Send your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org
Bear with me on this one.
There was an experiment back in the 1960s that studied the behaviour of monkeys and their ability to understand rules, a scientist placed five rhesus monkeys in a cage with electric collars on and fed them plain food. Then he introduced a ladder with a nice piece of food at the top. As soon as the monkeys spotted the food, they climbed the ladder to get to it, all five were electrocuted every time one of them went for the food. All five soon learned not to go near the nice food, then the scientist removed one monkey and replaced it with a new monkey, the new monkey immediately went for the food and the others stopped him and beat him. The experiment continued until all the old monkeys had been replaced, none of the new ones would go near the nice food but, and this is the key, none of them actually knew why anymore.
I think Jose Mourinho might be following this ethos. When any member or members of the team has a bad game, punish all of them. Randomly replace broken monkeys with happy monkeys from elsewhere and they will soon conform and become broken (Mkhitaryan, Sanchez), their fellow monkeys will show them the right way. Anytime any initiative is shown to be creative (going for the nice food), punish everyone and pretty soon all ideas of creativity are gone. Man Utd are a team of broken-spirited monkeys, punished for following their instincts.
Paul, Man Utd
United do not have the balls to sack Mourinho
I watched the game last night without any trace of hope. The team under Mourinho is so past the point of no return and playing so dis-jointedly that any kind of unlikely revival would be a step forward before two more back.
The club definitely do not have the balls to sack him whilst the man himself is doing an excellent impersonation of Jimmy Cagney in ‘Angels With Dirty Faces’.The latter toughed and manned it out for the sake of his admirers until alone being escorted to the electric chair he dissolved into a screaming gibbering mess…
Perhaps a slightly harsh analogy but surely enough is enough Jose while the world laughs at you…
Mourinho doesn’t have any more excuses
Any manager who has the players available to him like he does should simply stop complaining. Its not as if he doesnt have attacking men in midfield who can play from the back. Yet he chooses to start with Mctominay, Matic and Fellaini.
He still cannot figure out whos good at free kicks and corners, whether he has anyone who can co-ordinate with the wingers to atleast appear to look threatening up front or who should be a vocal captain for that matter.
His own ego, squabbles and overall negative tactics, which probably would work with top teams or which would have worked ten years back, definitely doesnt work for this team anymore. And the fear is he wont realise it either. So I say its time to move. Most other EPL clubs now have progressive managers and I suspect United is falling behind with each passing day.
Why Woodward won’t intervene…
Reasons why Mourinho is still in a job, and Woodward won’t intervene until United are in serious danger of missing out on European qualification for next season:
“Playing performance doesn’t really have a meaningful impact on what we can do on the commercial side of the business”
Should anybody have a spare few billion to buy United, now would be a great time to do so.
Time to say goodbye…
This morning, there are even more reasons why Mourinho out is trending…
1. He has now instigated beef with the Greater Manchester Police. I mean, who does that? How long before Mourinho does something even more silly and is actually arrested by the same police officers he’s now throwing punches at? My crystal ball tells me José will find himself spending Saturday night in a police cell for being drunk and disorderly after Manchester United1-2 Newcastle, haha
2. His “first” captain Valencia liked a post saying Mourinho must go. Even though Valencia later said that he liked the post after seeing his picture and didn’t read the words, I call bullsh*t. In this age of social media minefields, no one likes a post without reading it. Valencia got caught with his hands in the cookie jar…
3. His mouf is out of control. Paul Scholes has said as much and Mourinho has become a parody of a Manchester United manager. I can’t believe that I’m drawing inspiration from Arsenal, but like their legendary long-suffering fans said, Mourinho, thanks for the memories but it’s time to say goodbye.
Answer to a mainstream analysis from a mainstream slayer
As a french guy that watched every single France game at the world cup (i even managed to watch the whole of France Danemark which should be enough to grant me a medal, seriously), i wanted to react to Manc (so sick of the hysterical fawning over a contribution which never took place).
Claiming that everybody is mainstream but you clearly doesn’t make you anymore right than the mainstream howler.
Pogba did had a great world cup. Amazing ? Probably, but great for sure. Don’t judge him on his goal as you tried to. Have you ever blamed Xavi for scoring 13 goals in 133 games for spain ? I don’t think so. Because the Xavi role is precisely what he achieved during this world cup. Pogba dictated the tempo of the game. He’s been brilliant in the way he controlled the game. For sure it’s not thunderbastard from 30 yards out or messi-esque slaloms in the defence but if you’re expecting that from Pogba then you’re badly misinformed about the player he is.
He was not in charge of winning the ball back, that was Kante and Matuidi’s duty, he was not in charge of finishing the offense, that was Giroud (amusingly enough) and Mbappé’s job. He was not even in charge of creating the spark offensivly, that was Griezmann’s role.
He was there to strat the offense from the back, dictate the tempo of the game, put the foot and the ball when needed and accelerate when needed. And that he did bloody well.
I know that to appreciate this, you need to be a little more than a stat-eater or youtube highlight addict, but even if you’re looking for individual brilliance, just have a look at the pass to Mbappé setting up the third in the final.
My final point is that the team was not even build around him or to please him. Everybody says he’s more confortable at the left of midfield three ? We played two holding midfielder in Kante and him. The team was build for Griezmann (which is probably the only reason why Giroud played that much) not Pogba. You don’t have to build the team around him for him to be efficient. You just have to know what to expect from him and, admittidely, cuddle him occasionnaly. He’s definitely an affective guy, and that is why his relation with Mourinho was doomed even before it started.
