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Why is it strange if Utd go down?
Why does Zee jay think it would be a shock if we go down let’s add up the facts
Poor Recruitment :Stop being brainwashed and saying since Ed Wood…. it actually goes back to 2007 , (there was article on this site about Fergie and Gills last 25 signings, read it) .There were some all time classic duds like Possebon,Anderson,Obertan and Bebe only difference is back then Manchester United used to inject a few players who weren’t disasters like De Gea,Nani but the hits were not that many,and you know there is an issue, when one of the hits is Smalling.
It’s been getting worse, till this summer.
Squad – The culmination of that is the worst Man Utd squad of the premier league era, that now depends on Pereirra and Fred in Midfield that is not a mis-print, two many bad players have been allowed to stay.
Managers and Style of play: Most haven’t lived up to their reputations the play has been atrocious
League position on a steady decline,since 2012/13.
If this wasn’t Man U relegation would have happened last yea,r there are now fewer opportunities to continue making mistakes, It could be people who want Ole to stay are wrong and we finally drop out it could also be Allegri or Poch come in are shown to be over rated watch this space……
Yes I do have a small workload today
Excellent hypothetical piece about Man Utd getting relegated today (could the mailbox be back to its best?) but one that evoked similar thoughts about F1 and Ferrari.
Ferrari leave F1 and we’re all doomed apparently. Hence the extra money they receive over and above everyone else. If ever there was a sport that was biased towards one team, it’s F1. So all this support plus favourable decisions by the FIA and they STILL can’t beat Mercedes who racked up their record 6th consecutive constructors championship this weekend. This was after 4 years of Red Bull domination.
Mercedes are successful in spite of Ferrari just like Man City are successful in spite of Manchester Utd and all their history.
Basically I’m agreeing with ZeeJayEff (Ashely OUT) Bahrain and am saying how much I hope that relegation happens as I love to see change that many don’t.
But hey, everyone who supports a shit team can hope for it one day, then we’ll see which of the doom-mongering prophecies will be a complete pile of bollocks. Just like Brexit, fnar
As a professional Welshman I enjoyed a day of sport on Sunday. Wales won the egg chasing with an unconvincing display from the second string, but I am writing to outline what I think football could learn from rugby refereeing. I have long thought that football would be improved by improvements to the advantage law – play on for 10-20 seconds, if no shot or ground is gained, play can go back to the position where the foul took place. Furthermore, to prevent time wasting, the clock should stop when the ball is out of play. Halves could be reduced in length to forty minutes as well, as the ball doesn’t actually spend more than 70 minutes in play currently.
Yesterday, Uruguay repeatedly fouled as Wales approached their try line, and were warned by the referee that the next such infringement would result in a sin bin for whichever player commits it.
Skip forward ten hours and I see Croatia repeatedly nullify Wales’ attack with a series of niggling, innocuous fouls that took place within 5 seconds of any transition. Now, Wales have a one dimensional attack based on the pace of Bale and James, especially as Ramsey hasn’t played for almost a year, but it seems unfair that Croatia got away with this unsporting tactic without so much as a yellow. It was a clear pattern the referee failed to notice or attempt to control, and he failed to protect the Welsh players. He ought to have the power to give a warning that the next, and any subsequent, cynical challenge would result in a yellow card for whoever committed it, within his discretion.
Wales gave a good account of themselves against the World Cup runners up, and for the second half there looked like only one team could win it, even if actual chances were few and far between. Giggs has had a sketchy record so far, but seems to have stumbled across a system with defensive stability which had been lacking. We go into the last two matches with everything to play for.
More ‘WSL Winners and Losers’ Please
Loved James Vortkamp-Tong’s ‘WSL Winners and Losers’. Would be great to see it every week after a WSL round of fixtures!
Brendan Rodgers and the self-potrait
Neil, Glasgow in his email about Steven Gerrard and Rangers finds time to take a swipe at Brendan Rodgers by reminding us that he had a 6 foot portrait of himself in his house. Apparently that’s all the evidence we need to know he is self-absorbed.
However as this piece at The Athletic revealed recently, the portrait was a gift given to him by a disabled Swansea fan. Sometimes things aren’t as straightforward as they appear.
I heard Johnny on the radio yesterday, been reading his work for well over a decade.. sounded funny to finally hear his actual voice.
Ben (keep up the good work JN) Howarth
I’ve been actively avoiding Johnny’s articles recently as I just don’t agree with a lot of his views but the recent article on England fans being bellends abroad was both accurate and eloquent. As for his question as to what the women in these d**k head’s lives think, I suspect they think “I’d better not comment on this in case he gets aggressive in front of the kids” sadly. Hopefully this is a species that dies out as a new generation comes through and the world can stop dreading the English coming to their country for a football match.
Olly (Isle of Man)
I have Just one issue with what Daniel Storey said in his piece on England mimicking liverpools fullbacks, and funnily enough it has nothing to do with the headline at all, claiming that to play mason mount on the left of a front 3 is trying to put a square peg in a round hole would have made complete sense, if most of Mounts best performances this season did not come when he started on the left hand side of the attack.
