The Mailbox salutes Liverpool and Manchester City: Both mentality monsters

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Manchester City defender Ruben Dias with the Premier League trophy Credit: PA Images
Manchester City defender Ruben Dias with the Premier League trophy Credit: PA Images

What a final day. And what teams. Wow. Liverpool and Manchester City emerge with pride intact.

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True dat
It’s the f**king hope that kills.


Well, that was horrible. I – a 36 year old man – was in floods of tears when Coutinho slotted.

In the end, it’s all about hope. It doesn’t kill you; far from it. It’s hope that makes you feel alive. It gives you, as the youth of today are wont to say, life. When that scoreline popped up, everything was suddenly – terribly – possible. And in that moment, in the eye of that storm, I felt every emotion it was possible to feel. I imagine that’s what’s it’s like to commune with the gods.

Congratulations to City. The best team in the country by a gnat’s prick. But the best nonetheless. And the f**king bottle on them. The “bottler” narrative was being written in real time there and they just sorted it. Christ. Something else, that. I’d have given my arm for results to go our way today and in the nicest possible way, I hope you all have very, very thick heads tomorrow.

I’m so proud of the Reds, though. So, so proud. I love them all, unconditionally, from the bottom of my heart. They’re magnificent and I’m so lucky to be able to watch them. 92 points. Walk around them.

Anyway, we’re gonna twat Madrid next weekend and win the league next year. Because if you don’t have hope, you’re not really alive, are you?
Nick Glover, Scouser in Brum (justice for the 97)


There was real fear everywhere
There will forever be a question of timing about today. If Liverpool score to make it 2-1 before Man City scored their first then what does that do to the heads on the Manchester pitch. I felt that initially the pressure got the better of Man City and they collapsed a bit. Then the pressure got the better of us and we couldn’t find a way through. Finally City realised we couldn’t find a winner, relaxed and played their natural game free of fear and won.

Weirdly our fans letting the team know that Man City were losing basically made us fall apart. As soon as the team became aware of it they couldn’t string simple passes together and looked totally overawed by the occasion. I think they confused themselves into thinking they were playing Man City when really they just had to beat the Wolves team in front of them.

Unfortunately we found a winner in our game when it was already over in Manchester. Credit to Stevie G and his team for giving an exceptional account of themselves. It’s funny that every team who has actually set out to try and play Man City with some intelligence has made them come apart this season.

It’s a real positive sign of how far this team has come that the players looked disappointed today. A second half of the season of 16 wins and 3 draws is utterly exceptional. There would be very few years where that run of results wouldn’t win the league but then it’s a very Liverpool thing to have built the best team of Reds I’ve ever watched play right when an entire country has decided to dominate English football to make their human rights abuses look a bit better and to sell some package holidays along the way. But why let Sportswashing be the headline of the day.

We have the Champions League final to look forward to. Let’s hope that Fabinho and Thiago can find fitness in time for next weekend.
Minty, LFC

Liverpool vs Wolves Credit: PA Images
Liverpool vs Wolves Credit: PA Images


Proud of this Liverpool side
So proud that our lads took the title to the last 30 minutes of the season on top of winning both domestic cups with the possibility of winning the Champions League for a second place equalling 7th time.

Villa gave us hope for 10 minutes or so but Man City are a winning machine and it was always highly unlikely that they wouldn’t win this match.

Winning the league is incredibly tough so, begrudgingly, I’ll say well done to them. Begrudgingly because they are playing with cheat codes which means they can spend shitloads on players and if they don’t work out just bin them off and have another stab at it until they get the right fit. But well done to them because spending loads of (dubiously earned) money doesn’t always equal success, as Man Utd and Everton have hilariously demonstrated this season.

‘Life is a journey, not a destination’ said someone, or maybe not. It’s probably printed on a picture of a mountain or whatever that you can buy from Dunelm. But it’s very true. I’ve just had the most enjoyable football season of my life, having supported Liverpool since my dad first went to Anfield in 1965 (it was obviously inevitable). My memory of being a supporter began with the double in 1986, for what it’s worth.

Bring on Paris and a tantalising CL final between undisputed European royalty.
James Outram, Wirral


…The outcome I was expecting, if the circumstances were a lot closer than predicted. I’m glad we were never ahead “as it stands”, as that would have made it harder to take.

