What more does Solskjaer need to do at Man Utd…

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What more does Solskjaer need to do at Man Utd…

What more does Solskjaer need to do at Man Utd…

 

What more does Ole need to do… Ahh so we have been away so long  that Craig Burley  is back to reminding people that United are 5th and F365 are back to writing articles questioning everything that goes on at Man Utd.

Right now your question of the day is What’s so special about his transfer record , I almost fell out my damn chair.

Here goes

Fine you selected one of the recent recruits as our player of the season ,That says a lot more about your website and the need for sensationalism than the output of the players acquired.  You also selected all 5 of Ole’s recruits in your top 46 with at least 3 in the top 20  for acquisitions this year in terms of performance .When in the last 6 years at old Trafford  has United signed 2 players in a year that by the end of the year have been a success. This high a success rate   won’t be  sustained forever but  it’s still better than most,  for context consider this, Pep’s 427 fullbacks includes Danilo, his first five acquisitions include Claudio Bravo and I’m still waiting for Pochettino after 5 years to buy a back up for Kane.

No one else was in the market for Maguire really not a certain team in blue across the road. We spent the new normal for Wan Bissakka between him Shaw,Williams, Ethan Laird and Dalot we might not buy another fullback for 5 years.

So what that if Fernandes ,was bought 4 months too late the intention was that a certain Pogba would make the role his own.United decided to start their rebuild from the back.Its not always impressive to get a player on time .As at September you were lauding Arsenal for acquiring a centre back central midfielder and winger all in the same window ,You were also giving props to the management of spurs for acquiring Ndombele . These decisions were all acheived by teams with DOF’s or allegedly better strategies than United’s they have so far not worked out half as well as United’s

Don’t even get me started on the integration of youth players ,you even get the sense some of the acquisitions are being made based on what have we within the youth system

Bottom line Ole’s instincts have helped secure players that fit into the squad and improvement is very likely with a few more buys. Roode, MUFC

 

Just relegate two… Would the simplest answer to relegation from the Premier League (if the league’s manage to be played out in neutral venues) be to only relegate 2 teams from the premier league. The relegated teams would then receive 50% additional parachute payments by splitting funds saved by not paying them to a third team. This would therefore come at no additional cost.

It would also cut the number of games for the EFL with no need for play offs.

So we would still have promotion/relegation and those unlucky enough to be relegated get a cash boost for the trouble. Tom S, London

 

Take relegation off the table Hi,

I’ve been compelled to write in as all this talk off how the Premier League ends probably sums up in a nutshell why I was so antipathetic towards Watford going up in the first place… there is more to Football than just the Premier League.

In almost everything I’ve read, I never see any acknowledgement of how this trickles down to the rest of the football league. There are 92 teams in the English professional game (sorry professional teams the National League), Football doesn’t start and end with the 20th placed in the top flight.

Yes relegation absolutely shouldn’t be taken off the table. If these games are to be played, having all but the next two Liverpool games become meaningless will result in half-fit players, playing at 70% effort in empty echoey stadiums – hardly an advert for the “greatest league in the world”… so I get that. Broadcasters and the Premier League chiefs won’t allow it (even if they have to compromise the integrity of the competition to do so)

So let’s say these games end and three teams go down – how do we decide who goes up? Leeds and WBA are 7 and 6 points clear respectively, but that’s not beyond a late season collapse / charge from someone else. Then when you look at the third spot the water gets even more muddied… 6th-11th place within 3 points of each other – you simply cannot stop the league and declare the table final. Do you now play the rest of the season out there? In which case you can’t eliminate relegation either… so then you have to reactivate League 1 and so on – and the financial impact of this would be catastrophic – never mind where you find enough venues to play all these games.

We need to stop looking at this as just a Premier League problem, it isn’t. What makes English football so interesting is that we are not just a one or two division country. The solution needs to work for the entire 92 not just for the top 6.

Thanks Sean

 

People try to put us down. Talking ’bout my relegation… Firstly, a qualifier (even one of them would be nice now, right?); I’m a Villa fan.

