Mails: Manchester United are hurting my soul

Date published: Sunday 8th May 2016 10:25

A Sunday Mailbox, eh? Don’t say we never treat you. Expect 16 Conclusions on Arsenal v City later, then mail your thoughts to


I tell you what f365, when Bocelli unzipped his hoodie to reveal a Leicester top underneath…I’ve not cried like that since the end of Toy Story 3.

Jon (Boston)


I am no opera fan but wow. Bocelli was astonishing and you could see how proud Claudio was.

Leicester certainly do things different. Now whenever I hear Nessun Dorma I will think of their day/season. Marvellous day for the city never mind the football club.

Have a glorious summer Leicester fans and keep waking up laughing every day.
Mike Woolrich, LFC


I still want to finish in the top four. Just
To reply to Sarah’s excellent article, I will start off by saying I desperately want LVG out, along with that dithering buffoon, Woodward. That we are even in this position where we have to hope that Arsenal and Swansea scupper Man City is entirely Woodward’s fault for not acting decisively at any time ever. However, there are two very good reasons why I want to qualify for the CL even if that means LVG gets yet more time to drive out our best players and our club into the wilderness.

1) it would be beyond magic if Guardiola goes to a City who are not in the Champions League.
2) if United aren’t in the CL, I don’t see why any of our top transfer targets would want to come to United. I’m thinking Griezmann in particular.

It would be a bitter pill to swallow if we do win the 4th place trophy and LVG stays, but I’d have to console myself that it’s for the greater good. Though there is an argument that LVG might dissuade players from joining…
Daniel (LVG needs to have it pointed out that round pegs go in round holes) Cambridge


You’re killing us, Louis
Stale. Lifeless. Dull. Frustrating. A performance to remind United fans why most people want Van Gaal sacked. If not for the fact that the Norwich strikers don’t seem to be very good at playing football, United could have easily lost to a truly terrible Norwich side.

Rojo has been horrible lately. Always loses his man and never seems to win one on one’s. I don’t understand why he keeps making the starting line up.

Without Martial, United really have no idea what to do. Rooney seems completely out of place up top, Memphis continues to disappoint, Lingard (who happens to be weaker than the South African Rand) continued his trend of doing absolutely nothing on the field and Mata and Herrera were way below par once again. On paper we seem to be doing pretty well lately, but my God, this is some of the most painful football I’ve ever had to watch. It hurts my soul. United would be making a huge to mistake to keep Van Gaal if he manages to crawl his way to fourth place and a trophy.

Somehow we managed to win the game, meaning all the pressure falls on City now. If City do manage to drop points against Arsenal, I pray United turn up to the Boleyn Ground looking like a team who deserve to play Champions League football and not like a pub side playing after a big Sunday lunch. At this point in time, even if we do make Champions League, I can’t see us getting past the group stages.

You’re killing us, Van Gaal. You really, really are.
Gaaavie (Andrea Bocelli put in the performance of the season tonight), Cape Town


Is it good business though?
Dear Mailbox,

While getting into the Champions League and therefore keeping Van Gaal may be interpretted as ‘good business’ in some quarters, is it really? The product you are selling is the style of play more than anything else. How else could the tragic comedy that is Arsenal charge so much money for tickets?

I personally think Van Gaal has done an decent job regardless of what happens for the rest of the season, and maybe deserves another year at the helm (or at least six months) to see if he can get this rebuilt, young team to deliver on the promise they sometimes show. However, I think the same about Martinez at Everton, so what do I know?

Even I will concede, however, that in both cases, if it becomes clear in the first half of next season that the style of play / results are not going to consistently improve, then the obvious imperitive would be to attempt an upgrade. Liverpool were very fair with Rodgers; and getting Klopp in later in the season has not worked out too badly.

The board of each club has to decide if they have faith that a patient view like mine is correct, or if, from their professional and better-informed viewpoint, patience has already been exhausted. As these are both clubs that should have a medium/long term view as they develop young teams, the outcome of the next few matches should already be irrelevant, if they know what they are doing.

Utd became one of the best supported clubs on the planet, which enabled the huge commercial deals, through winning a lot, but also through playing thrilling football (generally), that was a draw to watch.

If they continue to serve up dirge, in this fickle world of global football support, how long will Utd be able to keep their global fan base? New fans are more likely to be attracted to one of the more successful, exciting teams in the Premier League. Like Leicester… Some less committed, existing global fans may also already be slowly switching allegance.

Their crisp, shaving, and toilet paper partners must surely follow.

My pal who moved to Manchester from abroad two or three years ago was a Man City fan until last week. He now tells me he will be a Liverpool fan next year! Fair play to him, like, it’s his call, he didn’t grow up round here. Plastic is as plastic does etc. This is not to disparage, or to claim all foreign fans are fickle, but a lot of them are, because they want to be entertained pure and simple.

