Defending a 0-0 draw with Cambridge on the grounds that other teams lost to lower-league opposition is not befitting of Man United. We're inclined to agree with Mailboxers...
We unsurprisingly have plenty of mails on a wonderful FA Cup weekend, including thoughts on Palace, Van Gaal, Phil Jones, Chelsea, Mourinho and Yaya Toure...
If you have anything to say on any subject, mail us at email@example.com
Is The Premier League Calming Down?
The fact made clear in your Winners and Losers, that Chelsea's outlay on players this summer was more or less matched by what they made on transfers, made me wonder whether the insane dynamic of the Premier League is coming to the end -
A few years ago, Manchester City were throwing £20million a pop at anyone deemed by their scouting department as 'probably good', and previously guys like Paulo Ferreira and Mateja Kezman were worth similar sums.
This year, Chelsea have spent what they earn, and City seem to have decided that if a team just won the league, they're probably OKish for the next campaign.
Of course, with the Premier League being the most exciting and muscular arm of showbiz in the whole world, this is never going to be the second-rate despondency that Serie A still exists in. The ability of clubs to spend what they earn still allows for huge individual transfer fees and no doubt whole bunkers full of lawyers sit for days pondering over permutations that lead to stuff like 'affiliated clubs' in New York and Melbourne.
But still, the Premier League in its ugliest guise - gazillionaires being presented a brochure of yachts, waving lazily at the whole thing, and ending up with Adebayor - probably doesn't exist any more.
Opinions Are Naughty
Matt Stanger in his Winners and Losers column really talks a lot of nonsense and one wonders whether he could tone down the hyperbole and redtop style he adopts in his writing while some of the opinions expressed seem fairly bizarre.
Let me address three of these opinions:
1) "Especially if Yaya Sanogo maintains the four-goal form he displayed against Benfica" - I thought it was a friendly Matt? aren't you guys always preaching that friendlies mean nothing? Yes Arsenal will be stronger up top but they still could do with a better player in that position than Giroud (or "4 goal hero" Sanogo) (Ed - This was a joke that seems to have slipped you by)
2)"A lot of money spent on not very much quality. Robert Snodgrass will almost certainly fail to prove his worth as a £7m player" - why? Snodgrass was outstanding last season for club and country, scoring more free kicks than anyone else in the division while operating in a very poor side.
At 26, he is coming into his best years while his versatility and commitment are exactly what will be needed should they find themselves fighting against the drop. When you consider that £7m buys you next to nothing in the Premier League then I think to say he will "almost certainly fail" is nothing short of nonsense.
3) "The ludicrous £12m gamble on Enner Valencia after watching him play only four games for Ecuador means there was no other place to put the Hammers" - Don't know if he is going to be good or not , but what makes you assume they only watched him four times at the World Cup? Maybe YOU only watched him four times Matt?
You're a good writer at times Matt but along with Winterburn, I seriously question your actual understanding of the game at times. I do wish F365 would consider some writers who were not so desperate for clicks.
Why Are City Still Buying?
Forgive my ignorance, but reading the excellent Winners and Losers section about each team's various business dealings over the summer got me thinking.
Manchester City were sanctioned a few months ago for exceeding their FFP limit. Something to do with outgoings vs. turnover. They've had a limit put against their total squad size which clearly isn't going to be that big a deal.
So, how come they're still allowed to buy new players? I know the turnover has increased through TV deals...does this allow teams to ignore the FFP issue even more than they have been doing already?
ITK On Arsenal
Arsenal will not sign another centre back despite Vermaelen's impending transfer. Arsenal will sign a defensive midfielder, the gossip suggests Carvalho as that player, ideal as he has the capability and size to offer defensive cover, similar to Chambers. Arsene Wenger dislikes rotating central defensive partners and would be reluctant to sign a high profile 3rd choice centre back who will want playing time. Chambers' and Bellerin's assured performances in the Emirates Cup will convince Wenger to rightly or wrongly give them the chance to establish themselves as back up defenders.
This will mean that Chambers will become Arsenal's 2nd choice right back, 3rd choice centre back and 4th choice defensive midfielder, getting his supposedly 20+ games promised. Carvalho would be 1st choice defensive midfielder and 4th choice centre back with Bellerin getting a small number games as back up right back. I expect this plan to work ok until Christmas then completely backfire after no new signing in the January transfer window.
Graham Davies, Derbyshire.
