Keep your brilliant mails coming to email@example.com.
Man Utd would be smart to go for Ings
I know this is only going to be the beginning of the transfer stories that United will be associated with but getting Danny Ings would be a coup! I really like Harry Kane but between him and Sancho, I would go for Sancho this year.
I saw many people saying United should not go for a striker this summer but my opinion on this is that United are still short in the striking department. United will be playing in 4 competitions and need Bench strength.
United do not want to be in a situation where one injured player derails their whole campaign (and given Cavani’s age, it is very much possible). United’s title challenge was stopped in its track with Pogba’s injury so avoiding a repeat of that should be priority. Greenwood is not ready to lead the line and the less I say about Martial the better. Martial is better off competing with Rashford on the left, Greenwood and Sancho play on the right, and Cavani and Ings keep switching in the striker position.
The problem with buying a striker like Harry Kane is that you cannot drop him (especially if you spend the crazy money Levy is gonna ask for). With Ings, you have a striker who would be willing to play the rotation role with Cavani and Greenwood. You get one year to see if he fits the system while not really hampering the growth potential of Mason Greenwood. Win Win!
Hassan (Spend the Kane money on Central Midfield)
Not quite sure what the Glazers are smoking but here’s a list of players that United are currently looking to buy according to The Athletic:
Ronaldo or Sancho
Varane, Torres or Kounde
Let’s look at that realistically. Harry Kane is going to cost £120M plus add ons according to the same site. Sancho will cost £80M-100M. Probably upwards of £40M for a centre back. £80M-£100M for Rice just because West Ham will get silly, not because he’s worth it. You’re looking at a total summer outlay of £320M-£360M. United have only just breached half of the top end of that estimate once, and only just. We’re also well in to the second year of a global pandemic and the club has already lost money in terms of sponsorship due to a combination the ESL shenanigans and fan protests. So that shopping list is extremely unlikely. I would be surprised, and a little bit worried, if United topped £150M net spends this Summer so a lot will rest on someone being able to actually sell players for money, something that Woodward was never very good at.
If I’m being realistic, signing Torres and Sancho for less than say £120M would represent good business this summer. We needed a centre back and a right winger last season and ended up with a Midfielder who can’t get in the team, a back up left back and half a season of a potential future player. The need is still there for those positions. These signings would allow us to move on Bailly and probably James which might optimistically get us £40M back. So we’re at net £80M. Some chump might give us £30M for Donny so down to £50M. Maybe we could get £10M for Matic from Jose. Two problem positions catered for, a net spend of £40M
At this point United will need to think about whether they roll the dice on Kane. £120M plus add ons is too good a price to turn down but do United NEED him? We probably need a top quality centre mid first and foremost but I think Kane would make United a better side. If Greenwood continues to progress then the age difference between the two is probably perfect. So yeh, I’d probably say go for it. And maybe chuck in Martial/Lingard as part of the equation, if Spurs are amenable. We’re now looking at a net spend of £160M minus anything Spurs knock off for any part exchanges.
United might then have some conversations about De Gea and Pogba leaving this summer. We might possibly get enough from the sale of those two that we can afford an upgrade in the middle of the park. But Rice would be silly (unless we sign him, at which point he becomes the new Roy Keane) when Bissouma and maybe Ndidi could be had for less.
So that’s how United could manage to sign all those players. Though it means we’d be shifting several out for good money which we are VERY bad at. I’d be happy if we just came out of the traps after the Europa League Final and agreed deals for Torres and Sancho immediately. We can then take the Summer to consider the balance of the rest of the squad and who knows, maybe Kane fancies playing for a big club.I think he’ll probably go to City though for the guaranteed trophies. And who can blame him?
However, whilst this is how United could do all this stuff, the Glazers have no intention of doing any of it. We all know full well that they’re leaking all of the names to the press in order to get the fans back onside only to end up on deadline day having signed absolutely noone because there’s no money. But there will be some good stories about terrible agents, pulling out of deals because it wasn’t the “right profile of signing” and mysterious delegations being sent around Spain to pay Torres’ release clause.
And I feel very embarrassed for having been taken in by it and spending all this time wetting about it.
We will f**k it up…
How Spursy is it that we have an element of control in determining our short to mid-term destiny but will definitely, 100%, f*ck it up.
