May 10, 2023

Welcome to Tottenham, Ange Postecoglu. And good f***ing luck, because you'll need it...

The Mailbox welcomes the appointment of Ange Postecoglu at Spurs, even if he's fighting an uphill battle with a club that wasted their big chance against state-owned, mega-rich rivals…

Get your views in to [email protected]

Welcome, AngeI get some of the angst from Spurs fans over Ange being appointed – Celtic fans were the same 2 years ago. But a lot of it is rooted in delusional arrogance.

The only English clubs currently capable of attracting the absolute A-List managers are City, Man U, and Liverpool. If Arsenal kick on from this season they can be added to that list, and if Pochettino manages an extraordinarily quick turnaround with Chelsea they will also rejoin.

Spurs have no recent pedigree, and their historic achievements aren't much to crow about either. In addition to being poorer than the Big 5, they are now also vastly poorer than Newcastle Utd. Spurs are now, and for the foreseeable future, in a race with Aston Villa to be top of the rest while hoping for the odd season when catastrophic mismanagement of one or more of the Big 6 clubs allows Spurs/Villa the chance to jump up a spot or two.

Until Spurs are sold to a nation state or some other megarich owners, that is their level. Whatever chance Spurs had of cementing a place as one of the truly big English clubs, which can conceivably challenge for the title now and again, was wasted over the last 4 years.

Leaving aside the value of Scottish trophies, Ange is proven at quickly turning around an inherited mess, superb at man-management and press relations, plays attractive football and has an absolutely superb track record for signing underrated/unknown players for paltry sums who hit the ground running. Now maybe not all of that translates to the step up in level in the EPL, but he is precisely the kind of manager that a club like Spurs should be targeting – rather than asking past their best "serial winners" to step down to a platform which is not up to winning anything.

Ange's a good man and I wish him and Spurs all the best for next season's uphill fight over 7th place.

cheers,Calum, Scotland

…I am writing to you to express my excitement about the imminent appointment of Ange Postecoglou. I watched his motivational speech on the Planet Sport article and found it profound and inspiring.

It got me thinking about what we’ve missed since Poch left and it's a manager with an emotional connection with the players, fans and club. While Jose and Conte are legendary managers, I don't feel that they bought into what the club is all about in the way Ange will. Us Spurs fans are romantic and emotional, we want to watch attractive, passionate football and that's what Ange will bring us.

The ingredients are all there. Best stadium in Europe, cash to spend, a generation of excellent youngsters like Sarr and Parrot, world cup winners, and world class seasoned campaigners like Dier Kane and Son. Let's get behind Ange and help him to turn those ingredients into trophy-winning meal.Barry Fox

…I am almost afraid to say that I harbour some optimism with the appointment of Ange Postecoglou. I have heard good things from a friend who is a Celtic fan, and the very enlightening letter from John, Glasgow in this mornings mailbox accurately reflected my buddy's opinions. So I for one will be happy to see what he can do at Spurs.

The football at Spurs has been sucking the life out of me since Poch left. I actually go to matches, and I want to watch football, not be bored rigid by the anti-football espoused by the last 3 jokers.I can enjoy a match even if my team fails, that's sport. Maybe it's a generational thing, to me watching football is more nuanced than searching for the latest trendy hashtag, if you know what I mean #Pete (Spurs). A laughably stupid comment in this mornings mailbox, a serious contrast to the mail that preceded it..

The squad is a mess, and the chairman a nightmare to deal with, so I hope Ange gets ‘a fair go’ as they would say in Melbourne. I hope people like Pete have a little patience. It's a dangerous time for us, with intelligently run clubs like Brentford and Brighton snapping at our heels and the (oil) money being poured in at Newcastle it will take more than having a great stadium to secure European football in future.

