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The Rooney barometer
Rooney is picked because of commercial reasons, that’s been clear for a long time. No point whinging about it any more we can’t change that. However, we can discuss how bad he has become in relation to some (not all) of the Man Utd forward players that were there during his career and have been deemed not good enough. Below is a hastily cobbled together scale of Berbatov (class) to Bebe (crass) using phrases to describe their abilities that could easily relate to recent Rooney. To get some perspective on how far he and the club have deteriorated with him as captain, where would he figure on this scale based on the past 12 months of performances? I’d put him in between Kagawa and Herrera (for yesterday’s performance I’d give him a rating of Bebe);
Berbatov – Not a leader, technically brilliant, crap at headers
Welbeck – Not a leader, ran around a lot, crap at scoring
Hernandez – Not a leader, good at scoring, crap at passing
Tevez – Ran around a lot, sometimes scored, a trier
Kagawa – Great off the ball, disappointing on it, not helped by ‘inferior teammates’*
Herrera – Flashes of promise, repeatedly gave ball away, positionally dodgy
Falcao – Not as fast or sharp as he used to be, struggled due to lack of chances created for him
Januzaj – Inconsistent, bad decisions, slowed down play too much
Bebe – Couldn’t control the ball, shots and crosses way off target
*For the record I’m a fan of Shinji.
Eddie ‘Joy Division Oven Gloves’ MUFC
Better than Mikel? Who cares; he’s not Fellaini
Paul CFC asked in yesterday’s Mailbox if Paul Pogba would be any better than Jon Obi Mikel. Having watched the Charity Shield I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t really care. What I’m interested in is whether he will be better than Felliani, and I’m confident that the answer to that question is a resounding yes…
I would happily pay £110 million (if I had it) not to watch Fellaini in a United shirt again so get a Pogba thrown in represents a great deal in my eyes.
Plato – MUFC
Fighting for the soul of football (feat. Pogba)
If Football is to return to a more (but not totally) egalitarian form, one that values competition and professionalism above money and spectacle, a game that can be attended by all and not the wealthy few, then whatever else happens over the next 3-4 years, the Pogba deal needs to fail. Spectacularly.
We’ve reached a point now where one man’s perceived ability on the pitch exceeds the value of some corporate enterprises. If this all goes as well as Man Utd hope, the likelihood is that the price tag paid now will be surpassed sooner rather than later. Everyone, particularly Real Madrid, will insist on paying an even larger fee for a player, in a forever stupid game of one-upmanship. Where will the madness end? At £1 billion for a player? Once a player is earning a cool million a week? When clubs begin to move city on a chairman’s whim because they are no longer happy in their home market? Money is making many positives in the game, but too many of the possible negatives have not been fully discussed to understand how they will affect the game over the next 2 or 3 decades. We already know how difficult it is for smaller clubs to attract new fans when their market share is being eroded by every large club and their constant presence on TV. If the current model stands, with Sky forever the gatekeepers paying the billions necessary to retain viewing rights and those clubs already entrenched amongst the elite keeping much of the power to themselves, how long before clubs just about staying afloat in the EFL and other such leagues begin folding as it makes little sense to keep them going? We’re on a slippery slope, make no mistake.
Some might say it is sour grapes on my part, being that whatever happens to Pogba and Utd is of no concern to me or the club I support. I beg to differ. The affects will not be seen now or even in the next 10 years. It took a while to see what changes the Premier League would bring and as some would contest, not all of them have been welcome. As such, this fee should not be viewed a new jumping off point for the rich clubs, it should be a wake up call to every other club (should they really need it as it has been obvious for a long while) that the business side of the game has left them behind. And if they are not careful, they won’t have any actual football left either.
James F, BCFC KRO
Keep writing Arsenal off
So last week the predictions started rolling in and as a Gunner I naturally plumped for my own, however there wasn’t any skewed logic at work on my part and I can’t understand how people seem to think Arsenal will just fall off a cliff.
Let’s recap here… They finished 2nd last season, sure maybe it was the year when everyone else was asleep at the wheel and we should have capitalized but that can be said off most top teams in any given year, the fact that Leicester players outshone everyone and stayed fit throughout was the reason why they deservedly won it. Arsenal have 3 world class players in Ozil, Sanchez and Cech with Xhaka a very interesting prospect. It’s sad that because they weren’t bought in one single window by Wenger that fact seems to be lost on fans… Then we have Cazorla(Massive loss for us when out last season), Ramsey, Wilshire, Bellerin and Nacho, Koscielny, Le Coq, Elneny, Giroud all who I don’t think any rational fan would be annoyed if their club signed them.
