Mourinho needs to apologise to Solskjaer after ‘bad father’ jibe

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Mourinho needs to apologise to Solskjaer after ‘bad father’ jibe

Keep your mails coming on Jose Mourinho and anything else to…


Mourinho needs to apologise to Solskjaer
I have to say, about a figurative statement used by a rival is as bad as he has ever gone.

So Ole mentions how his team should be wary of being conned as Lamela exaggerated an incident with Martial in the reverse fixture and his teammates surrounded him as if it was a serious issue, the aim was to get Martial to fight back and he fell for it. And after that, the match was one way traffic.

After the match, Ole used a similar example to the one he used in Son’s case, no one mentions it in his press conference and he doesn’t seem to care what Ole said at that time.

This time however, he loses the match, man utd score first, but after the goal is scored, the spurs players are surrounding a certain teammate raising their hands, the goal is ruled out for a foul by McTominay on Son and as far as I am concerned, if his hand touches his eyes then it’s a foul and no goal, if not, it’s a solid goal, but it doesn’t matter either way because its not a clear and obvious error.

Man utd go on to win the match and Ole mentions how he warned the team against getting conned and uses a similar figurative statement regarding Son who perhaps exaggerated more than Lamela.

This time, Mourinho does not take kindly to his words and either takes it literally or just uses it as a deflection to the actual result, he goes on and on about moral honesty and how far you most go to feed your child. I mean its just plain ridiculous.

Did not someone ask him who was keen to mention honesty why he did not comment when he won and commented when he lost. Did not someone tell him that the media were actually the honest ones as they kept consistent and did not ask him about it both times. Did not someone tell him that it was figurative and that’s not what he meant. Did not someone tell him that he needs to take the blame and suck it in sometimes.

Mourinho needs to realize that even in beefs, arguments, trolls, or memes there are lines that must not be crossed especially between two professionals like that and although many say he is egoistic, I still think he should apologize to Ole for going a bit too far and suggesting he is a bad father.
Sa’ad, Abuja


I’m a life long/diehard Manchester United fan, and in all my years of supporting this club, I never felt so elated as I did after . The 6-1 really hurt and it was the perfect revenge served cold, what a second half performance! Gosh I love football.I’m starting to think ole is the real deal, his halftime team talks seems to be making a big impact, and certainly lifts the spirit and morale of the players.

Jose’s time at united was such a massive disaster, I saw it coming even before he took charge of his first game. Given his reprehensible man management and uncouth nature. His reply to ole’s post match comments solidifies my point. POGBA really gave him something to think about. (Inserts smiley face)

And ohh I used to love Son both personality and style of play but the theatrical performance yesterday, could have won him an oscar, I really thought he had gone blind. Maybe it’s the mourinho effect.
Alaribe Gabriel. Festac town, Nigeria


Tinted specs…
If Dave, Winchester Spurs in this morning’s mailbox thinks McTominey’s hand brushing Son’s face was “exactly the same action” as Lamela’s on Tierney in the NLD then I would suggest he’s looking at both incidents through very rose tinted spectacles.McTominey was past Son, it is Son who tries to grab McTominey and he instinctively puts a hand back to stop Son doing so, he had no idea where his hand would ‘land’ and it turned out his fingertips brushed Son’s face.
Lamela was trying to protect the ball from an onrushing Tierney and deliberately  raised his arm so that Tierney would crash in to that rather than be able to get closer to challenge for the ball. You could argue Lamela was unlucky that his raised arm caught Tierney in the neck/face, but it carried a lot more force than McTominey’s fingertips brush. Lamela caught Tierney with his forearm/elbow.

