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United could do with six signings this summer
Roode makes a valid point that Manchester United not being able to attract the world’s best may be a blessing. I agree that we should look to emulate the Ajax or early Ferguson model of buying youth and nurturing them.
However, that can only be done if they have the proper infrastructure in place.
1) Their scouting network sucks
2) The training infrastructure isn’t really there as you may see in clubs like Ajax, Juventus or Borussia Dortmund that nurtures talent and helps them blossom. How many of these success stories does United have compared to the other clubs listed? Just take Ajax. They were a far inferior team when they faced United in the Europ final but have since transformed into world beaters.
Add this to the fact that they need to build a brand new team altogether. Just look at what we have vs what we need:
– Right back needed. Dalot not good enough. Looks like Bassika may join which is perhaps one position secured.
– Center Backs: At least one top defender needed. Van Dijk has shown that we need someone with one player with experience and leadership in this position.
– Left Back: Shaw is hardly world class. This season will decide whether he can be relied upon or will need replacement too next year.
– CM needed. Matick is too old and McTominay is not that level yet.
– If Pogba leaves, 2 more midfielders needed since Herrera has also left.
– Lukaku looks like he may be leaving so another striker needed.
– With the acquisition of Daniel James, perhaps a winger may not be needed anymore
– David De Gea may end up leaving on free transfer next year.
So that’s 6 signings that we may need this summer. Since Ferguson let, the only decent signings that still remain (or will remain by the end of the summer) is Martial. Now tell em do the buffoons in charge of transfer dealings at Unicted really have the capability to get even a third of these signings right?
Daniel Storey is jumping the gun a bit on the duopoly of City and Liverpool lording it over the PL. Since city have won their 1st league title in 2011/12 the winners after that have been United, Cuty, Chelsea, Leicester, Chelsea, and then City twice more. In that same period, Liverpool have finished 2nd twice. That’s not even a monopoly, never mind a duopoly.
The closest it came to a duopoly was in the heyday of United vs Arsenal.
By all means feed the hype and laud the incredible domestic and European success this season, but pump those breaks for at least a few more years.
Culk The Younger
So obviously gossip is gossip and not worth the electrons it’s made from, but for a Football Manager addict like myself the front 6 below is actually pretty tasty:
(box to box) Ndombele, (deep lying playmaker) Rabiot
(advanced playmaker) Pogba
(inside forward attack) Martial, (advanced forward attack) Rashford, (winger support) James
I wouldn’t bother with Wan Bissaka as Dalot is a real prospect, and would throw all the money and then more of all the money at De Ligt.
The you’d have:
(wing back attack) Shaw, (ball playing defender) Lindelof, (ball playing defender) De Ligt, (wing back support) Dalot
That’s a really good, young and balanced side.
In fact I’m going to set it up in FM and run it for a season and see what happens.
Notes from the Women’s World Cup
The group stage is over, and it is probably a good time to take stock of what’s happened so far.
1. Let’s talk about the goalkeepers. Are we now seeing the impact of a bit more professionalism? In the past, the lazy criticisms are more directed at teams with a more amateur set-up, but this tournament has already seen superhuman displays from Vanina Correa (Argentina), Sydney Schneider (Jamaica) and Cristiane Endler (Chile). Ok, the latter might be among the best in the world, but still.
2. Similarly, the defences are more resilient (Thailand against USA apart), with a lot more teams being able to dig in and frustrate. Argentina have already surprised despite overcoming massive hurdles even to be here, and after Scotland’s collapse will hopefully have something to build on if the AFA take time off from worshipping the men’s team.
3. VAR. Is. Awful. Or at least, the implementation of it with the rules being changed. While getting the correct decision is a good idea, the delays are excessive.
Now to the teams:
In their new kit, Germany seem to be doing a 90’s tribute act. Like the men’s team of that era they are all hustle, bustle and muscle. A far cry from the slick passing unit of previous tournaments.
France have looked assured and buoyed by the home support have played some delightful stuff. Amandine Henry seems to be everywhere at once and is one of. The interplay between Le Sommer, Cascarino/Gauvin and Diani has been particularly nice to watch. They have had a hefty slice of luck as hosts tend to, but it seems only their own complacency could present an obstacle.
Italy look dangerous and after years in the wilderness, the advent of a pro league is benefiting the national team. They are delightful on the ball and have a good understanding with each other.
Brazil are performing in spite of managerial incompetence and Marta’s physical ailments. Another old timer, Cristiane, has stepped up in her absence and the team looks defiant. Unfortunately, as the collapse versus Australia showed, their age is showing and they seem to tire very quickly.
England are coming together very well indeed. The passing, movement and creativity is flowing through the team. However, the team needs to be more ruthless as both Scotland and Argentina games were a masterclass in wayward finishing.
Vivianne Miedema is one of the most complete forwards I have seen, with a physicality that belies her slight frame. Her movement to pick up space is very intelligent and it is to surprise she scores at such an astonishing rate.
The biggest disappointment has been Khadija ‘Bunny’ Shaw. After entering the tournament with a host of clubs competing for her first pro contract, she has not lived up to the hype, the delicious assist for Havana Solaun’s goal notwithstanding.
