What Man Utd actually took from Dortmund this window…

Date published: Wednesday 7th October 2020 2:43

Also in your Mailbox: Get rid of sh*t Harry Maguire, net spend, free agent surprises, Arsenal's summer and more...

Facundo Pellistri Penarol

Keep your thoughts coming in to theeditor@football365.com…


What Man Utd actually took from Dortmund this window…

We didn’t get a right winger (Sancho) from them, but we do seem to be getting some thing else.

Dortmund has a policy of buying exciting young talent and then selling for big bucks to patsies (Woodward, Barca etc.) So instead of being the patsy, why not buy the young talent yourself. Then when it comes time to buy/sell, you ain’t gotta negotiate because the player already in your squad.

Look Dortmund got Jude Bellingham this summer. And they’ll sell him in the future. But United also got some players (Pellistri, Diallo) If they mature similar to Bellingham and become good players, maybe we won’t need to buy him from Dortmund.

Now we don’t know whether Ed is as good at spotting talent as Michael Zorc or whether United can develop young talent well, but at least we got the right idea. And that’s a start. Now it maybe won’t yield results asap but long term it will be good for us.

Maybe the transfer window wasn’t as bad as we think!
Gaurav MUFC (Still bad though, just not “as bad”)


Get rid of Harry Maguire…


I haven’t written to mailbox in a long time, but I just needed to reiterate the point most people have been making over the past few weeks.

Harry Maguire is SHIT. He has been shit from the second he walked into our club. Worse than Lindelof, who constantly gets blamed and attacked, while Maguire holds his British head high and strolls through the joy of English Media.

The only reason any of you have ever rated Maguire is because he’s British. That’s just a fact. It happens over and over again. Everyone around the world sees it happen on a continuous basis. An average English player gets massively overhyped and next thing you know he is captain of one of the biggest clubs in the world despite only just fucking getting there. He makes mistakes EVERY WEEk. EVERY. WEEK. I watch Maguire make 12 mistakes and go online to see English media on the search for “a partner for Maguire.” NO! GET HIM OUT OF MY CLUB. SHIT PLAYER. SHIT CAPTAIN. Nowhere else in the world would Maguire be seen as a competent enough center back for a top 4 club. Only in England, where being British overrides the fact that you suck.

Every single day I have to sit with the fact that an overrated Phil Jones clone walked into the club for over 80 million and got given captaincy immediately. Disgusting.

Even F365 haven’t quite acknowledged just how bad he is. I would place him in the 10 worst starting center backs in the premier league right now. Go back to non-league sunday football you clumsy and delusional assaulter

Before anything, just get rid of Maguire and give me my goddamn sanity back.
Gaaavie, Cape Town


Man Utd heading to League One?

In all the doom and gloom surrounding Man Utd I think Paul(MUFC)must be happy today.

If he thinks relegation could bring about the removal of the Glazers at least they currently have the right man at the wheel to achieve it.

He’s so inept he may even ensure you end up in League one & that would 100% make the Glazers leave.

Every cloud….

PS There is nothing wrong with you hoping Utd get relegated.


Hi all,

While I always read the Man Utd tedium that makes up a significant chunk of the mail box these days I don’t usually care enough to want to responde. In this case though I did want to ask why Paul MUFC thinks relegation would solve the teams problems? I don’t know much about the ins and outs of the club’s finances (and the Glazers are clearly a nightmare) but their are plenty of clubs that have been relegated under owners the fans hated and haven’t got rid of them. Obvious examples would include Newcastle and West Ham. The economics are very different in terms of the branding and outside partnerships but i’m sure the Glazers could reformulate their business model or sell the club to asset strippers.

I am fully supportive of any fans who want to get rid of unscrupulous or morally dodgy owners but i’m not convinced relegation would be an iron-clad way of doing this.
NorthernSoul (NUFC)

p.s what happened to that guy who used to submit weekly mails covering the action in league 2? I think he was a Bristol Rovers fan. I liked the variation we used to get in the mailbox 7 or 8 years ago.


