Man Utd player showed ‘best bit of defending’ since Vidic left

Date published: Wednesday 21st October 2020 2:43

Luke Shaw Man Utd

Get your mails in to…


More PSG v Man Utd reaction…

Luke Shaw’s 30-metre recovery dash to clear the offside cross by Mbappe in the first half was the best bit of defending I’ve seen since Vida left. Superb.

Lindelof was immense – other than a couple of bad games (that led to this website calling for his head) he’s been our best CB for a while now, #1 pick for me.

I’m shocked it took 60 minutes for Mbappe to realise he wasn’t getting any change and drift central/right – there should be a mental health warning when wingers are put against Aaron Wan Bissaka. Could have easily played on the right of the back three but for…

Tuanzebe. Just wow. That first-half tackle in the box? Wow.

Not going to be negative and contemplate what our captain would have done in any of the dozen 1 vs 1 situations we faced last night (only to concede to Tony’s best header to date).

Just may be time for everyone to drop the “Maguire + 1” conversations.
Simon MUFC


For all the recent debate over Lindelof or Bailly being the missing link in United’s defence – maybe the answer was Axel Tuanzebe all along.

Seriously though, to be out injured for 10 months, and then pocket Neymar and Mbappe in your first game back, is pretty damn impressive. His opportunity in the first team has been a long time coming, but maybe this is the season he’ll finally be able to stake a claim for a starting CB spot, alongside Maguire. If he’s able to stay fit, there’s no reason why he shouldn’t.

Solskjaer got his tactics spot on, Fred and AWB were immense, Pogba helped seize initiative after coming on, Rashford with a late winner (again) in Paris. All in all, a very good result to kick off the CL campaign.
DJ, MUFC (Cavani getting on the end of those whipped Telles crosses and corners is a delicious prospect!) India


Yes there was another (re-taken) penalty, a fabulous tackle, a late winner and a famous away victory, but the real issue from last night’s PSG – Man Utd match surely has to be the horror show of that away kit.

Was it designed and coloured in by a three-year-old? Or Jorge Campos during a particularly avant garde phase?

Whatever, it was like watching a team of zebras playing in a kaleidoscope whilst on LSD and made my eyes hurt. Please, no more.
Jonny (Worst. Kit. Ever. Yes, even worse than that brown Coventry affair or that weird meat-themed one from Spain) Dance


Ole has once again silenced his critics and Axel Tuanzebe is going to be one of the best defenders to put on the famous old Zebra stripes.
Schlomo Jenkins


Huh, so apparently if you put Paul Pogba in something that looks like a Juventus jersey it’s the best way to get a performance out of him?
Robbie DFC. First Molde then Arsenal…


Nothing lucky about that one.
Chris, MUFC.


I know us Spurs fans get stick for hyperbole, and rightly so on occasion, but did Brian, Wexford, really just liken Fred to prime Makelele/Dembele?

Mate…you alright?
Jon, Lincoln


Too much hype…

I hate to be a downer but I can imagine all the overly enthusiastic mails this morning about the PSG game. It was a good game, a good game plan and was executed well. Can we draw the line there? The whole media is so prone to hyperbole it is pretty sickening and that has infected these pages.

Man Utd have had a rough start, probably because of a small pre-season, given how Spurs folded against West Ham, if that red card had not happened and there was more fitness, Man Utd may have had a better game. That loss hasn’t written off the season, made Ole the worst manager in England or told us anything beyond the face that it was a bad game.

Just like today’s game doesn’t mean we are going to win the Champions League…..let’s all keep our perspective please


In defence of ‘defensive’ Brighton

Dear Mailbox Editor,

I know Brighton are just there to make up the numbers in the Premier League this season, but I’m surprised by how poorly two Manchester United fans remember our game just last month. Firstly, Ved Sen, MUFC states that Brighton like to defend deep, which must explain why Brighton had 18 shots in the game (five that hit the woodwork) to Manchester United’s seven. Maybe Ven thought United were the team in blue that day? Secondly, Hassan (finally figured out the right position for Pogba : Sub), suggests that Solskjaer prefers to play expansive teams like PSG rather than teams like Brighton. Again he must have missed last month’s game and last season’s game after the restart where Man U efficiently picked off Brighton’s expansive team with three excellent counter attacking goals by Greenwood and Fernandes (two).

