Get ready for the Man Utd ‘dip’ under ‘Ole the overachiever’

Date published: Tuesday 1st June 2021 3:44 - Editor F365

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Man Utd

Keep those mails coming to


Ole the overachiever
A while ago I sent an email which talked about how Ole is actually over achieving at United and should get a little more credit.

This analysis was solely on the presumption that I don’t really rate most of United’s squad. Even their good players are very inconsistent and seem to only turn up against lesser opposition in non critical games to score penalties.

Harsh? Maybe but it’s also pretty arguable as well.

I still hold the opinion that Ole has over achieved at United but I will add the caveat that it’s not entirely down to him. Aside from city nobody has looked at all like a top 4 team this season with Liverpool exploding (in the treatment room), spurs…well being spurs. And Chelsea taking too long to correct an appointment that should never have been made in the first place.

Side note* I did also say that lampard was a convenience appointment to shield the club from criticism while they were transfer banned and the minute a good manager became free he would be sacked.

So ole has been the second best team in a season when everyone was doing their best to plummet the hardest. He’s also done so largely with a good away record and pretty shitty home record. This is probably going to change when crowds are back and some of those away wins will turn into draws.

I may end up being wrong but I think united are likely to suffer a dip in league position next year and the people saying ole has done well this year will start to realise he just didn’t do as badly as everyone else.


I will never understand F365 view on TAA. You keep mentioning his performances for England being a reason he’s not in the squad. Kyle Walker has been literal dog shit since the 2018 WC. Have a look at how he has performed for England. The argument that Walker and Trippier have earned their spots back and Trent should do the same is just not true. Neither of them have played well for England in the last 10 games. It’s mental but it genuinely seems that the other 3 are favoured simply because their clubs have performed better this season.  I’d have loved to see how Walker, James or Trippier would have performed alongside Championship level CBs this season. I imagine they wouldnt have won as many trophies. On that note, surely Leicesters Thomas gets in ahead of Shaw? I mean he won the FA Cup. Walker has been in and out of the City side this season and was lambasted by many for his brutal form at the start of the season. This has just been forgotten about while Trents earlier season form is used as a stick to beat against him.

This idea that you have that we should understand Southgates decision not bringing him is ridiculous. If he didn’t bring Foden people would have their pitchforks out. Refusing to use Trent is a sign that he’s too scared to play this attractive style of football that this brilliant young squad offers him. Trent is more than just a crosser. He’s amazing at keeping possession and finding the right spaces. Trent would get into any other top side in the world and that’s because they’re brave enough to promote a positive brand of football. I would not be shocked to see Trippier at LB and Walker at RB with Phillips Henderson and Rice deep in midfield. I love Foden but I imagine there won’t be the same reaction from F365 should he not start or play as you have with Trent. There will be this idea that he’s England’s golden boy and that it’s impossible not to play him while you’ll convienently forget he left out England’s actual best and most accomplished young player in Trent. I’m not fickle enough to change my opinions on players based on form. 12 months ago Trent would have been England’s starting RB no questions asked. Now he’s had to play beside bang average CBs and he’s suddenly the 4th best out of them. It’s going to sicken me when Trent performs brilliantly next year and people will credit Southgate for it. Just like F365 have suggested the same when Walker and Trippier “earned” back their England places after being dropped when in reality they’ve done nothing good for England since the WC.
Dion Byrne, Arsenal.


England squad announcement
For anyone thinking the naming of the England Squad is a long drawn out affair of little consequence, other than to those who are being left out.

Brace yourself for EURO 2021, after 36 games we will be losing a total of 8 teams.    Mostly teams who you would never have made the original list had it not been expanded, even though they may well be a big name casualty make the headlines, it’s unlikely to be widely worried about.
Nick (Straight to Knockout) J


Saka: Underrated??
I write this at 1.13pm with the caveat that there is still over three hours until England’s squad is announced, but the news on Sunday night was that Bukayo Saka will be missing out on selection.

Yes I completely agree with the outcry on TAA being the front runner to be dropped out of England’s 47 right backs, but where is the similar reaction to the news on Saka. Is my opinion of him too high or is he simply undervalued by the English fans and media alike?

This is a teenager who, along with ESR, was the only consistent player in Arsenal’s famously bad season and for all intents and purposes carried the team on his back playing a variety of positions more than competently. Why would Southgate not want such a multi talented played in his squad?

Furthermore, he has shown numerous times this season, the ability to lead by example and take a match by the scruff of its neck and just dominate. Not a bad option to have when we are inevitably 1-0 down in the quarter final and begging for a goal. The fact that Lingard  could potentially play a half decent season and usurp Arsenal’s wonder boy is just madness. On that basis Joe Willock should be on the plane.

