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Next year is our year…
Watching Man United smash all these teams to bits has been very entertaining. Thinking about next season though and theres a big gap in points to make up if they are to challenge.
If you look at their record though its against these so called weaker teams that they have struggled. Against the top teams they have done well. It’s not like they are trying to improve massively as they aren’t as good. I think beating all these teams is where they are going to bridge the gap.
If they can keep this up they will be a force next season.
It could be our year…
Fernandes fan club
Everyday before coming to work I get a cup of coffee from Big American Coffee Multinational. When I come in, it’s usually the same three people behind the counter. One of them is a Portuguese fellow who always seems to be in a cheery mood, even in these days of corona gloom.
Last year, well before the plague descended upon us, the Portuguese lad took a week off work. While he was gone, service at my branch of Big American Coffee Multinational very much soured. The rest of the staff looked surly, lines were bigger, I had to wait longer to get my order. Next week he came back and things returned to normal.
Now, is this fellow a magical coffee savant? No. But he does his job well and seems to spread his good spirits to the people around him.
I’m a United fan. So this tale would be perfectly wrapped had the Portuguese barista (ugh, that word) been called Bruno – he’s not. But the point stands.
I’d written a mail on Bruno’s influence before the corona pause, back when he had only played a handful of games. But now I can say this with a lot more certainty: Bruno is the best thing to happen to United since Sir Alex pinched Van Persie from old whatshisname. He took a squad that under OGS and Mourinho were a miserable rabble, and turned it into a team.
He brought Manchester United football back. I believe this team can win the FA Cup and the Europa League and that we’ll be challenging for the title next season (if there is one). And it will be down to Bruno Fernandes and his magical influence. Extend his contract right now. Make him prime minister!
So, yes ridiculous decision. Fernandes spins round, the Villa lad has already planted his foot in the ground making no contact, until Fernandes lands full body weight, studs first (accidental though tbf) on his ankle, then the Villa player’s other leg involuntarily springs up and makes contact with Fernandes. How with all the angles and slow-motion VAR doesn’t overturn it is staggering.
However this is the second time in two games (am assuming he didn’t ref any of United’s other post-lockdown games) Jon Moss has erroneously given United a penalty for a ‘foul’ on Fernandes – VAR did overturn the late one he awarded in the Spurs game.
On both occasions Fernandes was clearly guilty of exaggerating the incidents, v Spurs he simply wasn’t touched, and last night he let out a scream the moment his studs landed on his opponent’s ankle. Straight up to get the ball to take the pen though mind.
Some other teams star players would be starting to get a reputation, just sayin.
To be frank, Bruno
Isn’t absolutely nuts that there’s already validity to the question “Which Portuguese footballer has had the greatest impact on Manchester United?”.
Wood for Greenwood
I love the fact Greenwood is banging in goals left, right and centre right now.
I remember watching him in the Under 18s saying to my mates that this kid is going places.
If the reports about Juve offering him heaps of money are true, I am very glad he stayed at United.
It’s still too early given this is his first senior season but he definitely has the potential to become a United great. At this point his finishing is better than Rashford’s and he’d probably be in my starting XI week in week out.
Hopefully he, and United can carry on this form and be a genuinely top 4 team. (Let’s be honest, we’re a while away from winning the league)
Rahil, MUFC, Melbourne
Everytime Mason Greenwood has the ball near the box I sit-up preparing for something to happen.
This Kid! I haven’t been this excited for a Man United player in a long-time. Left Foot, Right Foot it just doesn’t matter.
Flip it, I don’t care about the consequences I love him. I love Mason Greenwood!!
Manc in SA (it’s fine buy Sancho, just sell Martial)
Another surprisingly routine win for Utd tonight which was highly enjoyable considering the years of mediocre, nerve wracking and ‘just about winning’ games we’ve had to witness up until January of this year.
This isn’t to say supporters are starting to take wins for granted these days by any means but more that when going a goal down vs Bournemouth we wouldn’t necessarily be satisfied with a draw as in seasons past.
