The Mailbox reacts to consecutive draws for Liverpool and Darwin Nunez’s nut. Also: plenty more on Man Utd, Graeme Souness, and Arsenal…
Get your views in to firstname.lastname@example.org…
Reds’ ref justice
Refereeing is a tough job and I do sympathise over the tricky calls and even the mistakes but what Tierney does when he refs Liverpool isn’t that. Defenders can put two arms around our attackers with no fouls ever given, keepers can time waste for an hour or more and not even get a booking until it’s too late to affect their behaviour. Every time their players fake injury he loves to blow the whistle but when we could have the advantage of a dead ball near the box he plays an advantage that he seems to think we gain with the ball now at the half way line. All this happened tonight but it happens every single time he refs us. Everyone knows his brother is a Man City season ticket holder, can’t he just be taken off our games? Mike Dean wasn’t allowed to ref us for years because he lived on the Wirral for goodness sake!
Fair play to Palace, they came and took their chance. Our setup is obviously such that we will give away those chances and most of the time even a top striker isn’t certain to score but we do recently have a habit of making life tough. To concede first 6 games in a row screams a major issue which needs addressing now. Phillips was a bit awful and he was never a man who should be facing Zaha with a high line. That doesn’t excuse the previous 5 league games where he wasn’t starting.
Ultimately the task was made worse by Darwin’s stupidity. Deserves his three match ban for being totally brain dead. Then demonstrates how dumb he is by refusing to leave the pitch when we are losing and need to get on with the game. Needs a proper kick up the ass from the team until he figures out how to control his temper. Also had two huge moments and shat the bed both times so needs to wind his neck in and do the business before he thinks nobody is allowed to get physical with him.
Finally, where is the needle in this Liverpool side? Normally we can rely on Robertson to sh*t house a bit but the rest of the lads were far too nice today. First time we ever acted up a bit was Tsimikas to win a free kick on the edge of the box but it was too little too late. Need to up the level of dickheadedness if we are going to get something from tight games. Maybe that was partly why we didn’t win a single game against the top 4 last season?
…So when a Fulham player leaves a foot in on Henderson prior to launching a cross field ball which results in a goal that’s fair game. But when a Liverpool player (Carvalho) does the same to a defender on the edge of Crystal Palace’s area? Foul against.
Not saying that this is the reason for the draw, obviously, but I’d love it if the bed wetters who claim big club bias would actually acknowledge that your team gets away with plenty.
James Outram, Wirral
Since it’s been so boring for most people to see United dominating the mailbox over the last few days, it’s good to see Liverpool staking their claim for attention tonight.
Just 2 points from two games? Well according to the mailbox I guess that means top 4 is out, top 6 probably a more realistic expectation.
And this with a half a billion team (including an £85m striker, £56m keeper, £75m defender and worlds top player Salah), that’s fully completed under a premiere tutelage of a manager who’s in been in role for 7 years. Shucks.
Good job Palace. Apparently they played today too.
…After that match I can honestly say that Nunez looks good and can play in this team as a focal point but Jesus christ lad, get more streetwise! Andersen was riling him all night but the best way to p*ss a defender off is to score against them, he looks sharp but tonight Nunez…yer a c*nt.
On another note after he was sent off we played well, more urgency, more heavy metal football, and Diaz ripped several defenders a*ses! But we need more, I don’t care if it is a youth striker brought into the first team and Bajcetic given 20 minutes at the end of games but we are already 4 points behind city, and that ain’t good.
Come on Jurgen, promote or buy!
I blame Milner’s beard. Things have gone to shit since that thing showed up.
Jason G, Montreal, Canada
View from the Palace
There are records, terrible records and Crystal Palace’s record against Liverpool. Former F365 writer Matt Stanger mentioned Palace spoiling Liverpool’s fun with Crystanbul and Steven Gerrard’s last game at Anfield, but those were a long time ago. Since then, it’s been fairly miserable, including a 7-0 hiding dished out to a team overseen by a supposedly defensively solid manager.