Now I realise as an Arsenal fan I might be accused of being one-eyed as well, and I can see in Lamela’s case another ref may have given some discretion and not produced a 2nd red – but to suggest both incidents are identical is absolutely farcical.
Rich, AFC


Things even out
On the back of Paul McDevitt’s email about things evening out, I think you may have misunderstood the phrase…

Liverpool being on -6 VAR decisions and bottom of that table, means precisely nothing. They are not necessarily at any disadvantage because, if I understood correctly, thats just raw data about overturned decisions – those decisions may or may not have been correctly overturned! If I’ve misunderstood and that’s a table of bad decisions apologies… but that’s probably just one person’s partisan opinion…

It could just as easily be evidence of on field refs being biased in favour of Liverpool when compared to City and thats why they get so may decisions from the on field refs that are overturned when reviewed dispassionately… if you think about it, so many decisions going in Liverpool’s favour over key events that then have to be corrected, really questions the integrity of the contest, because while the odd offside goal gets disallowed because of irrefutable evidence, they may be still be getting the incalculable benefit of the imbalanced decision making in other areas of the pitch, the throw ins that should have gone to the other side, the challenges that they should have been booked for but weren’t, etc, that never get overturned, but can still make the contest fundamentally unfair!

I don’t actually believe that Liverpool do get that favourable treatment (…Well, maybe) but it’s really just a demonstration of the uselessness  of the raw overturned decision data, or at the very least a suggestion that it could be evidence a different, less favourable, point than the one you think you’re proving.

The “they balance out” cliché (which is a load of rubbish anyway) is about bad decisions balancing out, whether that is a bad decision by the on-field referee or otherwise.

I won’t comment on the Firminho offside because I didn’t see the game, but the way the Premier League assess them is, indeed, a nonsense. As has been pointed out before, just freezing the footage and drawing two lines simply doesn’t work, because they aren’t doing anything to pinpoint when exactly the ball has been struck, and if you pick the wrong frame either side, it can look completely different.

When you compare it, for example, to the technology used in cricket for LBWs, or using sound to assess whether a ball clipped the edge of a bat (which could maybe be used to pinpoint the moment the ball was struck?), it’s absolutely laughable. Maybe there just isn’t a comparable technological solution for offsides but if there isn’t, they need to stop with the current method and just do it by eye, giving benefit of the doubt to either the attacking team (my preference) or defending team, because the decisions they are giving are all over the place…
Andy (MUFC)


I’m done…
Supporting your football club is a life long commitment. Usually not a healthy one, it resembles one of those tumultuous relationships that has crazy highs and depressing lows. An addiction really, isn’t it. It is always there, being consistently inconsistent. Even in those bad times when you tell yourself it could be the end: it isn’t.


I was looking at the images of him approaching Luke Shaw – whilst Ole is in frame delighted at the win and, of course, having Shaw as probably the best LB in the league right now – and you can see the utterly broken soul (or whatever he has in place of a soul) in the mans face. It’s brilliant. Just desserts. Karma. Whatever turn of phrase you wish to apply. But hang on a minute. That’s at the expense of my club? This isn’t right. Well, it is. Because that man, Mr Mourinho, has pushed me over the edge. He has broken my spirit so much so that I’m no longer an addict. It’s just complete indifference and it’s something I no longer need or feel connected to. It should be sad really but, hey, that’s indifference for you.

So there you have it. I’m done, sober and clean.

Just know I’m prime for a relapse once he’s sacked when Spurs are inevitably 16th come 10 games in next season.
Glen, Indifferent Spur


John Achterbackward
Dear Ed

After the match against Madrid in which our moustachioed Alisson was again made to look average, I had a think… has any goalkeeper brought in since 2009 by Liverpool actually improved? Why 2009? Because that is the year that the polarising figure of John Achterberg was appointed as a goalkeeping coach. Now I know that some football sites have sung his praises, frankly I question whose judgment is worse, those sites, or my beloved club for keeping a non-functioning cog in the machinery.

A quick glance at Pepe Reina’s LFC record shows that he won the golden glove in 2006, 2007, 2008. Nothing since 2009. No improvement by Achterberg there. After Pepe we had some terrible signings before settling on the amazingly average Simon Mignolet. Did he ever improve? I’d make an argument he got worse the more he played. Then came the crying Karius who was just as hapless. Achterberg must have rubbed his hands together because he knew they were so average, no one would ever put any blame at his doorstep for not improving them.

