Mails: Only Pep and Klopp let big name managers down

Matt Stead

Send your probably angry thoughts to the


Oh yes
And that, ladies and gentlemen was the true send off that John Terry deserved.
David (Gooner from Nairobi, Kenya)


Given  that was John Terry’s last appearance in a Chelsea squad, may I just say ah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!
Graham Simons, Gooner, Norf London


Don’t worry, we ignored all of them
Please, I’m begging you MC, if this tedious debate now moves on to who’s had the better season, Spurs or Arsenal, i’m going to gladly throw myself off a bridge.
TGWolf(just enjoy your own success, stop pissing on the chips of others)THFC


Love Arsenal, hate the fans
What a great way to wake up.

As an Arsenal supporter yesterday’s final was as good as 1979. I can’t remember the last time my stomach ached with tension for a whole game.

Thrilled with it and yet today scanning press, blogs, comments and picking up on Arsene saying he will never forgive some Arsenal fans for how he has been treated. And he is right to feel that way. Supporting Arsenal has been a big part of my life, when Fever Pitch came out some mates seriously thought it must have been based on me!

I have a feeling of love for the club as ever but don’t feel Arsenal followers deserve Wenger or Ramsey, I almost want Arsene to leave because I feel he is too good for what football or maybe just Arsenal has become. Without the internet there would be no Wengerout campaign, just as there would have been no Brexit and no Trump. Arsenal fans whether they can see it or not are fickle and spoiled. I am so sick of the criticism of a massively talented and successful manager ( his being such an impressive and decent person is a bonus) that I might well call it a day supporting Arsenal when he goes. 3 FA cups in 4 years is somehow a failure? I think the club and game has become something I don’t quite recognise anymore.

Wallowing in the FA cup glow today but well aware that tomorrow the Wengerout campaign will resume. It may be polite and come with excellent grammar but it’s from people who know little about football and yet hold real power because of blogs/ twitter etc. Left alone and supported Wenger would bring more success and hand over when the time was right. It’s more likely the pressure form the smaller but louder Wengerout mob will get their wish, if nothing else because of Wenger’s age. I believe history will show that his reign was Arsenal’s peak as a club and what follows will be inevitable decline.

Love Arsenal, hate the fans.
Rich Vernon


Happy for Wenger, but…
As much as I would like to see changes at Arsenal, I agree with Arsene that the way he has been treated this season, mainly in the press, has been disgraceful.

So I’m happy for him that he won a trophy and got a record that will take a long time to beat – if ever.

It was funny watching some of the coverage on BT Sport saying yes, the FA Cup is great and all that ( I guess they have to say that contractually) but he didn’t get in the top four. However whenever we did get in the top 4 and don’t win a trophy, he was mocked for saying it was as good as a trophy. Hypocrisy in the mainstream press? Well I never.

So to summarise, I’m over the moon to win a trophy but the Wenger situation has left me confused. I want change at the club, but the way people have gone about​ demanding it has made me want to distance myself from them as much as possible.
Adonis (FA Cup Winner) Stevenson, AFC


More conclusions
*I wish I was a neutral watching that as it was a fantastic game of football. After scoring so early and missing so many chances, I was fully expecting peak Arsenal…

*What we got instead was Per, Holding and Monreal who were absolutely immense. The beauty of a back 3 is you can make up for deficiencies in other players. I said before the game that all 3 were extremely good at what they do and complemented each other’s faults. Per especially brought an ability to read the game you don’t lose, no matter how few games you play.

*Every player played brilliantly as well. Sanchez pressured and created, Ozil dropped and became a more fluid transition forward, Welbeck held up the ball well and make good runs, which made space for Ramsey who kept finding lovely little pockets of space, Ox and Bellerin were disciplined and managed to get forward and Ospina had a good game in goal as well

*I wanted to particularly pick out Xhaka. He has slowly but surely as the season wore on become a very good CM. We all knew he could pass and he proved that often. What he showed yesterday was a level of game management which we haven’t seen as well as a composure and strength on the ball. Many times he got into a sticky situation and simply came away with the ball. This is the magic Cazorla brings into our midfield so hopefully this becomes the norm and if it does, he could be one of the best CMs in the league

*The referee in general had a good game and made some big calls. Yes it was a handball, yes it was a dive. Ultimately I don’t think anyone will say Arsenal didn’t deserve their win so I don’t think the referee can be blamed.

*What we can ask is why Chelsea weren’t at the races. I think ultimately the League is the bigger prize and they just weren’t as up for it as they have been all season. Still i expected to get hammered and was disappointed that the usual Chelsea team didn’t turn up

*I think a part of this was the aggression shown by Arsenal. The first 10-20 minutes were frantic, Arsenal not giving Chelsea any time. They never got into any rhythm and it showed. This is partly Arsenes game play, partly the wonder that is Sanchez.

*Watching Holding bully Costa made my day even sweeter

*3 FA Cups now to fill up the trophy cabinet. Are they the biggest prizes? No but they are impressive trophies to win so consistently. Still a fairly disappointing season without top 4 but you can see what winning trophies means to the players and the fans.

