Mails: Is Stones any better than Sterling?

Date published: Thursday 10th September 2015 1:10

Why are John Stones and Raheem Sterling treated differently after their summer escapades? The Mailbox also features more on Wayne Rooney, Neymar, European minnows and a curse placed by Tim Sherwood.


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Sterling vs. Stones
I have found the whole story and comparison of the Sterling and Stones transfer saga quite interesting.

Player 1: Refuses to sign a contract extension. Is labelled a greedy, ungrateful git and then vilified for defending himself. Does not at any time, ask for a transfer.
Reaction: Anger, called all sorts and supporters are mad.

Player 2: A big club shows interest, his own club refuse big offers and he knows the only way to force a move is to hand in a transfer request – this happens right on cue.
Reaction: Own club fans – no real reaction, no anger. Press: defend the player. Club: “He didn’t mean to ask for a transfer” – What the F***?
MEM (Veria), London Gunner


Is There No Middle Ground?
The Rooney England debate has made me think (which is rare) – why do we only seem to judge a player as being either fantastic totes amaze balls, or really quite panty pants.  Why can’t a player just be ‘quite good’.  To me, Rooney gets overly criticised, his achievement for England isn’t incredible (nor is he an incredible player).  Nor is his achievement ‘nothing in comparison’ to Lineker’s or Charlton’s.  No, what Wazza has achieved is somewhere in the middle to upper quadrant (that sounded good in my mind).

We (media and fans included) seem to be obsessed with extremes.  Of course, headlines such as ‘Rooney scores good penalty to impressively become England’s leading goalscorer – something he should have done sooner given the opponents – despite not scoring many goals in tournament finals unlike Linker’ wouldn’t make a good headline.  But its true.

Instead, can’t we just agree that Rooney has achieved something pretty impressive, not truly special, but a long way away from nothing also.
Hugo (gooner, sort of defending Rooney, ergo needs a shower).


Sh*t But Loving It World Cup
Enjoyed Nick Miller’s piece on San Marino’s goal and participation of the smaller nations. They have a right to be there. They are unlikely to every qualify for a competition and may never win a game but moments like that goal will make it all worthwhile. If their unbridled joy at the goal didn’t raise a smile, you are following football for the wrong reasons.

What I have never understood is the insistence that they either have their own tournament or compete in qualification rounds. Why not both? Take the bottom 8/16/32 teams and every couple of years host a tournament somewhere for them. The ‘Sh*t but loving it’ World Cup. They get to play teams at their level, score a few, win a few. Who knows, maybe it will improve some of the teams sufficiently so that they can actually have an impact in the qualification games rather than being whipping boys.
I’d watch it.
Kev (As a terrible footballer, I have an affinity with them)


Nick Miller’s piece this morning about the continual (and rightful) inclusion of so called ‘minnows’ in qualifying tournaments was interesting and apt.

This discussion has been going on for some time of course, but I happened to be thinking about it over the last couple of days and I think there is a perfect compromise – one that has no doubt been mentioned before but sod it.

Instead of excluding these countries altogether, would it not be beneficial for the likes of San Marino, Gibraltar, Andorra et al to all go in one group? The winner of that group could then go on to a play-off with the best third placed team or whoever the lowest rank ‘qualifier’ was (who they play in the play-off isn’t the issue).

Nick Miller states that teams aren’t bad forever, but losing 8-1, 13-0 etc isn’t going to help these teams to improve anytime soon. Playing teams of a similar ability or slightly better is. With the very real prospect of a play-off and even potential qualification, wouldn’t this give the players of the minnows an extra motivation? Not only that, they’re still involved in the competition regardless of results, and the likelihood of hammerings is diminished greatly

No doubt, there would still be a hierarchy within this group but over time, if there was one team winning it every single year, they could be moved up in to the main qualifying groups to test themselves further. I am in no way a football snob and enjoy watching every level but the clear and amazing gulf in class surely cannot be benefiting anybody?
James (would San Marino swap a trip to Wembley for a few more goals and even a point or two though?) Kent.


Neymar: Enjoy Him While You Can
While not disagreeing with KC about Neymar having a great international career so far and the possibility of an even better one please refer to the career trajectories of 2 other Brazilians who were thought of in a similar vein.

