A varied morning mailbox, with thoughts on Ronaldo, Daley Blind = Michael Carrick, Ed Woodward redemption, stick with Pardew, QPR's name change and marbles...
Man United fans are a more than a tad excited, Liverpool fans are a little depressed and we have mails on Mesut Ozil, Newcastle, Aston Villa and lots more...
If you have anything to say on any subject, mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Do You Want Success Or To Gloat?
Having dipped in and out of your site for years, I will confess I've never paid John Nicholson much attention. Once I've finished this rant, I won't again. I'll probably also skip his 'superb' northern crime novels (presuming it's likely they're not autobiographical accounts acknowledging crimes against jounalism).
Admittedly he is about to bear the brunt of my frustrations with media and public alike for their constant obsession with criticising Wayne Rooney whatever the poor guy does, but it is a particularly ill-conceived piece of writing.
The premise of the article is that Rooney has never performed at a World Cup. He's never been fully fit for one either. Plenty of world-class players have turned up at a World Cup not fully fit and have underperformed. Cristiano Ronaldo yesterday for one and, at the risk of looking daft come 10pm Thursday evening, I suspect Suarez may well suffer a similar fate if he plays.
Despite niggling injuries at the end of this season, Rooney has clearly done his best to be fit for this one so, why, as England fans can't we all do our little bit for the cause and leave the poor guy be. At least until after the tournament, then we can all happily fall back behind tribal club lines.
John says the pressure must be oppressive for him. I'm sure it is, which only reinforces my point - let's give him the best chance of performing and get behind him and the rest of the team. I, like others, am not a great fan of Glen Johnson as a right back, but if Roy thinks he's the best we've got, so be it. Let's support him as well. He's an experienced international football coach and I am not.
One superb assist is not enough? Really? Given his contribution to our only goal was arguably greater than Sturridge's - why not? What did the other 10 players, whilst playing invariably in their preferred positions, contribute that was so substantially greater that they should retain their place in the starting XI. Sterling was a breath of fresh air, granted, but (as we're told so often) goals win football matches.
If your point is that, as our potentially best player, he should be contributing more that's fine - but surely that then defeats any argument for dropping him.
I hope Rooney plays through the middle on Thursday (but I'll leave that to Roy..) and I hope he does us proud. Wouldn't we really all rather see Rooney and England suceed than lose and revel in his perceived fall from grace? As an England fan, I know which I'd prefer whilst I'm nervously ploughing through more beers than I should on a school night.
World Cup Highlights So Far
This feels like a proper World Cup.
The World Cup we have been waiting for for years.
All the big-name teams have made their mark (or not in Spain's case).
Benzema, Neymar, Muller, Van Persie, Robben, Sanchez, Balotelli, Messi all making their mark in the race for the Golden Boot.
Ronaldo, oh dear!
The Magic Spray!
The lack of those long-sleeve undershirts the players wear.
Red cards, noise, colour, dodgy refs, Gary Lewin.
It has been fantastic so far.
And there is still loads left!!!
World Cup Club Fantasy Football
Anybody else pick a World Cup Fantasy Football team just from players who currently or used to play for the team they support? I picked mine from Spurs players past and present and came up with a pretty good team (especially the midfield). Can anyone pick a better side?
Gio Dos Santos
Matt (Loving the World Cup despite Adrian Chiles' best efforts), Woking
Ich Liebe Deutschland
A quick question. I am English but I feel slightly concerned that I am heavily supporting Germany for this World Cup. As an Englishman I really ought to support the underdog but I just love everything about Germany and the way they play. As a Gooner it may well be because of our ever-growing German contingent or maybe it's because of my wife's ability to speak the language fluently (honestly, I even find the language sexy now).
So the question is this; am I wrong to support Germany? And do other mailboxers feel the same, either about Germany or indeed about other nation's teams we aren't supposed to support?
JazGooner (I would never do this when it comes to club football)
On Hu-Muller-Ty (Sorry)
Has anyone considered that maybe Muller didn't uppercut the corner flag in celebration of his hat-trick because he knows his goals weren't all that? They were already three goals and one man up when the fourth went in and I reckon only Ronaldo would gloat after tapping in a ball that was literally caressed on to his bootlaces three yards out.
