A cracking Mailbox, with thoughts on Chelsea, Willian, Jurgen Klopp, Brendan Rodgers and Aguero. Plus how Football365 saved one man from an unhappy relationship...
There is a good deal of love for counter-attacking goals, plus some sympathy for Arsene Wenger, heaping the praise on Chunky Pardew too early and why Klopp > Rodgers...
If you have anything to say on any subject, mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Liverpool Fans Are A Former Beauty Queen
I've got to point out the Liverpool fans are slipping into an ugly cliche. (Not that they weren't a massive cliche before, but I digress).
It's former beauty queen syndrome, distressed that the handsome young men are no longer interest, bitterly jealous about young, beautiful people having a great time and harping on about the good old days.
And for some reason Arsenal seem to be this week's pretty thing drawing all the spite.
So far I'm seeing a list of reasons why Sanchez signed for Arsenal and not Liverpool.
These reasons are either because Arsenal are in London, because Wenger is doubling the wages, because Johnny foreigner doesn't know anything about the rest of England and on it goes.
I've even seen a few Liverpool fans say that Arsenal have no history.
So, just like I would say to any wrinkled hag harping on about the days when men queued around the block to seek favours and court her, it's time to stop deluding yourself.
Arsenal are a club of rich history, over a hundred years old, third most successful club in English football history, have generations of great players come through the club, had a stadium in Higbury that was called 'the home of football' by Chris Kamara and is considered an institution in British football.
Arsenal have a worldwide fanbase that isn't as big as Liverpool's but is substantial.
And yet Arsenal are a modern club, with a huge stadium, world-renowned manager, star players (three World Cup winners), large revenue and global brand resonance due to 16 years of Champions League football.
While Liverpool are a club of heritage who have had sporadic good seasons scattered amongst many seasons of mediocrity for 20 years, a manager nobody outside the EPL has heard of and has just flogged it's only great player.
So quit the whinging and just be happy anyone wants to join you.
I hope this clears everything up for you.
Liverpool Won't Buy Superstars
I'm sick of reading all these ridiculous comments re: Liverpool's transfer window.
Not really, I think it's great because it highlights an important little piece of info. Namely, I can't really think that 'Pool have ever signed a recognised superstar. We've never had that top tier of finance to do it, and in the very recent past it's clear that our primary spending strategy is to buy young guns with prospects and increase ability and thus value.
There is always an exception to the rule (or in this current window, two). But conversely Can and Markovic are prime examples or where we have been and where we will stay. And I'm absolutely fine with this for the record. Plastics want the big name, and they will die waiting. In the mean time please stop whinging.
The couple of instances where we have spent big on players who BECAME superstars (Torres and Suarez) were at the time seen as gambles for players who still had to make the step up. I don't want to talk about the World Famous Geordie Superstar, he clearly plateaued on the bus ride over to Melwood.
Where I think we might have the upper hand on our rivals though can be characterised by the story of Daniel Sturridge. It's not just about football ability; timing and the season a player finds himself in can be absolutely pivotal. Sturridge came to Anfield knowing he had been given another chance to sort himself out, to respond to the steady arm around his shoulder and be gently reminded 'the time to man up is upon us'. He became England's shoo-in striker. He didn't set the world alight in Brazil but he was certainly one of England's better players and it's clear he is only going to get better.
Hence I believe Will O'Doherty raises an interesting proposition. I heard a rumour recently that AC Milan are willing to pretty much give Balotelli away (for a fee similar to what we paid for Joe Allen). If this is the case, then I doth see any gambles here. Outside of his natural ability there are 'issues', no doubt about it, but I believe this is where Brendan earns his money. At 23, his next move is absolutely crucial if he wants to save himself from falling into cuckooville. If this happens, we could end up with a player who is a borderline superstar, at a fraction of the cost.
Proper superstars at the top of their game are not going to be lining up to play for Liverpool. Reality. Reus will not be a Liverpool player come kick-off. Balotelli on the other hand represents a little bit of the unknown, a bit of quality and a bag of issues. It's an awesome combination, and thus is must constitute a pretty able replacement for our previous King of Bonkers.
