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Mourinho the machine
So Jose wins another trophy for Chelsea. That guy is relentless!
Adonis Stevenson, AFC
How to kill a brand
When Woodward and the Glazers sit down to watch the Champions League final eating their prawn sandwiches off the official Manchester United china, I wonder if they will spare a thought for what sustains the brand and how it is eroding.
For you millennials, United’s popularity didn’t start with the class of 92. It was rumored that in the sixties, when George Best came to town, he would add 10,000 to the attendance. I recently read somewhere that Manchester United have been the best supported AWAY team every year since 1977! (Any stattos want to confirm?). They gained and sustained a massive following from champagne football, from Best to Coppell to Robson to Hughes.
Does anyone think Neymar or any young and exciting player would seriously consider joining this stultifying style? Anyone who has read Mourinho’s book will know his style is that of the underdog. He actually PREFERS not to have possession and hit on the break. The corporate suits may argue that United no longer need the casual fans but eventually they will stop buying the official noodle or tractor. Then what?
The summer will see another couple of hundred million spent on more massive automatons, more Matics instead of Mahrezs (is it just me that sees a Mahrez size hole on the right?), all over six feet tall and between 26 and 29. And yes Mourinho does have a point. Probably only two of the first eleven could get into the other top four sides, but money doesn’t guarantee success. Just look at the New York Yankees.
The most depressing thing is, things are going to have to get worse before there is a change, and who would replace Mourinho?
Adidasmufc (I’m switching off my phone next Saturday).
Man United: Just awful
Terrible football. No trophies. Ruining key players.
Is there no chance we can skip the ‘meltdown’ and move straight to the bit after?
Ryan (Jones’ intelligence was the only thing between two parked buses)
…❌ 19 points behind Man City
❌ Lost to Bristol City in the League Cup
❌ Lost to Sevilla in the Champions League
❌ No FA Cup trophy
❌ Plays awful
But we are progressing under Mourinho so it’s okay.
…How many goals would Roberto Firmino score under Mourinho? I reckon he’d be a middling fullback…
Valencia could receive the ball at feet in space, take a touch to set himself, have a target of Megamind or an Easter Island statue to aim for and still manage to hit the hills of the first defender.
He is a failed winger shunted back to full back who gave up the no.7 jersey citing pressure and is meant to be the latest captain amid a host of legends.
His ever presence is the biggest issue that needs to be addressed compared to United’s rivals.
…Somewhere in London(?), Gareth Southgate goes, “F**k me, I’ve picked the wrong United defender.”
Nikunj ‘MUFC’ Solanki, Mumbai
England’s FA Cup contingent
* Gareth Southgate has made a mistake (how big a mistake, only time will tell) in including Phil Jones. Everything wrong with his game was on full display: mistakes, injuries (head and feet), it was almost a high(low?)light reel that made the decision to take him seem like a cruel jape of some sort.
* Ashley Young: the good left-sided player is an illusion, a trick of the of the mind. He reverted to type in the home of English Football, and with the world watching. Runs up to but not including the channels; a stop, a look, then…out comes the right boot. How did Mourinho manage to convince us (and Southgate) that he deserved a place on the plane? Pray Danny Rose doesn’t get injured.
* Rashford is to United what Rooney was to United. Plenty of the ball, all in the wrong places. Lukaku never drops that far back to collect a pass, why should he? That is not his job. His work is done when he scores. Whether that means 100 touches in 90mins or five touches, it does not matter. Make the team work for you, don’t try to cover their deficiencies. It’ll only highlight what you did wrong (See also ‘Sanchez, Alexis’).
* Lingard was anonymous. He made no impact in a game of great importance. No shots and the least amount of touches of all of United’s outfield starters. If a game required some magic (which this game certainly did, regardless of the Hazard penalty), he could and should have stepped up. He’s been here before, and shown that he is capable. But whether it was Mourinho’s gameplan, Chelsea’s defensive solidity or a combination of both, he looked like a passenger.
* A good Gary Cahill is good for all of us. Helped ably by those around him (particularly the rather excellent Kante in front of him), he looked comfortable and fresh. He may not be to everyone’s taste and stick out like a sore thumb, given he is as culpable as any past or present squad member in England’s previous tournament showings. But on his day, he is worthy of inclusion.
* We are extremely lucky that the Belgium match is the third group game. We cannot afford any mistakes against the other group opponents. Obvious as this sounds, This is England we’re talking about. Bad performances and by extension inexplicably bad results are our thing and have been at the last two World Cups and most recent Euros. So nothing is certain.
James F, BCFC KRO
Matic was best player on the pitch
This is not an unbiased opinion as I’m a Man Utd fan, but still after reading 16 Conclusions, I couldn’t help but wonder which game Steady saw. Steady’s conclusion about Kante is lazy and readily panders to the well worn knowledge that Kante does a solid job on most occasions, combined with the fact that Chelsea won without conceding.
