Man City’s cakewalk? Liverpool won the easiest European Cup ever…

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A City fan responds to… everyone
Can everyone please stop for just one day with all the vitriol against city. Saw an email this morning damning the whole city fan base because we didn’t all write in to F365 full of joy the second we won the treble. (I know I do see the irony of being stung into a response but so what?) Maybe we aren’t so needy for independent affirmation or driven by the desire to ram it down everyone’s throats? Perhaps F365 just published the emails it felt would generate the most engagement – I don’t know.

There have also been about 500 emails from disgruntled Liverpool fans furious about FFP and human rights abuses. I applaud their newly found consciences, I really do. I’m sure F365 is also getting lots of email from other cub’s supporters equally furious. No? Well I suspect we just need to agree that’s driven by a completely different motivation then. I’m pretty sure those people would be delighted to read about some human rights transgression against the homosexual community they could use to beat city with. Just think about that for a second, perhaps whilst looking in a mirror. It’s not about outrage at the way people are treated, it’s about making you feel better about losing the league to city. Yes it is, really, it really is. So you can all stop for five minutes. We get it and we are not going to stop supporting our team or feel any less joy, because we know your motivation. That’s the unabated, empirical truth in this.

I was at Wembley on Saturday and it was glorious. (special mention to Watford supporters inside and outside who were amazing I have to say). I was also at the parade last night and if you want to see an outpouring of joy and pride you really should have been there.

But if anyone is wondering why City fans don’t invade this site with their self-congratulatory, needy pleas for attention it’s because we are just a little bit tired of the sniping and false morality on display here. Suddenly Liverpool fans are being fair to united fans and recognising their achievements because they ‘did it the right way’. Arsenal fans are acknowledging the feats of all previous foes because they didn’t ‘financially dope’. Meanwhile supporters of every other club in the world don’t care because they never had their noses in the trough to begin with. City have nudged you aside and now you’re complaining it’s not fair. Tough. I suspect deep down you know it isn’t going to change.

Rambling now, as it’s been stewing for a few days, but Tim(?) the united fan who said he’d stop supporting united if the Saudis took over. No you wouldn’t, everyone knows it. So you can stop too.

Also Liverpool fans droning on about your European Cups, desperate for us to be envious. Sorry, no. We wanted to beat you to the title this year, that’s the simple plain truth of it. It felt so good last Sunday that I’d argue I felt better about this win than any other, even the Sergio moment. Whilst we are at it, the CL is a cup competition open to same vagries of one off games all cup competitions are prone to. Would I like to win it? Absolutely. But do I think it the pinnacle of the season, no chance. Just take a look at who you beat in 1978 to win ‘the big one’ – a bye in the first round (an actual bye!) then dynamo Dresden, Benfica in the quarters (after just one proper tie) , Borussia Monchengladbach in a semi and Bruges at Wembley in the final. I’ve had harder sh*ts. Your achievement back then was winning the English first division to give you a chance to represent England. For chrissakes, every English team that entered it pretty much won it at that time. So no it’s the Premier League all day long for me (and you I suspect) thank you.

I think that covers it.

And breath…
Steve – (MCFC – now, then, forever) Manchester


Kirk MUFC. And there, in a nutshell Old Son, is why there are so many ABUs and ABLs. You’re mystified as to why City fans aren’t bombarding the mailbox “Crowing” about winning the treble. It’s called dignity mate. Not wishing to brag, or stick your face in somebody else’s shouting LOSER!

There was something of a little party last night in Manchester City centre. It involved not only our men’s treble winning team but also our women’s double winning one. Both shared the stage and the adulation of City fans as equals. We haven’t bombarded the mailbox about that either.

We know what we’ve won. What we’ve achieved. How far we’ve come since the Gillingham play-offs 20 years ago.

We just don’t have the rather pathetic need to, you know, ‘crow’ about it.


…So, Kirk, MUFC, reckons City fans have greeted the treble with a shrug, simply because they haven’t emailed a pile of emotional incontinence to a football website?

You need to get out a bit more mate. Maybe check out the crowds who showed up for the treble victory parade in Manchester, or at Wembley? Didn’t look like they were shrugging to me. Some of them looked like they were having a bit of fun! Remember that? Maybe sending a ‘nah-nah, look at us!’ email wasn’t on their to-do list?

