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Mourinho the master of lowering expectations
Full disclosure – I’m a Liverpool fan talking about United, and am still incredibly bitter that Kloppo lost the league cup on pens to City, and the Europa after getting past United, Dortmund, & 45 mins of Sevilla, where as United stumbled to two finals under Jose – so feel free to take this with a massive pinch of salt.
But that being said, part of the ire that Woy incurred at Liverpool was down to his (and his media chums) trying to lower expectations. If the chap before you got sacked for finishing 7th then we shouldn’t be happy with a relegation fight.
I know Jose has a lot of friends in the media, and I know there’s a lot of Pep-V-Jose baggage being thrown into the equation as well, but surely if anyone is coming out with statements like ‘it’s unreasonable for United to compete’ we should be very loudly laughing them out of town?
He inherited a side that under-performed and missed out on fourth by goal difference. To emphasise the point, that squad should have finished higher than 5th. To compound that, two of the teams that finished above United (Leicester and Arsenal) have regressed. Another has spent the equivalent of tuppence ha’penny. Since then, he’s added the then-best-player-in-Germany, one of Europe’s best strikers, the world’s most expensive player and a multiple league winning defensive midfielder. In addition to some very able squad players.
But despite that, him not even trying to play football against a top side is understandable? We shouldn’t be expecting United to win the league? The League cup should be enough? United need to sign x rather than get Mata, Mikhitarian, Martial, Herrera et al to perform as well as other managers have had them do in the past?
I’m not trying to incur a load of United fans rofl-ing at Liverpool. I’m aware that you are currently unbeaten in Europe, at the top of the league etc etc. He’s clearly not doing a bad job. But you are falling for Jose’s media spiel hook line and sinker. For goodness sake, just look at the team United put out when they beat Arsenal 8-2.
A great manager spends and gets the best out of what he has
As a Man United fan, the suggestions that Mourinho couldn’t possibly do anything of note because there are still players at the club that he didn’t sign are starting to bother me. This just lends weight to the theory that he is not much more than a chequebook manager.
Yes, transfers can do play a large part in how successful a club is, but so to is tactical knowhow and player motivation, and Mourinho is failing on both of these fronts at the moment. Ranieri won the league by getting the very best out of the players at his disposal and Conte by being tactically aware and switching formation and personnel to great effect.
With Pochettino proving effective with his well drilled Tottenham team and Guardiola fashioning Man City into a fearsome attacking side I fear that Mourinho risks being left behind unless he can bring more to the table than just throwing money at the problem.
Dan, MUFC (This isn’t a Mourinho out/in rant, I’ll leave that to the Arsenal fans)
Manchester City have been building towards this
I’ve seen a couple of mails recently suggesting that people ought to collectively cool their jets on Man City playing well until they actually win something. With that in mind, here is City’s recent record:
2010/2011 – FA cup winners, 3rd in the Premier League
2011/2012 – Premier League champions
2012/2013 – FA Cup runner up, Premier League runner up, plus a consolation prize – Community Shield winners
2013/2014 – Premier League winners, League Cup winners
2014/2015 – Premier League runner up (and not even a consolation prize)
2015/2016 – League Cup winners, Champions League semi-finals, 4th in Premier League
2016/2017 – FA Cup semi-final, 3rd in the Premier League
I can’t reconcile that with the argument that “City have won literally nothing so far”. To my neutral mind, that record reads like a team that is regularly competing for trophies and has in fact literally won every domestic trophy there is to win at least once in the last 7 seasons (I don’t count the Checkatrade Trophy for obvious [bitter] reasons). I’m certainly not suggesting that this is The Bestest Team Ever™, but I’m actually quite content to let myself be entertained by their very entertaining football.
Terry Hall, Switzerland (giving full credit to my mate Steve, where all the other teams went wrong is, they didn’t get bought by an actual country.)
Sanchez escapes censure because of Ozil
Jaimie (I could’ve done 16 more) Kaffash, AFC, north London even alludes to the fact that hardly any of our lads turn up away from home, but then decides to bash Ozil, and only Ozil, anyway.
Absolutely, he should be held accountable for a number of non-displays, but how is it fair that after yet another defeat he’s the one picked on?
Why no conclusions for Sanchez, who plays with a look on his face which suggests he’d rather be anywhere else? Frankly, I’d like him to be. If yesterday was his audition for Pep & City, fine, but I can’t imagine 21 turnovers of possession is much Guardiola’s style. Signing him on a free next summer is probably worth it, but it’ll mean one of Aguero, Jesus, Sterling or Sane will be pushed aside to accommodate him. On current form, I’d highly doubt any City fan would support that scenario.
When all is said and done, Arsenal ballsed up by not selling at least one of them last summer. Neither Ozil nor Sanchez want to be there, neither are playing well enough at the moment to get us back in the CL (why would they care, they won’t be there?) and we’ve got other contract problems on the horizon surrounding some players who might want to stay.
Still, at least Coquelin is tied down for the manager’s next three years in charge.
Wenger out, Kroenke out, 85% of the playing staff out. Lacazette in, for 90 minutes, hopefully one day.
Joe, AFC, East Sussex
Sick of Wenger’s bitching
When a manager gets to the point that he is blaming the referee constantly for his team losing games, he has reached the point of no return.
This would be true of any other manager other than Wenger, but it’s still a fact. Don’t look at your crazy, insane team selection, or the fact Man City played well, or the fact that some of our players just look lost out there, blame the ref. I don’t hear him screaming at the refs when we get those calls, or saying we got lucky. He has turned into this pathetic old man, who is clinging to his dream with any means possible.
