Keep your mails coming to firstname.lastname@example.org…
Pogba’s gotta go
Truly truly wanted him to work out. When is is good he is truly awe inspiring. Thats just never enough, about as consistent as my father and I haven’t seen him since I was 18.
Truly, I don’t get it. So I went to thought town and came up with two scenarios, one real, one fake.
Fiction first: Is that Pogba is(maybe even should be) this sort of mutation of Yaya Toure, Zidane and Steven Gerrard. Perhaps it’s from video games but I and many others feel like that who he should be. Amazing passes, great shots, unreal running and dedication, super physical, super imposing, driving dribbles from the midfield, unstoppable.
Fact: He just isn’t. He passes like a quarterback, truly like no other in the PL. He can score the occasional goal and can on occasion wriggle out of trouble with a nice dribble.
Thats it though, he dribbling is too inconsistent and when and where to do it need work. He doesn’t control the tempo or games or be our main creator. Not our ball carrier or ball winner either.
So how did it work with France or Juve?
Well, of course its because Man Utd love square things in round holes.
With France he is the deep like playmaker charged with quarterback passes, with Kante to win the ball and run while Matuidi carried the ball and ran.
With Juve he had Vidal to tackle and run. He had Pirlo to control the tempo and be the lead creator ahead of that mean 3 man defence and marauding wing backs.
At United this is not the formula, not even close. We are too defensibly to weak to support Pogba’s style. Our personnel do not match his style. Van de Beek, Fernandes, McTominay and Fred all suffer next to him.
Matic at the base, with VDB as the box to box midfield and Pogba could work.
But then you need Bailly in a three man defence (and back ups), Shaw and Wan B as the most ineffective wing backs ever(and back ups) and either Martial or Rashford as the target man(and an actual target man)?
Selling Pogba or trading him for a quality centre-forward, centre-back would make sense for the team.
Ole the ambassador
Anybody who knows football, anyone who’s played at a competitive level can tell you Ole is an Ambassador, not a coach.
Manchester United has players who are the envy of many coaches, Bruno, Mason, Marcus, Anthony, Paul, Scott, Aaron. Signing more talented footballers will not make a difference.
On his arrival after taking over halfway, the team was winning games on their own, not through coaching.
In what world is Pogba a defensive midfielder, if a players are not in their natural position they are a liability, Pogba protecting a back four is a liability, his performance in that position is there to see and additionally, that’s not the reason he was brought to the club.
Sir Alex did the same with Anderson and killed his career by not allowing him to play to his strengths, Pogba’s strength is not defense.
Cardiff City- I’ve spoken with players from that Cardiff team with Ole at the helm and they did not hold back about their experience. No presence, guessing, nice guy, cannot coach were some of the statements used to describe Ole.
There is not one player that Ole has improved nor evolved their game. Going on a pitch and talking to players is not coaching. The theory needs to become practical. It needs to be drilled into muscle memory.
Harry Maguire is the same player he was at Hull and at Leicester, only the personnel around him has changed. They need to be coached how to move, where to be, remove some of the mental work.
LVG had the right idea, but the wrong execution. It’s hard to dispute that with Pochettino, Nagelsman and Allegri around, why persist with Ole, call a Spade a Spade and move on. I’m sure any one of these coaches would be licking their lips to manage the plethora of young talent at Manchester United, who i might add are internationals and World Cup winners.
Where Ole shines is in front of the camera, the nice guy. He speaks proudly of tradition, carries himself with a stealth confidence of the club he represents and always seem present a plausible argument for lack of results, except the one argument that matters, HE CANNOT COACH.
If Woodward would take his nose out of the Glazer’s ass, and smell the fresh air, do the one thing all business ppl do when they are out of their depth, which js to get expertise in areas they are most inefficient, call it a consultant or Technical Director, we could’ve saved millions and time.
We love Ole the Ambassador, but hate Ole the coach.
Woodward is comedy gold. He can probably take significant credit for dismantling and tarnishing the Manchester United brand.