Barry, Cape Town
Balotelli? No Thanks
Can somebody please explain to me the fascination with Mario Ballotelli please? The guy is total w**k. Honestly, where do all these reports come from that he linked with Liverpool, Arsenal and possibly Chelsea, plus several people in the mailbox are suggesting he would be a perfect fit.
So what is it I'm missing because all I see is an arrogant, selfish, flashy pr*ck who has undoubted skill but lacks any commitment to the cause at all. I'm actually sick to death of seeing videos of the internet of 'Ballotelli's efforts in training for Italy' where he arrogantly refuses to do any exercises because he clearly feels he's above all of that kind of stuff.
The guy might be personality but he's not an accomplished footballer. Why do you think Milan are willing to let him go so badly?
Leon, Basel. (Ladotelli, lol top banta ladz)
Cast-Offs? So What?
I really felt the need to reply to a couple of mails from yesterday. First up is Steve who appears to say that Barcelona sold Sanchez to us because Barcelona didn't want him anymore. Lets look at his stats from last season shall we.
Games: 27 (7)
Last season Sanchez was second only to Messi in Goals by only seven and assists by only one so saying Barcelona didn't want him is ridiculous. The cold stark truth is that they wanted Suarez but had to sell players in accordance with FFP rules to do so. Now you wont raise the kind of money needed unless you sell your most saleable assets which in this case was Sanchez and Fabregas. These two sales alone covered the cost of buying Suarez. Now only time will tell if this was a wise move or not by Barca but their loss is our gain.
As to Ozil, much the same applies. Madrid wanted Bale but had to raise the capital. Mesut felt he was being treated as more of a commodity than a player and wanted out. Given that he came from a different league with a different style of play I felt he did pretty well last season for us and expect him to do even better this time around.
As to the big fish in smaller pond jibe I will say only this. They were pretty big fish where they were.
Yes, we won our FA Cup last season for our first trophy in nine years and now the monkey is off our backs. We can also flex our financial muscles again after a period of austerity while we paid off the stadium and because of this I expect we will be challenging for the League and Champions League as a result. There, I said it.
So, please, enough of the bitterness that Sanchez chose us over Liverpool and enough with saying that we only got him because we are a London club. That's just nonsense, and you know it.
And finally to Jon. If you would really rather wake up to Sarah Millican that Kate Upton then there is no hope for you mate. No hope at all.
Dave (optimistic Gooner. We're gonna fly this season)
Joyful Arsenal Talk
That makes it consecutive Fridays that I've woken up (Australia time) to a significant Arsenal signing. If they could do the treble and get Khedira next week, which could easily happen with Madrid signing Kroos, boy it would be exciting times to be an Arsenal fan.
Look at our significant losses last season in the PL, in away games to the rest of the top five - Ramsey was injured, and the typical midfield duo of Flamini and Arteta (occassionally Wilshere) was absolutely outpaced and outplayed. Here's hoping that that's now going to be a distant memory...
What would be the better midfield pairing; Fabregas and Matic or Ramsey and Khedira?
Andrew M, AFC (And Vidal might be heading to the PL as well! Exciting times), Australia
Liverpool Fan And Unworried
The mailbox started to wonder about Liverpool's ambitions for this season and a few would already be happy with fourth.
Frankly, so would I. Last season I also would've been happy with fourth; even when we were top at Christmas. If last season has taught me anything it is that exciting signings don't always signal a supreme season ahead. Man Utd were crying out for a strong combative presence in the midfield, why didn't Fellaini solve their problems? Our squad already looked thin in January and then we missed out on Salah. Did we crumble or did we win 12 on the spin? We weren't assured of fourth in January but we fought our way into a title race which we looked out of after back-to-back losses to Man City and Chelsea.
