A billion reasons why the Glazers must sell Man Utd, and more Trent v James…

Editor F365
Richard Arnold, Joel Glazer and Avram Glazer watch Manchester United.
Joel Glazer will reportedly still have a say on football matters at Man United.

The Mailbox uses the Glazers’ defence against them as evidence that they must sell Manchester United. Also: the Trent Alexander-Arnold versus Reece James debate continues…

Get your views in to theeditor@football365.com


Glazers gotta go
There has been a widespread furor after the Brighton game, with Gary Neville going public on Sky Sports saying that the Glazers have got to go. On the other had you have some pundits defending the Glazers, citing the 1 billion pounds they have spent as proof of ‘backing the manager’.

Have they really backed their managers though?

Moyes- wanted Fabregas, Bale, Kroos. Got Fellaini at deadline day for 6 million more than his release clause which expired a month before

Van Gaal- wanted Mane, Mahrez and Kante when he arrived. In his first season, he was given Shaw, Herrera, an unhappy Di Maria and injury prone Falcao and Rojo. Scattergun recruitment in the second season, splashing big money for mediocre or past it players

Mourinho- clearly wanted a winger and defender to build on Europa and League cup success. Board refused to pay Inter 50 million for Perisic. Mourinho wanted Hummels, Skriniar, Koulibaly or Boateng. The board thought they knew better and bought Lindelof instead

Solskjaer- what a mess. The board spent the most during this regime but somehow managed to make the team worse. He wanted a striker to replace Lukaku and got Ighalo and Cavani on deadline days. Spent the whole summer chasing Jadon Sancho and got Pellestri, James and Amad. Couldn’t get Bruno Fernandes over the line during the summer, only to sign him in January.

Ten Hag- wanted Timber, Antony, De Jong and Nunez. May get Rabiot and Arnautovic instead…

The 1 Billion spent should be one of the reasons why the Glazers need to go. They have appointed incompetent people in important roles at the club, and for this they need to be held accountable. Instead of hiring the best in class (ie Paul Mitchell as sporting director), they have promoted John Murtough and Darren Fletcher as football directors. The decisions made in the last 8 years have been horrendous.

Gary Neville is right. The Glazers need to go
Joon, MUFC (De Jong is not coming, is he?)


Will Manchester United supporters really be able to #EmptyOldTrafford?


Define success
I think the top 6 fans should put their necks on the blocks now and agree on what a successful or disappointing season would be? There does tend to be a fair bit of revisionism through the season if their team doesn’t perform well.

For my two pennies worth I think you can’t have a situation where every top 6 team is declaring a season a success. So for starters they should all finish in the top 4 so immediately 2 teams league campaign should be considered a disappointment. I also think each team should be targeting a trophy of some sort, each of the top 6 are in 4 competitions so again at least 2 should be disappointed on that front.

Now there has to be degrees of success within that, for example if Liverpool or Man City limp home in 4th that has to be considered a poor season. So therefore if either of those doesn’t win the title should that be considered failure considering both have duked it out for a few seasons and were expected to do so against this season?

If Chelsea finish 4th and don’t win a trophy is that success? I’d argue not as they’d have gone backwards. If Spurs finish 5th but win the FA Cup is that success, backwards in the league but finally winning a trophy?

What about if Arsenal or Man U win the Europa league but finish in 8th. The main target of Champions League qualification is achieved via the trophy win but the league campaign will have shown huge regression for both.

So where does success or failure stand for every top 6 team?
Rich, AFC

Empires fall
I was reminiscing with some old school friends recently, and one of them said, ‘Do you remember the 90s, the 00s, like you knew United would win the league, and you had to hope against hope that someone would beat them during the season just to give you a snifter of hope.’

And I remember another friend, slightly older, replied, “I imagine that was what it was like with Liverpool in the 80s, all empires fall in the end, and it takes a while to build them back up”.

I say this because, as United and even Barcelona fans to a lesser extent, see the decline of their once great team, I wanted to offer them solace that it happens to EVERY club at some point. Football is cycles and no one rules forever. But also, to quote Nelson from the Simpsons…. HA HA!

I’ve waited for United to be sh*t for 3 decades! I hope you have to sit in that sh*t for DECADES. I had to live with decades of Barcelona being ‘more than a club’ and acting all high and mighty when actually, they’re just as crappy, and devious, and shonky as the rest of the football firmament. I hope this pain you suffer is long and arduous. Schadenfreude is all we little people have
John (its been 2 decades since our last good result!) Matrix AFC

…If you are walking on the Serengeti with your best mate and a lion comes along, you don’t have to be able to outrun the lion. As long as you can outrun your mate, you’ll be fine.

I guess it’s fair to say that Manchester United have been Liverpool’s best mate this week…
Tom K

TAA v James
Am I the only one who gets confused by people who go on about Trent as a ‘system player’ while completely disregarding the negatives and weak points of said system?

