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Win trophies and deal with fall-out later
I was reading an article which put forward the idea that the United board are sticking to ‘long-term plan’, and that’s the reason they have not, nor intend to, appoint Mourinho.
I totally disagree.
I don’t know why many fans are gobbling this sh*t up. It doesn’t make any sense. I don’t know of any fan of any team who defends him/herself by singing praise about their club’s steady management, youth policy, community development, or general niceness when we, United fans, throw around the number 20.
Yes, we may be spoilt by the number of trophies we’ve won, but being spoilt is not a stick with which we can be beaten by when we protest (albeit loudly) about not winning any trophy for the past three years, or seeing any in the future.
If we take football rivalry as war (too extreme?), especially for the fans, trophies are the spoils of war. What we rub our opponents faces in. What we always hide behind when we are losing an argument (I can see why other fans hate us).
That is why a club’s first priority must be to win trophies. The others, though not bad, always fall behind winning the trophies. So in United’s case where the board decides to overlook our dire need for a trophy, any trophy, in favour of ‘stable management’,this is a gross miscalculation. Stable management and trophies are not mutually exclusive. We had both until Ferguson retired, and now we must have the trophies regardless of stable management.
This leads to the appointment of Mourinho a glaringly obvious route to take, he guarantees a trophy. We can deal with the wreckage he leaves behind later.
Thank you. (that felt like a speech)
We need Giggs AND Mourinho
Giggs or Mourinho, Giggs or Mourinho…short-term success, or long-term investment, trophies or youngsters, peas or rice…what what?
Yes,that’s right. Everyone knows you can never have peas OR rice. It’s always peas AND rice. And I hope this illustrates the futility of the Giggs v Mourihno argument that has been doing the paper rounds and filling up my Twitter feed with nonsense. ‘Fergie would prefer Giggs over Mourihno…’ reads another headline, which I in turn flush down the proverbial privy.
You see, I know that in truth, it has to be Giggs AND Mourihno. We need a ruthless b**tard who will rip up our team into shreds without fear, and build us a team worthy of the Premier League today. Yet we need Giggs to be there, to learn from Mourihno, to nurture the all of the areas of our club that Mourihno neglects. The youth, the history, Alex and the rest of the boardroom members…In fact, what better way to set us up for almost undoubted long-term success that to have Giggs shadow a true master at work in preparation for his teign once Mourinho’s time with Utd has passed..
But the real question is…does Giggs want it?
P.S: Make it happen now you plonkers! Get a head start on Guardiola and let’s start a season with certainty!!
Tasmin, MUFC critic/clairvoyant (Dagz & Red are my spirit animal)
Giggs could be a great manager
United is in shambles. As a fan, we are just not used to having managerial selections/appointments happening in the press. It is just unsettling. If it is true, it is disrespectful as well to LVG.
All this talk of Giggs or Mourinho to take over from LVG and several opinions on why Giggsy doesnt have the support of the United folk makes me realize that we are jumping the gun.
How would you identify an upcoming great manager?
A desire to win. An insane drive, A relentless work ethic. A reading of the game. Opinionated. Egoistic. Thick skinned. Man management, Handling the media. Tactical nous. All great leaders have these traits. Genuine. No nonsense.
Remember, I am not talking about somebody who won tons because then it would be obvious. How did they identify a Mourinho or a Guardiola before they were popular?
Giggs actually does tick most of these boxes. The only one I am not sure of are his tactical nous. That would explain his education from LVG and Moyes. I think there is a potential great manager there if only we are willing to trust him.
As far as whether the United managerial position should be up for fresh upcoming managers is an entirely different question. Thoughts?
Some Chelsea gloating
I remember when Chelsea still had a certain chap by the name of Jose Mourinho as manager. It was a daydream turned nightmare. At the end it was so glaring that the fans’ loyalty for him was misplaced. I know we lost to PSG away but we have seen the football bloom and still stand a 50% chance of going through to the next round and that’s good enough for me. Arsenal have not even kicked off but they stand about 2% chance of qualifying against Barca. We have seen improvements on every part of our game and once again I feel very proud to call myself a Chelsea fan. The result against City in the FA was against a weakened side but Falaupa and Kele had me applauding with their movement and execution of chances. Pep will have no excuses.
It now seem quite necessary to remind those fans who supported Mourinho even when it was clear he could no longer do his job. I won’t say that the dip in form is all Mourinho’s fault but in the end he was responsible and he had to go even though I think the club took their sweet time about it. By firing Jose, Chelsea have exorcised their club of the man whose ego and arrogance stood in the way of progress. If Ed Woodward has the sense that the Gods gave a fish, he would stay as far away from Mourinho as possible. And United fans also generally act as though there it’s has to be Giggs or it has to be Mourinho. Is there really not a third course? Or a fourth, fifth and even sixth option? When LVG is fired at the end of the season as he should, United have enough time to convince a manager with ideas that actually work to take over.