Klopp assessed and determined we needed to spend big on Alisson. Achterberg baulked, how on earth would he ever get a Brazilian international to regress? Simple; by coaching him.

Now I’ve often thought Alisson makes goalkeeping look so basic. With his positioning, it’s like he never overexerts himself. Body behind the ball, easy game. Yet I struggle to remember many saves where Ali is at full stretch, diving and keeping it out of the corner (against West Ham maybe but who else?). In fact I’d go as far as saying Alisson is one of the worst when it comes to making diving saves. Lately though he’s been getting the basics wrong, as is evidenced against Aston Villa.

Losing your father makes the mind wander but with the correct guidance you can refocus your mind. Achterberg guiding Alisson back to his incredible best? Nothing in his track record suggests he will.

Get rid, FSG.

Wik, Pretoria (maybe I’m upset because Ali shaved his glorious mo’), LFC


1) I think it was around this time last year that my dad first asked what, at the time, seemed like the question of a dribbling idiot: “Is Alisson actually any good?”  Naturally I responded to say that as the greatest goalie on the planet and all round demi-god he was, you know, a bit useful. However, at the same time it did set off a small alarm bell in my mind.

Time has since moved on and obviously Alisson has suffered the immense sadness of losing his own father so it feels wrong to doubt a man when he is down. Nevertheless I will anyway by asking a) when was the last time Alisson made a really good save?  You know one of those where you think “How on earth did he save that???”,  ii) when was the last time Alisson had a really commanding game – caught crosses, dominated the box, exuded confidence? and iii) is he, to put not too fine a point on it, carrying a bit of extra timber lately that’s diminishing his agility?

2) Seeing Gareth Southgate in the stands as Liverpool played Villa at the weekend a thought occurred – if he was there to keep an eye on a Liverpool defender perhaps it wasn’t Trent. Perhaps it was Liverpool’s player of the month for March. Could he be a (really, really, really) dramatic late new entry on   Whisper it about someone who was playing second division German football last year and apparently only stayed at Liverpool over the summer because no one really wanted to buy him, but, on current form he’d be a better bet that Mings, Coady, Dier etc, wouldn’t he?

Paul (LFC fan obviously hoping that Alisson makes me look like the dribbling idiot by performing heroics against Madrid this week)



Cut Newcastle some slack?
Dear Ed,

Firstly let me clarify that I’m not a fan, so I’m no authority on the club nor do I watch every single game they play.  I’m sympathetic to the plight of their fans under the ownership of Mike Ashley and I completely understand the apathy to that  outdated brand of stodgy football Steve Bruce’s team play.

However I feel the stick they’ve gotten this season is a tad bit unfair. Their 2 most influential and important attackers Wilson and St Maximin  have been missing for large portions of the season. Any bottom half team will struggle to if you take out 2 of their talisman.

How would Southampton fare without either Ings and JWP? We’ve seen Palace’s struggles without Zaha but what if Eze was out of the mix as well? .

I feel the media is less holistic with their judgement when it comes to teams that are considered less fashionable.. How much has been written about the impact of VVD’s injury on Liverpool’s season or the absence of Raul Jimmnez for Wolves. Now compare that to caveats about ASM or Wilson when it comes to discussing Newcastle’s mediocre season.

None of this is to say the status quo should be accepted at Newcastle but I do feel for Newcastle this season. ASM alone would have probably won then a few points on his own with his cavalier and absurdly joyful style of play.
Gautham (Fantrax fantasy football addict, Chennai)


Some musings…
A few thoughts from :

