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The Newcastle fan experience:
29/01/2019 – Feeling worried about what a middle aged man with peroxide hair might do to embarrass us, worried that our manager will be gone by the end of the week, expecting no substantial investment and wondering where the money has gone despite being the 19th richest club in the world
30/01/2019 – Beating the champions and news of three signings including a club record purchase. Football eh?
Hugo (NUFC) Adelaide
Rafa finally winning Liverpool the league
In Rafa We Trust.
Ryan C, LFC
Ehis(Rafa, my hero) LFC, North Bank, Nigeria.
Love Rafa. Always have, always will.
Oh god, I’m starting to believe again… That’s when they get you
God bless you yet again Rafa.
How about some dodgy attempted Haiku to add some culture to the Mailbox…
We all know red scousers love Rafa
Cos obvs in ‘05 he was gaffer
But last night was ridic
That comeback was sick
All we want is 3 points v Leicester
Feel free to trash as I’m sure you’re already inundated with more interesting emails from LFC fans
Bizzle (called my goldfish Jurgen, wife loved that!)
If not now, then never
So 24 league games gone, and City have already dropped 2 more points than the whole of last season when they got 100 points out of a possible 114. They have lost 4 games out of 24, losing 3 of those games against opposition you would expect them to beat. Not sure if it is complacency that has led to these defeats, as City have scored first in 3 of those games they have lost, which is very surprising. The belief will be slipping away from Pep and the players overnight, as Klopp will be thinking it is now or never in winning the league for Liverpool.
All I am gonna say is if Van Dijk is ill, pop him on all the meds you can and play the guy, he can actually defend and organises that defence better than anyone. Him and Matip in defence should be good enough against Leicester, although Leicester have been impressive recently. Also whoever is in midfield, just pass the ball to Salah, Mane or Firmino ASAP. Simple as.
Still a long way to go for Liverpool even if they do win tomorrow, but I do like Klopp and he must be thinking if they win the game tomorrow that it would be a spectacular failure to bottle the league now. As much as I hate to admit it as a United fan, Liverpool could well be deserved league winners this May and Klopp has long term planned this process incredibly well.
Rami, London (Rafa is actually working a miracle at the moment!)
With the discussion about ‘luck’ during the past couple of weeks in the mailbox, I thought I’d try and explore this a little.
I play quite a bit of poker. Anyone who’s played will know that, whilst you can manage the percentages as much as possible, you can still lose big pots. You can do everything right; each decision be perfect, but you may not win. Your perfect play with a strong hand is suddenly called by someone who had no right to be in that pot, and they catch a miracle card to beat you. The issue is being results-orientated, in that you are only focused on the immediacy and not the bigger picture. Did you play that hand right? If yes, then fine; more often than not, you’ll win that pot!
I make sure to write my ‘bad beats’ down after I’ve played. I also make a point of writing bouts of ‘luck’ down when it goes in my favour. It’s important to see both sides because otherwise you end up as a miserable and bitter player who believes everyone else has ‘the luck’ except you (see Fred, Spurs).
From what I’ve watched, yes, Liverpool have had some luck. The Salah penalty against Newcastle was as soft as it can be (I don’t think it should have been a penalty), but the Origi header against Everton was a result of staying alert. Isn’t that what every young striker is taught? Anticipate the error and be there to put it away if so? Kompany’s tackle not being punished yet Boly’s was seemed pretty fortunate, but last night the second Aguero goal being disallowed seemed unfortunate (though the referee clearly told De Bruyne to wait, I’m very much of the opinion that a free kick should be taken as quickly as the team wants as it’s supposed to be an advantage, but that’s another conversation!). Klopp called Palace’s goals ‘half-blocks’ earlier this week, implying that he thought that, whilst they were legal, sometimes they would be called as fouls by the referee. So the ‘luck’ was actually with Palace for those events. Of course, Robertson’s handball was indeed a big decision that went Liverpool’s way, but that just proves that, in a small sample such as one match, there are so many variable. Like Jonny Nic says, I’m surprised refs get as much right as they do!
In short, ‘luck’ happens. But we tend to remember the ones that go against us rather than for us. Don’t get bitter because something didn’t go for you. Yes, it’s frustrating, but so’s that idiot who’s called your AA 3-bet with 72o.
The new crisis club
So is now the time everyone starts with “City bottled it”?
Matt Carr, Spurs, Wilmington, NC
Please do me a massive favour and ban the phrase “bottled it” from 365, I’m afraid my head will explode if I hear or read it one more time when a team loses a game.
Thanks in hope
Ole, Ole, Ole, Ole
Ole’s actually going to sell Fellaini. Give him the United job for life.
Finding the positives
While a draw at home to Burnley is certainly not a good result for United I’m just grateful that we are at least trying to score goals! After enduring the utter pain of watching Van Gaal and Mourinho’s turgid football I don’t mind a shaky defense in exchange for some attacking impetus, creativity, and fight.
As an aside, is anyone else concerned by how fast Solskjaer seems to have aged? Maybe my worry is simply borne out of the fact that seeing him with grey hair makes me feel ancient.
Nuks, Cape Town, MUFC/Orlando Pirates
A few weeks ago I would have changed the channel when that second goal crept in. The stadium would have been half empty at 70 mins. Yet at 80 mins I was still glued to the television set optimistic we could still get a result from the game.
Absolutely brilliant determination and commitment shown by the team. Losing this game would have been seriously unfair given the flow of the game. I have a funny feeling that this comeback has done more for us long-term then a win would have achieved (still annoyed we were not able to close the gap to fourth place though).
One last assessment, Lukaku is going to find it difficult to win his spot back. This team flows much better without him. The speed in attack and shape of the team is fair better with Rashford upfront.
