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Do the right thing, Ole
I have only recently returned to working (in the office at least – was working from home for the first few months of lockdown before being furloughed) and have only just started re-engaging with F365. Sorry to Winty and the gang but spending a few months at home with the missus and the kids was excellent and had no time for reading the latest musings while not getting paid to do work!
Having returned to the hallowed pages it really is a delight to see the ABU shite start up again, always entertaining even for reasonable United fans like myself, and a joy to read thayden eviscerate William in the afternoon mailbox. Christ, William, calm the f**k down bud.
Anyway, onto the crux of the mail…Ole has done a decent job, got United to finish third in the Prem and still in the Europa League with a decent chance of winning it. Club legend status preserved, not a disastrous spell as manager, seemingly popular with the players….I think, and this is just my opinion mind, that he should resign. In all honesty he isn’t the man to take United back to the top (though maybe nobody is at this point in time) but he has done well to steady the ship and get the blood flowing again amongst the supporters with exciting football, fairly successful signings etc. If I was him, I would step aside and take either the Director of Football role or another, more cushy number type role, and let Poch or Allegri come in and finish what he has started.
If anything, it would endear him even more to the United faithful than if he stayed and continued to achieve Champions League status. What a legend that would make him, restoring them to the top four and then stepping aside for a genuine world-class coach who can attract the top-level players and have the tactical acumen to prevail in all those tricky matches we keep bloody drawing.
Anyway, just a thought.
Mangor United, Belfast
Just a response to John Brannigan seeming to think I said point totals don’t matter; I said comparing them to seasons past doesn’t matter and made some points as to why. To add another, there is a reason that titles, Champions League qualification and relegation gets given out on league position and not on points; that reason is because it would be stupid to assume the competition stays exactly the same, year on year. How many titles would be given out if you had to get 90+ points for the title? Or 75+ for the Champions League, or 40+ to avoid relegation. It would be a shit show.
By the logic that you have to get the same or better as teams who reached the same position in past years, then Liverpool didn’t win the title this year because they wouldn’t have beaten the Centurions. Think about how absolutely ridiculous that sounds and then you might see what I mean when I say I think it’s ridiculous to hear people say United wouldn’t have got top four with this points return in other years. It is bizarre. As a United fan, I don’t know most of our league winning point totals, because it really, really doesn’t matter. It matters that we won them.
The league changes, which is what makes it watchable and entertaining, and results in some years being different than others. Sometimes the teams are more evenly matched or evenly bad, and take less points off others; sometimes they’re not, resulting in big chasms not just between league leaders and second, but between the top four or five and mid-table, and then mid-table to relegation. And the only way to be impartial and fair to all these changes and to still give rewards and relegation, is for league position to matter. That was my point.
…John Brannigan says specific points totals matter because the league doesn’t lie… well in that case United have done better year on year – because third in the table is better than sixth!
The thing is, this year’s league is different than last year’s league. It’s made up of different teams, or teams that have had personnel changes and was all around more competitive – every single ‘big’ team amassed fewer points than last year (except Liverpool, who improved but only marginally) and, correspondingly, a lot of non ‘Sky six’ teams improved considerably. It was a tougher league than last year, so this year’s 66 is a better result in context than last year’s 66 – which is why it netted United a higher position…
John also makes the point that United were in disarray and then improved… well improving is also actually a good thing and I’ve found it encouraging.
Yes – United’s squad is one of the most expensively assembled in football but, as has been widely acknowledged, it was badly assembled! We spent a fortune on a load of dross before Ole came in – some of whom we are still paying a fortune to to ply their trade for other teams! Fans of other teams have every right to mock the club for that, but that is not something that can reasonably be factored in when assessing Ole! All of his signings have been positive.
Yes, United absolutely did get away with one there – by being the team with the best form in the league and going unbeaten for the last third of the season… the sneaky bastards.
Finally, yes. United did set a record for being the most fouled-in-the-area team. What’s your point?
Rating all the post-Fergie Man United managers
Here’s a simple subjective view of grading united managers since Fergie left not clouded by any biased stats which are being used to tell whatever story you want to tell today. No stats needed, it’s pretty clear to me and I doubt many can argue with the point I’m making (although Liverpool fans would argue with themselves in the mirror if you told them the reflection was a Man Utd fan).
David Moyes inherited a title-winning team. How that team won the title, only Fergie knows. Moyes brought in Fellaini and proceeded to break the wrong type of records week in week out like being the first manager of Utd since football began (The Premier League) to lose to several sides we’d not lost to before, lose three in a row, not score for three games etc. I think his biggest mistake was not retaining the Utd backroom staff as he brought in such seasoned coaches as Phil Neville with him. He didn’t deserve more time because he took the team into a negative defensive style of play and it was clear he was out of his depth. I’ll give him a generous C-, as it really was a job probably no-one could have looked good.