Having watched Greenwood score another sumptuous goal this evening one thought that came to mind was, is the Utd academy being overlooked in the discussions of highly productive Premier League youth set ups? Rashford, McTominay, Williams and Greenwood are the latest talents but even these 4 are an excellent turnover in terms of academy produced players. That there’s even a suggestion that signing Sancho now wouldn’t be worthwhile must make a lot of my fellow Utd supporters excited for what the future holds.
Mick C, Dublin
Watching Utd tonight for the fourth game in a row (I really cannot remember the last time that was true), I wanted to revisit something I wrote in about pre-lockdown and something I wrote in about a couple of weeks ago – Solskjaer’s knack for improving players. and the long shadows cast by ill-advised spending sprees.
Those figures about United’s transfer spend post-Ferguson will be the millstone around the club’s neck until the next time they win the league (whenever that day may come). The fact the spaffed that much hard cash on such a bunch of sorry souls should have cost a fair few jobs upstairs, and likely set United back 5-10 years. It was Liverpool spending all their money in 2002 on Diouf, Diao and Cheyrou to the power of Leeds thinking Michael Bridges and Seth Johnson were the answer. United had spent loads of money on a bunch of players they had no hope of shifting any time soon, and who were miles away from the requisite standard
But since Solskjaer took over, United’s players suddenly look worth considerably more. Not only has he coaxed consistent performances from the likes of Fred, Matic, Shaw and Lindelof, he has ushered through what could well prove to be £200m worth of young talent in Greenwood, Williams and McTominay (yes, I know, Jose played him first, but his role and standard of play has changed markedly this season).
There is undoubtedly an element of good coaching as well as more than a smattering of an actual understanding of people and relationships, but perhaps most important has been the return of attacking football. Attacking players are worth considerably more – twas ever thus. Jose and LVG spent big and stuck their new toys in mundane, turgid systems which choked the life out of medium-quality players and denied stars the chance to shine. The result was plummeting resale value. That change might very well be Ole’s biggest contribution to the cause.
The worst way I can describe this Spurs team is ‘boring’. So, so, so, so, so boring.
When Moura scored *that* goal against Ajax, my heart rate went to 183pbm. This team doesn’t raise an eyebrow, let alone my pulse.
The thing is, we were bad with Poch (at the end of his reign) and we’re now worse with Jose. The rot has set in. No two ways about it. We need a shake up with playing squad, the management and the board.
I’m not saying Levy out, but he needs to delegate and give up power. (If not, Levy out).
I am saying Jose out (it’s clearly not working).
And I am saying that Aurier, Davies, Lamella, Lucas, Winks, Sissoko, Sanchez, Dier, Ndombele, Alderweireld and Lloris could not argue if they’re selected for replacement, but I don’t see them fighting for their shirt, or *the* shirt.
At least there’s not a London derby anytime soonohf**koff.
Spurs just became the first Premier League side ever to fail to have a shot on target against Bournemouth. That alone should be enough to see Mourinho fired.
But if it’s not, the miserable, soul destroying football and refusal to accept responsibility should be.
But if that isn’t either, alienating our record signing while lacking any midfield spark should do it.
If that’s still not enough, the disappointing lower-mid-table form and lack of strategy or tactics surely has to be enough.
There is no plan to this Spurs team. If I didn’t know better I’d think Mourinho was still employed by Chelsea to bring Spurs down from the inside.
Just get rid already.
Where does Mourinho go from what’s already a Tottenham drowning in his bile and bleak despair?
I would be astonished if he is still Tottenham manager at the end of next season, and if I were Levy there’s no way I’d back him financially.
He imploded at Madrid just after signing a new 4 year deal.
He imploded at Chelsea just after signing a new 4 year deal.
He imploded at United in the third year of a 4 year deal.
He’s imploding at Tottenham just after signing a 4 year deal.
All that’s left now is surely international management. Whoever takes him on should probably keep him on a rolling 12 month contract.
Onto United who are once again entertaining enough to hate watch while on the crosstrainer, and it seems pretty obvious that Greenwood will be fighting it out with Martial for the central position of the three sooner rather than later.
