Keep your thoughts coming in to firstname.lastname@example.org…
Man Utd: The house that was bought to be paid off by itself
Just in reply to the Arsenal fan Josh, who doesn’t yet understand the actual reason why most Utd fans are rattled by the Glazers when he states: ‘They didn’t spend 800m on Man U to make you happy.’
Josh, the problem is, they didn’t spend 800m. They basically didn’t spend anything at all. They paid for Utd with loans and hedge funds… and when the purchase was sorted, they pushed the debt of that ONTO Utd. Man Utd are basically paying to buy itself…for the Glazers.
They are essentially getting Utd for free, and taking dividends annually. And when the time comes to sell, they will take something along the lines of 2bn in the sale, while leaving their debt on Utd!
You nearly have to admire them. If I could buy a house this way, I would, but the banks wouldn’t allow it!
To summarize, Glazers bought a house with no money, and made the house pay itself off, and will eventually sell it.
Gary B (International football weekend, sighhhhhh)
Zorc and Woodward comparison…
Meant to write in about Ed Woodward being potentially compared to Michael Zorc yesterday but I stopped because I had just written HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA and it just kept sliding along on it’s back wheels for aaaaaaages!
So yeah, I got a chuckle out of Mr. Woodward being compared in any way to Mr. Zorc. Michael Zorc could be known better as MR. BORUSSIA DORTMUND. He is a lifer, played for them his whole career, winning several trophies, and has been the technical director of the club in it’s most tumultuous times to recent day as an ever evolving football dynasty.
If Ed Woodward was say, Gary Neville, abd he immediately moved into such a role as Zorc did after retiring without any managerial attempts or pundit establishments, then it would compare.
You’ve hot one guy who is the absolute heart and soul of his club, he is the big daddy, he does a wonderful job but he can make decisions that are in the benefit of the club that people won’t understand but he knows will be right down the line. He’s not afraid yo be unpopular, abd it has resulted in the idea of him being unpopular being laughable.
Ed Woodward has landed a pretty nifty job, but his connection with the club, is nowhere near the level of Michael Zorc. I’m sorry Mr. Optimistic Man Utd fan, but this is not the hill to die on. He has learned absolutely zero.
This Dortmund imploded then built themselves up from the rubble and is still build themselves up with a great focus on evolution.
This United was rebuilt by Sir Alex Ferguson and enjoyed sustained success like never before, but was then left in the hands of financial people who don’t quite understand that financials and football are essentially a happy accident. People will pay for it because they want to watch it, because it’s a great game, one that if you’ve ever enjoyed playing you will enjoy for life. These financial people have seen that Football = Money. That’s not true. Football = Football, and there’s some money on the side.
Dortmund get young sure-things and allow them a big opportunity to develop, and then they cash in on these sure things. They are buying extremely talented players who they will get a lot out of who will then give them profit.
Utd take an 80 million punt on Harry Maguire who had a good world Cup and did well for a relegated team and a team who hung around in mid table before that.
Maguire may improve, but Utd are a club who have to stick to their guns after paying big on a center back who might not be all that good, or take a huge hit and try do something again. Until last weekend, the consensus has been Utd need a better partner for him at the back. There was no talk about getting shot of him, because 80 mil isn’t what you pay for a squad player, but a fundamental centerpiece of your team.
So Utd are one year removed from paying for centerpieces that could be the wrong fit entirely, and they’re being compared to a club who are willing to bet on raw talent at a small-ish potential risk. Jude Bellingham is going the way of Sancho. Utd were interested in him. He would be on the bench right now or on loan somewhere that it doesn’t really matter how the club does, as long as he does well. Instead he is being thrust into top division football and is being given a real crack at the whip. He’ll play champions league football this season. If Utd got him, he spuldnt be in the squad.
Utd don’t take risky punts that might not work out but are recoverable, they take super risky punts that if they don’t work out are a complete write off. The signing of Maguire is the club going “PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE BE GOOD” while on their knees praying. Dortmund sign Bellingham (or any other young hotshot you’d like to mention) and they’re going “This’ll probably work out, we’re so good, but if it doesn’t our risk isn’t too costly, and we likely have another option that definitely will work somewhere.”
Look at the different approaches to transfers, praying something works out, to sure that it will and if it doesn’t it would be a shock but these things happen and they are confident should they roll the dice again.
