Au revoir Man Utd title challenge; Liverpool write season off…

Date published: Sunday 31st January 2021 9:36 - Joe Williams

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Man Utd Liverpool

Send your mails on Liverpool, Man Utd and anything else to theeditor@football365.com…

 

What’s the plan?
With the news that Fabinho has & will miss games against Spurs, West Ham and Brighton and perhaps City I find myself really struggling to understand Liverpool’s response and long term plan.

We are a Henderson injury away from playing Championship level CB and a teenager as a pairing for the current champions and recent champions league winners.

On Friday Liverpool were linked with an 28 year old average MLS CB called Aaron Long. Why are Liverpool not going to every 30 years + CB in the top 5 leagues entering their last 1-2 years and offering £30-40 million instead of allegedly setting up a loan move for an unproven player from a substandard league.

We have the players to challenge for the league and definitely get top 4 but the defence has been decimated and the team is off kilt.

Perhaps Fenway have written off this season but failing to get Champions league would mean writing off the following season, and perhaps even Salah or Mane leaving…. all for an initial outlay of £30-40 million?

Where has all the money gone?
Zaki LFC

 

Au revoir
Au revoir title challenge, ’twas beautiful but we all knew it was too early. May we meet again another snowy winter.
Gaurav, MUFC (January heartbreaks are the worst)

 

That’s a red card in rugby
Couple of months ago I wrote in as some fans (mainly Arsenal) took a lot of issue on the “doing a Harry Kane” foul.

So I rightly look forward to their condemnation in this very mailbox over Lacazette doing the same manoeuvre Vs Man U.

“That’s a red card in rugby”.
Dip – In Jose we t/rust? 

 

Marcus Rashford
Hi

Re: Denis from Cambs advice to Marcus Rashford. As far as i’m aware there’s never been a footballer (in any part of the pyramid of importance and renumeration) who didn’t have some sort of deficiency in is game. Now, given the assumption that Marcus Rashford spends just as much time at training as his colleagues, and thus his spare time is his to do with as he chooses, could F365 tells us how many letters they receive but don’t publish advising other footballers, whose hobbies may consist of the staples of ‘Insta-ing’, gaming, golfing and chasing ladies, to ‘knuckle down’?
Cheers, Rob.

 

I reckoned it was only a matter of time before somebody had to say focus on your day job.

He does need to work on his offsides. Also his finishing and runs could do with some work. His take ons could be better too. Heading isn’t great for such a big man. Long range shots don’t happen often either.
Is this paragraph about Rashford Or Martial?
It is of course Rashford but Martial doesn’t try to help kids out in the same way so he is probably doing his day job just fine.

Some people have the power to make a difference. Some people have the courage to make a difference. Luckily for a lot of kids in England that man has both.
Calvino (Ps I Hope he isn’t offside x29 times today!)

 

In response to Denis “Rashford must stop being an exemplary human being in order to learn the offside trap” Cohen.

So Denis, other than studying the intricate rules of the offside trap that have somehow clearly escaped Rashford, how else would you like him to spend his time off in his very own private life?

Maybe you should write to Rashford with a list of suggestions to help him along? Other footballers seem to understand the offside rule so maybe you could collate a list of the activities that other Premier League footballers do in their spare time to help him along? I’ve heard that apparently FIFA is fun? Get drunk and break COVID rules? F**k it, he’s young, why not have an orgy at his palace?

Just, please, Marcus, whatever you do, don’t help the most vulnerable of our society because it’s stopping you from understanding the offside rule.

Denis. You absolute arse.
Tom “Philosophically, I would choose Rashford to continue making a difference to starving children’s lives than never be offside again because, after all…it is only football. Get a grip.” Cullen

 

 

Dear Ed,

I am sure you will have received a barrage of communication in reply to Denis Cohen’s short message regarding Rashford’s end product and I’m sure Denis only wanted a bit more from the lad on the day of the match. While I sympathise with his misgivings about Rashford’s performance (even as a Liverpool supporter), I must take issue with the suggestion that it is due to supposedly non-football related activities becoming a distraction.
As football has evolved from being active social play to the hyper-capitalist despot’s cash laundry it is now, the professionalisation of the players seems to have led some to view them as little more than performance metrics. This is troubling, as it is a denial of human agency, in this case for a player who happens to be a young black man who is regularly subject to racist abuse and is constantly under bizarre and extreme pressure from the media and its consumers to behave according to a set of rules which were designed to perpetuate things like Greg Clarke, Keys and Gray, Phil Neville and Sam Allardyce. I don’t want to suggest Denis is denying anyone’s agency, the theme is just something I’ve observed from following football.

While I can’t deny the legitimacy of Denis’ complaint about Rashford’s spotty form, I would suggest it is down to his being human during an overwhelmingly batshit period in our history. There’s lots of weird things going on in the league and it’ll get weirder too because, well, just look at the world.
We should remember that beyond our expectations of professional football and the joy of seeing a talented player play well as part of a cohesive team, even if that team is Man U, the fact is the players are people.
At its best, the essence of the game they play transcends all the hierarchical structures of gender, class, race and faith as an accessible form of social play. If a person who happens to play football for money can help other people to find teamlike solidarity beyond the sport, say, in the effort to feed disadvantaged children during a pandemic then, without taking away from Rashford’s drive for inspiring tireless advocacy and tendency to be offside, that is very much in the best spirit of the game.
I mean, what’s the point in football if you don’t care about other people?

Kindest regards,
Reuben T, Ireland

 

Everyone should just listen to me always
Lampard is ridiculously overpromoted and will do nothing

United will win nothing with Solskjaer

Liverpool have a paper thin aging squad and cannot handle this intense season

Fulham will be fine this season (ok just wait)

My mailbox history over the last year.

