Mails: Lukaku had no business consoling Benfica’s keeper

Date published: Thursday 19th October 2017 8:30

Thank you. Mail theeditor@football365.com with your views…

 

Who does Lukaku think he is?!
Okay so a young 18 y/o made his champo league debut last night and botched a save so utd win the game. S**t happens that’s the way life goes. But what has angered me to the point of typing out my thoughts into email format, is Lukaku consoling the young goalie after the game???? Who does he think he is consoling anyone last night? His performance was diabolical not only last night but against Pool aswell. After that game the only thing on his mind should have been how to improve for the next game not hugging the opposition. What just because he’s Belgian that automatically makes yous best brahs 4 life?? Sickening. Maybe I’m over reacting, but I know for sure our Roy would agree with me.
Gareth Eire Man utd (Mick McCarthy is still a gobsh**e)

 

Any need for the officials behind the goal?
What is the purpose of the official behind the goal in matches? He didn’t react when the poor young keeper walked backwards over the line. And shortly after it there was a close call decision on a corner and he just shuffled away.

Per the rule book they make up 2 of the 3 reasons they are there.

Last night isn’t the first time they have not shown their worth but considering how close he was to last night’s goal you would expect a decision.

Cheers,
Cormac, Galway

 

Defending Mourinho
Not sure Mourinho will be taking any football lessons from someone who claims to be a “Real Madrid/Liverpool fan”. I hope your half-and-half scarf is nice Alex.

Literally the worst kind of football fan ever. “Oh who do you support”. “Oh Arsenal all the way mate. And also Barca, we SMASHED you in Europe last season”.

These people shouldn’t be allowed to enjoy football.
Jonny, MUFC/Lewes

 

Watching United is like being locked in an empty room
On a flight to Singapore a couple of years ago I found myself sitting next to a very tall chap whose in-flight entertainment system was stuck on the flight path tracker, with no access to any of the films, tv, music etc. After rebooting his system a couple of times to no effect, the air crew offered to move him to a free seat a couple of rows back – but this would have meant forgoing the extra legroom that he’d paid for and quite clearly needed, so he politely declined. He proceeded to sit tight and do absolutely nothing. No book, no electronics, not even a cursory flick through the in-flight magazine, just 12 hours of watching a blocky plane graphic make excruciatingly slow progress over an 8-bit landscape.

After finishing university I took the cliched option of backpacking across South America with a few mates. We originally intended to make it all the way to Mexico, but due to being young, disorganised and generally drunk on cheap Quilmes, there were a few itinerary changes along the way and we only made it as far as Colombia before flying home.

You can see where this is going. According to Ted’s logic the tall lad had a better time than me because he actually made it to his intended destination. I just don’t understand this mindset. For those of us for whom football is not a career but a hobby, how can the point be anything but enjoyment? We don’t personally achieve anything by watching some men we’ve never met beat some other men we’ve never met at a game we’re not good enough to play, so if we don’t enjoy it either then why even bother?

The water is muddied by the fact that winning and entertaining frequently go hand in hand (Pep’s City look like they might be the ultimate exponents of this) but the current Utd are an emphatic exception to this rule. Ultimately, football is escapism and watching Utd is like being locked in an empty room.
JG LFC (rumours that tall lad had the option of Utd’s 2017-18 season review but went for the flight tracker are unconfirmed)

 

Some thoughts on United and the mailbox:
·         First of all, Mhki needs dropped. He is playing in such an important position and he is constantly giving the ball away, making poor decisions and getting easily shoved of the ball. His position is pivotal in linking the midfield to Lukaku (especially in Pogba’s absence) and he is doing nothing. Mata is a much better option.

·         United are lacking pace in key areas. Mata on the right wing and Blind/Darmian at left back is easy to defend against. The opposition can focus more on the quick players without worrying too much about being caught by runners in behind. Young is a good option at left back until January but Jose could do with addressing the right flank. Valencia does an amazing job of being the right back and right winger but it leaves the team disjointed and disproportionate. Either stick Rashford out there (has had some poor games there) or go with wingbacks and Rashford up top with Lukaku.

