Harry Maguire deserves a break, and other mails…

Keep your mails coming to theeditor@football365.com…

Ole out?
Nope, Ole in.

I’m willing to back a PE teacher learning on the job who has a knack of getting to every semi final on offer, because he will eventually learn the knack, or get the right players, to get to 4 finals in a row instead of just 4 semis in a row.

Oleeeeee’s at the wheel!

Martial had a stinker (his laziness/tiredness broke our press a number of times from the start) and Fernandinho should have had 2 yellows. Maguire was at fault for the first goal. But i don’t think there is a vast conspiracy at play. We lost, end of. The only criticism i have of Ole is he should have introduced subs earlier.
Kiki, Cork (Manchester United)


Harry needs a rest
Losing 2-0 to a Ciy team with 15 world class players has no shame. United fought well to their capabilities and on another day with Fernandes and Pogba on better form & Martial having his one off world class days, we could have maybe won the match. Anyways, on to the next one.

This mail is more about our Captain Maguire. Over the past few years i have seen him play, he seems like an elite defender when played alongside a pacey partner. But over the past year (After Greece) he seems to be prone to brain farts, doubting himself in split second situations and sometimes just terrible decision making. Case in point the City game, where he just let the ball bounce in front on him and go to Stones for what was a stupid goal to concede. I was absolutely fuming….
…BUT, then i read the stat that said that over the past calendar year, Harry Maguire played the MOST MINUTES out of ANY PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL PLAYER. And to me that sounds absolutely insane. To have been so rigorously grinded down has to have had its physical and mental exertions especially in a year like 2020.

So to all the United fans, and the banter fans of other clubs, know that Maguire has been worked to the bone and with some rest can truly be a world class CB.

Aman (Giving the benefit of doubt is my new year resolution)


Spursy at Wembley
Well, a final with Jose….

A final with the manager with the most wins in the competition, playing against a team we beat 2-0 mere weeks ago, with the most potent strike duo in the league up top….I still can’t entertain the idea that we will win.

Spurs, innit?
Jon, Lincoln.


Breaking up with your team
Much like Lawless, who is on the brink of dumping Preston North End, I cleanly and successfully ended things with my first and only club, Blackburn Rovers. I mean, I still have fond memories of them, and a few times a season I might look to see where they are in the league, but I have no emotional connection these days. I don’t mind if they get promoted, relegated, or hover in mid-table for the rest of my life, and I can only name one of their current squad plus the manager. I am effectively a neutral.

I had supported them since Howard Kendall was player-manager, but in the end it was a combination of factors that gradually stopped me caring about them. Premier League fatigue and overexposure was significant, but Big Sam was where the rot really set in. When he arrived, it felt like a definitive end to the fun of overachievement under Mark Hughes and Graeme Souness. Dull football, survival at all costs. El-Hadji Diouf. The party was over.

Then things spiralled out of control. The Walker family sold up, and we had horror of Venkys and Steve Kean. Among many highly questionable decisions, they signed the son of the agent who brokered the deal, who naturally played a grand total of zero games. By this time I was only really following them on forums, which became hate-filled pits of despair. There was scandalous gossip, secret videos and legal threats. It was depressing and nasty.

And that’s where I jumped off. Much as I loved the surreal Dalglish and Shearer years, I think my favourite time with Rovers was when Don Mackay was in charge and they spent successive seasons almost but not quite reaching the first division. Winning the Full Members Cup. That was exciting, but I was young. We just sort of grew apart.
Martin, BRFC


Liverpool crocks not Klopp’s fault
So apparently – if you believe opinions here and elsewhere on the internet – the current injuries suffered by Liverpool players are down to Jurgen Klopp fatiguing his squad over the past two seasons.

Huh?! Say wha?!
Thiago Alcantara, Diogo Jota and Konstantinos Tsimikas were all signed THIS SEASON! They were the players who were meant to offer rest and rotation, but have instead missed most of the season. Only Thiago has returned so far.

Virgil Van Dijk was looking fit and formidable until Jordan Pickford chopped his leg in half (the same game Richarlison did the same thing to Thiago btw). Joe Gomez was injured training with England. Naby Keita had COVID.

