Driven away from football by Man City’s cheating – which no one will remember…

Editor F365
Erling Haaland celebrates scoring for Manchester City against Arsenal.

The Mailbox suggests Man City’s alleged cheating will be forgotten since there’s no asterisk on Barca or Milan’s success. But one correspondent decided enough was enough last year.

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Giving up because of City
Last year before the final game of the PL season I decided I was done with football.

I had just seen my team Liverpool come within two games of winning everything, and yet I knew that they probably wouldn’t because one team was cheating.

I knew that at any stage of football the management and recruitment of Liverpool would have yielded four titles in five years, but this time it didn’t because one team was cheating.

I haven’t watched one game of Liverpool’s season, the only football I watched was England v France at the World Cup because a friend begged me.

Even the sight of England getting hyped up only to lose didn’t bring me any joy.

Can you imagine? An Irishman not even able to laugh at the English thinking it was coming home again?

But that’s what City have done, they’ve destroyed the English game and my three decade plus obsession with it.

Last night a friend text me to say that the title decider was on, Arsenal v City.

I had known Arsenal were doing well but didn’t know they were still in it (plus Lampard is back at Chelsea???)

It’s criminal that a club who has backed a manager for four years, to rebuild and redefine a club that hasn’t properly challenged in around twenty years won’t end up as champions.

Because one team is cheating.

Do yourselves a favour, do what I did and leave the EPL to die, it’s no longer a sport, it’s WWE.

Both are completely devoid of real competition, living off a brand name built in the past whose only real use is to TV broadcasters because live events sell.

And all you have to look forward to is City v Newcastle until the end of time from here on out.
Vinnie, Krakow, Poland


…Quick response to the City fans crowing in the mailbox – all of your success is built on foundations of human rights abuses, climate change denial and pro-fossil fuel lobbying. You are the epitome of all that is wrong with humanity – willingly blinding yourself to the fact (hat tip to Rafa) that you were the original sportswasher – indeed the original transaction from Shinawatra to sell to the black gold overlords was possibly (probably) the single biggest money laundering transaction in history.

But that wasn’t even enough, you have subsequently mutated and deformed football into a hideous exercise in largesse, and then weaseled out of accountability with delaying tactics and your blood-money-soaked elite lawyers. If you get away with it again (you probably will) it will only be fools and the similarly willingly myopic who think it means that you didn’t do anything wrong. You know you are corrupt to the core, whether you admit it or not.

Your Saint Guardiola is a disgusting hypocrite portraying himself as the great philosopher of football when in reality he is playing the equivalent of chess where he picks all the best pieces, and then plays all the moves himself. He make me (and Zlatan) sick.

City fans don’t exist, and if they did – nobody would like them.
Gofezo (what is it with people and their subservience to oil-fueled inequality?!)


No one will remember the cheating
There were some interesting takes from Arsenal supporters this morning. The first strange one being that nobody will remember this Man City led era because of the petro-dollars/ financial doping. On that front, I’d like to say, I read a little bit of Barcelona history , and how Franko the dictator used the club to try and placate the Catalans, which led to Barca winning something like 20 trophies and titles while he supported them. I can bring up AC Milan and Silvio Berlusconi. The reason I bring up that history is because nobody really cares, the record still reads Barca have won 20-something odd titles , and however many trophies. AC Milan to this day is known as one of the greatest teams in Europe in the 90’s. When this Man City dynasty is brought down by Newcastle, the history will show city having won probably 10 titles and however many trophies. So this delusion that Man City will not be remembered is absurd because it’s there in history. The only thing that might irk them is the fact that, after winning, they will barely be a story on them, but expect a lot of articles on Arsenal, Man U, Liverpool etc.
The second bit, is fans like MAW, who is proud of his team and its achievements, but still finds it necessary to poo poo the other contenders, as having very deep rooted problems that there is no way they can recover and catch Arsenal. First of all, Chelsea are stacked, they probably just need to get a manageable squad and a manager who has a clue and they probably outright go above arsenal. They need to get rid of a bloated squad, and are not in dire need of quality players. Liverpool are liverpool, and Klopp is a better manager than Arteta, re-invest and again probably better. Man U I agree might struggle, because they have problems moving players and getting players. One more thing to consider, Arsenal were not given a chance, so some of the games they played early on, teams didn’t take them seriously. Now teams will take the Arsenal match much more seriously and from recent results, when teams noticed Arsenal are a threat, they have faltered, which is another aspect to consider. Arsenal won’t be facing a Westham that think they can get 3 points at the emirates, Arsenal will face a Westham that’s looking not to lose.
Dave (I don’t think anyone can predict next season), Somewhere

Read more: Ten possible punishments for Manchester City and Pep Guardiola after Premier League charges

Everyone’s at it
Been reading the ‘complaints’ about Pep and Man City. Yes, Man City have loads of money. Yes, they strengthened due to being in a great financial position. What should we all expect them to do? Be apologetic? Not strengthen, because other clubs (and their fans) will feel aggrieved?

