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For God’s sake, don’t sign Bale and the gang
Have lessons been learned, it looked like they had, but Ole’s performance is clouding the need for an overhaul of the scouting system and need for a DoF.
I am petrified we will continue the Football Manager approach and Ed will get his dream from Real’s firesale. Sign Bale (injury prone and in decline) Kroos (in decline) then go after Koulibaly (has anyone actually watched him or just looked at Football Manager?).
Since not having a manager who moans about wanting a new centre back every press conference Lindelof and Smalling have stepped up. I agree another is needed but who, there is a dearth of quality centre-backs who would actually make an improvement that would be available (before anyone rattles out the usual list, actually watch them, they are not an improvement and make as many mistakes as what we have).
Get back to the United way, young hungry talent and the way up.. no more ‘superstar, ready made talents’.
The only name I have seen so far that is a good fit and gettable is Wan-Bissaka, Sancho would be great but I just can’t see that happening.
We need two full0backs, a midfielder and a right side forward. Four players from being genuine challengers again.
Why not Giggsy?
LFCfan, I can answer this one: it’s because Giggs had literally zero management experience before he became caretaker manager at United.
A cursory glance at Ole’s history (thanks, Wikipedia) will show three years managing the United reserves, during which time he won two trophies. Then he went to Molde for his first managerial position, where he won the league in his first two seasons (Molde’s first ever league titles) and the domestic cup. Then follows the season at Cardiff, also known as the stick with which to unjustifiably beat him, following which he returned to Molde, where he performed relatively well (couple of second places in the league and decent progress in the cups).
Giggs had literally no managerial experience at all, not even at youth level. On what basis should he have been considered? Because he played for us? Sure, that also applies to Ole, but Ole actually did the hard yards first, at least gaining himself a CV before attempting the United job. You ask whether Giggs couldn’t have done the same but the difference is that you can only base an answer to that question on a gut feeling; Ole had actual evidence to support his claim, even if it isn’t exactly the CV one might expect for a club the size of United.
Cardiff was undoubtedly a job he will look back on with regrets about, but it’s all a learning curve. I’m sure he took something from that experience, but Giggs didn’t even have that. And in any case, some managers excel at struggling clubs where others struggle (could Guardiola do much better with Cardiff now?) Some managers can make the step up to elite clubs, while others can’t convert their skills to do so (Allardyce, for example). Horses for courses.
I hope that answers your question somewhat.
…LFC fan poses a fair question in the morning mailbox, about whether or not Solskjaer has ‘earned’ the job at United. The way I see it, where this differs from the Giggs situation (and this is just a theory), is that at the time he was being mentioned for the job, the Moyes debacle had just concluded, and it seemed prudent to give the job to someone who had substantial experience. Van Gaal, and then Mourinho were both blockbuster names and hardened veterans, and the hope was that each appointment would work out great for United, which clearly didn’t happen.
There’s every chance Giggs could have had the same effect on the club that Ole’s having now, we’ll never know. And maybe he should have been offered the opportunity, but given the circumstances at the time, it would have been a massive risk. After five years of trying to get more ‘experienced’ names to work out, United decided to take a punt and try a completely different approach, and it’s working wonders. And beyond just improving the mood at the club (which I imagine would have been a significant part of his initial brief), Ole’s now showing that he’s got the other tools he needs to potentially succeed in the role full time. And he’s got Mike Phelan, of course.
As things stand, Ole’s past experience is irrelevant because of how well he’s doing at United right now with this particular set of players – his performance as the interim manager makes him the most logical permanent appointment at this moment in time. Much like the fringe players he’s called upon in recent weeks, he’s grabbed the chance he got with both hands and far exceeded expectations. As to Lampard and Chelsea, maybe he could work out there too, if the board were willing to take a chance on giving him the job. At the end of the day, appointing any manager is a risk in some way, and at United the weight of expectation probably amplifies that risk. We’re just enjoying the ride for now, and hoping that the positive results and mood can extend beyond the end of this season.
