Get it off your chest to email@example.com.
Following on from Pep at Man U, what would a Jose inspired Man City look like?
Hart would have remained in goal. In defence, a functional full back would have replaced Kolarov; Bailly and Kompany would be teamed up with Otamendi as an untrusted back-up (conversely, Jose might get the best out of him); Zabaleta would have remained in place for at least one more season.
In midfield, Fernandinho and Toure would have been supplemented by Pogba; KDB pushed to No.10, and Silva out wide. Sterling would have been shipped out, possibly in exchange for Sanchez (or another hard working winger), and Aguero would get a free run.
Overall, the team would be more solid and balanced than a Pep team, but far less exciting. But would the Jose Man City team perform better than the Jose Man U team?
Save the winger
The mail about Mourinho holding back United got me thinking and as much as this disgusts me I’m actually going to defend Mourinho and raise a wider point. First of all I want to confront this fallacy about Rashford and Martial being good wingers. They are both clearly converted strikers and not wingers, there is a massive difference. It’s clear that Mourinho identified this problem and wanted Perisic in the summer. It’s well documented that Mourinho likes specialists in each position and clearly he wasn’t backed in this regard. If you look at all of his successful teams he’s had they have always had world class wingers who stretch the pitch. All of United’s current options condense it and make United much easier to play against. He has too many players that are not quite wingers, not quite no 10’s and not quite strikers (Mata, Mkhitaryan, Lingard, Martial & Rashford). This in turn hurts Lukaku’s production. I think this is the main reason for his annoyance, especially when you look at the options for City and Liverpool.
This brings me to a wider point, are wingers dying in the modern game? I think the importance of attacking full backs is the main reason for this. Wingers are now being converted to full backs and strikers are being asked to play out wide. I know these things go round in cycles but I really miss seeing wingers flying down the wing and beating a man. I believe the start of the downfall of my own team, Swansea City, was moving away from a standard 4-2-3-1 with plenty of width. We started to think that wingers weren’t essential to our game to the point where our options now are the same players we had in our first season (Dyer & Routledge) who weren’t good enough in the first place. The only other option is Ayew who is a wide forward rather than a winger. Come to think of it I can’t think of too many success stories for traditional winger signings outside of Man City (I don’t class Salah as a winger). Is this the end of wingers as we know it?
Darren, Swansea (Willing to give Carvahal a chance as it at least seems like a more long term plan, i.e. preparing for the Championship)
History repeating itself
Regarding Man Utd’s ongoing post-Ferguson woes under Mourinho, I’ve been pondering for a while about the parallels between the post-Ferguson era and the post-Busby era of the early ’70s. While history isn’t entirely repeating itself, (different game, different times) the lack of forward-planning and succession of disappointing managerial appointments bears scrutiny and holds weight. Observe:
Wilf McGuinness = David Moyes
While David Moyes was never a United youth-team product and back-room staff member, like McGuinness he was promoted somewhat above his station to undertake the impossible job of succeeding the most successful, longest-serving United manager of all time. After being exposed as hopelessly out of their depth, both were unceremoniously dispensed with after a year or so, with precious little to show for their efforts.
Frank O’Farrell = Louis Van Gaal
The first non-British/foreign manager to take the reins at Old Trafford, having impressed elsewhere in their careers. Slightly left-field appointments, nevertheless high hopes were held for them, but they both proved to be hopeless mismatches for Manchester United. Shipped out much of the ageing, European Cup-winning side, but struggled to rebuild.
Tommy Docherty = Jose Mourinho
Abrasive former Chelsea boss is brought in, eventually steadies the ship and achieves some success, but forced out of the club in a blaze of controversy after everything blew up in their faces. As is invariable with Jose Mourinho, although whether he leaves his wife and shacks up with the physio’s wife remains to be seen…
Dave Sexton and Ron Atkinson were the next two managers put in place before United eventually found a worthy successor to Busby in Ferguson, so chins up, United fans! All it takes now is a just a couple more dud appointments (and a possible relegation to the Championship under Jose!) and Sir Alex Ferguson’s true successor will finally be found!
Lee, amateur historian
Right to reply
I actually am astounded that just because I support Liverpool Ex-Pat Dave thinks my points stink of hypocrisy.
