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shawthing's rumours posts with other poster's replies to shawthing's rumours posts


02 Dec 2018 17:46:30
Assuming the rumours are true, if you believe your £90m transfer is playing with inadequate effort and/ or a poor mentality, a dressing down in the changing room in front of team mates is perfectly reasonable. I bet every one of us who have played sports have at some time or other have heard it from a coach or a colleague. Grow up and knuckle down. Most of the kids who watch you would kill for a chance at 1/ 10th of the benefits your innate talent has brought you.

The fact is Pogba is a disappointment. While he covers a fair amount of ground within a team that consistently covers the least in the EPL, he rarely sprints, neither in offence or defence. This characteristic was visible when he first stepped on the field in a United jersey before he went to Juventus. He looks lackadaisical, and it's probably one of the reasons why Ferguson was not inclined to fight to keep him. The problem is that, while he has talent, he is way to into himself to be a true leader, and that's the key role we need him to fill. A player who leads by example.

We are 5 years into the post-Fergie era and we are worse than ever. We do have some good players to build a team around but it's hard to see anything positive coming from them in the current climate. Given the amount of money we've spent, the only conclusion we can draw is that we are infected by a virus. Whether the source is Pogba, Mourinho or the general club mentality itself is a matter of conjecture. My own sense is that Woodward, Mourinho and Pogba are all symptoms of a deeper problem.


1.) 02 Dec 2018 21:07:06
All 3 of them should go at the end of the season.

We should say thanks Jose but uts not worked ta-ra. Says Pogba but you want to go to Spain so here's the asking price. And Woodward should have the decency to say "it was my decision to appoint Jose so I'll step down. "

2.) 03 Dec 2018 06:49:20
Fergie did want to keep Pogba, it was out of his hands. and while you might think Pogba has been disappointing his season, so has Lukaku, Rashford, Martial (most of the time), Bailly, Fred, Matic. who hasn't been disappointing? People might point to Shaw, but he hasn't gotten back to the 2-way beast he was looking like before his injury either.

I think when that many players aren't performing you have to look at the manager. And it's not like Mourinho's faults have been hard to see. Bizarre team selections and subs, consistently embarrassing behaviour, publicly sledging players all the time and bemoaning a lack of signings.

He's got to go. He's not one of us and he never will be.



13 Jan 2018 13:49:56
Sanchez has a bit of the Tevez about him. Very emotional. He obviously has all the skills, and when he's motivated his intensity and purpose adds a dimension to his game that any team would covet. So what is it that motivates him.

Clearly it's the thought of winning honours, and conversely looking at he seems to be demotivated by his team's mediocrity. So my guess is that:

1) he would only come to United if he thought he would win the EPL and/ or the Champions League in the next couple of years, and

2) if he did come, and it looked like those objectives were not going to be fulfilled, then it would be a disastrous transfer because his negative emotionality would end up leeching into and upsetting the dressing room.

Like for most supporters winning is ultimately more important than style. Arsenal play with style but they don't win the important trophies any more, which doesn't please their supporters and is clearly a demotivation to top players.


1.) 13 Jan 2018 15:39:18
Agreed for sure!

Lucas Moura maybe?

On another note, I mentioned a defender Jorge Mere who was at Espanyol and now at Koln and NOW Barça are after him!

We should have got this guy! Well disappointed!

2.) 13 Jan 2018 16:06:08
Well Ronnie don't mean to be rude but you might have named atleast 200 players by now. It might be difficult for United hierarchy to properly understand which one you want.

3.) 13 Jan 2018 16:34:44
I deserved that! 😂.

4.) 13 Jan 2018 21:09:56
For Sanchez's supposed attitude you can see the same thing happening at Spurs in the next 18 months if they win nothing -Ali, Erikson etc have no real affinity to Spurs as many players don't to their clubs. Sanchez probably looks around and sees nothing there but the odd FA CUp. maybe views us the same . time will tell.



05 Apr 2017 14:41:52
Two woodworks and a good goal disallowed epitomise what has been a most frustrating season. It's giving me ulcers. Virtually every game we've played we have created enough good chances to win the game handily. It's not down to tactics, it's down to finishing. The team in general seems to be suffering from a collective psychological block and somehow or other that problem has to be overcome.

The weight of expectation for players like Shaw, Pogba, Rashford, Martial, and Mhki needs to be lifted so that they are loose enough to begin to play to their potential. At present I'm sure the burden is as unbearable for the players as it is the fans.


1.) 05 Apr 2017 14:57:00
If you hit the post you have missed the target, its not bad luck it's a miss.

2.) 05 Apr 2017 15:11:46
It started since we stopped Dabbing and doing crazy handshakes for winning throw ins and corners! We need to bring them back.