Then again, as an Arsenal fan, maybe It’s to our benefit he gets the summer off and is protected from the eventual backlash the English media will dish out on the players after another disappointing exit in the knockouts.
Ash (London)

Bukayo Saka Arsenal

This is my first – storylines within that CL final
To fit in here, I’ll begin calling out opinions from fellow mailboxers in due course.

For now, as a Man Utd supporter with little less than hate for both Chelsea and City, I want to express how my love for football’s propensity to throw out some dastardly but romantic-as-hell storylines made me love that game anyhow.

The City of Manchester – what could have been, turned on its head within a week.
Manchester was set to be the home of 2 European champions this week. The mighty Man Utd taking on relative minnows in Villarreal – a club that hadn’t won a trophy in its history despite all its lore. Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City in the year that he finally resisted the urge to tinker with his tactics in the champions league – falling short. What could have been…

Pep Guardiola – best coach in the world,
Back from a champions league finals hiatus of 10 years, Finally resisted the temptation to overthink and meddle with his tactics, beaten by a team with a serious chunk in their armour. You can’t script that.

Thomas Tuchel – champions league finalist a year ago, champions league finalist a year later. After losing an unexpected FA cup final, qualifying for the champions league DESPITE losing very winnable games, coming through on 2 of 3 fronts and strongly so. He deserves it.

Sergio Kun Agüero – can’t see the stars after a prolific career, ending as the highest goal scorer for any one team in the champions league, in his first ever champions league final. It wasn’t meant to be – maybe we see him and Leo relive their heydays next year.

Thiago Silva – reignites his partnership with Tuchel as master marauder after the disappointment of last years CL final with PSG. Braves his way though 38 minutes before relinquishing control to Christensen. He deserves it.

Man City – hate them and what they stand for but most can agree they’ve been by far the best team in Europe all season. Football has a tendency to break several hearts at once. What an unjust beast.

Chelsea – easy to say they bought their way to this win after spending the most last summer. Truth is that Tuchel put a young and underperforming team to the task and got the best of them. Well done for CL No. 2!
Jai (FC Barcelona, Manu Utd, any underdog, in that order)


Ole compared to Klopp
It’s something many coaches talk about, Jurgen Klopp who apparently should not be compared to Ole because he came with an unmatched record as compared to Ole’s useless record of winning a club their first league title in their more than 100 year history in an unknown league and subsequently defending it spoke of it during his early days, please, f365, for those fans who don’t understand why Ole is being compared to Klopp, do us a favor and dig up some of those old mails and see just how similar they are but I do agree that Klopp came with a record that proved that eventually he would succeed, I am not sure Ole has that, but Dortmund did not appoint Klopp with that record in his CV, did they? The great Bayern Munich, tyrant rulers of the bundesliga did not appoint Kovac with such a record, did they? Or even the current manager Nagelsmann?

Arsenal – dominant force in England did not appoint legendary former manager Arsene Wenger with such a record, did they? What about the very interesting story of how Barcelona made the decision to appoint B-team manager PG, at the time, the other candidate for the job, Jose Mourinho told Johan Cryuff that he will regret his decision. Some of these managers succeeded, some like Kovac, were deemed a failure, some took time to succeed like Wenger and Klopp, for others, success was almost immediate.

There are many other stories like these and of course, all coaches are first appointed without such a track record, but I have limited my examples to the big teams, Lampard, Arteta, Valverde, Tuchel at Dortmund and PSG are other examples of teams deciding to appoint coaches without this ‘track record’ many speak of. They all have a common theme, the manager has to prove himself because he doesn’t have the track record of success or winning to match the clubs standard, some of these managers proved successful, other’s failed, some where just not given time but we have to ask why? Why take the gamble in the first place, a big club should always have a manager with the necessary record willing to coach them right, well..

“It’s nice to see when the quality of a manager is more important than the experience you have.
– Jurgen Klopp

An interesting statement about Ole after their 6-2 thrashing of Roma about the pundits comments at halftime which ultimately proved premature, even more interesting is this is an extract from F365. It doesn’t matter, someone somewhere believes Ole has the necessary quality, those comparing Ole with Klopp do not dare compare their experience, they only compare what their teams have done as a result of their quality, it may prove worthless, but as of today, it is a fair comparison and as of myself, seeing Ole’s style of play, the first time he came in before injuries to key players like Rashford, I thought, this is a manager very similar to Klopp, he wants to press and is very good at organising pressing tactics, he wants to counter press, and he wants to counter immediately after the ball is regained, he has adapted due to personnel, but their style is still similar to me, if you don’t agree, check out the 3-2 and 2-4 games at old trafford again.

