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Getting Tired Of De Gea’s Disrespect
I’m getting tired of David De Gea getting a free pass for his behaviour towards United just because he’s Spanish.
United spent £18m on the kid, spent years of time investing in developing him, he had unparalleled support and backing from the fans even when he couldn’t catch a cold, and he has been handsomely rewarded by the club during this time. And what do we get in return? He runs down his contract and tries to force a move.
I am not against him moving on – it’s the manner in which he’s doing it that is annoying. As a show of respect and gratitude to the club I would expect him to sign a new deal with an agreement that he can move next year (like Ronaldo did). That means he gets his move, we get a year of succession planning, and we get rewarded for our investment in him with a realistic value and price.
“But he’s from Madrid”. So? As mentioned moving home isn’t the problem. The way he’s going about it is.
“But he was our best player for the last 2 years, gave his all”. So? Believe it or not that’s his job. That’s what we signed him for and that’s why we invested time and effort in developing him as a player. And as a Manchester United player he’s expected to play well.
At the end of the day DDG is showing a complete lack of respect towards our club and our fans and he shouldn’t be getting off this lightly.
Why Is Depay In The Centre?
Just a quick point about Memphis Depay. He’s been playing as a “number 10” in pre-season behind Rooney. All he’s really done is play some delicious through balls, the position isn’t allowing him to run at defenders and use his much-discussed pace or trickery.
Don’t know why Van Gaal has him there and Mata out on the wing.
Why Is Balotelli Not Being Rumoured With Loans?
Would any player benefit as much from a loan move as Ballotelli? Amid news that Andre Wisdom will be shipped out for another season (really hope he is given a chance at Centre Back) surely a policy of “Loan One Get One Free” on ‘not quite Liverpool first teamers’ should be installed.
Worst case scenario he plays badly and no one wants to spend money on him, which is no different from his current predicament.
He could set the world alight and score a hat full every game but most likely he’ll play well on occasion and be sold for less of a loss than Liverpool currently face.
Martin (Surely Villa fancy a 7m gamble) Jackson
Praising Southampton’s Summer
After reading Winty’s excellent article on Chelsea’s quiet window, it got me thinking about other quiet transfer windows. But quiet in the sense of under-reported, rather than on the business done front.
In sum; Southampton have done some really tidy business. Clasie & Stekelenberg are quality replacements for the sold Schneiderlin and injured Forster. Clasie for £8m especially is wonderful business. A Dutch international who can move attack to defence better than Morgan, though may be weaker on the defensive side. Bargain.
Next tier of buys in Cedric, Cuco Martina and Juanmi can be filed as promising and increase the quality of the squad. Cedric looks to be a worthy replacement for Clyne. From what I’ve read of Martina, he is a capable and versatile player, so can fill in alongside Wanyama or across the backline. Juanmi will be a bit of a project, but as someone who has a decent conversion rate (18/43) in La Liga, form in the big games (winner v Barca at Camp Nou) and can play on the wings in a 4-3-3, he will find a role.
Finally, the Caulker signing is an astute upgrade on Yoshida, and an reasonable Plan B after missing out on Aldeiwereld. Caulker showed something a few seasons back and the coaching staff can elevate defender’s performances by making Yoshida seem passable in the Prem and Fonte a bonafide Premier League centre-back.
Capping all this off, Jay Rodriquez is coming back from injury and will be a strong option to either lead the line when Pelle is shooting blanks (I’m sure Ms Pelle can refute this if she’s reading) or run the channels in place of Long.
Mood is high on the South Coast, and after last years sprint out the gates, it may be more reasonable to expect a drop off with Europa League commitments this season. I think Ronald will blood the youngsters where he can in Europe and with a better squad, I’m gonna predict Southampton as real contenders for snatching European football next season too.
Problems With Succession
I’ve just had a rather distressing four-hour commute home, and spent the time reading a book about building successful companies. One of the key issues that this book raises is the importance of sustaining a core set of beliefs, and ensuring that core set of beliefs lasts longer than whoever happens to be in charge at that time by promoting new leaders from within.
Then I’ve scanned a few articles on this here site here and offer the following hurry-up-and-start-the-footie-again ponderings:
I think Wenger’s approach is closely aligned to this; he gets youngsters in and indoctrinates them with his way of playing. Does that mean that when he steps aside he expects to hand over to one of his ‘graduates’?