Plus Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joel Matip ALWAYS spend time out injured. Our other injuries have been typical small ones that you’d expect in a season.
Still Klopp’s fault?

Yes he relies on the same players. Those players finished 2nd to Man City while winning the Champion’s League, then followed it up by winning the league title the next season by more than 20 points!!

He tried to give those players some ‘help’ with some excellent signings. It’s incredibly bad luck that they were all injured shortly after arriving.

Despite all of this, Klopp’s Liverpool are still backed by many pundits to go back-to-back, and have the Champions’ League knockout games to come. Not bad for a side in ‘crisis’, led by a manager who doesn’t know what he’s doing.
Glen (can’t wait for all the backlash) Stuart, Aotearoa


Klopp is already a long-term success
A quick check on Google finds Klopp earning promotion to the Bundesliga in 2004 now according to J. B. (MUFC) ‘S very high standards that might not be considered high level to me it is. Alot of fans reading this mailbox support teams that play at that level.

So Klopp been managing high level football since 2004. His time at Dortmund is legendary domestic double Against Pep Guadiolas Bayern. His impact at that club can still be seen long after they parted ways.I think it will be the same at liverpool. His name is forever written in Liverpool folklore.

Altogether he has won 9 major trophies and recieved 15 major management awards decent effort for 16 years of top level football.Klopp has shown commendable quality of learning from past mistakes. Bringing in Thiago, Jota, Minamino and Tsimikas shows he is aware of the need to keep the team fresh.

Covid and unlucky impact injuries aside I think we would have been in a much better position to retain the title. Man Utd like Chelsea and spurs before them will fall away.
Donp LFC

MAILBOX: Klopp not cut out for long-term success with exhausted Liverpool


Sit back and relax
I have been reading with increasing boredom the bitchy tit for tat complaints about penalties etc. between United and Liverpool fans in recent days / weeks but I have to say, on the whole, things should be pretty interesting from here on in this season. We are now in a position where United can win their game in hand and go three clear at the top of the table, then play Liverpool and (highly unlikely though it is) beat them and go six points ahead of them. That would be a decent buffer to maybe ensure an actual title race between those two and City which would be excellent entertainment.

Kiki, Cork (Manchester United) nailed when they said for everyone just to sit back and relax and enjoy the ride and stop whining and moaning and complaining about bias, conspiracies and everything else. I have been a United fan my entire life, through the pretty grim 1980s, the magnificent 1990s and the noughties (mixed bag but largely excellent) through the post-Fergie years. I have witnessed 13 title wins in my lifetime and the one that sticks out as the most memorable and enjoyable was the 2009 race between Benitez and Fergie, Liverpool and United, Torres and Vidic, that United won in the end. My favourite title win because of who we pipped to the title.

So, this season is a win-win. Either the nigh-on impossible happens and Ole manages to keep the momentum going and lead United to a title win at Liverpool’s expense, or disrupts Liverpool enough to allow City to pip them both to it, or Liverpool win it at United and City’s expense which would obviously be much more enjoyable for them than the cake walk last season. Even if that happens United fans would, I think, join me in being surprised and delighted with a season of actual progress. Which would make me a massive hypocrite because I have repeatedly called for Ole to be sacked over the past year and a half, but, hey, them’s the breaks lol.

Either way, kick back, relax and allow yourself to be distracted by a crazy season of actual interest.
Mangor United, Belfast


Football Twitter
Jonny Nic’s article about social media and toxicity amongst football fans is correct throughout and highlights a problem that I find makes football less enjoyable.

Football twitter has become a polarized field where random troll accounts are doing all they can to gain traction and views. This is supported by banter pages which fuel this fire and to an extent BT, Amazon Sports and Sky Sports.

Not to sound like a tin hat conspiracy theorist but I feel like football twitter and the banter pages work perfectly with the likes of sky and bt as they antagonize ordinary fans who just want to see some opinions. My own father can get riled up by the comments under posts by Empire of the Kop. While some might think that he is foolish for being included by these pages, one must consider the motives behind the pages. Some of football banter pages can produce stats and screen grabs that would take hours to find. Josep Maria Bartomeu, the former Barcelona president reportedly paid 100 grand to a company to post negative tweets about Messi, Pique and others to improve his own image. Should we view football banter pages and social media posts about players etc with some suspicion. While I’m not saying there’s a grand conspiracy, I think it’s cromulent to assume that the pages are being deliberately antagonistic to make money. It’s no different to why paddy power runs ‘funny’ marketing campaigns, it makes them money.

