Angry fans

The Examiner’s football correspondent Liam Mackey is fed, watered, refreshed, back from holiday and raring to get stuck in on the first week of the New Year.

Every Tuesday Liam plays referee to your opinions on the good, the bad and the ugly of the Premiership and awards a prize to the most controversial contributor.

This week there are worries about the takeover of Liverpool, the first lamenting Magpie of 2007, scant sympathy for the problems of Jose Mourinho; some smiles over Fergie recruiting the support of taxi drivers in the ABC campaign; a shout for Everton new boy Anichebe; and the suggestion that fans should be more patient with managers.

Letter of the week goes to a Disgruntled Gooner for daring to suggest there may have been one sentence of sense in Ashley Cole’ s autobiography. Prize is in the post Ashley!

I’M worried about what I read about this takeover of Liverpool. Gifts from the East or Trojan camel? To me the potential takeover looks like a property deal, pure and simple.

Pat Delaney, Dublin, by email

OUR SHOUT: Anyone else miss the days when footie fans talked about who the club was buying rather than who was buying the club?

80 YEARS since Newcastle United were champions of England. Fifty years since they won any serious silverware. Eight decades of hurt. Yet still they turn out in their thousands. For how much longer?

Tyneside Irish, by email

OUR SHOUT: Never mind the cuckoo, I think I’ve just heard the first long-suffering magpie of the New Year. Welcome back old friend.

HARRY Redknapp’s onto something, isn’t he? If there is a transfer window for the signing and selling of players, doesn’t it make a lot of sense to have the same for managers? The Christmas pantomime at West Ham and Charlton Athletic, particularly Charlton, indicates that kneejerk owners aren’t the ones best placed to make these decisions.

Nick McKinstry, Cavan, by email

OUR SHOUT: I think the unseemly haste with which managers are dispensed is one of the dafter aspects of the game. But don’t the fans tend to be a bit kneejerk on this subject too? I’ve certainly heard plenty of shouts from the terraces for a struggling gaffer’s head but few enough for the embattled boss to be given more time.

WILL Bolton threaten to sue Rafael Benitez because of his comments about El Hadji Diouf being proud to be a diver? Or has that story been done now?

Limerick Red, by email

OUR SHOUT: Done and dusted Limerick Red — until the next time. By the way, blame a surfeit of TV nostalgia over the Chrimbo but I was just thinking: isn’t it a pity that Diouf wasn’t around at the time of Spitting Image?

SO Jose thinks Andrew Johnson is a diver? I’m sure Martin O’Neill, previously of Celtic would have something to say about that! And indeed any other player or manager that had the misfortune to encounter his hideous Porto sides! Don’t even mention Drogba or indeed Robben. David Moyes should be congratulated for keeping his cool when confronted with that little windbag Mourinho. Just goes to prove money can’t buy you class. ABC (anyone but Chelsea).

Rafa Beneath Us 4 Ever, by email

OUR SHOUT: As Mark Twain said: “Few of us can stand prosperity. Another man’s, I mean.”

FOOTBALL’S best-know pensioner has been in fine and sprightly form over Christmas with his taunting of the Londoners. Surely his comments that even the cabbies in the capital want United to win must go down as a classic.

Anyone who’s ever been in a black cab must know that most taxi drivers are either Spurs, Arsenal or Millwall. Well done Fergie for hailing the taxi vote.

Red Devil, Limerick, by email

OUR SHOUT: Hmm. I wonder do Fergie’s comments qualify as rank abuse? (Awards red card to self).

HERE’S my New Year predictions: The Premiership will go to the wire . . . and will be won by a team in blue.

The Champions League trophy will eventually find its way to London . . . but not to the team in red.

Mourinho will sign a contract extension within a number of weeks.

Cork Blue, by email

OUR SHOUT: Here’s my prediction: Cork Blue will pick up a red card early in the New Year. And, whaddya know, I was right!

INTERESTING TO hear Mourinho whingeing about the size of his squad. Wasn’t he saying just a few weeks ago that his reserves should be allowed to play in the Championship? And who was it that decided to have such a small squad?

Anthony Murphy, Donegal, by email

OUR SHOUT: Is it possible any longer to write a sentence containing the word ‘Mourinho’ but not the word ‘whingeing’. Oops. Apparently not.

MY final point on the Ashley Cole affair. Allan Prosser asked me to name another job in the world where an employee is not allowed to speak to another potential employer? This was the same dross which Cole and his now banned agent came up with as a defence for their deplorable actions. The fact that it IS ILLEGAL to do so in football is apparently lost on them and now you too Allan.

By following this logic we should all start smoking in pubs again, as this is a law which doesn’t apply to 99% of the rest of the world so why should it apply to me? Oh dear I’m starting to sound like our good friend Ashley now!

Whitegate Gooner, by email

OUR SHOUT: Mr Prosser demands the following opportunity to reply: “Fair point Whitegate, except that employment law is likely to move more quickly to the proverbial level playing field in Europe, than health and safety law. Here’s a bold prediction: by the end of this decade there will be an end to the pretence that contracted footballers don’t speak to potential new employers. See you in 2010?

WHAT would Charlton Athletic have done if Alan Pardew hadn’t been available? Reid’s sacking has got to be more than one of life’s great coincidences hasn’t it?

Dennis Greene, London, by email

OUR SHOUT: You said it, Dennis.

DROGBA or Ronaldo, Liam? Who’s your money on for Footballer of the Year? And do you have any other contenders?

Mick Clarke, Mallow, by email

DO you remember Alan Shearer saying after the World Cup that Wayne Rooney should stick one on Cristiano Ronaldo? There’s not been a player able to get close to him all season.

Tim Lenihan, Dublin, by email

OUR SHOUT: Like Gilesy, I’m still not convinced that Ronaldo can keep this up. But I’m happy to be proved wrong by season’s end. Otherwise, I’d have Paul Scholes as my player of the year with Drogba just behind him.

WHAT has come over Nicolas Anelka? He’s actually beginning to look like the player who won the Double with Arsenal who Real Madrid paid €30m for. Was that his sulky and useless twin brother who turned out for Liverpool and Manchester City?

Rory Kennedy, East Cork, by email

OUR SHOUT: Don’t worry, Rory, on past evidence the brother will be back before too long.

ANYONE remember those mysterious stories about dissatisfaction at Board level with Claudio Ranieri when he was Chelsea manager. Have Kenyon and co been to see that thriller Deja Vu over the festive break?

Pat Fenton, Waterford, by email

OUR SHOUT: Nope. The movie was actually ‘Back To The Future’ and they were seen leaving the cinema with Sven.

WATCHED Victor Anichebe putting Newcastle to the sword at the weekend. Our best prospect since Rooney. Let’s hope Everton don’t have to sell him after one season.

Tipp Bluenose, by email

OUR SHOUT: €30m always helps soften the blow.

ASHLEY Cole’s book has been lampooned. But did he have a point about Arsenal’s lack of spirit? How a team that reached the Champions League final couldn’t beat Sheffield United with Phil Jagielka in goal beggars belief.

Disgruntled Gooner, Kerry, by email

OUR SHOUT: Ye gods! For managing to say something vaguely complimentary about Ashley Cole, have our Letter Of The Week prize.

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