David (think I’ve rambled on long enough now), Dublin
The secret to Moyes’ success
David Moyes is not a bad coach. He was highly rated at Everton and, considering their struggles since despite heavy investment (until Don Carlo), perhaps his work there was even better than he’s given credit for. But then he came to United and it broke him for good. He was a defeated man, and has been for many years. But things finally seem to be turning around for him.
I have a theory for the recent upturn in form at West Ham. When Moyes was at United, each week there were a series of leaks about how out of depth he was. One of the reports about him was his insistence on micromanaging from the touchline. While Fergie would, on most days, just let the team get on with it on the pitch — except for the occasional pitchside evisceration of the fourth official — Moyes used to stand in his little box and constantly bark instructions, which the seasoned United squad at the time didn’t take kindly to.
It’s just a thought, but maybe, after his unfortunate time at United, he started overthinking his methods and obsessing over every detail, in turn inhibiting his players during games. He didn’t trust his own coaching during the week, and felt the need to meddle. And now that he’s working from home, his methods are actually coming to fruition despite his best efforts. He may have stumbled on to a winning formula, now all he has to do is fight his own instincts and let it work.
(Or it could just be West Ham being West Ham — for his sake, I hope that’s not the case.)
Akhil, Man Utd, Delhi
Liverpool fan defending Maguire
I’m a Liverpool fan but after seeing some of the recent criticism of Harry Maguire, I feel like I have to step in and defend the chap.
Has he had a bad season? Absolutely. He has been terrible since it started. However the idea that he’s always been crap is just baffling to me and a perfect example of the hysterical overreaction of the modern football fan. He was one of the best defenders in the League when he was at Leicester and He performed well for England in the last world cup (he was possibly their best player). Last season when he was an ever present in their defence, only 2 teams had a better defensive record than Manchester United and that’s not something you achieve when your main defender is rubbish- they conceded only 3 goals more than Liverpool!. Does that all scream a player who has always been a fraud? Yes he’s slow and has always been slow but I have news for you- history is littered with slow center backs who still managed to perform. This isn’t the 100 meters sprint.
The real question is whether he will continue his current terrible form or whether he will turn it around. But let’s not pretend that he is being ‘found out’ this season. Maguire has been good for most of his career and is currently crap. There is no need to get hysterical and erase history.
Turiyo Damascene, Kigali
Blame Solskjaer for many things…but not Maguire…
Please do not come up with excuses for Maguire. If you do not know how to head the ball (his header for the Spurs opener was the worst thing I have seen in football), it does not matter what system you play in.
Another thing that I absolutely have to point out here is De Gea. De Gea is a brilliant shot stopper but he is not a good goalkeeper. If your defence plays a high line, your goalkeeper needs to be more aware of what is happening ahead of him. De Gea almost never comes out of his goal, banking on his shot stopping rather than sliding in and winning the ball. For the first Son goal, he should have been able to get closer to the ball if he had made the decision in time. He hesitated and left himself in no man’s land. If you want to play a high line, get a better sweeper keeper.
Hassan (Here is an idea, Play Cavani as a CB!)
Sky Sports anti-troll campaign
Good article by Jacques Talbot. Social media has proved itself to be a pandoras box full of empowered trolls. Charlie Brooker did a program about video games and he had Twitter as number one. This is probably the best way of describing why someone thinks its ok to tweet something that they would never say in real life. In computer games there are the rules to the game. You leave the real life rules at the loading screen. Same for films where you suspend your disbelief. You know its not real but you roll with it anyway in the name of entertainment. In a computer game you would pick up an assault rifle and run towards a tank or steal a car and run over a passer-by. That’s the game. And in Twitter the game is a 140 characters of put down as severe as you can.
Its disgusting. And need its needs to be regulated. But it won’t for a few reasons.
- Rupert Murdoch has his claws in UK politics. I can’t even just blame the conservatives on this one even though one of their prime ministers had Christmas dinner with one of his CEOs. CHRISTMAS DINNER. Rupert Murduch will not allow an effective media regulation. There is a danger that any social media regulation would affect his media empire’s ability to make and break world leaders. This is a cycle that needs to be broken.
- Social media is now too big for governments to attack. The EU are starting to with laws including GDPR which will rake them in loads of money. This will give them the means to fight back. It scared Facebook enough to confess to the Cambridge Analytica breach the day before the new law came in. Only today MP David Lammy is frustrated at Twitter for not helping a police investigation following him getting death threats. This is unacceptable. Social media has no corporate conscience and does not want one. Mark Zuckerberg refuses to be interviewed by parliament committees in the UK. He has said it is not up to Facebook to have a conscience, it must be done through regulation. And then he hires Sir Nick Clegg. I wonder what that is for.
