Dortmund show Arsenal how to sh*t the bed in style; why Luton in the Premier League is ‘ludicrous’

Editor F365
Dortmund showed Arsenal how to 'bottle' a title

Dortmund demonstrate to Arsenal the most impressive way to ‘bottle’ a league title and the Mailbox explains why Luton in the Premier League is ‘ludicrous’.

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Dortmund show Arsenal how to sh*t the bed in style
Dear Mailbox,

From a relatively neutral, non-Arsenal-supporting perspective – after all the discussion about whether Arsenal ‘bottled it’, please see Dortmund’s final-day bed-sh*tting for a genuine example of bottling. The odds were in their favour, but the pressure was on and they cocked it. And now Bayern Munich are happy, which is, as always, a terrible blow for mankind.

Dan (looking forward to another team winning the Bundesliga circa 2035), Worthing


What was Stewie saying about how Dortmund are the role models that Arsenal should be aspiring to match?
Mike, LFC, London


Arsenal and dortmund don’t compare in that arsenal were overtaken by the city juggernaut and dortmund shat themselves.

What they do have in common is both will never have a better chance to win the league for ages.


Kingsley Coman 
Kingsley Coman is 26, he has 11 league titles, he has never failed to win the league as a professional across 3 major leagues.

That is mental, how is your life going.
Mel – Dublin, Berlin, Athlone Town, hahohe


Stoppage time…
I just caught the end of the Bundesliga drama there. Thrilling stuff. Football punditry is daft though, because they’ll be obligated now to say what a good job Thomas Tuchel has done, which is funny. I feel like both top two teams somehow bottled the league this season!

Anyway, the main reason for this email is to bang the drum again for the need of a stopclock in football. I’ve said it on here before, but the ending of the Dortmund game was a great illustration as to how broken the current system is:

– Dortmund need 2 goals to win the league.
– Board goes up with a minimum of 5 additional minutes.
– Dortmund score one of their goals in 90+6, which seems too little too late.
…..BUT WHO KNOWS?? The game carries on for another minute or so until the final whistle goes.

But how outrageous is it that you have a situation where Dortmund have no idea how much longer they have to score a title deciding goal? Completely at the referee’s discretion. It also gives the referee a lot of power in determining the outcome of the season as he can blow up whenever after that first goal.

Gerard, Belfast


Luton? For Gods sake Luton! So Everton or Leeds or Leicester are giving way to Luton? Ludicrous.

Can they even use Kenilworth Rd in the Premier League?


The emotional wringer
City fan here.  Switched over to Coventry v Luton when my phone told me it had gone to extra time at 1-1.  Play-off finals can be absolutely brutal and, again, I was struck by the shots of supporters from both clubs with hands on their heads, chewing fingernails, or with hands in the ‘prayer’ position in front of their mouths.

Just a horrible wretched feeling, especially when it seemed Luton had nicked it at 26 minutes of ET, only for VAR to rule it out (rightly) for handball.  And so on to the lottery that is the penalty shootout where, inevitably, there will be a ‘villain’ and, possibly, a hero.

People will (rightly) talk about the ‘Aguerooooo’ goal, but for me, Clive, the more pertinent City moment occurred in the 1999 Second Division play-off final v Gillingham.  Two-nil down until Kevin Horlock scored what seemed to be a consolation goal in the 89th minute.

Saying I was distraught, gutted etc simply didn’t cover it.  I still can‘t adequately explain just how badly I felt at that point.  Then, in the fifth minute of extra time, Super Saint Paul Dickov scored, and the world just turned on its head.  Extreme turmoil.

In the aftermath, a little book (literally) was published which was a collection of quotes from City fans on that day before, during, and after the game.  One that has never left me went something like this:

“My 9-year-old daughter turned to me, in floods of tears, and said ‘why did you make me follow this football club?’  Thirty seconds later, she had the answer.”

So, congratulations to the Hatters and sincere commiserations to the Sky Blues.

Seriously though, is there any other sport that can put you through the emotional wringer like this?
Mark (Gutted for the lad Dabo) MCFC.

Chelsea boss Graham Potter watches his side

Spurs <3 Potter
In response to the mail from A, I agree.

