You might get a weekend Mailbox if a) you’re good, and b) you send your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org
An easy solution for you, Philippe
Rather than all this agitating in the media, and handing in transfer requests, Coutinho should just bite a chap on the pitch.
Worked a treat for the last bloke.
The Sanchez flaw
There’s a massive flaw in Wenger’s plan to keep Sanchez, hoping that he delivers in sporting terms for the remainder of his contract to make up for the loss of any fee they might get this summer. From January Sanchez will be able to negotiate with other teams.
It’s likely that his agent has already started all this work and if City really are the team he wants to join there’s a pretty good chance terms are already close to being agreed. Sanchez just needs to keep his head down, stay fit and not put on any horror shows until January so that City don’t pull out. Assuming it’s all agreed in January then Sanchez will not need to perform to the best of his abilities in order to get a move, as Wenger has suggested, he just needs to avoid serious injury. Wenger may well be forfeiting a tasty fee for 4/5 months work.
Now I’m not suggesting that Sanchez will behave like this, merely that he could and wouldn’t have any motivation not too other than professionalism and personal ambition (he may be desperate for the Europa League). Indeed Sanchez seems like a very professional, hardworking player and I expect he will probably give his all for Arsenal while he’s there. But keeping any player in the last year of their contract opens up the possibility that they may not give 100%.
And just to add to that scenario, this is a season leading into a World Cup. Assuming Chile qualify (they are in the qualification places at the moment) then Sanchez is going want to be fit for that. He’ll be 33 if Chile make Qatar in 2022 so this is realistically his last World Cup in his prime. If he signs with another club in January is he going to be more interested in an (probably ill fated) assault on the Europa League or keeping himself away from getting injured before the World Cup? Again I actually think Alexis will probably give his all for Arsenal because he strikes me as that sort of player. But it wouldn’t be unprecedented for a top player to try and protect themselves as the season progresses going into a World Cup.
So, more of a problem than Wenger is communicating (I’m assuming he’s thought all this through), but on behalf of United we’ll be happy to help you out by paying you £60m for him (or whatever City offer plus £1) and taking the risk for you this season.
Ashley (imagine him in this United side) Metcalfe
Gulf in earnings
Great email today from Liam, showing once again that between F365 itself and its followers, there are more smarts than pretty much all the football pundits and most of the football journalists. Just loved the absolute basic maths.
The sad part of all this is the relative difference between what that means to fans and players.
It would be possible to assume that the average player income has also increased at 12% (not as easy to track head-to-head as with clubs, but let’s go with it.) In that same time, income stagnated in the early 2000’s and more people have service jobs or jobs that don’t provide full hours. The disparity has grown wider. Meanwhile the costs to watch football live or on TV has likely grown in line with the wealth of the clubs, meaning that it costs relatively more to watch these very, very well paid players.
So while I was at first lifted by Liam’s simple but well put together argument why the current transfer fees were logical, taking that further to the impact on fans was a bit of a downer.
But hey, games tomorrow, action, lights, camera and it will all be fun – until our team possibly loses.
Paul McDevitt (Which player would I have back right now? Reina)
Why Barca will do a post-Fergie United
I think the signs were there last season itself. Having conceded the La Liga and the Champions League (not that it was theirs to begin with) to their bitter rivals, Barcelona ended last season the same way they began this one – in shambles.
For a team that is sure to go down as one of the best in history, this is an incredible fall from grace.
And that is why they are pretty much like United, post Sir Alex.
Barcelona’s primary issue lies in the fact that a huge chunk of their squad is too old/too knackered to go an entire campaign winning game after game. Mascherano, Iniesta, Busquets, Suarez – they all look like they have dropped several yards of pace. While the MSN charade did work out for a bit, Barcelona’s midfield post Xavi hasn’t exactly been inspiring. With nobody really stepping up behind Messi in midfield, the team pretty much look like they are out of ideas in the first 45.
They have bought poorly, barely promoted players from their famed La Masia (goodbye, Roberto) and have genuinely lost the plot in the transfer market (Turan & Vermaelen… I mean, come on). To add to this, they don’t even have a steady manager.
Much like United post Sir Alex’s retirement, Barcelona are trying to fix their shotgun bullet wounds with tiny band-aids. United spent a good 4 years entering and exiting transfer windows with the general lack of awareness of a drone flying into a tree. Our squad was too old (they were great, but too old), there were 2 different camps (the old and the new) and total mistrust in the new manager (to be fair, I don’t think anyone trusts Moyes). And much like Barcelona right now, we bought rather poorly and didn’t seem up to the task on the pitch.
