Marcus Rashford helping feed hungry children is best trophy

Editor F365
Ralf Rangnick instructs Marcus Rashford

Marcus Rashford being criticised by Manchester United fans for his ‘charity work’ is ludicrous. Send mails on this and more to


Rantfords aplenty here
Okay, so the United fans ignored my hopeful request that they would give it a bit of time before smearing sh*t on the walls in protest. Seeing as that optimistic ask went so very, very well, I would like to suggest that they let the Rashford charity stuff go for a while? Maybe it did affect his form. Maybe it didn’t. A dozen people pondering that same question every f**king week feels a bit unnecessary, particularly when you consider that all but one of their entire squad has been absolutely f**king hopeless.

With regard to Brian’s email this morning, who at least brings a new angle to the ‘honestly, I’m not complaining’ complaints about charity work. Apparently it’s better to do these things anonymously, lest the publicity upset the United fans. Sorry, I mean affect his form. Yes, the lack of publicity would have meant a huge reduction in the funds raised, and yes it would have quite possibly allowed the government to continue with their despicable plans to take food away from hungry children, but won’t somebody think of Manchester United?

When Rashford looks back on his career, I suspect helping to ensure that thousands of children did not go hungry will probably outweigh how he feels about his football achievements. It’s rather sad that the fans of his club don’t feel the same way. “But this is his job, we pay his wages, blah blah blah”. The highest profile player at my club doesn’t utter a single f**king word on major issues unless absolutely necessary. Rashford took on the government and won. And he may well be playing utterly terrible football, but as mentioned earlier, that’s hardly a unique thing there these days. Yet nobody seems to say a word about the others being affected by off pitch issues.

On the red side of the city, they are digging out Rashford while hero-worshipping a man who can not and will not never join your USA tours for the reason YOU ALL KNOW. On the blue side they celebrate being owned by a human rights disaster on the grounds that they’ve done some lovely stuff in the local area. It’s like honouring Peter Sutcliffe because he had a nice windowbox. Don’t worry about all of the dead people, check out this community centre.

Another day, another rancid opinion. Where’s the f**king line?


…I am going to defend Marcus Rashford against the plonker that is Brian, Wexford. Marcus didn’t just throw some money at a cause. He used his fame and his public presence to calmly and not politically had Boris Johnson and his team of cruel Tories in between handing his school mates and donors hundreds of millions of taxpayer’s money and tax breaks and made sure that some children that could not be fed, would be fed. Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson whipped his Tories so that they would vote against feeding hungry children. And they did. With very few exceptions. You get to choose who you want as your MP.

Marcus had found a way to coolly, calmly and without politicising it, present his own experiences to bring enough of the public on board with this idea that in Great Britain, a land of wealth and post-Brexit opportunity, that our children need not be hungry. He learned sign language. He didn’t just chuck some money at it behind the scenes. When the Tories voted to leave the children hungry, he brought the people around, and the people put enough pressure on Boris Johnson that he did something that he has seemingly forgotten how to do, he made a decision, he U-turned, threw his cruel Tories under the bus, and found enough of our money to ensure that children could have a little bit of food.

Now Brian, Wexford, as you are based in Ireland you probably don’t care whether British children are hungry. You probably think that its much more important that Marcus is kicking a ball around well. Well, no one in Man Utd is doing their job well. Not the manager, not the footballers. But Marcus getting the Prime Minister of the UK to spend a bit of taxpayer money to feed children is probably the single greatest thing that a British footballer has done. Its certainly a better use of his time as he recovers from back surgery than say playing FIFA, Call of Duty or SHITTING IN OTHER PEOPLES SHOES!
Alex, South London


…Can someone help me out here? Why are so many people stating that Marcus Rashford’s charity work is affecting his form as if it’s a fact rather than a very weird connection to make? It’s common knowledge that many PL footballers do a lot of charity work, sponsorship stuff, modelling, partying etc. It’s not exactly a 9 to 5 job. Why would Rashford’s work in particular lead to a loss in form just because it raised his profile significantly? The man is not in the warehouses coordinating the distribution of food or giving it out himself. He isn’t attending cabinet or parliamentary meetings to discuss the issue and he isn’t spending hours personally drawing up policies and strategies on it. What is the distraction exactly?

Rashford came back from surgery on his shoulder not too long ago and before that, had been playing with the injury for a while. Is it possible that maybe that could be a bigger factor than doing charity work? Or if you are being less charitable (heh), you could say he was just a decent player who overperformed for a while but is now reverting to his true form.

