Are there any optimistic Man Utd supporters left?

Joe Williams
Man Utd supporters

Keep sending your thoughts to


Are there any optimistic Man Utd fans left?

Now, all fans of other clubs could see Manchester Utd are in a complete mess, even taking into account the flurry of results at the end of last season.

But this morning’s Mailbox, the morning after a 3-0 win, really showed how Utd fans are feeling. Are there any optimistic Utd fans left or have you all given up on this season already?
Jimmy (I almost feel sorry for them)


Brighton v United conclusions…

First & foremost, I found it incredibly refreshing to watch a game without VAR.  I was able to celebrate the goals (in particular the first one) without the fear of it going back & getting it’s line drawing apparatus out & therefore sucking all the life out of a spontaneous moment.

The game flowed better & a nice reminder that sometimes you can overengineer something, leaving it more ‘accurate’ but more soulless.

United were decent, Mata was excellent, Henderson continues to show his talents, but the main positive of the match was Bailly.  When fit, he’s hands down United best CB.  More aggressive, quicker & confident on the ball than anyone at the club.  If he can stay fit, it should be him plus one of Maguire or Lindelof.

Van De Beek is too good for United’s B team.  Only Mata could actually find him on the pitch as his movement were too clever for anyone else.  As soon as Pogba & Rashford came on & the game opened up, he started to dictate the play with ease.  He should be a starter vs Spurs, probably at the expense of Pogba, despite his decent 20 cameo.

United need a proper back up striker.  I love Ighalo, but it’s not working anymore & a striker to give Martial backup/competition should be a priority.

Trossard is a wonderful player, could easily see him playing for a top 4 club.  Same goes for Potter.  Can easily see Brighton finishing around 8th/9th this year

Finally, United will do ok this season, they’ll probably finish between 4th & 6th.  However, the team & fans continue to be badly let down by a board that only cares about dividends & shareholder KPI’s. Even if you despise the club (& I can understand why), I don’t feel anyone should be laughing at the situation that the fans find themselves in.  The amount of money that’s been stripped out of the club since the takeover is mind boggling & with COVID, I fear the Glazer’s business plan will be tested to the extreme, with the result being a number of years of continued underinvestment with the hope that the youth academy produces more talent.


Best Champions League group ever…

As a Utd fan, my pick for best group ever may be biased but it has to be the group in 1999….


Bayern Munich

Manchester United


3 clubs with serious ambitions of winning the title.

Utd and Barcelona drew 3-3 in both games! Both games were on a knife edge with chances for both teams to win!

Utd drew both games with Bayern! Both games were on a knife edge with chances for both teams to win!

Barcelona got knocked out after a shock defeat to Bronby!

2 of the teams from that group made it to the final. The ultimate group of death!
Gary B (And Solskjaer has won it!!!!!)


Everton fans

Funny isn’t it that last season Everton fans were the chirpiest about how 19/20 is the “poorest standard of PL ever” yet now they are doing well there isn’t a mention about it. Was the shorter post season a factor?.

At what point do they/non Liverpool fans decide that a league is of a poor standard?
Is it when Liverpool are top by a double digit amount?
Is it when their own team is struggling for top 4?
Is it when Liverpool fans start saying “it’s not over until mathematically we can’t be caught” that the standard is picked on?
Genuinely like to know what constitutes a poor league?.


PS.Talk of you over in the UK going into heightened lockdown soon. Will Rio start tweeting about cancelling the league again? It goes by points per game too Rio,just in case you need to work out where Liverpool will finish before deciding where you stand on the situation. #Hypocrite.


Another roll of the Dyche…

I am extraordinarily lucky to work full time in football, for Northland FC in a real footballing outpost- New Zealand. I have played competitively but not professionally, coached professionally (made it onto FM20, #lifegoals) and now manage a regional club for 300 players aged from U9 through to first teams (men & women) with 18 staff. Drew (Dublin) is right, I have seen behind the curtain and the last decade has certainly made me see the game in a different light. A job does that to you, but it is not like the sausage factory analogy and more like cooking dinner at home versus working as a chef. Cooking at home is a chance to relax, to create something and to enjoy the meal you have created along with the company you keep, perhaps over a bottle of wine. As a chef, you need to create the same meal 60-80 times a night, every night, and then be judged on the quality of the food by paying customers.

Someone who plays or coaches football socially, or goes to games to follow a pro team may see this as a highlight of their week, their release and a chance to enjoy the company of like minded individuals. As a job, the week also revolves around the game but in a different way. When you coach professionally, you train and motivate your players, make sure that everything is in place for them to execute your game plan and deliberate endlessly over something that is essentially out of your hands for an hour and a half.  You get a result -great- but you go again the week/season after. Even when things go your way the grind and relentlessness of the schedule detracts from the fun – the game is never ending and resets to zero every twelve months, so you can never rest on your achievements and it detracts from the enjoyment aspect that helped get you good enough to be in that position in the first place!

Onto Johnny Nic. Big fan of the guy and a regular reader of his for years but I have to say that I respectfully disagree with him on this issue. Clubs don’t get ‘free money’, there are some pretty hefty strings attached, most of which come at a cost to the club- the rules in our little semi professional NZ league are vast and can get you bogged down (Lotto NRFL Regulations, Regulations on the Status & Transfer of Players, NZF Disciplinary Code, NZF Code of Ethics), but would pale in comparison to the Premier League and theirs, like ours, will come at a cost to the club. Football is also like other businesses- if your club doesn’t perform, people will turn away from you (players/personnel/fans) and if you don’t run a club properly, it will suffer financially as a consequence. Clubs like Burnley are reaping the rewards of their hard work and are a model of how a professional club should be run in England having risen through the leagues to the top. Their 2019 financial statement reports a turnover of £137.1m and a £4.3m profit with no debt. They spend 63% of their total income on wages, and have invested heavily in recruitment and scouting to create ‘a global scouting network’ – tripling their staff in that area over the twelve months prior.

