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Fellaini is injured and United fans are worried? This really shows his improvement but also how Jose can convince the United fan base of anything. LVG or Moyes praise of Fellaini would have fallen on deaf ears. Fellaini’s renaissance is however not a myth, he has been performing better but I think his role in United’s midfield on Saturday was what allowed Southampton to dominate midfield and also prevented United from countering quickly. Southampton kept the ball on the floor and passed quickly which rendered the Belgian prince useless. Fellaini’s strengths when digging into games are countering the oppositions long balls but Southampton worked the ball to wide areas and it was Jones and Bailly who were eating up their crosses.
Pogba’s absence was massively felt. United sat so deep that they were in dire need of a central player to bring the ball out and drive forward and this is one of Pogba’s main attributes. His passing could also have released Lukaku from deep. Fellaini just does not have this in his locker so Matic was effectively doing a two man job until Herrera came on.
Speaking off the little Spaniard, Ander is more or less certain to start on Wednesday and I am hoping that this will the central pairing until Pogba’s hamstring is up and running. Herrera and Matic isn’t perfect but it isn’t as porous as Fellaini-Matic and Fellaini can always be an option if the opposition go route one late in the game. Its extremely frustrating when United’s midfield is broken from the attack and they wont hold out as well as they did against Southampton every time. With Rashford, Martial, Lingard and Lukaku as options the threat of a break should be constant. With Fellaini it can be non-existent.
Dave (Don’t leave Tony sitting on the bench for 90 mins again Jose) Ireland
What’s the meaning of world class?
Interesting question by Andy in yesterday’s mailbox on the meaning of worldclass.
Well Andy, it’s very simple.World class means you either play for Barca or Real Madrid.Personally i have seen a fair few footballers that i thought were worldclass but because they didnt play for the two giants they were never called that.Lampard is the best goalscoring midfielder i have ever seen and it still baffles me to hear players like Isco and Rakitic refered to as wordclass midfielders.In my opinion, these players have nothing on Lampard.
Suarez was not called wordclass untill he joined Barca.And im quite sure that the only reason Coutinho wanted to join Barca is so that he could be a “worldclass ” player together with worldclass defenders like Sergi Roberto.
Hope this helps
Dominic (Aguero is the true definition of a wordclass striker)
Wenger’s assertion on players leaving Arsenal
In choosing simply to assess Wenger’s assertion that players don’t improve after leaving Arsenal I think you (and Wenger) miss an important question, one that Wenger won’t want to face. Let’s take Wenger’s assertion as true. It implies that Arsenal have developed the player to his maximum potential. So aren’t the players good enough, do they leave to find a lower level where they are more comfortable? Overmars, Henry and Fabregas left to go Barcelona, Cole left for Chelsea, Van Persie for Man Utd and Nasri for Man City. That doesn’t look like a lower level. So, and this is the real question, why do Arsenal lose the players they have developed to the maximum of their potential to their main competitors?
Ian (blue is the colour) Hugo
I concur with Andy G’s effusive praise of one Mr Peter Goldstein in this morning’s mailbox. I was slightly miffed that I didn’t get published when writing the other week about my experiences at the Amex given the MC did plaintively ask for something different from the usual Liverpool / United / Arsenal stuff. Then I saw Peter’s piece on the game that he had watched on the tele and I sort of understood why. Maybe my effort was simply crap rather than blatantly inferior to Peter’s but I’m going with poor timing on my part.
At any rate, seeing as I don’t bet myself [ever] and never have I might be wrong in saying Degsy’s no longer of this parish!? If so maybe Peter could take it on? We could even call the section PG Tips…
I’ll get my coat!
Gregory Whitehead, LFC
What’s the saddest thing you’ve ever done connected to football?
I have a mate, who will remain unnamed, whose best man revealed his tendency to set FIFA matches up as computer versus computer with a time limit of an actual 45 minutes each way because it was like watching a real match.
Knowing this fella as I do, I instantly believed the story and laughed but then I remembered the season me and my brother edited Sensible Soccer to include all 20 Premier League teams using squad listings in the paper.
