And yes, this is the sum total of mails we received about Man City. Mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your thoughts…
The big question
Would Robbie Savage pay to watch Kevin De Bruyne yet?
Chris Lissaman (Even with those ticket prices…) BCFC
English teams still sh*t?
So now there is an English team in the semi-final of the Champions League is the Premier League still weak and getting weaker?
This really is the season the experts are made to look silly isn’t it?
Manchester is Blue
I’m a Man United fan and I just watched Man City beat PSG to the semi-finals of the Champions League. Impressive. Humbling. Depressing. Manchester is indeed Blue…
Monica (tired of being humiliated #LvGOUT) MUFC
I take it back. Joe Hart <3
Mo, MCFC (Please give us Real)
Man City did a Leicester
Big Sam took some stick for saying his team could do what Leicester City are doing yet Manuel Pellegrini is ACTUALLY doing it. In the Champions League.
A meagre 36% possession, one shot on target, one goal – lovely stuff.
Gavin (unashamedly giddy) Hill, MCFC
One paragraph on each match
PSG were really bad as they played like they were up 2-0 on aggregate. It was a completely unacceptable performance for a side that needed to score to have a chance to progress. The desire from their overpaid stars was sorely lacking as no one seemed interested in progressing to the next round. Great goal by KDB though.
Caught the highlights of the other match and the defending for the first and third goals was appalling. My overweight buddy who has never played football could probably have done a better job for the third goal than the idiot who jumped and then tried to head the ball at chest height (Naldo maybe) only to miss and allow the ball to pass through the wall. Just bloody stick together and at least make sure there are no holes in the wall, that was a really embarrassing mistake for a Champions League footballer.
Wayne, ManYoo, Singapore
One observation from last night’s game
How tight are Jese’s shorts? Is it by design? Is his butt that big? Looks like he’s wearing shorts three sizes too small for him.
BP (can’t be too good for the family jewels) LFC, Johannesburg
Ronaldo: The movie
The posing, the flamboyant gestures, the dramatic expressions, the acute awareness of the cameras following his every move.
Cristiano Ronaldo is playing himself in the movie version of his life story.
Quite a performance.
Joel Bradley, London
Ronaldo: The demise?
The winner in the El Clasico which reinvigorated Real’s season, and appears to have knocked Barcelona’s confidence.
A record-breaking 30 League goals in six successive La Liga seasons last weekend.
A hat-trick when the chips were down to overturn a 2-0 first-leg deficit into a 3-2 win.
It looks like the rumours of Ronaldo’s demise were greatly exaggerated.
Brian (Zlatan is fairly flaky on the biggest stage ain’t he?), Wexford
Not worth their weight in gold
I saw a news article on BBC commenting how De Bruyne is worth his weight in gold. I think with current prices for footballers this would only be relevant for overweight Championship players and below. Assuming he weighs around 75 kilos (or for you Americans 165 pounds) this would only be worth £3m in gold. Not sure what my point is but that footballers are bloody expensive.
David (weight in diamonds??) Morris
Leicester a fairytale? Nobody should be surprised
Time to add a bit of cynicism to Leicester winning the Premier League title. It’s inevitable and let’s face it, we’ll all cry if they don’t.
Leicester won the championship at a canter the year (2014) they went up, they also set a bunch of club records. Most league wins in a season and most points too, a whopping 102. Some familiar faces played a key role in that season: Schmeichel, (51 apps) Drinkwater (49), Morgan (48), Vardy (41), Mahrez (19). All of them were club record breakers by the end of the 2013-14 season, having under-performed the season before when they should have gone up, they regrouped and won the Championship the following year.
