More love for Oscar, who is better than ‘the Brazilian Andros Townsend’ that is Philippe Coutinho. We have more mails on Leeds, Aberdeen, Altrincham, Plymouth and, of course, scrotums.
If you have anything to add on any subject, mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Rodgers to Newcastle
Reading your article about Rodgers this morning I began to ponder, should Liverpool finally sack him (fingers crossed) would any other top flight team give him a job.
After reading a mailbox full of despondent Newcastle fans questioning the personnel decisions of Mike Ashley something just clicked. Could there be a more perfect Ashley appointment? It’s written in the stars.
Martin (would take Hodgson again over this dross) Warrington.
Some love for Oscar
James Bruschini (Oscar is underated?) – Not by me!
Much in the same way that Xavi made Messi even better (I remember seeing a crappy cartoon where Xavi and (Iniesta) were depicted as batteries in the back of Messi, but that it is beside the point), I think Oscar makes Fabregas better. All the pressing higher up the pitch makes the space for his sexy passing and assist bonanzas. In my view, Oscar’s three summers in Brazil (WC, Copa America 2015 and 2016) are much worse than the impact of African Cup of Nations in Mourinho’s first stint. Give our wonderful little number 10 a rest South America!
What are everyone else’s favourite combos? Pienaar making Baines even better stands out. I also like a Hamann quote that said something like Gerrard was a bit crap at tracking back so it was my job to let him run free smacking in thunderb*****ds (not a direct quote).
Have to agree with James Bruschini on his Oscar mail, he’s a top class player and doesn’t really get the credit he deserves, he consistently performs at a high level and seems willing to do any job Mourinho asks of him even if it does clip his creative wings somewhat.
He’s a considerably better player than his countryman Coutinho who seems to get a lot more credit than he deserves, the whole get the ball on the left, cut inside and try and curl it in the top corner thing, well it’s starting to get a bit…Andros Townsend-y isn’t it.
Conor, (“Philippe Coutinho, who has scored with just one of 28 shots and had more in a single game against Norwich (10) than any other player this season – without success – is the Reds’ guiltiest culprit”) Dublin
I know I shouldn’t rise to the bait but this ‘retaliation is allowed‘ guff from Mourinho has got my goat.
What he’s essentially saying is that his game plan of sending players to kick, dive and cheat their way through a match has been spoiled because his players can no longer get his opponents a meaningful suspension and instead the suspension will hit his players.
Well here’s an idea Jose – how about sending your team out to just play football and not engage in any of these dark arts? or is that too much to hope for? Who knows maybe Jose will just give up football? We can but hope.
Graham Simons, Gooner, Norf London
Royston Queen in this morning’s mailbox should have realised something must be wrong when he said he agreed with Mourinho.
The Gabriel thing is pretty clear to me: he was given a straight red for violent conduct. It didn’t seem at all violent in real time, and the video evidence apparently indicated that no contact was made. If Mike Dean was in any way a capable referee and had seen Gabriel lift his leg in some kind of weird retaliation he might have got away with giving Gabriel a second yellow and sending him off that way. But he didn’t. He showed a straight red, which an independent panel of three ex-refs said wasn’t violent conduct, and rescinded the punishment. They don’t have the right to award a yellow card instead. You know, like if you got arrested for GBH when all you actually did was nick a pack of cigarettes. The judge is going to throw out the case, not give you a bit of a lighter sentence.
Instead of saying it’s now all right to retaliate, what it really shows is that it’s not all right to be Mike Dean.
Steve Owen (Arsenal, OBVIOUSLY)
Poor Jose Mourinho, stranded up there on the moral high ground, trying to ensure that the integrity of football is preserved and that players aren’t given the impression that they’re allowed to retaliate when they feel provoked. I wholeheartedly agree with this sentiment…oh, hang on. Is this a different Jose Mourinho to the one who ranted and raved about the unjustness of Nemanja Matic’s red card and ban for retaliating to a tackle in Chelsea’s game against Burnley last season?
What a bore he is.
Steph Grant (Hoping Chelsea will go back to losing so Jose gets the sack), London
Storey fan mail
“a man so soaked in optimism he would describe nuclear apocalypse as ‘a good chance for Earth to have a spring clean’”
What a fantastic piece of writing. Mr Storey, I doff my cap
Your next U21 star?
Nice to see Pereira get a full debut last night and play well.. this is no surprise to Utd fans who follow the U-21 (used to be reserves). We also remember Rossi and Pogba and I was there the day Fergie played Rafael in midfield instead of Pogba. I was sitting beside a guy who regularly saw reserve games and we just could not understand it. Obviously, what happened next was a bit of a disaster but I do enjoy the side of the game where we try to spot potential stars coming through. Irish fans and Villa fans will say Grealish was gonna be their next break through star and that is starting to coming to fruition…
Who is tearing it up for your U-21s.. who’s the next young star coming through?
