The fall-out from the Manchester derby continues and basically, a clear-out is needed that includes Marcus Rashford. And a new manager. Send your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org
Man United clear-out needs to start with manager
Having witnessed a reasonable first-half performance from United against City and watching a great pass and finish from Pogba and Sancho for the first goal, it seemed there was some hope in getting a result! But boy United crumbled faster than a piece of soggy Walker’s shortbread in the next 60-65 mins. F** knows what we are doing for the 2nd & 3rd goal. 4th goal did look offside, but we probably deserved to let it in another due to the soulless performance of the 2nd half. It realistically could have been 7 or 8 goals from City if they were on the very top of their game.
Yes, people can go on and mention City passed us off the park and drained our energy and did just outclass United. But it was very clear the players looked uncomfortable out there and there wasn’t a clear plan. Some players were pressing, some people not pressing, some shocking positional play (Bruno) and a complete lack of physical or technical presence (Fred). I mean for god’s sake, we played Bruno up front so I can’t entirely blame him. How Rashford was our only available striker is fucking ridiculous, playing Bruno and Pogba up front was a complete sign of desperation and shows the lack of quality. Fred has somehow stolen a career at United and that is exactly one of the many problems, he looked like a lost child in B&Q in midfield yesterday. A huge clear-out is needed once again after the way this season has gone, you cannot deteriorate this badly and think it’s acceptable and should be punished.
Considering Ole finished 3rd & 2nd in his first full two seasons as manager, he did his part in getting Champions League places and style of play going forward did improve, but ultimately failed in the cup competitions, where United arguably could have won an FA Cup in 2020 and should have won the Europa League in 2021. It would have been a starting point and put in a bit of confidence into the players that they can compete, but a lot of them simply aren’t good enough or think they are better than they actually are. For example, I saw about 80% of the players take off their second-place medal in the EL final last year against Villarreal. Completely understand you’re disappointed, of course you would be. However around 80% of those players haven’t even won a trophy… it was like that was it, we tried and couldn’t win it let’s feel sorry for ourselves now. Stop being so dramatic and get over it and use it as motivation to win the next one. Losses & failures happen, it’s about how you respond that describes your personality.
Another clear-out is needed now, to lose 4-1 twice in the season (One of them to Watford lol) and 5-0 as well (Probably a couple more defeats like this on the way…) the club need to do what Van Gaal did when he arrived, and we need someone at the club or someone like Rangnick to pick out the 4-5 players that need to get sold for a reasonable price and bring in the right players to compete again and want to play for United. If I had to pick 5 players who shouldn’t be here next season, it would be these:
Fred (Stolen a career due to the mediocrity at the club, so fair play to him)
Martial (Great player, but lazy/not driven)
Cavani (Is he injured or what?)
AWB (Half decent defender, but has the technical ability of a duck on the ball)
Lingard (Free Jesse, he deserves to play)
Would I include Ronaldo on this list? Well, no I wouldn’t because he’s the only player this season who has goals in double digits this season with 15 and actually has some f**king form of standards & expectation. You just need a manager who is strong enough to explain to him, you will not be able to play every single game because you will injure yourself eventually and you’re 37 and not as good as before.
Out of those 5 players, I wouldn’t know how much money would be received, but I am assuming a ballpark figure of 100-125 million? Martial is young and so is AWB so you would expect 60 million between both.
Although getting the right players is important, I think the manager recruitment MUST be right and good enough to challenge for a League or FA Cup, even Europa League if we finish outside Top 4. This is the realistic situation United find themselves in, its happened to clubs like Liverpool & Chelsea before too. I would go for the following candidates in chronological order in terms of preference:
Erik Ten Hag
Even if it involves paying off their contract, just do it and get your number one target in and hope they can get rid of this toxic dressing room environment and fix the motivation & confidence of some players in the next 18-24 months, especially for the ones that have shown quality before and have potential to improve even more.
…I really don’t understand what the confusion is ?!
Utd spend three years going through the pain and ignominy of bringing in Ole, get to a point where the season is about to start and you’ve just signed Varane and Sancho to finally complete your 4-3-3 fast counter attacking side, then completely shit the bed and force Ronaldo onto Ole (he never wanted him, it was all driven by Ferguson who needs to realise he isn’t in charge any more).
It throws Fernandes out of position, relegates Greenwood and Sancho to the bench, requires a change in formation to fit the greedy egotistical slow coach into the side where his royal overpaidness finally annoys everybody else about the stupid wage structure, which forces Ole out and Utd now have to tear everything up after spending 600m and start all over again.
Have I missed anything out ?
Well played Utd. What a lovely mess. Keep up the good work. 9 years and counting….
