Mails: Mistake making Henderson captain

Date published: Friday 22nd January 2016 3:20

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Henderson: Not good enough
As mentioned in todays Big Weekend – I think it’s a bit of a stretch to suggest fans were expecting Henderson to be a direct replacement for Gerrard both in terms of his playing ability and leadership qualities – and that he’d be some sort of saviour once he returned from injury. Henderson is neither a bad player nor a bad captain. He just isn’t, as is the case with many around him, a good enough player to be playing for Liverpool. I think giving him the captaincy was a mistake because it automatically makes him number 1 on the team sheet when fit – and personally I feel if Liverpool are to make forward strides anytime soon, they need players of a higher quality than Henderson. But that’s another issue.

Having said all that – he probably is one of the only viable candidates in the squad at the moment along with maybe Skrtel and Milner. No one else is experienced enough or really has a secure regular place in the team.

Steven Hunt – Draughtsman


A Villa fan? F*** me
Lovely wee jibe from Paul (laughing at Liverpool never gets old) AVFC, London about ground sizes. If any team proves it doesn’t matter a salt, it is Villa. 7th largest in the premier league. Larger than Chelsea, Spurs and Everton. Clearly it has direct correlation to league placing. Also Gerrard??? Come off it we aren’t United fans (seriously though, please “give it ‘Giggsehhhh”).

Klopp needs time, as you say he can’t turn a turd into gold. It isn’t even his turd yet. Unless you count Steven Caulker. Believe it or not, not all Liverpool fans are into hyperbole.
Adam, LFC, Belfast.


I wouldn’t worry too much Paul (laughing at Liverpool never gets old) AVFC, London, about Villa living off faded glories.. There’s every chance they’ll win the championship next year.

The Liverpool team requires re-building, which will take a couple of seasons, not months. Klopp didn’t turn Dortmund around in a year and it took Ferguson years to turn United into the powerhouse they became.

But if you’re looking for a real laugh, 12 points from 22 games gives me a good ol’ chuckle every-time I see it.

They say Paris is the place to visit in the Spring. You, lad, will probably be in Millwall. Enjoy!
Dazza, Dublin, LFC (Happy to endure another season of mediocracy for progress in Year 3!)


You’d have a point if it has been Liverpool fans, and not, talking about net spend in the previous mailboxes.

I’m all for a bit of fun being poked and a bit of ‘banter’ (vomit), but I would love it if people would stop using the same old tired tropes for all sets of fans. I get equally tired with Liverpool fans poking fun at quiet Arsenal fans when there’s not been the best atmosphere at Anfield for a while, and so on.

Similar was the Exeter fans singing ‘we pay your benefits’ when the two regions claim proportionally very similar amounts of the total benefit budget (1% greater claim for the North West). Not unlike the days when Chelsea fans would wave £20 notes at Liverpool matchgoers.

Anyhow. More original insults please?
Theo, LFC, Liverpool


Paul, AVFC, London is laughing at Liverpool (apparently it never gets old) hoping that Liverpool become the irrelevance that Aston Villa have cemented themselves as.

Aston Villa have a rich history. League winners. FA Cup winners. They’re even European Cup winners. A club that should be considered in the same breath as Liverpool or Manchester United for their legacy in English football. You know what they actually are? A footnote. A sad, pathetic footnote in a footballing world that will forget them in just a matter of years.

Make no mistake, Villa are in real trouble. More likely to continue their slide down the football league than to rebound straight back. An owner that couldn’t care less. Players that either don’t care or just plain rubbish and potential players actively steering clear. A manager that knows he’s off at the end of the season, his reputation relatively unsullied by being at the helm of such an obviously sinking ship.

Paul, you continue to laugh at Liverpool. It’s fine, you just join the growing ranks of fans who are inexplicably obssessed with us. I’ll just console myself with the fact we spent £30 million to guarantee your permanent descent into obscurity, only to be remembered by the most hardcore of football league historians. Worth every penny.

Hell, even West Brom are more relevant than you.
Kris, LFC, Manchester


Agreeing with ‘Arry
Forgive me F365 for I have sinned.

