Is Harry Kane too boring to get the credit he deserves?

Date published: Wednesday 22nd September 2021 8:20 - Editor F365

Harry Kane

Get your mails on any subject in to in time for the afternoon Mailbox…


Kane credit
I just don’t get it, I’m not sure there has been another striker this good that gets such little credit from football fans. Harry Kane is an amazing footballer, goals scored, assists, work rate, dark arts, heading, set plays, technical excellent, defending, vision etc. By any measure he is one of the finest players in the world. He’s started 3 games in the prem this season and because he’s not scored he’s deemed as not good enough to improve a strikerless team. It’s crazy.

He’s a slow starter, always has been and probably always will be. I think he needs to be at the absolute peak of fitness to be effective. It’s possible (and likely) that after this season he will be 3rd in the all time premier league scoring charts, for someone who has 5 or so years at the top left, that’s an impressive feat. He’s been in the top 2 prem scores in 5 of the last 7 seasons, so consistency despite apparently have ankles made of balsa wood.

Of course you don’t have to like him, he might be a bit dull, might play for your rivals but the blindspot that so many have on him is crazy, it’s bizarre.


Wycombe injustice
Great read on Wycombe. I used to head down to Adams Park a couple of times a season – it’s a fantastic, family friendly club that’s incredibly welcoming to opposition fans.

For me, the saddest aspect wasn’t the loss of revenue but that this amazing community barely got to watch their team in the Championship. This was the first time the club had been in the second tier in its 134-yr existence. There may well not be another chance for many if these fans, all because Derby decided the rules shouldn’t apply to them.
Will, LFC

Ian King: Wycombe Wanderers could teach Pep a lesson about injustice


Boring, boring Chelsea?
Thought I couldn’t let Bernard’s letter calling out Thomas Tuchel’s tactical changes in the second half of the Spurs match and Roman’s vision of Barcelona in blue (not sure he wants the current Barcelona) without redressing the balance.

He calls out Tuchel’s switch to a 3-5-2. It’s pointless typing reams on the technical aspects of systems and players as people like Bernard are binary, You’re either exciting or your not.

Interesting that boring Chelsea had more shots than United, had the same number on target and created the same number of big chances at the weekend.

This boring team stands joint top of the league, having played Liverpool, Spurs and Arsenal away in their first 5 games; Scoring one goal less than the rampant United.

I’m not sure winning the hearts of neutrals will keep Thomas in a job. The league is shaping up for a real battle and even more incredible that Brighton have nudged their way in (how Spurs could do with a manager like Potter, he doesn’t get the credit he deserves).

I’ll hand back to the Man U letters page.
Pete B


Ronaldo and shirt sales
I know this is something that F365 has dealt with previously, but Adeel makes the frankly ridiculous claim in Tuesday morning’s mailbox that “[t]he money he’s [Ronaldo] helping rake in from T-shirt sales alone has more than already paid his transfer fee”.

Taking even a half a minute to think about this would show that this can’t be anywhere close to being true.

Back in 2016 Man United signed a 10 year deal worth about €875m for Adidas to manufacture their kits, i.e. Adidas are paying Man United €87.5m per year to lease the rights to manufacture and sell Man United branded clothing. Man United receive that annual lump sum plus a percentage of each product sold. Adidas receive the lions share of the profit as it is them who is taking the risk.

Back in August Pundit Arena published this article which points out that traditionally clubs get about 7.5% commission from the sale of merchandise. Liverpool make more than any other PL club by receiving 20%.

The Man United online store have replica adult Ronaldo jerseys on sale for €94.00, with the “authentic” versions costing €134.00. If, for the sake of the easy maths, we assume Man United make a 10% commission on each jersey sale, at retail price, it means they will get between €9.40 and €13.40 per adult jersey sold.

United signed Ronaldo, not including salary/signing bonus/agent fee/etc. for around €15m. For Man United to make €15m on jersey sales, they would have to sell between 1.1m and 1.6m jerseys.