Hong Kong Ian (Liverpool have too many strikers at last) LFC
Man United should change to suit a manager
What does Gary Neville actually mean when he talks about Poch or Ten Haag not having the personality to come into club like United? Poch who currently oversees the biggest group of superstars at any club on the planet or Haag, who’d be coming from one of the best run clubs in the world.
This past weekend Nev’s gone about redesigning the training ground, refurbishing the stadium like either manager would be out with a trowel and a hardhat. Given United’s overwhelming success the last number of years, maybe, just maybe, the club should be changing to suit a new manager? Who do they think they’re going to get otherwise, really? Conte went to Spurs for f**k sake but even before he did Nev was saying he wasn’t the “right fit”. What does that even mean? Sir Alex handpicked a successor in a vain attempt to create some sort of dynasty. Look how that, and subsequent decisions, worked out.
There’s no mystery or unknowable puzzle to solve. You have a bunch of decent players with a couple elite players in there too. Get a coach in and the first f**ker to complain about training methods or anything else, gets the door.
This narrative about being the right fit is nonsense. Fit for what? Failing? Sign a head coach/manager, back him to the hilt, not just financially but when hard calls are being made about players’ presence at the club and let the culture change. Can we all keep in mind that Sir Alex came from Aberdeen? Right now at United it seems you’ve got 20-odd assorted whinge bags and rot so deep it probably almost doesn’t matter who they get. But for the love of god, please get over this idea that United’s manager has to be some sort mythic figure, like a reincarnation of Matt Busby doped up on Fergie’s chewing gum.
Who would want Manchester United players?
People saying that’s as bad as it gets for United. Errrm, nope not really. And that’s the tragedy. It was same capitulation against Everton when we lost 4-0. Same under Jose in his last game when we lost 3-1 to Liverpool. Same under Moyes when City thumped us then. United can’t keep saying ‘oh but we have good players’. We don’t. Absolutely no clubs are ever circling for our players. Tell me who’d be trying to prize away – Rashford, Lindelof, Maguire, Fred, Wan Bissaka, Telles, Bailly. Literally no top 10 club would want these players let alone Euro elite clubs. Add Martial to the list who Sevilla don’t want. Pogba on a free might go to a decent club, MIGHT.
It’s a frightening combination of not actually good enough and not got the character. Second place last season hid a multitude of sins, Liverpool had no defence, Chelsea had no striker, Arsenal were being smart and rebuilding, Spurs were Spurs.
This United squad of players the only ones that MIGHT be worth saving are De Gea, Fernandes, Sancho and at a PUSH – Varane, McTominay and Shaw. The rest – good luck getting rid of unless their contract runs out. I think Poch could do a job but he needs to buy players that play like United is a step up for them and put 110% in every week, THEN we can build on the quality. Players like Ward-Prowse, Lamptey, Calvert Lewin etc. The ship has sailed on Rice, Bellingham, Haaland. Complete reset required. Get the characters and work rate in first.
PS. Rashford and Lingard personally need to apologise to the fans and the squad for yesterday. Two subs and neither of them ran around, sprinted or looked remotely bothered and they Man Utd born and bred?? Their attitude stinks.
Leave Rashford alone
I’m a Liverpool fan so United’s current struggles fill me with joy. That said, Ashwin-Man United fan submitting his 300th email blasting Rashford was comedy gold. It was full of Ashwin’s greatest hits…or rather his greatest copy-and-paste rants.
Ashwin’s slightly creepy obsession with Rashford is summed up by the fact that he can watch his team lose 4-1 and then spend 90% of his email blasting a player who came on after an hour in an attacking role. Coincidentally a player he blames every single time United have a bad result, irrespective of the performance of the rest of the team. I can only assume the rest of the United team have been in sparkling form the last few months.
Keep the comedy coming Ashwin. It really keeps us entertained.
Turiyo Damascene, Rwanda
When United played Celta Vigo in the Europa League, there were at least two occasions, maybe a three, where a skinny 19 year old from United was running shoulder to shoulder with a big bald Celta player before the ref blew up for a minor infraction. Each time, the skinny kid gave the big baldy lumps a tiny bit of afters with a shoulder barge, just after the whistle. That’s what made me think Rashford wouldn’t end up another Januzaj or Macheda. He had skill but he was clearly also tough and it’s attitude that sets the training ground Messis apart from the real ones who can do it when it matters.
Now he’s leaking stories to the press on the day of a derby defeat in an attempt to distance himself from his shit performances and the club’s pathetic reputation. Pogba gets a lot of stick for being a lifestyle celeb only interested in his own reputation. The teams disinterested and lethargic displays are largely attributed to his influence I’m the dressing room. The English lads should be taking their fair share of the flack and Rashford is right up there. He’s been ‘struggling to recapture his form’ for 4 years now and is still somehow regarded as a top player. How is he any better than Nani?
