Mails: F*** off you negative nellies

Date published: Monday 7th December 2015 3:58

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F*** off Liverpool fans, writes Liverpool fan
F**k you Martin Jackson, f**k you Mike Woolrich, f**k you Nick V, f**k you Tommi LFC.

Don’t tell me not to get excited for a title challenge because we lost away to Newcastle in a weekend where almost every team above us dropped points. Jordan Henderson, Phillipe Coutinho and Emre Can didn’t play, while Adam Lallana (who is in fantastic form at the moment) was rested. Not to mention the January window is almost upon us.

Surprisingly the Newcastle result doesn’t change the fact that we have a favourable fixture list through the new year and to the end of the season.

No, I think that I’ll still be shouting about a title challenge because we are only nine points off Leicester, seven points off second-place Arsenal and six points off top four. IT’S ONLY DECEMBER!

Just as following my silly superstitions before each game doesn’t have an impact on the final result, talking about a title challenge isn’t going to scupper it.

If you are upset about the result get a tissue and a beer. Don’t bring your bad juju and negative nelly attitude to the mailbox.
Brian (Don’t really mind looking silly if we have to settle for fourth place) LFC


…One admittedly embarrassing loss and Liverpool fans are all already getting stuck in to the multi paragraph emails about not capitalising on others results (how quickly we’ve forgotten last weekend when all the teams around us drew) and bemoaning the team selection.

Klopp’s only been here a matter of months. He maybe got it wrong, he is only human! Nothing wrong with managing our expectations a little bit surely?
Rebecca (LFC)


Stop with the bloody moaning
At the moment Leicester fans seem to be the only ones emerging with any credit – happy to enjoy the ride while it lasts as the top of the league.

Arsenal fans are moaning about injuries while United fans are moaning about being bored to death and then there’s Chelsea fans moaning while still convinced that relegation could never happen to them. And then there were the Liverpool fans who were convinced they were going to win the league.

I hate to burst the bubble of these these fans but Arsenal and United are two and three points off top spot and really should get a bloody grip, Chelsea just lost at home to a team that hadn’t managed an away goal in the league this season and have a worse injury crisis than Arsenal and while I do see the genius of Klopp, Liverpool are at least a season off mounting as serious title challenge.

Can everyone please get some perspective?!!!

RIP Ernie Crouch.
Graham Simons, Gooner, Norf London


A weekend for the whingers and the love-a-thoners
Reading F365 this morning, I realized that this weekend was clearly a simultaneous victory for two apparently opposing forces.

The whingers:

Lovely to see LFC represented by some grounded, reasonably thinking contributors who are happy to embrace fallibility and progress. Then we get the inevitable Mintys and Ted, Manchesters. To the Mint’ys (and not just of LFC, any club): you’re right, it was a bad game in which the plan failed to materialize. And that’s partly on the manager. That’s not an excuse to turn one game lost out of – how many is it now, two in a dozen, after giving MCFC an utter shellacking? – into a metanarrative about ‘something strange that comes over Liverpool’.

See below, but guess what: it might not just be about you. It might be that this is a season where everyone can take points off everyone, and the champions find themselves at the wrong end of the table having just lost to a team in relegation mode, and even Steve McClaren can engineer the odd win. And to the Teds: again, you’re right, the Van Gaal comment about a world-class striker was ridiculous, one who could move AND finish would do. That said, “we were crying out for attacking and defensive reinforcements” tracks almost, well, not at all onto what MUFC whingers had been saying for the last, oh, say, four transfer windows (I don’t count January, let’s be honest with ourselves). No, that is not what you were crying out for. You were baying for midfield reinforcements and bemoaning their absence (probably rightly, but g*d how many times was that drum beaten), particularly some holding midfield class to link the back to what should be a pretty outstanding set of front options, bar…well we all know who ends that sentence.

Complain about the lack of quality in the last shot…but don’t pretend it’s that van Gaal hasn’t reinforced the obvious areas of weakness. Five years ago, even Ferguson was being slated for not reinforcing the midfield, let alone Moyes…now you’re going to slate van Gaal for reinforcing the midfield, at the expense of…oh wait, he also made new signings on every position of the pitch? Damn, there’s that then.

