England won 5-0 last night and Scotland sealed a play-off berth. Send your thoughts on the internationals or any other subject to email@example.com…
Same old England
Good result but some things never change, Kyle Walker and his lazy passing, Raheem for all his excellent running in the final third had the intelligence of a schoolboy, wayward passing, holding on to the ball too long, shooting when a pass was on. Can we please have England Maguire at united, Kane could of had a double hattrick, Bellingham is one beautiful footballer, Smith Rowe huffed and puffed. Lastly Southgate, why wait over an hour when 5 up at halftime to introduce subs?
Paul Murphy, Manchester
Beware of Brendan
I love Man Utd fans getting excited about Rodgers. Someone with more time should dig out all the awful stuff they used to write about him when he was Liverpool manager.
Just to be clear though if you do get him you’ll be inheriting the man who…
Failed to finish top of the league when it seemed all but certain
Failed to finish top four with Leicester when it seemed all but certain (twice)
Sold Suarez and decided that Balotelli and Ricky Lambert were adequate replacements
Refused to work in a collaborative way on transfers
Regularly leaked information to the media to try and swing things in his favour
Made Sterling want to leave Liverpool
Got spanked 6-1 by Stoke.
I’d say he’s a perfect fit for the modern Utd…a basketcase for a basketcase club.
29 years sure do go by quickly…
It doesn’t matter who United appoint
A few weeks ago, I wrote in to say, amongst other things, that the management of Man Utd are doing what their Arsenal equivalents did at the end of Wenger’s reign. To wit, settling for a so-called top four/six ‘trophy’ and being happy for the bucks to keep rolling in whilst not really making a sincere effort to win silverware. No real medium to long-term plan with regards to football on the pitch which, inevitably, results in a really poor transfer history.
Which is why Brendan Rogers is the perfect candidate to replace OGS. For the MUFC board that is. Not the fans, the board.
Upgrade on Solskjaer? Tick. Play attacking football that will keep the great unwashed quiet? Tick. Likely to keep United in the Champs League/European places with all the extra dosh and ‘relevance’ as a top club retained? Tick.
There is a remarkably simple reason why United haven’t broken the bank to get a world class DoF. Their senior management clearly don’t consider it either a priority or, indeed, even relevant.
Your sponsors will stay on board if you stay in the top six. You can still attract ‘star’ players with a combination of your financial muscle and the attraction of top-flight football. All is good. Why change anything?
It’s why, in my view, they gave OGS a permanent contract in the first place. He, at the time, ticked all of the above boxes in the same way Brenda will do now. As, for that matter, did Moyes, LVG and (to a lesser extent) Jose.
I fully understand United supporters already justifying his appointment (He’s won loads with Celtic/doesn’t matter he was Liverpool and so on). That’s fair enough. You want to hope and believe in a positive change for your team.
My clumsy point is that it almost doesn’t matter whom United bring in to replace OGS. The managers aren’t why United aren’t winning anything. The reason is Ed Woodward. Clearly a financial genius but an utter tw*t when it comes to anything player/manager related.
And the fact that the slimy b*stard is now clearly going nowhere should, respectfully, tell United fans all they need to know about the club’s owners’ priorities.
His job isn’t, and never has been, to win another title or treble. His job is to make money.
Mark (And is there a football CEO better at it than him?) MCFC.
…I find all the current conversations about Ole in or Ole out, and the potential for united to be a title winning side seem to be a devoid of the context of the wider premier league.
Even if utd get a world class coach they could still end up trophyless, to win the league next year they will have to do better than City, Chelsea and Liverpool. Since 2000 premier league champions have needed an average of 88 points. It feels unlikely that none of those teams will reach that number.
Can’t we all live in peace and harmony?
Just wanted to respond to one or two points that have appeared in the recent mailbox threads primarily to do with the possibility of the B-Rodgernator getting the Man U manager gig, but mainly to make a broader point about what saddens me with modern football.
First off, I think there have been some very understandable, measured responses to this conundrum from our M62 rivals fanbase, recognising his track record balanced against his perceive ego.
