A bonus Sunday mailbox because you’ve been good. Make Monday brighter by e-mailing your views to firstname.lastname@example.org
Don’t sign Pogba; don’t play Rooney
1) Pogba: I totally agree with Scholes. Pogba is not worth 100 mil. That kind of money can be only justified for Messi or Ronaldo. You can get a couple of top-quality players for that amount of money and invest in youth. I hope the Pogba deal does not happen. I don’t want us to throw away money and be held hostage by other clubs just because we have money to spare. I’d rather us buy another top defender and midfielder with that money.
2) So SAF’s biggest mistake will cost us 100 mil?
3) I have been saying Rooney should be benched since RVP joined and we bought Kagawa as a specialist #10. Didn’t happen. Then we bought Mata. Still didn’t happen. Now we have Mkhitaryan. In every position Rooney can possibly play in, we have a better player available. I hope Mourinhio finally makes the right call, but I don’t see it happening unfortunately.
Rooney is undroppable; this makes me sad
So you think Chris Smalling is undroppable at Man United? I beg to differ. After reading how smug Rooney isn’t planning on retiring from international footbal any time soon, I have come to the realisation that as much as I want to see Rooney dropped by club and country, it ain’t happening soon. Rooney is the golden boy of English football, the blue eyed boy who’s untouchable. I dare you Mr. Mourinho.
Keg Baridi (Aiming to be f365’s blue eyed boy) Nairobi, Kenya
Ninety quid to watch Jesse Lingard?
Man Utd just lost 4-1 in an international, money-spinning friendly against a popular Dortmund team in a half-empty stadium. Utd are the ‘biggest club in the world’ and this is the only chance many Chinese fans will get to see them or Dortmund live, so why didn’t they sell more tickets> Football isn’t a particularly popular sport over here yet (it lags miles behind basketball and any sport the Chinese are good at) so the powers that be, in all their wisdom, decided to charge 800rmb (c.£90) for the cheapest tickets. I’m a Utd fan who lives a couple of hours away from Shanghai, so I got onto the ticket websites as soon as I heard the team was coming and then put away my wallet when I saw that they wanted me to pay £90 to watch Sam Johnstone and Jesse Lingard. 90 quid for a friendly is absolute madness.
I don’t know who sets the ticket prices for these international tours, but they have well and truly lost the plot and are completely out of touch with the fans.
Kirk, MUFC (£90 for a friendly!)
One game! One game!
I’ve never seen more bullsh*t written about what is pretty much the first proper pre-season friendly than has been written about Mourinho/Utd v Dortmund.
A friendly in which Utd fielded what must be a reserve team who are all unfamiliar with each other.
Not a big fan of Jose, but c’mon.
Ben, MCFC, Manchester
Wijnaldum’s impressive package…
It seems the best way to get Liverpool to sign you is to score against them.
From Lovren, to Benteke, to Mane and now Wijnaldum. Have one good game against us and we’ll sign you up.
On a side note, I don’t tend to view the ‘welcome to our club’ videos on YouTube as even Titus Bramble could look good in a five-minute mash up (it would include his screamer against us – why didn’t we sign him?!).
However, remembering Wijnaldum’s goal against us last year and not much else, I thought I’d take a look at this video:
What I learned from the opening minute slow-motion montage is that this boy would make Linford Christie feel inadequate.
How do you solve a problem like Daniel (Sturridge)?
Well that presupposes there is a problem. It’s not like he’s a saint, but Jesus Christ sometimes reading the English press makes it seem like there is one. What exactly is his problem? Well, is it his ability? No, it’s generally accepted he is England’s most naturally gifted player. Is it his application? Well, here a duality exists: on one hand we have an empirically provable fact that somehow coexists within a narrative that has at various times dismissed Sturridge as: ‘selfish’ ‘unreliable’ ‘lazy’ ‘flash’ he ‘doesn’t work hard enough for Jurgen Klopp’. These may not be exact statements but the sentiments are obvious and well known. But here’s the problem; Daniel Sturridge hasn’t spent his whole career knackered. He’s actually played quite a bit. Quite a bit for Liverpool too. He possesses what is known as a ‘statistically significant body of work’. This tells us that he scores goals at a rate comparable to Luis Suarez and Fernando Torres when both of those players had genuine cases for being the absolute best forwards in the world in their respective pomps. But not Sturridge. He’s world class ‘if he can stay fit’. Is the implication that he somehow in control of his ‘fitness’. It’s not like he hasn’t expressed genuine shock in interviews and anger when his commitment to club country and indeed the very game itself has been questioned. SkySports step up for that one.
