Send your thoughts on Jadon Sancho, Man Utd and more to email@example.com
That’s now three times I’ve seen Brentford choke in a play-off final after bottling our chance at automatic promotion on the final day of the season. First in 2002 in the old Second Division, then in 2013, and now this.
We may be moving out of Griffin Park to a shiny new stadium next season, but it seems like that utterly deflating feeling of play-off heartache won’t be leaving us any time soon.
Football is cruel.
Maybe if they stopped calling it, “football’s richest game” the players wouldn’t be quite so nervous about playing in it.
Spend for yourselves
As ever, I enjoy the reasoned, measured email from non-biased JohnnyWicky, in which he articulates that Ole should be judged by both his gross spending on transfers since he started, and also by point per wage metric. Given how his Liverpool clearly look the bestest and the deplorable Man Utd look the worstest, I can see why this is sensible from his perspective. Note – Liverpool are obviously great and Klopp has done wonders, that is undeniable.
But here’s my issue with judging Ole based on spend only: he can only play fit footballers. Before January, Man Utd were pretty terrible, closer to the bottom than the top. That was despite having a big ole wage bill and having spent a lot of money. The contributions of Fernandes, Martial and Pogba – despite huge signing fees and wages – were absolutely disgraceful. Because none of them played for Man Utd in a meaningful way in that time.
So if only we had an opportunity to see how having United’s most expensive player, very expensive January signing and very expensive only recognised centre forward at the club were able to actually play football, instead of just hurting Ole on the denominator side of the equation. Ah but wait – we do! So when Ole was able to field the players that were costing all that money, he was still terrible right?
Oh, in those 14 matches Man Utd have more points than any other team in the premier league. Obviously I have no idea if he’ll be able to manage this over 38 matches, but judging Ole for not making the most out of very expensive players when they’re not playing football really feels a bit punitive. 66 points across a season is absolutely not good enough for Man Utd. But 32 points in 14 matches very much is.
On your Emery way
William Douglas Foster, Unai Emery went 22 games unbeaten last season (3 more than Ole this year!), does that mean Unai Emery was manager of the season last year – he even reached a final rather than merely a semi, like Ole has achieved.
Seriously mate, get a grip, this need to defend and pronounce Ole as the manager of the year / the second coming highlights your severe insecurities about the strength and performance of this Man Utd team. Even Liverpool fans weren’t this bad with their ‘this is our year’ craic.
I suggest you sit down and watch a YouTube compilation video showing the best bits of that 19 game unbeaten run – that should put a smile on your face. And me? Well I’m looking forward to next season to see how all these young (well does 47 years old and 10 years as a manager count as young?) managers do next season in their attempt to close the gap to Liverpool and City who remain lightyears ahead.
I see William Douglas Foster repeating the point I’ve heard quite a bit that Man Utd beat City three times this season. Can we drop this? Winning a second leg 1-0 after losing the first leg 3-1 is not an accomplishment. Doing the double over them in the league is impressive enough without celebrating league cup failure.
Cian, MUFC, Ireland
Taking the Mik
Arteta is a better manager than Lampard and Ole. Technically and tactically, he improved almost every player at Arsenal. Inheriting average players that can’t string few passes together, grinding out results against, City, Liverpool, Man U and Chelsea with some players that won’t make Ole’s and Lampard’s bench shows how good Mikel is.
Nero Chello AFC.
So, my older Man Utd supporting bruv called me last night after news of City’s signing of Torres breaks. He admits he is looking at MUFC with glass half full but is concerned as to why it’s taking so long to wrap up Jadon Sancho. He cites Woodward’s dreadful transfer record (including his choice of managers) as well as his apparent preference for marquee, high-profile signings. Fears that history is repeating. States that, whilst Sancho will undoubtedly improve the TEAM, far more will be needed to create a quality SQUAD.
I point out that Guardiola, whom the world knows dearly loves a midfielder, was content to let Sancho go and, tellingly, City have made no obvious attempt to get him back in the last few weeks. I throw in his known off-pitch issues and suggest that there may be some connection. Occam’s razor and all that.