But the argument does not become complete if I don’t reply to Dubai Red’s mail, Chelsea refused to give Lampard time, Lampard was also another manager who spoke of a process/project, but that was at the wrong team, it’s like a Real Madrid manager doing so, we all know how that’s gonna turn out, but Chelsea had a transfer ban and people really thought Abramovich brought Lampard in because he wanted to take on a project! Nonsense.

The fact he spent so much in the market, buying everyone Lampard ever spoke about and almost buying Rice had United agreed to pay the 60mil he asked for Kante spoke volumes, yet, people turned a blind eye to this, your answer to why Ole remains the man for united even if Tuchel has done so well at chelsea lies in the difference between your owners, Chelsea’s owner buys all the players the manager asks for and then tells him, I have given you what you asked for, Now win or take the door, United meanwhile huff and puff and eventually buy makeshifts, fourth choice targets and low-priced youth players and tell the manager, win the league for we have tried our best. As a result, Moyes, Van Gaal all ended up complaining about not getting their targets, a lack of patience from the club killed them, Mourinho complained while he was still in office, it is not something someone who has worked with Mr. Abramovich will be used to, a lack of patience from himself, killed him.

For Ole, even after the club did to him worse than they did to Jose in the last transfer window and luckily getting a hidden gem in Cavani, who had been free all window but was not taken until the final day when they became desperate, he rolled up his sleeves, said to himself, if we don’t get Sancho in this window, we will get him in the next, and worked with what he had, it is also why he has publicly stated that he needs transfers, even stating the number he needs so that everyone will bear witness, Dubai Red, a chelsea coach knows he does not need to say that. There are also other reasons like the fact that at clubs like Utd and Barca, success must have youth involvement or the fans will never leave you alone, at Real and Chelsea, the don’t care if all their squad is made up of one family, as long as they can win stuff. There are also many other reasons for why Ole and Lampard’s situation where different but they will lengthen my mail so I am sure you get the idea anyway.
Sa’ad (Surprised to see someone else with my name in the comments section, anyway, I am not him) 


Uncapped XI…
Steve Bruce, Lee Clark, Carlo Cudicini, Paulo Di Canio, Mikel Arteta…. The classics of the ‘uncapped players’ lists of old. Sure, Steve Bruce deserved a few caps and it’s a shame he never got them. It would have been great to see Di Canio at a big tournament because he would have done…. something. It might not have been good but it would have been entertaining. With greater fluency now around the national team you can appear for, we are seeing less cases of the great uncapped player, Laporte being a great example. France have great strength in depth at centre half but it’s bonkers that he never got a look in. He surely will get a decent few caps for Spain.

Looking at some of the other players on your list, Fofana is 19 and, based on his ability this season, should have a good international career with France. He may just need to be patient for a year or two. As a Newcastle fan, Saint-Maximin is a superstar but his brand of pure, joyful chaos on the pitch is never going to get a look in when there is more reliable genius available. Ireland have been fluttering their eyelashes at Bamford for years but I don’t think that would work out for either party. He’d be doing it for the sake of it and probably wouldn’t get to a tournament anyway (before anyone starts, I am Irish).

So here is my thinking. Each tournament has a team made up of the uncapped. Basically a World XI. Players who want to be in the mix for World XI cannot switch their allegiance once they have played a competitive game, same rules apply. And they would have to qualify (they could tour the various confederations, like the Harlem Globetrotters but competitive) Need to figure out something for superstars from small nations, the future George Weahs. Players who want to play for their nation but know they will never get to a World Cup. Maybe a second team made up of players who didn’t qualify? That might be going too far. The more I type, the more this is starting to sound like a SuperLeague-esque idea to ensure that the games biggest players are always at the big tournaments. But I think it’s workable, maybe you can ‘transfer’ to World XI for one tournament but then you go back to your national team.
Kev (Weah deserved to be at a World Cup, that’s all I’m really saying)


A right Conte
Pazza Dom, can’t disagree with that mail. Good to hear the Inter side of things.

And Ebrahim, I wasn’t trolling, just thought they were clubs that need a change in approach and potentially could find the money for an expensive manager and new players. I like Solskjaer, just think he’s weak tactically – he’s only got a plan A – counterattacking. And when it comes down to it that isn’t enough to win the league or the Champions.

I’m not comparing any of these clubs with the farce that is Newcastle.
Charles (Anyone know any other managers that might be a good fit for these or other teams)


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