‘Ridiculous’ Fred sale was Manchester United’s biggest mistake – and Ratcliffe is the ‘crap’ one

Editor F365
Sir Jim Ratcliffe, Fred and Erik ten Hag of Manchester United
It all went wrong for Manchester United this summer

Erik ten Hag and Manchester United messed up as soon as they sold Fred for a ‘ridiculous’ low fee in the summer. And Sir Jim Ratcliffe is a ‘crap’ hypocrite.

Send your thoughts to theeditor@football365.com.


Harry is Thierry
Back in the noughties when Arsenal used to get to cup final after cup final, I used to have a regular bet with a work colleague that if Thierry Henry scored, I would eat my pants.

Terrence may have been our greatest goalscorer of all time but he never did score in a cup final for Arsenal.

I have the same confidence around Harry Kane winning sod all as I did about Thierry bagging a cup final goal.

I had thought that maybe he was going to emulate Teddy Sherringham but it’s all getting beyond weird now isn’t it?
Graham Simons, Gooner, Norf London


Harry will be Teddy
1998: OH Teddy Teddy, you’ve gone to man United and you’ve won f*** all.

1999: OH Teddy Teddy, you’ve gone to man United and you’ve won the lot!

Harry needn’t worry. History will repeat itself

👉 Spurs feature heavily in list of ten greatest Prem players who won sod all – with obvious 1)
👉 Harry Kane is just not ‘trustworthy’ with ‘real stakes’; is it the Spurs curse?


The Spurs sheet sandwich
Tottenham’s season, which is far from defined as of yet, has been a bit of a sh*t sandwich.

The common word is that we started far better than anyone could have expected, players, coaches, board and certainly the fans. Did this start, and the good will around the club alter expectations? I think it certainly played into the trap of ‘what if’s’ but no right-minded person had any thoughts at that time of anything other than pressing for top four, which, in essence, is exactly what happened.

The fact that we’ve benefitted from other clubs being batshit mental for much of the season shouldn’t detract from the fact that Spurs weren’t remotely considered for top five – and we really ought to be doing enough in two of our final three matches to make that certain (f*** beating City!). So the season should be considered a success.

The frustration comes from knowing that much of the negative felt self imposed. A tweak to tactics in the final few minutes away at Wolves makes it nine wins from twelve but instead turned into two defeats on the spin. But every team has these. Ours just feel frustratingly frequent.

Now is the time (yawn, again) when Levy and his scouting department have to give Ange the goods. I can’t be arsed to name all the players who should/could leave, there are many, or those I’d like to see join – mostly because I don’t know enough of European football anymore (that said, domestically, Eze is a joyful player but Palace could well do good things next season) but I will say that we’ve got the nucleus of a good team which needs supplementing with some players who aren’t wimps, and don’t sh*t the bed when the opposition decide to have a go.

I wrote in a while back saying similar but that we’ll probably finish seventh, I don’t think that is possible anymore, or is highly unlikely, so thank you United and, despite the upturn, Chelsea for making us look way more competent that we have been.

READ NEXTAngeball can only succeed if Spurs go all in this summer – but has Postecoglou done enough?


Wrong sell: Fred
Dear Editor

Addressing the issue from the end, Man United must fashion the way they must play today based on the competition the regular top four and the middle ranked and bottom low teams offer, not really playing the Man United style. We are not adhering to today’s football and that’s why we are being beaten mercilessly.

All the teams are high pressing including even Luton and Burnley and because they know United is bad off the ball, they press high up the pitch so they press close to the goal which is easy to score. You realize all of Palace’s goals were dispossessed at close range and they run at the defense. Ratcliffe & INEOS administration must focus on players in the summer who are extremely good at holding the ball and would not crumble under any volume of pressure. Not only midfielders and defenders but the entire team.

2. The injury size of the team this season truly is mindblowing. Yet have we asked ourselves if their technique or style of defending does not further strain the legs for injury? For instance a West Ham player rolled over the healing leg of Martinez in the Old Trafford game and that led to his eight-week absenteeism. It’s uncalled for and unnecessary. Kyle Walker does not struggle that much to hold his markers because he is naturally tall, strong and huge, very imposing in confrontations and he wins ground battles with ease due to his technique.

We have to consider the kind of defenders we go for and which region. Nemanja Vidic was from Serbia or Southern Europe, I stand to be corrected yet i don’t remember him getting injured that Fergie had to lament all season. No, not at all. Ferdinand was British but physically strong. Tyrell Malacia is pretty young for the physicality of the English game and was virtually stretched in his first season under Ten Hag. No wonder the protracted injury. Even Luke Shaw who is more familiar with the English game finds it difficult to adjust in tense games- the turning and twisting comes with potential danger of injury.

