Bit slow this afternoon. Sort it out. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
The problem is that it’s Martial or nothing
Van Gaal call for patience for Martial got me thinking about the effect his position as UTD’s main goal scoring hope will affect his career in the long term.
Generally, when a young player with potential is maturing in their younger formative years, managers will have periods when they take them out of the limelight. Sir Alex was great at this approach as can be seen with the likes of Rooney and Ronaldo.
Whilst they were too good not to play in their younger years there were periods when United could afford to leave them on the bench and rely on older more established pros such as Van Nistelrooy for goals.
The fact that Martial has come in and started with such a bang, coupled with the negligence of LVG leaving United with a lack of attacking options, means that he pretty much has to start. Now that he is going through a period where his form has dipped it would be ideal to take him out for a few weeks away from the spotlight.
However, United simply can’t afford to do this and the longer he doesn’t score the more the pressure will build and the more his confidence will dip. This mismanagement of a young talent could ultimately be to the detriment of his progress in the long term.
Long story short, buy a striker to take the pressure off and let Martial develop at a normal rate for a 20 y/o striker.
Liverpool: Also need a winger
That list of Top 10 Problems clubs must fix in January is very good and it’s hard to disagree with anything on there.
While I’m a fan of the squad depth we have in other areas (not necessarily the quality level everywhere but that’s another mail for another day) you are right about our need for another full-back but I’d add another winger onto that list.
Carra made a point that it’s borderline negiligent to go into a season with Jordon Ibe as our only “senior” winger and I agree. Ibe has been impressive under Klopp but it can’t last forever. He’s 20 this week and will be due to drop off if he’s consistently played (I mean I hope he doesn’t but I’m being realisitic) so we need another body in that area. Honestly, I don’t mind if it’s recalling Ojo from Wolves (he’s been doing quite well) or buying someone, I’d just feel better about our improving form (Sunday aside).
Kris, LFC, Manchester
English tactics stopping strikers from arriving from abroad?
After reading a couple of articles, one about the changing role of a striker and the other about a lot of clubs needing a striker in January it got me thinking…
The first article pointed out that most clubs used to have two strikers up top and are now generally only having one. I don’t think there’s much argument that many PL clubs would like / need another striker.
However, I’ve always thought goalkeeper was the worst position to be as there is only one place for you on the team sheet unlike outfield players that generally can play in a number of positions.
So my question is… If you are plying your trade a s a striker, would you want to come to the premier league where only one guy gets the nod or would you rather go play in a country where two strikers regularly trot out on the pitch (or you could go to Real or Barca where they have about five strikers in the team who all score a hundred goals a season).
Just looking at the striking ‘rejects’ from the Premier League over the last couple of seasons might put a few possible targets from coming.
Explaining how draws work
The reason that Chelsea often get an easy draw in the third round is that at this point in the competition the draw contains more lower league than top division teams.
It’s not a conspiracy. It’s just a load of balls in a goldfish bowl.
Steve – Germany
Actually, Ferguson wasn’t omnipotent
This is regarding the piece titled “English Management – new dawn or slow death?” by Daniel Storey.
My attention was drawn to a particular line where he says that delegation of management is seen as a weakness in a British/English manager, and takes Alex Ferguson’s example.
It was surprising to read, because Ferguson recently emphasised on this aspect, in the case study on him in the Harvard Business Review where he said his performance as a manager improved remarkably since he started to delegate – and this was when he was still at Aberdeen, not even United.
The point of the article may be valid, but Ferguson was an absurd example to use, since almost everyone knows he was one of the least hands on managers in his final years at United. Sure he had the final word on transfers, but that doesn’t mean he saw delegation as a sign of weakness, far from.
On directors of football
The piece on the rise of Directors of Football this morning was interesting and thought-provoking. The idea of the DoF is to ensure continuity, as Les Reed points out, so that should a manager either underperform or overachieve and get poached by someone else, a similar coach can come in. This approach has worked well in recent years with Swansea, for example, even if their progress has arrested of late.
The DoF role is a foreign influence, and the rise of the role is linked to the influx of foreign owners. With North American investors, it’s largely a nod to the General Manager/Head Coach dynamic employed by just about everyone in the NBA, NFL, NHL and MLB – owners of successful teams in those leagues would naturally want to replicate the recipe for success in a new sport. More generally, it’s a symptom of the amount of money sloshing about it club coffers these days – these businessmen didn’t make their money without being careful about how they spent it.
On the other hand, certain old-fashioned English managers (whose surnames might rhyme with “dead cap” and “pen-a-balls”) have form for taking unilateral control of the club and of the chairman’s chequebook, splurging money ridiculously, then doing one at the first opportunity once the money dries up and leaving everyone else to clear up the mess.
Too many lessons have been learnt the hard way about leaving one person in charge of every aspect of running a football club. We don’t like to think of clubs as businesses but that is what they basically are, multi-million pound businesses. The Manager/Head Coach is in effect a head of department, just as the DoF and Commercial Manager will be heads of different departments.
The sooner the old-fashioned British PFM gaffer-autocrat types realise that the Manager is a very important cog, rather than the whole machine, the sooner they’ll be back in work. Otherwise, they’ll become an irrelevance, and simply reduced to hanging out with Richard Keys, talking about how British managers don’t get opportunities these days, clubs “go foreign” and what do Directors of Football even do?
The literary Ed Quoththeraven
Bournemouth: Better than you think
AFC Bournemouth may have been struggling in this division, but can I please point out that prior to Saturday’s game versus Chelsea, we had actually scored 9 (nine) – in brackets just like the videprinter for avoidance of any doubt – goals away from home in the league this season. Including 4 (four) against the team currently in sixth. And after Saturday, the tally is currently more than 11 (eleven) other teams in the division.
Not quite sure what that says about Chelsea, but it says we are a lot better than you may think. Only time will tell if it’s good enough to avoid relegation. But we’ll give it a damn good go.
And we might even have even more away goals before we’ve left the Emirates later this month.
Praise for MOTD
Match of the day has rightly been criticised over the years, the BBC failing to keep pace with Sky’s analysis and the old boys club phoning in their appearances from the 18th green.
But, this season I’ve actually started enjoying it again. They’ve stopped the rot by replacing the moaning serial miserablists and top football haters Hansen and Lawro. Danny Murphy looks like he actually loves watching football.
And, weirdly, I think I saw a glimmer of personality from Alan Shearer on Saturday (admittedly it was the personality of my boring uncle but it’s a start). Combine that with Gary thoroughly enjoying Leicester’s season and we’ve got ourselves a show going.
Yeah, we got a few (loads) of these
Hang on… Did ‘Wilson “Mi vida paranoica” Beuys’ just call Chelsea the ‘nation’s favourite second team’?
The man is either a comedy genius or clinically insane.
Bournemouth’s exciting new signing
Just me that read the sentence “Fillip has come at the perfect time, ahead of a tough Christmas period,” in the Winners and Losers section and thought Bournemouth had signed an exciting new Brazilian to give them a boost going into the seasonal fixtures?
Fillip, Sao Paulo