classic equine polo wraps He is what Man United and Pogba need
Matic is the cog that could make Man United machine work
It would seem with the imminent arrival of Bakayoko at Chelsea, that Manchester United may indeed be about to sign (which if you believe Twitter) the rather unglamorous Nemanja Matic. But, I would like to make a case for the big Serbian against that backdrop of underwhelm, and Fabinho clamouring.
Firstly, let’s not forget that Matic has just played 35 league games in a side which won the title at a canter. Kante gets the plaudits for his eye catching ground coverage, but without the big Serb at his side doing the dirty work he would no doubt have been less impressive, as would Chelsea as a whole. In that sense, Matic is very much a ‘cog in the machine’ type player, which perhaps doesn’t do him full justice, but that’s exactly what United need for me. United’s conundrum all season long was how to get the best out of Pogba. In a midfield two, he’s bogged down by much of that aforementioned ‘dirty work’ and in a three Jose never quite got the right blend of teammates around him.
However, if you think about a three of Matic sitting deep protecting the back four, with Herrera (right) and Pogba (left) that for me feels a whole lot more balanced as a trio. Carrick undoubtedly has a much better range of passing than say Matic, but he’s not got the mobility he once had, and even when he did, still had a tendency to let players run off him at CDM. On paper, it’s not an awe inspiring setup but any means, but it could just work in practice and I guess that’s the acid test for this purchase should it go through as rumoured.
Matic has also had a couple of seasons in the Premier League now, so he knows what it’s about and what’s required to win a title in what can be a slog of a campaign at times. He’s also big, strong and a bit of a sthouse. So that really is all of the Jose boxes ticked I’m afraid. United have made a habit of buying names, rather than players to fill a specific role over the last few years, so hopefully Matic will be the cog that bucks that trend.
Dave (I think I even convinced myself there, MUFC)
History shows Jose cannot develop young players
When it comes to defending Mourinho over youth players, it difficult to justify. Unless a player is close to fulfilling his potential then he not the best manager of raw ability.
He opted to dump prodigious talents such as De Bruyne and Lukaku instead of developing them. He does not trust young players. With certain truly exceptional individuals there are arguments against but clearly he does not care for anyone he hasn signed for large fee.
It all very well arguing about his age or whatever but it often said in this country we write young players off far too soon. Harry Kane is a prime example of someone who didn look like becoming anything until he was given a proper chance just before his 21st birthday. If he been sold to any one of the lower league clubs he was on loan at when he was 17, 18, 19 he probably never have come close to what he is now.
Last summer, Jos flogged a large number of our best U 23 prospects, including some who LvG considered to have potential. Regardless of their United record, only one of those managers can point to having nurtured some of the top players in the world.
Stop trying to justify everything Jose does. He not the special one, he a bit of a dick who gets away with it because his agent negotiates contracts that are too big to justify sacking him from.
Well done to the mighty Terriers
Huddersfield Town record signing was Christopher Schindler for GBP 1.8 MN until last month? Beautiful. Who said money and money alone rules everything? Well done to them. Seriously. Well done.
Mukund Kannan (LFC) Manila, Philippines
Disgusted by this summer transfer valuations
I don’t know about anyone else, but I think this summer in particular, with these obscene transfer fees being quoted (and in all fairness, so far at least a lot of them are merely quotes, and not all that many of the huge deals seem to be going through), football’s just losing my interest.
Over the past two seasons I’ve found myself watching less and less football, or more accurately, less and less elite football. Let’s compare Stoke and Man City, and a hypothetical live TV match between the two. Now on the one hand I can’t help but be excited to see brilliant players like Shaqiri and Arnautovic strutting their stuff for Stoke and the likes of David Silva, De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero doing the same for City. Who doesn’t get excited by high profile signings for any team? I sure do. However 70 odd minutes in to a hard fought 1 1 stalemate I now find myself switching off when City can bring on Sterling and Gabriel Jesus and Yaya Toure, and the inevitable 1 2, 1 3 and then 1 4 happens and City eventually steamroller Stoke due to having a bench that’s stronger than Stoke’s first team.
These insane transfer fees being quoted are a reflection of the massive TV deal the English clubs have now got, so average players like Ederson and Salah go for 30m+, and Kylian Mbappe (a player with little more than a season under his belt) is being touted for 100m at the very least. We live in an era where 100m, according to Tottenham Hotspur, won’t even get you little more than a derisory snort for Harry Kane.
Now I’m not blind, pretty much all transfers are based on what the last guy went for. If so and so went for 40m, then this guy is worth 50m, and that guy is worth 60m in return. Still though, I’ve never started feeling any more distant from the sport I love than I do now.
In one of the comments sections today (forget which story, sorry), someone has very blithely put a comment along the lines of, wants Kane for 100m and Spurs want 200m I reckon if we just go to 140m then we’ll have a deal Really? Wow! Do you think? He’s probably right, by the way, I’m fairly sure if Man Utd went to 140m for Harry Kane then they’d get him! But that’s not what disenfranchises me about the whole thing. What gets to me is the whole an extra 40m anyway? vibe that I see. Let’s just find 40m shall we? Forget the huge mountain of debt that leveraged against Man Utd (which seems to be forgotten) and forget that LAST SUMMER they went and broke the transfer record for a player they released on a free about three seasons before that just break our own transfer record by 10m, no, by 50m again this summer! Seeing as they only finished sixth this year.
Even as a staunch FFP loving dyed in the wool disciple of Wengernomics, I couldn’t help but get a little giddy when we paid off that stadium and then splashed 43m on Mesut Ozil. However there’s something wrong horrible and wrong about seeing Andre he be the next Kezman? Lacazette being talked about as a circa 50m player. It, frankly, disgusts me, and it turns me away from the sport.
The kids have always been alright
After a summer of (to date) successful tournaments for the England youth sides, and following on from Daniel Storey’s article, I was intrigued to see quite how successful Germany had been since implementing their ETPP plan in 2002, and in comparison how optimistic it is worth being about England’s prospects in the next decade.
Before launching into results, I will just highlight that the Toulon Tournament is excluded, as Germany don’t really seem to bother (I haven’t checked but they either don’t enter, or don’t try hard if they do). England obviously do try, and have had 6 tournaments where they have reached at least the semi finals since 2002.
Firstly, youth level (since 2002);
GERMANY = 11 semi finals or better across age groups u17 u21. In four of those cases they have won the competition.