The love-a-thoners:

Of all the people I expected to wake up to sunning himself in shorts and rose-tinted glasses on my back porch in December, I can’t say Johnny was anywhere on the list (it is a list). That’s not fair…the whole piece was exactly how I’ve been feeling, loving a season of turmoil with a newly promoted team absolutely legitimately top halfway through the season, everyone taking points of everyone, no game guaranteed. Absolutely spot on. Until it hit that part about Big Money. So, bearing in mind that this is a small bone in a very nice piece of fish: don’t be that naive about what’s good for the gravy train. ou really think the PL sponsors don’t love having a ‘minnow’ showing up the big boys playing sexy football? That it’s bad for the titanic revenue streams of Arsenal, Liverpool, the Manchesters to have a season of unpredictability and discontent (if that were true, Arsenal would have folded a decade ago)?

Yes, it looks like this is the byproduct of restoring an iota of parity, and here’s to hoping that is the longer trend. But it is just as easily, and probably more likely the opposite: the PL brand grows for its ‘unpredictability’ and broader ‘product’ base (unlike those static fureign leagues, with their Barcas/Reals and Bayerns), and the money still concentrates in the places with the infrastructure already in place to profit most. When a new team outside the top four qualifies for Europe each year for a few years in a row, then I’ll embrace that change has come. For now, it looks a lot like a patina of grace on the same old glass ceiling.

PS. Lest I be a total grumps, nothing has made me miss home like #YouAintNoMuslimBruv. Try finding that sentiment @DonaldTrump…
Iain CUFC, Seattle


Thoughts from the weekend
1. If Stoke continue to perform like they did at the weekend then we’re going to have to find a new city/team for the expression ‘Yeah but could they do it on a cold Tuesday night in Stoke.

2. Is peak Arsenal now a phenomenon that has become contagious to other perennial top-four challengers?

3. Mark Lawrence – Buy a bigger shirt.

4. Michael Owen – ‘If you don’t score goals, you’re not going to win games’. This man is a guru.

5. Liverpool fans – Don’t write into the mailbox gloating at others’ results before your team play on the Sunday.

6. Chelsea – Stay as you are…never change.
Morgan Emmett, AFC


Losing love for the Ox
Just wanted to touch more on the point made in W&L regarding Oxlade-Chamberlain. I’m becoming more and more disappointed with him with each performance, and I’m starting to worry that he won’t recover from his current level of play.

It was exactly right that this was his big chance in the Arsenal team, and if he’s ever going to truly break in, he needs to nail down a specific place. But on Saturday he was truly awful. He started left, switched to the right, and in both positions Joel Campbell looked more effective before and after him. That’s a problem, because Campbell – bless him – seems pretty limited.

Chamberlain’s biggest enemy is time. When he receives the ball and has a few seconds to think, he consistently makes the wrong decision. His crossing is bad and his shots ‘just’ go over or wide – never in!! He’s definitely an instinct player, who thrives when he can run into space or make a quick pass or contribution. Basically, he’s a last five minutes guy- handy to have when we need to inject pace to salvage a point or win the game.

I thought he’d kick on after a superb goal in the Community Shield but it hasn’t happened once again, and injury is only slightly to blame this time. I think he’s the kind of player Brenda would’ve bought for £20m for Liverpool and we wouldn’t have missed him.

He absolutely must step up when he gets chances over the Xmas period. The thinness of our squad ensures he’ll get them, but it’s time to start taking them.
Joe, AFC, East Sussex


Why didn’t Man United strengthen?
Could only just about agree with Ted, Manchester more. When your players are getting injured at this rate, you have to start wondering what is going on. It only takes a couple of injuries in a department to put you in a bad state, but we’re suffering nearly everywhere.

Up front we’re light of a true finisher (Martial will be, but I’m not convinced he’s there yet) and we don’t even play two there most of the time. In defence, we’re light of a second regular fixture in the centre and are still refusing to play our true right-back.

But this isn’t just obstinacy or stupidity from the manager. We play a controlling midfield to protect the weak defence, meaning we don’t have the firepower or creativity. Herrera isn’t playing because we can’t play him and Mata and Depay because then we’re risking too much possession and exposing the defence. Schweinsteiger offers more strength and a cooler head.

