Man United got pummelled by Liverpool and the Mailbox can’t get enough of it. Send your thought to email@example.com.
Get Pioli or remain Paris Hilton
Liverpool beat Man Utd 9 – 0 in the premiership this season. Let that sink in…
Utd should stop trying to look desperately for somebody with the Ferguson aura, Liverpool got it with Klopp, they missed their chance frankly. They really need to be appointing someone who has recent experience of taking a sleeping giant and making them competitive again, because they are hell-bent on restoring/resuming their legacy and not binning the remains of the Ferguson hangover and changing tact. It’s a hard thing to bin, 20+ years of incredible momentum, but they have just been hungover on their parents earnings and it’s not been good for them. Man Utd are Paris Hilton from 2005, just a useless child getting by on daddy’s inheritance.
So alas, if they want to actually replicate Alex Ferguson instead of making their latest foray into trying a quick fix they should absolutely hire Stefano Pioli. Fat chance Milan will let that happen, but if they want to just go off what worked in the past that’s who they should go for. Pocchetino, Ten Hag, and other candidates, they’ve not awoken a sleeping giant. That’s what Ferguson did, that was the entire momentum that he captured throughout his reign. They seem reluctant to move on from it, so he’s the only available candidate for it.
Gasperini has done wonders at Atalanta, but his niche is raising the level of a club that’s never been high placed. He will be a good potential hire for any club outside the big 6 should he ever wind up in the pl.
Utd have to either get away from Ferguson and their history for any of these reinventions or get somebody who is the same kind of manager. Klopp was that kind of manager, he became that kind of manager with Dortmund then proved it again with Liverpool.
Dave (All Pool’s goals were silk), Dublin
Is this the Man Utd nadir?
The only real question United fans have been able to ask themselves this season is: can it get worse? So far, the answer has been a resounding yes. Tonight’s result is simply the culmination of a decade of Ed Woodward’s incompetence. If anyone now asks the question: how long would it take vulture capitalists to fully dismantle a beloved institution?: the answer is about 15 years.
There have been seasons in the Premier League when United will finish more points ahead of Liverpool than the gap will be this season (I think) – but never have the two teams on display been further apart. And United have spent MORE than Liverpool in that time. Of course there is luck involved – Cavani retired from club football without telling anyone, Rashford took up activism, Ronaldo’s absence is clear and the great hope of Greenwood is rightly gone – but United’s squad building looks to have been done by someone who knows nothing about sport, much less this sport. This kind of ineptitude takes years to be fully realised and I really think that fans of other teams should be praising Woodward as the true hero of the day. He has utterly ruined a storied club, brought actual misery to millions of people and will be rewarded with never having to work again and presumably a lack of awareness that only blesses those normally associated with politics and silly hair.
So here we are as United fans. A decade lost, a dynasty undone and little reason for optimism. Ten Hag is undoubtedly a good coach but if this is the squad he is given, he will fail. If signings are done by instagram followers, he will fail. If contracts are given to aging players to ‘retain value’ he will fail. If United continue to operate entirely as if football is unimportant, it will fail.
This result should be the bottom. It should be the clearest possible indication to the board and Joel Glazer that their approach over the past decade has failed, and that they simply must try something new. Personally? I doubt they even watched the match.
Pathetic Man Utd
What’s the point of Utd playing anymore games this season?
The players have completely downed tools, barely running and with no real cares about who wins or loses, it’s absolutely pathetic!
The problems are so clear to see it’s unreal. We have too many supposed super stars and not enough players willing to make the effort.
We do have one player who is willing to get stuck in but he never gets a game and when he does he injures himself (Bailly).
Thiago took the piss out of the Utd players tonight and not once did someone smash him (in the fact only one good smash tackle all game and it was Robinson!).
This is Utd v Liverpool! There should be at least five or six crunching challenges and yellow cards, but nothing! In fact at one point Mane was down after a challenge and Bruno halted play… I mean seriously.
I really hope Utd take this and scrap half the squad before promoting youth and fixing there recruitment as right now our club is in a mess.