Ronaldo & Ronaldinho. Both moved to Europe at a young age. Both played for some of the biggest clubs in Europe. Both won a massive amount of individual and team honors with club and country. Both started to party….HARD. Both got fat. Both moved back to Brazil aged around 32. Both had a slight bit of a resurgence in Brazil in the twilight of their careers.

While both had amazing international and club careers and are right up there with the best of the last 50 years it could be said they never fully fulfilled their potential given their luck with injuries, their fondness for the odd nightclub and chomping down on the odd burger or seven….

So personally I’m expecting Neymar to win the world player of the year in 2016, to hit the Copacabana hard in the summer of 2017 and come back to pre-season with the belly of a Buddha and miss out on the Brazil squad for the 2018 World Cup.



Thayden’s Fan Club
If you rearrange the letters of ‘Thayden is angry‘, you get ‘Hi! Steady, Granny!’… Maybe a clue as to who would be defending Rooney so vehemently?

Seriously though, that was an astounding amount of anger from someone complaining about ‘overblown anger’. The fact is, people like thayden don’t like the modern analysis of football in social media because it provides uncomfortable truths that don’t fit in with people’s confirmation bias, and the fact is that you encounter these views whether you want to or not, simply by staring into the bubbling pool that is the internet.

Rooney is past it. That’s pretty close to being a fact, because there’s statistics to back it up. Over 900 minutes without a PL goal, 1 away goal all last season, players like RVP and Carroll having a higher goals per game return? Two penalties don’t mark a return to form, and his return so far in the Premier League is nothing short of shocking, considering that he’s considered as United’s lead striker.

Yes he’s done very well to reach 50 goals and that won’t be taken from him for some time, but if you’re trying to suggest anyone who criticises him is some sort of football hipster, then you’re no better than the Twitter outrage merchants you’re trying to have a pop at.

Incidentally, bringing up people drawing focus to that photo of the dead refugee child? Yeah, how ridiculous of them, total bandwagon jumping. Wind your neck in.
Joe, EFC


Thayden, you’re doing exactly what you’re criticising other people for but just the other way round mate.

Secondly, also, I think that it’s not that everyone is jealous of Wayne Rooney, just that they don’t like him for a variety of reasons.

Thirdly, Wayne has had the opportunity to score that amount of goals for England because there’s been no other quality striker that the manager has wanted to rotate him with for a large chunk of the time so he’s had a lot of playing minutes when he clearly shouldn’t have been in the team on occasion but the manager thought that if he could hit a vein of impressive form al la 2004 then he’s the best striker available.

Fourthly, if Darren Bent, or similar, had been the best available striker for England, playing in a system designed to get the best out of him, then he too would have had a decent goal tally against some of the world’s lesser lights or probably any other Premier League quality England striker for that matter.

Fifthly, well done Wayne.

Sixthly, Thayden and Wayne sitting in a tree…
Cliff, AFC


I’m wondering if Thayden stepped in dog poo on his way home or something. Either that or he got lost on his way to the Daily Mail comments section…
Rob, London.


I think Spurs’ transfer window dealings and start to the season has finally got to thayden.
Adonis Stevenson, AFC


thayden: “You’re all a miserable bunch of c**ts.”

You are my goddamn hero.
DS United (balls the size of Utah)


Red Cards For Feigning Injury
I notice that Welling player Sahr Kabba is the first to get a ban for getting another player sent off by feigning injury. This was done during Richie Sutton’s appeal of his red-card for the incident.

My question is; why was Danny Ings not given a ban during Mark Noble’s appeal? Ings rolls around on the ground, when Noble clearly has not touched him. The fact that that Noble’s red-card was rescinded, proves this. Why was the next step not then taken to give Ings a ban? Is this new law going to be one where big clubs get off and small clubs get screwed?
Hamish Drake


Tim The Witch
Just seen Tom Cleverley is out for a few weeks with an ankle injury. Fabian Delph is injured for the second time since he joined Man City after pulling a muscle after 9 seconds the other night.. Ron Vlaar ended his contract and then discovered he’d be out for many months. Christian Benteke and Andreas Weimann have hardly set the world on fire at Liverpool and Derby, respectively.

Has Tactics Tim been experimenting with witchcraft?
Jonty, London Villa


Ahh, Site Redesigns (Should There Be A ‘H’ In There Somewhere?)
Ooooh, get you and your fancy new site………
Harry The Manc.


Why? Just why?

Nikolai Viedge

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