- Social media is a weapon of war. It has been militarised and used by governments worldwide to affect local change. The dropping of leaflets from a plane in WW2 has become a part of our daily lives. The Russians and Chinese are well known offenders in this area but the Cambridge Analytica scandal shows that it has been used by and against western countries too. If every account is a verified and traceable account this weapon is lost. The Russians are using it well and a house of commons report concluded that the conservatives have not wanted to investigate Russian influence.
- People have been convinced that there are things that are political and things that are not and that these should be kept separate. That football is not political but racism is and therefore you should not talk about racism when talking about football. Politics is in everything we do, from pot holes to pensions. It is now a criminal offense to play football in the park. You cannot keep politics out of anything. If you cannot see the politics in it you either think it doesn’t need to change or you haven’t thought at all.
Without regulation it has to be done the old fashioned way. Peer pressure and punching people in the face. Its hard to punch someone on social media in the face but if one of your mates is sending these types of messages you have to text them and say mate that’s too far delete that. If they don’t then they aren’t someone who is worth your time. If you agree with them, if you think that they are just saying it as it is, then you need to have good long look at yourself.
Alex, South London
I already sent an email today but after reading this I felt I had to write something. Firstly let me say I don’t spend any time on social media. Its not that I have some problem with it, I think it’s a wonderful tool to keep up with family and friends, plus news in the world but I feel it’s a tool for the younger generation. This is an option available to everyone, as growing a brand should not be a requisite to being a good footballer. But that is a different issue.
In the article you claim that the vile things said on social media would never be said in person, which makes me wonder has the writer ever been to a football match? Cantona tried his best impression of Bruce Lee because of something a fan said to his face. I don’t even want to get to what is said between fans in bars. In short angry people will say things to peoples face just as easily as in social media. Football makes a LOT of people angry. When people are angry at someone they will want to hurt said someone. And the easiest way to hurt someone who belongs to a minority group of some sort is to insult them on that level. Do you suppose Mateo Matterazzi is a sexist nationalist for the abuse he hurled Zidanes way to get him to headbutt him at the World Cup finals? He’s not even French so the Algerian descendance of Zidane means fuck all to him. He just wanted to make him mad. Because angry people make mistakes. And when fans are hurt by the results, by the players that they feel don’t care about said brand as much as them they get angry, and wish to hurt them back. So they post dumb insults on social media. I also agree that there is an aspect of fame that social media has made available to just about anyone at any time. Like the writer says insults are popular. A good insult, can be quite funny honestly which will garner a lot of likes. That too fuels that fire.
But censoring speech has never been and will never be the answer. Something that has been the biggest symbol of freedom in my lifetime is now very often under scrutiny. The point that seems to be missed is that once you decide that certain speech is forbidden you are relinquishing enormous power to someone else to say oh yes this speech too is now forbidden. It is to use a tired phrase a slippery slope. And I realize that a lot of the things that are said are very hurtful to many people but it is exactly the speech that offends that should be most protected. That’s the whole point of freedom of speech. What Orwellian nightmare are we going into when we are going oh all speech is free, but not free from consequence? Sounds like one of the rules from Animal Farm. Another useful thing that letting people say whatever they want has is that it points out the people deluded by bad ideas (such as genuinely believing some races are inferior just because, or that women can play football just as good as men). So others may ignore them or God forbid, educate them on why they are wrong. Maybe in the process they themselves will learn something new that might shift their opinion if on nothing else but on what the opposite side is actually like. And then instead of tilting at the straw men we made in our heads without ever actually meeting them we might understand where the other person is coming from and get along better. What a terrible turn of events that would be.
Dino (not anonymous) Kantardzic
I have previously written to criticise your editorial and I would like to express that I was happy to see good balanced opinion back in the excellent article by Jaque Talbot. This is the kind of considered and well written submission that has made your website a firm favourite of mine. I do hope Jaque’s balanced style triumphs over the base, expletive laden clickfest that is ‘prick of the week’. Its almost funny/ironic to see the two articles on the same webpage. They are, in my opinion, so contrary to each other and send out opposing messages. Still, I suppose that’s balance for you, night and day, ying and yang.
Hope you have a good day.