Mails: Over to you, Ed. What you gonna do?

Date published: Tuesday 2nd February 2016 11:00

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This is going to hurt…
If Man Utd fans are seething now what will they like when CIty sign Pogba to replace the outgoing Yaya?
Rich, Bethnal Green


City better than United at everything but making money…
So, there it is. What everyone knew and expected would happen has happened – Pep will move to Manchester City. For what it’s worth, I by no means think he’ll be a guaranteed success and we’ve seen plenty of Champions League and World Cup winning managers make a complete mess of it.

But that’s probably just the bitterness speaking – he’s going to be good, isn’t he? At least under Mancini, Man City were completely unhinged, which added a bit of a counter weight to all the money. Now they’re going to drift in to a decade of good natured domination.

I really hope that this will help Manchester United avoid what I call ‘a Liverpool situation’ – desperately clinging on to a sense that we are someone how special or entitled to win trophies and that we’re one of ‘England’s great clubs’ that everyone is willing to get back to the summit.

We’re not, and they’re not.

The best manager around had his pick, and he chose City. If Man Utd were in for him we’re second best, if we weren’t in for him we’re incompetent. There is no good outcome. Right now we’re not really as good as City at anything, apart from making money. It’s down to our willingness to accept that and actively do something about it that will define our next decade or so.

We’re now past the point of being able to decide how we want to win a league title and whether Jose would win it for us in the right way – we need to become relevant again before we earn that luxury. Right now, we are not. Surely Ed’s head isn’t completely submerged in the sand, is it?
Alex, Ipswich


How are you going to stop this, Ed?
So it looks like Manchester City are going to dominate English football for the next three years (at least) with the confirmation of Pep taking over at the end of this season. He is easily the best manager in world football right now and will take the club to the elite level they’ve been chasing for years. Give credit to City, they clearly have a plan in place unlike other teams with a bucket load of cash.

For those that don’t rate Guardiola or think he’s a fraud because he took over a ‘great’ Barca team that were supposedly ready-made I’d ask that you look into it a bit deeper to see that the squad wasn’t in great shape at the time. He let go of a lot of big names go and started to bring through and trust in some great youth products, then started to implement a style that produced some of the best football we’ve ever seen.

At Bayern he was confirmed as manager before they had won anything that season so he was dealt an unfair hand after they won the treble because it was always going to be used as a criticism towards him if he ever didn’t win one himself. Off the top of my head only 10 or so teams have ever won a treble so to ask him to deliver one so soon after it had already been achieved was always going to be tough – although he may do it this year. But then again he’s done a great job, this Bayern side are infinitely better than the one that won the treble under Heynckes and he’s built something there to last for years to come. Also Bayern couldn’t win the league for a couple of seasons when Dortmund were flying, the fact that they dominate it now shows how good a job he’s done.

He’ll have this summer to ship out any deadwood (Yaya?) and bring in players who suit his play, then surely the target is to win a Champions League within the course of his initial three-year deal. Very possible. I can’t wait for him to prove so many doubters wrong. Pellegrini has done a good job to be fair and showed so much class, but this squad should be doing better in the league.

On a side note this must be Wenger’s last chance to win the League? Otherwise it could be a very sombre farewell. And Jose is surely the only one that can challenge Pep? Your move Ed.
Guv (Roland Duchâtelet OUT) CAFC


Of course we can ‘do a Liverpool’
Rowan, Red Devil Dub: don’t tempt fate! United are too big to do a Liverpool? They “can’t” do a Liverpool? You just bloody watch them.

United’s current position towards the top of the football rich list is precarious in the extreme. Yes, they are currently reaping the rewards of an extended period of unprecedented success but that was both built on and entirely reliant upon that one key word: success. How many different corporate sponsors and eye-wateringly extravagant kit deals do you think we’ll be able to sign up if we don’t win anything for the next 5-10 years?

Let’s not forget the huge elephant in the finance office: the staggering amount of debt the club is still in. While we were regularly winning/challenging for the league, while we were virtual shoo-ins to at least get out of the Champions League group stages and while we had the great man still in charge, that debt seemed reasonably serviceable. Added bonuses of massive TV deals and selling our best players for large sums meant that we were in a relatively stable position. Now, it’s a completely different story.

Failure to qualify for the Champions League sees a 30-something percent reduction in the Adidas deal, as well as missing out on the increased revenue for taking part in that competition. The club has spent recklessly and excessively on players who are unlikely to generate anywhere near the transfer fees we paid should they be sold, and we’re so far from looking capable of winning a trophy at the moment that we’ll get little-to-no revenue there either.

While I’ve made no secret of my outrage towards the appalling state of affairs on the pitch, it’s some of the decisions being made off it that are the more worrying. The management of the club, both upstairs and downstairs, has been nothing short of farcical since David Gill and Sir Alex left. If we don’t get back to winning (or at least seriously challenging) ways soon then we are going to fall harder and faster than Liverpool did, and if you think it won’t or can’t happen to us then you’re naïve in the extreme.
Ted, Manchester


Pep has no balls
So Pep has gone to Man City….how very droll.