LVG – He came with a great track record, bought some marquee signings but continued the defensive style of play and got players like Di Maria and Depay to change their way of playing to first think about stopping and passing backwards rather than their natural inclination to attack. We generally set up with a back 4 plus 2 defensive midfielders and still looked like conceding every time the opponent got in our half. He did bring back the FA Cup which we hadn’t won for a number of years but hardly any of his signings worked or stayed. I’ll grade him a D. Still a great manager and has done some great stuff in his career but for some reason it did not work at Utd.
Jose – he spent a truckload of money over a couple of seasons. Ibrahimovic, as good as he is, was the wrong type of signing as had no future, too big an ego (like Jose). Jose also didn’t have much success in getting anything out of Fred or as much as he could of out of Pogba. He also brought us Alexis Sanchez, a player who has been very good but at the time was known to be a disrupting influence in the dressing room at Arsenal and for a position we already had Martial and Rashford in. Jose does get credit for his second place finish, that was quite a feat with the squad we had and he gets credit for the Europa league win.
However, he threw all the players under the bus, most of his signings were failures under him and he played such a negative style of play (yes, I know, that is what Jose does so the blame for that goes to the club for bringing him in when he shouldn’t have even been considered). Despite the money spent, the squad (on paper) was better than when he took over but on the field they were worse. Given his reputation, the backing he was given in the transfer market and the state of the team before he was sacked I’d give Jose a grade E (that’s an overly harsh rating but I never liked the guy – did respect him for his early career – but since then he’s been a complete shit and never should have been our manager or Spurs for that matter).
That brings us on to Ole. Let’s forget his dream start and equally forget the poor end to that season and assume they kind of cancel each other out – the jury was definitely still out at the end of last season. Let’s rather focus on this season and where the team is now. He has spent a lot of money, he has spent on youth. He has also brought through youth players and he has taken some of Jose’s signings and got them playing much better.
Marked improvements to Rashford, Martial, Fred, Shaw and personally I think Lindelof and Bailly are not as bad as many think (stop laughing you there at the back). Without Pogba for the majority of the season, which no-one seems to mention in our poor start to the season, our only play was counter-attacking which was never going to get us far. Now, with Fernandes here and Pogba back we have more options. The squad is undoubtedly better than it was when he took over, not just on paper, but on the pitch performances and attitude and with a much younger average age and thus long term potential. For what he has done I’d grade him a B+. Next season could be more of a challenge though as he needs to kick on or this end to the season will be seen in a similar light to his honeymoon period when he joined the club. We have a good first XI and a small number of quality options off the bench. Liverpool and City and recent title winners usually have about 20 or so quality players, we are way short of that.
I’m sure I’ll get lots of criticism from the Liverpool fans as they’d rather goad us than delight in their win (and I truly hope you get another one in the next thirty years), the proof that I am right is that not too long ago in the mailbox the Liverpool fans were sending in their usual rubbish sarcastically telling us we had the right manager, we should stick with him while laughing up their sleeves. Singing a different tune now aren’t you?
We know we have a long way to go but we are on the right track, in a much better situation than any of the post-Fergie years and it’s nice to have other fans worry about us again – it gives me a warm feeling inside but you’re all welcome to come and piss on my fish and chips as I’m sure some of you would like to do with some mind-blowing stats no doubt to prove your point..
Jon, Cape Town (And well done Frank Lampard, a great first season in the top flight for him and it will be interesting to see how he kicks on next season too)
Can Ole improve Man United again?
It’s interesting to see a mix of rampant defence or lukewarm praise for OGS from the Man Utd fans over the past couple of mailboxes.
As an outsider I think next season OGS will need to prove he can grow in order to be successful. He ran his favoured XI into the ground and nearly didn’t get away with it. Given he’ll have Europa League matches in August and very little preseason he’s going to need to demonstrate how well he can rotate next season in order to be successful. Otherwise the team will be zonked after Christmas and their January/February form will kill off their season (a bit like Liverpool under Klopp in his first couple years).
I also don’t know if he’s responsible for improving Rashford or if Rashford is getting older and more experienced and just becoming an even better footballer. Besides Rashford though I am not sure I would credit OGS with improving anyone in the team. He’s brought in young players which is risky and it’s paid dividends but he hasn’t taken a player and improved him significantly. I’m think Drogba/Mourinho, Ronaldo/Ferguson, Coutinho/Klopp. All these managers took good players and made them great and ultimately managing one of the biggest clubs on earth I think it’s fair to expect that quality from a Man Utd manager.
Finally, from a transfer perspective I think he’s done quite well in seeing the gaps and filling them. He needs to do the same again this time around but that may involve a riskier strategy; does he replace DDG with Pope? Is there a better/younger Defensive midfielder than Matic? When you plug the obvious gaps in a team the next bits are more tricky and you don’t always get the desired outcome.
