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Things did not improve
Move over Chelsea, there’s a new crisis club in town and its name is Manchester United.
Matt (writing this at 56 minutes, maybe things will improve…probably not), Manchester
‘United are screwed’
United are screwed. Looks like the players have actually stopped playing for LVG now. Sickening to see United players doing the same as Chelsea players renowned for – deliberately playing badly to get the manager sacked.
What do United do though? Wait until the end of the season to try for Guardiola? That would mean the possibility of missing out on the top 4 and embarrassment if Guardiola ends up at City. Mourinho could probably ensure a top 3 finish and a strong title challenge but I fear the football will be dour and some fans will never accept him. Ancelotti would be a good shout if he can be persuaded to join, but that is very unlikely if he wants to go to Bayern.
The answer? For me, it has to be Pochettino. No baggage, no drama, just great football and an exceptional eye for young talent. We may not win the title for a year or 2, but he’ll manage the young players coming through brilliantly opening up the possibility of an exciting United side in a couple of years time. Just imagine De Gea, Smalling, Varela, Borthwick, Herrera, Lingard, Martial, Depay, Schneiderlin and Wilson under the tutelage of Pochettino. It would be incredible. Plus, it’s always good to f**k Spurs and Levy over.
Chris, MUFC, Preston
Van Gaal out, Jose In
It’s time to say goodbye to Van Gaal… lets get Mourinho while we can and this season can still be turned round
Tom – Depressed Utd fan
…There really is nothing else that can be said but: van Gaal out. Well done to Norwich for taking advantage of the most appalling United team in the last 30 years but that was utterly pathetic from us. The best Christmas present United fans could be given now is a new manager. Let’s hope Santa reads the mailbox.
To quote Clint Eastwood from Heartbreak Ridge – “You can rob me. You can starve me and you can beat me and you can kill me. Just don’t bore me.”
John Walsh (Uncomfortably numb), Belfast
Van Gaal not to blame for this mess
Home defeat to Norwich and that is why you don’t play Mata in the hole, can be closed down and hustled off the ball easily, leaves the midfield exposed on counter attacks, the effect of which is even worse when there’s a roaming Fellaini on the loose in it.
Schweinsteiger was missed, a player who made a difference in getting a draw at Leicester and a win against Watford (two well organised, good teams) and if I’m right has been present in all our undefeated home games this season? He uses possession well and gives a bit of protection to the centre backs who are clearly still a bit shit.
From the look of the last two games Giggs is in charge of tactics for the last half an hour. It made a bit of a difference for about 4 or 5 minutes against Norwich until they switched to 5 at the back then heand the players ran out of ideas.
Van Gaal is not to blame for this, he’s stuck with Rooney, Mata, Fellaini and Young as the senior members of his squad, players which on their form of the last 2 years aren’t good enough for a team who want to win the league. And saying that he should buy top players with the money he’s spent/has available is ridiculous, cos there aren’t that many available and we don’t want to end manipulated by the agendas of players and agents like Chelsea (the blame lies with Moyes not getting Ozil and wasting £60M on two slow players). We’ve got Martial, Depay, Schneiderlin and Blind give them and Van Gaal time. We will reap the benefits eventually.
Eddie ‘Frankly Mr Shankly’ MUFC
Please give us Brendan for Christmas
Jose. Really? All the United fans clamouring for Jose to save us from the boring, sterile football of LVG?
Seems to me that Jose’s teams play that same, boring defensive style that LVG loves. No doubt that the squad is the type preferred by Jose but 1. He is a 3 year mercenary, and 2. Suddenly United would be all about Jose and not so much about the club.
How about Mr. Rodgers? Sure he’s mad as a hatter but let’s face it, our season is done. Another year and the trophy cabinet keys are lost and the cleaning crew can’t find them (clue – look in SAF’s pocket). For the last two and a half seasons we’ve been starved of entertainment and attacking football. Brendan can provide just that – think of Liverpool with Suarez, Sturridge and Sterling.
Also, Rodgers has the wonderful traits required in a United Manager – self confidence galore and the knack of making batsh*t crazy statements and believing them to be true.
In summary: Our season’s f**ked; we’ve had enough of LVG, Rodgers is delusional enough to think he can make something of this squad, and the press conferences are sure to be entertaining.
Please, please Glaziers give us Brendan for Christmas. And, if we don’t like that toy at the end of the season maybe we’ll add a little Pep!
