Manchester United and the Very Hungry Kaneterpillar

<span>Photograph: Mike Blake/Reuters</span>
Photograph: Mike Blake/Reuters


Every self-respecting centre-forward loves easy goals and useless opposition – rightly so. But in the entirety of the game’s history, few, if any, have guzzled low-hanging fruit with quite the same alacrity as Harry Kane. Whether terrorising Panama and Albania but not Italy or Spain, snaffling penalties but missing the biggies, or spending his career unencumbered by expectations of success, the Paul Collingwood of the football honours world can always be relied upon to feast on carrion, then present teammates with a home-display memento commemorating their achievement in knowing him.

Consequently, Kane’s move to Bayern Munich made him the perfect addition to a squad already certain to win the club’s 69,539th consecutive Bundesliga title. It’s a dream come true! They couldn’t have done it without you! Though yet to hit form, Bayern sit second in the table on goal difference, Werder Bremen, Augsburg and Leverkusen already ravaged by the Very Hungry Kaneterpillar, with Bochum and Preußen Münster up next. Slurrrp! Burrrp! But he also has unfinished business with Big Cup, most particularly after deploying his fabled skills of oratory and orthopaedics to guilt-trip Mauricio Pochettino into picking him for the 2019 final – which Spurs lost in traditionally tame fashion.

On Wednesday night, with Manchester United visiting Munich, the fruit hangs so low it’s almost subterranean. Though Harry Maguire is absent, the form of Victor Lindelöf, Lisandro Martínez and Casemiro is so poor as to make gorging feel inevitable nonetheless. Unless you ask Erik ten Hag, who is positive about United’s prospects despite the absence of Kobbie Mainoo, Sofyan Amrabat, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Mason Mount, Raphaël Varane, Luke Shaw, Tyrell Malacia, Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney, Peter Davy, Dan’l Whiddon, Harry Hawke, Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all.

And not without reason – Ten Hag’s tactical acumen and coaching excellence will have surely have his club challenging for major honours, just as soon as the footballing authorities replicate his recruitment policy. However, pending the arrival into the Premier League and Big Cup of Utrecht, Go Ahead Eagles and Bayern Reserves, he has a problem: you can talk all you like about principles, overloads and pressing, but if your players are too lazy to bother or too dense to understand, you’re dinner. And for the Very Hungry Kaneterpillar, it’s Saturday.


Join Barry Glendenning from 8pm BST for hot Big Cup MBM coverage of Bayern Munich 2-1 Manchester United, when Will Unwin will also be in the hot seat for Arsenal 2-1 PSV.


“I couldn’t really speak to [Maurizio] Sarri at that point, there was a lot of confusion. They just told me there was 30 seconds left so I went [upfield]. Luis Alberto goes for the far post from there so I just went to the only empty space” – Lazio’s Ivan Provedel is more calm and collected than any goalscoring goalkeeper should be as he describes the moment he timed his run into the box perfectly to nod home a 95th-minute Big Cup equaliser against Atlético.

Lazio’s goalkeeper Ivan Provedel (right) glances the ball home like Niall Quinn in his prime.
Lazio’s goalkeeper Ivan Provedel (right) glances the ball home like prime Niall Quinn. Photograph: Andrew Medichini/AP


Reading about how the Spanish FA just seems to continually muck up its handling of the goings on with the women’s team, it does beg the question: is this Elon Musk’s next business acquisition? It seems to be another never-ending bin fire, just like you know what” – Stuart McLagan.

Send your letters to Today’s winner of our letter o’ the day is … Stuart McLagan, who wins a copy of The Blizzard: Issue 50. Readers can get £3 off and free shipping for the print edition with the promo code FD3, while those who would rather get the digital version can get £1 off with code FD1. We’ve more to give away all week so get tapping those keys.