He has looked much more dangerous with the ball picking it up on the left looking up and having that small amount of extra time and space to dribble at his opponent that he isn’t afforded when he plays the number 10 role. I know it’s a different kind of role playing on the left of a front three to playing on the left of a row of 3 behind the striker but could be worth a punt if for some reason Sancho or Sterling are not available.
Aaron. CFC. Ireland
England mimicking Liverpool?
Just read Storey’s piece on England mimicking Liverpool and while it’s a fair point, it’d never work.
Firstly England aren’t struggling due to their full-backs – not that I disagree that TAA and Chilwell should be first choice – but they’re struggling due to a technically limited midfield who don’t collect the ball from the defence and drive it forward. The reason for that is playing Henderson alongside Rice (or Dier) in the middle as a double-pivot when neither is a good enough ball-carrier for that.
Harry Winks on the other hand is completely comfortable with the ball in tight spaces, he always looks to drive forward and more importantly he’s always willing to be an option to take the ball from the defence. It’s hardly a surprise that the best England performance since the World Cup – the Spain win – had him in the central midfield slot.
The style England need to be mimicking is probably closer to Sarri-ball, with the 4-3-3 and a midfield of Winks as the deep-lying metronome, Dier/Rice as the destroyer and Mount/Maddison/Barkley/Foden as the creative hub. If Winks is unavailable then Lewis Cook could perhaps carry out that role, but there’s no way Henderson can. So if you want him in the starting XI he’s got to be considered the holding player/destroyer for me. Personally I’d leave him out.
Basically if England were to play something like this:
TAA, Maguire, Gomez, Chilwell
Rice, Winks, Mount
Sancho, Kane, Sterling
We’d be far better off. Just because Henderson built a ton of experience doesn’t mean he’s still required.
Daniel Storey’s excellent piece on England got me thinking about tactics and formations. the current in vogue formation is the classic Barca 4-3-3. This seems to rest on a holding midfielder, 2 shuttling midfielders, (number 8s) , 2 wide forwards and a centre forward. There are variations on this theme but none of them seem to work with a classic number 10. The creativity associated with a number 10 either comes from a wide forward (Messi), a deep lying centre forward (Firmino) or a strong number 8 (De Bruyne, Silva). All these players could play as a number 10 if required, but all seem to thrive by playing another role and then tacking the number 10 duties on to it.
It’s interesting to see how few teams set up with a number 10 these days. Courtinho, arguably the best pure number 10 out there, struggled at Barca as he didn’t fit into the 4-3-3 system. Eriksson failed to get a move from Spurs this summer and I wonder if in part this was because clubs didn’t know where he would play in their teams.
This suggests Daniel is correct – England should go for a 4-3-3 and pick the players best suited to that formation. it leaves us short perhaps in the dual number 8 roles – we don’t have an Iniesta/Xavi or even a De Bruyne/Silva combination, but the history of forcing number 10s into this system isn’t good.
I was watching Ireland v Georgia on Saturday (2 hours i can never get back) and as anyone knows who watched it, Aaron Connolly cam on with about 12 minutes to go and looked more like scoring than any Irish forward has looked since god knows when. He was quick, lively and with a bit of luck could have got a late winner. Afterwards the talk was of him starting on Tuesday against the Swiss and this was quickly dismissed by all pundits as they reckoned McCarthy would go for experience and keep James Collins up front. This is the same James Collins who started his first match for Ireland last month. So he has all of two more starts than Connolly. On another point i watched Denmark v Switzerland afterwards and Xhaka actually looked like a good player, ran the show and only for brilliant save from Schmeichel would have scored. Begs the question of why he doesn’t look like this for Arsenal.
Ken, Cork, Ireland
Not sure how many other readers decided to take part in Non-League Day, but if you did, good on you, and if you enjoyed it, keep going when you can.
*It’s a bit of a cliché to say that non-league has more of a community feel and doesn’t have any airs and graces, because professional clubs can create genuine communities, and plenty of non-league teams are run very smartly. Still, the old chestnut about everyone mucking in is true – I vaguely recognised the bloke in a fleece and jeans handing out the free gingerbread but couldn’t place him; it was only when I saw him in the stand – changed into his suit – that I realised he was the chairman. In fairness he didn’t recognise me either.
*Grantham came in to this game having lost their two previous games 0-4 (to Ashton United) and 0-7 (to Buxton), but had the perfect midtable record of four wins, four draws and four defeats from their 12 games. While the managers had sought to draw a line under those, this fixture, against a Hyde United side without a win in their last four games, was the perfect chance to get the season back on track.
