Home Football / Soccer Ten Hag sack incoming as Man Utd dealt Sir Alex Ferguson ‘retribution’ in defeat to Chelsea

Ten Hag sack incoming as Man Utd dealt Sir Alex Ferguson ‘retribution’ in defeat to Chelsea

by foot.biz
Ten Hag sack incoming as Man Utd dealt Sir Alex Ferguson ‘retribution’ in defeat to Chelsea

Erik ten Hag is the worst Manchester United manager of the Premier League era but should also maybe be given another season at Old Trafford? There’s also mails on Fergie time retribution, anointing the new Stevie G and Phil Foden vs Joe Cole.

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A punch up is a punch up

Wow. Well played everyone. Great drama at The Bridge. Sure it was two overweight drunk blokes in a poorly lit car park – but a punch up is a punch up.

And the scenes at the end !!! Wow. 10th beats 6th and the race for the conference league spot just got white hot. Great for those Chelsea fans and good luck to them. Such drama should be celebrated like that.

Also. Full marks to the celebration police for their light touch on precedings. Sensible. It’s about context. This wasn’t the triviality that was arsenal getting a 98th minute winner to go top of the league with 10 games to go last season. There’s no need for that and everyone knows it. This? We need more of this.


that controlled chess game tactics borefest we endured on the weekend between City & Arsenal.

That is what the people want to see – chaos from 2 teams who defend like Sunday league sides.

Dave, Durban 

READ MORE: Conclusions on Chelsea 4-3 Man Utd: Ten Hag sack, Palmer saves Poch, Casemiro and Caicedo awful

Erik ten Toast

ETH has been given enough time. He’s been given enough resources and backing by the board but the results just are not there. A major overhaul is needed at United and ETH will have to be part of the displaced lot in that overhaul.

I do think ETH is a very talented manager with a lot of potential. His record at Ajax has certainly been extremely impressive. But with each passing day, it seems that the United job was a step too far and too quickly for him.

Certainly, ETH did not make things easy for himself. The propensity of managers to sign who they know and have seen has always existed. However, what it also does is limit the pool of talent that you have at your disposal. From United just primarily looking at English players for recruitment to looking primarily at Dutch and specifically Ajax players, this was always a poor strategy. ETH stuck his next out there, and for that reason alone he needs to be fired for the poor recruitment done by United upon his request/demands.

It’s just not that though. At Ajax, ETH was used to a certain type of players who were young and fast. Not only that style does not always work in the Premier League, (Data suggests that it is the most aggressive among all the leagues) but there was already a culture at United of not running too much. Year after year, for the last decade, their stats for distance covered per game has been among the lowest in the league. ETH thought he could fix that but it only led to player resentment and an increase in injuries as ETH persisted in the approach.

When all failed, and ETH realised that the tactics he used at Ajax will not work with United, he started resorting to a poor version of what one can only say, park the bus approach. Although, it seems to have come off as a result of United’s complete inability to hold possession of the ball for more than a thought out strategy.

Sure there are a couple of incredible young talent at United that have shown incredible potential, but the general football this season has been poor and United are lucky to be this high up in the table.

ETH too seems to have run out of ideas. His perception of what his targets are, or should be, have also fallen dramatically with him given the impression that even 6th place in the league would be a passable performance for him because give him a little time, and he could get this team to possibly as high up as 4th in the league next season.

There is a possibility that the INEOS board identify that ETH is a young potential that has great potential. For them, to build a solid management team around him with ETH limited to a coaching role only while a Director of Football who takes charge of other areas of football and with a couple years of grooming, he could be the next Alex Ferguson. Unfortunately, that would be expecting too much competence from United and ETH has already been given time to prove himself and failed to deliver. Furthermore, that type of strategy is almost never used at the richest clubs in modern football due to the need for quick results.

Just a few more days and I fully expect ETH to be gone come the end of the season. Only thing is, the next manager must not be appointed by the present system but a better team with footballing knowledge and under an experienced Director of Football who makes this decision.


