The Mailbox has had enough of Frank Lampard and Todd Boehly after Chelsea lost 2-1 to Brighton on Saturday. Plus comments on Jurgen Klopp, Harry Maguire and much more…
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Everyone at Chelsea…OUT
I’ll send this in just once, because I feel like I’ll need to after every game.
Boehly out. Clearlake out. Lawrence Stewart out. Paul Winstanley out. Lampard out.
Chelsea are done as a club while all these people are involved. We are finished competitively for years to come. If Arsenal could fall from grace for 20 years with one of the best managers the Premeir League has seen at the helm for most of that time, then what the hell awaits this cesspool of a club?
So the “New Manager Bounce” at Chelsea is looking far more like its “Dead Cat” brethren at this point.
The absolute pointlessness of the Lampardian succession is surely highlighted by a complete tactical cluelessness against Real Madrid, as well as the insipid performance against Brighton both of which Graham Potter would surely have had more success with.
You also have to think that instead of listening to James Corden, the Toddster would have had more success if he had appointed him as manager.
Bobby in midfield
Some people have suggested that Trent is moved to midfield but I have a more outrageous option, I give you Bobby Firmino. After watching his short cameo against Arsenal it occurred to me that he has all the attributes for a Klopp midfield.
Workrate: Few in our team work as hard as him. Even more impressive is his ability to pinch the ball of unassuming opponents. He made two good tackles on Sunday. It shocks me how poor most of our midfielders are at tackling. The likes of Fabinho, Milner,Thiago barely make clean tackles and are booked most of the time but Bobby tackles like a pro.
Skillset: Henderson plays because of his ‘legs’ but is getting older, slower and ineffective. Thiago has no ‘legs’ but is good on the ball(press resistant). Firmino would offer both traits while still being a threat going forward. He links play really well and still has the ability to drag markers out of position which he did within seconds of coming on leading to a chance for Nunez. And of course he’ll add the goal threat that our midfield severely lacks.
Obviously it won’t happen as Bobby is leaving at the end of the season but after seeing the ‘success’ of other forwards being pushed backwards i.e Iwobi, Joelinton and Griezmann I reckon it might have worked given how sh**te our midfield has been. Klopp should still seek to maximize the attacking riches we have in the team and play 4-2-4 formation hopefully with Firmino at the heart of it.
Following the 2-2 draw with Sevilla yesterday [Thursday], which is safe to say was United’s own doing with the 2nd Sevilla goal being slightly lucky (Maguire could have done better, unfortunately his big head couldn’t get out of the way and re-direct it) but I wouldn’t necessarily say it was his fault. I would blame Malacia more for the first goal we conceded because he let the ball bloody bounce, why be smart about it and just clear it for a corner like a normal defender! Still young but should know the basics of defending and focus a bit more.
Would also just like to add that United are still in the competition and managed to get a 2-2 draw against Barca & beat Real Betis 1-0 away from home. Unlike the majority of United fans who just seem to be a bunch of glory supporting headless chickens/spoilt brats, for once just BACK the team when the going gets tough instead of moaning about it. It’s why so many football fans dislike United fans, and probably why some United players think the fans suck. I still think United will win the tie despite a difficult game against a team that just like this the competition a LOT (6 titles in the last 17 years, very impressive), but if we go out so be it. United should prioritize the Top 4 position more than anything else now and look to field the strongest team against Brighton in the Semi-Final, which will be a very very tricky game given how good they have been this year. However, I would back the team to have enough ‘know-how’ & quality to get over the line against Sevilla. Eriksen is back too along with Casemiro, and Bruno just needs to step it up a little too. United are STILL in the competition and yes, the injuries to Varane & Martinez aren’t great, with Shaw & Rashford currently injured as well. Regarding Varane & Martinez as well as Shaw too, it goes to show how important all three of these defenders are given United conceded two goals as late as they did. United would have at least won 2-0 if they were all on the pitch. Hoping Varane & Martinez especially are back ASAP and just have to hope the injuries aren’t serious, although Martinez did look pretty wrecked.
You can see players such as Lindelof, Martial, Van de Beek & possibly Maguire should leave the club this summer, as they have had their time at the club (Which has been average at best at times) and aren’t playing much at all/won’t break into the team. I still don’t know why & how Martial can’t complete 90 minutes of football given he is 27 years old and should be at the peak of his abilities, but he was half decent yesterday. But you could see the quality of the play just completely dropped when especially Elanga & Weghorst came on. Weghorst works hard, but that is it, he isn’t a United player unfortunately and is only at the club because of Ten Haag and was brought in to make space for the other attacking players around him. I think Ten Haag has to put his hands up on this one regarding the 2-2 draw yesterday though, as Bruno & Martial should have stayed on when it was only 2-0, but Ten Haag himself is learning and has only been at the club for 10-11 months. Fans need to remember how bad last year was as well, and even some stages under Ole where United were a bit of a laughingstock. There is a credibility about United now, especially at home, and given a cup treble is still on and its mid-April, he’s done a bloody brilliant job so far. So, if fans want to cry and moan about a DRAW against a decent team in Europe, start being more realistic or support City or Madrid.