For context, in the past 10 years, Man United have spent loads of money. Have they reached anywhere near the same level of success? Chelsea have spent loads of money, and have done great…in phases. Leicester City won the title having spent very little. Is it really about just money? My point is, you need a great manager to use the money in the right way. Money can also be mismanaged. The fact that Pep has lots of money does not make him the villain of the stories of the grumpy opposition fans – though they will all claim otherwise. It’s what he does with the money…the vision that he brings…the quiet ruthlessness and excellent efficiency with which he drives the team forward. He gets so much of flak for doing his job, and doing it really well. Poor Pep (pun intended).

Has the English Premier League ever been a level playing field? I am not so sure it has been. Should we be complaining? Maybe, maybe not? Will we complain, either way? Of course! We are, after all, an envious species. Are we even being fair when we ruthlessly judge a manager who is excelling at what he is getting paid to do? If we were in his place, would we feel it right that others judge us so? Is Pep really the villain in this whole saga? I suppose if he is, that would make us all feel quite righteous, wouldn’t it? It hurts, doesn’t it…to see this team be so successful? We can’t, and shouldn’t, allow it? How terrible our lives are, because of this Man City team! And that villain, Pep!!

Life is so unfair…


Boring, boring City
To add to the “boring” City debate. I’d say I find City incredibly boring. But thats not meant as an insult, its a compliment if anything. City are boring because for they have been so utterly dominant. The win and win to a ridiculous nature to the point that no one bats an eyelid. Man United fans may not have enjoyed Liverpool winning the title, but at least it stopped City utterly obliterating United’s record 3 Premier League titles in a row. Without Liverpool, City would be on the way to 6 on the trot and we’d be closer to the Bundesliga or the Juve dominated period of Serie A.

I may be a Liverpool fan, but I’m also a football fan and the same team winning all the time is just dull, especially when their style of play means that they are often overwhelming teams. As a sports fan, I also love an underdog. I would have loved to see Arsenal win the league. It would have been great. City are the antithesis of an underdog. The team with the most money, who can therefore attract the best players and hire the best manager. Dominating English football, but not quite doing it in Europe? Sign the best striker in the world. Job done.

I’m sure its great fun for City fans, but for most football fans, whoever you support, its just dull. I’d love to think there was change on the horizon but I can’t see it. I mean, fair play to City, they are very well run. They make good signings and they’re even developing good youth players. Doesn’t stop it being really boring though.
Mike, LFC, London


Salty tears Pt II
Hello, A few replies as my mail was sufficiently inflammatory that you managed to find THREE city fans! I’ll use bullet points because I’m hungover and my head is sore.

– I’m using the word “dull” not because of what they do on the pitch but because we all know how it’s going to end. What takes your breath away is making me shrug.
– Jealous: no. Bitter: absolutely!
– Apparently I’m a glory hunter: try again Arsenal are my local team. But hats off to all those international fans who wake up at mad hours to watch games. Pretty strange way to seek “glory” from a team that hasn’t won the league for 20 years.
– City is a decade defining team: yeah don’t doubt that. It just happens to be an awful decade of soulless sports washing. I remember Agueroooo and Kompany scored from outside the box once. Other than that I’ve got no memory of a single city game.
– nobody cares = irony. Perhaps I was not clear enough. When you do it, it‘s because you are owned by an Oil-State and so it doesn’t count. It also didn’t count when Chelsea did it and it won’t when Newcastle do it in however many years.

The real question is: can we still do an open top bus parade in 10 years when all your titles get stripped?…. Tempting fate we are finishing 3rd aren’t we!
A tired, bored (and now hungover) Arsenal fan


United caved in
The first half was great from United. Fair play to Spurs as they definitely came out and tried which is better than their last game but United were just better in all aspects. We scored early with Sancho’s great finish, which is lovely to see from him. The thing I was most impressed with from Sancho was that he was doing his defence work by making sure to track back which he has lacked doing previously but in this game, he looked hungry and focused which is very positive. We scored just before the half with a great counter and a fantastic ball from Bruno into space for Rashford to run onto and score from. The United defence even with Martinez and Varange gone is still performing. It is so evident that the only player who can not play Ten Hag’s style in the defence is Maguire. Every time he plays we are forced to play further back as he can not compete with the high press that Ten Hag likes while players like Lindelof and even Shaw coming in as a centre-back can. Overall, it was a great first half from United with some great football.

