Plus Cristiano Ronaldo, who looks 'heart-breakingly well-suited to a Real Madrid shirt' according to one United fan. Plus, words from the good doctor and plenty more...
There are some players who just look plain daft in whatever shirt they're wearing. Like Cesc and Robin. It's a cracking mailbox with a load of different themes...
If you have anything to say on any subject, mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Origi in Suarez out. If someone can create a positive spin on that Alastair Campbell will be out of a job.
Simon (just weary) Cosgrove
...You always hear about players saying after they sign for a club that "I spoke to Player X (who is usually in the national team or played for Club Y) and he told me how great the club and supporters... blah blah blah"
With this is mind, who is Reus going to ask about Liverpool? Nuri "Thank God I have left Brendan Rodgers" Sahin?
Let's hope they don't speak or Rickie Lambert and Marco Snapchat (I think Snapchat is a verb now).
Can Ronald Cut It?
Most people saying either Southampton will be in a relegation fight, or they will be "fine", after all the players they have sold. Fair enough. I however would be worried about whether they will be in a relegation fight, due to a change of manager, rather than depleted playing ranks.
I mean, saying they will be fine with the players they still have, is not really taking into account that Koeman could tank pretty bad. He may of course not, and they may continue where they left off last season. But I would be much more worried if I were a Saints fan, about how the new man in charge will fare. Plenty of time left for them to bring in players. But even if they bring in quality replacements, there is nothing to say Koeman is the man to get them firing. You can still have a decent squad (see Utd winning title by 11 points in 2012/2013), and have a manager not at the required level(see David Moyes), take said team down the league placings by quite a margin(see Utd finishing 7th 2013/2014 season). The main difference between those 2 finishes was the manager.
Van Gaal Won't Stick With 3-5-2
A response to a response is unlikely to get published but it's been ages since I've had a proper discussion on tactics, as opposed to who's winning the transfer window, so here goes:
Anthony Kane has a point about using the "horse-shoe" system in a 3-5-2 and yes if you play any formation "right" it should work. But football tactics is like Rock-Paper-Scissors, every advantage has a exploitable weakness. You want to push only one full back up at a time? OK, so assuming your strikers are playing centrally and we're matched 3 v 3 in the center of the park (I'm playing 4-3-3), since you're not going to be able to switch to the opposite flank with any speed I can spare one of my center 3 to put additional pressure on the Wing-back that's pushing up.
Secondly with your opposite wing back now withdrawing to a full back role to create a standard back four line, my full back and winger can double up on him on that side. e.g. you're "horsehoe-ing" on the right and lose the ball, long ball to my left sided winger who now has my left full back on the overlap. Either your CDM comes in to help, leaving my CAM open, or one of your CB's doubles up which leaves space for my striker.
Not that anyone will keep count but I'd bet that at the end of the season LVG would have used a 4-3-3 or a 4-1-2-1-2 diamond more often on the 3-5-2.
Stanley Millworth, Portland Timbers
...First of all I want to say I'm a big fan of the mailbox - it's where I have most of my "why didn't I think of that" moments. But just one thing that gets to me about the mails - peoples constant use of abbreviations for positions. It's like I'm 12 again playing Championship Manager deciding whether to play Luis Enrique at LW, DMC, CM, AMC, RW or ST (what a man though, he had more uses than a pack of baby wipes at a festival). And then someone even wrote FNN (false number nine) in a text message to me not two weeks ago...
Promise my next mail will be an insightful football related mail if I can ever think of one.
KD, IE (TH fan)
Read The Story Of Romulus and Remus
Soooo tuned in to catch the first half of the Real Madrid vs Roma game when for the first time I noticed how weird the Italian club's crest is. It contains an image which appears to be three human babies trying to suck milk from a wolf's breasts. The wolf is staring at you as if to say: "I know, kinda weird right? ". I was wondering if fellow mailboxers had seen other football club crests that seem strange, crazy or just downright funny. A bit Friday afternoon mailbox I know but hey, blame it on the off season.
Seyi (not sure what to expect from my club this coming season) LFC
An Example Of League-Owned Clubs
I am just writing to respond to a very productive worker (forest) mailbox about potential league ownership of Blackpool.
I am from Australia and follow our own domestic league (the A-League) keenly. We have a team from Sydney that was owned by the league (recently sold) and another team that was controlled by the league when their owners backed out (Brisbane Roar). It seemed to work very well and kept these teams on their feet. It stabilised them and made them attractive for potential buyers.
