Mails: Chelsea fans deserve more credit

Date published: Friday 18th December 2015 2:59

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Chelsea fans deserve more credit
Whilst the we digest the news of Mourinho’s sacking I’d like to point out a few things that other fans should take note of.

Loyalty is not sticking with your manager in the good times, it’s supporting them through the bad, something that I think Chelsea fans should be applauded for as in recent years we have had every slanderous name thrown at us of “Glory hunters”, “Mercenaries” and “Plastic fans”. Whilst Roman has sacked Mourinho I personally think that he done so with a heavy heart and the pressure from the media no doubt contributed to make the situation untenable. Would the keyboard warrior Arsenal fans stick by Wenger if they were in our position? Bearing in mind there’s rumblings of the “Wenger out” if they’re a couple of points shy of the top 4.

Whilst this hasn’t ended well I would still class Mourinho’s tenure as a success. I was having a discussion with a Newcastle fan the other day asking whether they’d take one PL trophy and 10 years in the lower leagues or 20 years in the prem with no title and his choice was 20 years in the prem. His choice is his and I respect that but I can’t help but feel that this is an inherent problem in fans with glory sacrificed for consistency. would you rather be a Pompey fan with the club in administration but a great FA cup run and a day in the clubs history to boot or a Stoke City fan sitting in mediocrity wondering if the sun will ever shine? Football is a sport and as such the purpose of it is to win competitions.

Relegation for me is not the end of the world, I’ve got a good couple of decades of watching football and could pretty much check out on what I’ve seen. Every trophy that’s worth winning my team has won, they’ve had a glorious “you couldn’t make this up” cup run to win the ever elusive Champions League and I’ve been privileged enough to watch a great in my youth in Zola and a youth become a great in Lampard. I had the highest of highs and the lowest of lows in club football and there’s not really much else that it has to offer. The only things on my football fan to do list are England based and I hope that I’ll be lucky enough to tick them off in my lifetime to get the full house.

So laugh, heckle and jeer to your hearts content ladies and gentlemen. No-one likes us but we don’t need to care.
Anthony (Almost completed football), Kilburn


Blame the players
Well, it’s come to this – the same old familiar territory whereby the club I support sack the most successful manager they’ve ever had before Christmas. I am not surprised, but I am incredibly disappointed. At times this season it has seemed as if Jose was angling for the sack – the way he openly criticised players, medical staff, referee’s, ball boys, the opposition, the players again and the FA. He even challenged the board to sack him and got away with it.

However, despite qualifying top of the champions’ league group, a 2-1 loss away to Leicester (one of the best teams in the league this year) was deemed a sufficient straw to break the camel’s back.

I am not a person who advocates “mob-rule” and I do not think that Fans have a divine right to demand the club be run in a particular way, but the Chelsea fans have, almost to a man and woman, been behind Mourinho. I believe that this is, not for the first time, the fans of a club taking a long term view about what is right for them. During both spells at the club Mourinho has – whatever his critics say – reformed the team, delivered success and improved the players he has had at his disposal. Medium and long term there is NOTHING to suggest that Chelsea wouldn’t have continued success under Mourinho – he has had success at every club he has ever managed and his reputation, record, standing at the club meant that he deserved more time to turn the club around. No club has periods where they win every game all the time and this run of form is still less than 4 months old. Sixteen league games – SIXTEEN. Chelsea topped the champions’ league group and were unfortunate to go out of the league cup.

If the fans are going to blame people for this season, I think you have to blame the players. Either the players are following poor instructions or they are not following the instructions correctly. I fail to see how it could be the former, Mourinho does not always get his tactics perfect, but he rarely gets them totally wrong. It is apparent to me that the players must take at least as much, if not more blame for the performance this season. Of course, it could be that they don’t like Mourinho, don’t want to play for him, are fed up with his managerial style or whatever else, but they are professionals and the minimum that the club can expect is that the players trust in each other and carry out the managers instructions. That they have not done so is both a disservice to the club and makes me incredibly worried about the future for the squad. I do not want players who are unprofessional, feign injury, refuse to give it 100% and cannot motivate themselves to follow tactical instructions for professional football anywhere near the team.