I am loving Hiddink. He is becoming something of a Cruyff figure at Stamford Bridge. I think he should remain as interim manager indefinitely. I just wish he could instill more of a sense of urgency in his approach. I wish he could turn up the intensity behind our game and demand more from the players and even add a pair more class names. Oscar is fast becoming the weakest link in the team. He should either be sold or pulled back into the midfield as an option to Fabregas. And a proper three-quarter foward be brought in. (fingers crossed for Marko Reus in the summer)
Paul (hoping Jose completes my year by becoming a TV pundit)
Have City given up for the season?
Having seen Manchester City put a dismal performance and downright disinterested performance after announcing Guardiola as their next manager, a very weird thought popped in my mind. Is this all a plan of Manuel Pellegrini to hit back on the city’s hierarchy for not sticking with him and terminating his contract when all was supposedly going in the right direction.
I haven’t seen any City fan writing in about their team which is strange because they are the first ones to pop up when they get a good result. I guess seeing their team lose continuously and getting whacked 5-1 in a cup tie is not a new experience for them.
Coming back to the topic, it seems that this team just doesn’t want to play anymore this season. Which is strange because with the quality in their side, this is one of the very few teams which can go on a winning run and compete for the Premier League or rather win it. I believe the club’s players were always disinterested and now that the manager also doesn’t give a sh*t about the competition, this team will continue its downfall.
If only the team below them had a hungry manager which can inspire them and capture that fourth Champions League qualification spot. Alas. Can we exchange managers with West Ham till the end of the season please?
Vatsyayan, MUFC (We may fade away, but we must never give up)
The FA Cup lost heavily this weekend
I enjoy reading the Winners and Losers section on F365 most weeks – except on the regular occasion where Everton are losers due to either the inability to defend and/or to convert myriad chances. However, this week I’d expect the competition itself to be in the Losers section given the lack of prominence given to it by the majority of participants.
Around half the managers chose ‘weakened’ teams. Arsenal, Hull, Man City, Bournemouth, Spurs…and no doubt United tonight. Only teams for which the FA Cup is a possible season-saver – Chelsea, Everton – or whose managers respect the tradition of the cup – West Ham and Blackburn – put out arguably their best squads this weekend. The ‘pressures’ of other more lucrative competitions (Champions League and the Premier League) meant resting key players for upcoming fixtures and putting out second-string (or in City’s case, fourth string) team members reflecting how low the competition has fallen.
You’d have thought Arsene Wenger would have at least put some effort in, given that the FA Cup has kept him in a job over the last few seasons and especially as he bemoans the impact of fixture congestion (playing two games a week) has on his team’s title chances (despite Arsenal blowing up unseasonably early this year and well before the FA Cup provided his team with an excuse for failing in the League).
I remember the days when teams were fined for not choosing a strong team for the FA and League Cups. How soon the beautiful game is sullied by filthy lucre. I assume that that issue has slowly been swept under the FA’s fireside rug as they count the cash from the latest TV deals.
But spare a thought for City fans – splurging big wodges of cash to travel to London and get into Stamford Bridge to find that their manager has given much less credence to the competition than the ordinary supporter and seemingly picked names from a hat containing any player with a squad number over 30!
Can we save the FA Cup?
I wonder if, many years from now, there will be a small spot in the FA museum of football dedicated to the exact moment that the FA cup died. Sunday 21st February, 4pm. Manchester City lined up away from home, against one of the top teams in the country (usually) with a team of cast-offs and children. So proving they did not care one bit about the competition. This is not to criticise City. They didn’t ruin the cup, they were merely the straw that broke the camel’s back. In the same weekend Arsenal proved they didn’t care and in the round before, Liverpool proved that they didn’t care. Hull city, a potential romantic story from the cup, showed that they really weren’t bothered either. Tottenham put out a decent team, but the reaction when losing showed that they were never that interested. It would have been nice, but champions league and all that to think about.
The FA Cup is a very sick dog and unless it receives some pretty fantastic medicine, it will need to be taken out behind the shed and shot. So, let’s look at the options I’ve heard discussed:
1) Scrap replays. This seems pretty inevitable, but I’d be sad to see it happen. Replays even the draw out and give teams a chance to take things back to their place. They also offer that carrot of massive financial reward for small clubs.
2) Seeding. No. Never. Definitely not. If you want to kill the cup, do this. The chance of Man United v Liverpool in the third round, or two average teams in the fifth round with a chance at the quarters is one of the great things about the cup.