Would also just like to add that Sancho has ability & some skill, but the brain and speed of a donkey. I know I said a few weeks ago he was getting better, but I was wrong and he’s not lol. Isn’t creative enough, can’t cross the ball to save his life and isn’t very fast either. So why did United sign him for £73 million? Dortmund robbed United blind, similarly to how Juventus did with Pogba. I have seen people hate a bit on Antony, a few United fans as well and yes he is a tad selfish and could provide a few more assists, but he works harder defensively than Sancho, is decent on the counter and can shoot better than Sancho as well. If that shot he took yesterday in the 2nd half went in coming back off the post, United would have won the game 3-0 or 3-1. You can see Antony is slowly improving, but I would say Sancho is going in the opposite direction/remaining the same and should potentially be on the transfer list this summer with Martial and a few others. Garnacho is a better and more skillful winger than Sancho and was only worth £420,000 (Whoever scouted him, fair fucking play!)
United should use that cash to buy Kane, a DECENT backup striker and another CB urgently. I would look to try and snap up Tomori as the CB but won’t be cheap given he was a big part of the Milan title win last year and could very well make it the CL Semi-finals with them this year. Played at Chelsea well enough under Lampard and has been class at Milan since he moved there permanently in 2021. Only 25 years old as well!
Let’s see how the season finishes, but as Fergie said back in the day, its squeaky bum time!
Rami, Manchester (Could be worse currently and be a Liverpool or Chelsea fan)
…Well where to begin? For the first 35/40 minutes of the game we played some of our best football of the season, after that whether through fatigue or just taking the foot of the gas we let Seville off the hook and back into the game, what should of been a game put to bed ended up being a colossal shit show.
Ten Hag needs to take some responsibility due to his substitutions being wrong but the referee needs taking to task for two incidents, the first being the two footed stamp by Lamela on Casemiro being given as a yellow then VAR upholding the yellow to compound the error, next was the ridiculous yellow for Bruno being hit on the elbow from 2 yards meaning he misses the 2nd leg. The injuries to both starting centre halves is a kick in the nuts coupled with Rashford, Shaw & Garnacho currently being out injured, the injuries are really piling up. The Seville goals were both tragi-comedy. the first one Malacia’s awareness of what was behind him totally deserted him and then poor old slabhead diverting a wayward attempt into his own net, as much as I watch aghast at some of the defending Maguire does he is blameless for this one.
So just as we get our midfield back we lose our defence, I think I would prefer McTominay at centre half for the 2nd leg possibly along side Maguire, hopefully what Ten Hag said about Rashford possibly being fit for the Seville trip holds true. I still think we can go through it will just take a massive effort on our part rather than what should have been a meaningless leg after gubbing Seville at OT 4or 5 nil.
Paul Murphy, Manchester
Refs and Wout
So on a week where resect for the referees has been a hot topic, I need to talk about the Bruno Fernandes yellow card because it was such a shockingly piss poor decision that will mean he’s suspended for the next tie. For those who haven’t watched it and can’t be bothered to find it, Bruno slid in to block the shot with his arm in a reasonably natural position about a metre away from the Sevilla player, and the ball struck his arm above his elbow from that distance.
Given his arm’s position and the distance he was away from Gudelj most people would have waived this away but I accept you could equally say it’s a handball, just one that would not be given 4 out of 5 times. But to book him for handball in that circumstance is an awful decision.
So we’re told to respect referees and that players shouldn’t remonstrate, but when decisions are routinely awful, should referees not be scrutinised? Players don’t have any recourse for terrible decisions, referees are completely unaccountable and their decisions are opaque. So no, I don’t think referees should be treated like infallible demigods but more like the wizard of Oz. Their microphones should be turned on, their performances should be reviewed after every match, where glaringly bad cards are handed out, they should be told so and cards should be rescinded. Where cards are missed out they should be applied retroactively. Referees should get the basic respect due to them as a person doing a difficult job. If they shit the bed, we shouldn’t be afraid of pointing it out.
And Weghorst. Sigh. I know it’s not his fault he’s at Man Utd, I know he was brought in because Ronaldo is a man baby, I know it’s just temporary. But he is awful. And it’s not just his finishing, which has been bad, but it’s nearly everything else except work rate. If he’s just there to work hard, why not play Elanga or McTominay there – both offer more in terms of goal threat and offer the same work rate. His finishing is awful for a striker, he’s terrible in the air for a giant, but what’s worse in my opinion is how he’s never in the right place at the right time to score tap ins. Some players built careers around being in the right place at the right time to score tap ins. Not to silly their names but Van Nistelrooy and Pires spring to mind (both much better players technically but the point remains they were often in the right place at the right time to tuck away goals). But when crosses float past the back post where is Weghorst? For the impact he’s having he may as well be back at Besiktas.
