Rashford is Walcott with good PR amid same old sh*t at Man Utd

Date published: Sunday 12th December 2021 1:30 - Editor F365

Keep your mails coming to theeditor@football365.com.


Tragic Man United
Well that was tragic. A positive was 3 points.  I said last week that nobody should get carried away with a 1-0 win at home to Palace.
I have also said on numerous occasions that Ole should have been sacked earlier and should never have been given the job.
That team, those players, some from the Jose, LVG, Moyes and even Fergie era are not good enough.  All Ole did was add even more crap to the pile and sprinkle with some clichés.
It’s going to take more than a magic 6 months, it’s going to take 7 or 8 new players. Heck if pep came in, jump forward 12 months, how many of them would be starting?

A positive from the game was De Gea, you know I’m not his biggest fan but blimey, he came for crosses and caught them, I nearly choked on my hot chocolate. A Few very good saves as well. He is also speaking more after the games, he’s never done that before. Comes across as a more honest character in terms of performances than any other Utd player.
Our bloody keeper got man of the match against Norwich.

The other 10 who started? most are not good enough to make a successful winning team.
I’d keep Dalot over AWB but Telles is as hot and cold as Shaw.
Sancho can tear up the German league all he wants, he’s been woeful every England performance, and even worse for Utd. We’ve had players from Germany before and it’s never really worked. He should be judged on what he’s doing now, not what he did with a different club in a different league.

Bruno? Just gives the ball away and that’s more or less what he’s done all season, he’ll then wave his arms in the air, run around like a 5 year old and generally try to do everything apart from what he’s supposed to be doing.  Yes he has great stats, but his performances this season is what counts. He needs to sort himself.  We need to stop living on past performances.  If a Pep player at City under performs like Bruno has, he’s on his way out.

For once McTom and Fred were not our worst players but come on, they ain’t gonna win you much.
Ronaldo was $hit, if I can’t allow myself sentiment for Ole and Bruno, I can’t with Ronaldo either.  He was horrible and if we’re honest, has been since he came back. I wouldn’t be starting him if Cavani is fit. We can’t allow ourselves to play like we have 10 men just in hope Ronaldo gets a chance and scores.

But worst of the lot, is Rashford. Sorry to the Rashford fans who call him world class and an amazing player, he simply is not.  He has no footballing brain. Think Theo Walcott but with a better PR team. It’s literally head down and run, lose the ball and claim he was fouled. Is he any better than Dan James? I’m being serious! There is only so long you can keep the illusion that’s he’s any good.

It’s strange, normally it’s the defense that is always talked about as being terrible.  Any defence is going to be awful if it’s not protected and if the forwards can’t hold it up or pass to each other.  For all the talk about our forwards striking fear into our opponents, I’m starting to wonder what the hell they’re on about.

Let’s look at it with open eyes.  Ole wasn’t good enough, I think we can now all see that.  We also have to look at the facts that most of the players who have been bought for ridiculous money, who are on outrageous contracts, simply are not good enough for a club the size of Man Utd.  None of them deserve any fan loyalty from us so why are we championing them?  Champion success, champion winners, champion consistency, stop championing mediocrity.  This lot haven’t won anything, why are we pretending it’s a team of world class players?
I even say Ronaldo doesn’t deserve it. I love the guy, greatest ever, but I also don’t forget that he wanted out and left as he was coming into his prime. He’s only back because nobody else would give him what he wanted. If city paid him, he’d be there. Don’t let Rio tell you otherwise.

It might sound that I’ve changed my mind and that the problem was the players all along. Which isn’t the case, Ole continuously selected the same underperforming players game in game out which meant zero competition for places, his transfer record wasn’t great to say the least and he developed nobody. Ole has left a bigger mess than Jose, proven by Ole walking in and the team playing better football from game 1, well for 2/3 months anyway, until he got the job full time then… Well the end of that season was back to normality.
Ralf’s come in, let’s be honest, slightly more organised but it’s the same $hit on a different day.  Ole has left a complete mess.

I think and hope that we now have a manager, albeit interim, who will be allowed to sort this complete mess out.
The bare minimum that team needs by the start of next season is 2 CB’s, 2 CM’s and a striker that’s just to compete, I’m not saying they’ll win anything.
Any current players not on board or unable to play the way the manager wants should not be in the squad.  That was an Ole performance, which could mean it’s the only way that lot can play. New manager bounce last 26 minutes.

Looking at those players, nobody should be a guaranteed squad member, let alone starter.  The kids in midweek showed up that Utd bench by playing no worse than them and Young Boys are better than Norwich.  Apart from Greenwood, what’s the point of that Utd bench?
Mike. (We need another 3 years, this time with an actual manager who has some stones)

READ MORE: Man Utd’s attack becomes Rangnick’s most pressing concern

United narratives
Probably not the best place to say this but I am so sick of so many football fans. Especially fans of United.

