At least he wasn't in Bayern's defeat to Real Madrid, says one chap in the mailbox. Plus, more excitement over Van Gaal at Man United and thoughts on FFP...
Man United fans know who they want to replace David Moyes, with Louis van Gaal the favourite to take over at Old Trafford. Plus, thoughts on Real Madrid v Bayern Munich...
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Just some reaction to yet another defeat under Moyes.
* Surely it's time the board realise that this isn't working. Not only have results been unacceptable, but performances too. I was actually tempted to back Swansea pre-game but couldn't get decent odds! That's where United are now, slim favourites to beat a mid-table team at home!
* United looked clueless all game. Why was Kagawa played wide left again! No Rooney or RvP, we had no recognised creative force in the team so why was (at Dortmund anyway) a top-level European player moved wide to accomodate Welbeck, who is a good runner and a decent finisher, but certainly not a good playmaker. This was a chance to play Kagawa in his natural position. If Moyes won't play him centrally, then he should sell him. He never was nor will be an effective wide player.
* I am worried that Moyes has said he will look to do business in the summer. It may be too late by then. Apparantly Rooney is waiting to see how the season finishes before penning a new deal. I'm not his biggest fan, but he is one of the best forwards in England, we need him now more than ever. Especially if the rumours are true about RVP looking to move on or his injury issues continue. We need top four if we are to have any chance of keeping those two and attracting world-class players.
* If Moyes signs nobody in Jan - we WILL finish outside top 4. That means potentially losing our two best players, loss of huge revenue, difficulty in attracting players and probably a good quality manager. This window is vital. Moyes needs at least two players. I would suggest a midfielder and attacking wide player. If we could hold onto Rooney and RVP, a front four of those two and Januzaj and someone like Reus would comparable to any top team in England.
* We also definitely need to strengthen the defence in the summer. Ferdy and Vidic are declining fast, Smalling seems to make mistakes regularly and Rafael spends almost as much time injured as Anderson. I think a good centre-half and another full-back are essential in the summer.
The old romantic in me wants Fergie to step and rescue us, hand the team over a decent manager in the summer with us in the Champions League with Rooney and RvP and some cash to strengthen.
What will happen is most likely, Moyes steering us to sixxth, the two lads leave. We sign Heitinga, Jelavic, Osman and Darron Gibson in the summer and come ninth the following year.
Danny (Former Aussie) Ireland
...I was going to scream, shout, and rant and rave by email but I've since decided this won't help me feel any better about the struggles of United right now. I have a simple opinion - David Moyes has got to go sooner rather than later. It has been an unmitigated disaster appointing him as Fergie's successor. He's out of his depth, and he gives the appearance of a man who knows this himself.
I don't blame Moyes entirely for the current malaise at Old Trafford. Some of the blame rests with Fergie too. Firstly, Fergie hand-picked this buffoon to replace himself. In itself this is stupid. By all accounts the Glazers are an extremely successful business family. Would they ordinarily allow the retiring senior person in their organisations to select his own replacement?! I highly doubt it, or they wouldn't be where they are now. Secondly, Fergie has known for at least three seasons that this team needed major overhaul in midfield and that the squad was littered with dead wood. Instead of making a start on this process he allowed it to worsen, to the point where now most of the squad is made up of callow youngsters, or dead wood, or older players that 10 years ago Fergie would have forced out three years earlier. Finally, Fergie has recognised the need to change to a new system, some type of fluid 4-5-1 or 4-3-3. He half-heartedly tried to move towards this a few times but kept buying wingers to fit a 4-4-2 system. He eventually bought Kagawa and couldn't use him other than as a left winger (not his position). Now Moyes seems equally baffled by Kagawa. Moyes like Ferguson before him is unable to identify a system that allows the team to successfully attack without being exposed and overrun in the middle. In order to build this system a lot of players need to go particularly the platoon of underperforming wide right players.