DJ, MUFC India
Contrition from Dave
After the previous round of UCL games, I wrote a scathing email on how Man U had embarrassed the Premier League with that 0-2 loss at home and how Tottenham’s performance had even further highlighted their woeful performance. Context may have been lost, as it sometimes happens in written word, but I wasn’t harsh because they lost, it was the manner of the loss. I have to say, the only good thing that came out of that, was that they did not allow PSG to rake up the scoreline. A 0-3, like what Dortmund had conceded would surely have been too much, but at 0-2, a turn around wasn’t completely out of the realms of possibility.
The results after this week have completely redeemed Man U and Solskjaer, and even without the VAR, I felt they had done a commendable job away to PSG. So to all the Man U fans out there, who feel I was too harsh, or a proper hater, I’ll just say I apologize for my scathing words, I was jumping up with joy and punching the air when that penaulty went in. What a performance.
Dave (I hope Man City don’t go and embarrass the EPL next week), Somewhere
Trophy for Jose?
Feel dirty for saying this, but I hope United lift the Champions League now. Only because I want to see Mourinho gatecrash the final to pick up a medal for the group stage and try and lift the trophy ahead of Ole. You wouldn’t be too surprised to see it to be honest.
Will, (fully fledged ABPSG) CFC
Terrible result for Arsenal last night. I do have to congratulate the likes of Graham on their magnificent insight: ‘if Arsene had been in charge he would have gone on the attack’.
Yes just like he did at Bayern, and ended up losing 10-2.
Or just like he did at Old Trafford, and lost 8-2.
Or just like he did at Anfield and lost 5-1.
Or just like he did a few weeks earlier at Chelski, and lost 6-0.
Or just like he did when 4-2 up at home to Spurs with five minutes to go, and drew 4-4.
Or just like he did against Barca in the Nou Camp (twice) and lost 4-0.
Or just like he did when 3-0 up at home to Anderlecht, and drew 3-3.
Or just as he did at Citeh when in the game, and got thrashed 6-3.
Or just as he went on the attack at Southampton and got humped 4-0.
Or just as he did in this same competition last season, with the most expensive squad in the Europa League, and was easily swatted aside by Simeone.
I understand that Graham must be pining for Arsene’s outstanding European legacy of success (30 years, zero European trophies) and of course we all know Emery has no comparative pedigree in Europe (just the three trophies so far, more than Arsenal FC). It’s also a shame Arsenal were eliminated last night, just as they were eliminated after the first leg defeat at BATE, when Emery should definitely have been sacked! 🤔
Wenger should return, Arsenal miss his brilliance. Which also explains why he’s still sitting by the phone, unemployed, with no career prospects despite Madrid desperately seeking an elite coach. 🤔
Don’t all these big clubs realise what Arsene could do for them! He could just mindlessly attack!
It’s wonderful to watch a bunch of fans who spent 14 years content to endure mediocrity and eat faeces, so long as it was Arsene’s poo. I don’t get it Graham, what happened to ‘give the manager time’, ‘you cannot compete with oil money’, ‘real fans have patience’, ‘I blame the board and Kroenke’ and ‘we have an injury crisis’? Suddenly it’s all on the manager? Why didn’t I see calls for Wenger’s head after he finished trophyless and 24 points behind Chelsea in the 2006 season?
As I’ve said several times over, it’s like the MAGA morons in the US. Graham is the equivalent of a Trump fan asking for Obama’s impeachment for wearing a tan-suit, while turning a blind eye to grand larceny by his Lord. 🙄
There’s a reason Arsenal are currently a Europa team, despite spending more on wages than Spuds and Liverpool. There’s a reason Arsenal don’t have a single world-class player (how did your darling Ozil get on last night btw? If only Emery had played him! Oh. Rennes is a step up too far tbf). Emery deserves blame for last night as the manager should always be accountable. But as the ‘miracle of Paris’ showed, a European tie consists of two legs. Change your nappy and wait for Arsenal to actually go out.