I would have told everyone about Gamestop too but I was worried you’d burn me as a witch
Tim Sutton  (Ps if you like wine buy it now)

 

F*ck racism
I was saddened and disgusted yesterday to open the BBC sport front page and see two of the top stories were about footballers being abused online because of the colour of their skin. Further saddened to look a little bit further down the page to see another story from earlier this week in the same vein. Now I’ve woken up to the news of yet another story.

F*ck these people who are so sad, narrow minded and pathetic they would sink to such abuse. My first instinct was that it would be bored kids who might be bored and hopefully grow up to realise the error of their ways. But then reading that the person who was arrested in connection with one of the stories was a 49 year old man, I felt even more lost. Let that sink in, someone who has had over half their lifetime on this planet and enough experiences to fully form and question their own beliefs, and they’re spending their time abusing a kid half their age over the colour of their skin?!

I’m interested in the views of the mailbox on this one. Would anyone feel able to hazard a guess as to where all this hate is coming from? Or even better what we can do to tackle it? The social media platforms banning people and clamping down is a start, but it only takes away their voice. It feels like we need to get to a point where the underlying beliefs are being challenged and we can stop hating each other for simply being different to one another.

Be kind to each other. There is more that unites us than divides us, despite the tribalism that football unfortunately brings with it. I’d have hoped a year like 2020 would have made that apparent.
Ben (One love. F*ck racism, f*ck hate crimes, f*ck these cowardly armchair bullies)

 

What do managers actually do?
Carlo Ancelotti makes 14.5 million a year for his job. This works out at about 55 thousand a day. So on Saturday, can anyone explain to me what he did to earn that money. What did he actually do to “Try and win a football match” as I would imagine the top line of his job description outlines. Everton NEVER looked like scoring a goal from minute 1 of that game. After about 30 minutes, it became crystal clear that Newcastle were delighted to leave Evertons centre backs pass it back and forth and wait for them to make a mistake, which they did every time and then try and catch them over the top. Everton hardly ever got the ball over the halfway line, usually losing it before hand. Ancelotti did absolutely nothing to change this. He made 1 sub in the 2nd half, a midfielder for a midfielder. That was it. Over and over again Everton played short passes sideways and backwards and made no attempt to at least try and hit it in behind or pass direct to their 6 foot 3 striker. Steve Bruce jumped around, shouted, organised and made attacking substitutions.

Carlo stood for 90 minutes like a severely hungover man trying  not to fall over. Ive always just assumed he’s an amazing manager based on his trophy haul. But  after watching his team for 30 minutes today never looking like scoring a goal, his 14.5 million pound brain decided to do absolutely nothing about it for the next 65 minutes and see if that works. People will tell me that footall management is a next level, unquantifiable theoretical physics level  of artform that lay people like myself couldn’t possibly be understand. But if you put a child with a basic understanding of competitive sport in charge of that team today, at some stage over 2 hours he would have said ” Why don’t you use your foot to move the ball in the direction of the goal, instead of the other way” and that alone  would have meant he did a better job than Ancelotti did today. Yes  I know football management is actually an intricate skill in reality. But there is nothing complex about keeping your hands in your pockets and watching your team lose for 2 hours, I don’t care what anyone says.

PS I swear this had nothing to do with me having DCL in my fantasy team.
Pierce, Ireland

 

Toffees
If ever there was a side you wanted to play against to get yourselves out of a slump, it’s us.

Bloody awful.
Aidan, EFC, London

 

Saints-Villa
Great to get a win playing brutal as opposed to losing when playing well like against Burnley but really feel for Southampton. We (Watkins a few times amongst them) have been on the end of the some suspect VAR calls but this can’t go on.

How about 45 seconds to review the angles on a stop watch and the ref has to make a call.

This can’t go on.
Paul

 

The offside rule was brought in to stop players gaining an advantage from being behind the defenders, and essentially stopping them from goal hanging. Can anyone tell me how Danny Ings gained an advantage from being in an ‘offside’ position?

This is the main problem I have with the rule – not VAR, it works wonderfully, but it’s the rule makers who are so inept; there is no common sense applied. Take the Ings situation. Linesman flagged, VAR checked, and because his sleeve was offside, he was deemed offside. He didn’t score with that part of his body, it didn’t give him an extra yard at getting behind the defender, so it should have been given. The ref should have looked, saw there was no advantage, and deemed it a goal. There have been countless situations like that this season, where common sense should have prevailed, but the gobshites who make the rules haven’t a clue what they’re doing.

As an aside, Ings was deemed offside because a goal-scoring part of his body was in an offside position. I can guarantee if Ings had scored with that exact part of his body, there would have been a lenghty review which most likley would have deemed it a handball and no goal. More common sense, if he cannot score with certainty with that part of the body, it shouldn’t be deemed offside.
Néill (baffled), Ireland

 

Watching the linesman wipe away a perfectly good goal for Danny Ings in the Saints vs Villa game on Saturday evening made me realise how officials are not implementing the rules in the spirit that they were intended. When the pass is played, Ings is — by any reasonable measure — level with the last defender. The fundamental part of the decision should be that he gains no advantage from his position (another way of saying this is; he is not offside). He scores because he is facing the goal and the defender has his backside facing goal (the same backside that VAR drew lines from to compare with the shoulder seam of Ings’ shirt). It was a good piece of play, it should have been a valid goal, and the linesman could not possibly have seen anything to justify raising his flag. VAR simply compounded the misapplication. It may be a cognitive bias, but it seems that VAR has inverted its purpose — not just failing to overturn poor decisions, but also empowering them.
Remy the Saint

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