With Rio, Woodward has finally got something right…

Send your thoughts to theeditor@football365.com…

Rio’s the right man
I see the people at 365 are being a right set of sniffy little sh*ts when it comes to United at the moment.

Rio is touted as a possible Sporting Director “Oh it’s because he can sell hats” nothing to do with the fact he is an ex player with excellent footballing knowledge that could ultimately help that ass-hat Woodward find the right players the manager wants.

Then on to De Gea possibly moving to PSG “Why not get Kuszczak or Carroll Ed seems to be United’s solution to everything”

If as the papers say PSG have offered Dave £450k a week coupled with Champions League football how do you suggest we can keep him? Oh I know get Peter Schmeichel to talk to his son or maybe dig out his old gloves coz you know it’s United.

Woodward and the board have done lots wrong but bring Rio on-board isn’t one of them and to say it’s because he can sell hats is quite frankly childish and pathetic of you to even suggest.

It’s obvious United need to move Woodward as far away from footballing decisions as possible and example being, Ole want’s Wan Bissaka but Woodward prefers Trippier FFS if that doesn’t scream idiot I’m not sure what does, has he even seen Trippier this season?

So in summary yes take the piss out of our Lauren Harries look a like Ed but don’t deride one of his only half decent decisions in approaching Rio.
Paul Murphy,  Manchester


City the greatest ever
Whatever happens in the next two games , which basis current and seasonal form should see City and Liverpool both win their last two games , we have witnessed something truly unprecedented this season.

This city side is now unquestionably the greatest in the premiership era and arguably in the history of English league football. If they win the last two games to follow a 100 point season with 98 the next year is beyond belief. Guardiola’s side deserve every plaudit coming to them and they are a joy to watch. If you like football you cannot help but enjoy their play whatever your allegiance.

Liverpool have set unprecedented playing levels themselves , losing only one league game all year ( to the above mentioned) and that only by centimetres. They have the best defense led by the best player in the league ( according to his peers) and could end up on a daft 97 points themselves. It looks as though that mini league of City ( 4pts) vs Liverpool (1pt) will decide the title destination.

As regards league points provided once again both win their last two , there is an argument to be made that these two sides could be the best in premier league history. However I would place Arsenal’s invincibles above Liverpool basis how impressive a feat it is to remain undefeated. The pressure to remain that way increases with every game and that Arsenal side was utterly exceptional.

There are arguably greater sides who challenged and won on more fronts ( Liverpool 84, United 99) are the obvious two but as regards purely league form this years top two are as good as any I have seen.
DL , LFC since 79 , Geneva


Emery bored
I’m sorry but who in the mailbox was having a pop at Emery after a third defeat in a row?

If there was any wailing and gnashing of teeth – it was coming from United fans and not gooners.

Should gooners be worried? In all honesty, it seems a lot are just going through the motions and are past caring – a bit like the players.

My first priority for a new Arsenal manager following Wenger’s firing was to find someone who could sort out the defence.

Guillem Balagué warned us Emery would not do this and he’s been proven right.

We’re slightly better than last season but our defence is just as clueless as it ever was.

I’ve just finished a book about David ‘Rocky’ Rocastle and to mark the occasion I went back and watched The Greatest Match Ever (if you’re a gooner) and there is a moment where John Lukic berates Bould for letting a Liverpool player through to have a shot on goal. Can you imagine if Leno was to do the same? He’d be screaming himself hoarse.

Also, can Arsenal fans stop praising Nketiah for doing a Jack Wilshere in running ‘arahnd’ a lot – it’s utterly pointless if there is no end product – O for a fit Danny Welbeck.

Anyway – good luck to Liverpool in the Champions League and the title run in.
Graham Simons, Gooner, Norf London


Not fit for purpose
I have watched United for over 50 years. In recent years I have been driven to the edge of insanity by the constant back passing that results in the ball arriving with De Gea. This happens from corners! From seemingly attacking positions. From vague attempts to move into the opposition half.
So when they started talking about the levels of fitness, the number of passes, miles run etc, and United are way behind City and Liverpool, the penny dropped.
The back passes are a direct result of there being no-one ahead to pass to. There is no-one ahead to pass to because they are not moving into space to enable the pass to be received. They are not running into space because they are not fit enough. If they are not fit enough, they run out of steam if they play at a high pace. This happens in every game. Then they do score as in yesterday’s match, and they revert to the energy saving sit back performance that opens the door to an equaliser. Even when they do receive a pass, they are closed down immediately because they have not made enough space.
Forget buying big name, expensive players. Bring in the youngsters who will run, at pace, all day.
Tim McKane


More than tiny margins
Sure…the title will be won by this shockingly lucky goal-line technology doing its job to the tune of 300mm.