Someone mentioned that he is not favourably thought of at Anfield – I disagree with that premise as I believe the vast majority of the level headed fans recognise the positive impact he had on our style of football and brought us closer to meaningful silverware.
As a Liverpool fan who has racked up a fair few miles following the team I would say nothing makes my heart sink more (last minute losses aside) than hearing boos for ex-employees when they return to Anfield – can’t we be bigger than that ? can’t we recognise the joy those individuals brought us and not be completely brain fogged by the manner in which they may have departed ?
Rodgers gave his heart and soul to Liverpool while he was there and I will always be grateful for that. The fact that some numptiz in the ground decide to boo like lemmings saddens me greatly as it masks what I feel about the individual. I sincerely hope that people with a more glass half full view on life make their voice heard a little more and try to drown out the boos ! … It makes us look cheap and nasty when we don’t.
One of my proudest moments as a Liverpool fan in recent years came we got klonked at home by a Ronaldo(7) inspired Real Madrid – even with all the baggage that had gone before with Ronaldo we were still big enough to give him a well-earned standing ovation when he was substituted late on (…I also remember Man U being similarly gracious to the original Ronaldo when he worked his magic at Old Trafford … in no way claiming that we are the moral authorities on this point !) – that’s who we are as a fan community, I thought .. seeing the bigger picture.. recognising and appreciating quality when it is front of them.
Booing ex players / managers pulls the carpet out from underneath that feeling … it just drags us into the vitriol.
Last comment …. Suarez – a footballing genius but a character with evident faults. Tried his heart out for us before joining a club that he had in his heart from an early age. Why he was so negatively received by pool fans when he returned recently is beyond me. Sure he celebrated scoring against us, but that’s the nature of the man .. trying his heart out for the team whose shirt he wears just like he did when it was a red one.
We should have applauded him (and Torres who was sat in the stands).. it saddens me that we didn’t (our social share-price took a dip on the back of that).
This general point applies to fans of all clubs … let’s cherish the people who have given so much for our enjoyment and try to drown out those that blinkeredly boo for the sake of it – they taint us … we are collectively better than that.
Must close now … just off to join a hippie commune … peace and love man !
Sparky, LFC (El Hadji Diouf can do one though !!)
Micro World Cup
I watched some of the results of last night’s International Football, with a sense of sadness.
What is achieved by Germany walloping Liechtenstein 9 nil?
Or Malta being slapped 7 -1 by Cyprus?
You are born in a small nation, and that’s that.
Destined to never get to a regional, never mind World, Cup.
Eternal whipping boys (without the reward of land and a title those who earned this title got in return – royalty is weird)
For this reason, some of the greats never get to a bigger audience (George Best being the oft cited example)
After all 20 clubs of the Premier League voted against the notion of a biennial World Cup, for fear of their toys being broken – why not a World Cup for micro nations? Smaller in scale, undoubtedly and maybe dodgier football – but still, a chance for those of a small nation to run out on a bigger stage.
After a quick bit of Googling, there are 75 nations with a population less than a million people (totally arbitrary figure, others may be better).
This isn’t a back door for under-achieving small nations – bigger fish in the smaller pool, but a chance to shine once every four years.
One aspect I have always found IRFU better than FIFA (there are many, many others mind) is the stated mission to evangelise the world to Rugby.
Which is why tiny wee nations can play against the big boys, even in world cups.
There are arguments to say Football is more widely played and Rugby needs these nations to make up the numbers – but how to make football truly the global game if you don’t bring along everyone?
Large nations could adopt a cousin nation, and sponsor them, to help them develop their own game.
Anyway, madness I know, but how do we ask teams like Gibraltar and the Faroe Island to constantly turn up when their only reward is embarrassment?
Simon of Whitegate
We all know now that there is no narrative on this site.
So why is it that when West Ham threw away CL football last year by only picking up 9 points over 8 games, it’s described as a wobble, but when United pick up 10 from 8 games that include arguably the top two sides that’s a sackable catastrophe.
We all agree that Ole has been found out – that for all his strengths he can’t do it against the best – as have many of the players he inherited, and we also know that Moyes is the kind of manager who can do wonders where there is no expectation.
Just interesting the different choice in words.