*In true Gingerbreads style, the squad has changed in the few weeks since I last saw them, as three of the starting team and one of the substitutes were new arrivals. One of them, Remaye Campbell, started up front in a 4-4-2 alongside Craig Westcarr, playing for the first time in four games. United matched them in formation for the most part, albeit attempting a higher defensive line. The home side dominated the early exchanges, going close with a couple of chances before a United player was adjudged to have handled the ball a couple of yards outside his penalty area and a similar distance outside the line of the post. Westcarr placed the ball and struck it incredibly sweetly, arcing the ball over the wall and into the bottom corner to give the home side the lead.
Grantham kept up the pressure and went close on a few occasions, but couldn’t increase their advantage, even if United could barely get a foot on the ball for a while. Hyde goalie Luke Mewitt was supporting his defence by sweeping behind them, and nearly came a cropper when a scuffed clearance fell to Westcarr in the centre circle; the striker’s instinctive shot ended up a couple of yards wide of the post, but it was close enough to make the crowd excited and the United players nervous.
*Towards the end of the first half, as United grew into the game, they began to get the rub of the green on decisions. First, Grantham player-assistant manager Adam Smith was booked for simulation on the touchline in front of the dugout. From where I was sat I could see the players come together, and it looked like an odd place to try to win a free kick. From the ensuing attack, United won a free kick in the D, which was put narrowly wide, but all of a sudden they were getting the benefit of the doubt on the tight calls – for example, Grantham began to get whistled for their part in tussles that looked to be six of one, half a dozen of the other. Still, no further goals came before the half-time break and the hosts went into the sheds 1-0.
*Misfortune struck Grantham in the second half. Left-back Connor Bartle, not long back from being injured in the first game of the season, had to go off with what looked like a recurrence. He was replaced by centre-back Jack Broadhead, and then Adam Smith was replaced by midfielder Jack McGovern. This meant neither player on the Gingerbreads’ left flank was naturally left-footed. A few minutes later, the hosts drew level. A free kick was played into the box and eventually found Luis Morrison all alone two yards out to tap in. On first viewing, Morrison looked to be miles offside, a point that was made rather too forcefully by a couple of Grantham’s coaching staff too close to the assistant on the near side. He informed the referee, who showed red cards to the offenders. Shortly afterwards, United were awarded a penalty when a ball bobbled up and hit Tom Ward on the arm. It was one where he hadn’t blocked an attempt on goal, and so a spot kick seemed an unjust punishment based on the offence, though correct by the interpretation of the law. Paddy Lane, who had been one of United’s best players, gave his side the lead in a game where they had been second best.
*In response to going behind, Paul Rawden withdrew Ward for striker Gregg Smith and changed to a three-man defence of McGovern, Broadhead and Rob Atkinson. Smith, an old-fashioned target man who is strong as an ox, was too much for the tiring United defence to handle. Immediately his ability to come deep to hold the ball up began creating space for his teammates. One such move he was involved in led to a cross that caused chaos in the United box before the ball fell to Westcarr, who fired home his second of the game and seventh of the season, taking him into a four-way tie for second in the scorers’ chart.
*After the equaliser, both teams had chances to win the game, but ultimately it ended 2-2. I’ve long believed that the circumstances in which most non-league sides operate means that their games are more mental battles than they are tactical – or at least, it’s having the mental strength to react to and overcome how your opponents play rather than deeply-researched and well-rehearsed intricate game plans. In this case, when things were going against them, they could have lost the game through losing their composure; instead, they kept cool heads, stuck to their task and got their reward. Ultimately, a draw was a fair result.
*Elsewhere in the Northern Premier League there were some eye-opening results. Table-topping South Shields – the leading positive football force in the North East – were shocked by midtable Witton Albion, and second-placed Basford United (lost to Grantham earlier this season) were held 1-1 by Morpeth Town. The Highwaymen’s goal was scored by Ben Harmison, brother of former England fast bowler Steve. Most surprisingly, Buxton, having beaten Grantham 7-0 last time out, were themselves on the wrong end of that scoreline. Their conquerors? The team who lost to the Gingerbreads on the opening day of the season: FC United of Manchester. Football is great sometimes.
Inspired by Ed
I visited my Uncle in a village near Bath this weekend and inspired by Ed’s plea for people to visit their local non-league football club (also because Bath were not chasing eggs at home on Saturday), we visited the local non-league fooball club. Frome Town at home to Bideford (Town?) in the FA trophy and we increased the crowd capacity to 252. Bideford scored first after a wonderful volley in a lively first half and probably should have been 3-0 up at halftime were it not for some heroics by the man in pink between the sticks. Frome improved after half-time and piled on pressure scoring after about 70 minutes and then with only a few minutes to go the number 15 went on a jinking run into the box to set up his 2nd assist of the game as the cutback was fired in at close range. A wonderful afternoon, good beer, hotdogs, exciting football and a friendly atmosphere all around I will certainly be visiting more local non-league clubs after this experience. Credit also due to the players who accepted every decision from the ref with barely any complaint (possibly because the ref looked really hard!).
Much love to all in the mailbox and enjoy your week