If you have anything to add on any subject, you know what to do – mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Jose trying to get himself sacked
I’ve just read about how Jose Mourinho would receive a payoff around £30m if he were to be sacked by Chelsea this season. That got me thinking, and I’ve come to the conclusion that the man is trying to get himself sacked. This is only way to explain his continued appalling behavior throughout the season all the way from the Eva Carneiro incident through yesterday’s sending off. (I know he’s an egomaniac but come on.)
Mourinho has already succeeded in winning the Premier League during this second spell. Last season he also said all the right things about loving Chelsea, wanting to build a dynasty, etc, etc. all with the intention of securing a new long term contract. That mission was completed this summer. (He even decided to help out good old pal Jorge Mendes by signing an obviously-past-it Falcao for this season.)
All the while, he knew in the back of his mind that he wouldn’t be able to spend the ludicrous amounts he has in the past, and that he had a team with major issues, as we are clearly seeing this season.
So, after the early part of the season confirmed his premonition that Chelsea were screwed, he started making trouble. And he’ll continue making trouble and destabilizing the club until the point that they have no option but to sack him.
He gets his money, is able to blame Chelsea for not keeping faith in him, and goes on to another job with a club of his choosing (PSG) and getting £10m a year at a club with better players and in an easier league.
I detest the man but this is pure genius.
Jose the ex
I think Roman Abramovich and the rest of the Chelsea camp are starting to realise that, perhaps, getting Jose Mourinho back wasn’t the best idea.
It’s kind of like getting back with the ex-girlfriend you once loved so much; at first you’re all happy and giddy because you start reminiscing about the good times spent together and how you can relive them again. But as time goes on, you begin to realise why you split up in the first place and that, perhaps, you shouldn’t have got back together as the repercussions could be worse than the first time round.
Fergie knew Rooney was done
I know hindsight is 20/20 vision but if only UTD had the resolve to finish what Sir Fergie started just before he left. He froze Roonster out of the team (admittedly to my frustration at the time) and as a parting gift to UTD laid the foundation for his exit. He had the foresight to know that Rooney had nothing more to offer except hindrance. AND to add insult to injury we would have secured a premium price for Rooney even then. Now I’d be surprised if we were able to secure the 20mil Arsene got for RVP when he was (almost) 30.
Fast forward to L to the V to the G who made the balls out statement about how reputation meant nothing to him and that no matter who you are you’d have to earn a place in the team (I’m paraphrasing here). What a load of Rooney – aka Rubbish. I honestly wish that LVG was true to his word. What I would give to see Martial starting regularly up front. Imagine his goal tally already if he had! I’d love to see Mata right behind him with Herrera behind him. I am really baffled by some of LVG’s choices and consequences of same.
The biggest disapointment of all is the form of all the other title contenders. With a few teaks and the right motivation, the funny thing is UTD would have a real shot at the title this year. Who wudda thought eh?
Paul Doc (Imagine Jose’s face when he sees arch nemises Pep unvailed as the next Chelsea manager) Corkonian in Bahrain
Harry the W*nk more like (oh, and Rooney’s rubbish)
I am guessing Harry The Manc was born in the stands at Old Trafford & hence is a “true fan”, given he is arrogantly looking down on a United fan in Botswana. You should have given your full address Harry, so other “true fans” could confirm you stay close enough to OT to be considered a fellow true fan.
Its simple really, the PL has a hardcore fanbase all over the world. And while most of these fans cannot show up to Old trafford for the games, they do tune in and watch every the games on tv. Their loyalty & dedication to watch games on tv is the reason the PL receieved £5.136bn for the TV rights & indirectly is the reason why everyone can enjoy watching top players like Hazzard, Aguero, Toure, Mata etc. So Harry I suggest you stick to arguing the content of a mail from a fellow fan, rather than try and deride where he stays.
