Jump to content

Football Thread 2021/2022


Plissken
 Share

Recommended Posts

That was good fun and it's a shame Keita had to suffer an injury before a United player would be sent off. Hopefully Ole hangs on until the City game because I cannot imagine they will be as merciful as Liverpool were after the red card. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, ryodi said:

That was good fun and it's a shame Keita had to suffer an injury before a United player would be sent off. Hopefully Ole hangs on until the City game because I cannot imagine they will be as merciful as Liverpool were after the red card. 

Well said.  Liverpool were nice enough not to get Ole sacked.

 

Easiest game of football I've seen in long time. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As much as I enjoyed rewatching the Man Utd - Liverpool game on MOTD2, the entirely insight-free combination of Ian Wright and Micah Richards really is the absolute nadir of football analysis. The B team on the Sunday show has actually often been better than the cosy boys club on MOTD1 in the past, but these guys are making me pine for the glory days of Lawrenson miserably making dad jokes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

More of the problems are at the team level though. For our first goal yesterday, Keita ended up in that absurd amount of free space because Man Utd had been haring up the pitch in the other direction in a horribly disjointed attempt at a high press. I think Ole is a nice guy, and I don't think he was necessarily the worst appointment, but it's pretty clear to everyone that he and his assistants are a few fathoms out of their depth at this point.

 

Though obviously players like Pogba - still their most expensive signing, by a distance if you include inflation - strolling around doing homages to Gerrard's worst day in a MU - L fixture aren't exactly helping.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the problems with United are that it's fairly soulless club with the Glazer's at the helm. More focus on the next tractor or noodle partner rather than plotting the future direction of the club, in terms of playing style and having a footballing identity. They're also competing against clubs where the focus isn't solely on profits and lining the owners' pockets. City and Newcastle (lol) are focused on sportswashing and don't have the financial imperatives of United. Chelsea under Abramovich are willing to spend, spend, spend to get success. Liverpool under FSG obviously have a focus on the bottom line but don't appear to be so financially predatory as the Glazers and are tempered somewhat by a strong manager, in the same way Ferguson was able to bend the owners to his will. 

 

To have been so profligate in transfer spend and have to rely on McTominay and Fred as your first choice CM pairing is wholly negligent. Very few teams in the top half of the league would swap their first choice CMs for either of those two. I think United would be immeasurably improved by having Tielemans and Ndidi over those two. Or Rice and Soucek. And so on. The signing of Ronaldo was a misguided one made by the heart rather than the brain; unless of course your focus is on revenue creation over footballing success. 

 

As for the manager, it's been clear for ages that he's fairly limited. Lovely guy, club legend but he's not good enough for a club of United's stature. Whilst I think it's a pretty soulless club at the moment, opposition fans will be hoping that it doesn't become a Sol-less club for a while yet. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 minutes ago, Stopharage said:

 

To have been so profligate in transfer spend and have to rely on McTominay and Fred as your first choice CM pairing is wholly negligent. Very few teams in the top half of the league would swap their first choice CMs for either of those two. I think United would be immeasurably improved by having Tielemans and Ndidi over those two. Or Rice and Soucek. And so on. The signing of Ronaldo was a misguided one made by the heart rather than the brain; unless of course your focus is on revenue creation over footballing success. 

 

 

Yeah, definitely.  The Ronaldo transfer, the more you think about it, is an indication of a big problem.  He wasn't signed for footballing reasons, or even sentimental reasons really. He's a marketable asset, he raised the stock value. What happened next? The Glazers sold a bunch of stocks and personally made over a hundred million pounds.  This money goes to the Glazers, not back into the club.  They used money generated by the club to sign Ronaldo and to pay him, and used the situation to further enrich themselves.  All while claiming that there was no money to sign a central midfielder.  United have a very sentimental fanbase, we're very wrapped up in the mythology of the club, so we were always going to cheer them on as they exploited the club in this way.

 

I know people will point at the money spent through the Glazers' ownership, but all that money was generated by the club. They have never put a penny of their own money in. They didn't even use their own money to buy the club!  They somehow managed to use Manchester United's money to buy Manchester United for themselves! Even all these years on that still baffles me.

 

We can try to unpick what's going wrong on the pitch, and there's a fair bit to get into there, or Ole's ability as a manager, but for me the real primary obstacle in the path to success is the fact that onfield success is not the objective.  That's always been the case under these owners.  Does the club exist to compete for trophies? No. Does the club exist to make the Glazers richer? Yes. If you've not aiming to win, if you've got a different agenda and are hoping to win the most competitive league in the world as a possible side effect, then you're never going to win anything.

 

In a way, what Ole is doing is sort of the best thing for the fans! We get these rollercoaster games, comebacks, late goals, returning heroes, triumphs and disasters.  I mean, we aren't very good, but at least we get these moments of entertainment.

