We all love Marcus Rashford. Or do we mean Daniel? Thank you for your mails. Send more to firstname.lastname@example.org
Just a quick one regarding Marcus Rashford, it makes me proud that he is a United player but most of all it makes me think there’s some hope for the future when there’s lads like him are about.
Paul Murphy, Manchester
…Thank you Marcus.
…One day Rashford is gong to make a mistake, because he misspeaks in public or a mistake in football. He is human.
It would not matter – form is temporary but class is permanent. And Rashford has showed time and time again that he has the latter in droves, on and off the field.
Choosing a second team
So, I’ve got a problem.
I’ve always found somebody’s second team to be a bit more interesting and instructive than their first. The origins for the first will almost inevitably be geography, parental guidance or *spits on the ground* glory hunting. But the second, that could be practically anything. Maybe you like their kit, or their manager? Do they play a particular brand of football you find attractive, or perhaps they’re flying your country’s colours on a bigger stage? I’ve known somebody who draws, at random, a different second team to follow every single year.
Me, I’ve been pretty typical I suppose. I’d have loved it as much as everybody else outside of Old Trafford if Keegan had managed to pull it off. Leicester and Ranieri caught my and everybody’s imagination in that unbelievable year. My longest second love was Arsenal, mostly thanks to my best friend being a die hard supporter. Unfortunately, that came to an abrupt halt when, finally, after all these years, the only major trophy I have ever (and possibly will ever) seen us win, was inevitably against them.
Recently though, I’ve had a bit of a lull in my passion for the game and so haven’t really had a transient number two to go along with my permanent number one. This enforced break however has given me the chance to reignite that passion, so I think I’m ready to commit once more to an attractive bit on the side.
One of the reasons for a second team I didn’t mention earlier is admiration so great for an individual player that you hope the entire club does well, as that person deserves it.
Marcus Rashford is 22. I still have to pinch myself when I see that. 22. Not because of just how accomplished as a player he already is (and continues to improve), but because of how accomplished he is as a human being. 3 million meals for children who might otherwise have gone without. 3 million. The scale and scope of that is almost unfathomable. This pandemic hit and his thoughts weren’t of when football was going to restart or how players were going to be protected, they were with the kids who were going to go hungry and what he could do to ensure they got fed. As the Government offers platitudes while passing responsibility, Rashford pressures them daily with exceptional social media use and effective lobbying. The issue of duty of care for children is now at the forefront of the national discussion. Are we really comfortable with allowing kids to go hungry because they’re not in school? Rashford is making us confront the reality of that while offering to help with a solution. He is remarkable.
So, here is where my problem lies. Rashford plays for…them. I don’t like them. I’ve never liked them.
Manchester United are going to have to be my second team.
Please, shoot me.
JP, Birmingham (kro)
Spurs need to fail
It’s nearly back! With all the overly blind optimism that the majority of fans seem to have it is easy to get carried away with what our teams may be capable of. From a Spurs perspective we have a full squad to pick from. You know, that fully fit and available squad……oh, wait, what…..Dele is suspended? Tanganga is out? Le Colso missed training? Aurier is our starting RB? Ahhh.
I know it can be a contentious viewpoint but I really am hoping for a weak finish from the Spurs, one that will see us out of Europe altogether for next season. Hear me out. History, recent and not so recent, has shown teams who are usually in top-tier European competition but then fall out of that competition can improve their league performance for the next season. Yes, yes….the pinnacle (at least for Spurs) is to be mixing it with the big boys, staring at Messi, Ronaldo et al, clinging to the hope we can bask in the reflected glory of their CL triumphs when our players shake their hands but we really need to get our shit together and get some focus. Less games is less fatigue and, therefore, less injury as well as a potentially a more settled and consistent starting 11 that will encourage a more connected team/style of play which would no doubt provide us better league results.