Now I don’t expect fans of other teams to know the everyday ins and outs of Brighton, but it is a little worrying if they think Brighton currently play ‘defensive’ football. This shows Danny Murphy levels of research and understanding of the game.

As for Brighton’s chances this season, with the addition of Danny Welbeck, hopefully they finally have someone to finish all those chances this defensive team create every game.
David Williams


That showed you F365…

Well done to all the Utd fans that are moaning about F365s narrative about Utd being piss poor based on the first 3 games of the season. You really showed them that, now, based on 1 win against PSG, OGS is a genius, the defence are great and so too are the rest of the team for that matter. We now have the following teams coming up: Chelsea, RB Leipzig, Arsenal, Basaksehir and then Everton with not much time between games. I think I’d rather wait until the end of that run to make any judgements on how we might fare for the rest of the season.
Jon, Cape Town (Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the win immensely and am hopeful and looking forward to the upcoming run)


Dear Football365,

All the people writing this morning about how F365 were wrong about Ole Gunnar Solskjaer are conveniently overlooking, helpfully put across by F365 today: Manchester United beat PSG by playing as underdogs. Manchester United. Underdogs.

Manchester United deserve praise for winning the game but if Solskjaer is being credited for fostering this sort of spirit, or encouraging it further, then it’s just more proof he isn’t up to the job.

That said, the longer he stays, the more dysfunctional Manchester United will be, and the more fun the rest of us will have.
Ed Quoththeraven (it’s no coincidence that soon after Manchester United lose to Crystal Palace and Liverpool lose to Aston Villa, they float the idea of a European Super League again as a means of avoiding such humiliations in future)


Remember when United fans were all bravado and arrogance? Nothing demonstrates how far they have fallen than this morning’s outpouring of emotion. It would actually be a little sad, if it were not for the fact that 95% of the fanbase are glory-hunting screechers.

In response to the desperate need to insist that OGS is actually competent, I ask one question: has any supporter of any other club ever suggested they would like him to become their manager?

The only success he has had since taking over is to completely redefine the objectives and standards of the richest club in the world. Whether he is the second, third, or highest spender in that time is irrelevant. He has spent a phenomenal sum of money and has achieved nothing with it. When he is eventually levered out of United, he will undoubtedly make his way back to Norway, and never be seen managing at a decent level again.

Congratulations on winning a game though. Must be a nice change from getting routinely turned over at home by whichever club turns up.


A draw is not a defeat…

Not the most exciting opening game to a Champions League group I must be honest, however the last time we opened a group with Spanish opposition we lost 1-0, now this Sevilla side are a much stronger team compared to Valencia of last season, after all we saw how they gave Bayern a fair few problems and scares in the Super Cup, so in hindsight that draw could be a positive result.

One highlight from the game was that Edouard Mendy save where he palms the ball away, it makes me wonder if that had been any other goalkeeper, no names needed there, if it would have resulted in a goal for Sevilla, so glad Mendy is back, but I suppose when it comes to goalkeepers we now have Mendy, Kepa, Caballero and of course our latest addition to the Premier League squad, the one, the only Petr Cech, I genuinely have no idea what gave birth to that idea to include him in the squad but it did bring a smile to many faces on social media.
Mikey, CFC


Understandably the mailbox was dominated by Man U v PSG this morning, so some thoughts on the Chelsea game last night.

God that was boring. We kept a clean sheet.

That is all.
Jimmy (back to centre, holds it, holds it!) Sham


European Premier League…

I’ve been a Liverpool fan for over 40 years. The last couple of years have been among the best I’ve had as a fan, we’ve been superb, and there’s a pride in how well the whole club is being run. But by God, that’s come to a juddering halt.

