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Harry Maguire is already coming in for criticism in pre-season. Plus, transfer kings Man City, anti-Ronaldo agenda and lots more…
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4 minutes into the pre-season game with Melbourne Victory Gary Vance gets his answer on Maguire and the high line, Melbourne’s first attack on the break and Maguire is caught chuffing back 5 yards away from the striker in the centre who knocks it home for 1 nil.
Paul Murphy, Manchester
Couple of very good mailbox contributions today from Man Utd fans. Dave, Manchester – I found myself nodding my head in agreement with everything said. I could have personally written exactly the same things about myself, as a Liverpool fan. I would guess we are of similar age. My earliest memories of football are when Liverpool lost the FA Cup Final to Wimbledon, and their title win in 1990. Ever since, and is mentioned quite a bit, Liverpool failed to win a league title again for 30 years. Most of my memory of supporting them. In that time, Man Utd came to prominence, and were the major force in football for most of my football supporting life. In my mind, Liverpool and Man Utd are the biggest clubs in England, and have many similarities with each other. Anyone that says either of these clubs aren’t huge clubs (even in their worst periods) is probably just being either disingenuous or on a wind up. It really is a pointless argument about what makes a club ‘big’. As Dave points out, supporting your team and club is a lifelong commitment, full of ups and downs. Every fan see’s and wants their club to be the best and most successful. Both Liverpool and Man Utd supporters are lucky in that even in their worst, they will still eventually pick up trophies, or at least be challenging for them. Not every supporter has that.
Garey Vance – Again, very rational and sensible mail. I’m not sure when the tide turned and every pre-season friendly result is scrutinised, but it seems to me to be quite ridiculous. Of course, Like Garey seeing positives and taking them for what they are is a good way to look at them. For Man Utd, they have been poor for a while. Have a new manager and in that scenario, I fully understand supporters looking for abit more out of these pre-season games. Utd used it for testing their available first eleven more. For Liverpool, we know their best eleven, know how they play. So it really was just a fitness exercise for us. Utilizing 32 players shows this. Can’t see the result though having any real baring on the season. When they play in September will be the acid test of Man Utds improvement. The only pre-season game I want us to win is on July 30th against Man City in the Community Shield. A win in that I would feel would be a shot in the arm for the new season.
Can’t wait for the new season now.
So the whole ‘big club’ debate has raised its head again.
I realise as a Newcastle fan what I’m about to say looks extremely self serving, but to be a big club right now comes down to one thing MONEY.
I’m sure Johnny Nic is already trying to smash his phone using his copy of the Morning Star.
But it’s not an unreasonable argument to make…. Chelsea were a nice ‘also rams’ signing decent players then Abramovich arrived and Boom.
PSG were bobbing along since their creation with some high points with Canal+ (and their money) then QSI arrived and Boom.
Manchester United have been rotten but have spent a billion quid…..just not very well.
Now, some money can’t just make you into a big club. You either have to spend extreme amounts (like PSG) or spend big but sensibly.
I don’t want Football to be purely about money or we’ll end up with more ‘big’ clubs doing a Barcelona to try and keep up with spending.
Robbing Peter to pay Paul so that they can sell Paul to Manchester United to buy Peter.
The one thing I still cling onto is Leicester coming through the ranks to achieve glory, but it’s a tiny thing to cling onto.
Money is king and will remain so for sometime yet.
Rob G (Looking forward to the season as we have (albeit extremely problematic) money)
Even as a fellow UTD supporter, I have to take issue with Gary Vance’s latest musings re LFC thrashings. I guess he forgot the horrible home loss to our bitterest rivals. How about the fact that they did the double on us and the accompanying aggregate score? OGS oversaw one of the darkest days as a UTD fan, and the less said about those fixtures, the better. I now feel angry thinking about the past rather than feeling optimistic about the coming season, thanks, Gary.
You’ve opened a can of worms and now opposition fans will have a field day with that one. As if they didn’t have enough ammunition to hit us with, what with our futile attempt at signing de Jong.
PS_GV’s views are his own and not representative of the entire Man UTD fanbase.
Lionesses and race
Actually, William, Leicester, Ian King’s piece was about a very real issue addressed by Alex Scott at last night’s game and her investigation from June.
Also, maybe lay off the sweeping generalisations about South Asian men’s sporting preferences or sports Black women prefer to participate in unless you’ve got some actual hard data to back up your presumptions.
Graham Simons, Gooner, Norf London
There are some rather delicate flowers among the non/anti woke brigade. William (Leicester) seems particularly sensitive and, based on a 30-word letter of mine which says little about me, accuses me of being an ignorant, woke, left-racist, who also can’t distinguish between the meaning of “some” and “all”!I had been stimulated to respond to a critic of Ian King’s article because I thought it was a coherent and tightly-argued piece on an important topic: why non-white girls do not play (soccer) football in significant numbers – NOT why they are excluded from the England team. Your original correspondent seemed not to have read Ian’s article carefully enough and then pitched at straw men! I urged him to reread the article to find the something that he felt he might be missing!
Woke seems to be a term defined exclusively by right-wing/far-right/racist types to attack anybody who does not defend the historic privileges of white males. I’m not sure that it describes me but as I look at the beauty contestants to be your next Prime Minister, must of whom abhor woke-ism, I’m more inclined to claim the mantle!
