Mails: Sanchez arrival proves United are back (again)

Date published: Thursday 18th January 2018 3:07

Tell us all about it at

United are back
I saw the question posed in yesterday’s mailbox as to whether Pep is ‘too nice’ in pulling out of the Sanchez deal. That perhaps another ruthless manager (Jose, Fergie) would have hammered home their authority by sanctioning the deal. May I proffer an alternative view.

Imagine if it was Jose’s United (or his Chelsea side before that), or even Fergie’s United, that were 12-15 points clear by this juncture, possessing the same GD as City currently have. And he was looking to add another attacker to an already bountiful squad. You could picture the outrage: ‘United are ruining the league’….’their spending power is unjust and wrong’….narratives such as that.

However, flip to the current situation, and when City were seemingly in the chase for Sanchez, it was seen as some sort of humanitarian good-deed of freeing the Chilean from the oppressive confines of a North London institution. And you can almost certainly be sure that there would be no-one condenming his weekly wage packet had it been coming from the pockets of the Sheikh.

Those double-standards that are so prevelant around every United transfer are extremely grating. But then again, this newly-emerged ‘interest’ in United’s transfer dealings, and the forensic dissection of them in the rags, is surely a sign that they are worth worrying about again.

The BOOM is back baby.
Brian (the irony is lost on people who condemn the Qatar world cup, but seemingly laud City’s financial might), Wexford


Agents regulation
With the seemingly imminent completion of the Sanchez / Mkhi swap deal (first time ever a swap deal has ACTUALLY happened?) It struck me just how much one particular ‘super-agent’ (what makes him super?) is due to make from the deal.

Now, I accept that we are in the 21st Century and money in football is simply ludicrous, however; how can the service these agents provide be worthy of such remuneration? Clearly they play a valuable role and get good deals for their clients, but how can they earn MILLIONS from a single deal? They don’t even play. Are they regulated? Is there a governing body out there that reviews their fees and deems them to be reasonable? In my world of financial services we have to treat our customers fairly… does this sentiment not apply across the board?

I genuinely can’t get my head around it so if anyone can enlighten me I would be grateful.

Thank you
David, London


VAR debate
Is it me or are the same people who moan about VAR because “football is a game of opinions”, also the same people who moaned about VAR from last night because the VAR official’s opinion was different from theirs?


…The VAR argument is not as complicated as people are making out.

VAR will not be used in some cases when a decision ought to be overturned. A shame if you’re on the wrong end of it, but no change from what would have been the outcome previously.

VAR will be used in other cases, resulting in a wrong decision being overturned. Hurray for justice.

The net result is that some, but not all, wrong decisions will be corrected. More correct outcomes, I don’t see the problem.

The only thing that needs changing is to stop revealing what the VAR ref WOULD have said if it had been referred. That just creates an opportunity for mouthy gits to gob off about a system they instinctively don’t like.
Rob Davies, THFC


…It’s very simple, we’ll never reach a point where everyone is happy. Glad to be of service.
Harry The Manc.


…With all the discussions last season about whether technology should be brought into football to stop diving & the pitfalls etc I found a few things telling about the responses of managers.

Not ONE manager mentioned about it being a damning indictment of the cheating going on in the game that it was being brought in.None said they would tell their players not to dive as it would make the refs job easier.Players are still diving as much now even though retrospective action means they can be banned.Players really are cheating toe rags.

Also,Wenger questioning Mike Deans integrity really is the coup de gras of managerial rants for me.This from a manager who managed Robert Pires,king diver,the guy who invented kicking someones leg & falling over,yet Wenger never saw him dive.Not once.The FA needs to do more about these managers blaming refs for every dropped point.Refs should be allowed do interviews saying “well,all well & good the manager blaming me but what was he doing picking Iwobi”.Managers are so sensitive they wouldn’t long be shutting up on blaming refs.All managers are bad but Hughes,Pardew & Wenger are the “elite” in shifting the blame for me.
Gussy, Cork


…Well, that’s that then.

VAR didn’t work perfectly on one of its first trial outings.

