The second-tier boss rankings: 1) Arteta 2) Lampard 3) Ole

Date published: Tuesday 4th August 2020 9:56

Send your thoughts on why Mikel Arteta is better than Frank Lampard and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to


Auba and out
As a neutral I can’t understand why Aubameyang would want to stay at Arsenal. Especially if Barcelona’s interest is real. The opportunity to play at Barcelona, compete for the Champions League, and get to play with Messi is surely worth more than whatever obscene amount of money Arsenal are offering.
Oliver, London


Right Ander
Am I the only one who wants Ander Herrera back at Manchester United? He can play in all three of our midfield positions – if anyone of Matic, Pogba or Fernandes is out. His game is also a lot better suited to how United play now than it was under Van Gaal or Mourinho.

To let him go for free was criminal. Mourinho got us a couple of trophies but really cost us in the long run. We are still stuck with Sanchez.

Another signing that nobody is talking about but makes sense is Ramsey to United. He has hardly lit up the Serie A and could be available for cheap. Can also play in multiple positions and has Premier League experience. I feel he is a much better player than he was given a chance to show at Arsenal. Often having to play deep to accommodate Ozil. Ramsey would be the perfect back up for Fernandes or Pogba.

Manchester United’s transfer strategy now favours the youth but might also be worth the punt to try and hijack the deal for Willian and get Kante in. Kante and Matic rotating that role all season would work for both their ageing bodies.

Pretty sure none of those deals with happen though, so while we are dreaming, the 7 shirt is vacant so…….you know who….come back please?
– Shehzad Ghias, mufc, Karachi 


Arteta > Lampard > Solskjaer
I was supposed to write in this mail for yesterday’s mailbox, as per my promise to the Manyoo fans, but got sidetracked with a bottle of scotch. Little did I know the scenes this lack of action would cause in the comments, but here you go people, I can’t deny you what you want.

Firstly, massive congratulations to Arteta and Arsenal. The transformation since his arrival has been striking, There is a clear method to the teams approach towards games, and players who previously looked like comic relief have looked energized and focused. The fact that he has picked up a trophy puts him right in front of the battle of the 2nd tier managers that has been ensuing between Manyoo, Arsenal and Chelsea fans.

Now, I really enjoyed the post recently from Planet Football regarding the “bang-for-your-buck Premier League table”. There were several poignant notes to make from this list:

1. Liverpool have the highest position out of all the traditional top 6 clubs. This is just further proof in the ‘landslide’ of proof that we have gotten lately that Liverpool’s performance in the transfer market over the past 5 years is possibly the greatest we have ever seen on these shores, maybe even Europe. 1 League title, 1 UCL in 2 years and almost 200 points recorded in 2 seasons speaks for itself.

2. Sheffield United deserve massive credit for their 1st place position, and Wilder was my pick for Manager of the Season.

3. Manyoos woeful position at the bottom of this table continues to highlight and add proof to the avalanche of proof we have all seen that their performance in the transfer market over the past 5 years is perhaps the worst we have ever seen on these shores, possibly even Europe.

This brings into question, how well has Solskjaer truly done this season? There was a lot of outcry by Manyoo fans towards Matt Stead for not including Solskjaer in his winners, but clearly he already knew what this table does, and what the Manyoo fans didn’t. Hence, please see the revised ranking of the battle of the tier 2 managers:

1. Arteta – spent no money on the team, won the FA Cup. A no brainer. Has revitalized the team, and looks to have ambition and hope for next season.

2. Lampard – also spent no money, made the top 4, however lost a cup final.

3. Solskjaer – has spent more money during his tenure than any other manager in England. Barely scraped into the top 4 on the final day thanks to Leicester imploding, got knocked out of the FA Cup by Lampard’s Chelsea. If he wins the Europa League, Solskjaer could possibly ascend to 2nd place, but this would still be the bare minimum expected from him considering he has out spent the likes of Pep and Klopp. The bang-for-your-buck table suggests that he has in fact woefully underperformed in the league. On top of that, Solskjaer has spent all that money, and turned Manyoo into a one man team who without Fernandes would not have had any chance of making the top 4. I am confident that either Arteta or Lampard would have launched a title challenge this season with the same transfer kitty that Solskjaer was afforded.

