Send your thoughts to [email protected]

RIP Cheick
I’m sure you’ll get a few mails on Cheick Tiote, but just want to say how gutted I am at the awful news of him passing away.

Everyone will reference the equalising goal against Arsenal and rightly so, but my abiding memory of him was actually his first proper game away to Everton in the 2010/11 season. We were completely unfancied that season and that game, but I’d never seen a more monstrous performance in a Newcastle shirt in years. I think (from memory) he ended the game with a 100% pass completion rate, and hammered in to every single tackle with a commitment that got us all on our feet, allowing Ben Arfa to go out and have fun and win us the game.

Then his partnership the following season with Cabaye was the basis of our 5th place finish, he was absolutely different class at that point.

Yes, his performances dropped off in later seasons, but he was an important of my club over the past 7 years and it’s devastating knowing he’s gone.

R.I.P Tiote you absolute monster of a midfielder.
Harry, Geordie in London

What terribly sad news about Cheick Tiote. Another young athlete taken by an undetected heart problem. Football and sport in general really need to implement more screenings for heart conditions as a number of them are preventable if detected early as I know from personal experience.

In February 2015 I had what I thought would be a regular doctor’s appointment in regards to a genetic condition in my family called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, or HCOM for short. I played rugby for my school at the time and had suffered no symptoms or had any indication that I had this condition. I assumed going to this appointment that the worst that could happen was that I was a gene carrier but not actually have the condition. That day the medical staff performed 2 simple procedures on me, an ECG (electrocardiogram) and an ultrasound scan, and from the information they received they were able to detect a thickening in my septum and thus diagnose me with HCOM. The appointment did not take long but could potentially have saved my life. I may never have had an issue with it but I could easily have collapsed while playing sport. Over 2 years have passed and although I had to give up competitive sport, nothing is ever worth putting your life at risk.

In the case of tiote, his tests may not have found anything, but there is an increased chance that a condition he may have had would have been detected early and managed. We need to support and back regular screening for sports stars to ensure that fewer and fewer athletes lose their lives while playing sport.
Alex Cullen


I know others will put this more eloquently, but I just wanted to say RIP to Cheik and my condolences to friends and family.
Sood CFC

Jose’s biggest crime
How many did Jose get wrong?

The answer is a lot – both in terms of brining in and forcing out great players at Chelsea. His record is pretty shocking actually….

Poor transfers in…
– Jiri Jarosik : still not sure why we bought him
– Maniche : underused but actually very good
– Juan Cuadrado : see Maniche
– Asier Del horno / Filipe luis : sight an expensive Spanish left back for big money and then never play him. To be fair to Luis, Dave was very good at LB
– Steve Sidwell : WTF
– Shaun Wright Phillips : an undeniable talent, but looked painfully average and wildly over priced when spotted playing for Chelsea

Poor transfers out…
– Lukaku : an undeniable talent who just needed game time
– De Bruyne : see Lukaku
– Schurle : really wanted to succeed at Chelsea , was actually good when given a run of games in the team and would then be inexplicably benched and thrown criticised
– Juan Mata : twice player of the year, sold to a rival for not fitting the system. Our club has been less lovely since
– Scott Parker : after playing him on the right wing he eventually went to Newcastle for a paltry £6m or so. I always thought he could’ve made it.

And the worst of all, turning Joe Cole from the most exciting English number 10 in a generation to a hard working winger. I loved Joe Cole – both before and during his time at Chelsea, but he is an classic example of “what could have been” under a manager who let him play free form rather than being hammered into a round peg for a round hole… he tried the same trick with Hazard but ultimately was fired before he could do it. He also sold David Luiz, Arjen Robben , Herman Crespo and Peter Cech, all of which makes me weak at the knees thinking about the team we could have had, though there were good reasons to sell all those players.

All this being said, he did turn Eidur “the decidur ” Gudjohnson from a good premier league striker into a superb (world class?) centre midfielder.

For what it’s worth, his record in the transfer market is incredibly patchy and he’s tried to shackle some wonderfully talented players, but invariably, those players that do big into his approach tend to be very successful under him.

Feel free to leave, Sean
So there’s a lot of rumours flying around that Sen Dyche might be off to Crystal Palace. As a Burnley fan I’d be sad to see him leave but I’d also be excited about the prospects of a new man in charge.

