Manchester United banter 77614


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19 Dec 2017 21:35:32
Hi Eds - I took some time this morning to write a detailed reply to Shappy's post (I'm 8 hrs behind GMT), but the site has updated several times since without it going up, just wondering if you have decided not to post it? I don't like my fellow posters to think I am ignoring them or to waste my time with detailed posts if they don't go up, so if you could give me a heads up I'd appreciate it. Obviously it's your site and your prerogative what you put up, but I'd just prefer to know the lay of the land if there is a problem with my post so i don't spend so much time on things like this in the future. Cheers.

{Ed002's Note - I don’t know what happened. Here is the post.

19 Dec 2017 20:14:30

Shappy – Clearly I am on a hiding to nothing replying to your post as there seems to be a lot of positive things to say about it from our fellow posters (I don’t mind playing the pantomime villain because I think it is necessary and on a Man Utd supporter site taking the “positive” angle which actually is pretty “defensive” like our team will always garner praise – too many excuses being made for systemic failure! I would say that I try to keep my posts as snappy as possible, obviously I’d like to elaborate to explain the rationale behind my thoughts but that takes up both a lot of time and a lot of space, your essay below requires a detailed response, so for those of you that are interested, get a brew on and take a trip into the mind of the Beast!

Firstly, I do not disagree with all of your post and quite often I agree with several aspects of many of the posts people make, I’d guess it’s just 25% of the points people make that I take umbrage with and it’s only worth pointing out those differences as we have an “agree/ disagree” button if we agree with all of it. I don’t think it’s a case of all or nothing and this applies to posts as much as it applies to ways the club can move forward or for that matter the way we play – there can be grey areas. Sometimes we play well, more often we don’t. I’d just like to see more of the good stuff and less of the bad stuff like everyone I’m sure. It’s also very easy to twist what people say on here and to create a false narrative, I’m sure people don’t do this maliciously but it happens all the time because I assume people take what they want to from posts they see.

In direct response to your questions/ points in the order they appear and hopefully these comments may clarify some misconceptions or at the least provide legitimacy for my frequent criticisms:

1 – Correct I am critical of our playing style, this isn’t solely based on how we played previously under SAF (I have never said this was solely the case so you are guilty of taking poetic license here) . In fact I am fully aware that with age people tend to remember things slightly better than they actually were, we were on the whole far more entertaining throughout the entire SAF tenure than what we are now, despite this, especially since the start of the Premier League. We did play some poor football at times under SAF, his last season was terrible despite romping the league. A key point that people need to remember is that benchmarks move, most people are praising Jose or at least judging him in comparison to LVG or Moyes, SAF was judged on the season before the last one and that was often a very good one performance wise by his Man Utd. So the benchmarks have changed because people have trouble remembering too much detail from 5+ years ago and we have had quick changes of management recently so that is an obvious barometer. It also fits the narrative of ‘progress ‘ if you use a really low benchmark like the LVG era. So I’m saying the dice are loaded, I argued at times that having no manager would be better than having LVG in that seat, so is it any surprise that with hundreds of million spent and one of the best managers ever coming in that the teams has improved a bit since LVG?

2 – We have in fact played amazing football 2 or 3 times this season imo, the West Ham game, the Burton game were both fantastic to watch. So Jose has done it, Moyes had us play amazing football a couple of times as well, the Leverkusen game stands out for me. Even the man that gave me something like 100 disagrees when I called for him to be sacked (which is handily swept under the memory lapse carpet once everyone else jumps on board), had a couple of great performances mixed amongst the rubbish (LVG) . What this tells me is that we are capable of playing amazing football now, the players and manager are just incapable of replicating it often enough because of the way we set up to play – freaks happen and unfortunately the amazing performances are freaks, whereas for the majority of the SAF reign the freaks were the boring/ awful performances. This frustrates me, because we have proven we can play fast, free flowing, productive football, but for some reason the manager doesn’t want to do that or is no longer good enough to do that.

3 – We have had vast investment in the squad in recent years, yet we play like a bunch of strangers most games and much of this money has been wasted – we struggle to pass and move into space, it is often long balls and individual moments of brilliance that constitute an attack – very rarely do we see players on the same wave length. SAF and other managers make mistakes in the transfer market so this isn’t necessarily just a Man Utd problem. However I struggle to recall another team getting things so wrong with the money they have spent and the wastage, we look like an International team more often than not. We have signed some players that should have gotten us on the edge of our seats, but alas the style and tactics deployed by our recent manager has handicapped this – that is very frustrating.

