Manchester United fans giddy about being kings again after Man City charges
Manchester United fans are flooding the Mailbox with giddiness about Man City’s collapse while there’s more talk of Crystanbul.
Send your views to theeditor@football365,com as always.
Eras are ending and Man Utd are poised
I remember when Ten Hag joined United and was asked in his first press conference about City and Liverpool.
He said ‘eras come to an end’.
With Liverpool currently looking pretty much as bad as our worst since Fergie left, and City possibly in deep trouble over FFP and lots of unrest rumours, I doubt anyone thought it would happen this quickly!
Not getting cocky – Arsenal are currently the ones taking advantage as we rebuild and who knows Liverpool, City, Chelsea and Newcastle too may be roaring next season on top of Arsenal but I cannot deny I am enjoying watching this season unfold.
Nishul Saperia (excitedly awaiting the Glazer sale)
…The smug arrogance that City are displaying in regards to the charges of being right naughty financial buggers smacks of the we’re so rich we can get away with anything Trump family ethos. City came out with a right smarmy reply to the charges, we look forward to this matter being put to rest once and for all, so in other words we are so rich we think we can get away with it as per the UEFA charges we wormed are way out of.
The fact is City are a rich man;s play thing, a means to an end for a man so wealthy he likes to play football manager with real people, hopefully he will decided all the hassle isn’t worth it and City can go back to being the Stockport massive yoyoing between divisions and getting excited about the occasional gem like Kinkladze before a bigger club like Ajax take them off their hands, perhaps Kappa could start making kits for them too.
In summary if the charges stick and the Premier League has the bottle to hit them hard I don’t think Haaland, De Bruyne & Foden etc will be rocking up at Bloomfield Road then a quick pint in the Manchester after the game do you?
Paul Murphy, Manchester (Which is and has always been Red)
READ: Ten possible punishments for Manchester City and Pep Guardiola after Premier League charges
Pep really is doing it the hard way
Oh man, City could be facing a new points deduction this season after they already have one playing as striker.
Seems like Guardiola really wants to win the EPL on legendary difficulty mode.
Gaurav MUFC Amsterdam (dock them those points)
The big question
Now that the spotlight is finally on the inner workings of Man City do you think we’ll be able to finally get to find out what Cole Palmer is and if he’s actually any good?
Pep is the public face of corruption
The rumours of Pep jumping ship at City are a bit rich seeing as he has been personally massively recompensed for being the front man for financial corruption in football. The whole football world know what City have been up to – well some of it anyway, who knows how bad it gets – so for him to act the innocent is utter bullshit.
“Oh noooo Pep, we definitely haven’t been cooking the books (wink, wink), and we deeeeeffffiiintely make more revenue than any other club (wink, wink – have another mil and don’t ask again).”
He has consistently denied any wrongdoing, but he knows. Everybody knows.
You don’t get to live through all the fake good times and then walk away with all the money and with your reputation intact.
You knew exactly what you were part of and you prostituted your principles.
Of course, City’s owners will just threaten to sue everyone for years, so everyone will shit themselves, and City will get away with it. Again.
Walter Mitty City
Incidentally – 101 charges. About 20 of them will stick as some set of nonsense admin errors. £10m fine, the FA look ‘important’ again. Pep walks, Haaland is promptly sold.
You read it here first.
The real punishment
Poor old Citeh, I guess this will take time to play out.
However, here’s a fun alternative punishment that will never happen. Before the next game, every other Premier league club, from the bottom of the table upwards gets a City player for free with his wages paid for the remainder of the season and at that point they become a free agent.
How much fun would that be? Southampton and Bournemouth presumably pick Haaland and De Bruyne and we carry on to those at the top who have to pick a fringe player like Alvarez, Grealish or Kalvin Phillips. City are left with just seven or eight 50 million pound players and have to make up their squad numbers from their youth ranks. Then, at the end of the season we have all these quality players as free agents for clubs to scoop up….so I guess they’ll all go back to City where they get paid in big brown envelopes of cash.
Alternatively, send the whole squad to Stoke City for the rest of the season so we can find out if they can play on a wet wednesday night.
Sadly, they’ll probably get a fine and another suspended sentence.
Jon, Cape Town (any other stupid suggestions for punishments?)
(There are ten here, fella – Ed)
Looking out for number 1
The ‘accusations’ against City are undoubtedly true and they should be relegated immediately, and all their remaining game’s points be awarded as wins to their opponents.
I say this as a totally unbiased Arsenal fan.
Giving nothing back?