Don’t get me wrong, Sean will go down, rightfully, as one of the best managers the club has ever had and I’ll always be grateful for the memories, but I just wonder if both parties have outlived each other now?

As good a manager as he is, he has a few limitations too.

1) He fails to make changes to alter games and their potential outcomes. We rarely get to see substitutions before 70 minutes and even then it’s generally like-for-like.

2. He’s loyal to a group of players who probably aren’t good enough for the Prem. Scott Arfield I’m looking at you especially. If you can’t make the Scotland squad so have to dig out a Canadian grandad… George Boyd, Joey Barton, Dean Marney, Ashley Westwood and Matt Lowton could all fit under the title of “Not quite good enough”.

3. He fails to use “foreign” players as well as he could. Sure, there’s only been 2, but neither played anywhere near enough considering how good they both are.

4. He’s dedicated to a 4-4-2 system. Possibly just my perception but we hit a purple patch playing 4-5-1 but then reverted back to 4-4-2 and then results were iffy (relegation form towards the end…)

5. The “football” we play is functional. I’m being kind there. It’s basically hoof ball. I’m not asking for Arsenal-lite but I’m sure our professional footballers could still be well-organised in defence but also a little more explicit in attack

Hopefully we’ll get the excellent Garry Monk now he’s available. I’m fairly sure he could take us to the next level (what’s the next level to finishing 15th?). Equally, I’m also fairly sure that Sean has deserved his crack at the “big time”. 4-4-2 would probably fit Palace with their pacy wingers and Benteke up front.
Nick P. Burnley FC. (Keen to hear other Clarets’ thoughts)

The young Lions
Love the positive vibes in John Nicholson’s latest piece. We’ll obviously lose the semi-final now, but that’s a different matter. I wanted to share my take on the situation.

If I’m not mistaken we’ve never translated success at the younger age-groups into success at the senior level.

I think there’s primarily two reasons why we are doing well at this level:

1) These players are comparitively well supported in their development to this age, with St. Georges, their clubs’ academies, and so on.

2) They’re still at an age where arguably “being a bid lad” (or physically impressive) makes a difference in football. this has long-been a main shortcoming of the way UK nations select their youngest footballers.

I think there’s two reasons we aren’t able to translate this into success at the senior level:

1) At some stage the kids miss a step in their development – either they don’t play enough in the Premier League, or they get kicked around in the lower divisions where the game is still less about skill on the ball, and more about running around into each other (how many senior England players need more than one touch to control the ball?)

2) They grow up and reach a level of the game where physical prowess is secondary to mental prowess. As Lampard recently said, they aren’t educated. Their minds therefore are not developed and this is reflected in their decision-making, confidence, and mental fortitude.

Mental prowess can come in various forms: cultural appreciation (players that have lived in foreign countries), intelligence (Zidane – IQ 164), dedication (Ronaldo), education (Lampard? Admittedly there are few examples to support that bit). Obviously this is just an opinion, and one that seems quite elitist maybe. But I do think we’d succeed more if we idn’t just look after our young footballers’ physical and footballing development, but also of their educational and personal development, while better managing the transition to the senior game.
Stu, CAFC, Brussels

English team in Europe
As we find ourselves embarking on that most dreaded of prospects, a tournament free summer, and in the wake of an excellent CL final, I thought I’d ponder on English teams in Europe next season.

The big boys with the European pedigree and history are back. While what happened decades ago should have no bearing on the current teams prospects, time and time again it does. Something intangible comes into play, something hard to describe. Personally I believe the fans have a lot to do with that, even the ones too young to remember have grown up hearing tales of great European adventures. That lore is lodged in their brains, an innate belief that miracles can happen, that no-one can beat their team if they believe.

Which translates into epic atmospheres, Anfield below the lights – Kop shaking to it’s very foundations, Old Trafford awoken from its corporate slumber to roar like the days of old. Anything seems possible, no matter the opposition. I remember the snort of derision from Souness when asked how he’d felt about Roma being favourites in ’84, “We’ll beat these, we’ll beat anybody”. That, my Arsenal friends, is the attitude you need. Not, oh bloody hell, Bayern again! Let’s collectively shit our pants and hope Sanchez scores two hat-tricks.