I didn't think in November that Sterling would be our most important midfielder in March, and I didn't expect Flanagan to be our best full-back either. Sakho was a French international signed for top money but was kept out of the team by Agger for a long spell.
Whatever happens this summer, I am going to be happy that a lot of our players will have another year of experience playing a good system of football. Even if nobody replaces any of the Suarez goals, we still outscored Arsenal last season, so I won't worry about that either.
The Boys Back From Brazil
Last time I was published in the mailbox was on the drive home from Euro 2012 whilst sitting in a campsite in Bavaria (a letter for which I received copious amounts of abuse from my closest friends). Being a slightly masochistic type I thought I would send a similar random run-down of the tournament from the view of an England fan who this time attended no England games and instead soaked up the atmosphere of the best tournament in recent times. A few thoughts:
- We think we have an intense love of football in Europe but it is nothing compared to the South Americans. Football is deeply deeply ingrained in their psyche way beyond anything we have. Every home/ car/taxi etc we saw during our trip without fail had their club's insignia proudly displayed somewhere. Deep in the amazon jungle a local family had two things on the wall - a picture of Jesus Christ (who admittedly had a great few seasons around 0 BC) and, more prominently, Flamengo...There is a street in a residential district of Brasilia which had a grocery store, a coffee shop...and no less than five club shops. Football is also clearly much more universal in the sense that male/female and young/old alike are obsessed. They don't just 'like' football it is much much more intense than that.
Once again the French fans were by far the most disappointing. Poor in number and average in support - just admit you don't really like football and be done with it.
In contrast, we attended the Argentina-Belgium quarter final and the Argies were by far the best, most intense, boisterous and passionate fans I have ever seen. They created a better atmosphere even than the Brazilians. Absolutely mental yet happy to welcome some Inglaterras (minor comments about Las Malvinas aside!). Honourable mention to the Americans who sent fans in vast numbers and were knowledgable and only once talked about "one to two reverses in overtime"...
The Brazilians know how to celebrate unlike anyone else - immediately following each win, watching it in a bar, the commentary would be turned off, local tunes turned on, and an almighty samba, Nike-ad-executive's wet dream would kick off...
As we all know, the tournament football itself was a joy to watch compared to the last few tournaments, games were exciting, goals, upsets and ultimately the best team won - a near-perfect World Cup.
And England...well...I am optimistic for the future, but England reminded me of (fictional) Nigel from the accounts team you meet at a party. A perfectly amiable character, you can chat to for a while about his weekend in Norfolk but you know throughout your chat that the party only starts once Nigel leaves at 9.30 and you can get onto whispering sweet nothings in the ear of Consuela from marketing who will stay out til dawn, play strip poker, and be leaping from the bannisters with a caiprinha in both hands. England are Nigel. A bit dull, but not that bad, and really just made up the numbers until the fun kicked off.
All in all a great tournament, a wonderful country and a fantastic place to visit - we did piranha fishing in the Amazon (one lad fell into piranha infested waters), frolicked in waterfalls around Brasilia, stayed out all night in Rio and watched the final on Copacabana beach.
Being a fan of football does not get better.
- Anyone else see the header, 'a long email on'....and think, nah you're alright, regardless who or what's it about?
- Seriously, we've surely heard every possible opinion on the Suarez transfer, Lallana's price tag and Liverpool not doing a Spurs by now...please no more or at least put them in a separate mailbox. Times like this make me feel sorry for Chris ITFC in Liverpool as he must hear this 24/7.
- Can the Blackpool fan write in again and update us?
- And that referee lad too, his mails were quite good.
- Also Steve Bradley, MCFC,,,we've not heard from him since he got married. I'm concerned.
Football On TV
Great email from Allowfc! yesterday regarding the Rio on Rio show and subsequent televisual possibilities for other footballers. Gazza on Gaza would be a must watch.
Apparently the following ex=pros Julian Dicks, Stefan Kuntz, Neil Cox and Nicky Butt were all interested in creating their own show but didn't get past the first hurdle.
Chris Nixon, Surrey