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World class Harry
All of the debate recently on who’s the best premier league striker/who is world class etc. One of the main arguments against Harry Kane is that he hasn’t won trophies with club or country so therefore can’t be world class.

Shearer won one trophy in his career – at Blackburn when he was 25 so only one year older than Kane is now.

I’d be surprised if anybody would argue against Shearer being a world class striker in his era yet he never won the quantity of trophies that seems to be a modern day barometer of how successful a player is.

Kane’s career is inverted to Shearer’s at the moment as he’s starting at his boyhood club whereas Shearer spent the last 10 years or so at his boyhood club.

Personally I believe that Shearer’s best years were spent at Ewood before his cruciate injuries, if Kane can remain injury free (a big if) he will become the best English striker of the modern era, potentially surpassing Shearer’s Premier League goal record.

I hope he wins trophies with Spurs and can also deliver for England in a major tournament but let’s stop playing him down, it’s one of the rare occasions (outside of the main stream press) that his nationality goes against him.

The man is a world class striker that any team in the world would have in their starting 11.
Brian (He’s a world class nice bloke too) BRFC


Now Kane scored a perfect hat trick against Apoel( it’s only Apoel, I know that). I don’t want to hear any of it again, Harry’s world class. He’s constantly kaneing teams( don’t mind my pun there). It’s not until one of the Spanish giants snaps him up that he should get the credit he deserves. He’s only 24 and he’s a Class apart. Harry on Kane!!


Harry Kane has as many hat-tricks in 2017 (6) as Messi (2), Ronaldo (2) and Lewandoski (2) combined.

Not world class….
Jon, Winchester spud. 


Harry Kane is the champions league top scorer…..

Somebody pinch me


Rinse, repeat
Fail to put away many scorable chances
 – check.

Fail to defend / save many defensible chances -check.

Fail to win very winnable game – check.

Hear Klopp waffle on about luck rather than admitting problems then actually *doing* something about it – check.

James, Liverpool


Honestly more classic Liverpool there. How infuriating. Karius goalkeeping was atrocious but he did continue the fine tradition of Liverpool keepers in conceding the first chance on target. Long may it continue.

Team genuinely looked out of steam after 60 minutes. It was clear we were crying out for changes and disappointing that Klopp didn’t change more faster. Firmino was poor and would’ve benefited more from coming off than Mane given their differing schedules leading up to this game. More pace around Sturridge might’ve also meant more dangerous chances being created from out wide.

If Liverpool keep producing the same performance every week I’ll have to stop writing in. Or maybe I’ll see if I can send the same letter in three times in a row and get published each time. Maybe this is the second time you’ve read this Mail?
Minty, LFC


It’s said the energy of dog’s owner can transfer to the pet itself. If one walks a dog with a bit of trepidation and anxiousness the animal in return will exhibit the same qualities. I get that vibe with Klopp and Liverpool. At times he’s positive, full of energy and the players seem to do the same. And when Klopp is a nervous ball of energy it surely affects the belief and play of the team. Maybe the defense and the whole team would benefit from Klopp drinking Sanka. Just a thought.


Eat my goals
The Goals Show on BTsport is glorious, or to quote a friend, like football on crack.

Jon, Spurs


Fabulous Fabian
Seems like things are slowly improving for Fabian Delph under Josep Guardiola. Perhaps he can make strides up the World Cup ladder.

Along with Walker, Stones and Sterling, City are improving the quality of the England team. Just the knackeredness of a long season to deal with but with such deep squads perhaps a few key players will get a bit of rest. I´d be penciling in the following :- Lallana, Rashford, Alli, Kane, Sterling, Delph/Wilshere , then Rose, Walker, Stones, Jones, Dier  in front of Pickford.
Peter. Andalucia.


Dave is world class
Reading pieces on ‘world-class’ in mailbox and the article on ‘Top 10 PL players so far‘ with the ‘foreign’ world-class Aguero, I could think of no one but the nonchalant Dave. Isn’t it amazing that we consistently look over defenders and goalkeepers, unless they are the flavor of the day? What does Dave have to do to get noticed by the senpai? And I do not mean ‘Ah! He is a fantastic player’ before I discuss the ever-so-supreme Pogba.

Azpi is not a leader (I assume), he is not a TV personality (again…) and well he is not a striker. But as a defender, the only thing he does not have is the physique for the media to drool over. So let’s check a few things about him, shall we?

– He has been part of 2 title winning squads and 1 Europa League.

– He has been chosen consistently by 3 world class managers and Guus Hiddink.

– He has kept out regulars at LB, RB and CB, including Simeone’s defensive stalwart. He did not just do the job but did it astonishingly well.

– While not fact-checked, he rarely seems to go for last-ditch ‘successful’ tackles (mostly when he is covering for the wing-backs) and is extremely difficult to beat one-on-one. He is an absolute monster in his positioning.

