No more mails about Liverpool fans. We declare a truce. Mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Time to cash in on De Gea?
This may be an unpopular opinion, but I don’t think De Gea leaving United would be the worst thing. In fact, I would welcome the move as long as United can sell him in January and not lose him on a free transfer.
De Gea’s abysmal form now stretches to over 18 months now. Sometimes players regress even at the age when they should be at their peak. I don’t know if that’s the case with him or maybe he has lost his mojo and motivation after being such a reliable keeper for years while all those around him floundered. Either way, it’s not working for him at United and its time to cut our losses rather than lose him on a free transfer or give him a highly lucrative contract but his form does not see an upturn.
It is not just Allison and Ederson that are outperforming De Gea at the moment but at least a few others in the PL alone. Also, while he is an excellent stopper (ideal for when United goal was being paraded with shots), he does not fit in with the more modern style of goalkeeping where goalkeepers are actually tasked with even initiating the attack. So if Ed can get some decent funds for De Gea and get a quality replacement in his place (again a big ask considering the mockery that is United’s transfer business), this may actually be a win-win for all concerned.
Trust your eyes: Pogba is a liability
Interesting letters from Garey Vance and Pey, Mexico using stats to decide how Pogba is performing.
I like to use an archaic system to decide if Pogba has been playing well for Utd – my eyes.
Anyone with half an idea about football can see that Pogba loses possession a lot, doesn’t track back much, doesn’t always put 100% effort in and has generally been pants since he signed for Utd. Using his team mates to blame him for his poor performances only stacks up so far, I mean they don’t decide that he doesn’t track back, he should take responsibility for his own effort and performance. He has all the tools to run any midfield, the fact he doesn’t is down to him.
Most fans will always forgive a poor performance if they can see 100% effort.
Jimmy (Don’t ignore Lindelof being out jumped for the goals against Palace and Saints) Spain
Bring in Ben Arfa
Reading the piece about Ben Arfa being released by Rennes, led me to think that he would be a great option for Man United.
Right wing attack has been pathetically weak at United for the last decade, with both Martial and Rashford not preferring/failing in that position. I have been a fan of Ben Arfa from his time at Newcastle, and there are seriously very few pure dribblers better than him on his day.
A short term deal for a free agent with very few downsides. What’s not to like?
Akshay (feel free to punch holes in the suggestion) MUFC
Time for Man Utd optimism
As a lot of people were happy to point out in recent Mailboxes that Manchester United are just another mid-table side now and that fans hoping for a top four finish were just deluded.
A lot has changed at United since the end of last season. Yes Woodward and his aura are still omnipresent but we have managed to remove a lot of unwanted deadwood players as well as restore some kind of semblance to our wage structure.
Now these were two things we were rightly ridiculed for, but this is something Ole seems to be working to rectify. These two things alone send a message to other players that they just can’t coast and keep pocketing a big fat check every weekend. Just because an ex-player was on ridiculous wages doesn’t mean anyone else is going to get crazy amounts of money. This goes a long way in fostering an improved locker room spirit and prevents the club from being held hostage by players.
For all the people who say our game play is crap, have you seen any of the matches except the Chelsea one? Our gameplay is a lot more improved than under Jose. Yes we struggle to break down compact teams, but these were games we dominated and its not as if we are not creating any chances. We are light in the midfield and forward departments and Ole will need time to find a solution to this but a tleast we are headed on the right path. No team can be fixed overnight or in one summer, Old Trafford needs major surgery to fix years of ineptitude.
To all the haters, if we had retained Sanchez or Smalling there would have been statements about how year after year United aren’t able to get rid of deadwood or trim their bloated payroll (I’m sure there would have been a F365 article saying exactly this had the moves not happened). If we had made another superstar signing like Dybala or Icardi, it would’ve been about how we are repeating the Sanchez mistake all over again. Its a case of damned if you do and damned if you don’t.
Chelsea, Spurs, Arsenal all have clear weaknesses and will drop more points than last year. I’m not convinced this is the year we see Wolves, Leicester or Everton break the top 4-5. this is hopefully where Ole can come in and guide us back to CL.
Don’t Man City need more homegrown players?
Had a flick through the Premier League squad list article (slow morning) and saw that Man City have 18 foreign players listed, one more than the limit of 17. Am I missing something? Surely they’re in breach of FA regulations.
(Ah, that is our fault; we did not have Angelino down as a homegrown player on that original list – Ed)
Of their five senior homegrown players, three are £50 million purchases (Sterling, Stones, Walker), one is Aleix García (who hasn’t played for Man City since 2015 when he made all of his four appearances for the club), and one is Scott Bloody Carson. Also, they only have one youth player of note in Phil Foden.
This is baffling, and hardly exemplary behaviour from the richest club in the world, whose academy famously hoovers up hundreds of the world’s young talent… and then does what with them exactly? Hardly La Masia is it..
City fans, without getting all mad tribal can you give me your thoughts on this? Don’t you want some yoof of your own coming through? Wouldn’t you like to see some died-in-the-wool Citizens playing for your club? Don’t you think a club with such a vaunted academy should be doing more?
