Mails: Salah, Sturridge to United, a football draft and…

Date published: Friday 23rd June 2017 3:40

Send your thoughts to for an afternoon Mailbox.


What is Salah’s most exciting feature: his pace, his skill or his beard? The debate will undoubtedly rage on throughout the season.

If Liverpool sign a centre back and a central midfielder then I think it would be an excellent summer – particularly if they’re top purchases rather than the mid range type fees we usually have to pay because we can’t attract the best players. Whilst higher fees don’t guarantee success you should hopefully be getting something for your money.

I think Storey is right in saying Moreno has to go this summer. It would make me sad to see Sturridge leave; I appreciate he wasn’t at his best last season but if he wanted to stay I don’t think we could sign a striker of his quality in reserve. I think Ings is the type of player Klopp would love; he’s an aggressive presser at the front with lots of energy. If Sakho left I wouldn’t shed many tears and he should fetch £20m+ in this market which might be helpful. I don’t doubt Markovic and a few others will be quietly on their way elsewhere too.
Minty, LFC



How about that?
V ( are going to dominate), LFC


Studge to United
Since Daniel Sturridge is persona non grata at Liverpool, why doesn’t Man United make the ballsy move of signing him? We badly need a center forward who can score goals and Sturridge is a decent striker who gets the goals. However, his glass ankles are a bit of a concern but for the moment, he could get in there and do a job for us…

PS-Remember how Michael Owen was good for us?


Luck of the team
As a Liverpool fan, selling Moreno is a bit sad because you just sense he’d do better in a different system.  Like Salah at Chelsea, sometimes all a player needs is a change of system and more opportunities to grow into their game.  With Moreno, I always get the sense that if you switched him and Marcos Alonso at Chelsea, you’d see Moreno doing well and Alonso dropped from the team.  I’m surprised a 3-5-2 team isn’t jumping all over Moreno for 12-15 million pounds given the rampant inflation and over-valuation of anyone left-footed.  If Klopp is adamant that the 3-5-2 isn’t possible at Liverpool, by all means sell Moreno, but what could have been with Sakho, Matip, and Lovren (or someone else!) and Moreno bombing up the wing with a defensive care in the world.

Any other mailboxers have a player who failed at your club where you would have liked to have seen them given more time in a different system?
Niall, Denver


Who decides?
With the recent signing of Salah I was just wondering who decides the transfer fee to publish and why do all journalists generally use that same figure? It is widely reported that he signed for an initial fee of around £30 mil with certain add ons of around £4 mil. This is not something new in today’s transfer market, Pickford went for £25 mil with around £5 mil of add ons. However in both those cases the transfer fee was quoted as the sum of the two, £34 mil and £30 mil. Lindelof on the other hand had his transfer fee quoted as £31 mil, however there are also add ons included in his deal which takes his fee to around £40 mil. Martial also had a ridiculous amount of add ons but his transfer fee was also only quoted as the initial outlay. So why do some players get the luck of being perceived as a much cheaper player than they could potentially be and other players don’t. I guarantee that most Everton supporters will quote Pickfords fee as £30 mil and most United supporters will quote Lindelof’s at £31 mil. And it might not be that much of a difference in today’s market with today’s money but if either on fails I would feel much better if he only cost £31 mil as was reported compared to the £40 mil. In today’s market the number does count especially seen as though it is so difficult to find good value and I would really like to know why there is no consistency and why some clubs get the “luck” of landing a cheaper and good value player while others don’t.
Dino, Cape Town 


United’s failures?
To Paul Man Utd

*First of all adding players who have only completed two years in the first team (martial,rashford lingard)  is a bit pre emptive could you at least give them  the benefit of another year before slagging them off

*If your going to  add  Nani to the list say it’s because he was erratic.  He’s a winger he has always been a winger they are erratic which is why there are so many on the list . Saying that he didn’t turn out to be like a player only one other current player is ever compared to is giving a dog a bad name to hang it.When Ronaldo left  Rooney  took over goal scoring , valencia took over the shirt all  Nani took over was being Portugese .I don’t expect Di Maria to have Messi’s stats because he’s Argentinian would Nani be on this list if he wasn’t Portugese. He still managed 25 premiership which places him in the top 20 over the premiership era  and 40 career goals for Utd which for a winger is decent .