City supporters in the main don’t send long missives to 365 because there’s more to be getting on with. We leave that to fellow members of the Big 2 / Top 4 / Big 6, whatever it is. There’s no shortage of them!
Wexford Blue


…Wow, what high horses we all have of late. Can’t we keep that type of stuff for twitter where it belongs and where I don’t go. Can’t we debate possible signings and who we least want to win the Champions league and those more important things?

I too am jealous than Man City have “broken football” somehow by winning the league by a solitary point in one of the closest races since the premiership began and have also made winning a treble boring by beating a load of inferior teams put before them. However, I’ll offer a more pragmatic view.

When Tiger Woods entered the World of golf some 25 years or so ago, he did not break golf, he raised the bar. Similarly, Steve Davis did not break snooker, nor did Stephen Hendry. In tennis, Roger Federer did not break that sport and Michael Schumacher did not break F1 – actually it broke itself but that’s another debate. The 4 minute mile was once seen as impossible but now thousands have done it.

What all these people and countless more did was to raise the bar.

In football, or more specifically as it’s the only type of football that matters, the premier league, Arsene came in with his nutritionists and fitness regime and other mumbo jumbo that was never seen before and now is common place, Jose started the league at a sprint and left others in his wake when previously pre-season was the first 6 or 7 games of the new season, Fergie and Jose were the first to realise you needed a squad and not just a first XI and now Pep has raised the bar even further by making the second XI as good as the first. Klopp knows it for sure and the rest of the pretenders to the title will also have to realise it pretty soon.

The funny thing about when someone in sport raises the bar is that it never comes back down again. Get used to it. Let’s not forget Liverpool were not left in their wake – they were 1 point behind – are they then accomplices to breaking football? And what if Man Utd had spent their money more wisely since Fergie left? (stop laughing at the back) Would they be so far behind? It’s not Citys fault that only one of the top 6 other than them has been progressing over the last few seasons, honourable mention to spurs but you cannot compete for the premier league without investing in the team as shown by the fact that Spurs have only ever been an honourable mention and never even got close to competing up to the last day of the season or even the last month or two. Leicester would not have happened had the usual top six all been pissing against the wind at the time.

I can’t stand City or Liverpool but you’ve got to give them credit for the teams they’ve both built, it takes more than just money, however earnt – Man Utd need to take note, but we won’t.
Jon, Cape Town (Man Utd fan so COYS in champs BTW)


Lamps for Chelsea
Haven’t been paying ultra close attention to the idea of Lampard becoming Chelsea boss sooner or later but I see one big problem.

Chelsea is currently on its 13th manager (yeh I was a bit shocked too!) in the 16 years of current ownership. I didn’t count the weeks Butch and Steve Holland served as stand-ins. Which is all fine, but how does it square with Frank presumably trying to forge a long career in management?

I get the romance of him returning to manage Chelsea one day, I just think it’s really unfortunate for him that his dream job can only realistically last 2 ish seasons under present ownership. I guess JT steps through the revolving door after that?

I wonder given the family history, whether West Ham might really be Frank’s ideal long term managerial home.
Aussie Red


…So I normally rise above the ‘why do you hate my club’ stuff but Lampard being ideal for Chelsea because he’s the only one us savage, ravenous fans won’t turn on?? So nothing about having a fine tactical plan, integrating youth players, recruiting the right fit and most importantly, having a track record of more than one (1!) year?

Yes, some of the fan base is anti-Sarri, but what Roman/Maria/? is trying to implement is flying in the face of the Chelsea that brought so much success. Look at our league titles – Mourinho x 3, Ancelotti and Conte. Our greatest successes have come from a powerful team playing on the counter. So the revolution was never going to be easy was it? In the last 15 years, tiki-taka was the enemy – they looked down on our football and we didn’t fancy theirs. Throw in taking Kante out of DM and the distrust became anger. This was his system and it wasn’t amazing. Conte switched to his system and won in his first year so why couldn’t Maurizio? That is as simple as the thought process is.

He obviously needs more time, more than Jorginho as a tactical signing, 3x50m fullbacks etc. It started out as fan distrust but the media has definitely fanned flames with these ‘noises coming out of Stamford Bridge’. Player unrest? Lampard in? These are all just random stories coming out of the ether. Why would players be unhappy with 3rd and 2 cup finals. Who are the major players being sidelined causing ‘player unrest’ – Cahill aside? Two big seniors have just signed contract extensions. If anything, Sarri didn’t switch to youth quickly enough but I actually think he did a very good job with RLC and was unlucky with injuries. Why would Frank come after just one season? I’m sorry but you’re making Chelsea a caricature – and that is tabloid journalism.
Saaj (maybe I’m just annoyed at GOT being sh*t) CFC


Ticket farce
Just wanted to add to the topic of the farce surrounding ticketing at the Womens World Cup. I bought 4 sets of tickets to 4 games, in Nice and Grenoble. I unfortunately did not notice that 2 of the games happened on the same day, and I wouldn’t be able to attend one or the other. (Not enough time after the first game to travel to the second one).