4 – Yes I hammered LVG and would have preferred Jose to come in much sooner, haven’t I been proven right? Granted the Jose we got was the Jose that lost his way at Chelsea (which I hoped wouldn’t be the case), but that has still proven to be better than LVG hasn’t it? I am still unhappy because the Jose I wanted was the Jose that was 100% committed and was better than the Jose we currently have. People change, just like with LVG, most fans were pointing to his great record to justify his appointment and giving him time, well the LVG we signed up wasn’t the same guy that had all that success years before, I think we are seeing a toned down version of this with Jose. His time of being a pioneer is behind him, like most managers as they get older they get even more defensive, less risk takers, more stubborn and less committed.

5 – I’d like to interview candidates for the job, but going off what I have seen I would take the Monaco manager as I have said over a dozen times on this site. Based purely on the fact he has coached overseas, is young, has his team play football the way I like to see it played and he is relatively unknown, so other managers will not have studied him on the way to becoming managers (unlike Jose and LVG) . I don’t know if he was responsible for player recruitment or not, but whoever was at Monaco I would take them as well as clearly they have an eye for talent and the manager knew how to get the most out of that talent – something we do not see often.

6 – I remember it took a while for SAF to get things going, however he took over a club in a mess. The Man Utd of 1986 is a completely different animal to the Man Utd of 2016. Comparing the two things to justify what we are seeing now is nonsensical to me, especially as we have seen with teams like Leicester how quickly you can turn a team from relegation fodder into title winners with the right management and signings (for 1/ 10th of the money we spent) .

7 – Rome wasn’t built in a day. Correct, but it had a lot of bad Emperors and they were often taken out before they could do too much trouble, what happened to Rome as well – SAF built Rome, the past 3 managers are destroying it imo?! Jose isn’t known for building anything, he signs, does well (normally), then leaves under a cloud a few years later. The club wanted LVG to build up Rome again, the problem was he wasn’t capable, Jose was brought in because they needed immediate success to salvage massive sponsorship payments and to correct the damage that had occurred in recent years – the club are not building anything with Jose as manager, he is not a builder, he is a winner at all costs – which is why I am so critical, because City are pulling further ahead and winning the CL will be luck if it happens because every one of us would agree that we do not have the best team in Europe and Jose doesn’t look like he can change that unless he has £500m to spend, because we need a lot more quality to compensate for the way the manager sets us out. His one role will be to win things of importance, I don’t think that looks too likely at the moment.

8 – I don’t buy into fans earning the right to watch good football (or being spoiled), especially City fans. I simply look at the players we have, the manager we have, the support the manager has, the funds and our attacking pedigree as a club and make a call on whether or not we are doing as well as we should be. I am not as emotional about things as I used to be, partly on account of age but mostly because I have never felt so detached from the club. We have owners that don’t seem to have a clue about the football side (or care), Woody seems clueless as well, Jose seems uncommitted and has us playing negative tactics, the players for the most part seem unbothered (remember defeats where they are laughing and joking with opponents at the final whistle) . The entertainment levels are much lower watching us, and neutrals will say this as well – we are a very hard watch compared to recent history anybody without blinkers on will agree to this. I see no reason whatsoever why that has to be the case, it simply doesn’t have to be like this so why are we so quick to simply accept it as a necessary evil, says who?

9 – Pogba – we shouldn’t be so reliant on one player and this praise for him is hyped out of all proportion. How many great games has he played for us? How many times has he been the difference maker on the pitch (not off it)? We are not a one man team because Pogba turns up 1/ 5 games, but more than that recently, but we shouldn’t exagerate. He and DDG are our two world class talents without a doubt, but big players are missed by other teams and frankly I’m not happy putting all of our eggs in the Pogba basket, he hasn’t earned it yet. Besides it’s a bit of a poor indictment on the rest of the team and manager if we are so reliant on one player being both available and then on form – he has had more poor games in his Utd career than he has had good games imo, so saying a fit Pogba means we win stuff is wishful thinking only.

10 – We shouldn’t be wallowing in what City are doing, we should be rising to the challenge laid down. We should be using them as the current benchmark, simply throwing our arms in the air and saying “but City are record breakers” is not what winners do and that is exactly why we are not competing. We have much more going for us over City, we had a massive head-start that was blundered by Moyes and LVG, but Jose should be closing that gap with the investment he has had and the support, but we are falling farther behind – that is not acceptable to me, nor should it be to any of our fans.

11 – Comparing ourselves to where we were 2 years ago is like putting a heavyweight against a fly weight in a boxing match. I’m not surprised you want to do that because it makes us look good, I’d rather compare us to the holder of all the heavyweight belts at the moment and say why aren’t we holding those belts, how do we hold those belts, not “look we just pulverised a little kid in the ring, look how strong I am compared to that runt”.

