Even Klopp would struggle to turn Man Utd around overnight

Joe Williams
Jurgen Klopp Liverpool Man Utd

Send your wonderful thoughts to theeditor@football365.com…

 

Say you want a revolution? Count me in…out
Sounds like we really need a mail on Ole so I thought I would chip in.

My thoughts as a Liverpool fan are that Ole has been a success this season. He has integrated good new purchases into the team (Fernandes/Maguire/AWB), while removing some of the dross (Lingard/Pereira/etc). He has got Man U playing a brand of football that is genuinely engaging again. He has got them in the Champions League. Job done for this year I think.

The issue I feel though ties a little into the progression of Liverpool. Klopp is clearly a SAF-style one of a kind. He came over here with his gegenpressing, his Arsene style commitment to not spending the dinero, and crafted a tactically astute team who entertained but fell a bit short. And this is where most managers get to – the joy of overachieving before the pressure from a lack of progress kills you. The interesting and unique thing about Klopp though is that he basically sacked a guy nicknamed “The Brain” and went about one of the most intelligent and underrated changes in identity I’ve seen. Firstly, he adapted his purchasing philosophy, still shopping on the whoopsie shelf for gems such as Robertson, but also signing Van Dijk and Alisson…which was for the second part of the plan I call “Operation Boring”. I jest a little, but essentially this Liverpool team don’t run like mad dogs all the time. They play conservatively in the first half, going through the gears in the second half if still drawing, reverting to conservative play if a lead is established, with a dollop of gung-ho to steal the points at the last if required. He recognised that you can’t keep that intensity up every minute of the season, and you just can’t tolerate that drop in intensity without a clear plan and quality in the team to execute.

And this is where the Ole conundrum comes in. He had a great season, but…to be a manager and win the Premier League at the moment you need 90+ points. You need to be a great motivator, a top tactician, executing a vision which means that everyone can see what is being achieved factoring it into transfer policy, fitness regimes, and the like – and it all needs to be done under immense pressure. FWIW, I think he is a great motivator, the team ran themselves into the ground for a reason, but the fury on the pitch wasn’t gegenpressing because it was never obvious where the triggers were, and that is just the start of the tactical learning journey he would need to go on. There are a lot of superstars in that team, the attack is formidable, and 2nd isn’t out of the question next season. But can they beat both Man City/Guardiola and Liverpool/Klopp to get 1st place? I just don’t see it, and ultimately I think that’s why some people think he’s had a bad season, because for the achievements most Man U fans expect, given the players available, he just hasn’t demonstrated the tactical ability to be able to cut it at the top table or underpin the vision the club needs to get there. And unfortunately, some times you have to end even a good relationship when you can’t see it reaching the altar any more.
Adam, LFC

 

Rebuttals to the rebuttals
Interesting mail from Brian Chung, but I feel we need rebuttals to his rebuttals.

1 – From day one, there has been this feeling Ole is not good enough from some.  It feels like people decided early on he is never going to succeed, so will always be biased with teir views, instead of looking at things with a sensible head on.  The comparisons with Fergie are in part style, but mainly that he was the poster child for what can happen if you give a manager time.  And note, the word “can”.  People seem convinced they know what is going to happen, well I ask those people, what are the winning numbers in the lottery?  Football is a game of many variables, that can lead on to many outcomes.  So, we don’t “truly” know if Ole will be a success or not – its down to faith and trust.  Any manager is a risk.

I can also take a section of what you said and change the names, and it also works in this moment in time.

“When Ole went to Man Utd, he was bogged down by Moyes, Van Gaal and Mourinho signings – but when he went he has instilled his type of play and is slowly getting rid of players he doesn’t need. But Ole needs the time, b/c he is building something and everyone can see it”. (well that last bit is probably debateable!).   And that’s the point.  You’re judging Ole based on something Klopp did, that he is in the process of trying, simply because we know Klopp succeeded, whereas we are still very much in the unknown with Ole.  It may be that he is the manager that lays the foundations for the next one, or he could be the one to bring success back.  How do we know that Pochettino would do better?  Or even Klopp himself?  Each club is different and comes with it different challenges and issues.  Ole may be more suited to the club, not so much because of that often used reason that he “Knows the club”, but because his personality allows him to ignore the shenanigans above him and just focus on the team.  Ed Woodward and the Glazers aren’t going anywhere.  Would Klopp have handled them well?

