It's a bonus Saturday Mailbox, with plenty of reaction to the most alarming 0-0 draw in Manchester United's recent history. At what point do we worry about Louis van Gaal?
It's all very well talking about formations and United's defensive problems, but shouldn't their expensive attacking options be doing better? And we talk psychology...
If you have anything to say on any subject, mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Excitement And Trepidation
As a Manchester United fan and having had time to take in their transfer dealings, I'm experiencing a combination of excitement and trepidation - as well as regret at seeing Danny Wellgood, Little Pea and Shinji Kagawa go without really having fully reached their potential at United. Never again (I imagine) will a United striker register goals with both his face and the back of his head, like Little Pea managed. They were my personal three favourite current United players, mostly because they all seemed like nice guys, so it's a shame to see them depart.
However I'm excited about what should be an incredibly 'interesting' (intentionally ambiguous choice of word) season. Every time I try to work out what LvG's first team will be, I realise I've left one of Herrera, Di Maria, Mata, Januszaj, Blind, RvP, Falcao (we've got Falcao!?) or Rooney out of the team. If LvG can make it all click, it will be spectacular. If not, we'll have one of the most talented squads (in attack, at least) to fail in the Premier League. If I were in charge, I'd be absolutely terrified of missing out on the top four now - I presume LvG is a little more sure of himself.
Either way it should prove pretty amazing to watch - potentially racking up records in both the 'goals scored' and 'goals conceded' columns, and ending either in (relative) glory or phenomenal disaster.
Dan, (predicting a City/United 7-4 United/City scoreline at some stage this season) Brighton & Hove
This Is Terrible
For fellow Arsenal fans, I give you the chant to soon to be heard echoing round the Emirates once Welbeck starts knocking in the goals.
To the tune of Tubthumping:
'Oh, Danny boy, Danny boy, Danny boyyyyyy.
'We've got Welbeck, he's gonna score again,
You're never gonna keep him down,
We've got Welbeck, he's gonna score again,
He's always gonna turn Spurs down.'
Bye Bye Welbz
As a Utd fan it is sad to see Welbeck leave, and yet I feel his career will benefit from being away from the club. He was never likely to start, and would have spent most of his career at Utd as a jack-of-all-trades substitute with occasional runouts in the cups. He would not have the opportunity to fulfil his potential, to get a run of games and to see how good he could be. It was ever thus with other Utd youth products, such as Brown and O'Shea who rarely played in their preferred positions.
On a wider point, Utd's youth system appears to be a real waste of money these days. Since the Class of '92, very few have made the transition to the first team. Instead we have bought young English players - Ferdinand, Rooney, Smith, Carrick, Smalling, Jones, Young, and recently Shaw, Zaha, Powell - to maintain an English core. The youth sides (mainly made up of foreigners) have not produced. We've had high hopes for some - Macheda, Gibson (don't laugh), Pogba, Rossi, Tosic etc - but none made the transition. In recent years only the much-derided Jonny Evans has migrated to the first team and stuck, now that Welbeck and Cleverley have both moved on.
The improved youth system was Ferguson's gift to Utd, based on his work with Aberdeen. However, that model has not worked for a number of years, particularly given that clubs are restricted to signing players within a small catchment area. It is a myth that youth systems matter for the top teams, as so few genuine club-developed players (as opposed to imported 16-year-olds, who also usually fall by the wayside) are good enough to graduate into their first teams.
Peter Shearman, Berkshire.
Deadline Day Thoughts
Is this the last we'll see of live TV broadcasts from outside the grounds? While it was cracking TV, I'd say Sky weren't too impressed with numerous exclamations of that phrase, Alan Irvine getting an ear inspection from a dildo-wielding Toffee as well as that inflatable fan making an appearance outside Villa park. Natalie did not look impressed.
The 11pm deadline is a complete sham. Ben Arfa arrived at Hull at twenty past 11, had the notorious "deal sheet" been filed prior to that? Cleverley's loan deal is being done today FFS!
Why was it seemingly only Chelsea fans outside Loftus Road?
As a United fan, I'm saddened to see Welbeck, Hernandez and Kagawa go while Young, Cleverley (for now) and Anderson stay. Granted the 3 who've gone wouldn't have got near the 1st team with the lads who've come in, but I'd much rather see them still wear the shirt ahead of the latter 3 frauds.
Welbeck's main problem is that his feet are two seconds ahead of his brain. If Wenger can coach that out of him he could be brilliant.
Strange one for Hernandez, he's gone from being a bench warmer at the biggest club in the world to being a bench warmer at the biggest club in the world. Any player with his goalscoring ability should be playing every week.
IF Man United can get some sort of a defensive unit organised and those front 5 playing well, the results could be spectacular..the worrying thing for this season is how long that may take to accomplish.
Reasons To Feel Positive At Spurs
Alright, we Spurs fans have become used to a flurry of exciting activity on deadline day. I think we were all hoping for a repeat of the surprise van der Vaart deal, or a big money striker. But when the players aren't out there, or don't want to come, there's only so much you can do. So i propose some reasons for fellow Lillywhites to be at least a little optimistic.
1. We have a young manager who plays the most exciting football we've seen since Harry.
2. We bought a lot of players last season who never really got a chance for one reason or another. If Lamela, Capoue and Chadli all have good seasons, for instance, we've already got the players.
