Why Manchester United fans shouldn’t care about spending €180m on two players…

·18-min read
Manchester United signing Antony celebrates scoring a goal Credit: PA Images
Manchester United signing Antony celebrates scoring a goal Credit: PA Images

‘Transfer money means nothing’ to one Manchester United fan in the Mailbox, while there’s more on Arsenal revisionism, John Murtough, Liverpool and more…

Send your thoughts to theeditor@football365.com

 

Who cares if teams are paying too much?
Now that the transfer window is closed, I want to point out one bugbear of mine: people complaining about how much the huge clubs are paying for players.

Who cares? I’m a Man United fan and I honestly do not care that it took giving Ajax €100m to sign Antony. I couldn’t care less that it took giving Real Madrid €80m to sign Casemiro. It doesn’t bother me in the slightest that Casemiro is getting paid over €400k a week.

Man United are a huge club. For all the joking about having official partners for everything imaginable, the business side of the club is very good at generating income. Being a large company, they will also be paying some accountants relatively large amounts of money to ensure that they have the funds available to sign those players and to pay those wages. They’ve probably worked out a way to use those huge fees to reduce their tax.

Now, obviously, things are very different when you get to the clubs below the big 6 in England. I get there is an argument that the huge fees and salaries United are spending are impact the overall market values, but I’m not sure I agree with that. I mean, Ronaldo buying a Bentley for €190k, has zero impact on me buying my Nissan for €35k. United signing Antony for €100m didn’t add an extra €15m on to the cost of Villa signing Coutinho for example.

I get being concerned about your club overpaying for players when it could actually have an impact on the existence of the club. That’s not where Man United, City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, or Spurs are at, at the moment.

In short, transfer money means nothing to me. It doesn’t impact me in any way, shape, or form. United aren’t going to go bust because they signed Antony. Worst case scenario is that he flops, and we sell him to Everton in a couple of years for a quarter of the price.
Jerry (Also, Tom, attacking teams can’t put a player in the wall anymore)

 

Ranking the nonsense of the season so far
We are only a few games into the season but it already feels like we are reaching peak ridiculousness in so many ways. There is already so much nonsense and absurdity, so here is my quick ranking of some of the ridiculous discussions and viewpoints of the season so far:

6. The Lisandro Martinez debate- writing off a promising-looking center back because he isn’t as tall as the average defender is absolutely laughable.

5. Chelsea fans losing their s**t with refereeing after the Spurs game: The tantrums Chelsea fans threw over this game look even funnier in retrospect considering it’s been their only good performance of the season. Like every other team, they seem to believe the refs have it in for them specifically and there was even an online requesting the league to ban Anthony Taylor from refereeing their games.

4. The Arsenal celebration police: Look, I hate Arsenal but I’m firmly on their side here. The celebration policing among pundits and fans has been genuinely pathetic.

3. Darwin red card: My fellow Liverpool fans going mad over this incident and then sending death threats to the Palace defender for the crime of winding up Darwin was completely embarrassing. Mediawatch also covered the pathetic way some journalists tried to excuse Darwin.

2. Late winner against Newcastle: And coming in strong at number 2 is the complete meltdown that resulted from Liverpool’s late winner this week. There were thousands of angry tweets about it (and most of them were from non-Newcastle fans) and it was a miserable sight to see. I would have had a lot more sympathy for Newcastle if their hilarious attempts to time-waste hadn’t resulted in an equally hilarious result. The fact that so many people claimed it was a result of ‘corruption’ is what really elevates this event into the top tier of elite nonsense.

1. Richarlison keepie-uppies: For me this remains the most pathetic talking point of the season. A few seconds of juggling the ball in an attempt to waste time sparked hundreds of hot takes about humiliation and the special football code and honour and all that. I felt like I was losing my mind watching so many people (pundits and fans alike) treat this like it was a ‘Game’s gone’ moment. Richarlison’s refusal to be shamed about it was great to see.
Turiyo Damascene, Kigali, Rwanda

 

Just deserts
Hello,

On Wednesday evening, Newcastle played very well and by all accounts were at least a match for Liverpool. However, as the second half went on, it became clear their players were guilty of cynical time wasting. By all means, run the ball into the corner and protect it with your body like a newborn baby. Similarly feel free to pass the ball sideways and backwards until your heart’s content and your own fans lose their voice due to increasingly louder ole’s!

