Mails: Who’s better? Mane or Sterling?

Date published: Monday 27th June 2016 3:12

Let’s have your England reactions to


Just don’t boo Sterling. Please.
To any England fans reading this who are going to the game tonight, if Sterling is playing please don’t boo him. Just a thought, but if you get behind him and cheer him on, even if only for 45 minutes, it might inspire him to play a little better and it certainly won’t hurt. Be the 12th man, then after the game if he’s crap you can slag him and Roy in the righteous knowledge that you even tried to help.

But boo him and you make England more likely to lose. Please don’t do it.
Dan, Camberley


Mane > Sterling
realizes that he supports the club that paid £50million for Raheem Sterling right? And Mangala and Otamendi for £32million right? Does he actually watch any football outside the top 4/5? Man United just paid £30 for a Villarreal defender who has played two seasons in top flight football !!!

I rather like Mane a lot, I must admit. I think £30m is a fair price for a player of his ability, production and importantly potential. At going market rates, I’m quite happy to take him. He is an exciting pacy player, takes on defenders, has good dribbling skills, can score, can provide an assist, and is already familiar with the league. Maybe Ben can tell us other players we could have gotten for that price who would not need a bedding in period in English football. The big knock on Mane is consistency, and I admit it’s a fear that he may never be consistent. But watch the player play!! I think his ability, the option to play anywhere across the front four in a fluid forward line, pressing from the front all suit Liverpool’s style. And he actually fills a need for them; winger/ wide forward who can contribute 15+ goals a season.

If you look at the other options being touted, £25million for Walcott? £20million for Gotze, who hasn’t shown enough in the three years post-Dortmund and is his last year at Bayern? Piotr Zielinski?? No sir. I think it’s a good signing for Liverpool, although there is some risk, but hey which signing isn’t.? Ben should have a word with himself. Mane certainly would be an upgrade on Sterling, Navas and any other winger currently at the Etihad.
Nana Kofi (brackets are so 2014) Accra


…I for one am chuffed at the prospect of Mane signing for Liverpool. I don’t think Mane is going to have a Suarez-esq turn and become a world beater, but he is exactly the type of player we need.

Liverpool don’t have a lot of natural pace in the team currently and no one who is willing the break the line and stretch defenses. The only wingers Liverpool currently have on the books are Ibe and Markovic and both of their futures are up in the air.

Jurgen Klopp has a clear and defined vision on how he wants his teams to play. He also has a certain profile for a player he wants. Mane checks a lot of boxes. He has a wonderful engine on him, searing pace, good finishing, and at 24 has plenty of time to improve.

Ben, MCFC asked teams such as United, City or Chelsea would sign him? Since those teams finished fifth, fourth, and tenth respectively I’m not sure that’s the right question. Would a team like Champions Leicester City be in for a player like Mane, yes I think so.

Of course signing Mane could go all Sterling-shaped but only time will tell.
Brian (Happy Sterling is starting today! COME ON ENGLAND!) LFC


Mane is perfect for Liverpool
Much discussion in this morning’s mailbox surrounding what the Mane transfer means to Liverpool, people saying he’s not the spearhead to transform the team.

Those saying that mustn’t have been watching Klopp as to him the team performance is much more important. Mane scored 15 goals last season, which would have put him as top scorer above Sturridge’s 13 and Firmino’s 11. The reason I mention these two as I see Klopp playing a 4-3-3/4-2-3-1, with all three of these at the peak, giving something much of the top sides lack, a strong, balanced attack. All three will pose a goal threat, and all three will be happy to exchange positions fluidly, a real danger to opposition teams. With no one danger man of the three, and three distinctly different playing styles, it will be extremely difficult to defend against, as opposition centre backs may come up against Sturridge’s movement, Firmino’s trickery and Mane’s pace and power, all within one half.

With Can/Lucas, Hendo/Milner and Coutinho/Zielinski(?) behind them, the whole team becomes very balanced again.

I for one am delighted and excited by the signing, and Liverpools transfer business in general, just praying for Jonas Hector/Ricardo Rodriguez to finish the lot off!
KC (fully prepared for Sturridge to go to PSG after the Euros after this…)


Why won’t somebody think of the yoot?
Why do Manchester United need to buy any new players? Surely their incredible youth system has at least two teams of the highest quality ready to step up?