Chelsea are the new boys in town, relatively speaking, but have one in the bag, a brilliant manager well suited to European football, own 43% of the decent young players in Europe and have a blank chequebook. No excuses lads, do everyone a favour and forget the plastic flags though, eh. Spurs are a brilliant team, love watching them. Great manager too, but can they do it on the biggest stage? My head says after a few years running so close, they’ll want to go all out for a tilt at the title next year, which may hinder European chances. As for City, well if Pep can’t mould them into a European force, who can? Surely they can go far into next seasons competition.

Overall, I’m bloody excited. For the first time in a while, it feels like we’ll be well represented by teams who all have a bit about them. Of course, come the latter stages anyone facing the Spanish big two or Bayern will have their work cut out. However, hopefully we can give a better account of English football and end this Spanish domination (6 of the last 9 winners, 3 in a row)!

(First one to ‘banter’ that we’ll never get through the qualifier gets the Michael Owen award for comedy.)
Spoons LFC (Never surrender to cowards)

Sickened by The Sun
Lovely headline today in the Sun
. I can’t even fathom the mindset of that crap hole of a paper and the people who work in it At what meeting did someone say, “hey this would be a great headline”. I myself haven’t read a copy of it since Hillsborough and I never will, but the fact we have to see the bilge they churn out is enough. I find this utterly lacking in any kind of caring or professionalism, but of course the Sun doesn’t concern itself with any of that.

It doesn’t matter what shirt was being worn by these monsters, it shouldn’t be a headline, it shouldn’t even be mentioned, who the hell cares. It’s sickening, there are families who lost loved ones, we are under constant attack everyday by people who want nothing less than our extermination and these idiots think the most important headline is what Football clubs shirt they were wearing. It’s truly mindboggling. I know we have freedoms, but someone (the population)needs to stop buying this divisive piece of filth.

I pray for the day that the Sun Newspaper just shuts down, I know it probably will never happen, but it’s a goal and a dream. I truly hope that Arsenal follow Liverpool and Everton and ban the paper. I would love for the entire league to do that, I know they won’t, but they should.
Wade (I can’t stop shaking my head) Gunner 4 Ever.


Your first time with F365
Jack no brackets
raises the question of how regular readers “got into” Football365.  Well, for me it was a fellow Spurs supporting colleague telling me about a great article about Harry Redknapp.  I couldn’t find the original article but it’s been pasted on here.

For the last however many years I’ve read Mediawatch while eating my lunch.  Thank goodness those horrid non-football stories of the day have been binned.

And before that I was reading TeamTalk since the 90s, good times.

(So depressing not having a tournament this summer, guess I’ll have to follow the U17 Euros, U20 WC, Toulon Tournament, U21 Euros, U19 Euros, Confederations Cup and Women’s Euros instead)
Kevin G


Jack is one brave son of a gun – I’ve always considered going bracketless in the F365 mailbox to be akin to walking into Sunday mass without your pants on and bending over in front of the Priest to pick up a dropped copy of the day’s hymn sheet.

He also asks a great question. A particular article called “There is no problem with Rooney – he just isn’t world-class” by Johnny Nic drew my attention from the MSN Homepage *I think* (I’m sure it came up on an Ad link somewhere). It was the first real alternative football journalism I’d ever read, and it felt so different to the cookie-cutter chaff Redknapp and friends would spout on Sky. Then I discovered the Winners and Losers columns by Pete Gill. He introduced me to the word ‘opprobrium’ which blew my 16 year old mind.

From then on, I was hooked. I remember back in the old days when I used to write about 10 mails a week trying to get published, I’d spend every free period in the Sixth form at School just dossing around, clicking on F365 and reading the latest Las Vegas soaked nostalgia trip from John Nicholson, or the fancy-dan stylings of Tim Stannard’s Spanish thing (which I loved!). Those halcyon days.

I remember this one time in particular. I’d spent all week trying to get published in the mailbox, sending through some really shitty mails. Then on a Friday afternoon I sent through a decent mail that the Editor published with the title “better from Young Jack”. It was only a little token, but looking back, that was a really sweet thing to do. As embarrassingly sad as this may sound to some people, me and my mates weren’t exactly rock stars at School, and moments like that were a welcome distraction from the pressures of exams and being an awkward teenager who was crap at talking to girls.