*There is good news for Liverpool: Manchester City took one point from six against the Eagles last season, and went on to win the Premier League, so the Reds have clearly taken a huge step towards emulating them.
*Patrick Vieira set his team up with five at the back, with the intention of soaking up pressure and launching counterattacks. While setting up to defend a lot makes sense against Liverpool, on many occasions in the past couple of seasons they have unwittingly revealed that the weakest part of their defence is their centre-backs, who are both repeatedly guilty of ball-watching. That’s how at least one Palace goal arrived last season, and it’s partly how Aleksandar Mitrovic was able to score last week. True to form, neither Nat Phillips nor Virgil van Dijk had any idea where Wilfried Zaha was when Eberechi Eze played that through ball. If clubs like Palace and Fulham have worked this out, teams that aren’t from London will too, and Liverpool will continue to ship goals all season.
*Now you know why we’ve been so excited about the Eze-Zaha combination. They have the potential to cause mayhem this season. They exploited huge spaces for the goal and other chances tonight, and they are both capable of escaping tight spaces. It’s going to be fun, at least until teams start repeatedly cynically fouling them.
*Speaking of needless fouls, Darwin Nunez marked his Anfield debut with one of the most stupid red cards there will be all season. Well, the only thing more idiotic than that was the reaction of Liverpool fans, who suggested there was minimal contact, or that he had merely pushed out his chest and anything else was incidental. According to Wikipedia, Joachim Andersen is 6’4 and Nunez is 6’2; at a trivial height difference like that, you don’t headbutt someone forcefully in the jaw by accident. If I was in charge of IFAB he’d get three for the violent conduct and an extra game for refusing to leave the field immediately.
*The elephant in the room is that Nunez was only playing for Liverpool because they sold Sadio Mane, who always scored against the Eagles.
*You can cancel Goal of the Season. It was bound to be someone scoring against Palace, just give it to Luis Diaz for that spectacular equaliser. That said, Brad Potts of Preston North End deserves an honourable mention.
*1-1 away at Anfield. There are worse ways to get off the mark for the season, and put distance between yourselves and Manchester United.
*One of the most remarkable statistics of the weekend was that Erling Haaland only touched the ball eight times and completed two passes (an assist and a kickoff). In baseball, they say that nothing slows a game down quite like speed: if you’re known to be a quick baserunner, pitchers will spend a lot of time keeping you close to the base. Similarly, Haaland showing the world over the past few years and the Premier League last weekend exactly how good he is led to Bournemouth justifiably marking him out of the game. It was telling that most of Manchester City’s goals came from players who nominally lined up around Haaland, as though exploiting space he (or his threat) had contributed to creating.
It’s the sort of teamwork decidedly lacking in their cross-Greater Manchester rivals this weekend. Brentford deserve a lot of credit for the intelligent way they pressed Manchester United and forced mistakes, but Erik ten Hag’s side hurt themselves. It’s not rocket science to know that playing out from the back only works if the forwards are making runs into space, but on too many occasions, they were stood still and everything broke down.
*Next up for Crystal Palace, the novelty of a Saturday 3pm kickoff as they host Aston Villa. This fixture has been quite spicy in recent years, with running battles between Palace forwards and Villa defenders and a couple of red cards. Could be a fun one.
Panic? What panic?
If United win their next game, they go above Liverpool in the league.
Just stop going
Agreed with John Nicholson’s column. I had an email published here a few years back saying the same thing; fans need to boycott.
The Glazers treat you like customers so act like it. You’re getting a terrible service. Stop giving them your money!
City’s owners are in it for glory (they’re actually in it to promote their monarchy and make people forget about the slaves but they’re genuinely intent on having the world perceive City as top dogs.) where as United’s owners are only interested in the credit lines that came with the club. They didn’t even have to spend any money to get those credit lines! Their f*cking dad took out a 100% mortgage, most of which hasn’t been paid 15 years later.
