Mails: Pogba, Mata, Matic v De Bruyne, Silva, Fernandinho

Date published: Saturday 17th February 2018 12:08

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Matic, Mata, Pogba = Fernandinho, Silva, De Bruyne
Doug: boom!!!   No holes in that plan

Can’t be bothered to look into the stats but i’m sure when those three play United win.

Jose could keep Matic center, Mata on the right and Pogba on the left,   Matic sitting a bit deeper.  not dis-similar to the Fernandinho/Silva/De Bruyne axis that is working so well for City…

Mata has the ability to play that role.   Plus he might find finally find a permanent position.

But can anyone actually see Jose doing this, copying Pep?

That would leave 3 forward positions for 6 players.  Plus 30mins after the mandatory Mata sub on 60mins.

Overall this Pogba position debate annoys the **** out of me.   Last summer United brought Matic to ‘release’ Pogba, now it’s said United need another midfielder this summer to give him more freedom.

Are we really saying that the former most expensive footballer can play in one position in one formation and needs two dedicated players to support him?  Wow! what a bargain….
Nick (Sales Exec – backed up with dedicated Sales Support and Account Manager) J


More solutions
I was just thinking of the incessant debate on Pogba vs Mourinho, whats Pogba’s best position etc. etc. The simple solution would be to play 4-3-3 but Mourinho for whatever reason (even though I am pretty sure it was the formation that Chelsea used in his first season in which they steamrolled all comers to the title) doen not want to play this way. If he did, Pogba could play left in a three with Matic and Herrera or maybe Lingard in the other two positions and then play Sanchez, Martial and Lukaku in a front three with Martial and Sanchez alternating every 15 minutes. It would solve a lot of the team’s problems and would provide much needed balance to the side.

However, it seems Mourinho is adamant in playing 4-2-3-1 so why not play Pogba on the right of the three attacking midfielders? He would be better than Marital in that position and would give him licence to play further up the pitch without much of the defensive duties as Matic and Herrera/Mctominay can shield the back four. This will never happen but I do think it would work. The important thing is the player actually plays well because I feel this gets overlooked in this particular debate. Regardless of position Pogba has been pants for the last few games and this needs to change first and foremost.
Oisin, Dublin (Lingard to be dropped, his purple patch ended weeks ago)


With all the talk of how Uniteds team is more balanced with Pogba in the centre of a 4-2-3-1, can anyone actually provide a tactical explanation as to how a 4-3-3 with him on the left is unbalanced ?
Rahul (Attempt number 427 at the mailbox) 


Are you watching, Gareth?
Liverpool and Tottenham do not have teams made up of a galaxy of stars. That said, both teams have put in the 2 most compelling performances seen in Europe in recent times. Both teams totally overwhelmed continental opposition with pacey, pressing play that players in those countries were just not used to in their national leagues. This juxtaposes nicely (for the purposes of my argument) with the relatively low quality football played by PSG and Real on Wednesday. Lots of individual skill, little cohesion or commitment to a certain playing style. By way of example Neymar and Cavani did not pass to each other once all game; neither did Ronaldo and Benzema.

In the success of the two English teams, both of whom have a lot of English players, can we not see the template for success at this year’s World Cup? We are not the most talented team, we don’t have a de Bruyne who can pick apart a defence with either foot. We have a world class striker and a group of players (Ox, Hendo, Dele, Clyne, Lingard, Rose, Walker etc) who are bloody good at running around a lot. I appreciate the impact may be diluted given that so many players of different nationalities play in the PL but the national coaches don’t and I think we could genuinely surprise a lot of teams if we based our campaign on a dynamic press, winning the ball high up the pitch and getting the ball to Kane to wang it in.

Sure, coordinating a team press takes practice but I reckon taking this approach is a lot better than sitting back and saying “international football is just a lot slower than we’re used to”. Why should it be? Does the mailbox have any thoughts?
Matt (would just love to see us do something different for a change) LFC


We can but dream
Looking at the fixtures for remaining competitions here is a list of some in April:

Champions League quarter final 1st leg: April 3rd/4th
Premier League Manchester derby: April 7th
Champions League quarter final 2nd leg: April 10th/11th
FA cup semis: 21st April

Imagine a not completely ridiculously unlikely situation in April where united and city are drawn to play each other four times in the space of just over two weeks in two knock out tournaments and the prem. Individually each game might be considered as season defining (the prem game I’m sure I’ve read being the one with which city can mathematically win the title). All four together would be monumental, in the scrutiny they would place on the comparative quality of the two teams.