All big clubs have a vocal number of asshats, clowns and armchair managers who know better than the experts and who often drown out the more reasonable and balanced ones.

So, on to the recent narratives that swirl like trapped farts in a changing room.

“Rashford should be dropped and is rubbish.” “Fred is terrible.” “McTominay offers nothing.” “Dalot isn’t good enough.” “Sancho can’t do it in a bigger league.” “Ronaldo carries the team / digs them out every time.”

Obviously the Sancho, Fred and Dalot narratives have gone quiet now. So on to today.

If Ronaldo had finished the chance from McTominay’s lovely through ball (as you’d bank on him doing), that would have been two assists for the lad after his cross that set up the pen and another key play by Fred.

If Ronaldo had finished the chance created by Rashford’s lovely cut back after skinning his man, that would have been a cracking assist to silence the critics (and of course if he’d managed to finish his own chances) and a hattrick for Ronaldo.

No criticism for Ronaldo. He scored again, he did decent again (although not his best) and the way he made space for the shot from McTominay’s pass even after the initial chance had gone shows his immense quality. But his goal was an albeit beautifully taken penalty. Does that still qualify as carrying the side?

Either way, it’s sliding doors moments like these that are forgotten in fan rants against certain players, who only look at the big stats.

Instead, and perfectly fairly because he was immense, De Gea will get all the praise for his excellent saves. Just don’t forget the rest, eh?

Also, fair credit to Norwich who were well drilled and both lucky and unfortunate with the end result.

Norwich City versus Man Utd


United rob Norwich
We definitely didn’t deserve 3 points. DDG the only reason we even should’ve gotten 1. Embarrassing that we had to rob the 20th place team. Rashford, Ronaldo, Bruno, McT, and Maguire were pretty woeful. So of course Sancho gets taken off. Read a comment that Ole is going to rip off his Rangnick mask any second now and it felt so true. Can’t believe I waited in anticipation for that performance.. ugh.
AR, MUFC (But we’ll take 3 pts…)


A Saturday of penalties
City had a man advantage for 45+ mins, and won on a penalty.

Chelsea won on a penalty, depending how your look at it, they won on 2 penalties.

Liverpool won on a penalty, maybe even won on a penalty not being given.

Man Utd, won on a penalty.

Because United is Banter FC, their “poor” performance gets more headlines and commentary. Apparently we should be worried. But why would I worry when the top 3 who are a mile or two ahead of us aren’t faring much better in their scorelines? The PL is more competitive than ever and playing bottom half teams isn’t the almost guaranteed rout it used to be. Really established teams with systems like City and Pool still manage it, but clearly not every time. If United stick with a system, develop their youth under this system, hire managers who fit this system then we’ll catch up and challenge eventually. We once won the league on the back of a series of 1-0 (Cantona) victories. We won the league years later on the back of 374 Cronaldo braces and won most games 1-0 or 2-0.

United winning 3 games in a row with a system that is hardly established is being framed as a worry, when in fact it’s just growing pains. Beating Norwich 1-0 isn’t an embarrassment, it’s a hard fought victory against a side that brings extra motivation against top sides. The difference is that true true quality wins these tough games against lower teams. We’re not true true quality yet, but it’s a sign that we may be headed back there. We had a great record against top teams under Ole, but that ended up meaning f**k all. What separates United from Liverpool and City this year is a handful of 1-0 victories against “bottom” teams for them and, well, almost the opposite for us. The league isn’t won on being able to “do the double” over top four teams anymore, it’s won on grinding through the tough physical games against newly promoted sides brimming with confidence and bottom half teams that somehow have incredibly good managers. As much as I hate to admit it, Pool and City (and probably Chelsea, but I’ll wait to see how the Tuchel reign plays out) have become machines at this. It should be no surprise, under Sir Alex we often had the same struggles against bottom teams, only we were able to scrape victories exactly how Pep and Klopp’s teams are doing it today. Besides the “bottom” teams, there’s now a whole new incredibly difficult middle class to contend with. Villa, Brentford, Leicester, Spurs, Arsenal, West Ham…are these teams that much less difficult to beat than the top 3? I don’t think so. But quality sees a good team win most of those, often by thin margins, while still winning some battles against the powerhouses. The thin margins are returning to the red side of Manchester and that’s not a cause for worry (for United fans). The cause for worry is what will the board do if and when we do falter? In the meantime I’m not going to worry about winning games and not conceding goals. It’s preposterous to do so. And by that logic, the narrative of City and Chelsea being poor this weekend is also out of tune with the the quality of the league. They’re not poor, they’re winning games exactly how champions win titles. Let’s stop expecting top teams to win by miles all the time and start giving the due respect to these teams that mount incredible challenges against far superior resources.
Jamin (please stop publishing mails of people calling Man Utd “Man U”; we condemn the horrid Highbury and other inexcusable chants but still allow people to make fun of the victims of the Munich air disaster?), Montreal


Well, not much change to the top of the table with 5 of the top 6 winning, but intriguing that 4 of those were from winning penalties. Trivia: do any of the mailboxers know when was the last time that 5 games were decided by penalties on the same day/weekend? This is including Brentford’s win.
And when were 7 penalties given in one day/weekend?