Moyes over Ten Hag

United just need to end this season already, what a bunch of rubbish players and bums, I think it may be the worst United team for a good 30-35 years. How can you concede a goal like they did when Palmer sealed his hat-trick, it was honestly such careless defending, it’s like they wanted to lose the game after it was 3-3 in the 100th minute. Oh and fans saying the ref was harsh, just be quiet and accept the fact United are a pitiful team.

Ten Haag is the worst manager the club has ever seen in the Premier Leagye era for United, even worse than Moyes given Moyes was replacing a legend who ran the show for 20+ years, only one or two managers at the time would have lasted more than 2 years (Ancelotti or Pep, maybe Mourinho as well)

Fergie must look at this United team and think how has this happened? United are becoming the new Spurs. Ten Haag really is proving he isn’t the man for the job and never was unfortunately, he think it’s bloody FIFA where you just need to score as many goals as possible to win. Maybe coach your team how to defend and handle some form of pressure in training? Also, the amount of injuries the team has gained this season is not normal and goes to show the training schedule is either very poor or the players are just lazy bums and don’t feel like sacrificing a bit.

The only game I’ll watch for the rest of this season is the FA Cup one against Coventry and the final if they reach it, but wouldn’t surprise me if United bottle it against Coventry later this month. Would rather watch Championship or League 1 football at this point.

I won’t change my mind, Ten Haag OUT for sure now in the summer, he simply isn’t good enough. The team should have picked up 6 points in the last two games and have only picked up 1, that really is unacceptable given the circumstances the team were in during the closing stages of each game. Mentally a very weak team and just way too fragile in being able to defend, and from a technical point of view, only a few good players in the team as well.

Rami, Dubai

One more season?

A few hours after the game last night; I burst into a spontaneous fit of laughter, reminding myself of Walter White’s breakdown when he realised Skylar had gotten rid of his escape funds.

I completely get the United fans frothing at the mouth for the manager to be sacked immediately. I’m honestly still unsure of what I think should happen with EtH. On the one hand, he’s spent a lot of money on mostly duds on the other he spent that money within the same “footballing structure” that procured most of our previous duds.

I still think this season has been one from hell ( so you’re a devil are ya? ) with injuries galore, and too many off-field issues to list here and he should be given one more season to turn things around with the help of actually competent footballing minds above and around him so he can focus more on coaching and less on managing transfers, fall-outs, legal issues etc.

We’ll see what Sir Jim and his team think.

Emma, Abuja

Fergie time retribution

Great match between two hugely flawed sides, far more entertaining than the title decider last Sunday. But.

Is this the retribution for Fergie time from the refs? I’ve simply no idea where these added time numbers come from, it genuinely feels like playing – unlike before – til United fail. In the FA cup there were 4 minutes after 120: literally never seen that before. Last two matches didn’t really have time wasting at all and both over 10 minutes? I guess it’s funny for the narrative which is what I feel like is all United are good for.

Also would love to hear the VAR on the two pens. We’ll generously call them those that wouldn’t be overturned if not given .

United are a shambles, but losing after that effort, two CBs down again to two jammy penalties and two jammy deflections makes me feel pretty bad for ETH. Cursed we are.

Ryan, Bermuda

Cole Palmer

….must be knackered; he’s carrying Chelsea AND my fantasy team, that boy needs a big spa break come the summer(maybe post Euros though?)

Jerome, Bristol Spur

Thank Jeebus for Cole Palmer.

I still want Poch gone though.

James (CFC)

Anointing the new Stevie G

While the rest of the mailbox opines on an absolutely bonkers 4-3 circus at Stamford Bridge, I’ll quietly enjoy our return to lead the table on a night it could’ve gone pear shaped for us. For all the brilliance of Mac Allister’s sublime strike to secure the points, I enjoyed Darwin’s opener the most. His closedown of the keeper was extremely on brand and very well deserved. I haven’t seen many Liverpool players notch in that fashion but there is feral beauty in such opportunism. I fuzzily recall Adam Lallana doing something similar maybe a decade ago, and Sadio Mane more recently (against City’s backup keeper) in one of the domestic cups.