Harry, go to Madrid and win yourself some medals, and thanks for everything, have a great summer everyoneJim French (Spurs since ’59)

Read more: Postecoglou might not be the ‘elite coach’ Levy promised, but could be just what Spurs need

Jose as a saviourImagine you are a football writer or a pundit. You’re already analyzed last weekend's Cup Final ad nauseam, and you’ve been writing and talking about the Champions League Final for weeks. Your editor says he needs you fill some column inches (or drone on for another 20 minutes). It's a dilemma: you’re out of ideas; you’re facing a mental block; it seems there is no way out but to repackage the swill you’re just editorially tortured for the last couple days. Then, SHAZAM, Jose Mourinho opens his mouth -YOU ARE SAVED!Just as every superhero movie needs its super villain; you realize you need one too. Here he is -it doesn't matter the team, the League, or if he's between manager jobs- he is bound to utter some toxic garbage or demonstrate what a frightfully awful human he is through his actions. You can write or talk about that and the bored, baying crowd of football fans will give you a pass, because this is something interesting.

Just hope he keeps it up until August.Stephen, USA

Tainted TrebleIf Man City win the treble, I will be 100% totally and utterly "meh" about it. I will see it in the same vein as the achievements of Ben Johnson, Lance Armstrong, and Tonya Harding.

I also find it amazing that half of the fourth estate, TV and print, hardly ever mention the 100+ accusations hanging over the club.

I spent almost three-quarters of an hour during my run this weekend listening to the normally excellent Athletic Podcast on this matter, it was time from my life that I will never get back as the Man City based contributing to the production remarkably managing to get through 45 mins saying absolutely nothing of interest whatsoever; the sum of the podcast was;

"They were found not guilty by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), you can't blame the players or manager, and finally, come back when the verdict is in".

Now I know that reporters for Man City need to toe a party line as I am sure they are worried that the "Deity" that is Pep will not speak to them if they do not, but I personally find that level of blind impartiality foolish, for three reasons.

1) they were not found "not guilty" by CAS, the charges were not proven. That is a totally different thing.

2) if your other argument is that you can't blame the current employees you are entering the "grandfather paradox". If City are unable to afford the players they currently have by fair means, then they shouldn't have them, so you cannot blame those who shouldn't be there in the first place. But they currently do have them, so you must blame City for having recruited them with ill-gotten gains, and so on and so forth.

3) like any other multi-national corporation the executives will try and to complain, obfuscate and drag out this process until so many people are sick to death of it that they hope no one will care whatever the outcome is.

Pep said the other day he wants this all over very quickly, and not so sure that the CEO and CFO share his eagerness

I for one hope the Premier League to come to a decision quickly, and if warranted asterisks are placed on old tables to symbolise that the achievements were tainted.

RegardsIan H

Rating TreblesHonestly, is this what we’ve sunk to? "Our Treble was more fun than yours". Did an adult really say that? Just how lame is that? "My dad's bigger than your dad". For Gods sake, grow up.

Trust me, City fans have had a ball, this season.

Two hattricks in an absolute Derby mauling, a thrashing of Liverpool (watching the away fans leaving the team to Walk Alone), beating Arsenal three times, knocking Liverpool and Chelsea out of the domestic cups, in fact, beating Chelsea four times this season, a 25 match unbeaten run, watching our Norwegian striker lay waste to almost everyone and breaking records, left, right and centre (just think how good he’ll be next season, now that he's had the traditional settling-in season under Pep), welcoming back a World Cup Winner, putting chippy Arsenal fans in their place whilst overhauling their team from 8 points behind, putting 7 past Leipzig (Haaland scoring 5), absolutely monstering the traditional CL heavyweights of Bayern Munich and current Cup holders Real Madrid, selling out every single Premier League game, reading Marca describing how Real had not played in such a hostile environment for years, packing out Ancoats to celebrate, listening to the office Reds absolutely kack themselves as we progress, wondering how the hell we’ve lost at Spurs AGAIN, letting Yerry Mina know exactly what we thought of him, the Poznan coming out on a regular basis, new songs every other week, watching United's somewhat limp attempts on Saturday, winning the Double, on the lash in West London on Saturday night, hanging out of the car (on the M1) whilst driving past Uniteds team coach coming home, waving City flags at them beeping the horn, flicking the V's and laughing me nuts off, sitting here in anticipation of the party on Saturday…. There's been the occasional downside, of course, but let's not get into them. Ahem.

