Mail firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us how excited you are about actual football.
We still want the Glazers out
Rising to the bait re; the Glazers, yes, any United fan with vaguely functioning critical faculties should still want them out. Preferably tarred, feathered, roped to the back of a donkey and forced to repay the hundreds of millions of pounds their ownership has cost the club.
Notwithstanding a decade in which the club has been trussed up in a corset and mini-skirt and pimped around the world as a vehicle for noodle manufacturers to gain market share, fundamentally there wouldn’t have been a need for major rebuild if the debt incurred by the Glazer’s acquisition of the club hadn’t necessitated nearly ten years of parsimony in which United’s spend, net and gross, was vastly exceeded by every one of their rivals. The 08-11 team was the apogee of a project begun under and funded by the PLC. The post 2013 slough of despond has been the direct result of what the Glazers have done to the club.
Is Pereira the new Pogba?
So It looks increasingly like Pogba to United is going to happen. Three things to mention here:
1) I have said it multiple times; I don’t think he is worth the money. Of course he will make an impact. The impact could have been higher had we gone for someone like Kroos or Matuidi and a defender.
2) There have been rumors that Pogba is joining United because Real balked at the price tag. His first choice was Real. This has the smell of Angel Di Maria all over it. We have been burnt before, but we will never learn that just throwing money won’t get you anywhere. You have to be smarter than that.
3) I can see Andreas Pereira becoming the next Pogba if we continue to ignore him. I can see him being linked to United in a few years for a big money move. He seems like a tremendously talented player who has always done well, the few times I have seen him play. I hope at the very least we learn from a mistake that is set to cost us a 100 mil.
– Drop Rooney. Please!!
The alternate Pogba universe
I love the alternative universe depiction of Paul Pogba in Friday’s mail, where he develops into a superstar at Manchester United and eventually gets sold to Real Madrid.
As a Utd fan I refuse to believe that narrative.
I was convinced Adnan Januzaj would be the next great talent to emerge at Utd and under David Moyes he offered more promise than Pogba ever did in his time wearing the red shirt. Fearing he might be Pogba mkii (by rejecting a contract and going elsewhere) the club offered him 60k a week. Since then we have seen very little from and he faces the prospect of going on loan (again).
So to conclude, yes Pogba may have developed into a star at Utd, but he could have also have easily dwindled under the pressure that any player faces at such a massive club, or else lacked drive and motivation from securing the contract he wanted and amounted to nothing more than a successful loan move to Sunderland.
Pogba was looking for big wages at Utd and the club refused to meet his demands. Perhaps that rejection and subsequently having the ability to then express himself and spread his wings under a strong set up/manager at Juventus resulted in him making his former club to come back with a ridiculous offer.
If Januzaj is anything to go by then simply throwing money at a young player to make him a bit part squad player isn’t necessarily going to work.
Joe, Donegal, Ireland.
(King) Joffrey asked an interesting question in the afternoon mailbox about Paul Pogba. Let’s go back to Cristiano Ronaldo for a moment. He was, no doubt, excellent for United, scoring 118 goals in 292 games (I think) and winning everything there is to win. But then, he has given Real Madrid his prime years (24-31 so far) and scored 1000000 goals in 7 seasons (may be slighly off). While he hasn’t been able to win them the trophy haul that he would have liked (courtesy Barcelona), it’s very likely that a United team with Ronaldo might well have won at least the 2010 (one point) and 2012 (goal difference) League seasons and gone further in the Champions League. Now, as a United fan I wouldn’t trade the 2007-09 period for anything else but logically, having him in his prime, at his monstrous best, would definitely be a better deal.
That argument, naturally, has the benefit of hindsight. We don’t know how good Paul Pogba can be. He probably wouldn’t even be as good as he is now if United still had him. And even if he was, there would be no way he wouldn’t have been moved by interest from the Real Madrids and Barcelonas (and his slimy agent by the commissions at hand) of the world. So yes, if the deal does go through, it’s better than keeping him till now and selling him. Whether he’s worth 100 million and as good as he is supposed to be, is a different question.
Sasank (He clearly prefers a transfer to Madrid, and why wouldn’t he?)
Real: Always top dogs
RE: Silvio (Martial to Real Madrid for 90m in 4 years then) Dante
Real Madrid didn’t win anymore back in the ‘Galactico’ era of Zidane, Figo etc
In fact they won less, only 2 la Ligas from 2000-2007 (with the mighty Valencia and Deportivo even winning the league in that spell) and only the one Champions League win in the Galactico spell (Zidane’s volley at Hampden) being the only “success” the project mustered.
It’s amazing how Real have maintained their status as “The Club” for the top stars to join as until the recent 2 UCL wins their trophy cabinet hasn’t exactly matched their reputation.
So I would say Real are at their most attractive for any superstar to join now than anytime in their recent history.