Nice to see Gakpo finally make use of his 6’3″ frame; was that his first headed goal in his footballing lifetime ? In any event he seemed to show a bit more graft and snap in his cameo. It was a shame Gravenberch was unable to make use of his own frame or workrate the entirety of his evening, generally flopping about the park, playing small, and picking up right where he left off prior to his injury leave.

I have love for Szoboslai but looks like we might’ve gone a tad early anointing Little Feet as the new Stevie G– it might just be that mantle eventually bestows itself upon his midfield partner with the bigger feet and the flamethrowing right peg.

Eric, Los Angeles CA (At 1-1 I’d thought Chris Wilder might bring Rhian Brewster on for a throw of the dice and some giggles, so went to have a look and realized he didn’t even make the Blades’ matchday squad. Woe.)

Phil Foden *might* be better than Joe Cole

After 38 years of going to games, Rio Ferdinand is still the best defender I have ever seen in person (honorable mention to Des Walker). I feel grateful that for the years we had him, every game he would leave the tunnel at Upton Park and sprint as hard as he could to the right corner flag in front of the South Bank, right in front of my seats. Still almost brings a tear to the eye. One of our own.

The only other WH players I KNEW for sure were genuinely world class (in the moment, actually seeing, and knowing, in real time, without a doubt, and without any offense whatsoever to Julian Dicks, Tony Cottee, Carrick and others) are Paulo Di Canio, Dimitri Payet (ffs, kills me to say that, what a scum bag, but what a fking player) and Joe Cole…… The latter being my favorite ever player, ever, like, seriously, ever, right. With thousands of other WH season ticket holders I went to lots of his youth team games just to get a look at him, and of course was at the sold out Upton Park for the FA Youth Cup Final in 1999.

When Joe came on for his first first team appearance I remember everyone around me, and around the ground, being literally giddy with excitement, laughing nervously and slightly insanely, grabbing each other involuntarily, not really knowing why and feeling silly and yet unapologetic at the same time.

I don’t blame Joey for leaving, always wished him the best and loath Mourinho for ruining him. I nearly fainted when I sat literally next to him last year on the plane to Prague for the European Cup Final. Brilliant….

Needless to say, nothing will ever dim my love for Joey Cole. But… yesterday I sat with my teenage sons watching City and finally voiced something that I have been denying for a little while. That lad Phil Foden reminds me an awful lot of Joe Cole. And though I will never admit it out loud, he may even be better…

For any REAL City fans, I honestly hope you appreciate every single moment you have with him. An absolute joy to watch.

Mike WH – (still love you Joey)

Phil Foden has been on fire for Manchester City this season.

Premier League luxury tax

So it looks like the Premier League will look to move away from points deductions (a punishment that actually…you know…punishes those clubs that cheat and break the rules) and replace it with a luxury tax where they are fined. So those clubs with infinite resources can just…pay to win. This removes any punishment to the team cheating. In fact, it encourages those sides that can afford to, to do so.

They are so scared of the PL becoming secondary to the European super league that they don’t even understand that this move would only hasten the league’s decline. If we’re frustrated by City’s dominance now, imagine them spending without fear on any player. Imagine them spending £200 million on Saka, £150 million on McCallister and £300 million on Mbappe. There’d be nothing to stop them. They could behead any competition with no worries, offering their best player amounts of money that would sicken Croesus.

The European superleague is destined to fail, because no one wants to watch the same 12 teams battle out ad infinitum, it has no meaning. Bayern vs Real stops being an interesting game if it takes place 4 times a year. City fans have no rivalry with Juve. Part of what makes the Prem so special is that teams ebb and flow. Eras of dominance come to an end. In fact, by actually punishing City for their 115 infractions, they could return the league to something competitive.