I don’t know if people saw this, at the olympics there was a 4 x100 relay, and the Chinese lady team just absolutely botched it. Instead of focusing on the winner, my tv provider just kept on showing the Chinese. It was bad. I get the sense that Man U has gone from poor hand-off, to become poorly managed, to poorly structured, to a joke club, and are now simply a parody club. Nobody cares at that club anymore do they? When broadcasters hyped up the Lee’s V Man U game , deep down I thought, just watch the highlights, but football has become so expensive, it’s hard to pay, so we watch the free stuff, and Man U seem to be always free. One opine I have over this on going soap opera is, I don’t think players join Man U to win or achieve anything other than as much money as possible. which by the way isn’t a problem, short career, and not all get Carragher type gigs. So make your money. They are mostly making it commercially or just plain wages, these players seem to get more than they would anywhere else. It’s like an agent say’s to player, you are not Kevin de Bruyne but if you join Man U, you can earn Kevin de Bruyne money. Who would say no to that?
The weird thing is, I don’t think Man U are that off, with good coaching (I’m being generous here), from Ole, or the godfather, they’d probably be above Chelsea. It turns out, they are the cheapest rich club out here. Won’t hire a good coach, go back to the same process they tried a few years ago, a protest, the people in responsibility keep their position, or move to consultancy position. The cheques to the glazers keep flowing. What’s that movie? Ohh groundhog day.
Dave(They really should be taken off somewhere tv, rather watch Villa), Somewhere
1. Club captain Harry Maguire gave an interview before the game, to summarise, I’m a good player because the last 2 managers have picked me. Heh2.
2.Paul Pogba got injured and somehow the Old Trafford (even though we were Anfield) alcoholics decided that’s something to boo about (these are the same lot who speak about backing players and the manager). And you wonder why he’s got a poor attitude and his agent is speaking out against the club?
3. Can’t convince me Harry Maguire is the worst signing in Premier League history and also the worst captain in Man Utd history. We have his family on twitter calling fans c*nts and his agency posting clips of him making a good pass. Overprotected by the fanbase and the club for having a certain type of passport
4. Hannibal came on and he’s being praised by fans for fouling and almost getting a red card. Apparently he was showing some “spirit” and “pride”. The standards have never been any lower. Praised for being foolish.
Players that need to be sold in the summer: Henderson, Wan Bisakka, Maguire, Bailly, Fred, McTominay, Rashford, Elanga (not good enough),
Already leaving: Pogba, Lingard, Mata, Matic, Cavani, maybe Ronaldo as he’s one of the few who has standards
Never mind ten Hag. Twenty Hag couldn’t fix Man United.
Kieran O’Hare (LFC)
F365 Says: This is Manchester United. This is “nothing”
Pool fan here, defending Manchester United. Yes, they were rubbish. Possibly even more rubbish than when we beat them 5-0. But is it so hard to understand why? Their team mate suffered a heartbreaking tragedy the day before the game. Is it not entirely likely that many of their players & coaches were terrified and/or heartbroken by this? In the first half in particular, they played like zombies. Or, like men who’d had no sleep, couldn’t focus and just wanted to be back home holding their own children close.
I take as much pleasure as the next person from watching Yoo fans & ex-players rip into their team, but on this occasion I feel it’s undeserved.
Stewart, Chicago, LFC
A lovely Liverpool stroll
It’s the hope that’ll kill me.
You do wonder why they ask Tyler and Neville to co-commentate against Liverpool. You’ve got one of the greatest club sides ever assembled playing some utterly ludicrous football and the two of them spent at least half the game lamenting how poor Man Utd were. What’s the point? Surely Neville could’ve offered insight into how hard it is to maintain standards at the top level or what it’s like to chase multiple trophies this deep into a season. Instead all we hear about is the fact that Man Utd don’t run about much off the ball.
Klopp tried something a bit tasty on our right side tonight. In possession he basically switched Trent and Henderson’s positions. It was brilliant because it set Trent a bit further back which limited the risk of a counter attack but it also left Man Utd unsure what to do. I think Rangnick had planned to double up on Trent and the team didn’t know how to adapt when they realised he was taking up central positions instead. I think that partly explained why they brought on Sancho at half time too; they figured he would be able to go at Trent 1 on 1 a bit as Trent wasn’t pushing forward as much. Of course doing that opened up the right side for Trent in the second half but we’d grown tired of playing football by that point so just had a lovely stroll instead.
Thiago is a joke. He’s more accurate passing it 40 yards than every other player on the pitch is over 10 yards. At times you’d think the rest of the players are wearing blindfolds because he threads these delicious balls all over the place at angles that literally nobody can see until they’ve happened.