Manchester United are a perfect example of what capitalism is. A global brand is built by thousands of people over a hundred years, all of whom were focusing on doing their best and making United the best. Then these pricks come in and don’t spend any money so in effect just get a piece of paper from a bank that says the cops and the courts order everyone at the club to do what they say. They’re just interested in taking money out. They don’t give a shit about the quality so the asset decays over time. A lot of people think capitalism and industry are the same thing. They are not. Capitalism is about who owns the industry and the vast majority of the time, that means someone who just wants to take as much out of the kitty as possible and that means spending as little as possible on wages and materials. It also frequently means an owner with no actual interest in the product or service his company is selling so things that need doing are just not thought of. Profit motive means terrible quality.
If United fans want rid of purely money driven owners, you need to affect how much money they get. No more extortionately priced merchandise, no sky subs, no MUTV subs and no more match days. That’s not only affecting revenue streams but an empty Old Trafford getting beamed around the planet will affect perception of the club which in turn affects the share price of the club which in turn affects how much money the Glazers can borrow against it.
I never thought I’d get here as a United fan but I would take relegation if it got rid of the leeches.
It’ll get worse
Let’s have a look at Utd’s next 8 PL fixtures.
Man City (A)
Being generous, you could potentially see draws at Southampton and Everton. Maybe a win against Leeds. Potentially sitting with five points after ten games. And to top it all off, I just read about five minutes ago that the club are happy to accept offers for Garner. I just don’t…
Duck in hell
Reading everyone’s views about where united have and are going round, taking a step back it looks like everything at every major level of the organisation is wrong. At the top of the tree there are owners who are not motivated by building and achieving sustained sporting success. By this I mean league titles and champions leagues. They bought the club with the clubs own money and are happy to leach money from the club at the same time.
They have spent a shed load on players but again that is the clubs own money and as Ed pretty much admitted they are happy to make top 4 each year as this will help sustain the commercial power of the club that will continue to pay shareholders what they are looking for. To this end Red Nev is totally right – the glazers are a primary cause of blame for this whole mess as they do not set the tone throughout the whole club and its senior management to achieve the very best from a sporting perspective and that had a real impact on attitudes and focus (other dubious owners such as the state powered premier league clubs very much have this tone set from the top as they need to win titles to achieve their propaganda goals. FSG are driven to achieve top results as they see it as the most effective way to maximise a financial return through increased sponsorships etc (which is different from the Glazers who are happy with enough not maximise)).
The second level of where everything is wrong is the senior management who I mean yes earlier. This is Ed and his team and now the fella who has replaced Ed. They have no football/sports business background and are not being fully focussed by the owners on delivering sporting success. Commercial success past a point of return on investment is most important to them so again, top 4 will mean they have done their job on the football front. They show their complete lack of sports know how through the inability to hire a quality director of football and supporting team. Murtagh, Fletcher and whoever else??
That doesn’t scream World class standard team does it? These are the guys who are meant to set the football strategy and philosophy to run through the whole club to enable it to achieve its sporting goals. It’s pretty obvious they haven’t been able to do this and so this hinders any consistency of structure and approach to be employed by the coaches. That brings me onto the coaches who also seem sub-standard compared to other clubs – no one poaches a united coach or sees them as a template to copy anymore as their is no template. That lack of template means players that are bought do not fit any structure and so they are up against it either way. OT has become a graveyard for players who get slated but their is no drive or structure or strategy running throughout the club for them to fit into. This hotch-potch of players therefore can’t win as they just do not fit together. A lack of foresight about how the game is developing means they have a bunch of players that are I’ll suited to the modern game – a keeper that can’t kick, a defence that has to sit back then, a defensive midfield that is not tactically aware and a front line who if they press has no one behind them because of the need to sit back.
