Mails: Thank you Qatar…or is it a cynical ploy?

Date published: Saturday 5th August 2017 11:25

It’s Friday and we have another mailbox. In your face, doubters. Mail us at


Thank you for the money, Qatar
Before all the football socialists whip themselves further into a frenzy over how dirty money has destroyed the beautiful game, consider this. Qatar has just plumped around $225m into the game we love.

That money is not going to sit in Barca’s bank account for long. It’s going to underwrite inflated bids for players at other clubs, which in turn will begat other inflated bids eventually meaning that a ‘Barnsley’ get $5m for a right back they would have got $500,000 for a decade ago. And of course it continues right down to non-league football were stadiums get built and/or debts get paid off and/or more staff are hired and/or wages are increased. I’m not suggesting that this will happen ‘fairly’, there’ll be winners and losers but it will happen. It’s like the stock market. The more money that comes into it the more prices rise which attracts more money which is why, not-with-standing corrections, a $100 invested in the Dow 100 years ago would be worth over $2,500,000 today.

So let’s just say thank you to the great state of Qatar for their investment in football and stop all the whining.
Dave Mack


Or alternatively…
Transfer fees gone mad? Cynical political manoeuvring more like.

Why does no one seem to be able to see what this Neymar transfer actually is. Clearly it is just another cynical ploy from a Middle Eastern dictatorship, who coincidentally have a World Cup coming up, to gloss over their human rights abuses and add to the legitimacy of their particular regime.

They’ve been at it for years. See Bahrain GP, Abu Dhabi GP etc etc. They want to their brutal totalitarian regimes to be ignored, and preferably the World Cup to go ahead with not a moments notice.

Grands prix and football have huge global reach. It’s a cynical use of sport to achieve this political aim.
Ben MUFC (yes, I am talking about Citeh too) Inverness


Neymar – overrated
Does anyone else feel that Neymar is actually overrated as a player? I mean, don’t get me wrong I can see that he is bloody awesome but he doesn’t strike me as a long term legend in the way that Messi/Ronaldo will be. If you think of Zidane or fat Ronaldo, he just doesn’t seem at the same level to me. Maybe he will as a result of potential but I just don’t see it.

This may be thought of as a wind up but I am certain there are others who feel the same way.


Football Maths with Kyle Walker
Michael, Basel and Dave Lillis, Belfast, used Kyle Walker’s transfer fee as some sort of justification for Neymar’s ridiculous price, but the formula works the other way. For example:

Kelechi Iheanach : 12 league starts and 34 substitute appearances, for £25M


Kyle Walker: Current PFA Team of the Year, former member of the leagues best defence, former Young Player of the Year, established England International (for what it’s worth) for £45M+…

look like an absolute bargain.

Rather than attempting to justify one players price by comparing it with another, can’t we all just agree that it’s all gone a bit mental for everyone?
Paul, Fareham


Sticking it to the man
Neymar Shneymar.

I expect PSG are banking on massive shirt sales, so to spite them, I’ve just bought a Red Star Paris retro top.

Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah 😝

Together, Comrades!
Ally, London


THIS is crazy
On 26th August, Floyd Mayweather will make more money in (probably less than) 36 minutes fighting Conor McGregor than Neymar will get paid by PSG for the duration of his five-year contract. Now that’s crazy.


Le Stoke?
The big question is, can Neymar do it on a cold wet windy night in (insert French equivalent of Stoke)?
John ‘Neymar could pay the mortgage I’ve just had agreed in principle in less than three days’, Morgan, Kingsbury (soon Overseal)


Pochettino may yet coach Janssen and Sissoko
The preview of Spurs was one I anticipated greatly. The arguments over the pros and cons of transfer activity at that club have really taken my attention. It’s led to a growing debate of coaching vs managing. Development of youth vs experienced professionals.

One argument that I have failed to see actually materialise, and it would be interesting if Spurs fans could give some insight, is the expectations of those apparent ‘flops’ in more recent transfer windows: Vincent Janssen and Moussa Sissoko. If we’re praising Pocchettino for his focus on coaching and development of his existing players, there seems to have been a blatant disregard that this would not apply to either of these players. Janssen is 23 and Sissoko 27. I must admit that I’ve seen no rumours of either leaving the club and Janssen publicly declaring a willingness to improve and fight for his position.

So, there seems to be something amiss. Just because these players may have ‘failed to light up the PL’ in their debut seasons, we shouldn’t be immediately assuming that Spurs’ focus on coaching will also ultimately fail.

I’m half expecting to press send on this email, check the t’interweb, and see that Sissoko has signed for WBA for £15m.
Phil, London


No need for Perisic
Are there any United fans thankful that we are failing in our attempts to sign a winger like Ivan Persic?

Every time I read a story of Martial being offered as bait, it is frustrating and I sure hope we don’t sign Ivan or anybody else there.

We have Mikhitaryan, Mata, Rashford, Martial for two spots behind Lukaku/Ibra (He is coming back). These players are capable of putting a 7 to 9/10 performance there on a regular basis. I left out Young, Blind, Valencia, Perrera all of who will do atleast a 6/10 impression there. The point being that we don’t need a winger now.