2 – Champions league qualification was so important that we had no choice but to keep playing the same side.  Its clear to everyone we have a very good first XI, but the rest of the squad isn’t quite good enough or not suitable to a team trying to attack.  Before signing Bruno, and with Pogba out, we were struggling to beat teams we should, on paper, be beating.  Guess what, we beat those teams during the run post lockdown, because those two players were playing.  If we had rested them, plus the front three, we would have had to rely on those players who had failed to beat the teams in previous months.  We drew away at Shef Utd (and that was lucky), lost to Bournemouth and drew with Villa using the players Brian suggests we should have rotated in.  We won all those games, post lockdown with our best players and that put us in a position where the pressure was on Chelsea and Leicester.   Besides, in the games where we had them won by the hour mark, Ole did take the main players off.

3 – Its become fashionable to knock Maguire.  Personally I think he has improved our defence.  His lack of pace may be an issue, but some of the greatest defenders didn’t have pace.  I think he just needs a pacey partner with him and then you will see the best from him.  Much like Rio, who always looked suspect until we signed Vidic. Central defenders are only as good as the partnership they are in.

AWB, well, you haven’t been proven right.  Its still an opinion.  If his positioning is wrong, then he wouldn’t even be in the right position to tackle!  We should be applauding a defender who can time his tackles so well. As for his crossing.  Well, he’s ranked joint 6th for defenders for assists with 4 in total, in the premier league.  You take away the Liverpool fullback pair and he’s very much in line with other clubs.  So, he must be getting those assists some other way?   Or are you making the mistake of comparing him to those Liverpool pair who, lets be honest, are freaks of nature in terms of their stats!?

Daniel James.  Now I know, you’re not what I think of as a proper United fan.  Because a proper United fan will support young players.  Think of where he came from.  Maybe those early numbers didn’t help him?  I just see a player who could be a late developer, and just needs more confidence and coaching, all things that take time.  But hey, lets just write off a young (in football terms) player after a single season.

As for getting rid of players.  Not sure what your criticism is?   They didn’t get rid of enough in one hit?  What if there were no buyers?  It takes time to clear deadwood on stupidly large contracts who really don’t have to move of they don’t want to.  I think you’ve been playing too much football manager if you think it’s a simple job to get rid of players.

Depends on ones definition of a director of football?  Because, Matt Judge and Ed Woodward would still be the ones doing the actual negotiations even if we had one.  So, they would be in charge of finding the players?  Well, as an excellent article on that paywall website we shouldn’t mention pointed out, they have set up a recruitment team, which is why we’re seeing a more focussed recruitment policy – young, hungry players for example.  Will it work long term?  Again, as pointed out above, Ed and the Glazers are not going anywhere, so you’ll never get the magic director of footballer as there would be clashes at the director level – Ed Woodward has an ego after all and The Glazers won’t want someone to tell them to spend this or that amount of money with out being involved.

4 – If you run 100m in the same time, but won, you improved your position, and probably raced different people, so it’s a stupid analogy – especially as for it to work, you’d have only joined halfway through the first one and further back.  So,  if you honestly can’t see the improvement in how we play from the previous management to where we are now, then you don’t understand football and its probably not for you.  Is it the finished article?  No of course not.  Of course, the step up in quality we will play in the champions league will at times overwhelm us.  But that was normal under Fergie. See the losses in the mid 90s to Juventus and the mid 00s to Milan to see the journey we made under Sir Alex Ferguson in European football.  Klopp had his early Liverpool teams play heavy metal football, but they lost a few finals early on due to not being quite good enough.  Now look at them.  It’s a process that takes time.  As for Covid helping us.  Well, it also allowed other teams to bring back their long terms injured players so not sure what advantage we had?  And, shock horror, a team signs a better player and it improves them.  Who sanctions that signing?  The manager.  Much like with Liverpool who needed a better goalkeeper, and went and signed one, we needed a playmaker, so went and brought one.  And he didn’t come earlier, because  (according to Andy Mitten on the Talk of the Devil podcast – and I trust him over most journalists when it comes to United due to his history with them), United were operating on a EUROPA league transfer budget due to not being in the Champions League, so couldn’t afford the original asking price (again, not Ole’s fault, blame the Glazers and Ed Woodward), but during the season, it became apparent that Sporting Lisbon were having financial difficulties, so they were able to negotiate more favourable payment terms (whilst also using this summers budget).  Sometimes transfers take more than one window – Liverpool fans will remember that with VVD!

