It’s definitely time for Premier League football. You can probably get in Friday afternoon’s mailbox with anything that’s not an advert for Viagra. Mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Adding to England’s best striker debate
Gough, LFC, Dublin (He won’t be fit though) got me thinking when he says that Sturridge is England’s best striker. My initial thought was that he is England’s best finisher, but that is different to being England’s best striker, so I decided to come up with a list of attributes a top striker should have and then see how England’s current strikers rank.
For this comparison I have included Rooney, Sturridge, Kane, Walcott, Welbeck and Vardy as they are the strikers currently in and around the England team.
Finishing: Sturridge, Vardy, Rooney (when on form)
Hold-up play: Kane, Rooney, Welbeck
Pace: Walcott, Sturridge, Welbeck
Heading: Kane, Rooney, Welbeck
Bringing others into play: Kane, Rooney, Welbeck
Scoring from range: Rooney, Sturridge, Kane
Work rate: Kane, Welbeck, Rooney
Ability to create something from nothing: Rooney, Sturridge, Walcott.
Working on three points for a first, two for a second and one for a third.
Sturridge has 9
Rooney has 14
Kane has 13
Walcott has 4
Welbeck has 6 and
Vardy has 2
I stress that this proves nothing and that it is only one man’s opinion (and yes I am a Spurs fan and so maybe Harry (he’s one of our own) has a couple more points than he should) but my expert calculations show that Sturridge is not England’s best striker, Rooney still is and Kane is second with Sturridge in third.
Martyn, THFC, Essex
Fellaini: Chest sell him
When I saw Fellaini’s name on the homepage featuring in the gossip section, I was praying it wasn’t for a new contract.
Ship him back to Everton ASAP for 10 milion ASAP. He’s a coward who doesn’t jump for 50/50s and is only useful if he has space and time to bring it down on his chest. Apart from elbowing people the man doesn’t want to know when it comes to physicality. Terrible at heading the ball, terrible on the floor, slow, gives away needless free kicks.
After that effective three-game spell last season, Mourinho worked out that if you let him bring it down and then challenge him when it’s at his feet, he won’t have a clue what to do. Zouma stood off, waited and then pounced. Fellaini is lost when the ball is on the floor and he actually has to play football.
If Pammy got a job on Baywatch for her chest, Fellaini is the football equivalent. It was fine for Baywatch but at Man United you need a lot more than that.
P.S. whoever said Carrick is like a running tap – don’t appreciate him when he’s there and miss him when he isn’t, is a genius.
England < Portugal
Pedantry alert: Colin, (can hear the 2016 reboot of three lions already) asserts that England are better than Portugal and Belgium – Belgium are ranked first in the FIFA rankings, however much you criticize them the fact remains that it’s not as if just anybody gets to that top spot (only Spain, Holland, Germany, Brazil, Italy and France have been first in the past 20 years). Furthermore, Portugal have not lost a competitive international game to England since 1966 (I imagine there’s a Portuguese fan on a website somewhere commenting that England have Rooney, and no one else).
England beat the sides they should beat, and mostly lose to the sides they should lose to, and sometimes perform above expectations (one every 20-30 years, so maybe it’s time).
Matias Pasch – Austin, TX, USA
Why Ireland will win Euro 2016
I’m really starting to believe our chances in the EUROs next summer. Happy as Larry after the win over Bosnia and I must admit that Colin, (can hear the 2016 reboot of three lions already) has contributed with his post in the Thursday evening mailbox.
In it he said that Belgium are worse than England because Wales took four points from them in qualifying but Wales haven’t beaten England since the 80’s. But England haven’t beaten the boys in green since the 80’s either. We took four points from the German’s in qualifying so they shouldn’t be any hassle. And Portugal only have Ronaldo so won’t worry about them.
All that remains is those pesky Spanish lads and their tappy-tappy football but then they did lose to the Dutch who didn’t even make the competition…
Ben, (Can almost hear 2016 the reboot of Put ’em under pressure!) London
The last word
Colin, (can hear the 2016 reboot of three lions already) I may have jumped the gun. Ireland are frequently condescended to when they reach the major tournaments. Granted we are not the most technically gifted side but in the qualifying campaign we took four points off Germany and made Bosnia look very ordinary in the playoff. I don’t see us going past the first knockout phase but we will give any side a tough game.
The main reason, I as an Irish fan, and I believe many other opposition fans will not fear England is because England lack a truly world-class player. Being a Utd fan I have watched many teams shut up shop and play 10 men behind the ball, when the game goes flat and you are left with lots of sterile possession then it usually comes down to relying on a mistake or a moment of brilliance to make a breakthrough. I just don’t see that player in the England squad now. The other sides all have a player (or players) that can conjure up a goal from nowhere. I think England are a very good team but I think if a team is really well organised and is happy to play without ambition, then I can see them struggling to break them down. A lot of people seem to be commenting at how adept England are on the counter-attack, that is reduced when the other team don’t come out of their half.
The other reason is that England are usually gash in tournaments. I don’t see this being any more different. The hype has already started. Imagine how high it will be in seven months. Plus they usually end up with a number of key players either injured or burned out by the summer. Kane, Rooney, Smalling, Stones, Clyne could be knackered because they are too important to their managers to rotate.
Keeping Ronaldo quiet is a huge IF, it could be his last chance to win a Euro trophy.
I think Wales taking four points off Belgium says more about them than their opposition. They are dark horses. A solid defence with Ramsey getting the ball to Bale, they could cause huge problems for anyone. If Bale is on form then I fancy them to get to at least the quarters. Also Belgium have Hazard and De Bruyne, they are both pure class and the team around them is at least as good as England’s man for man. The only regular starters for them that I don’t see getting into the England team is Mertens and Fellaini.