 

God, I've already written several thousand words about this game. I'm going to be picking at this scab for weeks.  :facepalm:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was listening to the whole build-up on the radio and then 606 after the game and pre-game they were agreeing that Ole's appointment brought the club together after the friction and aggravation of the previous few years, but nobody could pinpoint any identity of the team, no playing style to associate with them or indeed what their best team looked like. I disagree with @Plissken's post:

 

16 hours ago, Plissken said:

Five Live before the match: Ole has put in a proper structure and stabilised the club properly for the first time since Ferguson left.

Five Live at half time: A shambles, what is Ole doing, where is the plan, what has he done for the last four years?

 

...because they were questioning that half-time stuff before kick-off (except the shambles bit, obviously).

 

Post-game I think the funniest call was somebody suggesting Man U were robbed because Pogba's tackle was a fair challenge and Salah was overrated. Somebody also said Steve Bruce would be able to sort the team out, another felt Roy Keane should go in as a number two to "kick some arse". Chris Sutton wasn't impressed with Ronaldo, so a few calls were of the "Leave Ronaldo alone" variety (and Robbie Savage just kept saying "But he's their top-scorer"), though Sutton's broader point was about how the team has to accommodate him and his lack of defensive work.

 

I think most people would agree that, central midfield aside, Man Utd have one of the best squads in the league and should be doing way better than they currently are. I think the issue is Ole can't consistently get the best out of them, nor seemingly grasp how he did it when things are going well. Everybody always plays the 'nice guy' card for him, but there's rarely room for sentiment at clubs that want to win things you have to wonder what Ole is showing that suggests he can turn things around.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, feltmonkey said:

 

Yeah, definitely.  The Ronaldo transfer, the more you think about it, is an indication of a big problem.  He wasn't signed for footballing reasons, or even sentimental reasons really. He's a marketable asset, he raised the stock value. What happened next? The Glazers sold a bunch of stocks and personally made over a hundred million pounds.  This money goes to the Glazers, not back into the club.  They used money generated by the club to sign Ronaldo and to pay him, and used the situation to further enrich themselves.  All while claiming that there was no money to sign a central midfielder.  United have a very sentimental fanbase, we're very wrapped up in the mythology of the club, so we were always going to cheer them on as they exploited the club in this way.

 

I know people will point at the money spent through the Glazers' ownership, but all that money was generated by the club. They have never put a penny of their own money in. They didn't even use their own money to buy the club!  They somehow managed to use Manchester United's money to buy Manchester United for themselves! Even all these years on that still baffles me.

 

We can try to unpick what's going wrong on the pitch, and there's a fair bit to get into there, or Ole's ability as a manager, but for me the real primary obstacle in the path to success is the fact that onfield success is not the objective.  That's always been the case under these owners.  Does the club exist to compete for trophies? No. Does the club exist to make the Glazers richer? Yes. If you've not aiming to win, if you've got a different agenda and are hoping to win the most competitive league in the world as a possible side effect, then you're never going to win anything.

 

In a way, what Ole is doing is sort of the best thing for the fans! We get these rollercoaster games, comebacks, late goals, returning heroes, triumphs and disasters.  I mean, we aren't very good, but at least we get these moments of entertainment.

 

God, I've already written several thousand words about this game. I'm going to be picking at this scab for weeks.  :facepalm:

This is what I said in the Man Utd thread as to why they won't sack Ole yet, because I don't think they care about the footballing side all that much - until it starts hitting them in the pocket. Even all the bad-press Ole gets (not just from this game, but in general) is still keeping the club in the news and that profile high, which will be financially benefitting the owners somewhere along the line.

 

It's not massively different from Arsenal's position since about mid-way through Wenger's reign, which continues through to today - if they win something, great, lovely - but I doubt the owners care too much whilst they can still extract profit from the club, and they have in place a manager who isn't going to rock the boat or cause trouble amongst the top brass (he's probably just happy to have the job.) It's about generating constant profit first-and-foremost.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Arsenal and Man Utd are almost identical really. We've struggled massively in replacing the vacuum of expertise Wenger and Dein had and floundered for years because the owners haven't the first clue of what it required to run an elite level football club. I think they've cottoned on slightly now that it is a root and branch job and goes way beyond the first team coach. Arteta has been tainted by the shambolic approach the club had in his first 18 months, but if he arrived this summer with the players we've bought I could say yeah, this guy has a plan. We spent years buying individuals when they became available, rather than working out how to build a team that works. We still have problems and the jury is out on the coach, but the joined up thinking is now there.