What’s funny is that he is playing in a team where so many of his other teammates are under performing. What’s Maguire’s excuse? Sancho? Greenwood? It turns out you can lose form even though you aren’t running a national campaign against hunger. Weird that.
Turiyo Damascene, Kigali, Rwanda


Rangnick criticism is inevitable and ridiculous
It’s depressing in its inevitability but after only 38 days in the job and six matches in charge Rangnick is receiving criticism because United aren’t fixed yet. That isn’t long enough to make any fair judgements considering the scale of his task, I mean after 38 days in my latest job I still hadn’t learned everybody’s name. It should come as no surprise that a team which had been performing very poorly so far this season, then underwent two managerial changes, a drastic shift in tactics, schedule disruption, a wave of Covid cases, and the closure of their training ground, should still perform poorly just six weeks later. But it feels like the headlines were already written and those who distribute such nonsense were just waiting for a loss as cover.

The only justifiable criticism of Rangnick I’ve heard is that maybe he’s putting the cart before the horse. His implementation of the 4-2-2-2 formation was immediate and perhaps the squad he has isn’t particularly suited to playing this way. Ronaldo is definitely not ideal for this style, he makes a lot of commotion about pressing high, waving his arms and that but never actually closes anyone down though that’s a problem that won’t go away for another 18 months and just needs riding out. He can be dropped though and I think it would help to try this formation without him for a few games to see if the players pick it up better.

I’d like to see a front four of Bruno, Donny, Sancho and Greenwood given a chance. Personally I feel, given more time to train and drill this system, the squad is suitable enough to get this right and move up the league but long term there would definitely be a few additions required. For Rangnick I don’t see much other option than to persist with his current plan, problems adjusting to his style were expected but he needs to power through and keep fingers crossed it will eventually click.

There has definitely been improvement though, you can see the coaching at work in the attacking transition but it’s not quite generating returns yet. Greenwood especially looks like he gets it and is often the fulcrum of breaking attacks which makes it all the more frustrating when he’s persistently subbed at 65 minutes while Sancho continues to run down blind alleys. For the most part our attacking play is better, opportunities are being created despite the poor form but they often break down at a vital moment where a crucial pass is mistimed and the sequence cannot fully develop, again this will improve with time on the training ground and more games.

Man Utd boss Ralf Rangnick looks concerned

However there is obviously an attitude problem within the dressing room, not for the first time either and definitely not a Rangnick-specific issue. I hope whoever is leaking stories to Mark Ogden is known to the manager so he can swiftly transfer them out. I don’t believe the club captain is a particularly important role and I’m not a fan of people throwing their weight about but after the performances this season most recently against Norwich, Newcastle, and Wolves it wouldn’t hurt to a have a shouty no shit veteran in the squad, if only so the players can’t just escape a bad performance by retreating to the dressing room.

Against Wolves in particular almost every pass was poorly executed, almost every 50/50 challenge forfeited, almost all players knocked out of possession with ease. There are no excuses for that, it’s down to the players and sometimes a figurative punch in the face is what’s required to bring about change. I can sort of understand disgruntled players that suffered under the boredom of Van Gaal or the personal attacks of Mourhino, even with Ole after years of good vibes but no coaching, but Rangnick has been with us a month and basically only asked the players to run further and play smarter. That this has provoked such apathy on the pitch and treachery in the background is damning both of the players’ professionalism and club management which has allowed such an attitude to fester and grow.

Ultimately the biggest problem facing Rangnick is a lack of time. Arsenal and Spurs have got their respective shit together so catching then surpassing them gets harder with each game. Compacted schedules and training limitations mean less opportunity to effect the players and the short-term deal means his impact has a meagre shelf life. Hopefully he can do enough with the time he has left to prepare the team for its next doomed pilot.
Dave, Manchester


About that Man United clear-out…
17 United players are upset/want to leave apparently, according to the news today.

The first obvious point is that most of the (nowhere near) 17 players who’ve been named are unhappy because they never get to play – so who really cares if they leave. United’s mistake isn’t not playing the likes of Lingard and Jones. It’s giving them contracts on disproportionately big wages to “preserve their resale value”. Its not that I don’t personally like some of them ( I was thrilled to see Jones play this week) but they are never going to be the players to lead United to glory.

Point two – If Martial wants to go and if United could get his reported 250k a week salary off the books – good. If that number, or anything approaching it, is genuine then that is the absolute apex of United’s bad financial decision making. In what universe could he possibly demand a salary that’s bigger than, or even approaching Mo Salah’s?

Point 3 – if Harry Maguire is throwing his toys out of the pram because of how influential Ronaldo is then the lack of self awareness is astonishing – the guy has been terrible. The guy has a pending trial for assaulting a police officer, resisting arrest and attempted bribery (which alone should be grounds for not being captain). But fundamentally, he’s never won anything, if he doesn’t command respect it’s his fault and not Ronaldo’s.

