Atalanta comeback shows why Man Utd must get rid of Ole…

Date published: Thursday 21st October 2021 8:45 - Editor F365

Man Utd boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer watches his team

Get your missives for the afternoon Mailbox in to theeditor@football365.com

 

Still #Oleout
…That game is the reason he must go. Not justification for why he can stay. Huge ups and downs are a very exciting way of staying still, but we are most certainly staying still.
Matt Utd NY (you all know he’s managing by opinion poll right?)

 

…Too much hysteria nowadays. At half time the knives were out for Ole but in true Man Utd fashion they eeked out a win when all seemed lost. They should stick with Ole as what he is, an apprentice learning on the job. Man Utd, with players, are fabled for that, as well as the dramatic comeback victory, so why does the manager get clowned on? He’s brought the identity back to Utd in “doing a Man Utd thing” every so often, but there’s little patience for youth. Lately the big slag is “pe teacher”. He started around the same time as Arteta did at Arsenal, and you’d have to say he’s done considerably better, not just by league placement but by performance with what he has. Arteta as manager has flitted from absolute disaster to decent run of form and back and back again. Olé is the same, but his peaks have been longer and troughs though not insignificant been shorter. Arsenal are pretty much where they were when Arteta took over. He has stabilised the club, but I don’t think stable is what they are looking for. Under Olé Utd have at least mildly threatened to be competitive.

We’re at a bit of a luxury as onlookers where by half time things are beyond desperate abd by full time everything is the way it’s supposed to be, Utd are supposed to come from behind and win dramatically. That’s the fabled dna which he was brought into restore. Clearly there’s some progress. It’s like having Fergie but the people who comment are the St. Mirren board, impatient to let the greatest manager in history learn how to become a manager.
Dave (hysterical conclusion to this email …), Dublin

 


F365 Says: Man Utd lean into chaos to mask Solskjaer blunder


 

…Honestly, is it more fun winning the PL/CL or having dozens of moments of pure come back joy?

Bragging rights are great but how you win, even occasionally is mint.
Dave

…Answers on a postcard please. Are Ole’s Man Yoo blessed with:

A: Unbelievable luck
B: Impressive relsilience
C: Unbelievable luck
D: Undeniable fighting spirit
E: Unbelievable luck
F: Wonderful team ethos
Banjo, Prague

 

…Is it possible to put Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in each of the Champions League winners and losers sections? Another game that proved both sides of the argument are still the exact same as a year ago.

Also, Gary Neville has gotten called out for refusing to ask for Ole to be sacked, but no one seemed to pick up on his other bit of punditry: that when Man United concede a goal they deflate and give up. He said they act like babies. Now there are many, many, many things wrong with the tactics and Ole and United but considering how many comebacks United have had under Ole that’s surely not one of the criticisms. If anything the problem is that they start to play after conceding a goal. It felt like every away game they played last season was conceding first and then winning.
James, Galway

 

ABUER
I was born in the mid 80s so my football formative years were 1994-2004. All my mates were Manchester United fans despite us living about 150 miles south of Old Trafford, therefore I am firmly an ABU.

However, nowadays I’ve turned into an ABUER: Anyone but United Excluding Rashford.

I love it when he scores, rubbing it in the face of those who say he should concentrate on his football, it’s great!
Jon, (still annoying they went on to win though) London

 

What goes around…
Long time. I’m not going to write in an rinse Arsenal’s laughing stock fans today because let’s be honest, they’re now resorting to celebrating “unbeaten runs” against Norwich and co, while getting schooled by Palace and Brighton, and 16 teams are better to watch (even though Pep’s tapas waiter was given more money to spend than any European manager LOL). I won’t even mention that poor ol Wenger is still unemployed as a football manager, and yet even desperate Newcastle and Barca won’t even pick up the phone. SAD!

Nah. Instead I’m going to settle a few scores with those patronising ManYoo fans who would write in way back when, and chastise me for daring to demand a better manager than Le Loser. So today ManYoo fans, I’m copy-pasting your points on Wenger from 2010, and hoping you’ll take on board that same advice re Solskjaer.

* Be careful what you wish for
* You won, scored 3 goals. Be grateful
* Loads of teams would kill to be in your place
* Who would you replace him with?
* The future is bright, stop seeking instant gratification. Keep the faith!
* You get Top 4 every season
* Look where you were when Ole turned up?

See how patronising, infuriating, and plain ridiculous it is to make such fatuous arguments, when the evidence is clearly staring you in the face? Oh well. Hopefully ManYoo fans are as imbecilic as Arsenal’s, and will chant Ole’s name, pack the stadium every week as the team gets progressively worse, and wonder why every opposition fan is defending their own manager and wishing for him to stay in the job for years.

“In Ole we trust”!
Stewie Griffin (Arteta is genuinely a crap version of Ole. No lie. I’d sooner pay to watch an Ole team than that dross FAKE PEP serves up)

 

Bye, Brucie
As a long time Newcastle supporter and occasional Huddersfield attendee, wanted to say thanks to Steve Bruce for his efforts at both clubs over the years. No one ever wanted him in charge at Newcastle, including me, but I know he worked hard and was and is a decent guy. No fan would ever turn down the chance to manage their boyhood club so I know he had to take the role when offered it – I really felt for him telling how the criticism felt and I hope he enjoys his retirement.

