Absolving Lampard Of Any City Blame...

Everybody seems to think that Lamps simply didn't have a choice but to join Man City, while we also have mails on Pepe Reina, Man United's signings and Blackpool...

Last Updated: 04/08/14 at 15:38

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Van Gaal's Half-Term Report Card...

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One Man United fan isn't happy with the rate the team is progressing under Louis van Gaal, while the mailbox also wishes Liverpool fans a Merry Mid-Table Christmas...

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The afternoon mailbox kicks the morning mailbox's arse after claims that Rafa Benitez has fluked his success. Plus, big talk about Liverpool's progress and lots more...

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Frank Lampard, of England, poses with th

Frank Lampard, of England, poses with th

If you have anything to say on any subject, mail us at theeditor@football365.com

Be Happy, United Fans
Since last summer, we have signed:
- one world-class manager
- one hugely talented young midfielder
- one finished article midfielder
- one hugely talented young left-back.

Yes, we hope to sign some more, especially in defence, but we don't desperately NEED to sign more. And not having Europe means we don't need as big a squad. The world-class manager has reviewed the squad and is happy with the youth (something he's always been very focussed on) in a couple of nominally weaker positions (left and centre defence).

If Fletcher is fit enough, we don't need the hard man in midfield, though that signing would still be welcomed. But most importantly, we're playing well and to our strengths.

To be honest, if you're complaining at this summer, I think you need to take a strong look at yourself.
Guy S (every day I get more excited)

Barcelona? Really?

I understand that this is the first time Manchester United fans have been introduced to one-touch football. But they would probably do well to remember that five good pre-season moves does not a Barcelona make. Maybe they should strive to imitate Southampton first.

Good Riddance To Bad Keeper

I read on the wonderful transfer blog and on the Twitter that Pepe Reina may be trying to come to an arrangement to mutually terminate his contract.

Honestly, at this point, pay him what he wants and get rid. He doesn't want to be here, we don't want him, just take the hit and get him off the books already.

There will be some that say 'he's better than Mignolet' or 'that's no way to treat a loyal servant' and you'd be so wrong on both counts. Mignolet may have his faults (he struggles to command his box and looks terrified with the ball at his feet) but for all Reina's vaunted distribution and footwork, he can't save for s**t. You may as well have a smoke machine in net for all Reina is worth.

The man already made his feelings known last year by publicly whoring himself to Barca and how we should let him fulfil his dream and not hold him to his contract. When that went arse over tit, he gets loaned to Napoli and writes a goodbye letter essentially slamming the manager. Now he's back he talks about having a contract and how he expects Liverpool to honour it. Any class I thought he had was rendered null and void at this point.

Now don't mistake me for one of these "the player has to say the right things" dicks that John Nicholson writes about. I just thought that Pepe Reina had a bit more class than your average footballer and has pretty much been shown up to be a bad tit.

Wonder how many times he'd have to get beat at his near post for some LFC fans to accept that he's bobbins now.
Kris, LFC, Mancheste

Frank Obviously Didn't Choose Manchester

I don't like Chelsea at all - I can't stand them, their manager or their players.

But there is one Chelsea hero I can't hate and that's Frank Lampard. From all accounts of everyone I know who's met the fella he appears to be a really nice bloke and intelligent to boot.

Has it occurred to you, Chris, that Frank didn't know anything about his loaning out when he signed and was just told he would have to improve his fitness somehow before the MLS season kicked off?

I'm far more inclined to believe that than he wanted to go and play in Manchester.

I mean think about it - New York or Manchester? No amount of money would ever persuade me to move to Manchester so Frank deserves a pat on the back for having to endure six months up there.
Graham Simons, Gooner, (Cue lots of irate Mancunians writing in but I don't care - Liverpool's a much better city and you know it), Norf London

...Re. Chris ITFC, Liverpool's Lampard rant this morning: Or alternatively, 'Man does what employer tells him to do'...
Mike Shapland

Defending Lampard

In response to Chris ITFC's entry this morning re: Lampard. As a Chelsea fan I have no grudge against Lamps for his move to City, let's lay out the facts.

Firstly, I haven't seen anywhere in the press that reports him signing some kind of bumper contract. It's billed as a 'short term loan' move in most papers. Given he's not a likely starter, I find it hard to believe that Man City have 'bought' him with a huge money offer.

Secondly, we (Chelsea) let him go. We chose not to renew his contract and subsequently he was a free agent. It's not as if, in the middle of a contract, he decided to up sticks for City (a la Nasri etc.). If anything, I'm upset with the Chelsea board for letting this happen.

Thirdly, so what if he sits on the bench for large portions of the season - he's still being given the opportunity to train with top players (an opportunity Chelsea seemingly weren't offering). As you note, the MLS season doesn't start until next Spring - what, were you expecting him to dust off to Benidorm for a few months to work on his tan?