Mourinho was a perfectionist, highly motivated and proven winner. He led the club to multiple successes and has paid the price – whatever the cause – because of the players (except Willian and Courtois). Let’s not forget that.

Chelsea were lucky to have Mourinho and he’ll always be remembered as a winner who helped transform the club and deliver success when given the time to do so.



All aboard the managerial merry-go-round
Rogers, and now Mourinho, getting sacked put this seasons managerial merry-go-round in motion:

Klopp going to Liverpool makes Ancelotti going to Bayern a certainty at this stage (I reckon Klopp was given the heads up that he wasn’t getting that job). It ticks all the boxes for Ancelotti: last of the big 5 European leagues for him; realistic chance for him to solidify his status as the greatest European Cup manager with 4 titles at 3 different clubs; it means he can go back to Spain later to try and grab that one trophy he is missing.

Simeone must have already gotten the call from Chelsea. He has won 5 trophies at Atlético, but knows he is always going to be fighting for the scraps left over by Real and Barca.

Mourinho will surely be looking at PSG. It will get him his 5th different league title and again a realistic chance at winning the Champions League. That will leave Germany as the last big league for him.

Laurent Blanc at PSG, could be tempted by the French international job after the Euros, or might end up at Real to replace Rafa (will his 1 season at Barca hold him back there though?). I could also see him at United if they don’t get Pep.

Pep is leaving Bayern, either at the end of this season or next. England seems to be his next destination. United have twice previously tried to get him (before Moyes and after Moyes). Both times he said no on the basis that he had a contract with Bayern. They will surely try a third time. Whether he goes to United or City could come down to how he wants to be viewed. He took over a successful Barca team and a successful Bayern team. City will offer him the same thing: United will offer him the chance to build his team. Both have the money to buy pretty much anyone.

Exciting, or incredibly frustrating times ahead!

Jerry MUFC


Mourinho was great value
The theory in Thursday morning’s mailbox that the Premier League needs Jose Mourinho more than Mourinho needs the PL was perfectly backed up by F365’s timeline of the season.  That could have been summarised for brevity as:

Lost a game
Picked a fight
Got in trouble
Repeat to fade

For people who see football as an entertainment business, Mourinho was great value, because what he said and did gave them plenty to talk/write about when there was dead air/space to fill.  However, for those of us who are interested in the actual football, his antics grew tiresome.  Ultimately, he had a team of supremely talented players and failed to motivate them to play to their full ability.  He may have been mutually consented, but we all know this really means Roman Abramovich wanted rid of him and negotiated him down from the rumoured £30m Mourinho would have been owed for an outright sacking.  The difference is that, as long as you ignore the tumult that has dominated the season, Mourinho leaves with his reputation intact and play the waiting game until another club takes a punt on his three-year trick, of bed in, win the title, fall out with everyone.

The literary Ed Quoththeraven (waiting game sucks, let’s play Hungry, Hungry Hippos)

PS getting a tad fed up of people moaning about my presence in the mailbox, not realising that if enough of them write something even half-decent, F365 wouldn’t have to repeatedly publish any old rubbish that I send them

(MC – Don’t worry, Ed, we still love you)


Best of the rest XI (including leaders Leicester)
A lot has been said about how competitive the premier league season has been with the general consensus being that it is due to an increase in quality across the league, where teams outside of the big 6 are able to recruit top talent such as Cabaye, Shakiri, Wijnaldum etc.

So, as we approach the xmas period & the mid-season point I’d like to present my ‘best of the rest’ team of the season (so far) which I think would be capable of winning the league:

GK: Butland

Defence: Soares, Van Dijk, Reid, Brady

Midfield: Mahrez, Cabaye, Kante, Lanzini

Attack: Vardy, Lukaku

Subs: Gomes, Evans, Amavi, M’Vila, Barkley, Payet, Mane, Ighalo

I’ve based this team mainly on WhoScored ratings which is why there are some big exclusions, who may not have played as many games this season or struggled for consistancy. I’d like to see what other teams mailboxers could come up with.
Nik, NUFC (Mourinho for England!) Liverpool  


Mourinho to United
I’m sorry Chris MUFC Preston but can’t agree with the Jose Ferguson comment.