He was involved in bringing in the Glazers, in a move that completely slammed the door for many years on using their prior financial might. He’s then proceeded to screw up so many transfers it’s hard to recall them all. Obviously we all have some favourites, like Fellaini, Sanchez and Di Maria, but he’s also gone out of his way to fail to land major names, thus diminishing the brand credibility, and this season quite possibly takes the title.
Not only did he fail to land the main target – Sancho – for the sake of £10-20m, but also lead defensive targets like Upamecano. These two will be amazing players, but now at other clubs. Couldn’t even land Bale (not a huge loss) or Grealish for god’s sake, and they were open goals.
Instead his people are now trying to sell the idea that landing Perisic is a success rather than an embarrassing climb down. A perfectly good player but doesn’t tick any of the same boxes. That’s if it even comes off. Will be huge wages with no chance of shifting him on later, and will offer nothing much extra to the squad.
It’s a shame really. Or it would be if it wasn’t so funny seeing the more plastic United fans trying to rewrite events and sell this as all good sense. I only feel sorry for the real fans who have to watch their once proud and leading club being dragged deeper and deeper into the mud.
A boozy sacrifice?
Jeremy Aves. Clearly, I’ve explained myself badly in the mailbox once again. I was aware that the streaming service existed but, and hands fully up here, I didn’t know it was called iFollow. I meant to say that the home club should be able to stream their game with all monies going directly to that club. This is why I wrote:
“The government could help, at no cost to them, by introducing legislation, if it were needed, to allow clubs to live-stream their games and to charge for the privilege”.
I don’t think any footballing authority is covering itself in glory right now but EFL teams had precious few games screened on Sky/BT pre-Covid and so now, in these unprecedented times, the EFL should not be applying caps at all as, literally, every pound coming into League 1 and 2 clubs is going to be vitally important.
You’re quite right that clubs have been working hard to get fans back in but I do take issue with your last line where you infer that the Sports Ground Safety Authority would be better at making decisions about opening stadia again than the Government. I’m no fan of the latter btw but, at club level, this means the Safety Advisory Group (SAG) and I suspect you have been to rather a few. I certainly have as I attended one per month, over a nine-year period, in both Leagues 1 & 2.
The club I worked at needed 3,000 bums on seats at every game just to break even (over a season). The club were keen to comply with each and any safety measures if it didn’t cost. The second it did, they fought it tooth and nail. The Chairman writing directly to the Met Commissioner, slots on local TV and radio to complain about how unreasonable the Police were being etc etc.
If I were attending a SAG at that club today, I would agree with a trial, and small number, of fans inside the ground (to start with) but with three conditions. Firstly, no away fans. Secondly, that along with having temperatures taken and hands sanitised, each supporter would take an alcohol breath test. If they fail the existing level for drink-drive, then they are refused entry. Thirdly, that no alcohol is served within the ground at any time.
Why? Because drunk people swear and shout and sing offensive and unacceptable things. Drunk people fight and run down to the front of the stand to confront players/officials and run onto the pitch to do the same. Drunk people don’t socially distance. In point of fact, they do the exact opposite and, if they’re asymptomatic, you know what happens then in the toilets or bars at half time which you will then be taking home to your loved ones.
If I put these conditions forward in our SAG ‘my’ Chief Exec’s head would’ve exploded as though I’d suggested his children should be made homeless. Literally, the bottom line for him was everything which, at the end of the day, was his job and his reason for being in that post. Which, of course, does not necessarily mean that he would’ve had the public’s wellbeing as his first priority. I don’t for one second suggest that said Chief Exec would not have the supporter’s safety uppermost in a Covid-19 situation, mind, as nobody could’ve foreseen the utterly weird world we’re now in.
But still, and for League 1 & 2 fans, the imposition of the alcohol conditions above (or not) will give you some idea of where your club’s real priorities lie. Why not ask them and find out?
Mark (F365. Why the Hmmmm – Ed at the start of his piece? C’mon, spill the beans!) MCFC
Happiest live moment
Long time reader, first time mailer
First of all, the mailbox has been a shining light in these bizarre times. However, I am sure we are all bored to death of ‘my manger is better than yours’ and the introspective missives by Man Utd fans as to where the blame lies for their current plight.