3.) 05 Apr 2017 15:39:39
We've had the third most shots in the league.

No team in Europe have hit the bar/ post more than us. In fact we've hit it 9 more times than any other team.

5 of the 7 goalkeepers to win man of the match in the EPL this season have done so against us.

No team in the EPL has had more shot saved than us.

No team in the EPL has had more shots blocked than us.

It's starting to feel like a voodoo or gypsy curse. Surely we can't continue to be this unlucky.

4.) 05 Apr 2017 15:53:05
It's not bad luck though shappy.

5.) 05 Apr 2017 16:08:40
Strange how top sports men don't have bad luck .
It's all excesses and a bit embarrassing.
"There other gk had a good game "

Ddg been our best player the last 4 year . Luck or poor finishing?

6.) 05 Apr 2017 16:23:36
If it's not luck then what is it?

As for DDG making many saves, he does it every week, that's what makes him world class. Many of the keepers who have won motm against us this season have done so with their best performance in several years. They aren't world class keepers, they just have a strangely world class performance against us. Robles last night had a very good game, yet was awful a couple of days before against Liverpool.

The running joke this season is who is the best keeper in the world? Whoever's​ playing against United this week.

If you were Jose what would you be doing differently to make these chances into goals?

7.) 05 Apr 2017 16:36:20
I'm not Jose that's why he gets paid the big bucks .
Martial Rasford Ibra miki pogba mata I could go on have shown they are good players, have shown they can put the ball in net .

Chelsea where awful last season, poor at the start of the season, conte worked it out tho, and Chelsea and conte haven't been lucky in the same way United haven't been unlucky .
Over a season it works itself out .

Gk are there to make saves, defenders are there to defend you can't complain when the other team play well it sounds pathetic .

8.) 05 Apr 2017 16:37:57
By the way never mind chances, United have been poor the last couple of month as a team.

9.) 05 Apr 2017 16:41:18
Should also say getting the best out of your players is a very if not the most important job of the manager.

10.) 05 Apr 2017 16:42:58
Well put Shappy.

11.) 05 Apr 2017 20:06:38
I'd stop whining and slagging off my players. Just saying.

12.) 06 Apr 2017 21:11:02
I was trying to be sarcastic shaps! Guess I should put that in brackets lol.

We have been unlucky in many ways but we should also be doing better regardless of 'bad luck'

13.) 08 Apr 2017 09:15:02
Chipping in on the lucky/ unlucky theme.

If you're good enough you make your own luck surely?

What the stats suggest, in my opinion, is that we keep possession and stay compact. But we don't take risks often or quickly enough. And that's reflected in how we play.

Some of that is legacy of the last few years, some is the players and some is the manager.

I'm not a Jose fan, but i do believe he has to be given the time to implement his style. Personally i think if the goals and performances aren't showing through next season then he isn't going to achieve it.



30 Nov 2016 18:23:29
I cannot see us changing the manager under virtually any circumstances other than a complete capitulation. Without that Jose will be given the year. If we win the Europa and finish 8th in the league we will be in the Champions League. (I think we will finish 5th or 6th) . If we were to fire him then finding a new manager will be difficult except, of course, that failure = a big pay off when the contract is cancelled which may be something of a consolation.

A lot of the criticism is unfounded. The team has been playing quite well, just not getting the results. This brings us to Ibra. We all knew from the beginning that his role was a short term stop gap for a year or two while Martial and Rashford mature.

The last 3 years have been pretty dire by our standards, but at least this year the team is playing with attacking intent. Be grateful. At least that's the first of the complaints about LVG satisfied. In my view the anxiety of the fans is feeding into the players, so relax folks. Support the team and the manager and have hope.


1.) 30 Nov 2016 21:59:30
He is staying. Keep this simple.



29 Nov 2015 23:27:16
Another week goes by and the top teams struggle to win. City's scoreline flattered them, with their goals coming as much from errors by Southampton. It really has become a difficult league and our point at Leicester was not bad, all things considered. If Arsenal have Sanchez injured for a while their challenge may well falter, giving Liverpool and Spurs an opening. We have an opportunity to take advantage of what should be some winnable games and go into the new year on top. Will we take it?





shawthing's banter posts with other poster's replies to shawthing's banter posts


12 Dec 2018 20:59:24
I have spent the first half watching Lukaku closely and, for the life of me, I don't think I saw a single positive contribution. Poor touch, terrible lay-offs, misplaced passes, beaten to every header, failure to control any ball passed up to him, and slow to react. Clueless. The rest of the team were not good, but Lukaku was the worst of them all.


1.) 12 Dec 2018 22:08:50
As much as he has been poor this season i don't see what he can do when all the other players are so detatched from him, mata pereira were meant to be the wingers tonight yet spent most of the time picking the ball off of the back 4.

