Mails: Man United an elephant atop a tree

Date published: Monday 28th September 2015 9:43

One mailer makes that delightful comparison. We also have more on Anthony Martial, differing views on Brendan Rodgers, quiet excitement over Spurs and is the penalty rule really fair?

You know what to do if you have a response – mail us at


The elephant in the room
Man utd on top of the league table is like an elephant  on top of a tree , nobody seems to understand  how it gets there but everybody knows  it will fall down.
Popeiwaloye AFC ( I don’t like brackets) Ado ekiti Nigeria


More Martial excitement
I have done my best to restrain myself from absolute hysteria about the swift rise of Martial. I have rationalized: told myself “that was an easy chance”, “the goal was coming anyways”, “that was bad defending” etc, etc…

This is how I manage my own expectations as a Manchester United fan witnessing the awe inspiring arrival of Martial to the English game.

I am now at the cusp, the turning point where it is becoming patently obvious that LvG, Giggs, and the scouting team have delivered a miraculous signing for Manchester United.

At first he exhibited cool, calm finishing; attributes which are so, so valuable in modern football. He sold me, however, when he put in the best CF performance I have seen for Manchester United in years against Sunderland this weekend. Caveat being it is “only Sunderland” but the point still stands.

He holds it up, he runs the channels, he beats men, he challenges in the air.

The fella is a complete forward and he is a teenager. How the f**k is he doing this??

Teenage father who has no inclination towards social media (in 2015!!) AND plays brilliant football for Manchester United with a wry smile..

What is this?? Is it a game? Have we been lumped into an unbelievable narrative which fits into EVERYTHING we wanted (a United comeback fueled by youngsters)?

I have no clue but long may it continue.
Mandisi (Giddy United fan), MUFC


Brendan Rodgers IS alright
Following on from Naz, Gooner’s mail about Brendan, I am also not a Liverpool fan and I also don’t think he deserves all the negativity he is getting. Last season wasn’t great, and this season so far isn’t much different, but it is a really tough gig, and Rogers, for all his faults, is the first manager at Liverpool since Roy Evans to make me interested in watching them play.

I have a feeling that Liverpool’s good form of a couple of years back was based largely on that period when Brendan first arrived when they went all out posession crazy. I felt like this set a good basis for the football that followed, as the whole team got better on the ball, and began to recognise, instead of force, attacking opportunities.

For a while now, I’m been thinking that Brendan has been trying to revert to the style they ended that season on (fast, attacking, smart), with a fair few new players, without going back to basics. Particularly at the start of this year, but also for large periods of last season, they were guilty of forcing passes forward, and picking bad options.

Against Villa on Saturday, for the first time in a good while, Liverpool went back to keeping the ball – turning down bad passes and waiting for gaps to open – and controlled the game a lot better. Sturridge played a big part in that – his build up play is exceptional – but as a team the decision making seemed a whole lot better. I hope this is the start of them turning it around – partly because I like seeing the tabloid generation having to eat their words – but also because, with and without Suarez, a couple of seasons ago, Liverpool were an absolute joy to watch.
Alex, No affiliation, no brackets. 


Brendan Rodgers is losing control
Brendan Rodgers post Villa post match interview, for me, was peak Brendan. His assumption that there is conspiracy against him shows an impressive lack of self-awareness for what has been going on over the past year. Instead of deferring questions about his future back to the result on the day he chose to make the kind of comments that paint a picture of a man losing control of a situation.

In fairness Rodgers should have been sacked at the end of last season. He failed at achieving all of the targets that were set out for him, he has failed to plug up a leaky defense after spending around 80 million pounds in 3 years, and his management ability in big games situations is awful. Rodgers has managed 5 wins from 25 attempts against the top 4 sides of City, Arsenal, Chelsea and United.

Rodgers should have been let go after the Villa game. It would be nice to let go of Rodgers after a win as a sign of good faith for what he has given Liverpool. The title challenge of 13/14 is one of my greatest memories as a Liverpool fan and the football was breath taking. Unfortunately that season was lighting in a bottle and with every game that passes Rodgers looks less and less likely of being able to get the team back up to those levels.

Saturdays win was extremely important and hopefully Liverpool can continue in that vein. If that means Rodgers stays I am fine with that. But if results begin to slip again it is vital that the owners act appropriately to make sure Liverpool can still challenge for the top four.
Brian (Watching Lazar Markovic tear up the Turkish league isn’t helping things.) LFC


Ed’s conclusions
Dear Football365,

Of course I’m here.

*Crystal Palace beating Watford 1-0 thanks to a penalty has a familiar ring to it.

