Creating PL All-Stars side would make season ‘more interesting’…

Date published: Wednesday 13th May 2020 2:41

Kevin de Bruyne VIrgil van Dijk Liverpool

Keep your mails coming to…


Premier League All-Stars
Good morning,

At the end of each season different teams of the year seem to be picked by different media outlets and the PFA, but what if a definitive Premier League All Stars Teams was picked at the end of each season, by an assigned Premier League All Stars Manager.

Then the Premier League All Stars would play an end of season tournament against the La Liga All Stars, Serie A All Stars and Bundesliga All Stars.

It would make a season a lot more interesting when a player is hitting form and the discussion would begin “will he force is way into the plans of the All Star team?”. Imagine the quality available on each team. Seeing who would be included and excluded would cause huge discussion. Its kind of like picking a Lions squad or the US Olympic basketball team.

Yes there is the problem of international tournaments in the Summer and clubs doing their own post season tournaments but surely this would be a competition everyone would want to watch and most importantly very lucrative for the finance people.
Cormac (THFC), Co.Clare


Danny Rose hates his job…
I previously wrote in to the mailbox on comments Danny Rose had made to the press about not feeling any need to speak to his new manager Jose Mourinho, and publicly explicitly stating he was planning to leave Tottenham on a free transfer in 18 months’ time, describing this as a masterclass in career suicide/sabotage. On Danny Rose’s latest comments to the press about returning to work post-COVID, I would describe these as the words of a man who seems to absolutely hate his job.

I completely disagree with Rose’s perspective on football’s return, for reasons already expressed by Mike, LFC, London this morning and others previously, but I can sympathize with him nonetheless. We all have friends and family who absolutely hated their jobs at some point and have ranted and raved about everything that is unfair and unjust with the situation, how poorly they are treated, how incompetent the management are. Often you don’t have the context to know if their complaints are valid, but sometimes you can tell that this person is being unreasonable – but it doesn’t matter. They are your friend/family member, and you try to be sympathetic and understanding. Hell, sometimes the person ranting and raving might have been yourself, and you might one day look back and realize you yourself were being unreasonable. Jobs you don’t enjoy doing can make you lash out irrationally, and even make you depressed, and to me this might be what we are seeing with Danny Rose. He’s obviously not my friend, but that doesn’t stop me for feeling bad for the position he seems to find himself in.

It would be easier to sympathize with him if it weren’t for senior stakeholders at certain relegation-threatened clubs trying to leverage the human concerns of players like Aguero, Sterling and Rose in bad faith for their own agenda, and if media outlets weren’t so easily manipulated to this end (being briefed by insiders is fine, but the way these briefings are reported as fact and without any skepticism about conflicts of interest is naive at best). But I sympathize with him nonetheless, and I hope that he can find a job he enjoys more, whether that be at another club post-Tottenham contract, or something outside of football entirely. He seems like a really engaging and interesting guy. Just not one who is thinking things through before speaking at the minute.
Oliver Dziggel, Geneva Switzerland

PS: On the subject of the players not being consulted about Project Restart, this criticism sounds sensible but makes no sense upon closer inspection. The process is surely, “Step 1: Devise plans; Step 2: Consult other stakeholders (including players); Step 3: Revise plans accordingly” – and not “Step 1: Ask the players “hey guys, what do you think we should do?” 


Mike, LFC, has perfectly summed up my thoughts on footballers going back to work.

Why do they think they are better than teachers, bus drivers and check-out staff? Is it safer to be licked, coughed at or man-handled by a random 5-year-old or a fully-tested footballer?

If any refuse to play if the season restarts, then I agree, furlough them. In fact, why have they all not been furloughed already?
Adonis Stevenson, AFC


Get back to work!
I appreciate Mike’s own concerns about having to go back to work and the dangers that will present for him, his colleagues and family but, with respect, I think that argument is Daily Mail level garbage.

People with little or no choice are being rushed back to work prematurely to “kick-start the economy”. This is NOT a good enough reason for them to be sent back to work and it is absolutely not a sign that everyone incapable of working from home should follow suit. If anything, those that ARE fortunate enough to earn/have earned enough that they don’t have to make the call between their health and paying the bills SHOULD stay at home, as an example of what they can do to minimise the spread of disease.

