A varied Mailbox has thoughts on transfer targets, youth development, the obsession over 3-5-2, some innovative Blackpool suggestions and why Real bought Kroos...
We can't help but agree with one mailboxer who tries to calm the crisis-mongers gathering around Southampton, while we have mails on Man United's squad...
If you have anything to say on any subject, mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Nice try in making the final story of the season about Man City but it really isn't and no-one will remember it that way.
They weren't the outstanding team in the first half of the season (Arsenal), they weren't the outstanding team in the second half of the season (Liverpool), they weren't the outstanding team in the big games (Chelsea), they were poor during their big European tests (especially the home humiliation against Bayern Munich), and they were the source of virtually no great drama or interest at any point.
The season rounds off with them being deemed one of only two major clubs in Europe to be seriously financially doped. Their league win today was the default result for the most expensively assembled and highest paid squad in the league grinding their way on, and there's not much more to it than that.
The memorable images of the season for everyone will be the Gerrard slip and Crystanbul. Manchester City, for all their goals, are a tedious afterthought. Bring on the World Cup.
Jono Oates, Washingto
102 Goals Is A Bit Glorious
Ok first things first: city won the league so they deserve the plaudits. The league by definition is about points and they proved the most consistent (Or at least Chelsea and Liverpool proved more inconsistent).
But your main headline text says glorious?!! What?
What this is isn't glorious; arsenal winning undefeated is glorious. United winning a treble is glorious. Expensively assembled squad being competently better than some other sides with faults is not glorious. It's what you'd expect.
Full congratulations to City and their fans but even they won't be telling their grandkids about this season. They will still be shouting Agueroooo and forget that this season happened soon. They lost the two crunch"title deciders" to their rivals but won because they were consistent.
You don't tell your kids about consistency do you, so lay off the glorious talk, eh?
Dave P, MUFC
And To You, Dear Sir
F**k off. Seriously.
Kevin Walsh, Luimneach
Congrats To City From Liverpool
May I just say congratulations to Manchester City - it's one thing being the best on paper, entirely another proving that on the pitch. They managed to prove that you don't need to play defensive football to successful and both their players and their manager have been the essence of calm and respectability. The press may like the "entertaining" Mourinho because he sells newspapers, but Pellegrini has been gracious in both victory and defeat even when huge questions were being asked about him and his team. If you can't win, at least lose to someone you respect, and as a Liverpool fan, I am glad City won the title because of the way they play on the pitch and conduct themselves off it.
I am also optimistic for my own team's chances next year. Suarez has already said repeatedly he wants to stay, it looks like me might get Lallana and I hope we are going to strengthen in defence as well (why Rodgers picks Sakho over Agger I will never understand - haven't seen someone so uncomfortable on the ball since Andy Carroll).
Before this season is out, however, I would like to make one final stand in trying to counter the prevailing consensus over why Liverpool's title charge faltered. Hindsight will seek to point to the poor defensive record, but this forgets that before the game against Chelsea, the title was ours to lose. The Crystal Palace game was a red herring - a win would not have affected the destination of the title and it was purely in that Chelsea games that the title was lost.
The lesson to take from this season is a much harder and more difficult one than merely sorting out a wobbly defence. It is the lesson that at the highest level, seasons are defined by inches. I hope I am not being too blind in believing that without Gerrard's slip, that game would have likely ended 0-0 and the title could well have had a different destination.
Creating an environment in which those mistakes are avoided is the hallmark of champions, and is what I believe set Ferguson apart from the rest. The fall from champions to no European football in a season shows the importance an aura of invincibility can have on a side and the most important work done this summer may well be that of Dr Steve Peters and Brendan Rodgers as they try to build a title-winning environment to compete with their rivals who will undoubtedly strengthen over the summer.
Dropping Cole Dropping A B*llock
I am frankly appalled that Ashley Cole has not been picked for the WC. In my opinion we have seen in the last few weeks that he is still far and a way the best LB in the country.
Yet again this decision stinks of the FA's little Englander mindset. The reason being thrown around is that the team must look to the future...
Frankly this is bullsh*t. This is the WC! You take the best you have available, because weirdly enough this is the best way to maximise your chances of winning the damn thing.
Oliver Dean, Chicago, LFC
...Many won't be crying a river for Ashley Cole this morning but I for one think it is a mistake not taking him. Forget about the solid citizen he has been for well over a decade now, the guy is still the best left back we have, defensively sound and able to contribute down the left going forward.
