Angry fans

The Examiner’s football correspondent Liam Mackey likes a good argument when he hears it, and he’s got strong views of his own. Today, and every Tuesday, he will be acting as referee on your opinions on the Premiership. Let him know what you think and he’ll argue the toss with you. We’ll be offering a free sports prize to the star contribution each week. This week we mull over the repercussions of Grand Slam Sunday; wonder why referees aren’t consistent about punishing bad language; there’s an attack on our United Terrace Talker; anger over Arsenal’s cup ticket management and a good laugh over the Ballack and Drogba comedy pranksters.

Letter of the week goes to Pat O’Leary of Cork for his forensic dissection of bad blood in football. Let the sun shine in. Send us your address to get your prize please Pat.

DO you still fancy Chelsea for the Champions League?

Peter H, Cork, by email

OUR SHOUT: Beginning to have just the slightest doubt, but remain resolute in my conviction that they will avoid getting sucked into the relegation dog-fight (this season, at any rate).

LIAM, done the double over United, drew away against Chelsea, outclassed Liverpool at home and still only fourth in the league. To borrow the immortal words to describe George Best, ‘Arsenal, where did it all go wrong?’

Lighthouse Road Gunner, by email

OUR SHOUT: I know people go on about the ‘elite within the elite’ in the Premiership but, irritating though it must be for Gooners, would-be champions do have to beat the other 16 also-rans as well.

WHAT’S UP with Arsenal and their stupid new stadium? Spurs were entitled to 15% of the tickets for the second leg of the Carling Cup semi-final and their refusal to allow 9,000 Spurs fans to travel to the game over safety concerns begs the question of whether Arsenal will ever be able to hold a high-profile cup match or London derby at their new ground.

Even more to the point, how the hell they were even able to get their planning permission for the stadium in the first place if they’re incapable of safely accommodating this many away fans? Same old Arsenal, always cheating!! God, I can’t wait to stuff these fools on Wednesday night!!

Patrick Keating, Limerick, by email

OUR SHOUT: Safety concerns, eh? And there was me thinking that it’s just because they hate Spurs.

'IT SHOWS that Chelsea is a club which can bring on young boys.' Don’t make me laugh! Frank Lampard was referring to two young Chelsea players, one being Michael Woods. Chelsea didn’t bring him or his fellow team mate Tom Tawio on. They waited until they were developed into players with massive potential by the Leeds Academy and then ‘robbed’ them from us. Chelsea are a disgrace! ABC!! ABC!!ABC!!

Brian O’ Leary, by email

OUR SHOUT: Not related to David, I take it?

CUP humiliations to Shrewsbury and Blackburn, near relegation every second season, 7 -0 league defeat to Arsenal , Champions League elimination in qualifiers followed by UEFA cup humiliation to Budapest . . . mid-table mediocrity this season . . . boring defensive football every week . . . and Everton fans think Moyes is a success !!! Bring back Howard Kendall, quick, along with a billionaire owner before chairman Bill Kenwright moves Everton out of Liverpool altogether.

Ken O’ Neill, by email

OUR SHOUT: But you’ve just trounced mighty Wigan 2-0! Don’t worry, be happy.

READING the Richard Kurt section in last Wednesday’s Examiner really disgusted me. In it he states, I quote ‘the footballing feast will be at the Emirates — the Scousers and their guests will be left eating left-over rats in their Liverpool slums’ unquote. This was a reference to the two big games at the Emirates and Anfield at the weekend.

This is to me a disgraceful comment to make and is really inciting hatred among genuine sports people. I am a Celtic supporter and know what problems these sort of statements can make. At least both Celtic and Rangers are making some progress in stamping it out once and for all. If Kurt wrote this about any club over there he would never be allowed inside a ground again. Because this man has a total dislike and hatred for Liverpool Football Club doesn’t mean that he has to take it out on the whole of that fine City. He should remember that both Everton and Tranmere are also Liverpool-based. Is it a long time jealousy of the Red half of Liverpool coming through? It must be the first time he has ever ALMOST admitted that Arsenal are on par with United. Give me Liam Mackey any time. Irrespective of who he supports, he always gives a balanced view.

Pat O Leary, Cork, by email

OUR SHOUT: Fine, fine letter. Incisive, well-written, accurate. Have our Letter of the Week prize. Oh by the way — up the Hoops!

WAS that free-kick routine between Drogba and the totally useless Ballack the funniest Laurel and Hardy act since the Pires and Henry 'penalty' at the old Highbury? I thought so.

Tony Moynihan, Waterford, by email

OUR SHOUT: Be careful, the two boys might sue (Laurel and Hardy, I mean).

IF El-Hadji Diouf can be sent off for bad language can we look forward to referees applying the rule strictly to, say, the likes of Wayne Rooney? Or is it permissible for players from the ‘Big Four’ to stay on the pitch because their dismissal will “spoil the game?”

Dennis Greene, London, by email

OUR SHOUT: Don’t you think this had more to do with El- Hadji Diouf being, how shall we describe it, a marked man?

CRAZY offside law. Was there a clearer example of a player “interfering with play” than Scott Parker jumping over Milner’s shot at St James’s and unsighting Roy Carroll. The rules are a joke.

Matt McKinstry, Dublin, by email

OUR SHOUT: The offside law may indeed be crazy but inconsistency in how it is applied only adds to the madness.

GOOD to see Neil Warnock reverting to type at Reading this weekend. Only question is — why has it taken him so long? And does anyone else find it interesting that “homely” little Reading get involved in more than their fair share of controversies? There’s a bit more steel there than is immediately apparent. May explain why they’re not struggling.

Anthony Murphy, Tipperary, by email

OUR SHOUT: Steel, fair enough. But I don’t think you need to look much further than Keith Gillespie to find the source of Saturday’s problems. What a man — now you see him, now you don’t.

SO, it looks like farewell Milan Baros. Another striker (think Pablo Angel) who hasn’t lit up the Premiership. If the giant John Carew comes the other way this could be a good bit of business by Martin O’ Neill.

But paying €12m for Ashley Young, Shaun Wright-Phillips Mark 2? Total madness.

Dub Villain, by email

OUR SHOUT: Ah . . . Martin O’ Neill, I remember him. Top manager. Midas touch. Made the most of slim resources. Should have managed Ireland. Where is he now, I wonder?

ONLY two good things to come out of Saturday’s debacle at Anfield . . . the return of Petr Cech and, finally, a confident performance from Shaun Wright-Phillips playing, please note Jose, the inside right channel which he patrolled with distinction for Manchester City. Drogba, Shevchenko and Sweep for the rest of the season, please. And Ballack must be dropped.

Cork Blue, by email

OUR SHOUT: Ah, our old friend Cork Blue offering critical advice to the manager. Things must be even worse at Stamford Bridge than we thought. Can things get even gloomier? Yes they can. A red card is on the way.

IF Michel Platini has his way, the Premiership, La Liga and Serie A will have their allocation of Champions League places reduced from four to three next season. Oh, good, extra places for yet more weak Eastern European and Scandinavian sides no doubt.

Sean O’ Donnell, Cork, by email

OUR SHOUT: Yes, I’m outraged too. How can it possibly call itself the Champions’ League if the fourth-place finishers aren’t let in. If things continue, we could end up with just champions being allowed into the competition.

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