I’ve read some stupid takes in my time…

But “I hope Manchester United get relegated because they’ll be better in the long run” is the stupidest thing I’ve read in a long, long while.

I said it myself, outside the Reebok in 2004. “Well, we’ll ship out the deadweight, get back on an even keel, attract the best talent in Division One, and come back up.”

I said it myself, outside Elland Road in 2007. “Well, we’ll ship out the deadweight, get rid of Bates, bring in new players and win every game in League One next season.”

It took us three years to get out of League One. 16 to get back into the Premier League. We can laugh about it now, but at the time it was terrible. Just like it’s still terrible for Forest, Derby, Sheffield Wednesday and every other club too big to be yet another second division shitshow with a big ground they can’t fill.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for them going down. Especially if they keep a manager who’s successfully got fans to think the board need to keep buying him £50m+ players that he can turn into demotivated pub team hoofers.

But to wish relegation on your team? Yeah, that’s the sort of stupidity you hope is rewarded by a 2-1 home defeat to Chesterfield and a decade of Ken Bates’ programme notes.
Andrew (Leeds fan in Salford)


Net spend

F365’s net spend league table was interesting reading.

First – after the City CAS ruling is FFP not a thing any more? While the rest of the league seemed to need to shift people around to release transfer funds in a climate where match day income has dropped to zero for God knows how long, not an issue for City and Chelsea.

Second – where do Leeds and Villa get all that cash from?

Third – it shows the extent of the trouble (of their own making) United have to deal with. It seems that, for all the nonsense, the money just wasn’t there to do the Sancho deal. Understandable in the difficult climate, but compared to Liverpool for example, they resoundingly failed to generate decent income from sales.

This stems from the fact that the players we want to sell are, to put it politely as possible, shit.

The Glazers and Woodward get a lot of stick, but their obviously greatest offence was giving Phil Jones a £75k a week deal until 2023! Presumably to preserve his transfer value… the thing is, no-one was ever going to take him on those wages at that was clear even before Covid-19 – it was preserving a liability, not an asset. United are in the ridiculous position of not being able to shift anyone because they pay them so much – unless they pay them £10m to leave (if the Sanchez payoff wasn’t factored in to your net spend calculation, it should be for accuracy).

Half the United squad are bad investments that need to be written off and that prevents movement. I know people were saying United needed a centre back, but couldn’t without shifting some of the dross in that position… Good news is that Jones’ contract only has 3 years to run, so we may be able to get a functioning centre back then…unless they exercise the option to extend by a year so he holds his value… between now and then, how much do we think he’ll play?

They seem to be learning and have gone on a youth-level recruitment binge. Hopefully some break through to the first team but those that don’t should hopefully be sold for profit (how much did Liverpool get for Brewster?). Unfortunately, at Senior level, there are a whole lot of bad historic decisions that need to run their course.
Andy (MUFC)


Free agent surprises

The dust has settled and another Transfer Window is concluded, or as Sky Sports News would say THE WINDOW HAS SLAMMED SHUT!, remember when Deadline Day wasn’t as boring as Soccer AM? Those were the good old days.

But for every Edinson Cavani who got a new club with a huge pay packet, there are free agents who simply as of the time I am writing this mail, still without a club, so I had a look at which ones were still available and oh my was i shocked.

Mario Gotze, Daniel Sturridge, Jack Wilshere, Alexandre Pato and Hatem Ben Arfa, all 5 are without a club, now injury and other such reasons are behind this I am sure, but just think about those names for a moment, about 6 or 7 years ago these were some of the hottest properties in world football, every Football Manager or FIFA Career Mode you would load up, you would bet you have tried to sign at least one of those players for your superstar XI, Mario Gotze 6 years ago was scoring the winning goal in a World Cup Final at just the age of 22, Alexandre Pato was a prolific goalscorer for AC Milan, all be it with a few injuries starting to impact his career, Daniel Sturridge nearly helped fire Liverpool to their first Premier League title with 21 league goals, Jack Wilshere was seen as the heir to Xavi and Hatem Ben Arfa was just being himself and showcasing that incredible maverick style of play he has on the ball.

