Anything to add? Send your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org…
Lamps’ time to shine
As a Chelsea fan, I wanted to set out why I’d like Lampard to get the job (when Sarri inevitably departs). Before doing so, can I pre-empt the anti-PFM brigade by [insert obligatory caveat about English managers].
Thanks for bearing with me. I think Lampard would be excellent for Chelsea because:
– He played the youth at Derby and got a hell of a lot out of them – Tomori, Mount, Wilson (not Chelsea but same point). There’s so much more where they came from, in particular Reece James (sadly suffered serious recent ankle injury but Wigan fans on Twitter consider him the next coming of Paul Jewell; no pun intended). CHO shouldn’t be a debate any more (again, hope he recovers from the achilles) and RLC is somehow 23 (ditto re achilles; praying we don’t have the next Jack Wilshere on our hands).
– He is popular with the fans – low hanging fruit you might say, but equally something missed with many recent managers, Sarri, Benitez etc. He would be afforded longer to experiment and take risks.
– Did I mention he plays youth team players, unlike Sarri? We had a group stage Europa league fixture against MOL Vidi this season, were already through to knockout stages – scoreline of 2-2 – and Sarri only uses two substitutes. He leaves young George McEachran on the bench and denies him a debut. Decisions like this blow my mind – give the lad 5 minutes for Christ’s sake! He won the U17 World Cup alongside Foden and Hudson Odoi et al – he literally started in the final against Spain. But because Sarri is such a frustrating cretin he will probably drift off into the ether or start dating Made in Chelsea cast members like his older brother. I don’t want that. George probably doesn’t want that. And England fans shouldn’t want that, because on paper these are the players who will bring home the real World Cup in 2026, provided they are given the opportunities.
– He wouldn’t treat a stalwart of the club like Cahill with the disdain that Sarri did.
– He brings Jody Morris to the party (who, in fairness, is perhaps marginally offside in terms of his PFMishness)
– We have a transfer ban so no point bringing in a proven world class Allegri type to rebuild the club with a summer war chest (assuming we could even get someone of that calibre).
Can someone please explain why I am wrong and who would be preferable?
Thanks for all the great work with the site!
p.s. Johnny Nicholson was wrong to suggest Sarri isn’t eccentric – the man literally chews cigarette butts who on earth does this get some gum you absolute eccentric thanks
Chernobyl and VAR
Spoilers if you haven’t watched the excellent Chernobyl TV show. When the Chernobyl reactor exploded the head engineers adamantly refused to accept it because an RBMK reactor can’t explode so therefor it couldn’t possibly have exploded. Despite the fact that the reactor had exploded and engineers had told them that it exploded because they saw it with their own eyes, it wasn’t allowed to be a possibility.
Refereeing in football is a peculiar thing where mistakes are made but we’re told that there’s nothing they can do. If a referee sees an incident, makes a mistake but writes it up in his match report then we’re told that they can’t take further action because the referee’s decision is final. So if the referee sees a player punch another player and gives a yellow card they won’t review that. They can however dish out a ban if the ref has completely missed the incident. It’s like we’re officiating in some sort of quantum realm, the same incident but the result changes depending if anyone saw it. As Oliver Dziggel points out, the same nonsense has made its way into VAR before we even start using it.
VAR should deal with facts. Either a player is onside or offside. Either a player got the ball or the man. This will be fine for the majority of VAR decisions and we shouldn’t have to get the referee involved in this. In fact it should be preferable not to have the referee involved because then there’s no chance of ego playing a part. This would speed up VAR no end. The other incidences where the ref didn’t see something or, most importantly, the referee made a mistake then he should be allowed to review play. If it gets to this point then the decision should be a majority decision between the ref and the video refs to protect from ego.