I’m loving the criticisms of Mike, WHU for looking after the best interests of his team, as if those critical commentators aren’t doing the same thing. Let’s be fair; if your team is in the top 14 then “play on” (over exaggerated Mike Dean gesture goes here), if it isn’t then “we should red flag this mess”. Anyone wanting the league to be finished is presumably applying the same biased logic that Mike and many other fans of the bottom six are?

I think there also needs be a point of distinction regarding the ‘self serving cowardice’. I may be wrong but the clubs want the season to be played out, they would just like it to be done so in the same manner as the rest of the season was played. Which seems fair. They are not asking for no relegation regardless. This point needs to be made clear. (This is also why it wouldn’t start a precedent for random votes to scrap relegation).

In terms of playing at neutral venues your (club’s) opinion is risk/reward, surely? Anyone 14th and above would of course like to see how high they can climb/whether they can get into Europe. The rewards far outweigh any risks/potential discontent at playing at neutral venues. For the bottom six, it is simply the opposite.

Also, any talk of previous home form etc is irrelevant. Relegation is, and always will be, decided in the last 8 or so games. Hence having great escapes and teams plummet down the league. That’s the nature of sport; some parts of the game/match/tournament don’t actually heavily influence the outcome. One example, Wigan’s miraculous end of season run a few years back now. That came out of nowhere.

It’s also worth noting that my club, Villa, have said they want to get back to training and playing again (as I’m sure do the others). Villa are not asking for relegation exemption. They are saying they would like the full picture before making any decision. That full picture of course involves knowing what the EFL are going to do. What if the EFL void their leagues and say no promotion or relegation? It’s sort of vital to know what the consequences of a decision are before saying yes or no to something. What if the EFL, due to clubs struggling financially, brings in salary caps or the like? You’re being relegated to a different playing field altogether.

Here’s what I want… Regardless of how long it takes (and we should wait for as long as is necessary), the season gets played out and Villa get relegated rightfully, for being ruddy abysmal. How it should be. Gary – awaiting the backlash (AVFC)

 

We are reopening I think the thing that a lot of people are missing in the ‘Project Restart‘ debate is the fact the country will be reopening soon. No one is asking footballers to play in a state of full lockdown. But if the country is reopening, why can’y football be a part of that?

On 1st June it seems almost certain that schools will reopen. Right now I’m working from home (with the odd day in school looking after key worker children) but soon I’ll be back in every day, on the tube. Soon I would imagine, more shops and other businesses will be open too. So if some people are going back to work, I see no reason why footballers can’t.

It’s also important to understand the point of the lockdown. It’s not to protect people like me, or people the age of most footballers (mostly younger than me now, sadly). It’s to prevent the spread of the virus to the elderly and most vulnerable. If footballers are able to maintain social distancing from people in those groups, it makes no difference if they’re interacting with each other.

We also have to be realistic about what this virus is. It’s very dangerous to the elderly. Its very dangerous to people with underlying health conditions. If we didn’t have the lockdown, there would have been a real danger of the health service being overwhelmed. What Covid19 is not is especially dangerous to the under 40s. The number of deaths from people under 40, with no underlying health conditions is almost 0.

Coronavirus is not going away. Its going to be present in society for a long time. If you’re not prepared for any risk, then you’re saying no football until there is a vaccine, which is 2021 at the earliest. We have to get back to normal as soon as is safe. If the science says that it will be safe to do so at some point in June, then I don’t see whats wrong with doing that. Mike, LFC, London

 

It’s an idea… One thing that no-one seems to mention in all the talk over whether to play or not is what UEFA are doing in all of this and why they stopping the easiest option.  Their first item of business was to state Euro 20 had to be played in June/July 2021 meaning next season cannot start and end later.  Why?  Seriously why do we need this tournament?

Simple way to solve league issues is: 1) Cancel Euro 20. 2) No International football for one season, if there are World Cup qualifiers that have to be played then PL games are played anyway like the Egg Chasers do.  U21 players do not have to be released. 3) Change the Champions League to just be league winners (like it should be anyway) and that the Champions of only the Top 32 nations are in it and its a simple knock out, 2 legs tournament.  The Europa League can be the Main Cup Winners of the top 32 Nations as well.