In truth, F365 has been an education, not just a leisurely interest. My views not just on football, but on society as a whole have been constantly informed and challenged by this website and still are to this day. Cheers, guys.
Jack, 22, London (hoping this doesn’t come across too self-indulgent, it’s meant to be an ode to f365)

My first season of F365 was 2012/13. I was introduced by my older brother, the once semipro mailboxer Dan Geneen LFC, sadly no longer with us due to child based commitments.
Spurred on by his fairly regularly published mails i must have written im 35 times at least(a record i reckon) before two years later FINALLY getting into the mailbox. Proudest moment of my life.

Those heady days included such classics as The Neviller diaries, a regular Carolyn AFC(the only gooner id ever date), a much more prevalent thayden(we miss u buddy) and of course Jack, 17, London. Nothing demarcates the passing of time as much as his recent mail under the guise of Jack, 22. And of course the sadly missed(or the man EdQuoth has taken the most hated mantle from, depending on your point of view) Connor Byrne AVFC. Hope you are still out there man.

I remember thinking to myself on the first reading of Mediawatch that day “Christ the world needs this for the rest(ie, non football based) of the ragtop media”. Unfortunatly, Charlie Brooker aside this has still not come to pass.

I have frequented this site every day since. Even during my 6 month sojourn to Melbourne(hey jonesy!) i made sure to get it checked at least once a day.

Theres something about the community here, as tribal as it gets sometimes, we know its all a bit of a laugh, we know there are more important things going on. But we facking love football, and i genuinely feel like the writers, the mailboxers and the guest columnists, through thick and thin, we are all a big, well educated football family. Fat Man Scouse aside. Its a rare thing on these here internets and i wouldnt change you for the world.

I ferkin love you F365. Never change.
TGWolf(Awful news on Tiote, my and im sure the rest of the mailbox and staffs thoughts and condolences to his family)THFC
PS. Seriously, that goal against arsenal, forever an honorary totnum ledgend.

I chanced upon F365 in September 2007, sitting bored in a regional college having rinsed my usual morning reading of The Guardian’s rumour mill and looking for further forms of procrastination.

Mediawatch and Whingers and Moaners absolutely killed me, and I realised my previous consumption of football reporting was complete bullsh*t.

I used to study journalism and at one point contemplated trying to blag an internship at 365 towers before realising that my writing was neither funny nor insightful enough.

The mailbox is now my essential daily reading (bar the post England tournament exit days) and being published gave me a sense of pride. I genuinely admire all the great contributors down the years.
Paul, Mönchengladbach.

In answer to Jack, I can’t remember exactly how I discovered f365, but I do recall the first article I read. It nicknamed Ashley Cole as “Cashley”. It caught my attention, and of course being a Gooner, I felt a connection.

I read every day, and have done for years. I pity those who haven’t discovered f365 and read tabloid trash.

I love the lefty liberal approach, and am still completely discombobulated as to how Fat Man Scouse can be a regular mailbox contributor, seemingly reads the site regularly, and yet completely dislikes the lefty narrative.

I guess the word “contradiction” exists for a reason.
Naz, Gooner (Corbyn In, as the other debate has now been resolved, for two years at least)

Great question from Jack no brackets. The truth is that it has been so long I really can’t remember how I found your website. In the same way that you can’t remember where and when you met your oldest friend, they have just always been there.

All I know is I’ve visited your site almost every day for the best part of 15 years. When my beloved cherries got promoted I was so excited that we would be in your Premier League features. Keep up the good work (and bring back the Gary Neville Diaries!)
Cameron, AFC Bournemouth

I came across F365 in 2000, via someone showing me the Lookalikes (sadly gone but never forgotten). From around 2001 onwards it has been a regular haunt for me.

I made my mailbox debut in 2001 posting a quip in the rumour of Weah joining Liverpool. I even ran around the office celebrating (in my new job) showing my mail to anyone that showed any interest. They didn’t, but I showed them anyway. I was even published twice in the same mailbox on one occasion. Sadly as footballers get older, I think my mailbox skills are also dwindling. I peaked around 2007-2008 and have been relegated to an occasional substitute role ever since.

