Manchester United are heading into a new post-Pogba, post-Woodward era

Date published: Thursday 2nd June 2022 7:31 - Editor F365

Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard have left Manchester United

The names leaving Manchester United are more interesting than the ones coming in right now. It’s time for massive change.

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Pog days are over
Thank Christ that’s over. What a waste of six years…

I’m sure there will be plenty of talk about the genuinely hilarious and mind-boggling incompetence of losing the same player on a free transfer (twice) – and chucking £100m at the same club that will probably sign him for free twice – as well as what he did and didn’t do when he could be bothered to get out on the pitch at the weekend, but I really don’t care about that today.

This could genuinely be a watershed moment for Manchester United. Everyone you’ve never heard of appears to be moving on from the football operation upstairs at Old Trafford. They’re being replaced by actual football people.

Maybe, just maybe, we are returning to the days of football decisions rather than offering players contracts they don’t deserve and haven’t earned so that they can be counted as assets on a Balance Sheet at the end of the year, or to lean on their Instagram followers to attract corporate sponsorship.

Fair or not, Pogba will be remembered as the face of a toxic, badly-led dressing room at the heart of one of the most dysfunctional eras in the history of the club.

With Pogba, Lingard, Mata, Cavani, and many more leaving at the end of their contracts, plus who knows how many more Erik ten Hag just doesn’t want around anymore, United are clearly headed into a new era.

Will it be any better than the last five years? Who knows. But it will certainly be different and fresh. And that’s all any United fan wants right now.
James (Never forget that Woodward & Co. actually backed this lad over Mourinho), MUFC


…Hi, I realise we are in silly season with all sorts of names being linked to join Man Utd, but can I suggest that more importance is given to who leaves. The same players have been cluttering up the squad for years now, they majorly contribute to the depression and air of failure around the club…farewell Pogba (now announced as gone), Matic, Martial, Mata, Perriera, Bailly, Lindelof, Jones, Lingard, Williams, Tuanzebe..thanks for not much.

UEFA, p***-up, brewery etc
Many years ago, back in the good old days, I travelled to Rome to see the all-conquering (ahem) Manchester United take on Barcelona in the 2009 final. While certainly not as high on the scale of f**kology witnessed this weekend, it got really chaotic as kick off approached.

I bought a ticket off a lad for a princely sum, but because I couldn’t confirm it was genuine, I said I would pay him as soon as we got through the ticket barrier. He was OK with this, which convinced me it was probably genuine.

I hadn’t really been drinking during the day as I was focused on securing a ticket and getting myself closer to the ground as I scoured around for one, just a couple of pints as I took in the whole spectacle from 1pm-ish on. I met this guy around 7 and commenced queuing with him straight away. I remember a bit of a scary crush at the last turnstiles and people getting very shirty with the stewards, who looked spooked. When I got up front, it was maybe 20-25 mins from kick off and the guy told me I had to go over to the complete other side of the stadium with my ticket. I lost the rag a bit, said I’d been directed this way, paid loads of money for the ticket and couldn’t miss kick-off, he shrugged his shoulders at me, and waved me through.

Me and this guy walked up these stairs, we were obviously clear and through, I paid him, and we parted ways. I got up the top of the stairs, there was no-one checking my ticket at any point, I walked into a spot that correlated to my ticket number, still not fully sure if ticket was genuine or if I should have been all the way over to the other side. There was empty seats all round, many of which remained unoccupied throughout the game. Shambolic to say the least.

The point is – this was all UEFA’s responsibility. People pay through the nose to be at these massive one-off games, whether through official channels or not. They have to plan for people trying to jib in. They have to have adequate numbers of experienced staff. They have to have equipment that works to make sure all runs smoothly. They need a good Plan B if it all goes to shit. They need to make sure people can get away from the ground safely too. None of that was in place on Saturday. We have the evidence for that. There is absolutely no evidence that backs up these ludicrous claims they’re making about counterfeit tickets numbering near 40,000. If you can’t see the disturbing parallels with Hillsborough here I don’t know what else to say to you. Still though, at least they had the good sense to organise Camila Cabello (sponsored by Pepsi) for the pre-match entertainment.
Pablo, MUFC, Dublin


…I think it’s pretty terrible of both Uefa and at least one person on this site to say the fault is with Liverpool fans.

Were there some trying their luck? I imagine there was but I also imagine they were a tiny minority.