I am a (Man) City fan and yet I found Fergie made it harder for me to hate United. He had his flaws but I found them palatable as part of his genius. He knew how to sustain success and despite his run ins with the refs and the press, and his fall outs with certain players, you always expected United to keep ticking on under his management. The long game.

The only thing ticking on with Mourinho was the sound of the time bomb that would inevitability implode. His methods were far more extreme and volatile than Fergie’s were. A siege mentality – Very effective off the bat, but you can’t expect your players to sustain it long-term. And when the walls came crashing down the players turned on him. Why wouldn’t they? He sacrificed the team doctor like Darth Vader might have used a force choke on the poor chap that stood too close when his plans backfired. I don’t know about anyone else but the reason I dislike Chelsea so much is Mourinho himself.

Oh and despite their fall from greatness,  I’ve never disliked United as much as I do now. If you want a United manager to compare José to it’s Van Gaal.  They both are ego maniacs, both play dire football that makes you want to cry, both act like cornered rats at press conferences, and both alienate their own players if they don’t match their philosophies. All round lovable guys.
Quackeththeduck (agree with the Pellegrini comment though.)


I see some of my fellow United fans are calling for Jose to become manager at the club but I have to disagree with them because the time for Jose at United has passed – I continually bleated on at the time that Jose was the only man to replace Fergie when he retired because he was the only manager with an ego big enough to take over from the great man.

Jose at that time would have been the perfect appointment because of his “short terminism”, he would probably have kept some degree of success going at the club then after two or three seasons hand over to a manager with a long term view in mind, would have loved that to have been Klopp (it is SO painful seeing him at Anfield!) but I would now want either Pep or Ancelotti to take over from Van Gaal, no way Jose.

On a totally unrelated note can I take this opportunity to congratulate Leicester and hope that they continue to have success this season and if we can’t win the league I hope they do!  Every time I see Raneiri interviewed he makes me smile and feel warm inside…


Yep, I’m with Chris, Preston … go get Jose now!

We should have had him instead of Moyes, then the Ferguson way would have been maintained and we wouldn’t have spent the last few years floundering around the way we have.

I wrote to F365 some months ago suggesting that short-termism is probably better than to give supporters and players a shot in the arm, and I would have liked to have seen Jose take on Europe with the financial backing that Moyes and LVG have had. Like Chelsea we would have no doubt been wishing him a fond farewell by now, but on the back of some exciting times.

Anyone in a job for too long can get too cosy with the hierarchy, take the soft options rather than stamp feet and rattle cages (SAF in his latter years, Arsene being cases in point).

We supporters are always craving for a shiny new thing every transfer window … JM would be my choice for January!
ET King (MUFC)


So, the inevitable “Mourinho to United” narrative has begun.   Paul Merson with his great knowledge (no laughing at the back) piped up on Sky Sports last night, and more importantly it was discussed in this morning’s mailbox.  Two and a half years ago, he was the perfect man to take over Sir Alex.  He was the only available manager with the ego big enough to not be in awe of taking over a manager with long and sustained success.  Unlike Moyes, none of the players would have given the impression of not wanting to play for him due to his having no success, as he is a winner.

However, United fans calling for him now are probably the same ones complaining about Van Gaal not doing it “the united way”.  With Mourinho we would get a similar manager where the result is all that matters.  Remember, this is the manager who has used the parked bus to great success.  Would United fans chanting “Attack, attack, attack” stand for seeing ten men in their own half?  Van Gaal may or may not have his flaws (depending on who you speak to – him included) but the arguments about the United way of playing brush over the fact we are a club who  throughout our history have given youth a chance.  Look at the players Van Gaal has played in the past 18 months and ask yourself, would Mourinho have even tried one of them?  Would Lingard be a regular in his team?  Would Martial be leading the line?  Would he have trusted two young fullbacks with one or two games under their belt to play in a must win Champions league game?  I think not.

Don’t get me wrong.  If Van Gaal was removed or left in the coming weeks and Mourinho came in, I would much prefer that to the untested Giggs (for every Pep, there are a dozen Alan Shearers).  However, Mourinho is no different to Van Gaal, and I know a lot of my fellow United fans wouldn’t stand for his methods.