I think they underperformed in their first season back in the Prem. This was a league with QPR (nuff said) and a Newcastle side with one of Pards’ dodgier run of forms to start them off with, which was then wonderfully complemented by Mr. Carvers’ short reign, that would see the northern club look, again, completely hapless. There was also Burnley whose marquee signing was George Boyd for three million quid and Sunderland who went through the regular ‘sack and hire in the last 3 months it’s worked before’ routine. Aston Villa had already started being quite awful and Tim Sherwood to his credit did keep them up but the rot had already started to become untenable and so it has proved so. Essentially, what I’m saying is: Leicester had no reason to be down there, let alone dead and buried as many had them before their run of good form.
Even though they were poor they were miles better that what was around them on and off the pitch, QPR and Burnley finished 19 and 22 points behind them in the Championship respectively the previous year! In the end, they actually finished where they probably should have been all along, 14th. Big Nige looked like he’d lost the plot a little bit (who can blame him, it’s tough when everyone sees you as the captain of a sinking ship) and the quite heavy investment in the January window hadn’t been great, Cambiasso was good to have around but it wasn’t going to be enough. Maybe a more curious person will find a correlation with their failure to be promoted in the 2012-2013 and their balls up in 2014-2015.
So where’s the cynical, polemic stoking, unashamed Leicester hating I promised you in the title? Well my argument is essentially this: it’s not too surprising they’re at the top, bollocks to the fairytale! We new the league was open when a lot of peeps in the media picked Arsenal for the title…come on guys! Chelsea imploded and it was fun watching them try get relegated, Arsenal have been exactly the same as the years before, poor form in January-February, awful November, regular players missing because of injury. Man city didn’t try. Liverpool are crap, Everton too, Man united in all fairness I feel have been the only reasonably consistent team and that’s why I still see them giving City a go for the title, oops sorry I mean fourth place (have you guessed which club I support yet?). And Tottenham…I don’t really want to talk about Sp*rs. I don’t think they’ve got enough in the tank to actually win the entire thing, I mean maybe but f*ck, I’d rather not think about it.
So Leicester should be top, same players that are used to winning, no injuries, a great acquisition in N’Golo Kante, and an amazing Premier League season where everyone is quite even, and consistency is rewarded. They have an experienced manager, trained in Italy, a cynic, decent tactician and drill sergeant, and his team play like it. They’re nasty little sh*ts. They score a goal and then they try p**s you off for the rest of the game. Mahrez, Vardy, Okazaki, Morgan, Simpson even Schmeichel looks like a complete dick and they’ll fight you, they’ll play dirty. So did Arsenal, so did Manchester United and so did Chelsea when they won the league.
Oskar (don’t tell me what’s going to happen next season I already know. 20 years of AW. Yay.)
Leicester…welcome to the big time
Reading Neil Raines’ mail about Leicester ‘Doing What Champions Do’ got me thinking about the increasing number of Leicester fans who appear to be utterly aghast at the thought of people disparaging their achievements. Now I’ll openly admit that I basically agree with anything that Sarah Winterburn says (she’s great isn’t she? Apart from when she’s mean to Liverpool, that cuts deep…but I digress) and am in the apparently unpopular Spurs over Leicester camp for the league title, but this isn’t done with any malice against Leicester. I just prefer what I’ve seen from Spurs this season and people going against your team is just what happens when you’re there to be shot at as a big/successful team…Leicester, Welcome to the Big Time.
Now I’m not actually picking on Neil, and his central point around the lack of widespread coverage for Leicester having learned how to win when not playing well is solid, this is what successful teams do and has rarely been mentioned. However, I do think that it’s a bit rich to suggest that (1) criticism of style isn’t also what happens to a ‘big team full of expensive players’ and (2) a certain amount of ‘luck’ isn’t involved. Firstly, he’ll no doubt remember that a certain Jose Mourinho has managed a number of teams that have been expensive, successful and were slated for playing pretty unattractive football. Secondly, he’ll also remember that Liverpool’s 13/14 title charge was commonly accepted to be in part due to a perfect storm brewing, inconsistencies of top teams, no European football, an outrageously talented world-class striker and a fit Daniel Sturridge the least likely of the lot.