Now, I know some will try and pick holes in that but I’m not bothered because, by Christ, we’ve had some fun, this season, and that's what matters, isn't it? I’m not going to sit here and argue, pointlessly, that our Treble (SHOULD IT HAPPEN!! I’m only too aware of Typical City…) is better than United's because I think it is, you think it isn't, but it isn't something that can ever be definitively sorted, either way. Truly, a pointless exercise.

No, my experience of this season has been great, sensational even, and the moaners and cynical whingers on here like William The Whopper and his bitter ilk ain't gonna spoil it for me….

Help help helpingLevenshulme Blue, Manchester 19(PS, having said all that, I’m still very nervous about Saturday, Inter Milan will be no pushover so…'s hoping…!)

…Reading Liam's ‘Poor Imitation’ letter I couldn't help but agreeing. As an Arsenal fan some of those joyful moments were painful. Giggs v Arsenal. The horror. But you can't help but respect it and marvel. Much like I am sure the Van Nistelroy penalty miss. You may hate it but gosh do you relish the tension and the joy,

Manchester City are without joy. They are like AI or the terminator. A designed machine of joyless delivery. Like pollution, as byproduct of economic progress. Looking back City will be the chess computer versus Kaspirov. The relentless March of refinement devoid of wonder. They are the epitome of boredom.

However, and let's be honest here, they are the output of what the premier league was manufactured to be. A global sellable product. Big name, big brand, Disney football.

It is what it isAlexander

Toddlers and TreblesIn response to the mysteriously-monikered M's mail comparing Utd and City's (potential) treble, one thing jumped out. Referring to City's operation as "the equivalent of giving a toddler a big bag of money and expect anything more than a mismatch of sweets, frisbees and baseball caps".

I’m no City fan, and fervently hope that they’re found formally guilty of the FFP crimes that we all know they’ve committed (I doubt they will be, sadly). But, I have to take issue with this terrible analogy. If any toddlers have been given the keys to the vault in recent years, they can be found at Moshiri's ridiculous Everton and at M's own United, before Ten Hag came in and brought some sanity, to the chagrin of banter fans everywhere. At least we now have Chelsea, who spent the last season running their club like a toddler with a fairly serious head injury.

What makes City so soulless to me, is that the better analogy for them is handing a big bag of money to a cold-eyed investment banker. They’ve ruthlessly spent it on hiring the best of the best talent off the pitch and in the coaching staff, then methodically assembled a winning machine. Full backs an issue? Buy 2 or 3 brilliant ones and see which works. Need to replace Aguero's goals? Go and sign the world's best young striker, and while you’re at it get that promising Alvarez kid as back up. I could go on, but I’m boring myself.

I do agree with M, though, that Utd looked like they had way more fun in their treble. My secret shame (I’m a Liverpool fan) is that I let out a yelp of excitement when Solksjaer bagged vs Bayern in 99, such was the drama and jeopardy involved in an evenly-matched, pulsating game. On Saturday, City will start as huge favourites. With the odds so stacked in their favour, as Trent said when doorstepped at the Spanish Grand Prix this weekend, they’re always favourites for everything. How f*cking depressing.P (falling to get excited at next year's Abu Dhabi v Saudi v Qatar battle royale) Singapore

Pep's black markInteresting mail by Ved Sen (MUFC) but he made a mistake. Bayern were not underdogs when Pep took over. They had just completed the European and domestic treble and were the best team in Europe. Pep then spent more money than the club had ever done before but somehow made them worse. He made them the underdogs that got thrashed by rivals in Europe.

