Five Prem title wins more memorable than Liverpool 2020…

Date published: Tuesday 27th October 2020 9:40

Liverpool Premier League title

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‘Incompetent’ negotiations to blame for Man Utd spend…

Mike, LFC, London makes some interesting observations on the state of affairs at Man Utd and the perceived ability of our manager. I’m sure you’ll receive other mails in response but thought I’d offer mine as well.

Firstly, can we all collectively agree to stop judging the qualities of managers based on what their boards spent on transfers please? Surely we can all agree that transfer valuations have for years stopped accurately reflecting a player’s actual/potential ability. Mike would be the first person to tell you that 80 mil for Maguire is the most laughable thing ever. He is right, but the criticism should surely lie with United’s board and not with the manager/player? To quote, “To say that Ole hasn’t been backed is fiction. Only five clubs in the world have spent more than United since Ole took over.” If you are incompetent at negotiating, you will overspend as a club, so what exactly is the point of comparing how much was spent by whom. United fans, myself included will maintain that Frank has got every single signing he could have wished for, while Ole has not. To suggest otherwise is laughable. It has nothing to do with the amount of money spent.

Secondly, “If you want to know why Ole is criticised so much, it’s because he’s not doing a very good job. He has his moments, such as PSG, but on the whole he is doing poorly.” Care to elaborate? Are you making this claim based on the three games you cited this season. Three games which were played without any preseason, after having been involved in August in Europe. If that’s the basis of your claim, then shall we have a look at Liverpool’s initial few games this season? Or is it too painful and too soon still? In case you forgot, Man Utd did finish third over the course of the ENTIRE last season, and had a great head-to-head against Lampard. Who exactly is doing poorly of these two again?

Thirdly, whilst on the subject of criticizing other team’s managers and looking at the big picture, what exactly are we supposed to make of Liverpool’s title win last season in the grand scheme of things? Obviously Liverpool fans will place great importance to it since this is your first, but how do Man Utd, Chelsea, Arsenal, and Man City fans judge this team? To me, The Treble, Invincibles, Centurions, Chelsea’s 15 goals conceded in a season, and Leicester’s miracle were all more memorable. Surely you have to admit as a fan that you would have liked to see Liverpool break the records points total despite however much you say “it’s only the win that matters”.

Lastly, this season, until last week, Liverpool had conceded the most goals in the PL. They have been thrashed by Villa, thereby breaking a record that stood since the beginning of the PL. They have failed to keep a clean sheet in any of the 3 games in which their prefered back four started. Last season, they won because of the sorry state of affairs of the other challengers, and couldn’t even make the quarters of the CL. And all this after supposedly being the bestest team in all the history of this sport with the bestest manager ever.
MM, Man Utd, India


Pogba and Van de Beek

I’m no expert, but surely the performance of Mata recently shows that Pogba and VDB could play in the team with Fernandes. Must be worth a try as they played Jessie Lingard in the front three and play Dan James. Sure they’re not as quick, but Pogba or VDB cutting in off the left or right and less defensive responsibility (for Pogba) would create headaches. Still keep your midfield base as well which has done well in the last few games and means Dan James can be the back up the bench rather than the genuinely dangerous players.
Pete (down under)


Few thoughts…

Hi F365,

Been a while, so I thought I’d check in with my own thoughts around LFC, MUFC, EFC and general hostility around football.

1 – i’m a 41 year old LFC fan.  I witnessed great teams, average teams, and really poor teams.  I’m just glad our time is now.

2 – MUFC situation not down to Ole.  I’ve learned from my own experience as LFC fan that it’s all down to board, coaching staff, manager, recruiting, having a joined up plan.  MUFC don’t seem to have this in place.

3 – VDB United; he’s obviously a great player.  LFC were allowed to do this with Robertson, Fabinho and Oxlade-Chamberlain.  Give the player and the club time

4- the Rashford factor; have we all not learned enough that there are bigger issues in the world than football, and when we all come together it’s a great thing.  See LFC fans foodbanks contributions in lieu of PPV subscriptions.