Now that I have done my duty, I will be taking a sabbatical from the mailbox for a while, and will return next season.

It has been a fantastic season for Liverpool fans, and cannot wait for the new season to begin.



The world’s a mad place
Most people claim to absolutely loathe transfer rumours, I absolutely love them. They help to keep the summer moving. The hot one this time is Jadon Sancho, reported to be heading to Man U for 120 million. That’s a lot of money, it starts feeling like it’s just numbers to these people at this level.

I read this and wondered, who is the last expensive and successful player. I opine that none of the over 100 million players have succeeded.

Neymar is the most expensive player in the world, bought for 225 million to win the champions league and the ballon dior. He has achieved neither of these so I can’t classify him as a success.

Dembele,  from Dortmund to Barcelona,  brought in to replace Neymar, he hasn’t been a success and there have been stories about him 00that were quite negative,  so also not a success.

Coutinho, from Liverpool to Barcelona,  the fact that he was sent out on loan and is up for sale is a clear indication that he was not a successful buy.

Griezmann,  for 120 million, hasn’t worked out at Barcelona and is clearly a poor fit, and no manager seems capable of putting him in the right position when Messi is in the team.

The other player on my list is Joao Felix. Has he been a success? I personally don’t think so. He is a good replacement for Griezmann but hasn’t been terrific. Based on this,I extrapolate the following.

1.If Jadon Sancho is bought for 120, someone is being mugged. I watch Dortmund every week and he is not a 120 million dollar player.

2. Barcelona need an overhaul of their recruiting department.

3. Football is out of control, how is kicking a ball worth 225 million?
Dave(offcourse he could be a success, it seems almost natural in that team), Somewhere


To respond to Mikey, CFC, the current Chelsea do appear rather Arsenal-esque. Obviously the Chelsea of the recent past 3 years aren’t so similar (as they actually have won the league recently, something Arsenal haven’t done in nearly two decades), but Lampard does seem to be eerily imitating Arsene’s flimsy Arsenal. For example, he refuses to address tactical issues that have been evident since the first part of the season, i.e. the high line, which Arsenal kept exploiting. After going 1-0 up, any manager (e.g. Klopp, Mourinho, even a spoofer like Solskjaer) would drop deep and try to catch Arsenal’s defensive clowns on the counter than leave themselves so open.
Harold Potts


Played for two rivals XI
With talks that Willian could be one of the next players to cross the Arsenal/Chelsea divide and play for both clubs similar to Gallas, Cesc, Cech and many more, then Aodan (CFC) dropping his XI involving players who had played for both London clubs, it is the perfect time to look at other potential XIs of players who have played for two rival sides.

Naturally Inter and AC Milan came to mind and oh my what a team you can assemble, so much so Hernan Crespo only makes the bench for that side, I thought I would also look at Spurs and West Ham, as memory told me that they had a period where so many players went to and from those clubs in the 00’s, but sadly I cannot think of a goalkeeper for West Ham and Spurs, so if anyone else can please do share in the comments, the team certainly has a strong attack and that midfield is quite something too.

West Ham & Spurs:
Neil Ruddock  Chris Hughton, Paul Konchesky
Scott Parker, Michael Carrick, Jimmy Greaves, Martin Peters
Les Ferdinand, Teddy Sherringham, Jermain Defoe

Inter & Milan XI:
Bonucci, Helveg, Pannuci
Viera, Davids, Seedorf, Pirlo
Zlatan, Ronaldo, Vieri
Mikey, CFC (Italy is well known for having players play for two huge rivals, maybe not Lazio and Roma though)


Fawning over Dawn
Johnny Nic’s missus
is a proper Northern Bird, isn’t she?
John, Chicago


Dear F365, please give Dawn a weekly column!

Rado, Sofia


Five will make you get down now
Really enjoying the recent ‘five to ditch, five to build around’ series. I hope it continues beyond the so called ‘big’ teams. I for one would love to hear a little more about the newly promoted squads.
Bagpuss (always crushing on one newly promoted side)

(MC – If we find the time and there’s an audience we might cover the small teams like Everton. Here are the ones we’ve done so far:

Arsenal – build around and ditch
Chelsea – build around and ditch
Manchester United – build around and ditch
Tottenham – build around and ditch)


More Related Articles