The little respect I did have for Wenger has now gone. It’s just embarrassing watching this. I’m not bothered we lost, I didn’t really expect us to win, Man City played well and we didn’t, that’s the reason we lost the game, not the refs.
Wade (Been living groundhog day for 5 years) Gunner
The referee backlash is appalling
You were absolutely right on the money with that one Daniel Storey. I am utterly sick of the abuse aimed at referees in football from anyone and everyone with an axe to grind.
I ran the line once at Uni. In a match my own team was playing in. At one point I didn’t flag offside against the opposition, because, you know, one of my team was playing them onside. I received dog’s abuse from my own teammates for not giving offside.
I pointed out that they weren’t offside because someone at the back was playing them onside and got an even bigger mouthful of abuse. I dropped the flag in the mud (actually I threw it at my team mate’s head) and told the ref he could find another mug to run the line for him.
I’ve often wondered how much respect and appreciation players, managers and fans would show referees if they all collectively went on strike for a month. You couldn’t pay me enough to do that job.
So they do get chances?
I do find it laughable all the bilge that is spouted by certain sections of the English Media and some of its managers on how hard done by English managers are. Take West Ham for example.
I always thought the point of firing your manager was so you could go out and get a better one. West ham seem to have missed that email if they are going to get Moyes. I could do a better job than at managing, and that’s because he is so bloody awful not because I have a clue about managing a football club.
What I don’t understand is why certain pundits and managers (Allardyce springs to mind) whining about how English managers don’t get a chance. It seems to me that a select group of you get lots of chances, and every time you get one you play your usual god awful game and screw the team up. A manager gets fired and it’s the usual suspects lining up for the job.
I refuse to believe that these old godgers are the only English managers fit to be hired. There must be tons of them in the lower leagues who can do the job better. It seems to me that its more in the line of English managers don’t get chances because I keep getting my tired old ass fired. It can’t be me, it has to be a bias against English managers.
The simple truth is this, if I’m an owner I’m hiring the best I can get. Most of the Managers we hear complaining about a bias weren’t good enough to hire 30 years ago, they aren’t good enough for the fourth division now.
If West Ham hire Moyes they may as well pack their bags for the championship.
Wade (now I feel better) Gunner
Asterisks and Obelix
This email will undoubtedly come across as gripey, I don’t intend it to, it is more a genuine question.
Does anyone know why, or when, it became common practice to asterisk out swear words in journalism? I noticed it when the word piss became p*ss in Winners and Losers, and I just wondered why. I don’t remember F365 doing it in years gone by, and this is in no way intended as criticism (would anyone be so petty as to criticise something like that? Actually, don’t answer that…) but I just am intrigued as to why it’s done.
Surely literally every person reading that piece knew the word was piss? Is seeing the “i” really going to cause anyone offence? And if it does, is that actually a reason to asterisk a letter.
This is probably more a question for wider journalism, but I just thought it reading W&L today. If anyone knows why we do this, I’d be keen to know the answer!
On Cornish football
As a Cornish exile living in London, and with a National League photography licence, I decided to try my luck and blag press access to Charlton Athletic vs Truro City. A few days later, I found myself pitchside, with a free pie warming my stomach to witness the first Cornish representation in the FA Cup First Round since Falmouth Town famously lost 4-1 to Peterborough United in 1969. I’m sure you remember it well.
Cornwall, it’s fair to say, is a footballing backwater. With only one club (Truro City) playing in a division higher than Level 10 on the footballing pyramid, it is an astonishing achievement for them to even make the FA Cup First Round. Whilst other clubs at Truro’s National League South level can draw on those players who don’t make the grade at professional academies, the White Tigers struggle to convince players to make the move.
With a budget smaller than almost all of their rivals, player recruitment is further complicated by their geography. A six hour drive from London, with a closest away match a mere 304 mile round trip away, Truro consistently bat above their average to even remain in the Vanarama South, let alone lie where they currently doe, one spot below the playoffs.
Manager Lee Hodges has done an exceptional job moulding local talent, former Plymouth Argyle youth prospects and the odd lower-league journeyman into a good footballing side, who actually managed to provide 1947 FA Cup Winners Charlton with a solid test. In Tyler Harvey (centre forward) and Tom McHale (goalkeeper) they have two young players who certainly have football league potential, and at 2-1 to Charlton, the game genuinely could have swung either way.
In the post match press conference, where I sat quietly, lest someone realise I definitely shouldn’t be there, Karl Robinson was full of praise for Truro City and their supporters – 996 of whom made the 12 hour round trip from Cornwall. He was right to do so. I refuse to get cliched and discuss the Magic of the Cup (TM), but there was something very special about Sunday. For the first time in almost fifty years, football crept out of rugby’s shadow in the county of miners, pasties and misplaced Brexit confidence. The FA Cup provides that platform, almost unique in sport, for a good manager, and a team with self belief to rise above the sum of their parts, and compete at a level they usually could not dream of doing. I can’t wait for the next round.
Thom (Kernow bys Vyken)
Oh it will get used
One of the many things I like about Football365 is their unerring ability to pick a picture of someone to make them look a bit incompetent or mental or generally rubbish. Focusing in on England’s most successful club side every Souness story must be accompanied with him holding up two fingers in the dugout during his disasterous tenure at the helm of us. In the ‘present’ Sakho holding a Koala, Moreno heading the ball with the side of his head in the EL final, Mr Veneers flashing his erm…veneers. You get the picture?
So I am somewhat disappointed you’re not using the snap of the Moyesiah staring bug eyed as he ruined United. Ruined them to the extent that £500M+ later and they still haven’t fixed the damage he did. It makes me feel rather fuzzy inside to think that Fergie pushed forward the man who would undo his years of toil.
More use of the that ‘photo, please!?
Gregory Whitehead, LFC