Between Saturday 5th September 21 and Saturday 31st July 22 there are 48 Saturdays, therefore 48 match days – enough for: 10 match days – finish 20/21 season 38 match days – 21/22 season 48 match days overall

Between Wednesday 8th September 21 and Wednesday 3rd August 22 there are 48 Wednesday’s, therefore 48 match days – enough for: 3 match days – to finish the 19/20 FA Cup 4 match days – to finish European games 7 match days – 128 English Clubs to play 21/22 FA Cup games 7 match days – 128 English Clubs to play 21/22 League Cup games 11 match days – 32 European teams to play CL (Wednesday) & Europa (Thursday) 32 match days overall

The Championship and leagues below can use midweek to play the extra league games they have as they won’t be in European tournaments and when they are knocked out of Cups.

Have 2/3 weeks off – start 22/23 season a few weeks behind.  Job done Gavin, MCFC

 

The actual stark truth In reference to “Mark (No attempts at humour on this one) MCFC”,  as a frontline worker I believe I am qualified to respond via Mark’s own criteria of facing life threatening situations.

I completely disagree with Mark and he’s right, I haven’t been standing at my door every Thursday as I’ve actually been working most weeks. Mark states that “people will die”. He is also prepared to let 60% of football clubs die to save a single life.

I assume Mark is stating that football shouldn’t resume until a vaccine has been found? That could be 2 years away and the risk to a single life will remain until that date.

I also assume Mark believes that all non critical businesses should shut until that date as the risk to hairdressers, stockbrokers, retail workers, teachers will remain?

Mark may state that those roles can socially distance where footballers cannot but ask yourself what is riskier, playing football with 21 other men who have been tested or standing on the tube surrounded by people who could have the virus?

I am assuming that even after a vaccine has been found Mark will insist on no-one travelling in vehicles due to 2,000 road deaths every year in the UK? Or events such as the London marathon, Formula 1 or triathlons which all cause death? In fact, perhaps the whole world should just lock down forever more?

Or is Mark actually stating that there is a level of risk in everyday life that is acceptable? Yes, there may be a marathon runner who dies and that is tragic but the risk to most is acceptable. The same goes for car journeys etc.

Given the risk to footballers in the first place and the fact that everyone involved will be tested regularly would Mark agree that football will be much safer than say working in retail in central London? Yes, there will be football staff who are older and at risk but that risk is minimal given the testing involved.

Or perhaps we should all follow Mark’s advice, kill off football and remain in lockdown until a vaccine is found if they can even find one. Steven, London

 

The Retort MC, and fellow F365-ers,

If you will allow me to retort, then I’ll say no more on the matter regardless of any counterpoints that may be made.

If your position is that NO football should be played, unless it is safe to do so, and not just for spectators, then we agree.  Likewise, if you believe that no activity can be totally ‘risk-free’ or that this season should be completed (however long it takes) and not voided, or that the lockdown should be eased as soon as we responsibly can, then ditto.  They are not my issues.

This bastard of a virus is brand new.  As such there is far more we don’t understand about it than we do.  We don’t know why there are asymptomatic carriers or why children (Thank God) are less susceptible, (But not completely immune) to it apart from assumptions around the state of the immune system in the young versus the elderly.  We don’t know why people from a BAME background are disproportionately affected with more severe or fatal reactions to exposure to COVID-19.

We don’t know why some people have either none, or just mild symptoms after exposure or why some have severe reactions or, most importantly, die from it.  We do know that people with ‘underlying health issues’ are more susceptible and why.  But, conflictingly, the deaths are patently not confined to the elderly or those with existing respiratory conditions.  We do know that the virus stays airborne and active on hard surfaces for longer than was assumed 6 weeks ago (Because, in the absence of any other hard data at that time, comparisons were made with SARS etc).

Tests for conditions like diabetes or hepatitis or HIV or cancer have a confidence rating of accuracy in the high 90% range precisely because we’ve been dealing with these conditions for years.  COVID-19 is the exact opposite and no country has anything close to what could be termed a ‘reliable’ test.  Take any group of a hundred people and, should all the tests come back negative, there will be a significant proportion that will be false results.