Or are they going to claim Zlatan as a youth product too? Can’t see Jose playing too many youth players, he is after all the king of stunting development.

I’m sure Rashford would be entirely welcome at London Road next season.


Giroud a goalscoring Heskey
As a Giroud fan I must admit I am biased but Giroud is really a goalscoring version of Emile Heskey.

He is widely criticized while playing for Arsenal however the problem is that he almost always plays up front on his own and he really is not a great finisher. However just because he needs three chances to score a goal (reminds me of Andy Cole) and often does not score does not make him a bad player.

For France yesterday, as he has done constantly for Arsenal he shows he is a really good target man, always gets in positions to cause problems and is generally a nuisance in the attacking half.

Heskey scored seven goals in 62 games for England and only got into double figures for league goals in four of his 14 Premier League seasons and yet is classed as a successful Premier league striker. Giroud has 18 goals in 51 games for France and has scored between 11 and 16 goals every season for Arsenal yet is often portrayed as a failure.

The problem with Giroud is not that he is not a natural finisher it is that he does not play regularly at Arsenal with a natural finisher.
Paul, London


Messi? A Chicken? Shush
Phenomenal talent with expectations of entire country on his back makes emotional statement in immediate aftermath of crushing loss.

Phenomenal talent is yet again compared to other phenomenal talent who has also won the square root of nowt internationally. Other phenomenal talent who also lost an international final. In his home country. To Greece.


Basically, phenomenal talent is a loser, a chicken, a fraud. Phenomenal talent should learn to not approximate human emotion. Phenomenal talent should just put ball in goal many, many times so ordinary people can arbitrarily dissect his immense gifts and achievements. When will phenomenal talent learn? Bad phenomenal talent. Bad, bad phenomenal talent.

Why isn’t the focus of the story that Chile just won their second ever Copa America? Their second in a row at that.
John (Why do people want to suck the joy out of everything? It is also so bloody obvious that he is going to come back.), Galway


No, he’s a child…
I think Messi needs to take some notes from Darijo Srna. His father dies whilst the Euros are on, and, although he was distraught and crushed, he still captained and represented his country. I can’t help but feel disgusted by Messi’s cowardice, and even if he does reverse the decision, it’ll still be seen as a childish temper tantrum.
Andrew M, AFC (so much respect lost for Lionel), Australia


Messi > Maradona
I wish people would start judging players on player ability rather than trophies won:

Messi club career – 531 games, 453 goals, average 0.85 goals a game
Maradona club career – 388 games, 188 goals, average 0.48 goals a game
Messi International career – 113 games, 55 goals, average 0.49 goals a game
Maradona International career – 91 games, 34 goals, average 0.37 goals a game

Yes Maradona was the greatest of his era, but the stats don’t lie. Messi is and always will be the superior player. Personally I think if you’re going to compare Maradona to anyone, someone like Aguero would be a more suitable comparison.
Joe (WWFC)


Irish conclusions
A few ‘cold light of day’ conclusions after The Boys In Green ™ exited the tournament;

– The quick turnaround after the Italy game (which was played indoors in fierce humidity) proved to be too much, as I feared it might. France made changes at half-time and stepped it up a gear, and Ireland had nothing left to give. As soon as the equaliser went in, there was only one winner. Remember, France had qualified after the second group match, so had nine days to prepare for this.

– Deschamps earned his stripes at half-time, switching to a 4-4-2 and getting Griezmann into a far more natural position. It yielded two goals. The pace of the sub, Coman, helped further stretch an already tiring team past their limits.

– Still it was heartwarming to see a side made up of guys from teams like West Brom, Southampton, Sunderland, Norwich and various Championship sides put on such displays in this tournament. We lack the top-end stars of the past (McGrath, Keane, Duff etc) but the team ethic really shone through.

– Plenty of guys upped their game over the course of the competition to new levels (Robbie Brady, Darren Randolph, Jeff Hendrick and James McLean in particular) and we’re a stronger squad as a result. It would have been very easy to fade away after the disastrous result/performance against Belgium, but they rebounded well and performed excellently over the last few days against top quality opposition.

