So Long And Good Luck To Nani

A Mailbox that offers best wishes to a departing hero, defends Olivier Giroud, tells us to steady on over Calum Chambers and makes some amusing predictions...

Last Updated: 20/08/14 at 14:50

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The Problem With FA Cup Shocks...

Post comment that the draw for the next round is pretty shocking. Blackburn v Stoke, anybody? We also have mails on LVG and ManUnited, who drew plenty under Fergie...

You're Man Utd, For Crying Out Loud!

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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...

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Non-United Fan Thinks They'll Win The League
I cannot understand the panic surrounding Manchester United nowadays. Yes they have just lost the first game of the season against Swansea, but it is not the end of the world!

I feel that the problems have been grossly exaggerated by the media and the paranoid fans. Manchester United may still need new players but their current squad is already good enough to challenge. Mind you, two seasons ago most of the players were running away with the Premier League title.

There are reasons for optimism for the title. Louis van Gaal is an excellent manager who knows the enormity of the challenge. This gentleman guarantees success as he has shown previously. In the world cup, Netherlands' squad was arguably less shiny than the other big guns (even the 2010 World Cup squad), but van Gaal brought them all the way to third place finish. Man United fans wished David Moyes to get sacked. They got the wish, and they now have a world-class manager taking charge. No matter what other fans say, van Gaal is a proper manager who will undoubtedly bring success.

Man United also still possess world-class and established international players. They have even more than Liverpool. Just look at Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney, Juan Mata, Shinji Kagawa, Marouane Fellaini (he is good when he has the confidence), David De Gea, and Marcos Rojo. These guys are established internationals and I have no doubt van Gaal will find the way to get the best out of them. They have two world-class strikers for God sake! Arsenal and Liverpool wish to even have one.

Lastly, like Liverpool last season, Man United will not have any European commitment this season. With this highly talented squad and young mixture, Man United surely have the better team than Liverpool last season. When the rivals are getting tired due to travel of European distractions, Man United will have more time and energy to prepare for the title glory.

I am not a Man United fan. But this negativity is seriously over-blown. Man United is still one of the biggest teams on the planet. They will roll on to the title. If they sign one or two more world-class players, there should not be anymore question.
Vincentius, Cambridge

More On Arsenal

A 0-0 draw away in Turkey in a tough early season qualifier, i'll take it. No we did not perform well, and no we probably didn't deserve it. I also don't think Arsenal, and Giroud, deserve the bashing they got in this mornings mailbox for a number of reasons:

1) 2 of our first 11 are yet to return from WC break. Further Walcott, one of our top goal threats, is still injured

2) We had a much shorter pre-season than the other top teams: AFC (4), CFC (8) Pool (8) City (6). It is likely it will take a little longer for the team to get back into the swing of things. And yes, I am curious as to why this is and think it is ridiculous.

3) We have seen 3 games so far this season, a 3-0 against last years champions, 3 points in the league and a draw away in Champions League. Fine by me

As for Giroud, the argument is to sign a proper striker, he doesn't bring players into the game, blahblahblah. I think Giroud is fine, would I prefer Suarez or Benzema? Of course, but I like Giroud. He works hard and he does bring in the players around him. He needs to be more consistent, getting more goals per game would be a good start. Arsene has invested around him and not over him and I think this can bear fruits. Who could we realistically have signed anyway? Falcao? Cavani? Can't think of a 30+ goal striker we could have realistically pinched.

Once the Arsenal machine is up and running, I think people might regret their early conclusions. A 20 goal a season striker with two 15-20 goal wingers in Walcott and Sanchez and another 15-20 from Ozil and Ramsey and I will be a happy Gunner.

I do worry about Cazorla, Arteta and Wilshire though....
Rob Anderson

A Horrid First Para On Nani

Coming up to the age of 28 he probably has played his last game for United, I would like to wish Nani all the best. He was not all Bad, he could be a Thriller or make you wanna Scream but I think anyone being too critical should look at the Man in the Mirror, its not that Black or White.

Luís Carlos Almeida da Cunha has been the very embodiment of frustration for the last couple of seasons at United so not many United fans will bemoan his departure on loan to Sporting. The flashes of the class he had mixed with his inability more often than not do the right thing made for painful viewing, he clearly has the basic building blocks for everything that should make him outstanding but this potential was far surpassed by this complete inability to deliver consistent performances.

However, as he makes his way back to Portugal I would like to acknowledge the times he was on the money. History and little kids on Vine videos don't seem to remember it as such but after Ronaldo left in the summer of 2009 it was Nani along with Bertatov that stepped up and helped to carry us to the 2009/10 title, especially in the earlier parts of the season before Rooney and Valencia came to the party as well. I always held hope that Nani would eventually come truly good but with injuries, lack of form and inconsistency 2009/2010 was about as good as it got for him.

