Where are Man Utd’s scout reports? They don’t need any more children!

Date published: Thursday 27th June 2019 2:41

Jesse Lingard Paul Pogba Manchester United

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Hilarious Manchester United articles
Is anyone else reading the articles on Manchester United‘s more certain three signings? James, wan Bissaka, Longstaff. Three players with 51 games in top flight football between them. Most recent Longstaff article, “he’s also an excellent tackler, while winning the ball cleanly he can give teammates and opposition a message, that message, don’t f#*k with me””you’d think they were talking about Patrick Vieira. 9 games he’s played, which he didn’t start them all. He played against my club Liverpool in a 4-0 thrashing and got easily dominated by the weakest part in the Liverpool team….the midfield.

It is clear to me that Utd need to bring in young home grown players in order to ship out the older English players ie Jones smalling young etc to meet a clubs English quota…but wait, did smalling Jones and young not just all sign contracts? Hmmmmm.
The type of players Utd are bringing in agreed are Young English prospects that potentially could go on to have great careers but the fact of the matter is they’re nowhere near the level to compete with the top six teams. Utd bounce from one extreme to the other, firstly, ibrah Sanchez etc, aging big money mercenaries, to James wan the man and potentially Longstaff who have barely played a game domestically nevermind Europe. It would lead you to believe utd do not have a plan and do not have a scouting department.

Surely someone assesses the squad at the beginning of a season then sends the scouts out to find players for the following windows in positions that could be deemed weak in your squad in the future ????? Where’s the lists or scout reports? Gary Neville championed wan Bissaka at the end of last season they went for him. Ryan giggs championed James having worked with him in wales, they went for him. This doesn’t strike me  as a well scouted well thought out plan? But I suppose when you’re club is completely lacking in any type of shape or pattern of play it’s hard to pinpoint what you need.

This all seems very harsh especially coming from an lfc fan but it’s the cold hard truth. When you’re two main rivals are dominating world football with clear structures and playing patterns in place, Utds bright idea is “ let’s try and make another class of 92”  That’s your best idea?? Hilarious stuff. Oh and Solskjaer half a season in the prem got a team relegated, then another half a season started well then changed into relagation form. Frank Lampard a full season in charge of derby and lost out on promotion in the final and there is articles upon articles, is lampard ready? Solskjaer is not ready! Not even close. Utd fans excuse, well we had one of the best managers in the world and that didn’t work soo…… so you go to the complete opposite end of the spectrum??? How about trying to get the next best available manager?

In summary the utd supporting journalists are only hurting their club by supporting this agenda, because it’s wrong. The whole world can see utd lack leaders, they already have plenty of children. Journalists call a spade a spade for once instead of blindly agreeing what’s going on at Utd is progress.


You aren’t getting rid of Ozil that easily
It’s amusing to see some Arsenal fans including imagined proceeds from the sale of Mesut Ozil in their summer spending plans. Lads, you’re not getting shot of him that easily.

The ultimate luxury player, Ozil would be the best in the world if the laws of the game stated that any opposition he faces must start with 10 men and aren’t allowed to man mark him. However, assign him even a barely competent midfield minder and he’ll shrink, feeble and petrified, while the game ignores him until the blessed relief of a morose 63rd minute trudge to the relative safety of the bench. The reason he’s not meaningfully affected a game since 2016 is that every coach in Europe has sussed this out.

Regardless, there would still be some teams willing to take the risk on this talented but cowardly playmaker, gambling they could surround him with a line guard strong enough to give him the space he depends upon, were he not one of the highest paid players in the world.  His contract, which on Monday will have exactly two years to run, is worth £36.4m. There are seven clubs in world football who could afford to take this on (not including Arsenal, who clearly can’t); not one of them could find a use for him.