2.) 12 Dec 2018 22:14:02
Well the second string did ok, likes of Pogba and RedRom need a run out now and then 👀.

3.) 12 Dec 2018 23:40:46
The game was a dead rubber but the apathy of the performance was frightening.

I don't care what anybody says when you have no recognisable system or style of play it's difficult for any player to excel.

Pereira was trialled as a deep lying midfielder, he's then plucked from obscurity and shunted out on the left wing. What do we expect him to do?

Can anybody tell me what Jose wants from Pogba, Fred even Fellaini. What is their role in the team?

Fellaini is not a defensive midfielder. He can't run or tackle, his mobility is no existent and his passing ability limited. Unless he's further up the pitch getting on the end of crosses or the ball is played directly into his chest so he can hold it up he's a waste of a player. Would Pep, Klopp, Potch, Sarri or Emary have Fellaini as their defensive midfielder? Use him correctly or not at all.

Fred was largely deployed in a midfield axis for Shakhtar, he has energy, mobility and is good on the ball. He's better from deeper positions where he can play forward passes or dribble from deep breaking the lines. For Utd he's been used to the right of a midfield 3. He's being asked to play further forward on the half turn. When he receives the ball he has no options as Lingard or Mata often drift inside occupying the same space and doing the same job. If the full back doesn't overlap we have no width. He looks bewildered and lost. Why not swap Fred and Fellaini around? Let Fred build the play, allowing Fellaini to get further up the pitch and get into the box where he's a threat.

Pogba has been done to death, we all know his strengths and weaknesses but do any of us really know what Jose wants from him? I certainly don't and he's another that looks confused and disillusioned.

Rojo was selected at left back for no reason other than to give him minutes. He was predictably replaced and it was another wasted selection. How can you expect a player to perform when he knows he's 3rd choice left back and has predominantly been played at CB anyway. If he's not good enough then simply don't play him and certainly not at left back. Give a young lad a chance that's hungry and committed.

Against Valencia we had no width, no pace and no mobility. It was a collection of individuals playing without any defined roles, structure or purpose. They were given a platform to fail not excel and they obliged accordingly.

Our squad is being mismanaged and half of them now appear demotivated and disinterested.

In essence we had a deep lying midfielder that can't pass, set the tempo or build the play. Wide players with no pace that prefer to come inside and receive the ball to feet with no options ahead of them and full backs that didn't attack or provide any width. We had a CF that thrives from crosses yet we played with no width and nobody that can cross a ball. It was a wasted opportunity to build on the Fulham performance and we now head into the weekend with no momentum.

The game didn't matter and it showed. Let's hope Sunday is different!

4.) 12 Dec 2018 23:58:26
Lukaku reminds me of the time that souness brought on George weahs cousin.

5.) 12 Dec 2018 23:47:55
I agree, he's very poor imo. The amount of times he loses the ball for a £75 million player is staggering. How many attacks break down because of him? I think if we had a striker who could control the ball or make better runs, the midfield would find it easier.

6.) 13 Dec 2018 01:05:49
Excellent post as usual, DLIB.

7.) 13 Dec 2018 01:36:08
With that many midfielders on we needed a forward who could hold the ball or good enough to join in the play at least! Lukaku useless again pogba can’t do it unless he has senior players he respects!

8.) 13 Dec 2018 07:15:43
We need in a manager who can use the squad correctly. However whilst the bean counter waits to save a few million its doing untold damage to the club.



12 Nov 2018 14:09:48
It may not have been good but it was as bad as I feared it might be.

Shaw has improved but he failed to track the run at the far post which led to the first goal. The second goal came directly from a loss of possession thanks to a cloddish touch in a crucial position. The third was due to Matic's failure to register the presence of Gundogan behind him, and react. In other words all 3 goals sprung directly from errors.

So, from a tactical point of view, the set up was not bad if one is working from the premise of first not losing and then hopefully scoring on the counter. Playing against City I would say that's a reasonable approach especially missing one of your only creative midfielders.

Going forward we were not good. Herrera not only lost the ball frequently but, as the commentators here in the US noticed, Martial and Rashford were making runs, but the midfielders either didn't pass or, when they did, it was too late. That forced our limited attack out towards the wings, or caused them to be in offside positions. In other words it was not the tactics but their execution that was at fault.

The players out there simply aren't good enough.