Let’s just pretend for a moment that Brendan would consider us IF Leicester were to miss out on CL football. Now, not only are we in a great position to encourage this set of circumstances, by having the coincidence of facing the Foxes on the final day, we also have the boys in red breathing down our necks ready to finish above us, so there is added motivation there. Not to mention we are still fighting for some type of European place (the merits of either of those Z list European competitions we now aim for can be argued on another day). But, the point remains. Some tantalising enticement to drive us toward grabbing and holding onto what is a huge opportunity. Win and we could: finish 6th, secure European football and – most importantly – give ourselves a chance of grabbing a very very good manager. Mr Rodgers has been my preferred choice for a long time.
But. This is Spurs. We will inevitably get rolled over. I’m talking very comfortably. Arsenal will finish above us making us the champion banter club of the season and we will miss out on Europe altogether. Very Spursy.
We have no manager. Our best player wants to leave. For ffs, we can’t even get Graham Potter making ambiguous statements that may suggest he’s interested in us. A man who manages, often relegation threatened, Brighton. We are a joke. Even West Ham are better than us. West Ham!
What a bleak future.
Glen, Stratford Spur
Will Kane be able?
Sure, Harry Kane has established himself as one of world football’s top ten (but not three) forwards. The England captain is right, and rather past due, to leave Spurs for a superior club if he is to win actual silverware. He says he wants to be the best and “get on the level that Ronaldo and Messi got to” and “to be winning trophies season in, season out; scoring 50, 60, 70 goals season in, season out.” How admirably lofty, but will he do it? Probably not in the rose-tinted way he envisions.
First off, if Kane leaves his childhood club this summer, he will have to acclimate himself to the new personnel, culture and general environs of the new club, more than likely in a new city, and perhaps in a new country. Second, after years of being his club’s captain and poster boy, he must also adapt to sharing the limelight with other superstars, without whom he would not be winning the titles he so covets. If the history of top-level football transfers is any indication- after contracts have been signed, astronomical sums paid and heavy expectations set- such transitions often present unforeseen setbacks and obstacles, whether physical, psychological, interpersonal or otherwise. For every Bruno Fernandes who hits the ground running, there seems to be a dozen Fernando Torreses, Radamel Falcaos, Phillippe Coutinhos, and Eden Hazards who are somehow unable to replicate their past successes at their new star-studded clubs. Practically speaking, if a player is to fulfill their potential at all, it is often after the dreaded “season to adjust” at their new employer’s grounds, with time never on the player’s side.
Which leads to the third point: how much time does Harry Kane realistically have to become anything approximating “the best”? He optimistically says he has “another seven or eight years” in him. He turns 28 this summer, so it’s probably closer to half that. Even if he is somehow still at it for another eight years, will his performances even come close to matching those of the past eight? Not very likely. In terms of longevity, Kane is less likely to become another Ibrahimovic (who, like Sheringham, will continue as striker for AC Milan next season as he turns 40) than he is to become another Rooney (a record-setting and undeniably great England legend who, if we are to believe Paul Scholes, was probably past his peak by the age of 28). Harry Kane might still prove so many of us wrong and become England’s GOAT. However, like virtually every generational paragon that preceded them, his idols Messi and Ronaldo had shown the world their exquisite footballing abilities from a very young age. Harry himself has by now shown us his very special feet, but ones attached to some very fragile ankles.
England should be so lucky that Harry Kane would perform at his most recent “world-class” levels for another three-to-five years. It is more likely that his eager move to Manchester, Spain or even Stamford Bridge would “break his set” so that his performance suffers, never quite returning to the quality he has so confidently and naturally displayed during his years at Tottenham Hotspur.
Ebrahim (for nine figures, City can have him!), MUFC, Seattle
Is Levy really the one with all the power here?
Obviously, Harry Kane is a hot topic right now, and I’m writing another mail on it. It’s mainly due to disagreeing with the site’s view on things. While I appreciate, understand and agree with mostly going against traditional media, I struggle to understand why Levy is the one with all the power here. Obviously, three years on a contract is a major thing, but this isn’t an academy graduate that has done nothing in the game. For one thing, your own coverage (volume of articles) of the situation surely proves that Kane is well aware of this power and intends to use it.