Ricci (+ sunshine in Madrid vs rain in Manchester =3D easy decision ha)
I think Silvio Dante raises a really good point – and I think the Mourinho era at Real Madrid may well have played into this as well. Real Madrid will ALWAYS have an allure; the club’s history will always mean something massive when it comes to where players dream of playing. But, from 2008 until 2014 (La Decima), I think Barcelona became the most important football club in the world.
Watching the Clasico’s from that era, particularly with Mourinho in charge, the narrative seemed to be that Barcelona were the football purists, exercising their brand of football regardless of opposition. Of course they had their dirty tactics (which win football games, like it or not), but they seemed to be painted as the good guys. Real Madrid deployed Pepe in midfield in the ultimate symbol of going out to give them a bloody nose. I think in that time, the notion of football played ‘the right way’ was strongest, and perhaps best defined. And Mourinho seemed to contribute by opposing that ideology, which I think harmed Real Madrid as a brand – they were Galacticos in name and commercial deals only; their mentality was something rougher round the edges, with unsavoury incidents seeming to harm Real Madrid more than Barca.
I was 17 when they won the Champions League in 08/09, and it left an impression on me. I can imagine it having even more of an impact on a 8-13 year old academy player – watching those Clasicos, watching Revista de la Liga afterwards, it always seemed to paint Barcelona as the superstars, with Real a club trying desperately to keep up: the homegrown heroes sprinkled with stardust, against the talented mercenaries out to ruin the party and win at all costs.
While it clearly hasn’t shifted the landscape drastically, I think it certainly shook the pedestal that Madrid sat atop.
The season of comebacks
So the new season is starting (bloody hell !), and I’ve got a feeling that while 2015/2016 was the year of underdogs, 2016/2017 is going to be the stuff of legendary comebacks.
So who makes the cut;
• Sunderland & David Moyes(iah);
While the last 2/3 years have been horrific for both, there’s a feeling that Moyes may be able to instill some discipline and structure in a seemingly broken football club.
Looking forward to seeing S’land climbing the ranks, landing in 10th, with Moyes claiming 4 ‘1-0’ wins over “rivals” Manchester and Everton. After all, he does indeed have something to prove.
Added note: look for the re-invention of Jack “grey hoody” Rodwell, forming a decent partnership with whatever else (cattermole) or whoever else decides to take to the midfield in Sunderland colours.
• Wayne Rooney
Surely, finally, after all these years, there has to, has to, be some sort of comeback. Wayne is pushing the lower 30’s right now, and while he’s role in midfield completely imploded, expect him to play an integral part in Jose Mou’s plans. After all, that’s what happens when the prodigal father finally meets the prodigal son.
• Joe Allen
Yes, yes, I know, how can you make a ‘comeback’, when you have just recently made the euro 2016 team of the tourno. , but let’s be honest, last season Allen was neither here, nor there. Expect him to play well next to Stoke’s most expensive signing in their history.
Hughes’y, is also one to watch out for. Doing a solid job in the last two seasons, maybe now is the time for the 2nd city to push on. Europa place?
• Diego Costa
You wouldn’t think that the brute Brazilian/Spanish/Troll man was doing extremely bad if you took a look at his stats. But let’s be honest; 12 Goals in 27 matches is way too little for a striker of his caliber and skill. However Chelsea, do not distress, there is hope, especially after the signing of Michy ‘blue sky’ Batshauyi, that Conte can mold his strikeforce into one of the best in the league. This all however depends on the formation he intends to play. Something I am sure many Chelsea fans are anticipating.
• Eliquim Mangala
Hah. Just kidding.
Anyone else see a possible comeback?
Muhammed V, QPR (yeah not seeing a comeback here), S. Africa
Danny Mills is silly
Danny Mills is a luddite. Any time something new about the game is mentioned Danny goes on in his moaning voice about it being a waste of time, coming up with all the reasons it will not work.
Take the new rule changes. One of the core principles expressed by Danny was that referees make mistakes and players are justified in behaving badly – after all, anyone else would. And they have no obligation to do so (as in role model, etc.) He also poo-pooed the way rugby players listen to refs on the basis they have always done so – as if rugby players grew up with the 10yd rule. Imagine – “Johnny, stop badgering the cat or I’m going to move it 10 yds further away.”
There is this notion that the referees are really bad and the players are masters of their skill – and it gives them the right to ‘have-a-go’ at the ref. If we repeat this mantra long enough it becomes truth.
Then watched a bit of the Chelsea v Liverpool pre-season game only to see Terry and crew continuously have a go at the ref – running at him in one instance after Cahill had felled a Liverpool player. The ref seemed to have it right almost all of the time and the players were clearly either fouling deliberately (most of the Liverpool yellow cards) or making horrendous challenges (most of the Chelsea fouls.) Point being, the players make more mistakes or deliberately foul way out of proportion to the number of mistakes professional refs make.
Personally, enforcing this rule – new or not – is great. Its about time players stopped treating the refs like shit. While Danny Mills doesn’t think it has an effect, he clearly is not watching the right amateur games between men, where refs are routinely treated disrespectfully.
Just a pity there was no media referee that could give the pundits a yellow or a red.