Mails: Moaning about Jose, Mkhitaryan and Lukaku

Date published: Wednesday 1st November 2017 3:30

Keep those emails coming to theeditor@football365.com…

Why is Mourinho being so grumpy?
On paper Man United are doing pretty well. Second in the league and top of their CL group. Not exactly playing teams off the park but achieving solid results all the same.

So why oh why is Jose acting like a kid whose Halloween candy got taken from him? Giving bizarre interviews, reprimanding the supporters in an passive aggressive manner and being increasingly sensitive to the media are the new norm now. One would think this was already his third year at a club in free fall.

United supporters should be confident heading into Sunday’s fixture with Chelsea. They’ve just got thrashed in Rome and a defeat by a Mourinho side could signal the beginning of the end for Conte. However, jose’s demeanour is creating a weird vibe around the club and it’s really hard to be pumped for the visit to Stamford bridge.

FFS Jose, stop with this nonsense and be a little more positive for once.
Divyank, Los Angeles

 

On Manchester United’s dangerous lack of creativity
Top of the Champions league group with 4 wins in 4; second in the league, losing only one game; in the quarter finals of the league cup; and unbeaten at home in all competitions conceding only one goal. United are far from perfect, but this has been the best start to a season we’ve had in ages and we need to appreciate that.

Despite this, we do have a dangerous lack of creativity right now. Mkhitaryan is on a terrible run of form and seems to neutralize all attacks when he gets the ball, the amount of times he has given the ball away in the past few games is immensely frustrating; he’s playing like someone who all of a sudden does not believe he’s that good. Lingard is Lingard – as weak as a pool noodle with the energy of a squirrel and the vision of a mole; decent squad player (only because he can run a lot) but that’s about it. Mata, who seems to never get criticized nearly as much, really does not do *that* much. A few nice touches here and there, but no real chances created. Maybe watching De Bruyne and Silva do things that make my insides tingle has made me overly critical, but I really do feel that this is a problem that needs to be addressed immediately.

That being said, as stated above, we are in a very good position right now. We still await the return of Pogba, Zlatan, Rojo and of course Fellaini; which will add much needed options at the busiest time of the season. United are on the right track, identify our flaws and work on them tirelessly and we *could* have a very exciting season (even with every other fan telling us we’re boring and bad at football). I don’t expect us to win the league, I do expect us to finish higher than we have since Ferguson left AND get to the knockout stages of the Champions League, and progress like that is something to be excited about.

Onwards and upwards, until we get destroyed on Sunday and I feel hopeless again. Football fans (me) are fickle like that. Love you x
Gaaavie, Cape Town

 

I’d gladly send Lukaku back to Everton
I’ve written in before about him, but now the tap-ins against weak opposition have dried up, perhaps it won’t fall on so many deaf ears; Lukaku is not good enough for a top side.

F365 have repeatedly stated that people should “stop focusing on what he can’t do”, but I’m sorry, when you’re a £75m+ striker and the list of what you can’t do contains “controlling a football”, “linking play” and “holding the ball up” then it really should draw some focus! His all round game is atrocious.

Playing as the lone striker in a mid-table Premier league team with the attack built around him… Able only to play on the shoulder of the last defender whilst running the channels waiting for chances to be created for him… Scores a good amount of goals but rarely scores against top opposition and you wouldn’t bet on him to take a big chance in a high pressure moment… Am I describing Darren Bent or Romelu Lukaku? Because that’s all he is; a glorified Darren Bent. A perfectly serviceable Premier League goal scorer and nothing more.

To be a top level striker these days you either need more strings to your bow, like Suarez, Kane, Sanchez et al or, if you aren’t going to contribute much else to the overall play, you need to be absolutely lethal and take the chances that come your way with ruthless, dead-eyed efficiency, like Lewandowski, Aguero or post-30 Cristiano Ronaldo. Lukaku is neither of these things and never will be.

I hear that Everton need a striker, maybe they have a returns policy because I for one would gladly send him back.
Lewis, Busby Way

 

…And Mkhitaryan is awful too
Lets talk about Henrikh. He’s bobbins. Is there anyone out there who can tell me how many times he gives the ball away in 90 mins? It’s not like he does it trying to thread the ball through the eye of a needle either, most of the time it’s a five yard pass or a dribble straight into another human being.

Couple that with the fact that our other “No.10’s” are Jesse Lingard who spends more time running around behind our central midfielders than in his actual position, and Juan Mata, who has all the speed and mobility of a VW Camper van (whilst being a wonderful footballer it has to be said) and you have to wonder how United aren’t seriously being linked with either Sanchez or Ozil or both as a replacement for one / all three of them.

I just want to see someone in that hole, who has a bit of class can you know, get about the pitch a bit. It’s not like Citeh don’t have 427 players who fit that bill.

McTominay looks a player though, you can keep your Harry Winks.
Mark Danger Endicott, MUFC

 

McTominay looks a prospect
You will probably get a lot of emails about the performance on McTominay and rightly so. The boy was pretty good. It seems that playing alongside the likes of Matic and Carrick can teach you at least how to play safely.