As for Rooney, he has been terrible. Everyone can see it but a few hardcore fans. And Mata and Herrera can’t do much if Rooney isn’t able to run the channels to give them options to pass to, something Martial does when played up front. Rooney’s inability to get into scoring positions (lost all his pace) as well as his inability to create anything (inability to run at defenders) severely hampers the teams attacking intent. LVG has tried him as the No 9 as well as the no 10 and he has struggled in both positions. He just isn’t good anymore and the team would be a lot more dynamic without him in it. As a fan who loved watching Rooney, its hard for me to admit the same, however the evidence is there for all to see.
Another poor Rooney performance rightfully slated all over this site, and another indignant, defensive response from Harry The Manc.
Seriously, Harry, when are you going to accept that that £300k club captain of your has been nothing short of woeful for a long time now and should be dropped for the good of the team? Do you even support the team? Or do you just support your memory of Rooney?
He’s never going to be that a guy again so just let it go. Anyone would think that in your mind he’s the last link to the Fergie era and you’re unable move on.
Stu (willing Klopp to put me out of my Mourinho misery this weekend), London
Harry the Manc with a delightful little defence of Rooney and a snide swipe at a fan because he lives in Botswana, not Manchester. Storey must be a total idiot to Harry for pointing out in winners and losers what most of us saw with our eyes; Rooney wasn’t just bad like Herrera and Mata but was in fact the worst player on the pitch.
It also tickled me how we can’t get Harry started on the two transfers requests. Of course being a local “true” fan Harry must have surely revelled in chants at OT about hating scousers and Gerrard kissing the badge on his chest/putting in a transfer request. Isn’t it funny that the hero he’s jumping up and down about is a scouser that has asked to leave twice, in both cases stringing the great Manchester Utd up by the balls to make himself (currently) one of the fifth best paid footballers on earth but probably not being one of the five best footballers in United’s squad.
I’m sure there’s a delicious irony in that. Sadly Geographically being based in Manchester means you don’t have it in you to enjoy this as much as if you’re from the African continent. So Harry probably isn’t laughing as much as others.
Using Harry the Mancs logic, South Africans who only watched the Rugby on TV shouldn’t be hurt by the loss to The All Blacks all the way in England and who cares if Adil Rashid snatched defeat from the jaws of a great draw lad? You were in Bristol, couldn’t have hurt that much, it was in Dubai ffs!
You sure told me Harry, I’m off to buy a Mosquitoes FC Jersey as we speak, they play Police XI this weekend in the Orange League. I never thought of supporting a crappy team with a sh*t name in a league with less quality than a TonyV cross, but they’re from Bots and they’re 10th in a table of 13, so it’s the only way I’ll ever know how it feels to be a Proper Football Supporter.
Cortez the Manc (Salad definitely has a Rooney problem, but he was right) MUFC, Botswana
Who could United realistically replace him with though?
A lot has been said about Rooney and his performances over the last season or two – to confess, I’m no longer a fan. I respect what he’s done for United and used to love him more than any other player, but his bang-average output and general uselessness made me go cold on him two or three years ago. It’s not the transfer requests as such, more the apparent untouchability of him and the constant hype machine about someone that’s patently not delivering but has too many people making a living from him for anyone in any position of power or visibility (including you G Nev) to admit he’s rubbish now.
To all those who defend him – yes he’s the best we have (and even that’s debatable since Martial came along), but is he better than Aguero? Sanchez? Suarez? Lewandowski? Benzema? Muller? That’s the standard United should be aiming for, not just blindly defending Rooney because of what he used to do for us. Fergie nearly set us free but Moyes hammered that door shut with ten inch nails and we seem stuck with him.
I do not agree that I should just “support the team”, regardless of performance. I do support the team and would never boo, but you can’t ignore it when someone’s this poor. Nobody had a problem with getting on Ashley Young’s back, for a start.
Anyway, that’s by the by. My real point is – who could you buy that’s actually better? None of the list above are anywhere near gettable, and last year’s golden boys (eg Lacazette, Kane apart from the recent hat-trick against duff opposition) aren’t doing the business this season. Benteke? Lukaku? I think both would really struggle with the pressure at Old Trafford – look at Bony across the city for proof of that.