Aside from that I agree, totally punchable face.
Lauding Storey And Pepe's Magic Sponge
Can I just doff my imaginary hat to Daniel Storey for writing an excellent piece which my portray thoughts I made after watching the Brazil game. Over-familiarity of players means that we do not have that awe that of say Brazil of yesteryear had (probably not as good either). "Neymar is Brazil's new star and he's pretty good, for those who haven't seen him before you are in for a treat," would likely of been a statement of anticipation in 1982. In 2014, this statement could be amended with: "But he's been a bit average at Barcelona though, We know he's good but I won't be too surprised as I've seen enough games when he hasn't shown up, he needs to deliver on the biggest stage."
On a second point, Muller should be thanking Pepe. He was in writhing agony after a horrendous blow to the face, but one rub of Pepe's head and he was up like a gazelle, magically all better. Next time my toddler son bangs his head, I think I will try the Pepe Headbutt to make him all better again, hope it works...
Michael, Dublin (Great WC so far, but did Mikel know the Iran game wasn't a friendly?)
A Legal Opinion About Bale's Celebration
I have some law exams coming up next week and unsurprisingly the World Cup is proving to be as distracting as a Brazillian female fan playing the bongos in my back garden. I'm afraid Football365 hasn't been helpful either as no matter how often I tell myself "I'll just click on for five minutes", I end up being sucked into a vortex of Top 10s and deluded opinions about how good Raheem Sterling was against Italy.
However, the various mails on the infringement of Gareth Bale's intellectual property rights have given me an excuse to mix business with pleasure and I'm going to treat this letter as practicing an exam problem question, therefore making me feel better about my procrastination.
The first issue is that Gareth Bale has not 'copyrighted his celebration', he has trademarked a logo based on his celebration. It's basically a picture of his hands making the heart symbol with a number 11 in the centre. He wouldn't have been able to successfully protect a physical gesture under intellectual property law. He intends to use it on merchandise in the same way Beckham had that graphic of him in free-kick stance on the tongue of Adidas Predators.
The only way Bale could have an action against the montage folk (or montagees, to give them their correct legal title) is if they had been using his logo on knock-off merchandise in a way that confused or raised the possibility of confusing people, that said merchandise was made by Gareth Bale's official merchandising company. So I'm afraid, Gareth can't take a claim as his protected trademark was not infringed and he'll have to find another way to take his mind off his non-participation in Brazil.
This has actually helped my revision and hopefully something similar comes up in the exam. Also, if anyone spots any mistakes in my legal reasoning, please let me know as I really don't want to repeat. And Gareth, on the off-chance you're reading this and need a lawyer, hit me up. I hope to be qualified by April 2015.
Aidan (Probably should have studied instead of watching Nigeria v Iran) Dublin
Dan (Fabio, Patrick, we're not all like that. Honest.), London. Firstly, I can't disagree that Adrian Chiles is generally a bit rubbish (making him the perfect frontman for ITV's coverage). But I have to take you to task with the rest of your mail. Feigning injury may well be the norm in modern-day football but, as you say yourself, it's pathetic. The fact that it has become the norm makes a lot of people, Chiles included, understandibly apoplectic.
As for your reference to Cannavaro being articulate. I'm sure he is when speaking Italian, but his consistent presence as a pundit on a British show baffles the hell out of me. Gazza would probably be able to express more of an opinion!
J, LUFC (Nevertheless, Cannavaro > Garth Crooks > Robbie Savage)
...Just as Dan's (Fabio, Patrick, we're not all like that. Honest.), London felt enough anger this morning to write into the mailbox, I felt a similar sort of anger and desire to write in after reading his absolute rubbish.
For once Adrian was spot on and I actually felt his outrage. I was excited all day at work about the game. I finish at five and I even made up an excuse to rush out of the office early just so I missed as little as the first half as possible. Just as I got comfortable in my lazyboy chair and opened the first of my two tubs of Pringles purchased specifically for the game, Muller decides to do that and ruined my early evening viewing (granted Germany were cruising but you never know as this game never fails to surprise me!)