From top to bottom it’s rotten. The empire began to fall when fergie fell out with the old owners who helped build a cracking club with the best stadium and brand in the world. Then Fergie and David Gill left then Moyes got rid of all of Fergie’s coaches. In these steps alone the skeleton of the club was removed and replaced by the bunch of muppets united now have in there at all levels. You couldn’t make this up if you tried. It’s like Apple removing all of its management and getting a whole new, less focussed and less experienced team in at all levels – of course it was going to collapse. And to be clear this is what is happening. The only way to fix this is to build the right infrastructure back and say to everyone this will take 5 years of no top 4. The problem is you need the glazers to sign up to this to make it happen. If they do then united will be a super power again, if not, another empire will be consigned to history
I’ve been trying to put up some blinds in my downstairs toilet for a few weeks now. I am hopeless at DIY. I’ve created several holes and attempted to fill in some of them with polyfilla. I’ve got rawl plugs irretrievably stuck in a couple of them. There’s dust everywhere and the paintwork now looks awful. I’ve also managed to bend one of my drill bits trying to make one of the holes a bit deeper attempting to rescue the situation. It looks an absolute mess and instead of trying to fix what I’ve done with more of the same, I really need to just employ someone better who can re-plaster and start again from scratch.
I think the above is a pretty good analogy for Manchester United’s current situation.
Rob, Surrey (still a smug Brentford fan)
Don’t worry, be happy
As a great philosopher once said “If you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain”. Well it’s been pissing down on Arsenal fans for so long you should absolutely get excited when the sky starts to clear. We’re not going to win the league and we could arse it all up and end up in eighth but what’s the point of being a football fan if you can’t get excited about this Arsenal team?
If we win a game, get excited about that game. If we play well, get excited about playing well. If we sign the literal second coming, by fuck get excited about that. The team has come a long, long way since the final Wenger years. The fans have come a long way since the heyday of Arsenal TV. The Emirates is buzzing. The fans are loudly behind both the men’s and women’s teams. The past two weeks have been a good time to be an Arsenal fan, it could all end tomorrow but today is pretty, pretty good.
Don’t let the curmudgeons who don’t understand that winning a game is cause for celebration turn you into an eternal pessimist. Contrary to some people’s bitter beliefs you can be happy without winning a trophy.
Lay off Souey
The manufactured ‘controversy’ around Graeme Souness seems to revolve around a suggestion that because he used the word ‘men’ and actually referred to men as actual men, that he was somehow comparing men’s football to women’s football and claiming men have managed to reclaim the game from women? Sorry I heard nothing of the sort, he was talking about a men’s Premier League game and basically the fact the referee let more fouls go than in any game since he was playing.
According to Eniola Aluko, Souness isn’t allowed to say ‘it’s a mans game again’ because he’s sitting next to ‘England centurion Karen Carney, two weeks after the Lionesses end a 56-year wait and win European Championships. Come on. It’s not OK’
By that logic he will be allowed to say ‘it’s a mans game again’ if the England mens team win the World Cup? I’m sorry I don’t follow the argument. It doesn’t make any sense. I also don’t feel the Lionesses success ‘ends the 56 year wait’ any more than when the England U17’s won the World Cup in 2017.
For the record – if there is one – I think it’s wonderful the England women’s team won the tournament, but personally I have no interest in women’s football. I didn’t see a minute of the tournament and I couldn’t name a current women’s footballer. I’m also not interested in golf, cricket or really any other sport. I’m too busy to watch things which don’t interest me – I have Sky Q and rarely turned it on before the Premier League came back – but I just about manage to make time to watch Liverpool’s games these days and not a lot more. Chelsea v Spurs was only the second game I managed to see in full this season so far.
I’ve ignored comments from all sorts of people over the summer about how the England women’s team are so much better than the men etc – because such comments are apparently absolutely fine – but if Graeme Souness is seriously going to be roasted for referring to men as men then we have a serious problem. If the issue is because he was sat next to Karen Carney then I’d rather listen to him than her, if that’s the choice we’re being given.
For what it’s worth I think Karen Carney is a very poor pundit – doesn’t say much interesting and appears to be there because some TV exec wants to look modern and forward thinking. She’s absolutely awful on co-commentary and Sky certainly know it because they rarely put her on now – everybody knows viewers mute the sound when she’s on.
Could be worse though, it could be Robbie Savage….
Preaching to the converted
Seeing as nobody mentioned it in Monday morning’s mailbox, just wanted to explain to Mark that when he does a Google conversion from centimetres to feet and it shows 5.7 feet, this does not mean 5’7″. That is all.
Seb (174cm and 5’8″Ish)