He replies that, whilst Sancho is clearly quality, he’s not worth £100 mill+ at 20 years old. Is fretting why it is that Utd are not signing Kane or Ake or the Torres’ of this world and is worried that it’s because Eddie is more concerned about making a statement to the World, with his (admittedly) excellent marketing head on, that Man Utd are still a ‘Force’ and can still sign the best players on the globe. This, rather than signing key players, properly scouted, and researched, that help create a SQUAD, with top quality throughout, that can get back to competing for all four trophies.
I know, I know. The transfer window is barely open, let alone closed. I also fully acknowledge that OGS’s transfer record (so far!) has been excellent compared to his recent predecessors. But Our Kid’s points are, I think, still valid. What evidence is there that Eddy-Woody is not reverting to type yet again? For example. If Jadon is so important to Ole’s footballing plan, then there surely can only be two outcomes. The first is to suck it up and pay the “Utd tax” whenever they seek to buy. The second is to refuse to do so and walk away and, instead, go for their ‘Plan B’.
And, I respectfully suggest, therein lies the main issue with United’s transfer ‘policy’ since SAF’s penultimate season (if not before that). To whit, there hasn’t been one (a plan b). Anyone recall the stories around how Man Utd would change their game plan and appoint a DoF? Wasn’t Rio Ferdinand one of the ‘hot’ favourites? And just what happened with that?
I’m not having a dig at either MUFC (as such) or Man Utd fans. I’m having a massive dig at Woodward. I’ve had it in the neck for the last seven years from my Red family and friends about how and why THIS transfer window/manager etc will be different. How, this time (Oh, and forget the others), Man Utd WILL definitely turn it around. You’ll see.
I perfectly understand that absolutely none of us have any idea what goes on behind our own club’s doors. The one constant throughout this whole period for Man Utd however, has been the current CEO.
Apart from desperate hope can any Utd fan evidence why this transfer window will be any different to all of those previously held under Woodward?
Mark (Is Jacko still outside Craven Cottage?) MCFC
Its game day so let’s get off topic..
-Hope the Sancho deal is done soon, honestly the most exciting Man Utd transfer since Pogba/Ibra & dare I say it probably I’d go as far back as Rooney.
-W2W, our last two creative players from Dortmund pre-United were and achieved:
Mkhitaryan G:52 g:23 a:32
Kagawa G:43 g:17 a:14
– He will be fast. He will entertain. And in typical Man Utd fashion, arrive in a position in which we have someone there succeeding.
-Wanted to say this for a while, but when Greenwood does that step over in short space & shoots/scores near post…thats gonna be ‘The Greenwood’.
-With the boys on it too, finishing 4th, losing to Arsenal in the cup final, not great (1st season&’no signings’)(All of those loan returns probably don’t count as a help)
-What is great is Aubameyang.
-Whats also great seems to be Arteta. Club likes him, players like him, fans like him, the football is better and with better players they should succeed.
-It.is.however….Arsenal.(That really said it all)
-Lastly, remember the days when it was ‘Wegner Out’ for finishing 4th & the FA Cup. Oh Football..
-Lets go Fulham!
Was Rafa Benitez guest editing the Mailbox on Tuesday morning? Small club?!
Aidan, EFC, London
Fitting names XI
Because Ross County have 3 goalkeepers (and two outfield players) called ‘Ross’, and because it’s basically the off-season already – here’s an XI of players whose names match their clubs. I realise Hartley is a defender but the gag works best if he’s playing alongside Poole (they both scored in the same game once – though sadly not in the right order).
Arséne Wenger – Arsenal
Wolfgang Wolf – Wolfsburg
GK: Ross Laidlow/Munro/Doohan – Ross County
RB: Marcel Groninger – FC Groningen
CB: Bradley Stoke – Bradley Stoke FC (Bristol)
CB: John de Wolf – Wolverhampton Wanderers
CB: Danny Shittu – QPR (snigger)
LB: Christian Fuchs – Leicester (‘Fuchs’ being German for ‘Fox’)
CM: Ruben de la Red – Spain (who play in red)
DM: Dave Barnett – Barnet
CM: Graham Stokoe – Stoke City
ST: Peter Hartley – Hartlepool United
ST: James Poole – Hartlepool United
Joe (COYW) FFC
So – allowing for artistic licence (well he did go in goal in the FA Cup)
DF Greenhoff B
F Greenhoff J
Weak at the back, angry up front, but that midfield….
Steve Leeds – back in the show