As an alternative, I wondered what are the mailboxers finest ‘witnessed in the flesh’ football memories, could be a thronker from 40 yards, an over the head bikey goal line clearance, a nutmeg whatever.
For me, it has to be Matt Ritchie’s belting, last kick of the game equaliser against Bournemouth to make it 2-2. The scenes of euphoria as Yedlin (successfully for once) crossed in from the right and Ritchie absolutely smashes a first time volley bang into the top corner will live long in the mind. The sudden release of adrenaline and pure emotion left me completely drained for the journey back and I could barely speak. The goal was pure perfection in timing and technique and while the result of the game had almost no consequence on anything whatsoever (our games rarely do now) that goal, and the rush afterward will stay with me forever and that is what football is all about (it would be nice to win something though…..).
I read your Mourinho piece and felt the need to chime in.
I would most certainly consider KDB and Salah to be amazing players now and no doubt highly talented back then.
Would it be in the realms of possibility that those two moments possibly fortified or awoken some extra level or will in the two players to go that extra bit further, push their limits.
It was at Wolfsburg and Roma they got their chance, proved their ability and earned their chance to prove how good they can be in the Premier League, which they have no doubt stepped up their game even more since then.
Likewise the opposite, Schurle was chosen over Salah, and what he would learn would enable him to one day win the World Cup, before said World Cup made the pressure too much and retire.
Monmouth did turn them away, he didn’t turn away who they are now. Who he turned away turned into he they are now. So that’s something.
Hopefully something more good than bad, imagine if the Delli Ali now just needs a good kick in the backside to become a KDB/Salah(Level that is, there’s only one KDB/Salah)
As I watched Taki Minamino open up the second half of the Liverpool-Lincoln City cup tie with a quick goal, I was struck by the fact that I noticed something which seemed odd but should really be commonplace. The linesman who is running the line in the half that LFC are attacking in the second half is black, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen the same in a PL match. Are there any BAME officials in the Premier League? With the exception of Sian Massey-Ellis at linesman (who has taken her fair share of grief), I can’t recall ever seeing another PL official who is not a white guy. This is really just a “hey isn’t that weird” observation, but it’s shocking that there are barely any non-white officials in the sport.
Danny, LFC NY (lack of BAME managers even more of an issue, but that’s another mail)
Worst signings ever
There’s been a few suggestions floating around the mailbox this week for the worst buy in certain club’s recent history, including a list by F365 (which personally I viewed to be guilty in parts of recency bias). It did get me thinking of the worst transfers of all time where all parties lost out from the transfer. The stand out example for me of worst overall transfer of the Premier League era had to be Andy Carroll in 2011. Breaking it down:
Liverpool spuffed a phenomenal amount on an injured striker that was never good enough for them, and within 6 months had a manager whose style of play absolutely didn’t suit a slow target man.
Carroll has been quite vocal over the years over how much he didn’t want to move at the time, stating the move to unfamiliar surroundings and being torn away from where he was settled and loving his football.
Newcastle lost one of the few academy products to make it into the first team during the Premier League era and a potential local hero. There wasn’t even the benefit of reinvesting the record fee, with all the funds go straight into the Mike Ashley’s sweaty pockets.
Honourable mentions of course to the Sanchez/Mkhitaryan swap deal and Courtois’ move to Real Madrid. However, I’m genuinely stumped on the reverse, when the selling club, player and buyer all wind-up big winners. Maybe Rooney to Man Utd in 2004?
Any more suggestions on best and worst transfers of the Premier League era?
Kevin (NUFC), Nottingham
William, Leicester….you say you never voted Tory but is it because they’re not extreme enough for you?
Your first idea about how people might react if the attack was the opposite way around could have been valid but then you felt the need to include BLM in there. To put that in context you are suggesting that someone could be criticised for advocating equal rights for people based on the colour of their skin. Did you fail to grasp this before you sent it in or do you think there’s something wrong with black people wishing to not be discriminated against because of their names or the colour of their skin?