But with this potential move, they’ve probably rung their own death knell, all to acquiesce to the lawyers of a very powerful national state.

John Matrix AFC

While I want to start by saying this info came from the daily fail so we should be careful of taking it too seriously because it’s a terrible newspaper which rarely does any fact checking.

But they have claimed that the premier league is considering removing the points deduction punishment in favour of a fine which will be redistributed to the rest of the league.

In order for this system to be any kind of deterrent to a team with infinite budgets it would need to be a significant sum. 50% of annual turnover as a fine.

Secondly this basically demonstrates that all along city were always just going to buy their ticket out of trouble. Sad really that the book got thrown at everyone else but when it’s the middle east the premier league backs down. Perhaps because the new regulator is a government one and our government is very cosy with those middle eastern tyrants.

Finally I hope the premier league has deep pockets because if I were everton and Forrest I would sue the premier league until it doesn’t exist anymore – why were they singled out for harsh punishment for cooperating while the people who laughed at the rules, refused to cooperate and yet again ran down the clock – got away with it. I do wonder if that’s what the official man city twitter account was alluding to when they posted ” we have something special on the way” very cryptically a couple of days ago.

To be honest they should just forget the rules and just allow everyone to spend as much as they want. It’s self defeating anyway since the more you spend the more inflation happens and mercenaries start to circle for a big payday.

The lesson we will learn if this daily fail article happens to be true is – never stick to the rules, cheat as much as you can and just find a technicality to hide behind.

Oh… Forgot to add – how great was that Chelsea united game?


Liverpool luck

It kinda annoys me when people say LFC got lucky with the Coutinho deal.(probably because he was my favorite player). At the time Coutinho was literally our best player, the darling of the Kop. He made bangers his trademark goal and was a big game player. He was no random player that got binned. Infact he was in the form of his life in a team that was peaking in attack(the fab four). We definitely didn’t want to sell him and that’s why his fee was high. It might have worked out in the end but it was gutting at time. It’s almost like if Arsenal had sold their Starboy Saka to buy Rice. Yes the team improved but imagine if we got to keep Coutinho in his prime instead of the incompetent Keita and the injury prone AOC and still get VVD and Alisson. It wasn’t completely perfect, we still missed his brilliance occasionally. City had gems in their midfield in this time while we had no game changers from midfield

Maybe Spurs fans can relate as they were in the same situation in the summer when they finally sold Kane. You guys have performed better than expected but it’s not as a consequence of selling Kane but more to do with the fact you have a better manager. Don’t you guys sometimes wish you still had Kane instead of the likes of Richarlison or Werner?

The fact that Klopp made what could have been a disaster seem like the best thing ever just proves how good he is. Brendan Rodgers didn’t get lucky despite receiving huge sums for Suarez and Sterling so it just can’t be just luck.


Embrace the fortune

A few people in the comments seemed to take issue with my use of ‘luck’ as a notion/explanation for a club’s success, and I agree with some of the points (especially about luck being a distinct/tangible element one can have).

Perhaps fortune or ‘everything going as planned/reaching maximum/exceeding potential’ is more accurate, but the important point is that no system is perfect (club recruitment/manager tactics) and every season can be heavily impacted (injuries/off-field issues) so for clubs to really excel, some fortune/coming together inevitably happens unless the floor for the team (as established by City’s unlimited resources) is right at the top.

Is there fortune in VVD, Alisson and Fabinho being the best players they could be at Liverpool? Of course there is. For a start, they rarely got injured (and the one time VVD really did, Liverpool ofc fell away). Alisson and Fabinho had obviously been very good for their respective prior clubs, but not every player can adapt to the Premier League well and no scout/recruitment team would ever claim they could guarantee/know that a player will.

