Were Man United and Chelsea working together all along?

Date published: Friday 21st July 2017 8:40 - Matthew Stead

Send your thoughts to theeditor@football365.com.


Bravo? Ederson
Granted this was only one of his first games for City and it was a friendly, so the results hardly mattered but Ederson looked a bit suspect in the United vs City friendly.

Both the United goals could partly be attributed to his mistakes. For big Rom’s opener, he rushed off his line abandoning the goal allowing Lukaku to run past him and finish from a tight angle (great finish! all our other attacking players would’ve cocked that up).

It might be too harsh to judge him badly for the second goal but from the angle and distance he should’ve probably got down faster to block Rashford’s shot (Rashford seems to have improved his finishing, something that was lacking last season).

Maybe it’s just early jitters, maybe he’ll settle down to become immense for City. City fans will certainly hope so
Yash, MUFC (Where’s the DM we do badly need?)


Pep getting a free ride
Can you imagine the uproar if Mourinho was trying to buy two full backs for £100m? You wouldn’t hear the end of it.

Well, Pep’s bought Walker for £50m, bought Danilo from Madrid for £26m and is now throwing £44.5m at Monaco for Mendy.

What? Where’s the outrage?
Peepal Tree MUFC


Were United and Chelsea working together all along?
A fairly fanciful (and rather funny) thought just struck me about this whole Lukaku and Morata transfer business. What if United wanted Lukaku and Chelsea wanted Morata from the start but both figured they’d be ripped off? Was there some common ground they could find to both get a better deal?

We heard throughout May and early June that it was only a matter of time before Lukaku joined Chelsea and Morata joined United but the fees floated by the selling clubs were unworkable for both buyers. To that end, United chased Morata before suddenly withdrawing from the race. This weakened Real’s hand and allowed Chelsea to get Morata for 50-something million rather than the 75 million United were quoted.

Similarly, Chelsea were seemingly after Lukaku but Everton wouldn’t sell for less than 100 million. The interest cooled and Everton were essentially forced to do business with the only possible suitor.

Again, this idea is rather unlikely but United and Chelsea have had no problems buying from each other in the past and helping an ultra-rich buddy save 25 million while addressing an obvious weakness in the squad may not be so far-fetched after all.

Yours Nefariously,
Mike Ahern, HTFC, Kentucky (Apologies for the lack of pound signs. My phone only speaks Pubic Wig)


Morata v Lukaku
Congratulations Tom K for the most ridiculous mail I have ever seen in the mailbox.

Firstly, comparisons about who is a better player are not meaningless. Assessing which players are better than others is what the whole footballing world revolves around. From transfers to to starting line ups, every single important decision is based on these assessments.

‘Both teams got the best player’ – What does this statement actually mean? It’s completely sensical.

It was also a bizarrely smug mail. There was a sort of self righteousness about it, ‘look at all these silly fans arguing about whose better, i’m well above all that. ‘

If you find debates about football so ‘tiring’, why are you in the F365 mailbox?
Joe Mc, Celtic


Some Morata verse
I’m not sure whether Morata will prove successful at Chelsea or not, so I’m not going to propose reasons why he’ll be brilliant/terrible, as have been mooted in the previous couple of mailboxes. What I do know is that Chelsea bringing in a new main striker has just undone hours of tinkering and carefully-laid plans regarding my fantasy football team. To express my exasperation, here’s a short poem.

Morata’s the cat;
We are the pigeons.
I’m really terrible
At making decisions.

Daniel Searle, (actually a practising poet, not that you’d know i… hang on… not that you’d realise.) Brighton


Wilshere is worth £9m
I haven’t seen much of it in the mails here, but my social media is awash with Arsenal fans wringing their hands over the mooted transfer fee for Jack Wilshere. And it’s ridiculous. The complaining, I mean.

Guys. It’s over. The Wilshere project has been a failure. It is fine to admit it. (I’m looking at you, Tony Adams.) If the loan last season to Bournemouth proved anything, surely it was that he will never again achieve the heights of that night in Barcelona. The injury thing may be right but so what? Abou Diaby was a fantastic footballer, but we could never use him. What Premier League club is going to pay £20m for a player who, with the best will in the world, is GUARANTEED to be out injured for much of his career?

Yes, £9m sounds about right, and in any case the Ligurian coast is wonderful.

By the way, mention Theo “10 goals per season” Walcott to the same fans, and they are ready to eat him alive. We Arsenal fans are lunatics…

Finally I must say there is something deeply endearing about Wenger’s utter refusal to fall for transfer fee nonsense. He takes out a calculator, does the sums and charges you *precisely* what the player is worth. We’ll have no British player inflation here. Oh no.
Sipho, Johannesburg


The media effect
Wow, what a performance from the Englands womens team

I just goes to show how a team of English Footballers and a manager can perform without constant gripe and criticism at every move…

Leaving out Izzy Christiansen & Karen Carney would have been the equivalent of Gareth Southgate leaving our Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney at the Euro’s last year…

Can you imagine the debate and ridicule if The Mens manager didn’t start with the PFA player of the year… or on reputation Best player….

I think allowing 2 days of gripe and debate following the final squad announcement, leading into a tournament there should be a self imposed ban on negative press until the tournament is over…. Let’s see how a team can do in a positive atmosphere where they know they are being backed, not criticised before kicking a ball….

When was the last time England went into a tournament in a positive frame of mind…


Next season’s top six
Seeing the thoughts about the top 6 was very interesting and I’d like to share mine. In this order:

1. Tottenham: as much as this kills me to say, Tottenham has no weaknesses really.  As much as people will point to inactivity as a negative I see it as a plus. Every player on that team will get better over the next 3-4 years so no need to worry. They were already the team that seemed to play the best last year and nobody will need time to learn the league for them.