Blah, blah, blah, so what?

This is what.  As with the Bundesliga plans, you can test all you want, but the best tests anybody has now are hit & miss.  Secondly, the finest medical and scientific minds on the planet right now could not tell you which of the four outcomes above will apply to you when exposed to the virus.  Because nobody knows (yet).

The PL is agitating to have ‘X’ amount of games played behind closed doors, whether at neutral venues or not.  It doesn’t matter.  Because, and until a reliable test is deployed and regardless of how drastically you minimize the number of people involved, or how often you test them under current conditions, you will not be getting an accurate picture of who is infected and who isn’t.  Secondly, one asymptomatic carrier will infect others unless all involved are wearing full PPE and staying six feet away from every other person.  Even then, as grimly shown in the number of doctors, nurses and carers who have died, that is still no guarantee.  Sky Sports today has a relevant article (and well worth a read) on the minimum numbers of personnel that would be required to play a single PL game behind closed doors.  Spoiler alert, it’s around 240-250.

The only way to be certain sure that no infected people take part in these games or that nobody else dies after being exposed to a carrier is a vaccine.  And no country in the world has one (Yet).  So why does the PL continue to angle for games in June?  We all know why.  To avoid paying £79 million back to the broadcasters.  And that, I still maintain, is no f*cking reason at all to put anybody’s life at risk be they pampered multi-millionaire players or all of the rest of the people that would need to be present at the grounds for these games to take place.  Equally, neither is the argument that the absence of said money will mean some clubs will go bust.  This is not a ‘worst guess scenario’.  I wrote in a week before Johnny Nic’s article that the current 92-club structure would not survive COVID-19.  The same factors apply to anybody else currently in the entertainment/hospitality sector where hotels, pubs, restaurants and theatres have already gone under.  Football, if nothing else, is firmly in the entertainment and hospitality business, with the possible exception that it is the only part that expends 80%+ of its outcome on wages.

How many PL games are outstanding?  80 or 90-odd? So the PL is suggesting that we can put 22 blokes on a pitch, as well as another 200 people or so off it, 80-odd times, in a full contact sport with no way of knowing definitively beforehand how many people are already infected or, more importantly, what will happen to the others at that match that are consequently exposed to the virus.  Corners and free kicks anyone?  How many times do players spit or clear their nose during a game?  Old habits and all that.

Oliver, perhaps ironically, is right when he makes a comparison to having your hair cut.  Barbers and hairdressers will be at a higher risk than, say, somebody working in a factory or warehouse precisely because that they (the hair workers) will,  necessarily, have to be in close proximity to their customers, coupled with a far higher rate of ‘footfall’ for their services.  TfL bus drivers in London began dying for the exact same reasons.  They have stopped after the closest doors to the drivers were sealed and they were issued PPE.  Since then, no further deaths have, thankfully, been recorded.

We have no vaccine.  The only way we can control the spread is social distancing and a lockdown, of varying severity.  Make no mistake.  If we screw up the (gradual) relaxations expected this weekend, the lockdown will be renewed (As proved by Germany).  There is no other choice.  Oliver also refers to the consequences to both individuals and the economy if ‘not to die for’ (His phrase) businesses are not allowed to restart.  I completely agree.  But allowing these PL games to be played does nothing for our economy or people’s employment prospects or mortgage payments.  Rugby Union, League and Cricket aren’t agitating for games behind closed doors.  But then their clubs haven’t been operating, from a financial pov, on a house of cards for the last thirty years.  And whilst some, ANY live sport would be a blessed relief to some of us, we on F365 may need to be gently reminded that we are not the majority view in society.  I couldn’t care less if Emmerdale or Corrie or Love Island are never shown again.  Likewise, my partner couldn’t care less about football but is distraught that her beloved soaps may be under threat.  Further, that catastrophic (and I make no apology that term) damage to the UK and worldwide economies is already in place

For James Outram, and any others it similarly affected, the following.  I regret the last line about the NHS and clapping.  What’s the old adage?  Never press send after typing an angry mail.  Nobody should feel they have to make a public display of support for the NHS.  You are free to do so, or not, in any way you see fit and I apologise unreservedly for the implication that the opposite was true.  I was trying (and self-evidently failing) to draw a distinction between some people honouring those risking everything on the front line fighting COVID-19 whilst at the same time seemingly (repeat seemingly) having no problem exposing other human beings to the same virus for what, I still maintain, is no good reason.