Good luck lad.
Parmjeet Dayal

Defending Giroud

I noticed from Twitter last night and the F365 mailbox this morning we've got another one of the "Arsenal didn't win so everything is Giroud's fault" situations. I don't understand it. I really don't. Look, he's not the best player in the world, and he never will be. But he is nowhere near as terrible as people make out. He scored 17 goals in his first season and 22 last season. You can't do that unless you have some talent.

Its not all about Giroud. Nobody will score in every game. Not even . What we need is for other players to step up. If Giroud can get 20 goals again this season, £32m Alexis should be good for around 15, Walcott should get at least 15 (he top scored with 20-something a couple of seasons back), Ramsey should be pushing 20 (I think he got 16 last season even though he missed 3 months), get 5-10 goals each from Ozil, Cazorla, Ox, Podolski, Wilshere, Sanogo, add in a few set piece goals from the defence ... you can easily see on paper this squad should have 100+ goals in it. Keep things reasonably tight at the back - the new boys have impressed me so far - and we should be fine.

By the way, do the other Arsenal fans realise we DREW last night? And we've still got a 2nd leg at home to go through?
Daniel Foster, AFC

Chambers: Steady On

I see it is becoming a common trend to praise Calum Chambers for his 'outstanding' performances and this continued in the morning mailbox after the Besiktas match. I just felt compelled to right in and call shenanigans right away.

Were you watching the same game as I was? Demba Ba bossed Calum Chambers in most challenges. Also, did no one see how poor Chambers' positioning was to allow that simple hoofed ball to go straight over his head and allow Demba Ba an open run at goal? It was only Koscielny's last ditch covering tackle that put Ba off or that would have been a sure goal. It was also very poor judgement on Chamber's part to attempt a slide clearance when it did go over his head and thereby waste precious few seconds which he could have used to run and get goalside of the ball.

Then again there was another incident on a Besiktas counter attack Chambers' had occupied a very poor position, far too narrow which allowed a Besiktas player (can't get his name, long hair bearded chap) to take a wide position and have a run at goal. Again it was only Koscielny covering that saved Chambers' the blushes. These are only two blatant incidents off the top of my head that would have led to goals directly from Chambers' mistakes.

Yes, Chambers' is a very decent defender and at 19 he does possess a maturity beyond his years but he should not be starting games in defence for a team that wants to challenge for honours. That distinction is still a couple of years away for him.

His mistakes could easily have cost Arsenal the chance to compete in the Champions League this year and if the game were not played so early in the season when the players are still getting attuned to the demands of competitive football I am sure it would have.
Prajay (Lambert pulled off a real coup signing Carlos Sanchez) AVFC

Some Pretty Good Predictions

10. A promoted club will punch above its weight. Manager, players and fans will take the edge off any goodwill from the general public by reminding us that "everyone said we'd be down by Christmas", something no one said (some Palace fans did this last season).

9. A long-term Premier League club will struggle. Pundits will say they're too big to go down, apart from Mark Lawrenson, who says they'll be fine.

8. Tony Pulis will take over at West Ham. He will leave before the start of next season, as the two Davids will have spent their transfer budget paying off Sam Allardyce.

7. The Hammers will lose a couple of games after Allardyce goes. Vines of him laughing at Chico Flores become the most popular things on the internet. Yes, even moreso than cats. Someone will make a Vine of a cat laughing at Sam Allardyce laughing at West Ham.

6. Football coverage will feature pundits who aren't ex-players or out of work managers. This will be welcomed by fans hoping for Danny Baker, and then detested when it turns out to be Piers Morgan and/or Tim Lovejoy.

5. A player will be given genuinely amusing or poetic nickname, that properly sticks and is used by everyone. This will prompt people to rethink previous efforts, such as "Wazza" or "TC23".

4. Joe Jordan's car will break down on the last day of the transfer window. Harry Redknapp has to get the bus. Acting quickly, a reporter is sent to every stop, so 'Arry can shout his latest transfer developments to them out the back of a Routemaster. The journey is much longer, but he can't risk the tube as he won't have a signal.

3. A genuine star player will emerge at a lower-mid-table Premier League club. The player will have played all his football at that club, having been born a stone's throw from the stadium. A Champions League side will sign him for a ridiculous sum of money and he'll be barely seen again.

2. Phil Neville will remain at #50 in the England World Cup Ladder on F365.

1. 1% will continue to say Frank Lampard.
Ed Quoth the Raven, CPFC the Glaziers, Notts

Fair Point

Afternoon all,

RE: This Doesn't Look Good, Parker "We are struggling to think of a more one-footed player than Van Persie in the Premier League."

I give you Luis Antonio Valencia. No further words required.
Chris, Cardiff

It's Just Like Reading Brazil

Fascinating article on Jack Brazil, it's a great feature anyway but that was the best one yet.

Andy Wilson

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Mail Box

The Problem With FA Cup Shocks... that the draw for the next round is pretty shocking. Blackburn v Stoke, anybody? We also have mails on LVG and ManUnited, who drew plenty under Fergie...

You're Man Utd, For Crying Out Loud!

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...

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