Anyway, I would like to see England do well because I follow English football and I know a lot of the players. I just don’t see it happening.
Dan, Ireland MUFC (semi-finals would be a very good showing)
An Ireland football ladder
First-time contributer to the mailbox but all this talk of Ireland and the other home nations favouring drawing England from pot 1 got me comparing squads and players. In direct comparison to the England football ladder I compiled an Ireland football ladder which I roughly gauged would look something like this:
50. St. Ledger
It is clear from this that Ireland’s selection options are substantially weaker. Of course this is obvious to say but I’m highlighting it because I actually believe Ireland would get a result against England. We have more spirit and belief and togetherness. England throughout history have always had better individuals but have always played as individuals and not a team. That being said with the exception of Rooney and Wilshere (if fit), England are finally putting together a squad with great depth and more likeability than anything in recent times.
Looking at the available options up front, this area looks stronger than it has in years, Rooney (although out of form still plays well-ish for England) Welbeck, Kane, Sturridge, Walcott, Vardy, Berahino, Ings, Carroll, Austin, etc. Remember it wasn’t long ago that Zamora, Davies and Lambert were getting a look in for England up top.
Anyway I guess what I’m trying to say is who knows what’s going to happen in the Euros but I can’t wait and hope all the home nations do well.
Chris (I’d still have Robbie Keane over Rooney), Dublin
Am I alone in thinking the Premier League’s decision to insist on the signing of the French National Anthem is simply an exercise in self-serving sentimentalism? I do not doubt the horror of the recent events but am not sure how a badly sung rendition of a song in a foreign language pays any kind of meaningful tribute to those affected. A similar gesture has already been made at national level. Do the French really want to hear Palace and Sunderland fans awkwardly signing their anthem on Monday night, more than a week after the actual atrocities?
Barely a week passes now at football matches without a minutes silence or applause for a footballer who many in the crowd have never heard of, let alone actually seen play. These constant public pronouncements only serve to undermine other well-meaning and appropriate gestures.
John Robertson: Not all that
Checking stats and taking all the joy out of football, we find that Nick Miller’s John Robertson only managed double figures in league goals in two seasons (1977 and 1979). Wikipedia doesn’t have assists so those don’t matter for the purposes of this statistics-driven festering pile. So I can only conclude that Nick Miller is seeing the past through rose-tinted glasses, and John Robertson was a one-trick pony whose trick wasn’t all that. Forget Ronaldo or Messi, I’d take a fat Wayne over a fat John; at least Wikipedia shows he had some assists. You’re welcome readers.
Niall (Stats are all that matter), Denver
We’re all a bit delusional…
I read a very interesting mail on the opinion of Switzerland national team from surprise surprise a Swiss, they seemed to be annoyed that everyone considered Switzerland a minnow (which is something I would consider).
I then thought to myself why? So I took it upon myself to check out their record in major tournaments. In the World Cup their best achievement is reaching the quarter-finals three times. In European Championship they have achieved the group stages three times playing nine, winning once. Ah the delusional Swiss (we’re all a little delusional) claimed they make all tournaments basically, World Cup qualified 10 out of 20, European championship 3 out of 14, so yeah basically.
My point is this – everyone exaggerates their own national prowess (at least were not the only ones). England to win the Euros next year!
George (eggcorn on my face) Colchester
Couldn’t have put it better ourselves
A guide to writing to the Mailbox about your Football Manager team:
1. Load the game.
2. Find something that’s funny, ironic or poignant when compared with the real world of football.
3. Open a browser, log in to your email.
4. Write out the scenario. Take your time! The more details the better.
5. When you’re done, select all, then hit delete, close your browser and set fire to your computer.
6. And get off my lawn.
Football’s Benjamin Button
Re: Mark, Warwickshire’s email (F*ck off is Gary Cahill 29) about players who are older than you realise, I sometimes find the opposite. Remember Vedran Corluka, played for Spurs a while back, I’m pretty sure he was in his 30s then. He’s currently 29. How does that work??
Phil (Obafemi Martins is only 31. Or 38.), MUFC, not from Manchester
Trip to the pharmacy
Peter Reid’s latest concoction according to JN is ‘foaming steins of liquid gas, cream and fermented mice’, and my rudimentary understanding of basic chemistry aside, aren’t all liquids ‘liquid gas’? Just as all gasses are gassed liquids. Please clarify or I won’t get any sleep this weekend, and may experiment with putting whiskey in my kettle.
No Clive! Yay!
Dear Brian (Lovren with the man of the match performance) LFC
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
I never thought I would enjoy a mail by a Liverpool supporter so much, but you Sir have made my day and put a spring in my step.
Because you used ‘for me’ in a sentence and did not follow it with ‘(Clive)’ – one of the most irritating, nails down a chalkboard unfunny phrases in existence (along with ‘break the internet’).
You have a good day. I know I will.
Damian, ITFC, Singapore
The funniest thing abut Brian LFC’s prediction of Liverpool beating City this weekend is the idea that the league leaders would consider a match against the side in 10th a ‘big game’.
Has everyone said this?
Naughty F365. So I was going to let it slide after you did it just once in your England player ratings vs France. But then you did it again in your England ladder. You said that Cahill has ‘kept’ clean sheets in his last few appearances. Which is rather extraordinary given that he isn’t a goalkeeper. No I’m not saying that Cahill doesn’t have a part in the clean sheet but given he isn’t a ‘keeper and is a defender he *defends* clean sheets rather than keeps them.
Stop. Butchering. The. Language. Irony. Intended. Malapropism. Of. Irony. Also. Intended. as Is! Poor, Grammar……;
Hugo (NUFC) Adelaide