Tell me that you can guarantee that every player, official or any of the other 200-odd personnel during the course of each of these 80-odd games is clear of infection.  You can’t.  Nobody can.  In which case, at least tell me that any subsequent infections will not lead to somebody’s death.  You can’t do that either.  Nobody can.

I repeat then, that the consequences of people contracting COVID-19 when you are deliberately placing a minimum of 250 people (80 or 90+ times) in harm’s way, and just to avoid a financial penalty, is simply unspeakable.  Finish the season when we know it’s safe to do so.  And for the avoidance of doubt I mean in 2021, or 2022 or later if necessary.  Oh, and to the sceptics and the critics, that means not from possible bee stings or heart attacks or dying in a car crash on the way to the training ground.  Instead, it refers to what our colonial cousins (although clearly not their current President) would refer to, and with regard to this worldwide pandemic, as a clear and present danger.

Written still, and especially on my 4-year-old’s birthday, in the hope that you and all your loved ones are safe and well during this pandemic and will remain so. Mark MCFC

 

What happens next… I guess it would be better for fans if we had half a clue as to what was being talked about by the Premier League / FA in terms of a return to play.

Taking it from the top, should there be some clarity around what is going to happen here? Who / when will we know if the decision is to either:

Cancel 19/20 and think about how to start 20/21 given it is likely “normal” wont be around for a while

Complete 19/20 come hell or high-water (i.e. play all remaining fixtures, likely behind closed doors), and think about what 20/21 might look like as a one-off given this will probably extend beyond July

Complete 19/20 in a modified format e.g. playoffs / tournaments etc, try and get 20/21 started close to on-time

All have their virtues and issues. But once you’ve figured this out (I don’t say agreed because this will never be agreed given the self interest involved), then you can look at how to create a product that is safe for players / staff and fans, and that is interesting at the same time.

Do we have any idea who is making these decisions? Do clubs vote? What is UEFA’s role? Is it just me or do we know as little know about the decision makers and decision making process as we did 6 weeks ago? Simon, London

 

The show must go on In the name of full disclosure Huddersfield are rubbish this season and Leeds United are top of the Championship, so it is very much in my teams interest to scrap the season. However:

I have to say that Mike WHU’s “put a fork in it”  makes no sense. Why does it “have” to be a given? Stating that scrapping relegation would have to be a given is simply only case if you just so happen to support someone in the bottom six. There are zero legitimate reasons to do this as far as I can see.

1)      ALL teams would be behind closed doors and at a Neutral venue. Yes if one of the Venues is Old Trafford and Man Utd play there it defeats the point, but if the grounds are empty and no-one plays at home then it’s fair.

2)      Injuries to star players returning to fitness would be a concern. But Man City using De Bruyne sparingly gives the smaller teams more of a chance. Take Salah and Mane out of the Liverpools team and you’ve a much better chance of getting a result, even if you don’t have Mings or Wesley yourself – this favours the smaller teams.

3)      West Ham are monumentally rubbish at home anyway aren’t they? You always hear about how the London stadium and it’s lack of atmosphere are why they never do very well, so surely a neutral venue is pretty much every West Ham Fans dream and if they were in Sheff Utd’s position, I think it would be oh so different. Overton Terrier (May change my mind when we lose our first 3 behind closed doors matches…)

 

 

So here’s a post-match interview with a referee So Bucky Dent, Bangalore, India – since you completely ignored what I was saying to you (why?) and let’s follow on from the gormless inanity we get from the managers and players, and mostly blaming/condoning the referee depending on which side of the result you were standing. Ferguson, Moyes, Bruce, Rodgers and a litany of many more. You lose? Blame the ref. You lose? Blame the lino. You lose? Blame the fourth official.

