Will Casemiro be a ‘similar catalyst’ to Cantona at Man Utd? And Vialli tributes pour into the Mailbox…

Editor F365
Man Utd midfielder Casemiro wears a snood

Tributes are pouring into the Mailbox after Gianluca Vialli passed away at the age of 58. Plus, discussion about Jadon Sancho, keepers, Roy Keane’s moustache and whether Casemiro will have a similar impact to Eric Cantona at Man Utd…

Get your views into theeditor@football365.com


In November 1992, Manchester United signed Eric Cantona. He became the catalyst for an era defining success.

In August 2022, Manchester United signed Carlos Henrique Casemiro. Different player in a different position. Is he a similar catalyst? Discuss.
Simon S


Jadon Sancho hasn’t played a game since the 22nd of October and was sequested to Amsterdam for about a month during the world cup with Ten Hag confirming he was struggling with fitness both physically and mentally.

He’s now back at Carrington training with ‘fringe players’ and the manager said the following when asked why Sancho was sent away…

“Many top athletes, in football and also in other sports, sometimes it’s good to go away from the place where you are at daily to get a new vibe and a new experience,”. “People have a different approach and this can give you the right push to get back on track. Football players aren’t robots. No one is the same. I think for everyone, you need an individual approach. We thought that, in cooperation with Jadon, it was the best choice.”

Its unknown what triggered the individual training programme but there has been speculation disciplinary issues were a factor. Whatever the cause I wonder if this will later be seen as another example of sensible management by Ten Hag whose unique approach and forthright manner when discussing players has thusfar proven effective.

Only time will tell if sending him away was the right call but if Sancho returns to the squad and rediscovers the kind of form which we know he’s capable of, it will be one more feather in the managers cap and further proof we have one of the worlds best coaches at Old Trafford.
Dave, Manchester


Backup keepers
Really interesting article by Ian Watson on third choice first team keepers.

I’ve seen in several places that the backup backup keeper for most clubs is a hybrid of player and coach, with the focus primarily on how well they work with the first and second choice keepers in training.

Your first team second choice keeper is in effect competing with the first team first choice keeper for his place so you want there to be a healthy competitive rivalry between the two, while the first team third choice keeper is there to be the WD40 to stop too much friction, to be the training partner for both and to handle training sessions for the top two as required.

It’s a genuinely specialised HR and training position in the club that also requires the third choice keeper to be ready to play top level football should circumstances require.

Players that are good at this are worth a lot to a club and to the keepers ahead of them, which is why they are so valued and often stay for years on contract after contract despite rarely playing.

Third choice strikers are just shit though

Looking at you, Nunez
Tim Sutton (Mitro 11 – Nunez 5)


I’ve just read your thoroughly enjoyable article on surprising Man Utd goalkeeper signings, and smiled when I saw the name Fraser Digby

I work with Fraser now, and when we get an opportunity to chat I can’t help but pester him for footballing war stories, especially his time at Man Utd, and also long and distinguished time at Swindon, where he is regarded as a legend. Swindon Town FC, during Fraser’s time, was probably the most exciting time in its history. We had Hoddle, Fjortoft, Bodin, Moncur, and of course Digby. We were in the second division (now the Championship) and got promoted to the First Division, only to have the promotion ruled out due to, well, financial issues. We made it to the Premier League. We even had a player at the World Cup (USA 94, Fjortoft).

People come to where we work and are delighted when they are greeted by Fraser. It’s so cool to have him working here. Not many people sign for Man Utd twice.
Dale May, Swindon Wengerite

PS: Fraser, here is the article


Bloody hell guys, about an hour after hearing the news and reading some beautiful tributes to Luca Vialli I click on F365 to find that you’ve recited one of my favourite ever Scottish football anecdotes featuring The Goalie and Walter Smith.

Someone must be chopping onions around my side of the office this afternoon…
Martin, Peckham

Gianluca Vialli looks into the camera

Ciao Gianluca
Nothing much to say other than the day that I had assumed was coming due to his apparently increasing sickness has arrived but Ciao Gianluca.

Those 2 goals against Liverpool will always be etched in my mind.

Without getting too hyperbolic, that day could almost be the the start of the modern Chelsea. First major trophy in 26 years followed and then onwards and upwards from there.

I’m in my 40’s now but had been a Chelsea fan from about 5 onwards and we’d always been pretty shit. The FA Cup win was enormous to me at the time and he played a huge part in it.

Always classy off the pitch but a fighter on it.

Safe Travels Luca
Lee, Hornsey


I Just wanted to write something about Gianluca Vialli.

I wasn’t ever really into football as a young kid. My first real football awakening was Euro 96 and becoming friends with a Chelsea fan. I decided that I too would support Chelsea, pretty much just because he did. And oh boy what a time to start supporting Chelsea. The 97/98 and 98/99 seasons are still my favourite as a Chelsea fan, perhaps because of nostalgia (and that we won stuff) but mostly because Chelsea were so fun!

We were never going to win the league, no where near as good as Arsenal or Man U. We were often awful, but occasionally brilliant. Alot of my fondness for that time was due to Vialli, both on and off the pitch. He might have been at the end of his career but I loved watching him. Might have helped that we had some of our most famous games ever at the time like the Tromso game. I remember having all the players stickers stuck on my dad’s TV (it was rental too!) and wearing all blue pyjamas (couldn’t afford a kit). What a team he had too! Zola, Di Matteo, Tor Andre Flo, Dan’s Pet Rescue, Babayaro, Le Saux, Poeyt and the joy that was Ed de Goey’s facial hair. And let’s be honest, we’d love to have more player – managers around these days.

Again, the joy I feel for this period of Chelseas history is certainly in no small part down to nostalgia, but I really felt a connection to Vialli that I hadn’t with any other footballer before. Even after he left Chelsea I was always happy to see him on the telly, one of the few decent former footballer pundits.

RIP Vialli, thank you for introducing me to football.
Will CFC


In todays angry and bitter world it’s not often news makes me pause but I was driving and had to pull over for a few moments as the sad news of Vialli hit me

From brief glimpses in Football Italia to actual live footage when he moved to Chelsea he filled me with joy watching him.

It seems footballers now don’t play with enjoyment, it’s all about the reward. He wasn’t like that, he played with a giddy smile like he just couldn’t believe he was fortunate enough to actually be out there.

Genially sad that’s he’s now gone


I was very saddened to hear of the passing of Gianluca Vialli. 58 is no age at all. For those who look back on the 90s with with an aching nostalgia, Vialli certainly played a part in making the EPL the global monster it is today, and was one of the first exotic superstars I can remember coming over.

I refreshed the f365 homepage shortly after hearing the news and was surprised not see a ‘Portrait of an Icon‘ article. I then picked up the actual Portrait of an Icon book which I had bought off you guys many years ago (a must-buy for any football fan), and nope… it wasnt in there either.

Football365, you know what to do.
Samwise, MUFC (On a brighter note, that Andy Goram anecdote on your keepers article had me pissing myself laughing.)


Eye TV
Oh. My. Word. Oh my eyes. WTF! Roy Keane has just unleashed on the entire world a horrendous looking 80s ‘tache that left me reeling in shock. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. For a moment I was disoriented. I checked my calendar and yes, I confirmed that it was 2023 and not 1983. To quote my bird, “get that ugly thing away from me.”