One of the key warnings offered by the subject of my literary perusing is the difference between a leader that can get their company to achieve great things, and a leader who leaves a great company behind them. I offer the (relative) carnage of Fergie leaving; the rise and fall that clubs experience when hiring Mourinho; the state of pretty much every team Harry Redknapp has left. The phrase used in the book is the difference between someone who knows what time it is, and someone who can build you a clock.
I think Platini would count as a promotion from within, yes? A manoeuvre apparently made by organisations that want to ensure that their core principles remain true during transitions of leadership. Just putting it out there.
Thinking about it before pressing send, my points about managers are probably a bit tarnished; the book was about companies and football clubs are companies so really all the above should be pointed at the chairman and owners I guess. But Platini? It’s enough to make a man want to go and chase an egg.
£8m. For James Chester
I’m sure we all have our own “the transfer window has gone mental” examples, but for me the point was reached yesterday when West Bromwich Albion paid eight million pounds for James Chester.
If his last two years at Hull City are anything to go by, Chester is barely Premier League level. His judgment is suspect, and although he’s mobile, you often see attackers run right by him. He’s ordinary in possession and nothing special in the air. And he’s not some raw youngster: he’s 26.There is no way on this earth he’s worth eight million. And this is West Brom, who can ill afford a flop at that price.
That said, Tony Pulis has a good history with this kind of purchase. When in charge of Crystal Palace, he plucked Scott Dann from Blackburn in the Championship, and Dann has been excellent. Then again, the price was less than a quarter that for Chester.
Compare this, though, to Southampton’s taking Steven Caulker on loan. Caulker was frankly poor for QPR last year. But he’s only 23, in the past he’s played significantly better, and he might well return to form.
Anyway, this should be one to watch. For eight million you should get at least a good mid-table defender. If Pulis can make it happen, he’s a special manager indeed.
Peter G, Pennsylvania, USA
More Perfect Football Moments
Mine is back in 2006. World cup Final. I was on holidays in Ayia Napa with 12 of my mates (classy) and as young Irish men tend to do, we spent the afternoon boozing in an Irish bar watching GAA. 2 of us were not big fans so we wandered off home. On the way we stumbled upon a glorious bar where they served very colourful drinks in very tall plastic glasses and had waitresses that looked like models. We went in for “one”.
We stayed and drank for hours oblivious to the fact the world cup final was about to start, just as the game was kicking off the other lads strolled by. The owner was an Italian and was delighted that we were cheering for his team. He furnished us with many shots. When Italy finally won we were all celebrating in the street, hugging and kissing strangers. One of my friends was crying with joy (he had won €100 on an office pool). It was just such a perfect day.
I realise this story has little to do with football because the only thing I remember from the game is the headbutt. But today is Friday for me so I’m happy and I wanted to tell this story because I kissed one of said hot waitresses, despite the fact I was fat and had bleached hair at the time. The lads all thought I was a legend. She quickly came to her senses though and wouldn’t go home with me.
Dan, Ireland MUFC
…Late last year a group of friends and I visited Marrakesh for a long weekend.
Bored of the snake charmers and tourist bait shops lining the centre, we headed on an excursion which billed itself as a gentle hike to see some waterfalls.
Smash cut to an hour later and the four of us are scrambling up a river running down the side of a relatively sizable mountain. Our guide was doing his best to hand-hold but wasn’t ready to deal with four ill prepared English idiots wearing a mixture of Clarks and sandals, trying to vertically navigate jagged, wet rocks. After a few near misses, and with bleeding hands, we made it to the highest point we could safely climb given that it had started snowing fairly heavily and, of course, we hadn’t brought coats.
Thinking the worst was over, and as we began a gentler descent down an alternative route (which he could have mentioned earlier) I got complacent and jumped between two rocks. I stuck the landing like a pro but was rewarded by a full on trouser crotch rip, fabric torn from P to A. We ventured on, my thighs flapping in the wind and freezing from the snow as I’d had to take my jumper off and sumo tie it round my bottom half so as not to be too indecent. As we continued, I could swear I heard football on the TV, but it didn’t seem to make any sense – given that we were up a mountain in Morocco and I hadn’t even had phone signal since leaving the city.
