We suspect there may be a change of Man United tune in the next mailbox. Send your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Man City ploy?
With the various reports that United are now in for Ronaldo, is it just another ploy by City to get United to outbid them and commit 500k a week to an ageing player?
Sanchez, Fred and now Ronaldo?
Do City fancy a clear run at Haaland next summer with United’s money all tied up?
Ronaldo love for… himself
I’d like to weigh in on the Ronaldo to City move and how it feels as a United fan.
Whilst not my favourite player in my lifetime, he’s objectively the best I’ve ever seen grace Old Trafford for United. The Balon d’Or he won whilst with us attests to that. As such, in almost exactly the same way it was when Big Pete went to City, it wouldn’t be nice to see him donning the sky blue shirt. It’d be disappointing, but hardly burning shirts, erase him from our history levels of betrayal.
In all likelihood, Ronaldo would probably rather not go to City, but he hasn’t got much of a choice. We all know how driven he is, how competitive; the overwhelming desire to win is what made him into the player he is whilst at United… but he’s 36 years old, he wants a final couple of cracks at the Champions League and he’s at a club in Juventus that’s in something of a state of flux, skint and not likely to really compete. None of the other clubs that are favourites for the Champions League want him/can afford him. I’m sure if given the choice, he’d rather go to PSG, or Bayern or wherever, but those aren’t options on the table. It’s City or stay at Juve. Sadly, I know which is far more likely to win a Champions League, and that will take precedence for Ronaldo over his affections for a former club.
I don’t doubt he loves United (and certainly Ferguson), but I think we all know he loves himself rather more…
Lewis, Busby Way
It’s a Ronaldo thing
Personally it’s a big let down, I understand the need for winning trophies, he’s won it all (Apart from the WC which I’m sure he’ll try to get on his last hurrah with the National Team).
But the thing is, Ronaldo never loved Man Utd, he loved just one part of it and that is Sir Alex. I can’t imagine what the atmosphere will be like if walks out in blue, especially in front of young fans that probably grew up watching the guy in red or made them love football in the first place. Expecting it to be extremely toxic. Good Luck to him, but I’m sure he has lost a lot of respect both from fans and neutrals alike.
Someone should make a Judas XI (Fat Ronaldo seems to have outdone CR7 here), the balls to play for Madrid and Barca & AC Milan and Inter Milan.
Atom (Nairobi, Kenya)
F**k me I feel sick
My enthusiasm for football really started going downhill in the last 5 or 6 years.
United in shambles, possession-based football, obscene money, diving, all the hugging in the tunnel and the lack of true rivalry, social media losing its authenticity and being used to push “global brands” etc. just all contributed to me not caring. Then throw in empty stadiums for good measure.
But in the last 2 weeks I’ve watched 3 games that were almost end to end, with players legally getting clattered, fans roaring. United signed a world class player from Real Madrid who actually wanted to leave them for us. Suddenly things are looking better. Now I’m interested.
…and then Ronaldo went and agreed to join City. F**k me I feel sick.
Where’s 2001 Roy Keane when you need him?
Satisfied Liverpool fans
As a Liverpool fan this particular turn of events is pretty satisfying to watch.
I remember when Owen went to united many Liverpool fans felt the same way and united fans LOVED IT. Personally I never liked Owen much and always thought his best years were behind him when he left so I wasn’t bothered about him getting a retirement payday at old scrapyard. Shoe is on the other foot and now united fans are complaining.
Honestly I don’t think you have any right to complain. Ronny served you well, won you trophies, got you a massive transfer fee when he left and has been nothing but respectful of his time in prem and united since.
He’s now at the end of his career (like Owen) looking for a final payday (like Owen) and his achievements and history should still he respected regardless (like Owen).
Granted its way more likely that Ronny scores the winner in the Derby against united than it was for Owen to do the same but still, his history with united was exactly that – history. Let it go and respect the man.
Theres sort of an unwritten rule that football players should have ultimate loyalty. Why? They’re just transient employees, if you’re offered a better job at a better company on more money would you turn it down because of loyalty? I’d wager not. And while YOU the fan might see it differently players are employees with the same right to freedoms of employment that you have.
Funny football fans
Blimey football fans are a funny bunch aren’t they
If Ronaldo signs for City he is not a traitor just a new employee squeezing as much money out of the last years of his career as he can. Surely one motivating factor is to go to another oil rich club and help them win the CL ahead of you know who in Paris.
Ronaldo is not a Mancunian. he left the red lot 12 years ago – it’s hardly the same as going directly from one to the other in the search of more glory.
I work for a large company that has spent many years helping me develop by means of training courses, professional qualifications etc but if one of our rivals said – here’s more dosh come and work for us I’d go in an instant.