Firstly I found myself reading Harry Redknapp’s Evening Standard Column yesterday (it was purely for MediaWatch purposes you must understand!)

But secondly, and more damningly, I found myself agreeing with one of his points (the shame). I know, I know, hanging is too good for me, etc, etc.

But the point in question is something that really does grind my gears, namely how the media (and fans) talk about two teams record against each other and how past results are an indicator of the likely outcome of their next meeting. He quite rightly pointed out that most players are only around for a few years and probably don’t know a great deal about the club history, let alone their last 10 results against their upcoming opponents, so why would past form, sometimes going back decades, be any indication for those playing for the club the next weekend?

I don’t mind that these stats are reported in a facts section of a match preview, nor that a commentator or reporter might mention it as a little interesting space filler. But what does annoy me is when said reporters or fans talk about these facts as evidence that Team A have absolutely no chance of winning at Team B cos they’ve only won once there in the last 10 seasons, regardless of current form/managers/players/weather/strength of pre match cuppa and so on.

This reaches it’s nadir when you find a gem such as ‘Bury haven’t beaten Man Utd at OId Trafford since 1924’. Sure that’s interesting, but then you delve deeper and you realise they have played them only twice since then, both times in the cup and both times when they are at least three divisions apart and you realise it isn’t something to base the foundations of your prediction upon.

Just a little bug bear of mine, does anyone else have something similar?
Rob (If you publish this does that mean I am forgiven?) Leicester


More Ronaldo thoughts
Reading the Cristiano Kardashian piece in the mailbox yesterday, and the subsequent agreements and disagreements to Pranav AFC’s mail really highlighted a few annoying sports fan tendencies. Firstly, I love football, in fact I practically breathe it, but what is it that causes us fans to elevate a players ability on the pitch and put it on par with that players personality and character? Sentiments like “arrogance isn’t a requirement for being a great footballer” as made by Leigh, THFC, Stockholm just infuriate me. Of course arrogance isn’t a requirement for being a great footballer! That honour is reserved for things such as natural ability, hard work, practice, dedication e.t.c. If CR7 is arrogant (which he is) then that is his personality, it does not describe how well he kicks a penalty! Now I’m not saying that his arrogance hasn’t contributed to his superstardom, as I feel that to dream as big as CR7, Messi, Neymar et al have in becoming such huge names requires quite a bit of arrogance, I mean how on earth could they have thought they could become the greatest ever player without it??

Secondly it is on record that the defining factor which led the youth coach at Sporting to sign Ronaldo was his arrogance. Apparently Ronaldo was being tightly marked from a throw-in by an older player and he just looked over his shoulder at the player and said: Hey kid, calm down! This very arrogance that Pranav AFC and his gang are deriding is precisely what landed CR7 his first break and ultimately allowed us all to watch some of the brilliant football he has dished out over the years, the same “brilliant football” that Pranav claims to watch football matches hoping to see. The painful truth that some fans just can’t stomach is that footballers are under no obligation to be humble, quiet or shy. All that is expected of a footballer is their best performances on the pitch as well as courtesy when the player interacts with a fan, and, to my knowledge, Ronaldo is one of the all-time great performers and he has never treated a fan with anything less than courtesy. What more should fans be able to demand from a player?

Finally, on the field, Ronaldo does seem arrogant and does seem like more of a prima donna than most players out there but, to judge a human being on what you see of him for 90 minutes at a time on a soccer pitch is very misguided. I personally have never met CR7, alI know is that Ronaldo’s family (who he provides for entirely), the hoards of people that have benefitted from his humanitarian work and lastly Ronaldo’s son would greatly disagree that he is “self-obsessed” and “unpleasant”.
Buchule, East London, SA


Straw men
Excellent point from Matthew Rivers, about the ‘surprising amount of West Ham fans’ who think Payet is better than Ozil and Silva. I would like to take this mail to also refute the same amount of claims which have been made by other team’s supporters.

