The Mailbox defends Sadio Mane’s decision to swap Liverpool for Bayern while comparing his conduct to Paul Pogba’s behaviour.
Get your views in to firstname.lastname@example.org…
Football is a game of opinions. Sometimes your opinion will turn out to be spot on, most of the time you will be made to look foolish. For balance, before I get to the foolish parts, I bet a mate when Ronaldo first signed for us that he would win the Ballon d’Or (Ronnie, not my mate). It came to pass, and I like to dine out on this from time to time with a zealous smugness that would not be underserving of a gentle slap in the chops.
Which brings me to Pogba. I bestowed the same privilege onto him when he re-signed by boldly claiming he would be the first midfielder since Kaka to win the balloon door. I often blindly and stubbornly defended him, even on these hallowed pages. For the record, and again for balance, he had some good games for us and clearly is extremely talented. But by god he didn’t look arsed most of the time. I’m all for footballers enjoying the game like they are playing in their local park, but not to the point of looking like they have just had a pint and some pork scratchings at halftime. So thanks for the memories Paul, don’t let the d’Or hit you on the way out.
And while I am in the zone of self-depreciation, I wrote a mail early on last season about Liverpool’s declining attacking stats based on their goals to expected goals ratio over the previous 3 seasons. It was slightly tongue in cheek to garner some responses but there was an element of truth to it. Pains me to say, but my word didn’t they ramp it up. Obviously some new blood helped when they signed Diaz but the old guard chipped in too. Salah looked a bit off at times yet still won the (joint) Golden Boot! Fair play, they really proved me wrong and so I have decided to leave soothsaying to the experts like Nostradamus and Russell Grant. That net spend chat is still nonsense though, just stop it – it doesn’t make anything more impressive, it’s mostly arbitrary rubbish based on incomplete information and nobody wants to hear it. Liverpool are the bestest ever at the transfer market, we all agree so let’s move on.
Garey (I predict this year is our year) Vance, MUFC
Mane, Mane, Mane…
So I had a lot of fun writing that headline in my head, while at the same time reading mails about him. Liverpool fans don’t take players moving to better teams well. Sterling to City still leaves a stench on the air, Suarez and Coutinho were acceptable goers in fairness.
As recent as April there were calls for Mane to be named Ballon D’or (for a guy who had a half good season). All it took was one statement about moving to Bayern and all that love went right out the window.
In Mane’s defense, he’s won everything to win, the team may be in transition, you’ve got one more pay day and Liverpool won’t give it to you & you have a chance to join one of Europe’s elite clubs. Added to that, you’re getting very little love for the 6 years you gave.
It’s a bit like Salah too. It was all “he’s the best in the world” to “we should not make him one of the top five best paid players in the PL”. He will be off the La Liga next season on a free.
Pogba will most likely leave and get less money than at United. He came and never really did. He will leave unloved by the masses for his terrible attitude, performances, commitment & in fairness, the club probably didn’t fulfill their end of the bargain either.
Mane is the opposite to Pogba in that regard and should leave with nothing less than adoration, instead of comparing him to a player only in it for their own salvation.
Calvino (Became a Mane fan when I heard what he does with his money: right on my man)
…I am not even actually sure if your email deserved a response! But then I realised it deserved a tirade! What an absolute load of tosh. You claim that Sadio was only good for 3 seasons out of 6. Let’s analyse the numbers shall we and apply what many don’t today, context!
Firstly, he joined a broken team and club, devoid of direction with their only claim to fame being a “ridiculous 2nd half of the season which almost brought an unlikely title” for one year. When he actually joined that team was already dismantled and treading on a hamster wheel.
He scored an admirable 13 goals in 29 games during a period of transition which lead the team back to the CL after an 8th place finish. He was then one of the most prolific players, in a front 3 that lit up the premier league and world football, the next year and made the CL final, scoring 20 goals that year, including 10 in the CL. The following year he scored 26 goals, we finished 2nd and won the CL. Oh and he won the golden boot. So for 3 season he got nothing but better. Strange that, from an average player some might say!
Into the title winning team, he bagged 22 goals and scored numerous clutch goals! Again, a subtle drop in his numbers from the previous year, which really didn’t matter. That season only ended in a super cup, world club cup and premier league win. What a terrible year indeed. His pesky 22 goals played no part in that. He was to busy being average.
Of course, there was then the dreaded true covid year. An entire year without fans, Liverpool lost very CB known to man, had midfielders playing CB then had players never to play for the club again at CB. He still somehow managed to score 16 goals in what can only be defined as the strangest year in football, culminating in Allison scoring a bloody headed winner in the 95th minute of a game. If that sh!T doesn’t tell you how ridiculous that year was I don’t know what it. Oh and United finished 2nd sending their deluded fans into a frenzy belonging they “were back”
In what has turned out to be his final year, he scores 23 goals leading an unprecedented Quadruple charge to the final 2 games.