Still several hundred feet up this mountain we round a corner and there’s a small plateau – three sofas under a makeshift corrugated iron hut, positioned round a blazing fire, upon which sat a brewing pot of Moroccan tea, and facing a widescreen HDTV showing the build-up for United-Liverpool. We were immediately invited to join, given mint tea and enjoyed United knocking 3 past Liverpool, surrounded by a mountain in a snow storm.
We missed the bus back, resulting in a tricky negotiation with the one village taxi driver, but it was worth it for the experience.
…It is 1996 and I have just moved down to London from the West Midlands (I’m originally from just outside Wolverhampton). The Euros are underway. For some reason I can’t recall, me and my mate Davinder had decided to get out of London and go up to Scotland. We are in Edinburgh while the England-Scotland game is on and we decide to go and watch the game in a pub.
‘We’ll be alright if we keep our mouths shut and don’t celebrate,’ we tell ourselves. “And keep near to the exit for a quick getaway at full-time.’
It gets to half-time and our plan is going well. Both teams have contributed to the success of our plan by not scoring. Eight minutes into the second half and Shearer scores. We try unsuccessfully to feign dismay. Never before or since have I celebrated a goal in such a muted manner, a little sideways look at each other and the tiniest of fist-pumps.
Then it all goes wrong. Scotland get a penalty and the pub goes mental. People are jumping up and down, hugging each other, beer is going everywhere and me and Dav are nodding furiously at the punters to indicate to the pub that, yes, that was definitely a penalty but that we’re not celebrating till it’s been scored.
We all know what happens next. McAllister (with a little help from Uri Geller) misses the penalty and, pretty much straight away, Gazza goes up the other end and scores that goal. Now we managed to not celebrate the missed penalty (well not too noticeably anyway) by putting our heads in our hands as though we are dismayed at what has just happened. But the goal was another thing. We went mental. I seem to recall shouting something stupid like ‘Get in!’ and doing a fist pump.
Yeah, I know, what a tw@t. We have an ‘Oh sh!t’ moment, realizing we may have given ourselves away, we get ready to leg it. But the one-two combination of the missed penalty and the scored goal have knocked all the energy and enthusiasm out of the Scots. They have gone silent and some are even crying. We decide we can stay till the end of the game as full and proper fans of England, celebrating and everything. ah, the folly of youth.
That night, Edinburgh is a ghost town. It is so quiet and there is no one on the streets. Instead of being turned away from pubs, we are almost being dragged in so they can get some custom, any custom. So, we are sitting in an eerily quiet pub and I go to get another round in. In my dulcet Wolverhampton tones I ask for a couple of beers. Bad move. I’ve let my guard down. As I sit back down a large and dangerous-looking Scotsman comes over to our table.
‘Are you lads English?’
‘No, I’m Welsh,’ I answer. Davinder’s keeping quiet, hoping to pass himself off as an Indian tourist.
‘That doesna matter,’ he replied.
‘Well, I’m English then. If I’m going to get beaten up, it’s not going to be as a Welshman.’ Don’t ask me where this bravado came from, I assume it was alcohol induced.
The Scotsman laughs and says, ‘Nah mate, you’re alright,’ and he and a couple of his mates come and sit at the table with us. We end up having a great night and getting totally wasted. The perfect end to a perfect day.
Springy (Was it really 19 years ago?) WWFC
…It’s 25th May, 2005. The next day I am moving to Los Angeles with work, ostensibly for only 2 years, but I’m still here so, really, it was me moving from England to America forever.
Bless my old dear who wanted me and dad to go out for a farewell dinner but, being Liverpool fans, we refused and I invited a few of the lads over for a goodbye beer and to watch the footy from Istanbul.
Cue one of the most embarrassing halves of football I have ever witnessed as a Liverpool fan. Thoroughly outplayed by AC Milan. Given that most of my friends are United fans or Gooners, both me and dad were getting tons of stick for the “worst European cup final performance from an English team ever”.
Midway through the second half, we all sat witness to the most mental 16mins of football ever. And, when Jerzy saved the final penalty from Shevchenko, all of us were leaping up and down on mum and dad’s couches hugging each other. Both me and the old man shed a tear or two together then and there, partly because of the game and partly because, well, you know, when would we get to do this again??
Not only was this the most perfect swan song I could have hoped for before moving Stateside, but (aside from England spanking ze Germans 5-1 in Munich) I have never, before or since, experienced a game that united all of my friends from various football factions in the same way. Just magical.
And now I get to watch Stevie Lad play 30mins down the road from my gaff. Who’d have thunk.