Conor Salmon is not as good as Aguero, Sheffield United fans, so stop it.
Everton fans – sweary Tim is not worth 5 points a season more than Petr, wind yer necks in.
Harry Kane isn’t even fit to lace Roy Race’s boots, Spurs fans – leave it out.
United fans, you are living in a dream world if you think Rooney will ever be as good as Chris Porter.

Happy to have cleared those up.
Jeremy (to be fair to Matthew, one fan would be a ‘surprising amount) Aves


Don’t stop the Mediawatch snark
I’ve just read the enlightening interview with Sarah Winterburn on The Set Pieces and she mentions the possibility that Mediawatch has become too snarky. Please don’t tone it down – the only reason I feel you have become more outspoken is because there is more to speak out against. Someone needs to call out people like Paul Merson, Ian Wright, Harry Redknapp, the Metro, Garth Crooks, the Daily Mail, Robbie Savage and every SEO-tastic headline writer for stealing a living. And that someone needs to be you, because you do it so well.

Personally I think you should tweet each person featured in each edition of Mediawatch, sending them a link to their “contribution” to highlight their own idiocy / rank hypocrisy. Then do a Mediawatch-follow-up page with their responses. Shame them all!

Please keep up the fantastic, righteous, essential-daily-reading, miss-it-on-a-bank-holiday work.
Neil Weatherston Sharma


50 shades of 365
Having read Nick Miller’s fine piece on Sarah Winterburn care of the recommended reading section of mediawatch I realized how little I know about the history and origin of the site, having stumbled upon it during my uni days. Having registered as a fresher literally during 9/11, I sadly missed out on the David Icke era. Any chance of a Nostalgia365 section and reprint some of these lost tomes?

With the Ian Moody stuff, the lavish money museum parties and the great Christmas tree swindle, I reckon there would be a good, secret footballer, lifting the lid, style book out of it. Make a start on it now and it would be decent stocking filler that I would certainly buy– foreword by Danny Kelly, chapter or two on the origin and early days, one for each buy out, one for the legal stuff, former writers could contribute a chapter on their time in f365 towers, reprint a few articles in there and pad it out with some classic mailbox entries, a couple of quizzes and you’re done! Oh and be sure to include one photo more than that was in Lovejoy’s book

Oh and if they can make a book about the Spolight team I’m sure this classic would get picked up for a big screen adaptation!
Brian Belfast Gooner


Sorry, Bournemouth fans
As a Bournemouth fan of the last 20 years, I have to take issue with your comments surrounding Eddie Howe in your ‘Big Weekend’ story today. Don’t get me wrong, I’m fully aware of how we’re only here because of Mr Demin’s cash, etc, etc, but calling us fourth division stalwarts? Since election to the Football League in 1923, we have spent a grand total of 11 seasons in the fourth tier. Considering the overwhelming majority of our history has been spent in the third tier (including an unbroken 47 year stint), surely third division stalwarts would be far more apt?

Kind regards,

Jerry Carne,


Trials and tribulations
The team in the city where I live, Brno, have a Nigerian lad on trial called Terry Akpua. There aren’t many foreigners in this league, and from a spot of Googling, I discovered he’s actually based in the US. A curious combination. Got me to thinking about how this might have come about…

Agent: “Terry! Good news, my man! Got you a trial at a European club!”
Akpua: “Really?! Wow, which one?”
Agent: “Well, I’ll give you some clues. They play in their country’s highest league. They’re former title winners. They’re from the second-biggest city in that country. They have a rivalry with a club from the capital. The city begins with B…”
Akpua: “You’re kidding! You don’t mean… Bar…”
Agent: “WOAH! Steady on, Terry, mate!”

Like that, probably.
David (Zbrojovka and Coventry City) Szmidt, Brno, Czech Rep.


Get your I in
A hastily read, ‘a good dousing with Reidy’s new Cilit Bang..‘ produced the quickest double take in recorded history.

I nearly spat out my bloody Bovril. No man should wake up to the mental image a skim read of that paragraph produced.