Has he always been brillant for France? Definitely not, there were even voices that said he should be dropped in favor of Tolisso before the beginning of the world cup. But has he been brilliant in the world cup ? Yes, absolutely, but not as a number 10, not as the flashy individual that grabs all the highlights and individual honors. He just managed to fit in the collective (and kudos to Deschamps for that, i would have loved to reply the whole analogic coach in a digital world thing but that would be for another email i will spent 2 month ago) and his importance as a leader in the locker room cannot be ignored.
It may be mainstream to say that but it’s probably not as mainstream as you may think to appreciate the actual contribution he brought to that team.
Alex (Sorry for the english, there is no auto-correct in gmail), Paris
Some non-individual thought
I’m pretty sure “Manc” is a parody intended to be some sort of social comment on post-referendum Britain where everything is black and white and all nuance has been lost in the need to take sides.
I don’t think anyone has said Pogba was “amazing” at the World Cup and Manc quite rightly points out that the first game against Australia was pretty abysmal. However, France and Pogba improved from that point (it’s almost as if a bit of ring rust and nerves makes a difference in World Cup openers). I’m quite a fan of the relatively unbiased nature of statistics, particularly as there’s no way I can watch and remember every player from every game. So if we look at Whoscored we’ll see that Pogba got a rating of 7.49 across the World Cup which was behind only Mbappe (7.75) and Griezmann (7.51) in the French team. Now that may not be “amazing” form -you might want to reserve that for players like Eden Hazard who had a rating of 8.51 over the tournament – but it’s certainly excellent. And he was definitely a very important part of the team which won the World Cup.
It’s interesting that you choose to criticise him because Australia scored an own goal and he scored a rebound in the final. A positive thinking person may congratulate him for affecting the game by putting the defender in that position. And it’s odd to criticise a player for actually scoring in a World Cup final, when at the time he scored, only 3 of his countrymen had managed that feat.
I think Pogba was probably overpriced at the time and his performances for United have generally not lived up to that price tag. But that doesn’t make him a flop and he has shown flashes of brilliance. I think there’s a general consensus that Pogba is a gifted but flawed footballer who struggles for consistency and I think the evidence from his time at United bares that out. I think most people would agree that Pogba shares some of the responsibility for that. There’s nothing stopping you from disagreeing with that consensus but expect to be treated like a Creationist or climate change denier. Bring an opinion that is based purely on your own subjectivity to a mailbox that worships Peter G, and expect to be disagreed with.
As for people blaming Pogba’s performances on Mourinho, it’s been covered many times but the essence is that United are rubbish. That isn’t caused by a single player – Mourinho has failed to get the best out of any of them consistently. We’ve been this way at least since we beat Arsenal at the Emirates and from the beginning of last season, up to that point and his suspension, Pogba had been excellent for United. No one is taking sides between Pogba and Mourinho because they aren’t the sides to take. Selling Pogba won’t suddenly make United brilliant again and it won’t suddenly make Mourinho all powerful. As mentioned before, if Pogba was a single point of failure, blame Pogba. When the whole team is underperforming, blame the manager. And to extend that slightly, when the whole team is failing under several managers into its 6th season and hundreds of millions spent on the team, blame the board.
I’m sorry this email may not contain much “individual thought” but sometimes everyone agrees for a reason.
Ashley (Baa) Metcalfe
You can’t beat a person who’s already beating himself up.
For the record, I take no pleasure in the sufferings of any club (on or off the pitch). Especially being a Liverpool supporter, the Fergie years were hell to live through. The Manager and the fans ensured that we had our faces rubbed against the burning tar road for every trophy they won. On occasions when we beat the Fergie teams it gave me the room to return the favour. Again, I’m not painting us as the good guys, or stating who started it all… (Come back when you’ve won 18 titles, was it?).But as of October 2018, watching United? and the atmosphere around the club which is heavily influenced by the media, I find myself having the urge to throw up every time I see another video, article either asking or telling that Jose’s time is up. Damn, the United fans around me have stopped giving a rat’s ass to the mockery aimed at them by all rival supporters. I have watched my United supporting friends (including the pompous pricks) go from ‘we believe in Mourinho’ to ‘f**k all of this, let’s go out’ and joining in the bashing party of themselves. Imagine Cersei Lannister skipping and whistling during her walk of shame, clicking here tongue and winking at the roadside abusers.
And to all this I ask, Dafuq dude? Aren’t the journalists across the medium running out of words explaining or stating the obvious? Toxicity is being redefined everyday because of the plight of this United side. I really hope either the board acts soon or Mourinho turns this around, because I’m losing interest in reading football related articles or watching pundits going about the same thing for weeks now and to anyone who says read something else, f**k you, football websites are an integral part of my life.
Mihir Nair. LFC. Mumbai. (I may be the runt in the litter of my Liverpool house for wishing the white-walkers well)
A little love for Dybala
Dybala is one of those players I never see play but have the impression he’s a fantastic player. I think that’s from opinions of people I speak to about football but for all I know it’s from his FIFA/Footy Manager ratings.
I saw the highlights of the game against Young Boys and he looked absolutely class. There’s something really satisfying about watching a player wind up as though he’s about to fucking leather it only for the deftest of finishes to follow. Not sure how his form is in the league or against bigger opposition, but from the 3 minutes of highlights I saw he seemed destined for a move to the top end clubs (no offence to Juve, it’s just that the other leagues are way more moneyed up).
What’s that? Why no, I don’t want to talk about United, thank you.
Dave, MUFC, Leeds