  • Watching us (LFC) grab the late win was indeed glorious after the time wasting implemented by Villa. Funny how you never see keepers catch an innocuous ball then fall to the floor when the team is behind. I’m sure we all feel this smugness when it is our team winning late on when the opposition do their best to waste time.
  • Seeing a lot of united fans complaining about Son’s face-break (it was a bad flop from him), but not seeing people criticise Rashford for falling to the floor holding his face (a good 20-30 seconds) after taking a nudge to the back of the ankle on the edge of the spurs box? Admittedly not as bad but lets not pretend united are saints in this regard.
  • While on the subject of the VAR decisions, it is ridiculous that the first goal was disallowed for that contact, but it is the correct decision by the letter of the law. This isn’t a new phenomenon either, I can recall back in 2015 LFC vs Roma (I think) Borini running along with the ball and exact same event, he got a straight red for it.
  • This was also ref’d by a foreign referee, so importing won’t help. Watching games abroad (particularly spain and Italy) I would say they would be more inclined to give those decisions with more severe punishments.
  • For me, as infuriating as VAR is, neither that or the referees  (although some are really bad, looking at you Coote) are the issue, I think its that the rules are yet to catch up with the implementation of VAR. I believe offside was brought in to stop goal-hanging, not to check if players shirt sleeves are offside (It would be hilarious to see clubs introduce tank-top kits to reduce the risk of their sleeves being offside). So until the rules are updated to properly accommodate the introduction of VAR, this infuriation with referees will continue.



A few good mails
Paul (Spurs), that was really quite brilliant. Stephen (Ireland), I’ve felt this for a while. I mean, why does the Premier League have to have English officials? They’re certainly not helping the brand. The English Premier League (as it’s sold around the world) is far from English, and that’s what’s made it the best league in the world. So, employ some bloody competent foreign refs! Hell, call Colina out of retirement. Honestly, it just smacks of the same small-mindedness as the small-minded small clubs voting against keeping the five subs rule for this season. Sorry Wilder, but, even Sheffield United looked like they could have used the extra subs yesterday. Actually, that’s something from project restart I wouldn’t mind seeing as a permanent change. To appease the poorer clubs you could have a rule where at least two of the subs have to be under 21/academy players. And, of course, keep the three slots rule. What’s not to like? Seriously, in what has been the true covid season with no true pre-season and an international tournament coming up right after the small-minded small clubs have been almost as embarrassing as our refs. Even the bloody Championship went with the extra subs. And now, at a crucial stage of the season, my Arsenal boys who were called up by their countries over the international slog are looking rather over-done. Arsenal probably won’t have European football next season if Tierney, Ødegaard, Smith-Rowe, and Saka aren’t fit. But, hey, Wilder and United are facing their own “natural deselection”, so, whatever.
Simon, Norf London Gooner 

P. S. I still think all banned performance enhancing substances should have been on the table for this season. Like, seriously, who wouldn’t wanna see that?


VAR problem
On the VAR problem in Winners and Losers: it is a blight on the game and has ruined the sport for us traditionalists. The moment it was brought in, we could all see the problems and football hasn’t been the same since. Let’s all admit that the the law makers in the mid-nineteenth century didn’t know what they were doing: we need to scrap the offside law.

This is all very tongue-in-cheek, but I would be curious to know what the mailbox thinks the ramifications would be. A goal-(or penalty box)-tending law would probably need to be introduced, and football tactics would need a major rethink (the pitch would be dramatically stretched).


People respond to incentives. Tis very literally our nature. And thinking on the way VAR is currently being used, I think the future of football is clear: players will be coached to go down, scream, and stay down at every potential opportunity. I mean, tell me Spurs players weren’t coached that way yesterday? How many needed ‘treatment’ for their savage injuries?

But game theory it out: you’re Son. McTominay has lost you, you try to haul him back by the shirt and fail, but he touches your cheek. Well, if you don’t fake death and scream loud enough we hear it at home, United go on to score. But if you lay there just long enough for the entire Spurs team to remonstrate with the referee, you might, MIGHT save a goal. And what’s the downside? Your dignity?

I doubt many people saw the Grenada match on Thursday (because why would you watch the Europa?) but their entire gameplan was: kick United players, scream and feign injury when touched. And it worked a treat, the match was stop-start, no rhythm and I believe United had 7 yellow cards, despite only one Grenada player actually being hurt, who did it by hacking down Dan James. It’s an excellent strategy, because referees are human beings.