·         Last night was such a typical away champions league win. Felt like I’d watched that game 100 times. A very professional performance that all but confirms United’s place in the knockout rounds. Now to see them off at home and get Mctominay, Tuanzebe and a few others (Gomes anyone?) some Champions League experience in the final two games.

·         Jose really grates people doesn’t he? The Real Madrid and Liverpool fan (?) in the mailbox seems on the verge of a breakdown. Conte also seemed pretty rattled despite José not mentioning anyone in particular. Now its silly to think that this is some sort of master plan of annoying all managers for them to lose the head and crumble but this sort of behaviour does work. Fergie got under everyone’s skin and Jose even had Fergie rattled on a number of occasions. He can be unsavoury (Ronaldo comments) but it adds to the Premier League circus.

·         Lastly, Lindelof had his first good game in a United shirt. Combine this with Rojo and Bailly being fit in the next few weeks and I think United could have a potentially formidable back 2 or 3 if they can get a run of games together. Hopefully when all four are fit we won’t have too see to much more of Chris Smalling.
Dave, Ireland

 

Strange times at Leicester. Again.
Although he helped to steady the ship last year, giving Shakespeare the job permanently always felt to me like a poor appointment. In many ways he earned his shot at the job, but something about him in that position just screamed mediocrity. Elite level manager? I’m afraid his experience/physical appearance/demeanour/pretty much anything else you can think of, did not fit the bill. We have huge ambitions at this club and we should have gone for a manager with pedigree. I said at the time we should have gone for Marco Silva while he was available and we have now missed our chance. Bugger.

In general though, things just don’t feel right at Leicester this year. We can’t find a settled team, our fans are increasingly demanding, and frankly, we seem to be struggling to muster the enthusiasm for another relegation battle.

Most worryingly, for me, we seem to have lost our identity. A friend asked me recently what style of football we play and I honestly couldn’t give a sensible answer. I don’t think we can class ourselves as an effective counter-attacking side any more (more like Vardy-ball). Everything just seems so mediocre – our pressing, our aggression, our passing. I could go on.

So for any new manager coming in, it is definitely going to be challenging, particularly with the current playing personnel at our disposal. We have an embarrassment of options up front, but only embarrassing options in midfield to service them. Iborra looks off the pace, Andy King is a championship midfielder and Ndidi is young and bound to suffer from the lack of a regular, senior midfield partner. At the back, I’m desperate for Huth to return, which I hope will signal the end of Big Wes as a regular starter.

Personally, I would like to see Mancini come in, but that seems highly unlikely. My best hope is that we can unearth a relatively unknown, young and hungry manager from another league ala Poch and Silva (#chooseforeign).
Jamie (It already seems bizarre that we were playing Champions League football just last season!) LCFC

 

I take issue with Matt Stead’s swipe at Leicester. We may well be “a step down from Burnley”, and indeed most other clubs if you look at the league table and we may well be prone to a pretty sharp sacking of a manager (has any of those sackings proven to be a mistake in hindsight?) but we’re quite happy as we are.

I think the freak league win has masked a lot of things. You see as a Leicester fan I’m pretty overjoyed. You see most of my mid-20s were spent watching Leicester toil away in the Championship. Indeed the highlights were winning League one and a couple of failed play-off campaigns. Being a club where people think we are under-achieving by being in the bottom 3 is frankly brilliant for us. Finishing mid-table this year would be brilliant. Watching my team on Super Sunday is brilliant. Going to the KP to watch us play Arsenal/Liverpool/Man United is brilliant. Having Carlo Ancelotti and Tomas Tuchel mentioned in connection to our vacant managerial position is bloody brilliant (Big Sam/Dyche for me mind…). Having little separate us from Palace and Swansea is no problem for me. I remember watching Swansea beat us in our first season back in the top flight and thinking what I’d give to have a player like Wilfried Bony up front for Leicester. Now we’ve got Vardy, Slimani, Iheanacho and Mahrez. We’re a good football club.

