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Weekend talking point
How fat has Agnonlahor got?!
Mesut Özil is just so wonderful to watch play football.
The party is over
Make sure Jamie Vardy is in the Losers section tomorrow yeah? His goal drought has now reached 156 minutes not including injury time.
Alay (oh Chelsea, Chelsea….), N15 Gooner
There are ‘miracles’, then there are…
Last night I watched the rather excellent football documentary I Believe In Miracles while the good lady swooned over Strictly Come Dancing and then got stuck into some Celebrity Jungle crap.
The film tells the true story of the rise of an unfashionable Midlands team, managed by a popular manager who had previously been in charge of a top team (before being sacked and disappearing off to some south coast team), who had plucked a free-scoring centre forward from non-league obscurity, who somehow, miraculously, went on to win the league – and then the European Cup.
Dare to dream Fox fans, it could happen.
David (please let us turn over the Toons today), LFC
Football has gone mental
What a season, It’s not even done yet!
ManU are the new Chelsea, Leicster are ManU, Chelsea are Leicester, ManC and Arsenal are playing a game of “I’m more crocked than you”.
Meanwhile Liverpool are playing along and Klopp is smiling to the top.
Top of the Klopp!
P.J Dlamini, of the Klopp Kult
I found it interesting that last night Chelsea losing to Bournemouth was the fourth or fifth game on MOTD and United drawing at home to West Ham was on last. These things aren’t even a surprise any more. A couple of years ago the results from yesterday would have been scarcely believable; this season they were about par. Only Arsenal remain constant and reliable in their Arsenalness, existing in a parallel, never-changing universe of injuries, passing, Champions League qualification and ennui.
It’s been great, but Saints and Everton have been disappointing
One of the great frustrations that watchers of the English game have is that the supposedly “top” sides are, when viewed in comparison to the continental giants, quite rubbish. There is no doubt about it. The teams that are supposed to be challenging for the title this season (United, City and Arsenal) have already gone through woeful runs of indifferent form, defensive shambles and impotent attack. However, the frailty of the elite has often been used as an excuse to discredit the league as a whole. This, in my view, is a disservice to the less glamorous teams.
I can understand the irritation of those who would like to see the emergence of an English superclub. One that is always in contention for continental honours. In fact, some would even settle for simply stronger performances and cup runs that extend beyond the quarter finals. However, too often has continental football been used as a barometer of a league’s quality. Watching Leicester’s improbable run to the top of the table, West Ham’s annoying habit of stealing points away from home or Bournemouth’s heroic (yet doomed, it seems) fight against the drop brings far more joy than watching Chelsea win the Champions League ever did (I might be a bit biased here).
There have been disappointments as well. Had F365’s feature on the ‘top 10 disappointments‘ considered clubs as well, I have no doubt that Swansea, Southampton and Everton would made the cut. Record breaking season, defiant comeback after being stripped of all valuables and incredibly talented squad respectively. Add to it that all three are managed by immensely promising managers. All three are also clubs that would actually be glad to play Thursday night football rather than turn their noses up at it like some English clubs have in the past. So it’s been bizarre to see them so far from challenging from the spots that matter, instead caught in mid-table mire.
While United, City, Arsenal and Chelsea (haha) fans might be frustrated for myriad reasons I just wanted to write in to say that this season has been immensely fun to watch so far. The safe bet is still on the moneybags City to win the title but the story so far has been compelling with brilliant cameo appearances from Crystal Palace, West Ham, Bournemouth and Leicester City. May the show go on.
Pranav, AFC (I really do love Bournemouth. Was devastated after their game against Newcastle but yesterday made up for it)
I would like to thank you for helping chelsea win the title last year. It had been a while. You are one of the best football managers in the world and you have an impressive cv to prove this. I wont say I was happy when you left chelsea the first time because I was one if those who belived wrongly that managerial stability was key to club success, sir Alex and Mr Wenger had been dominating the league prior to your arrival and you broke that monotony with cutting edge ideas and brilliant man and game management. I will forever as a fan be happy that you came because at that time you were what was needed.
But these days one would be forgiven for thinking that all your prior success has gotten into your head and you have lost your way. There seems to be a dark cloud hanging over you and the only way to emerge from under it is to pack your bags and leave while you can retain some dignity and class which is something I think you have always been short on.
Somewhere along the line in your career, you stopped thinking of yourself as a great manager and decided that you would make a better god as well. Well, Karma is a bitch and now the whole world sees you for the fraud you have become.
When you were re-appointed as chelsea manager, I was not happy despite all the cheers and jubilee from the fans. My reasons were very simple. As a human being you thrive too much on controversy and I feel like chelsea had come too far winning the elusive CL trophy, the europa cup and a few other minor trophies in your abscense trying to rebuild our image as a club and I felt as though rehiring you may bring trophies but they would come at the expense of our (already dodgy) club reputation and sustainable footballing.
I was proved correct when you-
-sold our best player for two seasons to a league rival.
-brought in etoo as a striker and loaned/sold lukaku who was eager younger, more eager and only needed guidance to become a long term option upfront.
-sold david luis who was a fans favourite and did not replace him.
-blamed players for losses and claimed praise for successes.
-demoted your medical staff for no reason.
-sold good players and bought terrible replacements.