Between Project Power Grab and this “European Premier League” (original name, btw), I am rapidly reaching a point of no return. I don’t want to support a club that will happily rip apart English football.

I’m not even furious. I’m just disinterested. Our game vs Ajax should fill me with anticipation: it’s Ajax, ffs!!! But if the club that won this tournament in 2019 thinks it’s so dull that they would rather do something else, why should I give a sh*t?

Even if this league never starts, I will never again care as much as I did 6 months or 6 years ago. Actions have consequences John Henry.
John, Chicago


The Mailbox

Often I read letters in the mailbox where fans are constantly trying to downplay what a successful season should be for their team.  This usually comes at the end of a disappointing season with statements like “no one was expecting a top 4 finish this season”.  We can’t have a season where every club meets their ambitions and expectations for the season so I thought it would be a good idea for F365 to do an unbiased opinion piece on what success/failure should be for each club this season.  For example, no club will see success as being relegated so 3 clubs will obviously fail.  At the other end of the table how many teams should expect to win the title? Liverpool and Man City for sure, so one of them will fail.  We should bring in cup competitions and Europe, and summer spending should also come in to play as should what was achieved last season on the simple basis that every team should be looking to improve on last season.

If nothing else it will provoke a plethora of mails from fans saying you’ve set their expectations too high when (as you should) you say that 6-7 clubs should be looking at a top 4 spot.  It can be used as a proper post season evaluation of each team.  So if for example (and I’ll use my own team here) Arsenal finish 5th, and don’t win a trophy you can;t have Arsenal fans saying it was a successful season because we built on an 8th place finish last season.  I think Arsenal should be looking to get in that top 4 on the basis that there are 2 spots available after Liverpool and Man City, and whilst Man U and Chelsea would appear favourites based on last year, squad size and depth and summer spending they have their weaknesses just as Arsenal and Spurs do.  And that isn’t discounting potential outsider challengers for top 4 in Everton, Leicester and Wolves.  Just like last year I think positions 3-8 could be quite close.

It can of course be open to the mailbox to set their realistic ambitions for their team this season but I fear some may downplay what truly should be achieved for it to be a success.

I’ve already nailed my colours to the mast for Arsenal, so here’s my effort at the rest of the top 6

Liverpool – retain the title, + any trophy, semi final of champions league as a minimum

City – win the title + any trophy and a serious run in the champions league (difficult to say you must win it because cup competitions are difficult to predict, but there cant be another early exit to an underdog)

Chelsea – 3rd and a lot closer to 1st + a trophy to get Frank off the mark

Man U  – 3rd and a lot closer to 1st + a trophy to get Ole off the mark

Spurs – top 4/back in champions league and a trophy for Jose to get the monkey of 11 years without one off their back

I’ll let others decide if Arsenal ‘just’ returning to the champions league is successful or whether they need a trophy, but I think there is a legitimate case for all 5 of the other big 6 to need a trophy this season to consider it a successful one, and I include Spurs in that simply because it has been so long without a trophy although I can see that many Spurs fans will consider finishing 4th a successful season, which considering the competition for those places I wouldn’t fiercely disagree with.

Time for me to get off the fence and for F365 to put their balls on the block and feel the backlash



Other clubs are missing key players too…

After hearing the latest histrionic comments coming out of Liverpool regarding the Van Dijk injury, one wonders how close they are to holding up his shirt pre game and openly sobbing.

Yes you’ve lost an important player to an ACL injury. But, and bear with me hear as I know it’s a tough concept to grasp, there are other teams in the premier league missing vital players through serious injuries. This isn’t a tragedy, it’s an unfortunate event that hopefully Van Dijk will come back stronger from. This constant whining about it from your fans, players and managers, fanned by the media just emphasises the view a lot of neutrals have of Liverpool FC.
John Collins, Wolves, London

P.S. Goes without saying, but get well soon Virgil.