5 – I now suspect you’re even not a United fan, because counter-attacking play, one that is direct and full of pace, is the hallmark of the great Fergie sides and I’d say the great Busby teams as well.  Remember that goal away at Brighton where Matic lobbed the ball forward and we scored within 10 seconds with a couple of passes?  No different to great goals against Kiev, or Arsenal in Europe in the era of Ronaldo, Rooney and Tevez.  Also, very similar to a goal I remembered when reading the recent article on Eric Cantona.  One he scored away at Shef United in the FA Cup in 1994.  I’d much rather that than have Mourinho leaving one attacker up top whilst parking the bus – with their job to get a corner or freekick.  Or Van Gaal’s passing from side to side.  Again, is it the finished style?  No, but again, its work in progress and with better players in the squad, it will allow us to rotate, and make subtle changes – especially when playing teams who allow us the ball.

In conclusion, I can’t make my mind up if you are actually a fan of another club, or a newish fan, brought up on the “now” of our times.  But who realistically should we have?  They must be obtainable – so no, those young hip German coaches are working on their own projects at their clubs, and no Pep or Klopp.  I can only think of Allegri or Pochettino.  Allegri feels very wrong.  A winner, yes.  But I can’t see him building a team and his style of play wouldn’t fit well at Old Trafford – and it would mean another change in club philosophy, one we don’t need.  Pochettino did very well at Spurs and is tactically very good – but, still as big of a risk as Ole, but for different reasons.  He hasn’t managed at a club the size of United with their expectations.  At Spurs, it always felt like he was getting them to punch above their weight – which shows how well he did.  But at United, he would be under more pressure, more intense exposure – could he handle the 53 articles F365 post after a United defeat??!!  As Ole hit the target of Champions League football, there are enough United fans who would be sad to see him fired for what he has done, fans who remember what he has done for the club.  They will not be forgiving if Pochettino needed time.  Could he handle that?  Ole seems to be able to handle all the criticism from United fans like Brian and filter it out.
John “Why does it have to be OleIn or OleOut, why not OleWellLetsSeeWhatHappens?” Morgan, South Derbyshire

 

I was going to give writing into the mailbox a break until the start of the season, it’s always nice to switch off from football a bit and focus on other things before going full steam into another stretch of hope and despair, plus I get sick of the sound of my own voice sometimes so can only imagine what it’s like for others. However, Brian Chung’s lament really irked me for some reason. Maybe it’s because he is a United supporter, otherwise I probably would have laughed it off and let it go. Maybe it’s the whole rip it up and start again narrative running through his email. Or maybe it’s because he referred to the team as a product, yuck. Regardless, it warranted a riposte.

1)     Nobody is saying Ole is Fergie. Or Klopp/Zidane/Pep. The point being made is that building a team capable of competing takes time. You give Klopp credence because “he was bogged down by Brendan Rodgers signings – but when he went he instilled his type of play and slowly got rid of players he didn’t need”. Hello? Could the same not be said of Ole? Does he not deserve time to build a squad to try to compete or should we just continue to sack managers annually after it becomes clear they can’t win the league because you know, it takes time. I don’t know if it’s the immediacy of modern life or just a reflection of the modern football fan, but there is no quick fix. Have patience, enjoy the rollercoaster ride, soak up the abuse from opposing fans because when you win all the time you take it for granted – when we do win the league again it will taste so much sweeter.