– I don’t enjoy or follow club football as much these days but the Boys In Green will always have my support. Been a massive fan since the teacher in primary school used to bring in a tv and let us watch the Italia 90 qualifiers. It was amazing to feel the buzz and excitement on the streets of Dublin over the last few days…brilliant to watch how our fellow Irish fans have represented our nation over there too.

Here’s hoping we can qualify for the next World Cup and show the Russians that you don’t need to beat the breaks off each other to have a good time!! #COYBIG
Browner, sad but proud of Martin O’Neill and all the team today


Do you only have passion when you’re small?
Spot on with the article on England’s football coverage and fans in major tournaments. Particularly liked the point about the over the top optimism simply being fuel for more pessimism, essentially ‘putting the football on a pedestal’, giving the team a goal they can never reach, meanwhile praising other teams for things that we would chastise England for. Personally I try to take the positives from every match, and get a bit sick of people insisting on sticking the boot in regardless, insisting our players are technically lacking against more favoured opposition, and morally lacking when we’re the favourites, but either way they’re an embarrassment, of course.

A couple of comments recently have really highlighted this for me. One was, after the Wales win, a couple of mates insisting the result was ‘papering over the cracks’ and that we shouldn’t be so pleased. Another was, watching the Slovakia match with a Nothern Irish fan, his insistence that England lacked the passion and togetherness his team had. We can’t win. We’re not small enough to be plucky triers, and we’re not good enough to be sophisticated technical experts. Throw away a match in the last minute? Bottlers. Win in the last minute? Should’ve won it earlier. No joy, there’s problems to be obsessed over.

The latter comment actually annoyed me in particular, as there was no evidence that we weren’t trying (to my mind), we simply weren’t scoring. Betraying the English modus operandi of agreeing that all our players are sh*ts, I asked him if passion just meant having less of the ball. It felt dirty, but it also felt kind of good. Why should he get the moral high ground just because his team aren’t very good? Neither are mine! I’m not going to drag my team down while I congratulate other teams for only losing 1-0 to Germany (you brave soldiers!), because England need propping up just as much as they do! There’s no credit in humility if there’s nothing to be humble about. I’d rather have a bit of pride and positivity, but acknowledge our weaknesses, without deliberately allowing ourselves and others to walk all over us. Where’s the fun in that? If you can’t enjoy a last-minute win in a competitive match because your team have flaws, you are never going to enjoy this game.
Mark (I’ve actually really rated NI this tournament), Warwickshire


Why can’t referees keep the time?
Just a thought on time wasting/keeping. Northern Ireland had a great tournament for a team from a small country, and we were beaten fair and square by Wales because they got a goal and we didn’t. But there is a wider issue of time wasting that affects football.

For some reason it appears to be impossible for referees to add on the right amount of time. The two Welsh guys lay around for about four minutes, then one of them dropped to the pitch again. Ramsey made a face to the bench and obviously got a nod to keep the timewasting going. The little Welsh fellow got up and was miraculously running like a whippet within seconds. There were substitutions that take about a minute as athletes on all teams lose the ability to run. There was four minutes in total added on by the ref.

So all teams do it. But they do it because they know, for a fact, that the time will not be added on properly. Is it that difficult in this day and age to stop and start a stopwatch? I am not advocating that the watch is stopped every time the ball goes out of play, simply that the time for injuries and when players are shot is added on at the end. It is fraud when it isn’t. When managers and players realise that this is simply not going to work, then they will stop, and the game will be in a better place.
Tim McKane


Why professional fouls are okay…
Good point by Andy K about the difference between diving and a professional foul. After all, cheating is cheating. My answer would be that it comes down to what happens after. Diving is seen as sneaky. You’re trying to con the referee. You’re trying to trick him into winning a penalty. It’s dishonest in the sense that you’re trying to get something you didn’t deserve.

A professional foul on the other hand is so blatant, you know what’s going to happen. You’re off. You’re not trying to con the ref, you’re sacrificing yourself. It’s also perhaps seen as more instinctive. A lunge at a player or a handball on the line is more natural than pretending to fall over.

On a similar example, I’ve always wondered why more isn’t made about players trying to claim corners they didn’t win. They know it was a goal-kick, but they’re trying to con the ref anyway. We go mad when players claim a penalty they know wasn’t a penalty, but if you claim a corner you didn’t deserve that’s just part of the game.