John “Of course, like any fickle football fan, I would be very pleased if Mourinho came, calming he would win us everything before moaning after ten games when he doesn’t”.
Morgan, Kingsbury


Still sacked
So I was mindlessly browsing the BBC sport website and came across an article titled ”Still Sacked by Luton”. Given the rather amusing headline I wanted to see who was still sacked after all this time.

Well it turns out the still is actually John Still. John guided Luton to promotion from the conference and then almost took them to the League 2 play-offs last year only missing out by a couple of points. Checking Lutons form this season they had a stuttering start to the campaign but nothing that couldn’t be rescued. In their last 3 games which they lost all off they appear to have been rather unfortunate considering they lost 2 of them 4-3.

They had a great September, bit of a slip in October and up until this time a month ago appeared to be arresting any potential slide. Granted the last 4 results didn’t do anybody any favours but with Luton only 7 points off the play-offs with only half a season to go I fail to see the sense in sacking a manager who guided you to promotion and almost took you up again because he has 2 ”poor” months. Those last 4 results look to have been the nail in the coffin.

With Mourinho getting fired and Still getting fired football really is a beast unto itself where you can go from Hero to Zero in a matter of months,
Dale (Writing in seriously for once) Leeds


‘Parking the bus’ not mentioned in top 20 Mourinho quotes. Someone else needs a sacking.
Michael (limerick )


Poor Palace
As a Palace fan experiencing a great run this season, I look forward to catching us on your ‘Winners’ list each Monday. Week after week, however, I am disappointed to read drivel about Pardew and his ‘Man from Del Monte’ appearance, his attitude and arrogance, blah blah blah. It was the same under Pulis, with weekly digs about how he must be a magician. Previously to Pulis, in our first season back in the big time, I recall comments such as: ‘Palace are so out of their depth that any praise given would simply seem sarcastic’ (paraphrase).

It would be nice, (just once!) to give credit where it’s deserved and read some good journalism about another great team performance from a club very much on the up, rather than a perpetuation of this weird Pardew obsession. How high in the league do we have to be before this starts to happen?
Paul – London

Some future predictions
December: Pep Guardiola announces he will leave Bayern at the end of the season to join Man City.

January: LVG is sacked after United drop out of top four, having also been humiliated in FA Cup by losing 1:0 on penalties, after the first 10 takers on both sides are unsuccessful. Ryan Giggs gets a two-and-a-half-years contract.

February: Real Madrid replace Rafa Benitez with Zinedine Zidane after four consecutive 0-0 draws, with Cristiano Ronaldo not having place in new 4-6-0 formation and Gareth Bale at left back.

March: Bayern win bundesliga with 10 spare games, yet lose to Arsenal in the Champions league quarter-finals. Arsene Wenger is proclaimed God. Also gets praised by Stewie Griffin.

April: Jogi Löw announced as Bayern coach for the next season.

May: Atletico Madrid win Champions league defeating Arsenal in the final, who play David Ospina and Mathieu Flamini’s business partner in the midfield, having not brought in anyone in January. Simeone is then announced as the new Chelsea boss, bringing Filipe Luis with him.

Pellegrini wins PL with Man City topping Leicester by 1 point thanks to last minute Aguero winner after Riyad Mahrez assist. Pep Guardiola is named Melbourne City boss as there is no mention of Manchester in his contract.

June: Phil Neville is selected for the EUROs as the next in line as Luke Shaw, Kieran Gibbs, Leighton Baines and Ryan Bertrand are all injured.

July: Man Utd sack Ryan Giggs after finishing 6th and hire Jose Mourinho, who had just refused the England job. Gary Neville becomes his assistant after relegating Valencia.
Jan, Prague


United front
EdQtr this morning
saying “it seems rather lazily arrogant (and arrogantly lazy) of the Manchester teams and their fans to use “United” or “City” and assume everyone knows who they mean.  This smacks of “football was invented in 1992.”

Well… not really. There’s two “Manchester” teams so it’s just easier to talk about city/united. There’s only one Leicester/Stoke/Swansea club (at least anywhere near the top leagues) so what would be the point in calling them “City”?
People do it in Bristol (“Rovers”/ “City”). Is that arrogant as well?