Sentimental inclusions have no place in World Cup squads but playing Ashley Cole is equal to playing Steven Gerrard in my opinion, both are passed what would be seen to be their best at the highest level but the experience and calmness they bring out weights any outright loss of ability that has occurred. Luke Shaw is an amazing talent that may surpass Ashley Cole one day but having to be thrown in a pressure situation has the potential to be as detrimental as it could be beneficial.
Well In Dowd
The Newcastle v Liverpool game ended up being meaningless for a number of reasons, and finishing tenth instead of ninth really has no bearing on my life but...what on earth was Phil Dowd doing?
Numerous bookings in a game without a bad tackle, in what was a borderline friendly. Even the players looked confused by his unseasonal card distribution. Commission perhaps?
Two soft free kicks leading to Liverpool goals, although partly because Tim Krul clearly began saving himself for the WC.
A very strange red card Dummett, not helped by Suarez temporarily dying on the pitch. Again.
But the icing on the cake, two yellows cards in 5 seconds for Shola for dissent! The man is a gentle giant. He doesn't even swear, for crying our loud. The likes of Rooney, Rio, Cole etc abuse referees every week, but Dowd cracks down on Shola in his last ever game for Newcastle? For making a sarcastic comment? Needless, as well as unwarranted, although good to see the FA's crackdown on sarcasm has reached the pitch too.
By all means enforce the dissent laws, but how about do them when the big name players are swearing at you and surrounding you and it's actually justified eh Phil? Let's see what you do the next time Rooney gets in your face next season. (If he gets off the bench.)
Liverpool Didn't Slip
A bit of perspective is needed here. Liverpool's last 14 games, W12 D1 L1. City's last 14, W10, D3, L1. Chelsea's last 14, W9, D2, L3. So it was a huge ask for Liverpool because they were a bit adrift when their winning run started. Basically it was some achievement to go into the last game with a sniff of a chance of the title when nobody had even thought they would get into the top four this season.
It seems that Liverpool gate crashing the top four has offended and insulted a lot of fans who have hated to see the status quo disrupted and they desperately hope that Liverpool are back amongst the also rans next season. That might happen but it might not.
All the venom and bile directed towards Liverpool that I have read on here and internet forums reminds me of the quote (by Gore Vidal I think) who said, "It is not enough that I should succeed...others must fail". That sums up the average football "fan" rather nicely doesn't it?
United Holding Out For Ancelotti?
Anybody else think that Man Utd are waiting for the outcome of the Champions League Final before appointing their man?
A few days ago Real Madrid had everything to play for. But they did a Liverpool, and now that La Liga is out of reach I wonder if they will have the momentum to win the Champions League...
If they don't, Ancelotti might well be out. Then who do you go for? Van Gaal or Ancelotti?
I wouldn't put any money on this sage advice though, as I fly expect to read 'Van Gaal Signs' headlines the moment I click send on this email.
Not Worried About Sagna
I am not too worried about Sagna leaving. He's been a very good, solid right back for us, but he's not irreplaceable.
If we know one thing about Wenger, he will have lined up/scouted some top targets a long time ago - probably once he got an inkling that Sagna isn't signing.
Contrary to popular belief, Wenger can actually spot a good first 11 defender -it's always been the squad players that he cheaps out on. This time next year we could be saying Bacary who?!
Strevs, AFC, Canada
Bradford Should Not Be Forgotten
I was disappointed to note that as usual, the anniversary of the Bradford City fire which claimed the lives of 56 people on 11th May 1985, passed with little mention in the mainstream national media.
This tragic event, which continues to traumatise those affected to this day, deserves to be remembered.
The people of Bradford (and Lincoln) continue to mark this awful day with quiet dignity and remembrance. And whilst this tragedy may not carry with it the spectre of political shame that other tragedies such as Hillsborough do, and whilst the profile and prestige of the clubs affected may not shine as brightly, this should have no bearing on the need to remember 56 men, women and children who went to watch a football game that should have been a cause of celebration for Bradford City, and never came home.
Grief is a very personal thing and it would be inappropriate (and not desired) for the people of Bradford and Lincoln to force others into remembering or grieving, however it is disappointing that the football world chooses to pay such little attention to this traumatic and tragic loss of life. Indeed, for younger generations they may have no awareness at all of this event, and the way in which it has helped to shape the considerable improvement to ground safety and comfort.
United's End Of Season Feelings
Well thank f*ck that's over.
Banished to the realms of memory like the David Moyes haunted nightmare that it was.
AS Camden (Bring on next season!)