So let’s pretend you get the opportunity to interview a referee post-match. How does that work out for you?

Bucky Dent, Bangalore, India: So ref, how was the game in your eyes? Token Premier League Referee: What do you mean?

BD: Well, there were a couple of questionable offside decisions PLR: You know that all of these are reviewed by VAR right? My assistants make the call and then we wait.

BD: Well, the replays showed that Striker A’s armpit hair was offiside by a good 5mm? Why did your assistant not see that? PLR: It’s a little difficult to split armpit hairs. That’s what VAR is for. The players understand the new system and should play to the whistle.

BD: But what about the goal off the underside of the crossbar? You ruled a no-goal? Whay was that? PLR: Because the goal-line technology showed that the ball didn’t cross the line. My watch didn’t vibrate. We all agree the technology is accurate. Not sure what you want me to say here?

BD. Moving on to the straight red for Player X. He’d only been on the field for three minutes. What made you send him off? PLR: Because he broke Player B’s femur with a reckless, studs-up tackle. Not sure what else I could have done.

BD: But slow-motion video replay clearly shows that his outmost stud on his left boot caught in the turf, leading him to be unable to stop his career-threatening lunge and instead turning it into a … career threatening lunge. PLR: You proved my point.

BD: But it was a judgment call? Some other referees might not have had the same opinion? PLR: Yes it was a judgment call. That’s what I do. Do you not understand?

BD: Put you should be accountable! PLR: I am, to my peers, every Monday, Now fuck off out of my way, I need to go shower. And I’d love to kick you in the balls on my way past, but I don’t think you’ve got any.

BD: I’m writing into the mailbox! This must be stopped! Steve, Los Angeles

 

Props to the secret footballer Just wanted to write in and commend Johnny Nic on a fine job interviewing ‘the secret footballer’. I won’t postulate about who he is as he clearly doesn’t want to be identified currently, and that’s absolutely his prerogative (although I will say that’s not stopped the whatsapp discussions about who he might be). But footballers are so often put up on pedestals, these unreachable social figures who seem to exist outside of the realms of our comprehension – because of their lifestyle, their money, their fame – we can’t put ourselves in their shoes because it’s borderline unfathomable to the everyman.

And I know Johnny gets a regular bashing in the mailbox sometimes, rightly or wrongly (again – not for me to judge), but these interviews he has conducted with the footballer in the shadows have offered a genuine glimpse in to the world of a footballer, particularly from a coronavirus perspective. Whilst I would assume his altruism and distaste for the vast wealth accumulated puts him in the minority, he’s a shining example of what football could be – and just how unnecessary the money is football is. I hope his contributions continue to have a positive effect on the initiatives he’s supporting, and I also hope he can perhaps encourage others on his team and in his circles to do the same. I think the old cliches of ‘it’s a short career, earn as much as you can whilst you can’ have been proven to be utter bo*#$%£s, and along with initiatives like (lovely) Juan Mata’s 1% club, I hope we can begin to see more stories like this in the future.

Anyway, nothing else to add – just thought i’d offer something else other than Brian from Bristol’s way to end the season x 1000. I look forward to reading the next interview, sincerely hoping there is a next one. Lee (I want my football back, but only when the time is right), LFC

 

Were Argentina that terrible? I was only 5 years old in 1986 when Argentina won the world cup. I have grown up being told Maradona won that tournament single handedly for them (a claim repeated by Mikey, CFC this morning); but I look at their squad and think – how can that actually be true!?!?

Nery Pompedu was a top quality goalkeeper from what I’ve heard (bar his unfortunate mistake vs. Cameroon 4yrs later)

Daniel Passarella is often listed a one of the great, Top 10 CBs ever.

Oscar Ruggeri and Jorge Valdano played for Real Madrid and won league titles with them

Jorge Burrachagga is revered at FC Nantes (my favourite French club having living there in 2003/04) as an all time great midfielder.