He doesn’t like doing it the hard way does he? A Barca side with some of the best players this generation,  the biggest German side by a long way and now the richest club in England.

Pep might be a great manager,  but until he does it with a squad that isnt gift wrapped to him then we will never know how good he is.
John, Brisbane


…I bet when Pep was coming up through the Barcelona ranks as a spotty teenager in the early 90s, I bet he used to play Domarks Championship Manager ’92 as the best team with the infinite money cheat on. Well, either that or using his smouldering good looks, fame and athletic physique to touch pretty girls in their private areas with their consent.

Either way, I’m really jealous (as I had a Nintendo and couldn’t play that game) and also really unsure if he’s actually any good or not at managing a football club. His trophy haul seems to suggest so, but I’d like to see him do a Ranieri before he retires in 20 years or so.


…Guardiola to Man City? *Yawn*

From managing a Barcelona team that Sam Allardyce quite rightly said he would have won La Liga with, to a Bayern Munich team that that Sam Allardyce quite rightly said he would have won the Bundesliga with, to a Manchester City team that Sam Allardyce could probably win the Premiership with (this season anyway).

Anything aside from winning the Premiership will have to be regarded as an abject failure for Pep next season. I expect he’ll be in for a rude awakening, managing in a league for the first time where every opponent (but one rival) isn’t expected to roll over and have their tummy tickled.

When will one of the “world class” managers we currently have in football, Guardiola, Mourinho Ancelotti, etc., move to a club which isn’t the richest in their respective league and actually prove their widely-hailed managerial credentials?

Could one of them have not taken over at Villa rather than Remi Garde, and actually vindicating their heralded managerial nous?

Just looking at accomplishments in La Liga, I’d class Benitez and Simeone as superior managers to the aforementioned trio thanks to their domestic (and European) triumphs with clubs outside of the Big Two.
Greg Benham, AFC


…I’m sure you’ll get 427 thousand of these, but I’m disappointed in Pep. Taking the Manchester City gig was such an easy way out. Nicholson wrote an excellent piece a couple of weeks ago about how Pep could really test himself by taking over Manchester United rather than lumping for the easy option at City. I’ve lost a bit of respect for Pep now. Maybe he doesn’t want his incredible record to start looking bleak, but he just seems to want to start off at the top without working his way there.

He created one of the best club teams in history with his Barcelona achievements (and he deserves immense praise for that). When he jumped on the Bayern Munich juggernaut (with no real domestic competition), I thought that he wasn’t really pushing himself. Now that he is joining City, I believe he is afraid of failing. City have unbelievable resources that will ensure that he can buy anyone that he flutters his beautiful grey beard at. Whilst not having a great season at the moment (light years better than Chelsea and United though), City still have the opportunity to win the quadruple. He’s not taking over a sinking ship.

I feel sorry for Pellegrini in all this. He has done an okayish job this season. Whilst City suffer homesickness on most away games, they are only three points off top spot. What happens if he goes and wins it all this season? Why the need to change manager? I get that Pep is one of the best managers in world football at the moment and he will probably be a huge success at City, but it all leaves a sour taste in my mouth (I’m an Arsenal fan so I’m used to this taste). The grass isn’t always greener.

I remember reading about how Pep wanted to join an English club that had lots of history. City? Really? (City fans don’t mail in right?). I get that you’ve done your shift in the lower leagues and had some success in the 60s and 70s , but it doesn’t really compare to those of United, Liverpool and Arsenal. Just admit that you wanted the resources and the money, Pep. You didn’t want to a build a club, you wanted to put the icing on the cake.

I’m sure Pep will be great and City will be much better, but I hope that he fails. I never really had that hope for Pellegrini.
Conor (I’m just bitter that he didn’t join Arsenal), Sydney


Bony to Spurs next season?
Crystal ball time, Pep coming in to take over at Citeh means that there’s going to be some major changes throughout the team. Can you honestly see the likes of Fernando, Jesus Navas or Mangala fitting into Guardiola’s ideal style of play? I can’t.

What is going to happen is that Wilfred Bony is going to make all the right noises about impressing his new manager in the summer, Pep’s going to use him very sparingly and then Spurs, Newcastle or Crystal Palace will take him on loan.

Fernando will also be given the slip, and he’ll eventually go off to join some club in an exotic country. Where Mangala goes to is anyone’s guess.

On a side note, despite the really underwhelming final day of the window, I’m relly excited to see Seydou Doumbia in the Premier League. Always admired him and he’s the type of striker that could make the likes of Mangala shit his togs!
Paddy (disappointed MUFC fan) Ireland


Are Liverpool fans really angry about Alex?
Twitter is such a disappointing place for Liverpool fans, probably because a huge majority of the fans are totally mental.