So my question to mailbox readers is this – what’s the saddest thing you’ve ever done connected to football?
Come on – get it off your chest – it will make you feel better and give us all a good laugh.
Graham Simons, Gooner, Norf London
Do Peter Shilton or Tony Ford exist?!
The most Piss Boiling thing in football is not diving or refs or any of that its “The Premier League” in my humble opinion
Football DID NOT start in 1992.
Records DID NOT Start in 1992
Ryan Giggs has 672 LEAGUE appearances…. wtaf has a change of wording got to do with anything its like those first 40 games didnt exist…??!
Now, Full Kudos to Barry but he has another full season at least to go yet to get close to the crazy record of Giggs and his insane Yoga fitness levels of immortality
However I dont suppose anyone has ever heard of Peter Shilton? (848 Div 1 appearances 1005 total league appearances)? Tony Ford…931 league appearances? No I thought not, as you see they dont officially exist you see….
Along with the other many many people on the list of players that have more ‘league’ appearances
Although ‘top flight’ is perhaps a clearer choice of words
Barry is still 3rd on that list!
Al – LFC
Is the Premier League really that difficult?
Has this season proven beyond doubt that the Premier League is not as difficult to play in as people think? That making the step up from other European leagues to the Prem is not a huge jump, if any?
We’ve seen Morata arrive from Spain and hit the ground running, much like Mata and David Silva before him. Mo Salah has arrived from Italy and, like Pogba, has been able for it. Rudiger also. Lacazette, Mendy and Bernardo Silva arrived from France and, like Mahrez and Kante, seem to be doing just fine. Can’t see any top player examples this year but Mkhitaryan came from Germany last year and is flying.
Outside the top 5 leagues we know Janssen came from the Netherlands and struggled, but Davinson Sanchez has been excellent so far. Ederson came from Portugal and has conceded two in 6 Prem games. Belgian players seem to move to the Netherlands, France or Germany first, Benteke being a notable exception, but have proven themselves perfectly capable in the Premier League when given a chance.
There’ll obviously be examples of players who struggled after arriving into the Prem, but there’ll also be players who move between Prem clubs and struggle, Torres being a good example. Dzeko obviously has been much better since leaving England but he was never no.1 at Man City.
I think it’s safe to say that if you are a top player in one of the top 5 leagues in Europe, you’ll probably be just fine in the Premier League.
Also if Barcelona with Messi ran up a goal difference of 16-0 in three games people would be going on about how easy La Liga is and how its different in England. City do it, and Joey Barton is published saying they’ll struggle when the cold hits.
Conor (Please Jose play Martial), Dublin.
You put OTHER teams’ players above MY team’s players in the top ten? BIAS MUCH?
Alex G, THFC (rabble rabble rabble)
Moaning about Xhaka
Syfq Amr’s complaints about Xhaka not being in the box make me wonder if some of us just watch matches to find things to complain about.
Xhaka taking set pieces is clearly tactical instruction from the sideline and he isn’t particularly renowned for his aerial prowess but he’s known for owning a wand of a left foot. If delivering a set piece is a skill everyone can complete to the same level then there’d be no point in having any specialists, but Ben Davies.
Maybe start your whinging with Alexis doing keepy-uppies during a 1-0 game in which he played like **** instead of moaning about something the player has little control over.
How about this for a decent team of ex-Chelsea players, still plying their trade in the Premier League.
No loanees allowed, gone for 4-1-3-2 formation.
K. De Bruyne
Subs – Romeu, Chalobah, Begovic, Solanke
Not too bad I reckon, any challengers?
JB (backing the Bath City FC big bid)
Eriksen’s silly haircut
Nonsense claim from Jamie Redknapp, which I see you are repeating today, that Christian Eriksen is underappreciated because he doesn’t have tattoos or a silly haircut.
Christian Eriksen absolutely has a silly haircut.
Jeremy (sensible hair since 1997) Aves