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Pogba saga has made me feel really old
This whole Pogba ordeal has left me feeling very old. Not because I long for the days of big transfer coming out of nowhere.
Not because the whole world is fawning over a 23 year old while I’m trying to cover up my bald spot. Not because the fee is so big and I remember be shocked at Andy Coles’s fee to Man United. But because I’m left wondering who in the name of jaysus is Stormzy.
Big D, (I used to be with it, but they changed what *it* was…) Luxembourg
Pogba: A lose-lose situation for Man United
So United have signed Pogba and the ABU’s are out in force after their three year slumber. This was a lose-lose situation for United, they were damned if they did and damned if they didn’t sign him.
What I don’t understand though is the fans from opposing clubs throwing in jibes at United’s transfer business. My advice to some of these fans is be careful when throwing stones from your glass house. The worst of the bunch has to be Liverpool fans jumping up and down at the fee. It’s well known that Liverpool fans don’t possess a short-term memory capacity, which is probably why they constantly hark back to great periods of success that happened god knows how long ago. Liverpool signed Andy Carroll, yes that guy, for 35m not so long ago and kick-started this era of ridiculous transfer fees. Not only that, they have spent 33m on Beneteke and 25m on Adam Lallana so you’re fans are hardly qualified to talk about transfer fees and the relative success of players versus the fee paid.
Another group also moaning is the Arsenal fans. I understand the jealousy guys, I really do. I’d be furious as well if my club was the second tightest club in the country, only marginally ahead of Blackpool. Just because your club won’t invest in its playing staff and is more than happy to enter a new season with only two fully fit centre backs, there’s no need to make jealous jibes in United’s direction because we are willing to invest.
Predicting bad things for Everton
Now that the Premier League is more competitive than ever I think that one or two established teams will really struggle each season at the expense of recently promoted teams. Last season it was Aston Villa and Chelsea – this year I think Everton will struggle badly.
Everton fans seem very, very optimistic, but I don’t think Koeman has achieved enough in his career to warrant that. He won the Dutch league with Ajax and PSV, but has also had very, very average records as manager of Benfica, Valencia, AZ and Feyenoord. His time at Southampton was quite successful, but I wonder how much of that was down to the players, structure and scouting system which was already in place? Southampton are an exceptionally well-run club and Koeman did well with what he had, he didn’t exactly transform them. Matching expectations at Everton will be a much greater challenge.
I also don’t understand the opprobrium and abuse directed at Koeman’s predecessor. Ok, Everton fans wanted him gone, but it wasn’t as if Martinez got Everton relegated. Everton were comfortably mid-table at the end of the day – ok, that’s considered not good enough but I thought the abuse and criticism was way over-the-top. It made Everton fans come across as shrill and self-entitled and I think the weight of expectation on Koeman will become too much as a result.
With Stones having gone I think a lot depends on whether or not they can keep Lukaku. With him I think they’ll finish around 15th, without I think they’ll be relegated.
… So we’ve sold John Stones for 47.5M to City (with CL winning add-ons taking it to 50M…so 47.5M it is then) supposedly giving Everton well north of 150M to spend. In fairness, I wanted him to stay. He wasn’t great last season, every Evertonian will tell you that but most of us understand that some of that fell on Martinez. Under Koeman, who knows what he could have become. That said, no doubt City is paying for potential down the road and there isn’t any doubt of that, even by the most jaded Everton supporters. And that’s before what Guardiola brings to the table in terms of man management and instruction.
Now it’s time for Everton to spend some of that money burning a hole in our pockets. As of this letter, Ashley Williams is supposedly on his way from Swansea and the papers have us linked with others. Another striker to pair with or back up Lukaku would be nice but there are areas all over the park that need strengthening.
Either way, hats off to City for taking Lescott, Rodwell, and now Stones off our hands at very good prices. Just don’t sell ‘em Lukaku or we’ll be up a creek without a paddle.
TX Bill (looking forward to City buying Holgate & Davies for 200M in 2019) EFC
Things that will definitely happen this season
Instead of guessing which teams would win, I thought I’d give you ten things that will definitely happen this season:
1. Mourinho will continue to wrongfoot journalists with his press conference answers, eg coming out with “I’m not special” or “we won the match” after a defeat.
2. He will also continue to look remarkably smug, despite some of his own fans (according to yesterday’s mailbox) refusing to support Man U any more
3. Guardiola will try out a rarely-seen formation with Man City
4. Wenger will find ways to continue to give ammunition to both his critics and his staunch “Arsène knows” supporters
5. Crystal Palace, West Ham or Everton will look like Champions League contenders for about ten games, then fade.
6. Leicester will surprise everyone, again.
7. Liverpool will be within touching distance (three points or less) of the top four, causing frenzied speculation among fans but not actually getting higher than fifth place
8. Pogba’s price tag will be mentioned at every single game he plays, whether he’s brilliant (that’s what £100M gets you) or not (can’t believe we spent £100M on him)
9. Chelsea versus Man U will be tasty, especially the battle of the mental managers on the touchline.
10. Spurs will play with exactly the same aggression as last season, prompting people to say they are not like old Tottenham.
