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Gomes departure is Solskjaer’s fault
Well, that was a lovely performance and result and, more importantly, so good to see us convert such brilliantly overwhelming pressure into the scoreline it deserved. Too many times in the past have we dominated an opponent in the first half, only to go in either level or trailing, so it was refreshing to see us actually take full advantage. Another positive is that it looks like we finally have a first choice eleven established now, and one that I’m pretty happy with. While it seems harsh for both Fred and McTominay to miss out, for the first time in a long time we have 11 starters who are all there on merit and are actively keeping their colleagues out of the team rather than just plodding along.
Fernandes once again showed what a brilliant signing he is, though this again is bittersweet – imagine where we could have been if we hadn’t p*ssed about in the summer and signed him when we first had the chance. Matic’s radical improvement was characterised by that absolute peach of a pass for the third – a goal which was reminiscent of that famous counter-attack goal versus Arsenal a few years back. Speaking of which, the cross from Greenwood was excellent too. This young man has a hell of a future, let’s just hope that we can keep him at the club. Which brings me to my main gripe: Angel Gomes.
While I don’t bear any grudges towards him for leaving, it is a situation that was entirely avoidable, and the blame lays squarely on Ole for this. Every single appearance made by either former footballer Jesse Lingard or Andreas Pereira is an insult to the academy and its players. Lingard (5 goals and 3 assists in 60 club appearances in the last 2 seasons) is disgustingly unfit to play for any top flight club anywhere in the world – he wouldn’t even get a game for most Championship clubs because he doesn’t even work hard. Pereira (3 goals and 4 assists in 49 appearances in the last 2 seasons) is almost as bad. That’s over 100 games in which Gomes could have taken part and shown what he can do – instead, we got the comedy stylings of shit and shitter (you can make up your own mind which is which) stinking up the place.
Watching Pereira lumber around aimlessly last night really does drive home the reason why Gomes has left; if he can’t even get in the squad ahead of those two then why is he staying? Ole, the supposed champion of youth, has criminally overlooked Garner, Gomes and Chong time and time again in favour of two players for whom, there can be no doubt, there is no future at the club. I just hope that Ole uses this as motivation to start giving future talented prospects genuine game time to prevent us from losing the next Gomes. I also hope that Gomes doesn’t do anything stupid and sign for Chelsea or another Premier League team where he isn’t going to play; the kid has talent, so it would be ridiculous for him to go to another club where he’s either going to not play or get loaned out perpetually.
Anyway, that top four place still looks attainable, even if we are relying on others to do us a few favours. All we can do is keep winning our games and hope that it’s enough. If we can carry this form into the FA Cup and Europa League (for which we’ll need to start playing a stronger side) then we have a reasonable chance of winning one of those.
The new Manchester United
Hope everyone reading this is doing well physically and mentally. Lets hope by this time next year, we have forgotten what quarantine and social distancing is. Now getting on to footballing matters, here is what i think of the current Manchester United as a fan.
Manager: From day 1 i loved the idea of Ole as a manager. He seems like a really nice guy, with a good footballing brain and honest to god love for the club. The way he has gone around his business is nothing revolutionary but somehow the basic idea of “Remove the shit players and play the good players” seemed alien to Moyes, LVG and Mourinho. Ole has done the very basics and he has done it right. The current manchester united team is a dream to watch and that is because Ole has got the right idea and building an excellent team in his vision. A proper 8/10.
Defense: De Gea Shaw, Maguire, Lindy, AWB, Williams and the rest. The defensive additions over the last year or so have completely changed our defense from a bad joke to one that is more likely to keep a clean sheet than not. Its not the best defense in the world, but we have one of the best RB’s and two solid defenders and a LB who can be a beast on his day. That leaves us with DDG, a club legend in his own right and the number 1 keeper in the world for atleast half a decade. Now he seems to have made a few errors but there is no doubting his skill. I hope we either sell him for big money to a big club where he can win big things, or stick with him and hope Henderson is okay with a season or two at Sheffield. But we are well stocked either ways. A solid 7/10.
Midfield – Just like a 19680 ford, the Man United midfield went from a big round ZERO to TEN in a matter of seconds. Now lets not get carried away. We have a gorgeous looking midfield with players each suited to their roles and playing fluently with each other. And long may this continue. But lets not act as if this is the only thing we lacked. A good midfield is just another cog in the ferrari that is needed to win th league. With great competition for places, this midfield has great things for it in the future. 8/10
Attack: Oh my my. A front three of Martial, Rashford, Greenwood on its day can terrify any defense. Now the odds are that atleast 1 out of the 3 will be in form so long term consistency is not a problem if the aim is to solely compete. But to win the league, we need all 3 to be on absolute FIRE with 60+ goals between the 3 of them. Currently the only flaw would be consistency on the parts of Martian & Rashford cause as far i can see, Greenwood is just flawless. I consider him to be the best striker at United and hope he can emulate the success of Aguero for City. He has the skill, now its upto him and a bit of luck to elevate him to those levels.
Squad: The squad still needs a bit of trimming and new additions. Ighalo, James, Williams, Romero, McT & Fred are perfect the way they are and will help massively to complete in multiple cups. We still need to make sure we never see Jones, Lingard, Periera and the gang every again in a United shirt. Love them all but they wouldnt get into the Burnley team i think. So off with them. If we buy sancho, it would be brilliant to see the reaction of the young players like Greenwood and James and see how they up their game. We need to add a good CB and that it i feel.