‘City’ is shared between Leicester, Norwich, Manchester City, Stoke, Coventry, Swansea, Bristol City, Hull, Birmingham, Cardiff, Bradford, Exeter and York in the Premier League and Football League. Leicester (the Foxes), Norwich (the Canaries), Stoke (the Potters), Swansea (the Swans), Hull (the Tigers), Cardiff (the Bluebirds), Bradford (the Bantams), Exeter (the Grecians) and York (the Minstermen) all have their own original nicknames. In addition all but Manchester City and Bristol City are the only teams to share the name of the city where they play with other teams. The others are unique to their city or their cross-town rivals are known by other names (Aston Villa, Port Vale).

Bristol City have always distinguished themselves from Rovers by calling themselves the Robins and although that nickname is shared by Cheltenham Town and Swindon Town no-one could reasonably confuse the two when talking about ‘City’ given the disparity in success and prominence over the clubs existence. Are Bristol Rovers ever known solely as ‘City’?

Coventry have been known as the Sky Blues rather than ‘City’, especially since the early 60s when chairman Derrick Robbins reverted from white with royal blue trim to the traditional sky blue kit last worn in the twenties.

Manchester City are also most successful club with the appellation ‘City’. Only two other ‘Citys’ have won a top flight; Leicester in 1929 and Bristol City in 1906. The last FA Cup wins by a non-Manchester ‘City’ were Coventry, Cardiff and Bradford (1987, 1927 and 1911 respectively). There were 21st century League Cup wins for Swansea in 2013, Birmingham City in 2011 and Leicester in 2000 but no ‘City’ outside of Manchester has won it more than once. No other ‘City’ has European success.

Then at some point in the 2000s, before the takeover, someone decided that a unique appellation was needed to distinguish Manchester City and poll was held to choose a new nickname, presumably for marketing and trademark purposes? The result was the ‘Citizens’ which is itself a traditional name for teams with the suffix City. But that’s sh*t, so everyone still calls Manchester City ‘City’ because they are the best known, most prominent and successful in football history.
Blue Tim (I always put my name in bold for the benefit of the MC. I don’t think it helps)


It’s not The literary Ed Quoththeeraven’s fault if Chris ‘Attention Deficit Disorder” Liverpool can’t concentrate long enough on an email to spot the obvious difference between references to “City” when talking about Leicester, and one to “Manchester City” one paragraph further down the same page.

As for his ridiculous suggestion that only Manchester City should henceforth be called City, presumably to make it easier for his easily-tired mind, maybe for people like him, we should just make clubs use name they were formed under: St Mark’s for Man City, Newton Heath for Man Utd, Dial Square for Arsenal, and Everton Athletic for, yes, Liverpool.

The Premier League table as it would be today looks a lot more interesting*:

1. Leicester Fosse
2. Dial Square
3. St Mark’s
4. Newton Heath
5. Tottenham Hotspur
6. Crystal Palace
7. Watford Rovers
8. Thames Ironworks
9. Everton FC and Athletic Grounds Ltd
10. St Domingo’s
11. Stoke Ramblers
12. St Mary’s
13. West Bromwich Strollers
14. Boscombe St. John’s Institute FC
15. Newcastle East End
16. Chelsea
17. Swansea Town
18. Norwich City
19. Sunderland and District Teachers
20. Aston Villa

* Disclaimer: may not be more interesting at all. May cause drowsiness. Do not operate heavy machinery after reading

The unliterary Wilson Beuys


Sutton on TV
Been reading the ‘Football on TV’ columns quite a bit recently and I don’t think there has ever been such a perfect candidate for the next head of PFM/RFM than Sutto.

You wouldn’t think it but he is actually made for the role. It was a good read for my hangover this morning.

Well done, boys. Well done.
Ginge, London


Bravo for your Newcastle v Villa summary. Bravo.
Paul, Newcastle


Return of the eggcorn
This from Sudarsan (Allardinho for Chelsea? I hear he is the relegation expert) made my day: “I wouldnt touch Mourinho with a barn pole.”

Nelson, Manchester

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