We’re afraid of undermining the referee but what does that actually look like? How is it any different from what we see today where every decision is questioned and protested? They even protest VAR decisions. Football officiating is an Orwellian mess but the authorities will never admit it even though we see it with our own eyes. We add extra linesmen who aren’t allowed to make a decision. We have fourth officials who aren’t allowed to make a decision. They’re papering over the cracks in the walls when really they need to look at the foundations of what officiating is actually for because currently it’s not about getting to the actual truth of the matter. They’ve never been serious about improving officiating, whether it’s a media campaign to respect the refs instead of dishing out yellows and reds or it’s the watering down of VAR before it even gets off the ground. It’ll be the death of football as a sport and the birth of football as narrative reality TV.
Obamacare and VAR
Doubt this gets printed but just a courtesy note to let Oliver Dziggel know that if he wants to use politics as an analogy, to get his facts in order before he does so. The president at the time flat out lied to the American public in regards to the program, the biggest whopper being “If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor.” In addition, the MIT trained individual who helped come up with the program is on record saying that they hoped the American people were stupid enough to go for it. I get his stance towards Obamacare, being a socialist and all, but Europeans were/are irrational when the concept of socialism comes up.
See how that works Oliver? My advice in the future is keep politics out of football, especially when trying to make an analogy that fails miserably. It may score a few points with the F365 readers but it ends up just being a bad look.
TX Bill (bet he thinks Venezuela just didn’t do it right) EFC
…@Oliver, Indeed, Americans have long held an “irrational” distrust of socialism and dislike for socialized medicine.
You see, in the US you have the right to become something, and you have the right to become nothing. Predominantly a meritocracy, instead a land of entitlement. If you choose to become nothing, and it really is a choice, then why should you be entitled to anything?
Talking football… metaphorically, take Frank Lampard. Fan or not, his pursuit of excellence as a player was undeniable. He certainly maximized his gifts, achieved much, and earned much by way of compensation. Lampard could have chosen to slack on the practice pitch, eat unhealthy meals, and generally contribute nothing meaningful. Nothing contributed, nothing earned.
I’m afraid quality, timely healthcare isn’t free. In the US, it’s certainly not considered an entitlement, but it’s quite attainable if you put your gifts to good use and earn it.
I presume this is objectionable to you, and that’s perfectly fine. Isn’t choice a beautiful thing?
Attack as the best form of defence
Love it when people get all high and mighty when responding to other mailers. Gets the day off to a great start. So had a great laugh reading Mangor, Belfast’s riposte in the morning mailbox. I think the word irony was in play. Writing a very defensive email in defence of ALL the people who dislike Liverpool fans, to berate another writer for writing an, erm, very defensive email.
Will people stop writing in to defend ALL the other people who dislike or hate team X. If you don’t like them. Just say it. Don’t hide behind ALL the rest of the world.
Second, saying that the original emailer, Ferg, didn’t say lucky was pretty disingenuous. When anyone uses the phrase ‘I don’t want to use the word lucky…’ and then goes on to call it a ‘unidentifiable force’ we know they mean lucky. They’re just being a bit David Brent. I think we all knew he was saying Liverpool were lucky to stay with City in the run in and got confidence as a result and they won’t replicate that next season. Clearly no one really knows what will happen – just check out all the pundits forecasts. Sure, Liverpool will have to go some to better City who are pure silk at the moment but the season ain’t over before its started.
What we should be doing is lathering over what should be another great contest next year. If Spurs don’t lose too many players in the summer and bring in a couple of good ones, we should at least have another 3 way contest.
12th man? Pah
…Ugggg. I’m a Liverpool fan and I hate fans like Gregory Whitehead.
You weren’t on the pitch. Enjoy the summer, enjoy the memories, by all means, but gloating over the achievements of better men is pathetic. This is the same kind of sh*t we see from “nationalists” who contribute nothing to the western civilization they love to claim to “uphold”, but which they really just use as an excuse to jerk each other off. Every single one of those “men” are, in actuality, dead weight, using the achievements of more accomplished, and in every way, better (even when they were worse) human beings to make spectacles of themselves. Trolls seek negative attention. They do this because it’s the best they can do. Hopefully, if we’re meant to survive as a species, we’ll figure out a way to move on from people like them, and you.