I’m currently gaining my coaching certificates by pointing out people’s stupidity in the comments section.

Don’t ever change F365 (unless you want to bring back the Lookeylikeys).
Somerset Dave

I’ve worked in the Head Office of this business for nearly 13 years – that ties in almost perfectly with my first ‘hit’ of F365….and I’ve been hooked ever since.

It was a Sunderland-supporting colleague that put me on to you guys, and we are both still here, pinging links of various articles to each other, and laughing at Mediawatch. We’ve been spoilt over the years, that’s for sure. Recalling some of the writers/columns we’ve loved and lost got me feeling all nostalgic. Anyone remember any of these?

– Pete Gill, Alan Tyers, Matt Stanger (although I think he came along a bit later) and Nick Miller
– The Neville Diaries
– Conor Byrne!
– Look-a-likes (please bring these back!)
– The Forum (where you could only register with a work email address)
– The days before Facebook comments; a much simpler time, I’m sure you’ll agree.

I often wonder whatever happened to Conor. I guess he was the equivalent of Ed QTR for the ‘noughties’ mailbox (when Villa were good), in the sense that he wrote in almost every day, mostly made sense, but sometimes got a bit annoying. Then he disappeared, never to be seen again.

I, however, am hoping to be here for many years to come. Keep up the great work gang, we all love you (apart from David Robins).
Robbo Robson
PS – only kidding Ed 🙂

How did i come to find F365?

July 2012, started new job, first day went Tesco and got lunch back to my desk, BBC sport wasn’t cutting it and I typed in “football news” in Google…

My life hasn’t been the same since.
Again it was the funny side of the writing that got me hooked.
T, CFC, London (thank you F365, and you fans, you guys keep me entertained too, you at the back too, hi)

The year was 2004 and I had just started the LPC (Legal Practice Course) at the College of Law in Central London. My first day I met an affable gooner named Amit. We had a chat about football (I’m a Spurs fan… it was relatively civil) and then we went to the library. We logged on to computers next to each other and a few minutes later he was looking at a website I’d never seen before. It was Football365 and I was introduced to everything the site had to offer for the very first time. I’ve been a regular (…daily even) visitor to F365 ever since and I have a gooner to thank for that. I haven’t really seen him since Law school, but we’re still mates on Facebook. If he’s reading I’d like to wish Amit and his team all the best in the Europa League next season. Keep up the good work F365.
Japstarr, THFC Hackney

Back in the days of Championship Manager…..Some bright spark had the crazy idea to associate themselves with the top footy management sim in the country, nay universe. Your icon used to pop up on the loading screen and being the inquisitive sort I thought I would pop it in the old t’internet explorer (other web browsers are available). Never looked back since. Whoever came up with that idea….smart cookie….and thank you for enlightening me to the joys of competent, well balanced reporting on football and all things footbally. I love you.
Andy West CTID (The same Championship manager also introduced me to….give with one hand, take with the other!)

Jack no brackets’ question makes me feel veeeery old. Some advertising genius put an F365 ad into FIFA 98. Since then I am pretty much addicted. Even got published in the mailbox once, which I still consider one of my top lifetime achievements besides somehow managing to get married and raise two wonderful kids.

Gonna spend the rest of the evening now to fire up that 486 PC and enjoy a game of FIFA.

Love you F365!
Andy “was here when brackets were invented”, FCN

Interesting question on how we each discovered this lovely website. I found it on a video game. While playing either FIFA 2003 or 2004, or maybe even 2005, I found the site written on one of the advertising boards during a match and decided to check what it was all about. I have not looked back since. I have been and addict ever since and have tried to convince any football lover I know there is no better site.
Ben AM

How did I find Football365 (Jack No Brackets). I found it when a colleague at work showed me an email he got from Football365. Yes people it used to be an email. When it changed to a web site I didn’t like it at first but then loved it. Pretty much what has happened every time they change the format of the web site.
Nick P (Man Utd)

Should I be proud or embarrassed to admit that I got into football365 when it used to go out as a daily email back in the late 90s?
(We won the treble in Rome)

Just for you, Dave
Print me again, go on please (it’s probably a slow week). Show to me “I’ve still got it” (said in Bo Selecta’s finest Mel B voice)
Somerset Dave