The perfect plan for Man United: F*** the defence

Date published: Thursday 24th September 2020 1:42

Also in the Mailbox: Why Ole and Woodward are dream team, Spurs competence and more...

It’s your mailbox. Send your views on Man United and hopefully more to theeditor@football365.com

 

Ole should do a Keegan, alright
Martin got it half right in the mailbox this morning. Solskjaer should do the honourable thing and follow Kevin Keegan’s example; however, he picked the wrong example. Rather than standing down, he should follow Keegan’s example at Newcastle in 97 and throw caution to the wind.

How to solve the problem of playing Martial, Rashford, Greenwood, Pogba, Van de Beek, and Fernandes whilst protecting the defence? Simple. F**k the defence. Score more than you concede and you win. By all accounts, Greenwood’s cameo against Luton showed what was missing against Palace and Van de Beek was a spark when he came on. Perfect, just play them all! Buy Sancho and play him too!

If nothing it would be fun to watch, certainly for the neutral.
Alex, Ayr

 

Solskjaer and Woodward are Man United dream team
I’d like to suggest an alternative to all of the other thoughts in the mailbox and in various articles, Ole and Ed are the perfect management team for United.

What I mean is from the club’s point of view, and when I say the club I mean the owners because any romantic notion of the fans being involved or having a say has long since disappeared. All the owners want is to keep the team near the top of the league so they’re at least still relevant and in the news. This gives Ed the platform to work his marketing magic and keep the money coming in no matter what happens on the pitch, as he’s admitted. Ole is also nowhere near as bad as some people make out, but he’s never going to create a dynasty there either, again he keeps them bobbing along at just the level they need to be at. He’s also so happy to be there he won’t rock the boat publicly like Mourinho did.

All these transfer stories give the same effect too, keeping the club in the news. Some trophies might be nice to make the reputation really stellar again, but what’s the point? They might have to shell out more on players for not much of an uplift in revenues. In other words, the fans can bang on as much as they like about the deficiencies they see but it’ll make absolutely no difference. The only way United fans can help is to convince each other to stop buying all of the shirts and the logo bearing tat and impact the bottom line. Only then will it prompt any action.
Andy, Cheshire

 

…I wrote a mail that appeared on Tuesday on f365, regarding the issue at Manchester United being that the Glazers and Ed Woodward do not care about on-pitch success. I have seen many rebuttals of this statement in subsequent mails. I would like to clarify that saying they “do not care” actually means that they “do not care enough”. Yes of course if success comes they will take it. They would be delighted as their brand and products would increase in market value. This though is not the “priority”. Their delight would be that of finance men rubbing their hands with glee, not the delight of fans seeing their club compete and win. That is the fundamental point.

It is argued “what has changed? The Glazers were fine when United were winning things” The answer to that is that it was never fine. Many United fans could see this coming down the tracks for years. The huge debt imposed on the club by the Glazers and Woodward was always an issue to fans who dared to look under the hood of success to see the tangled mechanism that would inevitably cause the club to lose power. The catalyst for this becoming more visible was the departure of Ferguson and Gill who, despite the credit they receive, is actually under appreciated, in that they managed to maintain success under the Gkazers until they departed in 2013. Yes the Glazers have backed managers financially, but with no plan or dof, each manager that comes and goes means a complete reboot for the new man in. There is no consistency or long term football plan. Throwing money at the problem will not fix anything. It has to be done in a methodical structured and well thought out way. A way that only a qualified football management team can implement. Otherwise its just throwing money into the fire.

My final point is to those pointing out that Edwin Van Der Saar is “just a ceo like Woodward” are missing the point. Woodward is Glazer’s boy. Woodward studied Physics at the University of Bristol, and later qualified as a chartered accountant. Van der Saar has a Masters degree in sports management and has experience of football at the highest level, has played successfully at Manchester United, and has with Marc Overmars (another football man) overseen the development of another golden generation at Ajax over the last 8 years. So whether it’s technical director, or director of football, that is just arguing semantics. The bottom line is who would you trust more to manage football matters at Manchester United? The reason it’s not happening? The Glazers and Woodward do not care “enough”.
Edwin Ambrose

 

 

 

A mail on Tottenham
All this talk of Woodward and Man U in the mailbox these days is so very tiring. A lot of discussions or simple rage-filled sermons about something that is not really debatable anymore. Yes Woodward is inadequate, No Ole is not good enough for Man U if their ambition is to actually win anything. Yes Man U has a lot of good players who are coached very badly and maybe there is also a hint of a man-child culture at the club that isn’t helping.