And when we hear someone scream, it activates a primitive part of our brain and will influence our behaviour.

So, for me, it comes to the powers that be: the tv companies. Do they want a spectacle where we hear players screaming every time they’re touched? Does that sell well with advertisers? Because if not, they need to speak to their minions, sorry, the referees association and introduce punishment for faking pain. Or else every player will be coached to do this, every time there’s contact. Go watch any other level of football, and this simply doesn’t happen. Players are cheating because referees are being influenced by it.
Ryan, Bermuda (Sky should use AI to replace all player screams with Wilhelm screams)


Sorry to inflict another VAR mail on everyone, I’ll try to keep it brief.Reading Winners and Losers on this topic and I’m still shocked by what happened in the Wolves v Fulham game.

In the freeze frame picture when the pass was made, Podence (Wolves) is standing in line with Kongolo (Fulham) and the linesman is right in line with them both.
The players’ torsos are lined up, Podence’s feet and head are onside, but his shirt sleeve is just off.

We all remember the pre-VAR world when managers used to moan about offsides and ask for “technology” to help. It was because a cheeky winger had strayed half a metre or a yard offside and the linesman hadn’t spotted it.

But here’s the problem in a nutshell now: we’ve gone from helping linesmen with what they didn’t spot, to “helping” linesmen with something they couldn’t possibly spot with the naked eye. That is actually a big shift.

Either we go back to taking the linesman’s view of it, or we add a linesman on both sides, or even let the linesman look at a screen, but please, no lines, no forensics and no solving a problem that doesn’t exist! I feel sorry for Willian Jose who scored a great first goal for his club!
Paul in Brussels 



The game has gone…
Imagine a world where we have two versions of football, like we do in rugby. The current version of football, and then a version with no VAR and one which allows contact.

It’d be interesting to see which one attracted a bigger following.


Son’s interview…
I saw an interview with Son last night after the game, I didn’t catch the reporters name but it sounded sort of informal so guessing it was one of the local Spurs reporters. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a player so dejected in a postgame interview, if I was the Spurs PR rep I wouldn’t have let him anywhere near a camera, he was clearly very upset and looked to be holding back tears. He couldn’t really express his feelings, but he just looked hurt and sad and racked with despair. I truly wanted to reach through my phone screen and give him a big back slapping hug and tell him everything would be alright. This was probably the happiest guy in the league for the last few years (in appearance anyway, never really know how someone is doing), always smiling and looking like he really enjoyed playing, and now he’s a husk of his former self. Jose radiates misery like a damaged nuclear reactor and everyone around him is slowly depleted to nothing. He used to complain about not having a player like Son when he was at United, and look what he’s done to him. Would not be at all surprised if he’s looking to move this summer, and there will be plenty of suitors.

There has been plenty of talk this season about the congested schedule and how this effects players fatigue though until recently I didn’t understand how much this has effected teams ability to coach. Ed on the ‘No Question About That’ pod spoke about it and then there were comments from Ole regarding tactical preparations done via video conferencing. Basically all the actual training taking place is for physical recovery so the players can endure the games, there is no time for on-field tactical work. I suppose it will be better for teams who only have the league to bother with but still extremely limiting. Looking forward its unlikely to improve much, the Euros this summer and a World Cup in November 2022 will only contribute to even more congestion. At what point will players get a rest and mangers get the opportunity to develop their teams?

Finally, just wanted to give a round of applause to whoever was channelling Jack Nicholson, Colonel Nathan Jessop, and Jose Mourinho this morning. It was brilliant and exactly the sort of gem which keeps me coming back to the mailbox pages year after year.
Dave, Manchester


Sin bins
Was thinking, what other sport has the level of play acting, diving, screaming, feigning of injuries to gain an advantage that football has? I can’t think of one. Even basketball a non contact sport, you don’t see players going down holding their face when knocked over to get someone sent off.
Football has become embarrassing. And SO stop start, can anyone watch a full game now without flicking over every 10mins when someone goes down for 5mins only to recover and soldier on?

