We have more fall-out from Europa League final failure. Keep those mails coming in to firstname.lastname@example.org…
Fergie wouldn’t stand for Rashford’s distractions
Going through Twitter, I can see loads of claims for Ole’s sacking for the defeat in the Europa League Final. These claims are unfounded in my opinion. This Man Utd team has come a long way since the team was in shambles when Jose left.
Here’s my 7 conclusions on Man Utd:
1. This Man Utd team has got some improvement to do to catch up with City. However, they are not as far as people seem to suggest. They just lack goals. Cavani getting into shape will add those next season.
2. Man Utd’s underlying problems are with the inconsistency of the regular starters. I got to feel for Lindelof, Fred & McTominay. People pick out on them unnecessary making them scapegoats for whenever Man Utd does not win. The problem is not them, I would say the inconsistencies of the attacking players namely Rashford (more on him later), Martial and Pogba which prevents the team from breaking opponents with low defensive lines.
3. Irrespective of the result of the Europa League final, Man Utd have progressed. One defeat does not make you the worst team in the world all of a sudden.
4. DeGea should not be picked upon for the defeat in the final. Penalty shoot outs are a lottery. Man Utd should have won that game within 90 mins itself. The only blame that can be levelled at OGS is not hooking off Rashford at half time. He was absolute shambles and did not provide anything. That meant United were virtually playing with only 10 men. That said, Villareal displayed a very good defensive performance and congratulations to them for their first ever trophy in their history. They deserved it.
5. Marcus Rashford MBE. Where to start? This boy has been in freefall ever since he’s been awarded the MBE award. His passing, crossing, tactical awareness, decision making have all been below sub par. Even his dribbling supposedly his biggest attribute, he is failing on that. Is it a fitness problem? If so, hold your hands up and ask for treatment and come back fully fit. This attitude of so-called to keep trying is holding the team back. There are other players capable of performing in Rashford’s absence. And it might backfire on Rashford himself as he grows towards his 30s. Until when does his off field charitable work absolve him of criticisms for his poor performances on the pitch? Don’t get me wrong but this boy seems to be more interested in off-field matters than his performances on the pitch. This is what is holding back his progression as a footballer. He is becoming more of a Theo Walcott than a top class United level attacking player. Some blame has to be shared by OGS too for continuously persisting with him. David Beckham who was deemed to be distracted by off field activities was given the boot despite his performances being top notch (recall the epic game against Real Madrid won 4-3 by United which incited Roman to buy Chelsea). Rashford is very lucky that despite his poor performances he is still a United player. For all his goodness as a person, with Fergie he would have been long gone because ultimately your performance on the pitch that keeps you in the team. To take Rashford’s own words “For me, the talent, ability – we have everything to compete at the highest level, we just have to show it…” You are right Mr Rashford MBE but you just don’t deliver and it’s been a while now and as a consequence the team is suffering from that. Should Man Utd consider a straight swap with Villa: Grealish for Rashford? Rashford + cash for Kane?
6. Greenwood is coming good after a tough patch and this player will develop into a world class striker. He should be a shoe-in for the final England squad. Same can’t be said of his MBE teammate who for once I wish Southgate drops him because I want England to go on and win the final. With Rashford MBE that unfortunately will not be possible.
7. Solksjaer has been building a strong core of players. He has improved so many of them, namely Shaw, Fred, McTominay, Lindelof, Greenwood and Pogba. He has brought quality into the squad Fernandes, Maguire and Wan Bisaka. Most importantly he has been getting rid of deadwood in every single transfer window. OGS has set in the foundations. He is the one who will lead us to glory. Man Utd are only 3 players away from seriously challenging for all the trophies on offer.
Ashwin, Man Utd fan.
The comparison of Liverpool and Utd (or Klopp and Ole) is always going to raise a lot of hackles with the two historically top clubs in England. Even saying that will raise hackles.
Any comparison of manager, players or teams can come across as trite or, at best, anecdotal. It’s hard to know what is and isn’t progress.
The whole ‘bad champions’ notion was laughable, in that it was created by the always mean-spirited Keano, who clearly has an axe to grind – and then jumped on by the feckless media. But in reality, Liverpool lost or drew a lot of games on very fine margins. Margins that could easily be resolved by a good break, proper pre-season, players fully recovered from injuries and the possible injection of one or two new players. Klopp has a style, but has definitely modified it over the years and will continue to think about it during the summer. He is a student of the game as they say. With 9 draws, many late in the game and 5 losses by one goal, the prior year the draws would have been wins and the losses would be draws or a late win. They had long unbeaten runs at the start and end of the season to draw upon. The point is, while it seems like a huge gap in points, you could easily see this team easily getting back to mid to high 80’s and possibly more.
United on the other hand have probably peaked with this current team. Some great individuals. Less injuries than many, but then had to overplay many as the squad seems a little light, even with the investment over the years. They’ve looked tired over the last few weeks. No manager can make a claim to always bring in good players and while Ole has done well in some regards, still a lot of questions on his picks. If anything, it probably reflects more on the overall running of the clubs than the managers. Klopp has a proper structure behind him whereas it seems everything falls on Ole’s shoulders. Do they even do proper player analysis. But then this points as much to Ole’s overall strategy. If you don’t have a true concept of how you want to play – as do Klopp, Guardiola, Potter, Bielsa, etc – how do you decide what players to bring in. Plus, as Klopp and Guardiola know, you can’t just dump them into the team until they’ve acclimatized to the playing philosophy. Clearly Ole doesn’t have one, so he can just drop them in.