I was sad to see Iwobi and Jenkinson go, but happy we have Maitland-Niles, Willock, Nelson etc coming through.
Alay, N15 Gooner
More credit for Lampard please
OK, I know the fawning defence of Lampard by most of the media is sickening, but is there any need for F365 to veer the other way completely?
Sarah’s article completely disregards the fact that at least 3 first team players are currently injured including Kante and Rudiger – two of most experienced players and arguably the two most important players in defence and midfield. Not to mention Hudson-Odoi and Loftus-Cheek who would more than likely be ahead of Mount and Barkley. Who wouldn’t struggle with those injuries?
Yes, Lampard has made mistakes, and yes, the defence is a severe worry but let’s wait until after the international break when both Kante and Rudiger will be back to judge him properly. 5 points from 4 games having played Man Utd away and Leicester (most people’s tip to kick us out of the top 6) is not terrible and if we had not conceded a late equaliser against the Blades then it would have a very different sense of how things are going.
How about we wait until 10 games in before deciding how much of a hard time he deserves.
Dear Mr Tyldesley…
Firstly, I am already aware of your non Brexit leanings based on previous mails. You not only delivered the mother lode by having Brexit and VAR in the same article, I also had to look at a smugly reclining Jacob Rees-Mogg, languishing on the Parliament benches like a slightly drunk 18 year old girl from Scunthorpe, who is being cajoled into taking her bra off by a Sun photographer in 1983, on a sunny day in August knowing she missed her shift at Wimpy tossing fries and was on her way to stardom….
I know you are annoyed about Brexit. Just as I am annoyed that the Brexit process has been hijacked by remainers who seem to think a 48% ‘majority’ is enough to hold up the process. Like any project (including VAR) it needs to be well organised, risks and opportunities need to be analysed in a thorough manner and most importantly of all both sides have to realise and compromise on the correct way forward. Scare stories and infighting jeopardising the project and technically fulfilling the prophecy that Brexit is going to be a failure hugely disappoints me. As does this constant analysis of VAR controversies. Yes the economy will need rebalancing and yes tariffs will be tricky for a while but it will work out and it’s actually the EU who are scared as they don’t want to lose our money and are determined to make sure we fail so that Italy and others don’t follow us out the door.
So yes VAR does have key characteristics of Brexit but do you know what, when VAR makes a decision you can’t argue with it because based on the laws of the game it’s the correct decision no matter whether Kane ‘looked for contact’, the City player didn’t even know he had handled the ball or Sterling’s left toe nail was 2 millimetres offside. The key point is to accept the outcome and move on. Get the idea…..
So please, let’s not discuss Brexit on this website. It is supposed to be a haven of idiocy and discussions about Pogba’s hair, whether Emery plays 4 or 5 at the back and how entitled are Liverpool fans really.
It all comes down to human emotions anyway, and football allows for the most emotions in any sport so let that continue. It’s the beautiful game for a reason no matter it’s flaws.
Hong Kong Ian (you think the UK is a sh!t show, come over here….) LFC
Ed’s Northern Premier League update
This weekend sees the Northern Premier League pause for a moment as the First Qualifying Round of the FA Cup takes place. Teams have played just a handful of their 42 league games, so there’s not enough evidence to make concrete statements, but a few observations can be made.
* Currently, the NPL’s leaders have 14 points, and the bottom club have just one. In between, every value (apart from 3 and 11) is present in the table. This gives the NPL a feel of a cycling peloton: everyone drawn out in a long line, no one able to escape off the front, but no one being left behind either. Extending the cycling metaphor, anyone wanting to pull clear of the pack will need to time their jump perfectly.
* Leading the way are Matlock Town, with Whitby Town just behind them. As the Yorkshire outfit have ended with 50 and 49 points in the past two seasons, and the Gladiators finished 15th both times, this has put a couple of cats among the pigeons. Another team who have been consistent in their finishes are Warrington; they finished third in 2017-18 and 2018-19, and currently occupy the same spot. In these troubled times it’s good to have some constants to cling to.
* Rounding out the playoff places are Hyde United and South Shields, with Basford United right behind them, hoping to prove Ed’s First Law of the NPL by going up within two seasons of being promoted into the division. This year’s hopefuls have made a quieter start: Morpeth Town are the highest in 13th, Atherton Collieries are 18th, and Jon Macken’s Radcliffe are currently bottom of the table.
* Ed Second Law of the NPL is currently showing a bit stronger: Ashton United are thus far winless in 20th, while FC United have just one victory.
* In the top scorers chart, Whitby’s Bradley Fewster currently leads the way with six goals, perhaps filling the void left by Junior Mondal, who signed for Forest Green Rovers in January; second place is Lancaster City’s 38-year-old midfielder David Norris, who has scored five times from normal play (the NPL website distinguishes penalty kicks and indicates Norris has not scored any, but offers no further context).
* The FA Cup offers some interesting ties for some NPL sides: FC United host Atherton in a Greater Manchester derby, Matlock and Basford square off, and Nantwich Town host Grantham Town.
* I can’t think of any other huge stories in non-league football media at the moment.