As has been pointed out by others (often with relish) – the United squad is, though it pains me, a hodgepodge of overpaid players who do not compliment each other and have been recruited by three different managers with very different visions of how they want to play. In many cases, they aren’t good enough for a club with United’s supposed ambitions.

A lot of people are levelling slightly bizarre criticism of United for appointing Rangnick, who admittedly doesn’t have a top level CV as a manager, but seem to be wilfully ignoring that it is a temp job. As manager he’s there to see out what was already an unsuccessful league season.

His permanent role is as a vaguely defined “consultant” – which I hope means he’s essentially director of football while John Murtough gets to use the title and take credit for Rangnick’s work. He is already overhauling the coaching staff and background operations and introducing newfangled innovations like a sports psychologist (what’s next, a throw-in coach!). He is building a platform for the next guy and by managing the team for the remainder of a write-off season is getting hands-on insight (pretty bloody quickly!) into what is wrong with the squad – and there is a lot wrong with the squad.

17 players are apparently unhappy. Well that’s fine. They’ve been underperforming and overpaid for years. Hopefully, they’re worried that United are getting serious about building a competitive modern team and a lot of them know that, bluntly, they’re not good enough to be a part of it.
Andy (MUFC)


…Food for thought: (or more laughter for the “neutrals”)

Utd have a squad of around 28 players right now.

Of that there are 6 who are 30 or over who will be moving on very soon or just getting further away from their peak (Ronaldo, De Gea, Cavani, Mata, Matic, Heaton)

Then we have three players who are very likely to be moving on: Pogba – about time, and then DVB and JLingz who weren’t exactly first names on the team sheet ever.

Added to that we have Phil Jones and Eric Bailly who have proven over the years that they’re a combination of not good enough or not available enough.

For all those above leaving soon we are unlikely to get any significant transfer fees.

Take those players out and we’d be left with the following:

Dean Henderson as our only goalkeeper.

A defence of Varane, Maguire, Shaw, Lindelof, Telles, AWB & Dalot

Midfield of Bruno and McFred

Attackers of Sancho, Rashford, Elanga, Chong and Greenwood

As bad as it has been for a Utd fan of late, I see things getting much worse before they get better. Other than spend a sh1t ton of money (that has proven not to work) we should rather take 2 or 3 seasons of focussing only on youth with the aim to revitalise the squad with hungry players that can form a base to challenge in years to come. The current strategy (or lack of one) is getting us deeper and deeper into the sh1t.
Jon, Cape Town (With Utd’s state of shambles and England’s limp effort in the Ashes I need a new sport to follow temporarily)


A League Cup semi solution
With the recent Ian King article about the Carabao Cup semi-finals being played over two legs it does feel that to me at least the solution is easy, it should be like the FA Cup where it is a simple one legged tie at a neutral venue, however I would say not Wembley, that to me will always be the showpiece stadium, the true “Cup Final” stadium and not somewhere you play a Semi-Final at, back in the early 2000’s and before it was always at a neutral ground with the final being played at Wembley now a quick google search confirms my curiosity as to why this was switched to Wembley for both Semi-Finals and Final it was due to financial reasons to recoup some of the costs for the stadium rebuild.

Now 14 years ago the FA Cup Semi-Finals were first played at Wembley, with all that time that has passed i feel it is surely time to bring back all English cup competition Semi Finals to Villa Park, Anfield, St James’ Park etc depending who has reached that Semi-Final and if they wish not to do it for the FA Cup then at least the League Cup, changing the League Cup format to a simple one legged tie would only remove one fixture from the calendar and only for 4 particular teams so hardly a mastermind move to handle the congestion but it sure would bring back that old nostalgia of a Cup Semi-Final but money speaks and i doubt they ever would.

In regards to fixture congestion and the League Cup, i have always believed that the League Cup should only allow sides that are NOT in European competition, it not only opens up for the trophy to be won by a team other than Manchester City but it gives the fans of these teams a real reason to love the competition, if we were to look back at the last 10 seasons of the League Cup and removed the European competition teams from the equation the winners would have been:

16/17 – Southampton
17/18 – Bristol City
18/19 – Burton Albion
19/20 – Aston Villa
20/21 – Brentford

Of course these “Winners” are merely the teams that got furthest in that years competition and were not in European competition, but it gives you an idea, just imagine Bristol City and Burton Albion in a Europa League qualifier, that money alone would do wonders for them.
The Admin @ At The Bridge Pod