His time at Bayern despite domestic success was considered a failure by the Bayern Hierarchy who were not at all sad to see him leave. They expected a year or two more as the top dog in Europe and he failed miserably. They changed their manager hiring practices after too so the costly mistake would not be made again.

If there is a black mark on his managerial CV it is definitely Bayern. It is why people ignore or gloss over what he did there.William, Leicester

…Thought I would reply to Ved Sen (MUFC) with some differences of opinion. Clearly Ferguson was a generational talented manager and you’re right to highlight his achievements. What I don't understand is the need to denigrate Guardiola as part of a comparison between the two. The idea that Pep can only work with the best players/‘clever kids’ is clearly nonsense. Manuel Akanji was signed for £15M. Did you think City had signed a world beater when he came? Now look at him. Zinchenko was a £1.5m squad player when Pep took over. Pep coached him and turned him into a £32M player and one of Arsenal's best. I could go one, but i’ll end it with Pep won the league with Ottamendi at centre back FFS. Pep coaches all his players and makes them better. And for the ‘could Pep do it as a lower league side/lesser side’, look at what Kompany did at lower league Burnley. A team transformed playing Pep's brand of press and possession, who ran away with the league. Do you really think that Guardiola couldn't do the same?

And while we are on the subject of comparisons, I have seen a number of people saying that United's Treble will be better than City's Treble (if they win it), because it was more unexpected and more surprising. And that if City win the Treble it's predictable and boring (even though City have managed to find a new, different and sometimes ridiculous way to lose the Champions League each season). That's like me arguing that Agueroooo and City's title win in 2012 was a better achievement than City getting 100 points in 2018. Yes it was more exciting in 2012, as City were a flawed team. But the Centurions are the better team and the achievement.

United were not the best team in Europe in 1999 but showed grit and determination to get past an amazing Juventus in the Semis and past a better Bayern Munich in the final. United fans rightly remember the excitement of that comeback win. City are the best team in Europe and are outclassing teams including an excellent Bayern Munich and 14 times winners and holders Real Madrid. The most apt comparison to this City team is Barcelona in 2009/2011. This could be a generational team that Pep has created. And that is the better Treble in my opinion, being clearly better than every other team, and influencing how other teams play.Andy D. Manchester. MCFC.

Cup final ruined by one c***Alas, those plucky underdogs, Manchester United, with barely two pennies to scrap together, were unable to derail the mighty Vogon mothership plow through English football on their way to world domination. However, even if we had won, I don't know if I could have celebrated.

The entire event and spectacle was totally ruined for me by that "fan" with the offensive shirt. In what world, or in what circles of friends, is that considered funny or banter? People DIED. Saying that other fans say it about our club is not an excuse.

I am so pleased to hear that the person has been arrested but for me, that does not go far enough. I am hoping MUFC ban this person for life should he be a ticket owner, and more importantly, his punishment should be to have to meet with every family who lost a loved one and listen to their anguish that they still feel today. (Why inflict that on the families? – MC)

Maybe I have become too old and cynical or developed a more mature outlook on the matters of life in general so that football means less to me now but, today I am thoroughly ashamed to be a fan of MUFC fan to have such scum associated with our club.

Mark my words, unless MUFC make this right again, karma will come back to us.Adidasmufc (Was there ANY MUFC fan who even remotely thought we had a chance on Saturday? From the way they played, some of the players themselves didn't look like they thought they could do it either.)

Sticking it to the Man UtdReading the mailbox on Monday, the three opening letter by two confirmed (and another I assume) United fans are such guff.

We’ll just get Benzema for a year and then sign Kane on a free. Easy. I do feel Kane would want to stay in England as he is close to Shearer's record, so United seems a fair bet for trophies too – compared to Spurs anyway – but a year is a long way away, alot could change. Madrid could want him now, which is always a more tantalising option.