I found myself watching Fernandes today and wondering why a top player would want to stay at that club. A top manager might come in next season but you can’t magically buy ten players to improve that team overnight. There’s no point pretending any of that team is good enough to play for Liverpool or Man City so the chances are it’s a 3-4 year overhaul to try and fix the rot at Man Utd. It seems a shame to waste half your career at a club that’s not likely to challenge for any major honours during your peak.
9-0 aggregate score about Man Utd this season. They’re like our new Norwich.
Mane for Ballon d’Or?
Before I get to the topic (in my subject), I have to mention I am surprised that 16 conclusions did not acknowledge this, but the moment of the game (if not the season), was the 7th minute. A full Anfield crowd, in the middle of (normally) the most anticipated and heated game of the season against their biggest rivals (sorry Manchester City, it’s still your noisy neighbors that we hold that grudge against), singing YNWA in a moment of solidarity for one of their rivals biggest icons. Respect, and if that is not an advertisement for the inherent kindness in football overshadowing the moronic minority that always seems to be in the news, I do not know what is.
The second best moment of the game (if not the season) was the second goal of the game. Salah’s first touch, control and poise to break his barren run in itself was fabulous and a great reminder of his powers, but his African counterpart (and AFCON rival)’s no-look assist was just phenomenal.
Mane is quietly having a tremendous season that doesn’t seem to be picked up by media outlets more. Whisper it quietly (and at the risk of jinxing Liverpool’s season), but leading his country to it’s first continental trophy, qualifying for the world cup through a playoff against the continents most successful team (led by his African counterpart and AFCON rival), one trophy in the bag and hopefully one or two more to come (yes, I said it, the quadruple is a statistical impossiblity) is at least worth a mention. On top of scoring the pivotal penalties for Senegal, his tactical flexibility to play on either wing, false nine or up front across his teams belies the intelligence of a player renowned more for his pace, power and skill. He was the original Klopp “super star” signing that transformed a Liverpool team into top 4 contenders, and he seems to be going from strength to strength. He’s only had one poor season, has already played Salah’s position, and now he’s interpreting Bobby’s false 9 position in a very intriguing yet equally effective way too (admittedly a very small sample size).
Let’s face it, if Ronaldo or Messi were having a similar season as Mane is for country and club, with 10 games to go, they would have already won the award by now. And finally, by all accounts he seems to be a genuinely nice bloke too, recently requesting Liverpool to NOT make a big deal about his accomplishments with Senegal, as he knew his team mate would be hurting. On a day when THAT moment happened in the 7th minute, surely I’m allowed to dream about a world in which George Weah has company. It’s about time.
Vinod, Chicago (enough parentheses for everyone?)
Mane has become a better Bobby than Bobby.
That is all.
Miller (when did the UK start exporting its weather?) Pretoria
Remember when certain people on here were saying that Thiago was a bad signing?
Yeah. I do..
Is football as exciting?
I get the feeling I’ll get a load of abuse for this and called ignorant or a caveman but I agree that football doesn’t excite me as much now.
I’m sure a big part of this is my age, I’m 39 so grew up with 90s football and I’m sure that we all probably look back with rose-tinted glasses on the era of football that coincides with us growing up. I appreciate that the quality is far higher but I just don’t enjoy it so much anymore.
Case in point, I just switched off the Liverpool – Utd game with ten minutes left as it’s just not that great to watch. Don’t get me wrong, Thiago was amazing in that first half, some of the one touch play was great and its always funny seeing Utd getting stuffed, but there was no jeopardy in the game right from the off. I appreciate its a one off game and as long as football’s existed you get plenty of games where you know who’s going to win from kick off but it happens much more now when the top two are playing. In the days when teams used to lose five or six a season and still win the league, you could watch a game thinking that anything could happen, now… not so much.
I do think the rest of the league below the top four or five has levelled off somewhat but if you’re talking about the top two, it’s dull. They’re both incredible teams playing at a level we haven’t seen before but is it really that fun for people that don’t support them to watch them dismantle teams each week? Even when they only win by one or two, they have sterile domination and it still doesn’t feel like they’re really at risk of losing (watch City lose to Brighton now).
Teams are so well coached now and players so fit, even down the leagues, that its taken away a lot of the chaos and madness that I used to love about football. Of course there’ll still be some games where its there and I’m not basing this on any stats, just how I feel, but overall it feels like teams are so good at their systems/styles/tactics etc that players have turned into robots and there isn’t much room for individual flair and excitement now. Its kind of like watching Guardiola’s Barca or Spain a few years ago. Amazing team but it was a bit boring. In fact the main reason for watching Barca was Messi and for me that was because he brought the unpredictability and made it all a bit playground again. Give me an tactically indisciplined St-Maximan over a hard working defensive forward any day.
