Man United: One Game To Save Season

They have one match to convince decent players that they are worth joining - over to you, Louis. We also have mails on Malky Mackay, Mario Balotelli and Tim...

Last Updated: 22/08/14 at 11:02

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It Wasn't Racism, Apparently
F365 says 'I am so righteous you must all bow to my morally correct statements', in a sentence about Malky McKay.

Am I the only one who only sees this as an issue for 'morally correct' F365 and the rest of those in the media who just love to take offence?

I just don't see this as news because off-hand comments like these 'alleged' comments are things that happen all the time. Discrimination exists in all walks of life, by all races, colours and creeds. By highlighting this as discrimination is doing a disservice to those who are actually fighting real discrimination.

Someone making an off-hand comment is not racist or homophobic or whatever you want to call it because they do not act on it. There was no hate or malice, despite what you believe, people are allowed to have different opinions to F365 without being persecuted.

To bring up the black manager card as well is just childish and just shows the level of your intellect.

Please can F365 describe what they believe 'freedom of speech' means? On a live TV show? In a studio but off-air? On Twitter? On facebook? In a work email? In a personal email? In a personal phone call? in a personal text? In a personal conversation? Indoors? on private property? in a public place?

Anything other than 'On a live TV show' should not be policed by the media. I know what racist/homophobic language is, and the texts released by the media (how ironic) are not.

Next time someone makes a joke on national TV about Scousers, Germans, the obese, the underclass, Geordies etc, just ask yourself, how is this any different to the Malky McKay texts?
Fat Man Scouse, EFC


Be Careful With Your Condemnation

Football365 shares a foible with much of the news media whenever issues such as this Mackay 'racist-text-gate' raise their head: commentary becomes far more about competitive levels of outrage, 'more outraged than thou', than an honest assessment of the issues at hand.

Even though I don't know him/her, I am absolutely certain that the editor who wrote 'it's astonishing' on the front page of the website, has at some point in their life made, and laughed at, off colour 'banter' - probably more off colour than about Asians eating dogs.

The same applies to all commentators. It's disingenuous.

It's a much more complicated story than any of these one-dimensional views are allowing, as we are talking about huge societal issues here - not just racism and football culture, but the division between the private and public sphere, relations between employer and employee, revenge, rumour, and ultimately the fate of a man's entire life and career.

Thing is, context is everything, and we know none of it.

United fans have a famous chant about Park eating dogs. That's public, conducted by thousands, and is fine, doesn't merit comment, but Mackay's similar gag is beyond the pale.

Anyone who's seen shows like Family Guy, will be familiar with exchanges like: (on the phone) "What's all that noise over there?", "umm, we're just playing", "playing what?", "black restaurant".

That's fine too. Apparently. The reasons these kind of things pass as such (in the eyes of the media at any rate) are entirely down to an incredibly complex web of contextual factors, that nobody could ever completely unpack. However those who seek to destroy Mackay should at the very least attempt to construct an argument as to why his comments are different. Maybe they are, maybe they aren't, I've no idea, and without a more complete picture, neither do you.

Bottom line, if football journalists fancy themselves as public intellectual commentators on complicated wider issues that are raised by scenarios like this (of which racism is one, but there are many others too), then perhaps they could try to summon more subtle arguments than just a rabble rousing "it's unacceptable". I know it sounds crass and stupid on the face of it, but ultimately the LMA's claim of it being 'banter' actually contains with in it far more real-world shades of grey than a blanket condemnation. For example, non-racist people do apparently find racist humour funny. Is this because of the additional layer of irony? Or is it because they're all secretly racist really? Etc. etc. I don't know, it's complicated, so why not try writing about that?

Maybe Mackay will be destroyed, maybe not. And maybe he deserves it, maybe not. Either way, people shaping public opinion have a responsibility to be careful, because they set precedent.
Alex


LMA: Despicable Statement

I am the father of a mixed race Korean-English daughter. Following on from the recent LMA statement if when my daughter was to start school the head teacher assured the staff there were enough dogs in the local area to feed her, would this be someone in a stressful position letting off steam? If someone on the the street was to call my Korean wife a 'chink' should I excuse this on the grounds that they may have had a bad day?

Despicable statement from that organisation.
Danny McCreadie


Two Points

A couple of points in very general, non-naming terms.

I have two phones - one for work, one for personal. I have two email addresses, one for work, one for personal...which I don't use on my work computer. Should I ever decide to share any offensive, unsupportable views in the name of banter I'd like to think I'd avoid using my work phone/e-mail to do it.