Of course Liam, if you are a United supporter, the Treble of 99 would be more joyous, but clawing back a gap, and trouncing Madrid as well as beating your rivals in the final to claim your own Treble (if they beat Inter of course) is pretty joyful to City fans I assume.

And finally, not to get into who's better between Pep and Sir Alex, but you’ve painted a lop-sided picture. Sure, Pep buys the best, but without him, who is to say Iniesta, Xaxi, Busquets, Pedro (and even Messi?) et al become as good as they do. Sure, we’d all love to see Pep go to a smaller team, but you could argue he's too good, so why bother? As an aside, it's often overlooked in the mailbox I find, the impact managers have on players careers. Sure, Pep has (and buys) the best players, but you still have to catch them. Look what's he's done with de Bruyne. He cost 50 odd million, but he wasn't the player he is now. Had the potential? Sure. Could have done it elsewhere? Absolutely. But we don't know for certain, and he wasn't doing it at Chelsea (for lots of reasons, but that's my point). Sir Alex was amazing, but it doesn't mean Pep is lesser or not one of the greatest managers of all time.Neill, Ireland

Shopping for ErikI agree with Andy's assessment but would tweak it. Wan Bissaka has shown the fight and ability to make the position his own, and with that, lowers the RB situation to last (Kimmich I’d imagine is a £100m+ player who probably isn't dreaming of replacing AWB).

For sure the top priorities should be a striker and goalkeeper, and rumours seriously suggest Hojlund and Costa(£50M + £50m).

After that, for me, is a ball carrying midfielder, and a CB. Rumors are seriously heating up for Mason Mount and Kim(£60M + £43M).

That's £203M and fills most of the holes, missing player types. But it's also a lot, without a proven PL goal scorer or a back up to Casimiro.

If they can add rumored signing Rabiot (£0m), and sell off £100M (Henderson 20M, Maguire 15M, Fred 10M, McT 20M, Elanga 15m Telles 5M, VDB 15M+ wages saved from De Gea, jones, Bailey, tuanzebe, weghorst) then maybe there would be room to add either Harry or Rice for 100M, and their squad would be complete.

Only if United were to sell Wan Bissaka would I imagine they would replace him, with Frimpong on that list (40M).

A boy can dream, yes, but there is fairly substantial reporting to suggest much of the above isn't as far fetched as it may appear, and United look to have learned from last year to get on things early this year. So here is to hope!Calvino (Well said Ved Sen)

Everton's holesTo answer Andy S’ question about the top five holes in your squad, at Everton:

1. Striker2. Striker3. Possibly another striker4. Owner5. Board

Great question.TX Bill (Actually, our first hole to fill is the pot of money we’ve pissed away over the last five years) EFC

[email protected] Welcome, Ange Ange being appointed Calum, Scotland Barry Fox the very enlightening letter from John, Glasgow Jim French (Spurs since ’59) Read more: Postecoglou might not be the ‘elite coach’ Levy promised, but could be just what Spurs need Jose as a saviour Stephen, USA Tainted Treble Ian H Rating Trebles Levenshulme Blue, Manchester 19 Liam's ‘Poor Imitation’ letter Alexander Toddlers and Trebles P (falling to get excited at next year's Abu Dhabi v Saudi v Qatar battle royale) Singapore Pep's black mark Ved Sen (MUFC) William, Leicester Ved Sen (MUFC) Andy D. Manchester. MCFC. Cup final ruined by one c*** Adidasmufc (Was there ANY MUFC fan who even remotely thought we had a chance on Saturday? From the way they played, some of the players themselves didn't look like they thought they could do it either.) Sticking it to the Man Utd the mailbox on Monday Neill, Ireland Shopping for Erik Calvino (Well said Ved Sen) Everton's holes Andy S’ question TX Bill (Actually, our first hole to fill is the pot of money we’ve pissed away over the last five years) EFC