Make no mistake, this is a phenomenal city team. Liverpool may be labelled the mentality monsters, but for city to recover from their champions league setback and to come back twice from 2-0 down shows they’re pretty mentally strong themselves. They’re a wonderful side and fully deserving champions.

In a way, that’s the only frustration. This is an incredible Liverpool team, that easy could be celebrating their 3rd premier league title. But they’re up against maybe the best side in the history of the league. But that’s football.

Roll on next weekend and we’ll see whether this is a great season or one for the ages. But for now, well done City and well done Liverpool for a phenomenal effort in trying to catch them.
Mike, LFC, London

Who are the mentality monsters now?
I swear to God. Supporting City is going to kill me. I’m certain of it. When Coutinho scored, my heart didn’t sink. It burrowed its way through the floor and buried itself in the ground. Utterly gutted.

But then it turns out that City are oh, what’s that phrase? ‘Mentality Monsters’. Yes, that’s the one.

PL title number six.


And I hope that Liverpool supporters will understand when I say, without the slightest hint of vitriol, that I’m glad we stopped you winning the ‘Quad’. The treble’s still on but I hope Real Madrid win the CL final too. I say so as something of a back-handed compliment as you’ve continued to push us all the way. Again. One point. One measly point. Well played Liverpool.

Gotta go. Huge celebration to be had!
Mark (Beelloooo Moooon!!!) MCFC


Man City are deserving champions
Wow, what a last day of the league that was. What amazing character and mental fortitude from Man City’s players to go 2-0 down and fight back to win 3-2. Well done Manchester City, deserving winners of the Premier League.
Nigel Healy


…Wow for Manchester City. What an incredible team. The job Pep continues to do deserves the superlatives.
Ian, LFC Hartford CT USA


…So, that was quite the final day. It’s hard to be too disappointed, City are the best team in the world right now, and were comfortably the better team both times they played us. It would have been a travesty if they didn’t win anything at all.

Was nice to dream for a while longer though. Very proud of the Liverpool team, never stopped pushing, never gave in.

In other news, it was good to see Salah and Son share the golden boot, both incredible footballers. And I think most people are happier to see Leeds survive over Burnley, even if I worry that’s the beginning of the end for Burnley as a club.

Finally, I hope the FA put out some stern guidance on pitch invasions next season. The slightly threat of a stadium ban clearly isn’t working, I wonder if threatening behind closed doors games or vacated wins would be enough.
Dan, Plastic LFC


But can Man City ever win the Champions League?
Firstly I want to say congratulations to city fans. I’ve watched city a lot this year and I can say with honesty City are a better team when it comes to breaking down crap defensive park the bus opposition.

Overall they deserve to win the league.

I am curious though about pep. So far he hasn’t achieved anything both Mancini and Pellegrini did before him. I mean sure he’s won the league a couple of times and with lots goals and points. But they don’t really matter in terms of success. It’s not a greater achievement winning it with 100 points than it is doing it with 79, just ask fergie.

I might be wrong but I’m pretty sure that city didn’t bring pep in and say “just do the same thing the last two guys did” pretty sure the objective in bringing in the (at that time) most successful champions League manager and giving him a blank cheque, was to win that super easy 8 game trophy which city haven’t won yet.

Since pep thinks it’s such an easy trophy I can only assume that he is failing on purpose to make it look harder. That way when he wins it he’ll be able to say “no no, now that I’ve won it, it’s actually hard that’s why it took so long”

Jokes aside I’m not sure pep is the person to win it for city because based on evidence he’s not really that good at winning it with city. So far he’s achieved the same in the champions League with city as poch with spurs and Wenger with arsenal – one final. No wins.

In the time that pep has been trying to win this trophy which is definitely easier than the premier League spurs have been to a final, Liverpool have been to three and won one(two), Chelsea have won one. Spurs and Liverpool both did it on much smaller budgets and squads.

But but that’s because city are also chasing the league. Well when Liverpool finish 2nd (again sad face) we also get to the champs league final. This year we managed to win two trophies already, get to the champs league final and push the league to the very last game. What happened when city finished 2nd? No champs league.

My (rambling) point is this. I don’t think pep can win it. At Barca he took over a group of players who had just won it, no need to make them believe they could do it, they knew they could. When he took over city he took over a (talented) group of players who had already won the league, twice. He didn’t need to make them believe, they knew they could do it.