If this comes off I’ll find it funny because of the apoplexy likely in the red half of Manchester – if the move were to get hijacked and he turned out to be not suitable for the PL any more, then I’d be laughing with the Blue half. He might turn out to be a bit of a dud in the PL – then I can laugh at City – seems like I can’t lose on this one.
Steve Leeds – still bitter about Alan Smith going to the red lot (but then rumour has it he was told if he didn’t go Leeds would go into admin – no need to kiss the badge though surely)
Ronaldo doesn’t owe Man United fans sh*t
It was his performances that secured you PL and Champion’s League titles, that got you off your seat and gave you one of the closest promises of goals we have seen in the Premier League. He is not Mancunian, didn’t come through your youth system and spent less time in Manchester than he did in Madrid. Man does job immaculately at club for a few years does not bind him to them. And why should his personal ambitions be put aside just to satiate a bunch of man-children he doesn’t even know, just because he spent five or six years doing his job at the club? As for the idiot who talked about him going for the ‘oil money’. The guy is worth all the gold in Fort Knox already. He moved to Juve for the professional challenge of trying to propel them to the Champion’s League, which is exactly what he would be doing by moving to City. I don’t think there has ever been a more nakedly professionally ambitious player in the history of football; he is paid a fortune because he is worth it and he would be paid a fortune regardless of which club he joined, provided they could afford it. United could afford his wages, but unfortunately he has outgrown Old Trafford, and a team managed by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with a holding midfield with the durability and strength of a wet bread stick is never going to match the professional ambitions of a player with such exacting professional and ambitions and expectations. By moving to Man City instead of Man Utd, he is moving to a better club, with higher aspirations, with a more appealing manager, better players and better prospects. Why the hell would he turn that down because he did his job at a club that he didn’t grow up in, that isn’t his home, over a decade ago? Pretty sure that his legend is secure enough that he doesn’t need a statue outside the dilapidated home of mediocrity that once passed for the Theatre of Dreams.
Suck a lemon
Dear all cry baby United fans:
*What goes round comes round.*
A bit rich for you to whinge and critise and cry; when you were gloating over Robin Van Perse’s transfer from Arsenal. And Ronaldo left years ago.
I genuinely hope Ronaldo does transfer to City, scores shed loads against you, then wins Champion League.
You lot have so much delusion, self aggrandisement, and feel entitled.
Suck a slice of lemon and shut up.
Still a bitter Gunner who accepts his fate as mid table battler.
Erhan; Sydney AU.
Mandisi said this morning they would look for an FC United game next time they are in Manchester, which is the most sensible thing a Manchester United fan has said in the mailbox in ages. They haven’t made the best start to the season but currently lead a group of five Greater Manchester sides (Ashton United, Radcliffe, Hyde United and Stalybridge Celtic) occupying 13th-17th in the Northern Premier League Premier. However, the season is only four games old and this division is built on notoriously shifting sands. There’s a double header over the bank holiday weekend, so the league table could have changed dramatically before clubs pause to play in the FA Cup.
Early season form has caught the fixture computer on the hop, as the teams at the top are mainly playing sides far below them, although FC United’s two local derbies (against Hyde and Radcliffe) should provide a bit of spice. Elsewhere the pick of the fixtures is Warrington Town (6th) hosting Matlock Town (7th) on Saturday before travelling to Stafford Rangers (5th) on Monday.
Returning to Mandisi’s point, I’ve long believed that the crowds at South Shields, which have sometimes topped 3,000, are bolstered by people fed up with Newcastle United, Sunderland and Gateshead, who have found a positive outlet for their frustrations, allowing them to still enjoy football and contribute valuable support and money to a club for whom it makes a tangible difference. As before, I’d definitely encourage everyone to try their local non-league club.
Misplaced Spurs optimism
Forget about VAR, massive wages and the worlds best players congregating in Farmer’s leagues – there is no greater signal that the “games gone” than the emergence of super fans like Barry Fox who genuinely believe their club can do no wrong, very much in a weird cult-like, religious manner.
Barry’s latest effort (the difficult follow up album to the original in which he jerks off Daniel Levy) has us told that Spurs have two football teams and then questions whether any of the other “top clubs” have got two sides just as good.
Well let’s start off with the obvious error that suggests Spurs are top club. Who are you comparing yourself to here and how are you measuring it? Based on a combination of recent trophies money (and #bantz admittedly) United, City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Leicester and even Arsenal are above you. That makes you pretty mid table, which is where you ended up last year.