There was a mail the other day about how unimportant it was for your football team to be liked. This is ultimately correct but let’s be honest, everyone would rather their team was both liked and respected. Leicester fans (if they haven’t already) will soon come to the realisation that all fans of ‘big’ clubs get to…sod being liked, I’d rather be successful. A case in point again is the 13/14 season (probably need to stop banging on about this season soon…the good old days…) where there was a collective w*nkfest in much of the mainstream media for Liverpool potentially wining the league. It was a good feeling for the team to be lauded and to read cringeworthy mails in the mailbox about ‘The Team Addicted to Goals’ but ultimately, when the perfectly understandable anti-Liverpool sentiment came to the fore, I genuinely couldn’t give two sh*ts and just wanted us to win the thing.
I guess my point to Leicester fans is relax, enjoy the imminent title win and don’t be that pathetic sod from a while back who said he’d stop reading 365 due to some sort of perceived bias…let’s be honest, he’s still reading. If you want to chant ‘Are you watching Tottenham’, it’s a bit odd but do it, it’s what all the other fat cats do, now it’s your turn.
Heston LFC (Never seen so many new pristine Leicester shirts in a bar in Sydney before…)
De Laet heading for two titles
Leicester are winning the league, Aston Villa continuing to embarrass themselves and their fans, Vardy completing what has been a meteoric rise over the past five years, Wenger failing yet again, Pochettino proving his calibre, Eric Dier and Dele Alli, Mahrez and Kante, Drinkwater improving on a bigger stage, Sunderland finally going down. These will be the major talking points at the end of the season but something even bigger happened on Tuesday night.
Middlesborough beat Reading very very late to go top of the Championship. For those asking why this is important is because of one Ritchie De Laet.
He has made enough appearances for both Leicester and Middlesborough this season to be eligible for winners’ medals should both these teams win their respective leagues. Leicester seem to have wrapped it up so it is up to Boro to help De Laet achieve this once-in-a-lifetime dream. It will be quite difficult for him to convince his grandkids that he won both the Premier League and Championship in the same season AND got medals for both.
Either way, I just feel weird that it had to be as uninspiring figure as De Laet.
Greg Tric, (will he be a future icon if this happens?) Nairobi
Love for Best, love for Storey
Storey has mentioned him in previous articles in a way he has talked about Vardy, that is to say that for all his talents we can’t forget his misdemeanours, so to wake up and see George Best as the icon this week was both a surprise and a delight.
My Dad is a life-long Liverpool fan but all I heard growing up on the best player ever was not Pele, Maradona or even Dalglish, it was Best. When I was young I heard about the dip of a shoulder, the ability to glide past two or three players and then pick the right pass or shoot. Then I got a little older and YouTube was invented and I got to see it for myself and I now have my own opinion on George Best and it is this. Because of the way his career went he can never be classed as the greatest player. However, if he had all the support off the pitch today’s players get and he got to play on pitches that are by comparison snooker tables, Best would have made the last eight years of Balon D’ors a three-horse race.
However and I know the mailbox isn’t supposed to be about being soppy, but the best thing about this article was the memories of talking to my Dad about football, which I can’t do anymore, so thank you Storey. The whole series has been excellent and I can’t say if this article is better than any other but it’s certainly my favourite.
Bernard MUFC (I’m a United fan because of Best and I never even saw him play)
Thank you from David in Brno
Thank you very much everyone for your lovely comments about my piece on the stadium yesterday. People sounded so interested, I thought I’d send this video on the renovation. If you have five minutes to spare, it’s pretty good.
Keep an eye out for Brno’s results if you like. We’re away to Plzen this weekend (which we’ll lose, but there’s a fans relationship between us and them, so they hire out the brewery for a post-match party!) and will continue our unlikely push for the Europa League. Which, if we get into, we’ll have to play in Uherske Hradiste, an hour away, as our current ground isn’t up to scratch.
Sweet (bitter) irony.
David (Brno to je srdce Moravy!) Szmidt, Brno, Czech Rep