So if he is to move it will be to a middling German club hoping they can wheedle out a fragment of his past form on a low-risk (read: low cost) basis. Personally I can’t see Ozil being willing to forgo that personal fortune purely in the interest of playing more games – every time he’s forced to take to a football pitch he looks miserable, downcast, setting about his task with all the enthusiasm of a man taking a beloved pet to be put down – so Arsenal will have to stump up the difference. Given the current spending power of the middle reaches of the Bundesliga, that will be at least £30m (or ¾ of their total transfer budget for this summer).

Paying £30m just to clear the lingering miasma of apathy and weakness seems like a decent deal to me, but it’s not my money and I don’t care about fixing the myriad other defects in Arsenal’s worm-ridden squad. For Emery and his team it’s a tougher decision, though only because they desperately need the cash rather than through any glimmer of hope for a contribution worth the name from the chicken-hearted charlatan in the coming season.

But despite all this there is one last desperate shot at redemption, one unlikely hero on the horizon. If I were an Arsenal fan I would single-mindedly dedicate my summer to getting #mesutf**kingozil trending on Twitter again like it’s 2013, and wait for a wild-eyed Ed Woodward to steam in with a nine-figure cheque. It really is your only hope.
JG LFC (I don’t really rate Ozil, if I’m honest)


Where has all the money gone at Arsenal?
I keep reading letters here referring to “the state of Arsenal’s finances”, like the fans now accept there is no money…WHY?

According to the latest financial reports Arsenal have the 8th largest income in world football. The stadium is 12 years old and any outstanding debt is easily serviceable and well under control. We have the highest ticket prices in world football and no superstars on silly money like £500k/week.

There is no justifiable reason (that I am aware of) as to why we cannot compete in the transfer market with any UK side (except maybe the two Manchester clubs). So, WHERE is the money going? Of course, I have my suspicions but perhaps someone knows better?

Asking for a friend.
Chris (for sport not for profit) Charteris, The South


In response to Winty
Dear Ed

Moneyballing… a recruitment strategy whereby top performing players are sourced through gauging their performances and value – ideally clubs look for players who are undervalued but rank high in league stats. According to Sarah Winterburn’s article, Manchester United are now looking to sign the best-performing local players. Evidence hereof are the transfers of Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

To all those who think this is a failproof strategy, I refer you to the Liverpool class of 2011/12.

Based on their performance in the previous season’s league, we decided to buy the chief creators at Aston Villa and Blackpool, as well as a couple of players who were omnipresent on Tyne- and Wearside.

Let me remind you of Stewart Downing’s record at Anfield. In his first season he scored none and assisted none. Blackpool’s finest, Charlie Adam, his dentistry and temper only annoyed Sir Stevie, and Adam’s season petered out after being a dominant player the season before.

Jose Enrique was brought in following a consistent season at Newcastle. He started well, but later in his LFC career was told to train with the youngsters while he stole a living. Jordan Henderson was the only one who became a success – albeit it took him several years to be accepted amongst our faithful.

You can even wind back a bit, in January 2011 we bought the donkey Andy Carroll based on his breakout season at Newcastle. Carroll is widely considered to be our worst signing of the past decade. Will one of this window’s signings be dubbed as United’s worst ever signing..? Sit tight and let’s see.
Wik, Pretoria, LFC


United and their money…

Re: United and their woes over what they’re being quoted for many of their transfer targets this summer, it’s almost as if for the past decade or so a well known British accounting firm has let it be known, and this has then been amplified by an enthusiastic media, how much money United have and make. It’s a dirty business, and no one else cares for the fact that the Glazers are taking their cut, or that United might be trying to get back to doing things, ‘the right way’ by signing young and/or British players they hope will develop. They smell the desperation.

Everyone knows you’ve got that noodle money and they too want to draw the water from the well.
Cheers, Bobby.


Tickets for Euro 2020
I think this has been mentioned before in connection with the Women’s World Cup but why is ticketing becoming so difficult? I have just applied for tickets for Euro 2020 and got this message with my application:

Do you want to be seated with your friends? Your personal Group ID is: XYZ You can share it with your friends! If your friends enter this Group ID, you will be automatically seated together in the stadium.