I also find it strange that everyone is quick to say it’s Liverpool fans with no evidence when meanwhile there are videos on twitter of French fans recording themselves waltzing through turnstiles and giving security a kiss on the cheek before being allowed to carry on into the stadium, with no ticket. In another video a chap strolls right over the turnstile, waves to security who don’t bother checking his ticket and then beckons his 6 friends to do the same.

I haven’t seen any evidence of Liverpool fans yet but I have seen evidence of French people doing it. Sure it’s only two videos but it’s two more than I’ve seen from Liverpool fans.

A Liverpool supporter at Stade de France

Aren’t the cities that host these events supposed to be vetted by uefa first to ensure the correct infrastructure is in place before they’re awarded such big events? For me the fault lies with uefa and the stadium organisers and local police. No matter where the showpiece is there will be fans trying their luck, that’s a given. But authorities are supposed to take this into account when organising and that clearly didn’t happen.

On the two videos I saw “security” was an early twenties looking girl and a guy of similar age. It seems like perhaps the problem was people cutting corners on vital staff to further line their pockets.


Political motivation?
Is there another explanation for the French politicians’ reaction in blaming Liverpool fans for the issues before the UCL Final? This may well be an absolutely massive over simplification / ridiculous conspiracy theorising (but at this stage not much else makes sense…).

Maybe France’s politicians are determined not to blame the North African immigrant population for their alleged role in the disturbances, for fear of stirring up right wing / racist sentiment so soon after what was a close run thing in the most recent election? Maybe it’s just easier to blame the Brits and to control what is a potentially volatile situation domestically?

Probably complete nonsense, but I can’t think of anything else to explain what they are doing.
TC, London


Harry Kane predictions
I have a feeling, injuries permitting, Harry Kane will next season achieve the following:

Become Tottenham Hotspur all-time leading scorer. England’s all time leading scorer, and join or pass Rooney as second to Shearer in the PL goals column.

Having looked at his past few seasons, injuries put paid to two where he was well on course for 20+ – last season he started playing football in November, which remains frustrating as he scored 17 goals in the end.

25+ in the league next season plus another healthy CL campaign.

And Haaland will flop, relatively speaking. I can’t see the bloke scoring anything like the numbers he did at Dortmund simply due to the way City play. He’ll do okay but if the expectation is 25+ league goals I can’t see it.

So there.
Dan Mallerman


Get rid of play-offs
I have a simplistic solution for the problem of referees’ errors in playoff finals. Just get rid of the playoff system, and let the top three teams go up, like it used to be when I grew up. Over the course of a season, the top three teams have accumulated more points or goal differences than the rest. Of course, these three teams may have benefited from referees’ errors in a few matches, and these errors may not even out during the season. Still, the law of large numbers (if I remember correctly from my statistics course) makes it less likely for a particular team to repeatedly benefit from referees’ decisions (unless you are Ferguson’s United…Phil Neville admitted so himself).


Let’s talk about the price of beer
As a Huddersfield fan I’d been avoiding media but thought by now this email might have a chance of being published in and amongst all the Liverpool fans. Not about the standard of refereeing (appalling) but about the beer at Wembley stadium.

I’d been expecting to be ripped off, but hadn’t foreseen the sheer cheek that Wembley would do this to me.

At half time I literally watched (and filmed) as the caterers poured Budweiser from a can into a plastic pint. A warm can of lager, where I can buy 4 for £6 (it was pint cans and I’m being generous to London pricing), stuffed into a plastic cup and then being offered for sale at £6.85.

I’m from Yorkshire so expect the usual ‘tight northerner’ but this really really wound me up. And you know what? Nothing will change. Because we, as fans, put up with being treated like cash machines. The only way to stop this is to simply stop buying them. Two matches of wasted beer and they’d changed their pricing policy to match.

Any other thoughts on any other grounds? It seems par for the course that £5 is the price of beer, and whilst I balk at that, at least they don’t pretend to be serving a fresh pint concealed as canned. What would you be happy seeing as pricing?

Oh as to the football (couldn’t resist) I actually expected town to get relegated this season so where they ended up was a pleasant surprise. Going up would have been too early, we’re not ready as a squad and behind the scenes is a bit rocky too. As in 16 Conclusions I can’t see us losing many players, strengthen in defence a little and I think we’ll be there.
Sara, HTFC

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