The argument that we need to qualify for Europe to generate more revenue to invest into the squad just doesn’t wash with me. Qualify for Europe? Here you go Jose, here is £5.36 to spend on the two full backs, holding midfielder and commanding CB we really need (plus, in my eyes, a GK). Don’t qualify for Europe? Here you go Jose, here is 42p to spend. Also, people may argue Kane will leave with no European football. Maybe so, but HK will leave regardless. It is a ‘when’ and not an ‘if’. We couldn’t ever replace Kane but we can definitely improve the rest of the team. We get carried away with our own teams players at times, a rose tinted spectacles affair that has us believing Winks is our own little version of Xavi and that Sanchez has potential to blossom into our very own version of VVD or that Toby would revert to the Toby of 2016/17. Our whole back line, arguably, needs replacing if we want to have aspirations of CL or PL glory. So £120m plus for Kane invested into new players? As long as there is the cold hard agreement not to repeat the Elvis and Beatles situation, I’d take that.
With or without Kane, going forward we still have Sonny (who, as Harry/Merse would say, is a top top, top, top, top, top player) and some great potential with Stevie…..then we have Le Colso (how good does he look?) feeding them and an untapped N’Dombele yet to realise his world beating potential. Stick in a proper DM to support them and the team starts to look pretty tasty. That is before we get Dele back in form and Gedson starts pushing (he looks like he has something about him). Sissoko and Winks as backup. Dier, Aurier, Davies and Lamela sold to produce some transfer funds of £12.74. Sessegnon can sit in our potential pot…..maybe he will do a Bale, probably not.
The point is we have some talent there, as do most teams, but would a season where our main focus is on the league (with no European footy), building a style of play, finding our best starting 11 and reducing injuries improve our medium to long term prospects? I really do believe it would. Damn, I just want to enjoy watching our football again in the league…….it’s been the best part of 18 months since I felt that.
Here is to us crawling over the finish line and enjoying a glorious 2020/21 league campaign.
Glen, Stratford Spur
Football365 hate Spurs, it seems
Interesting angle from F365 as they aim yet another dig at Spurs.
Your top ten article footballers who make you giddy article had only one suggestion of a player who should be playing elsewhere and lo and behold it’s Son who of course plays for Spurs and for some reason in the narrow eyed hipster view of F365 should of course be going to Manchester United (quelle surprise). Interesting that none of the other players there such as Traore or Ndidi etc are touted, no it’s as ever Spurs and the intangible“far bigger club”.
I get it, F365 don’t like Jose (in your words “he’s a bit of a dick and you have probably assigned your favourite term of “pesky fact” at some point when you had one of your agenda driven articles on him) but the whole Spurs are shit and all the players should leave nonsense is getting tiresome.
I know some random United fan will come and tell us we should know our place but to be frank your articles just don’t make much sense. The constant nonsense of saying Player A from Spurs should go to a far bigger club is a trifle tedious and I’m interested to know where it all stems from.
I get it, Levy is a tight arse, we constantly flatter to deceive however the truth is always somewhere in the middle. It just seems F365 are firmly in the Spurs should know their place and stick to it camp, which is fine for the plastic fans who believe football started in 1992 blah blah blah but I just don’t get it.
The other day there was some nonsense on how the top four will be a closed shop with Chelsea, Liverpool, United and City whilst everyone else will simply be also fans. I know subjective journalism is part and parcel of the industry but seriously that sort of assumption is just plain and utter bollocks.
Or maybe it’s just lockdown and the sheer dread of seeing Spurs play again in a few days after having a relaxing three months of no worries over the next Spurs game.
I’m just waiting for the next F365 article where they mention how Aurier and Davies deserve bigger and better things and should be sold to United for £300 million. Now that’s something I can get behind.
Raj, THFC, north London
Liverpool do not need Coutinho
Can everyone (and I am looking at you The Daily Mirror) calm down about Coutinho returning to Liverpool? There is a less than 0.1% chance that he is walking out at Anfield next season.
