Where are we on the Manchester United optimism scale? Does Ronaldo help or hinder?

Date published: Wednesday 6th July 2022 9:56 - Editor F365

Manchester United fans in happier times

The Mailbox is dominated by Manchester United again. You can send views on other things, you know.

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Has all Manchester United optimism now drained away?
I recall last week a Man Utd fan mailing in predicting Man Utd would finish 2nd or 3rd and would likely finish next season ahead of Liverpool (can’t recall who it was). Whilst optimism of what the season will bring is always at its highest (remember Ronaldo, Sancho and Varane were going to equal a title challenge) just before the season starts, is all the optimism now being sucked out of Manchester Utd?

Ronaldo saying he want’s to leave isn’t the end of the world. Whilst he personally had a decent season, those around him suffered, for whatever reason. The issue is the late stage he has dropped this on them. Ultimately, he is under contract, so Utd could make him stay. Probably isn’t the best idea to bother though. Problem is, now Man Utd need to plug another hole in the squad and sign a top class centre forward, on top of all the other requirements that they haven’t signed yet. So far they have not signed anyone where they needed to. The nearest completed deals are for a left back that wasn’t a priority, and a ‘verbal’ agreement with Christian Eriksen, who may want to speak to Daniel Levy about getting out of it. Whilst a very good player, he is going to be squad depth and ultimately back up to Bruno. Almost seems as if things haven’t got the slightest bit better since Ed Woodward left? But the slow progress on transfers etc was all his fault though wasn’t it?

Add in players that they chase all summer rather take a pay cut at their current club than go there, and it all amounts to a frustrating summer for fans. Seems there is little progress currently.

Eric Ten Hag must wonder what he has let himself in for. Whilst at Ajax, it is their model to lose their best players, they are at least well run and have plans in place and get replacements ready very efficiently. The polar opposite of what’s happening at Man Utd.

Talking of the manager, whilst Ajax were a very good side and played good football. It’s easier to do so when your team is better than 99% of the rest of the league. If the rumours coming out of his training about Utd players not being allowed to make sideways or backwards passes are true, then they will get shredded by at least half the teams in the League. These tactics are no better than what Ole tried to do. It could go very badly for Eric before it gets better.

Will be interesting start to the season for Man Utd. Not sure that will be a good thing for their fans, but it could well be for fans of rival clubs already laughing at them.
Kevin Lowden


This guy has enough optimism for everybody
Yeah! We’re concentrating on TOTALLY the wrong player there. Who would NOT wanna come to United? Barcelona don’t want ya mate.

Ok…We didn’t have a particularly good season, points wise, at the end of the season. But, we actually played extremely well, in a lot of the games, and our points tally, was better than some, that have finished 6th, in previous years. But, because it’s Man Utd, they’re making a big thing out of it.

Like Erik Ten Hag has already stated, that more or less, this team, finished 2nd, in the Premier League, the season before. So he’s looking forward, to working with the team, to bring out, the best, in them.

Tottenham were pretty awful, for a lot of last season, and Arsenal were even worse, to begin with. But just somehow, both finished above us.
We’re all moaning about our transfers, not coming through, thick and fast. But Ronaldo shouldn’t be moaning about it, he should be, just getting on with the season. And especially turning up, for fuc#in training.

And ok…He’d rather be, in the Champions League, but who wouldn’t. But, he’s never won the Europa League, and that’s another very nice trophy, to his collection. And if we win that, we’ll be, in the Champions League next season too.

If he does, end up going, it should ONLY BE, to a foreign team. Not any Premier League team. Especially not Chelsea. But, we shouldn’t actually LET HIM GO. He signed a 2 year contract. And contracts are binding. Or, at least should be. So, that he can’t be competing with United, for the title.

Forget De Jong though. Total waste of our time. Wants to stay at Barcelona, and we don’t want, nor have ever had, players transfered to us, that feel like that. Concentrate on someone else.

Paulo Dybala, for example.

Excellent player…And he’s a free transfer.

Just pick the right players, for a hopefully good transfer window, and with Christian Eriksen, already in the team, for next year…we could be in, for a good one.
Steve Eaton


Neutrals want him to stay
Please stay. Please!

Full disclosure. I’m a member of the ABU brigade. I watched with glee last year when you re-joined the club and a perfect storm of 3 things happened :-

1. United bought you only to stop city doing so. As if to try and show your sinking ship could still fire a cannon or 2 before it sank!
2. The rest of the footballing world could see the clear mistake the club were making
3. United fans started dancing! My inbox is still full of the “we’re now gonna win the league” messages from my manure mates!!!

It was truly beautiful.

