What a nice Mailbox. Mail us at email@example.com…
Who do we love?
Me and my friends did this game many years ago, and settled on Jussi Jaaskelainen as a universally loved player. There was one or two others but he got the mass vote.
It’s a little harder to do with the current crop but I would probably echo big Toby at Spurs, and add in David Silva. He’s just a joy to watch, whoever you support. Even the Reds I fraternise with find him at the worst inoffensive, and universally recognise him to be class.
Jon (Matty Taylor was another, lovely smile/strike), Lincoln-ish
…Giroud?! The smuggest man ever to walk the planet? I (and surely every other Spurs fan) detest the fella, so no idea where you’d get that from (not the best way to start a universal love email in fairness).
My nomination goes to Juan Mata: Just a lovely chap all round; no cheating, play-acting, cynicism and genuinely seems to care about the world. And a sublime footballer, which certainly helps.
Alex G, THFC (Christian Eriksen must also be a good shout)
…In response to Jack (Lucky for me I’m still sad enough to play Football Manager) Manchester, of course it can be and is a top six player: Juan Mata.
Mike (AVFC), London
…In response to Jack, Manchester’s email in the morning mailbox I think that there is a simple formula for universal love of a footballer. They need to be small, technically excellent and, most importantly, Spanish. Juan Mata, David Silva, Andres Iniesta, Santi Cazorla all play for big clubs with strong rivals but not disliked by anyone.
I think their psychical and technical attributes just instil respect in supporters because they’ve made it to the top level despite their size and, unlike us mere mortals, they can kick the ball with both feet. No idea why they need to be Spanish, they just do.
If you had me at gunpoint – Santi’s my favourite.
…The mailbox favourite player can surely be a top six player? Surely there can’t be anyone who doesn’t love David Silva? Even United fans? No reason to dislike him and plays beautiful football.
Mike, LFC, Dubai
…In response to Jack (Lucky for me I’m still sad enough to play Football Manager) Manchester, it took me a while to think of someone because so many current Premier League players are robotic compared to the days of Zola and Jay-Jay Okocha, but if I had to plump for someone, I’d pick Tom Davies at Everton. Seems to be a down-to-earth, smiley lad, buzzes around all over the pitch, can get up and down, and – by far his most redeeming feature – he wears his socks slightly rolled down like the rest of us do on a Sunday morning. He’s a bit of a modern throwback while also being a young English player making his mark in the top league with a distinctive style of play, and I don’t see how you can’t love that.
It’s a shame it can’t be any player ever, because Ronaldinho and Jimmy Bullard would feature highly on my list. Quite possibly the first time those two have been put together for any reason but can you imagine the laughs you’d have if they were on your five a side team…
…Who do we all love?
…In response to Jack (Lucky for me I’m still sad enough to play Football Manager) Manchester, I would suggest Peter Crouch. As far as I’m aware he hasn’t left any of his teams acrimoniously, looks like he really enjoys playing and seems like a thoroughly nice chap. Perhaps some Arsenal fans may not like him due to Tottenham / Liverpool links but what’s not to like???
Mark Jones, LFC, Liverpool
All Arsenal optimism extinguished
Yup, with the pre-weekend interview today, Arsene pretty much extinguished my optimism for this season.
Vague promises about Sanchez: Check
Tacit admission they totally messed up Lemar transfer: Check
Tacit admission they messed up the Mustafi situation: Check
At this point, I’m also veering towards a conviction that Arsene has no intention of allowing the 3-4-3 formation to succeed (a view shared by an increasing amount of Arsenal fans) by playing the right players in the right positions, and that, by dropping Holding completely after one game, it no longer looks like he cares about the long-term confidence/morale of his squad either.
Combine that with his utter nonsense panic substitutions at 70 minutes in both Prem games so far demonstrating little tactical thought (I wrote in to say how stupid that was as a consistent solution against Leicester, even if two subs did get the winning goals then) and I can’t see how this season is going to be anything other than a hot mess.
I was so looking forward to seeing Lacazette too…
Tom, (If he sells Chambers instead of giving him a go, I’ll tear my hair out) West Hampstead
As Spurs’ Davinson Sanchez move has had zero Mailbox coverage, here’s the incredibly educated view of a United fan who… saw him in the UEFA cup final.
Firstly, I’m going on record to say Sanchez is the most physically “gifted” centre half in the league. He had that Vidic attribute of seemingly covering three metres with one stride whenever an attacker was wrong-side of him.