Guess we’ll just have to give up and throw it in the bin.
Marky B. MUFC.


…Up to two nights ago I was completely against VAR – now after watching Leicester v Fleetwood and Chelsea v Norwich I’m excited and delighted by it.

Firstly I was at the King Power on Tuesday night. A lot has already been written about the success of the two goal incidents. In incidents where it was virtually impossible for a human eye to see correctly one was rightly disallowed and one rightly over-turned.

What hasn’t been spoken in the mainstream media so much was the penalty Leicester were denied by VAR – and to be honest, even at the time I was pretty pleased.

Vicente Iborra was held in the penalty area. It was quite clear to us behind the goal who were closer than the officials and Iborra was unusually animated. The ref has a word with VAR and carried on. Great. You can’t have a review every time the ball goes in the box. There’s no point over turning penalties if there are any doubts.

That leads on to Batshuayi. If he’d have not started going down before the challenge came in he would have been clearly fouled, there would have been much less doubt and it would therefore be much more likely the penalty be given by the VAR referee.

There’s a whole generation of ‘there was contact’ nonscence grown up in the past 20 years and if VAR encourages an end to diving into players to try to buy fouls it’s going to be a huge success.

Chelsea seemed apoplectic they couldn’t just cheat their way past the excellent Norwich and the players as well as the football community (including pundits many of whom who still seem not to know how VAR is supposed to be used) have to get used to it. Change is not always a bad thing.

While in the crowd I for one understood when it was being used during the game and trusted the officials to get on with it, the latter of which I’m sure some will struggle with. Obviously the Chelsea fans weren’t chanting V.A.R at the end like us Leicester fans were on Tuesday in knowing irony but I’m sure we won’t when we get pulled up/goals overturned. If it stops players I’m supporting looking for fouls it would be great.

As a caveat – I however await the whole VAR ‘what is a deliberate handball’ debate that is yet to come.
Richard Rush, Leicester


…I am finding the debate on VAR both highly amusing as people lose their collective sh*t and extremely frustrating that people are losing their collective sh*t. I have a few random thoughts on the subject.

-Before VAR (BV?) there would have been mailboxes and phone ins full of people frothing at the mouth wondering why we cannot bring in technology to overturn obvious wrong decisions. Now we have it here and we have mailboxes and phone ins full of people frothing at the mouth that it ruining the sport and is the final nail in the coffin (‘the games gone, Jeff!’). You can’t win.

-VAR does help clarify things pretty easily on issues like offside, which is pretty linear and ‘factual’. But most of the Laws are still subjective and at the opinion of the referee. In the ref’s opinion Willian dived. VAR backed that up because it wasn’t a ‘clear and obvious’ error’. By that I mean look at what happens – yes the Norwich player does make contact but then Willian is able to take another step without looking like he was impeded. THEN he fell down. Football is still a contact sport. Contact in itself is not enough to give a penalty or foul. That was why the ref gave a yellow for diving and that was his (correct) opinion.

-Lots of people are against it because it will mean the loss of debate and pub talk as contentious decisions are no longer left hanging. Erm…..I don’t think that is the case – people have just found something new to moan about.

-As an aside to the point above, Phil Neville’s quote ‘I’m confused. I am not a fan. I like the English game as it is, with talking points’. F*ck me. This man, almost against his will, is going to be the next England Women’s manager. If I was one of those internationals I would be absolutely livid. I think we are third in the world at the moment. We can kiss goodbye to such high rankings for the foreseeable future with this Neville in charge.

-Tom Birkett in this mornings mailbox says ‘Refs tend to be quite petty, self-important and arrogant’. Eh?! If they look a bit haughty occasionally it is because they have 20 something man-childs flinging their arms in the air and calling them cheats (for that is what Morata said to Scott last night) or apoplectic managers having toddler tantrums two inches from their faces. You cannot lamp them in the face for that would mean you would lose your job. So what else do you do? Refs are human too – they are no more petty than any other strand of the human race. It is the same as saying ‘all Chelsea fans are glory supporting, johnny-come-latelys’. And I would never dream of saying any such thing.