So I know this question is displaying my ignorance of the entire European/World game but I’d genuinely like to know – who else is there (that is actually gettable) that would be enough of a guaranteed source of goals to make dropping Rooney (and dealing with all the surrounding hoo-ha) worthwhile?
Before you say it – I know Martial has done just that but everyone said that was a massive punt.
Dan Wardle (MUFC since 1983).
Give Spurs some credit you mugs
I’m just a little curious about the media’s seeming dismissal of Spurs all the time. Is this a recent thing? Maybe I am getting more sensitive but it is getting to be bit much. I know Spurs always get jumped on for “pretending to be a big club” and the ongoing soap opera that is Daniel Levy’s transfer policy, but what do Spurs have to do to get some plaudits once in a while?
Spurs are rarely mentioned in any talk of top four, even though they have been either fourth or fifth five of the last six years. Commentators and pundits are always predicting losses — after all how can Spurs cope without Harry Kane — even though they are unbeaten since the first game, have put four past the current league leaders and have the equal best defensive record in the League.
Last week against Liverpool, did anyone mention Spurs were even playing given all the air was used up to rabbit on about the arrival of the Great Klopp. Did anyone mention Spurs were, after the first fifteen minutes, the much better side and Liverpool were lucky to get a draw? No.
This weekend, Spurs thrashed an admittedly poor Bournemouth side five one. Hardly any media ran a more than a cursory story on it, or if they did it was quickly buried by much more important stories slating Mourinho, Rooney and Sherwood etc. One major paper ran two long paragraphs on the game but didn’t actually mention Spurs until the last sentence. And watching the game on TV, the commentator, after going on about Bournemouth’s effectiveness in attack, mentioned that Spurs “deserve some credit too.” As you might after you have slipped in five goals at that point.
If this had been Man City, United or Arsenal pumping in five, the stories would have been slavering reams of editorial fawning and eulogizing. If its Spurs, well it is all about luck, poor opposition and how they’ll lose the next game on Thursday night anyway.
Now, no one thinks Spurs will win the Premier League this year but a little credit for the League’s youngest team who seem to be getting it together and playing some attractive football might be nice just once in a while.
Kevin H, Winnipeg, Canada
Popping the West Ham bubbles
There’s been a fair amount of talk about the value of statistics here lately, and in light of Daniel Storey’s analysis of West Ham in Winners and Losers, I’d like to offer a statistics test case for the remainder of the season.
West Ham are scoring lots of goals and riding high in the table. But the stats say it can’t last. Why? Because they’ve scored with 50% of their shots on target so far this season, which is a completely unsustainable rate of success. For comparison, the top team last season in this category was Manchester City, at 36.1%. The best performance in this category in the last six seasons was by the free-scoring Manchester City 13/14 side, at only 42.5%.
So unless West Ham are the most efficient attacking team the league has seen in a very long time — and that seems unlikely — the numbers will change. The key is to what degree they can make up for that change by taking more and better shots, so a lower percentage rate will still result in plenty of goals. At the moment they’re ordinary in these departments, taking 13.8 shots per game (league average 13.2), with 4.4 on target (exactly average). If they want to continue scoring at the current rate, they’ll have to up these numbers considerably.
The other way to stay where they are in the table would be to shut down the opposition more effectively. Here their current stats are fairly normal. They’ve allowed opponents to score on 27.7% of their shots, slightly better than the league average of 30.9%. Adrian is an excellent keeper, so if he hits a hot streak, that figure might drop further. West Ham can also work on allowing their opponents fewer and worse shots. At the moment opponents have taken a slightly high 14.5 shots per game and 4.7 on target (league averages 13.2 and 4.4)
To sum up, through the first 10 games, West Ham are scoring way more than they should, and allowing about as many goals as you’d expect. The scoring part can’t continue for very long, the allowing part probably will. So unless they significantly change their attacking approach and/or defensive efficiency, they will eventually drop down the table. If the underlying shots/game stats stay the same, they should finish somewhere around 8th-10th. Watch this space.