So, the only reason to keep Van Gaal is if the Utd board think he will get the team playing better football and contending for honours, not because he has managed to scrape a relative tin pot bauble / 4th place. If they don’t, then he should be sacked whatever happens.

I fear however, that Utd’s board are not knowledgable football people, but money people; and that without Fergie and Gill at the helm, there is nobody with any influence that actually does know what they are doing.

How else can you explain the rumours that they are even considering hiring a burned-out, negative, crackpot like Mourinho?

Ben, MCFC, Manchester.


Back to normal?
55 Mins gone in Utd v Norwich. Rooney looking like, as he has done for a lot of the season, a Championship player. Being dominated by Bassong. Another Championship player.

Cant control the ball, cant run and cant hold off a tackle. Is there anything he does well now?
Dan, Ireland MUFC


The beauty in the bullsh*t
I’m going to tell you why this season has been beautiful. And magical. And no, its not because of the fekking Leicester fairytale. Its for the unity, the camaraderie, the bond that has developed between the other top clubs that have been plain sh*te.

I have been a regular reader since 2010, and all I have seen has been fellow readers write in, argue, dispute and fight about who is superior. This season made such pleasant reading. We all argued about who was sh*ttier. Nobody even remotely defended their team or players. Now there’s just plain adorable punch drunk love.

When Arsenal fans complained about Wenger, United fans handed them a beer and said ‘Don’t worry mate, it could have been LV f******g G’. When United fans were being annoying whining sods, Chelsea fans were there to console them saying, ‘It ain’t that bad bro, atleast you’re in the top half, things will get better.’ When Liverpool fans complained about inconsistency, the Man City faithful said “Relax mate, take the day off. We got this. We’r far more atrocious.” Not just teams, nobody even cared who had the best striker,goalkeeper or midfielder.. everyone was fighting to prove who’s was worse. This time its beautiful. This time its just random irrelevant arguments- Rooney? I raise you Toure! Mignolet? Dude, we got f***ing Fellaini. Arsene? Mate, we have fekking Joe Allen.

And now, with the penultimate game of the season looming, its nice to see that still, nobody gives a shit. Actual excerpts from the mailbox…

United fans- Arsenal beating City? F*** that, hope whatever permutation makes us 5th works. Anything to kick LVG out.

City fans- we don’t give a sh*t anymore. Guardiola deserves to not be in the CL for ruining our current season.

Arsenal- We don’t know if we wan’t Arsene in or out anymore.

Liverpool- We finally found someone to love so I don’t care if we win or lose.

Tottenham- we got the best young team. We can say that for the next five years without actually winning anything.

Leicester- we won the f*****g league! We’re good for the next 160 years.

So everyones just happy. Secretly plotting ugly words and insults for next season, but for now, we’re all basking in the bullsh*t.

Hell, I’m even best friends with my Chelsea mate. The guy I punched in the goddamn face back in boarding school when John Terry slipped and won us the CL in 2008. We are friends now, and it has never been this way. We’r both on different continents now, but instead of a weekly ‘F*** Y**’ when Chelsea won and United lost or vice versa, we are closer now. We argue about who is sh*ttier…which has brought us closer together.

And because all our teams are crap, and Leicester, the underdogs won because they were the least crappy, all of us, fans of every club alike can sit down at a pub, laugh, actually enjoy a bloody evening instead of screaming and shouting C@#T!!!, and pretend that the Premier League is the best damn league in the world because really anyone can win it.
Stig, MUFC
(New Career Plan- I’m gonna put my life savings into separate 1000£ bets on Aston Villa, for 2017-2018. Even at 2000-1 odds I’d be rich.)


Why can’t this happen again?
Like most soccer addicts a cross the planet, I have watched the Leicester City story with fascination. Amd now that it is over, and the miracle is complete, I want to comment on a question/answer that seemingly every sports talk show has asked.

Question: “Will it ever happen again”
Answer (every time that I have seen): “No”

Uhhh…sorry…what?…why not?

Why can’t this happen again?

Haven’t we already seen world class players purchased by traditionally working class teams?

With the new tv deal next year, won’t all EPL teams, top to bottom, have more money to spend moving forward than ever before?

Aren’t there more sophisticated “moneyball” scouting techniques being developed, learned and used to find those diamonds in the rough to make those extra dollars go even farther, and make the quality of those benches even deeper so that a “miracle” team doesn’t require a virtually injury-free season?

Won’t that money and all of the possibilities it brings attract even better coaches to the lower rungs of the league?

Haven’t we learned that clubs with great team spirit and sound tactics can perform more consistently than those who simply have higher payrolls?

Not sure why no one else seems to feel the same. And quite frankly, as a frustrated Yankee-Gunner, I’m more fascinated (and terrified) than ever.
Joeybagadoughnuts, Arsenal/Columbus Crew

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