A cracking mailbox thanks to Man United’s defeat. Bring it on. Mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
People say Jose Mourinho is a horrible person yet he just gave a great Xmas present to all those Bristol city fans including that 100-year-old lady.
Now if that’s not nice, I don’t know what is.
Neil, Glasgow (it’s either that or it was the grey kit’s fault)
Silver lining and all that
I’d rather get embarrassed by a Championship side once than City a further two times.
Jose out if Man United want to compete
I’ve just had to stop listening to Mou’s interview where he said Bristol were lucky. Good lord, he such a pr*ck. Bristol won fair and square.
United need to be really clever now and use this season to find a manager to take them on, clearly it won’t be miserable Mou!
City want to build a dynasty. Any time a club has tried to do that in the Premier League era (and probably anywhere ever), the other sides close by have altered their thinking and got better too. Think Fergie’s United when Mou got 95 points. If you’ve spent €660m in two years and there’s a team winning 16 games in a row that isn’t yours, you’re in trouble. It has nothing to do with tonight’s loss, it’s about the longer term. United’s board need to choose the next manager very carefully (and ideally put him in place next summer).
I can imagine a lot of Anti Mourinho e-mails after the loss against Bristol City. Lest we forget, we used to lose against weak teams during Fergie’s era as well. Loss against Leeds United in the FA Cup and Athletic Bilbao in Europa springs to mind. But Fergie was immune to blame and rightly so.
We are having the best season in post-Fergie era. We are sitting comfortably in second in the Premier League, second in scoring most goals and first in least goals conceded. We have topped the Champions League group.
Today was bad day at the office and people should back off Mourinho. Remember the past four years and be thankful.
Muhammad Omair Tanveer, Karachi
Embarrassing from United
Well that was pretty awful. Fair play to Bristol but this is a Championship side and United really should be brushing them aside with ease.
Darmian is awful – both goals came down the right-hand side. He offered no attacking threat and looked uncomfortable all night.
McTominay although okay generally isn’t as good as Tuanzebe or Fosu-Mensah and nowhere near as good as Andreas Periera (sp) and it really showed last night.
Maybe Zlatan should have had another month off cos he looked off the pace by a long long way. Poor touch, poor passing and that volley would have gone in 8/10 times usually.
Rashford is way off his game. Was poor all night and please, please someone take him off free-kicks, he hit one good one last year in the Europa but since then he’s been shocking.
This all stems back to the Liverpool game. The attitude is so negative and we were looking brilliant up to that point. Since then we have looked like a shadow of what we were in the opening two months. I like Jose but his negativity is spreading through the squad like wildfire and it’s showing in the way they play.
Not looking forward to Leicester on Saturday, got a bad feeling about it.
Well done Bristol but you really shouldn’t have been able to outplay us like you did.
Cravo, MUFC, Worksop
…The decline in both Smalling and Rojo’s form has been appalling. At fault for both goals, Rojo’s decline has been startling given his form over the past year (before the injury – he was superb). He’s been a little tentative in his tackling and woefully out of position every time he’s been put under pressure. Paired with Mike of the Smalling fame, they’re quite easily the worst CB pairing in the top six (yes I’m including Liverpool and City).
Smalling has regressed to his usual clumsy self – relying on his ‘pace’ to try and get back in time. When paired with Rojo with four at the back, they’re quite inept – with five it’s even worse. You’d think an extra CB would reassure the two – instead it just adds to the confusion.
Playing three CBs is fine but Rojo/Smalling are not the answer to this formula.
Ted’s Man United thoughts
1. Congratulations to Bristol City, they were excellent throughout and – in keeping with the theme of the articles and discussions on here this week – fully deserved to go through. Our goal came from a soft free-kick and had that contributed to their elimination they could have rightly felt aggrieved. As it was, they overcame that adversity, and took their chances when it mattered. Good luck to them in the next round, I genuinely hope they keep their run going.
2. What a goal from Bryan. No ‘keeper, not even Dave, could have saved that. It would have been a fitting goal to have won it, but I’m sure he’ll be satisfied with it just being the opener. Super strike.