Today’s meltdown comes courtesy of Klopp saying he personally didn’t sanction the €38m move for Teixeira after the club said they’d pay it if he wanted. Twitter can’t handle that the player they’ve never watched (neither have I) might not be the messiah. This is the same Twitter that told me that Stewart Downing was the signing to complement Andy Carroll because he crossed the ball a lot the previous season.

It’s like they don’t appreciate that Klopp is an employee under pressure to impress like anyone else. Having your first big decision be a gamble on a player from a league where he might simply not work (or take one or two seasons to adapt) for €38m doesn’t seem too wise. Teixeira is uncapped by Brazil which means sod all to me but I wonder if that affects his marketing value on a global basis. Wouldn’t surprise me though not really sure.

To me this seems like a wise decision; didn’t panic, didn’t get carried away by the pressure to improve the team in an obvious way and now has five months to properly evaluate what aspects of the team really need strengthening. Arguably with Ings, Origi and Sturridge all long-term options it is less important to buy a striker than it is to buy a keeper whose fingers aren’t made of straw.

I think I’m complaining to the wrong crowd about this.
Minty, LFC


Why is Terry the most hated? Is it about Chelsea?
The level of negativity surrounding the announcement of John Terry leaving Chelsea doesn’t surprise me. The general tone of the animosity towards the man is an accepted fact of football life these days. But what does depress me a bit is how John Terry has somehow become the biggest hate figure on a football pitch since…well, I can’t really remember, uniting fans of pretty much every club around in a way that is unusual.

What I can’t get my head around is how, when we have some pretty despicable characters connected to the game John Terry became the lightning rod. What did he do? Racially abuse a fellow player – this is disputed, however the comments of the judge suggested he wasn’t completely clean. But he’s hardly the only player to have been involved in such controversy. Sleep with a team-mates ex? Hmm, well, that’s obviously morally far worse than sleeping with his brother’s wife, isn’t it? (and isn’t it depressing that the opprobrium here is connected to the teammate element, and not the fact that he cheated on his wife?).

But John Terry is the most hated, over and above players who have raped women, killed people in drunk-driving/speeding incidents, happily played along with fascist fans, been sent to prison for assault on the football pitch, etc, etc. There are so many examples of bad behaviour, but John Terry somehow attracts the most bile. And this is something I just don’t understand when we look at the really nasty stuff some other players have perpetrated. I wonder, would John Terry at Arsenal/Man U/Liverpool/Tottenham have attracted so much hate? Is part of this about the fact he plays for Chelsea?

Is John Terry a moral paragon? Far from it, and some of the things he has done/has been alleged to have done rightly draw condemnation. But shouldn’t we be looking more broadly at this and acknowledging that there are possibly some tribal elements at play here, that, bad as he is, there are others out there far more deserving of our disgust?

Do I like him? No Does he deserve condemnation? Sometimes. Is he the worst around? No, not by a very long way, and some players/ex-players are accorded an undeserved respect despite their destructive actions.Still, I suppose we all need out pantomime villains.
Robin (CPFC)


We had a few of these…
Am I to understand from Anthony in Kilburn’s mail that he equates being an alcoholic with being a racist, intentionally breaking somebody’s leg and kung-fu kicking a fan? Everybody has that one alcoholic relative. Anthony should track his down and tell him he’s no better than a kung-fu kicking, leg-breaking racist.
Aidan, Dublin


…Alcoholism and racism are not comparable.

To put it very simply, the former being a medical condition and the latter a criminal offence.

Kind regards,
Anthony, Longford


Spurs > Arsenal? Shush
Peter G from Pennsylvania, USA, writes in to say Spurs could well finish above Arsenal this year.

Let me be the first of many Spurs fans to invite Peter G (for Griffin?) to please shut his cakehole for the following reasons.

– Arsenal are still above us and are a decent shout to win the league. If that happens, Spurs will be really going some to finish above them.

– People have been predicting a power balance shift in North London for more than a decade. It hasn’t happened.

– When the inevitable happens and Spurs snatch ignominy from the jaws of glory, legions of gleeful Gooners (a small minority of whom will have heard of Bruce Rioch or Glenn Helder) will write in saying ‘Hahaha, Spurs fans were saying they’d finish above us! Fools!’

And the fact is, no Spurs fan will have said that Peter. You will have said it, but it will be retrospectively attributed to the embarrassing optimism that is so spectacularly quashed on a yearly basis at Tottenham.

I don’t know a single Spurs fan who would say, aloud, that we’ll even get Top Four. We’ve just been hurt too many times before. Please let us keep on quietly enjoying our exciting young team and seeing what comes of it, eh?

If we could be in with a shout on the final day, but somehow without anyone noticing, that would be ideal.
Rob Davies, THFC

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