Manchester United have scored nine goals and conceded 14 so clearly should have signed Kane. But it’s alright because Hojlund ‘showed he could match’ him.
Kane you feel it?
Perhaps inevitably fuelled by Paul Scholes answering a leading question about whether Manchester United should have “broke the bank” to sign Harry Kane in the affirmative, before Rio Ferdinand stated that the striker “would have preferred” to join them instead of Bayern Munich despite offering no justification behind such a bafflingly confident take – maybe he is a body language expert on the side – there is plenty of talk about the England captain teaching the Premier League side a lesson on Wednesday.
‘United should at least have tried to sign the England captain in the summer but there are so many scrambled minds inside Old Trafford that they didn’t attempt the bleeding obvious,’ writes Dave Kidd in The Sun.
And so here Kane was in Bavaria, assisting the opener, scoring the third and generally showing the visitors the error of their ways.
There are many sticks with which to beat Manchester United right now, but not signing Kane is far, far down on that list. Bayern Munich spent ludicrous money on his fee and wages because they could afford to. Manchester United could not.
And then the obvious point, because this really isn’t about the projected cost at all: Daniel Levy was not going to sell Kane to Manchester United. Under any circumstances. And there wasn’t much Manchester United could do about that this summer.
At least Kidd buried his wilful ignorance in a wider match report. Oliver Holt of the Daily Mail makes no such attempt to hide his strange line of argument:
And this is a club that thought it wouldn't bother bidding for Harry Kane.
— Oliver Holt (@OllieHolt22) September 20, 2023
He knows what he’s doing, of course. ‘Manchester United are such a joke of a club that they didn’t even try to sign this incredible striker!’ Holt crows now but if they pursued Kane all summer long before failing to sign him – as would absolutely have happened if they carried on chasing him longer than mid-June because, to repeat, Daniel Levy – he would have joined the chorus of critics slamming their incompetence in not identifying alternative targets and wasting time hunting impossible transfers.
‘For reasons unknown, United chose not to bid for him in the summer even when it had become plain he was for sale,’ Holt writes in his Mail column, despite the reasons being very much known. Whether or not you choose to believe or agree with them is one thing but it is clear why they didn’t bid – especially considering how far they were stretching to keep in line with FFP restrictions with the signings they actually did make.
As their season slid further into crisis, Kane gave them a glimpse of what they were missing.
The previous 359 career goals weren’t enough?
Also, Manchester United have nine goals in six games so far this season, failing to score in only one match; they have conceded 14 goals, keeping a solitary clean sheet. They are ‘missing’ an awful lot of things but goals are not among them, certainly not in a 4-3 defeat.
Bayern were not at their best here but they still outclassed United. Kane has moved out of their league now. He was bought to try to win another Champions League to add to the Bayern collection and he must look at what is unfolding at Old Trafford and think he dodged a bullet.
Doesn’t a bullet have to be fired for someone to dodge it? You can’t criticise Manchester United because they ‘chose not to bid for him in the summer,’ before saying it was a near-miss for Kane.
Then again, you shouldn’t be able to say Kane would have transformed Manchester United into title challengers before immediately pointing out that players don’t go there ‘to realise their ambitions’, yet here we are.
Hojlund may yet go on to be a fine player for United and he showed his character three minutes after half time when he forced home a short pass from Marcus Rashford. But he is nowhere near the all-round striker Kane is and as if to remind everyone of that, Kane restored Bayern’s two-goal cushion almost immediately.
Mediawatch is left with one question: precisely who needed reminding that Hojlund and his 34 career goals might not be as good as Kane, who has outscored that total in two individuals seasons and is well on course to make it three?
And all that Ras
It turns out there is someone who might need reminding, because the Manchester Evening Propaganda is back at it again with his absolutely incredible piece:
Rasmus Hojlund showed Manchester United he could match Harry Kane impact at Bayern Munich
Lord knows they have form. Erik ten Hag himself has put in less work trying to justify the decision to sign a £64m striker with a goal record of roughly one every three games, who has now scored one goal in three Manchester United games.
