Man United flop features on new underrated list

Date published: Wednesday 3rd June 2020 9:31

Juan Veron makes it on the list of ten underrated players. Plus, managers who thrived on a budget.

The mails have been drying up but we have scraped this together. Send your own underrated footballers to


Another ten underrated players
10) Mendieta: watching that Valencia team who made it the Champions League finals, you know that this guy was playing on another level, no one could touch him.

9) Claudio Lopez: Again part that Valencia team which was mind blowing. But deserves a mention on his own for some of the clutch goals he scored.

8) Alesandro Nesta: Everyone talks about Maldini, Cannavaro, Zambrota, Chilleni,(all great players and defenders) but hands down, for me the best Italian defender I have ever had the privilege to watch over many years. He was so, so unlucky that he missed most of the World Cup 2006 due to injury and could not contribute, the result would have been the same but at least his name would have been properly remembered.

8) Del Piero: Again simply amazing to watch over the years, didn’t get the recognition due to injuries at key moments of his career.

6). Veron: An amazingly gifted footballer. They called him the wizard right? Should have never left the warmth of Italy for the cold frozen shores of the Premier League. Probably deprived the world of his best years as a footballer in England.

5) Michael Essien: Hands down the boss of the midfield in Chelsea. Never put a foot wrong in that midfield and just covered every blade of grass. Also scored some key goals in their title winning seasons. But of course “Just Hit It FwanK” gets all the credit (cause he’s English)

4) Juan Roman Riqeulme: The Early Years, or rather than season he played for Villarreal, just astonishing nonchalantly talented. You could tell he knew he was an artist and he just did things to do the ball you wouldn’t even dream of.

3) Wesley Sniejder: Ok full confession here, I was one of those United fans that would have a brain seizure at the end of every summer that United didn’t sign him. What an attacking midfield player, carried Inter and Holland on his own in some games. Could unlock the best defence with a single touch.

2)David Silva: I know you can’t really state that he is an underrated player, but in a City team that has bought and sold some unbelievably talented footballers over the past decade, he is hands down the most value for money and the most elegant player of the 2010-2020 Premier League era.

1). Alvaro Recoba: Just one of those players, when he was in the mood, that I loved to watch. He was an absolute joy to behold. The dribbling skills and ball control, the outside shot with the left foot, the free kicks, the long passes, the crosses, whatever he did he just made it look so easy and cool. Real classy player. I know many people wouldn’t have him in here, but hey it’s my list: now F*ck off and make your own.
KC (ok maybe not underrated, but definitely under appreciated) India



Take a page from wrestling
As a South African who doesn’t attend local games but experienced 10 live matches at the World Cup, I can say it was a pleasure to be engulfed by vuvuzelas. The constant droning added a great atmosphere, truly making it sound like each match was played in a beehive. It was refreshing to read that MikeyCFC looks back on the 2010 edition with the same fondness that I do.

When the Premier League comes back, in all probability the matches will be played in empty stadiums. We should learn from professional wrestling who have been broadcasting shows from empty venues during COVID. At first it was only the wrestlers in the ring, leaving an eerie silence to accompany each match. Then later, learning from a rival promotion, the WWE started placing characters who were not involved in the episode next to the ring – to make some noise and show support or give heat to the competitors.

Asking the reserves or players who are not involved on matchday to spectate the footie matches might be the way to go. Imagine an enthusiastic Shaqiri leading a chorus of Fields of Anfield Road; some Chelsea youngsters next to the field confusing the issue if Lampard brought more players through; Pogba sitting in the stands posting on social media watching the game, being seen by United supporters for the first time in months. Even an academy product shouting “Wickedddd” or “Pwned” or “Siiiiiiiick” every time Maguire makes or mistimes a tackle. Anything but the deafening silence. Would be bliss.
Wik, Pretoria, (whatever happened to the word stadia?), LFC


Success on a budget you ask?
Let me introduce the one and only Arsene (Knows) Wenger. He of record FA Cup success, two doubles in four years and, oh, I don’t know, the Invincibles. Between 1996 and 2006 Arsenal made a profit on transfers, built a new stadium, new training facilities, were widely lauded as playing the prettiest footie (and effective back then too) and broke Man Us stranglehold on the Prem, hoovering up seven trophies and crashing a pair of Euro finals to boot, including coming within minutes of beating Barce with 10 men to claim the Champions League.

He made a profit on transfers in that time.

He gets my vote.

David Moyes? Seriously.. stay clear of the kool aid.
Alay, Brighton Gooner


…Bit late to the party here as I’ve not read the last few mailboxes until now. The name that comes to my mind when thinking of success on a budget is Mick McCarthy at Ipswich.

Took over from Paul Jewell in November 2012 after a run of 12 games without a win and guided them to a 14th place finish. In subsequent seasons they finished 9th, 6th (lost of Norwich in semi-final playoffs) 7th, 16th and 12th. This is even more impressive when you consider he got the likes of David McGoldrick (16), Daryl Murphy (27) and Martyn Waghorn (16) to bang in goals.

For those of you obsessed with net spend: Spent £5.4m and received £18.4m. Net spend (-£13m). Not sure how well that stacks up against other Championship teams battling for playoff places but I imagine, quite favourably.

Deluded Ipswich fans grew tired of his style of football and demanded that the club part ways. Their successful protests resulted in Mick getting the boot in April 2018 after five and half years of working his magic on a shoestring budget. Ipswich were made 4/1 to be relegated for the 2018/19 campaign (thank you very much) and went on to win 5 games all season en route to finishing dead last. Promotion from League One doesn’t look likely anytime soon and it’s no more than their fans deserve.
Killian (Be Careful What You Wish For) Limerick


Juventus might have had the right idea…
On Juve’s transfer policy – just a few thoughts on why it might have seemed like a good idea at the time. I’m only going to look at the maths, and not the specifics of the players. (And I’m leaving Ronaldo out of the equation – he is an exception and that decision should be judged on different merits to the rest of the argument),

Let’s say that two years ago the Juventus management decided they needed four new first-team players. Do they pay out large sums for younger players with resale value? Let’s say that each player costs £40m, and signs a four-year contract for £2.5m a year in wages. The total cost of each player is £50m, a total of £200 million. Perhaps those contracts are extended, or perhaps players are sold. Some of that will be recouped.

Alternatively, they sign four players on free transfers, but inflated wages. Say £4m a year over four years. That’s £16m each, and a total of £64 million. A third of the initial outlay. Let’s say that for the last two years, these players don’t perform, just happy to pocket the money. £64 million for two good years of service could be a better deal than £200 million for four years of good service.

If money is tight, then paying little up front for free transfers and higher wages to follow can appear to be a good deal. Obviously with the new downturn, this plan doesn’t look as strong, but you can certainly understand the logic at the time.


Number plate tales
When I lived in Bavaria, I discovered when getting car plates you could choose what you wanted for very little cost (I think it was less than €50), so long as I started it with the letter M (as in Munich), and had 3 letters and 4 numbers.

So, I got MCR 1894. And most pleased with it was I. A few Germans even understood it, although I had a couple of Man City pennants in the back window.

Oddly, in the underground garage I parked in, the car next to me must have been owned by a United fan, but one with no sense of history, as it read MNU 1911.

Either that or it was just a coincidence. Nah, I’ll go with the former.
Mike D


We could not keep away from the camera for long so we made a Football365 Isolation Show. Watch it, subscribe and share until we get back in the studio/pub and produce something a little slicker…


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