Greenwood is absolutely lethal and not remotely interested in setting anyone else up. Why would he be, when he knows he’s more likely to hit the net than his teammates. He will be central sooner rather than later, which is why Sancho still makes sense for United.
I’d hate watch the shit out of that.
Tim Sutton (what if the striker, right sided forward and defender that United are after are Havertz, Sancho and Upemecano and they’re just buying my FM2020 Dortmund save file)
Gone in the Ed
If Nketiah deserved a red card for endangering the safety of an opponent, then surely Smith of Bournemouth deserves the same punishment for the challenge/assault that ended up injuring himself? Going in head first like that is reckless beyond belief. I still don’t know how the Spurs player wasn’t seriously injured.
Maybe Nketiah should have faked injury and stayed down for a minute. He might have got away with it then.
G Thomas, Breda
Take the Leeds
Leeds Utd were sublime tonight. So much pressure with all their rivals winning ahead of the match. Yet Bielsa’s team set about their business in a way that will hopefully grace the Prem next year. All the goals were beautiful. Pablo Hernandez’s was the pick for me. From back to front. Pass and move. Slotted exquisitely into the corner. He is some player.
They are not my team but Leeds has been my home for 35 years. The team and city belong at the top table. Leeds Leeds Leeds!
David lfc (shout out to Stevie for his 60th)
Interesting game proposed by Ciaran H, here’s how I would have spent the cash from the Ronaldo transfer in 2009, supplemented by the sales of Campbell and Eckersley, all amounts are in Euros. There would have been more to spend but most transfers out where listed as undisclosed.
All transfers in are at the price they actually moved for.
Sales: 98m euros
Robben: 25m euros
Sneijder: 15m euros
Albiol: 15m euros
Benzema: 35m euros
Total: 90m euros
This would have given United a starting line up, in 4-4-2 of:
Van der sar
Albiol, vidic, Ferdinand, Evra
Robben, Sneijder, Carrick, Giggs
I don’t think that would be a bad first choice 11 at all, would feel slightly bad for leaving Berba on the bench though.
I’m a big fan of Ciaran’s game, great idea. Here’s my go for Liverpool and the Suarez money.
That window we spent £117m on: Lambert, Lallana, Can, Marković, Lovren, Origi, Moreno & Balotelli (those were the days).
I’m going to keep Emre Can who I always liked as a player, and Divok Origi because of Barcelona. That leaves me with a shade under £100m to spend and I’ll buy the same number of players, so 6 transfers left. I’ve tried to be realistic about the players Liverpool could attract (although may have pushed it a little/a lot).
Jan Oblak – £15m
Bernardo Silva – £14m
Alexis Sánchez – £35m
Kostas Manolas – £25m
Andrew Robertson £3m
Harry Maguire – £3m (Sell him to United for £80m in a few years)
So the team looks like
Flanagan – Manolas – Skrtel – Robertson
Coutinho – Can – Gerrard
Sanchez – Sturridge – Sterling
Silva is still young and gives us depth and can rotate. Robbo comes in early (better even at that age than Moreno) and we have a replacement for Suarez. Admittedly I may be pushing it to the extreme with Oblak and Sanchez but hey, it’s my dream. Anyway, I’m glad none of it happened because it’s led to the team we have today.
Mike, LFC, London
Fun game by Ciaran H in yesterday’s evening mailbox, thought I’d have a crack: Man United got 80m for Ronaldo in the summer of 2009. Even just these two transfers, paying what was paid back then, could have made a huge difference to the team the following season:
– Carlos Tevez from his 3rd-party right holders (47m)
– Wesley Sneijder (15m)
Veto the Michael Owen and Obertan transfers, and even if you account for the Valencia transfer which happened that year, there would have been 2m left over.
This would have left United with a potential first XI of: Van Der Sar, Rafael, Vidic, Ferdinand, Evra, Carrick, Scholes, Sneijder, Rooney, Tevez, and Berbatov. Pretty damn tasty, imo.
DJ, MUFC (United games actually excite me again, proving once and for all just how weird 2020 really is) India