Man City stripped of Premier League titles? What about Liverpool after 2012 hacking?

Editor F365
Trent Alexander-Arnold celebrates scoring for Liverpool against Man City.
Trent Alexander-Arnold celebrates scoring for Liverpool against Man City.

There’s some Liverpool whataboutery in the Mailbox as the Manchester City rule-breaking debate rumbles on. Also, Manchester United need some fighters and Lewis Dunk is a very silly man.

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Liverpool whataboutery
I see the Mailbox is still deeply concerned about Man City.

Today we have Mike, a Liverpool fan, who believes that past misdemeanours should tarnish any success.

Let’s just say that’s an interesting angle and leave it there.

Ciborium makes a case that all subsequent successes of Chelsea and City should be completely null and void if they stem from cheating.

Looking at the other PL Winners in the last ten years, Leicester went into administration in 2002 (wiping out debts of £30m) and Liverpool reportedly settled out of court for accessing Man City’s scouting database in 2012.  Both of which, according to Ciborium’s logic, are material benefits contributing to their title wins.  So shall we just call the last ten years a dead duck and move on?  I guess the only difference is that City have not (yet?) been found guilty.

I can see that countless fans of other teams know how I, as a City fan, feel about watching my club.  I can advise that none of you have got it right just yet.  If anyone else wants to hazard a guess, I would suggest you use words such as “great” and “fantastic”, possibly prefixed with a medium-strong profanity.

Keep up the good work.
Phil (MCFC), Rochdale


Man Ciy arguments
Alright quickly for Mathew, Finland who answers my question with a question that isn’t related to what I asked.

Yes I know other teams break the rules. The question was really for those city fans who pop on here stating adamantly that they haven’t. Which, lets face it, we know isn’t true.

Also, city fans, you can’t argue both of A) Everybody breaks the rules and B) We didn’t break the rules. Pick one or you sound like a numpty.

Less quickly…

Broadly I don’t really care about the prem, I’ve my own shitty owners to deal with – though with Swansea it’s more criminal disinterest than financial fuckery.

I do, however, think that if the currently dominant team in the prem is found to have cheated for roughly 1/3 the lifespan of the competition… Well, it tarnishes the nature of football in this country in general.

Much less quickly…

I just want to point out what arguments against the nature and intentions of ffp sound like to me:

“Laws against stealing televisions are just designed to stop people who don’t own televisions from owning televisions. They’re written to protect the people who already own televisions and won’t let me watch, why should I go to jail just because I want a nice television.”
G, Swansea


Man City speculation
I’ve been reading recent Mailboxes and finding their greater concern with Man City’s certain doom/inevitable escape than with Everton’s actual, real, penalty bothersome. Because who knows what will happen with City? (Though anybody imagining retroactively awarded trophies is probably deluded.) I can only shrug and call Everton’s penalty fair; I’d expect my club to pay a similar price for any such financial chicanery. But Everton — I’m speaking about the team, here, not the club — have through no fault of their own been thrust into the relegation zone, and that’s a big deal. My basic tribal sympathies favor Everton over Liverpool, but recent years have seen some bad blood with the Toffees, and I’ve come to enjoy their failures. Now, I find myself hoping and believing that they’ll pull themselves back out of the mire.

(Also, thanks for Anthony Gordon, y’all; that episode with the fans was probably a bigger deal for our two clubs than anybody appreciated at the time. He’s the kind of player you hate when he plays for another club. The last time Gordon played for Everton against Newcastle, he was a f*&$ing pest, and I wanted him either murdered or signed. He reminds me of David Batty with more goals.)

I’ve observed Everton’s mistakes and subsequent punishment as a Newcastle supporter in the context of nervously watching my own club explore the boundaries of FFP. Intellectually, I know that the owners have spared no expense to hire the best available management team, but I fear even the appearance of foul financial play. I almost wanted them to vote for the EPL’s associated-club loan ban. But that rule could have been unfair to a lot of big clubs that have cultivated senior-junior relationships with other clubs that have previously been considered legitimate. Still, I don’t think they’ll do anything too gross. The Allan Saint-Maximin transfer, for example, was a model of propriety; I thought he was worth more than 25 million, meself.

And obviously, I was really pleased with our victory over Chelsea today. Anybody but a Chelsea or Sunderland supporter ought to be happy for young Lewis Miley, who put in a heck of a performance. I honestly feared we might get burned 0-1 or 1-2 in this match; Isak’s return was a huge relief. His performance was rusty as heck in possession, but his pressing, movement and willingness to come to the ball were really valuable. And he took his chance, as he usually does. Bruno G was something of a relief; his absence through suspension was imo the biggest factor in the deserved loss at Bournemouth. But I was also worried we’d see a return to his Arsenal over-aggression. On the contrary, he was quite controlled, appearing to draw more fouls than he committed. Lascelles’ brief reversion to form was more than made up for in his later defending and in his goal.