1.) 12 Nov 2018 16:03:43
With pogba Out unfortunately any slim chance we had of winning evaporated. Looking at that midfield compared to city’s was so telling in how far away these sides are from each other. Straight away the first question was going to be who is going to play those passes to rashford and martial when they make their runs. We actually have three players in mata, pereira and Fred who all could have slotted in and replaced either matic or fellaini. The midfield that started was so devoid of any attacking ability or vision that it’s no wonder we had no Out ball. Nobody to link up the play. It’s alarming still that when pogba doesn’t play then we can’t play. City have lost de Bruyne yet the have the magnificent Bernardo silva to slot in. They even have Gundogan to come who who would walk into our midfield. And pushing it, city have foden. They are simply a much better side, with a much better squad, much better run club with a much better manager.



11 Oct 2018 13:17:03
Saying that the fans are to blame for United's parlous state is like saying that the imminent bankruptcy of one of the US's iconic businesses, Sears, is the fault of the customers. Sorry, that's not the way things work. The customers left because the company itself failed to keep up with the trends. Our club was held hostage for so long to excessive debt service that necessary re-investment was not made when it was required and we have been overcompensating for the last 5 years. In footballing terms we failed to keep up. Everyone could see the deficiencies both in our transfer policy and youth development program when players like Tom Cleverley were expected to replace the likes of Paul Scholes. It was masked by SAF's continuing magic in domestic competitions. 

I've been a supporter for 55 years. We have had some good teams and some not so good ones. We have had a couple of great managers. At United we go to extremes. Fortunately having been well funded even our worst periods are not that bad. It goes in cycles. For me I'd rather we win but I'm actually somewhat amused by the current spectacle. I have no doubt some toxic fans and the press have an influence on Board decisions, more so now that the whole value of the club is as a brand rather than a team, but the buck stops with those who run the club and nowhere else. What we are going through is a catharsis. We will come out of it a better club but my guess is we haven't yet seen the end of the carnage.


1.) 11 Oct 2018 16:21:59

The good news is that like ED002 says the club is looking to get a director of football in and change the structure of how things work, that says to me that they know things are not working in their current structure and it is likely we will see a marked improvement from that time.

2.) 11 Oct 2018 16:22:43
Good post.
Ed002 has put things into perspective for me.
As a fan we've been used to being at the top etc.
Until Abramovich came along, others teams couldn't match us financially.
Man City were bought out hy the Sheiks.

Its how the club has been run behind the scenes etc.
A poor academy, no DOF.
Perhaps Fergie had to much control which didn't help when he retired as the staff were left unsure of who did who.

We need to stick with Mourinho.
Mourinho also needs to show faith and like the 2nd half against Newcastle, go out and attack. After all, attack is the best form of defence.

Lets be United and get behind the players.

It can be difficult at times, but this maybe for the best.

If we sort out how the club is run which should have been sorted oht along time ago. It should enable the club to progress.

3.) 11 Oct 2018 18:41:02

Ed002 said Toxic fans affected and influenced the decision making of the club. Think on that, it says the owners, the board could not take a stand for what they had planned in terms of a transition from LvG to Allegri, instead they bowed to what in effect was noise. The toxic fans may be difficult and have pushed them, but they did not have the leadership to stand up for their own plans. The owners have never communicated a strategy or plan and Ed’s information indicates they couldn’t do what leaders do, know what direction they want to go and take people on a journey with them. It’s one reason but by no means the whole picture. Social media nowadays is pernicious, you only have to read these pages and other social media, the club has shown it is sensitive to social media by using the 600 million followers in proposals.

Toxic fans have had an impact but the question is why the board allowed that.

4.) 11 Oct 2018 18:51:13
I find it mildly amusing that our huge number of toxic fans couldn't influence the Glazers into selling our Club despite some pretty horrific behaviour including threats of violence, mass protests, insulting banners and intimidating chants. Despite this abhorrent behaviour our intrepid owners remained steadfast and resolute. Apparently sacking managers on the other hand is far simpler. Merely stamp your feet and shake your head in a child like manner and write some disparaging remarks on Social Media and our fearless owners will quickly lose their resolve, abandon their plans and bow to our every demand. Who knew manipulation of our board was so simple?! In fact if the toxics could please force the board into buying two new CB's, RB, LB, CM, RW and CF our current manager would be eternally grateful. On the other hand if the toxics don't like our current manager you know what to do. Easy peasy he'll be gone before the end of the International break. Choose wisely dear toxics for the path to enlightenment is rarely as simple as it seems. With great power comes great responsibility so be warned for it is not the board, the players or the manager but the fans fault for every single failure since the great one departed.

5.) 11 Oct 2018 19:39:32
Excellent post, DLIB.

6.) 11 Oct 2018 20:36:52
Who says Allegri was the answer? That might have been the plan but it doesn’t mean it would have worked. I’m almost reassured that there was a plan as it often seems Woodward makes it up as he goes along, signing Sanchez for example was a knee jerk reaction. Letting SAF influence the choice of Moyes was bizarre, the appointment of Moyes went against all sensible rational thought, I wonder if he was a deliberate fall guy. Then appointing LVG almost felt like a reaction to that one great Holland game.