There’s something off about the way he speaks on Twitter as well. He comes across like a TV presenter. Couple that with his (brilliant) work on hungry kids and his books, it really feels like he’s setting himself up for a post football career in the public eye. He’s done more for other people than I’d do in twenty lifetimes but remember that email from David Beckham where he gets really angry about not getting some obe or MBE, or whatever, for all his charity work?
There’s nothing wrong with trying to establish a public reputation and pursuing a public career but a football team chasing elite status can do without publicity chasing careerists. They don’t spend enough time focusing on improving their performances and they negatively influence their colleagues.
Manchester United should sell Marcus Rashford (and Shaw and Maguire and Pogba and AWB and McTominay and Lindelof)
When a Liverpool fan pretends to follow Man United
So at the start of the second half of the Manchester derby, I decided to conduct an experiment and pretend Man U were Liverpool and see the game as if Liverpool were playing. It wasn’t hard on paper: both teams wear red; a Man U win would have been a boon to Liverpool’s title hopes etc. But in practice? Blimey! Here are my “conclusions”:
1. Spitting Image? Is Elanga Martial’s little bro or mini-me? Goodness he has a similar look about him….it’s like Aldridge replacing Rush all over again….Isn’t it?
2. Why can’t these fools keep the ball? How many times are they going to lose possession in dangerous places? Why is no one supporting their team mates? It’s like no one actually likes playing football on this team.
3. Someone get Wan Bissaka some PTSD Therapy: he is getting tortured by Foden, Grealish and Silva and it is ugly to watch.
4. Is Pogba’s aim just to keep minimally fit? He reminds me of me on my thrice weekly runs when I do the easy ones. A steady jog will do it, just enough to break a sweat. Just. I wish someone paid me £XXX gazillion pounds a week for it though. Lucky sod.
5. Actually he is really taking the piss: I just saw his pass for Sancho’s goal. As he releases the pass he just saunters lightly towards the goal, with no real interest in being an option for a shot. Get him out of my team please and don’t let him back in. Pisstaker supreme.
6. Where is the trust and positivity in this team? The sense of togetherness and “all in this together”? If they lose the ball they throw their hands up in the air and ball watch. They are like 0.5 seconds mentally behind City in every play. It’s like they’re punch drunk. They can’t play safe passes out of defence, wtf is going on?
7. Mentality Minnows – No one busts a gut for their teammates, No one is supporting each other no one seems sure whether they are in the right position a quarter of the time. I am hating this.
8. Jesse Lingard coming to save the game on 60+ mins? Man U really ate fu#%Ed.
9. Minute 75: I just witnessed five City players bust a gut to catch Lingard (or was it Rashford?) on the break. Wow these guys work so hard and know exactly what they need to do and where they need to be.
10. 4 mins later: Man City cruising but still pressing Man Us defence like they are all possessed. Screw this. They work so hard and are so good they deserve to score a few more. Come on City show ’em who’s boss and crack a couple more in.
Miguel L (LFC)
Arsenal are baffling
Arsenal are a strange duck at the moment.
We play well in patches but we’re made to work hard for every three points we put on the board as we’re never likely to cruise to any victories – even when we threaten to do so.
But we’re currently in the top four and may well be the happiest club in the top 7 at the moment.
City and Liverpool are bricking it that for all of their fantastic play that they may not get over the line. Chelsea IS Roman Abramovich and we
all know what a Chelsea-sans Abramovich looks like. United look like they have a supply teacher in charge who can’t control the class. West Ham appear to be on the slide and Spurs seem to have a manager that doesn’t want to work with what he has.
And that leaves Arsenal whose goal was Europa League football and who may go one better. Victory through harmony seems to mean something again as the management, players and fans all seem to be on the same page and even Stewie has stopped moaning – mostly.
Will the wheels come off? possibly. But I really hope they don’t as Arsenal haven’t been this united since Vieira took that penalty at Wembley.
Graham Simons, Gooner, Norf London
The biggest game of the weekend was always going to be City versus United, two sides managed respectively by someone with title-winning pedigree and a former RB Leipzig coach. United’s defensive troubles reared their ugly head again, as their season threatens to end in disappointment, while a win for City gets them back on track. I don’t think anyone watching the game would see Leicester as anything other than deserving winners.
* While Manchester United spent the weekend being an affront to all that we like about football (as they do most weekends in one respect or another), Crystal Palace produced their best first-half performance of the season at Molineux. There was a lot of belief among fans that Wolverhampton Wanderers were beatable, coming into the game after two defeats, but it would also have been fair if Wolves had thought the same about their visitors on Saturday. The Eagles were far from convincing against Stoke City in the FA Cup on Tuesday, despite playing a fairly strong line-up.
Patrick Vieira made several changes from midweek, with Vicente Guaita, Tyrick Mitchell, Jeffrey Schlupp and Conor Gallagher all returning to the side, but he persisted with a 4-2-3-1. Vieira likes his full-backs to get forward in support of the attack, and this effectively created a six versus five overload on Bruno Lage’s defence.