So to surmise, a players improved YOY, won every trophy available, won golden boots, African player of the year, continental titles, carrying his country to glory and you dear sir have the audacity to call him average? You must sit behind the laptop reading stats and forming views because the fact you even bothered sending that email tends to tell me that you actually are slightly deluded. I suppose Carra, an actual Liverpudlian, calling out Mane for special praise is a load of nonsense and we should take your ridiculous notions as gospel. I for one, will erase the drivel I was forced to read from my brain. SADIO Mane deserves everything he gets. We don’t live in a world where everyone is singing Kumbiya into the sunset. A player asked for more. Got told no. He chose to leave. He gave everything possible to his employers for 6 years and won everything there is to win. Only a fool would begrudge him after that. I guess that makes you a *loof* backwards. No go to bed and think about your next email.
…I couldn’t disagree with Lee more about Sadio Mane. He has been a great player for Liverpool. He scored every type of goal- from sliding in on goalkeepers to outside the box. Lee mentioned not scoring in this year’s finals but he scored in a Champions League final against Real and I shouldn’t even have to defend him from that accusation given his numerous vital goals. I think he’s averaged twenty goals every season so I’m not sure where the imagined slump came and he’s always tracked back impressively- in fact it is regularly mentioned by pundits how well he presses when out of possession. Yes Lee is right: it is inevitably all about money but Mane is known to have been extremely generous with his money. Overall Mane has been a superb professional and has played with great character across all three frontline positions, winning everything there was to win, for a team (let’s not forget) who had won very little up to his signing. As fans we owe him gratitude, respect and our best wishes- that is until we inevitably play Bayern in the Champions League next year!
…On Lee’s mail regarding Sadio Mane been greedy, I find it laughable he can come to the conclusion that it’s all about money alone. Jack Wilshere left his boy hood club to City, I don’t see him been labelled a mercenary or business man. Gareth Bale seemed pretty happy to sit on the Madrid bench collecting his massive wages with his feet up, not seeming to care about his playing career and focuses more on playing golf. I don’t see Lee calling him greedy. If that were Paul Pogba sitting on the Madrid bench, indifferent to his playing career, they’d have unprintable things said about him.
If Mane were joining Newcastle I’d have maybe understood Lee’s point. Bayern are one of the strongest teams in Europe and Mane wants a different experience in another league, and hasn’t spoken ill about the club (to my knowledge), what’s wrong with that? Should we expect him to retire at Liverpool? Normally when world-class players move clubs, their wages are increased in most cases and that’s the same with Mane, what makes his situation in particular ‘greedy’? It all sounds like a load of rubbish tbh.
Lowering the punditry bar
Levenshulme Blue, Manchester 19, does raise a good point reference the current state of punditry but (imo) this email highlights the difficulties with finding a regular high standard of pundits.
He lists pundits he can get behind such as Jenas,Murphy,Neville,Richards and Dublin And dismisses Simon jordon.
Where as,I would listen to Simon jordon all day (I do not always agree with him,but I am a fan) where as I would rather crawl over broken glass with my zipper open than listen to 10seconds of banter merchant Micah Richards substandard kindergarten level of ‘punditry’.
Essentially you can not please everybody unless you listen to specialist media outlets, like if your a palace fan you will enjoy the brilliant HLTCO podcast, but it won’t be for everyone.
It’s going to be incredibly difficult to raise the standard of punditry when TV executives are not been able to differentiate between quality like Micheal Cox, Sam tighe ,George Elek & David Cartlidge or the podcasters/YouTubers who scrap the barrel and work purely on having false hot takes and controversial opinions for the sake of it.
And with these people like Flex & Nubaid Harold making there way onto sky sports news to fill sections of the show & Mark Goldbridge going onto talksport, the bar may have been lowered too far already
…I can only assume that Liam has only really known Gary Lineker as a pundit and therefore doesn’t know much about his actual playing career.
Beyond being a prolific goal scorer, the most common stat wheeled out about Lineker is that throughout his entire professional career, he never picked up so much as a single booking!!! Not one!!!!
The guy has always been holier than thou, not just “these days”!!!!!
Paul (Spurs), T.Wells
In response to Heavy-D’s email about Ligue 1 imports bring crap. If he means Thomas Partey of Arsenal, he came from La Liga. In Spain.
And he’s not crap.
However, if I’m at the wrong Partey, I’ll apologise.
Stu (the others are probably fair enough though). France