Keep sending your mails to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.
Missing out on Champions League “for the greater good” of Man Utd
Firstly, of course I want to be in the Champions League next season, that much is the case for a fan of a football club. That said, it’s a dangerous gift and potential curse if all it does is mask much bigger problems at your football club. Do it so many times and mediocrity will become a culture, case in point, Arsenal. Every year their fans celebrate this trophy so much so the phrases “May the fourth be with you” and “Form is temporary, fourth is permanent” have been coined.
And when the new season starts they quickly forget and the vicious cycle continues. What they really need at the moment is to miss out on top 4 completely, just to provide a wake up call to the money men at the top, who have to feel a financial pinch to spring into action. Owners don’t give a s**t about the club as long as they are making money, even Kroenke said it but Arsenal fans turned a blind eye, because he knows the fans are also in a comfort zone and will mumble for a few minutes then keep quiet shortly after that. The point I’m getting at is, yes, as a fan I want to be in Champions League but sometimes the club needs to miss out on top 4 for the greater good of the club. People act when their pockets are hurt and I hate to say this but it might be the best thing to happen to Manchester United this year.
Louis (Not that I won’t be supporting Swansea to beat Man City this weekend though) Msindo, Milton Keynes
Rooney is the new Gerrard
Almost potentially transferred to Chelsea? Check.
Has had falling out with his managers? Check
Thinks he is bigger than the club? Check
General fans favourite/England Hero? Check
Highest paid player? Check
Last connection of the club with past glories? Check
Must play every game when fit? Check
Gerrard never left the Premier League, he just became Wayne Rooney.
Wayne Rooney in the United mid-field is starting to resemble Steven Gerrard in his last couple of seasons at Liverpool. Albeit Rooney is still young but the mileage on his body and his perennial lack of fitness has taken its toll. Having previously played on the wings and as an attacking midfielder, Gerrard probably had his most prolific time playing as a number 10 behind Torres. Rooney also had his most successful years playing on the left with the pace of Tevez and Ronaldo supplementing him.
Gerrard was moved into the quarter back position and that seems to be Rooney’s role in the United team now. The Pirlo/Paul Scholes role if you will. The commentators may wax lyrical praises every time either Rooney/Gerrard pings a cross field ball but this Roy of the Rovers stuff is completely unsuited to the modern possession style game their mangers wanted to play.
As Theiry Henry asserted the most important part of Gaurdiola’s tactics was position, position, position. The only way to make space to play the ball was to keep your position. It is impressive to see Gerrard/Rooney running all over the place trying to get the game by the scruff of the neck but it is at the expense of the team plan. It generates cheers from the crowd to see Rooney at left back or clearing a header on his own goal line while playing as a striker but it leaves us with no outlet up top.
Van Gaal seems to prefer his teams playing their way to the goal, waiting for the right time to carve up an opportunity but too often the move is stunted by Rooney playing a cross field ball or taking a pot shot from the edge of the box. What is worse is that Rooney has become an exhibitionist player too often prefering for the magical rather than the efficient. Almost every game he tries to chip the keeper from outside the box whereas his best goals from instinctive thumps towards the goal rather than perfectly curled shots passed into the top corner.
Rooney has believed in all of his own hype and does no longer posses the ability to come up with a magical moment each game yet he is a guaranteed starter in every game. His defenders claim that he seems to be the only player who tries but that is specifically what is making the rest of his team mates look bad.
An improv player who goes for the joke, does so at the expense of the entire scene and making the entire improv team look bad.
Rooney’s style of play is completed unsuited to how Manchester United want to play and he is largely the reason why Van Gaal has failed. If the captain does not play to the manager’s wishes then that really undermines the manager’s authority. As Leicester City has shown a Premier League winning team needs everyone pulling in the same direction.