* Anyone who saw Match of the Day 2 will have seen two Palace entries for Goal of the Month in February; Jean-Philippe Mateta’s opener on Saturday is unlikely to repeat that but it was a superb goal. Marc Guehi began the move with a long pass forward to Mateta, who laid the ball off to Gallagher; the Chelsea loanee played a pass in behind the defence to Wilfried Zaha, moving to his opposite wing. Zaha’s ball in found Mateta, who bundled in at the second attempt.
This is exactly the sort of centre-forward play the Eagles have needed for years, but haven’t been able to find. There are few forwards better at winning aerial battles than Christian Benteke, but he can either win the ball deep and lay it off or be in position to receive a cross; Mateta scored this goal precisely because he was able to do both.
* The Eagles doubled their lead in the 34th minute. The Premier League’s most underrated player, Jeffrey Schlupp, surged towards the byline and was tripped by Max Kilman. Zaha proved his previous, disastrous penalty miss was a one-off.
* With that, the damage was done, and while Wolves did finish the game having had the same number of attempts on goal as their visitors, they rarely looked like getting back into the game. Palace will take great pride in their first half, but if they were being picky, they would have wanted more goals to truly reflect their dominance.
* Gareth Southgate was at Molineux, with the implication from Wolves correspondent that he was there to look at Kilman, and it was a waste of a trip as the defender didn’t play especially well. I expect he enjoyed his old club’s young English stars, Gallagher, Mitchell, Marc Guehi and Michael Olise (who is still eligible for England as well as Algeria, France and Nigeria). It is not beyond the realm of possibility that they will all end their careers with England caps.
* It seems a long time ago now, but there used to be a common lazy punditry trope where someone would describe a club short on goals as needing “a 20-goal striker”, as if such players can be plucked from a shelf. What if the shop is sold out of 20-goal strikers, will two 10-goal strikers work? Nowadays, teams seem to have more success if they don’t rely on a sole source of goals, but instead prefer to spread things around. Liverpool are at once a good and bad example, having three main goalscorers who are also the top three in the league. For several years, Manchester City and Chelsea have built their success on cultivating as many difference sources of goals as possible, even if none of them are especially deep seams.
Currently, Crystal Palace’s top scorer in the league is Zaha, with nine; Gallagher has eight and Odsonne Edouard has six. The first two have more goals than Chelsea’s top scorer, Mason Mount (seven). It’s an interesting development after the past few seasons, possibly as a result of a more open and attacking style of play. While many of the ways midtable sides try to emulate the biggest clubs come with warnings attached, this seems to be one of the few that borne of sustainability.
* We all have different ideas of what makes for a great sporting contest, but a popular ingredient is that the result is still in the balance right to the very end, as someone holds their nerve under extreme pressure: the Edgbaston Test in 2005; the Super League Grand Final in 2015; the darts on ITV4 this weekend.
Another component is someone overcoming adversity and battling hard for a result against the odds. The rearranged ‘El Crutchico’ fixture took place on Saturday, and did not disappoint. An injury to Carlton Town’s goalkeeper early on saw the home side put an outfield player in goal for more than 80 minutes; Halesowen Town took the lead three times but were pegged back three times, the final goal in the 3-3 thriller coming in the 89th minute. The Yeltz will rue a missed opportunity to go top of the league when Ilkeston Town were held to a goalless draw at Spalding, while the Millers stay six points behind the final playoff place. For them, the legacy of this game will have to be drawing on that resolve and turning it into wins in future.
Brilliant. As soon as I write in and get excited that Burnley won’t be getting relegated they put in an abject performance against Leicester and then get turned over by Chelsea.
Now, there’s nothing particularly terrible about either result based on the concept of “you have to beat the teams around you” but we haven’t beaten the teams around us most of the season. Hence why getting results against Palace, Wolves, Brighton, Utd and Spurs recently were great. Just a shame we couldn’t keep the run going like Newcastle have. And it makes it even worse now that Leeds have got a manager who knows what he’s doing. Because the pressure is now on. Especially when you consider our next match is against Brentford.
We absolutely have to beat them to pull them back into trouble and ease our own trouble. And honestly, I think we’ll do it. I don’t care about Toney and Erikson – I think our team is better than theirs. And I think we’ll win. I still have faith we’ll stay up. I think it helps that our last 3 games seem to be against teams who’ll have nothing to play for by the end of the season – Newcastle, Villa and Spurs.
With 12 games left and Norwich, Watford, Everton and Brentford to play those are games we simply have to win if we’re staying up. Well, we have to at least take 9 points from those games. And then hope Villa and Newcastle have their flip flops on and their deck chairs out for the final few games.
Nick P. Burnley FC. Keeping the faith.