So in summary, I see the progress from LVG, I was expecting a lot more. I see boring games most times I watch us, I see hoofing it far too often, little interchange between players, limited risks being taken, limited ambition on the pitch, fear whenever there is one goal in it and we approach 20 minutes to go almost every game. DDG making more saves than any of GK in the league so far and we have wasted so much money in recent years it is beyond disgusting.

We had a golden opportunity to bring glory back, but we are wasting it and our main rival domestically is capitalising in a phenomenal way, this adds insult to injury. We are falling further behind in the race, so I don’t see progress, I see regression when judged against the levels we should be competing at. There is far too much papering over cracks going on and kids will be switching off when we are on the TV, that will hurt us in 10 years time massively – we still have time to salvage what took a generation to build, but playing this negative football with a sad/ depressive manager is not the way to do it imo, shame as Jose 10 years ago would do a lot more with these tools, we need the next bright eyed, progressive version, but somebody that believes in attacking is the best way of defence, just like Barcelona, City, PSG and Bayern do.

I support Man Utd as much as any fan – I just don’t support the vision or approach, many ways to skin a cat of course, we are just choosing the most difficult and painful version for some crazy reason, and we are being subjected to every agonising moment of it! Shame.

Agree2 Disagree0

19 Dec 2017 21:50:31
Thanks Ed appreciated.

19 Dec 2017 22:24:10
Well written response Beast and I agree with much of what you say mate.

19 Dec 2017 22:41:31
Beast, simple question mate, would you prefer winning trophies our current way or have the monaco manager and take a gamble? i'm sorry if you answer this in your post. I didn't get chance to read it all.

19 Dec 2017 22:50:55
beast i think you should be playing solitaire than watching football.

19 Dec 2017 22:54:44
Gamble, because do we look like winning the league this way or the CL? Football is meant to be entertaining, winning is for those that benefit from the win (financial/ career/ satisfaction), of course we all derive satisfaction from our team winning, but it is momentary, the memories most of us have are not watching us lift a trophy, it's the quality moments, the feeling of being part of something special, and that comes from being entertained, watching excellence is pleasurable to most people. Watching Utd is boring for the most part now, it's anti-football, a perversion of the game imo. Safety first is for the under-dog and legitimate under-dog, not the team that chooses to be an under-dog when they should be top-dog.

19 Dec 2017 23:21:41
Beast, I can't agree that we have yet had an opportunity to bring glory back. We might have had, had we never hired Moyes on SAF's and then followed up with LVG. But that's what happened and you can't blame Mourinho for any of that. What happened before his tenure including the amount of money we wasted on overpriced players who did not fit into any overall plan is squarely the responsibility of the club itself. Nor can you blame the failure to modernize the club, nor our inability or refusal to replace any of our very best players with those of equal quality during the latter stages of SAF's tenure, which I believe is at the heart of the struggles we have faced.

The fact is that City have had a consistent program of development and an open checkbook in place since they were purchased, whereas for most of the Glazer period ours was apparently closed thanks to the enormous debt servicing requirements. Managerial changes at the Etihad have been proactive, part of a fine tuning process within a long term structural plan, whereas ours have been largely reactive. You can't blame Mourinho for that, nor the financial reality that Champions League qualification is a requirement.

So, the United you see today is primarily the result of a set of circumstances that developed in the period before this manager's control. Okay, so the purse strings have now been opened, but City have still spent more than us over the last couple of years, and we're still at the beginning of formulating the next United. Recruitment of any player has been tortuous, partly, I think, because the inner difficulties at the club, which have been obvious to all, and made United a relatively unappealing destination for top talent. That will only change when we are seen to have stabilized the club, and perceived to be a perennial contender once again.

Expansive football requires the right personnel. But the right personnel will only be attracted to a club culture that is built on an enduring winning philosophy and because this is so, winning is quite correctly a priority over style. I wish we were further along but am delighted that we are in 2nd position, 7 point clear of 4th, with 39 goals scored and with a record that is on a par with many previous champions. I don't think we could or should expect any more at this moment in time. If we end up second and look like we're on the up, then next summer should see the purchase of 2 or 3 more top players to fill in the obvious gaps, and in particular to add midfield strength making us less reliant on Pogba. But in the meantime, I really don't think your argument that we haven't made any progress holds any water whatsoever.

19 Dec 2017 23:30:47
beast i do not listen to pundits but there will be no dominance in football like liverpool or united as the foxes proved there is to mutch money involved sit back and enjoy the ride life is to short.