I’m rather enjoying the fluidity of position that Howe is fostering in the forward line and midfield: when Almiron played his lovely lob for Anthony Gordon, he was in a position usually occupied by Joelinton (also excellent). And perhaps best of all was Howe’s squad management in the face of an injury crisis. Three youngsters got their debuts in a 4-1 home victory over Chelsea; what could be better for those lads? Amadou Diallo’s obvious glee warmed my bitter heart.
Chris C, Toon Army DC (well done, Luton!)


Are Arsenal title contenders?
Or should we still check back in Feb/March because apparently we’ve never been title contenders under any other circumstances? Last season was a one-off, right?
MAW, LA Gooner (We’ve played like s*** all season and top of the league..hi Stewie)


Dunk’s red card
I’m not going to defend Dunk. He’s a 32 year old man and captain.

I just wish MORE referees would have the balls to book and send off players for abuse. I’m not going to lie. Dunk should know better. He’s a 32 year old man, captain of our club, and we were 3-1 up away against a tough side who had just been given a penalty. Now he misses probably (not sure) two games as I think he got a yellow for mouthing off, then possibly a straight red within a minute for carrying on and being, let’s be honest, a d-head.

But it happens every game with lots of players, and we’re aggrieved that once again, we get a sending off for something other players at other clubs do all the time. Not that it makes it okay. It’s not okay. But… wouldn’t happen to City or Liverpool etc…. It should, but it doesn’t.

Send a big name player off for dissent. Go on…. Do it. Then see how things change. Give respect to referees, but expect respect from all players of all clubs, not just our little ones. And penalise all players regardless of the occasion. Don’t just penalise players from smaller teams stuck behind the 3pm black out when this sort of stuff happens all the time. We need some consistency on everything, players call refs the C word all the time, has done for years, and nothing happens. Obviously we’re on the bad side of this today but this has to stop to protect refs and send an example.


We got the Super League anyway
Why was the super League bad? Anyone remember? It was because you’re qualification would be based on your previous history of the competition rather than your performance in the previous season, essentially meaning teams with a good recent history would qualify even if they finished outside top 4.

Thank god uefa were there to stop that and make sure that qualification is based on coefficient ranking which is based on historical success in the….oh.

So we got the super League anyway , it just didn’t get called super League. So why isnt everyone throwing their table over like before? Seriously? They did exactly what everyone was raging about except nobody is raging about it?

Secondly I want to challenge the idea that if the ‘big 6’ fucked off to super League everyone would be better off. The assumption here is that all the riches will filter down to the other clubs, except it won’t. The reason there are riches is because of those big 6 teams, take them out and those premiere league TV rights will drop significantly so those smaller clubs wouldn’t be any better off at all.

It’s beneficial for everyone that the supposed big 6 stay where they are. But they’re not evil the biggest reason they all wanted to breakaway from uefa wasn’t the easier qualification (though I’m sure it helped) it was the increased money since they were cutting uefa out. Now keeping in mind the changed y’all didn’t want are happening anyway wouldn’t you rather that money have landed in clubs pockets rather than toothless corrupt uefas?

Finally it’s good to see the premier League becoming more competitive. Sure citys (maybe?) Financially doped dominance hasn’t change but you’re not only competitive if you win you’re competitive if you compete. And theres more this year doing that.


Man Utd missing fighters
At Man Utd we have had a lot of issues since Fergie and Gill, but I think that most have been addressed by the club at some point or another to some extend, except one, workers on the field. We keep going for the youtube players or whatever they are now called. Park (famously), Valencia, Young, both Nevilles, both da Silvas, Welbeck, Rooney, Tevez, Keane (he would probably bully himself otherwise), Vidic, O’Shea, Scholes, Brown and many more were absolute work horses. Some were incredible players players too, but we almost never got outfought, and outran and kitchen sink was always thrown at the end of games if we weren’t winning. That can be coached if a team is half full of them, but at least half the squad has to be natural workers. Casemiro and Varane could have been great signings even at their prices but Fernandes and Martinez is not enough legs, too much is expected of them. McTominay and Fred is just not enough quality together, should always have been one or the other. Same on the left, should have been Rashford or Martial, with a worker on the right, Mourinho knew this. Their best season was when Mourinho switched between the two on the left, with Lingard or Mata on the right. Lingard was a real worker at first and Mata is a proper team player, sacrificed himself for the team regularly. Then Sanchez happened.