Why would UEFA think that I’m going to travel all over Europe with my friends and family to watch a match and then not want to be sat next to them? If I but four tickets for the theatre, surely it’s obvious that I want to sit together? Only greed driven companies like Ryan Air would make you pay to sit next to each other. Is this the way UEFA is going?

I’ve been to the 2006 World Cup, Euro 2016 and a couple of UEFA League finals and never experienced this before, so why is it now becoming an issue?
Tim Royall GFC


Collection of random thoughts
One-club men for European giants: Juventus – Giampiero Boniperti, Inter – Giacinto Facchetti , Milan – Franco Baresi, Bayern Munich – Sepp Maier, Borussia Dortmund – Michael Zorc, Ajax – Rinus Michels, Real Madrid – Santiago Bernabeu, Barcelona – currently Puyol but it’s got to be Messi, hasn’t it? I can’t see him retiring to China. Some other notable names from less noted teams: Borussia Moenchengladbach – Berti Vogts, Roma – Francesco Totti, Bologna – Giacomo Bulgarelli, Porto – Joao Pinto. Interesting to see how many of them went on to join the club hierarchy while only Michels stayed on as manager (Vogts coached other teams but not BM).

No transfer fees – Someone raised the objection that players could sign on for 1 or 2 years only to allow themselves (semi-)permanent free agency, however that only works if the club could get him on a free in the first place. No club would buy a player without getting them to sign on for 4 or 5 years. So it’s a circular argument. I think that as the idea of club loayalty continues to wane, to players will be more prone to run down their contract and sign shorter term deals. Not sure if in the end it’s so much a benefit to clubs using it though. It helps in football to have stable squads and players who have been there many years, and randomly shifting superstars in and out every year could be counterproducive. Regarding agents, I fully agree that agents should be paid by their employers, however agents are usually wearing 2 different hats. They represent the player in their negotiations with the buying club, and represent the buying club in negotiations with the selling club. That way they get a cut from both. It seems to me to be quite a conflict of interest that needs to be regulated by disallowing an agent to represent both a player and a club in the same deal.

Grant re Spurs tickets – as far as I know it’s EU (and therefore UK) law that the full price to be paid has to be declared clearly up front, including any extras that are non-optional. Ryanair were the main guilty parties of this a few years ago but most booking sites did that too and they had to be reined in. So if Spurs’ ticket website is as you describe, it’s probably in breach. Maybe any lawyer / more informed person could confirm / deny this?
James, Switzerland


Well done to Curacao and Haiti
For those who are not following the multiple National Team competitions going on may not know that the other night Haiti won 2-1 against Costa Rica which meant they topped their CONCACAF group with maximum points, for a country like Haiti that has never been to a World Cup unlike Costa Rica, and of course have suffered that truly tragic Earthquake disaster in 2010, it is such a feel good moment to see them qualify for the knockout stages and to see the team so happy, congratulations to them, next up for them is Canada, maybe Haiti could make it to the Semi-Finals, I would not bet against them!

Also Curacao drew 1-1 meaning they were Runners Up in there group and will head into the Quarters to play one of the favourites in the USA, was such a feel good factor to see both sides celebrate their achievements and even though it is likely one of Mexico or USA will win the competition, you cannot help but love the stories that these other nations are writing in the competition.
Mikey, CFC


You can’t abolish transfer fees
On the idea of abolishing transfer fees, Ryan made the comparison between the USA and the European football system, contending that the USA was a model of a system where fees were abolished and football could be similar.

However, the two systems have one fundamental difference and that is youth. American teams do not develop their own youth players. The players develop in high school or college then are drafted, This allows a system of no transfer fees to work as the value of a draft pick is enormous. You are literally able to choose from the best young talent in the world. It would be like Arsenal, in need of a rebuild, trading away Aubameyang for the possibility of getting a Phil Foden, a “franchise player” who can be the backbone of your team for the next decade.