Manc In SA ( Still a Premature Happy United Fan)
P.S We missed Martial today
NOW it’s like the old days! That was still more fun than every win under the joyless one!
Ray R, Man Utd, Manchester
Not the chosen Juan
Hoping this will be my first mail selected purely based on the controversy it will cause….
Juan Mata lovely man, kind bloke, great beard. Not good enough to start.
Wonderfully talented player, and at City or Barcelona would be perfectly at home. At Manchester United he isnt. Wont ever be. Nothing to do with skill. Just to do with the system. Doesnt fit. Not a bad impact sub but not the player who can break quickly, not as creative as assists have you believe.
Ozil gets relatively the same numbers at Arsenal and is crucified. Mata is the same but does good things for charity so he is cherished. Sometimes brilliant players just dont fit at certain clubs, and in this case he’s one……
Phil sodding Jones
If the answer is Phil Jones then I’m not really sure what the question is, Pereira will get stick for being too cocky with the drag back and losing the ball for the first goal but it was all caused by Phil Jones dithering on the ball then offering him a hospital pass causing the problem.
Tom Heaton should be number one for England on that performance, far better than Pickford and an absolute brick wall to get past, he made 7 or 8 excellent saves on the night.
Talking of England it was a night Marcus Rashford will want to forget, he had a bit of a mare missing presentable chances and giving the ball away countless times.
It was a disjointed performance by United but still a lot more fun than a lot of the games under Jose.
Lingard showed why he is highly thought of at United no matter what fans of other teams think of him he is a very intelligent footballer who changed the game when he came on, both him and Herrera need to start every game from now on.
United fans are idiots
I am loving Ole’s return and the team’s swagger as much as any United fan.
However, with us on the up again it is impossible to read any post match fan reaction without coming across vitriol against our own players, and our self entitled a**es!
Things were better when we were sh*te, and we all agreed we were sh*te. Now it’s all about “Mata should f*ck off” or “Pereira should never be near the first team”. I’m writing this at 2AM my time – so this explains how annoyed I am with this.
After a long time I can empathise with the ABU brigade.
G (Mata is lovely) B, Dubai
I just read Sibbi’s email about Spurs signing Olivier Giroud and i can only assume he has been smoking the Wacky Tabaci.
Put aside the fact that Giroud couldn’t score in a month of Sundays, why in holy hell would Chelsea want to possibly help Spurs in any way shape or form? We are battling for a top 4 position and the fact Kane has injured himself has no doubt helped our cause somewhat.
Why oh why would we then give Spurs a player to help them stop us finishing in the top 4.
I’m just so very very confused.
This just in…
Nathaniel Mendez-Laing is a ridiculously shaped human being.
James Jones, STFC
And if you tolerate this…
Will people please stop banging on about how nothing can be done to stop the abuse of and lack of respect shown to match officials.
It really is very, very, very, very simple. Zero tolerance.
Talk to the ref if you’re the captain, otherwise get booked. Verbally abuse the ref, get sent off, whoever you are. Talk to an assistant, whoever you are, get booked.
It isn’t TOLERATED in any other sport, so why in football?
It would stop overnight.
Nothing will be done, nothing will happen and nothing will ever change.
Why not? F*ck only knows.
Referees own football.. they should all walk away now.
Seamus (will people also please stop banging on about referees getting decisions ‘wrong’)
The ref word
To continue the conversation around referee’s and how to help them, I agree with a previous mention of them being miked up.
I recently did some media work at a Premier League game where Jon Moss was referee and was able to listen to the communication between all of the officials and it was amazing being able to listen to how well they all communicate with each other and hear why they made certain decisions.
Now whenever I’ve seen Jon Moss referee a game, I’ve generally had massive complaints about decisions he’s made, and in this particular game the home crowd were getting massively riled due to decisions he made, including sending a player off for 2 yellow cards, but to listen to him talk throughout the game, especially with the exchanges he had with both assistants and the 4th, I came away from the game thinking he’d reffed it pretty much spot on and did a good job.
I don’t know how practical it would be to be able to broadcast the ref’s dialogues throughout the rest of the game, but it certainly gave me a different perspective on that occasion (I went back to slagging him off a couple of weeks later, when it was a Liverpool game he was reffing – naturally!).
It may help on a couple of contentious occasions, but then again, perhaps open up another can of worms for other not-so-clear incidents.
Failing that, make some pundits referee a game for SoccerAid or something like that and then afterwards explain their decisions. Their perspective may change a bit if they see what it’s like from that side, a bit like how Gary Neville occasionally can reference his bad experience as a manager at Valencia.
Don L. Renegade
Dave from the Czech Republic says Hadergjonaj couldn’t be played in scrabble but he is wrong.
1) you could use a blank for your other J although you wouldn’t get any points for the blank but I will come back to that.
2) As long as someone had already played the word “Hade” which I believe means incline from the vertical (and I can’t for the life of me envisage a game where someone wouldn’t play the word “Hade”) it would then leave just 7 letters to be found with the added bonus of 50 points for using all you letters, hence more than making up for the lack of points for the blank.
3) Shit, it is still a proper noun. Well that was a waste of an email
Phil (just wasted my Tuesday night sending this but fear I might be wasting Wednesday night more by going to Wembley) THFC
Surely David is not quite correct when it comes to his scrabble pedantry.
He is quite right that there is only one J in scrabble, however there are two blank tiles which can be used as any letter. Also you are allowed to use letters from words already on the board to fill out your word.
He is right about the fact that you aren’t allowed to use proper nouns which kind of makes this mail a bit pointless.
Richard (Imagine the points you would get for the word though!), LFC