Pickford should be dropped…

Liverpool’s  Georginio Wijnaldum said that Jordan Pickford’s challenge is “completely stupid”.  And I agree.  What a player steps onto the pitch, he has a right to expect that the opponents will not behave in a malicious or reckless manner.  I assume that the match was the first time in years that Everton felt that there was a good chance of winning, and so Pickford psyched himself up to the point where he became more Pickfording than usual.

In my opinion, he should be dropped.  And yes, I am an Everton fan.  So I am used to lack of success.  But at least let me take pride in how our players behave.
Nick, EFC


Pickford apology?

I see Dan wants Pickford to apologise via social media??

Is he not aware that Richarlison did just that and was subject to racist abuse, threats of violence and the releasing of his phone number by the loveable Reds?

Or that Jordan’s other half has been subjected to horrendous abuse on Instagram by the same collective?

Why should he engage on a platform renowned for its anonymous d*ckheads who think it’s fine to send all kinds of abuse to strangers?

For all we know he has already apologised directly, why do you need some sort of public gratification?
Ian, EFC


In defence of Roy Hodgson…

So last night Man Utd beat a hugely expensive team in the champions league using the old Muhammad Ali Vs. George Foreman technique (“you’ll never knock me down, George.”)Now, I understand how a rope-a-dope win like Man Utd’s yesterday can puff up the chest of supporters but there’s no need to blow smoke Roy Hodgson’s way. He is, after all, a better manager than Ole Gunnar Solksjaer at this point (2 titles with Halmstad, 5 back-to-back with Malmo.)
Canny Roy has always been capable of pulling a fast-one and it was not long ago that he beat Juventus with Fulham to complete possibly one of the all-time great footballing comebacks from 4-1 down. He’s also beaten Real Madrid with Xamax (yeah me neither) in European Competition. I think it’s fair to say that Ole Gunnar Solksjaer (OGS), at this point, should be trying to emulate Hodgson.

I get why United fans like OGS. He’s changing the culture at Utd which is something my own club’s manager, Arteta, can learn from. But these backs-against-the-wall sucker punch wins (which both Arteta and OGS enjoy) are among the easiest to navigate because you don’t have to create the space tactically, you just have to exploit it. Take away the rope-a-dopes and you’ve got a manager who got 66pts in his first half-season, spent £220mn, and got 66pts again. Tactical genius he is not.
Liam Gabriel Hoskins (Always liked Roy) AFC


Love for the big Argentine…

Martinez has totally transformed the Villa defense this season. The number of dangerous looking shots on target and crosses he simply catches calmly in those dinner-plate sized mitts of his. Just when a situation is looking to get edgy and the nerves and adrenaline about to course he more often than not extinguishes the threat in a single motion, helping his defenders maintain their cool and smothering the hopes of opposing forwards. That’s the difference a top keeper makes – removing some of those moments of high adrenaline and nerves where mistakes are more likely to happen. Imagine how good Everton would look if they had one.
Rob, AFC


Do the right thing…

While the following is not necessarily about football per se, it does go to the very heart of what football clubs mean to our communities.

You will have all seen the mess over the Tier 3 restrictions being imposed on Greater Manchester with the Mayor asking for £90 million of support to stop the poorest among us having to live on two thirds of a wage that was barely enough in the first place. We are now £30 million short and a lot of people are facing a very grim winter through no fault of their own.

Manchester is lucky enough to have two of the richest football clubs in the world and both are in a position to fund £15 million each over the next six months to help these people out. Some people like to say that football clubs are at the heart of the community and in terms of support etc that is true. The clubs themselves like being thought of that way, if nothing else to have a captured audience no matter what rubbish they serve up each week. However, for too long Premier League clubs have hoovered up cash with increased ticket pricing, massive TV deals and so on.

Now would be a good time for them to put their money where their mouths are, prove they are an integral part of the community and help out the local authorities and people being hit by all this with money they can easily afford. It’s not even a fifth of a Harry Maguire for United and around a fifth of a Riyad Mahrez for City… OVER SIX MONTHS!!!

They should show some kind of moral compass and do the right thing.