READ MORE: Tribal monsters and their clubs in toxic harmony

…Very interesting read and I agree a lot with it. When did it begin though? I grew up in the 90’s and I vividly remember the ‘green street’ and ‘the football factory’ attitudes surrounding football. This whole ‘It us against them’ but if I remember correctly it was more to do with the unity with your group, letting loose and having a fight with others.
This died down in the late 2000’s and seemed all but gone by 2015. People I knew who admired that part of football grew out of it and agreed it was more about rage and their socioeconomic situation than hate for any other team, person or race.(Not all mind)
Your article and the reality of time since then appear to paint the next five year picture.
What I would like to add is that this all sounds rudishly(think I made that word up but dam it feels right) similar to what has happened to society since then.
Brexit, Trump and this new, if you have a voice, it matters, no matter how vile, incoherent or misunderstood. Gobble up as much false information you can so long as it soothes what they say is aching, not reflecting whatsoever on the current situation or indeed even to look to far into what you really feel, think or want or even who really is that person shouting this guff and how they benefit from your time defending and supporting them.
That also said, if you have a voice, it does matter, but a few years ago I think people remembered, that not everything we say matters, and not everything that matters needs to be said.
The current attitude is a bit like Frank Lampards Chelsea, either too defensive or too offensive without any real middle ground. Most agree this is unstable and will lead to his downfall.
Let’s not make the same mistake.


…Football365’s mailbox is a fantastic forum for positive and rigorous discussions around the issues of the day in the football world. While there is conflict and contention around issues, there is a sense that the ideas shared are in good faith.
Johnny Nic’s article on tribalism is interesting as it asks fans to reflect on their contributions to debates. With that being said, the comment section underneath the mailbox is a host for some of the worst elements of toxic tribalism and does a disservice to the positive contributions taking place above. Comments are personal in nature and many of the regular accounts purposely provoke fans. Now one could argue that this is not football365’s problem, however, it almost feels like it illustrates the problem facing football. Below the enlightened articles of award winning journalists, are the worst facets of our online society.
Take print journalism, you just can’t cause the same level of negativity sitting at home reading the broadsheets or the tabloids. You can’t reach out and spew negativity without taking responsibility for your anger or issues in life. Sport mirrors life and being a fan is an extension of life. To Johnny Nic, football represents a source of joy and a spotlight on the social issues facing our society. One of these issues is online trolling and hostility online. It is terrible that Leeds used their platform to incite negativity towards a woman, however, an uncontrolled comments section is not a million miles away from this. I think that this website does not need the comments section in its current form. I am confident that the editor rejects mails everyday for a variety of reasons. In this light, it would be good to see the editor or staff remove content which only promotes negativity or ridicule.
In doing so, the forum becomes more positive and encourages those who disagree with the mailbox to express their disagreement in a more constructive way.


Pointless penalty debate
Let’s do a thought experiment. How many clubs will have fans who believe that they have had the better of refereeing decisions with respect to penalties – received or given? As a United fan, I can point out even in this season, an unfair decision that’s gone against us, for every penalty given. James got a yellow card when he should have had a pen for an arm on the neck against Leeds. Mings led with his elbow into Pogba’s face and went unpunished. Luke Shaw should have had a pen vs Villa. I could go on. The reality is that every fan will remember those instances when his or her club was wronged.

So back to the thought experiment. If fans are generally correct, then overall there should be a balance between fans on penalties fairly/ unfairly awarded. For every club that’s been unfairly treated, there will be a club which has benefited from the same decisions. Unless I’m much mistaken, what we’ll get is every club feeling that they’ve been hard done by, when it comes to pens given, or not. So all fans can’t be right. The question then becomes which ones are?