All that being said – there’s no doubt this was the right call. Bruce’s having been offered the job at all, in the later stages of a long career at championship and lower or mid table prem teams was a symptom of Ashley’s bargain-basement expectations for the club. Bruce’s all time prem PPG of 1.1 and winning about 1 game in 4 shows what Ashley wanted – barely avoid relegation on minimum spending. We can now aim far higher. Bruce met that low bar – but not with attacking football or a distinctive style, and often with xG and xGA that implied the results could’ve been far worse without our solid goalkeeping. Some media coverage today seems to say that Bruce is being removed because of the fans, but there’s no question it stems from results and style of play as well.

A new manager should be able to improve on every aspect, and the first goal has to be an upturn in form to make sure we aren’t cut adrift by Christmas (still a real risk) before some good additions that might let us push towards mid table from January. We then hopefully need someone who can lay foundations to start challenging for European places in 2 or 3 seasons time.

Of all the manager candidates touted the one who has exactly the experience for that is Lucien Favre – who took a terrible borussia munchengladbach side from deep in the relegation zone when he took over, to survival in his first season and Europe qualification in his second. He has a more attractive style and has experience of a bigger budget too at Dortmund, and relationships with some superstars in the making like Jude Bellingham. Add someone like Rangnick as director of football, who developed RB Leipzig from lower league to champions league, and we could go from one of the worst management teams to one of the best in weeks. Fingers crossed…
Roger (Newcastle fan in London), South Hampstead

 

…Just putting my 2 cents on the Steve Bruce sacking from an isolated Magpie in the wilds of Connemara. Steve is gone and hopefully bad tidings too. I have little or no sympathy for Steve. When he took the job of replacing Rafa, he knew he was taking on a poisoned chalice and he did it willingly for a whole lot of cash. I’m sure there was also the desire to manage his home town and boyhood club, but that sentimentality is somewhat compromised by his reported £8m termination clause in his contract if things didn’t work out.
But Bruce did his best, became a great company man, but it was Mike Ashley’s company and not Newcastle Utd. Maybe in different time, 15, 20 years ago Bruce’s style and man management would have worked but it didn’t. Dire performance after dire performance drained the life from the time, with only Wilson and Saint Maximan (+ Willock at times) offering and substantial. The team regressed, the team fragmented and fought each other, ordinary players who had played well above the ability for Rafa became liabilities (Lascelles, Jonjo, Richie, clarke, Joelinton), promising young players not nurtured or advanced ( the Longstaffs, lewis and Willock so far this year) and . No transfers strategy, no improvements to training facilities or academy, no plan b, or c, or d for when plan A didn’t work (give it to asm and hope he or Wilson can do something).

But he remained, kept going, blamed bad luck, bad refereeing, bad VAR calls, injures, players not playing well, not exclusively but enough.
Then the take over and the rumours, we were swamped with articles about who was going to take over (F365 to the fore in this) when he was going to be sacked, then the counter arguments from his pundit friends, then the counter counter arguments from his not so friendly friends, not to mention the just utter sh*te from Collymore, Jamie and Rio.
But for all that Steve Bruce did wrong, abusing the man for his appearance, spiteful and callous name calling is despicable and for that I do have sympathy for him at least.
In short, I’m glad Steve is gone, it was coming regardless and sooner was always better. We may be no better off with the next one in but at least this chapter is over.
For all that went on, I think do wish Steve the best, if he retires I hope his retirement is filled with happy families and sunny golf trips, if not I hope he at least stays away from Derby is Ashley takes over.

Steve Bruce, wrong man at the wrong club at the wrong time, pity,
David Dempsey

 


Steve Bruce by the numbers: The wins, the defeats, the signings…


 

…Just cracked open the Bollinger to celebrate the departure of Cauliflower Head. As the cool, sparkling champagne slides down my throat just as smoothly Bruce’s teams slide to defeat I savour the bleating of those who feel he’s been hard done by. With his freshly dispensed millions in the bank, maybe he’s sipping the Bollinger too right now … He’s probably right to have a drink, desperately trying to forget he’s the worst ever PL manager to have been in the dug-out for 100 games. The worst ever, savour the fact. His win ratio is lower than everyone else’s. Literally everyone. So when you see NUFC fans getting hostile towards him, accept at the very least that it’s based on factual evidence. Anyway, I imagine the 19 other clubs are badgering the League as I sip, trying to enforce some or another rule where one particular club is not allowed to change manager until mathematically relegated. Hell, that would be giving them ideas … Oooh wait though, he’s a Geordie after all, this job was his dream role …. Click here for enlightenment on that point.

So anyway, I’ll finish my bubbles and savour being a fan of the richest club in the world by a country mile. Nothing the Premier League, the Sleazy Six, nor their media puppets, nor indeed Steve Bruce can for any longer do about that or indeed get in the way of our steady march to the very top of the footballing world.