And yes those two sides do look good on paper. But United can definitely field two teams of Internationals and still have some decent players left over (and Phil Jones). I imagine Chelsea and City can do the same and though Liverpool probably can’t their first team would wipe the floor with yours, which brings me to my next point…
Who cares if you can field two teams when you can only put one on the pitch at any one time? Yeh it helps to have strength in depth over the season but what good is that when you’re finishing in the Europa Conference league places at the end of the season?
My opening gambit was a bit disingenuous as, of course, super fans have existed since forever and even realist or pessimist fans (two groups which I flit between myself) can have their moments of blind was where their club is concerned. But for some reason, Barry Fox just seems a step too far, someone who should be a fictional character that isn’t. It’s like the current state of the country I guess, it’s so ridiculous it’s beyond parody.
And that’s depressing.
Ash (waiting until after deadline day to have my opinion on Banter Club United) Metcalfe
It’s not Solskjaer folly…
I agree with almost everything in Will Ford’s article about United’s midfield, except one point.
It is not Solskjaer’s folly at all. He isn’t in charge of signing players and if the director of football and owners tell him he’s not getting a midfielder, he’s not getting a midfielder. Now, he could be honest to the media and moan about Fred not being good enough before sending Fred out to play Wolves on Sunday anyway (the Mourinho method) but that’s just getting your excuses in early (ahead of leaving your job). Solskjaer’s job is to try and win with the resources he’s been given (which are generally quite good resources by most measures) and demoralising the team by admitting to the press that they aren’t good enough is not the best way to achieve that!
Maybe he did have the influence to say right wing is priority one, centre back two, midfield 3, and that would possibly be his error, but I doubt he has that much sway. They signed for those positions because the targets they identified were available, and in midfield, seemingly, they aren’t.
Now, the target for midfield seems to be Rice. The opportunity isn’t there to sign him at an acceptable price this summer like Varane and Sancho, so they haven’t moved. In my opinion, while I agree the midfield is lacking, it would be a mistake to just sign A. N. Other holding midfielder who isn’t the one they planned on. It will leave them with another player who didn’t work out and needs to be moved on and then they’ll miss out on the better option when available…
Having said that, I do agree that Bissouma would be perfect (and a better pick than Rice) and if he was available for £40m they should bite his hand off.
Holy shit football has a really bad sexual violence problem. The Benjamin Mendy thing is the most recent example but in the past year but in the last year there’s also been Neymar, Callum Hudson Odoi and almost definitely more. And these are just the cases that get reported, for countless reasons the vast majority of cases of sexual violence go unreported, especially against people in positions of power, which footballers are because of fame and the money. Even as City suspend Ben Mendy they are working to sign Ronaldo, and there are transcripts of Ronaldo admitting to having sex with someone who in his words “didn’t want it.” And every time these come up there are countless people who go with “we cannot criticise until they are found guilty” ignoring all the power dynamics at play and how our society handles this shit. (very badly that is how society handles this). I’m gonna assume that the problem stems from something similar to frat boy rape culture where if you stick a bunch of rich boys together for long enough some of them will abuse their power to get off, but everyone’s willingness to defend their favourite footballer from credible accusations or even transcripts(!!!) is a major part of the problem and this needs to be addressed.
With all the talk surrounding Cristiano Ronaldo about to return to Manchester, but not the Red side, United fans are readying their pitchforks and getting ready on social media it brought to mind a question, which signing of a former player of your club hurt the most and why? You can be tongue in cheek with it if you like.
For Chelsea, the easy choice would be Frank Lampard going to Manchester City, it never looked right with him in a different shade of blue in England and he even managed to score a goal for City against us, ouch, but on a personal level i think the one transfer that was gutting was Kevin De Bruyne to Manchester City, after seeing what he could do in the Bundesliga i knew he would be a good addition to City, never expected him to become the player he is today, but a fantastic player, so that development made it even more painful, oh what we could have had.
As per usual when you dangle the temptation of an XI in front of me i will respond so here is a quick “Traitors XI”, thought i would include some names that many did not know about, also worth looking into some of the stories behind the moves too, especially Eran Zahavi and Emre.
Thibaut Courtois (Atletico & Real Madrid)
Ashley Cole (Chelsea & Arsenal)
Sol Campbell (Arsenal & Spurs)
Rio Ferdinand (Leeds & Man Utd)
William Gallas (Arsenal, Spurs & Chelsea)
Emre Belozoglu – (Galatasaray & Fenerbahce)
Steven Defour – (Standard Liege & Anderlecht)
Lee Clark (Sunderland & Newcastle)
Mo Johnston (Celtic & Rangers)
Carlos Tevez (Man United & Man City)
Eran Zahavi – (Hapoel Tel Aviv & Maccabi Tel Aviv)
Manager: Harry Redknapp (Portsmouth to Southampton to Portsmouth)
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