Paul in Brussels (don’t sue me if I’m wrong on any of these)
A mad idea about Olympics football
It’s safe to say that football in the Olympics hasn’t turned into the showcase of the Worlds talent that they would have hoped. Watching some of the Rugby sevens it occurred to me that trying to create a quicker more skillful version might be just what they need.
So my proposal is we bring the 3 v 3 from Nike’s cage ad into the Olympics.
You could have a qualifying tournament the summer before the Olympics and it could be over in a few days. Each country might send a squad of 6 or 7 players and it could be run in the first few days of the Olympics so to have the least effect on players pre-season preparations. It wouldn’t require a 1 month training camp in the lead up, just turn up a few days beforehand.
You could have teams such as:
France – Pogba, Payet, Benzema
Spain – Iniesta, Silva, Cesc
Germany – Muller, Reus, Ozil/Kroos
Argentina – Messi, Di Maria, Aguero
Team GB – Bale, Sturridge, Grigg
Italy – De Rossi, Giovinco, Balotelli
Ireland – Hoolahan, Brady, Hendrick
There would be mostly attacking players but that’s what you would want to see. I think we could be on to a winner here. I’d watch it.
Now that we’ve sorted the football the next thing to fix is that Horse Dancin’, with 1 on 1 Battles!
Dermot, Galway, Ireland
A weird lookalike, but a good one
With all the Pogba news over the last 48 hours, I thought it would be good to bring something new to the table.
After seeing endless images of Sir Paul, is it me, or am I starting to go crazy as I think (aside from the obvious difference), Paul Pogba kind of looks like Pete Postlethwaite.
I have put this to two people, (1 yay, 1 nay, so I would love to see if F365 readers agree with me, or to at least confirm if I am indeed crazy.
Jay – Sydney, MUFC
Right-back to reality
Can we please take a moment out of all our days to appreciate that even with this batsh*t crazy, money fuelled orgy of a transfer window, the most expensive right-back to move in the Premier League is Glen Johnson. Glen. F*cking. Johnson.
I feel all warm and cuddly inside.
Jack, THFC, Belfast
Fantasy football banter
While I would never dream to consider myself of having the honour of being a mailbox regular, I do seem to have gained a few enemies here.
I would therefore like to extend an invitation to various people to join me in F365s chosen fantasy football site in a head to head league, in a vain attempt to give our lives meaning/see who is best. I’d do this in the forum, but my work forbids using work email for signups.
I propose that each person has to abide by certain rules when selecting their team based upon their reputation here.
So, Guy Shrimpton must obtain Rooney, and must play him in every game.
Ted, Manchester, can’t have anyone signed for over £20million.
David Robbins must have a team comprised exclusively of arseholes.
Daniel Storey must have a team whose name is excellent but slightly too long and over-thought, and the players must all be good looking.
John Nic’s side must always contain at least one player who has a girls name.
Sarah Winterburn’s team must all be from the north of England.
Nick Miller and Matt Stead’s teams have to be comprised of former team favourites who have moved to another club but can’t stop talking about and to their former teammates.
I’d also like to extend an invitation to Harry Boulton, Jae Hodgkin, Martin Golder (your team has to be at least 5 Liverpool players at all times) Rick Andrews and Gab Web.
There are lots of other regulars I’d like to invite too, the above are simply the ones I’ve interacted with most, so if you’d like to be in then let me know in the comments.
The draft is on Friday, and the rules of the game are here.
I’ve set up a league of 16 and will share the password depending on how much interest there is. There will be a forfeit for the team finishing last, and a prize for the team finishing first.
Let me know in the comments!
Owen’s having a dig at you all…
Brad Smith writes that Daniel Storey’s assertion that “there is something wonderfully familiar” about United winning or losing the title in their final third “is just about the worst sentence I have ever read on this site” just goes to show he should read the Mailbox more often.
Honestly, you will read something worse than that every day.
Owen (but please keep on sending in your mails, it’s part of what makes the site so great), Camden
Don’t worry, the bulls*t pipe won’t stop
With Paul Pogba’s (the subject of rougly 45% of all gossip for the last two months) and John Stones’s (15%) transfers sagas finally over what the hell am I going to read about for the next three weeks?
Sibbi (the iceland-based, no please stop viking-clapping) Spur