Don't get me wrong, Pepe should not have done what he did but I was 100 times more outraged at Muller and that pathetic reaction. I thought Vieira's (and his extremely round head) and Cannavaro's reactions were poor, very poor - World Cup Winners or not. Adrian and Dixo were the only ones speaking sense. The problem lies with people such as yourself, Vieira, Cannavaro, et al saying that this type of thing happens 'all the time' and 'is completely normal in modern-day football' and therefore simply accepting this behaviour. We shouldn't be accepting this behaviour. It is not acceptable whatsoever and just because it is happening in today's football doesn't make it right and it certainly doesn't mean that it should be accepted as the norm in the future. It needs to stamped out and fast but with people like Vieira, who heads up Manchester City's Elite Development Squad', sort of condoning this type of behaviour, I unfortunately think that this play-acting is here to stay for the long haul.
However after taking a look at Vieira's track record, I'm not surprised at his view point:
Darren (stood next to Vieira at Manchester airport once waiting for our baggage to arrive - pointless story of the day)
...Hi Dan; whilst I appreciate that Adrian Chiles can and does frequently come across as an over-excited man-child desperate to get involved in any and all debates, in this instance, I'm on his side. ITV being ITV, they've got only a limited time for debate between games, what with squeezing all of the worst World Cup ads in recent memory in as well.
Clearly, in the Pepe incident, if you move your head to a player, you're going to be in trouble, just ask Pardew. But the debate centred around whether Muller was in the wrong for his play-acting. We all know this happens in the game today, but does that make it right? That's where Lee Dixon rather forthrightly stepped in and tried to hammer the point into Vieira. And voila, debate, and glorious TV.
To get to this point, Chiles had to play Devil's advocate, and he did it tremendously well. Chiles isn't there to give insightful opinions on the game, he's there to spark debate, and in my eyes he did it magnificently.
...I didn't see Chiles' disbelief over Muller's behaviour during half-time in the Germany-Portugal game but I can well imagine Dan from London's description of the conversation. What I can't fathom is his anger over the discussion.
The World Cup appeals to a much larger TV audience than a regular televised football game. A 5pm game between two heavyweight nations draws a much difference audience to those who would watch Champions League coverage on Sky or even football league coverage on the BBC. The World Cup is watched by more people who watch a handful of games every couple of years than those who watch several TV games every week.
The TV producers know this and pitch the coverage accordingly. The discussion by pundits pre-, mid- and post-match need to be tailored as much to this audience as to the hipsters.
Was Adrian Chiles shock at Muller real or feigned? I really don't know or care but the discussion that follows is of more interest to the casual watcher than everyone just agreeing and moving on.
Not For Me, Clive
Last night I was watching the Germany game and I am certain that about 15 minutes in, Clive Tyldesley said, "Joachim Lowe. Still the Germany coach."
Absolutely baffled me to the point where I a) checked Google for unrest in the Germany camp b) checked Google to see if a manager had ever been sacked a few minutes into a World Cup game before, and c) question whether I had heard correctly.
Was he so bereft of ideas for things to say that he just had to say something that he was certain was true? Maybe the heat and the workload are getting to him. Is it the humidity? It's always the humidity in Brazil.
Are there any other baffling bits of commentary that anyone has picked up on?
Forget Adrian Chiles - Andy Townsend has been given a B+ rating from the Telegraph and 6/10 by the Guardian! The latter even believes that ITV is beating the BBC in terms of its coverage which almost made me choke on my mid-morning caipirinha
What, in the name of Hoddle's most illustrious camel toe is going on? For me Clive, the BBC has been a revelation with only Jonathan Pearce (and Lawro obviously) letting themselves down.
They've Got Crouchy In India
Spare a thought for us guys in India. The half time show goes by the ridiculous name of CafeRio, is run by a struggling actor (turned anchor who ran the circus called the IPL).
He is flanked by...wait for it...Mikael Silvestre and (drum rolls) Peter Crouch. They both lack energy and at best verbalize the action on the screen. That was a left-wing assist from Rooney and Sturridge hits that to the back of the net to the left of the goalkeeper. It is like hearing football on radio.
For all of you complaining about the quality of the debates, insights and analysis, spare a thought for us in India. We wish we had some debates and will take any form of analysis at this time.