Sure, there’s some unknown names in the squad; probably a little more than one would expect from a winning squad; and Maradona was clearly the standout genius amongst them; but I genuinely do wonder at times if reality was as much as people now make it out to be… Paul (Spurs and FCNA) T.Wells

 

Michael Ballack a Rolls Royce of a footballer Seeing him on planet football’s list just reminded me of how bloody good Michael Ballack was. Yes looking at his stats they don’t make for world beating reading but it wasn’t about that, he had that imessuarbale quality of seeing a cross field pass being able to play it perfectly pin point or take on his man and usually come out the other side with the ball. He was just really fun to watch play and one of the reasons I fell in love with Chelsea. Ballack gets glossed over when ever anyone talks about the best midfielders from that generation it’s all about Gerrard, lampard and Scholes to an extent but I reckon Ballack deserves his place among them he was as good as any of them on his day. Aaron. CFC. Ireland

 

A bit of nostalgia I, as a Spurs fan has tried to blot out the 87 FA cup final from memory, replacing it with the 91 semi for obvious reasons. It was on TV last night and it was magnificent. I had just turned 11 when this match was played and I remember sitting and watching it on the TV and being pretty upset we had lost, but also a real happy feeling for Coventry and especially Sillett, he seemed genuinely happy to just be there and seemed a thoroughly likeable fella, always had a bit of a soft spot for Cov ever since..

If you’ve not seen it then I would definitely recommend it. The technical ability on display is probably far greater than you would expect and the pace of the game was relentless, very few stoppages and so far more football to watch. I loved Hoddle, he was my absolute hero and his touch and movement in this game was amazing, if today then I’m sure he would be one of the best on the planet. Never really warmed to Waddle but he was immense as well. But for some reason my favorite was always Mabbutt in that team, he was a really good defender who was very comfortable with the ball. Was surprised that he wasn’t captain. Cyril Regis was amazing that game as well.

Was a real surprise how good this game was, how respectful the players were and what the FA cup at Wembley really meant. I miss it.

Anyone else watched a classic from yesteryear lately. Steve (THFC)

 

Trump FC To help distract from the seriousness of our reality right now, i thought i’d everyone how football clubs would do with some of our wonderful politicians in charge of them.

Just imagine Trump taking over from OJS and running Man Utd into the ground.  Calling refs out for being Labour-voting bitter failed footballers who just want to try to ruin his wonderful record as a manager.  Imagine the pitch-side antics as he throws his Big Mac at a linesman, and then launches into a furious real-time twitter fight with the referee, the FA, NASA and of course Hilary. Losing matches would be written off as fake news, he’d sign players whenever he wanted outside of the windows, and then declare they were on the books for at least two years, despite having played against the player’s team the week before, with him netting the winning goal in injury time, and being over every newspaper in the country.

Over to you boys… Haresh

 

Big-game players When you’re at the bottom the pundits always say ‘every game is a big game’ therefore to not include Andrew Johnson in your ’10 of the greatest big-game players in football history’ list is a scandal. He scored 21 goals in a team that got relegated, he faced 6 pointers more regular than a pub urinal during happy hour.

On a serious note, Park Ji-Sung must have been in 11th. RATT MITCHIE – NUFC (Predicting a takeover collapse on Thursday)

 

Wow, Matt Stead – have you heard of Maradona? Simon S, Cheshire

 

OK, I’ll bite. You have to have Ronaldo on that list of great big-game players, probably right at the top.

Goals in two Copa America finals, a hat-trick in a Confederations Cup final. Two goals in the World Cup Final 2002. Crucial goals in both of the World Cup semis he played in – actually all of Brazil’s goals in the WC finals and semis he played in. Plus a hat-trick against Argentina.

He also played in truly competitive leagues in the days when finishing second didn’t get you a Champs League spot (which would have ruled out triumphs from the likes of Real Madrid and Liverpool). When the opportunities came he was injured too much and played for an unbalanced Real Madrid team, but still managed to get that iconic hat-trick at OT and scored in his only Cup Winners’ Cup, UEFA Cup and Intercontinental Cup finals.

I would have Messi on the list too. Maybe Puskas?