Let’s also consider what football is. When these matches are played in empty stadia, do you think every football fan in the country will sit and watch at home in isolation? Of course not; the temptation to go round to a mate’s house and try to recreate some of the lost camaraderie will be too much for a lot of people and this in itself will pose a massive threat as far as furthering the spread of the disease.

Ultimately I agree with Danny Rose. I would love to have football back, but if there is a chance that a single life could be lost by returning it so soon then we should just have to wait. My morale would be boosted far more by a swifter end (or significant decline, at least) to the spread of the virus than by watching football played in an empty stadium by players who are probably too sh*t scared for their own safety and that of their families to put on their best performance, anyway.

I hope you manage to stay safe on your return to work, Mike. Take care.
Dave (Haven’t written in, in a while; do we still do witty captions here?) Allen, IOM


I’d hope you get few emails responding to Mike, LFC, London as he seems to have lost sight of the bigger picture quite significantly. Firstly, reading Danny Rose’s comments, it seems quite clear to me is his issue is the idea that football should return on the basis of boosting the nations morale. I’d agree with him that that is a bullshit reason. Leaving aside the fact that not everyone in the country cares about football (and there will probably be a fair few who are horrified at the thought of football forcing itself to the top of the agenda). Normally, I’d ignore those people for being wrong but in this context I’m forced to agree with them, so this massive morale boost is more likely to be a muted cheer.    Secondly, it’s not just fit, young man Danny Rose that is going back to work in project restart. There will be plenty of others who are in more at risk groups returning as part of it too. Perhaps Danny is concerned about 59 year old Steve Bruce having to travel about the country and hang around dressing rooms for several weeks during a pandemic?

Thirdly, as you allude to in your mail, part of the plan is to have medical staff constantly available and regularly testing done on all people involved. These resources are probably better spent elsewhere, such as hospitals, rather than set aside for football. Which leads me to my final point, and I can’t stress this enough, football really isn’t that important in the grand scheme of things. Comparing yourself going back to work and a footballer is a false equivalence. You work at a school and are therefore more important to the running of civilized society than those which are, at best, classed as an entertainer. You, and the education system, are more essential than football, well done you. Unless you’re similarly complaining that everyone who works at Thorpe Park should be ready and happy to go to work immediately, you have to accept that football should be far further down the list of things to bring back.

So you know, stop getting angry at Danny Rose and maybe get angry about something important.
Gareth, Kent


I write this as someone who has worked throughout this crisis – Danny Rose is right, footballers shouldn’t return until the numbers have massively dropped.

But neither should you. Or construction workers. Or restaurants. As you point out, you cannot socially distance. Therefore it is unsafe. My recommendation to you and to anybody else being forced to work in unsafe conditions is to join a union and discuss your options with them.

Also, yes the risk is lower if you are under 5 but let’s not just make up a figure of “probably less than 20 dead”. The disease does affect people of all ages and if you survive it it can leave serious lifelong respiratory issues.

More than anything it is alarming that this far into the crisis you don’t seem to understand that although somebody who is young and healthy is less likely to die of the virus, they can, and will, still pass it on to others. Footballers don’t want to pass it to their families and I think that is entirely reasonable. Should the fact that they earn more than you mean that their parents should die of this disease, just because we all wanted to watch a bit of football?


Hi Mailbox,

I can understand why Mike, LFC, London is angry – that people are being sent back to work with no scope for social distancing, no testing, and insufficient medical support is a national scandal, particularly given the ‘second waves’ we’re seeing in countries that eased lockdown after an initial reduction in cases/deaths.

However, I’d respectfully suggest that rather than wanting all professions to be dragged down into the same terrible situation, Mike could target his anger at the people making the rules, rather than those who may ‘benefit’ (relatively speaking) from them. And of course use that anger to fight back – know your rights (e.g Section 44 of the Employment Rights Act 1996, which basically means you can’t be disciplined or sacked for refusing to work in an unsafe workplace), and join a union. I’m pretty sure one of the teachers’ unions (either the NEU or NUT, I think) is working with its members to reject plans to re-open schools too soon, and quite right too. Danger of death is not an acceptable risk in any line of work.