I’m not normally one for rule changes every year but football is not doing anything to challenge cheating, its encouraging it. Wondered what anyone’s thoughts of a 5min sin bin for diving/play acting. If you’ve dived or feigned injury or even been fouled but exaggerated to a ridiculous extent – 5mins sin bin. Even if, IF Son was fouled, he gets sin binned. No grown man goes down for 5mins and requires a physio for a face flick. And its not just Son, everyone is doing it, ball gets kicked out of play, physio comes on, wait 3mins, he ‘recovers’, throw in back to goalkeeper start again. We are just a year or two away from adverts coming on with every injury and at that point we might as well watch rugby and be done with it.


Mourinho’s pay-offs
How much has Mourinho pocketed in pay-offs? Seem’s like he he’s the special one at engineering his own dismissal and walking away with “loads of money”!


Where next for Jose?
, I don’t think the Portuguese national team would take Jose. Ignoring his patchy form at the moment, their current – European Championship and Nations League winning – manager, Fernando Santos, is actually doing quite well with the enormous amount of talent available. To bring in Mourinho, would more than likely bring about under-performance and failure.

And to rehash an old argument, I genuinely believe that the Eva Carneiro situation has changed Mourinho’s ability to manage successfully. We have seen from his first year in United, and the briefest spells at Spurs, that he is obviously not a bad football manager. He can still win, he can still coach. However, his entire outlook seems to have changed. It’s all about self-preservation. It’s always about how the players need to do better, that he has the trophies to back it up, that it’s the same coach, different players etc. This might have worked the odd time – players responding and challenging him, showing their ability on the pitch, but it will evidently fail, because it is toxic. The famous siege mentality that he employed at Chelsea so successfully when he first came, was all about player protection. He took the limelight, he took the criticism, and his players in return would run through walls for him. Now, it’s all about throwing them under the bus, that they’re not doing what he says, that they’re not good enough for him.

But the Carneiro situation changed all that. Mourinho lost his temper, blamed innocent physios publically, which led to the (one) female physio losing her job after alleged sexist abuse from Mourinho. Whatever happened, he lost control. There was no Mourinho taking the flack and protecting the ship, he threw people under the bus, and it all seemed to fall away. Mourinho was no longer protecting people, but protecting himself. I assume he believes he did nothing wrong, but opinion was divided, and he decided to protect himself and start blaming others. Essentially, he changed his entire operating mantra to self-preservation rather than shielding. Mourinho always came across as a dick, but before, there was a certain charm in it, because everyone knew what he was doing, it seemed like an act that worked. Now, he is just a dick, going around being toxic, blaming players and everything else for his misgivings and the act has fallen, and people cannot, or will not respond positively to it for long.

So, yeah, essentially to summarize, Mourinho is a self-preserving dick, and if he wants to be successful in management again, he needs to change his personality.
Neill, Ireland


Oh the irony…
I’ve been on holiday for 10 days, have come back to work and my usual lunch time F365 instalment.

However comments appear to have gone it says for example on this mornings mailbox “comments (30)” then under that it says “No comments here”

Checked a few different articles, thought it was my laptop, so checked on my phone. Am I missing something?

Anyway my football point: was listening to 5Live last night whilst doing the ironing, Mark Lawro was moaning about Arsenal still trying to score the perfect goal. Was genuinely tearing his hair out “ why don’t they just shoot” and so on. 5 minutes later Arsenal score a great goal with great build up and he spends the next 15 mins waxing lyrical about how it was perfect and how it is the blueprint for how football should be played.

The irony of that made me laugh, almost as much as Paul McDevitts second paragraph, quoting McTominay smacking Son in the face in literally the same sentence as he says Rashford feigned being shot. Obvs no bias in how he wrote that. Hehe.

Happy Monday all
Simon (Manchester)

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