Did I racially abuse Patrice Evra? Did I work for Liverpool and design a T-Shirt to support him? DId I buy said T-Shirt? Do all my club’s decisions reflect directly on me as a person? If this last one is the case, then if you drink Coke, you support the Cocaine trade. If you wear Nike Trainers, you support child/slave labour. If you have a bank account then you are responsible for the financial crash in 2008.
If my letter had even the slightest stench of hypocrisy because I support Liverpool then you must be a racist because your great great grandfather probably had a slave. Or is possible that the merits of what I’ve written can be looked at objectively without the need for something that someone else did without consulting me 3 years ago being brought up?
…What a stunningly disgusting email from ex-pat Dave. So Minty LFC, who has disclosed that he/she has personally suffered from racism, cannot comment on the disgracefully inadequate response from the football authorities towards incidents of racism. Because Minty supports LFC. And ex-pat Dave has decreed that everyone associated with LFC is racist and therefore needs to ‘get their house in order’ before they can have an opinion about racism and how it should be tackled within football.
I doubt this will be printed and I don’t mean to speak for you Minty but this really got my back up.
No, Ex-Pat Dave, what you are doing (crying ‘what about when LFC were deplorable in defending Suarez six years ago’) is classic, textbook whataboutism. It is a classic propaganda tactic used (mostly by the Soviets) to distract from an issue by pointing at some similar, but wrong. For example: after that nazi ran over a woman in Charlottesville, you got plenty of “what about the alt-left” claims. It’s a means of trying to discredit an argument without ever actually engaging with it.
So, despite you going claiming to not want to detract from issue at hand (reminder, unpunished racist about of teenagers), you then decide that the best response is for people to worry about Luis Suarez’s t-shirts.
Now, I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt, and assume did it out of some misguided football tribalism. Otherwise, you’re using a cynical political tool to distract from racism. Either way, get your own bloody house in order.
Andrew M, Joburg
On the subject of UEFA and their toothless actions towards racism, I’m constantly annoyed by lazy journos and TV commentators explanation of why City fans boo the champions league anthem.
There was the FFP thing and all that, but that followed long after the incidents of abuse by Porto and CSKA fans to Mario Balotelli and Yaya Toure.
Porto were fined €20,000, a paltry sum. To make matters worse, UEFA later fined city €30k for being a minute late on the pitch after half time in another European match. That is embarrassing.
The punishment for CSKA was more like it, a game to be played behind closed doors when we visited Moscow. However it was also decided that City fans couldn’t attend either, despite tickets, flights and hotels being booked by travelling supporters. Even then CSKA went and let about 300 fans in, without any sanction following. The stadium closure ban was also reduced on appeal.
It is no wonder lads like Brewster are frustrated. I appreciate there is a need for evidence, but in clear cases the actions taken have been insufficient, and not followed through with properly.
He has brought the subject into the spotlight again, but action from the governing body is needed (rather than trying to sanction City for booing their precious anthem). And clubs must take responsibility for their players and supporters behaviour. When a new generation of players have learnt this behaviour at such a young age, it shows that something radical must be done, and done now.
It’s 2018, FFS!
Rosh is right
In regards to Rosh, MUFC, I was sat there nodding in total agreement at the succinct points being made about Rosh’s club, and that the blame was to be placed mainly on the shoulders of the manager, whilst still appreciating that things have gotten better, if not better than they have ever been post-SAF. I understand that not all who read it will have come to the same opinion as I, but the caveat here is that I am a Blue.
Second best CB in the league? Right under your nose: Alderweireld.
Azpilicueta is number one hands down.
KC (VVD was undoubtedly the best available option)
…Dave (Considering Alderweireld is number 1?) Chile asked who we think is the 2nd best central defender in the league. Pretty easy: Azpilicueta. Cheers
Rd (I do understand why he didn’t think of him, but he is a CB now) Mexico
…In reply to Dave (Considering Alderweireld is number 1?) Chile
Matt Carr, Spurs, Wilmington, NC
What everyone needs
Arsenal- They need a reliable centre-back and to get Ozil and Sanchez signed up for next year. At 20m they could sign someone like Nastasic (Relatively Cheap, Premier League experience, Improved since Man City)
Bournemouth- An upgrade in central midfield, especially if Arter leaves. A move up to the Premier League could make sense for Tom Cairney and another proven backup could help them stay clear of the drop zone.