Football is completely different though. You can’t abolish transfer fees as the trade system wouldn’t work as clubs develop their own youth players. That’s where the idea falls apart, because where would be the incentive for clubs to do this? Why would Man City, Chelsea, Liverpool etc. pump millions into their academy to develop the stars of the future, if these players can just walk away for nothing? Moreover, what would be the point in spending money developing players, when you can just attract the top talent from around the world anyway.

People say that the transfer system is broken, but it isn’t. £75m for Van Dijk is worth it. £200m for Mbappe would be worth it because of the success and financial reward they offer. Transfer fees aren’t the problem, they’re the solution. The problem is the fact we are willing to pay £80 for a ticket, &70 for a replica shirt or £75 per month for a TV package. If that never changes, neither will the cost of players.
Mike, LFC, London


In response to Ryan, MCFC, you’re correct with your final point. Removing transfer fees will likely never come to European football as you cannot compare it with American sports at all.

As you point out, the trading of players is for other players under contract and/or future draft picks. There are no drafts in European football and there never will be. Also, US sports teams do not trade with teams outside of their country, despite calling themselves world champions when they win it (!), other than the few Canadian teams in their league obviously.

You also point out that all league income is split over the teams in the league equally. Again, will never happen  and can only happen in American sports as there’s no promotion or relegation (admittedly I know a fair bit about NFL but not a lot on the other U.S. sports so correct me if I’m wrong).

It seems we’re stuck in this world where the rich clubs get the pick of the best players and we all have to hope another Poch (I love you man) comes along to the clubs below them to work miracles with lesser rated talents.
Sam, THFC, Guernsey (Ndombele would be a really great addition, going by YouTube!)


David Silva
I’d just like to share my personal highlight of El Mago during his time in a City shirt.

March 2014, away to Hull City. Our previous two games had seen us knocked out of the Champions League by Barcelona, followed by one of our many humblings at the hands of Wigan in the FA Cup. Trailing Chelsea in the league but with games in-hand, we desperately needed a win in the early kick-off to keep our entire season from falling apart in the same week, Arsenal-style.

Inside of ten minutes, Vincent Kompany (not for the first or last time in a City shirt) got himself in all sorts of trouble as the last man, and hauled down Nikica Jelavic and was promptly dismissed from the field of play, leaving us a man short and a centre back pairing of Martin Demichelis and Javi Garcia.

With eighty minutes to play at the KC Stadium, and a team rather fragile after recent results, I will admit, I feared the worst. I am delighted to report however, that my fear was misplaced. (Old habits die hard).

Throughout sport – nay, life – there are countless examples of an individual, rising to meet an occasion; transcending the metaphysical realm to operate on a plane that is entirely unfathomable to mere mortals such as myself. Step forward, David Silva.

El mago was truly magnificent that day. He ran the show for the next eighty minutes using every attribute available to him. He is lauded for his ability to find space, his touch, close control, passing and vision, and they were all highlighted in abundance here. His determination and resilience is often overlooked, but in the face of some, let’s say, ‘enthusiastic’ challenges, he held is poise and only grew stronger.

Four minutes after Kompany had been sent off, El Mago swept in a rather wonderful goal from 25 yards to give us the lead and end his personal 4-month goal drought. Then, after fighting to keep us afloat the entire game, he lays on an assist for Dzeko in the 89th minute which is every bit as spectacular as his opening goal. In fact, to this day, I still can’t decide which moment I prefer.

I know he has produced some outstanding moments of football throughout his career, and it’s certainly arguable that he’s made more important contributions in other games, but that for me, was Peak David Silva. I will never forget what I witnessed that day, and I am so grateful to have seen him perform in all his glory for City, for so long.

Asante Sana, David.