*Which brings me to Ozil and Sanchez. If I was looking at the last 10 or so games, i can see a shining light at Arsenal. The new formation has brought a breath of fresh air, we are winning trophies even if they aren’t THE trophies. It also brings the best from the players, especially Ramsey. But we aren’t competing for Champions League. It’s a tough decision for them to make. I would sign new contracts with very reasonable release clauses if we don’t finish top 4 and they get the best of both options. But sadly it’s not up to me.

*And so finally Wenger. If we had lost, he simply would have had to go. The toxicity at the Emirates would have been unbearable. However, with the trophy, a new formation that is working and seemingly players who really do want to play for him (look at the players celebrating with him after final whistle), it makes being Wenger in/out a lot harder. Especially if its true that Sanchez and Ozil want to stay if he stays. Wenger still clearly attracts players to the club and remains a legendary manager, even if he is no longer the best out there. If we cant guarantee a top top tier replacement, I don’t see how we can let him go now… And I was Wenger out until that performance…

*Having said that I did send a mail in saying the best way to leave would be with a record breaking FA Cup win…
Rob A (in out, shake it all about) AFC


Arsene Wenger has now won three trophies in the last four years (five if you count the way José does). Why don’t we just call him a great cup manager and leave it at that? Certainly Arsenal had a sense of the occasion right from the kickoff, and not once did it seem they were flagging, or ready to sit on their lead.

In fact, most of the team played so well that there was no man-of-the-match level standout. A reasonable choice would have been Diego Costa, who made Rob Holding look like the youngster he is, and by the end was trying to drag Chelsea into the match by himself. No idea why Conte took him out for the final few minutes.

As for the handball, yes, by any reasonable standard–which these days doesn’t necessarily mean it would have been called. But Arsenal were more than worthy winners.

A special tip of the hat to the television crew, who delivered two of the best moments of the match. First was when the cameras caught Antonio Conte actually saying “Mamma Mia!” when David Ospina saved from Diego Costa. Second was the shot of Stan Kroenke in the VIP box, looking for all the world like Arthur Daley in his dotage. Nice little earner, this Premier League.
Peter G, Pennsylvania, USA


Only Pep and Klopp let the big name managers down
Oh balls, not another player you’ve written off as rubbish actually delivering on the pitch? Good on Ramsey, though; the lad is absolute talent as he showed last summer for Wales. Why that doesn’t happen as much during normal league games is a fair question but it’s not his lack of ability and never was. He really needs to be utilised better. I’d have him at United in a heartbeat.

And good on Wenger who has received quite ridiculous abuse this season for finally not being able to stem the financial muscle of the heavyweights and this years unlikely form team (there’s always one).

By my book that makes him the third most successful manager in England this year, behind Conte and the hateful Jose. Not bad for a manager who apparently deserves to be moved on.

Only Pep and Klopp letting the big name managers down this year. Still, there’s always next year.

This season to forget is turning out to be quite memorable after all!
Guy S


Well played, Anthony Taylor
Let’s not gloss over this. Use it as a cautionary tale for all our kids.

Moses decided to cheat. He took the easy way out. He chose to dive. He cost Chelsea the cup.

Wouldn’t it be great to see diving eradicated from the game? Take a bow, Mr Taylor.
Nicola, London


Warning signs for Conte and Chelsea
This isn’t supposed to be a melodramatic reactionary mail as a result of yesterday’s FA Cup final, but I do think Chelsea fans should heed it as the bad omen it could be for their CL campaign next season.

Back in 2012/13, my friend who’s an ardent Juventus fan would vent his frustrations with Conte on an almost weekly basis, lamenting the now revered 3-5-2 formation as ‘not practical for Europe’. I was also given insight from the Juve fans’ perspective that Conte is a very good league manager, but seems to be unstuck in Europe and knockout football in general, as his formation and style of play prioritises defence over attack (something which Mourinho was beaten down by the media when he said the same a few weeks ago). Great defence is vital for winning a league, not so much a cup competition.

I can also clearly recall my friend’s frustrations with Conte’s refusal to rest or rotate vital players in league games, which definitely helped Juve in their infamous group stage exit to Galatasary. In two seasons of Champions League football, his win-draw-loss record was 6-6-5. He has won just one of his last eight Champions League games. For a team that boasted the best backline in football (the same backline that has only conceded two goals in all knockout ties to the final) and a world-class midfield comprised of Andrea Pirlo, Arturo Vidal and Paul Pogba, clearly Conte was doing something wrong. The proof is in their run to the final under Allegri in 2015.

Conte did win Serie A unbeaten, and took Juve to 49 games unbeaten in the league (over two seasons), but perhaps his unwillingness to compromise points and rotate players for an increased chance of CL progression was poor management.

As for my team, Arsenal, I am so unbelievably worried about next season I’ll save that for another mail on another day.



More thoughts from the Blues
Well done Arsenal. Outstanding across the park. Well deserved.