– Seems like he has a few cescy passes in him to shower at Morata, passes that even Fabregas would be proud of.

So go ahead while discussing the best players in the league but while saying (quite rightly) about the ‘foreign’ Aguero being world class for City for 6 years, shoe in ‘foreign’ Dave for doing the same (and I mean in every sense of the word) for Chelsea for the past 5 years.
AM (I think, unless you hate Chelsea more than you love your grandma, you cannot deny that Lamps is world-class!)


Looking back
I was watching some old clips of Arsenal back when we used to be quite good and watched the highlights of when we beat Real Madrid in the Champions League. The thing that amazed me the most was the amount of incredible players Real had. Casillas, Sergio Ramos, Roberto Carlos, Beckham, Robinho, Zidane, Ronaldo (the real one) and Raul all played. That is some team.

Nothing else to say really other than how surprised I am that we beat them. Especially with Flamini and Senderos in the team.
Adonis (That goal by Henry though) Stevenson, AFC 


Thoughts from Preston
There is no better feeling in football than snatching a last minute win under the floodlights!

I’m a long suffering Preston fan but Alex Neil’s side have been playing some of the best football that PNE have played in years. It’s only September but you really get the feeling in and around the club that something special could be happening in Lancashire.

This was the second away game in a row I have walked off and heard home fans muttering that they ‘Shouldn’t be losing to teams like Preston.’

Well Championship, PNE are here and although the bubble may burst, I can see a fair few more teams dropping points against the Lillywhites.

Sheff Wednesday, Hull, Birmingham, Cardiff and Reading have all been put to the sword. Harry Redknapp has already bit the dust after losing to little Preston and it wouldn’t surprise me to see Grayson go the same way this Saturday.

The futures bright…
Dan, PNE #teamslikepreston


Graham Simons, Gooner
, I have a few examples of very sad things I’ve done connected to football.

As a kid, living in a rural area and with parents for some reason fiercely anti-newspapers, I only had the radio to keep up to date with the matches. This was in the late 70s so no internet etc. I compiled my own league tables. But as our family usually went away on holidays in August, I used to miss the first 2 or 3 league games and had no way of knowing what happened during those first games. My league tables reflected this – it wasn’t quite the right number of points for each team. I knew this but couldn’t do anything about it – or for some reason didn’t want to – so over the whole league season, my league tables were “almost right” but not quite.

The 2nd sad thing I used to do is play football by myself in my garden with commentary running in my head. I would run with the ball towards one set of jumpers, pretend to be tackled, and assuming the identity of a player for the opposite team, run towards the other goal and either score or get tackled again, and so on and so on… till I crashed with exhaustion.

It does sound sad but I don’t regret a single minute of it! A kid’s love for football is a beautiful thing
Mike “always loved football and always will”, CFC, Auckland NZ


Saddest thing I’ve ever done connected to football?

I edited a team featuring me and my old school pals into an early Pro Evo game, along with a rival team from the year below us so I could re-enact the playground battles in the virtual realm, on a proper pitch. I didn’t even know all the names of the whippersnappers from the year below, so I had to flesh out their squad with players named things like “Useless”, “Goalhanger” and “The Great Crapo” (thanks to Nick Hancock for that one).

What’s sadder, I still, on occasion, play the odd Pro Evo game as my old Year 11 mates against those pesky Year 10s.

The last of the actual school playground lunchtime games between us took place some fifteen years ago.
Lee, missing his school days and mis-spent youth


RE Graham Simon’s open question to mailbox readers, I thought I’d get the saddest football-related thing I’ve done off my chest – partly by way of cathartic release, and partly to convince myself and my partner I am no longer the soccer-obsessed nerd I was in my youth.

During my formative years I reserved a special affection for Pro Evolution Soccer 6 on PS2 (the one where Adriano was on the front cover and who’s stats inferred he was basically the greatest player to have ever played the game). As standard procedure, not too uncommon amongst PES players, I’d re-name all the player, club and league appellations to capture a sense of realism that EA’s monopoly over copyrights prevented.

However, teenage cynicism led me to believe that basically every sports-based video game incarnation is merely its predecessor with updated stats (anyone who has played the FIFA18 demo will agree, I’m sure). This meant I combined my natural frugality with a girlfriendless adolescent existence to manually update and edit each facet of the game FOR THE NEXT FOUR SEASONS.

Every transfer, every kit change, every promoted team and every stadium move was accounted for, leaving me with numerous spill over squads of players that had fallen off the PES map (these ‘teams’ became a side-line league I would occasionally indulge in). In addition, salient players that emerged during this time period were forged from the blank canvas, iRobot lookalikes the game thoughtfully provided.