Seriously, and I do mean this, f**k off a cliff.
Ian, LFC Hartford, CT USA
…Reading the mail box this evening, I pondered f365s staff’s difficulty in deciding which mails to publish and which to not. Some are funny, some provocative. F365 is a credible football forum, my favourite site, and dont need to resort to airing the views of clowns surely? So I have to assume Gregory Whitehead’s “the cost of success” is considered a semi serious mail by f365. For that reason, im going to bite. I ve had a long day, but sometimes time must be made. You ve made his nonsense almost credible f365, so indulge me my reply.
I was also at the Manchester United 1-4 liverpool game in 09. A lot of united prawn sandwich fans left that game with about 20 mins to play, some earlier. Even if 20,000 left, those who remained would fill anfield to capacity and then some. Gregory the team you support has just won the champions league. Its a lovely cup. It really is. The most lovely of all club cups. You should enjoy it. Its no league title though is it….no. Which brings me to my point.
Gregory, you have a massive chip on your shoulder. Its ok. You dont walk alone in that regard. (Yea I know what I said there) You ve just won the champions league and rather than celebrate and enjoy that, your default setting of having an inferiority complex kicks in, and compels you to make it about Manchester United. Which is pretty sad. For you that is! Not me. It makes me happy. To know that not even a champions league win can erase or even ease your bitterness at the reality that your club are the second best in England. By that I dont mean youre behind city. That was just last season. I mean in the annals of football. United have 20 titles. Ye have 18. So two more than liverpool. That eats you alive. It really really does. Cups are great, but go on YouTube and find Brian Cloughs view on the league versus any cup and you ll understand my view of how they compare.
While you were enjoying that 1-4 win at Old Trafford, I was sad. But guess what? United lifted the premier league title about three weeks later. So Sir Alex was spot on really when he said the better side lost, wasnt he? Sure ye won on the day. Well done for that. Had you been on your way to winning a cup that would have been a great result. But this was the league Gregory. You know! That thing you have to be on top of after 38 games to win. Not just on Christmas day. Ultimately you see you had to watch united lift that trophy you crave so much just three short weeks later. That pain compels you even now to obey the chip on your shoulder. To try and convince yourself that pool are the bigger club. When you know, not so deep down that youre not. I mean pool finished 2nd last season. Thats not terrible. Even though united in the midst of crisis finished 2nd the season before and its rightly considered disasterous for us. Liverpool do it and get praised. See thats what its like to be held to a different standard. Success is relative to the club you are. Liverpools “triumph” in the league equates to uniteds abysmal underachievement. That should tell you all you need to know right there.
I genuinely cant remember if that was uniteds tenth or eleventh premier league title though. Its all such a blur. Trying to differentiate all thirteen of them. Do you have that “problem” Gregory! That was a rhetorical question. You ve won two cups since 2006s fa cup win. So im sure those memeories are precious, they must stand out like oasis in a desert of sh*t for you.
On your other remarks that Heysel would have been a mark of shame for any club had they been in that position. Well that’s just embarrassing. The lack of true recognition of the tragedy that Heysel was is palpable from you. Diminishing it by really saying “well if it wasnt us it would have been someone else” Oh right. No big deal then I guess eh! Shameful stuff…Not to mention your assertion that liverpool suffered most from the ban. The arrogance and the lack of self awareness. While in the same breath complaining about songs from united fans. The hypocrisy! Do you know that in recent yrs at merseyside derbys, a giant “steua bucharest” banner with a drawing of the european cup has been flown in the kop at anfield? As a dig that they won it the year Everton were banned due to Heysel. Strange thing is that banner was photographed as it was held up alongside banners saying “dont buy the sun”. The irony is probably lost on you.
You keep focussing on your 10 yr ago victories at old trafford now you hear! And your loaned out players scoring against us in the cup. Alas until you are the most successful team in England, those memories, and your cup wins, will have to keep you warm at night. But they ll do nothing for that massive chip on your shoulder at being second best.