This was probably the thinking behind Mount. Casemiro and Erickson in their 30’s was always a quick fix, they are both fighters, but need help, again, too much expected of Fernandes. Erickson is not a natural grafter and Casemiro has won it all, he needs a team that is hungry, not him providing the hunger, he is full. He can be the experienced one with hungry players around him. We still haven’t learned though, which we showed with the sale of Elanga. I think he was the perfect foil for Rashford, Sancho, Martial or whichever primadonna is on the left. May be I am wrong and Garnacho, Pellistri or Diallo will end up being incredible players who are also hard workers, they all have the potential but I think they should have been competing with Elanga on the right, Rashford on the left.  Right now Ten Hag looks to be trying to make them work hard, but they don’t see that on the field from the starters so it must be a hard point to make. Antony should have been sold this summer for any loss or be closer to Sanchos standing in the squad then the first eleven. I think that with hard work Sancho can make it back, but that apology needs to happen and then for Sancho to learn to be a grafter, not easy when there is only a few in the squad. In defense? Wow. No workers. Martinez and now Evans? Wan-Bissaka too but him and Elanga on the right would probably be lacking quality unless Bissaka shows his improving displays are the norm from here on and says fit. This is why Smalling and Blind has been our best Cb partnership since Vidic and Ferdinand. Smalling would do anything for a win, and we had the Rock of Valencia on the right while Blind is capable of putting a shift in but his strength is reading the game, second to none. Young was a proper team player too, and Rojo had the Martinez about him but may be not the discipline. Last year was good with Martinez and Varane but Martinez already did half of Shaws running, so he was bound to break, so Varane needs more help from the right as he is not a natural worker. Not Dalot. Dalot can play in an already established defense, not be a main ingredient. Also why i think that De Gea declined so much. With a defence full of game readers and not runners, you need a proactive goalkeeper. And yes i know that calling Maguire and Lindelof game readers is funny but that really is one of their main strengths. Sure isn’t quick passing, quick covering or quick anything really.

A lot of what ifs but I think that there has simply been way too much expected of Fernandes, and with Martinez out, he has no chance. He has already been dragging this team for years, must be tiring. That’s the simplicity of Peps strategy too, in my opinion. Find the best hard working players, and then make them use that in whatever specific way Pep feels like that season. Hard work is first though.

It’s ok though, because I thought I had a very tough but simple decision to make once we got bought by Qatar so now I can at least enjoy watching us again instead of because I feel like I have to make use of the last few games before it’s all over.


Blaming Fergie for Man Utd
‘Post hoc ergo propter hoc’ – After therefore because of it.

Lee’s email blaming Ferguson for United’s  downfall is a classic example of the flawed asumption that because one thing follows another it is, therefore, caused by the former. In reality Lee’s email is riddled with inaccuracies and mistaken assumptions.

Lee points to the famous treble and several title wins with M&M as the “most visible shareholders”. On the contrary . M&M didn’t increase their stake until well after the treble in 2001/2002 from 6% to appoximately 13%. They did so as an investment. They were neither visible nor particularly influential until that time. Then, and this is the crucial point – the share price was low. Indeed they had lost significant value on their original investment. They saw an opportunity and increased their stake. When they finally exited to the Glazers they trousered a rather glorious £125m profit.

There had been rumours of  a sale since 2003- making them significant shreholders for a grand total of….Yes! Two years! They sold to the Glazers in 2005 – their Premier league record in that time being 3rd, 1st, 3rd, 3rd, 2nd. So contrary to Lee’s assertion of great M&M fueled success, in fact a significant drop off compared to the years before and indeed the years immediately after.

I have said many times that Uniteds current situation is an institutional failure – root and branch. Ferguson indeed played his part. But the cliff edge for United came when both Gill & Ferguson left which would have happened irrespective of the ownership. Would Moyes have been a great manager under M&M? Or Martin Edwards? Hardly.

Did the ugly episode with Ferguson damage the club? Of course. Would M&M have turned down £125m in profit? Not on your life. They were not United supporters and if I recall never even attended a game. Their primary motivation was financial. No one invests the money they did because they happen to be buddies with the manager.

The proof of this is rather obvious. Magnier wasn’t willing to share the RoG breeding profits with Ferguson, his friend.  So what on earth would lead you to believe he’d turn down £125m profit for him?
Your Old Pal Stevo, Dublin

Man Utd legend Sir Alex Ferguson
Sir Alex Ferguson salutes the supporters.


Arteta shame
Vish (AFC), Melbourne, Aus appears to have selected to right club to support. His comparison of de Zerbi and Arteta’s statements is ludicrous, and reflects exactly the sort of delusional self-righteousness that got Arteta charged. No, Vish, it’s because while de Zerbi expressed his frustration about refereeing and VAR without directly attacking anybody, while Arteta called the referee team that ran his match “a disgrace.” Arteta is a whining sack of *&^$ whose behavior ought to make you ashamed for your club. And here you are offering misplaced whataboutism in his defense. Suits you.

Here’s a better question for you: why hasn’t Arteta made public apology for his statement, given that the goal was correctly allowed? (Please, please, please say it wasn’t.)
Chris C, Toon Army DC


Retraction in respect for Johnny
If possible, I’d like to retract the letter I sent earlier today. It’s too mean-spirited for a mailbox that should be about Johnny Nic to whom I hope you’ll forward my kindest wishes. Best to let the issue pass for now. If I missed my opportunity, I’ll take whatever heat I deserve with good grace.

Though between us, I removed a section from another recent letter you published in which I wondered why Arteta hadn’t been charged for that statement after a week. I was appeased when the charge was finally brought, and manfully, I kept my gloating to myself.

Chris C, Toon Army DC