jose, nobody's buying the bullshit you're selling.
With that squad of players, the only miracle you've accomplished is turning them into a shitty version of Real Madrid.
Lorenzo Royle, MUFC
Long Relegation Thoughts
- Well done to Sunderland, not only are they likely to stay up (I don't hold out much hope for Norwich tomorrow to pick up points), but the way they have done it is something to give them a lot of momentum for next season and beyond. He has Galvanized an entire team that have now seen they can beat big teams, next season if they could continue that that would be ideal but if they can upset teams away from home the calibre of City, Chelsea and United in a short space of time (they didn't beat City, but they certainly upset them), they have the capabilities to upset the Hull's and Swansea's of this world.
Not only has Poyet turned Sunderland completely, he has created an identity. That's one brilliant thing he has done. The next, is what he has done to Connor Wickham. Five goals in four games from a man who only scored one previously. Imagine if Jose leaves Chelsea and whoever his replacement is starts unlocking the code to Fernando Torres and he starts playing like a £50million striker? That's what has happened to Wickham, now he's playing like an 8 million pound striker and on current form it is far from the waste he has been.
He rejuvenated Wickham, as well as the team, since Ellis Short came into Sunderland and they got back to the prem he has backed his managers financially to get up to the next level and Keane, Bruce, O'Neill and Di Canio, and none of them have done this. Like Poyet, they didn't get relegated (likely), and not went on to much else but there's a feeling to Sunderland, there seems to be a bit of Simeone tenacity (aka South American tenacity) to Poyet and I think he will bring them up to glorious height such as 9th, 10th or 11th. Ellis Short might see some return on his investment by a hungry manager looking to make a name for himself.
- Fulham. A nice club that have been a credit to the premiership for a long time, I am surprised they lasted this long considering where they were just a short time before the premier league days, but 13 years is quite an achievement and they can hold their heads high. A limp exit was something I didn't imagine would be the way they went out, but that is probably for the best, you can't argue any misfortune on their part for being relegated, the fact is they were one of the worst teams in the premier league this season throughout, and they deserved relegation. Now is a tricky time for Fulham, how do they handle it from now on?
They could either get the Coventry curse (used to accepting mediocrity for so long as a genuine success that they can't punch higher) or they could follow the tunes of Newcastle and West Ham, quick efficient promotion targeting to get back as soon as possible, proving they belong. A big time for Fulham football club's future. If Felix Magath stays, I would bet on the latter. That's something, will he stay? Will he get sacked? He hardly had enough time to change things around, he can turn them around next season, he never got a chance to clear people, bring in his own guys, he will have already had players in his head he has wanted to get rid of, he has had to play with a squad he had no input in and that will always make a job harder.
They have some young players who will be itching for a chance, should some of their team leave. Only Sidwell and Dejagah have really covered themselves in glory so far, and I would expect Hangeland and Stelkenberg to move houses soon.
- Cardiff now are at a big moment in their history too. They have been competing regularly in the championship for a lot of years so in that division they are used to being a presence, the best team they can look to emulate that currently exist in the premiership are West Brom, regularly yo-yo'ed between both divisions and gradually built themselves up, they should follow their lead as much as they can. But they went for it, they spent a lot of money, sacked a manager who was far from leading them into an abyss, so trying to emulate West Brom I think they're not, but that is AT BEST their level for the next few seasons. They were an enjoyable addition anyway, made some news on the pitch, if justice works out Fulham will finish 20th and Cardiff 19th.
So Crystal Palace, everyone has been pinching themselves for such a long time, i thought they would undoubetdly be 20th place, absolutely nowhere near the top half, even that guy who wrote saying "WE'RE 17th, HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA" must probably think he lives in a fantasy land, he was incredulous at the very notion of Palace in 17th.
I like Norwich, and I didn't think they would go down, especially this season, but they look done. I will miss fondly whenever they play teams who wear red at home. And the constant reminders of Alan Partridge. For the first two seasons in the prem, they didn't blow their money, if they went down any of those times they would have been in good shape as a club, all the better for just being in the prem. Now they have spent pretty big, 9 mil on Van Wolfswinkel, that will be kicking them in the nuts for some time.
Great to see Leicester back up, awesome to see Burnley too, don't watch a lot of champo but the table doesn't lie and they deserve it. I would like to see Wigan again, or Derby get promotion in the play offs, they have been closer to automatic promotion than 'certs' QPR for one. QPR NEED to get promoted, or they're totally screwed.
