Haaland cannot become superstar at Man City…

Date published: Thursday 8th April 2021 2:23 - Editor F365


We have mails on Erling Haaland’s next club. We also have more mails about Liverpool but we are trying to move on. Send your thoughts to theeditor@football365.com


Why Haaland should not choose Man City
I read Dave Tickner’s article on Haaland with interest this morning.

I (begrudgingly) agree about his point on the sporting merits of picking City over Liverpool and United, but I think he’s missing one glaring factor in why Haaland – who was, incidentally, pictured a couple of weeks ago in a t-shirt protesting a country’s dodgy human rights record – may not want to go to City – no, not that reason.

I think Haaland wants to be the biggest name in world football. To do that, trophies are a lot less important than exposure. You don’t get that save level of exposure at City because no one cares about them (in a positive way) and they have no fans.

Tickner says he might want to go to City because of their nicer stadium… it’s probably only nicer because it suffers less wear and tear than Old Trafford or Anfield from having so few spectators at any given game!

City have had some wonderful players through the years but, again, I don’t think anyone gives a toss about Kevin de Bruyne, no matter how much sporting press bang on about his generational talent.

A move to United or Liverpool brings with it hero worship from tens of millions of people. City? You’ll play in front of comparable official attendances, but run into suspiciously few of them in the street.

Just look at how a move to PSG affected Neymar’s bid to win a Ballon d’Or and become the “GOAT”. City is a bit better, playing in the Premier League, but not much.

Also (again begrudgingly), United or Liverpool, while massive in their own right, are good stepping stones to the ultimate prize – Real or Barcelona. I can’t think of a City player who has made that big move in their prime…

Look, ultimately, I don’t think Haaland is going to United, and I’m not saying I’d be surprised if he ends up at City. I think, ultimately, he’ll land with whoever pays Raiola the most. Just look at Pogba, who (begrudgingly) didn’t exactly make the best sporting decision with his last move… just saying that there are a number of factors that wouldn’t make City the best move.
Andy (MUFC)


…Interesting article on why Haaland should move to City, I have a slightly different take (I’m a United fan), I’m sure you’ll get loads on the better ground, but you missed the draw of playing I font of 78,000 fans, and the extra global recognition (thanks Ed?) United still have.

You also touched on the two Spanish clubs, and let’s by honest that is where he’s going to end up, so I’m sure that Riola wouldn’t be too upset if he went to a club that pay top wages in the meantime, more cash to grease his dirty palms, then go on and win a truck load of trophies.

All speculation, he’ll probably end up going to Gigg Lane and bringing Bury back to the promised land.
David McDougall


Only the rich can punt on him
Watching Haaland at Salzburg, it was abundantly clear that he was about to be a United player. He was affordable, had actually played under and had a good relationship with our manager and was exactly the type of signing that United used to make regularly. Plus Lukaku was gone, there was a gaping hole at CF so he could immediately be a first XI player. It was the most logical, clear transfer in history. So of course Ed mucked it up, because Ed is extremely at signing football players. For proof, see Ighalo, our totally future-proof solution to Ed’s incompetence.

Now, a mere year and about 300 Raoila comments later, for me it makes no sense. Given the economics of what it entails, no club that exists in business reality should go near him. Obviously that leaves PSG, City and Chelsea to go have fun – and I’m sure one will. Firstly, making a 200year-old your highest paid player will upset the squad. Secondly, it strikes me as almost impossible for him to be as good as his hype, particularly if he goes from Germany to England, where there is a long list of forward players that disappoint (except Auba, to be fair). Thirdly, assuming the Spanish giants sort out another shady deal to get their finances in order, you get maybe two years before Raoila is slinking around having meetings in airports and talking to anyone who will listen.

His current club, lest we forget, are struggling to make the CL next season, are currently in a competitive quarter-final of said CL and yet headlines are all around where he’ll play next year. He already is the circus.

If he goes to City he’ll do great, because City are so much better than everyone else in the league that a poacher is viable. He’ll also not bankrupt them, because he will cost precisely a cousin-sponsorship, so that’s nice. Ditto PSG. But is he the man to take an ‘almost there’ club and elevate them to greatness? Current league position and circus indicates no.
Ryan, Bermuda


Big-ups for Bayern v PSG
Just wanted to say that the last year had really started to make me fall out of love with football. The lack of fans, so many games in such a short space of time burning out players, the constant barrage of social media racism, outrage and extreme views coupled with the regular media sensationalism and kneejerking has just left me feeling cold to it all. Life in general has been pretty shit, and although football helped quite a bit during the first lockdown, the length of everything has caused it to lose its lustre somewhat (and that’s not even thinking about the delayed pan-pandemic affected-continent-Euros or the slave labour World Cup).