Ironically Rooney may be better suited to Leicester’s style of play, it would really say ambition if they place a multi million dollar bid for him in the summer. With willing runners playing on the wings and a quick striker running in space, a cross field ball quickly transitioning play from defence to attack may be useful but Mata on the right wing (Rooney’s favourite spot to ping a ball) it has to be Valencia running on to the ball leaving us susceptible to an attack down that flank.
Rooney still sells shirts and being a commercial asset, he will continue to be the captain of Manchester United. Rooney seems to be vying for Mourinho to take over and frankly his style of play may suit Mourinho’s counter attack tactics, who knows he may become the next Lampard (Fat Rooney?). The only reason Van Gaal has not been sacked is that top 4 is still a mathematical possibility, Moyes was not sacked till it became impossible and Van Gaal will not be either. There has to be a clause in the contract radically reducing the compensation when top 4 becomes impossible.
Yes it will cost to get rid of Van Gaal but it will cost more to miss out on the Champions League next year (both CL income and the Adidas shirt deal) so for all of his transfer market mistakes Ed Woodward has ensured commercial financial success for the club. He cannot think ignore the financial impact of missing out on Champions League again, even if it means signing with the devil.
The only thing standing in Mourinho’s way to the job is Alex Ferguson. No wonder is secretly meeting Pochettino and publicly praising him.
Shehzad Ghias, mufc, Karachi
LVG has forgotten what LVGs do
Louis Van Gaal has many headline grabbing failures to his name. Countless [insert team]’s first win at Old Trafford since 1000BC, Champions League qualifying and group stage failures, 250 million poorly spent, finishing 5th/6th and so on. But the biggest failure for me, above all those big lofty balls-ups, has been his inability to get Manchester United even remotely organised during his two year tenure. A manager who after all, has built his entire (and pretty successful) career on fundamental football systems.
Last night was a fine example. How many times did Mata find himself either at right back, or as the last-man sweeper? How many times did Tony Valencia rock up in central midfield? Rooney at centre half, Blind and Smalling the wrong way around? I mean, the list just goes on and on. And that lack of positional discipline has nothing to do with player ability, or them being “good enough” it’s something that under 11s teams can master. They’re all professionals, they’re all aware of what they should be doing, but somehow under Van Gaal it just unravels.
For a manger so famed for his “system” and subsequent “philosophy” it beggars belief that he can’t even get United in to a coherent shape, let alone play expansive football. His previous Barca, Bayern, AZ and Holland teams were all well organised, and able to stick to specific areas of the pitch. Holland at the last World Cup for example were especially rigid in terms of their shape, and it proved to be very successful for them. So why hasn’t he been able to do it at United?
I think it’s got to the point where Louis has now thrown so many ideas and systems from that infamous notebook of his at the United problem (3-5-2, 4-4-2, 4-3-3, 4-1-4-1, 4-2-3-1, etc) that he can’t even remember which one was even his? His hope would have been that eventually one system would stick, but these chops and changes combined with injuries, and his odd affinity with playing people in unfamiliar positions have sank any hope of that ever happening.
I don’t know who you are anymore Louis. And I’m not sure you know either.
Farewell Iron Tulip.
Dave (Desperate enough now to ask Duncan Castles for help with appointing Jose)
…Looking at the vitriol in recent mailboxes by Man U supporters towards LvG and Ed Woodward….what makes everyone assume it was West Ham fans throwing things at the Man U bus?
Bus attackers were a minority
As a West Ham fan there is of course no way I can condone the mindless and moronic behaviour of a minority last night. The club certainly has no place for these sort of people and I for one would support lengthy bans for those found to have taken part.
My bugbear after this is the blinkered, bandwagon mentality of some who take the easy route of tarring all fans of a club with the same brush (whether it be West Ham or another club).
West Ham due to our less than illustrious history of so called supporters are of course an easy target. Take two minutes out of your day and you will quickly find trouble from supporters of other clubs including those quick to single out West Ham.
Feb 2016 – Southampton and Chelsea fans clash in a bar after their match.