The second half was embarrassing from United. We looked cocky which was silly as Spurs came out energetic and trying to get something. It was pretty much the first half but swapped around. We just let them play themselves back into the game. Fred had probably one of the worst sub performances Ive ever seen. I was wondering why he has not really been involved recently but if that’s what he’s playing like then I see why. Nothing worked for him. He was failing every pass and leaving players open which allowed Spurs to get chances which they scored from.

Overall, This had the potential to be a very good result for United to pretty much confirm top 4 which I still think we get but this would have really helped as we would have really good leads on the teams below with games in hand. The first half was really good from us and all we needed to do was play somewhat like it in the second this game could have ended 4-0 to United but we came out cocky in the second half and let Spurs get back into the game. Fred did not look good at all and he should definitely stay on the bench. A positive I can take from this game was in the first half that we were playing some really nice football that maybe we can continue and this game can be proof to the team to not get cocky and to keep going till the last whistle.
Max Of Whitegate


Holding De Gea’s hand
Can someone please tell me how a player sitting on the line at the side a GK has to dive to save a shot, basically holding the GK’s hand, is not considered to be offside when he is clearly offside as the ball is played? Because that decision there has cost us 2 points.

From the offside law: “a player moving from, or standing in, an offside position is in the way of an opponent and interferes with the movement of the opponent towards the ball this is an offside offence if it impacts on the ability of the opponent to play or challenge for the ball”. Absolute joke.

PGMOL can keep their apology.
Garey Vance, MUFC

Are United really any better?
In a season filled with ‘Man Utd are back’ discourse and every bad result accompanied by the customary ‘of course they have made substantial progress under Erik ten Haag’ are Man Utd really any better than they were when they were a fun but extremely flawed team under OGS?
Simon, London


Rank Richarlison
Where does Richarlison rank on the worst PL signings of all time? £50-60 million, publicly criticised his manager, despised by most fans for disrespectful showboating like a gronk and diving/whinging, physically striking Arsenal’s goalkeeper unprovoked after the match had finished (possibly motivating a fan to unprecedently descend to the field and kick him) AND, most hilariously of all – it is nearly May and this £50-60 million forward has no goals!
I guess he may come good next season and score maybe 1 or 2 premier league goals, but signing a forward for that much money and going goalless for an entire league season (as long as he doesn’t score in May) is surely one of the worst and most hilarious signings of all time?
Andrew M, AFC (league title is still on, but if we don’t manage it and finish 2nd at least we can always laugh at Spurs), Australia
PS – I read a stat last week – since Guardiola’s managerial career began in 2008, Spurs are the only team to finish above him in the league (2017) but not win the title. Pretty remarkable that in 15 seasons he has only once finished outside the top 2.


60,000 Mancs on Merseyside
This may be a crazy idea but hear me out.

Given the train strike and resulting gridlock on the way down from Manchester – should the FA Cup final be moved from Wembley?

How about Anfield? It’s relatively local – would give the city an additional boost to Eurovision and all the fans can get to the stadium easily and back home to watch the highlights to try and spot themselves on the telly.

Graham Simons, Gooner, Norf London


Alexander the Great
Since 2016, the populace of these shores has received some bad press for being somewhat narrow minded and insular, but it just goes to show how welcoming we can be. Despite the fact that he’s only been here a year, we’re willing to throw a coronation for King Isak on the 6th of May.

Long live the king!
Ratt Mitchie NUFC (Mbappe will need to work overtime to get Murphy out of the team)


…I thought this evening’s (last evening’s, by publishing time) Mailbox was phenomenal. John Matrix, Jonny, Levenshulme Blue, and Steve MANCHESTER and others all gave me things to think and/or laugh about. Especially Rob, whose last sentence was utterly incisive and expressed the fly in the ointment of a politically aware Newcastle supporter’s enjoyment of this season. I have to admit that from a social justice standpoint, our owners absolutely should turn potential supporters away, despite this season being a tiny bit like the 1995-96 season that won my undying affection for NUFC. Man, I liked it when we were most folks’ second choice, the club nearly everybody wanted to succeed. As far as the Saudi money goes, the FFP regulations please me — though they could probably do with some tuning that would hurt us — because I’m not interested in buying the Premier League, just in competing for it. Eventually, when NUFC works its squad value up to something like City’s, it may be that we we’ll dominate. But by then, I’ll bet the ownership profile of the EPL will look quite different. As, perhaps, will its membership.
Chris C, Toon Army DC