It’d be amazing to see the tactics employed over the period. For example, could certain games be prioritised? Could city throw the prem game (the league already decided for them) to focus on the champions league or would the loss of momentum be too damaging?  Would the derby intensity die out or get more and more unbearable? And what excuses could be made if either team lost all four?

I reckon that, as the teams tire and the unrelenting intensity become too mentally draining , by the fourth game it would just spiral into an all out brawl. Man united would lose the first three, before injuring half of city’s team and scraping a 1-0 in the FA cup in the scrappiest game ever played.

I know this is probably statistically impossible, but until it does happen I’ll just pretend that it will.
BT (Just imagine how red Kevin De Bruyne’s face would be 70 minutes into game four).


Spoilt brats
Every day Tottenham are slammed for not having won a recent trophy. It’s true that a team as good as us should win a trophy. But Spurs fans are relaxed about it because we know it is just a matter of time. The pressure only comes from people who have got used to instant gratification watching other teams buy titles. People watch City, and Chelsea before them, buy up the best players in the world, cut out the hard bit where you develop players and a team, and win a trophy within a maximum of two seasons. And these people then extend the same expectation to Tottenham.

But Spurs approach has been to reach the same goal via a different – and dare I say it, a more difficult and ultimately satisfying – method. Our approach is more organic, more natural, more genuine. It is harder, and takes more time. Spurs will win trophies, people just need to have realistic expectations of how quickly that happens in this sort of project. People need to understand that we aren’t buying a trophy, we are earning it, so it doesn’t happen over night. If spurs haven’t won the title or the CL by 2020 then by all means criticise but till then whenever I see people highlight our lack of trophies. These people are just spoilt brats who have got used to having everything on a plate. They are all glory hunters who don’t realise what glory really is.


Bellerin? No ta
Dear Graham Simons,

We really appreciate your concern about Bellerin but for the good of the club, we as  Football365 Barcelona branch have declined your request.

Frankly, there is no place for the young lad despite having Barca DNA. We already have Semedo and Sergi Roberto covering that position. Moreover, our efforts to find him a place in B team turned futile since their captain Palencia has cemented his place in the team.

Nevertheless, you never know what might happen in future but for now, we good. Meanwhile just pray, fast, and have faith he will improve.

Thanks in advance.,
Ian ( Can’t wait to knock out Chelsea) Nairobi.


Finders, keepers
I don’t believe for a second that we have cut off conversations for Allison. All of he LFC affiliated journos are pushing exactly the same story with exactly the same quotes. This smacks of a genuine leak a couple of days ago that we were negotiating with Allison and that Roma were willing to sell.

Roma, desperate to show their fans that they weren’t going to sell on the cheap after Salah, release info that they will only sell for £62m.

We then release a statement we tell all of the journos we can to say we are no longer interested (i) to show we will not be held to ransom and (ii) not to disrupt Karius’ nascent confidence. If Karius genuinely performs to the level of a world class keeper over the rest of the season then fine, but there’s no way you’d limit your options after 2 solid performances.
Matt (football is becoming as leaky as politics!) LFC


Net spend
What I absolutely love about the anti net spend argument, is the hilarious ramifications of that kind of thinking.

Imagine, if you will, that Manchester United suddenly went bankrupt and sold all of their players, bringing in an entire new squad for (say) £20m. Meanwhile, in the same period of time, Manchester City buy a player for £10m.

According to the ‘net spend is irrelevant’ crowd, Manchester United would have spent twice as much more money than Manchester City, and so should be twice as good.
Greg, Taunton.


A Champions League dream tournament
In response to Joe FFS, who raised the idea of a tournament of teams from bygone champions league (you know, the competition Liverpool only have won once) seasons, it got me thinking about which teams would make a dream tournament.