At Bayern and at city in the champs league his job was to make the team believe they can win the champs league. And he couldnt do it. I don’t think city will win the champs league with pep in the dugout because unless he inherited players that already did it he has no clue how to teach them to do it. Maybe I’ll end up being hilariously wrong next year and he’ll win it (someone bookmark this email so you can rub it in) but my money will be going on city not making the final again.

Anyway congrats on winning the premier League. I do think the better league team won it and you deserve the praise. City have been excellent and enjoyable to watch.


That’s what it’s like to be Villa
Something I saw online but needs repeating.

Aston Villa Football Club have disappointed me, ruined my weekend and pissed me off for most of my 41 years on this planet and Liverpool fans have just got a small taste of that.


– Ralf Rangnick was not a bad idea, but it turned out very, very bad.

– I feel sad for Liverpool weirdly, despite not wanting them to win. Strange feelings begin to arise when you put yourself in someone else’s shoes. Should they continue this year’s form, they should comfortably win the league next time out.

– Congrats to City and Pep. I deserved win, though, Liverpool probably deserved it too. As usual, the title is an expectation for next season and they are rightly favourites. Welcome to Haaland as well.

– Even bigger congrats to Jesse, I felt the criticism he got was unfair. Though, I feel Bielsa would have achieved the same feat. They have to get the summer right though.

– Sad for Burnley. At least, that is a -6 from Man City’s goal difference for next season already.

– Watford and Norwich got what they deserved. Such is life, you can’t feel sad for everyone.

– Crystal Palace have been refreshing this season, like Burnley, they only fought for survival and were quite annoying pushovers in some matches against big teams, especially Liverpool and Chelsea. But the exciting, attacking football and the fight they have shown this season is worthy of applause. Now, to show progression next season, top half finish should be a realistic goal.

– Yeah, Everton escaped relegation thanks to him and all, but who doesn’t want to see former Klopp assistant, Rose, at the other side of Liverpool? The derby’s will be really exciting.

– Arsenal probably deserved top 4 as much as Tottenham, with Partey and an on form Lacazette, they probably would have gotten it, as well as cutting out the red cards. I expect a good season from them next time (depending on the window of course), probably > 85 points.

– Brighton kept on the progression this season. I am interested to see how far they can go next time out. Weirdly, despite beating them 4-0, Man Utd are indebted to you guys.

– West Ham did great this season and will be disappointed with conference league football, in truth, they deserved to finish ahead of a pathetic Man Utd side. I expect them to win it, that is, if Wolves syndrome those not afflict them.

– Wolves are one of the more mundane teams left in the league, they are no pushovers, but always keeping things close is not good for anyone. Lage needs to find a way to increase their attacking output.

– Aston Villa are showing good recruitment once more with their almost completed purchase of Kamara, let’s see how far Gerrard can take them.

– Leicester had a terrible season by recent standards, but with a summer to reboot, and pre-season to re-evaluate things, I expect a > 70 point season next time.

– Southampton will probably continue to be as close to relegation as possible without being in the race again. Wish they will just fight for more of the ball against the bigger teams next time out. It will make them much more competitive in those games if you ask me.

– Tottenham should and I know I am about to sound like Barry Fox, but they should challenge for the title. Conte always does well when backed, he is a fast worker, Tottenham only really need world class fullbacks to make it a great starting XI. Again, It is because Conte will not be there if he is not backed. I expect a 90 point season.

– Chelsea should also challenge for the title, Tuchel has had time to settle and now knows the league, this is their natural next step.

– Brentford have done well, I look forward to their transfer window activities.

– Newcastle are destined to reach the top or so it seems. They are intelligent in the market, buying Burn and Guimarães in January is just brilliant. However has surpassed expectations and may be even better than we imagined. I look forward to the transfer activities.

– Man Utd were terrible. Outright poor. I hope Ten Hag realises Mctominay is not a premier league footballer. They need reinforcement in the base of midfield, and full backs positions immediately. A right winger, goalkeeper and striker will also be wise. Despite everything, I do not regret the outcome that led us to Ten Hag, I have always wanted him and I am very grateful Tottenham decided to pass on him. I do not think they will get top 4 as they are behind 4 other teams, and Tottenham just have a better squad currently, but I expect a >75 point season, and possibly, win the Europa league. The Ten Hag era is upon us. The darkest part of the night comes just before dawn right? Surely that was the darkest part right? I look forward to the dealings in the market.