Such a shame how once promising careers just slowly come to an end, I doubt anyone would have predicted that those names would be Free Agents before the end of 2020, instead of them being at the top of their game, enjoying their peak years as a professional, I wonder who the next 5 or so players will be in 5 years time that never quite lived up to their potential, surely not Kylian Mbappe and Jadon Sancho, but you never do know in the crazy world of football.
Mikey, CFC (It does appear Mario Gotze is heading to PSV now)


Transfers are so easy

Josh, Dubai, similar to many Arsenal fans, are all complaining about us not getting rid of defenders and Ozil like it should be easy to get a transfer done in this market. Even in a normal one  its not exactly easy. And dont get me started on 75m Ramsey who was starting 48 games over 3 his last 3 seasons at Arsenal? 30-40 maybe.

Let’s take Kolasonac for example. He is reportedly on 100k and Bayeur Leverkusen top earners are on around 85k. So let’s say hes going to earn 75k, thats 25k less per week, thats 1.3m less. Bayer could also say they want us to pay half to take him for 10m. Lets also say the only reason they can sign him is because Real have made an approach for Bayers current LB because theirs is injured.

So for this sale to work, Real Madrid have to chose Bayers left back and not someone else’s, so the negotiations have to go well. Then the player has to want to go to Real. Then Arsenal have to agree to sell the player for 10m, a player who has been starting for us, and pay half his wages for the next 3 years. Then Sead has to want to earn 1.3m less a year and want to go to Bayer Leverkusen. This all has to be done in within a set period of time. Thats a lot of ifs.

Onto Ozil. Arsenal I think have tried to destroy his brand by not playing him. They probably offered to pay him off for half his salary to leave. I can only assume nobody wants him. He doesn’t look good, he seems to have serious injury problems and has been a thorn in the side of the clubs management for years.

If we offered half his salary, which would probably not be accepted, thats 9,2m in cash that Arsenal couldn’t use for Partey and Gabriel. So the lesser of 2 evils is probably to improve the first team and let him rot and hope he renegotiates later down the line.

I think in a normal transfer window we might have sold all of Sokratis, Kolasinac, Torreira and Mustafi for small fees. As for Martinez, he stated he only wants first team football. Until Leno injury, he was one of the best keepers in the league. Its more likely nobody bid 40m for Leno but someone bid 20m for a “backup”, keeper. Same with Lacazette, you can’t sell players that people aren’t bidding for.

Finally, I’m excited to see a midfield trio of Ceballos, Xhaka and Partey drive us to compete for the title. You heard it here first.

Next season we will be losing over 500k per week off the wage budget, we have tied down our best player (Auba) and most exciting prospect (Saka) to long term deals. We signed the midfielder and CB we needed. What’s not to like?
Rob A (you can’t sell Iwobi to a desperate Everton every year) AFC




I would like to apologise to the rest of the world for all those United fans complaining about transfers, because they don’t understand the process.

It has happened in all the recent transfer windows. A club enters negotiations for players, negotiations happen, and ultimately either the deal is successfully concluded or it isn’t. With United, some of our fans (and media to be fair) seem to think that United are somehow above negotiations (so should pay whatever the selling club want for players like Maguire, Fernandes, Sancho, etc.), and see any kind of attempt to get a cheaper price as United arrogance.

How about a reality check?

No selling club ever comes out with “Oh hang one, XXXX want our player, we would accept £50m, so let’s start with that”. GTFO. They would start with a figure significantly higher and hope the buying club goes for it. What happens then is that the two sides see if they can come to an agreement that is higher or equal to the MINIMUM the selling club will accept, and lower or equal to the MAXIMUM the buying club will pay. Sometimes that takes days. Sometimes that takes weeks. Sometimes there is no figure that fits into both of those ranges, and sometimes there is no, but there is not the time to get to that point. But that is how negotiations work.

United fans who blame the club for trying to negotiate are just idiots. United fans who blame Woodward or the Glazers for “making” United try to negotiate are even bigger idiots.

On behalf of them all, I would like to apologise, for this, and for the next transfer window when there will be masses of these “supporters” stinking up social media again, moaning because United don’t just pay whatever the selling clubs ask (although they would of course complain if they did). I am sure other fans are sick of all the moaning.