Anyway, given we don’t have any football outside Youtube, here’s my extensively researched list of the top 5 highlight reel goal-scorers, with apologies to Le Tiss, Magico Gonzalez, Lee Trundle and of course yer Zolas, Payets and Bergkamps…

#5 Cristiano Ronaldo. Towering headers, unsaveable free kicks, backheels and…finally…that overhead kick he’d been working on for a while. Plus a few stepovers thrown in for good measure. For all his stat-padding – the man’s taken well over 100 penalties – he’s the real deal.

#4 Messi, Doesn’t really do volleys, acrobatics, backheels or headers that much but makes up for it with about half a dozen of examples of dribbling through an entire defence and some of the sweetest chips, lobs, free-kicks and left foot finishes you’ll ever see.

#3 Gareth Bale. Unearthly pace and power. Plenty of runs, volleys and screamers for Madrid, Wales and Spurs, not least the goal in the Copa Del Rey final that took him off the pitch and of course that overhead kick.

#2 Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Taekwondo-styled goals that no-one else on the planet could have scored. And a Champs League screamer hit so hard that you’d sympathise with the goalie if he dived the other way. Also responsible for two of the most ridiculous overheads kicks and solo goals of all time. How could he not be number one? Because Luis Suarez.

#1 Luis Suarez. Physics-defying backheels, runs from half-way, shots from halfway, acrobatic overhead volleys, implausible pieces of control, nutmegs, utter thunderstrikes. Suarez has the lot and more. Quarantino Asprilla, Chairman of the Bored, ITFC

 

MNOP The ‘M’ team looks very tasty indeed, could be the best yet, but surprising how few ‘N’s there were:

M-Persons: The legendary Sepp Maier in goal, Celtic’s Danny McGrain at right back with Bobby Moore (c) & Paul McGrath at centre back. Paolo Maldini strides in at left back. Lothar Matthaus & Claude Makelele dominate the midfield, allowing Sir Stanley Matthews, Messi & Maradona to wreak havoc in the opposition half, with goalbox predator Gerd ‘Der Bomber’ Muller ready to pick up any scraps. On the bench we have Mbappe, McGrory, Mortensen, Mane, Meazza, Michel, McManaman, Mc Mahon, Mazzola, McNeil & Mackay.

The N-chiladas: Neuer (c) starts in goal, Gary Neville at right back so Phil Neal moves across to the left side. Nesta & Nadal centre backs. Neeskens and Igor Netto (Olympic Gold ’56 & Euro ’60 with Soviet Union) in central midfield. Gunter Netzer and Nedved attack from wide with Gunnar Nordhal (Record 5-time top scorer in Serie A, AC Milan all time top scorer & 43 in 33 games for Sweden!) & Neymar up front. In reserve are Ivan Nielsen, Nordqvist, Nygard, Neves, Tracey Neville, Neville Neville, and 50th reserve Phil Neville.

The O-dears: Oblak in goal, Jorge Olguin (’78 WC winner with Argentina), David O’Leary (c), Viktor Onopko (115 caps for Russia) and Mikhail Ogonkov (’56 Olympic Gold with Soviets) make up the back four. Ernst Ocwirk (former Austria captain) holds the midfield behind an attacking four of Overmars, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Wolfgang Overath (WC winner with West Germany ’74) & Jesper Olsen. Ortega plays as a false nine. Sub options include Orsi, Onichenko, Osilizlo, Ondrus, Orth & Oblitas.

The P-Please-Bobs: Michel Preud’Homme between the sticks, and a back four of Panucci, Puyol (c), Pasarella (Argentina captain WC winner ’78) & Stuart Pearce. Andrea Pirlo distributes from the base of midfield, allowing Martin Peters, Platini & Robert Prosinekci to roam. Deadly front two of Pele & Puskas. Reserve options include Pagliuca, Peruzzi, Petrescu, Popescu, Panenka & Piola. Vinny (LFC) Colchester

 

We could not keep away from the camera for long so we made a Football365 Isolation Show. Watch it, subscribe and share until we get back in the studio/pub and produce something a little slicker…

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