I’m a Brighton fan, loving life right now, but I have no idea how Potter hasn’t been snapped up by Spurs whilst they flap around trying to make some kind of plan.

With us, he was limited budget, get the best out of what you have, but a very settled squad.

With Chelsea, Boehly figuratively sicked players out onto the training pitch on a daily basis, and Potter didn’t have the time to work with any small group cohesively. It took him one pre season with us to get us purring and completely changing our style from the turgid (yet necessary at the time) negativity of Houghton to our “all passing no scoring performance art project” of Potter. Yes we bantered all the xG charts, but that shows what he can do and I think that counts for something.

He’d be perfect for Levy, wouldn’t request a casual £40m in January for a random full back who can’t defend. Would actually (presumably) give Spence a chance, amongst others. Might also, and hear me out because this is big, but also play players in their best position and one that would benefit the team?

At Chelsea he was screwed. Here you go, here’s loads of players we want, and heres a few more just in case, now immediately make them play how you want. That doesn’t work

Was never gonna happen at Chelsea for him. Obviously I’m happy we got a shed load of cash for him and his team, Bruno was a snake, worse than Potter in my opinion, but forget it, we’ve found a prettier woman who’s better in bed anyway.

Right now, Spurs and Potter, sorry, reading the room, Levy and Potter seem like the perfect fit. Potterball + Kane, even for one season, could be excellent. Imagine the Brighton xG, with a more highly paid team, but with a striker (which Potter was cruelly denied at Chelsea as well as us). Everything just works there, for Levy, Potter, and the spurs fans (if they care about the pretty xG stuff which I think is what they want after the last couple of boooooooooooring years)


The Premier League
Does anyone find it concerning that there seems to be a sort of collective capitulation that Man City is running Our League™ in a way that hasn’t been seen before?

I truly mean that as a compliment as much as I mean the implicit criticism I am about to lay down. To preface, a few thoughts (are all thoughts conclusions now?):

– I totally congratulate City – not sour. I’m really not. Yes, I hate you. Yes, this is, in a way, getting monotonous. No, the football is not boring/non-compelling (shame on all of you saying this) – it’s actually pretty good. Yes, even with Haaland. Yes, I think you’re cheating (financially). Yes, I think it ultimately matters. Do I think City fans should give a s*** what I think or their allegedly illegal activity at all, in general? Absof***inglutely not. So stop getting so defensive, going on insane justifications reminiscent of “well, technically OJ was never found guilty in a criminal trial” and just accept the trophies. Jesus christ with you guys, seriously.

– Didn’t think we were/weren’t necessarily going to win/lose the title literally until the point that we clearly weren’t going to win the title. I have my own, insanely subjective opinion on when exactly this may have occurred but much like debating “the moment the Roman Empire fell”, we are doomed to eternally debate just exactly at which point Arsenal “bottled” (more on these quotations later) the 22-23 title. Spoiler alert: there wasn’t a singular catalyst.

– As much as the criticism about our form during these last 10 matches from the interwebs and “experts” like…Gary Neville (and Rio to an extent but really mainly Gary Neville)… was over the top, I do think there are very obvious, real concerns that were highlighted. And not just the obvious, obvious lack of depth compared to City. I really think, for one, Arteta did not manage the squad well down the stretch run. Obviously hindsight is 20/20 but it’s also his job, as a top level manager, to have foresight and predict things like “maybe Bukayo will be tired after getting no rest at all these last 4 years” and “maybe the injury prone guy who is the only real viable RB/CB backup shouldn’t also be my first-choice LB cover when I actually already had a first-choice caliber left back whose now perfectly placed to be the backup and, in fact, has started for me very reliably these prior three years yet I’m inexplicably utilizing him like he’s an academy player”. But, yes, the depth (and relative lack of title-winning veterans – I’m pretty sure even a team like United who had no shot of winning the title still needs leadership to win Mickey Mouse cups and a top-4 trophy so cut that “no leaders” s*** out) was obviously an issue as well and not having actual cover in CM (we needed two CMs in January…of 2022, not just Jorginho in January 2023), something mentioned ad nauseum by fans and rivals alike to predict why we wouldn’t win (but then obviously we still “bottled” it), was ultimately more impactful than (the admittedly difficult task of) not signing real CB cover in January. Again, debates on exactly when the Roman Empire fell…not that we were ever the Roman Empire but you get the point and damn you all for thinking you had a smart retort coming.