3. But at the end of the day we were just not good enough. For all the supposed talent in our team, there was just nowhere near enough quality for apparently the second best team in England (though I’m not sure who is promulgating that narrative). Once again, a high-pressing, counter-attack plan has been our undoing; how long before the other 17 teams (as well as Huddersfield and City) figure out that it’s a surefire way to beat us, and start putting us to the sword regularly?
4. Pogba, Rashford, Martial and eventually Mkhitaryan are all idiots. How many times do they need to try cute little tricks, flicks, and tight dribbles, before they realise that the pitch was not going to support that style? The number of times they tried that and either lost possession because of a bobble, or lost their footing, was ridiculous. Say what you want about management, but you can’t mitigate for stupidity.
5. Speaking of which: Pogba gets sent off for putting his studs into an opponent’s leg and misses three games, one of which was the biggest of our season so far, which we subsequently lost. What does he do when gets back? The exact same bloody thing. He could easily have seen a straight red in the first half, and probably should have. Like I said: idiot.
6. The defence was largely very poor, with the exception of another good performance from Shaw. Romero was at his flapping worst, and should definitely have done better for the winner. Darmian and Blind (save for his first half tackle) were abysmal; neither offering either good positioning or reading of the game, and certainly absolutely zero threat going forward. Rojo was poor, but that may be because of a lack of match sharpness, he hasn’t been back that long, after all. Lindelof failing to follow his man for the winner was the kind of brainlessness that we normally see from Smalling, and is part of the reason he’s been used sparingly. Improvement needed there.
7. The game rather passed McTominay by, with him contributing very little in any area of the pitch. He is still young, so he has time on his side, but they need to decide what sort of player he’s going to be. On this evidence, he’s not good enough in the air to be any use defensively – evidenced by the weak attempted clearance that preceded the winner – and he didn’t seem to get a single cross past the first man, so doesn’t offer much offensively. Other than his height, I don’t really see what his strengths are. A spell back in the reserves or out on loan would be better at this point.
8. Rashford was back to his worst on the right, and only looked vaguely threatening when cutting in from the left. He’s another who they need to decide what they’re doing with. If he’s going to be a wide player then – for the love of god – teach him how and when to cross. If he’s going to be a striker then stop playing him out wide. Just, one way or another, bloody pick one and stick with it.
9. Zlatan looked way, way off the pace; he was miles away from actually being ready to start, which is neither surprising nor a major issue. I did believe that this game was the game to start him, in theory, but his touch and striking of the ball was poor throughout (aside from the free-kick), and he struggled to keep up with the high tempo of the game.
10. The worry, then, is how do these issues get addressed? Once again, we’re looking at the squad and seeing a number of issues that, seemingly, can only be addressed by incoming transfers. How long can that go on? We can’t keep expecting to solve our problems by buying players, otherwise it truly will be us ruining football – at some point we need to have built a stable, balanced squad that only needs occasional, minor adjustments, not these constant wholesale changes.
I’m not even sure it’s an issue of coaching, because I genuinely think that the problem positions are being occupied – at least they were in tonight’s game – by players whose best is just not good enough. Darmian, Blind, Smalling, Herrera (certainly this season), and Mkhitaryan (the purple patch was clearly a fluke) don’t strike me as players that can really improve a great deal at the moment, so what choice do we have than other than to bring in more players?
Right-back, centre-back, right-wing, and centre-midfield are all positions in which we are still weak, but that’s a summer’s worth of business there, so we can’t possibly expect/hope to do that in January. Unless we start seeing some massive improvements from a number of under-performing players, we’ll be scrapping just to keep hold of second place, never mind trying to catch up with City.
As regular readers will know, the League Cup is my favourite trophy, so I am gutted to be out of it, but looking at the line-up for the next round I wouldn’t have fancied our chances anyway. Maybe it can be used to our advantage, but it’s certainly hard to see how any positives can be taken from tonight. Leicester will run riot if the respective Carabao Cup performances are repeated on Saturday.
It’s a bit of a paraphrase, but the harder Bristol City worked the ‘ luckier ‘ they got.