I contacted the organizers by email and received a form letter response which did not address my concern, beyond stating “it is not possible to modify or cancel your order”. I called them on the phone, and was told the same thing by a very rude customer “service” agent. I wasn’t surprised by the outcome, but the guy quite clearly demonstrated 0 interest or consideration in the circumstances. It was clear that his job was to object to any refund or modification request, not to listen to customers.

This mirrors exactly the tone of FIFA’s response to the adjacent seat fiasco. They do not care at all, in any shape or form. They want to keep the money fans have already paid. They – the local organizers in France – do not need to worry about how this affects the support of womens football going forward, they only need to worry about how much revenue this specific tournament generates.

The major stakeholders in the womens game – WSL, USWNT, Lyon, etc – need to use whatever clout they have to escalate this issue above the heads of the local FIFA organizers in France, or none of this will change and serious damage may be done to the goodwill and positivity surrounding womens football recently.
Oliver Dziggel, Geneva Switzerland


It’s all relative
Paul in the morning mailbox made the point that United have commercial arrangements with various financial institutions from countries that he describes as having “less than squeaky clean human rights records”.

But there is a vast difference between having commercial relationships with institutions from a given country to being directly owned by the autocrats who are personally responsible for the objectionable policy positions that have been discussed in this mailbox ad nauseam.

The positions are not even remotely comparable. It just isn’t the same thing at all. No one (I hope) is saying that it’s wrong to have relationships with any Emirati people or organisations. It’s about the specific accusations of wrongdoing (both football related and non-football related).

Fair enough, maybe some of those entities are less-than-kosher (I honestly wouldn’t know) and maybe United fans like me could be accused of being blasé about that.

However, the direct proximity to the club coupled with the volume of readily available material make the City position pretty unambiguous in a way that, trying to be objective, Paul’s argument hasn’t convinced me on United or any other club.

Besides which, as my mother taught me, two wrongs don’t make a right.
Andy (MUFC)


Moral dilemma
Rob Da Shrimper’s email regarding not supporting United should they be taken over by a questionable regime jogged a few memories from around the time City won the lottery with the Abu Dhabi backers. Soon after, a rumour kicked off that the Saudis were looking to take over United and a few United supporting mates were getting giddy at the prospect. The theory being that we would have richer backers and therefore be able to put City back in their rightful place.

Its slightly digressing from Rob’s theme but my point being that instead of continuing to support an organic club that had been built on past success and an interesting history based on tragic events and iconic players….they would happily enter into a beauty contest to attract the richest backer to dictate and measure our future success.

In essence the league would shift from being a competion based on a clubs ability to manage its own generated income and translate that into a successful team on the pitch into a league in which the team with the richest backer generally wins. I think its a subtle difference and one that City fans will never acknowledge.

In response to Rob DS – the above scenario is more likely to put me off following United and the league in general (and has already eroded my levels of interest) than the suitability of any regime that took over. And the answer would be no, I wouldnt swap for another team.
Plato – MUFC + Venezia FC


…just spotted this in an Twitter argument between John Stapleton from local Manchester news and legendary Krypton Factor host Gordon Burns (now also on local Manchester news)

It surely can’t that Dave the United fan from yesterdays mailbox is actually Gordon Burns!!!
Gavin (not that one, the other one) MCFC


Brighton’s transformation
Yesterday’s appointment of Graham Potter has the potential to be a big milestone in the history of Brighton. If it goes right there is a chance that Brighton will be able to stay in the Premier League for a number of years bringing through their own Premier League quality players. In April the club mentioned that they were planning an end of season AGM to focus on the next five years, and at that point I thought Chris Hughton’s days were numbered. Despite finishing 17th this season for a club the size of Brighton staying in the Premier League should be considered a success. Hughton was brought to the club to win promotion and form a stable basis for the club to develop. He succeeded in his task and was harshly fired in my opinion. However, I have not invested £300m into the club like Tony Bloom, so my opinion doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things.

