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Rewind to Boxing Day 1963

Barclays Premier League
Read
By ESPN Staff

Your verdict: Weekend fallout

Newcastle grabbed 0-0 draw at Manchester United on Saturday and the result means there are only five points separating the top three in the Premiership.

Referee Paul Durkin disallowed a Manchester United goal and failed to give Newcastle a penalty in the first-half, but it was the Insider's match report that prompted the angry emails.

  • Email newsdesk@soccernet.com with your thoughts.

  • Dear Mr Insider, I refer to your comments for the article 'Toon on the Rise'. It was an exciting and detailed insight into the game that you have given us and kudos to your efforts. I have always enjoyed reading your post-match reviews extensively and will continue to look forward to.

    However, I will need to voice my disapproval on your last sentence where you mentioned 'Shearer came across a little bitter when interviewed by Sky after the match. Although he says otherwise, perhaps he realises he made the wrong decision in snubbing United for Newcastle seven-and-a-half years ago'.

    I am not too sure if you are a Manchester United fan, but please do note that Shearer snubbed Man United TWICE and however bitter he is (perhaps because of the penalty not awarded to him?) he always gives his best especially against Man United.

    He is a legend in his own right regardless of whether he wins trophies with Newcastle or not.
    Melvin Heng, Singapore

    Perhaps you have no idea how proud Alan Shearer feels playing for and being captain of his hometown team. Do you think every sportsman is a glory hunter? Some people take part in sport for pride.

    By the way, Newcastle are United. Shearer (the Premierships best ever striker) joined Newcastle United.
    Michael Render

    After reading the very fair review of the Manchester United v Newcastle United match I must disagree strongly with your comment stating that Alan Shearer still regrets choosing Newcastle over Man U seven years ago.

    You obviously do not understand what it means for a Newcastle lad to play in the black and white stripes and join the great list of the no 9's who have played for the Magpies.

    Yes he would have had more medals if he went to Man U, but medals are not everything. Look at the medals Andy Cole won while at Man U. In 10 years time who will be remembered as the greater striker Andy Cole or Shearer?
    Colin Watts

    It wasn't a beauty and won't be long remembered but I sure did like the aftermath. Two distinguished managers disagreeing but still complementing both sides, and the referee admitting his mistakes.

    If the United-Arsenal rivalry had this atmosphere Premier League football would surely be the better for it.
    Mike Foody, USA


  • Liverpool 1-0 Aston Villa...

    When Aston Villa beat Portsmouth on Tuesday the Soccernet headlines read 'Lucky Villa'. This was because of the fortunate goal by Darius Vassell which bounced off his chest and into the net. Now on Saturday Villa get beat by Liverpool following a deflected own goal by Mark Delaney and yet the Soccernet headlines pronounced 'Red Steel'.

    Do you not see any inconsistency in your reporting? There was nothing between these two teams, both played at a high pace and tackled hard - the only difference was a very flukey own goal.

    At least Villa's goal against Portsmouth was scored by the attacking side!
    Kevin, USA

    As a Liverpool supporter for nearly 30 years, I have finally had enough. I cannot read another article praising the Reds for scraping out a win against Villa.

    For me, it was one of the most disgusting displays of footballing skill I have ever witnessed by a Liverpool squad. I have finally decided that for my money, the teams problem lies with their coaching, not their management.

    Harry Kewell displayed some of the worst shooting and crossing by any player I can remember in recent memory. Michael Owen, on several occasions, showed an almost toddler-like inability to trap the ball. I have seen Paul Scholes trap 100mph passes to within 6 inches of his feet. Owen couldn't even trap the ball to the ground, let alone his proximity.

    Igor Biscan should have been punished by Villa twice in the box, due to his poor, poor efforts. His attempt to control the ball with his head inside the box in the second half was so elementary a five-year-old could have achieved better results.

    Further still, Pongolle's pass to Kewell in the last minutes was so poor that I almost turned off the TV. I am happy we won, but I sincerely feel that it reflects a mediocre performance on the part of Aston Villa, rather than any particularly praise-worthy effort by Liverpool.

    What on Earth are they doing during their training sessions? Certainly not practicing their ball skills. Thank God for Paul Jones and El Hadji Diouf exhibiting some skill, else I would have turned to the knitting channel to catch some talent.
    Dave Burrows


  • The Saha transfer/non-transfer saga...