Ultimately, footballers are just employees, each taking a very small share of the profits made by their industry, like almost all of us. I wouldn’t expect anyone, either on minimum wage or 50 grand a week, to have to work in unsafe conditions – we were meant to have left all that behind in the 19th century, so let’s work together to make sure that situation isn’t forced upon us again.
Cheers, Dan (no matter the industry, some bosses see workers as disposable), Hassocks


Dear F365, in response to Mike, LFC, London And his genuine concerns.

The first issue is that you suggest Schools for year 1 and 6 WILL open on June 1st. That’s not the case, they will only open IF the situation improves and that 1st June is the earliest in which they may return. Based on specific safety criteria as well, which most schools have been operating under for the last couple of months.

This is very similar to what Danny Rose has suggested. Why should footballers, who are a much higher risk than year 1 and 6 pupils, be told to go back to start training in the close proximity of 40 or so others earlier than we would expect a school with distancing measures in place and smaller numbers?

There is a huge difference to what is being asked. Kids go and educate IF the situation gets better. Adults, go and play commercial sport irrespective of the situation.

I can only speak from personal experience, thankfully I don’t know anyone who has actually died after having this virus, however I do know of a 28 year old, healthy father of 1 who contracted it and spent 3 days in intensive care. And a 46 year old who was completely wiped out for a couple of weeks from contracting it. Both survived. There is an illness with this that is horrible, and not one we should impose as a risk to anyone, especially just to play football.

I like Danny, I like honesty, I don’t have to always agree.
Steve (THFC)


Just because Mike has to go back to work, does not mean the footballers should too. Yeah, they’re paid a lot of money, and it gripes at a lot of people because they think they should make more, or that footballers aren’t normals humans because they play football and make a lot of money, and shouldn’t be allowed speak.

Football is unimportant, and rightfully so, and to force it back early is ludicrous because it is putting 200-300 odd people – the amount of people needed to host a game without fans as reported –  at unnecessary risk, and taking resources away from an underfunded and overworked NHS. And just because the footballers are young, does not mean they aren’t at risk of dying, or more likely, spreading the disease. Unlike your work as a teacher, football is a contact sport, so cannot be done at a social distant, so therefore, should not come back until social distancing is removed.

The real crux however, is that you have to go back to work. You probably shouldn’t be, it doesn’t seem overly nesessary, not until the situation becomes more under control, which is not happening under the BoJo government, and that is who your gripe should be with, not footballers expressing their opinion on their own profession, and whether it should resume or not.
Neill, Ireland


Preempting the response…(MC – it’s too late, Mike…)
I’ve always been told, never send an email when you’re angry. I probably should have listened. There’s probably going to be lots of mails ripping into what I wrote. Some of them fairly. Reading it back its not really how I wanted to come across and makes me seem pretty callus and unsympathetic. I’m honestly not. “Get back to work” does not read back well.

What got me was the phase “Football shouldn’t even be talked about.” When you’re about to return to work, on public transport, and someone says that while its fine for you to go back, but footballers should be completely exempt, that sort of gets to you. For some reason, it made me very angry and maybe it shouldn’t.

The point that I was trying to make was that if the rest of the country is returning to work, footballers shouldn’t be some sort of special case. The opening of shops is far more likely to increase the spread of the virus than the return of football. If it is deemed acceptable that shops, schools etc. can come back then there is no reason football can’t.

Of course player safety has to be considered and all reassurances should be given that the risk to them is very, very low. At the moment, the scientists are saying 1st June is an acceptable time to play behind close doors sport. That seems reasonable to me. But no, “get back to work” is not an acceptable thing to say.
Mike, LFC, London


No look tackles, I wonder…
So this morning was a morning of “No Look Tackles” and myself finding out that for the second time within 48 hours I was saying a sentence I never thought I would say, on Monday it was “I agree with Piers Morgan” in regards to his thoughts on the Boris statement from Sunday being confusing, then today saying “I agree with Souness” in regards to the tackling gimmick.

Anyway, back to my point in hand, the idea of no look tackles brought me to wonder what parts of the game could be improved if players had to look away, Firmino has mastered the art of the no look goal, so that can be put to one side, but can you imagine a no look penalty shootout, both the goalkeeper and the taker have to wear blindfolds for each spot kick, it would certainly bring some drama and perhaps an endless shootout as each player misses or just simply falls over after a quite hilarious “air kick”

So what do other Mailboxers think could be improved (for better or worse) by the players looking away in the current game or an even better question is what silly rule change would you make that could make the game a bit more interesting or hilarious to watch?
Mikey, CFC


It’s a game of money
I read Adonis’ and Luke’s ideas on how to finish the Premier League season in a shortened round robin format with amusement. Your fanciful ideas sounds interesting but ultimately and utterly impractical.

