Diego Simeone is the only man to sort out the Man Utd mess…

Date published: Tuesday 11th January 2022 7:30 - Editor F365

Diego Simeone in charge of Atletico Madrid.

The Mailbox reckons there’s only one manager capable of pulling United out of the mire. Also: why don’t Spurs and Chelsea swap strikers?

Get your thoughts on any subject into theeditor@football365.com


Simeone the solution
What is it that Fergie, Kopp, Guardiola, Wenger, etc. have on common? Yes, time to build, but more importantly an implicit understanding that when it came to a point where either a player or manager needed to move on, it would be the player. One could even argue that managers such as Moyes, Howe, Rodgers, etc. have also been successful in a way because they were afforded the latitude to get rid of players who did not match their vision.

Unfortunately it is clear that the “unruly class” does not intend to listen to the substitute teacher two weeks before the end of term. It is going to take a manager with huge cojones to sort this out.

There is only one candidate that fits the bill… Simeone. His teams play like a pack of rabid dogs and are dirty, snarling brawlers. It ain’t pretty and United would be hated and despised (even more!) but there is no point trying to out-pep Pep, or out-klopp Klopp. He’s been at Atletico for over 10 years and is getting stale.. he is also used to being the underdog.

The question is, do the United board have an equally big set of balls to hire him?
(The solution is even simpler, just ask any Liverpool fan who they would NOT want to see manage United)

Bang average
This current Man Utd team is just a bang average team with bang average players, they are an average mid table team who win some games and lose some. How many of these players would get into the 1st team of Chelsea, City or Liverpool? Perhaps Greenwood in a couple of years but even he seems to have regressed. I’m not sure that many of them would even be squad players

As much as I like Rashford he shouldn’t be in the team I’ve thought for a few years that he just isn’t very good. Cavani is great but should come on as a sub when he seems to have more impact. I like Fred but he has the unhappy knack of having a good game but a mistake that most would get away with always seems to lead to a goal. McTominay has a good game and then cant string a pass together in the next. I’m not sure how he was named as man of the match last night given the ease with which Villa went through the midfield time and again. Fernandes just gives the ball away time after time which I guess was ok when he was also scoring and providing goals , it seems he was a one season wonder. The defence (whoever is in it) open up like the red sea to allow the opposition through.

I don’t except that they should win the league or every game but it would be nice to watch them put up a fight. Villa (Insert any of the teams recently played) must wonder how on earth they lost this game. In virtually every game the other team is the better team, The accusation was that they couldn’t break down teams that sat deep. The opposition don’t do that anymore, they are happy to trade blows and invariably seem to create more chances than Utd. Every time the opposition get the ball seconds later, having passed through the midfield and gaps opening up nicely for them they have a shot on goal, this is what Man Utd were meant to be doing but even now the games are much more open the other team is always more threatening.

Best Wishes
Mark F London

Dog dirt
I haven’t watched United much this season but every time I am gobsmacked at how s*** they are. How much do Man Utd fans pay to go watch that week in week out? My god
Rob A (yes we were sh*t and lost) AFC


Villans robbed
I have a lot of time for referees. Thankless job. Would like to see them given more respect for what they do. Brian Clough style. The training they go through, the hours of dedication to their craft. It can’t be easy, I know. When they get it right the game flows beautifully.


What the hell was that decision to disallow the Villa goal. How did two of these elite professionals somehow manage to get a decision so wrong on every level? Ramsey did try and block him of course. But Cavani had every opportunity to run around him, yet decided to run into him and fall theatrically on the floor. This incident happened nowhere near the ball or where the ball ended up. Much more egregious off the ball stuff happens at every corner and free kick… logically, even with reference to the laws of the game, it’s wrong.

Emotionally speaking, almost every game against United seems to be decided by a dodgy decision, usually a Fernandes dive for a penalty. It’s sickening when you spend most of the day joking with friends that it will come down to some lucky/dodgy refereeing decision and it actually bloody does.

I am pig sick of VAR. The way it is used is appalling. As many people say in this fine forum, football is a low scoring game which means every goal is a rare event, something to savour and cherish. Yet increasingly I can’t. I just can’t. I know that some horrible, grey, boring, soulless ghoul somewhere is looking for any reason to disallow it. ANY reason. Actively trying to destroy peoples joy and they will spend MINUTES trying to do this. To get it ‘right’. It’s got to be ‘correct’. Even when it goes in our favour I’m honestly not happy. It feels grubby and undeserved.

I’m sorry, I know I’m in the minority, but I would now rather go back to having a referee make an honest mistake in the moment than several referees actively try and find tiny (but correct) reasons to stomp on peoples elation and happiness. Please, just let me enjoy a goal in the moment again.
Funstar Andy (AVFC)


…Well here we go.

I’m sure you will have a lot more eloquent and well structured mails than mine but seriously VAR! It’s as if they were determined to try and find something (anything) to rule it out. This isn’t football.

If they looked at United’s goal closely enough they could probably rule it out for pushing or something if wanted to.


…How in heck did we lose to United tonight? Truly one of the worst teams I’ve seen in ages…pub team level complete with grade a toss pot Fernandes.
Oh what’s that? It’s because we’re the villa and that’s just what we do!!!
Look forward to losing again on Sat!