But Bayern Munich vs PSG last night really helped remind me just how exciting football can be. Even when I’m watching my own team it normally exists as background fodder while I split my attention by reading, but I was glued to the TV last night watching this game. This was one of the most exciting matches I’ve seen for god knows how long, involving two of the best teams in the world going toe to toe, attacking with verve and creating chance after chance. There was one point where Kimmich produced a through ball to Sane that was so good it even made my wife gasp. It was a celebration of what top-class football can be and I loved every minute of it.

Compared to the (relatively) cagier CL final last year, it’s an advert for the away goals rule, two legged competition, and the CL itself. That’s why UEFA can get so much money from broadcasters for the rights.

Nothing really to say here, it was just great to have proper, amazing, enthralling football back. Hopefully fans back within the month!
Calum, MUFC, Wokingham


Stop the Trent nonsense
Maaan (or woooman), I’ve never written to F365 before and I’ll try to keep this brief but there has been so much choss written about TAA. “He’s terrible” etc. No. Look at the stats. Look at the assists. The key passes. He’s an incredibly gifted and very, very attacking right full back. In most teams he’d be a wing0back (possibly the best wing-back) or right midfielder or winger (possibly…). But Liverpool had great, tall, fast, game-reading, ball-winning and playing central defenders and two or three DMs with several similar qualities. Currently they don’t. The CDs are out. The DMs are covering the current CDs as well as FBs. Trent is now a very, very attacking actual full back. In some games he’s great. In some games he gets found out. Yawn. Maybe Liverpool should play 343 or 442 (and move Trent up)?
Paul (no silly words in parentheses), ex of Merseyside, soon of Catalunya


Remember Ryan Giggs?
Back in the 94-95 season, Man United had just won the double, Ryan Giggs had won a second consecutive young player of the year and, after three years in the team and about to turn 21, was expected to kick on and become a world-class player. He also swapped his trademark curls for a buzz-cut.

Through a mixture of injury and form, he played 29 games and scored one goal in the league as Blackburn won it on the last day. He managed one goal in the FA Cup against Wrexham but was a sub for the final where they lost to Everton. He scored twice in a 4-2 win over IFK Gothenburg (God I miss the 90s Champions League) but they went out in the group stages. All in, he played 40 games and scored four goals. Thanks to the dip in form, we were subjected to every angle of the Samson joke you can think of.

After that bad season, he won 11 league titles, three FA Cups, two Champions Leagues, two League Cups, a Fifa World cup, a slightly honorary Players’ player of the year and BBC Sports personality of the year. He was a key figure in most of these wins, developing his game as his physical abilities changed but his experience grew.

After a bad season, he was not (widely) declared a fraud, or as suddenly a bad player. His previous achievements were not written off, ignored or used as a means to attack him. (maybe it was more widespread, there was no twitter back then and I was in a small town in Ireland reading Match Magazine every week for my football fix) The bad season seemed to be a key learning experience that the club and fans largely supported him through, to their mutual benefit. Giggs scored 11 in the league the next season, and five in nine games when they won the Champions League in 99. For the rest of his career he was a largely consistent, good-to-great player. He scored some important roles, he took on some less glamorous roles when the new batch of superstars arrived. He worked hard and he won A LOT. All while possibly/allegedly being a bit of a shit human being at times.

So maybe we can look at the current struggles of Trent Alexander-Arnold and recognise them as a pretty standard part of a footballer’s development. His ceiling is clearly very high. His game clearly has limitations. His team used to be able to accentuate his abilities and mask the limitations to everyone’s benefit. He may change his game to address his limitations, or it may be accepted as the cost of having him in the team when he is at his best. Either way, he has a lot of football left to play and the pointless, painful rush to declare him either world-class or a total fraud is helping no one.

Being a very good player with strengths and weaknesses used to be a reasonable thing. Having a dip in form without having your future prospects written off used to be a reasonable thing. Having even vaguely nuanced opinions on football and players used to be a reasonable thing. Can we all just calm the f**k down.
Kev (are people really enjoying all this?)


Can he only get better though?
Trent Alexander Arnolds plight this season has backed up something that has annoyed me only a bit for a while now. The phrase ‘he’s only going to get better’.

So many pundits use this about young players or just players in general but I have no idea what it’s based on. There are so many examples of young players starting well then falling away. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that. There are so many factors in a footballers life that play a part but it annoys me because it’s just another example of building them up to knock them down.

I can almost guarantee that you would have heard numerous pundits describe Trent that way. Probably even on this website! But its not realistic to tell us every single new young player is always going to get better. Trent is a great player and he is going through a bad time at the minute but hitting those heights so early on to me means there will be a slump at some point. If he carried on getting better from there he would have been the best player ever! Players burst on to the scene sometimes then they slump then they find their level.

Fingers crossed for Trent and England that his level is better than he is showing at the minute but this culture of building them up to knock them down has got to stop. The papers absolutely love doing it and the people reading it believe what they are reading.

