✱ STAR LETTER
LIFT THE STIGMA I’ve just read A Life Too
Short, detailing the life – and death – of Robert Enke. Footballers are easy targets for their ‘amazing lives’, and yet no money or fame can overcome the darkness that befalls someone with depression. We need to do more to understand the severity of the effect that mental illnesses can have on everyone, so that people can get treatment in the same way as for an injury without the stigma that makes them feel the need to fight it on their own. Brad Peterson, via email
PEP’S CRITICS WERE WRONG
People tried to discredit Pep Guardiola for his shortcomings last season. While he did inherit some unbelievable sides at both Barcelona and Bayern Munich, the football his teams play is at another level to any side in the world. Since the turn of the century, his Barça team have been the true dominant side of the era for their incredibly attack-minded style. Some have doubted whether he is the best in the world, a title that he’s never once given himself. However, labelling him a fraud, as many did last season, was beyond stupid – those people are my biggest bugbear in football at the moment, and Guardiola’s definitely the best attacking manager in the world.
GOLDEN AGE OF STRIKERS
I really enjoyed the recent striker special issue [FFT 282]. It made me think back to a time growing up when England had Alan Shearer, Chris Sutton, Teddy Sheringham, Les Ferdinand, Andy Cole Robbie Fowler, Dion Dublin, Ian Wright and so on at their disposal. Nowadays England really struggle to select four top-quality forwards. Foreign imports have obviously had an impact but the contrast from back then is immense.
GULF HAS TO BE CLOSED
The Scottish Challenge Cup is at a very interesting stage at the moment. The gulf in quality means not even English League Two teams entering would be fair, really. The big difference in quality between English teams and sides from the rest of the British Isles is a shame. Is there a way that the Isles countries could benefit from having joint league ventures in the future? The ‘Celtic and Rangers in the Premier League’ idea has been talked about for many years now, but that would only plummet the Scottish football level even further.