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LVG is not a football manager…
Before I rant, let me be clear, i am 33 years old, and was BORN a Manchester Utd supporter, not made. Never have I seen such dire football being played by my beloved team. Even under Sir Alex, we played some “bad football” but we still at least had more than 1 shot on target, that was not a set piece from an overpaid, overweight, wanabe poem writer. With the amount of money that LVG has spent in the last 2 seasons, his refusal to play players in their strongest position and blinding refusal to acknowledge Rooney’s dip in form it is time for him to call it a day, and retire. This is not a football manager but a senile old man.
Mohamed (watched my son’s U8 team play better than Utd vs Palace)
17-Aug Van Gaal said: “I always have confidence in my players. But we don’t have only Rooney in the strikers position, we have Januzaj. I’ve given him that chance and he’s shown that he can do that. We have Chicharito, we have Wilson, so I don’t think we have a lack of strikers
25 Aug – Last year Fellaini scored seven times and Van Gaal is clear the 27-year-old can offer a threat in attack. “He can play in a 9 position and in a 10 but also 6 and 8 but this year he shall play more 10 and 9 than 6 and 8 because there [in midfield] we have more players,” he said
31 Aug – Chicharito and Januzaj leave for the Bundesliga; United sign Martial who scores on debut against Liverpool and follows that with two goals against Sunderland
31 Oct – After the 3rd successive 0-0 draw and over 5 hours since scoring – “We don’t know (Martial’s best position) yet because he played always in Monaco as a left winger; as manager I have to see what is the best balance in the team. “That’s not so simple, so I have to decide every week dependable on the game plan and qualities of opponent, and so on. In Monaco he played more or less always on the left wing.”
1 Nov – Van Gaal says Fellaini is not competing against Wayne Rooney and others for forward positions however, but he is instead up against Morgan Schneiderlin, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Ander Herrera for a place in midfield. “He has to compete as a midfielder because he is more a midfielder than a striker,” Van Gaal told Manchester United’s official website.
James Wilson meanwhile has played 2 games
Looks like he’s as clueless about his strikers as we are about his philosophy.
Support for the Dutchman
I have been a Man Utd fan for many a year, 25 to be more precise, so I don’t want to say I’m in love with the way we play these days in comparison to years gone by. I realise LVG has spent a lot of money but I still feel no need to panic over laborious draws and ‘barely wins’. To me the EPL has always been a marathon and not a sprint and there will be good and bad weeks. Sure, the lack of creativity is at times a worry but I often feel like many Utd fans see things through Fergie tinted spectacles. I know excitement is lacking but I can’t say that any of his purchases have been bad, they might under perform at times but, for me, never bad.
I still think we’ll coast, however boring, to a top 4 finish. I’m just pleased that LVG was brought in to steady a sinking ship and has done that. The age of the squad has been reduced and got rid of a lot of dead weight. He has also reiterated on several occasions how he will see out his contract and retire. He is essentially fixing an ocean liner to hand it over. I fully appreciate that I take a long term vision approach to supporting my team. If you’re fixing a ship I would rather long term solutions before buying an expensive cork to plug the whole for now hence Young/Valencia at RB. It might be a while before Utd get back to the glory days but be thankful the boat (metaphor officially dead) ain’t sinking no more.
Martin (I actually hate boats!) Hong Kong
Obviously any united stat or certain spell for player or team is blown out of all proportion due to the huge media interest but a few nils nils after scoring 3 goals on their travels a few times and certain fans on here call for LVG out !!! Its quite amazing how pathetic some fans are. This never happened under Fergie we want to be entertained etc etc. Well it did happen under Fergie in 2005 with a certain Paul Scholes in the team and rather than sacking Fergie with a few changes the goals started to come
Do you really think after the last couple of seasons united should sack the manager for being 5 points off the top of the table, a lot has been made of the time and minutes since the last goal ( in a 3 nil away game ) including a team with 9 changes again Boro, so lets sack the manager and then maybe they will then point out that LVG was sacked at Man Utd after playing 461 minutes without conceding a goal. In other leagues that would be seen as building a very firm base and adding goals is the easy part. Whatever happens with LVG he has started to build a quality squad again and that take time to gell.