The main reason this was on display is because he was, by most measurements of defensive performance, absolutely terrible. Dragged out of position the whole game, insanely confident with the ball – against a team with more than Rashford and Mkhitaryan in the opposition half it could have been very ugly.
But, it wasn’t. His tackling was awesome, twice Lingard and Rashford were in behind him and he caught both before viciously/beautifully wiping them out.
Even on the basis of one game and a few highlights – I’m gutted we didn’t go in for him. It was clear throughout the team that Ajax wanted to play a watered-down version of Total Football™ – which probably accounts for the lack of positioning and Stones-esque overplaying.
He looked to have everything for a centre-half and I’m sure a few weeks’ coaching will instil the Premier League sensibilities of clearing lines and grabbing shirts at corners.
How to make Pogba look like a bargain…
Please STOP IT!
If Walker is £50m then Pogba is a bargain. If Countinho is £138m then Pogba is a bargain. If Neymar is £198m then Pogba is a bargain.
No. No. No.
I understand the need to compare player transfer fees as a way to see whether you are getting value for money but the only way Pogba can become a bargain is if/when he starts making consistent performances on the pitch. No other transfer is going to make Pogba a better player.
For what it’s worth I do believe he will improve, he has great physique and looks very talented but to suggest what he has contributed so far at Manchester Utd for £90m is a bargain is just plain ridiculous.
Jimmy (Liverpool 8-6 Arsenal this weekend) Spain
How has this excellent piece been missed?
I read your site’s letters page and Mediawatch with interest so I was very surprised that this piece from RepulikOfMancunia.com didn’t register any mention here:
While it mainly focuses on Pogba and Lukaku it still shows the use of media and fan phrases about black players that I’ve heard since my teenage years which has continually frustrated me as a black football fan (Ron Noades’ words still set my teeth on edge).
If people focus in the point he’s making and do not focus on the team he’s talking about my personal view is that unless they are at trump fan level they would have to agree with its conclusions.
I’ll leave it to those here to read it.
Israel (still can’t believe that someone would question a player from Africa being able to do it on a wet night in Stoke after he spent five seasons in the Russian league) MUFC since 1977
Why segregation is fine
I am sure this will be one of many but I really think that Mr Chicken has missed the point about security. No-one can argue that the events at Grimsby are acceptable but his gross over simplification of the criminalisation of football fans goes too far.
The reason that fans are kept apart and not allowed to drink in sight of the pitch or are escorted to games is because a mindless minority are only interested in violence and disorder. Their entire reason for going to a game is to cause an issue and they cannot be trusted to drink responsibly or sit amongst other fans.
Massive amounts of resources have to be dedicated to keeping these factions apart and if fans really want to be treated like adults they should try behaving like one.
Until you have had to stand between the baying mobs or had to protect families from coins and chairs being thrown by these ‘fans’ it is hard to understand why they are treated the way they are. Middlesbrough and Sheffield United fans provided a helpful reminder if why things have to be like they are.
James (inset funny quote here) Reading
England players and being f***ing pundits
They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so my first port of call this morning was to find F365, and chow down on some hot, steaming football news, gossip and features. Glad to say I’m stuffed.
Anyway, I opened the link to your sister site, Planet Football, to see what happened to those who were in the England team when Rooney made his debut for his country, and one thing struck me as nothing short of sad and quite disappointing: Of the 21 players who made it onto the pitch that day, nine are now little more than talking heads on TV. That nine includes Gary Neville, Michael Owen, Owen Hargreaves, Frank Lampard and Rio Ferdinand. Hugely talented, successful and experienced players at the very highest level. Throw in Danny Mills and Danny Murphy whose punditry always comes across as reasonably well informed and impressive and I find myself shaking my head in despair. You could also chuck in Gerrard and Carragher into this list, even though neither was involved that day. Surely these guys have more to offer than sitting around in cosy studios talking about the game? For comparison, Marc Overmars is the director of football at Ajax. Jaap Stam is the manager of Reading. Ronald De Boer is the youth team assistant manager at Ajax, his brother the manager of Crystal Palace. Dennis Bergkamp is the Ajax assistant manager. Edwin Van Der Sar is the club CEO. Do you see where I’m going with this? While the Dutch are utilising the experience and knowledge of their highest-profile players, ours are getting fatter and richer on the pundits sofa. Surely they could be offering more than this?
Harry The Manc