Finally, let us all note that MLS is clearly a step-down from EPL and for a player of his calibre (and at his age), he probably doesn't need a bloated fixture schedule to stay at the required level, just consistent training and the odd run-out.

Let's just accept his decision and let him get on with it - he's been fantastic for us for 12 years and he's doing what he needs to do ahead of his fresh start next year.
SSE (Tom Fox Mcconnell, why is your face so small), Blackheath

Well Done Johnny

What a brilliant article today!

Thoroughly enjoyed reading, and nodding in agreement to pretty much everything said, with my particular highlight being his description of Boro.

Can almost picture Fabrizio Ravanelli being 'surprised that the sky was a funny yellow colour and that the air smelled of ammonia'.

Keep up the good work.
Andrew, NUFC, Gateshead

Blackpool v Burnley Conclusions

I went to watch Blackpool vs Burnley at the weekend, so here are my conclusions from the game:

1. Considering of the nine contracted players who started only two finished last season with the club, Blackpool were really very impressive. The starting 11 played until the hour mark, before a few more trialists came on, and the team looked organised, cohesive and generally quite fit. There were a few communication issues here and there; Orlandi trying cute little flicks where a simple pass would have been better, a few players getting in each others' way etc. but they genuinely matched Burnley for two thirds.

2. Jacob Mellis looks like a quality signing. I can't remember a misplaced pass and he always had time on the ball, making clever movement to give himself space. You can tell he has come through the system at a top club, he was head and shoulders above almost everyone else on the park.

3. But, Blackpool are still a long, long way from having a real squad. There were only 3/4 players from the trialists (Ben Parish, a 'keeper from Bristol being the only name I could find out) who looked any use. Parish didn't have an awful lot to do, so it's hard to judge but he's at least better than no keeper at all. The left-back looked very good for a free agent, and there was a beast of a centre-back who came on for the last 30 who was impressive. Not much else really.

4. Burnley are woefully short of strength in depth. While they did edge the game and it wasn't a full-strength side, there are players there who are going to struggle in the Premier League. They are undoubtedly a very good Championship team and very hard working, but there are a few passengers who just aren't good enough for the Premier League.

5. However, one player who will not look out of place there is Danny Ings. He only had a cameo role, playing around the last 20 minutes, but his touch, movement and passing is a clear step above the rest of his teammates. I expect he'll be moving on this time next year (at the latest).

6. There was a protest outside the stadium before the game and, thankfully, that was as far as it went. Once inside the stadium there was no signs of protest, no shouts of 'Oyston Out' (or of any kind actually, more on that) so at least the fans who did turn up retained their dignity - there is nothing worse than protests during the game; it is not conducive to a positive atmosphere for the players.

7. For the 500-600 Blackpool fans who turned up, there was a palpable despondence in the stadium. Everyone feared the worst, and it felt like a drubbing was forthcoming. It didn't happen though and the majority of the fans soon warmed up and most left feeling considerably better.

8. Finally, it was pleasing to see Matt Gilks receive such a warm ovation from the home crowd. He was largely responsible for their continued presence in the Championship last year, making a string of very good performances. The crowd certainly showed their appreciation for him and he seemed genuinely moved by it. After everything that's happened, it was great to see that nice moment between player and fans.
Ted, Manchester

We Think This Is Serious

Uhm...Steve (a Villa fan).

Sorry for you little man, but the w**kfest WILL NOT STOP!



MANC IN SA (You tosser, you clearly don't know a thing about football, or the entertainment around it, with that utter rubbish football of yours)

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really enjoyed this. Thanks F365 for another year of work avoidance - happy Christmas.

megabrow (cufc)
Our Person Of The Year: Alan Pardew


m no Sam Fan and this article sums him up beautifully. I always like to imagine that when he watches anything on TV and hears clapping, he stands up and aknowledges the applause, thinking its for him!

Football Managers On TV: Sam Allardyce


ah, Fergie is just having another pop at Rooney. He just wants to put him down whenever he gets a chance. Rooney is by far the best English player. Carrick is not far behind, mind. However, by elevating Carrick like that, Sir is having a dig at Wayne. Fergie is well-known for mind games like that. Good to see he's still feisty.

Van Gaal will thrive - Ferguson

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Mail Box

Van Gaal's Half-Term Report Card...

One Man United fan isn't happy with the rate the team is progressing under Louis van Gaal, while the mailbox also wishes Liverpool fans a Merry Mid-Table Christmas...

Hang On, Rafa's Success Is No Fluke...

The afternoon mailbox kicks the morning mailbox's arse after claims that Rafa Benitez has fluked his success. Plus, big talk about Liverpool's progress and lots more...

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