*You could have added a few less controversial characthers like Memphis,Lee Sharpe ,Jordi Cryuff,Fabio Da Silva, The Van Gaal Debautants and James wilson in a year or two  and made your point . The obvious answer to your question however is that we have so many young players who don’t make it  because we try so many .You could write an article on Utd’s sucesses just as  easily (the Fledglings,Solskjaer,Ronaldo, Rooney for a start)similarly  I can think of only a handful of youngsters who made it at Chelsea (terry lampard robben zouma) for instance over 20 years and yet they apparantely have 40 youngsters a year who they will loan out to the rest of the europe but won’t play more than 30 games in blue.



I’m sorry, but your mail is a load of nonsense. “Should have been brilliant” is the key phrase, it’s like you didn’t actually watch a lot of these guys play for United.

A lot of ChampMan heroes in there (Djordjic for example) but not many *really* talented players who didn’t make it. You also seem to confuse moments of individual brilliance, which a lot of players are capable of (Macheda), with genuine potential for excellence, which very few are (Macheda wasn’t, for the record).

I’m prepared to concede that Januzaj and Anderson didn’t fulfil their potential, and Veron, Di Maria and Kagawa didn’t live up to expectations either. Most of the rest of those players were simply bang average to start with.

Nani was hugely successful at Old Trafford and they still sing about Diego Forlan, so those two don’t apply either. And as for Rashford, well… “shh are you the ref?”
JD, MUFC. (he didn’t even mention Kleberson or Djemba Djemba)


Looking at Paul, MUFCs list of United failures it looks to me that the reason is United give youngsters more first team opportunities than most to see if they can cut it in the Premier League, some can (class of 92, Brown, O’Shea, Fletcher, Rashford, Lingard), most can’t.

As for the experienced/world class examples it happens at every club, maybe they can’t handle the pace of the game, maybe they are baffled by the tactics, maybe they just hate the weather but there are loads of examples of excellent footballers not adjusting to the premier league.

I can quickly think of Shevchenko, Crespo, Soldado, Negredo, Morientes, Riedle, Reyes, Paulinho, Brolin, Aspas and Istvan Kozma as players who never showed their best in England
Ryan, Whitehaven (Souness signed awful footballers)


Join Sky TV and get 33% off selected Sky TV Bundles for 18 months


Arsenal’s failures
Interesting off season filler from Paul Man Utd attempting to document Manchester United’s failed players in recent years. Here’s my one for Arsenal, the undisputed kings of anticlimactic promises.

Samir Nasri – Could’ve been a world beater but got greedy

Cesc Fabregas – Was firmly on track to be a premier league legend before fatefully opting for Barca

Alex Song – Last season before his similarly disastrous Barca move was the best I’d seen from a DM in an Arsenal shirt for at least 4 years

Abou Diaby – Laurent Blanc referred to him as the most gifted French player he’d ever seen, Diaby vs Liverpool 2012:

Denilson – Classic example

Eduardo – Would’ve been a top striker if it weren’t for the leg break

Jack Wilshere – Most naturally gifted English player of his generation

Theo Walcott – Not a bad career but didn’t reach the levels that were expected

Many more examples but it’s cold for once in Australia so I’m going to frolic in the snow.
John, Perth.


A football draft
With the NBA draft taking place today I wondered if and how this format could work in football and would it be beneficial.

Instead of clubs being able to recruit players from a young age what if there were 20 centres of excellence around the country. These 20 centres could have a catchment area to divide up the country. These teams would then play each other in a league where clubs can send scouts to watch.

Players could then stay up to the age of 18 before being eligible to be drafted. The draft would then take place at the end of the season once the promoted/demoted teams are finalised. There could then be two round for premiership teams, then two rounds for Championship teams and so on down the leagues with the lowest ranked team picking first. This would be decided by league position the previous season and in the case of promotions the team promoted via playoffs would pick first, then the team finishing second, then the team who won the division.

The centres of excellence could also be schools so that players get an education up to the age of 18, whilst still being able to play football.

Big teams could still offer to buy players who they have not drafted but these teams would probably have to really want the young player to buy them this early. Young players at the lower ranked clubs would then be more likely to play and develop which could eventually help the national team.

I am aware this would never happen as this would be a huge change to but without football being on I need something to do.


What happens next?
Everyone keeps saying that lack of investment at grassroots level and development of junior players are the main reasons for England’s failure at major (senior) tournaments.HOWEVER, the last few weeks of u20 and u21 successes seem to suggest that we start developing them just fine… up to a point.

So WTF happens to these kids who are competing against and beating their peers one minute but then don’t keep developing at an equivalent rate and get made to look like drunk toddlers whenever the grownups World Cup rolls around?

I know, I know it’s a rhetorical question; the answer is too much money in the EPL, a need for instant success, all them Jonny Foreigner types (especially that Ozil fella) and nobody singing the damn national anthem anymore.


Football fallacies
The football fallacy that irritates me beyond all reason mostly occurs after a player misses a good chance for the third time in a game, when the commentator inevitably trots out the “could have had a hat-trick” line.

No. At least not necessarily.

Suppose he scores the first chance. The game then goes a completely different way from that point on and it might be the only scoring opportunity he gets, or he might pull a muscle celebrating it, or… nobody knows. Even my degree-holding friends don’t understand this; I remember a conversation with one of them about a game Villa drew 0-0 with Everton in which some Villa player missed a sitter (maybe Darren Bent. Sandra Redknapp would have buried it). He suggested that had it gone in, it was three points to Villa, happy days. I pointed out that he wasn’t taking Everton’s equaliser into account. “What equaliser?” he asked. “After Villa scored, Everton took the kickoff straight up the other end and scored,” I told him. “How’d you figure that?” he asked, but was then unable to explain how he could know that they wouldn’t have.

Oh, and speaking of Villa and Everton, I’m also pretty certain it wasn’t actually David Unsworth’s wife that made him leave Villa after a week and go back to Everton. That was just something John Gregory said in his annoyance.
Richard (pedant and proud) Pike


The one that gets me is “anywhere else it’s a freekick, but never a penalty”. Along with “if you gave those, there’d be 15 penalties every game”.
Rohit (Maybe something Mr Goldstein can cover) Essex


Football’s laws
Interesting piece by Peter Goldstein today. Although I can’t help but feel that the curious case of Daniel Cordone has been horribly overlooked. A referee complained about Newcastle’s newly signed Argentinian Steve-the-pirate-lookalike’s large gold hoop earrings only to discover that they had been soldered into his ears and could not be removed. Cue a midweek operation to remove the earrings, a goal against Spurs that Sir Bobby claimed was the result of having removed the earrings (PFM magic if there’s ever been such a thing) and then he slowly disappeared from the picture never to be seen again.
Mike, NUFC


Another good day for VAR
VAR is already a failure. That was never a penalty for Australia. It was a yellow for a dive, the replays show the attacker changed his run away from the ball and towards the tackle. If not then it’s a faul for Cameroon. The defender was playing for the ball, while the attacker is trying to stop the defender from getting to the ball, without even playing for it. The commentators agreed with the penalty but what really opened my eyes was that the refs made the same decision after viewing the replays. Talk about depressing.


I always enjoy Ed Q’s emails so thought I would help him out regarding his latest.

The Lion of Vienna pub is opposite my daughters school. I am now inspired to give it a go the next time I do a school pick up.
Plato, MUFC


Quick one for Ed Quoththeraven, there is at least one pub I know of named after a footballer -The Duncan Edwards in Dudley.
Ex-Pat Dave.

More Related Articles