Sturridge is more than a footballer though. He’s a confident young black man. But he does a silly dance. Except under Klopp he shows passion. Harry Kane looks a charming lad and that’s kinda the point. He looks enough like a Royal to confuse an American. I’m aware of the duality of that statement as well but in a country coming to grips with how we objectify and demonize black men to the point they feel like targets of society? Perhaps it’s time to stop asking yourself if you think you’re being racist and ask Daniel Sturridge.
Ask Daniel Sturridge if it’s ever crossed his mind that Jamie Vardy, by all accounts a pretty lousy guy (and a racist to boot), is lauded for his hard work and effort good old British blood and guts determination while his own work ethic is constantly called into question. Then ask him if he’s ever considered that it might, and this is key, for many people be related to the color of his skin? Many people. Not everyone. Not you. Certainly me. I can’t think of any legitimate reason why I’m not absolutely thrilled about the prospect of a fit Daniel Sturridge working with Jurgen Klopp. I don’t need to quote Einstein to prove that people much smarter than me are pretty adamant that we should consider the things we maybe don’t want to but at what point did Daniel Sturridge become a problem?
Why doesn’t Daniel Sturridge have a song?
Coming from someone who is watching his country tear itself to bits because of racism this question suddenly seems worth asking. Stereotypes thrive when the media makes them self perpetuating. It’s just a question. But even if the answer is “yes, the color of his skin bothers me” then say it out loud because most reasonable people will see how silly it sounds.
I’ll leave you with this. I read a post on Facebook from a black high school friend of mine who had recently given birth to a little black child. It was fairly long but the end was quite staggering: “How do I tell my child that he will grow up to be big and black and strong and a target?”
What happens if ‘lazy’ ends up as ‘targe'” one day? Racism is so insidious, is that worth risking?
I’ve been working this over in my head for awhile and I’ve not been able to produce a satisfactory conclusion that doesn’t include a part where his race isn’t an issue. And in all honesty, I’d love for this mail to be a load of rubbish but I’m genuinely worried it’s not that.
Matthew, LFC, Washington DC
What does Big Sam have to do?
Now that Big Sam is a reality, we have all heard how eye bleedingly bad he will be. With that in mind, what would he have to do in terms of results, for you to say “hang on a minute, I was wrong”. Bearing in mind, he doesn’t really have to achieve that much to be better than what has gone before. Remember this is a results-based business, with no points for artistic interpretation.
And before you asked I’m not a fan of his.
(Well, he will struggle to do better than England’s ten wins in ten games of Euro 2016 qualifying so he has to be judged on the World Cup. Which means quarter-finals or better – Ed)
What a pass-cum-shot…
Can we talk about Carlos Blanco’s goal in the Juve – Melbourne game?
— Melbourne Victory (@gomvfc) July 23, 2016
You often hear about teams trying to “pass the ball” into the net, but that’s exactly what the 20-year-old centre-half did, albeit from nigh on 50 yards. It wasn’t a random whack or a lob either, where all you’re concerned about is making sure it goes the distance or getting it on target, he thought about it, everybody was in position, and it was probably the best executed shot I’ve ever seen on a football pitch, from a young defender previously unknown!
One of my favourite things about it was it wasn’t a fluke, it wasn’t a case of him trying and trying until it paid off (Andros Townsend take note here), he knew he was capable and went for it, simply because. The interesting thing is it’s a useful, transferable skill, inch-perfect long balls, not an exclusive to these shots as it’s also perfect for breaching a high defensive line. There’s countless training videos knocking around of players hitting targets from a distance (Scholes comes to mind). If Blanco, or another player, can repeat this feat, or do enough to keep goalies worried about it, it could massively transform opposition game plans. It’s one thing to give special dispensation for strikers, number 10s, or even deep playmakers like Alonso, but can you mark a whole team?