It's clear that there's a major job on the hands of the United manager to completely rebuild this team. Given how Moyes has done so far I would put no faith in him as the man for this job. He came in this summer with a bullsh*t attitude, thinking he'd go all big time Charlie and tell people like Fabregas, and De Rossi they should come because it's United...just because. Absolute nonsense stuff all summer. In this regard he wasn't alone, he'd company from Mr. Woodward. Two clowns together making a perfect circus. His coaching methods have been questioned and it seems there must be some truth to this when you see so many players picking up niggling muscle injuries again and again. Is he a 'dinosaur' I don't know, but it sure looks like there's evidence he is?! He's failed to identify the best 11 players as far as I can tell, although it would be hard given they're getting injured so often. In reality about 200 million needs to be spent to bring this team to a level where they can challenge for trophies, without the motivation of Fergie scaring the sh*te out of them. Would anyone right now trust Moyes to spend this money wisely?! I'd say no and on that basis Moyes out. As De Rossi said this week the thought of having almost joined United made him think that he could be in Manchester feeling suicidal now. This is a ringing endorsement for sacking Moyes now before it gets worse.
Donough (that was very therapeutic) in Dublin
Who Would Take The Job?
This is starting to look like a really rough 'transition' season for a certainty now.
Everton aren't suffering too much through theirs mind.
Southampton and Chelsea also don't seem to be doing too poorly either amidst their managerial upheavals?
PSG have a new manager too this year, I can't exactly say they have turned to dross either.
Who could, or more importantly, who would come in to replace the 'sad little Scottish lad', is the question I ask of my fellow readership?
Manc in SA (starting to wonder if I should have taunted my mates all these years after all)
Is Moyes The Fall Guy?
Does anyone think that Moyes was chosen as a fall guy? That the head honchos (along with SAF) knew that expectations would have to be dampened for the next few years in his wake as manager. With the purse strings tightened, things were going downhill anyway, they would need a patsy to carry the can.
With Moyes gone (if), Utd fans would be salivating at the link between any good manager with good connections and a proven record. They may even get first one year, but maybe...that would just be a good year, maybe Man Utd are a top-four club from now on and 'The Moyes era' will be used within the next few years to distract from Utd now being in the top four, like Arsenal in recent (and maybe still) memory. Consistent 4th-place finishes (and let's not kid ourselves, the odd 5th and maybe even 6th) over the next decade would suffice. After all, under David Moyes, it was much much worse, and Utd will be lucky to just try and compete in the future. This will go through to the fans, who will desperately miss being top dogs but have always seen 'the danger' of how things could be much, much worse. So they'll learn to shut up, they'll learn to like it, and the Utd board can work on consolidating the club, under pressure unrelated to anything except Champions League qualification.
Basically they just can't be living with the demands to be in for the best players every year anymore and compete for the title, SAF did as much as he can but he saw the writing on the wall and bolted. David Moyes, overcome with emotion he could not control, has been manipulated into the top job in the country, that he was always going to fail by design. This is Fergie's final bit of work, knocking down the club he helped build down a few pegs, as much as for ego as knowing this was the way the Glazers wanted to take the club.
Think about it...
Dave (IT'S A CONSPIRACY BA GOD!!!), Dublin
Fourth-Place Trophy Or Actual Trophy?
A quick question for the United fans:
Many of you would snigger when Arsene Wenger would mention fourth place as being as good as a trophy. Now you are in the semi-finals of the Capital One Cup, and struggling to get into the top four.
Considering the number of games to be played, injuries etc., if you had to pick one of fourth place in the league and the League Cup, what would you pick?
Ted (I guess we all know the answer)
Which United Players Would You Want?
With the transfer window open, and given United's woes, I'm wondering if fans from other teams could pick any United player(s) to come to their team during said window, how many of United's current squad would actually be wanted anywhere else? Personally, I'd maybe possibly take two, three tops - Van Persie is world class (when he's fit), Rooney is still class (when he's in the mood) and de Gea is a fine keeper. But the rest? I'd be horrified if Liverpool purchased ANY of United's current midfield and defenders. Maybe you'd take a punt on Januzaj's promise, but Cleverley, Carrick, Kagawa et al? Meh. Might improve our squad depth, but not the starting eleven IMHO. I don't even remotely consider them for my fantasy team (doing very nicely, thanks for asking). Am I own my own here, and everyone else would love a bunch of United players in their team?