1. He’s 28, which means that he has no sell-on value. What you see is what you get and over the last two seasons he has been pants.
2. Liverpool very rarely sign players older than 26. Here’s a list of five most recent signings and their age when signed: Minamino (24), Shaqiri (26), Fabinho (24), Allison (25), Keita (23). The last time Liverpool paid money for a player over the age of 28 was Ragnar Klavan in 2016. Consequently, the only exception over the last few years is Adrian who was signed with the expressed hope that he would never actually be required to take to the field.
3. Where would he play at Liverpool? At Barcelona he got shunted out to the wing because they don’t play with a central attacking midfielder, which is his favorite position. He then moved to Bayern where they played him through the center for a while before deciding he wasn’t good enough so packed him out to the wing and brought Thomas Muller back to the starting line up. Liverpool also don’t play with a CAM. So he’ll either play second fiddle for Mane and Salah or he will have to play CM like Oxlade-Chamberlain. I can’t imagine he would excel at either of those two roles.
In conclusion, the team has moved on and so should he. If he came back it wouldn’t be the same. He should do what all good has-beens with inflated reputations do – join Arsenal and stink up north London.
Is this the beginning of the end?
Last month, Seb Stafford-Bloor wrote a piece about the dangers to the game should the Project Restart fixtures prove satisfactory to the broadcasters. The more I’ve thought about it, the more I think it’s a real existential threat. Consider this, if the viewing figures stay roughly the same or worse, increase, then what exactly is the incentive for clubs to have fans back inside the grounds? From a financial pov, here’s why keeping the great unwashed out makes sense.
Empty grounds mean:
· A massive reduction in the number of stewards required. External roles only such as car park security for example.
· Huge savings on the cost of Police Officers as they would not be required. Ditto Paramedics and club Fire Safety Officers.
· No bars or food stands. Whilst these are revenue earners, the cost in terms of power usage required as well as staff to operate them often make them borderline in terms of profit.
· No need for ticket office staff.
· Retention only of the corporate hospitality suites with exclusive access to the players/managers post-match and, of course, at extortionate ‘corporate’ rates.
You get the idea.
There are other points that, I believe, would be attractive to both broadcasters and the football authorities alike. Such as:
· No need for Kick It Out days as there would be no more football related racism to comment on (within grounds that is).
· No need for rainbow laces as LGBTQ+ players could come ‘out’ in the knowledge they could ply their trade without fear of abuse from ‘fans’.
· No need for commentators to repeatedly apologise for abusive/foul language from the supporters. Ditto the ‘usual’ disgusting songs about death or misery.
· No more football violence in or around grounds.
· The ability to turn sections of the empty stands into advertising hubs that would dwarf the current hoardings around the pitch.
· The club/players involved in community or charity work could be hyped in nothing other than a positive ‘PR’ spin.
· Club controlled ‘Zoom’ press conferences that are infinitely easier to control (from a club’s Pov) than those we’re used to.
Which brings me to the season ticket holder. If the football authorities or the clubs, or both, declare that crowd attendances at grounds will be not safe next season, how will you spend the money you would’ve put aside for your season ticket? On a joint Sky/BT subscription? Because, for a whole host of Prem and Champ League clubs, the latter would be a lot cheaper when you factor in annual travel costs, the kids, the scoff, drinks and the whole inconvenience of following your beloved team. Especially if you could watch same from the comfort of your own front room or, social distancing allowing, your local boozer with like-minded people?
Mark (Because if the broadcasters and clubs aren’t watching the next few weeks like hawks for the very same reasons, I’ll eat my bobble hat. And my scarf). MCFC
Behold the full 2020 Golden Boy longlist. pic.twitter.com/VhbcZUjAU3
— Football365 (@F365) June 16, 2020
How does the Golden Boy list include Jess Lingard? Not only is he rubbish but how is a 27 year old ‘a boy’….or am I missing something?
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