What I found interesting is how his performance was resembling the first matches from the “Become a Legend” mode in Pro Evolution Soccer. Haven’t played that in a while, but basically you are starting as a young lad (around 17-18) and you are trying to break into the first team. Your skills are very limited and you have no stamina to run the whole time.

The perfect tactic is to play safe passes and eventually try for an assist. Scoring is pretty hard as you usually hit it like you’re drunk. So you are playing the ball to the star of the team (Matic yesterday) and you hope for the best. Get 90-something percent of the passes and you are on the first team list in no time.

I get that Scott McTominay won’t break in the first team this season and will probably be loaned out the next, but if you ask the PES developers he is on his path of becoming a legend.
Plamen, Plovdiv

 

Thoughts with Lovren
Man U supporter here. Just wanted to support Lovren. Can’t for the life of me understand how people can think it is OK to send stuff like that to anyone. Unbelievable!
Andreas (Football can teach you about life, it shouldn’t be the only thing in your life) Brussels

 

I was a Pep sceptic, but…
Rightly or wrongly, I’ve always been a bit of a Pep sceptic (lucked in with Messi, tikka-takka was a bit boring, he underperformed with Bayern, etc), but I’m coming round. This Man City team is something else to watch.

To start with, as a fan of comedy defending, anyone who can line up Walker, Otamendi, and Stones in the same lineup with a straight face gets my full approval (admittedly, it would be better with Bravo as well, but nothing is perfect).

And then you have the attack. Silva is a baldie magician, KDB’s play is sumptuous, Sane is clinical and currently above Hazard, Jesus just keeps improving and is already lethal, and Aguero is surely the best No.9 on the planet. Even our very own Sterling is not embarrassing himself. And with no visible midfield or defence…they just have to attack. A dour dismantlement can’t be too far away, but they have been scintillating to watch so far.

So for the first time since that awful FA Cup semi-final in 1981 (that denied us the treble – we fell apart after that – and yes, I am that old), I have to put Man City in the neutral (positive) bucket.
Matthew (ITFC)

 

Champions League thoughts
* Well so far so good in Europe for Jose’s boys. Four wins from four in what looked an easy group at the beginning, although they have managed to screw up in similar groups in the past. The group stage been a microcosm of our premiership season. Started off handing out ass whuppings and ended the series giving the fans heart attacks. They will get the point they need though.

*Utd did their bit but Basel and CSKA dragged this campaign out for another round. There goes that cliche about CSKA only being good at home. You can’t help looking at the performances of both teams and feeling whoever goes through is the team everyone will want in the 2nd round.

* There are only four 100 % records left two belong to the Manchester clubs. One is strangely Galatasaray and the other is PSG. Last year was the year of the well-run clubs like Monaco and Dortmund.

On PSG, I know they haven’t been tested defensively yet but fur goals per game is not to be sniffed at and I think we should all worry when a right back and left back are capable of a brace and hat trick in consecutive weeks.

* And so it ends for the Scottish version of Bayern. The German version of Celtic were always going to have too much for them and inevitably they pulled off a glorious failure losing out after giving their fans hope. Shame I wasn’t paying attention to the interviews afterwards would have liked to know how many times Brendan Rodgers said “outstanding”.

* And so after 17 games, a first loss for an English team. In truth, that 3 3 draw papered over a lot of cracks and only someone else’s loss of form keeps them in the driving seat to get to the for the next round.

*There is a general malaise with a lot of the traditional giants of the last few years. Bayern look a lot less experienced/dangerous, Real Madrid are looking like they do before the knockout stages start and Juventus give you the impression that they are a year too old now. However no one has been as disappointing as Atletico Madrid .

Maybe it’s the new stadium, maybe it’s the end of a cycle. maybe Simeone’s tactics aren’t as effective against smaller teams or maybe it’s a combination of all three, but for them to go into the last two games knowing qualification is not directly in their hands is a level of incompetence I’m not used to from this bunch.

* I gotta give Olympiakos props for one of the great examples of parking the bus you will ever see. Barcelona threw the kitchen since at them to no avail. They probably know they aren’t going through and this may end up being their only point of the campaign but what a point I wonder when the DVD will come out.

* Maybe it’s just me but is there any other team worse at closing out games than Sporting Lisbon? Last year they let Madrid off the hook in the first game and had a few other close shaves and ended up out of Europe altogether.

This year they’ve really let an under-performing Juve off the hook over two games.They got one point, but they could have had six.
Timi, MUFC

 

Vieira to replace Wenger
The MLS playoffs are now in the second round. I just hope Patrick Vieira isn’t auditioning for a future Arsenal gig.

His New York City FC lost the first leg 4-1 last night. Combine that with their 7-0 aggregate loss last season to Toronto and the Arsenal DNA can indeed be confirmed.
Nick C. (Sebastian Giovinco scored his SEVENTH free kick goal on Monday this season – absurd) Burlington, ON

 

Give them both barrels
I got three names into this list when I realized that this is not the names of the eloquently double-barrelled England U17 World Cup winning team.

If those players all make it in the Premier League, club shops will make a fortune in name printing.
James (feeling inadequate with only one last name), Singapore

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