If City are found guilty of breaching FFP rules, will they be made to give back all their Champions League trophies?
Gareth (we’ve been here before, haven’t we?) LFC, Glasgow
Feeling sorry for Klopp
Not to jump to any conclusions before the independent investigators reach their verdict, but if City have been cooking the book, making money appear from thin air and impeding investigators over the past few years, I feel incredibly sorry for Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool (something, as a Man Utd fan, I never thought I’d say).
If Utd were retrospectively awarded league titles it would feel harsh as they were usually nowhere near, but what Liverpool nearly achieved in the past 5 years is remarkable. If City cheated, then it seems safe to assume that without that Liverpool would have won three league titles and reached three CL finals.
Maybe last season, instead of fighting to the death for the league and going into the final against Real tired and on the back of a crushing disappointment, they play them following a period well-managed minutes over the previous 2-3 weeks while buzzing off the success of a domestic treble. Maybe Liverpool seal the deal on the greatest club season in English football history. I know it sounds like the word maybe is doing a lot of work there, but none of that is actually that big of a leap of the imagination.
And Jurgen Klopp’s legacy would be fairly unimpeachable when seen alongside what he achieved at Dortmund. But (if allegations are proven) this is the net result of teams deciding the rules don’t apply to them. Near fairytale stories are denied because the odds are tipped against the protagonists. And the losers, every single time, are the fans.
Got to love an asterisk
Good news, JazGooner, from a recent recipient of the dreaded asterisk. Despite the best efforts of the downers, and covid, it does not bother me at all. Though the trophy lift in an empty stadium was silly.
Andrew M, Streatham
Gift-giving is a cultural thing
The City financial rule breaking has been evident for years, and ever since they were taken over it has only been a matter of time until the facts got in the way of their dreams.
There is a cultural difference that maybe has something to do with things.
Let me tell you a story.
A good friend of my Dad was in the early stages of building a business and had a small factory on the Falls Road in the early ‘70s at the peak of the Troubles in Belfast.
He had been to the Middle East to try to sell generators.
On return he received a delivery to the factory.
He called Dad and asked him for help. Dad went up tot he factory and his friend pulled the cover off a brand new Rolls Royce Corniche. It had been sent by a Sheik that he had had dinner with the week before.
“I can’t drive a Rolls Royce on the Falls Road!” Dad knew a guy, put them in touch and the car changed hands.
A cultural difference.
The Rolls Royce for City was Grealish.
Why Crystanbul matters
* The penalty award was frustrating but correct. Will Hughes did what I think any human would do if someone a few yards away kicked a ball at them and flinched, but in doing so, blocked the ball with his arm. My general rule for whether or not a handball is deliberate is to look at the palms – if they are facing away from the ball, it’s more likely to be an incidental contact. Unfortunately for Hughes, his are towards the ball, so it has to be a penalty. Even so, compared to some moments throughout the season, it was a bit of a soft one, serving only to hit home just how long it has been since the late 1990s.
* Manchester United, as it their wont, seized the momentum after that and dominated the play. Vicente Guaita was forced into a superb save at full-strength to keep out a header. A second goal was inevitable, and arrived in the second half. It isn’t clear watching what Chris Richards is doing but he is too deep and out of position, allowing Marcus Rashford a tap-in.
* Then came everyone’s favourite moment, the thing nobody wants to see but everybody loves to see, and can do so here: Jeffrey Schlupp catches Antony late, and the Manchester United man rolls down the slopes that inexplicably surround the Old Trafford pitch. A melee ensues and Antony does his best Lazarus impression, rising from the dead to bump chests with Schlupp, something that footballers think makes them look hard but actually makes them look like Scrappy Doo. Everybody piles in, and as ever, some people are more interested in keeping the peace by stopping an opponent attacking their teammate, but are less interested in stopping anything heading the other way.
* The main lesson to learn from this is that if equal numbers of players are pushing and shoving, but no more, then the VAR won’t be interested. However, if you draw attention to yourself, with actions such as putting two hands on an opponent’s neck, the VAR will notice it and tell the referee to take action. What Casemiro did was the equivalent to being caught speeding: it doesn’t matter how many other people do it, if the police photograph your vehicle you haven’t got a leg to stand on. Everything else is just whataboutery.
When Howard Webb became PGMOL Chief Refereeing Officer, he said he wanted VAR to only focus on clear incidents and to enable referees to rely on their common sense. Leave it. In this case, the common sense approach is to send off the person caught on camera being obviously violent and book the two players (one from each team) deemed the next worst offenders. Instead of pedantically cautioning every player to push an opponent or to surround the referee and protest his decision, this is enough to make everyone else pack it in and get on with the game. Which, to be fair, everyone did.