*That penalty was a penalty.  The laws state that where a foul is started outside the penalty area but continues inside, a penalty kick is the correct decision.  Similarly, while Zaha’s left leg was outside the line, his right leg (which was fouled) was inside, with his momentum taking him that way.  A bit harsh on Watford, but a correct decision nonetheless.

*That said, Watford played well, and had a couple of unfortunate bounces – one free kick rebounded off the post to Troy Deeney, who reacted instinctively and headed off target. If he’d had even a split second longer to react, he would have buried it.

*Similarly to when we faced Norwich on the opening day, getting 3 points against Watford was very important.  For a club with upper-mid-table aspirations, taking points off the big boys is meaningless if you don’t also do the business against the promoted sides and relegation battlers you’re trying to convince everyone you’re better than.

*Someone last week (I can’t remember who) asked why Dwight Gayle isn’t a big(ger) star yet.  I think if they – and everyone else – has seen Gayle this week, you’ll see why.  Yesterday he had some excellent chances but didn’t find the net.  In the Big Weekend on Friday was the line that strikers don’t start to worry if the goals don’t come, so long as the chances don’t also dry up.  He worked hard yesterday, despite being on the periphery while Watford had the ball for most of the game.  He got a hat-trick in midweek, albeit against a Championship side, so his finishing touch is still there.  I reckon he’ll get one on November 8th.

*Speaking of Palace strikers, by all accounts Patrick Bamford had a slight injury, which is why he wasn’t involved yesterday, but he finds himself in an interesting predicament.  Being behind Connor Wickham in the pecking order is one thing, because he’s an old-fashioned target man; being behind Gayle was inevitable after his heroics in the week; however, missing out to Fraizer Campbell has to sting a little bit.  For what it’s worth Campbell did score against Charlton too, but it all feels like Alan Pardew telling Bamford to buck his ideas up.

*The Glaziers now enter an interesting run of Premier League fixtures: five of their next games are at home – WBA, West Ham, Manchester United, Sunderland and Newcastle United.  Leaving aside the Red Devils, that’s a chance to get one over on our old manager, two games against teams struggling for form and motivation, and one against arguably our main rivals for this season.

Before the season started, in a bid to quell the hand-wringing about spending lots of money despite our financial history, Steve Parish urged us to “stop thinking like Palace fans”, the implication being that we’re no longer battling to survive but comfortable, consolidated and looking upwards.  At the moment, “thinking like Palace fans” means also giving the team incredible support at games, despite our home form being the worst of anyone last season.  If we have a poor return on those fixtures, I’ll be interested to see if we stop thinking like Palace fans and start getting restless that our ambitions are hamstrung by the way we get turned over so often at home.

I don’t envisage out and out revolt, just a bit of disgruntlement that our stellar away form is not also on show in our own stadium.

The literary Ed Quoththeraven, CPFC the Glaziers, Notts


Not so impressed by Leicester
“But, credit to Arsenal, they were irresistible at times. Few teams would have coped with an Alexis Sanchez finally reaching the heights he can”, said Matt Stead. Thing is, few teams will have to deal with such a rampaging performance from Arsenal, because few will be naive enough to attack us like that.

Ranieri should have noticed that Arsenal are best when we have the least possession, when the opposition tries to camp on our 18 yard line. 18 premier league managers will have watched that game and decided their back line should sit even ten yards deeper than they were planning.

Over-joyed to see us get so many in against the foxes, and really hope this pulls a monkey off our backs. But to say our seasons profligacy is over is silly. Surely 5 goals is just about par for 27 shots? We’ll need to be a helluva lot more efficient if we want to beat Utd next week anyhow. Then I will allow myself to get overexcited
James Gooner


Spurs = England
Spurs are a bit like England these days. The hype has gone and realistic expectation is the order of the day. This season we seem to have a stable squad, a stable manager and a group of talented young players with an English core. The fact we beat City 4-1 with the youngest average age team that has played in the PL this season speaks volumes about the potential at the club. And ‘potential’ is definitely the buzzword.

No one is yelling title challenge or demanding Champions League. As long as we play ‘The Tottenham Way’ and show a grittier side to our game most Spurs fans will be happy to just be in the race for 4th spot. Given our recourses I’d say a par season would be 6th with both Manchester clubs, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool above us in stature, fan base and resources. Sometimes I think that the club doesn’t get the credit it deserves for its consistency over the last 5 or so years.

This overachievement in recent times has resulted in unattainable expectations but if the core of this squad is together after the new stadium is built then we can realistically dare to dream a little bigger.