Liverpool fans and Klopp seem to think that Liverpool are the victims here, largely on the basis of more penalties given to other clubs. There’s an obvious problem with that logic itself, but the real irony here is that over the course of the Premier League (i.e. since football began), Liverpool have had more penalties (108) than Man United (103). (Yes I’m off work today, how did you guess?). So for Klopp to whinge about United’s penalties is actually even funnier than it seems at face value.

We could argue endlessly about the minutiae of style of play, and winning penalties. But let me just stick with the data and say that clearly the extra penalties over the past 30 years has not helped Liverpool to win the league. In fact when Liverpool did win the league last year they won just 5 pens to United’s 14. Even in this season Liverpool are only one penalty behind United in the count. So let’s take Klopp’s comments for what they are – a diversion from the real issue – his team is knackered, and struggling with form. How much of that is down to him is a moot point. But the diversion is straight from the Ferguson playbook so well done Klopp.

But as far as penalties are concerned, they are a non-issue. Man City were 13th in the list of penalties awarded in their 18-19 all conquering season. Newcastle United won as many pens as Arsenal did in their invincible season. And Liverpool won 7 penalties to United’s 2 in the 1999 treble winning season. Need I say more?
Ved Sen MUFC


Interesting take on the Klopp “rant” from Kiki.
Is it a “rant” by stating the facts?
United have gotten more penalties since Ole took over in 2018 than Klopp has since October 2015.
That’s all he said.
It is 100% correct.
32 Penalties to Utd.
30 to Liverpool.
Where’s the rant part?.

Also an interesting take on Benitezs’ facts rant and how he was “goaded into it by Ferguson.”
How exactly did Fergie goad him?.
2 main issues Rafa had were:
(1)Fergie abusing officials at ht and not being punished.Felt other managers got fined and banned from the dugout for doing the same.
(2)Utd having home fixtures after every CL game(luckily,an issue Ole won’t have to deal with in the first half of 2021).
How was he goaded into doing his facts “rant.”
Was Fergie in charge of fixture scheduling?.
Was he abusing Rafa and his silly goatee to the refs?.

Genuinely wondering as I have heard many takes on it from ex Utd and Lpool players who were playing then and not 1 of them has ever inferred that goading was involved.
Some of them implied Rafa doing it took everyone by surprise as it had been a calm rivalry up to then(as Liverpool had never challenged for a league till that season under Rafa).
I’m no fan of Rafa so am seriously wondering how you came at it from that angle.

I also love this “VAR shows we should have had more penalties” rubbish.
VAR gave you a pen when Fernandes 2 footed a Villa player last season.

The issue is consistency.
Pogba barely touches Connolly v Brighton, Connolly kicks his own legs-no pen.
Luiz barely touches Pogba v Villa, he kicks his own legs-pen given.
Same with Mane v S’ton and no pen was given yet Welbeck got a joke of a penalty which took them 3 minutes to decide.
Either give all of them or give none(I don’t think any were penalties, the bar should be high to win a penalty, not all contact in the box is a penalty).

Trippier farce exposes betting power over football

Gambling in football
Again, I liked the article and it made some very valid points.

Hooooowever, let’s say all footballers could leak said info about transfers and/or other football related issues to friends for financial gains, with none for themselves.

Now financially they would not be incentivized, but seeing as most footballers come from poor to modest backgrounds, helping friends financially would surely be a huge incentive. Not only do they help, but they don’t pay.

Now you were spot on with the vast sums they make and could surely spare. Not a doubt in my mind. You did however mention the integrity of sport.

Players trying to help family and friends with transfer information could lead to a situation were the bookies now have the most information about a transfer, this giving them more power to manipulate clubs, players or fans more. Liverpool’s sneaky transfers wouldn’t be so sneaky.

Then to the actual game itself, hypothetically, let’s say you have two players from the same neighborhood, with the same friends, playing for two very different teams. One a league chaser and one a relegation candidate. Information was shared that a bust up in training has led to problems in the relegation camp. You both know your friends need help and have bet there savings on the leader. Now your playing for the relegation team knowing this might be ashamed to put in a real effort.(I personally think you play for the badge, 100%)

Not the beat example but you can get the jist of it.

The ban seems a bit much and will probably be reduced but a statement does need to be made to footballers to not to be so blatant with their inside information.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *