Man United fans embarrassed by public Sancho pursuit…

Date published: Friday 14th August 2020 9:01

Man United and Ed Woodward come under the microscope. Why is it all so public?

Man United and their transfer strategy dominate a mailbox that also takes in RB Leipzig and more. Send your mails to


Man United and Woodward transfer strategy is embarrassing…
Ed Woodward and the Glazers’ transfer strategy is to deliberately waste as much time as possible on each of their transfers in order to use up the window. This means that the pressure on them to address the problems in the squad and spend the necessary money is kept at bay over the period. The first six weeks or so are spent slobbering around over Sancho with the press and Dortmund, then in a best-case scenario Utd will sign him for the seller’s price and move on to a striker or number 10 and do the same thing until October.

The outcome? The transfer window is closed and Utd have secured their primary two transfer targets (or some variation if they don’t stump up) and everyone at the club can call it a success. The risks? 1. You potentially get to the end of the window and resort to calling Mario Madzukic’s agent at quarter to midnight to offer a six-month deal and then spin this as shrewd management. 2. The fans cotton on, make more noise (@Red Nev starts screaming on SKY) and the strategy has to be amended. United have real issues either in the first 11 or certainly in terms of back up at CB, full back, DM, right wing, no 10 and striker. Heading into another season with this squad plus one or two newbies so soon after finishing the EL and trying to compete against City and Pool with CL games midweek is a recipe for disaster. I fear for Ole if this plays out.

Now, Ed and I have a mutual friend from Australia. Here’s what I’m going to tell my mate ask Woody to do. 1) tell Dortmund to GAGF. The world is on fire and £110m for a sexy 20-year old winger is extortionate at best, down right irresponsible and immoral at best. What are the odds of another total lockdown in 2021? How bad could it get? Six months with no football? Who knows? But no club should spend that kind of money on one asset. So offer £80m which maybe excusable or rightly walk away. 2) Put in a bid for Wilf Zaha. ~£40m take it or leave it to Palace. 3) Same thing with Jimenez from Wolves but £60m on the table. 3) Whatever is left in the kitty and raised from sales can be put towards addressing the other areas.

Any other suggestions before I send the request?


…Each passing transfer window emphasises the sheer incompetence of the overall ecosystem in Man Utd that deals with transfers. The planning and execution of transfers, along with the PR and media leaks is a total disaster. I am tired of seeing Man Utd dragging their chase of players publicly every transfer window, trying to negotiate and then ending up paying exactly what the selling club was always asking (if we are lucky), if not more. I just have a few questions:

    • Why is this courting of players ALWAYS public and ALWAYS dragged on – Fellani, McGuire, Fernandez, Lukaku, Sancho – the list is endless. There have only been handful of transfers which have been done swiftly – James and AWB (relatively swiftly) which come into mind? Why is it that teams like Chelsea, City, Liverpool more often than not get their business done swiftly, generally at the start of the window?
    • I suspect there are two answers to it – DoF and poor transfer planning. It’s astonishing that a club of the stature of Man Utd have not been able to hire someone to handle their football side of things, specially considering Woodward doesn’t understand it. That leads to poor planning. If the players have been identified, why are the deals not closed earlier in the window either. Why is it difficult to know if we have the budget for a player or not, if the player wants to come or not etc. If we don’t have the budget to meet the asking price, why not immediately go to the next target. I do not understand the logic of waiting for two months to negotiate – pissing both the selling club and the player. If I am buying a new car, I know my budget, go to the dealership, pay the price and probably negotiate for the add ons. I don’t go to the dealership and tell them that I will pay half the price for the brand new Mercedes! It’s just cheapness.
    • Also, if I still give Woodward the benefit of doubt – that he has limited budget and is trying his best to squeeze in all the Plan A targets within that, it just shows that there is no solid Plan B. The approach is to generally spend 90% of time on Plan A, and if that doesn’t work, panic, and reach out everyone and anyone available – ex. Ighalo, Josh King etc
    • Man U need to hire the best in class available on their transfer department ( DOF, Scouts etc) so that they operate like a well-oiled machine. As currently, its quite embarrassing.

Finally, why are there always leaks to the media – trying to appease the fans on United’s perspective on the current status. Why can’t transfers be done swiftly and quietly – case in point Ake, Torres, even Van Persie to United. The Man U PR department is constantly trying to show that things are moving swiftly, with Plan A, B, C D etc etc – when clearly there is no progress.

In the end what suffers is the squad – example – If Bruno Fernandes had joined in the summer instead of January, we might have been a bit more closer to the top!
Rish (Man U)



Arsenal though…
£220k per week for three years to a 32 year old Willian, a week after laying off staff and using the challenging current climate as justification is embarrassing.

The people who run our club are idiots, snakecharmed into signing veterans on stupid contracts to chase the shiny Champions League by agents who don’t care whether teams rise or fall, only that they pay.
Tom, Walthamstow


Chelsea should still want Kai
After daily updates, news on Havertz’s move to Chelsea has gone suspiciously dry. At the same time reports linking us to Rice has increased. Is this an indication that targets have changed and Bayer have priced Chelsea out of a move? I seriously hope not. Whilst I am well aware of our deficiencies at the back, I genuinely believe the opportunity to sign Havertz should be grabbed with both hands. Next season all the big hitters in Europe will be in for him, including Bayern. Havertz could be the crown jewel in the Chelsea team for the next five years, I don’t think we should pass that up. I’d rather get Rice in the next window, secure Havertz and sign Onana for a reported 30m. If Tagliafico is available, maybe we could bring him along in the process. I’d take a season of us trying to outscore opponents with an attack of Werner, Pulisic, Ziyech and Havertz.

Onto this perceived Lampard arrogance everyone seems to be banging on about. I’m biased, there’s no point in pretending I’m not. However I genuinely don’t get it. Yes he lashed out at the Liverpool assistant, which to be honest, I actually enjoyed as he’d been relatively mild mannered and timid this season. He’s always given credit to Liverpool and City, acknowledging just how far ahead they are. He’s blatantly honest and doesn’t give the media too many stories. He clearly knows where he wants us to be, and having been there and done it, it’s clear he has high expectations of the players and the performances they should be putting in. He rarely blames his players, hell the fact that he’s defended Kepa publicly should tell you everything you need to know about how he protects his players. He gets rather monotonous on how it’s a team effort etc. Bringing Giroud back into the fold, moving Kante back into a holding role and dropping Kepa have all shown his willingness to adapt. It takes some time for him to get to that point, but he does when necessary. Something else I’ve noticed this season is how he’s helped Kovacic improve from an average midfielder to arguably the best ball carrier in the league. Simply by giving him more freedom and adjusting his role to drop deeper acting almost as a double pivot with Jorghino.

Genuinely cannot wait for next season, but absolutely loving the European football at the moment. The fact that there’s no second leg raises the stakes and means the attack is the best form of defence.
Tashen, South Africa (my money is on a Bayern – City final)


How good is Upemecano?
Upemecano is an amazing defender. Based on the one game I’ve seen him play in. Had a real calm VVD-Esque swagger tonight.

Leipzig were so wasteful in the final third and would’ve won the game earlier on if they’d had any competence passing the ball into the wide channels. Thought Nkunku could’ve come off much earlier based on his dreadful forward passing.

Another one of those Simeone masterclasses where he gave up possession in dangerous areas and relied on his keeper to be outstanding alongside wasteful passing from the attacking team. I do admire how organised his teams are but I don’t think football like that works as well in a single knock out game. You’re putting too much hope in making fewer mistakes than your opponents. I’m not strictly sure it even made sense in this game; are Leipzig really that much better than Atletico that Simeone needed to be so focussed on being tight at the back?
Minty, LFC


Loving Leipzig
Love them, loathe them or just accept they exist, either way RB Leipzig are a Champions League Semi Finalist, 11 years after being formed as a football club, or at least in its new form, not only that but their manager, the prodigy and so called next big thing Julian Nagelsmann, a man who is younger than Lionel Messi, just that sink in.

Maybe I shouldn’t say this but with Atalanta out, I would love to see Leipzig get to the final and potentially lift the trophy, this squad are special, their manager is special and their style of play is incredible to watch, even if you dislike RB Leipzig due to Red Bull you have to admire the squad, their manager and of course that they are build upon youth.

I wonder if Timo Werner wishes he had stayed till the end of their UCL campaign right now?
Mikey, CFC


Why does Neymar provoke such extreme reactions?
Because he comes across as a 24 carat helmet.
Paul, Manchester


…Got to take issue with the idea that people hate Neymar because he hasn’t moved to England. We seem to be able to appreciate Ronaldo (the real one), Ronaldinho, Messi, Batistuta and countless others despite this, but not this poor, underappreciated chap.

If anything, I think he gets a pass – so many people say ‘He’s a prima donna, but we have to appreciate his quality’ that his behaviour gets excused.

The guy behaves like a dick, and so people think he’s a dick, and that’s it.


…Maybe Neymar is divisive because sometimes he behaves like an asshole. When the microscope is held up to some people, they just appear to be assholes. The article was lovely by the way, but I disagreed with a few points. Firstly, our fondness for certain Brazilians is most definitely not bollocks. We loved Ronaldinho because he was great. And Brazil have been lovely to watch over the years- there is a magic about them- not every team— but many of them through he years- 2002, the wonderful but unsuccessful 80s teams, Pele’s teams, etc. Many of these teams played with flare and made us love them. All was right with the world if Brazil won. Everyone’s second team.

So why don’t we love Neymar? Well, the article suggests that it’s our fault but I don’t think that’s entirely true. There is something about Neymar- I always think that the subtext of his move to PSG was to emerge from Messi’s shadow but didn’t he do that when Barca came back from the dead against PSG? And wouldn’t the wish of every potentially great player be to play with Messi and learn from him?I’ve heard the phrase ’There can only be one lead guitarist’ but surely Suarez doesn’t mind playing a mean rhythm guitar. It’s not like it wasn’t working out. They’ve often struggled since he left and it was surely the greatest forward line ever.

By the way, we like Messi and he’s a modern footballer. Please don’t reply and say you hate Messi as if that will prove anything- most of us like him. We don’t mistrust Messi because of his trickery. We revel in it and we feel that we would like him as a person. That may be horseshit but we imagine he would be a nice guy. The same can’t be said for every superstar. Neymar had that whole taking the ball off Cavani thing when he moved to PSG. Along with the craven behaviour of Dani Alves it created a strong image in our minds. The fact that he gave up a penalty to Cavani last year seems a little like a king being benevolent to a fallen foe and doesn’t entirely repair that image.

I think Neymar is a fine player and I’ll bet he’ll return to Barca soon enough but I feel that by leaving he lost sight of the fact that collective greatness can sometimes be more intoxicating than individual brilliance. He could have been a huge part of something truly special- he Yokoed the Beatles to join The Monkees. And The Monkees are good – but they’re not The Beatles. Maybe we just can’t understand why Neymar didn’t get that. However, I don’t think we should blame ourselves. After all we’re just watching.
Michael Ireland


…No – Neymar is not the most divisive footballer. Far from it. He is not remotely divisive.

Everyone I have ever spoken to or overheard discussing him thinks he is a supremely talented bellend and hates him.

No division. Harmony.

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