2. Arsenal: a more motivated Sanchez and an Arsenal team that has no reason to rest him in any games this year, I see that being dangerous (if he leaves they could drop out of top 6).  I believe lacazzette is the best striker bought this window. There I said it. He’s the best all around player and in arsenals team he should be a joy to watch with Ozil supplying him and Sanchez.  Plus Wenger seems different this year I’m thinking that’s a plus.

3. Manchester United: alas, my favorite team. I don’t see them putting in a league title this year but I could see a semifinals in the champions league. Lukaku is a good signing and will score but mourinhos united seems very Rafa’s Liverpool to me. In other words a cup team that makes runs but isn’t consistent enough to win a league title (hope I’m wrong). Pogba being settled and hopefully rashford/mkhi/martial getting better should bump them up a few spots at least.

4. Manchester City: Gabriel Jesus will probably win the golden boot (boy is he a player) but with so many new signings a slow start seems likely. Around January they will probably catch fire but I predict it won’t be enough to catch the rest.

5. Chelsea:  Kante does the work of 2 player sure but he’s never played in Europe during his other seasons in the epl. If anyone can prove me wrong it’s him but I can’t see him being able to keep up his energy all season. Also don’t really think morata is much of an upgrade over costa if any, but if sure they’ll be better to watch without costa (the pr*ck).

6. Liverpool: the constant pressing while playing champions league will be tough. Especially when they really couldn’t keep it up in the league all year.  If they get vvd it will completely change everything and him and another cm would probably boost them to 3rd above United.
Kyle MUFC (lingard goal will definitely win us at least one cup next year)


Transfer thoughts on the rest
Three weeks since the transfer window opened and (naturally) most of the conversation surrounds the top 6/7 from last season. Out of interest, I went for a look at the rest of the league and cobbled together some thoughts. Would be happy for fans of these clubs to actually come back and tell me why I’m wrong.

Liverpool fan so hope I’m not being unfair on anyone!

Left out the promoted sides as I didn’t see enough of them last season to judge but, here we go…

Bournemouth: What’s done? Begovic, Aké, Defoe and Mahoney – not bad at all! Can’t find fault here and barring a major departure, they look in good shape to me. Another CM might be useful but I’d hope for Lewis Cook to get a look in there if fitness permits.

Burnley: Charlie Taylor and Jon Walters are clever signings and I’ve always rated Jack Cork as a solid CM. Few good options in that position now with Hendrick and Defour.
Loss of Michael Keane is unsurprising but has to be covered – very weak at the centre of defence as it stands and could probably use a few goals too. Danny Ings on loan?

Crystal Palace: What’s done? Nada. Seriously, I was surprised too. But getting de Boer in as manager is a real coup and I’d expect a glut of players in soon. Goalkeeper, central defence, another option up top and keeping hold of Zaha, Milivojevic important. Links to Martins Indi and Jairo Riedewald make sense. Would be nice to Loftus-Cheek play a bit too, mainly because I never have.

Everton: Best business of the whole window? Possibly. Even if I have my doubts about Rooney, it’s hard to argue with most of the others. That said, some pace in the attack wouldn’t go astray unless Koeman is going to use Mirallas (and Bolasie, when fit again). Sigurdsson would be a great signing, though the money is nuts, and I really think that the departure of Barkley wouldn’t be a major issue if the Icelander is his replacement. Not totally sold on any of the striking options as yet. The defence and midfield combo of Keane and Williams with Gueye and Schneiderlin looks solid as a rock.

Leicester: Maguire looks like a clever signing, gives another option at the back. The rest of the side will look less healthy if Mahrez goes. Also feel like Musa, Mendy and a few others could well slink out unnoticed. Definitely room for some more quality, I’m just not exactly sure where…

Southampton: Managerial switch looks good. If Van Dijk stays, the defence is set. If he goes, a replacement is needed. In fact, barring any major departures, Southampton probably don’t need too many arrivals. Would be hoping that the likes of Boufal can improve on last season and that Redmond and Romeu continue their good form from last season.

Stoke: I was pretty surprised at how thin and weak Stoke’s squad is, especially if Arnautovic completes his West Ham move. Seriously, this will be a long list – goals, defence, midfield, creativity, Stoke need the works.

Swansea: I don’t know much about the new arrivals tbh. Keep Mawson, Sigurdsson and Llorente and Swansea might do okay but lose even one of those and it looks grim.

Watford: They honestly have the strangest collection of footballers I’ve ever seen. There’s definitely eleven decent ones in there but Marco Silva may have a challenge to find and accommodate them. A new goalie makes sense, too, as does another option up front. Interested to see how Will Hughes does. He seems to have been around forever.

West Brom: WBA’s squad looks pretty thin as it stands. Not lacking in quality in any particular position but just seem a little short in a few spots, especially in defence. Evans, Dawson and McAuley are all still there so that’s a plus.

West Ham: I think Zabaleta is the most West Ham signing ever. A little past it, potentially still useful, probably being paid a fortune. On the other hand, Hart, Arnautovic and Hernandez are all very good (if the latter two are completed that is). I’m not quite sure how it all works on paper but there are quite a few very good players at West Ham. Keep Reid, Ogbonna, Cresswell and Antonio in the side and it looks good with the new arrivals.

So that’s me – mainly a thought experiment but would be really interested to know what other people think because I’m bored of talking about Liverpool, Lukaku, Morata and Kyle Walker.
Kevin, LFC, Ireland


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