Mar 2016 – Spurs and Arsenal fans fight outside WHL which includes blood injuries clearly visible in the photos
Apr 2016 – Man U and Liverpool fans fight after their Europa league game
Apr 2016 – Man Utd and Everton fans fight at a service station on the way down to the FA Cup Semi Final.
Like I say I’m not condoning last night’s behaviour but please stop branding all fans of a club with the behaviour of the minority and remember that you probably also have your own idiotic minority that has let your club down in the past.
Matthew, West Ham, Southend on Sea
A fitting farewell
I wish to submit the following for consideration for publication in your Mailbox:
West Ham: a club so devoid of self-awareness as to be totally unaware of its true value, as highlighted by its departure from Upton Park last night. Now that the club has taken advantage of the tax payer and exploited Lord Coe’s white elephant in much the same way that the sordid businesses of West Ham’s owners have taken advantage of and exploited so many women down the years, now West Ham are in a position to move on up, and we have all, as taxpayers (stop sniggering, you overseas readers) had the opportunity to contribute to this wonderful club; these wonderful owners – what joy!
The media ejaculation over West Ham leaving Upton Park isn’t the fault of the club’s supporters. They had their own reasons to indulge in a trip down memory lane, but even that was ruined by some proper nostalgia pre-game (this club is more famous for its ‘hooligans’ than its football) and the bizarre sight of Black Cabs driving ex-players around the pitch after the game. Legends such as Anton Ferdinand, Carlton Cole and Marlon Harewood.
“I bet Booby Moore is looking down on this wonderful occasion,” opined the increasingly sycophantic Martin Tyler. I bet he wasn’t. Moore was a man evicted from this stadium and shunned by the club after his playing days. The posthumous lauding of a great man should only cause further embarrassment to the club’s supporters. The new chapter will be a lot better than the last.
Steve Cook, what the f**k?
There is logic in some of Storey / Steady’s suggestions but most are not good enough to a team aspiring to challenge for the league next season and potentially offering Champions League football.. Some alternative suggestions:
GK -Forster (given our regular transfer relationship with Southampton this is bound to happen)
LB – Chilwell (young and very promising, worth a punt)
CB – Winston Reid / Scott Dann (Steve Cook? Seriously WTF?)
CM – Kante (wishful and would be contingent on making CL,plus getting in first to trigger the release clause. Bound to be huge competition)
W – Mane (when in Rome…..)
So basically I believe Liverpool should stick to their existing transfer policy of p*ssing off Southampton by bidding for their star performers and over-paying for them after months of badly handled public negotiations..
As a side note I really hope the Europa League is more positively portrayed as European competition going forward. A number of this season’s games have totally eclipsed some of the drivel we have had to endure in the Champions League by a long shot. If Liverpool don’t win next week against Sevilla, I honestly hope Liverpool qualify for next season’s EL. We need to re-discover the values which were once held for such trophies, including domestic ones too..
Dazza, Dublin, LFC (Next season already looks like its going to be insane…..)
Arsenal transfer dreams
I know it’s not wise to believe any transfer story until it’s official (especially with Arsenal) but if the news is true Wenger is signing a midfielder who’s taller than 5’6 and isn’t incompetent, in a position that actually needs filled and getting the transfer done before June.
I must be dreaming
Put yourself in Ryan Giggs’ shoes…
I’ve got a question for the mailbox. It’s something I’ve been thinking about over the last few days and I really don’t know what to think.
Imagine you are Ryan Giggs. You’ve played for 20+ years under the greatest manager in football history, regularly tipped as a potential successor to him, and following his retirement have acted as coach and assistant under two other managers, neither of whom have been a real success. The club are now looking for their next manager and if media reports are to be believed you’re either guaranteed the job or you’re considered too inexperienced.
What would you do in Giggs’ situation? He’s already been condemned as either being implicated or irrelevant in Man Utd’s recent failure, but does he stick around as a first-team coach for a bit longer in the hope that he’ll get the top gig next time round?