Mourinho is not for me but he has been getting some dreadful stick lately, it seems to be open season with everyone piling in a bit like a pack of bullies taking encouragement from the rest, egging each other on.

We lack leadership and expertise on the football side of things. We can change the Manager as often as we want but if we don’t address those things then it won’t get any better.

7.) 12 Oct 2018 07:27:12
Fantastic post DLIB. Really does make you wonder about the so called toxics.

8.) 12 Oct 2018 08:37:43
Some great summaries of wider context and link to toxics which, when taken with Ed002’s comments below, really make sense. Cheers.



03 Oct 2018 17:11:04
Traditionally the United way has involved growth from within and the class of 92 being held up as a banner: but is that really remotely possible to repeat in today's environment? In those days nearly all our players were from the British Isles. Only Schmeichel, Kanchelskis, and Cantona were not. And even if it is theoretically possible, the youth groundwork at Man City has been far superior to United's for a decade, and still their team is built on market expenditures that outstrip our own with players like Foden scarcely getting a look in. Liverpool seem to have developed better youth prospects than us. Chelsea no longer has any players that come from youth development.

With an ownership that has no knowledge of the game itself, we clearly need a complete restructuring of our football philosophy from top to bottom, and that will needs come from a DOF whose tenure will hopefully outlast any one manager. We need to get out from under the nostalgia and the platitudes and get on with being run in accordance with the exigencies of the day. The question is whether this Board will be able to select the right DOF. I hope I'm wrong but I have my doubts.


{Ed002's Note - I am not so sure you fully understand how this works. The club take advice over such matters. You all need to stop concerning yourselves with the owners and the structure.}

1.) 03 Oct 2018 17:35:50
Please name me more players pool city and chelsea have created?
I can't think of any that are starting in each side regularly.

2.) 03 Oct 2018 18:15:54
I'm not sure why we should be discouraged from discussing our owners when it seems to me they are at least partly responsible for the mess we now find ourselves. None of us are experts merely using this forum to discuss the Club we love, debate what's going wrong and how it can be fixed. Surely the owners would feature high on this list.

Like I said earlier the owners set the agenda, they appoint the manager, set the transfer budget, sign the players are responsible for maintaining the stadium, the training facilities, everything. They set the vision for the Club and they are conspicuous by their absence. When things are going well it's fine to leave the running of the Club to other people but in times of trouble and conflict strong and robust leadership is required and this starts at the very top.

You have told us yourself that Mourinho didn't view Utd as a progressive Club when he took the job which beggars the question who's fault is that?

If Mourinho is correct then how do we stand any chance of winning the major trophies?

In my opinion the owners need to step forward and sort this mess out. If that means they need new advisors then they need to seek new counsel immediately as I'm not convinced the advice they've been getting has been very good.

Leadership starts from the top and if it's wise and strong it cascades down and penetrates throughout the entire Club. Our owners remain silent whilst their Club is on the brink of civil war. Sorry to be so dramatic but it's not far from the truth.

3.) 03 Oct 2018 18:35:51
Trent arnold is the only one i can think of Fzz.

4.) 03 Oct 2018 20:34:36
Exactly ken, these other sides are investing a lot into there youth and not bearing the fruits.

We have Lingard, Perriera, Rashford and Mctominay yet people still moan, that's only 2 short of co92.

5.) 04 Oct 2018 08:04:13
Exactly FZZ. The difference is, that these kids don't have the seasoned professionals around them like the class of 92 had. When things weren't going well, we had players that would get the job done. We have the kids now, we just don't have the responsible adults anymore!

6.) 04 Oct 2018 08:52:31
That's what I've been saying, OT7, but my posts don't seem to be getting published.



30 Sep 2018 00:01:46
Our club was a leader but it failed to keep up with the changes. The first major change was the internationalization of the players, (in 1999 we had no player, other than Yorke, who was from outside northern Europe), and the second was the internationalization of the managers and tactics. The best comparison is with England of the post war years. There was an arrogance about the FA with regard to English football: we invented the game, we were the best and we needed no advice or input from a load of foreigners. First we lost to the USA in the 1950 world cup and then we were shown up by Hungary who beat us 6-3 at Wembley, revealing just how tactically and technically inferior we were. Have we ever really recovered?