Now that that’s settled I’d like to take a minute to talk about Tottenham’s bizarre transfer window. I say bizarre because in today’s climate, where every football club bar Chelsea are keeping their purse strings quite tight and choosing to do player swaps rather than spending big on their transfer targets, Mr Levy is going all out. I repeat, that’s Mr Levy, actually doing deals in a timely and efficient manner unlike anything we have seen before. Is this it? Are Tottenham finally a big enough club financially to start spending yearly at the rate of lets say Arsenal and Liverpool?

I for one am flabbergasted by this sudden turnaround in transfer policy. Tottenham have now bought a starter RW (okay a loan, but still), starter DM, starter RB/RWB, starter LB/LWB already and aim to add a starter CB in the upcoming days, be it Skriniar or Ruben Diaz plus a striker to back up Kane. If we complete a signing for either CB that’ll be five almost guaranteed starters in our squad bought in one (1!) transfer window. I am a Tottenham fan and when the season ended I recognized we needed at least a striker, right back and a defensive midfielder. I honestly expected us to get a defensive midfielder and maybe a right back if we were lucky so this has been beyond my wildest dreams.

I am not a fan of Mourinho even though I am a Tottenham fan. I find him to be a very entertaining character on a TV show but his football is anything but. But still, I find it hard to imagine just how he is going to make this great squad being assembled dull. There are just too many exciting players there. Doherty and Reguilón pushing upfield providing ammunition for Bale, Kane and Son and hopefully our midfielders plus center backs can start to defend properly.

If we don’t win a trophy this season it will at the very least be an exciting time to be a spurs fan and frankly Spurs matches should be a favorite for any neutral with our haphazard defending and lethal attack almost certain to yield quite a lot of goals.
Sibbi, The Icelandic-Spur

 

No more drama at Arsenal
Arsenal fans, like left-wing political parties, love drama and in fighting. I’m sure it happens at every club, but is there any more basic a set of high maintenance fans than Arsenal? (I say this as one of them!)

Mikel Arteta has arrived at our club like a breath of fresh air, most fans can see the up turn, the players can and so can commentators. And yet still, they find something to be divisive over.

Currently the storm in the teacup was the non selection of Ozil in the Carabao Cup. I’m pretty certain if he had been picked, Ozil’s fans would have said it was an insult to make him play. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. Ozil has a rabid online fan base, if I was to say he hasn’t pulled his weight, and he is a modern day Winston Bogarde, you watch the vitriol I am dealt with in the follow up mailbox, even though the above is demonstrably true. There are twitter accounts saying Ozil’s non selection is making them fall out of love with the club. Which tells you everything about the cult of personality over support for a team.

Basically the point I’m trying to make is there is no drama here. Arteta has been clear about his non negotiables, and players who don’t meet the grade, don’t play. It is clear that you can be rehabilitated (see Ceballos, AMN, Elneny, Holding etc) but it seems neither Ozil or Guendouzi are prepared to do the hard work.
John Matrix AFC

 

Selfish Eddie
We are often told that strikers need to be selfish to be successful. While this may be true in most accounts, I think there can also be a bad selfishness.

In Arsenal’s game last night, Nketiah berates Pepe for not putting the ball in front of him for Arsenal’s first goal (own goal). From what I saw, Pepe attempts to put the ball into Nketiah’s path, but it is saved by the keeper and rebounds back to Pepe. He again tries to play it to Nketiah, only for it to be deflected in by Fuchs.

Eddie’s response isn’t to celebrate his team taking the lead, but to skulk of as though the team had actually conceded. I saw this type of attitude once before when he was at Leeds too. I hope it is just an age thing, and he learns to think of the team before his own personal goals in the future.
Jovan, London

 

Keep on keeping on
Chelsea signing Mendy won’t make a blind bit of difference when the defence is as solid as chocolate tea pot. Just as a good keeper inspires confidence in the defence so too a solid defence inspires the keeper. Imagine knowing you’re going to face about a billion shots a game because your manager cannot organise a defence. For f**k’s sake, Arteta has Arsenal organised these days, something most folk thought couldn’t be done! Also, this carry on of playing Kante further forward is just stupid. Seriously. Frank will be found out this year.
Alan, Córdoba

 

 

Worse than Kepa is…
I love Everton, I am positive about the new season, then that f**king tw*t drops another two clangers.

How many mistakes must he make before he is dropped? I believe in Carlo and everyone has improved since he arrived, except that egocentric moron.

