Stop the Fernandes, Cantona ‘nonsense’ before it’s too late

Date published: Tuesday 11th August 2020 2:58

Bruno Fernandes is not the best Manchester United signing since Eric Cantona. Stop being silly.

Bruno Fernandes Man Utd

Send your thoughts on Bruno Fernandes, Eric Cantona and other silly things to say to


Bruno way
Dear editor

Regarding Bruno Fernandes, I’d like to highlight that at some point last night Ian Darke actually said out loud that some people are suggesting Bruno Fernandes is Man Utd’s best signing since Eric Cantona. Let that sink in for a moment. True, he wasn’t saying it was his opinion, but he was giving voice to the apparent opinion of some who actually think that. Are there really people who think that? I mean, twitter is full of idiots but do we really need Ian Darke repeating such nonsense?

I don’t support Utd, but off the top of my head, since Cantona, Utd have signed serial winners such as Roy Keane, Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic, Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo. I get that Utd fans are a bit giddy about Fernandes, but people like Darke should be keeping things in perspective.

Imagine thinking Fernandes after a few months was a better signing than Ronaldo. FFS


Why Man United actually need Sancho
Maybe they need someone to commit defenders in the penalty area in pursuit of breaking another penalty record again next year?
Simon, Londn


My fingertips are holding onto…
Good read from Seb
, thought I might give my 2 cents about the areas we need to work on.

No doubt he’s a good player and a potential future Ballon’dor winner. However splurging £108M for one player doesn’t seem efficient when we have other concerns.

DM- Fred as good as he is in tackling, just isn’t good enough to fill Matic’s boots. He can’t shield the defense or the goal given his already short stature and seems to crumble in his own half whenever pressured by the opposition. Last night wasn’t the first time I’ve seen him lose possession in similar areas. Should not be starting games but can be useful to fill in for tired legs. Matic has just turned 33 so this area needs strengthening fast.

LB- Williams gets the excuse for being young and inexperienced (Bonus for being British and from the Academy). Also needs to be switched to RB, he’s a right footer playing in a LB position  Shaw is good and Rashford just seems lost without him. We honestly need to look into the market for someone who isn’t always injured. Alex Telles (27) seems to be the name being touted around.

RB- It just seems like we’re playing with an extra CB when AWB plays. That’s not totally a bad thing since he’s phenomenal at defending but that’s all the more reason to look into getting in another RB. AWB is very average going forward, doesn’t always commit to beat the man and just ends up passing it back to Mason or Fernandes. He hardly ever crosses (all the more reason to shift Brandon to RB cause I never see him crossing either), and when he does the quality is just poor. Maybe AWB is our solution to the uncertainty around the CB position?

CM-Pogba’s injury record isn’t that great, it probably explains some of his inconsistencies since joining us 4 years ago(My word time flies). Ole would do well to get in another CM to cover or start the occasional game. Donny van de Beek is the name being touted around, he can play both CM and AM so could provide cover for Fernandes too. 10 goals and 11 assists at 23 years of age and from what I’ve read going for a measly sum between the ranges of £36M. Rather have him than paying £80M for Jack Grealish just being English born and bred.

We’re obviously not going to get all these areas strengthened since Ole might turn to youth prospects or just use some of the other squad members. I mean Dalot and McTominay still exist.
PS, Nairobi.

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I have to ask if Seb Stafford-Bloor actually watched the Man Utd v Copenhagen game at all? Whilst I agree that United definitely need a fast moving centre-back to partner the Maguire super-tanker, a la Vidic/Ferdinand, and a younger defensive midfielder, or a re-assignment of McTominay, did you not see how little progress United made down the right? AWB is a fantastic defender, the best tackling player I remember in a United shirt but I would take a Gary Neville equivalent over him in a heartbeat, primarily because AWB offers zero going forwards.

To be fair to him, part of that reason is that Greenwood isn’t a winger, Rashford plays well on the left because he is happy to hug the touchline, creating more space for Martial/Fernandes/Pogba and pulling the right-back out further. It also gives Williams a chance to make the over-lapping runs and stretch the defence further. Greenwood’s positioning isn’t as good, hence every time AWB gets the ball he’s usually got to try to beat a man or two, which he has only managed once or twice this season, or turn back and play a safe ball back up the pitch, which he does 9 times out of 10.

If we had a genuine right-winger, AWB becomes the over-lapping player and would probably get more crossing practice, which he definitely needs. This also has the benefit of having two flanks for the opposition to worry about, Copenhagen were often found wanting on their right but their left-back had a far easier time.