As good a manger as SAF was his teams disappointed in Europe. Only 2 trophies in how many attempts? Even then one could hardly say we won those finals playing spectacular football against Europe's best. In the first we eked out a United type win after having been completely outplayed for 89 minutes. In the second we pipped a fellow English team on pks. SAF was a manger built for English football and the dour working class roots upon which it was based. He was also a man of strong opinions and habits and like most people of that type they were both his strength and his weakness. His weakness because one way or another he failed to modernize the team allowing one great player after another to depart or pass his sell by date without replacing him with an equal. Whether this was because he a) was restricted by the club's limited budget as a result of debt service, b) unprepared to deal with the rise of the agents (preferring to deal with his son? ), or c) he just simply did not have the tactical nous, is a matter for speculation. But let's face it Chelsea under Mourinho generally had the upper hand against us.

I am not a fan of the Glazers. I believe the LBO and the consequent debt service did irreparable damage to the team. In Fergie's last years top player after top player went somewhere else. Why? And why is that we still seem unable to buy young talent and develop them, instead paying absolutely top whack for everyone, and then watching them disappoint, and then find ourselves unable to unload them because they are overpaid and not as good as they were hyped up to be. On top of that we have hired managers well past their best while other teams have looked to the future. Some wish to blame the current situation on the toxic fans, but I still think that's a cop out. The process started well before LVG, and has carried on since. The buck stops with the people who run the club. They are responsible for the hires and their timing and the transfers, and if they're confident in their decision making, they should stick with the plan even in the face of whatever toxic mix the fans throw their way. The problem is that they don't know how to run a football club.


1.) 30 Sep 2018 00:22:27
Good post Shaw, you make some interesting points which I enjoyed reading mate.

2.) 30 Sep 2018 01:09:39
I agree with some of what you say here but no one can rule forever. Yes we belong at the top but do you honestly blame fergie for our current mess?! that's like saying englands current nightmare is churchills fault!

3.) 30 Sep 2018 06:10:44
Shaw, that’s a harsh overall view of SAF. Firstly, he won 3 European trophies, not 2 and in 1999 we rampaged through Europe. The final was a big disappointment but we were missing 2 of our best players and finals can be strange. The football we played through SAF’s time was often breathtaking, we brought a bunch of our own through and also bought and developed some real gems. Look at our overall performances in Europe and you will find some big wins and stunning performances. My personal favourite was the Roma 7-1 game.

I agree we should have won more in Europe, losing to mid ranking teams in Semi finals was hard to swallow. In 2004, Porto beat Monaco having got past us due to a very poor refereeing decision and a last minute goal. Where would Jose be now if our second goal had not been disallowed?

Where I do agree is that SAF sometimes got his tactics horrible wrong. The Barcelona finals are testament to that. And in his later years he did not buy well. jones and Smalling were the future but they now appear to have been poor buys. I’m not saying they are not ‘good’ players, but they are not Bruce, Pallister, Stam, Rio, or Vidic. He often referred to ‘no value in the market’ and that has to have been driven by the owners, I just can’t see that SAF would have worried about fees, he was a winner and wanted the best.

in terms of where we are now, since Woody we seem to have become star struck but it is clear that signing good players isn’t as simple as it might seem. We have signed some big names who haven’t worked out, and we have also made some poor short term decisions. David Gill was a huge loss and we have to yet adequately replaced him, if Jose does go I think we will continue to struggle until we have signed someone to replace Gill.

4.) 30 Sep 2018 08:09:29
Good rebuke AJH, whilst I enjoyed reading Shaw's post I agree he was harsh on SAF as you have so eloquently pointed out. Having said that I do remember the searing disappointment when we got knocked out of Europe. At times it felt like the season was over even though we often had the premier league wrapped up. Oh how spoilt we were!

Ed001 pointed me in the direction of a fascinating Twitter thread a few days ago regarding Utd's finances. They make for fascinating reading if you can find the thread. What immediately struck me was that in 2009 over 40% of turnover went on financing the debt which stood at over £100m per year. Around that time we sold Ronaldo who was never adequately replaced. It was around this time we also heard the immortal words "no value in the market". The debt obviously had a massive impact on transfers and its testimony to SAF genius that he kept us so competitive during this time. If it hadn't been for his genius the Glazer take over would have been an unmitigated disaster and had the Clubs performances and results dropped to the levels we have witnessed in recent years possibly put the Club at significant risk of bankruptcy. I often wondered why SAF toed the party line and didn't challenge the owners regarding spending as Mourinho has. Maybe he knew the Club was in grave danger who knows but servicing debt of over £100m a year was a colossus weight on the Clubs shoulders. The debt has now been reduced to 3% of turnover and interest payments are around £18m a year but it's still a significant amount of money taken from the Club just to service debt which was leveraged on the Club as a result of their takeover.