Greg (United fan, but just bitter)


Arsenal’s summer

Give your cat one of those fancy cat food pouches once and you’re screwed.  Put out a bowl of kibble and mine just looks at it for a while and then goes back to getting hair on my sofa.

It’s ironic that Arsene Wenger was the one that predicted that more players would run down their contracts, the mire that Arsenal currently find themselves in.  Why would any player on £5 million choose to halve their wage?  Our mediocre players are on relatively low wages for Arsenal but relatively high wages for teams further down the league.  Burnley for example would be an excellent team for Callum Chambers but his wages would make him their joint second highest earner.  Sokratis would almost double their highest earner.  So Arsenal are stuck with squad players that nobody can sign.  Even if they continued to pay some of their wages they’d effectively be paying an extra £25k pw for whoever the move allowed them to bring in.

The idea that when you sign a player on a free transfer you can give them higher wages is such short term thinking.  Kolasinac was free, is on £100k pw and is now one of the reasons we couldn’t sign Aouar.  Not good enough to demand £100k pw to those who can barely afford it and not good enough to sign for teams with money to throw around.  Champions League money isn’t about having the cash to pay for marquee players, it’s about having the cash to continue paying over-inflated wages for unsellable players.

Arsenal’s summer was a success in that they didn’t add to their heap of mediocrity.  Hopefully Arteta can continue to get them playing as a team so we can get back to affording those that we have.
SC, Belfast


Villa and the rest of us…

Glad to see a trickle of Villa fans writing in following Sunday’s performance. Genuinely I didn’t think that 2020 could get any more surreal and then we beat Liverpool 7-2. Like Gary in this morning’s mailbox I’ve watched highlights of the game about 5 times to revel in something so far away from our experience over the last decade which has been a massive pick me up in these crazy times. I stare at the result a few times a day just to see a number 7 next to our name…it’s just a bloody amazing feeling. Performance wise it was great to see Grealish freed to be even more effective now that he had the likes of Barkley and Watkins to play off and divert opposition players. Last season the approach many teams rightly took was to kick Greals and hey presto, you stopped any threat we may have mustered – now I think the 3 of them will cause a lot of teams a lot of problems this season. Also following on from a Gunner writing in this morning, I back the view that Arsenal sold the wrong keeper – Martinez has added a calmness to a defence that was already becoming solid post lockdown.

From a Liverpool perspective it will be very interesting if other teams follow the blueprint that Villa showed at the weekend to get in behind them. Clearly though if you add Mane and Hendo back into that team they will have a lot more bite making it more difficult to execute Sunday’s game plan. They are definitely head and shoulders still the best team/squad in the league.

Finally, I like many others revel in reading mails from United fans…I’ve waited years for this (back handed compliment as they were so dominant) – but can fans of other teams write in with their thoughts on how things are panning out, plus how they think things will pan out over the course of this crazy season? I’m thinking Brighton (playing teams off the park but not necessarily getting the results), Leeds (bloody el – top performances and sorry for this question but do you think you guys will burn out energy-wise back end of the season?), West Ham (has Moyes cracked the code and set you up perfectly for the rest of the season?) and any other team out there outside of the top 6 – what’s the deal? How you feeling? Please stop the mailbox turning into a united only affair!


Sunderland takeover

Morning all.

So it appears two of my loves might be on the verge of an uneasy marriage. The formula 1 world and the football world.

There are reports of William Storey leading a takeover of Sunderland. For those of you who don’t know he is the owner of the Rich Energy ‘brand’ of energy drinks and previously sponsored haas in F1 after failing to buy Force India.

He was kicked out of F1 by Haas for calling out the team he sponsored for being too slow (tweeting a picture of a milkfloat) before going on an epic meltdown on twitter, oh and apparently not actually having any money. He was also sued by Whyte bikes before stealing there logo and hasnt paid that either.