5 – So sorry to hear about the death of Jeremy Wisten.  As somebody who has struggled with mental health, I get it.  And there is a twitter moment, which is nice.  But when it boils down to it, @jasonlfc43va is going to tweet nasty things.  Can we not just all agree to be nice, and contribute to the Rashford campaign?

6.  Forget VAR – when people start critiscising Rashford for what he’s done, the game is TRULY gone.

Please publish this.
Daniel, Bray, Ireland


Man needs help…

I had two thoughts of note during and after tonight’s game. One, watching Spurs playing in an empty Turf Moor on a Monday night is the sign of a true fan/what am I doing with my life. Two, post game, I experienced the oddest intrusive thought I’ve ever had.

I love Mourinho.

Trust me, I’m as disturbed as you are.
Jon (and I’m a mental health professional), Lincoln


Ex-players XI…

I sometimes look at Bamford, Salah and De Bruyne, Lamptey, Rice, Willian and Lukaku and think how Chelsea would look if they were still on the team. I go down the list of players still playing, for other teams (domestic and foreign) and wonder if they would win the league?

Anyone else have a team of ex-player teams?
Uvam Acerbam (Always look on the dark side of life)


What happened next? Manchester manager edition

2018 – Celebrated elite manager guides Manchester team to 2nd place finish on 81 pts, behind runaway winners. First five games of the following season: F:8 A:8, pts 9. Gone by Christmas.

2020 – Celebrated elite manager guides Manchester team to 2nd place finish on 81 pts, behind runaway winners. First five games of the following season: F:8 A:8, pts 8… (one year left on contract).

Tee hee.



Dear F365.

VAR, I’m not completely against it, just think it should be there to help the ref come to their decision rather than be allow things to be refereed elsewhere.

One of the more contentious ones seems to be offside, which in theory should be the perfect decision for a review as it’s completely fact based, no interpretation, just cold hard facts on whether a player is beyond the defence etc. So doesn’t it make a bit of sense to refine the rule based on the technology now available? Maybe the players could have trackers in the front of their boots which can very easily identify who was ahead of who at the time the ball was moved. The rule needs to change slightly so that it is just measured by boot but given that it’s the most likely way to score a goal then it seems ok to focus on that.
Offside is then an instance factual decision allowing the ref to get on with pissing everyone else off in slightly different ways.

So there.
Steve (THFC)



I am continuously flabbergasted at people complaining about VAR and offsides.  There are many legitimate reasons to complain about VAR but its use in offsides is about the one clear good thing that you would think everyone would rally around.

Offsides is about as black and white as a rule comes, if you are nearer the goal when the ball is played than your opponent then you are offsides.  It is such a simple rule and once that offers about as much certainty as any single event in football can. Video replay is ideally positioned to support this rule as we are able to get the best view of when the ball is kicked and where players are when the ball is kicked.  Even if the technology for drawing lines on the field isn’t 100% perfect as long as it is applied in the same way each time then the rule is as fair as possible for all teams.

So what people are really complaining about when they complain about offsides / VAR is really just the offsides rule itself or they are just upset that their team happened to be offsides at a moment they didn’t like.  It has literally nothing to do with VAR.

For those that don’t like the rule, attack the root cause and change the rule.  I personally prefer there being no offsides once the ball enters the attacking half but there are many more options for those that do not care for that method. But you have to advocate for actual changes that would make a real difference and not just shift the complaining to a new place on the pitch (looking at you, “there must be daylight/it was never supposed to be millimeters!” people).

For those that just dont like when their team is offsides, I get it, it sucks.  But your issue isn’t with offsides or VAR.  You are just unhappy the events of the game went against your rooting interest.  Been there myself.  But no changes to rules or video replay will ever change that.

In the end, if your issue is you actually want to change offsides to mean something different than advocate for rules changes that would make an actual difference but don’t sit and whine about VAR administering the rule as it is written.
Greg, Tampa Florida


Arsenal ‘goal’…

Just seen it.