“why doesn’t Trent cover back post runs?” came up alot after the Champions League final and the answer is mainly the system and Liverpool’s near suicidal commitment to the offside trap, commit to that line and force opposition to be perfect or lucky to score (not convinced the cross for Vinicius’ goal wasn’t a fucked shot in frustration), shit happens.

Same comes with the one on one, Trent has shown against plenty of really good teams and wingers he’s fine, the system demands he’s high up the pitch and defencively isolated (on a side most strikers drift too because Van Dijk plays on the left) but he has done fine, not a collosus but fine defencive work in a system that makes him work harder than most for creative freedom.

Which is kind of why I am not surprised, because Reece James is also really excellent, but interested why people think James wouldn’t get exposed in Liverpool’s system like Trent, attacks would be different and he’d have much less cover for his runs going from 3 centre backs to cover him to just 2 and being the prime focus for strikers drifting wide. Possibly just me but he’d probably struggle for a long time before getting roughly the same effect as Trent.

I don’t know I just feel like people will talk systems to negate great work from individuals but talk individuals down for nessicary weaknesses in great systems.

Probably read too many bad takes online.
Tyla (systems have positives and negatives, they should be weighed up) Roxburgh, Liverpool

…There has been a lot of stick for TAA for the goal conceded against Fulham. None for VVD for giving away a sloppy pen though. Firstly it should be noted that if this was Haaland or Kane people wouldn’t bat an eyelid because they’re big players from big teams. But there’s a rhetoric that Mitrovic shouldn’t have possibly scored against TAA because the latter plays for a much better team.

On the back of this, there’s a myth circulating that Reece James is a better player than TAA. Let’s look at the Premier League stats…

TAA: Appearances 162; Wins 114; Losses 19; Assists 45; Goals 10; Big chances created 64; Crosses 1270; Clean Sheets 57; Coals Conceded 130; Errors leading to a goal 2; Goal line clearances 2.

RJ: Appearances 83; Wins 43; Losses 20; Assists 13; Goals 6; Big chances created 19; Crosses 378; Clean Sheets 19; Coals Conceded 73; Errors leading to a goal 0; Goal line clearances 0.

Fortunately the math is made easier by the fact that RJ has played pretty much half the games of TAA. TAA has better percentages of all stats, apart from goals and errors leading to goals. The stats don’t tell all as TAA has been playing for an (mostly) outstanding Liverpool team whereas James has been playing for a massively underperforming Chelsea team (surely nothing more than a coincidence).

What I gathered from the stats is actually both are very different players playing for different systems. Neither are classic full backs, and both may well find themselves playing in more advances positions later on in their careers. I wouldn’t swap TAA for anyone as I’ve not seen a better passer/crosser of the ball since supporting Liverpool (1995). I would suggest that if TAA played for Chelsea, they’d have scored more goals and probably made more use of Lukaku, instead of destroying yet another world-class player.
Mike L (First Time – LFC)


…In terms of the Trent vs Reece argument the accepted wisdom seems to be that TAA is a better attacker and RJ a better defender. However last season (according to the Barclays fantasy league stats) they both had a hand in 14 goals and both conceded 22. Given that TAA played 53% more minutes, this seems to suggest that he is the better defender and James is the better attacker (especially as he scored 5 and assisted 9, as opposed to TAA scoring 2 and assisting 12).

Of course there are many variables, such as Liverpool probably being a better all-round team; James more often playing as a wing back and TAA nominally being a full-back etc.

Interesting though.
Ian, Camberley

Robert Lewandowski 'of' Barcelona

What is going on at Barcelona?
Does anyone actually know? And more importantly/concerningly, how are they getting away with it? Latest news is that on top of giving up significant percentages of their future income for a serious amount of time, they continue to negotiate their players to reduced and deferred wages.

I’m not the best at finances, but giving up future income and pushing debts to the future seems like disaster waiting to happen. On top of that, of course, they continued to spend money and offer wages they can’t afford. Presumably those players get paid even if they can’t be registered to kick a ball competitively.

I’m not sure what the rules are when clubs can’t pay wages here, but my only references are Derby and Leeds. Both were punished, neither did well. That seems appropriate response to running a failing business.

Somehow, I suspect the same won’t happen to Barca. But if they do, it sets precedent for clubs and other businesses to offer huge pay (to fight off rival bidders) and then bully those recruits into accepting reduced wages or “deferring” that pay to some future undefined date.

As far as players, I get that not all clubs will have the draw to either attract players to join such a dubiously run business, or convince them to accept the changed terms. But I cannot understand why a player would join them right now, knowing all this and that any offer they make is basically worthless.

I’ll admit, I’m probably a little jealous. I’d love us to be in a position to be such a draw. But mostly it rankles that I know if this was a big club in England, they’d have been stripped of European football, unable to sign players or extend contracts, and probably have points deducted for breaching FFP terms. Presumably such things would make the club significantly less attractive.

I just wondered if there was someone more in the know who could explain how they’re getting away with it.