 

I don't see any of that with Man Utd. From the outside it seems like forces beyond your control are in charge of recruitment – like the whole world thinks they should buy DiMaria or Sancho or Ronaldo or whatever and then it just kind of happens. It's difficult to describe as someone external to it, but it's almost like no signing is ever a surprise. You're like, oh of course they'd do something like that, and then it doesn't really work out. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Stopharage said:

I think the problems with United are that it's fairly soulless club with the Glazer's at the helm. More focus on the next tractor or noodle partner rather than plotting the future direction of the club, in terms of playing style and having a footballing identity. They're also competing against clubs where the focus isn't solely on profits and lining the owners' pockets. City and Newcastle (lol) are focused on sportswashing and don't have the financial imperatives of United. Chelsea under Abramovich are willing to spend, spend, spend to get success. Liverpool under FSG obviously have a focus on the bottom line but don't appear to be so financially predatory as the Glazers and are tempered somewhat by a strong manager, in the same way Ferguson was able to bend the owners to his will. 

 

To have been so profligate in transfer spend and have to rely on McTominay and Fred as your first choice CM pairing is wholly negligent. Very few teams in the top half of the league would swap their first choice CMs for either of those two. I think United would be immeasurably improved by having Tielemans and Ndidi over those two. Or Rice and Soucek. And so on. The signing of Ronaldo was a misguided one made by the heart rather than the brain; unless of course your focus is on revenue creation over footballing success. 

 

As for the manager, it's been clear for ages that he's fairly limited. Lovely guy, club legend but he's not good enough for a club of United's stature. Whilst I think it's a pretty soulless club at the moment, opposition fans will be hoping that it doesn't become a Sol-less club for a while yet. 

Without taking the piss how you describe yourself seems similar to what Mike Ashley was trying to do with Newcastle, just at a much higher level unless I’m missing something?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Gabe said:

Man Utd have one of the best squads in the league and should be doing way better than they currently are.

 

Really?  They've got one of the most talented squads in world football but they are just square pegs and round holes.  OGS could get out-tacticked by a hood ornament, but whoever replaces them is going to have a problem.  Who are Man Utd's main attackers?  Is it Ronaldo and Cavani?  Or is it Greenwood and Rashford?  What about Martial?  Who supplies them, Fernandes or Pogba?  Just choose and stick to it.  But said manager can't because the commercial department will throw a shitfit.

 

I've said for a few years that Man Utd have been winning against the lesser lights of the PL through having better players, but not a better team. OGS can't get a tune out of them, but this was true in the Van Gaal and Mourinho days.  Are Ronaldo and Fernandes suddenly going to start becoming tracking back, box to box midfielders?  Is Pogba going to start subsuming himself for the team?  Is Wan-Bissaka going to learn to concentrate for a full 90 minutes?

 

It's not the signing of Ronaldo that shows the problem, it's the signing of Harry Maguire.  Now I like Maguire, he's a good, traditional, solid English centre back and in the top tier of those.  What he isn't is £70m worth of world class defender and giving him the captaincy was the grenade cherry on top of a shit cake.  The club could have picked the right player who wasn't a name for £30m less and not shone a massive spotlight on him from day one.  But they couldn't help themselves.

 

Meanwhile City buy someone for £50m and Liverpool pick up someone from the Bundesliga who fits into their style and destroy everyone.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I get the challenge when recruiting for these massive clubs though. I totally understand when people suggest scouring the Championship or scouting cleverly for cheaper options abroad, but the reality is huge clubs can't take that risk and so are almost held ransom to the expectation they have to buy the top shelf safe pair of hands. Liverpool have had some success with buying cheaper options, but lots haven't worked out even when being inserted into a team that absolutely hums. The reality is with the recruitment policy Man Utd have gone with they maybe needed a good time guy like an Ancelloti to get a tune out of a disparate group of megastars, when they actually went down the kind of young guy project appointment. On paper it just doesn't seem to mesh.

 

I think the other reality that's hard to get away from is like the Wenger & Fergie heyday, there's two (probably three, now) managers who are streets ahead of the rest. It used to be a case of waiting for your turn to come around again, but I'm not sure that's the case any more. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, davidcotton said:

Without taking the piss how you describe yourself seems similar to what Mike Ashley was trying to do with Newcastle, just at a much higher level unless I’m missing something?

Not sure I get what you're saying here? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Newcastle under Ashley were a zombie club.  Just existing to stay in the Premier League so he could pocket the cash and use it as a giant advertising billboard.  For the Glazers it's the same just on a higher level, the club is a cash generator and as long as the Champions League money rolls in, the idea of trophies is secondary.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

51 minutes ago, Art Vandelay said:

but the reality is huge clubs can't take that risk and so are almost held ransom to the expectation they have to buy the top shelf safe pair of hands.

 

Fuck expectation.  Overly-entitled clubs and fans are the worst in football.  They've already rigged the table enough in their favour and keep trying to do it more.