To also have in our back pocket that we’ve basically completed football over the last 2 years is the cherry on the cake. We’re all good thanks.
Dan, Greenwich

 

Is Brendan Rodgers a better manager than Pochettino? No.
I wasn’t going to bite on this whole Man U/Spurs thing, and I’m still not going to get involved in the who’s manager is better pissing contest, but the ludicrousness of Ted’s mail has finally tipped me over the edge to comment on two things I find amazing about the debate: 1) the obsession with trophies as the only yardstick of achievement and 2) the total refusal to consider context.  The two are obviously related, but let’s start with trophies.

Ted asked what Tottenham’s achievements under Poch are.  Getting 86 points in the league is harder to achieve than beating Man City reserves, West Ham, Hull and Southampton to win the EFL cup.  There’s no room for debate here, it just is.  So sure, United won two trophies last year, but they are ones elite clubs don’t prioritise or aren’t in.  The last time spurs won a trophy was under Juande Ramos in 2008, and I can tell you without a scintilla of doubt that not only is Poch a far better Tottenham manager but that I enjoyed the 2016/17 season 1000 times more than the 2007/8 one, trophies or not.

This brings me to context.  Is Brendan Rodgers a better manager than Poch?  I would say absolutely not, but he won more trophies last year and is 99.9% certain to do so again this year.  The context is one manages the best club in his country by a million miles in a totally uncompetitive league , the other runs the 6th biggest club in a very competitive league.  Ted talks about lowering expectations at Spurs, butthe truth is the opposite.  At the start of last season United were the most popular pick to win the title and almost universally expected to finish top 3.  Spurs were rarely picked to finish top 4 and consensus was 6th.  One team outperformed expectations, the other underperformed.  I’ll leave Ted to work out which is which.  And yes, Watford deserve a lot of credit for what they have done this year, but it’s 8 games not 2 seasons.

Poch’s achievement has been to make people like Ted judge spurs’ record against clubs with massive financial advantages on an equal footing.  He’s taken a team on the fringes if the PL elite and planted them firmly in there on a relative shoestring.  I hope a trophy comes soon, but I’ve loved the ride regardless
Phil

 

A view from League Two
Semi regular contributor, couple of times published. Now I have been meaning to do a ‘proper’ mail on Luton and Nathan Jones for a while, and given the current giddy excitement I’m getting every time 3:00pm Saturday rolls round I thought I would gift the mail box a brief recent history of the League Two champions elect.

Following the FAs betrayal of Luton in 2008 we spent five years in the doldrums of non-league obscurity. Then John Still alongside a majestic Andre Gray dragged us back in the football league. Now without Mr Gray a frustrating season and half ensued, John Still’s negative tactics, lack lustre signings and the loss of the feeling of invincibility started to create a poison atmosphere in the Kenny. So off Mr Still went and after an extensive search enter Mr Nathan Jones.

Jones a middling professional player, with some experience on Spanish shores to broaden his mind coupled with some decent experience in the dugout and the youth set up at Brighton. All this together generated instant goodwill and belief in his vision for the club.

Jones finished Still’s season with no revelations, no total futball, no tika taka but you could see what he was trying to achieve. An open expansive game with technical proficient players often sourced from the youth ranks of bigger clubs. As the season draw to a close I was excited to see what he could turn the club in to with a full transfer window and a pre season.

Cue last season, the best away record in the league, coaching some young players in to diamonds and more games where we played great football. However, we failed at home, with a large expectant crowd (Luton are gifted with one of the best home fans and best away fans in the league) we seemed to buckle over and over again. False dawn after false dawn followed, but ultimately we could never string results together at home. So come the end of the season as fans we left with a big what if.

Jones still had a lot of goodwill, but after a tough league two season there were some chinks in his armour:

‘Does he have what it takes to help the players manage the pressure of playing at home?’

‘Can he learn from some of tactical naivety?’

‘Can he introduce flexibility to his rigid philosophy?’

Cue 2017 / 2018, following a very successful summer where he seemed to recruit the League Two All Stars (Our front three scored 71 goals between them last season), I had giddy opening day of the season excitement. And boy was that excitement justified, we smashed Yeovil 8 2, without Hylton our leading striker with 25 goals last season!

We then travel to Barnet, a terrible 1 0 loss happens showing the same problems as last season, Mr Redknapp steals Isaac Vassell for a million and Luton are left deflated. The same questions arise, can Jones learn from his mistakes, can he be flexible, does he have a plan b?