Cheers!
Simon

 

….I’d just like to share my sympathy for a multi millionaire who has just been paid another £8m to be relieved from relegating a football club which would have cost it hundreds of millions of pounds.

My thoughts and prayers are with him at this difficult time. I hope he has enough to keep the heating on this winter.

Happy retirement.
Ginger Pirlo

 

You’ve got the Newcastle gig
I would like to propose a fun fantasy project. Imagine you are appointed the new sporting director of NUFC by the new regime with a budget of say, 250m euros to be spent over 2 years on new players.
1. Who would you appoint as the coach? Do you hire the dream candidate right away or do you get an interim coach, build the team for a year or two and then upgrade the coach?
2. Which players do you target? How do you think said players will function as per the new coach’s playing style?

To make it a tad realistic, consider that you will only be able to convince 1 or maximum 2 of the absolute best players in the world.
Ehab

 

Liverpool and cleaning the bogs
Sometimes my job is sh*t. I work long hours and serve people who are utter w*nkers. Cleaning toilets when we close is always *fun*.

But working at a bar in the centre of Liverpool for the European match last night? Now that was fun.

First of all, shout-out to the Liverpool supporters there, even when Atletico came back they were still vocally supportive, singing and chanting. Didn’t even boo Suarez. One person did throw a shot glass at the TV when the Atletico penalty was initially given but I also get that. Kind of.

Wish I could say the Liverpool team was as good as their supporters. Van Djik looked really off. Literally had his back turned for the second goal. Even as an amateur sports player I know not to do that. Overall, they just looked slower than Atletico who seemed very capable of matching them man for man.

I’m honestly not gonna wade into the red card debate, I get it either way, it was dangerous but he was going for the ball, you’ll probably agree/disagree based on how you feel about Liverpool, but there’s no contention that it totally turned what was an excellent performance by Atletico and Griezmann on its head, he was bound to get a third if he stayed on, and generally Athletico just looked the better team. Better chances and better individual performances.

Ox did well. Me and another lad I worked with joked when he got put on, but he worked his ass off. Went up and down the pitch really well and even made some chances, he looked good.

Then Atletico pen? I honestly think it was a pen. If that was me I would have been swearing at the referee after that, and I’ve looked at it enough to think there’s enough contact to justify it. But then, I’m not a qualified official, just some random bie.

For a neutral like me tho, it was an extraordinary match, working just made it even better. Think Liverpool did well to get 3 points, but some old manager said the mark of a good team is winning even when you play shite.

Something to think about I guess
Anon

Liverpool midfielder Naby Keita
United’s cup final
Responding to Mihir and Minty and James in yesterday’s afternoon and morning mailboxes:

Bored Trafford: Mihir I know what you mean about a Manure vs Pool matchup not feeling the same anymore. I was watching one of the English classicos at the pub with a fellow Liverpool fan a couple of years ago. United were chasing the game and their supporters sitting next to us were on the edge of their seats and cheering when United won a throw-in. I looked at my friend and said “remember when we used to react exactly like that when we won throw-ins and corners during the Fergie years?”. He just nodded and smiled. Nevertheless I am still excited for the game as United almost always turn up when it’s Liverpool and it’s always a good test of our mentality and consistency.

Not too Naby: I’ve said it before but until Naby Keita gets a consistent run of 8-10 games we are unlikely to see him at his best. His time at the club has been desperately unlucky in its stops and starts. There does seem to be an issue with his tactical nous during European games against top opposition though. And it’s hard to know if that is a limitation of his or the need for him to fine tune his coherence with his team mates in the toughest games with the finest margins and most talented players. I suspect the latter.

Pool’s Strength in Depth: For most games Keita, Curtis Jones, and Ox, and with the usually evergreen Henderson and Milner as cover Defensive mids, provide a wide range of midfield configurations that should be able to compete against most opposition even if Fabihno is injured. Defensively Konate and Gomez are unproven as a pair but have shown capabilities to make them able deputies should VVD be sidelined. Kostas is an able deputy for Robertson though more error prone while Neco Williams is not yet a proven deputy for TAA. Upfront Jota makes up a first choice quartet that can make a difference in most games. Minamino looks increasingly useful but not proven as a like for like deputy, with Elliot looking to grow into that position too -though out of the equation for most of this season. Origi gives us a different striking option that sometimes works but often doesn’t. Oh and Kellher looks a brilliant and able deputy to Alisson, not sure who James has been watching there.

SO overall, attack and wing back is where we most lack strength in depth to be able to maintain the 2.5+ points per game average that would keep us in the title hunt.
Miguel L (LFC – bring on Sunday)

 

Biannual World Cup
Here’s my two cents on the biannual World Cup, seeing as you’ve waited so patiently for my opinion.

I’m all for it, as long as it’s a genuine unseeded knock out competition with zero qualifiers. Genuine upsets, lifetime memories if a minnow knocks out a ‘big’ nation. Potential for the favourites to get knocked out by San Marino. Less interluls through the season, so that can be compressed to accommodate player rests.

Just doing more of the same is not only boring but adds to the demise of ‘the football product’. Worst case scenario here is that the best teams win, which you would expect anyway, just with much more fun along the ride.

Cheers
Mark, Gooner in Grimsby

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