2)     “A lot of us thought that the run we went on since the Burnley defeat was not sustainable”. Going unbeaten in the league (which was our priority), rising from 7th to 3rd (our maximum realistic target) and beating 3 of our top 4 rivals in that time (Chelsea, City and Leicester) feels pretty sustainable. Getting beaten in a knockout tournament is par for the course, these are one-off games where anything can happen. We were the much better team against Sevilla, but poor finishing let us down. Had we rotated the squad and missed out on Top 4 (and CL) we may still have been knocked out of the cups because there’d be no momentum or positivity to take into these matches. Perhaps the squad isn’t good/experienced enough yet to rotate in the league? What I will say by way of criticism, is that Ole should have made more changes in the cup games and should have made subs earlier against Sevilla. But you live and learn, and he will.

3)     I won’t go through each transfer, but to make sweeping (ignorant) statements such as (Maguire is) “constantly out of position and has very limited reading of the game but he has a big head and wins lots of headers” shows a limited grasp of understanding the game. His clearances/blocks/tackles compare favourably with the best in the league (look it up on whoscored), highlighting his positional sense and reading of the game, and our defence improved massively due to him and AWB. Dan James has just had his first season in the PL and is clearly still finding his way – he has the potential to be a decent option and squad player. As regards AWB, saying “the reason why you’re having to slide tackle so much is because you’re out of position, so your reading of the game is off” is a lazy statement which would only apply if he was constantly chasing back making last-ditch tackles. He is generally in a good position but likes to nip in and steal the ball, it works a lot of the time.

And you want to weaken our squad immeasurably by getting rid of all the “deadwood” at once? Then you’d be out bemoaning how thin our squad is.

4)     Ah, the old we only got 3rd because the league was weak argument. Bore off. You give mitigating arguments for each team except our own. Chelsea and Arsenal were in transition? So presumably we are now the finished product. Leicester ran out of steam? They only won 6 of their last 21 games – that’s the majority of the season. The wheels falling off a Tottenham was partially Pochettino’s fault – how did that “identity” work out for him? Every season is littered with teams in transition and teams “running out of steam”, the only thing that matters is where you end up. Why are you comparing points to show what would have happened last year? IT’S A DIFFERENT SEASON!!!

5)     Save the best to last. There seems to be a narrative that Ole’s United doesn’t have an identity; Brian states “Counterattacking and kick and run are not a style of play for Manchester United”. Actually, it was probably this line that annoyed me the most. United played on the counter a lot under Sir Alex and managers before him, some of our most memorable goals came on the counter, so to say that counterattacking is not a style of play for Manchester United is a nonsense. It can be used in the bigger games and is exciting to watch when it works. Maybe Brian only watched the bigger games this season, because it is not how we play in the matches where we are expected to dominate possession. Our style is to play short quick passes, fullbacks pushing high causing overloads, inverted wingers who like to run with the ball at pace, MFs who play through the lines, and just pleasing attacking f**king football. Fergie changed styles quite a lot over his tenure because he knew the only identity that mattered was having the identity of a winning team.

We are a young side, don’t always get it right, can be inconsistent in front of goal, not the finished article, Ole may or may not get us back to the top, but by god this feels better than it has done for a long time. Ole’s target was to get us into the CL – he’s done that so maybe give the man a chance to show us how far he can take us before we make another change and go through this nonsense again. Eventually we’ll get it right, but it won’t be overnight so you may strap yourself in or just get off the rollercoaster Brian.
Garey Vance, MUFC

 

I think Brian Chung needs a reality check. If a man is not happy setting a 100m world record by shaving an astonishing .58 seconds of Bolt’s record, and is disappointed only matching it next time out, he has some pretty unrealistic expectations!

Context is everything Brian. United’s squad is what it is at this point in time – the fact that you’re criticising Ole for not successfully shifting and replacing 11 (Generally overpaid) players in just two transfer windows as permanent manager, rather than just the four players so far (and the window is currently open) is patently ridiculous. What is clear is that the error has been recognised and they’re clearly working to correct it.

I am not thrilled with the state of the United squad either, it speaks to years of mismanagement but its the squad Ole has to work with. You point out yourself that Klopp too had to renew his squad over a period of time – why should it be any different for United?