Once, just once, I'd like someone caught out in these situations to just say 'yes, I am a massive racist/sexist/homophobe/human flesh fancier. That's what I am, these are my beliefs'. I'd respect them a lot more, however detestable those views might be. Hiding behind a thinly veiled excuse is just cowardly.
Jeremy (standing up for the rights of gay snakes since 1997) Aves


Hindsight = Being Caught

Rather than Mackay needing 'the benefit of hindsight' to appreciate the error of his ways as the LMA suggested, may I suggest that what he actually needed was 'the benefit of being caught and publicly exposed'.
Jody (Feeling like I'm writing to The Times rather that a football website) Neville, Tipperary, Ireland


Positive Racism?

"It will give us an added boost. With Germans anyway they've got fantastic mentality, you saw that last year," says Jack Wilshere.

Without wanting to open a can of worms or get all Daily Mail sensationalist, but could this be construed as racism? Racism is the attribution of qualities bases solely on race, which this surely qualifies as. It's probably a topic that hasn't been discussed much in the media with regards to football (especially because we're still trying to deal with all the 'bad' racism, case in point: Malky Mackay), but surely if we want to Kick It Out then all forms need to be tackled? Just a thought.
Neil, (first ever email after five years of reading! There goes my lurker status), Belfast


Does Tim Fancy Real Job?

In the West Wing, Leo McGarry convinces Jeb Bartlett to run for president by telling him that he has a vision that he keeps seeing in his dreams, a sign that reads 'Bartlett for America'. I can only imagine that in Tim Sherwood's head he is seeing signs all the time that read 'Sherwood for the Bernabeu'. That is the only rational thing that I can deduce from his proclamation that he won't seek the Palace job because "they're in a difficult situation which was unforeseen".

I know that Tim's lack of managerial nous, status as a 'proper football man', succeeding AVB and his close relationship with 'The Best Man Manager That Engerland Never Had' one Mr. Harold 'Just-Tell-'im-To-Facking-Run-Around-A-Bit' Redknapp has not endeared him to most at F365 but surely his reason for removing himself the Palace race should warn off potential employers also?

Tony Pulis took a struggling side to mid-table. He looked at what was (as Wenger described) an impossible job and somehow managed to escape almost certain relegation. As much as I dislike the man, I admire the achievement. Now Sherwood has said no because he thinks their situation is difficult? With a week left in the transfer market and only one game played/lost? As far as becoming a manager of a club goes that is almost as easy as it gets! Most managerial appointments happen mid-season, without the possibility to buy new players, when firmly embedded at the foot of the table. The only real exception to this is Real Madrid where winning the league can get you fired! If Sherwood doesn't realise this then he honestly is a PFM, if the M stands for Moron and the F for the obvious F word.
Stiafam Macky (parentheses) Béal Feirste


Just Sign Them, Edward

I wrote in a few days ago about Utd's transfer policy and with recent developments I feel the need to do so again.

Ancelotti has now admitted that Di Maria is actively looking to leave and Khedira has turned down an extension. With one year left on his current deal, surely that's as close to admitting he is up for grabs as it gets! I read that Ancelotti said this early yesterday afternoon, if I was Ed Woodward I would have been round to Florentino's office two hours later with a blank cheque and wouldn't be disputing anything south of £70/80m (seeing as that's chicken feed according to Ed now). I wrote last that United needed players full stop and there were plenty of good players of a lesser status available, such as De Jong and Blind, that could improve us. But this is a game changer. This pair are world class. Out of the two, I would prefer Khedira because I think he is more urgently required. But getting both would allow van Gaal to switch to a 4-3-3 if he so wished.

I understand that Woodward merely showing up and dumping a truckload of cash on Madrid's doorstep isn't all it takes. But I don't see much competition for di Maria. PSG seem to be ruled out via FFP, I don't see the need for him from any of the English clubs (who all seem to have done the bulk of their business) or Bayern, I don't think any of the Italians have the cash and Madrid flat out won't sell to Barca so that doesn't really leave many other options for him. As much as it pains me to say, Utd should get him by default, he doesn't really have another move unless he wants to stay at Madrid and not play. Nobody else has the funds and the necessity to warrant the high fee.

Khedira will be tougher. He would offer excellent protection for the defence and is capable of breaking forward aswell. With one year left on his current deal and being a defensive mid (who typically don't command fee's far in excess of 30m) I could see him being available for anywhere between 12-25m (depending on how many/if any teams bid). In modern terms that's not a lot of cash. Arsenal, Chelsea (probably don't need him) and Bayern would surely all be eyeing him up at that price. I wouldn't really fancy Utd's chances against any of them unless we decide to pay him 300k a week.