Funny thing football.
Mike, LFC, Dubai


…In response to Andy in this morning’s mailbox, the answer to his question is simple.

A professional foul is a clear decision that they own up to, and isn’t cheating, they decide to honestly trade a positive (player no long through on goal) with a negative (being sent off). The ref isn’t conned, everybody knows what has happened and gets on with it.

Diving is trying to take the positive of a penalty with no negative, while deceiving the ref, that is cheating and needs to be clamped down on.
Stephen Baines


Can goalkeepers be successful managers?
After months of waiting around to find out who would be the permanent successor to Dougie Freedman, me and my friends were all pretty under whelmed at the appointment of Philippe Montanier (who is this geezer?) as the new Forest manager. On paper, he appears to be solid – with a promotion to the French top flight and a French cup under his belt.

However, we all seemed to be in agreement of why we weren’t happy: Philippe Montanier plied his trade as a goalkeeper. Off the top of my head I can’t think of any managers in the English game who were once goalkeepers? I’m not even sure of what the rationale in my mind is that would mean a goalkeeper couldn’t make it as a successful coach…but something just isn’t sitting right with this sailor.
James (Under the cosh at work, but still finding time to read F365 cover to cover)


Ed’s random thoughts
* Shameless trolling from Rahber this morning about Lionel Messi. Fairly certain Mediawatch used to call out Adrian Durham and others like him for the ‘if Messi’s that good, why hasn’t he done it on a wet Wednesday in Stoke’ guff they’ve been peddling for years. This is a player who is legitimately being mentioned in the same breath as the ultimate greatest players of all time – Diego Maradona, Pele, Alfredi di Stefano, your own personal choice, punchline player.

* Andy K, AVFC raises the question of professional fouling being morally acceptable when diving isn’t. I think this is because diving is about deceit – if you dive, it is your opponent who is punished for a crime they didn’t commit; if you commit a professional foul, it is you who is punished. It’s not machismo or being a hard man. You could argue that resorting to foul means over fair, regardless of the actual action, is an act of cowardice.

* It was announced a while ago that from next season the triple-whammy punishment of penalty, goal and red card will be removed for instances where the referee believes a genuine attempt is made to play the ball, meaning players will only be dismissed for cynical offences. I did wonder if the next round of rule changes might involve the punishments for cynical fouls. The Italians in their first game proved to be masters of this, but it is seen as the sign of a good team, sharing out the fouls and having half the team in the book for, in essence, professional fouls.

It occurred to me that what the Italians did was just one example of an increasing trend. I don’t think any of those fouls were worthy of a red card, but what they did was nullify both the attack and the advantage of the free kick, because the counterattackers couldn’t take advantage of reduced numbers in defence, as when play stopped for a free kick all the defenders got back into position. If the authorities were to introduce an intermediate punishment, such as a sin bin, then these cynical infringements would be the perfect test for its merit as a punishment.

Just something I thought about earlier. Struggling to get motivated for the England game. Life’s taught us the hard way recently the problems of naïve optimism.
The literary Ed Quoththeraven


Nothing is real anymore
Excluding the writers and readers of this fine site, sports reporting has become so, so bad.

Like, really REALLY bad.

It’s become so hard to believe anything I read (particularly transfer rumors) that Ive basically given up on every and any reporting that begins with ‘inside sources reveal….’ or ‘widely reported that…’.

Me myself, whenever I enter any link I skim through the articles solely looking for the direct quotes since even headlines are purposely misinterpreted to get you to click. Now I see even my trusted confidantes – Sky – have joined the bandwagon with their f***ed up FB_Whispers ‘algorithms’.

Anyone else find themselves just tired of constantly being manipulated by clickbaits and always scared to believe anything they see written? I dont even leave my house anymore. Let alone eat.
Nadav, London
(Just wait for a bazillion ‘Messi: I’m Not Quitting Yet’ headlines anytime during the next eight years that will eventually only involve a single quote about Messi still looking for a new yacht to get for his son’s 4.5th birthday)


Oops. Sorry.
You know when you open up Google Chrome and it shows you a little thumbnail of the sites you visit the most? Well since last Friday the F365 one has been stuck on Nigel Farage’s punchable face. So…

SC, Belfast

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