I also used to enjoy European football more, it seemed like you had more teams that were genuinely in with a chance of winning things. It still feels like that with the Europa League although given Sevilla’s recent dominance, maybe it shouldn’t.
I miss the Italian league being strong, or a team like Shevchenko’s Kyiv coming from nowhere. It feels to me like over saturation is part of the issue. I don’t watch as much as I used to for the reasons above, but if you want to, there’s video of players from all over the world available. That can be good but it takes away the mystery. I remember world cups when I didn’t really know half the teams or players and they could take them by storm but now we seem to know everyone before it’s started.
As I said, loads of this is just nostalgia and me harking back to my youth. It doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate the football now but honestly, I just don’t find it as exciting.
Sam (slightly wistful)
How we judge Arteta
Arsenal fans argue over what is progress, what is an acceptable finish and how we should judge arteta. It was nuanced.
No longer. After last night The bar is set. If Arteta finishes below Man United he should be fired. No excuses.
Johnno “not really joking tbh”
Sell high buy higher
Obviously basking in the glory of tonight against a team who are literally the epitome of poor net spend.
I get the argument that we’ve had to splash the cash to become successful, and to a point it’s true. But every successful team needs to make great signings/transfers to achieve this (bar Leicester of course)
With Liverpool being low in the net spend category it shows we’re generally successful off the pitch as well as on it. We’ve sold basically swapped Old Kent Road to buy Mayfair in Monopoly terms!!
To be almost accused of having to spend to be successful really galls me. We’ve had the money to spend because of how we’ve been run, and we’ve, mostly, spent it wisely. That’s alot different to just spending money which we’ve seen doesn’t equal success (see Everton and Utd)
We’ve spent cos we’ve sold, we’ve spent well, sell high buy higher.
Quads a dream but my god Thiago (free) is sexy
First off, no one is arguing that Liverpool is a rags to riches story. It’s a slippery slope argument used by rival fans when we remotely bring up the fact that we are not as well endowed as the rest of them.
Liverpool’s story at this point in time is more like, a once rich family owning a few stores and businesses in your city, is now made to look like a middle class family because of new tech giants and retail conglomerates basing their headquarters in your city, raising everything from real estate prices to salaries that you cannot afford to pay. However, the family knows they have a great product but they must make it even better to stay relevant. They do so by acquiring similar new assets that the aforementioned corporate giants use, but not without having to sell a few assets themselves.
Is that a fair analogy? Notice that I did not once state Liverpool are poor, nor did I say they are middle class, I said they are MADE TO LOOK middle class. We are the underdogs because there are much bigger dogs at play. We are competing with the money of City, Chelsea, United, PSG, Real, Barca (?) and maybe Bayern & Juve. Let me also clarify we are not underdogs compared to Spurs, Arsenal, Milan, Inter, Dortmund, Atletico etc.
Lastly, I am only going to bring Leicester up because it was brought up yesterday. It is frequently used as a stick to beat us with – “tHeY WeRE tHE ReAL uNDERdoGS, NoT yOU!” To which I say, duh! obviously! If Liverpool were the ones to beat City, Utd, Chelsea et al and challenge Leicester for the title in 15/16, no neutral fan would have backed Liverpool over Leicester even though we were on a 25 year title drought.
See how it is all a matter of comparison? Seems like a lot of perspective is lost when it comes to blind tribalism.
Nikhil, LFC, Chicago
Liverpool an example of success
I can’t help but feel like I need to clarify my previous mail, given that, as far as I can tell, the only issues with my mail are with arguments I wasn’t making. I was certainly not downplaying the advantages Liverpool’s historic base gives it. Given I mentioned it, and said it was an advantage, I’m not entirely sure how I could be, but ho-hum. That was why I mentioned Chelsea and Man City who didn’t have that advantage but used other ones. Clearly then, getting to where Liverpool are now isn’t something that can only be done with that historic base to build from.
My mail wasn’t about Liverpool – it was using them as an example as to why the prophets of doom were wrong. The success of Liverpool’s set up is well known, so they are an easy example to make. They were also a particularly apt one to make given they were being touted by aforementioned doom mongers as one of two clubs who weren’t going to be caught for the foreseeable future, when only a few short years ago – even this summer if many pundits were to be believed – they were the ones trying to do the catching. That is where the perverse humour I mentioned comes in. They are a literal counterexample to the claim that they and City can’t be caught.