This article from The Guardian says that Man United sold just under 3m jerseys over the 2015/16 season. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to think that they are probably still around those numbers.

Now this is the important part: for United to make back Ronaldo’s transfer fee from his jersey sales, you can only really count the jerseys sold above and beyond what would have been sold anyway, i.e. United would have to sell approximately 37% to 53% more jerseys this season, all with Ronaldo on them, than they would have sold regardless. If United continue to sell 3m jerseys this season, even if they all have Ronaldo on them, then they haven’t made back his transfer fee because those jerseys would have been sold anyway.

Perhaps Man United will make €15m more on merchandising this season purely thanks to Ronaldo signing, anything is possible after all. However, what is impossible to know is if they have done it before the end of September.


…Adeel… Obviously you don’t understand how contracts work, Adidas paid Man U a ridiculous amount of money to be able to produce & sell their kit, shirt sales do not pay for any players transfer fee, it’s just given Adidas better value for their contract! Whether the mental wages United have committed to proves to be value for money will be evident at the end of the deal, a couple of tap-ins & keeper errors prove nothing. The proof will be if united’s end of season goal tally rises significantly compared to without him & if they end their trophy drought… as opposed to ending juventus’s domination. I would also like to bet that united’s debt is rising by around half a million a week but now that the prodigal son has returned all seems to be forgiven where the glazers are concerned.
Marcel G.


Tuesday’s mailbox: Pep Guardiola, not Daniel Levy, won the Harry Kane battle…


Morality of Ole in/out
One of the most discussed topics in the mailbox everyday seems to be if Ole is the right manager for United or not. Below is an alternative perspective to this discussion.

First of all, I understand that we as fans want the best for our team and that we could sometimes be irrational. However I do not understand how anyone could say with conviction that a certain manager should be sacked because there is a better one in the market. Below are my reasons for the same:

1. Many fans were calling for Poch to come in when United were struggling towards the end of last year. However United have since seemingly turned it around (not enough admittedly) and Poch has gone on to PSG where he is struggling to make the expected impact. How could anyone have called for Ole to removed by Poch with conviction if he can struggle this way?

2. Many fans were calling for Tuchel to come in at different times last year. I agree that Tuchel has done wonders at Chelsea (so far) and he did well to guide them to UCL victory. But he was also struggling at PSG towards the end. I remember him struggling at Dortmund also towards the end of his tenure there.

3. Many fans are calling for Zidane or Conte to come in now. The way I see it, the one thing they do have over Ole is a record of winning titles which is the most important thing. However they bring a style of play which is not always great to watch. Zidane’s madrid played out from the back with confidence but relies heavily on individuals to make the difference. Same goes for Conte who will make United difficult to beat and set up a style where 3 or maximum 4 attackers can flourish due to his favored 3 at the back system. How are they what United fans want when that is the stick they use to beat Ole with?
Honestly in my opinion, there is a similar risk associated to appointing anyone other than Pep and Klopp.

4. Finally, and this is the main reason I do not understand how fans can call for the sack (of any manager for that sake), how can anyone publicly try to get someone removed from their job? Is that not a bad thing, putting pressure via online media, so that a person can be removed from his job, a job at which Ole is not exactly excelling, but not doing that bad? How would you feel if you find that someone tells your boss that he wants you to get the sack?

This is not an attack on any of your opinions. I just think from my perspective it is morally wrong to call for someone’s sack. There are always extenuating circumstances during which this might be right. But am I naive in thinking this way? I hope no one takes an offense and I can see a good/reasonable argument against the points I made to help me understand this.
Ehab (Choosing to go with my real name henceforth. Previously FerventFootaballer)


Lucky Ole?
Daniel, I am really starting to think you only watched the highlights of that game. Mctominay had a poor game? I can’t believe it. I said he played an amazing pass that led to the equaliser and you are telling me you didn’t see it? What game were you watching? I didn’t say he gave the assist, I know Bruno gave the direct ball that eventually led to the goal but go back and watch the full match and you will know which Mctominay pass I was talking about. Also, regardless of the pass, I don’t think he played anything close to a poor game. But that is subjective so…

I doubt I called Matic a goal-assist machine, he just plays forward passes that advances the ball into the final third. It is why a pivot of Pogba and Matic is effective because teams cannot just press Pogba and leave Matic because he is also capable of progressing the ball. As for my statement on Mctominay being the first name on the team sheet, that was more tongue in cheek than anything, the first player could be the goalkeeper for all I care, that is Ole’s business.