 

What Man Utd need to do (and Arsenal, and possibly Spurs) is turn around to their fans and say "For the next two years, you're on a diet.  You're getting an FA Cup or a Europa League run if you're lucky.  We've got a whole bunch of deadwood that needs ripping out and starting again.  If we buy a player you have never heard of for £20m, it's because he's the right guy.  Suck it up, because in four years time we're going to be awesome."

 

You would think that Man Utd, of all clubs, would know this.

image.png.f9685afcd1b63db9dd3cf49146fe5e48.png

Link to comment
Share on other sites

23 minutes ago, Plissken said:

What Man Utd need to do (and Arsenal, and possibly Spurs) is turn around to their fans and say "For the next two years, you're on a diet.  You're getting an FA Cup or a Europa League run if you're lucky.  We've got a whole bunch of deadwood that needs ripping out and starting again.  If we buy a player you have never heard of for £20m, it's because he's the right guy.  Suck it up, because in four years time we're going to be awesome."

 

This is right, of course, but in the case of United it ends up running counter to the owners' ultimate control.

 

What they should do is get a top-class DoF, a top-class head coach, define how they aim to play, and work towards it ruthlessly.

 

On paper it's easy. In reality, once a coach says "sign Bellingham", only to receive a memo from upstairs pointing to Haaland's social media footprint....

 

Boom. Plenty of talent. No balance.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

AC Jimbo in fine form on The Totally Football Show today, with an opening salvo of (and I’m paraphrasing here)

 

 

“drama from Old Trafford where Man Utd taste defeat… just like Paul Scholes in that video, and just like Liverpool we get convincing wins from Chelsea and Manchester City leaving us wondering if we’ll have a title race every bit as nail biting as… Paul Scholes in that video.” 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

21 minutes ago, Plissken said:

 

Fuck expectation.  Overly-entitled clubs and fans are the worst in football.  They've already rigged the table enough in their favour and keep trying to do it more.

 

What Man Utd need to do (and Arsenal, and possibly Spurs) is turn around to their fans and say "For the next two years, you're on a diet.  You're getting an FA Cup or a Europa League run if you're lucky.  We've got a whole bunch of deadwood that needs ripping out and starting again.  If we buy a player you have never heard of for £20m, it's because he's the right guy.  Suck it up, because in four years time we're going to be awesome."

 

 

Arsenal and Spurs have been on that diet for about 15 years! Those sort of projects only work if you're under the financial pressure to do so though. Man Utd can go out and buy basically any player they want, so it doesn't make much sense to wait four years for someone to maybe make it when you can go out and buy exactly who you need right now. If you could guarantee you'd be awesome in four years, then yeah absolutely. It's just you could maybe be awesome today if you buy well at the time. Look at City, they just brute force it into working because they bought the right extremely expensive players. It's definitely made football feel more futile though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How people feel about City (and soon to be about Newcastle) is how everyone else feels about Man Utd "buying any player that they want".

 

Arsenal and Spurs havent been on that diet.  In Arsenals case, they never committed to the rebuild.  They should never have extended Ozil and let Aubameyang go (was it last season).  Not because they are bad players, far from it, but they are never going to get to where they need to be with them in the team.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, Sexton Hardcastle said:

Other clubs might want to be awesome & win stuff too?

 

Well yeah, that's the thing isn't it. I'm amazed actual adults don't understand why their team can't always be the best. 

 

3 minutes ago, Plissken said:

Arsenal and Spurs havent been on that diet.  In Arsenals case, they never committed to the rebuild.  They should never have extended Ozil and let Aubameyang go (was it last season).  Not because they are bad players, far from it, but they are never going to get to where they need to be with them in the team.

 

Arsenal did a decade of selling the whole squad and going for Project Youth V1.0, which very nearly worked. Then they eventually bought players at great expense, which did work for a bit, then we bought rubbish and now we're back to a rebuild. But that's turned out to be pretty expensive too in the end. We've still had European finals and a decent amount of cups during that time, so it's hardly too much of a burden. 

 

No-one said at the time about Ozil and Aubameyang though. Ozil absolutely had to resign as we'd just lost Sanchez in humiliating circumstances and we can't get a striker as prolific as Aubameyang to sign for us, so it made sense to keep him too. That's a problem that's been punted down the road for now, and it's not like he's blocking anyone's path into the team.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah as I say, as a fan it's not too much of an imposition as those have been amazing to win. I only say we've been on that diet as the club (and Wenger) said as much at the time. We're going for a policy of youth and don't expect another Invincibles for a while. There was even a sausage metaphor! What we've been trying to do in the last four years is anyone's guess though. I think really in the last 15 years we should have probably won the league a couple of times but blew it in spectacular fashion and a European trophy, but that's best case scenario. I don't think we've over or under achieved at all, just smack bang where we should be. I find it weird some of our fans can't accept we're nowhere near the conversation about winning the title, but that's true of a lot of clubs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. Use of this website is subject to our Privacy Policy, Terms of Use, and Guidelines.