Dave (loving this time of the season), Dublin
Everton Are Embarrassing
I'd be so embarrassed to be an Everton fan right now.
Their team still had a chance to get Champions League football with a win but the majority of their fans cared more about taking success away from Liverpool than cheering their own team to succeed themselves. A lot of the fans spent more time singing songs about Steven Gerrard slipping against Chelsea than motivating their own players to get a result. I could understand that attitude if their season was over and they had nothing to play for but they still had a huge prize of Champions League football to fight for. Even then, cheering your own team on should, in my view, always have priority over putting down another team.
Very disappointed as a football fan in general and I feel that the Everton fans have let their team down today.
Not That Hapy With Spurs
Of all the limp, gutless and downright pathetic performances we have seen from the mighty spurs this season this one was right down there with the very worst. Lloris and Eriksen are the only ones that looked interested and who could blame them for wanting to leave should an established CL team come calling.
It made my blood boil watching Adebayor jogging at the pace of a slow walk a few minutes into the second half. The legs were doing a running motion but he was moving about 6 inches per second.
I can't describe how mad it makes me watching Rose lose the ball every other time he has it, and then stand there watching as the opponent he has lost it to advances on our area and looks to get a ball in the box. IF YOU LOSE IT, BUST A GUT TO RECOVER YOUR POSITION DANNY!!! His weekly shirking of basic responsibilities leaves me scratching my head as to why he still gets picked, I mean, the guy isn't good enough for the Premier League, let alone a team chasing the Top 4 (laughable though that may sound at this stage, if we had someone remotely competent in there this season, a steady Eddie from the Championship, we would have been much better off).
The cherry on top though was Paulinho and Adebayor getting out of the way of the ball, whilst standing in the defensive wall. What the hell was that. You would get dropped and abused for that in an under 12 team; this is the Premier League, and those two are on £100k+ PER WEEK. Unbelievable.
But although I'm saying the players are to blame, the manager is the one that picks the players and by default he is to blame. If you are going to take over with no experience and say you will learn on the job, you have to actually learn on the job, and for however many weeks it has been clear that Rose is appalling, Eriksen is not a left midfielder, Paulinho is not a holding midfielder.... still he persists.
Sorry Tim, you had a chance and you blew it, if only you had opened your eyes enough to see these glaring weaknesses we would have looked a lot better and you'd be in with a chance of the gig full time.
Amidst the excitement of the BPL finish - I hope people have been keeping an eye on the, frankly, insane title race in Spain. All 3 of the title chasing teams failed to win this weekend for the first time all season. Assuming they each now win their next game and Real their game in hand then they would go into the final day of the season with Atletico on 91 points, Real on 89 and Barca on 88.
The Michael Thomasesque twist is Barca play Atletico at home last day of the season! Barca could face the prospect of beating Atletico and handing the title to Real! Madness. But if Real don't win their last game Barca could still win the league by beating Atletico - so they can't just throw the game unless they are sure Real will win....
And If Barca do throw the last game to stop Real winning the title, how would that impact Spanish squad relations ahead of the World Cup. The drama is unbelievable!
Ben, AFC, London
Stop This Pedantry
A small request folks.
Can people please stop using (sic) to point out the slightest of spelling/grammatical errors when quoting a fellow mailboxer's letter?
I'm sure it's very important when drafting a legal document or financially binding contract, however, in the context of the F365 mailbox you just look like a dick.
For example, Tom, South London uses it to point out that Clock End John has inserted an extra 'l' into (Carlo) Ancelotti. No doubt hoping it will make Clock End John seem like an illiterate fool and therefore the points he's made less valid. However, all it does is make him (Tom, South London) look like a pedantic bell end and make people less sympathetic to his counter arguments.
We all make spelling mistakes (most of which we notice as soon as we've posted the bloody mail) so can we all just concentrate on the football debate and stop trying to be such grammar Nazis.
Tom, South London. Sorry to use you as an example, I'm sure your a sound bloke and I'd be happy to buy you a beer over a discussion on football if your ever up in the 'Burgh.
Here's to an exciting end to a brilliant season. And hopefully a Liverpool title.
Ross, LFC, Edinburgh
Don't Believe You
Am Mrs.Christy Walton the second richest woman in the world i have a charity proposal for you which i need your help.