Much obliged
Rob, Leicester


…Ok so I watched the game last night (missed the Leicester one) and I thought overall VAR was a hit.

Yes you can complain about how long certain decisions take and also that certain things aren’t cleared up from VAR but it does help keep the game fairer.

Take Chile’s goal on the stroke of half time that was chalked off for offside! It worked absolutely perfectly here and removed the advantage they would of gotten otherwise.

Going back to last night let’s look at the three main incidents that VAR could of been used for (no you can’t use it all the time, to do so would ruin the game!)

Pedro’s dive – this one was simple, absolutely pathetic deserves a ban for this – VAR not needed but backed it up anyway.

Willian’s dive – this was not as simple, I can see this from all sides. Was Willian going down before contact – yes and so I can understand the yellow card for a dive, was Willian subsequently fouled – yes and so I could understand a pen being given, was it both a dive and a foul – yes so I could understand nothing being given and play to carry on. VAR was used for this and they didn’t agree one way or the other so the original call stood, fair enough.

Morata’s dive – this was a closer call, was it a dive? I think it was yes, yeah the defender grabs the shirt etc but by the time morata goes over there’s nothing there. I think he caused this himself to be honest, the guy hits the deck at the slightest of touches and makes Drogba in his youth look rigid upright! He really needs to cut this out of his game as it’s embarrassing!

VAR is only meant to be used sparingly to help remove some of the injustice in the game, not remove every wrong decision! Absolutely no one wants that!


Morata moan
To answer your question of ‘when do we start worrying about Morata?’ the answer is now!

There was a moment during the game where he poked the ball straight at the Norwich keeper (who was excellent last night) from five yards out which led to a couple of swears coming out. Then a superb ball was whipped in and it was heading straight for his noggin’ and you thought that was that…… he ballsed that up as well. So he’s not scoring with his head as well, great!

Then the cherry on top of the turd sundae, he gets suspended for a dive and then dissent, what a guy!

I’m going to see the last point as a plus, this gives him a rest and forces Conte into changing our predictable and dull system (which led to our four centuries long goal drought) with an exciting front three who will buzz around, switch positions and pull defences out of shape. I can dream at least.
Jamie (I’m not sure why we’re after Andy Carroll when we currently have the Spanish version), CFC


Flanagan must go
I wrote in after his court hearing and didn’t get published. Now Flanagan has been sentenced I wanted to highlight my same point. I am a Liverpool fan, and I now see the club has stated it has initiated a disciplinary process, as any employer should when an employee is convicted of assault. Football is a people business, and it’s entire revenue stream is built on marketing, this club should not tolerate anything like this. Football is a team business; do his his squadmates want to be in a as quad with someone who beats their partner? I certainly wouldn’t want anyone like that in my office. Flanagan should be fired.

Similarly, if Firmino has committed a racially motivated verbal assault, he should be punished, either by the league or club or both. This is a lesser matter than assault, but still entirely serious.

For whatever reasons, possibly only because Flanagan is a player of lesser importance, the media has made far less of his crime than many other lesser crimes. I hope that the club does not make this mistake. Society needs to raise its response to domestic violence of any kind, and it starts with important institutions in the public eye. Liverpool Football Club is one of these. He needs to go.
Hamish (LFC)


Everton’s right-wing
Anyone else find it ironic that the good Aaron Lennon and the sh*t Aaron Lennon will now vie for a slot on Everton’s right wing?


Neville clickbait
Could you please stop with the clickbaiting headlines on your website, twice today I have clicked on links which begin with “Nev says:” – You need to specify which Nev has said as we need to know weather its worth reading or not. If its from silly billy Philly we don’t need to know but its from GNev or Nev Southall we definitely do need to read it.
Thanking you kindly.
Tony, Ireland


Football lifting spirits
This is a late response but I just wanted to send a big thank you to F365 and this platform. I just read a beautiful piece by Sachin Nakrani and it feels great to know that I’m not alone. That’s all, carry on.

More Related Articles