Don’t be so excited about Leeds
That was a corker of a mailbox yesterday, genuinely great to hear how the smaller clubs are doing for a change and (for the first time in ages) my team got a mention! This pleasant surprise prompted me to write in for the first time, although it’s not all as optimistic as Niall (how long before Norwich come signing all the players mentioned above?), London.
I’ll admit, at the start of the season, and after the first couple of games, I was hugely optimistic for our season. As mentioned we’ve got some brilliant academy players in the team at the moment (Sam Byram will surely be the first of the annual sacrifices to Norwich), we’d spent some money on players that look good, particularly Chris Wood, and the general aura of batsh*t mental-ness that constantly emanates from Leeds seemed to be dying down. That was mostly because of the hiring of Chief Exec Adam Pearson, who seemed to act as a buffer between Cellino and the club, filtering out the worst of his ideas before they had a chance to get down to staff level (staff said about Cellino “He’s very quick to fly off the handle about the smallest things. It’s very difficult to be effective and productive at the club.” so you can imagine having someone else to work under would be a welcome relief!)
However in the last couple of days Pearson left the club to focus on Hull FC, the Super League club he owns (bloody rugby!). So how will this affect Leeds? Will Cellino revert to his old ways of eating managers for putting two sugars in his cuppa instead of two and a half? Will he rename us the Cellino Whites and demand all our games be played at the new home stadium of his favourite park in Italy? Or does the fact that he trusted someone to be a buffer between him and the club show a level of maturity and self awareness that he was previously lacking? At 59 you’d hope so!
Up the Dons
Great to see an email on Aberdeen – I think I’ve been on the site for 10 years and maybe only seen one or two. I live in Southampton – I’ve noticed at work recently people taking notice of us winning – which feels slightly strange given all I usually hear is English football.
I’ve been watching Aberdeen since the early 90’s when we went from challengers to absolute garbage in a few seasons. Bottom of the league, laden with debt, full of overpaid crap journeymen – it’s a story most football fans know well.
The obvious highlight of the last few years would have been seeing us win our first trophy for 19 years at Celtic Park last season – 43,000 Aberdeen fans turned up to watch 120 minutes of dross and then celebrate like loons.
In a perverse way my favourite memory from Aberdeen is from November 99 – a season where we finished bottom of the league, lost our first 6 games without scoring a goal, and when we did score a goal we lost the game anyway. The first one was 6-5 away to Motherwell.
We played Rangers in a league cup quarter final. This was premium 90’s Rangers – full of international players and cruising the league as usual. We expected a 6-0 humping. But it didn’t happen that way, they must have hit the post/bar about 3 times, missed sitters, blocked shots. As the game wore on people started getting fidgety, you could feel the tension in the ground. You didn’t think we would win but nor did they look like scoring.
In the 118th minute, Andy Dow (another crap journeyman who played like Zidane for about 18 months) – gets the rebound and hoofs it in to the roof of the net. Cue madness – the guy next to me who spent most of the night screaming abuse at Rod Wallace fell down the steps, and Pittodrie went mental
Of course we got to the final and got pumped by Celtic. But if you want a release for a depressed 15-year old then it doesn’t get much better.
Sheepy, AFC (and a bit of Swindon)
We have had a brilliant start to the season after many years of doom and gloom falling through the leagues. Things are on the up and with Derek Adams at the helm I am sure our rivals are green with envy! Anyhow, thought I would let you know how we are doing as we always seem to be forgotten.
Lee ‘it’s my birthday on Sunday so please post this’ Green Army!
Lower league update from Altrincham
I won’t pretend not to be a ‘big club fan’ but I do have something to share from lower down the league pyramid. My local side is Altrincham – and although I wouldn’t really call them my second club, I do try to go down and watch them from time to time (particularly in the FA Cup) and do pay attention to their results, league position and whatnot.
As such, I follow Alty on various social media platforms. Last week, I happened upon a photograph of the official teamsheets for a match in the FA Youth Cup, and it turns out that the captain of Altrincham youth team is a young man called Rhain Davis. Remember the name?
He was the nine year old Australian prodigy who was something of a YouTube sensation in 2008, apparently with lightning quick feet and capable of unreal Ronaldo-esque stepovers, despite the fact that a football was almost knee-height to him. He was signed by Manchester United that year after these videos garnered widespread attention (I don’t know if they ‘trended’ back then?), but was apparently released in the summer of 2013 after having suffered a broken leg that halted his progress.
On a brighter note, one of the only rays of sunshine up at Sunderland at the moment is the emergence of 21 year old forward Duncan Watmore; a player that used to grace the Moss Lane pitch for Alty and was the U21 Premier League player of the season last year and a big hit in the Toulon tournament for England Under-20s. Hopefully Davis, still now only 17, can follow the lead of Watmore and forge a good career from modest beginnings. Otherwise, I fear, he is maybe ‘the next Freddy Adu’. I wish him all the best.
Chris, SAF Stand
In this morning’s mailbox Richard MUFC asked about people’s second teams. It reminded me a bit of school, when all the kids claimed that their “second team” was Real Madrid/Bayern Munich/Brazil, and their dad was the Chief Executive of Haribo.