1. Ajax 1995 – wow. It’s usually forgotten how bloody surprising and amazing this team was. Full of kids (Seedorf, Kluivert & er Daley’s dad)managed by King Louis winning the competition when there were a load of great teams and totally dominating a great Milan side.

2. AC Milan 1994 – any conversation about the Champions League has to have Meelan in it. Madrid may have won more, but no club  side has completely dominated at home and in Europe like they did in the early 90s. Who can forget Savicevic, Boban et al destroying Barcelona’s dream team in 1994.

3. Marseilles 1993 – move over PSG (who spunk money and just choke) , this was easily the best team to ever come out if France, built on attacking verve (and shady dealings) competed and won in a golden era for football beating the great Milan side to become the only French European champions.

4. Manchester United 2008 – so the Treble winners were great (but admittedly jammy) this team had everything and Darren Fletcher. The best English team when English Teams were the best (even Arsenal were competent). Went to back to back finals unbeaten for 2 seasons until Barca ripped them apart in the final.

5. Barcelona 2006- OK tiki taka and Pep were/are a boringly magnificent machine. I know possession and passing are “beautiful” but this team had pure panache. Ronaldihno at his best put Messi in the shade, and this incarnation of Barca smashed the English Invincibles.

6. Juventus 1996 – under Marcello Lippi, this team dominated at home and abroad for 3 years, squeezing past Ajax. With Vialli, Ravanelli then later Vieri and Del Piero. A team.

7. Bayern 2013 – Treble winners and great team with Robben (how old is this guy) & Ribery doing their thing ( Beating a brilliant Dortmund team for their last European triumph. The only black mark being their sh1t house move announcing the signing of Dortmund’s star forward on the eve of the final.

8. Dortmund 1997 – OK we’ve mentioned Klopps brilliant team, but the original Dortmund team with Kohler, Moeller and marshalled by the Balon Dor winner Matthais Sammer had no peer in Germany or Europe. Beating Cantonas United home and away, then smashing the best ever Juve team in the final.

9. Internazionale 2010 – Possibly the most underrated of the big teams to actually lift the trophy. Even before Mourinhos magic; they had walked away with numerous domestic titles. But in the treble year, they beat the English champions home and away, ditched “the most amazing team ever” (Guardiolas Barca) and beat a reinvigourated Bayern in the final.

10. Valencia 2001 – ok these guys didnt win it, but the team of Mendieta, Gonzalez and the mercurial Aimar reached 2 successive finals and lost out on penalties. The only question being; what on Earth happened to Mendieta?! Such a waste.

11. Chelsea 2007 – they may have shocked everyone with the fluke in Munich 5 years later but this was the most dominating English side of the decade. Untouchables were almost unbeatables only losing in the semis to THAT ghost goal.

12. Arsenal 2006 – The Invincibles of Viera, Henry & Pires. Its hard to comprehend how good this team was and ruined Wenger as they would never hit such heights either domestically or in Europe. If only Lehman kept his head; this team maybe celebrated as much as their Manc nemesis.

13. Liverpool 2009 – lets be honest 2005 was a fluke, and as nice as Djimi Traore is, 2009 was probably the best Liverpool team in the most dominant times for English sides in Europe. Gerrard, Torres (the Vidic killer version) et al were in their pomp and only a mad game at Stamford Bridge derailed them.

14. Atletico Madrid 2016 – twice reaching the final only to lose to lady luck and the Galacticos. A team that regualarly bullied and bemused all comers under the guidance of the ferocious Simeone.

15. Real Madrid 2017 – its hard to say how good this team have been. Not heralded like their tiki taka compratriots, or even the dollar spunk kings at PSG; but a team who seem to own the Champions League. The first to ever retain it with the underrated Cristiano Ronaldo consistently drving them to glory.

16. Dynamo Kiev 1999 – easily the most underrated of teams never to win the competition. Rebrov and Schevchenko pre England terrorised every defence they came up against (surprising to all those in London). Under the guidance of Lebanovsky; their cultured attacking lit up the continent. Only throwing away the semi against Bayern cost this team immortality; though that is history I guess.

I know, teams like Porto (who won it with proficiency) and Spurs (champions of never coming close to winning competitions) deserve a mention… so there…

Though having 3 Mourinhos around would be as entertaining as the football.
Sy… (like when I watch United play)

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