Please stay. Now you can continue to be a noose around the neck of the next messiah manager at the helm of Man U (and the 3 following ones, before you retire).

Please! Watching you sulk every week and shout at your less talented team mates is something I’m looking forward to this season.
Please stay.
Paul, Coventry


An option to replace him?
Let’s be honest ETH cannot keep Ronaldo, he has crossed the line and the damage to the squad moral and ETH’s philosophy will be undermined if Ronaldo is in the squad come the start of the season.

We can argue how successful his return was and for whom it was more successful for Ronaldo or United but I think there is a player in the Premier League who could be the perfect fit and could be reasonably priced.

I give you Neil Maupay of Brighton. Plays up top on his own mostly, very mobile, good on the press, technically a good player, huge work rate and a decent finisher. Reminds me of Tevez and I could see Sancho/Rashford and Bruno/Ericksen and Maupay all working very well together.

United need to avoid aging stars and try find a player for the system. Maupay goes under the radar and I think he could make the step up to a top 6 team. Dare I say it he could be similar to Jota at Liverpool.
Paul (MUFC) Dublin


Maybe Ronaldo does have family reasons?
Ronaldo wanting to leave United is click tastic in the click void that is Wimbledon but I’m inclined to believe his family reasons comment. One of his babies died last year. Who knows what he and his family are going through.

Maybe life is too short and you can only spend so much money and they want to be closer to family and not in Manchester.

Maybe wanting champions league football is all a mask. I’m sure he’ll get it mind but perhaps there is a bit more to this than him not fancying running about a bit for 10 Hag.
Alex, South London


Transfer window syndrome
A few thoughts on the transfer season so far:

After all the palaver over how great Frankie Lampard is with the kids, the first ‘major’ transfer Everton get over the line is to bring in 200 year old Tarkowski (okay 29 but imagine he doesn’t bring the average age of the team down much.) With all that previous wheeling and dealing, he is in tough with as many free transfers, even while they do sell their better, younger, players.

Have to laugh that when Poch finally becomes available, United have ten Hag, who is working on creating Ajax Mark II. Although, with Poch sitting around, it’s going to make a few managers nervous. Wonder if the odds will be shortened on a few with Hassenhutl, Marsch and Lampard the top three in order. What surprises me is that ten Hag is third from bottom, with only Klopp and Pep ahead. Seriously? Conte, Frank, Moyes, Potter are all safer!

On the issue of odds, what are the odds the EPL will not agree to a voluntary phasing out of betting company logos on shirts? It seems most of the mid table and lower clubs vote selfishly – see the playing during Covid, not completing the season and not having 5 subs issues. Like addicts to betting sponsor funds, they will have serious withdrawal symptoms if they do. Long overdue as way too much exposure to betting these days and we don’t need the EPL to convert more kids.

We are already seeing articles trying to determine who is ‘winning’ the transfer window, with Spurs and City seemingly in the lead. I had to double check the dates to be sure, but yes, we have almost two more months to go! Mind you, Spurs fans must be apoplectic right now with Conte staying and Levy going into overdrive in an attempt to recoup his transfer chops.

Unfortunately for many team’s fans, it creates almost three months of anxiety in what should be a time of optimism, before it possibly goes all t*ts up early in the season. We have enough to worry about today without TWS (transfer window syndrome) setting in.

After what feels like the longest season we now have to endure even more bile from the red tops and most ‘pundits’ all trying to outdo each other saying why player X (who they may ever have heard of before) will succeed or fail. Just as last season they forecast United challenging for the title (and Liverpool not making the top four), simply because they had ‘won’ HIS signing over City. How laughable at the time and completely derisable now HE wants away. Ten Hag must have been praying super hard for that one or had a ‘quiet’ word in HIS ear. Either way, if HE goes, United will have a better chance of challenging for a Europa spot than before.

United having ‘won’ the transfer window against City last year, must be some gnashing of teeth as they see City fill two key holes with Haaland and Phillips. Ouch! Players who wouldn’t give this current United a glance.

Finally, will moving the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations to the winter of 2024 after moving it to the summer, impact transfer targets who may now be missing EPL (all European league) games again? Almost impossible for a consistent date for AFCON as the continent is so vast, the weather is so varied from almost impossible heat to rainy seasons, which if you haven’t lived there can be all day long for weeks on end (and then nothing the rest of the year.)
Paul McDevitt


Brazil nuts
The recent transfers of Richarlison and Jesus to Spurs and Arsenal respectively garnered way too much hype. I don’t see the big deal for players who are effectively poor man’s Dirk Kuyts.

Having said that, Richarlison will be more useful of the two Brazilians thanks only to Conte, while Jesus will miss out on the World Cup squad thanks to Arteta (poor man’s Pep).

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