Aaaaaanyway, I felt compelled to write in about my newly adopted second team. They are called Komi Kebir and they currently play in Division 2 of the London-based Cypriot Football League. My brother-in-law plays at CB for them, and I went to watch them for the first time last weekend, at the Hive in north London (Barnet FC’s homeground). They scored two sublime goals in the second half to win the game from behind, and go top of the division. I was instantly hooked.
Admittedly it’s not the best football I’ve ever seen, but they’d probably still beat Sunderland anyway. And the Hive has a Starbucks, which makes the experience all the more enjoyable/middle-class.
Best match I’ve been to when I was away was no doubt River v Boca. Torrential rain from the morning meant that the match itself was a farce. People slipping, missing kicks and puddles that stopped the ball dead, but still two goals, two sending offs (a cert in this match) and a missed penalty. Due to the violence only home fans are now allowed at matches, so it was a bit strange when Boca scored and the whole stadium went silent. Only for a second before the arm waving, whistling and singing kicked in again.
Being gringos we had to be down early so where there three hours before kick off. Herded like cattle through four security checkpoints manned by police with huge batons, full riot gear and even shotguns. They were not there to mess about. Yet when the Boca team bus drove past us the River fans still went mental and were trying to push past the police to get at them.
We were stood in an open terrace which must have been the old away fan section because it was lined with a barb wire fence. Blocked our view a bit but no problem to some of the nut job fans who just climbed on top (no mean feat considering it was torrential rain and forty foot drop in front) and they just sat there singing the whole match. Madness.
Tickets for the match are hard to come by and expect to pay four or five times the face value. I was there at the height of the economic problems in the country though so it meant everything was about 50% cheaper so only paid £35-40 for a ticket. Lump in the finest cheapest steak you will ever eat (under £6 for one the size of a newborn), some fine ass Merlot from Mendoza and cheap cerveza and that is one good weekend away with the boys.
Kev Shanghai (Might be the round trip flights though that are the killer!)
In response to Ben asking for the “Fattest/Ugliest Prem Players”…Neville Southall must win the fat prize. Vast.
As for the ugliest, I can’t get past Chadwick. Mind you, Phil Jones is no oil painting; he looks like the result of an explosion in a face factory.
In response of Ben’s request for fat/ugly players, I seem to recall that when West Ham finally offloaded Neil ‘Razor’ Ruddock on loan to Swindon after too long clogging up our backline, they did not have any shorts that fitted his… ‘expansive’ waistline and had to send out for some.
Always wondered how someone who trains everyday could still manage to be fat…
In terms of chubby footballers, he obviously is not a Premiership player anymore, but seeing some pictures of Michael Chopra lining up for Alloa raised a smile. Hope for us all.
Chris (A svelte 12 stone 2) Nelson
The answer to both is Mickey Quinn.
James F, BCFC KRO
Thomas Brolin and Neville Southall, easily.
Fattest/Ugliest Prem Players)I’m going back to Division 1 and picking Jan Molby as a candidate for the fattest player. He was utterly brilliant though.
Colin (like an 4×4 car ice-skating), Hampshire
Antony Martial has already equalled Falcao’s goal total for last season.
Safe to say I haven’t been this excited about a ninteen year old since Wayne Rooney.
Well, you know, apart from when I was in college of course. But you know what I mean.
Hey ho, at least Lovren’s injured. Keep inching closer to that exit, Brendan.
Matt (in the calm, sunny uplands somewhere north of despair) LFC
Absolutely gutted to have missed out on the F365 squad but I’ll keep my head down, work hard and try and get into the gaffer’s plans as soon as possible.
Paddy, Mayo, my main gripe with Rooney since 09 is something you admit in your email: awful all game, but produces one good moment. That one good thing shouldn’t make up for 89 minutes worth of sh*te yet he dined out being called world class by doing this for years. It’s only now the one good thing has gone from his game people seem to be noticing the rest of it. Demanding to be paid 300k a week suggests the ego of the man too, so I think it’s only fair to point out the fact he isn’t actually very good whenever he takes to the field and isn’t very good.
My pet hates: saying this is football, we’re in a good ‘moment’, arbitrary mailbox references to having a girlfriend (I was watching the game with my mrs and…), referring to a player as a number like the number 10 position, Brendan’s 7 and a half, Van Gaal’s 6 and 8 and everything else.
Silvio (Playing my way into the squad = Rooney mails) Dante
Aww shucks Jonny, F365.
Nice to be missed.
I see myself as a supersub these days, at the tail end of my mailbox career slowly working my way down the divisions until I find myself on a radio phone in show embarrassing myself ranting about some perceived injustice.
And everyone will say I’ve finally found my level.
Can I assume the number 9 shirt was retired when Connor Byrne quit the mailbox game?
Definitely a load of balls
For those wondering, I work at the Manchester Scrotum Studies Institute and was therefore checking the scrotum news for work related reasons.