    To put it quite bluntly, Louis Saha is being a brat. Nowhere in a player's contract does it say that a team is required to move you to a higher profile club when possible, which seems to be the only grounds for his "argument".

    Fulham have treated Saha very well as far as I can tell and he's not returning the favor. This kind of behavior will make it harder for clubs to back players since you never know when they'll turn on you.

    Bottom line, he's signed to Fulham, and to be honest Fulham needs Saha more than Man U. Man U doesn't even really need him, so if he's so content to be a bench warmer, why not try to attract Real Madrid? They're famous for that kind of thing.
    Mo

    As an ex professional player I just cannot understand Coleman's stand. Last year they were trying to get rid of the player for four million and now when a window of opportunity opens for the lad they do not want to sell.

    Why? Because football clubs only want you when you play well. They have no honour - none of them - and certainly no loyalty to players. You are a commodity that is only worthwhile while you play well and discarded when you don't.

    Pull your head in Coleman and let the lad go and chase his dream. You would or maybe you are bitter that nobody in the top clubs ever wanted you during your career.
    Tom

    Good to see a manager of a smaller club like Fulham sticking to his guns and holding on to his star player no matter what.

    I remember a few years back how good Coventry were going with Robbie Keane but they let him go and look at them now.
    Craig Hudson, Australia

    One may not like Wenger but you can always count on him to provide well considered and objective opinion on any issue. He has a calm sarcastic way of talking about situations.

    I agree with his stand on Saha and the implication for teams and football in general. Wenger does not want to get into any Ferguson controversy but it ought to be said that Ferguson's tactic is for the gutter and he should be sanctioned.
    Charles Ugwu, Canada

    Fulham should sell him. When a player makes comments as Saha has, you are only shooting yourself in the foot, from the club perspective.

    If a player does not want to play for a club - and you've been offered £8million for a transfer, TAKE THE MONEY AND RUN - besides Saha in a MUFC kit. I'd love it!
    J. Stephen Hartsfield


  • More on United transfers. This time Tim Howard...

    I can't see anything wrong. It seems Man Utd used a FIFA registered agent, what he does with his share of the payment surely has nothing to do with Man Utd. Or am I mistaken.

    Obviously somebody is trying to cause problems for the club, and I am not a Man Utd fan but I see no wrong doing.
    Duncan McKie

    Here we go. FA - "Forever Arsenal" getting into overdrive again.

    Seek fault, plant fault, discredit & penalise United and elevate London thugs for the good of English football. That's another 6-12 months of delirious meetings, pontificatings, nauseating "seen to be proper deliberation" and media attention.

    All good for career profiling to land top jobs at some other gravy train organisation. Did the Gunners' Arsene Wenger suggest the FA do that investigation?
    Anti-Fat Cats


  • Rivaldo signs for Cruzeiro

    I think he has a lot to offer European football and going back home so early is a big mistake. Rivaldo should be able to make one of the top teams in Spain still, even if it is not Barca, Real or Valencia.
    Lashley Larry


  • And finally, Goodbye to Gordon Strachan...

    This is a real shame. Southampton seemed to have finally found a manager with both talent and loyalty. Despite an unjustified beating from the media when he started, Strachan easily out performed the hugely overrated ponce Hoddle - who was just as overrated as a player as a manager.

    To all you people that seem to have incredibly short memories, Hoddle was one of the most annoyingly inconsistent midfielders of his time. If he had put any kind of effort into his game, he could have been one of the greatest players ever to wear an England shirt.

    Unfortunately he ponced around too much, tried too many fancy through balls and shots, and more often than not was completely ineffectual. He got more caps than he deserved.

    To keep a mediocre side like Coventry in the Premiership for as long as Strachan did was no small feat, and nor was turning Southampton back into the side they were in the seventies and eighties - usually mid table, but occasionally challenging for a place in Europe.

    In this I do agree with Keegan. He will be missed, but at least he's shown enough loyalty to Southampton to stick with them for the rest of the season. Perhaps a few players could learn something from this, like perhaps concepts such as gratitude and integrity.

    As a Liverpool supporter I always disliked Man Utd, but somehow Strachan was still I player I admired. Probably reminded me a bit of Dalglish, if not in the skill department, then perhaps in the hard working and unintelligible speech areas of the game.
    Andy Bright


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