The truth is that with our full-strength defence (Shaw, Jones, Smalling, <whoever wins the right back lottery>) we can play just Schneiderlin to cover, and then bring in Herrera and Mata to create chances for Rooney, Depay and Martial across the front. But the questions must remain: why didn’t we do more to strengthen the centre so Blind could play left or cover Schneiderlin if needed; and why didn’t we add more firepower to support Rooney?

We are still close, but I would far rather expose the defence to the challenge and attack than see us scrapping for a single goal.
Guy S (trying to keep the faith)


Be thankful for what you’ve got…
I think Man Utd fans should be grateful with their new defensive approach.

Only two years ago at this exact time, United fans were calling for Moyes’ blood as they’d conceded 19 goals after 15 games and were sitting in ninth, 13 points off the top.

van Gaal has come in and managed to build a team, with a defence still containing Jones and Smalling, and led them to fourth, three points off the top, with only 10 goals conceded in 15 games. This includes six consecutive home clean sheets. A remarkable achievement.
Andrei, Newcastle


McClaren as Brent?
Great result yesterday for Newcastle, but, result and performance aside, the final whistle left me wondering something. Is Steve McClaren the David Brent of football? When he celebrates goals, he seems to celebrate them alone, looking for people to hug but not really getting any willing takers. At the end of the game he goes onto the pitch to celebrate with his players, shouts out the nicknames that he’s heard them call each other in training, goes for a high five and a hug but the player sort of slaps his hand out of necessity and promptly walks away…

The ‘Schteve’ thing is obviously well documented, and I might be covering familiar ground here, but it does make a lot of sense to imagine that the Newcastle dressing room and training ground are just like an episode of The Office. For example, he must have organised a squad pub quiz that only Jack Colback turned up to. I can see him hearing hip-hop music from the other side of the canteen, approaching Wijnaldum, Perez and Thauvin to ask them what they’re listening to, then throwing out some NWA lyrics and a crotch grab amid vacant, disbelieving stares. I could believe that Mitrovic generally gets in the team on the strength of his ability to chuck a kettle over the club house.

If anyone connected with Newcastle is reading this and can confirm, I will open a Kickstarter to fund a documentary crew to get down there asap (before he gets sacked and starts living in his car)
Mike, Edinburgh


Tottenham are not faders
Oh James, Gooner, why did you have to spoil an objective piece, by finishing on a point that just isn’t true?

Spurs and Southampton were the only sides where you could say both played a high-press for the whole of 2014/15. Neither faded. Southampton had their best-ever finish, Spurs finished 5th. The fact that we didn’t make 4th had more to do with the inexperience of our young side, rather than fading. This Spurs side is generally acknowledged as the fittest in the league. Unlike you, I don’t see a fade for us. Remember, this is a side that has been built to play this way, unlike Liverpool who want to play this way, but don’t have the right players. I expect the opposite. I expect the rest to fade.

I don’t expect us to win the league, I expect you to do that. I think Leicester will fade and it will be between you and City.
Zaren, Spurs, Berlin


Predicting the unpredictable
Another enjoyable article from Johnny to ease myself into the week. However, I’m afraid I have a small bone to pick regarding his impression that every outcome of every game is in doubt.

Based on a stat from another article in this morning news section, I can safely say that Manchester United have a one in four chance of drawing 0-0. On closer inspection at the various opposition (Newsastle, City, ‘Boro, Palace, PSV and West Ham), these draws bear no relation to the opponents’ league position or perceived quality.

Possibly worth a €5 flutter every game between now and the end of the season?
Conor, (Watch out Degsy) Drogheda


A couple of people spotted this…
‘N’golo Kante has been the signing of the season so far. He will never appear on MOTD and won’t win any player of the month awards.’

Did I imagine the piece Danny Murphy did, specifically pinpointing N’golo Kante as the lynchpin of the team? I believe he called him “phenomenal” and “the perfect midfielder”. Nah, he’d never get a mention.
Jasper, Switzerland


Better off alone
The Premier League: didn’t fancy her anyway.
Neil Raines AVFC

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