Stewie Griffin (starting to think Graham is his surname and Lindsey is his first name, with the amount of s***-eating of his Dear Leader he’s doing)
…Arsenal has been badly-run both on the field (poor tactics, poor defending, etc, etc) and off the field (the haphazard approach to transfers and contracts) for years. It shows that Wenger should have left years ago (after losing 8-2 at Old Trafford, perhaps?) when the situation could still be salvaged. If anything, the Wenger Out Brigade didn’t get on Arsene’s case soon enough. The grisly price of the club’s so-called ‘stability’ is now clear for all to see (if only there was a contemporary political parallel for an organisation that was superficially successful but was actually storing up massive problems for the future….). And what on earth happened to all that money that Wenger was supposedly saving up for the club’s ‘bright’ future during the ‘austerity’ years anyway? I feel for Unai Emery. All he can do is to try and patch things up a bit on the pitch but it’ll take years for Arsenal to get back to being consistent challengers at the top table. Arsenal’s next title-winning manager is probably someone we haven’t even heard of yet.
…I have to bite, Graham Simons has same desire to knee jerk every week in order to be published.
How soon he forgets the gung ho attitude of Wenger, 1-0 down at home to Monaco in the Champions League, we went on a mad chase to get the win at home, went 2-0 down, finally got a goal back in added time, again went gung ho for that all important equaliser and lost another goal at the death losing 1-3 by the time the full 90 minutes was up.
We aren’t out of Europe yet, the players you lament are not Emery’s signings, save your bitching for this time next year if things aren’t going well, seriously.
…Sweet baby jebus it hasn’t taken long for people to pine for the good old days of Arsene, has it? Never mind rose tinted glasses, some contributors are trying to look directly through petals.
Do we really need to repeat this all again? Big job, early days, patient is key, yada yada yada. It’s just embarrassing and for once it’s not just Stewie causing reasonable people to cover their faces in shame.
Matt Wright, Gunner in Aus
Is this Ramos v Neymar debate the anti-hero equivalent of Messi v Ronaldo debate?
Both are remarkable bellends who play/played for Real and Barca. Neymar beats refs with (acting) skills like Messi beats players with (dribbling) skills. And Ramos beats you physicality (i.e. injuring players) the same way Ronaldo beats teams by being physically superior (faster, higher, stronger).
Gaurav MUFC (we need an anti Ballon d’or, maybe Bellend’or)
Pete Goldstein is without doubt your best writer. I love his latest piece about narratives, with the cherry on the cake being ‘ask yourself what role Keanu Reeves would play in this movie’ – brilliant.
The only point I have is that when you don’t have all the facts, without narrative, how do you make conclusions? What would happen to 16 conclusions?
There isn’t much in the world where we can all say, without question, that we have all the facts to make an informed decision/conclusion. Humans naturally fill in the gaps with their own personality, emotions, prejudices and virtues and I think football is the ultimate expression of that. Narratives within one’s self are fine, it’s just that when they come from media sources then it’s just a vehicle for clickbait.
Here on F365 we all have our opinions, we are right, we are wrong, ace. Just don’t quote specific stats because whatever you think proves your point, in football, it doesn’t. There is always a counter-argument which is just as valid, that’s what makes it such a great game, but probably also what pisses everyone off just as much.
Much love to PG.
Fat Man (your resident contrarian)
Too late to fight the narrative…
This narrativisation of every bounce of the ball, every yellow card, every VAR decision is turning football from sport to drama. It makes me think, is there a deliberate media agenda at play here? Of course there is, but what is the ultimate goal. Are we seeing the early stages of the Netflixisation© of football. There’s only so many spin off shows and hours of analysis possible in a logical, fact based world, but if a moment of luck, a lone second half shot, a flailing arm can be viewed as the work of a genius, a messiah well then get the camera’s rolling, we’ve hours of story to extrapolate.
We’re already seeing it of course, Sky have been overdoing it for years now, clubs and soon to be players (Sergio Ramos 8 part docu-series coming to your screens soon) are producing their own content for Netflix. Man United’s data mining app feeding fans with daily doses of nostalgia less they forget that Ole was destined for this moment from birth.
I’m not saying this is a bad thing per se, all of this certainly leads to some compelling stories. For those who just want to watch the football, process the facts and leave it at that, well we can always just switch off before the camera’s shoot over to Neville et al.
However, be warned, when you listen to your colleagues the next day discussing the previous nigh’ts proceedings you may find yourself doubting that which you saw with your own eyes, the narrative can distort the facts, it is after all a more exciting reality to live in.
Sam, (Delighted to see United knock out PSG, because there are more important things in this world than football rivalry) LUFC