Do Man United need new players or a new manager?

Date published: Monday 15th February 2021 7:34 - Editor F365

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Man United and their never-ending cycle
Ole’s United will never be bad enough for him to be sacked and we won’t be good enough to win trophies.

A never ending cycle of mediocrity.
Longsight Lad


Bring in Brendan
This may be a knee jerk reaction, after a draw to West Brom, but I think it’s going to be a marker. This Man U squad is capable of challenging Man City and Liverpool, easily. It comes down to coaching, and this Man U, and the talent they possess, aren’t being coached well. I propose, if Bredan Rodgers had this squad, he’d challenge Man City and Liverpool better than what Ole is doing at the moment. I propose that BR is a better manager than Ole. I think the talented players Ole has pull him out of embarrassing situations like today, but as a manager, Solskjaer is below average. Based on evidence and expectation so far, Brendan Rodgers should get the Man U job after this season.
Kadir(Liverpool are done), Kenya


Man United are so predictable
In the wee hours of Thursday night/Friday morning I sent an email in which I argued that Fernandes should have a partner to help take the slack off him or at least to create a risk when he’s swarmed on the ball. Instead Solskjaer played the midfield I thought he would, which was as predictable as Lindelof being at fault for a goal against us, and Fernandes laboured under the constant attention of half the WBA team as well as the pressure of being the only attacking outlet in the team. Hopefully people can start to appreciate that the problem is not Pogba, the problem is that one player does not make a team, and neither Pogba nor Fernandes, nor even Messi were he fool enough to join us, are enough to get us back to winning trophies.

Man Utd are terribly predictable and are easy to defend against. Once again our attack was hopelessly static, expecting someone (read: Fernandes) to magic something out of nothing – exemplified by Greenwood doing excellent work on the byline to beat some men, flash a cross across goal and no one being there to tap it in. Rashford was there kind of (he may as well have not been) but didn’t bother gambling on a cross coming in for an easy tap in. Fernandes looks knackered and frustrated but will no doubt be asked to shoulder the entire burden against Sociedad this week. To put this game into context, prior to it West Brom had not conceded fewer than 2 goals in 10 games, including against teams like Newcastle, Sheffield United and Fulham. To score 1 goal and create precious little else is pathetic for a team that pretends to want to win trophies.

Obviously it would help if we stopped giving goals away like they’re condoms in Freshers Week but clearly Solksjaer doesn’t give a flying flamingo about defending. Can we agree, if we’re not going to get rid of Solksjaer and I still think we ought to, can we at least bring in a defensive coach to teach Lindelof and Maguire how to defend?
Daniel Cambridge


What Man United need now
I’m not too worried about more points dropped for utd, it’s just telling us what we already knew in that we are not the finished article. Unfortunately, I think we’re further away than I thought we were.

Klopp knew he had big problems that needed expensive fixes a few years ago when he bought in Alisson and VVD. I think Utd are in a tougher spot. Klopp knew the defence he had was weak and the keeper had just thrown the Champions League in the back of his own net – his attack was already the most feared in Europe. For Utd, it’s obvious to see we’re short as even with 70 percent possession we concede as many big chances as we manage to create. But no one area is obviously weak that can be markedly improved with one big signing. All areas are good but none are great. The full backs are good, central defence definitely needs improving but how do you upgrade the most expensive defender ever? In goal, De Gea is a great keeper with some faults. We can’t do anything there, it’s just a question of whether Henderson can take the gloves off Dave.

In midfield we have Fernandes and McTominay stand out players, Pogba probably on his way and the rest making up the numbers and good rather than great – jury is out on Donny, he could be the wrong type of player or he could be a class act that needs to be in the right system, we might never find out given the lack of opportunities. In attack we have Cavani definitely not one for the future and the rest of the strikers all slightly different versions of the same thing, no variation but they’re all good and also young.

It seems to me a club with big enough balls would break the bank for two central defenders and Haaland.

While I think Haaland might be a possibility, I can’t see utd admitting the Lindelof / Maguire experiment has ultimately been a very expensive failure. We’ll probably chase Sancho again who for me is too similar to attackers we already have and will make no difference, he’s also going to cost a fortune despite having had a poor season. Rather than chase Sancho we should sell Martial but we won’t. Why am I even talking about selling though, it would be great to sell all our surplus-to-requirements central defenders but we’ll rather tie them down to long high wage contracts to make them unaffordable to any other club even if they wanted them.

With Utd very unlikely to grow a pair in the transfer market we’ll rather have to hope there’s a potential VVD clone or two coming through the youth ranks while we chase a galactico or two to keep the clicks up.
Jon, Cape Town


Conclusions from the Hawthorns
– Football is a game of few chances, and as such those that do come about are crucial. That’s why VAR should be so important and useful in letting matches be ruled fairly. But I have no idea anymore. Comparing Maguire’s ruled out goal against Burnley to the quick face grab of the Baggies’ opener, and then thinking that professional refs watched each and went the way they did – I just don’t know. People accusing Lindelof of being weak, but he’s probably a stone lighter, shorter, was in the right position and was pulled back by his face. It’s difficult to head the ball from behind the opponent’s glove.

– It is easy to be bored of discussing referees and to be honest we shouldn’t be because of what we’ve just seen happen to Dean. But Craig Pawson was using an entirely different lens to view the actions of Diagne and the United players. If you’re going to let them play, great, it’ll be physical. But you can’t only do that for the underdogs. If you let Diagne play hard, you have to let Maguire do so too.

