Everyone must be happy to see the ‘Anfield Baggio’ back…

The Mailbox hails the return of Harvey Elliott while assuming that everyone is thrilled for the teenager. Also: Man Utd’s set-piece coach… 

Get your views in to theeditor@football365.com


Happy for Harvey
I don’t care what club you support, if you can’t find some happiness in Harvey Elliot, 18 years old, after the start to the season he had leading to that nasty injury, coming back after five months and scoring a beauty like that in front of the kop…well, your life must be a bleak place.
Alex, LFC


Anfield Baggio
Two points

1. So glad to see Elliott back today, such a promising player, I’m yet to figure out who he reminds me of, but… I’m thinking Baggio, yes, huge steps ahead. But so happy he’s with Liverpool

2. ITV 4 commentator has “ been asked to apologise” 7 times in 70 minutes for bad language.

Please. Please stop this woke culture. I don’t care if *someone* is offended. Grow up. It’s not racist, it’s not homophobic. It’s just swearing. We all do it. All the time for f sake. It’s just language, words.
Ade (7 is coming ) didn’t Diaz look tasty Guildford


Premier League winners and losers (FA Cup edition)


Get Phil Jones back on corners
I watched us have over 30 chances and only score one against Boro. The focus may have been on our disastrous finishing, but our set pieces are another glaring problem.

Against Boro, United had 7 corners and didn’t score. You could just say it’s an off night, but it’s not just been one game. We have had over 130 corners since we last scored from a set-piece. How does Eric Ramsey(Current set-piece coach – yes, it is a full-time role) have a job?

He must be having the time of his life earning good money to repeat “just cross it into big Harry” and hope for the best.

Our set-pieces are not the biggest issue with the club. However, it is disgraceful for a club in the premier league and one with the history of United to have a set-piece coach who has somehow made us worse during corners or any crossing situation.
Max Of Whitegate (I’d take the set-piece coaching role and do the bibs for half the money )


Boro’s travelling army
Football is better with 10,000 noisy away fans.

We’ll done Boro. Well done Boro fans.

That is all.

What’s the point?
Yes, United should have been out of sight by the time the equaliser went in, with Bruno and Ronaldo both guilty of missing very simple chances and Rashford letting himself be offside (lovely finish though).

But simply put, what is the point in VAR when it gets decisions clearly wrong or doesn’t call back obvious incidents?

That’s nothing wrong with the technology – let’s not blame the tools – just the way it’s used and the quality of the people using it.

If the ball touching someone’s forearm doesn’t count as handling the ball, what does exactly?

Bonkers. Anyway, I said before that Ronaldo has lost his shooting boots while Bruno has been off with his shooting since the early part of the season. I wonder if they’ll ever be blamed for losing games like this.


Sudden burnout
Read the ranking of Barcelona’s number 11s on Planet Football, it got me thinking about the curious case of Gianluca Zambrotta, and particularly his fall in the standing of the game.

A true prodigy of the game, he burst onto the scene did but he stayed on that scene and his reputation grew and grew, in an era where arguments about who is the best left back, Ashley Cole or Roberto Carlos raged, Zambrotta was at least every bit as good. The difference was he could play on either flank, so his lb appearances were probably not enough to include him in the conversation. He pretty much dominated the full back role for many years after he joined Juve, he was arguably their talisman many times. For Italy, he just got more and more important during an era of under performance. By 2006, the Italy team really just came together ideally and Zambrotta was ready to go, the more flashy players were living up to their promise and he wasn’t having to drag the team into games anymore, but he was a functional asset to the smoothe machine.

Italy won that world Cup, he got named in the team of the tournament, all was good. That was the year of Calciopoli and the Juventus relegation and instead of being one of the few to spend a season in Serie B he decided (quite rightly) that he was too hot at the minute and he should probably be moving upwards and not back. So he went to Barcelona, and it was all… Meh… He was a regular for two seasons there but it was agreed by all that it was a failed experiment, as Barca entered their most lucrative era immediately after his departure it wasn’t a good look. Still, he joined AC Milan, still a reputable club back then, and he was almost an afterthought, he was a squad player, you would have thought he would have resumed being a terror against wingers but he settled into the role of just being there if there was no better options. And it just kind of ended then, his whole career. Just a prodigy who went up and up who achieved much and can look back on proud at what he did, but he didn’t age well, at all. He could have become Paolo Maldini kinds of legendary, but his engine just blew up I suppose and never got restarted properly again.

So I’m just wondering who else has this happened to that interested members of the mailbox can think of, somebody at the top of the world for a sustained period (no flash in the pans, a “known by households” type), who just one day sharply declined and never returned to their level. Ashley Cole is another one, he was always a brilliant lb and then one day he just wasn’t anymore. There are many more and am curious to hear.
Dave (always selected him in pro evo too), Dublin

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