Edwin Ambrose MUFC
…Just thought i’d take a quick moment to write a reply to Gregory Whitehead in response to his question regarding LFC’s 6 CL wins. I am sure this was sent to get my fellow United fans to bite (and fair play to Gregory after the contrasting seasons we have both had) but I just wanted him to know that really, as a lifelong United fan, I’m flattered.
After several long years of mediocrity, stagnation and frankly embarrassment the fact that you have taken the time to write a message designed to punish us with images of LFC’s success is a nice distraction purely as it means that you clearly still consider our great rivalry relevant despite our many seasons of letting things slide. You make lovely references to clashes at Old Trafford, Sir Fergie and Nemanja which has filled my Thursday afternoon with fond memories of battles past which has reignited my long dormant optimism about my beloved club on the strength that the fan of a team that finished so far ahead of us both domestically and on the European stage still feels it necessary to rub our faces in it, we still matter!
Somewhere in his noodle lined office a certain Mr Ed Woodward is stirring, knowing that instead of writing in to celebrate their season and praise their heroes (or talk up their shining players in the England squad), a passionate Liverpool fan has taken it upon himself to instead try and provoke the fans of their current greatest rivals. Ed is readying a transfer committee the likes of which has never been seen, all on the delicately chosen words of Mr Whitehead, to show that we can compete for the top talent in the world. Rio, Darren and Patrice are ready with chequebooks primed to bring in the finest players Europe have to offer; Gaitain, Perisic and Sneijder will soon arrive! Center backs? Forget them! We clearly have more then enough in that department with big Mike Smalling on the case ably assisted by the equally talented Mr Phil Jones.
Gregory, your message made me smile and feel validated as I find that maybe we are still at the top table with yourselves, head to head and fighting for titles all the way.
Much appreciated sir,
A Happy Manc (Didn’t bite but probably had a nibble)
P.S. Both sets of fans have idiots that sing about things that they have no comprehension about, for every moron that sings about the tragedies LFC have endured there will be another who does the same to United. By making reference to them in any way as “the average united fan” is a little lazy after a lovely worded message and I must confess myself a little disappointed that you stooped to this level. Still nobody’s perfect and I hope our lovely, clearly still great, team continue to take your attention – it really means a lot.
…Gregory Whitehead, LFC, I have to admit I’m not getting any younger, and I have to thank you for your email, which triggered some serious noughties nostalgia, conjuring vivid memories of Fernando Torres leading Liverpool to Champions League glory, and subsequently celebrating his success with those fabulous five fingers. What’s that? He played no part in any of those? Well, I must have been thinking of that time he won the league with Pool. No? Well surely he won something during his time at Anfield…(checks Wikipedia)…right, well he scored some goals at least.
Actually, while I was on Wikipedia I went down one of those famous internet rabbit holes and saw that in fact Man U won the league THAT VERY YEAR you are gloating about, and TWO MORE TIMES after that. I was quite surprised to see that after reading your mail.
In all seriousness, Fergie knocked you well and truly off your perch (a fact which still astounds me even though I only learned about his pronouncement well after it was made), and off you remain. Until you win the league again, I would pipe down if I were you, particularly with regards to Man U. It’s not a good look. In fact I am an ABU for life, I would love to see them relegated to extinction, and still you made me feel the need to write this. Quite an accomplishment really.
Paul (everyday a mail from a Liverpool fan asking why everyone hates them, and everyday a perfect example of why), Gooner, USA
Profit and loss
Given Matt Stead’s critique of Manchester United’s failed policy I guess he must be huge fan of Mike Ashley who pursues the policy that Mr. Stead seems to so vociferously support, to buy young with re-sale value and to hell with team performance.
Sure, during Mr. Ashley’s ownership the company appears to operate well as a business even though, because of his policy, the club struggles every year, every transfer window is a confused mess and we have been relegated twice.
JHAruba (NUFC and just waiting for the takeover to be confirmed).
Forget the title
If Man Utd are to win the league next season they only need to strengthen 3 positions, defence, midfield and attack. I’m reasonably comfortable in Romero should De Gea leave.