3. Would you rather buy no-one or panic buy Louis Saha and Ryan Nelsen?
4. We did not buy 'exceptional athlete' Danny Welbeck.
Now, can we all get our collective sh*t together over the international break and see how this team does in its early days? Go for a cup and build a team with patience. There isn't the money or the continuity for anything else.
Rob Davies, THFC (Everywhere you goooo, you always take Lamela with you)
United To Copy Pool
The summer window has come and gone and after the butt fumbling of the majority of the summer much credit must be given to Edward Woodward after sealing both Di Maria and Falcao with so little time left in the window. Whether or not these are the players to return United to the upper echelon of football is yet to be seen, but United fans have to be happy getting two truly world class football players through the door without Champions League football.
A lot of talk at the end of last season and much throughout the summer was teams following in the footsteps of their peers. Will Liverpool "pull a Spurs" and will United pull a Liverpool.
United seem to have noticed that Liverpool ascension to the top was based around the philosophy of "it doesn't matter how poor a defense we have, we will just score more goals than you." It is a damn fine strategy and one that is most entertaining for the neutrals.
So well done United on your business and thank you for bring more "world class" players to the league I watch week in and week out.
Brian (I'm not sure selling Welbeck to Arsenal was the best move, but hey that's what makes it fun) LFC
...Pretty exciting transfer window really.
Obvious clear winners are Chelsea and Southampton, with United making a late play to join them. Liverpool did well to wrestle such a big fee for bitey, but aside from Lovren and Balo have probably squandered the opportunity, as they likely won't be in the CL next year. Arsenal have done some good attacking business and Welbeck will prove to be a great buy, while Everton have mostly done well to keep their key players at the same time showing some muscle in bringing in Lukaku.
Only City and Spurs have surprised me really by the lack of action, especially the latter's refusal to buy a decent striker. Such a shame, but it should make for a fun season all round.
I'm fascinated to see what Louis has planned for this squad. Usually it's obvious where players will fit in, but not this time. Can he really fit Mata, Rooney, RvP/Falcao, Di Maria and Blind into a 3-5-2 or will it push back to a 4-3-3 with Rooney out wider? Who knows, but the unpredictability is exciting...!
Guy S (change is good)
We Found It Interesting
I was reading Winners and Losers from the weekend and saw the stat about Leonardo Ulloa's goals both coming in the 22nd minute and thought there had to be more than that.
Yes, both goals came in the 22nd minute but I remembered them both being quick replies after the more favoured team scored so I thought I'd check to see the exact times when Everton and Arsenal got their first respective goals.
Naismith in the 20th minute and Sanchez in the 20th minute. Both teams scored and conceded in the same minute. To me, it would seem that the more favoured teams have got their goal and had that switch flip in their head that makes them think that the first has gone in and they can now just play their game and push for the second, meaning they don't concentrate as hard and ship within minutes.
Is this an indicator of teams taking Leicester too lightly, of the arrogance of Arsenal and Everton that they could just walk over Leicester after one goal went in? Or am I just reading to much into this?
Kris, LFC, Manchester
See Ya, Glenno
One of the lower-profile stories from after the window slammed shut was the news that Glenn Murray has left Crystal Palace to go on loan at Reading, with a view to making it permanent. As a Palace fan I'm a bit disappointed by this, especially when you see who has been acquired in his stead, although it's hard to begrudge a player wanting regular first-team football stepping down a division to do so.
As things stand, the man with the best nickname in all of football is likely to end up being a nearly-man. He scored 30 goals two years ago, only to be seriously injured towards the end of the season and miss out on most of the Premier League fun. By the time he was fit again, he was behind Marouane Chamakh, Dwight Gayle and (ugh) Cameron Jerome in the pecking order. As the first two are still there, and Fraizer Campbell has come in as an upgrade on Jerome, Murray was still in fourth place. It's a real shame that a player who was so instrumental in getting the team promoted has not been able to enjoy the reward of his (and his teammates') efforts.
At 30, it's unlikely Murray will have many more opportunities to play in the Premier League if he either doesn't force his way back in to the Palace side, or win promotion with Reading, this season. He is, after all, someone who worked his way up from non-league (Barrow in Conference North), through League Two, League One and the Championship before he made his first appearance in the top flight. While he lacks the talent or beetroot factory-based backstory of Ricky Lambert, Murray is worth mentioning in the same bracket, as another kick against those who are quick to consign players to the scrapheap at a much younger age.
Can't explain Kevin Doyle though, with him and Wayne Hennessy Palace are doing Wolves a serious favour by taking two of their highest earners off them (one albeit temporarily) in the last two transfer windows. It's been a while since that guy on this site called him the best lone frontman in Europe.
Ed Quoth the Raven (now with actual raven), CPFC the Glaziers, Notts
Daniel Storey may be giddy at the big spending during this transfer window (Top 10 Winners & Losers, 2 September) but for those of us who support clubs outside the Premiership, this twice-yearly spunking of the cash is growing increasingly obscene.
Spare a thought for Hereford Utd, a week away from being wound up for the sake of 170,000 - around 4 days' wages for Mr Falcao. So much for the Premiership's much-vaunted but totally mythical "trickle-down effect". For those of us who care about football as a whole rather than the ridiculous top division, this is the biggest story of deadline week.
Tim Russell, Bangkok, Thailand