Now onto the other point, if you genuinely think United are going to pay c. £100m for a player, just to make social media progress, you’re daft. If United continue to play Rashford wide-left, there is no reason not to go 4-4-2 and play with two wingers, leaving Martial and Greenwood up front. What I would say is that while Sancho’s stats are phenomenal and he is clearly an excellent player, I would be tempted to look for a more reasonably priced option and buy a centre-back, defensive midfielder and maybe a left winger.

The heat was a factor last night but United’s front line, and midfield come to that, look knackered, Rashford especially. They need some rest and that would be where I would focus transfers, the good shipping out work continues including that mill-stone Sanchez, get rid of Lingard, the forty seven centre-backs and a few more and invest wisely and we might start to challenge.

Paul, Man Utd


Bayern property
With pretty much every team in the premier league with league winning ambitions bar Liverpool needing a very good central defender, surely Bayern could be talked into selling one of theirs they have an embarrassment of riches at centre back. Boetang, Alaba, Pavard, Lucas Hernandez, Niklas Sule and Javi Martinez, that right there is 6 centre halfs that would slot into any team in England outside of Liverpool. That is bloody ridiculous that bayern have managed to bring together such a group of top quality defenders.

When so many of Europe’s top clubs are trying to find their own “Van Dijk” to transform their defences, Bayern have a choice between literally 6 of the best defenders in the world backed up by the fact 4 of the 6 have won the world cup. While the 2 that haven’t won a world cup are Alaba, who is probably one of the best players in the world in two different positions left and centre back, and Niklas Sule who is only 24 and a starter for the current German set up and a damn good defender already.

I’d take anyone if them to start in Chelseas defence and I’d imagine Frank Lampard would too.
Aaron CFC Ireland.


So over it
In relation to Matt Stead’s piece on the Top Ten Times the wrong player won the player of the year. The player of the year is a subjective award of course, however there tends to be a general feeling of “really?” amongst football fans when it is generally perceived as the wrong choice. Maybe Mr Stead felt that its a little too early to have “Henderson instead of Kevin De Bruyne” included in his top ten. Though I have no doubt it ll be noted in future articles of similar contact. Ultimately a hipster vote in my humble opinion. Given to Liverpools captain due to the fact that it had been 30 yrs since Liverpools last league title. Henderson played well this season, but he wasn’t even the best player at his club. A sentimental vote that will look more ridiculous as the years go by.

I hasn’t even intended to get into that. It’s so obvious I feel it barely warrants being pointed out. Anyway, my actual point here was supposed to be that Mr Stead stated that Rooney was undeserving, or less deserving than Drogba in 2010. The argument being that “Didier Drogba ended the season with a title medal in one hand and a Golden Boot in the other yet it was League Cup winner Wayne Rooney who was named the best player by players, fans and football writers.”

It should be remembered that the league title that season was determined by one of the most blatantly offside goals in living memory (YouTube it if you don’t want to take my word for it) . Scored by Didier Drogba at Old Trafford in a 1-2 win for Chelsea. A goal that ultimately turned out to be the winner in a huge 6 pointer game with only 5 league games remaining. Had that Drogba goal been correctly ruled out it is highly unlikely that Chelsea would have won the league, as they finished just point ahead of united, and Drogba offside goal was worth a 3 point swing in giving Chelsea a win instead of a 1-1 draw, in a game where united had more possession, pass completion and shots.

I’m not whinging about it. Time has moved on and it is what it is, but to say that Rooney didn’t deserve a player of the year award due to ultimately a shockingly poor linesman call is a very fine margin indeed.
Edwin Ambrose (I am still whinging about it actually) 


You’ve got to be kitting
Kevin from Nottingham
, you’ve mixed up two separate Southampton Vs Man Utd games from 1996.

The infamous grey kit was changed at half time of a 3-1 loss on 13/04, replaced with the blue and white strip.

When Southampton triumphed 6-3 on 26/10, Utd wore that same blue and white for the entire ninety minutes.

Which leads me to ask, in a single calender year of the Premier League era, has any time beaten Man Utd by more than a combined 9-4 scoreline?
Dario (Pirlo is in charge at Juventus. And we all thought Solskjær was underqualified!) Herts.