The secret is out on Villa, Emery and Watkins. Absolutely flying it.
Of the starting 11, only the excellent left back Moreno was a signing of Emery’s (and at a snip at £12m). The others were there for his predecessor. In fact, 5 (Watkins, Luiz, Young, Buendia and Mings) were all on the bench for the first game of the season.
Managing the players you have and being tactically astute – who knew.
We haven’t been this high since Conor Byrne was our regular Mailbox spokesman.
Remember when Haaland was making Man City worse? Don’t you just love football groupthink?
Scott COYS asked about the word that described ManU’s meltdown and said “Spursy.”
I wanted to say “Everton that” but remembered that we don’t play any Spanish sides much less struggling ones.
TX Bill, EFC
I found Klopp’s comments on Bellingham regarding a five year old asking for a Ferrari really bizarre and unrealistic. Any self respecting infant on the playground would ask for a Tesla.
During every season without fail, and on numerous occasions, do we read in the MB of ‘X player cost this much, and he’s been a flop/useless/waste of money’, or is compared to another player of yesteryear, as if that is a useful barometer (my first house cost me £60k, fat chance I would ever find anything that cheap now).
This is often used as a stick to beat the player and/or team with, and usually arrives from opposition fans, or occasionally from a fan of that team who is unhappy with the season/manager/owners.
This has always struck me as particularly unfair on the player in question; they never asked to be worth so much due to a combination of skill, mindset, age, nationality, and worth to a club. And, yes, whilst a large price tag can weigh heavily upon a player it is something totally out of their control, ergo cannot be blamed if the fans’ expectations are not met of a £80-120m player. Any reasonable person has to accept that.
Or do they?
Going back to my £60k house analogy, today it is probably worth four times that, but it’s still a house. It’s just that the market dictates that it’s worth a hell of a lot more, but nothing has changed about it, save for a paint job here, and a new set of radiators there.
But the house does not dictate that the cost of having said house rises (yes I know, utility bills, but that is true for everyone), but a player does.
No player with their agent is going to go into contract negotiations and not mention that the buying club is stumping up £80m to merely have the player, and as such the wage should equate to the fee.
The average weekly wage in the PL is around £60k. Do you think for one moment an £80m player would accept that? Of course not. They will push for three times that at the very least.
This is where fans should place their judgement upon, not the fee. The fee, as mentioned, is based upon many things but not the actual player as a person. The wage is all on them, and them alone.
By all means laugh at a club because of a silly price tag if it goes sour, but not the player. Your £80m player is shit? Silly club. Your £200,000/week player is shit? See what I am getting at here?
Just thought I would point that out (also applies to ‘free agents’ because they ask for a signing on bonus, the greedy bastards).
Mike D (Despise mails with no paragraphs, and usually avoid reading them)
Weellllll that was a predictable response from the authorities to the linesman situation. Total accident, he didn’t mean to elbow Robertson in the chops. Though I don’t know how you can pull your arm away from someone and simultaneously move it towards their jaw. It’s a total whitewash is what is it is. Total pish.
I do however like the approach the FA have taken to clearing this up for us. “Comprehensive process”? Yes. “Detailed statements”? Lovely. “Multiple angles”? Well done. Presumably this is the same process that they use to clear footballers who are sent off for similar (or lesser) offences? That happens all the time. I can see two differences though. One is that there doesn’t seem to be any sort of offence for a referee hitting a player – so I guess technically he’s innocent anyway – and the second is that he’s one of their own. Independent investigation may have been the way to go here lads, I don’t think Sue Gray has started her new job yet?
In all seriousness though, one good thing that has happened here (if you believe the linesman anyway) is the “open and positive conversation” that has apparently happened between Robertson and the lino. I’d suggest that this sort of thing happening on a more regular basis would have more of an impact on player behaviour than the imposition of exclusion zones. So let’s have the refereeing team sit down with the football teams a day or so after every match and they can discuss decisions and behaviours that occurred during the game in an “open and positive” manner.
Ash (presumably Scholes didn’t play against Everton in the 4-4 at Old Trafford?)
GPS isn’t the answer
I can only assume that Mick isn’t on Strava, because if he was, he’d have had the occasional mad run or cycle when his GPS or GLONASS has gone haywire, and wouldn’t be suggesting using it to check for offsides.
The most accurate publicly-available GPS system in the world, which is the ESA’s Galileo system, has an accuracy of approximately 1 metre. This is absolutely fine for, say tracking a 10k run or, in the case of the GPS systems worn by footballers, measuring the total distance covered over 90 minutes. But for the sort of fine margins to determine whether or not a footballer is offside? Not possible, and in all likelihood NEVER possible. The satellites that we use to support the various GPS systems that we use for our Garmins and our phones are periodically falling out of the sky, and aren’t being replaced at anything like the same rate, so GPS is getting less, rather than more accurate over time.
Dara O’Reilly, London