So Liverpool were very good to identify these were optimal candidates, were vindicated in those decisions and fortune played some part in them maximising their talents. And of course, the funding for those players definitely was the luck of Coutinho. Let’s say it’s 70% being good, 30% being fortunate (or even a greater %, it’s whatever you want it to be, I don’t really mind).

For Arteta being great, I was a believer from the beginning (many failed and successful Mailbox entries can attest to banging that drum) and I think the fundamentals he had were there from the start (anecdotes from players at City, the Arsenal board being wowed by him both before Emery and at his hiring) but his success/stickability was far from guaranteed.

He was fortunate no fans were in during the rough times in COVID (I think it could have gone really sideways if they did), was fortunate to win so comprehensively the power struggles with key players that occurred in the first few seasons, fortunate that players like Odegaard (so crucial to his vision for the club) became available at the prices they did. Furthermore it wasn’t nailed on he would successfully transition from ‘good coach’ to ‘good manager’ or that he would learn from his mistakes (which he definitely made at points in time) fast enough to avoid sacking (clearly there is a greater element of good there, but definitely still some fortune).

However, you could also point to unlucky moments (Saliba getting injured, Partey becoming injury prone upon signing) over his tenure not allowing him to receive his true props until maybe this year.

So maybe a better way than having lucky and good as two elements would be to consider football as a model – where the range of outcomes is ‘good + resourced’ – and fortunate is a margin applied on top/detracted if a club has a really rotten run. It’s a bit simplistic/hindsight driven to look at Arsenal and Liverpool now and say that where they are was inevitable.

And injuries really are the wildcard – as an Arsenal fan, the run of debilitating injuries to key players in the late 00s really is standout (Eduardo, Ramsey, Diaby, Wilshere) and whilst general conditioning is obviously a factor, you can’t control for game occurrences or international breaks. Newcastle this season have been utterly shafted by injuries and it could cost Howe his job – it’s quite hard to know whether he could have done better.

So yeh, I’m ok with people downplaying fortune/luck if they’re convinced their club’s success was all about class; I’m not going to agree with you, but fill your boots. However I don’t think acknowledging good fortune has to detract from recognising good process and I think accepting nuance/variance in football probably will make your evaluations better.

Tom, (this also goes for the ridiculous arrogant twitter stat/tacticos who exist out there and think they have god’s gift of insight; any analytics person worth their salt knows variance/chance play a big part in sport) Walthamstow

Forgotten gems

The big name from the glorious Arsenal period of peak-Wenger, 1998-2004, who always seems to be forgotten is… (ahem)… well, let’s do this the indulgent way. Let’s name the players, as there was essentially two teams in this period.

Goalies were Seaman and Lehmann. Leftbacks were Winterburn and Cole. Rightbacks were Dixon & Lauren. Centrebacks were Adams, Bould, Keown, Campbell and Toure. Midfielders were Vieira, Petit and Gilberto. Wingers were Pires, Overmars, Parlour and Ljungberg. Strikers were Anelka, Kanu, Henry and Bergkamp. Manager was Wenger. Assistant was Rice.

And then you move in to the squad players who contributed hither and thither, like Cygan, Luzhny, Pennant, Edu and Aliadiere.

No one ever seems to remember about one of the most diligent and efficient attacking players Arsenal ever had (until they are reminded).

Arise, Sylvain Wiltord.

Dale May, Swindon Wengerite

Oliver Dziggel’s question about footballers you’ve entirely forgotten about reminded me of something I was thinking about recently when Liverpool fielded their team of youngsters. To my mind it’s inconceivable that Jason Koumas could have an 18 year old son playing professional football, due to the fact that Jason Koumas is in fact himself still aged 17. I know he had quite a decent career and played international football – but every time I even hear the name Jason Koumas (17) it’s like I completely forget everything else he ever did and still see him as a talented young player with a long career ahead of him.

David Horgan, Dublin

Source : Football365.com

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