First, after enjoying such a brilliant campaign and being so far ahead of everyone else, I don’t see Liverpool agreeing to a format that will see their title bid depending on three high-stake games (two of which are against their rivals Everton and City who probably would rather they don’t win the league). And why Crystal Palace would risk their players’ and staff’s health just to come back and play one game – which is inconsequential to them – just so Liverpool could win the league is beyond me.

But more crucially, the ideas have a major flaw that makes it baffling that you even entertained it as a possibility. It won’t happen for the same reason the Premier League are desperate to complete the season in the midst of a global pandemic: MONEY

It has been reported that even if the league resumes and is played in full behind closed doors, the league still stand to lose £300+ million because the ‘product’ would be significantly different from what Sky and other broadcasters paid for. I would imagine that the loss would be a lot more if the entire format is adjusted to reduce 92 games to 11 or even 50.

Rather than getting insane with crazy ideas, why don’t we leave it to those who actually have a say in the matter to conclude their plans and in the meantime you can occupy yourself with highlights or fantasy XIs if you’re bored.
AY (just trying to help)


Happy birthday, Admiral kit…
Into my eight week of lockdown and as usual I start my day reading the football news or the lack thereof.

Fun fact, I read with interest that it was forty years ago today that England debuted the best Admiral kit of all time, in my opinion both home and away (You know the ones with the shoulder accents and stripes) against an Argentinian side featuring a young Maradona at Wembley.

We won 3-1, Keegan captained the side.

Anyway, this then lead me to reminisce about Spain 82 and my first real understanding of a major tournament and my love of the England kits, the game and all it’s facts.

So, as usual I start surfing the net looking at the 82 squads, stats and pics/clips of some of the games comparing it to what memories I recall leading me to my further discoveries which, for me turned into “Fun facts” of the day.

Apart from the very good squad we had, to this day I didn’t realise that there were two different red away kits used by England, one had one white and blue stripe at the base of the”V” neck but against West Germany there were two white stripes with blue sandwiched between at the base of the “V” neck.

TWO different away kits for one tournament !!!

AND, after studying various pictures of the West German match there”s a picture of Terry Butcher and Paul Mariner in shot each wearing a different one during the game even though they both had the same shirt on in the team picture prior to kick off.

I tried explaining my revelations to the wife about my interesting factoids but she was completely non plussed at any of the facts or my appreciation of kit design.
But at the end of the day, both are still fantastic kits though, so Happy Fortieth Birthday England’s Admiral kits, a truly wonderful icon of a football shirt.

Well, I found it all very fascinating but maybe lockdown and the lack of footie based conversation in the pub has finally got to me………

Take care All.
Glen, Reading FC, Mevagissey Cornwall


Gerrard’s slip
Jesus wept, Liverpool fans are a funny bunch aren’t they?

So it was a good thing that one of the greatest players to ever play for your club, a player who had come through the ranks and carried pretty mediocre teams (by Liverpool standards, and I appreciate there were also some excellent sides in there) on and off for about 10 seasons slipped at a crucial moment? The knock on effect of this being that you didn’t win the league and he actually retired before you came close again. I mean… I don’t like Gerrard, but with time making it (ever so slightly) less funny to me, even I feel bad for him.

I also can’t get behind the idea that Klopp would have come to United. I’m firmly in the camp that he gets a lot of leeway just by occasionally swearing in interviews, but the man is a top level coach. However, he isn’t really in the business of going to the biggest and best teams in the league. Now United at the time definitely weren’t the best, and I don’t want to open a tiresome debate about who’s got the biggest willy, so I will just say that we were still a behemoth in terms of income, fans, global appeal and brand (*shudders as I type that*). Same with Real Madrid, while him going to Bayern just doesn’t seem possible given his Dortmund connection. I think he basically said that Liverpool were his ideal team to go and manage (vaguely remember something on F365 about this).

You have an incredible team at the minute, no need to try and make up positives.
Jack (If I have to do another social drinks or quiz on Skype with work I might literally murder them all) Manchester


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