Obviously the league in Australia is worlds apart from the EPL (only a new league, much less money etc) Blackpool are may be in the same sort of situation. If it was done correctly and with a time frame attached to league ownership, it can be done very well.
Although one would ask why more wasn't done for Portsmouth and other failing teams...
Tony (Melbourne City)
In response to 'very productive worker (forest)'....
I cannot begin to understand the logic in your suggestion. 'All stakeholders' will suffer? No. Potential relegation candidates from said division are I'm sure delighted at the way Blackpool's own mismanagement has left them bereft of a squad and are therefore, not suffering. What you suggest is wide open to abuse and ludicrously unworkable. How would Blackpool's survival be justified to the relegated clubs were they to survive?
'Sorry chaps, but because Blackpool made a right pig's ear of managing their finances we thought them worthy of a monumental leg up... We like the lights and rollercoasters you see. And there was a pub I went to on a stag do that was just dynamite!'
Your mail is nonsense. The number of caveats you include suggest you know this already and your mail was deliberately provocative, but I've had a couple of pints and am infuriated by a commonwealth flag round in my local's pub quiz that cost us victory, so I'm biting.
As a Lutonian, I have seen a club ruined by financial mismanagement and how the FA support such clubs in their time of need.
Blackpool are in the position they're in because they were mismanaged. Any number of clubs have suffered similarly.
I have no solution for the financial ruin of small community clubs (like Luton) but, call me short sighted, your answer is the largest bucket of pigswill ever to grace this mailbox.
Kiwi Boys Respect The Ref
The one thing I'd like to see football 'learn' from rugby is this; the ref does not take any crap from the players whatsoever. Argue with the ref about a decision, get in his face, at a minimum it will cost your team 10 metres of territory, and as a result give the opposition a chance at 3 points. Abuse him, get 10 minutes in the 'bin'. The captains of each team can approach the refs and 'discuss' things with them, but no-one else. As a result, you almost never see the refs coping abuse from players, or whining about decisions. It's bad for your team, undisciplined and unprofessional. To be fair, another reason why rugby players at the professional level don't 'go' the ref is that the ref can fall back on the TMO where there are decisions he's just not sure about (or just abdicates responsibility for making a call on) but it does carry through to the lower levels of the sport.
The constant surrounding of and swearing at the refs and linesmen is a blight on the football at every level, and having immediate negative consequences is the only way to stamp it out. Imagine, a player swears at the ref for giving free kick against them and suddenly that free kick is now 10 metres closer to goal? How many professional footballers would want to give the opposition that kind of advantage? Wouldn't they keep their gobs shut, and just get on with the game? Wouldn't that be miles better to watch than what we have now?
Colin (ref's in both games are still crap though) Auckland NZ
...Steven (fan of all sport, AFC), Herts, provides 2 examples of what football could learn from rugby, and 2 good examples they are. But as a fan of both sports, there's loads more football could get from rugby.
1. respect for the ref: only the captain is allowed to talk to the ref. Anyone else tries it, yellow. 2nd time, red. No nonsense. We've just had a great world cup but I couldn't believe it again when players surround the ref, some players even tap him on the shoulder, give him a hug, etc. None of that should happen.
2. sin-bin: a yellow card could mean 10 minutes off the pitch. This would have the benefit of immediately benefiting the team that was fouled against, not some other team in the future when the payer is suspended after many yellows.
3. advantage: now to a degree there is already some sort of advantage being taken in consideration in football but it's pretty basic. Maybe there could be some formality put into it, whereby the ref can let play continue 10-15 seconds after a foul but if no advantage is derived by the team fouled against, then we can come back to the original foul and give a free-kick / penalty. Also the ref can have a specific hand gesture to signal advantage period is over when the 10-15 seconds are up but play continues and the foul is then forgotten.
And I am talking here about stuff that has been proven to work in rugby over many seasons, not just temporary experiments with the rules (which rugby is notorious for and definitely should not be copied).
Mike, Auckland Blue, CFC
Sorry I am a bit late to the party, but you say you wanted a youtube selection of a really skillful footballer made to look even better than anyone you could ever have imagined? Look no further - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PPo793NTGz8
johnnybruff, Limerick [Oh you wanted a S**t player? Don't have any of those]