It's a reactive Monday morning Mailbox. Liverpool fans are getting pretty sodding worried, whilst we have the latest on the Southampton CRISIS. Plus, well done Michael Oliver...
It looks like we might need to give a bit more coverage to Crystal Palace after one reader compiled the number of mentions for each club on F365. Plus, more complaining...
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We Believe This Could Be A Banter
I don't understand why the papers are going on about these so-called "death threats" to Paul Dummett. Everyone knows that in Uruguay, telling someone you are going to kill him is no different than wishing the person a long and happy life.
Riding On His High Horse
As soon as I read that mail from the City fan saying they were a major European football club I just knew that there had to be an arsenal fan piping up, and Graham Simons didn't disappoint, riding in on his high horse.
Did the big boys come along and ruin all your fun, Graham? Arsenal fans obviously like p*ssing and moaning an awful lot but I really struggle to see why they have such an issue with City. It's fair to say that you lot love talking about money. But to be honest you're lucky that City have so much of it, as had it not been for City you'd not have sold Adebayor, Toure and Clichy for much more than their market worth.
Arsene could've competed but he chose not to. For example, City signed Kompany before the Sheikh rolled up. So instead of whining about City all the time why don't you look a bit closer to home and ask why arsene didn't sign Kompany for £6million. If I remember correctly he was too busy signing Mikael Silvestre on a free transfer. But yeah it's all City's fault isn't it.
And who the f**k cares whether the players were fans of the club as kids? Have you ever seen this Aurier play? Of course you haven't. No doubt when he eventually leaves for City or Chelsea to compete you'll start calling him Judas and crying into your Cornflakes. Jack Wilshere was a West Ham fan as a boy - what is your opinion on that? Does he not love arsenal? Please share your strange logic.
One more thing; I find it ironic that Graham writes 'It will be a decade or more of sustained success for any player around the world to truly love City'. Yeah I'm sure that City fans would trade the success they've had in the past 4 years with your list of honours in the last 10 just because idiots like Szczesny 'love the club'. Get a grip man!
They're the Premier League champions, deal with it.
John Painter, north London
...Do you really believe any of the bulls**t you just wrote? Even if mentioned players had some love for Arsenal, it didn't bring them there.
Yes, City aren't overflowing with (winning) history but let's not pretend that it actually matters to any footballer today.
Just ask the most British of British footballers - Wayne Rooney or Frank Lampard or... Well, I'm sure it wouldn't be too difficult to find more.
Just woke up from a very strange dream, where Beyoncé played for, and scored in, Arsenal's first game of the season. Rhianna played for Chelsea and scored too, but this was less strange to me, for some reason. What's everybody's weirdest football dream?
Paul Mc (don't eat cheese before going to bed. Or do, I guess, I don't know), Manchester
P.s The headlines in the tabloids were amazing "99 problems - Arsenal 1".
Is It, Mark? Is It Brilliant?
Isn't transfer speculation brilliant? After the big old CL finale on Saturday we've got no actual football to fill those pages for two and a half weeks. As an Arsenal fan, transfer gossip is the most uninspiring stuff. The same names seem to be trotted out each year. Do fans of other clubs find the same thing? With Arsenal, there is a basic formula of French (or French speaking) + Young = gossip.
I'd like to see a top three from every club, based on the player being linked for at least three summers without any inclination of that transfer happening. I've got -
Mark (The new Vieira will be on the cards) AFC
Right, Not First
Two weeks ago it seems the Saints responded to Liverpool's (IMO very generous) offer of £20m with a counter offer of £30m. Now Adam Lallana is a quality PL player, as were many of the signings made under Kenny Daglish: Adam, Carroll, Downing. The past two transfer windows have been a drastic change in approach to well.....everything. We finally seem to be moving away from every season basically screwing ourselves into paying huge fees for 7/10 players. From my perspective Liverpool appear to have learned much in the past few seasons.
Transfers must be silly and complicated affairs and almost impossible to get value at the top end of the market. I imagine it would be easy to lose your composure, make a deal that you don't want to make. You've already touted the player to the local press and now the club are playing hardball, on top of that the fans are getting more frustrated each day...all of your social media just becomes random idiot football manger fetishists cursing and shouting player names at you. Well you could just blow your wad (gambling term not the...other thing...) and hope for the best Comoli-style or be patient and only purchase very specific players you really want inside a very specific budget that ensures the future of the club.
In all seriousness Adam Lallana being worth €30m seems outrageous. There's talk of Pedro for around €20, Konoplyanka for around the same, Alexis Sanchez is being flogged for less.....let that sink in...did you see that strike the other night? Still it might work out. Rodgers had better be certain Lallana is up to the task though, I can't shake the memory of a discussion with a friend about how good a transfer Keane to Liverpool was.....I was certain....let's never speak of it again.
Transfers are very complicated things, we need to be 'calm'. So please please please Liverpool don't just fork over whatever they are asking for, play it smart. Make the right deal not the first deal.
Rossi (is anyone else warming to Ian Ayre?) Lfc
On Scholes On Rooney
I love Scholes and his brutal honesty, he's highlighted Woodward's need to step up and he's also told the truth about Rooney.
Look how he describes Rooney's best attributes, there's the usual guff about desire and will to win, but he highlights Rooney's goalscoring. Scoring goals is actually the only thing he's been good at since 2008 (barring a spell early this season when he actually got some pace back). I notice Scholes didn't remark how great Rooney is at dropping deep and dictating play, which is what everyone seems to somehow fawn over. It reminds me of in Breaking Bad, Mike saying to Walt "Just 'cause you shot Jesse James, don't make you Jesse James" after he's killed Fring and acting like a kingpin. Just because you copy Scholes doesn't mean you're any good at it.
If Rooney stays up front and scores 30 goals a season (or 8 goals in a World Cup) then you can tip your hat to a very effective striker. When he starts running back, you're looking at an average wannabe playmaker.
Silvio (Thanks to the chap the other day who said I was finally right about Rooney, more like you've all finally woken up!) Dante
This has been bugging me recently:
With the World Cup just around the corner, we naturally have many commentaries on it. Who's going, who's in form, who's going to win it etc. But SO many times I have heard references to Rio specifically. And not Brazil - you know, where the competition actually takes place...
Here is a quote from Paul Scholes on Rooney:
"To get the very best from Wayne in Rio, the manager needs to tell him, 'Don't bother running back. Stay up top. Stay centre forward. Score goals. That's your job in my team'."
Now a quick check of England's matches show they play in Manaus, Belo Horizonte and Sao Paulo! The don't even have any matches in Rio...unless they qualify for the later stages...which they very well may not.
The World Cup in Brazil! Not confined to the city of Rio de Janeiro!
Ronnie Ronaldo, Ireland.
In response to James (Don't count your strikers before September 1st!) regarding my missive on Suarez and his probable absenteeism from the World Cup. You are missing the point.
Every 4 years, some of the best (and worst) players on the planet come together for a footballing master-class. The ones who really shine at the tournament often attract EVEN more attention than they had before, showing they can do it on the big stage. This makes them EVEN more desirable to potential suitors. And herein lies the problem for the mighty reds.
Liverpool have had a fantastic season this year but until we back it up again by a good performance in the CL and challenging for the title for another year, the big boys (Citeh/Madrid/Barca/Juve) will always be lurking.
And if Suarez doesn't play at the WC, others can shine in his place. Thus attracting the attention of clubs we want to keep him away from.
Dan (will always feel nervous of Suarez leaving anyway) Geneen