Prince MNC Muskoka, Canada
500 for Rooney. Now leave
500 games for Rooney, congratulations, here have a drink on me… Can you leave now please? You’re not really doing anything apart from pointing and clapping. You got what you wanted; a huge contract, the captaincy, undroppable, how’s it working out for you? No wonder Vidic and Evra couldn’t get out of the club fast enough when they heard that was on the cards.
There were at least 3 excellent crosses into the box (one from Blind 1st half, one from a corner and one from Young 2nd half) that you as a number 9 should be getting on the end of. The team is built around the only real strength you have left, tap ins. Yet you’re not getting on the end of them. Do the decent thing and leave because you wont be getting that goalscoring record in the next 6 months.
Eddie ‘I Know It’s Over’ MUFC
Leicester: Bloody brilliant
Just writing in to say well done Leicester. It sure is lovely to see a group of players that completely believe in each other and play exactly the type of football that best suits them. And when they are led by such a classy gentleman such as Claudio Ranieri, then my admiration comes full circle.
You sir time and time again proved your character when dealing with the now martyred José – who, players’ betrayal aside, had it coming – from committing the heinous crime of preceding him in the Blues job, and from daring to (gasp!) fighting for the title with Roma. And I don’t need to ask if you will ever rub in his face that piece of poetic justice that was your win over Chelsea. You know what life is all about. José is still figuring it out. And you will let him do it, knowing that it is the best for him.
As for manager and squad, you already knew that it IS real (most of us still don’t), that you ARE capable of going all the way and that you just have to continue to play free of the Sky logic, free of the “expectations” (the best humble pie F365 staff has ever had, I’m sure), free of the damned invisible (?) walls that limit us all from what is achievable, on and off the field. As lame-ish as it is, we all still love to be reminded that everything is possible.
Please let it continue, and here’s wishing that Leicester squad, manager, staff and fans continue flicking the V’s to us all and prove that football is nothing more that putting the ball in the net more often than the opponent. As they say in my country, the rest is folklore. “For Fox sake” they’ll say. And rightly so.
Time for Martinez to go
So, I’m not long back home after a 13ish hour round trip that me and my mates make every home game from the north-east to Goodison Park. If it wasn’t for a great group of mates and a number of bottles of cider, it would have been an unbearable trip home this evening.
Basically, I am sick and tired of not beating teams that we are better than. I don’t mean to disrespect Leicester, as what they are currently doing is outrageously brilliant, but we have better players, play better football and were at home. This has been the theme of our season.
It sounds ridiculous, and I know football isn’t as simple as best team wins, but I really feel as if we have thrown 1st or 2nd place away so far this season. 8 points dropped against Norwich, Palace, Bournemouth and Swansea in games we should have won, played Arsenal of the park and lost, and today gifting the opposition 3 idiotic goals. A win vs Tottenham wouldn’t have been an injustice either.
We have won 7 home games in the league in 2015 – Burnley went down, Villa & Sunderland may well do, Newcastle are Newcastle and Chelsea lose like it’s going out of fashion this season. Reflectively, only beating Man U and Soton look like good home results this calendar year. Goodison Park was a fortress not too long ago, now it’s like a soft play area, all nice and bouncy and unthreatening.
I like Martinez; I’ve defended him in the mailbox before. After some dour, stale years at the end of David Moyes’s reign, Martinez’s first season was a breath of fresh air and felt as if the crushing atmosphere of plucky underdogs had gone, but right now, we are hugely underachieving under his management.
In Lukaku, we have the second best striker in the league after Aguero.
In Stones, we have one of the worlds most prodigious central defenders who bar the odd youthful wobble generally plays well beyond his years.
In Barkley, we have an absolute diamond of a player who has the skill to skip past players with grace and power combined.
In Deulofeu, we have one of the most entertaining widemen in the league, who can give left backs nightmares for weeks after facing him.
The rest of the squad / regular named 18 players is generally very good throughout. We are fast running out of time that we will have with these players. I’m not niave enough to think these players are Evertonian’s (except Ross) who will want to play for us for their whole career. I know they want to go on to Chelsea or Barca or whoever and win things. As soon as one of these 4 go, it won’t be too long after then that all 4 are gone. We must make the most of this time whilst we have them.