Some weekend conclusions
A few thoughts on the weekend:
*Going into this weekend, with all the talk of Wayne Rooney’s poor form, I thought he was nailed on for a hat-trick against Crystal Palace. You always think that about your own team though. As it happens, he was rotten. As the BBC live text pointed out, if you were Scott Dann, would you rather mark Rooney or Anthony Martial?
Jermaine Jenas made the point on Match of the Day that it isn’t a case of Rooney missing chances, it’s more that he isn’t getting chances. They then showed a few clips of Martial, shunted out wide to accommodate his captain, putting in crosses for anyone other than Rooney. That’s either subterfuge as one player attempts to undermine another, or a lack of confidence in his ability to find the target.
*The Glaziers’ home form has been awful for quite a while, and of late our away form has dipped too. With this in mind, ordinarily a draw with Manchester United is as good as a win, but on Saturday the game was there for the taking. We had several good chances but couldn’t find the net, and genuinely had the visitors on the ropes for most of the game. The defence was also well-organised, restricting Manchester United to just one shot on target.
This was our first point since the international break, having had a good start to the season before it. When you’re on a bad run, sometimes all you can do to reverse it – or at least arrest it – is dig in and play with determination. Hard work alone rarely produces results, but it does lay a foundation for a performance. Also, after wins and goals, nothing keeps the fans onside like a team putting a real shift in, if you’ll pardon the cliché.
*Next up for the Glaziers is Liverpool. The power of gegenpressing versus the might of Dwight, as no one is calling it.
*One amusing moment from MotD came during the Chelsea v Liverpool highlights. When Ramires scored, the commentator made mention of Jose Mourinho’s name echoing round the ground; in the second half, Liverpool fans singing “f### off Mourinho” was clearly audible.
*Obligatory reminder that “minimum two minutes” stoppage time means anything up to 2:59. See also, a rugby league-inspired reminder to play to the f###ing whistle.
*Joe Hart dropped an almighty clanger on Saturday, but it didn’t matter all that much in the end … because Roy Hodgson was at Stamford Bridge.
*Russell Martin’s red card bestowed a triple whammy punishment on Norwich, to which the MotD commentator said they had thrown it all away. However, in that situation, I don’t think any manager would expect any different of any of his outfield players.
I’m sure the Canaries are disappointed to come away with nothing, because the way they dragged themselves back into the game was commendable. However, when Palace were in their situation (i.e. the last two seasons and, erm, now), I’d look at the bigger picture. Should City end up being dragged into the relegation mire, then goal difference will be vitally important. As such, losing by just a single goal to the team likely to end up champions is still a positive.
*Obligatory praise for Leicester. I don’t know how you keep doing it, you foxy b#st#rds, but keep it up.
*Obligatory praise for Arouna Kone. After all his injury problems, you could see how much each of his goals meant to him. He and Romelu Lukaku (how many games and how old?) must have fancied their chances going up against Coates and Brown, and they certainly made the most of the opportunity.
I’m not sure if Sunderland had personnel shortages, or if Sam Allardyce was just trying to show how modern he is, but it backfired spectacularly. While this is only based on MotD2 highlights, the plan seemed to be to get the wing-backs involved as attackers, with defensive midfielders screening the back three. However, if Everton watched Palace take Sunderland apart last season, they would have noticed that the full/wing-backs are easily bypassed by a long ball, anyone with a bit of pace (such as Delofeu yesterday) can cut in and run at the centre-backs, and Sunderland are already in trouble; also, for all of Lee Cattermole’s tenacity in trying to win the ball back, he is not the greatest at tracking runners, which leaves them vulnerable to odd-man rushes (to borrow from ice hockey). For a team whose main attacking strategy is direct football, if not necessarily hoofball, this is a rather worrying trend.
Unless I’ve completely misunderstood, in which case Sunderland will be fine. Big Sam’s never been relegated, has he.
The literary Ed Quoththeraven, CPFC the Glaziers, Notts
Top four? Calm down, calm down
Dom Littleford!?!?! Reign it in Lad.
certain of Liverpool finishing top 4!?! We’ve beaten a Chelsea team who have been beaten 6 times already this season. Southampton beat them at the bridge on a similar scoreline. To be honest Spurs thrashing of a form Man City side is a more impressive result.