– Anyone who accuses foreign managers of bringing the dark arts to these shores needs to watch today’s match. I believe no less than five WBA players had play stopped for ‘injuries’ in the second half, of which 0 required any further sideline treatment, but 5 successfully wasted more than a minute each. Lots of screams too. Pawson blew up full time while the clock stood at 95:01. Job done.

– All of that moaning aside, of course De Gea should just come claim the first goal’s cross. He is a huge liability, and at present his cons outweigh his shot-stopping.

– Small positive for United: Greenwood was consistently excellent when he came on, Rashford was much better on the left. It’s almost like fielding Martial every week for a whole season isn’t working.

– I guess you’d say WBA were good defensively, but really they didn’t have to be. Other than Manchester City, no team this year has really worked out how to beat 10 man defences. United have up til this point actually been better than most. But it’s not easy.

– These players need a break. The quality of football across the league – City apart – has fallen off a cliff since Christmas. Games are sloppy, slow, meandering and dull. Who could have predicted that, aside from everyone.
Ryan, Bermuda


Fluke or dynasty?
And then all of a sudden Man City are 10* points ahead.

And Liverpool potentially in 8th place, should Chelsea, WH, Everton and AV all win their games in hand.

Shame though, this season was really looking so very interesting when the top spot was a hot potato.
Stijn (Ajax odds on for champs) Amsterdam


Mane, Mane, Mane
Can someone please explain to me how Mané never receives anything like the same level of criticism for poor form that Salah (or even Firmino) receive? It’s quite astounding just how poor Mané’s form is. He gets a goal every now and again, but the number of times he loses it with either poor control, poor passing or by running into opponents is quite infuriating. Salah is guilty of the same on occasion but when he is he’s crucified in the press and by the peanut gallery on social media. Mané is undoubtedly a talented player but in current form he is playing at League 1 level. It’s shocking, yet he is never mentioned in post match analysis individually, he’s just lumped in with the ‘front three’ being out of form even if Mo and Bobby actually contributed something during the game.

Really missing Jota at the moment.

Also, the less said about TAA the better. Biggest Klopp mistake? Not having adequate right-back coverage or coaching Arnold to be a better defender.

We’ll be back in the title picture next year, I only hope we’ll be challenging in the CL too.
Adam, Charleston


Refereeing is biggest issue
The list of errors by the officials in the Leicester/Liverpool game has already been laid out by others. Thiago’s feet were on the floor when he committed that foul, the offside lines were drawn at the very tips of the toes of the defender, but halfway through the knee of the forward and the rest. The one that struck me most was the one push in the back of Mane, mentioned by Minty, LFC. This was so blatant I could hardly believe I was seeing it, but thanks to the glory of the BT app, I scrolled back and took snapshots of the foul. Looking at these, what strikes me most is that Anthony Taylor is only a few meters away, looking straight at the foul, the assistant referee is on the opposite side of the pitch, but directly in line. This foul took gave Leicester possession and Liverpool didn’t regain possession until 10 seconds later when the ball was in the back of the net. It was a direct cause of the goal, but no review was asked for.

I would say that the number of officiating mistakes in Liverpool games recently has been concerning, but more concerning is that they no longer look like mistakes, they look like bad faith.
Barry, Chippenham


Why is it all about Liverpool?
I have tried to be objective in this message, but it’s difficult.

Liverpool have lost confidence, such an important factor in any sport. Salah is the only player still doing well.

Every thing seems to be concentrating on Liverpool even when they are not playing.

Tonight five live couldn’t wait for Everton to overtake them. Three times in the first 45 mins in a game Liverpool were not playing the commentator glibly stated that Everton would be level on points with Liverpool with a win, and how that meant Everton were having a brilliant season. Not to mention the repeated “ they have still got two games in hand” as I type Everton are 0-2 down to Fulham, commentator has gone quiet.

It’s painful being a Liverpool supporter now. But that’s the problem with being champions, everyone wants to shoot you down.

Wait for Monday with the West Ham game and I guarantee you radio / tv commentators will mention Liverpool and being above them.

It’s almost like there’s an achievement in being better then a team massively under performing.

And don’t get me started on the “ Man City are the best team ever TM that’s being spouted out”. No digs at city ( that have been brilliant ) but it’s dull.

No one likes the champions, it’s just always the way. I’m proud of my team.
Ade ( no trophies but let’s go again ) Guildford


Oh Everton
Of course after a mailboxer uses a supercomputer to show Everton are the best top flight team ever, and Jacque Talbot writes an article about a revolution about to spark, that we lose two-nil at home to Fulham for the first time ever in the league…

Top stuff, Blues
Matt, EFC, London

Fulham though…

Go on the Fulham! City might have the title, the bottom 3 are likely gone but great to see fight. Scott Parker deserves it. Abs we deserve another Streets remix to save 2021!


Upset? Never upset
JP from Nashville asked if I was upset or offended by being called Mickey, not at all, as a Chelsea fan I have been called so much worse things, I guess the ultimate insult right now would be if I was called VAR.

Hopefully I like to believe we are all friends here in the Mailbox, I have known the F365 website and community for a decade now, made some good friends with the writers and fantastic journalists, mailboxers too, which then when I think about the past brings nostalgia, from the days of the past the likes of reading articles from Daniel Storey, Phil Hornsey, Adam Fraser and Neil Rowlands, Portrait of an Icon, A Forensic Analysis of…. and all their Top 10/20s etc, so I guess that now makes me ask what is your favourite part about Football 365 and what classic features should they consider reviving?
Mikey, CFC

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