Of course there is a lot of speculation here in terms of what is possible next year, but of the top 5 clubs, you can see City being as equally strong as this year, Liverpool getting back up there, Chelsea improving and Leicester doing slightly better. But Utd, is really unknowable. They could splash out some big ‘ol American bucks on some high end players, but it may be as now, relying on said player to pull something off to win a game. Can Utd do as well again in second halves away from home next year with full stadia? I doubt it.
The new year will bring hope. But before that there will be a lot of anxiety based on who or who does not get signed as fans see a signing as the only indicator of success next year. Teams with good structures in place now can get more out of their current squad while letting the new guys bed in. That ain’t Ud. They seem broken as a club structure, Ole is working with both hands tied behind his back. It will be more interesting to see who they hire as Woodford’s replacement and what s/he puts in place to support Ole or whomever is in charge going forward as they are clearly behind many of the top clubs and definitely City, Chelsea and Liverpool in that regard.
The Ole question
The mailbox is like a Spanish crowd watching porn currently.
It’s all totally unnecessary.
Would United have been more likely to win the Europa League final if the two managers had been swapped?
That’s.. it, really.
Ole on the spot
Wouldn’t it have been amazing if David de Gea had scored his penalty, and then the rules stated that the managers had to take one?
Emery would have missed if only because he was wearing dress shoes. Ole would have stepped and scored another dramatic winner in a European final, and that would have carried him as manager for the next 22 years.
Ole must be gutted,
Mark, Marshfield MA
I honestly believe all of United’s problems are actually Mourinho’s fault. Hear me out, everyone knows he likes a squad of players who are specialised in the positions but United have always had your O’Shea, Smalling, Jones and Blind to name a few who never cemented a proper starting place but were handy to have and could play numerous positions. Ferguson won titles with these players that can ‘ do a job all over the pitch” ( O’Shea, Fletcher, Brown) van Gaal went and bought every left footer he could imagine and Jose went and sold the majority (can’t stress enough my appreciation for Daley Blind and Rafael) but with such a limited squad Ole genuinely has no plan B. Compare united’s bench to a City bench any given Saturday and the difference is immense .
I’m surprised any Liverpool fans got angry at this.
I didn’t. Who cares if we are bad champions? Whether or not we are bad champions is irrelevant.
Our season actually isn’t the disaster everyone keeps making out. Even ignoring the injuries (which everyone seems to do) we finished 5 points behind united, whom everyone says has a wicked season. Did we win anything ? No but we did salvage a fairly devastating season where anything that could go wrong did. To recap –
We lost the worlds best centre back to an MMA takedown (which wasn’t a foul)
For the whole season.
Then we lost our new signing who was supposed to be the one to unlock packed defences for a third of the season.
Then we lost our second choice centre back for the season.
Then we lost our third choice centre back.
Then we lost our other new signing who was brought in to ease the goal burden and provide competition (something he was doing extremely well) for the rest of the season.
In the middle of all this we also had all three of our strikers hit bad form at the same time.
Then we lost our first choice DM (who was filling in at centre back) to injury.
We also had our captain in and out for most of the season, and both of our wingbacks hit bad form at the same time. For the second season in a row had the joint most VAR decisions go against us (-6 in case you were wondering) and managed to make ourselves public enemy number 1 by making stupid decisions at a club level.
And we finished 5 points behind second place (who were VAR neutral -/+0) whom supposedly had a great season, in front of the FA cup winners and champions League finalists.
That doesn’t sound like a disastrous season at all to me…
To me this is an interesting debate.
There are those who say that his record as city manager makes him the greatest ever. There are those who don’t.
I’m somewhere inbetween. He’s a genius but with an *.
Why? Well so far he has not achieved anything more than his predecessors. They too won the league. You can quibble about points but they essentially don’t matter, it’s your name on the trophy that matters. And the only trophies he’s etched cities name on are the ones they already had. In some ways you could say Mancini had the tougher job because he had to take a collection of people who had little to no experience of winning the league and push them over the line, and according to a lot of playing staff and managers that first title is the hardest one.
The only thing pep has done so far is make city a lot prettier doing it. He can of course correct this with a champs league win which will eliminate this criticism and prove what everyone seems to say. I also think it will eliminate the chequebook manager tag too since even with infinite finances the champs league is a bitch to win, many cheat code enabled teams rarely win it.
One thing which is hardly ever spoken about but should be mentioned a lot more is how pep has kept city at the top. Blackburn, Leicester and currently Liverpool have all shown how difficult it is to remain at the top consistently and pep has made that look pretty easy.
Finally having a financial cheat code doesn’t guarantee success. PSG, juve Barca, Madrid are all living demonstrations of that. All the financial powerhouses, none won their league. Chelsea too I guess though their trophy track record is amazing for a team who changes manager every 2.5 seasons.
This is why pep is possibly the greatest current manager….but with an *. Which he can erase with one more win. That makes it an exciting game for me, so far pep has only won the champs league when he could lean on a certain Argentinian. Is this the time he finally proves himself?
Half and half
It’s an odd feeling. Man U is my team largely because they were the only one that I could watch on tv in small-town Ontario and I genuinely love them. Roma, on the other hand, was all about me as a little guy watching the World Cup and loving this cool dude, Francesco Totti, that was constantly being berated by the commentators even though he looked awesome to me. When I found out that I’m supposed to cheer for Lazio if I want to support a team from Rome because of my Balkan roots (they’ve always had players from the Balkans apparently) I was 100% sold as a Roma fan! Getting to read about them on sites like f365 because of the Mourinho hiring is just incredible! That’s all! Forza Roma!!!
All the best,