Sudarsan Ravi (I bet both Silvestre and Crouch were amused somebody wanted to hire them for commentary in the first place)
RVP No Diving Header
Sorry but I'm not having it! Van Persie's goal does not belong on that list of top diving headers. Was it a great goal? Absolutely! However, was it a diving header? No...well, not in the true sense.
RVP heads the ball and THEN dives to the ground. He could have scored that goal and remained on his feet. A true diving heading header should be a case of a player being outstreched and mid-flight at the moment of contact. Sadly, this was not the case with RVP.
Again, taking nothing away from what was a great goal but a proper diving header?? Not for me Clive...
John Whelan, Dublin
Greatest Diving Header Ever
Your Top 10 of diving headers is all very well, but it misses perhaps the greatest diving header of all time.
Picture the scene. A cold and wet Saturday in Autumn in the early 1990s. The pitch was a dog turd strewn patch of Fosse Park in Leicester and I was having a game of 'Headers & Volleys' with mates from school who were now visiting me at Uni. The ball floated in from the right wing and time seemed to stand still...I launched myself horizontal and powered the ball past the bags into the corner of the imaginary net.
Sadly, the best goal I ever scored and nothing else came close. It was all downhill from there. Never mind, I've been living off this tale since...would really make my friends' day if you could indulge this bit of nostalgia.
A Song For Goetze
As a Gooner I shouldn't want this but could Spurs please sign Goetze just so their fans can sing Goetze to the tune of Gercha by Chas 'n' Dave?
This needs to happen - it'll be worth it just for the confused look on Mario's face when the fans sing his name.
Graham Simons, Gooner, Norf London
He Looks Like...
In response to Stu from Chiswick, Mario Gotze looks like Gary Barlow, if you can't get your song into the World Cup, at least you look like someone who is there.
Sam (bloody 2am games in) Australia
...In answer to Stu (who does Mario Gotze look like? It's starting to really bug me) Chiswick - Gotze looks like Richie Rich. And Mueller looks like his evil cousin, Reginald Van Dough.
...Stu (who does Mario Gotze look like? It's starting to really bug me) Chiswick, he looks a lot like Justin Bieber.
The Boy Sly (Malawi)
...Is it a lesbian Justin Bieber?
...Stu Chiswick - Olly Murs is the answer. Essex s**t peddler Olly Murs looks exactly like Mario Gotze. I'm now thinking about Olly Murs, and so are you, so no good has come from this. You asked, I answered - let us never speak of this again.
...To the guy wondering who it is that Mario Gotze looks like - It came to me in a flash whilst looking at the pic of him being hauled down for the penalty against Portugal: baby-faced Gary Barlow. A shinier, cuddlier version of Britain's favourite revenue relocator (with the customary hairstyle abomination).
My Football/Championship Manager non-look-alike (a certain symmetry to this mail?) was on the 00/01 (or maybe 01/02) version, when Pablo Aimar was at River Plate (I think). I had him down as a cross between Milan Baros and Nuno Gomez (inexplicably). He turned up at Valencia looking like Cedric from At the Drive-In/Screech from Saved by the Bell.
Symmetry-busting third paragraph - please come to N5 Mario, please.
Mills, Arsenal, N7
...Mario Gotze is a dead ringer for Saturday Night Live's Tarran Killam if you ask me. He's also married to Cobie Smulders dontcha know.
Mike (Did he ask me? I'm not sure) Conway, LFC, Eire
More FM Mistakes
In response to Ric, when playing FM98 OR championship Manager as it was, I used to sign a young French defender called William Gallas. As a young white male with a middle name of William, I just considered Mr Gallas as a younger version of Laurent Blanc. Imagine my surprise when I eventually got to see him. Also remember always referring to 'wee Dean Austin' when I signed him from Crewe, in the 2002 version I think. I always considered him to be a small Micky Owen type. Ah the joys...
Rocco (long-time reader, first-time mailboxer) THFC
...Further to the responses to Ric Duncombe's request for people to own up to imagining an FM player as something completely different to reality; I am embarrassed to say that I was convinced that Shay Given was a man of colour. To this day I have no idea where such an idea come from, especially as I had probably seen him play in real life.