Are we already in a super league where the set up is there to support the biggest teams hungry for 3 more points as they chomp their way to another piece of silverware. Teams that cost huge sums more than those they are playing who benefit from absurd refereeing decisions that would never be given if that was against them. I’m cringing looking at Sterling wheel off in glee after scoring that penalty and seeing the Chelsea fans all jigging about having needed the 12th and 13th man to help them win. I’m also tired of how referees from way before these times have always cowered away from having the balls to see things impartially without fearing some big 4 manager ranting and raving at them afterwards. What does it matter if I go against Leeds here? What have they got to play for and lose? I’d rather do that than cost Chelsea the title. Such is life I guess…let the big boys keep gorging


Non-existent holes
Sorry Harry, great article and a great read but he seems to have himself in a tizz about nothing.

In this years Champions league group stage

– Barcelona went out
– Ajax p***ed their group
– Man City and PSG went ‘toe to toe’
– Liverpool made a group of death look a joke
– Atletico squeezed through with A+ s**thousery
– Sheriff beat Real
– Dortmund are out
– It included a group of ‘mild injury’*

* The group Lille won with 4 evenly matched teams

I often wonder what some people are watching. I do wish sometimes people would just enjoy the game, instead of trying to find non-existent holes.

The game isn’t perfect right now, but if you look hard enough, you’ll see its pretty darn good.


Expensive flops
I saw a list of the top 10 most expensive transfers of all time, and it’s remarkable how many of them have been terrible. Indulge me, if you may, as I go through them;

1 – Neymar (C-) – he plays whenever he’s fit, and his performances, goals and assists record are pretty good, but… he’s frequently injured, seems like a complete tw@, a pain to manage, hasn’t brought the coveted CL. He’s not a flop, but a £200m bargain he is not.

2 – Mbappe (A) – the only unqualified success in the list. He’s a brilliant player, and though he’s likely to leave on a free, a club was willing to hand PSG their money back in the summer despite him only having a year left on his deal.

3 – Countinho (F-) – pound for pound the worst transfer of all time? Probably. Was never world class, even at his best, and the transfer fee always looked ludicrously inflated, but still… could it have gone worse? After a failed loan, in which he scored twice in an 8-2 shellacking against his parent club, Barca can’t give him away.

4 – Joao Felix (C) – jury is still somewhat out as he’s very much got age on his side still, but he’s hardly pulled up trees thus far and the feeling remains that he’s just not a Cholo player.

5 – Griezmann (F) – Griezmann is/was a great footballer, but signing a 28yo second striker for £100m+ that operates at his best with the team is built round him seems rather daft when you already have a second striker that operates at his best when he has the team built round him, and that guy happens to be arguably the greatest of all time. Now on loan back at Atleti after a miserable few years

6 – Grealish (TBC) – too early to grade but at the moment looks to be in the “good not great” arena

7 – Lukaku (TBC) – too early again but the signs aren’t good so far. I’ve personally never rated him; doing well at the best team in a weaker league didn’t make convince me otherwise.

8= – Dembele (E) – perennially injured, reportedly not a very good professional, likely to leave on a free. It’s gone better than Coutinho is the best you can say.

8= – Pogba (D) – at his best, brilliant, at his worst a liability. Inconsistency has been the only constant. Seems like an insufferable arse that comes with a massive circus attached. Won’t be missed when he leaves in the summer.

10 = – Hazard (E-) – arrived overweight, repeatedly injured, now just looks like a knacked former thoroughbred. It’s been pretty disastrous.

10 = – Ronaldo (C+) – it’s hard to judge Ronaldo’s time at Juve. He scored loads of goals but the team got steadily worse. Didn’t win the Champions League but did massively increase commercial revenue (the two reasons he was signed). Neither flop nor rip roaring success.

10 = – Bale (C-) – on the one hand, he played a part in delivering several Champions Leagues to Real, including scoring in more than one final. On the other, he’s been pocketing £500kpw to be injured/play golf/be at Spurs for a good few seasons now.

All in all, Mbappe aside, it’s a list of middling to disastrous signings. What does this say about the transfer market? I’m not sure, but it’s interesting (at least to me) nonetheless.
Lewis, Busby Way


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