It is obvious that the owners have no footballing strategy for the business. They have been unable to fill the huge void left by SAF. There interest in Utd is financially motivated and they have no need or desire to see the Club succeed. The only time we have seen them panic or forced into any kind of action is when we have failed to qualify for the Champions League. They think in terms of revenue not results. Mourinho will not be fired in my opinion. They will be reluctant to pay off his contract and gamble on the fact that he can still finish in the top 4. Results in the next few weeks may dictate otherwise and force them into action but if Mourinho can steady the ship they'll wait and if he can finish 4th the season will be considered a success. If not they'll hit the panic button again.

The owners are a cancer at our Club which is slowly sucking the life out of us. They should never have been allowed to purchase the Club using a leveraged buy out and until they leave I fear we'll never find peace. Three well respected, highly decorated managers have all spectacularly failed perhaps we're missing the bigger picture.

5.) 30 Sep 2018 08:15:58
Very important point you make there AJH - the loss of David Gill. More significant than a lot on here realise, probably because they are too young to remember (I don't mean that in a sarcastic way, but there are a lot of young posters on here now) . Despite being a 'suit', Gill was also a football man and had a very good relationship with Fergie.
It was a huge loss to lose them at the same time.
People rightly point out that these days we are paying silly money for older players, but we shouldn't worry about the money etc and just spend what is needed.
But when SAF and Gill we at the club, I seem to remember we had a policy of not signing players over the age of 28 which meant there was always some longevity in any signing. The only significant signing that I can remember that broke that policy was what I saw as Fergie's leaving present - Robin van Persie.

6.) 30 Sep 2018 08:40:06
Was that policy forced upon them though Betty?

Juventus strike me as a sensible and well run Club, in recent years anyway yet they have just invested over £100m on a 33 year old?

You should never back yourself into stupid policies, having an overriding principle is fine but each transfer is unique and should be considered on its own terms.

People have short memories we were up in arms regarding transfers between 2009 - 2013. Back then it was about trying to topple Barcelona who had just humiliated us in two Champs League finals. We spent nothing, we were constantly told there was no value in the market. Maybe the financial results illustrate why. None of us could understand this bizarre argument but you can always find the answer if you look hard enough. Investment in the squad during this time boarded on the neglectful. The squad was allowed to age, SAF retired they appointed the wrong man in Moyes, they didn't back him either and the rest is history.

7.) 30 Sep 2018 08:59:41
DLIB, I agree in principle regarding the owners. But are they really to blame for the current situation? Ultimately, you are right about them being interested in money rather than results.
But the reality is that money has been spent, and huge amounts of it. Irrespective of what we all think of the Glazers, funds have been made available and we have invested heavily in players - and managers for that matter. By all accounts, they have not interfered with footballing decisions, name have allowed the 'management' tomtake care of things.
Unfortunately, the huge amounts of money spent have, in the main, been spent badly. We have a Mish mash of players put together by four different managers, each of whom had their own plans and ideas. We have consistently spent huge sums on 'names', and overpaid massively for most of them.
We are now in a situation where we are stuck with some of these flops because nobody else will pay them the same.

I honesty don't think that the owners biggest mistakes are a lack of investment - it's more a case of who they have entrusted to oversee that investment.
Woodward should not be anywhere near the football decisions synthetic club. It's mistake after mistake and the sooner a DoF comes in the better.

And I just want to make clear this does not mean I am defending, nor approve of the Glazers as owners. Nor does it mean that I am deflecting any blame away from Mourinho because I know everything is his fault :)

8.) 30 Sep 2018 09:16:49
That policy worked well for United for many years DLIB - and I think I am right in saying long before the Glazers took over.
Some of the signings we have made minor recent years have been nothing short of bonkers - Zlatan and Scweinsteiger in particular. I believe both were on wages of over 300 grand a week and for what? Remember bringing in new players is no longer just about transfer fees, but also has implications on over all wage budgets.
And we as fans may not like terms like ' no value in the market's or ' no sell on value's but there surely are, and should be relevant. It seems that all the other top teams are able, and happy to recruit younger players and develop them. Even sell them on at a profit. What do we do? Massively over pay for players and then have to vitally give them away to get rid of them.
To be fair, that is not entirely a new thing, it's just that the sums involved now are so much higher.

9.) 30 Sep 2018 09:37:45
You make an good argument Betty and perhaps you have a more balanced view than myself.

My point is investment was neglected during the latter stages of SAF career which in my opinion was directly related to the mind boggling debt saddled on the Club during this time. SAF worked miracles with his limited budget but City were always destined to take over if things continued in the same way. The squad aged, SAF retired and we had absolutely no contingency plan.

I can't argue that investment hasn't been made in the squad in recent years. In my opinion this has just compensated for the years of under investment. It has been spent in a reactionary way as a result of us falling out of the top 4 with no clear strategy.