Peter G, Pennsylvania, USA
Toffees stuck with Howard
It was refreshing to read the mail yesterday from the Newcastle fan bemoaning his team’s defence. Not because I like to see Geordies in pain but because I sympathise with him. For my team (Everton) it is Tim Howard taking on the Coloccini role (of somehow still being selected on reputation alone).
He passed his expiry date during Moyes’ last season and yet somehow, there he still is – the first name on the team sheet, even when Robles kept 3 consecutive clean sheets in his (injury-enforced) absence. How has nobody else picked up on this? Is it through some sort of misguided loyalty? Is it because of that one game at the World Cup? Or is it because, once every 5 games or so, he pulls off a “highlights package” type save? Because that isn’t nearly good enough for what he is giving away.
I mean, just take a look at our biggest games of this season for a moment:
Man City (h). Kolarov scored more or less from the freaking by-line, beating Howard at his near post.
The Derby (h). Ings (smallest man on the pitch) scored a header from 4 yards out which would have been claimed by any remotely competent keeper.
Man Utd (h). Rooney was put through for a one-on-one, only for Howard to go to ground too early, allowing Rooney to beat him easily on his near side.
Arsenal (a). Giroud scored a header from 4 yards out which should have been claimed by any keeper over the age of 12.
Arsenal (a). Koscielny scored a header from 4 yards out (noticing a trend?) which could have been claimed by my Nan.
That must have cost us at least 5 points. Can you imagine Lloris doing that? Or Stekelenburg?
Don’t get me wrong – I’ve got a lot of love for the guy and his many years of service by my God he needs to be put out to pasture now. Sadly, though, given that he was awarded the captain’s armband (yes, really – after giving the game away!) when Jags went off, I don’t think that’ll be happening any time soon.
Villa are f***ed
Before the start of the season I wrote in (and was published!) regarding the state of Villa and how we were ****ed. A lot of my non-Villa supporting friends tried to make me feel better “You’ll be fine, really. 12th-15th”, was the common response. But it looks increasingly like I was right
So, here we are, not even November and we’re looking for a new manager again. Don’t get me wrong, I like some of the names being touted, but are they going to come? Of course not. We’re a mess.
Today I read with interest that Dwight Yorke fancies a go, having never managed in his life. Then I read that Benito Carbone, whose managerial career highlight is saving a Serie D team from being relegated, would also like to try his luck. Apparently what we’ve become is a fairground game for chancers. “Oh, I’ll give that a go!” “Don’t bother mate, it’s impossible. They’ve rigged it.” “Nah, with a bit of spirit I can do that! Why not?”
Of course, the intelligent fairground goers are looking at this particular game thinking “Complete waste of time, that. I don’t want anyone to see me try and manage that, I’ll **** it right up and look a tit.” They’re the ones sat on the merry-go-round, waiting for the right opportunity to get off, and Villa is not that opportunity.
Mike (AVFC), London.
It is hilarious
Just a quick one to say that the Coutinho-gets-it-in-the-face picture that we’ll now be viewing once a week until the end of time is hilarious. It’s got it all – his face deformed from a normal, maybe even boyish look to an almost-French level of massive nose and jowly disapproval. He looks like he’s about to pop in a pipe and hold forth on why, in essence, all property is theft. Adding to the effect of confusion is his raised leg, like he’s completely forgotten how to football and somehow kicked it into his own face, an impression strengthened by the posture and half-seen look of surprise on Fonté’s face, like he can’t quite believe what’s happening.
I’ve been laughing like a drain since I saw it. It’s nice to laugh, cheered me right up after realising that the sheer amount of work Klopp will have to do to get us challenging for Europa League places, let alone anything higher.