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Mails: Introducing the Manchester United Premier League ladder

An absolutely belting Mailbox, with no snide and some cracking submissions. You lot just need a telling off every now and then. Keep them coming to theeditor@football365.com…

 

Marouane is king
I laughed when we paid over the asking price in the summer of 2013.
I sighed when it turned out to be our only piece of significant business that summer.
I sank into the chair when I watched his performances through-out that season.
I was surprised when he lasted the following manager’s tenure.
I swore every time he came on to the pitch swinging elbows.
I hoped that the latest manager would rectify the situation in the summer.
I cheered last night when the goal went in.
I’ve drunk the Kool Aid.
I’m in.
Fellaini is amazing.
He is United’s most important player.
And I am not joking.
DC, BAC

 

Marouane of the match.
Paul Murphy, Manchester

 

‘Rather have 10 Ashley Youngs than these useless flair players like Martial, Mata and Micky’. Erm….
Young is the last breed of the Fergie players. The other one left is Valencia. He gives 100% when playing. He is compact and effective. I would rather have 10 Ashley Youngs than these useless flair players like Martial, Mata and Micky.

Oh, and Smalling cannot pass the ball. How fast do people regress..?
Baros

 

Oh wow. A Manchester United ladder
Long time/First time. I really love the Football365 famous World cup ladder that Sarah does.

I’m writing this at half time of the utd v Basle game and it got me thinking of what Mourinho’s ladder would be. I think there’s a few players that have made drastic moves in his ladder over his season and a bit with utd. I’ll have a go at what his ladder is at half time of this game:

1. David De Gea (better than Neuer)
2. Paul Pogba
3. Romelu Lukaku
4. Eric Bailly
5. Henrikh Mkhitaryan
6. Marcus Rashford
7. Antonio Valencia
8. Nemanja Matic
9. Zlatan Ibrahimovic
10.Juan Mata
11. Daley Blind
12. Ander Herrera
13. Anthony Martial
14. Phil Jones
15. Marouane Fellaini
16. Victor Lindelof
17. Jesse Lingard
18. Sergio Romero
19. Marcos Rojo
20. Chris Smalling
21. Luke Shaw
22. Ashley Young
23. Michael Carrick
24. Axel Tuanzebe
25, Scott Mctominay
26. Phil Neville
Eoin, Cork person in Vancouver

 

Who needs Diego?
Who needs Diego when you can have a Zapping-Costa? The opponents were rubbish, so you can’t look too much into the 6 goals, but I feel our wing backs are our special weapons.

Marcos Alonso has already proved himself and now this guy Zappacosta looks like becoming a new cult hero. He is really fast and always at the right place and at the right time and looked like he has a good understanding with Fabregas and his brilliant-no-one-shall-intercept-it-through balls. He scores bloody goals in the disguise of crossing!
Sreekanth, Germany

 

Irony, Celtic style
Brave, brave Celtic.

Playing a team economically and squad-wise so dominant in their respective domestic league that it’s almost unfair and nobody else stands a chance.

So brave.
Stu (the original one), London

 

Newsflash: Bale is playing really badly
After seeing Giggs jumping on the Bale bandwagon I genuinely have to ask myself if anyone in the England has watched him play at all over the last 12 months or so.

I watch as many Barca and Real games as I possibly can and in his appearances so far I have been amazed at just how lethargic Bale looks. He has obviously had injury issues since moving to Madrid but in the absence of Ronaldo its Isco who is shining, not Bale. He has been wombling around the pitch and waiting for something to happen for him rather than making it happen himself.

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Against Deportivo he came away with a goal and an assist and both were the result of good fortune. He doesn’t feel like the terrifying footballer that absolutely tortured defences anymore and the calls for Asensio to take his place isn’t just home country favourites.

Maybe he is looking for fitness or maybe he is just content with his life and has dulled his edge but I don’t see what top 6 team he would improve on recent form. It might sound a bit mental on paper but after actually watching the guy Rashford and Martial are having a much bigger
impact in their minutes on the pitch.
Dan (Obviously he would improve Arsenal.)

 

A lovely story about a groundsman
Mickel Lauritsen, who was the groundsman at Brøndby in Denmark, had an unexpected call on his mobile a few months ago while sorting out some things at the stadium.

It was an English recruitment company who claimed that Liverpool FC had earmarked him as a possible candidate for the job of main groundsman at Anfield. English football has been shown live on Danish TV since the 1970’s and Liverpool has a special standing due to their success in that period, Jan Mølby and Carlsberg, so this was a big deal for him and he doubted the seriousness of it. One Skype call later and he was invited over for a face-to-face interview. Some weeks later he got the call that the job was his if he wanted it. He had his first day at work on September first.

Logically we focus on the players and the melodrama that goes on with and around them, but in the background are other people who we never hear about who get their dream move and have their lives changed forever.

I like that thought.
Andreas Hasle, Brussels (Now obviously waiting for Mourinho to call me about being his new assistant….)

 

Crystal Palace have made English-style fajitas
I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for Palace but now…

1. Palace decide they’ve had enough with “English” football and are now on a long term project to change the clubs tradition and philosophies. In comes sexy new coach to change things up a bit.
2. The board then decide that they wont give him any money to get some of his own players in.
3 de Boer decided that if this is the route you want to go down, some of these players are not and will not be good enough.
4. Said players don’t like being told by a far better ex player and coach that they actually aren’t very good footballing footballers and cry to team mates and board.
5. Board side with said players and sack de boer.

If you want change Palace, you kind of have to you know… make some changes, ie tell Delaney, actually mate you aren’t very good with the ball at your feet, I’ve been told to bring a new sexy dimension to a bit of a nothing club and you and your mates Ward and that Liverpool reject can go too.