3) Let smaller teams choose home or away. Also a terrible idea. They would always choose the big stadium to get the money and you’d drain even more romance from the cup.
4) Scrap the League Cup. This needs to happen. The modern football world has no place for two cups. It serves no purpose and is considered pretty worthless anyway. If Liverpool and City had the League Cup still ongoing, they would have put out stronger teams. Also, don’t make it an under-23s trophy or a trophy for all teams not in Europe. No one wants to watch that. It would make it even more worthless. Just tie the cup up in a sack and throw it in a lake.
5) A Champions League place. This is the nuclear option that I have never supported until now. I know what people will say. That winning the cup doesn’t mean you’re the best team, and the team that finishes fourth deserves it more. But, think how exciting it could be. Imagine the top four right now were battling over three CL places instead of four. Each game becomes more important. Does anyone think City or Liverpool would have played those teams with a CL place at stake? Not a chance. The only thing I would say is that the loser of the final would never get a place if the winning team had a CL place already. It would go to the league. It may not be the ideal solution but it’s the only one that will save the cup.
Mike, LFC, Dubai
It’s interesting to see how many Manyoo fans wrote in to say how rubbish Danny Welbeck is after Sarah Winterburn’s article. They do realise that Manyoo’s next league match is against Arsenal right?
If it was me I wouldn’t want to be tempting fate. Especially since the last time Danny boy played against his old club for us, he scored the winner. They must be very confident.
I mean you couldn’t possibly see a scenario of him coming off the bench to score a late winner. That kind of thing never happens.
Adonis Stevenson, AFC
Ed’s weekend thoughts
The Monday morning mailbox needs me like a fish needs a bicycle.
* Given how well Palace play in the Cup compared to the league, perhaps we should just come out and say every game between now and the end of the season is like a cup final.
* The Glaziers set up in a nominal 4-4-2, albeit with Jordan Mutch occupying the wide-left berth and Wilf Zaha on the right but able to drift in. The goal came because Zaha had moved centrally and attracted five defenders, none of whom seemed able to make a tackle.
* Martin Kelly was excellent standing in for Pape Soare. He’ll get plaudits for his well-taken goal, but he also made a vital block to preserve the lead. I hadn’t realised just how tall he was – at approx. 6’3 (1.91m) he has to be one of the biggest full-backs in the league.
That said, isn’t it an unwritten rule that goalkeepers shouldn’t be beaten at their near post?
* Palace’s fans’ song about Zaha tells opponents “he’s just too good for you”, and yesterday he was. He’s been carrying the side in the past few weeks, as the main creative outlet, even though he has been up against overload defences knowing the opposite wing isn’t as effective. However, with Yannick Bolasie back, some of the pressure will be lifted, and he should get better.
* Tottenham’s gameplan yesterday seemed to centre on winning free-kicks in attacking areas as a main way of creating chances. There were a few, shall we say, soft fouls given. At the other end, Zaha took his fair share of kicks but kept his cool.
* Is it a legal requirement that all Spurs players beating more than one man are compared to Ricky Villa?
* BBC online coverage suggested Palace were deservedly in front at half time, MotD2 went with Spurs being unlucky not to be level because St Dele of Alli was denied by the miracle of the two posts.
* Part of Mediawatch’s recommended reading last week was Adam Hurrey’s unwritten rules of football. One he could possibly add to that list is that goalkeepers should never – or at least, without feeling shame – be beaten at their near post.
* Palace are away to Reading in the next round, so have a very good chance of progressing to the semi-finals. At this point, we’re in the driving seat to be the bottom-half side that makes the final before losing heavily when they fail to properly show up. In the league, our next two games are West Brom (a) and Sunderland (a) – fixtures that should be a real litmus test for whether we can turn our season around.
* F365 ran a story about how Alan Pardew was going to handle “maverick” Emmanuel Adebayor differently to how he handled Hatem Ben Arfa. This is why the media like him a bit more now, because instead of being an arrogant d##k, he has learnt a little bit from his mistakes, and is somewhat less of an arrogant d##k.
* Shameless real-life trolling from Tottenham at half-time, as they wheeled out Alan Mullery for a chat on the pitch.
* Teams should be docked league points every time one of their fans is featured on a website or phone-in expressing delight that they’re out of a cup competition, so they can concentrate on the league.
* Anyone who throws coins at footballers needs to get in the sea. Doesn’t matter which sea, just choose one and f##k off, you oxygen-thieving c##ts.
The literary Ed Quoththeraven
Never loved you anyway…
Out of the FA Cup AND Adebayor held at bay? Sounds like a win/win to me.