Brighton- A striker to help Pascal Gross keep them up, as Murray’s form won’t last all season. A foreign import may be necessary to stay within a reasonable budget. Jorgensen from Feyenoord is a classic target man and likely an improvement on Tomer Hemed and Sam Baldock.
Burnley- Right now they don’t need much, although they may want an extra defender as they only have three proper centre backs. I heard that Steven Caulker may be available on a free.
Chelsea- Currently look on course for Champions League qualification but the squad looks a little thin, should a unlucky bout of injuries occur. Is there a recall option for Kurt Zouma and Loftus-Cheek?
Crystal Palace- A new keeper, as neither Speroni or Hennessey appear to be long-term solutions, Timo Horn from Cologne is a solid younger option. Also more midfield steel might be needed, someone like Besic could provide decent backup at a fairly low price.
Everton- A striker more mobile than Rooney and more prolific than Calvert-Lewin, since Big Sam doesn’t seem to like Niasse. Inaki Williams is fast and strong, but could cost upwards of 30m.
Huddersfield- A winger/attacking midfielder, as their current options don’t scream Premier League quality, except Mooy. Expect an arrival from the Bundesliga who you probably haven’t heard of, unless it’s Lewis Holtby.
Leicester- A right-back, given they don’t have any real option apart from Danny Simpson, whose form is not at the level it was 2 years ago. Santiago Arias is a Colombian international who could help in that area.
Liverpool- Given the arrival of Van Dijk, there is one less glaring hole in the defense but another centre-back may still be on Klopp’s wishlist. Manolas from Roma suits the style of play. They also need an upgrade on Henderson/Emre Can, which could be found in the form of Leon Goretzka, who could be available cut price as his contract is expiring in the summer.
Man City- They have plenty of ability already, so Guardiola probably won’t open the chequebook, however don’t rule out a move for another young starlet, such as Christian Pulisic.
Man United- A winger, such as Nabil Fekir from Lyon, who is young and can, unlike Rashford, actually cross a ball.
Newcastle- A left-back, a winger, a centre mid. Francois Moubandje, Ibrahima Traore and Andrea Poli. Not enough money for household names unless the takeover goes ahead by the end of the window.
Southampton- A winger who can create. They may pull a surprise deal for Abdulrahman, previously voted Asia’s best player, and wanting a move to a bigger league.
Stoke- More squad depth to replace the ageing Charlie Adam and the injured Stephen Ireland, Samaris from Benfica and Elyounoussi from Basel could be a good fit.
Swansea- Need a Premier League standard midfield, since neither Mesa or Clucas seem to have what it takes. Yann M’Vila did a good job for Sunderland and Corona from Porto could provide some spark.
Tottenham- Have a passable first XI, but lack a backup should Eriksen and or Alli get injured. Pione Sisto of Celta Vigo leads the La Liga assists table and would be within the Spurs budget.
Watford- They could literally sign anyone, given their transfer history. They look a little short of numbers on the wing. Giannis Fetfatzidis could join the growing Greek contingent there.
West Brom- A striker and a right-back. N’Doye would be a cheap option and Walker-peters from Spurs would benefit from PL experience.
West Ham- A high quality midfielder or two and a winger. Jean Seri from Nice would be a good option and Bobby Reid from Bristol City would be a good signing for West Ham. However, West Ham fans should expect 5 strikers, who will play a total of 15 games, scoring 2 goals between them.
Firstly great mailbox on Friday. Loved ‘The Long One’ from Rosh followed by the excellent question What would ‘Pep do at United’, both mails nicely summed up the issues.
However I would like to state that Ross THFC ‘Leave Spurs Alone’ is actually completely missing the point.
We want Spurs to pay the wages, to keep the players to challenge for the league because, they have gone about their business in the right way, play good football, have a charismatic understated manager and we don’t want them to ‘do a Spurs’ and just when they put a good team together Levy starts accepting big money and Spurs drop away.
It’s obvious that Sanchez has been bought as Toby will be sold in the summer
It’s obvious that other players are onto their agents about possible moves and big salary increases
It’s obvious that if Real come knocking with 125m Kane will be off
It’s obvious that Pochettino is surely on the radar of Arsenal Utd and other big clubs
So please…..pay the wages, keep the squad, keep the manager, keep playing good football, we love it…..
Ian (44, no pace, doesn’t like heading or tackling, lovely vision, wand of a right peg, must be worth a couple of quid and a couple of pork pies under current market conditions) LFC