More specific responses can be made as follows:
JC: there can be more than one glass ceiling. Go take a look at things like the budget, income, and wage bill of Liverpool and Man United, City, and Chelsea a decade ago. There was a yawning chasm between them akin to the chasm from Liverpool to – say – Everton. Arguably greater, actually, given Everton outspent Liverpool on transfers in the last decade. The point being made was that glass ceilings can be broken, not necessarily that all glass ceilings can be broken in one go. If the aforementioned Everton had spent the oodles of cash ploughed into the club wisely, there is no reason they could not have made it a Big Seven, for example. Mere months ago, all and sundry were claiming that Newcastle have essentially already broken that glass ceiling. Leicester have gone damn close to breaking through without spending fortunes. With a bit better luck, they could easily have finished top 4 two or three times since they won the league which would have allowed them to – like Liverpool does – consolidate their position and then go again.
Andy (MUFC): yes, if you pretend that net spend isn’t important when trying to overhaul financially superior opponents, then Liverpool have done nothing much other than get lucky. Also, if you pretend that points don’t matter in a league table then you could make a strong case for Norwich having won the league. As for your second point, who are in the strongest position now, Liverpool, Man United, Chelsea, or Arsenal? Of course they have usurped those clubs who were in far stronger positions with far stronger foundations. To pretend otherwise just makes you look incapable of even a pretence of impartiality.
Jerome: no one claims Liverpool haven’t spent money on transfers. Any team that succeeds sperms money – that is just a given. They’ve still spent less in real terms than teams like Everton, West Ham and Aston Villa in the period I was referring to. The mail wasn’t about Liverpool, anyway, it was just using what everyone knows about their success as a counterexample.
Marc is exactly right when he points out that dominance in football is nothing new, and that longing for the past is nostalgia for something that never existed. The fact is that football has always been broken and the English, ever the traditionalists, have done little if anything in 123 years to fix it.Only 24 teams have ever won the English championship, and only 20 NFL teams have ever won the Superbowl. The big difference there is that while the Football League was founded in the 19th century, Super Bowl I was played in 1966. A better comparison would be with Major League Baseball, which was founded in 1903 and has also only had 24 champions. However, since there is no relegation from MLB there are only 30 teams and 6 of those have only existed since 1977. Of the 30 Major League teams only one of them has never been to the World Series.
The English Premier League has 20 teams and only 12 of them have ever been champions. Newcastle’s last title was in 1927. Wolves, Burnley and Spurs most recently won in 1959, ’60 and ’61 respectively.
But maybe it’s not about winning titles and trophies.
To be clear, that’s absolutely what it’s about for players. If I’ve heard it from an ex-player pundit once I’ve heard it a billion times “He wants to win trophies!”. It’s sometimes hard to determine whether players are more interested in, trophies or money. Since the two seem to be directly connected maybe it’s not worth worrying about.
Fans though, are fans that bothered about winning? Marc tells us to stop being so miserable and just enjoy the football. What aspect of the football is it that we’re supposed to enjoy though? Is it purely the skill and athleticism of the players that’s the draw, the silky skills that allow them to make passes with pin-point accuracy and stroke the ball around? “The fans are heading to the exits in droves now”, how many times have you heard that? Apparently when you’re 6-nil down the spectacle loses some of its appeal, even though the same silky skills will still be on display for a while longer. How often are you prepared to watch a match you may have recorded if you already know the score, especially if the team you support lost?
A few years ago I said that golf was boring when Tiger Woods was winning every tournament he entered. One of my friends countered by saying that Romans didn’t go to the Coliseum to see if the Christians were able to overcome the lions that week. Do fans just want to see goals, regardless of which team scores them?
I’m probably being naive, but I have this crazy idea that competition is good, an no team has more right to win than another.
Even Formula One has realized that it’s not good for the sport for one team to be perpetually dominant. Even Formula One! The Mercedes team have been off the pace this year, but despite their parent company having revenues of €169 billion last year they can’t just spend their way out of trouble. In addition to technical changes designed to increase competition, there is now a spending cap to further level the playing field. Even Formula One…
Just because football has never been right doesn’t mean it can’t be made right.
Andrew (I prefer to enjoy the football AND be miserable) Canada