The inequality between the Premier League and EFL is a problem, but don’t think for one second that a club like Burnley (or any club in the Premier League) will be posting a surplus in their next set of financials. This pandemic will have an impact on the game from the top down, from Auckland to Zagreb and everywhere in between. Smaller clubs will be hit the hardest but the ones that are run sustainably will come out the other side and while I think there should be some financial help available to those in need it is clearly not as cut and dried as taking from the rich clubs and giving to the poor clubs.

Keep up the good work F365, you are and likely always will be my go to for information about the professional game xx
Owen (Another four day weekend away from the family in the name of football awaits), Whangarei, NZ



Deliberate for you but not for me…

So, the problem with suggesting a need for intent* with regards to handballs (as suggested in the mail box) is simple. It goes against how fouls are adjudicated all across the rest of the field.

It doesn’t matter that you were just running without even looking, if you knocked over that player on a break away, that’s a foul (maybe a yellow). It doesn’t matter if slipped on the wet grass, you ended up two footing that Arsenal player (because it’s always them) and snapping their legs in half? Go have an early shower. You jumped, you thought fairly, for a 50/50 header, but ended up elbowing someone accidentally? Apologies all round, hope you don’t get sent off, and tell yourself not use your arms like that again.

So suddenly deciding that inside the box you can gain an advantage from arm positions that are not deliberate is madness, when you’d be punished for your inattentiveness all over the rest of the field.

And let’s not forget the bugbear of simulation. I can’t remember who it was who said it (Carragher, probably) but they said they could take out a player who was running past them and make it look 100% like an unintended accident. Players taking dives etc. Do you think, for an instant, if we went “only deliberate” handballs count that there won’t immediately be a flurry of “oops, I didn’t mean it” hand balls to prevent goals, one on ones etc. What about goalies who “oops” out the box?

Basically: unworkable, insane, put in bin.
Andrew M, Joburg.

*The old handball had a novel try to differentiate deliberate (aka, their arms were there due to their purposeful action) versus intentional (aka, they were deliberately trying to stop the ball). It was was a minefield before.


Will the REAL Mark Endicott please stand up?

Outrageous entry in this morning’s mailbox. I’m the real Mark Endicott.
Honestly, the real Mark Endicott, MUFC


Dear editor,

I read with interest the post about Identify Theft (01/10) as I too have been a victim of this (Identify theft is not a joke, millions of families suffer every year). So you can imagine my surprise when I scrolled down further to see that it was none other than my very own imposter masquerading as me!

Not only that he had the temerity to call me unhinged and a lemon.

Please can we introduce some sort of validation/security checks so that this doesn’t happen again.

I don’t want my good name sullied on this fine website.

Anyway lads, let’s get back to football – how good was Mata last night?
The real Real Mark Endicott Endicott, MUFC (MC – This is the REAL one)


Jadon Sancho transfer – explained

Dear F365,

This is about the Jadon Sancho transfer. We’ll get there soon.

I like American basketball and I follow the NBA. I’ve gotten used got used to the ravings of America’s two most hysterical, self-deluded fanbases: the New York Knicks and the Los Angeles Lakers.

Every season, Knicks and Lakers fans flood the Internet with hypothetical transfers, usually of the most improbable kind. Why would star player X want to join their team? Why would team Y let such a player go?

The thinking is usually along these lines: “We are the Knicks/the Lakers; ours is a great team with a storied past in a great city. Which star player wouldn’t want to come here?! Which team would be so crass as to not allow them to come?!”

But in recent years the Lakers and Knicks have been run by buffoons, and every season star players opt to go elsewhere, leaving Lakers and Knicks fans scratching their heads.

That is still the status for the bottom-feeding Knicks. The Lakers however signed LeBron James for nothing last season; and then strong-armed a lesser team into trading Anthony Davis. Led by Lebron and Davis, the Lakers are now on the edge of the NBA title.

As a Manchester United fan looking at the Sancho mess, and at out general inability to attract star players, I’m worried.

I very, very much want us to be the Lakers – just one or two signings away from being great again. But maybe we’re the Knicks: deluded, run by idiots.

James Wayne


Anyone else really missing fans?

Not sure if this has been stated before but does anyone else really miss fans?

There was a video released recently on youtube about Liverpool’s successful 2019/202 season and it made me realise what i have been missing since the restart. This spine-tingling effect that I love so much in football that comes from the fans. It’s not just the celebration aspect, but the build up. You can feel the stadium stirring when a pass gets played and a striker is through on goal. You have that incredible anticipation that hopefully ends in the rippling of the net or your keeper making a fantastic save causing a huge sigh of relief.

Can anyone imagine the ‘short corner’ incident without the fans and players going absolute mental after? Or the moment Salah was put through on goal against Man Utd and the entire stadium finally being able to release all that pent up energy into an incredible rendition of ‘and now you’re going to believe us’. It almost seems pointless without sold out stadiums and echoing sounds coming from the bench.

Don’t get me wrong, I am happy that Football came back and i am able to watch it again, for me it is definitely missing something though.
Nik (stating the obvious?), Munich