But for now, can we just sit back and enjoy the quiet buzz around White Hart Lane

David, Brixton

Kind regards


TW14, not TH14
It’s a beautiful premier league weekend full of goals, fun & excitement (apart from Watford vs Palace game).. Alexis hattrick was superb, Vardy, Gestede scored braces in defeats, Sturridge’s brace helped  ‘Pool & BR‎ with a little comfort but the main talking point of this piece is about Theo Walcott..

He was really immense this weekend for Arsenal as a focal point in the attack..He ran the channels well, switched flanks, scored the equaliser but he always wants to play or score like Thierry Henry..

He could have had a brace or hattrick against Leicester if it wasn’t for those flicks from the left-side he’s been trying to do all to no success.. Wearing no.14 doesn’t make you the new Thierry, Theo..

The closest player I have seen to the Legend is that Little Kid wearing the Manc’s no. 9 now (Anthony Martial).. Be your own kind of player and the football world will applaud you for your talent and prowess in front of goal.. You are TW14, not TH14..
Mo-Dollz Gooner (F365 addict & hoping TW14 to nail the Manc’s on Super Sunday), ‎Nigeria.


Here’s what Jose Mourinho said about Saturday’s game….

“We were so poor, so bad. At half-time I said I was sorry I only had three subs as I wanted to change six.”

Number of changes made at half-time: 0
Minute of first change: 61

Presumably then Jose thought that as he can’t make 6 changes it would just be better to make none.

He really is a genius.
Bradley Kirrage


Don’t give him the gigg
I surely cannot be the only one who thinks it’s a very bad idea giving Ryan Giggs the reigns at Old Trafford. Apart from maybe George Graham, every single ex United player has been pants at it. And I mean pants.
Andy Race (please let it be Guardiola, pleeeeease)


Is the penalty rule fair?
After watching the Watford vs Crystal Palace game be decided by a penalty, it got me thinking about an issue I’ve debated for a while. Is the penalty rule fair?

First up, I have no issue with the decision yesterday, Nyom fouled Zaha in the box, definite penalty. The issue I have is not about referees and their decision, but more about the penalty rule itself.

It seems to me that incidents like that yesterday are given a punishment that is too severe for the crime that has been committed. It was silly from Nyom to make that foul as Zaha was running  towards the byline and no closer to goal, but I feel like punishing that foul with a clear shot at goal from 12 yards vs only the keeper is very unfair. Had Nyom been the last man and pulled Zaha down just outside the box, he may have been sent off but the actual set piece given to Crystal Palace is in a worse position than the one they received in Sunday’s game for a foul nowhere near as severe or denying such a clear goal scoring opportunity.

I’m not sure how to get around this issue but an idea could be to introduce the award of a penalty for the denial of a clear goalscoring opportunity even if the foul takes place outside the box. This means that a red card does not have to be issued every time a player is denied a clear goalscoring opportunity as the opposition will be given a penalty, which is arguably the clearest goalscoring opportunity in football. I know there would be issues surrounding whether a set piece can be awarded in a different place to where a foul takes place so it may not be the best solution.

Another way to tackle this issue is that certain fouls inside the box that may not be severe enough to award a penalty to may be punished by a free kick within the box. This gives the team a good scoring chance either through a shot or cross but does not punish certain fouls more severely than they deserve.

This is just a thought and I know the ideas suggested have their limitations but it just seems that sometimes the award of a penalty is too harsh for the foul that has actually been committed. Wonder if anyone agrees or has criticism of the suggestion?
Alex AFC


MLS thoughts
I’ve written in before about Sebastian Giovinco, but after his 1 goal and 2 assists on the weekend, he’s set the MLS record for goals and assists in one season (20 goals and 16 assists).  He’s also set the record for shots in a season…and there’s still 4 games left.

David Villa and Kaka have had good seasons as well and Drogba already has 7 goals in 6 games.  Basically what does this all mean for MLS?

While Giovinco is more in his prime (28 years old) compared to the others, would this lure a greater number of European players or does it all come down to money at the end of the day?  I’d like to think Giovinco could still cut it in Europe but is $7m US too much for him?  Or is the MLS simply a glorified Championship equivalent?
-Nick C, Burlington, ON

Don’t hate the player
Posab, Botswana: Yes Redmond DOES look a player, what gave it away? The kit? The boots? The playing of football and thus indeed being a player?

Quite obvious you didn’t watch any football because you said sod all about the football.
Silvio (Young is better than Depay) Dante

P.s That’s the first and last time I go with Degsy. Martial to score any time? B*llocks. (Ed – poor Degsy gets five tips right and still can’t shake the haters.)

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