Sparky is no journeyman
While no method of ranking the top Premier League players turned managers can be entirely scientific (Vieira at number 5 after a quarter of a season? How high would you have ranked Ole after his early caretaker spot?) I have to dispute your assessment of Mark Hughes as a mere journeyman.
Okay, so maybe things didn’t pan out for him like everyone thought they would at the elite level, but you shouldn’t forget how brilliant he was in his early years. Towards the end of his playing career he was the part-time manager who set Wales on the route to becoming a semi-decent international side. Then when he took over full time at Blackburn, he produced a remarkable turnaround for the team and brought in a raft of outrageously good value signings for a club that had long since been starved of funding by its owners.
He brought in unknowns like Chris Samba and Ryan Nelsen, and he persuaded talented players who were out of favour at bigger clubs to join, for example Roque Santa Cruz, David Bentley and Stephen Warnock. He found a star forward in Benni McCarthy, and even managed to keep Craig Bellamy happy for a season.
All of those players had either the longest or most productive spells of their careers at Rovers, and many went on to bring in the kind of profit a small club needed to keep operating at that level (Bentley signed for 500K, sold for 15 million, Santa Cruz 3.5m > 17.5m, Samba 400K > 12m, Warnock 1.5m > 8m). When Hughes was rumoured to be leaving the club, Chelsea and City were both in for him, and his managerial transfer fee was reported to be a world record at the time.
So, journeyman? You’re thinking of the guy who spent far too long festering in Stoke, not the one who was (for a few years, not just a quarter of a season) the most exciting young manager in the league.
Celtic > PSV
Sorry, in what universe are PSV bigger than Celtic?
I can see an argument for Ajax being a more successful club, but PSV?!
But even Ajax aren’t bigger than Celtic. Celtic’s fanbase is truly global – they are a massive club and are bigger than some of England’s leading clubs.
Aside from all of the domestic success, they have given the world the likes of Kenny Dalglish, Kieran Tierney and the entire 1967 European Cup winning team.
Graham Simons, Gooner and Celtic fan, Norf London
EFL’s firmer hand
The_M_Rod asks if the EFL takes a firmer line with its members than the PL – on the evidence it certainly looks like it. Has there ever been a PL points deduction? Just some fines or transfer bans I think?
As for the reason so many clubs in the EFL get punished well it’s not hard to see why really. Leicester broke the rules back in 2002 – they used admin to get out of paying (amongst other things) something like £5m owing on their stadium, they owed £15k or thereabouts to St John’s ambulance and there will have been lots of other local businesses and individuals left considerably out of pocket. They didn’t have to sell the players that they bought will all their overspending, result – promotion to PL, loads of money comes in, fine from EFL doesn’t apply as they are no longer in EFL, a few years in and out of the PL follow and we all know the rest. The point is that clubs (well owners) in the EFL will risk a lot to get promotions – the huge financial draw of the PL makes it worth the risk if you’re willing to take the hit as the owner and can devise some money making wheeze like selling the stadium to yourself or accounting for players in a creative way, how many businesses go bust trying the same sort of strategy just not in the public eye as much as a Football Club? As a supporter of a club that has taken a few hits in relatively recent times I am now grateful that we have some stability but at what cost is it coming? A trip to that well known footballing hotbed of Myanmar? Not something I think we should have done but hey – count the subscribers to the TV channel. Leeds were the most featured team on TV in their most recent season in the Championship – they received £2m plus £50k per game – first season back in the Prem they get £1m per game and over £100m for their share of the TV deal. Other than trying to catch some teams out via FFP rules or with their breaking of transfer rules it’s hard to see that the PL will ever face the sort of dilemma that the EFL faces with regard to club finances. Now, well into over 50 years as a Leeds fan, I’ve become totally disillusioned with the whole thing – so much so that if I had a choice of Mike Ashley or a Middle Eastern group obviously not state linked in any way shape or form, I’d be picking the business man in the stripey shirt. As it is Leeds have the 49ers owners as minority investors – can’t be too long before they stick some more cash in – so long as someone explains relegation to them then that’ll be okay.
Steve Leeds since 1970