In my cynical opinion the owners have little interest in delivering us titles or having a clear commitment and ambition to making us the very best. Their sole motivation is to increase the asset value of the Club and make themselves stinking rich on the back of a leveraged buy out which has disadvantaged the Club for over a decade. Winning is seen as the icing on the cake. Of course money will be invested but only to safeguard the brand and protect revenue streams and sponsorship opportunities not to win trophies. Our owners are shrewd business men and even they understand that a certain level of performance on the pitch must be maintained. Anyone who buys a Club using a leveraged buy out does my have the best interest of the Club at heart.

Maybe we should pay closer attention to what's happened to their American sporting franchises for a glimpse into our own future. I fear this will make things frightening clear. I sincerely hope I've got this so wrong!

10.) 30 Sep 2018 11:25:37
I certainly don't disagree that we failed to invest in SAF's later years. My point was more about rectuitment policy rather hen investment policy - though of course the two are very closely linked.
It seems a long time ago now that United were ' top dogs', but there was a great deal of complacency, even arragance in the way he club was being run. It was almost a case of them working on he basis that United would remain at the top just because we are United.
Since that was very quickly proved not to be the case, we have tried to throw money at the problem minutes a bid for short term success. Like you say - reactive rather than proactive.

The ironic thing is, the fans who made making the most noise about our current plight are the very ones who demand the instant success, the quick fixes.
Quick fixes are not going to solve this. The whole club needs a rethink and a restructure. We all know a DoF is wanted, and needed. A new manager is inevitable, and that in itself virtually guarantees the need for further, significant investment in new players as any new manager will have his own ideas and requirements.
Rightly, everyone is pointing to City and Liverpool as the new benchmark. But success hasn't come to them overnight either. Time and patience will be needed, and an acceptance from the fans that it will take time. Our biggest problem now is that a rebuilding job that started when SAF retired should have been completed by now. Instead, we will be on to our fourth attempted rebuild when Jose does go.
We will be coming from a worse starting point, and 7 wasted years later. Not to mention the hundreds of millions of wasted investment.
It really is one hell of a mess now.




shawthing's rumour replies


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30 Jun 2018 12:08:21
Fellaini knows he's only going to be squad player, and, given the transfer costs United seem to need to pay in order to get anyone half way decent as an alternative, having him around for his wage cost only seems to me a very decent bit of business by United. With Fellaini you know what you're getting: it's someone who may not be top drawer but is at last as good as some of the overrated players who have been linked with us, like Dier, who would cost us a lot more. He's not my favorite player but he does offer a viable alternative in style when it's needed.




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29 May 2018 20:53:54
Win Dallot? I've heard he can turn on the gas.




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16 May 2018 19:06:30
I don't see how anyone can judge Shaw properly without not only giving him an extended run in the side but also having him play behind a consistently selected left sided winger.




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03 Aug 2017 19:59:22




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23 Jul 2017 20:46:28
He's not worth a penny over £150m.





shawthing's banter replies


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13 Dec 2018 21:18:59
It is apparent that Pogba is a luxury player not suited to being in a struggling team that needs to up its tempo and requires some genuine midfield leadership.

We can't afford a player who holds on to the ball too long, gets tackled, falls over hoping for a foul, and then rather than getting up and sprinting back, he stares at the ref in disbelief or bangs his fist on the ground. Equally as telling are the limited number of times United players in general and Pogba, in particular, actually sprint. He is altogether too languorous.




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05 Dec 2018 19:22:59
Man City never experienced the glory days in the same way United did, so their low status was less of a shock to the system. They did maintain crowds of around 28,000 though even in the old 3rd. Mind you, United average around 47,800 when we down to the 2nd.

The toxic fans are largely a function of the rise of social media and a malignant press. In the old days no one really got a say. In any event United fans have every right to be disappointed by our current poor performance given that the success of the club was built on their loyalty as they packed into OT week in week out, especially in the days when gates were the main source of income. And considering our levels of cash inflow it's scandalous how poor we've been doing.

I don't condone toxic fans, but then I'm not a fan of the toxic ownership and Board either.




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04 Dec 2018 23:33:23
There will never be another class of 92. The game has changed. It is now completely internationalized. We need a new approach appropriate to the age. After 3 managers in succession, none of whom pursue a more modern approach and a completely shambolic transfer policy coming on top of a failure to replace top players with those of similar quality during the last years of SAF's reign, and a board that knows little to nothing about the game itself, we are now far behind the top teams of England, let alone Europe.

It is hard to see this turning around any time soon.




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04 Dec 2018 22:17:10
Some of us thought it would end a year earlier than it did. #20 was something of a bonus that masked the clubs problems.




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27 Nov 2018 16:23:16
Ed. I just love your new Mrs. Doasyouwouldbedoneby character.


{Ed001's Note - erm thank you I think.}