Wasn't too long ago that it seemed pretty much every player in United's starting eleven was, if not the best player in that position in the Premier League, damned close to it. As they say in the Aussie NRL comp, it looks like Moyes has a fairly ordinary 'mob of cattle' to work with the season, and ya can't win without good cattle, mate. Partly that's his fault - adding next to nothing at the start of the season, but really, seriously, how did Ferguson get another title out of this lot? With his sheer force of will and personality gone, it really does seem that the emperor has no clothes.
And it's strange, but I'm less gleeful about United being in this predicament than I think I should be, having suffered through 20 freaking years plus of trophy after trophy heading off to Old Trafford. For me, the Premier League needs United as its wealthy, megalomaniacal villain to root against (everyone knows what ABU means in a football context; there is no other real AB* is there?)- Man City are still wannabes, Chelsea and Mourinho are just mailing it in compared to their pomp a few years back, and Arsenal? Yeah. I wouldn't feel too bad about any of those three winning the title this season, but I'd go postal if United won it. But maybe without Ferguson as their leader, United just can't play that role any longer, and if that's the case, what is their identity now? And how I am supposed to feel about them? I'm not even a fan of theirs and it's affecting me deeply, both intellectually and emotionally. In the past, I'd have been right chuffed that Swansea knocked United out of the Cup, in the third round, and at Old Trafford to boot. LOLs for days. But now, what I'm feeling is closer to sympathy, and that makes me feel dirty and wrong and confused. For pity's sake David, get it sorted! I'd love you if you'd make me hate you! And I know it's only half a season, but United's aura is eroding by the second here; teams aren't just going to Old Trafford hoping not to get smashed, or praying to possibly nick a goal or two (never mind a point), or thinking maybe they could get a result; teams are rolling up KNOWING they can win. In the past, you'd have feared for Swansea this coming weekend, knowing that they would cop an almighty backlash. But now? Would anyone be surprised if they got another result? This is United we're talking about! The Champions!
Maybe getting dumped out of the cup isn't as bad as it looks. Throw the League Cup semi-final against Sunderland, bow out the Champions League ASAP - no way you're winning it after all, and focus all your effort on making good and damn sure you at least get fourth in the Premier League. Because if you don't, United may well get sucked into the same spiral Liverpool have been stuck in - no Champions League means less chance of attracting quality cattle means less chance of qualifying for Champions League, means less chance...
Colin (I'd take fourth right now, thanks) NZ
...I get the whole stand by the manager thing and I really am trying to be patient during the 'transition' and optimistic for the future. I didn't expect United to win anything this year and I didn't think we would compete for the league. I did think we would scrape fourth however and this is now becoming a pipe dream.
I read a comment that Liverpool, Tottenham and Everton all have better squads than Manu now which to me highlights something is wrong besides the lack of quality. No disrespect to Everton but I am sure before the season started (i.e. before he saw Cleverley and co screw up most weeks this season) Martinez would have swapped his Everton squad with United's in a heartbeat and maybe Brendan Rodgers would have been tempted too. The team is not the best in the league but on paper the squad is still top five at least. Moyes can moan that he has not been left a top three side but he can't argue that it's not good enough to qualify for the Champions League.
However as Ferguson said we must get behind Moyes not against him and okay, it's going to be a long transition whoever came in even a Capello or Mourinho. The problem I and many fans have which people don't understand (and just call everyone moaning glory supporters) is that it's not the fact we are not winning, it's what we are transitioning into. I wouldn't mind a poor season and even a poor one next year if it was leading to something exciting. Long ball football based on hoofing it sideways to the wings and then pinging inaccurate crosses in is not something exciting.