You should really find out what he said about Pogba’s assist because then you will understand why I haven’t taken it out of context. You brought a stat about “7 assist Pogba” being taken out for Lingard and I know Pogba makes great passes but that stat in itself is inconsequential. The game is 1-1, Pogba is tiring, he is still capable of making the game winning pass but also capable of doing something that leads to united conceding; in the past, Ole would not take him off, if you asked him why, he would tell you he wanted to keep the players that were most capable of making a difference on the pitch. It shows the trust Ole has in Lingard that he replaced Pogba with him. Lingard provides fresh legs and almost unrivalled workrate, but he also provides an ability to score goals and create them.

But you think it’s an odd choice that Pogba was the one to make room for him? Lingard was brought on in search of goals, Mctominay and Fred are United’s most balanced pairing, if Mctominay was pulled out, Pogba moves into the midfield, your “7 assist Pogba” is kept on the field. Fred and Pogba are an okay pairing when united are attacking, but when they don’t have the ball, they allow opponents to attack down the centre far too much, against West ham, doing this is asking to concede more than any show of attacking will. Watch the game against Wolves and you may understand. Pulling out Fred means Pogba moves into midfield again, Mctominay and Pogba are also an okay pairing when united have the ball and even when they don’t, but when united are in the build up phase, it is so ineffective, Mctominay does not like passing forward unlike Fred and Matic (your goal-assisting machine). It makes united so slow and predictable. Go back and watch the Europa league final and you may understand. Don’t even think of Donny, he is worse than Mctominay when trying to progress the ball and in a constant search for space like the Raumdeter that he is, he may leave his partner all alone and even attack the box, again, against West ham who are effective on the counter, that is a big red button.

“If we were moneyballing, we would try to field our players with the highest likelihood of creating a chance, not take them off”
I agree with you and I am sure Ole does but he is not about to do something that will have West ham licking their lips.

I agree with you that Matic has become slow and lacks the energy to play at the pace of the league week in week out. But Matic plays backwards and sideways passes?!?!? Hey, I am talking about Nemanja Matic of man utd here, it is his one strong suit, 7 of his 8 passes against west ham were forward passes, he has always been a player who looked to advance the ball up the pitch. Go check out the percentage of his passes that end up going forward before you argue again please. It is as you say, the substitutions came off, I am not about to say something as arrogant as I would have had my money on that, but I am sure it was not a fluke.


…Daniel, Cambridge seems to me like one of those guys who seem to think throwing on all your best available (especially attacking) players is the best football tactic. No consideration for balance, no consideration for opposition, no consideration for flow, no consideration for player types. Just keep as many flashy players on.
Man isn’t a FIFA game!

He says “If we were Moneyballing, we’d be trying to field our players with the highest likelihood of creating chances at that point, not take them off”

Well if you were watching the game you’d realise the subs were right on the money. When the opposition sits deep you need a player that can find shooting space in tight areas, bring on Lingard(watch his goal against NW). When you have multiple lines of defending players, you need a line breaking passer, Bring on Matic.

He made these decisions whilst considering the balance of the team. Why put pogba in the hole when we all know he’s not a disciplined defender. It is a tight match against a good team why take such a risk,l?

The subs then combine to grab the winning goal and you call it luck?”It doesn’t seem like a deliberate plan, it seems like a fluke, like Ole’s players have once again bailed him out”
Jesus Christ!
Adetayo Kujebe, Lagos, Nigeria

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