Top suggestion this morning from Kevin about an “Iconikit” that resembles your club, I am not Arsenal fan of course but I 100% agree with his shout for the 05/06 jersey, that final year at Highbury kit is the one jersey of a rival I do quite, well, love, I can instantly see Robert Pires and Theirry Henry celebrating a goal in my mind, a true masterpiece.

Now onto Chelsea, there are two kits that come to my mind, the 2003-05 Home jersey, mainly due to arguably the greatest league season in our history, under Jose Mourinho with a team consisting of the greatest Premier League defence of all time, Petr Cech, Paulo Ferreira, John Terry, Ricardo Carvalho, Glen Johnson and Claude Makelele in his own Makelele defined role, not forgetting that attacking threat we had, Duff, Drogba and Robben, how many fans would love to go back to this era after witnessing the likes of Kepa, Rudiger and Emerson this season.

Let’s not forget that this was a season in which we lifted our first title in 50 years, the season after Arsenal went unbeaten, our list of achievements that season were: Most Away Wins at 15, Most Clean Sheets at 25 and Fewest Goals In A Season at 15, incredible.

The final choice would be the 2011/12 home jersey, the season which started with such excitement, such potential under AVB and quickly turned sour come Christmas, but those final few months under Roberto Di Matteo where we lifted an FA Cup and the Champions League mean that particular home kit will likely win any reader poll on the most iconic kit of our club’s history, can already see Didier Drogba now running around the Allianz Arena with the trophy, good memories indeed.
Mikey, CFC (The 2005/06 Centenary kit was also quite nice, as to the 2012/13 Gold and Blue to celebrate the London Olympics)


Wonders of the world
Just reading another story about a club linked with / signing a ‘wonder kid’. Can someone please clarify if any player under the age of 18 is not a ‘wonder kid’ and what is a ‘wonder kid’? In olden days you had youngsters and promising youngsters, now everyone is a ‘wonder kid’, confused.


European managers XI
Last week I sent a mail in with a PL Managers team that I predicted would have enough to qualify for Europe,

Reminder (442): Nuno / Potter,  Bruce, Pep, Bilic / Arteta , Ancelotti, Parker, Lampard / Ole, Hassenhuttl

Well, in my mind they have qualified and now have to face off against a team of managers left in Europe!

So, here goes. Nuno, Ole and Pep are on the PL team and cannot then tog out for this team. I am a stickler for the rules.

GK – Julen Lopetegui

A La Liga winner with Real Madrid and a career that took in Barecelona and Rayo Vallecano, as he is the only keeper manager left in the comp, it makes sense to have him in goals.

RB – Luis Castro

Shakhtar manager, but more importantly a right back with 158 appearances for Agueda. Has a relegation on his CV but otherwise another man in the right place at the right time!

CB – Thomas Tuchel

Career tragically cut short at 25 means SSV Ulm was the peak. I am informed he was an imposing central defender and that is good enough for this band of brothers.

CB – Julian Nagelsmann

Amazingly is still only 33, so why he isn’t actually still plying his trade as a Centre Half is unclear. Possibly not very good.

LB – Zsolt Low

Assistant Manager at PSG (I know, bending the rules a little).

LW – Marcel Koller

Dependable. Won the league 7 times and some cups too. Played at the World Cup. Bags of experience.

CM – Antionio Conte

Glittering career, tough as f**k, won the lot as a player. Captain.

CM – GianPiero Gasperini

I look at the way Atalanta play and hope he can impose that style on this team

CM – Diego Simeone

See Conte A. Also, the connoisseurs shithouse. El Cholo.

RW -Peter Bosz

Well travelled midfielder, so nothing will phase him. This midfield will be hard to get through.

CF – Miroslav Klose

Assistant manager at Bayern. Never heard of him but apparently a centre forward.


Hansi Flick, Quique Setien,  Stale Solbakken


Rudi Garcia

Who wins? I reckon my PL managers would shade this over 2 legs.

Who do I speak to in the FA to get this to be the Community Shield.
DC (Special thanks to Wikipedia), BAC 


Spousal punditry
Following on from Johnny Nic’s article about the football analysis of his better half, I thought I’d send in my own.

We listened to the United game in the car last night, while driving home. I then watched extra time and she went to bed. Watching the news this morning, we saw the brief highlights of the game. This was this conversation:

Her: So did they win or lose?

Me: They won.

Her: By just scoring one penalty?

Me: Yes

Her: That’s a bit s**t isn’t it?

Not bad analysis really.
Mike, LFC, London


Hold on…

How do I submit a write up to the mailbox?

Kind regards,


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