The title race has in no way been influenced by:
– Multiple wrong offsides
– Multiple penalties being given incorrectly due to diving
– Keepers throwing the ball into their own net

Etc etc.



City and human rights
So f365 really went for it with their City article. Homosexual killers 1 football 0…… as with everything it’s a lot more complicated than that.

Firstly the FAs fit and proper persons test covering directors and owners, to confirm it covers the following areas:-

1) competing interests – directly or indirectly involved or has influence over another Premier League club
2) Disqualification – been banned as a director under the UK company directors disqualification Act 1986
3) criminal convictions
4) personal insolvency – I think he scrapes through on this one !!??
5) corporate insolvency – if the country goes bust a football club is the least of our worries
6) sports ban
7) betting offences
8) intermediaries / agents
9) prohibited from entry to the UK

Based on the above whether we like it or not they pass as ‘fit and proper’.

I think a lot of people are jumping on ‘cultural / religious’ aspects of a foreign country which is always tricky ground. I don’t think we solve it by turning our backs on the situation. It gets solved over a long period of time (25-50 years) by discussions, highlighting of issues and gradual reduction of limitations on women, minorities, religious beliefs etc.

I lived in Dubai for a few years which was a lot more westernised than the rest of the Middle East. There was a tacit understanding that it’s okay to drink and make merry but don’t be offensive and remember you are in a country that has allowed you to come here for everybody’s benefit so don’t mess it up. Abu Dhabi are still trying to work out whether they want to be more like Dubai or not. Qatar is still quite strict and Saudi is still very conservative but all of these places have got better in the last 25 years and it’s important this trend continues. By challenging City on their issues in a reasonable manner over time things will change.

So enjoy City for what they are. Their money isn’t dirty, and hopefully over time their society becomes more tolerant.

It’s a hugely emotive subject and I hope the above has not offended anyone. I almost ignored the article and didn’t write in but let’s face it, that’s the problem in the first place so good on f365 for trying.
Ian (it’s £10 a pint in Dubai…..) LFC


…Following Jonny’s article yesterday, and the subsequent fall out on Twitter, I’ve had some thoughts that I’d like to get off my chest.

Firstly, by our own standards, some of the issues which occur in the UAE are totally wrong, whether that is the way they treat women, immigrants or the LGBTQ community. There is little disputing that as a stand alone argument.

However, as is rarely the case when assessing a situation void of context, there are a number of issues here. So let’s apply some context…

Firstly, these actions are occurring in a foreign country where pretty much all aspects of culture are completely different to the UK. Indeed, it could be argued on a very basic level that this ultra-religious society is at least 20 years behind the UK in terms of equality laws. As an outsider we wish that they would bring about change, and fast, however changing the mindset of a society is not an overnight fix.

Let’s look at the UK as an example. Homosexuality was illegal on these shores until 52 years ago. Rape within marriage was only outlawed in 1991. The Equality Act was brought in just nine years ago. However, the stigmas still attached to certain members of our society is still more than prevalent.

Women still regularly earn less than their male counterparts. Gender bias is still noticeable in home lives, particularly among older generations (or in ‘misguided’ tweets from members of staff from other football websites). The furore that was kicked up in the Church of England when there was a push to introduce female bishops was staggering.

Racism is rife within this country. F365 has done sterling work highlighting this over the years, but the kick it out campaign is nearly 25 years old and has that helped in changing attitudes?

The LGBTQ community is still roundly discriminated against and derided by certain sections of society. Somebody’s sexuality is still a big issue, one of the many reasons we have no openly homosexual footballers.

These are just some of the undisputed issues in this country alone, and we are seen as progressive! Things are much worse in certain European countries, as well as across the pond. And this is despite legislation changes brought in by many different governments over the years. Unfortunately, laws cannot change what people think.

This is the crux of the issue. Of course, the UAE leaders should be changing laws, but to try to radically change a countries psych overnight can have massive repercussions. Unfortunately, things can take generations to change, just look at the attitudes of our older generations compared to our younger ones for evidence.