Realistically though Utd have to at least go for them, if they don't get them then that's fine. Most fans understand we are not the top attraction we used to be. We just want to see effort, a sign that they are at least trying to make the right moves. I understand we are not an automatic choice for players. If we could pull this off though, that surely puts us back into contention for the league.
Dan (Can't wait to see us sign Nzonzi and Gabriel Obertan) Ireland, MUFC


One Game To Save Ourselves

So it comes down to this for United. Away to Sunderland. 13 months of mediocrity and we have one game left to save ourselves.

Potential signings across Europe will be watching United this weekend and wondering if we have what it takes to return to the top of English football. By the next time we play a serious game, most will have decided on their next moves). While three points might not be enough to make them choose us over the biggest of teams, anything less than a convincing win will only reinforce their doubts.

The repercussions of that to United in the long term could be catastrophic. No quality signings in the next ten days will inevitably mean no Champions League in 2015-2016. A second season out of the elite competition will be another dent in our income, and will massively impact our lucrative sponsorship and TV deals. And of course it will make it even harder to attract top talent in future transfer windows. As pointed out by Mediawatch this week, even in our best days, United have never been able to attract the real 'galacticos' like PSG, Chelsea, Barca and Real do each summer. We got burned once with Veron and never really tried again. Instead we've developed a few, but the superstars (and their wives/girlfriends) have evidently preferred the lifestyles of London, Paris, Barcelona and Madrid to a life behind big gates in Cheshire, and maybe that's fair. When we have signed the almost A-list players however, it has been because our excellent performances on the pitch and the glory and success that followed. Take that away, and United become a joke, a sinking ship, a black hole to be avoided.

Losing to Swansea last weekend was a careless blip that could rightly be down to nerves in an otherwise cool and controlled start for LvG. On Sunday though there is so much more at stake. Lose or draw at the Stadium of Light, and there may be no light at the end of United's cold dark tunnel for a long time to come.
Martin (no Nani for a year though, it's a start...) Burkitt, London


Anybody Else Support A European Team?

Just a quick off-topic question to other mailboxers. Does anyone here support a European team and I don't mean as a second team but full on support a European team.

Being from Ireland most people support an English team and that's perfectly fine but when people ask me who I support and I say Ajax I get a look of shock and horror and everyone asking why?. It's as if people don't realise that supporting Ajax and supporting let's say Man Utd (as most of my mates do) is no different. Of course there is a massive gulf in standard in the leagues but there are a lot more teams able to cause an upset in the Eredivise than in the Premier League and your always guaranteed goals in Dutch football (Ajax have seven goals in the first two games).

Anyway back to the question, just want too know if anyone has experienced the same level of shock and horror as me for not supporting an English team?
Paddy (Loving the home of European football) Dublin


Bony Would Score More Than Balotelli

I think that Bony would score more than Balotelli if Liverpool signed him up, and he would be cheaper in the long run after factoring in wages. But, and this is the crucial point, Balotelli is a star, and that's why we're all excited.
Rich (don't call me Weggy) Wegrzyn


Great Even If He Flops

I think this could be a great signing for Liverpool even if he flops.

No doubt if he makes his debut or is in the stadium Monday night, all the focus will be on him as it will be for much of the season. This could really help Liverpool's other big-money moves this window as there's less focus on them and more on Balotelli struggling and not doing what he's supposed. I wonder how many times on MOTD Alan Shearer will drone on about and pick particular moments in the game where 'he let his side down'? It gives the other guys a bit more bedding in time and take the heat off them.
He's a real superstar, I'm sure Liverpool will have him in every photoshoot under the sun and his jerseys will sell well, he's incredibly popular with football fans in general and I Imagine it'll give the club a massive boost in terms of evenue and exposure. Even if he doesn't justify his fee with his on pitch moments, people still love him and buy the jersey or read any article about him.

The price tag is the best part for me, I reckon they could definitley sell him for at least 10m in a year or two especially if the likes of Shane Long goes for 12m. He's only 24 and I reckon Liverpool won't be his last club. If Liverpool didn't get him there's very few players available at the moment with as much star quality for the price they're paying.

It better to have him than not have him, even if he only gets less than ten goals this season, Lambert might even get more.
Liam (LFC,Toronto)

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Who's More Miserable - Baggies Or Mags?

There's not a lot to choose between the misery of West Brom fans and the misery of Newcastle fans. We have mails on them, 'only QPR' and lots on Man United...

Forget it, Ronaldo Won't Come Back

A varied morning mailbox, with thoughts on Ronaldo, Daley Blind = Michael Carrick, Ed Woodward redemption, stick with Pardew, QPR's name change and marbles...

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