There are two ways to defend against this: keeping your keeper on your line (he was only 12 yards off), which either forces your defence deep, or leaves an acre of space for forwards to run into; or a high press, which again leaves a lot of space in behind.
Either way, it looks like great motivation for centre-backs to be playing crossbar challenge, and utilise a skill they should already have in a whole new way.
KC (La Masia strikes again)
Why is this goal underrated?
I’m not sure why this just popped into my head, but this sensation of massive injustice suddenly swept over me as I remembered that Thierry Henry goal against United (yes, that one where he scooped the ball and volleyed it into the far corner before anyone else even knew what the f**k was happening) and just thought, why is that not always in the top three of any ‘greatest Premier League goals’ list? Anything less is just completely unacceptable.
I’m a United fan, by the way, and the brilliance of that goal has led even me to feel compelled to speak out about this. I was a striker/winger in my active playing days, and having seen all the awesome goals served up as the best (think Beckham, Di Canio), my appreciation is heightened for all of those as I tend to put myself in the shoes of the player and imagine if I had scored such goals myself.
Thing is though, I could see myself nailing the Di Canio, Beckham, and Poyet goals at some point, even if it took 50 embarrassing attempts. With Henry’s though, I don’t think I would have even thunk up the idea (much less in a split second) of scooping the ball up like that and twisting to then volley home in one fell swoop. Believe you me, if I had done that, I would have walked off the pitch, caught the tube to the nearest music store, bought a mic and a guitar and proceeded to drop the mic then smash it with the guitar whilst smashing the guitar all over my tender knees anyway, injuring myself in the process. It wouldn’t matter though, because I would then officially announce my retirement from football, seeing as I clearly just beat the game (Invincibles Schminvinsibles).
Sorry, just had to get that out. That goal blows my frickin mind, maaan. The Cisse one against Chelsea does too, but again, that’s more of a one-off pop shot that doesn’t really make you really admire the creative and lightning-quick thinking that went into it. Kanu’s against Chelsea probably aligns more to this creative thinking I won’t shut up about.
Anyway, what do you all think? Are there any other goals you think are criminally underrated?
Why so few GK names on shirts?
Just a quick question to add to this debate on obscure shirt names. Why don’t we see fans walking around proudly wearing their favorite team’s goalkeeper jersey? I mean, the goalkeepers are part of the team right? Right?
Keg Baridi (Wearing de Gea’s name and number) Nairobi, Kenya
Other shirt names
I printed Robin Van Rooney 9.5 on my United jersey.
…Our close friends were planning a trip out here from the UK back in October 2015. Being the kind-hearted people they are, they bought my youngest son a United shirt with a certain person’s name on it and signed by the great man himself as their daughter works with him at Old Trafford.
Fast forward to three weeks ago when they finally arrived (after two cancellations) and proudly presented my 18-year-old with a signed Van Gaal shirt.
That went over well.
Steve in Canada (ex-Flixton red)
…In 2001, a nine-year-old me insisted on getting ‘Jeffers 9’ on the back of my England shirt. I wanted an Arsenal player and for some reason Keown, Adams, Campbell and Cole just weren’t good enough. In hindsight I should’ve gone for Richard Wright.
Chris (I’ve got an Andre Santos Brazil shirt, but that came from the Arsenal store so it hardly counts), AFC, Devon
…I may be late to this conversation, but I have a pretty obscure shirt name. I’m a Liverpool fan, but my brother lived in Colchester for three years, so I asked him to get me a Colchester United shirt in I believe 2011 or 2012. Since I didn’t know anyone on the roster, I went with the funniest (to me) name. So I doubt if any people in Colchester have one of these, but I’m certainly the only person in America with a Lee Beevers Colchester United shirt.
Keith R, Liverpool, NY. LFC
PS. A tight blue and white vertically striped v-neck shirt is not a good look for an overweight, bald man in his mid-30s.