A few brief conclusions:
1) Fantastic result, incredibly well-deserved.
2) Top teams really do take this competition seriously again. There are some serious names at the sharp end now, all desperate to win a trophy. All of which makes Bristol’s achievement more impressive.
3) That didn’t make Pep’s life any harder did it? Even though City are making harder work of this Cup than the League.
4) Even when making a stab at being gracious, Mou is a really poor loser.
5) If Fergie came out of retirement right now, would United instantly be better? The answer is yes by the way, especially since they still play most of his players.
6) Football is bloody brilliant.
The night summed up in five chants
JOEY BRYAN HE’S ONE OF OUR OWN – what a goal.
YOU’RE JUST A SH*T MILAN DJURIC – Zlatan was so very poor.
F$%K OFF MOURINHO – City were lucky. Sure.
BRING ON PEP AND HIS CHIIIIIIIIIINOS – We’ll show the rest of the Premier League how it’s done.
DRINK UP THE CIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIDER – It hurts, it hurts so bad but feels so gooooood.
Gary, Bristol (Kids don’t do drugs just watch football no better feeling in the world than that).
Poor Huw Jenkins
“To change the manager, especially at only the halfway point of the season, is the last thing we wanted to do as a club.”
Last five managers, fired: February (’14), December (’15), October (’16), December (’16), December (’17)
Seems to be his favourite time of year.
Oh my darling…
Bye bye Paul Clement. Not sure if you’re a particularly good or bad manager, as I think most managers would struggle with the ‘talent’ at the Liberty these days. You built a pragmatic system around our two best players and were on a hiding to nothing when handed the likes of Clucas and Sanches to replace them.
We deserve to go down. We’ve gone from being an easy on the eye passing team punching well above our weight to the new Sunderland, fighting relegation and sacking a manager every season. The problem of course being less the various managers and more the sellouts who spent years enjoying their reputation as saviours of the club they loved. Then the spectre of relegation reared its head, they collectively lost their sh*t at the prospect of losing their gravy train and produced the world’s most expensive sales brochure in the form of the ‘documentary’ Jack to a King, then collectively bent over in front of any prospective buyer with a few bob in their pocket. I gave up my season ticket once we sold to the Americans and haven’t regretted it once.
The p**s frosting on this turd sandwich is that we’re likely to pass a Neil Warnock-led Cardiff on our way down. Lovely.
Pogba? Lukaku? Really?
I was late, really late in reading this list of 2017’s top players.
I don’t think Pogba belongs on this list, it’s the list of best ten league players and not the list for best players for Man United. He may make ManU tick, but no where near top 10, in fact Ozil, Shaqiri, Eriksen, Sanchez would have better stats than him for the year 2017.
However, it’s the inclusion of Lukaku that takes the cake. How can a striker who is a bottler in big games be considered a top 10 player of the league?
To point out, from start of 2014-15 season, Lukaku has less than 14 goals per game against top-six teams, which is much less than Aguero’s .51 and I would guess Lukaku’s stat is least of all the top strikers. In fact this season I think he has scored grand total of 0 goals against top six opposition.
As its been widely said, he is a flat track bully performing to expectations against lower teams but fails to have any kind of impact against top teams.
…Interesting Paul Pogba article claiming him to be the league’s MVP. Utter nonsense mind.
OK, it’s a premise to write an article about Pogba in a Garth Crooks style of I want to write about Pogba therefore he is the league’s MVP. But there’s no discussion about why he is the league’s MVP just that when he plays he’s good and he hasn’t lost a league game for 14 months.
Who cares, not losing a league game doesn’t make you the league’s MVP. Especially when 1) you miss the big hard games 2) your competitors for the title of MVP are scoring in the big hard games 3) your competitors for MVP have gone a new league record for wins putting them 11 points clear at Christmas
And that’s only considering the leagues MVP as the best player at the best team and not the best player in the relegation fight, or top four or six or even mid-table comfort.
Man uniteds MVP yes. But as a child of the 90s I do not miss the days when journalists saw United as ‘the league’. Stay better than that F365.
Alex, ABU FC, South London