It is hard to be optimistic when we are transitioning to Classic Wimbledon football and will not have the draw of Champions League football for singings next summer. Moyes (in another classic PR cock up) said we can't get any of the players we want in Jan. Well here's an idea, try buying the likes of Koke and letting them stay at their clubs till the end of the season if they don't want to move in Jan. By the time the summer comes they will have realised there won't be Champions League football and it will be even less likely that we will sign them.
P.S. It's not glory supporting because I don't mind losing...I just like to be entertained whilst losing.
A Man Utd team missing Carrick, Van Persie and Rooney is narrowly beaten by another Premier League team (with European experience) whilst down to ten men. Oh No! What a crisis!
What's that you say? Arsenal have won the FA Cup more recently than Man Utd. Maybe is is time to start worrying.
Welbeck The New Heskey?
Considering that a lot of people are saying that Utd are going to turn into Liverpool of the 90's and onwards, then is Wellbeck the new Heskey?
Holds the ball up, gets a few goals, misses good chances, goes to ground a bit too easily at times and plays with a smaller strike partner are the similarities of both players.
United fans always loved taking the mick out of Heskey; now they have a Heskey of their own.
Carrick: Not World Class
I found it difficult to believe that people praised Michael Carrick and labelling that he is world class when he is certainly not world class.
Statistics have shown Carrick to be among the best passer, but, statistics lied, because most of his passes are backward or non-dangerous passes.
Carrick is a sloth and weak midfielder, not fit for a defensive midfielder role. While many praised his ability to shield the defense, they forgot that Man Utd defence was exposed because the central midfield was not working. Rather than being a box-t- box player, Carrick is a Man Utd box only player, he sits inside Man Utd penalty box and in front of back four only.
Carrick is among main factor Man Utd have been boring, as his direct, long balls are straight to the point, easily intercepted and hard to be controlled by Man Utd forwards because Carrick hit them so hard that it would take extra touches to control the ball. His gameplay also among main factor that his midfield partner cannot perform, because he won't be around to play short passes or he would just ignore his partner and pass straight to the striker/winger.
Conclusion, Carrick is never world class and he is over rated.
Please send this to Moyes/British tabloids.
I will be mostly blaming Alex Ferguson.
Paul (John and Marcus, you still owe me those pints), Indonesia
Arsenal v Spurs Thoughts
- Shame we didn't put up a bit of a better fight as the FA Cup represented a much less tiring chance of silverware than the Europa League but I guess it avoids a Wembley semi-final disappointment for the umpteenth time in a row.
- As was rightly pointed out in 16 conclusions, despite Timmy's protestations we were outnumbered in midfield. Bentaleb lools like a tidy young player but there is no evidence he is a particularly strong ball-winner. Think we might just have got away with it if Capoue had started.
- We also might have helped ourselves by keeping the ball better. As against Man U, we were quite sloppy in possession, it is all very well taking more risks than we did under AVB but not when the risks pay off so infrequently.
- If only Bobby Soldado could put the ball in the back of the net. He has shown much more in terms of approach play and vision since he has had a strike partner.
- Hilarious to see the press getting so outraged about a few coins getting chucked at England's Theo. Because he was smiling and he is a nice lad that's totally out of order. In reality, it is exactly the same thing as Adebayor did at City. Man winds up frustrated, angry fans and gets things thrown back at him (only the ar*e fans were throwing bottles.) Adebayor's reaction was more extreme but then so was the abuse he was getting.
Death Of Competition In German League
It was a pretty good weekend of FA Cup football wasn't it? Arsenal won and United lost again (seems like Moyes is on a mission to make every team a record breaker this season).
The only sad note this weekend was the news that lLwandowski was moving to Bayern Munich. What makes it worse, he is leaving for nothing. Bayern Munich already have a much stronger squad than anyone in the league and by adding Lewandowski they have effectively made the Bundesliga no different to the Scottish league. Dortmund have no funds from his sale to replace him, with rumours around Gundogan and Reus not stopping, what's to say they won't be on their way this summer.
The last few years I have loved the Bundesliga and I have followed it but now what's the point? Bayern have not only crippled their opponents but have destroyed competition in the league.
Deshope (oh well at least we have the Prem) Doherty