Overall I am sitting on the fence and will only judge him next year. For what it’s worth I don’t know if he can string together a title winning sequence, although I appreciate he can create pockets of form. For me right now he’s maybe a bit more Brendan Rodgers than Ferguson; talks a good game but hasn’t shown it consistently on the field yet. I don’t mean that as an insult as I think Rodgers is in the second tier of managers in the league. But next season you’ve got to expect Mourinho and Arteta to improve their teams, along with Man City and Chelsea strengthening, so I think the fight will be bit harder next year.
Why do you hate Lampard?
Bugger my boots !
One day after I implored you to wind it in a bit re Lampard , off you sodding well go again !
Someone at Football 365 towers must have had their dog stolen by someone dressed as Stamford the Lion in the past.
Maybe it’s the Cup Final 1970 that still rankles in Leeds?
Maybe it’s the fact that Daniel Story Supports Nottingham Forest?
Frank Lampard, seventh best manager of this season?
Below Brendan Rogers? Mr Implosion ?
Wally Gunner Solksjaer, £200 million and pips us to 3rd on the last day on goals scored?
Sean Dyche? F*** me., well I suppose they both had the same transfer budgets.
I expect if he wins it next year having actually spent some money to assist the kids and crocks he’s had this season you’ll be calling him Lord Moneybags Lampard?
Why do you love Lampard?
Could you please explain to me in simple language how Olle, coming third, failed to meet expectations, but good old Frankie Lampard, finishing 4th, SIGNIFICANTLY exceeded expectations. Football365 and the BBC (Phil McNulty) are both pedalling this drivel. Could it be good old Frankie Lampard is English and Olle is a foreigner? No! Couldn’t be. It’s not like it’s happened before.
Care to explain?
Rachit (are brackets still a thing?)
(Yes. Different people have different opinions. Cheers – Ed)
Maybe just relax, everybody…
Football is too divisive for something that’s supposed to be a form of entertainment. Could everyone just chill.
Is Jose’s football boring doesn’t matter, go replay Son’s goal vs Burnley, barely survived, ‘YouTube’s Douglas Luiz skills’ is your cup of tea, you were just relegated having accrued zero points since February, 3-2 vs Mancity on a loop.
Every single club has nice moments and individual moments of joy, why don’t you concentrate on that and let the people who are paid for the serious stuff do just that. You as a supporter are supposed to just sit back and get your product, and you have to find the nice thing about it since you are the customer who no matter what is loyal to the brand.
Vashow, Kenya (CFC, can’t wait for the outrage Frank will cause on next year’s FPL)
Arsenal should raid relegated clubs
I would have Arsenal sign most of that midfield in a heartbeat. Doucoure was incredible previous season and is exactly the midfielder we’re trying to buy in Partey. Sarr would be great on the wing, Brooks our Ozil replacement and Cantwell is also great.
It’s so frustrating watching all these nonsense overtures for Coutinho etc that just seem to go on and on (and clearly have very little behind them) when a bit of speed and aggression could snap up some of these players before other clubs get into gear.
Obviously none of this will happen and we’ll get another set of Kia handoffs just before the season starts instead.
Old man shouts at transfer clouds
As someone more than greying at the temples, who can distinctly remember football pre-1992 and even recalls a time when Everton regularly won silverware, I’m perhaps betraying my age here but seeing the predictable seasonal posts to the mailbox reviewing team’s transfer needs doesn’t half grate on me. I do also remember, way back in the mists of time, that giddying excitement once the season finished of wondering what exciting players might be switching clubs over the summer (this is also pre transfer window, mind), but I was only about 12 and surely I can’t be alone in thinking that the whole hullabaloo has taken a somewhat unsavoury turn in recent years.
The demand for shiny trinkets and significant outlay is charmless and materialistic enough (and speaking as a Liverpool fan who has to put up with a not insignificant section of the fanbase castigating the club’s owners for being too stingy in the transfer market despite the club winning a clean sweep of all the major trophies over the past two seasons I know this only too well), but in hot competition has to be the use of Championship Manager terminology for player positions: ‘We need a new AM, LW/FW and RB etc…’ Just fuck off.
The worst example of this is squeezing in utterly unnecessary additional letters. CDM? Can anyone explain why you’d need all three letters in that? You’re a central midfielder, or a defensive midfielder. Even the bastard son of Chris Wilder and Pep Guardiola, dreaming up avant-garde formations whilst tripping on Jonathan Wilson’s latest tactical musings, would struggle to deploy a player in a defensive midfield position located on either flank, so the ‘C’ in CDM is entirely superfluous and, as a longer abbreviation than DM, simply moronic.
Jonny (grumpy old bastard) Dance