The judge in the court case had some choice words for him too calling him wholly unreliable (or words to that effect)

I am not a supporter of sunderland but understand the current owners have not been great. I see lots of social media welcoming in this character based on his promises of millions being invested but wondered if there were any sunderland fans out there that could let me know their views and that of the fan base and whether it is likely he could actually take control of the club.

Personally from everything I have seen and read I wouldn’t let him anywhere near my club.
Brooko AFC (its time to Partey!)


Man Utd are not a complete disaster…


The difference between the Arsenal and United fans here is that the former generally complain about lack of investment by the owner. The issue with the Glazers is not so much the consultancy fees or lack of investment but the leveraged buyout, where the privilege of having the Glazers as owners has cost the club hundreds of millions. We’ve spent almost £850m on financing over the last ten years. The buyout at the time didn’t make sense for most traditional lenders and the total debt is still at similar levels even now. Woodward played a key role in providing the financing, most of which were high interest loans. If not for SAF as manager, this takeover could easily have been similar to the Gillette and Hicks takeover of Liverpool.

Right now, looking at the clubs finances it seems to be one of the most heavily indebted clubs in Europe and only below Spurs (largely because of the new stadium they have built). I don’t think the club can continue to spend the way they have over the last few years and COVID has probably accelerated that process.  The Glazers value the club around $2bn and at that price, I don’t think there is a reasonable prospect of a change in ownership. The best hope is probably a public listing with the Glazers retaining a controlling interest.

Of course they’re not a complete disaster, they’ve run the club well as a business and have leveraged the goodwill (largely because of SAF) of the club well through commercial income. They have been helped by the explosion of growth in football as a whole, though. Sooner or later there will come a time where the awful way the football side of things has been run ( the choice of managers, the excessive spending on the wrong players, the inflated contracts given to largely mediocre players etc) will start having an impact on the marketability of the club and it’s future cash flows.  At that point, the club won’t even have the luxury of spending their way out of trouble. Maybe then there will be a realistic prospect of change in the way the club is run.
Murtaza (MUFC)


Am I late to the Partey?

I’m sure you’re inundated with Partey puns, so let me add a few more to the list. I don’t care if I’m not published, coming up with them was its own reward.

Headline if Thomas Partey…

Mediates a training ground fracas – “Partey to a dispute”
Scores a hat-trick, then gets sent off – “Partey is such sweet sorrow”
Hacks down a player in the box – “Partey foul” (also if he invests in a chicken restaurant)
Makes a match-winning goal-line clearance – “Block Partey”

Man of the match in a 5-goal victory – “Partey of five”
Scores after a long injury layoff – “A long-expected Partey”
Scores on a pre-season tour – “Partey in the USA”

Stars in a European match under lights – “Partey all night”
Is pictured leaving a Halloween bash – “Fancy dress Partey”

Invests in a kebab restaurant – “The Döner Partey” (sorry…)
Jayraj, MUFC


With the headline-friendly Thomas Partey signing for Arsenal, it makes me think of the opportunities that were sadly missed by no PL team signing Koke from Atletico Madrid. He comes with the advantage, beloved of tabloid headline writers, that you can completely ignore the correct pronunciation of his name to create the desired wordplay effect! And the potential for a season-long narrative was huge…

OK, Koke! – A solid start to the season sees him putting in some good performances

Hokey-Koke – A run of indifferent form means he is in and out of the team

Koke zero – Following an especially wretched performance in which he is hauled off at half-time

Diet, Koke! – The manager demands he gets fit, after accusations of being overweight start to emerge

Koke’d up to the eyeballs – Lurid stories and pictures surface, showing some questionable recreational activities, signalling the end of a miserable spell in England


Prick of the Week

Prick of the Week has to go. I get it’s just a bit of a laugh, but where’s the wit? Sky’s Deadline Day has long been derided as flatulent, self-regarding nonsense. Do we really need another article telling us this? Throw in Dave Tickner’s obligatory woke posturing (yes, we get it, Donald Trump is a bad, bad man) and the whole effect is really rather tedious. Perhaps the most tone-deaf moment was this: “Yet it still thundered in, wearing its novelty tie and loud shirt and honking its horn, utterly convinced people cared . . .” Well, quite.
Matt Pitt

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