But to have players repeatedly feigning injury and/or cramp, several times two players at a time, you’re better than that now Newcastle! Kudos to the referee for adding every second of this cynical timewasting.

Newcastle got their just deserts!
Simon, LFC fan, obviously!

 

Stoppage time
Premier League matches have on average about 60 minutes of actual football.  Mark LFC, why isn’t stoppage time 30 minutes?  Time isn’t added for run of the mill stoppages such as throw ins, corners and goal kicks unless there’s time wasting or a significant delay which doesn’t include taking 20 seconds for a throw or 30 seconds for a goal kick.  Catch yourself on.

Also, why shouldn’t a game be stopped at a corner if time has in fact expired?  You can’t go to stupid lengths to count supposed justified stoppage time and then say that doesn’t matter if you’re attacking.  We’re football fans, we’re biased, just leave it at that.  The idea of people rewinding and getting a stopwatch out to mathematically justify their team scoring a goal is utterly, utterly ridiculous.

As an aside, IFAB’s law 7.3 lists the allowances for added time and includes, as many IFAB laws do, a final “any other cause”.  It even gives an example of what “any other cause” is despite the fact that “any other cause” literally covers every eventuality under the sun.  The laws of football leave a lot up to the discretion of the officials, no need to get all forensic about it.
SC, Belfast

 

IFAB calling for Tom
Dear Football365,

For the benefit of Tom and his dastardly plan to win a penalty, Law 13 changed a couple of years ago. Now, if the defending team forms a wall of three or more players then all attackers must be a minimum of one metre away from it. No one would be legally close enough to fall over the player lying down, and if they did eventually do so, it is more likely to be deemed simulation by the forward than a foul by the defender.
Ed Quoththeraven

 

Boehly’s statement was clear and brilliant
I think its unfair to say its not clear what Boehlys statement was with the way he handled a very challenging summer transfer window. The statement made was the new ownership are here to win and wish to continue the on field success of the club and feel that by completely backing Thomas Tuchel one of the worlds finest coaches in his vision of what the club needs to do to maintain our place among Europe’s elite.

They spent an astronomical amount of money yes but fixing the defensive clusterfuck they inherited accounted for about 160 million of that money and thats how much it cost to give the manager the players he wanted. The signing of Sterling and Aubameyang are players Tuchel requested and Boehly delivered and I have to say 14 million and Alonso is not a bad deal for a guy who will hopefully put the ball in the net at least semi consistently, the signing of Zakaria is a low risk high possible reward situation and was a better option that fluffing untold amount of millions in a last minute panic buy when there will be better options available in the next windows.

Arteta and the Arsenal board are being praised for their approach of backing the manager now that its finally paying dividends but we can’t forget how long question marks hung over that situation. The same as Klopp and Pep and Liverpool and City respectively it takes time to implement a coaches vision. Thomas Tuchel has a lot more credit in the bank than arguably both Arteta and Klopp had when they were struggling and questions were being asked considering his champions league victory will live long in the memory of everyone connected to the club. As a fan I am very happy with the new ownerships ambition but more so the commitment to implement a winning strategy centred around Thomas Tuchel and long may it continue.
Aaron CFC Ireland

 

Not too worried
So it’s a bit surprising to see Arsenal on the Losers of the transfer window, given the signings this summer have us looking like the genuine article.

I get the question about squad lightness, but the actual quality of Arsenal’s depth has substantially improved. The team of last season ended up with youth as almost the full bench – now we have genuine options and effectively two rotated squads. No team has, imo, raised the ceiling of the squad potential as much as Arsenal have this window.

Paying through the nose for players we are just mildly interested in because we panic is a mugs game – old Arsenal behaviour. Villa can sit on Luiz, who may well run his contract down now and gain them nothing. I don’t love being one player light, but fine. Let’s not be held to ransom/taken for a ride by anyone again.

Also, the World Cup is an interesting one; Xhaka and Partey are really the two players in our current starting XI who can be expected to start most/all games in the tournament so for all this Haaland cryo sleep chat, I think the Arsenal squad might get through largely unscathed.