Rusty Blue, MCFC


Best Premier League player never to win it
Interesting question from Andrew, Cambridge about the best PL player never to win it.

The most obvious answer has probably already been given: Gerrard. The best English player of his generation, who spent his entire career at a big club hovering around the top of the league, winning every trophy but. (And at one point almost signing for a rival club that did win it.) That’s a story of a near miss if ever there was one.

Suarez and Kane were also suggested. I think we have to discount them – Suarez might have done it if he’d stuck around, while Kane still could.

Honourable mention has to go to Paul Gascoigne and  Matt Le Tissier. They had very different career trajectories, but both are examples of that (possibly not entirely real) trend for extremely gifted players who didn’t quite fit the mould of English football at the time. Certainly, if either of these were coming through today it is almost certain they would have found their ways to one of our elite clubs early in their careers and had a much better chance of winning it.

Zola – yes, good candidate. In the same category is David Ginola. Both PL greats who just weren’t in the right place at the right time. My club’s mini-me version of this is Georgi Kinkladze (was probably never going to win it but could have done much more in the PL if a less atrociously-run club than City had brought him into it).

The last player I’ll throw in is Gareth Bale. In some ways he’s in the same category as Suarez, being the best players in teams that weren’t quite good enough to win the PL, who decided to move to one of the Spanish giants for more guaranteed success. The main difference being that as he’s so apparently unloved in Madrid it has always looked eminently feasible that he might come back to the PL and actually win it. But I very much doubt it now.
Richard MCFC


Seven conclusions from Nigeria 1- 0 Guinea

  1. There was a song by Kenny Rogers named The Gambler, the chorus said ‘you should know when to hold’em, when to fold’em, when to walk away and when to run . I think that the Super Eagles attacking players need to apply this advice in their play. Iwobi, Ighalo, Musa and Simon should know when to pass, shoot, and hold the ball. For many a times, they have been let down by their final ball and this leave we the fans scratching our heads in frustration.
  2. In the first match against Burundi, Shehu Abdullahi, before his injury does not venture forward towards the opposition half, but his deputy, Uwaziem used to do just that. Against Guinea, Uwaziem was seen pushing forward whenever the Super Eagles has possession and this help to pin the Syli nationals in their own half. Ola Aina was also seen moving forward at earliest opportunity to help out in the attack.
  3. Talking about Ola Aina, his move to Torino has really helped in his improvement. He is assured in possession, reads the ball very well and generally being a nuisance to the opponents. That he can play LB, RB, LWB and RWB is an added advantage.
  4. Alex Iwobi as our central attacking midfielder is not clicking. He performed marginally better against Burundi because of their low quality, but against better opponents like Guinea, he was found wanting. Iwobi doesn’t dictate play very well, all breakdown opposing defensive midfielders. The midfielder always tends to play as a no 8 and this is not what was required of him. His inability to break down the opposing defensive midfielders makes the Ndidi, Etebo and to a lesser extent Omeruo to tend to play long balls towards Ighalo and Musa and Simon.
  5. Let’s talk about the Guineans. They are very compact in the middle of the park, keeping their shape nice and tight and not giving any leeway to the Super Eagles. Had the Guineans got another dynamic player like Naby Keita, they would cause the SE more problems.
  6. This is not to take anything away from the Super Eagles defence. They kept it very tight at the back, hugging the opposition attackers very tight and not giving them any chance to cause havoc. That the Syli nationals were restricted to only a couple of tame shots from outside the box was a testament to the maturity of the SE defence.
  7. Towards the end of the match when Chukwueze came on for Iwobi, methinks it is a bad changing. I was hoping for Mikel Obi to enter and help us recycle possession- nobody does that better than him in our squad- till the end but Chukwueze got the nod and the Super Eagles promptly loses their stronghold on the match, handling the Guineans the initiative.

Shaolin Temple. Nigeria, Byelsa


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