Kane is England’s captain going into a major tournament which they’re favourite to win, he’s on course to break all sorts of records and in the case of English media’s love of narrative, he is white with no obvious tattoos who is never in the newspapers for any ‘wrong’ reasons like being in nightclubs or caught cheating on his wife. Levy is seen as a goblin and stoney and needs a manager and just led his club into the Super League. If Lampard was Bambi, how will Kane be cast if he is kept at Spurs next season against his wishes? Kane seems to understand this role much more than you do, specifically talking about the goal tallies he believes he can get and the games he believes he should be playing in, along with wanting to reach Messi and Ronaldo levels: he is already selling it that the only thing stopping England having someone on the level of Ronaldo and Messi is Daniel Levy. It is an extremely smart play. Whether he does or does not hit those levels is irrelevant to the sales pitch.
Eriksen was the recent example of being willing to go hard-ball against Levy, they didn’t sell in the summer and his performances got so bad they had to sell in January. If England’s golden boot captain is left sitting on the bench next year collecting enormous wages (by Spurs’ standards) it’s hardly good for the club. Coutinho done the same thing with Liverpool and was kept until January too, and in the end Liverpool ended up better for that by funding a rebuild. Obviously, Spurs would like to have Kane, but is he worth having if he digs his heels in and becomes a sideshow to their season next year, sitting on the bench while a new manager tries to make sense of the other problems they have? I don’t think so. But overall, I don’t think he’s as powerless as you think he is, and he seems to know it too.
Leicester season ‘success’
It’s funny how heightened awareness and interest brings out a lot more opinions and exposure for a club. I am seeing that now with Leicester and I am beginning to actually see what it is like being a ‘big 6’ follower. Of course, I am not claiming we are at that level for a whole multitude of reasons. But the extra scrutiny my little club are facing these days is fascinating to see.
Even compared to the wonderful miracle of 2015/16, it feels different now. Back then it was a joyous ‘can they do it?!’ narrative as a total one off bonkers-ness of a season and then we were patted on the head and sent back to the play room to eat our biscuit, ‘there’s a good boy’.
Now it feels a bit more permanent somehow. And this has led to all that additional scrutiny of our season and, in many ways, harsh criticism of our second consecutive supposed ‘bottle job’.
I get it, many people are disappointed that we are unlikely to upset the CL apple cart and the usual suspects will, instead, get their fat arses at the big table again. I am disappointed too.
But context is everything. For a start, the FA Cup win brought about an unbridled joy, a pureness of feeling that is just not going to be replicable should we somehow find ourselves in 4th place come the final whistle at 5.50pm on Sunday. I watched the final with my young lad and we both had tears in our eyes at the end. That’s a memory I will cherish forever and no ‘4th Place Trophy’ can ever do that.
On top of that, how can any season in which someone like ourselves could conceivably secure 69 points (sixty nine!!) be deemed a disappointment? This is following our previous second most successful league season in recent times when we finished with 62 (sixty two!!).
69 (should we beat Spurs) is astonishing whatever the context. If that means 5th place, I am not sure how it could ever be classed as a bottle job. More pertinent would be to point at Liverpool’s revival. 7 wins and 2 draws in the last nine is a remarkable achievement. One extra draw or a defeat from those games and top 4 is ours but well done Liverpool for that well timed revival. I find I am the only person who hated Allisson for scoring that header too!
And finally, and I am aware this looks like excuses, but we have played an extraordinary number of games this season. This weekend is game 56 I believe. Leeds, I read somewhere, have played just 40! Of course those extra games means we are doing something right in the cups, so cannot complain, but it does give context to the fact we might be stumbling to the finish line. In reality, given all those minutes on the pitch and the number of broken bodies we have it is an extraordinary achievement to even be in with a shout come the end of the season.
What a shame CL football is looking unlikely. What a shame it means a ‘big name’ is likely to move on in the summer and it will affect our ability to compete again due to lack of CL and the money it brings. But no way can it be deemed anything but a success overall. So please stop the hand-wringing, including in the pages of this parish, thanking you.
Rob (As long as Tielemans and N’didi stay I will be happy), Leicester
In defence of goal difference
Exciting weekend of European football coming up. Looking at the situation in Spain, yet again I find myself baffled that they rely on head-to-head before goal difference to separate teams. Instead of having the prospect of Real needing to win by 4 goals, and being gung ho from the first whistle, we end up deprived of a layer of drama.
Best ever memories of this involved the end of the 2002-03 Scottish season, when Rangers and Celtic had level GD with Rangers having scored a goal more. What a shootout! But in Spain a simple 1-0 will do. Where’s the fun in that?
I really enjoyed the mail about Liverpool not needing to rebuild.
And I’m really hoping for another 30 years of these “next year will be our year” mails. Keep em coming scousers and thanks for keeping the rest of us amused.
Jon, Cape Town