They had a dose of fortune with the handballed first goal, but considering one of our players tried to cheat his way to a penalty on one of the biggest stages, I’m not going to complain about luck or refs.

Still very happy with our season – if there are Chelsea fans who wouldn’t have taken this back in September they need their heads looking at.

However, when you suddenly nab a Genius manager, run away with the league & start to look forward to a much more difficult season, your standards rise a fair bit. Hence why some of the following might seem harsh:

Courtois, Azpilicueta*, Luiz: Keep, 1st XI.

Cahill: Replace at all costs. We need a world class centre back, it’s that simple. Good enough squad player if he wants to stay.

Alonso & Moses: Quality all season, huge fan favourites, but here’s the harsh bit – they aren’t big game players, and they proved it emphatically today. If they’re in our starting XI next year I wouldn’t panic (they aren’t Cahill), but I’d be a tad nervy. Keep in the squad as they’re great on their day, and we’ll need the strength in depth.

Kante* – obviously we’ll keep the best defender (Azpilicueta) & best midfielder in the league, but just a quick mention on how immense these two were today. If it wasn’t for their incredible pace & stamina today we could have been humiliated after going down to 10 men. They covered so much ground.

Matic: Hoo boy. I agree with the 365 consensus that he was incredible during his first 12 months, but something happened towards the end of Mourinho’s title winning season & he’s never been the same again. An infuriating player – so much talent, intelligence & physical prowess, but the mental fortitude of a hamster. He was absolutely abysmal today, as he’s been in too many big games. Considering we’re buying a world class centre mid (Bakayouke? hopefully Verratti?), and Chalobah already looks more composed, I’d take whatever money we can get for him.

Fabregas: Conte described him as ‘Our Pirlo’ a few weeks ago, which got me very excited. If we play the old Juve way with Fab=Pirlo, Kante & Bakayouke = Vidal & Marchisio that’d mean sacrificing a winger/attacker, but even if we keep 3 up front Fab will still see a hell of a lot of game time next year. He’s been wonderful whenever called upon.

Pedro/Willian – brilliant options. They’ll get a lot of game time regardless of what formation we play.

Hazard – terribly disappointing today, but I have faith that he might just be a bit of a slow-burner. He’s not yet found that extra strength to grab the game by the scruff when we’ve got our backs to the wall, but I think it’ll come.

Costa – His goals have won more points than any other PL player this year, but for the last three months he’s been utter dogsh*t. I wouldn’t mind a goal drought if his link up play was still good, but he constantly runs into dead ends, and most of the time the ball just bounces off him. If we get good money, sell. I’d rather a hungry Lukaku than an on-off Costa.

In all honesty, today was horrible but it might serve as a huge kick up the arse in the long run, to Roman in the transfer market & the players in the big CL season ahead. Feeling good about next year with the best manager in the land.

And here’s to another season of Arsene eh?
Ollie, Chelsea


Interfering with play
The interfering with play element of the offside rule must be one of the most ridiculous and misapplied laws of the game. Initially introduced I’m sure to prevent the game being stopped for a player in an offside position on the other side of the pitch, Arsenal’s first goal in the final shows how crazy it is.

In essence the way this played out means that the referee is expecting the goalkeeper to do the job of linesman as well as stopping shots. The way a goalkeeper positions himself is vastly different between a one-on-one and a one-on-two in the box. Courtois clearly hesitated as the ball came through, trying to cover both a shot from Sanchez or a square ball to Ramsey. In this scenario you’d expect the attacking team to score 9 times out of 10. Take Ramsey out of the goalkeepers thinking, he rushes Sanchez and I would say maybe reduces the odds of a goal to 7 out of 10.

Clearly a goal is likely in both scenarios but at the top level of the game the variance in my approximate odds can have huge knock on consequences. I don’t see how we can ever expect a goalkeeper to be able to do his own job as well as monitoring the attackers in his proximity and any defender who may be playing him onside, from a position out of line with said players.

Well done to Arsenal though, even as a Spurs fan it was an enjoyable performance to watch.
Dave T, Spurs


A good cause
As you may or may not be aware, there is a FA endorsed initiative for men of a more solid stature (such as myself) known as Man V Fat Football.  It’s essentially a set of leagues around the country for the larger gentleman that provides a safe place for us to come and attempt to play football, lose some weight and have some fun.

We’ve just finished up the first season in Manchester and collectively we’ve lost over 100 stone between us, which is no mean feat.  However, the reason for writing is to ask for the good folk of the Mailbox to help us out with a fundraising effort we have set up following Monday’s tragic events in Manchester. Some of our lads have been affected directly but we all hurt and so we want to do our bit to help our city.

Between us we are organising a 24 hour football match, to take place on 1st July in Manchester with all proceeds going to the British Red Cross Society and it would be great if anyone can contribute to the effort, whether it’s donating via our Just Giving page ( ) or by getting involved just by spreading the word or even coming and contributing on the pitch – there’s plenty of us but it’s worth remembering we’re not all THAT fit!

Anyone wanting to get more info / interesting in playing should ping an e-mail to

Mike HL