19 Dec 2017 23:43:33
Thanks for the response Shaw. I'm not putting this all on Jose, but I don't think he has a plan to suddenly switch his style, there will be no "right" time to do this. So my fear about Jose is that we are building towards what exactly? Finishing 2nd every season playing mind numbing football. City have improved more than we have, so how do we make that difference up with negative football that will not attract many elite players? We won't win the league playing this way because Man City do exist and can attract players that we don't.

My whole post is primarily focused on the different benchmarks being used. Of course we have made progress compared to recent seasons in the world of Man Utd - we have spent hundreds of million during that time so I would hope and expect to see the club doing better than it was. But I am looking at the benchmark of progress being external, how have we progressed compared to Man City, PSG for example? Yes they have massive amounts of money, but I fear that had we the same money we would be in a similar position, because let's face it, we have wasted over 50% of the funds we have spent in recent years and many top players do not seem to want to sign for us.

20 Dec 2017 00:40:57
Ok mate respect your honest opinion.

20 Dec 2017 09:21:34
Hey Beast,

I actually think you make some excellent points but if I may be so bold, your use of hyperbole weakens rather than strengthens your arguments, because the listener/ reader only focusses on the hyperbole and not the good point. I mean the following quotes are only two of many examples from your posts.

"we are being subjected to every agonising moment of it! Shame. "

"a perversion of the game. "

Not that you're asking for my advice, but if you toned this down you'd be on less hidings to nothing.

Personally, I haven't used hyperbole in a million years. ;)

20 Dec 2017 09:50:31
Beast. First of all, thank you for writing the post. It must have taken a lot of time and effort to do so. So hopefully most will treat it seriously as it deserves it.
For me, I agreed with Shappy on a few points, but the post you have wrote should be "the post of the year". I agree with it in its entirety.
I especially Mark out points 8, 10 and 11.
On point 8, you rightly cited the fact that the owners are not football people (A point I've been saying for years) . Also, Woodward hasn't got a clue. And the fact that our manager doesn't seem as up for it or as emotional as he was during his stints at Real, Inter and his first years at Chelsea.
On point 10, I fully agree. I've been saying for some time that we can't allow City to keep outspending us and out performing us on all areas. Some posters even got upset thinking I was heaping too much praise on City. That was not the intention. The intention is to make people aware that there's a new monster and we've either got to stand up and fight or be eaten. It seems that the latter is being allowed to happen. Even Some of our own supporters seem to think it's ok that we're second and as long as we're 8 points ahead of 4th place, then it's fine. Well, its not fine in my book as being second and 11 points behind the leaders might be success for Arsenal or Spurs or Burnley, but it is not success for United.
Point 11, as I said in a previous post, it's no good saying we're improving in comparison to previous seasons. Are we improving against City, Real, Barca, psg or Bayern? I think the most ardent United fan will be lying through their shiny teeth to answer positively to that question. There are quite a few posters on here who are still of the opinion that City's bubble will just burst, aka Newcastle a few years back. I'm afraid that's not going to happen. Just like the great United sides, city have too many good players and a very experienced manager. Yes, they might lose a couple of games but they're not going to blow up and disintegrate into thin air. So the point is to recognize their improvement and try to emulate it and better it.
Like you, I've been watching United for a very long time, and like you, I go to my seat in the Singing Section and we stand up and sing throughout the match. And like you, I've never been so nonplussed and disillusioned about the way the club is being run.
This is huge business, but it is also an entertainment business. Some clubs are managing to be successful and entertaining. But our club has owners and people in charge with only material success as a priority, because they know that no matter what happens, the fans will turn up and the profits will surge. To mix entertainment with success, you need management who care about all aspects. Sadly, this is not the United way at present, and even more worryingly, some of our fans are almost content with it. That cannot be allowed to happen.
Once again, thank you for an excellent post Beast, the best I've read on this site.

20 Dec 2017 10:17:09
I agree with s lot of what both Shappy and Beast said. We are improving but the key for me is whether Jose is the same coach he was or whether he is now more of a Wenger - he’s been found out and will not hit the same heights again. As for comparisons with City, out of the top 6 I think the other 5 play more exciting faster attacking football than we do. Now I know I will get shouted down as we are second and have scored more than all bar City but I’m just saying what I see.

However, I do think we are only a couple of players away from being there, assuming Jose I sent prepared to be expansive. I don’t agree with the Rashford / Martial rotation as it isn’t giving either of them a decent run. They probably play wondering at what point the will be subbed for the other. Lukaku has an excellent scoring record yet now he’s playing for a to side the goals have dried up, that needs urgently fixing.

The worry is we are playing catch up, other top European teams will not be standing still so we need to accelerate somehow.



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