I’ve already said in this mailbox that I don’t think Ole is an elite manager, but for the time being he’s doing ok. I’m curious, do you think we should go out and poach Guardiola,  or  Klopp to replace him? No manager in the world will be the silver bullet that transforms United overnight. Third was as much as we could realistically expect this year and…that’s what he got. I’m not singing from the rooftops about it because I want and expect more, but it’ll take time.

Who else should we bring in that’s going to magically get another club to pay us a fee for Phil Jones and take on his £120k a week salary, and pull off the same magic trick with 6 other overpaid journeymen in the next month? Dealing with that mess in one fell swoop would be beyond even herr Klopp. Side note – that’s not Ole’s job anyway…

No one is getting carried away by the third place finish. No one is saying that there are not major, systemic issues at United. Alot of fans are just reasonably pleased with the direction of travel and a third place finish in that context.

People also need to get over the fact that United signed Harry Maguire for a record fee. As difficult as it is for them to reconcile, paying a record fee doesn’t mean you think you’ve signed the best centre back in the world ever. It represents a number of factors including that he is a proven premier league player, signed from a very good club who didn’t need to sell, and that he is an objectively very good footballer. Maybe we could’ve signed Koulibaly for a similar figure – maybe City will this summer and he’ll prove a success, or maybe he’ll be just ok for two/three seasons while he adjusts to a different league, maybe he won’t be able to hack the weather in Manchester and will be off again to sunnier climes in a year… United paid a premium for a more known quantity who has clearly improved the defence that conceded the third least goals in the league. Yes he’s a bit slow, but so are a great many centre backs – one suspects the next centre back we’ll sign will have a bit of pace to compliment him. But only an idiot thinks that paying a lot of money means every single attribute the player has should be the equivalent of a 20 on Football Manager. It’s the same stick people use to beat Pogba with and I guarantee that if United sign Sancho for a record fee he’ll get stick for not being able to (a) whip in a perfect cross every time and (b) be fast enough to sprint in and be the one to knock in the header before the ball arrives. Because apparently, the more you pay for a player, the faster they have to be. It’s science.

To be clear, there’s a raft of valid criticism of United’s management over a period of long years, stretching back before Ferguson left. I’m not happy about it but it is what it is. All people are saying is is that last year was encouraging – not that next year will be our year!
Andy (MUFC)

 

Lack of class…
One thing that has really irked me since Man Utd’s loss to Sevilla was the lack of class from Maguire in his post-match interview. He was understandably frustrated, and given Man Utd’s amount of chances to kill Sevilla off, could feel quite hard done by. But, to constantly state “the best team lost” really wound me up. Man Utd had those chances and didn’t take them because of their own inadequacies, there was no cheating or bad refereering/VAR calls, just a failure to put the ball beyond the keeper. Hargreaves might think the keeper ‘had a worldy’, but I don’t remember a single save that I wouldn’t expect any top level keeper (Kepa aside) to make.

In fact, the penalty Man Utd scored from came after Rashford had got his shot off, and wasted the chance. It was a nailed on penalty, no doubt there, but it didn’t deny a goal scoring opportunity.

I’ve read plenty of pieces saying that on another day Man Utd would have won. But what about another day where that penalty isn’t awarded, where one is given to Sevilla for the ball hitting Fernandes’ elbow in the wall (which F365 tells us, is definitely a penalty) and Brandon Williams gets a second yellow for his obvious dive? Maguire should have shown some humility and put some respect on the name of a team that controlled play for big periods and showed Man Utd how to win games when it matters.
Chris in Cardiff

 

Fit for purpose?
Dear Andy MUFC.  Thank you for taking the time to compile your mail in response to mine published on Monday afternoon.  Given that I specifically pointed out that it wasn’t a dig at United fans and, when quoting City signings, I qualified the examples by stating I didn’t know enough about other PL teams’ bargains, you still chose to take it as  tribalistic attack.

Which, on some level, is rather impressive given that the whole point of my mail was that Ed Woodward was, singlehandedly, holding United back from returning to their previous levels of success.

Nevertheless, and in answer to your points, I give you two of our most recent signings in Pablo Moreno and Issa Kabore.  If you can tell me you were fully aware of either before today, then I salute you.  On the other hand, and whilst you’re googling those names, take a quick look at F365’s ‘Every completed Premier League Transfer This Summer’.  There, you will note, you are in the august company of Villa, Burnley, and Leicester as the only clubs yet to bring in a single player.