Only the deluded would think you can arrest this poor form. Chelsea stand to drop at least 7 more points before january when you may or may not be able to bring in new players which may or may not help.
All these reasons and more I think you have finally come to a reckoning with fate. Please resign and let somone esle try. Maybe Roman will call you back after a few years.
Paul (Didier Drogba is the real special one. Chelsea have not won anything recently without him being in the squad.) From Nigeria.
Stop blaming Van Gaal, blame the players
There were several moments in the Man Utd vs West Ham game where I thought we had scored, only to be left disappointed again and again that we had not. It’s once again a performance that leaves a somewhat foul taste at the back of the mouth as a Utd fan, but I guess the upside is that there were far more of these moments than in other games this season. I’m quite sure that’s a good thing, but only if we score. It’s very sad to see us not get a breakthrough after the kind of chances we created last night. If we had, I get the feeling we would have held on.
My point is that at this point, it almost seems almost unfair to blame LvG for what can only be described as abject incompetence by our forwards. Martial,, Fellaini, Mata, Bastian all had excellent chances. There was a super low-cross from Darmian that would have been a goal if anyone had just gambled forward. There are no more excuses for not even hitting the target from most of these shots. I really don’t think its a case of not creating anything, but rather the opponent defending very well and being allowed to do so by forwards who can’t hit the target when given the chance which in turn allows the opponent to defend deep with numbers creating the cycle. All it should really take is for someone to break the cycle. But at the moment, we don’t have anyone who can reliably do that, and that it seems to me is the biggest weakness with our team. Not LvG’s tactics as everyone (including F365) says which I really think is fine, or a lack of chances. The chances are there. Very few of them, but they are there. If one of those is taken, the game becomes more open leading to more chances. If not, we get very tight games with every opponent just “parking the bus”.
Man Utd fan, India.
I’ve resisted the urge to showcase my mediocre writing ability on F365 for a while now, however in the wake of yet another goalless draw at Old Trafford, (not as drab as the last few, to be fair) I’ve been left fuming- not so much by the result as by the attitude of the players. It was hard to find any urgency or determination out on that pitch for us today, the most we mustered was the little 10 minute spell of pressure after Memphis was brought on. People criticize Van Gaal for his tactics, but I have more of a problem with his inability to instill belief and that killer instinct within the players who seem content with just knocking the ball around and making half-hearted sprints in the final quarter of the game- there has to be some desire to actually go and win the game, without it we’re just as mentally fragile as Arsenal is physically.
My frustration led me to trawl through the archives (aka Youtube) to find a United game from the title-winning season of 08/09, a game where we beat Sunderland 1-0 at Old Trafford thanks to Vidic storming into the box to pounce on Carrick’s deflected shot in the 90th minute, classic late goal. If Van Gaal thinks his side were “attacking” with their 63% possession, then he should take a look at this game because United had 85% possession in the second half and created relentless waves of pressure, eventually cracking Sunderland open. It was see refreshing to look back and see players surging forward and beating their men on the flanks instead of coming inside and passing it deep in to midfield. To be fair we could’ve easily won this game too, but United are too good to be knocking on the door and waiting for a chance or two to score, United smash that door down no matter what the resistance. I hope Van Gaal really instills some belief and urgency in the players because I do think he’s doing a good job for the long term.
P.S.- The big Belgian tree that is Marouane Fellaini can hardly even win aerial duels anymore, he needs to be shipped off.
Schweinsteiger is the problem
A beard is a slang term for a woman who pretends to be the partner of a closeted homosexual man to disguise his true orientation.
Rooney is Schweinsteigers footballing equivalent of a beard.
There is absolutely no point in blaming Rooney for United being utterly awful to watch. He might add to the miasma but he isn’t able to actually affect the team in any noticeable way, because he’s just a lumbering elephant who sometimes gets in the way.
Uniteds problem on the pitch is Schweinsteiger. He’s a black hole of beige blandness, sucking speed, life and creativity out of every single thing they do, demanding to be a part of everything and dripping over it all with blunt dull conservative tar.
Get him in the sea.
Genuinely, is there any club in the league you’d want to watch LESS than United right now.
I’m so bored of writing this e-mail every week. God.
Mata is the problem (plus Fellaini > Rooney)
Fellani put in a better shift in the number 10 role than Rooney has all season.
Even though we didn’t win, this was much better from United, especially for the 10-15 minutes after Depay came on.
For all of his beautiful beard and blogs, Mata does slow down our attacks. Van Gaal is too defensive to ever try it but it might be worth a shout putting Mata deep in a Cazorla like quarterback playmaker role. Mata seems more suited to the Scholes role than Rooney, who was miserably tried there last season.
-Shehzad Ghias, karachi, mufc
Ooo, well look who won this weekend
We all agree that Tottenham are worthy title challengers.
With that in mind, I’m looking forward to the week’s worth of editorials, think pieces and mailboxes devoted to their 1-1 draw at a struggling team.
Or do we have to wait until their only striker, who’s played every game this season, gets injured?
Jaimie (not a bitter Arsenal fan, honest) Kaffash, North London
Attack, attack, miss
Snog, harry, avoid
Mah, Mah, Mah
Bend over, enter Shaqiri
Always close to clusterfuck
This has got to be the best headlines ever written! Take a bow F365!
Posab (LOLZ at Wenger celebrating like he’s won the Top 4 Trophy)