But this is indeed a headline stitch-up of ridiculous proportions, because Tyrone Marshall never said any such thing. Why? Presumably he isn’t an actual idiot.
‘It wasn’t the cleanest strike of the ball he will produce or the best goal he will score, but he celebrated it with relish, taunting the Bayern fans behind that goal after dragging United back into the game,’ he writes of Hojlund.
‘Unfortunately, that is a status they could hold on to for just four minutes before Harry Kane did what he does and scored. It was 1-1 in their own personal duel,’ he adds.
‘The Kane-Hojlund debate will run and run, but in the young Dane there has been enough to think he can at least have an impact on this side. Kane has five goals in five games for Bayern. Hojlund will be going some to do that, but he looks the type of player who could bring more out of his teammates as well,’ he concludes.
A reminder that Hojlund ‘showed Manchester United he could match Harry Kane impact at Bayern Munich’. Writing about Hojlund and Kane having ‘their own personal duel’ and saying the ‘debate’ between them ‘will run and run’ is very, very silly, but let’s not pretend the guy said anything even remotely close to that headline.
Ask a simple question
‘There is hope that Rasmus Hojlund will be the No 9 the club has needed for some time. His first goal for the club last night – after having one chalked off by VAR at the weekend – will give him confidence. But is he really the answer that Harry Kane could have been?’ – Neil Custis, The Sun.
‘No’ – everyone, including Rasmus Hojlund, his close friends and family. Except for the Manchester Evening News.
Beyond ‘the Kane-Hojlund debate’ that one outlet has single-handedly kept alive for weeks, one other Manchester United player obviously came under the spotlight against Bayern Munich. Poor Andre Onana.
Dave Kidd is back again in The Sun on the goalkeeper:
As the Cameroonian buried his head in the turf, he must have wondered why on earth he’d left Inter Milan to join this circus.
There is sympathy for Onana, but also that is a nonsensical line considering it was his glaring mistake and no-one else had anything to do with it.
At least David McDonnell is here in the Daily Mirror to be a bit more sensible:
United have now lost three successive games and, with so many players under-performing, it seems churlish to point the finger at individuals.
Exactly. Good lad. Nice to see a tabloid writer avoid indulging in yet more sensationali…
But new signing Andre Onana is becoming an increasing problem for Erik ten Hag, with the United keeper’s latest blunder setting the tone for defeat.
The Daily Mirror website is indeed At It Again, conjuring quite absurd headlines out of nothing. Such as this beauty:
Fernandes and Casemiro’s dressing room demands ignored by four Man Utd players
It implies a certain thing, an insubordination or rebellion of sorts. Infighting. Perfect for a cracked-badge crisis.
First, the supposedly ignored dressing room demands:
Both players reportedly spoke of the need to rebuild the unity around United, and of becoming difficult to beat even if the football wasn’t the best. To defend better, basically. But that went out the window in a four minute spell in Munich.
Well immediately the message of “We need to build a strong unit again” has been translated as ‘defend better’, which seems rather reductive. But do go on and explain which four players ‘ignored’ these ‘demands’:
Onana, Dalot, Martinez and Reguilon. All left looking rather foolish and all offering nothing that resembled unity at a time when United needed it. The displays of plenty of other players in the side was perfectly fine, but at key moments they were let down by others, and the lack of unity cost them dearly.
So Onana, Dalot, Martinez and Reguilon ‘ignored’ Fernandes and Casemiro by continuing to be not very good? What a strange opinion, especially considering Reguilon was probably Manchester United’s best player and Fernandes didn’t do much himself.
Ignorance is bliss
The Daily Mirror website clearly has a favourite new word though, because…
Erik ten Hag ignores Andre Onana apology after Man Utd’s defeat at Bayern Munich
He ignored it by responding directly to it and saying “it is good he is taking responsibility but it is about the team”.
Opening paragraph of the day
‘Erik ten Hag has become the first Manchester United manager to lose three games in a row since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer more than four years ago’ – Nathan Ridley, Daily Mirror website.
It sounds dreadful until you remember that Ten Hag is the first permanent Manchester United manager since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. So really all we’re saying here is that Ralf Rangnick is a genius.