However, as another mailboxer pointed out quite correctly, trying to win the title next year is a recipe for ensuring incoming transfers are a disaster again. With all the money spent in the last 5 or 6 years, most of those big signings have already gone.
City and Liverpool have been spending big for a number of years but only in more recent years has their transfer policy and manager provided the platform for success that they are both in line to benefit from.
Yet another mailboxer defended Ashley Young as crucial to the development of others. I’d agree with that sentiment too as Utd cannot afford to replace the whole squad. For some reason, players we buy just have inflated prices and those we sell are just offloaded for next to nothing.
If I had my wish for the transfer kitty it would be that utd focus on fixing the defence this transfer window. With a solid back 4, the young and fast attackers in the side may well be able to thrive although that would still require Utd to find a competent midfield from the mismatch of options that may or may not remain until next season. Put some faith in the youngsters that came through last season, forget trying for top 4 and rather write a season off for building to the future instead of writing another season off for aiming unrealistically high. Players like Pogba and Fred may also benefit from reduced defensive responsibilities but it would be more utd-sy to offload them plus Lukaku that we paid combined fees of over 200 million so we can waste it on someone over-priced, ill-fitting and short-term – Bale? Ronaldo? Benzema? Robben? There’s probably many others nearing the end of their career that might prefer an inflated pay check in Manchester over an inflated pay-check in China
Jon, Cape Town (and can it stop raining so we can watch some cricket?)
Rebuilds don’t take that long
I don’t support either team but I thought I’d say that Man Utd team doesn’t have to take that long to rebuild.
Afterall, we’ve just seen Liverpool accelerate from a non CL team to winning the thing. In June 2016 Liverpool had just finished 8th.
The bulk of the signings responsible for this acceleration happened in a 2 year period (Summer 2016 – Summer 2018)
Of Liverpool’s CL winning XI, 8 were signed in that 24 month period, the exceptions being Firmino, Henderson, and TAA
So I would conclude that great teams can actually be brought together quickly. Whether the board and manager are up to the task is another question entirely.
Ten things that will happen at Man Utd
1. New signing AWB will fit in well immediately, receiving multiple MotM accolades. He’ll damage his ankle at home to Sheffield United, ruling him out for a couple months. He’ll return from injury unable to play Ashley Young out of the team.
2. Still at the club and still telling journalists he wants to prove his worth – Alexis Sanchez will come on in the 79th minute against Wolves at home, with Utd trailing by 2 goals to 0. He’ll have 5 touches and his pass completion rate will not be more than 45%.
3. Anthony Martial will complete a full 90 just 8 times all season. But he will have a ‘Goal of the Season’ contender.
4. Daniel James will be a bright spark at first, especially in cup games away from home. He’ll pick up an injury on international duty before returning to the team (who are struggling to catch up to the top 4) unable to make an impact.
5. Record signing Harry Maguire will arrive in January right after United have been drawn against a Championship team in the FA Cup 4th round.
6.United will get knocked out of the FA Cup in the 4th round.
7. Matteo Darmian will feature in a back 5 in the Europa League QF. United will be knocked out by a VAR-decided penalty in the last minute of the 2nd leg.
8. United’s players of colour will be racially abused by rival fans at games, and by their own fans online.
9. After a run of poor form there will be an open revolt against Woodward and the Glazers from fans at Old Trafford. Expect at least one more plane banner.
10. After nothing left to play for and too much “this great club” and “we need to improve” rhetoric, fans will (still like) but ultimately lose faith in Ole Solskjaer.
WWC wonder goal
In response to Mark (Seriously. What a goal). MCFC. Chidinma Okeke sent the ball at the goalscorer’s request. The Nigerian forward is Asisat Oshoala. She actually played for both Liverpool and Arsenal Ladies in the UK some few years ago.
Lanrewaju, Ondo, Nigeria.
…Mark – That was not a special goal. I’m sad I took the time to look up the highlights.