Chelsea are in rag order. I can see Arsenal and Man City duking it out for top spot. 3rd and 4th could be anyones out of Man Utd, Spurs, Southampton, Everton, ourselves and even though it is looking less likely with each passing week you’d imagine Chelsea’s absolute rotten run of form has to turn some sort of corner. But it has to happen soon or Jose is over a barrel. And West Hams impressive away scalps can’t be ruled out either.
great win, great performance by Liverpool and definite progress, and took huge pleasure from the result. but to declare certainty of a top 4 position after beating a team that has the form of a fifteenth position side is beyond ridiculousness. Not only that, but disrespects sides that have shown similar form.Top 4? Possibility? Yes. Certainty? Me hole.
About bloody time John Nicholson. Well played son.
What is going on, Jose?
In any profession sh*t goes wrong. If you’re a salesman, people say no. If you run a restaurant, sometimes the stock doesn’t get delivered on time. If you’re a football manager, sometimes decisions go against you. Players don’t play to their potential. Attempts on goal don’t quite cross the line.
What separates the successful from the average is you assume things aren’t going to always go your way but you do everything you can to control the things that will. Having a positive attitude and getting the players playing with a smile is one. Making sure the players are prepared to react well when they go behind or don’t get a decision to their way. Having that steely mental strength that defined your career so far rather than feeling sorry for yourself.
The siege mentality has delivered Mourinho results before but there was an infectious desire to win that flowed from him to his players. The self pity and resignation has replaced this and you can see it in the players.
Mourinho, as he was keen to point out post match, isn’t stupid. But it seems he’s forgotten that success is determined by your ability to affect as many details as possible in your favour. Chelsea could have won that game 11v11 following the decision not to punish Lucas with a second yellow. Instead their focus was on this rather than tracking the runners and winning second balls from Benteke’s knockdowns.
The contrast between him and Klopp was there for all to see. One is invigorating, willing his team into a new sense of enthusiasm and playing style. Notice there was no mention of Costa’s naughtiness from Liverpool. The other is grumpy, negative, sulking but most importantly completely focused on things he can’t control.
If he says winning is impossible in an interview how can his players be expected to think otherwise? Get your head in the game Jose, the pride surrounding your conspiracy is becoming detrimental.
Jacob (First time caller, long time listener), London
I’ve never written to the mailbox before but I’d just like to point out how few mails from Chelsea fans there has been asking for Mourinho to be sacked.
Nice to see when the mailbox seems to be made up in its entirety of #LVGOUT and #lolChelsea mails now that #RodgersOut succeeded.
I personally feel we should keep Mourinho too, if only because I seem to care less about the cesspit that is modern football when my team can’t buy a win.
Ronan, CFC, Ireland
It’s that time of year
It wan’t my plan but I feel compelled to write in about James McClean.
To me, he is nothing more than a glorified Zinedine Kilbane as a player. I use the term ‘as a player’ on purpose. This lad is from Derry. Or Londonderry if you wish. I’m not arsed. I am from the South of Ireland so calling it Derry comes naturally. But the naming of Derry makes no difference to me. I digress.
McClean has chosen not to wear the poppy. The UK is supposed to be the forefront of Western Civilization as regards immigration and tolerance of other cultures.
James has said that he will not wear the poppy because of the atrocities committed in (London)Derry by British troops.
Why is this an issue? In a still politically sensitive area of the world, one high(ish) profile man wants to challenge the norm. The portrayal of McClean has been unnecessarily bad. He has been attacked by multiple fans and also the media.
Put it this way, Papiss Cisse had a problem with Wonga being the sponsors of Newcastle United. That went against his Muslim beliefs. Was he villified? No. And rightly so. His beliefs are his own and he is entitled to them. And damn anybody who tries to convince him otherwise.
James has a right not to wear the poppy. I won’t be wearing it either. I lost family during Bloody Sunday. And during the Monaghan Bombings. I really hope this brings perspective to the mindset of Mr. McClean.
Daire Hamill. London.