Should he ask to manage the Under-21s in the hope of a Guardiola-style rise, or should he cut his losses and accept an offer at another club in the hope of making his own way, knowing that if he does so, he lets go of probably his one chance of managing the only professional club he’s ever been at?
Assuming José doesn’t arrive (in which case he’ll leave regardless), I think he’s in a difficult situation. Out of all Giggs’ former teammates who are now managers, only Bruce, Solskjaer, Hughes and Blanc have really made a decent career of it and of those, only Blanc would even be considered for the United job, so history suggests that if Giggs decides to forge his own career elsewhere, he won’t get the chance to return.
If Giggsy really wants that top job, I think his best option is to ask to take over the reserves, and attempt to get promoted in 3-4 years’ time with a team of young players who he’s helped to develop – not that it worked out that way for Ole Solskjaer. Otherwise, it’s bye bye Ry (Sorry… that’s the The Sun headline writer in me coming out).
What would you do?
Rhetorical questions need answers
Adam, MUFC made some excellent points – particularly with regards to Fosu Mensah and Borthwick Jackson – but sticking in ‘What does Giggs do?’ was pointless and a little hysterical. The answer is he’s one of 2 assistant managers. He takes some training sessions, carrying out orders from his boss, and sits on the bench alongside LVG’s other, real number 2, one Albert Stuivenberg.
To rip into him like this is somehow his fault is just wrong and based on nothing more than those long lingering Sky Sports shots of the United bench when things have just gone t*ts up again, which poor Albert would love to be included in. The answer to the Herrera one is that the weight of living in LVG’s world has crushed his gentle spirit.
Pablo, MUFC, Dublin
Liverpool not that useless
Quick response to Lynton (never been so disappointed and let down by United)…
You have successfully turned one of the greatest teams to Liverpool (not the successful one the useless one 1993 to current).
European Cup/Champions League – 2005
UEFA Cup/Europa League – 2001, (2016? Hopefully!)
European Super Cup – 2001, 2005
FA Cup – 2001, 2006
League Cup – 1995, 2001, 2003, 2012
10 trophies in 23 years since 1993. That’s pretty useless.
…Can I plaintively ask the good burghers of F365 Towers to publish any and all open letters received from telly-clapping, glory-hunting, know-nothings such as Lynton’s of this AM. They really are mailbox gold and you can almost smell the entitled tears spilling onto his keyboard.
I tell you now. If you offered United fans (this is since football started for Lynton in 1992; right about the point he started supporting United) a haul of 2 FA cups, 3 league cups, 1 European Cup plus a UEFA cup and a smattering of super cups and a few runners-up slots in the league then every single one of them would take it now. Plus the excitement of some of those finals and campaigns from my team. Got to beat the last few years under The Moyesiah and Long Ball Louis; eh!?
Honestly; only a United fan wouldn’t be happy with that. Most deluded and entitled fan base in world football bar none!
Keep ’em coming Lynton et al. Reminds me of when my partner’s brother-in-law (hello Chimere Aka!) wrote to United asking for Moyes to be sacked even though he’s never been within 100 miles of Old Trafford. Briliant!
Gregory Whitehead, LFC
Martin Tyler not so punderful
Sky really, really, really need to do something about Martin Tyler’s god-awful puns. Last night may have been the nadir, with “whatever he [Payet] will cost, they would pay it”.
Genuinely makes him worse than the irritatingly shrieky Jonathan “ooh, look how many pointless historical facts I know” Pearce.
Alex G, THFC (not quite as bad as West Ham fans’ behaviour though)
Even a stopped watch is right twice a day…
On the last day of last season Degsy pulled a rabbit from a hat and gave a 50/1 winning tip.
I was incredibly happy that I backed it. I’m looking forward to this year’s 50/1 banker.
Gough, LFC, Dublin