Defending Woodward, Thiago to Man Utd and more mails…

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Defending Woodward, Thiago to Man Utd and more mails…

Send your thoughts on Man Utd and anything else to theeditor@football365.com

 

Why are Man Utd not after available Thiago?
Thiago has bossed the last two Champions League games for Bayern, v Chelsea and tonight v Barca. He completed the most passes with 61, Kimmich 2nd with 31 for Bayern. 96% pass completion. Vs Barcelona. Why are United wasting their time on Sancho when, unless he kicks up a fuss, he’s staying. Theres other areas to fill. Thiago would be a perfect fill in/other choice for either Pogba or Bruno to give them them a rest/rotate. And honestly I’d rather start Thiago than Pogba with his 1 in 4 good games. Thiago is genuinely a top 5 midfielder in Europe.

Bayern offered him a new contract but he’s won 7 titles in 7 years and wants a new challenge. With one year left and the rumored fee Bayern are looking for(€30m) then it’s a no brainer! Get on it Woodward!
S. Avery, Wisconsin

 

United’s transfer structure…
In response to the mails yesterday from my fellow United fans on how the club does its business, I would like to *inhales* defend Ed Woodward. Oh the horror! On a serious note, United have undergone a reset in how we conduct our business nowadays, often going after 1 or 2 top targets instead of trying to make up the numbers a la LVG(pretty sure we bought like 8 players in each transfer window under him, and about 3 total were any good). This leads to really frustrating and protracted sagas, but more often than not United end up with their man(think Maguire or Bruno). And, each time we get one of our top targets, the team noticeably improves. With Maguire and AWB in, we went from 11th best defence to the 3rd best. Bruno upgraded the attack and has changed the culture and mood, pretty much launching us into 3rd. Every big signing we have made since Ole took over has been decent. That being said, it’s still annoying to have to deal with this constant speculation, so hopefully we get Sancho soon. Fabrizio Romano will be my hero if it happens.
Seb, Berkeley, MUFC(Here we go!?)

 

Who spends big best?
It is Friday afternoon and I am finishing up in work for a weeks holidays and so after reading the article I decided to see which of the clubs spent big the best. So without much analytical or statistical thought put into it I split the players from clubs who have bought 10 or more players above (therefore Arsenal and above) into hit or miss categories and found there was a lot of players who I thought were meh and so being extremely indecisive I added another category which I imaginatively named “in between”

For what it is worth I found Liverpool spend big the best with 50% being classified as “hit” with unsurprisingly Everton having the lowest % of “hit” with just 2 players (13%). Everton also had the worst (or should that be best ?) “miss” with 53% with Man City having the least flop % at 29%. Of the payers I couldnt decide Arsenal had 50% of their signings in this category with Liverpool being the lowest at 17%.

I think you at F365 should do something similar except maybe be a bit more ruthless than me and i assume that you will come up with an exact science.
Jamie, Ireland (Is it 5 pm yet?)

 

Willian
So I wasn’t going to bite (Sarah Winterburn got it spot on ) but oh my days…  read between the lines a bit fellas.  Talk about falling for the clickbait…  do the maths, Willian’s contract isn’t paying him £220 grand a week.  Sure, he’s trousered a nice fat signing on fee, but that’s because he’s a free agent so Arsenal have paid his former club nothing.  See how that works?  And his contract will be back loaded, with performance and appearance bonuses.  So yes, if he acheives his targets, he’ll probably end up with the equivalent of £220 Gs per week at the end of his three (or maybe four) years.  But those targets will include things like – 30 appearances a season and 10 goals and 15 assists – or Arsenal acheiving at least one top four finish or similar.  We will never know exactly what they are, but something similar will be in there.  How do I know this?  Well, I don’t, I’m only guessing.  But it’s an educated guess, based on what happens in the United States.  Every single sports contract in US professional sports is performance based, EVERY SINGLE ONE, for what Willian would be classed as – a veteran free agent.  And why would Arsenal use an American sports contract model I wonder?  Like i said, do the maths fellas.  Or math, in this case.
Exiled Gooner (Quite looking forward to a front three of Willian, Pepe & Auba.  Please stay Auba)

 

Arteta vs Kia
Both Lampard and Arteta rave about his attitude, work ethic, and contributions on the pitch…

And yet another Kia guy at Arsenal. He’s 30+ on a 3-year deal. Luiz got extended. Soares is 28 on a 5 year deal.

We’ve got faith in Arteta, and rightfully so. But… if we finish the ’21 season high in the table Arteta will be in the shop window for City (Guardiola won’t be there for much longer) and Barcelona (Setien is a goner…). If we don’t he will be gone anyway. Either way Arsenal will be carrying older guys on massive wages, in bed with an agent with disproportionate power over the club, and a reasonable chance we have a weaker manager than Arteta in charge.

And for what? Jorge Mendes might park a couple of average players at Wolves, but he’s stocked them with talent the envy of most in the league. Most (all?) Arsenal fans would swap the  three Kias for any one of Werner / Ziyech / Pulisic (I know he was last year but we couldn’t lay a glove on him in the final), or Torres / Ake.