Predicting The Horror
Following on from the Daily Mail's imaginative "Louis Van Cull" monstrosity, here are a few more horrors for anyone interested in playing headline bingo this season:
Lose Van Gaal - time for Louis to leave
Louis Ban Gaal - touchline ban
Phewy Van Gaal - late winner
Phooy Van Gaal - United stink the place out
Screwy Van Gaal - strange decision
Louis CAN Gaal - "yes we can win the league"
Louis TAN Gaal - back from holidays
Louis FAN Gaal - mentions a player he likes
Louis Van PAL - makes up with Rooney after contract dispute
Louis Van Goal - "we need more goals"
VAN-hail-en - hails his lads
VAN-tastic - United win big
VANtasy land - win even bigger
Ever Read Anything This Confusing?
The season is about to begin and again we will be subjected to this player not showing up in big games and that one being a flat track bully and/or which player deserves which award, may I suggest a system that will helpfully clear the argument:
Each goal scored in a game will be apportioned a ranking depending on time scored, team scored and level of importance of the goal. We already have games divided into group A games, B games and so forth, so let's do the same with their goals. Hear me out.
If player A scores against team X the first goal, the goal is given .75 points should the game finish at 1 nil. If however, player B equalises from team X, his goal and the goal scored by player A gets . 50 essentially because they tied the game and restarted the game. If however player A or B scores another goal which wins the game, the first two goals are given .25 and the winning goal the maximum of .75. the logic continues if the game is a high scoring one.
If however team X wins 3 -1, the third goal receives nothing unless team Y scores to make it 3-2 which makes the third goal the most valuable goal, and the first goal of the three gets nothing. The same applies to hat tricks. If a team wins 3 nil, only the first goal gets .50, the second .25 and the third nothing.
This way, I think will then determine , at least I think which goals have proven to be objectively speaking critical goals and which player can be viewed to have BMT. Admittedly there are quite a variables to make the system 100% like red cards, injuries, subsitutions etc.
Tumang Bokaba, Johannesburg Gooner
The Mailbox Unearths A Controversy
I'm supposed to be sitting at my desk working but of course it's much easier to find things on the internet to distract me. As I running through the BBC website I noticed they had highlights of the England Women v Sweden Women friendly played earlier this week.
Watching the game, the first goal is scored by Karen Carney but how it was scored has forced me to Google the rules of the game. Carney steps up to take a penalty and she hits the post, she is then the next person to touch the ball (as the keeper didn't push it onto the post) and she scores the rebound.
See for yourself here. Am I missing something? That's a free kick to Sweden isn't it? You can't double touch the ball from a penalty, can you?
According to FIFA: Law 14 - the penalty kick - 'must not play the ball again until it has touched another player'
Head Injury Improvements
I thought I would highlight that in a second good move from the FA recently (the other being the free kick line), there have been new rules on head injuries.
Seems to me that the rules are similar to rugby, where a player suffering a head injury must now leave the pitch, and the final decision will be with the club doctor, not the manager. Makes a lot of sense. Home teams in the Premier League must now have also have a third "tunnel" doctor on match-days to support the work of the doctors for both sides who will spot potential concussions and watch TV replays to see the severity of incidents. Progress at last.
I do wonder, though, as has been suggested in other sports, whether it would be better to have FA employed doctors who are completely impartial. Although obviously medical professionals, being so familiar with the players could cloud judgement if he really wants to carry on. Anyway, its progress.
Steven (AFC, Herts)
Dear Transfer Santa
Here's my transfer window wishlist:
1. United sell Nani, Hernandez, Young, Cleverley, Anderson. I don't know about the rest of you but I'm really bored of this never-ending saga of 'these players might be up for sale' 'these players aren't good enough'. It's boring. They're shit. Sell them or release them. Try and buy better players.
2. Jose Mourinho gets bored of playing "Football Manager" and decides to sell his entire squad and 'give the kids a chance'.
3. Spurs buy some decent players so they're competitive. It'll make a much more interesting league until St. Totteringham's Day.
4. Harry Redknapp reverts to buying old has-been cut-throats and ends up getting relegated by Xmas thus giving all the other teams at the bottom of the league a better chance of staying up. It'll make an interesting story and I'm biased.
5. Burnley actually manage to sign someone to make the squad more competitive - Will Hughes and Nathan Redmond would be lovely.
6. Liverpool sign Balotelli to replace Suarez - we all need that loose cannonball to make us chuckle.
7. Newcastle buy someone who's English. It's like Arsenal in the early 2000s over there at the moment.
8. Blackburn sell Jordan Rhodes to West Ham. Both teams do badly out of the situation and flirt with relegation (some more bias there).
9. Mark Hughes goes back in time and usurps Moscow to the signing of Valbuena. I think he'd fit in with their new passing style very well and he'd be a delight to watch.
10. That's all I've got.
Nick P. Burnley FC.
Did anyone else get really disappointed when they Googled "does not a" and "mailbox" only to find two entries? One of which was the mail from this morning.
No? Just me then?
Alex, (one entry in the mailbox does not a pundit make), Ayr