Arsenal proved the point
I, like many others, wrote into the mailbox last week lamenting Arsenal’s lack of leadership and strong mental ‘fortitude’. The comfortable win over Everton simply proves the point.

Arsenal had nothing to play for. Spurs were never going to lose to an awful Norwich side. So, knowing we’d finish 5th regardless, it was an easy victory against a pretty poor team.

Go back to the Newcastle game, one which we had to win after being humbled by Spurs, and what happens? We lose. Not only do we lose, but we lose meekly.

It’s been an improvement on last season and we’re back in Europe. Maybe that’s progress? Had we somehow qualified for the Champions League, we’d have been in the Europa League regardless after finishing 3rd in our group. Arsenal have the beginnings of a promising team. However, despite scoring 5 against Everton, we need a proper goalscorer. Someone who can regularly hit the back of the net will take the pressure off the rest of the team.

As for the manager. I still don’t think he’s the answer. But, I guess he will get at least another season given the 5th place and the fact he’s signed a big fact contract extension.

I know it could be worse. We’re officially the 5th best team in England. That’s hardly a reason to be upset. But, with a better motivator, a board who actually cares about investing in the team, leading to greater squad depth, it could have been so much more.

C’est la vie as they say in these parts.
Stu – Disappointed/Frustrated/Hopeful?/Resigned to more of the same* – Gooner in France


Newcastle pride
First, and most importantly (to me): I cannot even express how proud I am of Newcastle United right now. I don’t care if it reflects a small-club mentality to celebrate an 11th place finish, we have been magnificent since the takeover. And yes, it sucks real hard that my happiness is owed to bad guys; you certainly won’t find me buying the new third kit in Saudi colors. Or any other kit, unless the owners somehow produce Kevin De Bruyne or Mo Salah. Still kinda wish Brighton had lost and let us into the top half, mind. Every million pounds counts toward our profit/loss margin and the amount of owner investment permitted over time. That said, I hope our promising new start ensures that the promised investment in infrastructure and in the City materializes in full.

Say what you like about January spending, the fact is that only Bruno Guimaraes has been eye-poppingly effective. Kieran Trippier was barely even a part of the club’s epic 2022 run and featured in only about three wins, though his leadership while injured should not be ignored. Chris Wood worked his junk off, but produced very little. Burnley, in fact, got better in his absence. Matt Targett and Dan Burn were both quietly solid, and excellent when they had to be. Targett’s no world-beater, but he’s a snip at the asking price. No, it wasn’t money that produced an eleventh-place finish after winning none of our first 14 matches; it was Eddie Howe. He transformed former joke punchline Joelinton, whose song was sung as he was stretchered off. He convinced Shelvey be responsible, by and large. When he had to, he recognized and used Almiron’s defensive qualities. He eased Bruno into the squad, and was instantly rewarded. He made Emil Krafth effective. He sat Lascelles down for a while, and it made him better. If Howe doesn’t win Manager of the Year, the police need to get involved. I don’t know how long he’ll have all the answers, but I do think the world of the job he’s done so far.

I was living in Bristol (your Bristol: the one on the Avon) when I fell in love with the Newcastle United, about six months before Keegan’s meltdown. During those years, during our blessed time under Sir Bobby, and even under Dalgleish, we were enormous fun to watch, but we didn’t produce a whole lot beyond the occasional magnificent result. The only trophy we’ve won since I’ve been a supporter – besides two Championships, which hardly make up for relegation – has been the Intertoto Cup (lol), under Glenn Roeder (lol). Fifth under that clown Alan Pardew was nice, but it’s been bone dry up in here. Perhaps it builds character. At any rate, right now my heart might be as full as football has any right to make it. The team have played well, they’ve given their all, and they’ve overcome so much negativity from the press and, tbh, from the supporters while Ashley owned the club. I hope they’re all as proud of themselves as I am for this brilliant 2022.

I hated to see us send Burnley down, but perhaps it was fated; they beat us in a pre-season match and in the League Cup, but it was they who gave us our first win of the season. And as an American, it’s nice to see Jesse Marsch keep Leeds up. I had feared he was set up to fail. Congratulations to the Champions, as well, and to Liverpool. One has to think that this win feels special, given the challenge Liverpool provided City.
Chris C, Toon Army DC


And finally
Hey Johnny Nic

Shit this isn’t it?
Lawrence on Gazprom Hill

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