Drop him, drop him now before we play any teams we can’t score against.
Fat Man (worse then de gea, worse than kepa, and this is no knee jerk)

 

They are spending on who?
One thing that has interested me in the last few years is how badly run some Premier League clubs are in terms of recruitment. We are in an age where West Ham have two players who cost £90m that don’t play. These two players cost the same amount as Bayern’s starting XI in the CL Final. Fulham, Aston Villa and Leeds are hoping to avoid relegation this season and are outspending Champions League teams from the big five league. I know we are in a pandemic, but this was happening in previous seasons.

This week I was able to see a prime example of this. West Ham are bidding £35m for Fofana from Saint Etienne and Fulham are looking to sign Marlon from Sassulo for £15. Meanwhile Roma are not willing to pay £18m for a Smalling. Now if I am Fulham, why on earth would I pay £15m for an unproven Marlon when an established centre back like Smalling is available? Or if I am West Ham, would I try sign Rudiger (who starts for Germany) or pay possibly more for a young French defender who I don’t think even makes the French U21s.

Wolves have paid £36m for Semedo. Barcelona are looking to upgrade him by paying £20m for a replacement. If an upgrade is costing Barcelona less than the player they are looking to ship out, surely you have to question the fee being paid. Teams currently in Spain have to offload players to sign others. Surely Premier League teams should be able to get players on the cheap from that league.

It is like the scouting departments don’t look at data and just look at what Ultimate team rating they got this week. Like it is their job to make sure if a player is out of sight, that he shouldn’t be out of mind.
Gary, Dublin

 

The Prick debate continues
Minty, LFC let’s put this in perspective, if this site put the sentences below in an article (not that they would ever dare) a mob would be writing in furiously demanding an apology and that Dave Tickner be fired:

‘X always comes across as a reasonable enough human being, but he is also a Labour/BLM supporter. Therefore in order to sleep at night he must presumably be well used to imagining fictitious alternative realities where everything is okay.’

You are right a football site can publish anything they want. However why would any site with a huge readership want to put divisive partisan political views knowing it will likely insult a large amount of their readers? Even the very left wing BBC don’t do this in their sports content. Dave was just using (and abusing) his position as a journalist to attack Tory’s and push his political opinions when there was no rational reason to because this is a football site.

Dale (Voted Tory? Prick of the Year), yes ‘Prick of the Week’ was supposed to be satire, it still can be but this week’s was not. Satire, even political satire makes fun of both sides. Even the victim of satire should be able to laugh about it as it’s clearly a joke, not a hit job on their character like pointing out Lampard is delusional for being a Tory clearly is.

‘Not the 9 O’clock News’ and ‘Yes, Minister’ are satire, attacking people just for having views you don’t like is not satire and never has been.
William, Leicester

 

On lower-league survival
Long term reader, first time writer.

(Hmmmm – Ed)

Excellent to get the view of a fan of an EPL (you aren’t the boss of me Jamie) club, especially one funded by a morally unsupportable regime, on how the lower league clubs should manage their way through the covid crisis.

The implication seems to be that the league 2 clubs are simply sitting here asking for some free money. It doesn’t seem to have occurred to Mark to check what has actually been done already.

Streaming you say? Brilliant idea! Already doing it. We’ re part of a league though, so independent broadcast rights are not allowed – it’s done via the EFL and it’s called iFollow. Works great, but for the smaller clubs the pricing structure is somewhat skewed away from them (there’s a cap on the income from away fans). Our last home match should have netted us £54,000. With iFollow we got around £8,000. Better than nothing, but not sustainable for long.

What’s particularly frustrating, is that the clubs have been working very hard over the summer to get to a point where they could manage crowds safely. They’re not asking for Premier League handouts, just informed decision making. It’s well worth a read of this open letter from our chairman to the Prime Minister.

The EFL itself may or may not be handing the crisis well (starting a league season with no testing regime in place seems…odd) the clubs have responded though, and although I suspect many will not exist in 12 months time, it won’t entirely be their own doing.

Mark is right here – the current 92 club professional league structure is at risk. The well run clubs, the clubs who actually do own their own ground/have assets that aren’t players, the clubs who have a fan base broad enough to sell enough streaming tickets – they’ll survive. The clubs signing players like it’s 2019 for the last month, relying on the deferred VAT relief lasting forever, the clubs with owners wilfully or accidentally incompetent – they’ll probably go, and there’s plenty of them. I don’t see a ground share being viable for too many, partly due to geography, but also the willingness of top tier teams to do it. Mergers, emotional arguments aside, would be incredibly difficult in terms of the legal practicality and probably not permissible in the professional game post – MK Dons.

The answer should be, to let fans back into stadiums where and when it’s safe to do so. If you believe that is now depends on your view as to who is the more reliable decision maker here, our Government or the Sports Ground Safety Authority.
Jeremy Aves (Colchester, for now)

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