William knows almost nothing about me (ignorance!) but that only stimulates him to make several sweeping accusations about what I am and what I think. I can’t be sure that he is himself ignorant, in the modern sense, but based on his long and self-revealing letter, I do think he is quite thick!
Jim O’Donnell, Sligo
Sitting in the back sunshine at the Hilton in Southampton after getting off my cruise from NYC.
As I await my flight to Glasgow I’ve been told I can’t eat my lunch on the terrace as the lionesses are also on the roof terrace. Ridiculous!
Ps Brendad Rodgers must be feeling a bit daft selling Calvin Bassey for 230k and 2 years on Rangers look set to sell him for 25 million plus! What a player the boy is!
Time for lunch!
Neil, Southampton (normally Glasgow)
City are the transfer kings
I was teasing a Chelsea fan and pointed out that Sterling and Ake must be on their way down – or else they’d still be at city.
Having looked into it via transfrmrkt – virtually every player sold by Guardiola has lost value.
I’m not counting Sancho because a) he was a kid and b) he’s a bit gash. Let’s be honest.
But see for yourself. Every single major player sold by Giardiola lost value and never regained it.
The last city player to significantly increase value after leaving was Jerome Boateng….in 2012. Pre-pep.
Good luck in the striker’s graveyard, Raheem, you’re gonna need it.
Your very anti-Ronaldo article made a question pop into my head…Would 365 or anybody else in sports media write such an article about Messi no matter how badly he behaved? I think not, especially since they’ve spent the past 12+ months avoiding talking about the Argentine’s not exactly small role in Barca’s current financial mess and blaming others for his poor season at PSG.
CR7’s main motivation for wanting to leave Utd is to secure his Champions League goal scoring record before he and Messi retire which totally makes sense. If this was about making more money I’d agree with the criticism but it isn’t, this is about legacy which I find hard to fault. Ronaldo’s ego might not be everybody’s cup of tea but he seems like a rather decent guy off the field so give him a break.
That piece by Will Ford on Ronaldo seems to have been written by a guy who has never gotten over the ‘dislikable’ qualities of Ronaldo, which I seem to believe the whole world ended up doing as he morphed into quite arguably the greatest player of all time. The ‘image’ of Ronaldo is just that, image. All we hear about anything is stuff Chinese whispered from one camp to another. Will and whoever thinks like him should have understood by now that as a professional, his professional attitude towards the game completely eclipses this garish tabloid garb about him. We don’t know anything about his mentality, and articles like this are damaging the minds of people who can learn from him, his actual attitude in life is multiple billion miles away from “whatever he’s playing at”. I don’t think you want Ronaldo to go, I think you just want all these stories around him to go.
Ronaldo is probably having a massive laugh at all “the agony” he’s causing such sportswriters, whatever his decision is it’s up to him, and it’s perfectly okay if he hasn’t made a decision yet either. I’d probably lose all faith in football and indeed humanity if he just fecked off because a portion of people who spend too much time preoccupied with “the idea” of him influenced whatever he was going to do. You’re sick of Ronaldo keeping his options open? Then stop reading football news. Or just skim past the Ronaldo stuff, as you said, out of sight out of mind. But please don’t try and convince the rest of us that we should be fed up with one of the greatest players of all time just because you find summer transfer talk tedious.
We’re all forgetting that the big reason Ronaldo went to United over City last season was because Sir Alex called him and basically said “don’t go to City and tarnish your legacy”. He was going to City, which wouldn’t have been a betrayal because he was aiming for a high performing team, and they wanted him. He got talked into going back to United, saying he doesn’t love that club ignores the fact he rejoined because of a guilt trip basically. It completely swayed the decision. You should be saying “go away” to Alex Ferguson for meddling in current football affairs if anything. United were a team with direction, Bruno Fernandes was the modern Cantona in terms of galvanization, things were good. Ronaldo was leaving Juve for a high performing club that had space for him, then Fergie got involved and “dad” swayed the decision for him, dad made a mistake, dad’s advice gave United a player they didn’t need and “son” a career direction he wasn’t going in.
I’m not saying “blame Ferguson” either, maybe just don’t buy so heavily into this CRISIS crap that permeates through news so often. Ferguson has earned the right to be influential as much as he desires, he is a legend of the game. Ronaldo too who is still performing brilliantly at the things he can still do is more than allowed to take his time. In a game where lots of players are happy to just sit out big contracts and not really worry about their careers as long as the bank they make is sublime, he’ll make sure that he never does that, he will always play whenever he can. He is without doubt the most motivated footballer in the world, but you have him confused with some parasite who bleeds clubs dry because he can and won’t fuck off. He’ll stay and give it his all or go and give it his all somewhere else. The chap has more than earned the right to take his time. Yes I know it is an inconvenience to “forward planning”, but players leave and join clubs unexpectedly all the time and plans change for the positive or negative rapidly frequently. If that’s “bad”, then you’re watching football wrong, football is haphazard and plans go out the window or present themselves out of nowhere. Always.
Dave (Ronaldo to Utd was bad advisement, he’s not solely to blame for disrupting the flow), Dublin
It’s about to happen again.
Just as one Ronaldo came and eclipsed the one before him, so one Zidane is coming to eclipse the one before.
Zidane Iqbal. Remember the name.
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