And THAT, me old mate, was the whole point of my mail.  Why hasn’t Eddie gone out and bought the likes of Pablo or Issa instead of a tedious, PR-driven saga about Sancho who, even if you sigh him, won’t make the slightest difference to your prospects of winning silverware?  Because that’s not his brief.  His job is to make money and keep the money rolling in which does not necessarily require United to be winning trophies every year.

Again, this is NOT a City v United thing.  It’s a ‘Woodward is dragging you down to a top-ten team’ thing.  And, as I finished my last mail, I’d be grateful if you, Andy, or anybody else can tell me why I’m wrong in what I say.  I’m perfectly willing to listen to cogent arguments about how United’s transfer (and management) ‘strategy’ in the last six years has been, or is now, fit for purpose.
Mark (Blimey Charlie) MCFC.

 

 

Why aren’t Liverpool favourites?
I’d say because:

a) Man City have shown that you can spend as much money as you feel like without anything bad happening to you
b) they’ve lost some players and not replaced them / will let youth take a chance
c) they’ve got no substantive cover for Left Back and Right Back coverage is one of those prospects (if TAA and AR both missed 4 consecutive games against Utd / Chelsea / Arsenal / City  -would you still back Liverpool to win?)
d) given the broader business landscape of FSG, they’re reluctant to inject money in right now whilst City / Chelsea are being bankrolled off effectively money in the bank by their owners
e) See a)

Interestingly the Thiago move makes sense right now to me, more than a move for a big name centre back or striker. He could be relative value for money (i.e. offsetting Lallana + Lovren wages and Lovren transfer free received -> hence their rumoured £15-20m value). What he brings is a lot of skill and talent, but he is also a big name, a winner of medals and trophies – bring the youngsters into the dressing room will show what their ceiling really is, but that won’t freshen up the culture and inspire the senior pros. That whole ‘maintain a level’ thing may well be aided by having one of the best passing midfielders in Europe sliding in and challenging that level. Also be good for Jones / Elliott and others to see him operate.

I confess to loving the idea of Harvey Barnes going from Leicester to Liverpool – but I think having Jones / Elliott / Barnes is a bit of hogging the young local talent innit – also I just can’t see Leicester being that thick!
Matt

 

Some love…
You know how to make my morning 365. The Yorkshire Pirlo is definitely one to watch this season.

The reasons he has such a good chance if stepping into the England set up, firstly the style of football Leeds play. It very much ties in with the way Gareth wants the England team to play and a lot of the top teams play too.

We also lack a genuine option in that area right now so it is there for the taking. If Leeds got Ben White too then I could genuinely see them both in the England set up in the next year or too.

It’s not like we are blessed with options in those positions.

I also believe it because they’re only going to improve under Bielsa.
Dale Leeds

 

Teams we have soft spot for…
Well if there is anything more i love than a Bearded XI, it is to look back at the past of teams gone by and feel all nostalgic about how they made me feel, so John Matrix AFC has certainly peaked my interest when talking about sides we have a soft spot for, but have no allegiance too, naturally this rules out any Chelsea side as well as my first football love AC Milan, however I feel my selections are decent none the less.

Leeds United 2000-2005: They made the Champions League Semi Finals, let that sink in for a moment, they were incredible, at the time I was about 8 or 9 years old so didnt truly appreciate them as I could do now I am older, but those names of Viduka, Kewell, Smith, Rio and many more were some truly special players, Mark Viduka and Harry Kewell were at the time putting Australia on the footballing map, such a shame they capitulated due to being poorly operated behind the scenes, will never forget when they beat Arsenal 3-2 in that lovely blue away kit back in 2002/03.

West Ham United 2001-2003: From 7th to relegated, how on earth did that happen? One of the most talented sides ever to be relegated in my humble opinion, the likes of David James, Michael Carrick, Trevor Sinclair, Jermain Defoe, Paulo Di Canio, Frederic Kanoute, Les Ferdinand and Joe Cole in their side, always loved their home kit too, the colours and that Dr Martens sponsor, oooft! I probably shouldn’t like them being a Chelsea fan, but I really cannot help myself.