Tony Bloom clearly has a vision for the club and has invested in a Category One academy, £30m training complex and the wonderful Amex Stadium. I believe the next five years will be designed to maximise the financial benefits of the academy by creating a pathway to the first team. This is why he’s employed Dan Ashworth as the club’s technical director and this is why Chris Hughton was ultimately fired. In Hughton’s four and half years no academy graduate has come into the first team as a regular, but this hasn’t mattered due to the club’s relative success. The academy is now producing players who have the potential to be very successful in the top flight. Christian Walton has just returned from two years with Wigan, where he kept a clean sheet against Man City in the 2018 FA Cup. Victor Gyokeres has been capped for Sweden and Aaron Connolly won Premier League 2 player of the season, seeing off the best players from the top six academies. Bringing Potter in as the new manager will hopefully help to provide opportunities for these and other players in the academy, as well as hopefully maximise the potential of players like Jahanbakhsh.

The two main challenges that Potter will have are winning over the seasoned professionals, who may not be on board with his techniques and having enough time to implement his desired changes if the results are poor. All teams in the Premier League are there on merit and the players represent the top 0.0001% of footballers in the world. Hasenhuttl showed what can be achieved though the right psychology, training and game plans with these top quality players, so hopefully Graham Potter will have a similar effect at Brighton.

Looking forward to the 2019/20 season already!
David Williams


Boss future
Re Mikey… It’s quite obvious which current footballer would make an excellent manager.

James Milner.

He’d win groundsman if the year if he fancied giving it a go.
Peter B


Pragmatic Palace
Interesting take on needing to approach the big 6 with a gung-ho approach in order to get points. Palace tend to adopt a count-attacking approach of absorbing pressure then quickly breaking down the wings. Zaha, Bolasie, RLC, Puncheon and Townsend have all played the role with varying degrees of success. Here is a selected sample of Palace results against the Top 6 since promotion in 2013:


Arsenal 2 – 3 Palace (Palace and Man City only teams to win at Emirates in the League)
Palace 2 – 0 Tottenham (FA Cup)
Manchester City 2 – 3 Palace (Only home defeat in the league for City that season)
Manchester Utd 0 – 0 Palace
Palace 2 – 2 Arsenal
Lost 3 other games against Big 6 by one goal


Chelsea 1 – 2 Palace (Third consecutive victory at Stamford Bridge)
Man City 0 – 0 Palace
Lost 7 other games against Big 6 by one goal


Liverpool 0 – 2 Palace (Third consecutive victories at Anfield)
Chelsea 1 – 2 Palace (Consecutive victories at Stamford Bridge)
Palace 2 – 0 Arsenal
Lost 5 games against Big 6 by one goal


Chelsea 1- 2 Palace
Palace 0 – 0 Man Utd
Liverpool 1 – 2 Palace
Arsenal 1 – 1 Palace
Spurs 0 – 1 Palace (FA Cup)
Lost 4 games against Big 6 by single goal


Palace 3 – 1 Liverpool
Spurs 0 – 0 Palace
Palace 2 – 1 Spurs
Palace 2 – 1 Man City
Liverpool 1 – 3 Palace (Did double over Liverpool/Gerrard’s last game at Anfield)
Lost 6 games Big 6 by a single goal


Palace 1 – 0 Chelsea
Palace 3 – 3 Liverpool (Crystanbul)
Lost 3 games against Big 6 by a single goal

The pattern is that we tend to be competitive against bigger teams as the squad’s mentality and style of play suits playing against bigger teams who dominate possession. Place tried a more progressive approach under FDB and it backfired horribly. Palace’s identity is to soak up and counter. Whilst it may not always be the most attractive or fashionable style of play it is one that often yields excitement against the bigger teams and I imagine few of them enjoy playing us (particularly Liverpool). Our problem is breaking down teams like Cardiff and Huddersfield. Our record against the Top 6 is fine, probably better than most, it is the rest of league (bar Leicester) we struggle against.
Joe, Midlands


Partey time
Forgive the following, but the tabloids need to push, as a priority, Arsenal signing Thomas Partey, so we can enjoy the following headline-based antics:

Arsenal win the International Champions Cup: Partey in the USA.

Partey scores his first goal: We like Tho Partey.

Partey gets caught up in a Kolo Toure-sque love affair: Partey in my Pants.

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Partey gets caught taking the ‘hippy crack’ with his squad mates: The wrong kind of Partey.

Partey gets caught in a web of third-party ownership issues that cause a potential Tevez incident: You’ve gotta fight for your right to Partey.
Tom, Walthamstow

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