The only saving grace for Barca is the man himself. Messi may be on the downward spiral but he is still one of the best players in football. Personally, I would love to see Messi leave Barca and give up on their corrupt-as-hell board and maybe play in the Premier League (Chelsea?). Wishful thinking, yes, but it would suck to see him go down with this sinking ship, being blamed for things that are not in his control.
You know it will happen. To quote Jay-Z (it is pretty relevant, guys), “From the same sword they knight you, they gonna goodnight you…”
Here’s hoping Barcelona stop the bleeding and somehow figure out who has stashed all the medical supplies away.
– Akhilesh (they could give Moyes a shot too) Ram, Mumbai
A lovely Friday afternoon wind-up
Always look forward to IGTBABWF, always agree with it. I too am having kittens thinking about Benteke causing us all sorts of problems.
Definitely a big weekend for the Hammers but a defining game for United too, no? Mete out a shellacking to Swansea and the title’s all but wrapped up before the 1st of September, no United fans. Isn’t that how it works United fans? I will admit that I tend not to read mailboxes that I am not expecting to be published in but I expect they didn’t disappoint this week!? What is it with United. I genuinely feel sorry for them; there is so much to admire. The stadium, the marketing machine, Fergie’s reign…
But the fans, the fans. The match going ones are truly horrendous and don’t get me started on the legions of telly-clapping, glory-hunting, know-nothing’s… Look at the pitiful attendances in, say, Ireland. Not fancy going along, watching some live footie locally lads!? Or is it because you only feel complete by attaching yourself to a team that tends to win stuff fairly often? So unsuccessful in real life that you need to enjoy success vicariously through a club that likely doesn’t even know you exist. And why do so many of them need to sign off by pretending they live in Manchester. It’s hilarious, a lot like them in fact! I can only assume Manchester is some suburb south of Dublin full of lots of Lou Macaris and Terry Christians wannabes all putting on fake Mancunian accents!
Surely United deserves better fans? Ones that don’t routinely and vocally and in unison sing the song about “The Sun was right, you’re murderers” even to this day would be start. If they even sing at all, that is…
MUFC, The religion? You’re not meant to take it littlerally and sit there in silence like at church, sweeties!
Gregory Whitehead, LFC
Quick one in response to Paul in Brussels (LFC if you must know) assertion that “Moreno is not failing to tackle because he hates Liverpool fans.”
Correct. He is failing to tackle/head/mark/make a correct decision because of me I am afraid.
I, in my haste, assumed that Moreno would be sold after THAT Europa league final.
So, in an act of seething vengeance, the morning after said final I entered a Shinto Shrine in Kyoto (The Fushimi-Inari-Taisha Shrine) and put a hex on Moreno’s career. I sat there for an hour and wished him nothing but professional misfortune for 3 years.
A few weeks later, he was back training in Melwood with a TopKnot.
Beware the power of a hex. Use it wisely.
Conor (Hexing & Shinto Temples are science, and you cant argue science) Dublin
Is Kloppy that good?
It seems now is the time of year for kicking lumps out of each like a 70s Chelsea v Leeds game as a knee jerk is followed by a counter jerk leading to nothing more than bruised shins and a nostalgic shout of ‘hacker!’ in my head and images of playing footy through the Kenny-like tunnel of an 80s C&A parker.
With that in mind, here’s me, a Man United fan, chipping in on Jurgen Klopp.
Could it be that Jurgen Klopp just isn’t very good?
Yesterday Steven asked us to look for some persepective as people were criticising Jurgen’s managerial credentials.
Lets take a look at those credentials.
He won two leagues and a cup five years ago with a fantastic team but was unable to maintain the sucess and left the club after a terrible season where they finished 7th. I don’t know how the transfers are managed at Dortmund but it is not uncommon on the continent for managers to have very little to do with the signing of players so it’s possible that the scouts at Borussia Dortmund who spotted and signed the likes of Kagawa, Hummels, Lewandowski and Gundogan were as much to do with the teams success as Jurgen.
He has also been relegated with Mainz and has an unenviable record of losing key games. In his time at Liverpool he has already lost two finals, a semi-final and has lost to Wolves in the FA cup.
A bit like the ThaiWolf’s suggestion that Coutinho is not actually that good, the same could be levelled at Klopp. He has now been in charge at Liverpool for a few weeks shy of two years and are they significantly better than when he arrived? He gives great copy, is fun to watch and seems like a really nice guy. But so does Gordon Strachan.
Andreas (just saying….) Hunter, St Albans
Not that impressed by Liverpool’s forwards
Interesting email from Tom G regarding Liverpool. First of all I agree that FSG haven’t been bad owners and fans asking for their removal are a bit daft. Although historically they are either the largest or second largest club in England, depending on your allegiance, since they haven’t won a title since 1990, which basically means they haven’t won one for more than two years before football began, a players desire to play for them isn’t the same as United, City or Chelsea. FSG have brought in a manager in Klopp who managed to beat a financial behemoth to back to back league titles by buying/developing young players and improving them. Add to this what they have done with the ground and training facilities and you would have to say well done.
However, Tom also listed the attacking players in Liverpool’s squad and I have to say that I am not that impressed. Yes, Firminho, Salah and Mane are wonderful players and they are capable of ripping any defence apart, but when you get past that it’s not so impressive. Sturridge even when fit isn’t trusted by Klopp. Origi has raw pace but his finishing leaves a lot to be desired, Ings has had two serious injuries so who knows what he will be like, Solanke is unproven as are Woodburn or Kent. Now Klopp could show why he is considered such a good coach by bringing these players on and I could end up with egg on my face but I think Liverpool lack depth in each area of the pitch.
Bernard (Solanke will end up being PFA young player of the year now) MUFC
Spare a thought for the Toon
The recent talk of exploding transfer fees is particularly agonising for me as a Newcastle fan. Twenty years ago we were one of the most exciting clubs in Europe, with the (arguably) best striker in the world leading our line, an army of flair behind him. As i’m sure most people are aware, we haven’t broken our transfer record in a decade which has been symbolic of our decline from a club with genuine title aspirations to a yo-yo Prem/Championship club. This is why Mike Ashley’s interview this week enraged me more than anything he has done so far.
Ashley’s argument is that he isn’t rich enough to compete with the likes of Man City (nobody expected him too) and that we can spend whatever we recoup in transfer fees. Frankly with the now huge amount of money coming in from TV money and being in the top 20 richest clubs in the world we should not be unable to compete with mid/lower Premiership teams. It was the most disingenuous interview i have seen in ages, as we can see the money being spent by other Prem clubs who are not exactly Moneybags this summer. Contrary to popular belief we do not have unrealistic ambitions, I know I would be ok with relative mid-table obscurity and a decent cup run or two over the next 3/4 years. Just something to think about when Liverpool/Arsenal/Spurs fans moan about your owners and managers. The grass isn’t greener, believe us.
Chris T (NUFC – still watching game from the mid/late 90s and Sir Bobby wondering what if…)
A bemused Chelsea fan
Are any other Chelsea fans bemused by our transfer targets this summer?
Why do we keen insisting with Sandro? Clearly Juve don’t want to let him go after already losing Alves and Bonucci. If they are rejecting £60m plus then it’s probably time to leave it.
I know Sandro is good but Marcos Alonso has been very effective for us. He is not flawless defensively, but that’s why we play him wing-back and not left back… A decent backup for Alonso would be handy, but let’s not spend £70m on a player we don’t really need, after having already let slip away the likes of Filipe Luis and Ryan Bertrand.
We are in more urgent need of numbers in other areas – ideally a right wing back, one central midfielder and one attacking midfielder/winger.
We will probably end up signing Drinkwater for £30-35m, but could have targeted other players who are at least as good and were available for less (Matuidi, Biglia, Tielemans, Lemina).
Can’t help feeling we missed a chance to raid PSG’s squad after they bought Neymar. We could have got Matuidi, Aurier and Draxler for around the same total fee that Sandro would cost – boosting our squad immensely while getting Qatar FC back on the road to FFP compliance.
According to the Big Weekend, Pochettino has been getting his excuses in early regarding the size of the Wembley pitch meaning it will be more difficult for his team to press the opposition. My question, how come they can’t make the pitch a bit smaller? It’s only the white lines that need moving in a bit.
There’s probably some reason why they’re not allowed to change the pitch size, but surely the usual Wembley line dimensions won’t be needed until the League Cup final next year? Can’t Spurs mark the pitch how they like until then?
Can the white lines be dissolved easily and reapplied differently? Are there rules about not changing pitch sizes once the season starts? I have no idea.
I’ve just realised that Everton’s record buys and sells are now both bigger than ‘big boy’ rivals Liverpool. That amuses me.
Sam, London (still back Salah to beat Sigurdssons goals and assists this season)
Remember that time Adrian Durham claimed Jack Colback was being overlooked because he is/was ginger?
That was hilarious