Finally, 13 goals means nothing. The USA are yet to be challenged in defence after Sweden sleepwalked through their final game. Will that affect their performance in the knockout phase though?
A couple of thoughts to throw out there…
Two quick thoughts following today’s (excellent as always, despite the lack of Recommended Reading!) Mediawatch:
The tabloids’ obsession with exaggerating transfer fees, by including wages or simply rounding figures up with zero justification, has always been funny and weird, but I believe its actually counter-productive in today’s transfer market. Surely these days, due to (1) gradually becoming numb to giant transfer fees, and (2) FFP concerns making these rumors implausible, it would drive more clicks/traffic if you lowball a potential transfer fee?
As a Liverpool fan, the transfer rumor I found most compelling/desirable was the one you published about potentially signing Fekir for a bargain fee of 15 million euros (13.5m GBP). I cannot believe Liverpool will spend much this summer, or that they would go back for Fekir in most circumstances… but if he’s really going for the price of Shaqiri, it’s almost the case that we cannot afford NOT to take a chance on him (and his knee). I would imagine fans of rival clubs would react similarly to transfer stories with price tags their clubs could actually afford.
Second thought: has the English media given up on the word “ace”, or has Mediawatch given up on the “Acewatch” feature? Disappointing either way!
Oliver Dziggel, Geneva Switzerland
Pogba’s confusing statistics
I just read the article about Pogba’s confusing stats and am as perplexed as anyone. Mainly because some of them read quite well.
However, if a player; especially one like Pogba, openly comes out and says he’s looking for a new challenge elsewhere there’s no option apart from to try to sell.
Pogba is a toxic influence in the dressing room with an attitude like that and Woodward doesn’t make it any better. But if Madrid or Juve came to us with 100mill I would take it and run. Especially with reports saying OGS has been given *only* 100 million this window.
None of this would have stood in SAF’s time and we shouldn’t stand for it now. No one is bigger than the club.
I’ll take 3 – 5 years of no trophies but a group of players who are ready to lay down for the club and to help build the club back as opposed to short term marketing gems who dont care where their next paycheck comes from as long as it arrives.
OGS is no tactical genius and I don’t expect him to be winning trophies against Klopp or Guardiola but we should at least give him a shot with the kinds of players he wants. We did it with everyone else (bar Mourinho’s last wish list), no reason he shouldn’t get the same opportunity.
TL;DR sell Pogba, Lukaku and (this hurts) DDG and reinvest in younger, hungrier players. Also get a bleeding DoF!!
Rahil (take Lingard while you’re at it), MUFC, Melbourne
Really interesting insight from Mark Robbo in the morning mailbox. Really enlightening on the woeful contractual position of United’s squad there, in much the same way that Game of Thrones taught us all about medieval history… you know, on account of how it isn’t true in the slightest.
Case in point, his golden 2022 rule ignores the fact that Pogba is under a two year contract which can be extended for a further year by the club taking him to…June 2022. So is Sergio Romero and… I can’t be bothered to keep checking – can we all agree that that’s enough to call Mark’s analysis, to be charitable, flawed?
Not to mention the wide reports that Rashford is about to sign up again. So is Dean Henderson apparently, and if you’re allowed to pad with Brewster, Woodburn and Wilson, I can have Henderson – who’ll probably be getting more PL minutes than that lot combined next season.
Liverpool have had a great year. They’ve won the Champions League, they came second in the league by a razor thin margin of only one point – which I understand makes them the bestest ever losers ever to lose a competition. So just enjoy it, making up stupid rationales for why Liverpool are destined for greatness and United will be forgotten from history won’t make it so.
It may happen, or the two teams fortunes could quickly shift again. I can’t help but think that all this posturing is triggered by that nagging suspicion that it could all slip away as quickly as it came together… it’s only been three years since Liverpool finished eighth and looked a shambles – only two years before that that they were one slip away from glory…
My take? One I think Mark and a lot of other Liverpool fans who come out with similar nonsense agree with? United are in a bad moment, but they’re a sleeping giant and it won’t last. Mark and co. Should just enjoy while they can, because it won’t last, and I’d wager it’ll be an awful lot less than than 29 years (and counting).
It’s the barren months of the summer and we all need a distraction. And it’s Friday. I think some random game might be in order.
Given the current state of your team, pick one wonderkid from Championship Manager/Football Manager that if you could sign today, would make the biggest difference to the squad? No Messi or Ronaldo here please – we’re thinking Eldar Hadzimehmedovic (CM 01/02), To Madeira (Same version) or Ibrahima Bakayoko (CM 97/98 version, not Everton version). Also you have to state which game he’s from.
I’m a Liverpool fan and think we lack is a threat from midfield with the ability to create chances and unlock a stubborn defence. We play on the break with incredible pace, so there’s only one name that comes to mind: Tonton Zola Mokouko (CM 99/00). We’d snap him up from Derby for the equivalent of 3 weeks pocket money and half a packet of chewitts (tropical fruit flavour, obviously).
He could play in midfield, or do a job upfront – filling in for any of the current 3 if they broke a nail or got a particularly embarrassing haircut. He was fast, creative, a deadly finisher and had a mysterious name. Perfect. Welcome to Anfield Tonton my son.
How about you and your team?
WhySoSad? (Yes that one, off of the forum a decade ago with the Pringles)