Finally, instead of spending our fringe 200m on Onana, Mason Mount and Rasmus Hojlund, we could have gone for another center back as Martinez’s replacement. Gone for a left back as well and a midfielder because if Ten Hag is operating by his sixth sense, he would have seen that these are the priority areas lo and behold it happened.

The midfield is handicapped without Casemiro’s presence. If you play a typical midfielder in defense in a hot tempered premier league game, you will get punished. Selling Fred was a bad bargain because this was a player Ten Hag prepared as a second holder and a much suited pivot with Casemiro. This great pair defeated Manchester City 2-1 at Old Trafford last season. We couldn’t match our neighbors this time because we lost our holding role. Selling Fred at a ridiculous 15m to Fernabache was absolutely kindergarten. Why should Ten Hag auction his best bet midfielder that could have offered value if Casemiro was moved out of position? Ten Hag was not decisive in the use of our fringe resources and he must be asked serious questions along these lines. We have to consider these issues dispassionately.
Ernest Tetteh Kabu (A diehard United fan for about 25years or more.)


Jim Ratcliffe is concerned by the untidiness and ‘crap’ he found at the Manchester United training ground
, comparing this mess to the apparently immaculate cleanliness of his petrochemical company’s facilities. This is odd and suggests that Ratcliffe is ignorant of the actual nature of the work INEOS – and especially INEOS’ sub-company INEOS Styrosolutions – performs in Sarnia, Ontario, and elsewhere around the globe. Or perhaps he just has a different definition of untidy.

IS – whose plants may well be utterly dust-free and properly swept in all of their corners – processes benzene (a proven cancer-causing chemical) into styrene (a likely carcinogen) which is used for a myriad of packing purposes. During the manufacture of this plastic, a massive amount of benzene is released into the air. In Sarnia – specifically in the air that hangs over the Aamjiwnaang First Nation – there has been measured more than 100 times the amount of benzene that is found in the nearby Ontario cities of Toronto and Ottawa (‘nearby’ being a relative term in Canada). The styrene itself is then sent to other manufacturers; their workforces almost uniformly report high incidences of breast and other cancers.

Those are real people – Mums and Dads, little boys, little girls – living lives shortened and spiraled into pain and suffering by the actions of Jim Ratcliffe’s companies.

Now that is crap behaviour.
George (Little Spruffleton on the Waters)


I was going to write in about how the Champions League has become a Super League by proxy.

I was then going to write in about how Jim Ratcliffe was beginning to run United like a cheap old man (he probably is).

But then I saw that Michael Oliver was on VAR for the Cup Final and it blew my mind.

Let’s just remind ourselves that Michael Oliver was employed by Abu Dhabi – the ultimate owners of Manchester City – in this very season.

I’ve written in on this subject once or twice and I’m not saying that Oliver is on the payroll of Manchester City’s owners to give Manchester City decisions in football matches, though he certainly did them a favour when he missed Doku’s assault on MacAllister (he was also fourth official for the “good process guys” moment which has helped City, though his audio was not included when that audio was released). But if PGMOL don’t realise that this helps the narrative that referees are biased then they really should be regulated themselves.

If nothing else, they are letting Oliver in for a whole load of abuse if something goes wrong in the final. Let’s say Haaland punches Bruno on about 60 minutes with the scores level, but the ref (wrongly for the sake of this scenario) decides it doesn’t warrant a red and books Haaland. Oliver then is put in the predicament of choosing whether or not to send the ref to the monitor. If he doesn’t do it then all hell is going to break loose after the final if United then go on to lose*.

I just think this is dumb from PGMOL. If you want to use your best (allegedly) referees in the biggest games then don’t let them get paid by owners of the clubs they are officiating. It’s like Clattenberg coming back and refereeing a Forest game (except neither of those things would ever actually happen). They need to change this decision.

*I should make it clear that this is entirely hypothetical and I do not believe that United will be anywhere near city after about 5 seconds of the game. Fundamentally, if City don’t win by five then they should just give the trophy to United for a moral victory.
Ash (it’s a cup final though, right? Wooo… I guess) Metcalfe


And finally…
I have a question for Arsenal fans. If Xabi “Flavour of the month” (as a Gooner on here called him lol) Alonso, wins an Invincible Treble, within two years of taking over a small-town club that was in the bottom 7 when he joined….

Do you think it would be fair to say that it would be a bigger achievement than the excellent Arsenal Invincibles? Please bear in mind that on performance in Europe this season, the Bundesliga is the strongest league (Two teams in CL semis, one in final. A German team in EL final also). So, tempting as it might be to call it a FAKE LEAGUE…not so this year (as Arsenal found out).

Curious to hear the reasoning here.
Stewie Griffin

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