…If football’s governing bodies were really serious about reducing fixture congestion, then they could do away with all the FA Cup rounds and just declare the final will be between Liverpool and Man Utd every year. It would save the trouble of having to weaponise VAR to do the dirty work for them.
Saul (don’t call me)


…I don’t think there is any debate that the best team lost last night as my team were again absolutely abject. But I can’t see why there is any controversy about the Ing’s goal being disallowed. The laws state that if a player is coming back from an offside position and interferes with play then a free kick is given. Yes, Cavani may well have run straight into the player, but he was running in a straight line back towards goal. If he had curved his run to initiate contact then it’s no free kick, but his natural run is being impeded, therefore surely a free kick?
If Cavani did make contact deliberately then surely it’s no different to the player who is followed in the box and goes down to make sure the referee is aware of it?

Andy Flint


Rashford’s problem
Where to start? Marcus Rashford came out with a Tweet during the week, he cares so much, he’s passionate.. bla bla bla. This is not politics mate where you can just talk. The talking is done on the pitch and that showed yesterday.


What’s the excuse? A kid didn’t smile back at Rashford on the way to the stadium, so Rashford was sad and could not perform?

But of course, Rashford FC fan club will be busy highlighting that this boy is a very good human being today, and some would even argue he was a world beater against Villa yesterday.

As the match commentator said regarding Rashford – “so good in outside business but not enough as player”

There was 34 year old soon to be 35, Edinson Cavani on the pitch yesterday and 24 year old Rashford. You would have said Cavani is the 24 year old hungry player & Rashford is the 34 year old player who was there just to collect the big wages.

Ashwin, Man Utd fan


…Winning despite playing poorly? We’re gonna win the league, right? Right??

Jokes aside, the club needs to let Rashford take time to sort himself out. On the pitch and off the pitch he has done more than enough to deserve the space and time to get himself right and come back.
David, Ireland


Tottenham captain Harry Kane talks to the referee during the 2-2 draw with Liverpool.

Kane/Lukaku swap
Just a thought but swapping Lukaku for Kane might suit both parties.

When Lukaku was at Inter under Conte Conte built a title winning side around him. If accounts of Lukaku’ s decision to join Chelsea are to be believed, Lukaku took that decision when Chelsea upped their bid enough  to convince Lukaku Chelsea really wanted him. But they didn’t want to build a team around him. Tuchel doesn’t work that way. He wanted a valuable team player. So do the swap and Conte gets a player he can build a team around and Chelsea get a team player who can score goals.
Ian (CFC) Hugo


Toon tigers
Fourteen years is a long time in any situation, but in football it’s an eternity. For fourteen years we had the likes of Danny Murphy and Rio Ferdinand defending one of the worst owners of a football club.

Then when it looked like he was leaving crying ‘be careful what you wish for….’

Then the takeover…. There were some supportive views, Henry Winter and Jake Humphrey were happy for us while still noting the dangers of our new owners.

But there are far more looking to p*ss on our chips. Agbonlahor for some reason has really taken to having a pop on TalkSport whenever he gets the chance.

As a fan base we know that 14 years of neglect (both on and off the field) can’t be undone overnight.

We know that attracting players is hard and that we will pay over the odds for players.

But we couldn’t be happier and the future looks brighter now than any point since Sir Bobby’s shoes touched our turf.

We are a tiger who has been caged for too long….we are free again and finding our feet.
Rob G (letting the hate flow through him)


Cup thoughts
The magic:  While Lee makes some completely bogus arguments to justify the idea that the Liverpool-Stevenage game should have been televised the reality is that if there is any ‘magic’ it has to be a lower level team against a much higher level team – one with at least two division gap. We see enough EPL games and as the tournament progresses, even more. The 3rd round, with all the exposure it brings, is the perfect time to showcase the minnows. An epic FA failure – but so predictable.

The CupSETs: Someone mentioned the fact that lower league pitches are now prepared better than in the past – to the advantage of the EPL teams – presumably implying they should rough them up a bit on the basis that this was what equalized games in the past.  What this misses entirely is that in the 70s, for example, even Division 1 pitches were a shit show, so players were more used to crap pitches. Albeit some had trouble with Yeovil’s renowned slanted pitch. It’s also a bit derogatory to lower league teams that play possession based football, with much younger, all professional squads and on average, much younger managers than in the past.  The point is, the quality of football they are playing is much improved from the past. But just as the top EPL teams are significantly better funded, coaches, etc, than the remainder of the EPL, the vast funds into the EPL make them better prepared than the remaking 92 teams. But it doesn’t mean the quality is not there. In the 70’s teams would frequently get relegated to Division 2 and get promoted soon after. The variation between the top 40 or so teams was nowhere near as stratified as today. Hence we are not likely to see as many upsets. But that doesn’t make it less interesting and novel to see the lob-sided match ups – and most of the ‘minnows’ gave as good as they got.

Finally and totally off topic, another EPL game being postponed due to Covid is definitely killing fantasy football. A truly first world issue, I know. But the fantasy league does make it more interesting to watch games across the league.
Paul McDevitt

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