Even Welbeck, Theo and the Ox would be welcomed at ANY other premiership club as an exciting signing so why the major negatives. The centre half position is our weakest granted, however as Utd and Leicester showed last season you don’t need “top” centre halfs to defend well, you just need a good screen and in Xhaka, Le Coq, Cazorla and Elneny I thing we have better options than the last number of years having Arteta, Flamini and Coquelin as the options. Could Calum Chambers, Rob Holding or Gabriel(injury pending) do as good as Huth or Danny blind or even Chris Smalling(don’t get too excited utd fans, he is not Puyol or Baresi)?… That remains to be seen, but, to discount Arsenal as challengers compared to teams who finished far behind us and admittedly strengthened on the basis that we lost no one major, bought what looks like a decent deep lying midfielder, seems mental.
Does anyone actually pay attention now or is it just the teams that spend a lot on new players that can improve? How many other teams in the Prem have at least three world class players right now, Utd with Zlatan, De Gea and Pogba is a fair shout and City with Aguero, Silva and De Bruyne (Yaya and Kompany are honourable mentions but have gone downhill these last few seasons), Chelsea with Hazard, Matic?, Fabregas? And Kante? Might have a shout but again the “fringe” players around these are as good with us as anywhere else. Anyway looking forward to the new season, but wake up and smell the coffee people, the Gunners are good and they’re making the final step this year.
Christymoro (4th,3rd, 2nd ….)
You’ve got no chance, Leicester
“Leicester captain Wes Morgan believes his side can defy the odds again by defending their Premier League title” is one of the most laughable opening statements I’ve seen so far on f365 (keep ’em coming). First of all, MORGAN!…. losing Ngolo Kante leaves such a huge defensive hole in the middle of the park, your team might as well start wearing harnesses in case you drop down said huge chasm while “defending” your title. Not since Manchester United did the 3peat in ’07,’08, and ’09 has a team managed to defend their title. Before that, Chesh!t had won back-to-back titles in ’04 and ’05 (thanks to our new special and happy manager I might add).
Defending an English Premiership title is no mean feat and the fact that Leicester are now shipping in 4 goals against elite opposition shows you how far they’ve fallen. Even Man Sh!tty with all their riches, couldn’t catch a Premiership title defense if it fell in their laps. I would like to stress for all those ignoramuses out there that on the red side of Manchester abides Man United, the bestest team on the face of the planet. Fergie made defending a Premiership title as easy as stealing candy from a baby. Apart from United, no other team has ever won three straight English Premiership titles, and none looks even close to achieving that feat by the highly decorated and well respected icon of English and world football, the lovable Sir Alex Ferguson, CBE. (We miss you Fergie)
Keg Baridi (This is our year!) Nairobi, Kenya
PS- People mad coz we got Community Shield wrapped up. #butthurt much?
I have just been over to Mikel365, it’s quite interesting. I suggest PaulCFC takes a look. They have:
The MikelBox – Mikel fans write in about how he is possibly the greatest midfielder of all time
Mikelwatch – Mikel in the media. Not much in this feature.
The Class Of ’05: Where Are They Now? – A feature documenting the current whereabouts of the supporting cast of Mikel’s greatest ever individual triumph: The 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship Silver Ball.
Top Ten Transfers Under 16 Million – A topical top ten of players not quite as good as Mikel (spoiler alert: Messi is at number one)
The Premier League Years 2014/15 – How Mikel dragged Chelsea to an unexpected league title despite being cruelly restricted to 18 appearances
OK my predictions:
2- Man City
3- Man United
7- West Ham
Chelsea to win, the combination of Conte, Kante and a lack of European football make Chelsea my favourites. Pep will do well at City but will ultimately have a spell near Christmas where points are hard to come by. United will be strong, if not enjoyable to watch, surprise surprise. I reckon the top 3 will finish within about 6 points of each other.
Spurs’ young squad will continue to develop but with the increase of quality of the big 3 will ultimately finish 4. Arsenal to finally finish outside the top 4, arsene to finally get the boot. Liverpool will flatter to deceive, beating a lot of the big teams but coming undone through the usual defensive frailties. West Ham, Southampton and Leicester will all be good but the Euro travels will take their toll. Everton to start relatively poorly and finish well.
Burnley and hull will most likely go down, with the last spot being fought by WBA, Sunderland and maybe Swansea.
One last point, i always find that people who refer to Liverpool fans as ‘liverfools’ generally have a bigger shoe size than IQ. Not all of us think we will win the title every year. Most of us are realistic. It’s just that pesky loud minority that give us all a bad name.
Cian LFC (UK shoe size at that as well)
Adway laments the lack of thunderb*stards and I 100% agree. All we can do for now is look back wistfully at those heady days of yore when left-backs tonked the ball with carefree abandon harder than a quadratic equation on viagra.
Lords & ladies, I present to you Erik Edman
Thom (Nostalgia is getting me through the football dry spell), Bristol-based Spur