Maybe, by introducing a society to alternative ideas over a period of time can help address these matters. Maybe, by looking at a ‘progressive culture’ and exposing citizens to that mentality things will change over time. People will become more accepting. People can and do change their minds.

Finally, a point which is often lost in the ‘Man City owners are horrible bastards’ arguments are what they have done for Manchester (in terms of regeneration of deprived areas of the city) but also for Women’s football. Yes, they are businessmen and will no doubt see a profit in the long term, but their actions, particularly compared to the owners of other ‘big clubs’ was certainly progressive to say the least.
Mikey D, Godley


…A follow up to John Nic’s article on Man City’s owners and the mails from Steve and Oliver, who makes the great point that you can enjoy the football whilst simultaneously criticising the behaviour of the owners. These things are not mutually exclusive.

Fully understand Steve’s point with regards to what it means to be fully immersed in supporting a football team. However, you surely cannot blind yourself to where the funds for your club are coming from.

Man City are the standout example of this in England, and this email would be far too long if I listed all of the abhorrent behaviour perpetrated by the owners of the club. Ultimately it is the responsibility of the FA to have an ethical structure in place to ensure club owners are fit and proper, however, I won’t be holding my breath waiting for them to do anything about it.

As a United fan, my dislike for the Glazers knows no bounds, but I was dreading the story doing the rounds earlier in the season that the Saudi royal family were going to buy United being true. In addition United have a sponsorship deal with the Saudis, which I wish they would ditch.

This email has nothing to do with point scoring over a rival team, who happen to be one of the best two teams in England by a country mile, both of whom play great football, and seem to be full of genuinely likeable, down to earth players. What this email is about, is having a conscience to take some action in whatever way you can, and as a fan of the club in question Steve is in the best position to actually do this. You only need to look to German football to see what can be achieved when fans work as a collective. Edmund Burke’s statement that “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing” is as true today as it was when he wrote it around 250 years ago.

Ged Biglin


…Quick one on JN’s piece about the human rights abuses of Man City’s owners. The piece makes it seem like the UAE regularly kills people for being gay but as I understand it a) this has never happened in the country’s history and b) it is apparently unclear that this is an accurate interpretation / translation of UAE law. Be nice if they just clarified that they won’t kill anyone for being gay though wouldn’t it? And the UAE definitely imprisons people for consensual gay sex which is enough of a disgrace.

Also the piece mentions a lack of democracy in China. We’re lucky that the UK values democracy so highly but it’s still widely accepted that our politicians lie to us on a regular basis. Meanwhile in the USA it is normal for business lobbyists (i.e. people employed to protect the interests of the richest people) to write ‘model bills’ which have been enshrined in law without even being edited many times. Which is worse / less democratic? Who’s to say?

Overall I enjoyed the piece and am probably just further highlighting how nuanced this stuff is. These are developing countries while the UK is a world leader in human rights.

Personally I prefer Man City to win ahead of Spurs, Man U and Liverpool because they’ve bought their success so in my childish mind it ‘doesn’t count’. They play incredible football and have had to work insanely hard but ultimately they wouldn’t be there if it wasn’t for a massive influx of cash they didn’t earn or generate themselves. Considering their advantage the minimum they should be doing every year is winning everything.

Simon Cochrane (if Arsenal have a bad 2045/2046 season Stewie will find a way to blame Arsene)
PS I am by no means an expert on any of the above and am happy to stand corrected if I got something wrong


Klopp v Emery
Stewie says “We saw how badly Klopp struggled with Moreno, Lallana, Lovren and Mignolet”. I take his general point about Arsenal’s squad, but Liverpool qualified for the Champions League with Moreno, Lallana, Lovren and Mignolet!
Mike, LFC


Babel babble
I’m sure Ryan Babel is a great guy. But it makes me smirk that he’s now being talked up for a move to a prem team that hasn’t been relegated.

I remember his time with us soooooo clearly. If we won 4-1 I never had to look to see who scored the 4th…it had to be Babel!

Now he’s back, he’s gone from scoring junk time goals to scoring for a junk time team. No offense intended – I just mean that Fulham’s season was already cactus when he arrived on loan.

So talk him up all you like. Leopard, spots, yep.
Aussie Red

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