The highlight of this hobby was undoubtedly the creation of my beloved Derby County’s historic (it was historic) 07/08 squad – Benny Feilhaber from Hamburg, Claude Davis from Sheffield United, Lee Camp lovingly created with my own two hands (prior to it being established that he in fact sh*gs his dad).

This made for a particularly fulfilling pastime; halcyon days that did not cease until I made the move to PS3 and University. Since then, I’ve been a FIFA convert – scared to return to the Konami side for fear of regressing back to being the Rain Man of PES.
Eddie, (Storey’s alright for a red dog), Newcastle.


Graham Simons email really struck home with me, I have quite a few moments similar to the two mentioned! Although I used to do player vs player 45 min halves. I used to go through and create an entire 16 man squad on FIFA/Pro of my friends, including individual heights and weights etc, normally adding in comic value at this point too, adding or taking away an extra foot/stone in height/weight to people.

However, I would say my saddest (best) moment was when I created an entire club and playing staff on Champ Man (think it was 01/02, but not sure) for the city where I live, Durham. This included a full squad of made up players, designed around my friends, with skill levels and potential individually set for each player. Obviously the club had a load of money and a big stadium. I can be quite pedantic, and data orientated so this took a very long time to get set up as I wanted and I was generally proper chuffed when I started the game!

Obviously I made some players better than others (me), and gave some a lot more potential than others (me), but I gave them too much potential! They quickly out grew my small city club in the lower echelons of the football pantheon, becoming unhappy and demanding transfer requests until I had to sell the best of my squad. I was bloody fuming. But I signed myself back a few years later and went on to win the Champions League the same year, so silver linings and all that.

My mate found out about this at the beginning of summer during schools holidays, so we created him a team as well and started a fresh rivalry between Durham City and Chester-Le-Street. Good times.
Aidan K, NUFC and Durham City


In response to Graham Simons, back in 2009 I spent countless hours in the university library half way through my 3rd year finals adding over 100 ex-legends to the Football Manager database. Player selection was based by status (Maradona, Pele, Platini etc.) and sentimentality (Asprilla, Brolin, Molby). Once complete the house network game was loaded and the season began. Not only was this highly enjoyable, but it also managed to finally (and irrefutably) confirm a number of things:

Messi is better than Maradona
Gerrard and Charlton can’t play in the same midfield
A central midfield partnership of Paul Ince and Gullit was unbeatable
Ronald Koeman still hits free kicks with power
Alvaro Recoba is 20 at free kicks and therefore gets selected over Stanley Matthews
Jean-Pierre Papin has the best name in football history
Lucas (downloading FM2017 now) CPFC, London


In response to Graham’s email about the saddest thing done connected to football, I have a FIFA related story:

As I couldn’t afford every new FIFA game released for PlayStation 2, I took it upon myself to keep the in-game squads updated as the transfer windows passed by. Using FIFA ’06 I would scour the newspapers and internet (F365 especially) to keep up-to-date with all of the ins and outs of football, not just in the PL but across Europe every season (Like the huge transfers of  Tosic to Utd or Piquionne to West Ham). The Man City transfer sprees from 2008/09 were particularly exciting.

Obviously as years went on, the lesser known players being drafted into big teams had very low ratings, so I would then edit them individually to give them a ranking I thought was representative of the real player. If a particular didn’t exist then I would simply create them myself (Correct height, DOB, Nationality etc) and place them into whichever team.

Typing this out makes me realise how sad and dedicated I actually was to this. Good lord.
KF (The game ended up crashing after 4 years or so, putting me in a state of mourning).


Former United XI
Obviously this team was never going to be as good as Chelsea’s (because they don’t sell their top players to rivals…) But here goes

Keeper: Ben Foster
Right Center Back: Danny Simpson
Center Back: Johnny Evans
Left Center Back: Michael Keane
Right Wing Back: Robbie Brady
Left Wing Back: Wilfried Zaha
Midfield: Darren Fletcher
Midfied: Tom Cleverly
Playmaker: Wayne Rooney
Forward: Danny Welbeck
Forward: Chicharito

Subs: Josh King, Danny Drinkwater

I would play a 3-5-2 with Danny Simpson shoehorned in as one of the 3 center backs. I reckon this team could make mid table but would get played out of the park by the ex-chelsea 11
Gautham (Indianapolis)


Good email from JB. I reckon the ex-United XI would lose to his, but undoubtedly enrage the (ex-)Manager in the league (Mourinho) with their physical tactics. I’ve got with academy grads only for an MUFC alumni side, in a 3-5-2 formation…

Tom Heaton

Michael Keane, Ryan Shawcross, Jonny Evans, Robbie Brady​, ​Danny Simpson

Darren Fletcher,​ Tom Cleverley​, Danny Drinkwater​

Josh King, Danny Welbeck

Source: football365


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