I love the way this squad looks. After 7 long years of watching garbage football, this team has started to look like the real deal over the last year and a half. Even when we were losing, we were playing a good brand of positive football. We may not win the league in the next few years, but if we keep improving at the current rate, i fully expect United to atleast compete strongly on all fronts over the next 3 years. Cant wait to see what the future brings. Happy with the way things are and may it continue for long.
If we can take a much needed break from the Liverpool-Man Utd handbags over who’s got the cheesiest slogan, I’ve just been listening to a discussion on Talksport (I know, I know, but it’s all we’ve got) about West Ham fans feelings towards the London Stadium, and it’s led me to ponder an important question: is there a more pompous sports commentator more out of touch with the opinions of the average football fan, than Jim White?
I’m not a West Ham fan, but I sympathise with how they feel about the stadium, I would probably be the same if my own team did the same (and it has been mentioned, even if only hypothetically), but what struck me was White’s inability to even try to understand the fans’ arguments, just spouting stock responses like ’embrace it’, even suggesting that the proposed statue of Moore, Hurst and Peters will be enough to make this more like home for the team’s supporters, despite how high feelings are running on this subject.
We all know the likes of White are corporate drones, programmed to parrot a company line, unable, for instance, to say ‘Derby County’ without adding the words ‘Wayne Rooney’, as he did when mentioning poor Andre Wisdom yesterday (get well soon, sir) and regarding the poor bastards who actually go to the games as little better than extras in a TV show, who should keep quiet and know their place, but for me, Clive, their inability to relate to or even understand the fan experience makes them figures of ridicule, rather than the influence and authority they think they have.
A while ago, Football365 ran a series about the various TV and radio pundits, it’s about time for an updated version, I think.
Paul Quinton, Wolves
Academies, you say Nantes, I give you Zagreb
Thoroughly enjoyed reading fellow Chelsea Fan Mike from Auckland talk about the Nantes academy in response to a previous mail I had sent into the Mailbox, so this morning I did some research into clubs who have produced top talent over the year and even to this day still do so, the one that stood out straight away was Dinamo Zagreb.
Dinamo Zagreb’s academy which is known as the Hitrec-Kacian was founded in 1967, they were awarded one of the six best youth academies in Europe by UEFA in 2011, the others being Arsenal, Ajax, Barcelona, Inter and Sporting, Zagreb in the 90’s dominated the Croatian Football League upon its formation in 1991, their U17 and U19 age groups had managed to win 15 league titles before the turn of 2010, now with the small history lesson concluded lets have a look at some famous names Zagreb’s academy have produced quite recently.
Those famous names are; Mateo Kovacic, Andrej Kramaric, Dejan Lovren, Luka Modric, Sime Vrsaljko, Tin Jedvaj, Vedran Corulka and Josip Brekalo.
Some of you may laugh that I included Dejan Lovren, but irrelevant of what you think of him, he still has reached a World Cup Final and is a Premier League as well as Champions League title winner, Luka Modric is a Ballon d’Or and multiple Champions League winner, Mateo Kovacic is another multiple Champions League title winner and is showing the pure talent he has currently with Chelsea, Kovacic himself has been arguably Chelsea’s Player of the Season, Andrej Kramaric is scoring no look penalties for Hoffenheim, he has scored 70 goals, assisted 30 all in just 150 appearances for the Bundesliga side.
It is not just how the academy operates that should be looked at either, it is that extra development required when they reach the first team, that is where a player is of course made, where they showcase themselves and develop into either a top star or not, Zagreb certainly have something within their club that develops such talent, the 2018 World Cup Runners Up Croatia had 14 former Dinamo Zagreb players within their team, a World Cup record for representation from a single club, the XI for the Final included 6 former Zagreb stars, those being Lovren, Vida, Vrsaljko, Brozovic, Modric and Mandzukic.
The academy recently won the FIFA Youth Cup in 2018 for the first time in their history, which when you look down at previous members of their sides is surprising that it has taken them so long to lift the Youth Cup, so they are a side certainly not slowing down in produces top tier talent, there are a few names to be looking out for, either on the pitch or for your next Football Manager save;
– Antonio Marin, capped at U21 level at the age of 19, he is a fast forward whose best quality is his dribbling and on the ball play, he was courted back in 2017 by the big clubs such as City, PSG, Juventus.
– Nikolo Moro, This defensive midfielder has over 100 appearances for Dinamo Zagreb, he is older at 22, but is fantastic on the ball and anchoring that back line of the defence, a very physical player and will certainly be making his full national debut with Croatia in the near future and a move to a big name European side is certainly on the cards.
This clearly means more
I was never one for the three word strap line…
Thought ours was a pretty entitled
But then I saw how much it gets under the skin of rival fans and began to adopt it, purely for the wind up potential.
Now the league has been won, and I’ve never seen so many rival fans so gutted.
So, maybe it does mean more, and not necessarily to those of us who support Liverpool… but to you lot still bumping your gums about it
If one of the first things you do after checking your team’s result is look to see if Liverpool lost, if you take the time to complain about asterisks and unbearables, then maybe, just maybe means more to you than you’re trying to let on
I think I’m in love with Mason Greenwood.
We wait in anticipation…
Oh I do look forward to the responses to Ken’s mail.
We could not keep away from the camera for long so we made a Football365 Isolation Show. Watch it, subscribe and share until we get back in the studio/pub and produce something a little slicker…