Tim (wishing my club would help) Collins


Not in Premier League squads XI

GK – Petr Cech, retired from football, part of Chelsea’s back room team and somehow their 4th choice keeper.DEF – Ouasim Bouy, played mostly in the Eredivisie for Zwolle, not in Leeds’ squad.
DEF – Sokratis, 90 caps for Greece, not in Arsenal’s squad.
DEF – Conor Shaughnessy, at 24 years old his career hasn’t taken off quite yet, not in Leeds’ squad.
WB – Achraf Lazaar, 17 caps for Morocco, not in Newcastle’s squad.
WB – Baba Rahman, 28 caps for Ghana, not in Chelsea’s squad.
MID – Henri Saivet, 27 caps for Senegal, not in Newcastle’s squad.
MID – Danny Drinkwater, league winner, not in Chelsea’s squad.
MID – Mesut Ozil, won a whole bunch of medals, not in Arsenal’s squad.
FW – Christian Atsu, 65 caps for Ghana, not in Newcastle’s squad.
FW – Charly Musonda,  at 24 years old his career hasn’t taken off quite yet, not in Chelsea’s squad.
FW – Daniel Sturridge, league, cup and CL winner, out of contract.

Manager – Freddie Ljungberg, because the fella deserves another go.

In conclusion, there’s a lot of good/decent players who won’t be playing much this season, credit goes to all clubs who managed to loan, sell or include their over-21 players.
John of Norwich


Footballers lives matter

The Pickford / VVD attempted murder / not even a foul debate made me think about what the stupidest arguments ever in the mailbox are. This seems to be the worst one ever but maybe there’s some recency bias there. Anyway, here’s my top 5 of most annoying debates and I’ll even put them to bed in my own completely unbiased way so that no-one will feel the need to ever raise them again.

At Number 5, is Mourinho still a genius (stated after each and every win against a big six side) or a grumpy old bastard out of touch with the modern game (the rest of the time)

Number 4, Is Pogba shit or actually a quality midfielder

Number 3, Who would you least like to win the league, Liverpool or City

Number 2, Whose fans are the most annoying, Liverpool or Utd?

Number 1, Pickfords attempted murder of VVD

While all the above are annoying, 5 & 4 are occasional entrants that you can’t skip as you probably already opened the mailbox so you must just deal with it, 3 was bloody annoying and wouldn’t go away last season, 2 was enough to make me avoid the mailbox for a couple of days and so is number 1. Number 1 however gets that top spot because of the sheer volume of bullshit that it has generated over many days for just…one….tackle/assault….
Jon Cape, Town (Definitive answers: 5 grumpy, 4 quality, 3 Both, 2 Liverpool, 1 Happens every week, get over it)


Independent journalism…

As I read the patronising headline that is the latest proffering of this esteemed site about how we have said Solskjaer has been a rip-roaring success, I cannot help but wander if we have travelled the same road over the past couple of seasons. Moyes crossed the ball a record number of times to come 5th, LvG had us tapping out as if we were in a submission chokehold from pure boredom and got fired for coming 5th. Mourinho did what Mourinho does in his 3rd season and threw his toys out the pram when Woodward did what Woodward does. I get that F365 feels a certain type of way about simultaneously hating and needing Man Utd supporters to boost traffic but this passive aggressive dung won’t fly. All we are saying is having played more than half a season he hasn’t come 5th, he isn’t playing boring football, he has not mentioned the word “philosophy”(I kid you not, not once) and he hasn’t thrown his toys out the pram at Woodward being Woodward. Oh and he tactically outwitted Thomas Tuchel twice among others. When an entire section of your readership think you have it out for someone, guess what? You have it out for someone. There is nothing wrong with fans expressing their joy at a collectively good performance from Manager and players, its primarily what fans do and the good ones stick up for their manager because no one else will. Ole isn’t to blame for 7 years of misery. Success takes time ask Klopp, ask Sir Alex. We might be commercially successful but we cannot afford to buy 6 players a season to accommodate every new manager’s philosophy a la Chelsea.
Simba (I’m very calm, well done United)

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