I am happy to have Martial attack that zone with Shaw/Blind overlapping in a 3.4.3 system. Any other United fans see the point of Persic or do you agree that it will limit Martial’s development?
Sudarsan Ravi


Why do journalists get it wrong?
I read your Mediawatch section every day at work, in fact when it comes to around 12 I’m constantly refreshing the page waiting for it to pop up.

Today I read Phil Thomas’s piece about the shrinking odds on United to win the title and it got me thinking. What’s the line between getting those sweet clicks and pure journalistic laziness?

I mean, the odds aren’t shrinking day by day are they? Surely they knew this? As you pointed out the Sun’s betting company show this.

My job away from reading F365 is as a copywriter, now I know that if I was just to make points and facts up my manager would certainly ask me to back them up.

Do these papers not have editors? I seem to remember the recession doing away with a lot of newspaper editors at the time but surely these stories have to be run by someone?

I’m on the fence whether it’s selling out for clicks or just pure laziness and phoning it in.
Conor G (We can all agree that Dele Alli is boxing in that DailyMail pic collage yeah? That’s not MMA, nevermind UFC….) Dublin


Why not criticise the ladies?
Why is there no outrage over England Ladies’ dismal efforts last night? Man oh man, if that were the men’s team we’d be up in arms!

Great for them (I mean us) to get to the semi-final, but the fact that they’d only conceded one goal in the tournament prior to last night’s game shows more the ability (or lack thereof) of their opponents rather than England’s presumably ‘world-class’ defence.

As for the tactics? Pass to the girl (lady? player?) in defence who can kick it the hardest and chase after the ball (sound familiar?).

(Erm, ‘woman’ is the usual word for women – Ed)

I appreciate it’s early days still in the grand scheme of ladies’ football and I did really enjoy watching it; but if we’re willing to heap praise on them for doing no more than was expected before the tournament, why aren’t we now slating them for ‘crashing out’ after a terrible semi-final performance?
Sean, CFC, London


…Having read Steven Chicken’s piece on the defeat of England’s Women to their Dutch hosts, I have to say I disagree with him.

Whilst there is no shame in being beaten by a better side (and on the night, if not in general, the Dutch clearly were), to suggest that it’s just ‘one of those things’ does a disservice to that game in particular, and to the wider context of competitive sport in general. It’s true, as Chicken notes, that it IS possible to make no mistakes and still lose; however, the rarity of that occurrence is so minute as to be safe to dismiss. It is especially incongruous to quote that view after linking to a piece that Steven himself wrote, detailing the tactical failings and errors that contributed to England’s downfall.

And this is the point. The only way to learn and improve, in life as in football, is through mistakes. Ideally, through watching mistakes that others have made before you, and avoiding those pitfalls in the pursuit of success, but learning from mistakes nonetheless. England, through Mark Sampson, were tactically naïve in their approach to the game, did not respond well enough to the unfolding drama before them, and those mistakes likely caused, or at the very least heavily contributed to, our semi final defeat. Accepting this as a fact and learning from it is the only way to improve; the Women’s team has a strong, deep pool of talent from which to draw and have the potential to win major competitions. The only way to convert that potential is to cut out the mistakes.

That said, they have put our men’s team to shame, flown the flag for England and shown that at least some English representatives are able to progress in a tournament without immediately falling over their own hype. To lambast them for being in the top four countries in Europe is ridiculous, as that is an achievement in itself; but to assume that this achievement can only be bettered a roll of the dice rather than working to improve on flaws, both individually and collectively, is negligent.
Ed (Don’t even get me started on Neymar) the Grouch


Why having a male manager is fine
To respond to Simon’s question about a male manager for a women’s team, surely he was just the best person for the job?

Women’s football is still in a hugely developmental stage and there are only a fraction of qualified female coaches compared to male coaches. It makes sense for men to be involved in the game to help develop coaches for the future. As long as qualified, talented female coaches are not being overlooked then I don’t see the problem with it.

It’s much the same as the befit that having European coaches ha given developing football nations in Africa or Asia. If you insisted on say Ghana only ever having coaches from Ghana, they wouldn’t have made the progress they have. Ones experience is developed you have a bigger pool of home grown coaches to choose from (as Ghana have now done).

Also, let’s not forget Hope Powell.
Mike, LFC, Dubai


…There is a female manager in the men’s game. She is called​ Corinne Diacre, and is a bonafide legend. Despite being on the second smallest budget in Ligue 2 she has had Clermont Foot comfortably mid table for the last three years. She even won coach of the year last year as they were challenging for promotion for a while.

I agree with your point generally, but it is a holistic problem as well. Men’s football management is a closed group and far from meritocratic. This is why you see the same (normally white with a ‘conservative haircut’ according to Soccernomics) names bandied about when there is a vacancy and there is almost no influx of new people to the sport. I call it the Tim Sherwood effect.

This has the knock on effect of pushing talented male newcomers to the women’s game. If I wanted to be a football manager now, I would focus on women’s football or try to transfer principles to a similar sport like hockey. Much like politics, any women/ethnic minorities allowed in are still honorary ‘lads’ who maintain the status quo (Thatcher and May). Simply banning men from managing women’s​ teams will not solve this problem alone. I think it would be better to encourage more crossflow between men’s and women’s football; it allows more interesting ideas and strategies to develop. Also, would you rather have had Hope Powell or Sam Allardyce in charge of the men’s team?
MN Aditya (neither, it’s Jill Ellis for me)

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