Our football is scintillating at times, the youthful arrogance that Martinez refers to often is a sight to behold when in full swing and occasionally it provides the perfect blend and we school some poor team.
But when your manager is becoming more Moyes-esque by the week in his reluctance to change tactics, failure to utilise players in a way to get the best from them (Barkley, Roberto!), make early subs, and drop players who are woefully underperforming (Tim Howard, Roberto!) it is never going to lead to anything bigger than the entertaining football and the odd brilliant result.
We’re constantly hit on the counter attack, defend like children chasing the ball, and our set pieces are atrocious. In Leon Osman’s autobiography there is a section which has been echoed by a few other players also, where he describes a conversation with assistant manager Graeme Jones who says 90 minutes of practicing set pieces a week isn’t worth it. Well, me and 35k+ Evertonians inside Goodison every fortnight can tell you otherwise.
Does Martinez need to go? Right now, and admittedly still smarting after todays defeat, I’d lean towards ‘yes’. The obvious question is who can come in and maintain our excellent attacking football, but at the same time make the required changes or tweaks to lead us to some sort of cup victory or sustained ascension of the league? “I don’t know” is the honest answer right now.
…Everton have to be the most mind-blowingly frustrating team in the league to support.
With the exception of Spurs (and pains me to say Liverpool) I can’t think of a team that comes close to our perfect combo of hope, closeness to something special, brilliant attacking football and the painfully inevitable habit of throwing everything away.
Looking at the performance last four games it’s unreal that we’ve only managed three points. Against Norwich we should have been 0-5 up at HT. Wave after wave of flowing attacks, woodwork hit, misses, wonder saves and yet every single blues fan just sits and waits for the sucker punch they know is en route. Bournemouth being the most brutal of the lot.
Every week you hope it doesn’t happen again and yet we contrive to snatch a draw or defeat from the hands of victory. You leave the ground or the pub in an absolute rage. It’s got to the point now where i’d rather just get beat fair and square as it’s less painful!
Conclusion is, Roberto refuses to acknowledge that we can’t defend crosses or counter attacks (the same with Wigan) and patience is running thin. New manager or not, we’d rather risk the odd bore draw than spend every Saturday simmering away like this.
Al. (EFC, Liverpool)
On fan loyalty
Some strange sentiments from some Chelsea fans this week. I’ve been a coach/manager of multiple sports for many years, football one of them. The job of a manager is to put his team in a position to succeed. There’s training and tactics, obviously, but top professional athletes already have technical ability and a good understanding of tactics and game management. That’s why they’re professional- that’s a minimum requirement for professional athletes. A manager must therefore help his players — ALL of his players — to be mentally ready: confident, motivated, seeking success rather than fearing failure. In a squad of 25 that probably means taking 25 different approaches. Some played need a hiding, some need a hug; some need a lot of attention, some need to be left alone. As a general rule, NONE of them need to be hung out to dry in the press by their manager. Any manager from Ryman league to Barcelona knows that.
Fair enough you can complain about player performances but what do you think? World class players demotivated themselves??? If their heart wasn’t in it, it was because Mourinho did the opposite of his job by making them insecure and unhappy. If the players revolted against their manager as a squad, have you asked or wondered what stimulus led to that response? Would fans spend 90 minutes booing John Terry’s replacement if he got benched for poor performances? Yet fans in their thousands cheered for an under performing manager rather than supporting their club, which existed before Mourinho and will continue to to exist for many decades now that he’s gone.
Basic rule of management: if one or two players are playing badly, it’s their fault and they don’t get playing time. If the entire squad plays badly, if their performances drop as dramatically as Chelsea’s did so far this season, the only one to blame is the manager. No matter what he did for the club in the past.
And the fans’ job, by the way, is to support their club through thick and thin. Mourinho’s time was always going to end at Chelsea, just as Ferguson’s did at Man U, just as Wenger’s will eventually end at Arsenal. If your support for your club is so fragile that you turn against the club when one member of the club leaves — manager, player, ball boy, whatever, then seriously, have a look at yourself. Maybe you’re not a supporter of your club but rather a supporter of winning. Which I think is the universally agreed definition of a “plastic.”
John (try watching the lowest ranked national team in the world sometime), Bhutan
Some find it in the face of their children
With Bournemouth on course to win their 3rd match in a row, is it fair to say they are Flying Without Mings?
Didn’t think so.
Alex Stokoe, Newcastle upon Tyne