Thought it was the right call. How can you be standing on the goal line, next to the GK, have to jump out of the way of the goal bound shot (header) and somehow not be interfering?
Paul, London (not Arsenal obvs)


Footballer sympathy

First of all I would like to say a huge thank you to all of the positive comments I have been reading in the Mailbox Comment section in recent days in regards to my mails, truly appreciate those words and I am glad to have such a warmth admiration within this fantastic community, now we all go through bad moments in our lives and career and to continue on that vibe it got me thinking about the times we have felt sorry or sympathetic towards a footballer, they don’t have to have played for our club, this came to my mind even more so after the recent social media response to Mesut Ozil’s situation at Arsenal.

So I put to the Mailbox, “What are some moments that have made you feel sympathetic for a footballer?” I think some honourable mentions must go to the likes of Phil Jones, when he chose to turn down the option of playing in a testimonial game because he thought no one except his parents would show up to the game, or perhaps Jack Wilshere, a midfielder who could have easily been one of the greatest of all time, the English Xavi perhaps, but injuries just took that potential away from him.
Mikey, CFC



Just in response to Simon, AFC, London in Monday’s mailbox. I pay $10 CAD a month ( 6 squid) over here and get every P live, all UCL live plus Europa, Carabao.
And you’re right, I still wouldn’t watch Arsenal.
Steve, (ex-Flixton Red), Ontario


Rashford and politics…

Just read the article about Rashford and politics, I think what John Nic has written is exactly the reason why F365 should stay right away from the topic.

You are attaching your politics and your beliefs to Rashford’s actions and actually it really takes the shine away from what he is doing. Rashford has actually stayed politically neutral, he isn’t out to shame any party, he has seen a wrong and is trying to make it right. He is doing this with positive action, he actively discourages people venting rage at ministers on social media because the government don’t agree with him.

Johns response is to use the following language:

Despite objecting to his pressure, the F**k Jumbo government is nothing if not weak, intellectually moribund and morally dubious, so as I write this, a dressed-up U-Turn is on the cards.

That thinly veiled hate is the reason you should just stay out of it, because it doesn’t belong on any site let alone a football site. Because if they ever were going to make a U turn, statements like that in the media make it less likely. There are reasons the government are taking their position (e.g. the almighty sh*t tone of debt due to COVID) and I for one do not agree with the government at all. But I am not going to swear at them and vent rage, this us vs them attitude is part of the problem.

How about we all do better as a society? Let’s just do better and be better, Marcus Rashford is showing us that this is possible right here and right now. Then the government will be forced into U turns because there are people out there who lead by example.
Mik, MUFC and moved by Marcus Rashford


“Football exists within society…thus football and politics cannot be separated”.

Except, every other football writer manages to very successfully separate it.  In fact, it won’t have escaped Mr Nicholson’s notice that there are a number of other things which “exist in society” and yet, remarkably, can be regularly commented upon without descending into a left-wing rant at fortnightly intervals.

Politics increasingly and tediously pervades almost every aspect of daily life as it is. Clearly there is a time and a place where politics should be forensically analysed and debated. Indeed, there are many publications from all sides of the political spectrum that do an excellent job of just this, providing citizens with balanced critiques of the performance of their politicians and educating them about the issues of the day.  It is, however, important that people of different political persuasions can also share spaces devoted to apolitical matters.

In fact, in a world where partisanship is at an all time high and people are increasingly unable to countenance that someone may have a differing yet valid opinion (something Mr Nicholson is particularly guilty of*), I’d go as far as saying that being able to share these spaces and forge bonds over something like football is essential to any chance of a societal recovery.

So please, Johnny, just stop. Show some professionalism and separate your day job, which as far as I can discern is writing about football, from your personal beliefs. If you feel the need to express these, start a blog or look for a job with the Guardian, but pray stop piggy-backing off F365’s football-based popularity to broadcast your agenda.

Yours faithfully,


So Patrick Bamford got us thinking about absolutely random Premier League hat-trick goalscorers. Justice for “busy” Kevin Lisbie.

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