Three months later and these questions have been comprehensively answered with a yes. Now the pessimists (or realists) among you may cry purple patch. But we are really starting to look like the real deal, the system is working, players look happy and hungry to play at home. And most importantly Jones has learnt from his mistakes and adapts. Shown in the last five days against play off rivals we have a cumulative score of 12 2.

Everything worked against Stevenage, but Exeter was the real litmus test. We were getting battered, cue a change in formation and we win 4 1. These are simply changes that would not have happened last season.

Maybe this is knee jerk, maybe this blind love from a devoted fan or maybe we really are the real deal. Whatever is happening at the Kenny right now I’m loving it, and long may it continue!
Liam, LTFC (Super, Super Dan, Super Danny Hylton!)

 

Explaining football loyalty to my wife
Afternoon all,

Upon seeing me getting annoyed about Chelsea’s inability to do anything decent last night, she was questioning me as to why I would get annoyed about something that I have no control over and also to players who have no particular allegiance to the team and who would be off at the first sniff from Real or Barcelona. She also questioned why I call Chelsea a London team when in reality they’re a team from a small area in West London, much like Arsenal (where we live) are a team from a small part of North London. She then asked why isn’t there just a London team that we can all enjoy as a capital (She’s not from the UK). I scoffed at her ignorance but it did get me thinking about what a London team would look like.

I imagined something like this – 433 and working on the assumption these players are fit

GK Lloris
RB: Azpilicueta
CB: Vertonghan
CB: Aldeiwerald
LB: Rose
DM: Kante
CM: Dembele
CM: Alli
LW/A: Hazard
RW/A: Sanchez
CF: Kane

Subs: Courtois, Koscielny, Alonso, Luiz, Eriksen (maybe switch for Sanchez), Cazorla, Pedro, Morata, Lacazette

Feel like this team could do some serious damage. Manchester would also make a pretty good team. Madrid too.
Lee, Highbury (Distinct lack of English players, maybe she’s right).

 

 

Driving analogies
To further on from the very funny Jose  driving analogy in the comments section here are a few more;

Klopp- Drives along the highway recklessly swinging from side to side. 50% of the time ends up crashing but this is ignored as he hugs each passenger as they exit the bus.

Wenger- Owns a nice bus and is a relatively competent driver. However the brake pads and clutch are obviously in need of upgrading which Wenger ignores. This leads to a unhappy comuters mass exodus of the bus at the nearest stop.

Pulis- Bought a huge second hand bus thats a little worn out and not very aestetically pleasing but gets everyone there in the end.

De Boer- Came to the bus company with a great repuatation. Inexplicably crashed into the first 6 poles that he met on his very first commute. Very nearly wrecked the bus. Elderly retired former bus driver took over the bus whilst De Beor was off for a quick smoke.

Allardyce – Gets his dream job as driver of the best bus in the city. All seems to be going smoothly on his first day until he reaches a police checkpoint in the evening. Drink driving. Sacked.

Ill let meself out.
Irish PMF

 

The FA
If womens football is not adequately represented within the FA, if misogynistic attitudes persist, if it is mired in institutional racism then why not…..

Create a Womens Football Association?

The problem with old institutions is that they are old, the people who run them are old and will resist change at all levels.

Why waste your efforts on trying to change institutions who don’t want to change? Why not create your own?

Asking old men at the FA to support womens football is like asking a diesel car to run on petrol. It’s just not going to happen, so why not do your bit for equality, rather than moaning, and put your money where your mouth is?

Or are there not enough women who would want to do that job?
Fat Man Scouse (doing my bit for equal rights) EFC

 

I was following the fracas that was caused by F365’s backing of Aluko, and the wish that there is systematic change at the FA. You tweeted that you’d been sent incredible amounts of abuse and I would be fascinated if you did an article about the posts that generated the most hate and bile. I’m not saying name names, but just to demonstrate the unhinged nature of those who hate SO much that they feel the need to attack strangers online because of a differing view.

Keep fighting the good fight F365.
John Matrix AFC

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