If Trent doesn’t go to the Euros then he has a full summer to have a rest get himself fit and mentally prepared to come back stronger next season. It’s not like this is his only chance to play at a tournament, He’s 22. I hope he uses this as a learning curve and comes back stronger to prove a few people wrong.
Chaz (Essex)


Fans v fanatics
Every so often in the mailbox you get to see the absolute polar opposites of a particular fanbase demonstrated perfectly. This morning I read with satisfaction Ed Ern’s mail on Liverpool’s current issues, it was well thought out and reasonably argued, it both commended and criticised Klopp and suggested a way forward, brilliant! Then came Morgan, who is not at all happy with how Trent is being treated. His mail is dripping with malice and bitterness, no real arguments made just a healthy dose of ‘how dare you speak badly of the thing I like’, and also a bit of ‘I DON’T KNOW WHY I’M ANGRY!’

Morgan, Trent is an adult not a child. He is an elite member of one of the world’s most high profile professions and is paid millions every year to perform at his absolute best, as you said yourself he’s spent the last few years winning the major honours and during that time has been lauded by many as the best in the world in his position. Don’t you think it justified to point out a weakness in his ability when said weakness contributes directly to his team losing a high profile game potentially worth millions in revenue to his employer? Seems justified to me, and to the other people, mostly people who don’t have Liver birds tattooed onto their eyeballs.

While you think on that let’s try another. What has Trent got to do with Greenwood, or Rashford, or any other player at any other club? You admitted their situations aren’t really comparable but you’re annoyed that they aren’t treated exactly alike, that makes no sense. Regarding the United lads, if you really think they have received less criticism then you must live in a bubble lined only with the back pages of the Echo, please at least attempt some perspective on this as Trent has had near Golden Boy status for the last few years. Also, the contempt with which Rashford is referenced is getting old, we get it, the lad got praise for doing good things for less fortunate people and that makes you uncomfortable for reasons you’re reluctant to acknowledge. Bore off!

Anyway, can we have more football fans like Ed and fewer fanatics like Morgan?
Dave, Manchester


Cut the negativity out of your life
Football fans (not all), Pundits (mostly), Journallists (all) and commentators (everyone bar Ally McCoist) grate me these days.

Everything has to be dramatised from one scale to the other with the goal being to “drum” up discussion, The more absurd and off the wall the better. This as most will have figured out if to get eyes on them, clicks, people taking about them, all press is good press and all that and they have to make themselves stand out, as it makes them worthwhile. In this day and age clicks, no matter how they came about are gold, the more outrages the more clicks the generate and the more money comes rolling in.

Now obviously I’m talking about all the aforementioned categories bar fans, but it can also be applied to them, where trolls endgame is to make themselves feel superior through winding people up to make them feel a little better about themselves (at the expensive of other people) and make their boring sad lifes seem worthwhile.

For example my team Liverpool, on Tuesday you had them build up everyone talking “their back at in”, “they’ll thump Madrid” and then by the end of the game it was the opposite, no inbetween and no balance. Opposing fans will discard them whatever the result and some will always pop up with a negative no matter what the result. There will always be someone out there wanting to shout the loudest. For anyone that interest I thought we were thoroughly poor, shouldn’t have started Naby and been quicker on the ball. It pissed me off a bit i’ll admit, not the score line but the play itself.

I remember I used to be the same as most are now dramatising every score line, venting, rubbing it in friends faces and being bitter when things didn’t go our way. That sort of changed a few years ago and I found myself discussing with a friend (Man Utd support) who had the better season. It was the year Liverpool lost the CL final and Man Utd got 2nd in the league. He said he was delighted with there season and I shouldn’t be happy with Liverpools, my question to him was why, he said because we were better than you. That’s when it changed for me as my retort to him what do you support a team for? and I said I support them to watch good exciting football (would be weird being a fan is you didn’t want that), which is why I was happier than him about our season as we’d played excellent football all season, got to the CL final, highs and lows and a few songs and beers along the way. Didn’t matter about any other team just enjoying my team.

My questions is how did we get to this, why can’t we have discussions about each other team without ” mines better than yours” why the need for any off the bravado and it not just be about enjoying your team for yourself, you don’t need to let anyone know you know.

One final thing thats made me appreciate football more is, I don’t comment on articles anymore as people can’t have a proper discussion, I don’t read the mailbox or any other articles when my team lose and i’ll never engage with trolls. I do this purely because I don’t need anyone elses perspective on my own team as I know when they’ve played well and I know when they’ve played shit£, I don’t need other peoples opinion on my team and I’m happier for it. I will admit I do read the ones after a win though as its nice to read others being nice about your team.

Just cut the negativity out your life, you’ll feel better for it.
Scots Redman

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