Now I like Kante but I thought he was anything but peerless and Matic stood head and shoulders above everyone else (literally and otherwise) in midfield. I also thought Pogba had a really good game and judging his performance based on one missed header is a tad harsh. That being said, Man Utd got exactly what their performance merited and I’m not buying whatever Mourinho is selling.
And Pogba was good too…
I’ve just finished reading the conclusions on the FA cup final and I can honestly say, it’s some of the worst drivel I have read in a while! Did they even watch the match? Or did they just have rose tinted glasses on the whole time?
Praising Kante for an excellent match?! I love Kante as much as the next but he was really not that good, yes he did some of the basics well but for large and I mean large portions of the game he was no where to be seen! It’s spent most of the game camped in Chelsea’s half passing sideways and Kante was no where near anything. Don’t get me wrong I am not saying he played badly, but to pick him out as having an amazing game.. I mean come on!
They also lambast Pogba for having a rubbish game.. really? He was a bit anonymous for the first half but in the second he was ok, should have scored, maybe two and was and if he had they would of been saying how great he was! I’m sorry this myth of when you score a goal all the bad stuff is now good is absolute tosh! You can have a rubbish game and still score goals (Van Nistelrooy made a career out of it!).
The game was bitty, boring and neither team deserved the win! Mourinho’s tactics were awful in the first half but better second, Conte didn’t really do anything tactical, just got one goal ahead and then spent the rest of the game hitting his nails as he saw his team sit deeper and Utd get closer to scoring.
I also want to address something that’s been annoying me for so long! Valencia is a crap full back! His defending is average, his attacking is average and he doesn’t offer enough in either respect! Young is exactly the same the other side (but weirdly he is a better defender) but both need to be replaced and quickly! Utd will never improve with those two playing wing back (and no Shaw is not the answer as most Utd fans seem to think).
Two more conclusions
17- Giroud is having an impact on the Chelsea squad, Cahill is clearly picking up on the magnificent beard and hairstyle but in true Cahill form not quite executing.
18. Giroud is Chelsea’s Peter Crouch, not a bad thing but just saying…….
Topside (Adelaide United FC)
Some Chelsea fans are happy
Fifth place and an FA Cup trophy? I’ll take that as a good over second place and Champions League football; you can’t put ‘second place’ in a trophy cabinet.
Mikey (Top performances from Rudiger and Bakayoko) CFC
Alright, we won the FA cup, finished fifth and had a decent run in Carabao and CL. But I’m firmly Conte out. Before you start abusing me, hear me out. My reason for Conte out has less to do with his tactics or anything else. It’s simply because in the games against Barcelona where tiny details decided the tie but we were great overall (clocking 47% possession away with shots on bar and comic defending) and last night if anything Conte proved why he has to be sacked – when he cares, he’s a top top coach. However, for some reason he stopped caring from January to March when he thought he’d be an automatic pick for PSG or Italy. Sorry Antonio, what goes around comes around. His total lack of effort and commitment (ironically) in those periods cost Chelsea a top four. So, with all gratitude and no abuse, let me thank you for the two years and wish you the best.
Now some thoughts on the game. I thought it was one of the worst cup finals and football game I’ve watched in my life. Yes, we can all talk about tactical masterclass where two teams nullified each other. But it was such a bad game of football. This is the perfect anti-thesis to the Liverpool-Man City games. Games of attrition where both teams were merely tossing ball around for the sake and asking the other to take the initiative in a means to force mistakes. That it was the best player in England right now who decided the tie is no brainer.
The worst part is, as a fan and supporter for long, for the first time, I feel so disconnected from my club. I did not feel euphoria leading to the game and neither am I feeling that great after the cup. And again, it’s not the dull football on show that is the reason, far from it. It is the lack of commitment Conte has shown and how it has rubbed on to players and fans alike. Abramovich, for god’s sake, please hire one of Sarri, Jardim or even give Morris a chance. We’ve won enough trophies. Let’s build something very good from now.
As for United, I feel more pity for the fans. Jose hasn’t got the team he wants. Yet I don’t know why he set a team so reactive. This Chelsea side is thrashable, just ask Rafa Benitez. When there’s no Lukaku and Rashford is the striker, it means (a) you play the ball to his sides and (b) you do not cross it expecting him to hold play. How Mata did not start the game, being the only player on pitch to play those inch perfect through balls is beyond me. Rashford, Sanchez, Lingaard and Mata must’ve started together. But what do I know?
All in all, one of the worst cup finals I’ve ever witnessed. The pressure is on Jose to produce better football and Chelsea to come up with a 10 year football vision.
Aravind, Chelsea fan