* Having walked the disciplinary tightrope, Schlupp made a much more positive contribution with a fantastic flick assisted by a defence that completely forgets he’s there. Michael Olise is the current holder of Premier League Goal of the Month and it wouldn’t be surprising if Schlupp found himself in the February conversation, albeit as an unlikely winner.
* Maybe it was Patrick Vieira remembering his playing days but he clearly felt his side could get an equaliser and made several attacking changes. In response, Manchester United were clearly rattled and Erik ten Hag brought off all his attackers in favour of defenders. They weren’t quite hanging by a thread when the final whistle came, but neither were they keeping their visitors at arm’s length.
* A word on Alejandro Garnacho. One of the oddest stigmas in football is for a player who enters the game as a substitute and then later being replaced. Teams can make five substitutions now from a choice of nine players. It would be better to see them in similar terms to relief pitchers in baseball: you can enter the game in a number of scenarios, and you will leave the game in a number of scenarios; many of these are because you’ve done your job well, not badly.
* A lot of the correspondence I previously replied to reminded me of an aspect of Crystanbul. The key moment in that game was when Liverpool went 3-0 up and Luis Suarez ran the ball back to the centre circle in the manner of a player scoring a late consolation; it wasn’t enough to be winning, they wanted to win by more. That sentiment was echoed in some of the Manchester United fans writing in – it wasn’t enough simply to beat Crystal Palace, with ten men, they wanted to win by more. Greed, as opposed to the avarice that is a plague on modern football these days. On both occasions, as Michael Jordan may or may not have said, Palace took that personally. Maybe next time try to win graciously?
* In the grand scheme of things a defeat by a single goal (while our best player is injured) at Old Trafford is not a disastrous result. However, it’s been a while since Palace have actually won a game and only Bournemouth have fewer points from their most recent five league games than the Eagles. The teams below them are generally starting to pick up points and close the gap. Next up for Palace they host – gulp – Brighton & Hove. A win against their arch rivals will be a huge result for Vieira, but if there’s a defeat, especially combined with a poor performance, then fans might begin to lose patience with him.
I’m sure you’ll get lots of replies for Stewie, but can you ask him; why people would have been making excuses for Wenger as far back as 2005?
Unbeaten League win in ’04, FA Cup win in ’05, Champions League runners up in ’06. Even without his prior history at the club to that point, who would need to be making every “excuse under the sun” for him? Those years weren’t the issue….
…Do my eyes deceive me? No. There it was in the mailbox and here it is again, an actual compliment of sorts for the Gunners from the baby Griffin: ‘It’s taken 5 years for Arsenal to stop being a punchline.’
The end of days indeed.
Eoin (Juventus were relegated for less) Ireland
I’m ashamed to say I’ve gone down a bit of a Facebook advert rabbit hole, and discovered a most peculiar thing going down at web retailer M&M Direct. I should say at this point, that I have no affiliation with M&M Direct, Umbro or any of their affiliated companies.
No, instead I’m utterly baffled by their range of Umbro football shirts. There are some DEEP cuts being sold for twenty quid there!
I mean, a footballing hipster might have a St.Pauli shirt or perhaps a Rayo Vallecano 2nd shirt.
However, would they perhaps like the shirt of famous Ghanaian side and great name haver Hearts of Oak? Too mainstream? How about a National side, like Ethiopia or Botswana? The second kit of Sierra Leone? No? How about something a bit more European like Werder Bremen? Not their main kit, no… their third kit. Staying in Germany, they’re also selling the first kit of Dynamo Dresden, who are currently in the third division in that country.
Back to the African clubs, you’ve got the shirt of Fasil Emenema who were Ethiopian champions in 2021, but if they’re too successful for you how about Bahir Dar Kenema F.C.? They sit third currently in that league.
Away from Ethopia, we’ve got the Township Rollers, who are 4th in Botswana. Then there’s the apparel of Ferroviário De Beira that can claim to be the 2016 champions of the Mozambique top division.
But if these African teams are too successful, you can instead pick up the away kit of Swallows FC, currently sitting 12th in the South African top division.
Yes, other than the German and National teams, I did have to research them to find out who they were. Some of them don’t look half bad to be honest. Fasil Kenema even have the Peruvian red sash!
Anyway, I’ll let you all get back to talking about Premier League teams!
Jae, Tunbridge Wells
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