I can make chicken fajitas with chicken, wraps, an onion, and cumin. If you want to make them better you need more ingredients, throw in some Guaca and Salsa, maybe a pepper or two… but no palace want the full Mexican experience with a chicken and wraps… infact, probably stale bread is where they’re at.

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Strangely, the board side with these same players who are 1 dimensional / safety players first and have now opted for Roy Hodgson. They had a grand plan and after 1month have thrown out the window to appease mediocre players and brought in Roy Hodgson… are you frickin kidding me?!?

There wont be many articles on stifling young new English coaches will there, can you imagine if they brought in a foreigner..

Palace to go down.. please…
Scott, I like Fajitas

 

And a more detailed take on Palace
It will continually baffle me why palace appointed De Boer, a man who was a “long term” solution, employed to change their style and philosophy of playing to possession based and playing out from the back.

The previous season, when Palace received the ball the focus was on quickly getting the ball into areas that could hurt the opposition i.e. the feet of the wingers who could run at defenders. As simple as this tactic was, it worked. The whole side was built upon pace in the wide areas and the willingness to be direct and run at people, at their best palace were unplayable.

So why employ someone who is the very antithesis of your perceived strengths. You have a squad packed full of players seemingly far too good for a relegation battle: Zaha, Townsend, Van Aanholt, Schlupp, Puncheon, Cabaye, Benteke, Milosevic (who was a revelation from Olympiakos).

With the exception of Cabaye (in a non-disparaging way) none of these players are noted as good passers, nor renowned for being tidy in possession. The initial 5 listed above are noted for being tricky and pacey, the final 2 for being physical. So why try completely change your approach with no regard to the already defined style of play in your squad.

You’ve got to question Steve Parrish’s motives as Palace chairman. Employ a manager who plays pacy, counter attacking football as that plays to the strengths of your previous (and expensively assembled squad). It would be frustrating if it wasn’t so bleedingly obvious.

Most frustrating of all are those moaning about De Boer not being backed in the transfer market, to bring in “his style of players”. Why throw away a cohesive counter attacking unit a few signings and a bit of confidence away from a top 10 side in search of some fantastical football identity none of your team possess, start from scratch and undermine all the excellent work done at the club in the last 6 months.

Allardyce’s relative success at the club needed supplementing, not undermining. Clinton N’jie, Richarlison and Oliver Burke were all accessible and within budget for palace, these players could have added depth on the wings and play in a similar style. Palace bought 0 new wingers, then Zaha got injured.
Sakho was outstanding and was rightly brought in permanently, however so were 2 other centre backs with no outgoings, leaving 6 in the squad.
Frazier Campbell was released with the only 2 strikers in the squad Wickham and Benteke, both physically imposing but immobile. No pacey striker (or any for that matter) was added, Nahki Wells, Abraham or even Andre Gray may of sufficed.

The reason why Pulis, Allardyce, et al have been succeeding is through playing to the obvious strengths of the squads they inherit. Doing the opposite is so counterproductive and inept you have to question what on earth Parrish is doing with the club.
WB (Newcastle)

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Newcastle are England
In the mailbox the other day, somebody was asking which club shared most managers in common with the England national team. I’ve given up waiting for someone to answer, so I’ve dug through the figures myself. I’m including England’s caretaker managers – none of them have managed in fewer managers than Big Sam, who definitely counts.

I make it 17 teams with more than one England manager.

Ipswich, Villa, West Ham, Barcelona, Wolves, Spurs, Notts County (Big Sam and Howard Wilkinson; Sven was Director of Football), Sunderland, Leicester, Forest and Melchester Rovers (Roy Race and Sir Alf Ramsey) all score 2.

Leeds, Fulham and Middlesbro’ all score 3.

Man City and Palace are on 4.

But top of the table are Newcastle with 5 (Big Sam, Sir Bobby Robson, Howard Wilkinson, Schteve McLaren, Kevin Keegan).

You’re welcome.
Steve M

 

Winty, helping people get over the wind
Thank you Sarah W. As I’m trying to travel in hurricane ravaged areas with work, managing to find a decent bar and then reading this on Fellaini:

‘Not having the Belgian to hand clearly makes him as uneasy as a man who cannot quite remember where he placed his keys. He is the world’s most unlikely comfort blanket.’

It certainly made my day, if nothing else.
Steve (Flixton but hunkered down in Atlanta)

 

Enjoying football: Just do what you want and be nice
There’s been some criticism of football 365s style recently (fair enough, everyone needs feedback) but I wanted to put my two cents in.

Yes, its got a distinct style. No its not for everyone. Yes its ok to go elsewhere. Also, its free so its not like if it starts to suck we have wasted money on a subscription. For the record I don’t think it sucks.

I found F365 after being recommended it by a friend (Hey Chris!) but I remember what it was like before this and other niche sites appeared. Basically to follow football online you went to the football section of newspapers. Which is fine, but tends to be a bit….serious or straight-faced I guess. The fact is that some reporter who has been covering that beat for quite a while and understandably is hugely invested in the club. This is a good thing and I usually want to read that kind of serious football journalism when something big is happening.

But most of the time, football is… just a game. I love it that there are sites with writers who clearly love football, but don’t make it some kind of religion. I love it that after many years, my tastes are catered for. Iain Macintosh, the Football Ramble, F365. If you love football but don’t think it’s the most important thing in the whole world, they have you covered.

If it’s not for you, rejoice! Because there are still heaps of other football sites out there for you that are different in both tone and content (googling best football blogs every few seasons usually introduces me to something cool).

F365 seems to me to be a place where people will lose it when their team loses…..but often they are laughing at themselves for it. I dig that. Still angry about Kane not getting a card for his tackle on Lejeune mind.
Hugo (NUFC) Adelaide

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