Secondly – lots of people get laughed at for being Corbynites, including Jeremy himself. The harassment of Diane Abbot by the right is alarming most of the time. I feel like you’ve possibly bought the Sun often enough to notice this? It’s not F365’s role to ensure there’s a balance of satire on their own site. The media overall is free to report whatever slant they want and thus achieve this balance themselves; that’s why you’ve got The Sun/Telegraph alongside the Guardian. If you feel there’s not enough satire about the woke left then you are free to start a twitter/facebook/IG or you could just scroll the internet and realise there’s an awful lot of that out there already.
That all said If people dislike Tories it might be because Tories are responsible for:
1. Cutting funding and the number of beds available in the NHS over the past 10 years
2. Cutting funding to state schools
3. Refusing to provide meals for hungry children (until public backlash/Rashford)
4. Helping billionaires to save on taxes by breaking the law and pressuring local councils to grant them planning permission for their developments
5. Not prosecuting the people who allowed Grenfell to happen.
6. Lied to the public about money for NHS to get them to vote for Brexit
F**k me I could go on but it’s pretty depressing. If you don’t get why lots of people think Tories aren’t strictly the best people ever then it probably explains why we’re so f**ked as a nation.
And before you tell me that “the majority is conservative” please do your research. 43% of those that voted did vote Tory. If the voting system was more representative then the Tory’s wouldn’t be able to govern this country because the majority of the political landscape stands diametrically opposed to them. Furthermore – only 14m voted for them which means that the other 56m are fairly unrepresented. That’s why Tory’s don’t care about feeding children or the poor; they tend not to vote as much as the old and rich.
…Not to drag politics into the site yet again, but I want to let William of Leicester know he is not alone. If only everyone had his balanced view then we wouldnt be in the current mess the world finds itself in. I voted Tory but i do not pcare what Dave Tickners thinks of Tory voters, and I don’t mind him having a satirical pop at them/me. What William highlights, and its true, is that one half of the coin is seemingly exempt from said satire. I think what everyone here has to remember is political parties are rather like football clubs. The people that get to the top in football clubs have done so through sheer talent, hard work and some luck on the way. They could be wearing the red, of say, sheffield united, or the blue of sheffield wednesday. The vast majority of the players on each of those starting XIs are only there as it was where the oppurtunity to play high level professional first team football was. They would have ended up on the other team if it suited them.
Politicians get to the top by climbing a very greasy pole through lobbying, kissing the right arses (usually attached to not very nice people) and throwing others off said pole when it suited them. Aside from a few hardy souls who really believe in the historical cause of the party they joined (think Sean Bean who would never wear blue of wednesday) the majority would probably be on the other side of the house if it suited them.
So these days nearly all of those either end of the political spectrum are rather like Wednesday fans who believe their star striker would never would’ve joined United for all the gold in El Dorado and bleeds blue when you cut him. Most football fans know this is not the case and what seems to be a silent (i hope) majority of those with political views.
Unfortunately Dave Tickner seems to be the Sheffield united supporter who thinks Dave McGoldrick wouldn’t be in a wednesday shirt if their league positions were swapped.
Headline is this: Nearly all politicians are complete blowhards and empty vessels, whatever party they are in, and they are all equally deserving of being on the receiving end of satire.
The problem with the world is most think only the other side does. William clearly realises this, Minty not so much.
Lampard: will get found out this season. There is no plan, the midfield is all over the place and he still doesnt know his best XI. See how players can suddenly go from first choice to banished to first choice again, and vice versa, (Tomori and Rudiger are prime examples) Barnsley could have scored 4 before tammy’s goal, after a mistake. There is a striking similarity with Sarri’s reign in that unless we get the first goal we are pretty hopeless. Letting great players do whatever they want can only get you so far. This is a shame as I want no more than Frank to do well, he’s one of the best players we’ve ever had and always thought his obvious intellligence would make him a great manager. I hope I’m wrong but Lampard will not be in the dugout for the curtain opener next season, you heard it hear first.
another William, CFC (is this Barkley’s year?)
…Just FYI – I’m here for divisive partisan political views that will likely insult a large amount of Tories readers.
Football is a socialist endeavour.