I don’t get it
Simon (if I was Aubameyang ida been expecting a hell of a lot better than Willian) London

 

Some random and over the top thoughts
I haven’t written in for a while and I’ve been formulating some thoughts about the beautiful game and how it can be more beautiful so I wanted to put them down…no rhyme or reason just some random thoughts and some fairly outrageous ideas for reform…unrealistic but I think worth exploring.

#1: No fans is not a good thing….but…u think its had a positive effect in some ways. showcased ahtleti’s classic diving/rolling around antics. The ref wasn’t buying it…and without thousands of fans putting pressure on him to make decisions he was able to tell them to stop being ridiculous and carry on playing. I think this has been a theme since the return and made it’s much more enjoyable to watch…not sure how we can translate that to when fans are back but it would be nice.

#2: why do the fouled team so rarely get an advantage? So often the team that is fouled try to take a free kick quickly 5 or 10 yards further forward and the ref stops the break to bring it back to the right spot…giving the offending team a chance to regroup. Who cares if the ball is in the wrong place…a foul/cynical foul has taken place…take it from anywhere let the advantage happen.

#3: the 1 leg format of the european tournaments are amazing. It will never happen because of money but it totally eliminates the away team playing for a draw and playing defensively in a first leg, or the team with a lead playing defensively in the second leg…a much better product.

#4: the offside rule debate. I like the idea of having VAR for offsides…but whatever happened to giving the attacking team the advantage? You can easily keep the same rule that is in place but get rid of the ridiculous time consuming line drawing….put simply…if you have to draw a line to decide if it is offside then give the advantage to the attacker

#5: Do we need throw ins. Throw ins are really difficult to maintain possession with. They are a borderline disadvantage unless you are Stoke City of 10 years ago. It seems odd to me that there is this 1 area where outfield players can throw the ball. Call me crazy but Id like to see kick ins.

#6: people won’t like this because it is too much of a change but I believe in this whole heartedly. I want the product of football to improve. The ‘dark arts’ teams employ when leading towards the end of a game threaten to make me switch games off….the delayed throw ins…the rolling around…fixing the socks…its not football. I have 2 options for this;
A) there is plenty of data out there on how often the ball is in play. Thee are varying statistics but generally around 50-60 minutes. So make the games 60 minutes and stop the clock when the ball is out of play. Then all the rolling around or slow walks off are futile and automatically you get a better product
B) maybe a more realistic option because there will be a raft of people asking for blood about changing the rules that much. Just stop the clock at stoppages in the last 15 mins of games…the end of games will flow much better. I remember watching athletico playing out a champions league tie a few years ago and the last 10 minutes was truly horrific…zero football was played

I know these are drastic changes but football finally seems to be open to trialling changes…as the NBA has done for years…if it makes the product better then stick with it…if not…change it back the next year.

Anyway Bayen have scored about 37 goals since I started writing this so ill wrap it up but in summation change is good and football can be better.
Ciaran, Dublin (I actually don’t hate athleti…i went to a CL quarter final in the Vicente Calderón 0-0 after extra time and it was the best atmosphere I’ve ever experienced)

 

Best England line-up
Just been reading the latest ‘best’ line up for England .

AWB and TAA in the same line up? Sounds wrong to me.

Whatever else, all things being equal it’ll be Ben White as first choice England CB. If he can stay injury free next season it’s nailed on. He’s that good.

I’d encourage anyone who hasn’t already to check out his show reels on YouTube. He has been fantastic. I don’t think we (Leeds Utd) will land him, but that’s life.

Thanks for everything Ben. Touch wood for injuries and the like, but you are the best English defender by far, and may you have the glorious career you deserve. Oh, and help us win the Euros next year!
Joe, LUFC

 

Spurs should go for Duffy…
Seen a transfer rumour about Shane Duffy linked with Celtic. While this would be a good move for him as he would get several Scottish titles, European football and won’t harm his international football team. I don’t know why Spurs won’t sign him. He has lots of premier league experience,a good player at international level and a good defender that would suit Jose. A threat at corner’s and can head the ball well away from danger.  He may not be a ball playing center back but he is a solid defender. Something  some clubs don’t seem to value any more.
Jack Cavan ( maybe Barcelona will sign him)

 

CR7 clear of Messi
One of the reasons why I’ll always say Ronaldo > Messi. The fancy football is lovely, but I’ll take big game performances and important goals everyday of the week.

Additionally I have to give it to Liverpool, swindling  £105M from Barcelona , just for that player to get loaned out to a european rival, come on as a sub, score 2 and assist. Madness.

Messi is also one of the reasons why I feel club loyalty is just utter crap. He’d do well to join up with Neymar at PSG. Imagine a front 3 of Mbappe, Messi, and Neymar(MNM anyone?). Probably the only club besides Man City or Barcelona who could afford his wages anyways.

Now on to Sunday, ready to get knocked out by Europa League specials Seville.
PS, Nairobi

 

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