Spain have such an embarrassment of riches that the likes of Jesé Rodriguéz, Isco, Dani Carvajal and Alvaro Morata are in the U-21s. Where does the production line end?
Somebody mentions Paul Scholes and everybody writes in with those quotes from Zidane etc. Dull dull dull. We've ignored them. There's plenty more to enjoy here...
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Hey, Don't Blame Fergie...
Will people please stop saying Pogba is "one of Fergie's biggest mistakes", United offered him a contract which he chose not to sign, he went to Juve instead, no doubt his agent made a lot more money with him signing for the Italians.
Nobody outside the world of football knows how these things work but to entirely blame Ferguson for a player refusing a contract and going somewhere else is beyond me, what exactly could he have done differently? Sure he could have played him more but he was extremely young at the time and it's fair to say Fergie got it right more often than wrong about bringing young players into the team when they are ready.
...Actually, It's All Fergie's Fault
Man Utd are suffering because of Ferguson, not Moyes.
People have talked about the countless great teams that he built, but clearly towards the end of his career he started to think more about himself than the club. When he got within 3 years of retirement he began to show signs of short termism, the results of which are really starting to be seen. Berbatov and RVP are two big money signings who were designed to really only be good for a season or two. There was no resale value on either, and both blocked the careers of younger talents. The purchase of RVP in particular has clearly impacted on the development of Hernandez. Maybe he'll never be the player he should have been.
Guiseepe Rossi has ten goals and 4 assists from 14 Serie A games this season.
Paul Pogba is one of the best young footballers on the continent
Ravel Morrison is the most talented English footballer since Rooney
Gerard Pique is one of the worlds top defenders.
Its absolutely criminal that this was allowed to happen. Letting one go to early could be deemed a mistake, but all 4?
Ferguson should have resigned 3 or 4 years ago. Admittedly the league was won last season but the long term damage to the club is immeasurable.
More Pogba Love
After waking up at 1 am local time(Indian standard time) to watch my beloved United play sociedad, I could only watch for 45 minutes as I grew tired of watching the dreariness, I then decided to switch to the Juve vs Madrid game and proceeded to cry my eyes out while watching monsieur pogba run the show in a star-studded match.
I can't believe that we had the solution to all of our midfield problems at the moment but we allowed him to fly away to Turin for free and now we sit and watch him waltz with the 'Old Lady'.
The guy looks like a hybrid of pirlo and keane while being capable of a gerrard-esque thunderbast*rd every once in a while. And have you seen a sexier penalty run up?
Oh Fergie, what have you done?
Lorenzo (still can't believe we let him go) Royle, MUFC.
United Have Just Got Stagnant
One brief point about United's putative lack of "urgency": it's very understandable. United's better players and influential players have, notwithstanding van Persie, Januzaj and Kagawa, all won at multiple titles, won a CL, played in numerous finals, and won everything there is to win (apart from the FA Cup, which is curious), and they're all intelligent enough to know that United's current squad isn't going to win the CL. A certain amount of tedium vitae is hardly surprising.
And Young is still a waste of skin. He wasn't terrible last night when he came on, but he's won more penalties for United in the last year than he has scored or assisted goals. Please leave. Submit a transfer request, trepan yourself, or fake your own death, but just leave. You aren't good enough to play for United. The inverted winger cutting in, shooting from range, playing reverse balls for overlapping full-backs, and driving into the box, can be very effective. But Ashley Young isn't Robben, Ribery, Ronaldo, Bale, or even Andros Townsend. He's a mediocrity. Does he never look at photos of Best, Ronaldo, Giggs, Beckham, David Pegg et al. around Old Trafford, and just think "What the f*ck am I doing here?".
I think Garey Vance, MUFC has a strange grasp on the concept of justice. On the penalty for Man U last night '(never a penalty for me - justice done)'. Surely justice would have been no penalty being given, Markel Bergara not being booked and Young getting a yellow card?
Maybe I am just old fashioned.
Gerry S, Dublin
Thinking that today will be the day I tell management at work to shove their desk job up their boll***s and 11 years from now I will be assistant manager.
Why do ITV do this thing of standing pitchside with their pathetic wee Champions League table to do their punditry? Do they stay there throughout the match, table and all? It looks ridiculous and is the punditry equivalent of posting your dinner on Facebook: Yes, I know you eat. Yes, I know you're watching the match.
And while I'm at it, why do they still employ Adrian Chiles? The man is a buffoon.
Mort Snort, Saints
Anderson Adding Energy. Hehehe
So United managed a point in Spain, thanks to letting a rather lacking team dominate midfield.
Why, because we have to play a static Ryan Giggs. He was responsible for Fellaini's red card as despite being three to four yards closer to the player he didn't manage to move a inch to make a tackle forcing Fellaini to dive in, which he had to do all night, whilst Ryan had a walk and kicked the ball back to whoever passed it to him.
Anderson would have added energy assisted Fellaini and an additional option up front. Ryan was so bad it made Rooney, who only wants to play as a striker, come further back than even Fellaini at times, leaving Hernadez looking so isolated up front that at times he looked like he was making a solo trip to the pole. Regardless of whatever anyone thinks of Anderson and if he is 'good enough' for United he is way better than Giggs and any new midfielder should be replacing Ryan, not someone approaching their prime.
A Plan For The Future
Step 1- Define Benchmark
The FA's target for black and ethnic minority coaches should be calculated by counting how many British managers there are of the 92 league clubs, then targeting the same % representation as British football players at the 92 league clubs. Therefore, say if 30% of players are defined as black or ethnic minority then the same target should be applied for British managers of the 92 league clubs. This benchmark should be reviewed every five years.
Step 2- Sort out the Candidate Pipeline
Additional spaces for people to obtain their coaching badges should be created by the FA. The FA should make a commitment that any black or ethnic minority footballer will be guaranteed a place on an FA course within one year of making a request. It is important to note that the FA will have to organise additional coaching courses and that the number of spaces that on average go to white coaches will be maintained.
Step 3- Work with the PFA
Use the PFA as a support network to encourage current and former black and ethnic minority players to go into coaching.
Step 4- Create Oversight Body for Recruitment
Any of the 92 professional league football clubs that for their overall coaching staff have a lower percentage of black and ethnic minority coaches than the FA's benchmark, must include an approved FA overseer as part of the recruitment process for any manager or coach. The overseer's job it is to confirm that the club did all it could to look at whether suitable black and ethnic minority coaches were available and that the process was conducted fairly. To become an overseer a candidate must be classed as black or ethnic minority and have been a professional football or be a black or ethnic minority coach with a UEFA 'A' license. The overseer's job is not to recommend or block an appointment, just to report to the FA that the process was fair, transparent and inclusive. The requirement for an overseer disappears once the club reaches the benchmark level.
You Say Tomatoes...
In Nick Miller's Top Ten Conclusions After Ten Games yesterday, he bemoans Fraser Forster's performance against "Dundee".
Celtic were playing Dundee United. United are the team who play in the Scottish Premiership, have won the Scottish Cup twice in the last twenty years and have beaten Barcelona on the 4 occasions the two sides have met. Dundee play in the championship, last one the Scottish cup over 100 years a go and have been in administration twice in the last twenty years.
Small margins and all that!