So yeh, at least stick them in both lists if you’re determined to push the squad lightness agenda. Because this team is top of the leeeeeeeague baby.
Tom, Walthamstow

 

You honor Judge S Winterburn, I am hurt that despite the esteemed F365’s publication of my morning letter regarding Mr Matthew Stead that he has exacerbated his slanderous omission of my client, Arsenal FC’s summer transfer window 2022 in the winners section by now… including it in the transfer window losers section!

I fear that a Mr A Conte from Lecce, currently residing in North London May have found out about some past naughtiness involving Mr Matthew Stead and be blackmailing him to foul the good name of Arsenal FC summer transfer window 2022.

I accuse Mr Matthew Stead of the terrible football crime of recency bias!

I know that it was 5 whole football matches and a pre season ago but I would like to take you back to the hot sunny days of 4th July 2022 & 22nd July 2022. Zinchenko & Jesus arrived at Arsenal. These were momentous events to my client Arsenal transfer window 2022 which transformed Arsenal FC into a strong candidate for their revered 4th place trophy and raised Arsenal FC’s hopes of celebrating St Tottenham’s day in 2023.

Yes Celebration Police officer Richard Keys, I will pay the £100 fine for that comment. I am sorry for dreaming of a celebration, Officer Keys. I won’t do it again until Arsenal FC win the premier league.

If I may continue, I accept that Mr Matthew Stead’s point that my client Arsenal FC summer transfer window 2022 publicly soiled themselves by failing to obtain the hallowed one last signing for the second transfer window in a row.

However, I feel that Mr Matthew Stead has forgotten my client’s successful transfer outgoings and the transformation of the mood of the Arsenal FC fans who until Sunday around 6pm are going to sleep at night with a big grin on their faces and a screen shot of the premier league table on their phones.

Finally, the positive mood of Arsenal FC fans has given the world da da da da da da Saliba!

Surely your Honor, that alone justifies Arsenal FC’s summer transfer window 2022 a place among the winners and I beg you to ask Mr Matthew Stead to reconsider his hurtful words.
Croydon Gooner (Fearful that AFTV might start a campaign against Matt Stead!)

Arsenal striker Gabriel Jesus scoring a goal Credit: PA Images
Arsenal striker Gabriel Jesus scoring a goal Credit: PA Images

Bit of Arsenal revisionism
There seems to be quite a bit of panic setting in among some Arsenal fans about our lack of last minute deals. I think this is really, really unwarranted and we are in a good place right now. We got our main deals done early in the summer or last year, bringing in a backup for Ramsdale, Saliba coming back from loan, Zinchenko to bolster the midfield or defense, while Vieira and Jesus give us depth and quality in attack. Those all look like good bits of business and had they been done at the last minute people would be queuing up to say that Arsenal won the window.

One of our issues over the last few years has been stocking up on players of questionable quality on long term deals on good money that we cannot then shift. Luiz was not a target for us at the beginning of the season, and that purchase smacked of a short term fix that would bother us down the years. Given that our need is for cover at 6, I fancy Ben White to be able to be able to fill in the role until the main players we have for that position are back. We have Sambi Lokonga who was signed for that role, and Zinchenko shouldnt be out for too long. Our academy has also produced a couple of really good first team and squad players over the last few years, with much investment put in by the club. Perhaps taking a punt on an academy product them might be a better punt than overpaying for a player that was not in our plans until crisis hit?

Depends what your definition of good is, But I think we will be good with the squad that we have until the WC and transfer window. I would much rather invest any left over transfer money on getting our players with 2 years on their contracts to re-sign!
Mark

 

What’s all this Martial nonsense?
Hi,

I felt compelled to write in for the first time in about 10 years since I read Super Sancho’s comment in Friday’s mailbox about how methodical Murtough & ETH have been. Methodical…I’d love to see the methods that Super Sancho applies in his work/school life if he thinks this is methodical. Murtough doesn’t seem to have a clue what their strategy is.

Also, what is it about United fans waxing lyrical about how good Martial is now? The lad was a flop at Sevilla & has done nothing for united in years. A few pre season games does not show that he has improved tenfold. I’m a united fan, but things need to be put into perspective. With Martial up top, we’ll finish mid table & Ronnie will have the conference league to look forward to playing in next year.