Well played



Pray for Degsy
Having settled down to read the excellent cheeky punt over a morning cuppa, surely I cannot be the only mailboxer praying for the Man u v Southampton game to be a repeat of the 2-3 from earlier this season?
Terry Hall, Switzerland (a bold wager made even bolder by the double whammy of Ryvita)


Footballers in musicals
Has Ed Quoththeraven got a plane to catch? That was the shortest email he’s written in six months. I even got to the end of it without thinking to myself “oh, hang on, this is Ed Quoththeraven, isn’t it?”

How about Reidy, Merse and Claridge as the sailors in “On The Town”?

More of the same, please, Edward.
Matt Pitt


Good suggestion by Ed in this morning’s mailbox. With the theatrics of footballers these days it’s not inconceivable to think they could be a success on London’s West End. So here are a few guys I thought might be suitable for the respective roles…

The Hunchback of Notre Dame – Wayne Rooney (Quasimodo)

War Horse – Ruud Van Nistelrooy (Joey the horse)

The Lion King – Bafetimbi Gomis (Simba)

Fiddler on the Roof – Harry Redknapp (Tevye)

Thriller Live – Nani (Michael Jackson)

Annie Get Your Gun – Faustino Asprilla or Ashley Cole (Annie). A ‘pistols at dawn’ draw to see who gets the part.

Grease – Marouane Chamakh (Danny Zuko), that hair alone gets the part

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – Jeff Stelling (Snow White), Reidy (Doc), TC (Bashful), Merse (Dopey), Thommo (Sneezy), Kammy (Happy), Tactics Tim (Sleepy), Souey (Grumpy)

And last, but not least, the Laurence Olivier of the Theatre world, the glorious Steven Taylor. This performance would guarantee he had his choice of any role he wanted. Maybe an adaptation of Platoon is brought to Broadway specifically for Steven.
Cillian (Neo from the Matrix would be proud of that back bend)


Well of Ed has finally done it. He has gained my interest. I love musicals and football. (Married btw gorgoeous wife and daughter etc) I think Tony Pulis and Jeremy Peace would be amazing as Valjean and Javert from Les Mis. Pulis the hero with the reputation of a villain would be perfect for Valjean. Arrested for stealing a loaf of bread for his family. Quite similar to picking big blokes and defending well. Not the way people want things to be done, but noble and it is about getting results. The ends justify the means. As for Peace, well Javert always gets his man and he has to keep a close on Pulis otherwise he will spend all of the Albion’s money. It is a sort of policing role. Pulis is good a building the barricades (parking the bus in football in terms). So yes I think this works well.
Ben (Don’t have lots of people thanking me for my noble views on social media like Dom) Boing Boing


As a man with equal passion for football and musical theatre, at last the mailbox is speaking my language!

Here’s my suggestions:

-Tim Sherwood singing I Believe from Book of Mormon, all about his PFM beliefs

-Emmanuel Adebayor singing What You Want from Legally Blonde, desperately trying to convince Premier League clubs that he’s the answer to their problems up front

-All the players, staff and fans of Aston Villa singing It Sucks to be Me from Avenue Q

-An infuriated Sam Allardyce singing Rose’s Turn from Gypsy, raging at constantly being overlooked for the England job
-Adrian (Theatrical Coventry fan)


How about;

Pus(kas) in boots.
Peter Pan(tilimon)
Jack Wilshere and his ankles made of beanstalk

My personal favourite

Snow Sullivan and his Porno Dwarf
Gavin (Paulinho Fowler). Walford.


Can we have Mr Bumble (Mauricio Pochettino) parading Oliver Twist (Andros Townsend) around the streets bellowing “young boy for sale” whilst Fagin (Daniel Levy) lurks in the shadows behind counting his pocketwatches?
Matt (Cashley Cole as Oliver? “Please sir, can I have some more?”) Stafford


In reply to ‘Ed Quoththeraven’ the most obvious would be Joey Barton in ‘Wicked’ – however I don’t know if this would be high-brow enough for our favourite Plato-quoting criminal.
Dan (I did want to Say Lion-el Messi in Cats) Geneen

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