Blackburn Rovers 2003-2006: Barry Ferguson, Lucas Neil, Lorenzo Amoruso, Tugay, Andy Cole, Dwight Yorke, Morten Gamst Pederson, Craig Bellamy and Robbie Savage all played for Blackburn during this spell, to me they are a staple Premier League team, but that is surely nostalgia kicking in due to growing up during that era of the Premier League, but who didn’t love to see the quite ridiculous goals that both Tugay and Morten Gamst Pederson used to score, did they ever score a boring goal? Oh and Pederson did win the award for the worst dive of all time, it is not an award, but if it was he would win it.

Before I close out the email, Fat Man (not saying he is fat, but that was how he signed his mail off) asked about the Director of Failure? One that comes to my mind instantly is Joe Kinnear at Newcastle, a man who went to watch a Birmingham City game and picked out a player by the name of Shane Ferguson, he told Newcastle they should try and sign him, only to be told that they already had Shane on their books and he was actually on loan that season at the Blues, bit awkward that one, or you could have Franco Baldini at Spurs, he spent the Gareth Bale money on Roberto Soldado, Paulinho, Capoue, Chirches, Eriksen and Lamela, only the last two have been a success you would argue.
Mikey, CFC

 

Clubs with delayed start to 20-21 season
I love our national game and have been supporting Leicester City for 68 years a season ticket holder for 30 years, I read the comments from Man united fans and could cry for them no real success for 10 years, they are the most privileged of clubs along with the so called big six and now I read they are to have their season start delayed by one week because of the exertion of the European games they played at the end of the season along with Man City both teams had 12 full international players on the bench 7 of which were not called on to play, how do they warrant the need for extra time to recover I love football and unlike so many when a British team is playing in European competitions I support them all the way with the squads they have they should be expected to play at the same time as everyone else no extra rest for the teams who have to start qualifying for next seasons European competitions once again the level playing field is being changed to suit the elite.
Michael Ponting.

 

Messi and Ronaldo in the Premier League…
I know it’s silly to even think about this but there have been rumors recently of both Messi and Ronaldo wanting to leave their current clubs.

What if United signed Ronaldo (they need a player like him) and City signed Messi (everyone needs a player like him)? It’s not completely unfathomable, is it? Wouldn’t it be amazing to see them reignite their rivalry one last time? And that too in cold rainy English nights? A man can dream!
Rahul

 

Our strength is your weakness
Liverpool on 99 points would have won every other Premier leauge season except the one we’re City got 100 points…and u can’t judge the strength of the premier league on one legged knock out fixtures… If they were two legged ties and Both Man u and City had a second chance they  would have probably overturned those results… I tell u when the premier league was low quality well most of it anyway during the Fergie years when man utd won 13 leauge Titles …

If it wasn’t for Mourinho and Wenger… Fergie would have won 20 in a row… Hardly anyone  else put up a fight the leauge was so poor..the European sides had some wonderful far superior  players and managers .. English teams couldn’t match them consistantly …in recent years  English teams can now attract some of best players and managers  and  regularly get to latter stages of European tounaments… Liverpool spurs Man u Chelsea arsenal have in recent years all made it to European finals… Can’t really say the current French leauge and Bundesliga is stronger than the premier league.
Donp LFC

 

Sanchoooo
One player we don’t need. For that amount of cash Utd could fix the defence problems We have more Leeks than Wales. And still have cash for a good holding mid-field player. Greenwood is to good to be dropped
Dennis, Lanzarote

 

Timo Werner
As I watched PSG tear RB Leipzig a new one this morning, I couldn’t help but wonder how much difference Timo Werner might have made.

I won’t deny that I coveted him for Liverpool. I just feel had he signed for us, he might have stayed the 19/20 CL course with Leipzig…leaves a bad taste that he’s jumped ship (for whatever reasons).
Aussie Red

 

Ssssshhhhh
Funny how all those people who said Neymar was an idiot for leaving Barca have all gone quiet.
Malc, Wetherby