I still fancy us to bully the gunners on Sunday though…

Best regards,
Mr Oh Knee Mc

 

Super Sancho, I’m glad you’re reveling in Murtough Madness but I can tell you that I’m not that impressed. For starters, *only* beating the worst team in the Premier League on current form 1-0 isn’t something to write home about. I would have expected us to build on that lead and score a few more to make the game safe. But no, we had to endure a nervy second half because we didn’t create enough chances, and the few that we did were wasted. A ruthless team would have made Leicester suffer for the entire game, scoring goals and controlling the game. But they had more possession and we gave them a few chances.

And, no, paying €100m for a Brazillian keepie-uppie merchant isn’t good business. His stats from the Eredivisie don’t fill me with hope. He scores and assists very little although his Youtube highlight reels are a thing of beauty. When captain fantastic Bruno Fernandez arrived on these shores, I was very optimistic because his stats showed a player capable of scoring and assisting on a consistent basis, and he proved his worth by being the Cantona we had been waiting for during his purple patch when he was the best MUFC player. I’m rambling.

Anyways, even though we’re harder to beat compared to the Maguire dog days, we’re not scoring enough. It won’t be long before those slender 1-0 wins turn into frustrating1-1 draws and devastating 2-1 defeats when we get a decent side to beat other than Liverpool, So’ton, and Leicester.

So hold your horses. Until we beat a decent side while scoring loads of goals, I’d hold off on the praise and chest-thumping because we’re gonna be absolutely slaughtered if/when we lose or draw the next game because we’re only capable of scoring one goal a game. But seeing that it gets KL’s knickers all bunched up in a twist, I say keep the praises coming and watch them get a hernia…
Melveaux

 

Sorry, but I can’t let these go.

Super Sancho has obviously been drinking the Man Utd kool-aid, but “Not to mention Dalot and Martial, players who have improved tenfold under Erik.” Were you thinking we’d just pass over that? Man Utd have played 5 games under Erik. Martial has played one half.

And as for Tom’s daft draft excluder musings:
(1) If a player is lying still on the floor for a while, it can’t be obstruction, can it? The opponent would have had to deliberately run into him (as indeed Tom recommends)
(2) If it were deemed to be obstruction, then it would be an indirect free-kick, not a penalty
(2) A forward cannot stand in a defensive wall anymore. Been that way for at least 2 seasons.

But apart from that…
Mark Lewis, SWFC

 

Why no Jones?
I’ve got to say I’m a bit surprised that Phil Jones has not been included amongst the summer transfer window winners. He’s survived every manager since Ferguson, has barely played for years and Maguire’s stock has fallen so low that Jones could possibly think he’d start ahead of him.

I’d say that’s a winning window for Phil. He’s basically Man Utd’s equivalent of Phil Neville on the England ladder.
Daniel, Cambridge.

 

Pick a lane, guys…
Dear Editor,

Signing a player with a poor injury record could be a mistake given it will be difficult to settle the midfield if we can’t keep consistency. You almost feel like we’ve signed someone to play 15 games this season. But confident this is a sign that the big moves are coming next year, and happy to wait while the team goes through a little transition. Midfield certainly needs addressing, but we also need to bear in mind the contribution of our rotating centre-half situation too. I think that’s cost us some cheap goals and getting Matip and Konate back will hopefully help with those 1 nils that we need to grind out against that famous ‘low block’

Liverpool are operating as Liverpool do – not a big risk, clearly waiting for next summer to strengthen the midfield for the long term, having invested heavily in Luis Diaz and Nunez recently.

I am however, not sure where F365 sit on this, from F365 say vs Winners and Losers. Come on guys – pick a lane, eh?

�� Credit: PA Images
�� Credit: PA Images

“The Brazilian loanee lacks the physicality and intensity to fit into a Klopp system but this is the bed they have inexplicably made”

“And what Liverpool will be getting is probably exactly what they need. Arthur is ranked in the 97th percentile in Europe’s big top five leagues for pass completion percentage and in the 83rd percentile for progressive carries per 90 minutes”

Cheers,
Marc

 

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