– Shoutout to Gary Neville and Rio Ferdinand for pointing out that the team who started out the season as the youngest in the league (and, ironically, also ended up finishing second in that regard…to the team that got relegated first how f***ing poetic is that) lacked the leadership and mentality to outlast a team with a host of title-winning veterans that has now won 5 of the last 6 premierships with most of those wins due to point totals well above any of their own best United teams. Fact – there was no one near Man City’s level when the Class of ‘92 came about (obviously). But keep bringing that in-depth analysis.

And this is my point exactly. Are we all just accepting the fact that, whatever managerial and commercial advantages United had then (they didn’t win 1/2 titles for a generation cause of the class of ’92) are now being manifested to greater effect to the point that the odds of City not winning the league next year make the contenders almost seem Leicester-like (another possibly over the top analogy but still I think you get the point)? I think we’re all aware of the somewhat ironic (due to clear problems in English football, starting anywhere between the terrible owners and the PGMOL) yet still very true saying that the Premier League is the best league in the world. It is by far the best product in terms of football entertainment – from the football itself to everything else that goes on around it. But ultimately, is that worth touting when that entertainment is seemingly being relegated to just a metaphorical trophy for second place and maybe one of the domestic cups?
MAW, LA Gooner (I mentioned last summer that this and the next two years would be a window into the next 10-15 for the club. Good news: the view out of that window looks great so far. Bad news: might not matter while Pep is around and City can keep on City-ing. City is definitely beatable but everyone needs to really step their game up to compete for the title.)


I thought I’d give some answers to Marc in the most recent Mailbox regarding Everton.

Regarding your specific points:

Any points deduction would only be applied in the Premier League. So if Everton were relegated the points deduction would be applied in the event of promotion back to the Premier League.

A fine (which would be the most likely outcome) wouldn’t be catastrophic. The owner does have enough money to offset that.

A change of ownership is in the offing with both MSP Capital and 777 Partners circling, which will finance the stadium build.

You then ask what Everton fans make of this situation. There’s two big points to make here.

The first is the ineptitude of the owner and the board. Since Moshiri has taken over Everton have gone from a table club regularly finishing in the Top 7 to a relegation threatened club. In his 6 year tenure 10 men have managed Everton, 4 have been Director of Football, Denise Barratt-Baxendale has been utterly useless at CEO, and dinosaur impresario Bill Kenwright has clung limpit like to his position of Chairman despite achieving the square route of bugger all in his 2 decades at the helm. A scatter gun recruitment approach with Moshiri giving his ear to agents, and no clear strategy at the club, has led to half a BILLION being spent on transfer fees. This is mismanagement on an epic scale.

The second point is the idea of FFP itself. The idea is to make a league more competitive, but in reality it puts in place a glass ceiling and makes the top places a closed shop. Everton have spent far too much on dross, and now find themselves in a position that they’re not allowed to spend money to get themselves out of that situation. It’s an absolutely ludicrous situation.

For what it’s worth I think we’ll win tomorrow and stay up. I think that the club will be bought and have a full strategic overhaul, and I think next season will see a mid table finish. But this chapter of the club’s history is shameful.
Chris (Everton)


Strange confidence
A lot of strange confidence this morning in the mailbox. Almost Lampard/Sherwood like: “Statistically, Ronaldo was one of Man U’s best performers last year”

Erm…what? If you count shots taken, and that’s it. Maybe.

As for the fact checkers and search engine experts:

Rooney: £20M + £7m add ons
Veron: £28.1M
Ferdinand: £29.1M

None of those are over £30M.(I typically wouldn’t have to say that, but then again people could have actually used google)

Ferguson only spent over £30M once(2008): Berbatov £30.75M

Man City 2008:
Robinho: £32.5M

In my own Lampardian/Sherwoodian style: I reckon Man City spent more in just the 2010-11 season than Man United spent from 2008-2013.
Calvino (have a nice day)


The Forgotten Man
Disappointed to see that none of the replies to David, Atlanta’s fact checking email included long time Mailbox legend Dimiflop Berbaflop. Signed a day or two before the Manchester City takeover for £30.75m.
David, not Atlanta