Also, our readers discuss why Jose Mourinho is losing the plot, why Arsenal must sign Van Dijk whatever the cost and Chelsea’s often bizarre treatment of young stars.
Have your say on the key footballing issues here.
As for Coutinho, I find it laughable that Barca’s 2nd offer is £90m. before I’d be worried about their bids but that’s laughable and pathetic, good luck to them in their future ventures.
£90 million is laughable, mainly in the context of what we’ve seen of late namely Pogba, Lukaku and of course, Neymar. It’s defintely a case of taking the **** after what they’ve just received for Neymar.
Coutinho is worth £120 million if Neymar went for £200 million. Barcelona are trying to get him cheap.
£120m? The 2nd best player in the PL is only worth 2 Van Dijks? Coutinho is on his way to becoming a world class player.
If he wasn’t injured last season, I think he’d be there now TBH. In comparison to Neymar, I’m not even totally happy with the £150m that I’m quoting but given how little we’ve paid him over the years and how he’s “only” on £150k/week now… I would say that we’ve already made a fair few million off the savings.
Coutinho definitely owes Liverpool something even more than Saurez did when he stayed on for a year. When Saurez came to Liverpool he was already a semi-well known name player. He was the first choice for Uruguay and was Ajax’s main player.
Coutinho on the other-hand was a young potential who nobody had heard of and he could have easily slipped into relative obscurity like other young hopefuls like Barcelona’s Bojan (remember him?). Liverpool gave him a chance and was patient with his development, even when he had (and still has) dips in performances.
For him to go now at this late stage before the season starts before he has given us one full season of consistent performances would be a little galling. He should at least do what Saurez did and give us his all for himself and the club and then if he still wants to go then we should try to get as much as we can for him.
I have a feeling that if we can better our 4th place and have a decent run in the CL that he might not even bother with Barca. Despite the 200m Barca are in the middle of a in a mini rebuilding job most of their good players are near or over 30 and also Barcelona is an unforgiving place, one bad game and they are whistling and booing. IS he ready for that? I seem to remember Coutinho being dragged off by Kloop for Woodburn last year. On his day he is a world beater but consistency is his achilles heel.
Coutinho would want to think about all. It may be easy to lose perspective but in his case he really does have to not only watch his next move but also consider the past.
He’s only a man and he’ll have all sorts of people talking in his ear. He’ll think of all the nice things over there in Spain but he’ll have a year to think about it because if FSG sell him now before the window shuts then . . . I am totally done with them as owners.
But you have to question the logic of goimg to Barca. Why? Sure the lure of playing with top players at a top club. But what is your ambition? That’s it? Or are you more ambitious? Become world player of the year? Golden boot? If so why go to Barca? Why is Neymar going to PSG in that case? Surely he should have stayed? Its about ambition.
Messi will always be top dog there. When he leaves or retires then may be someone else gets a chance. Move and you have possibly more pressure. The grass is always greener. If Tino is ambitious he will stay and drive this club forward and become world class. Move and it is unclear what will happen. I think Liverpool have a good report with his agent so this will help as to what is best for Tino and what his ambitions are.
Truth be told, that era of our dominance is history. 7th 4th 5th 6th shows a clear pattern.. but what infuriates me the most is the defensive dross served by this manager after spending £300m on new players. I wasted 90 minutes of my life last night watching us hoof it up to Fellaini, really great tactics there Maureen.
By now you must know this clown of a manager does not stand a chance playing attacking football. He can buy all the best players in the world he wouldn’t know what to do with them anyway he is useless clueless and an arrogant . We have sold our soul in order to not lose ground on the big boys……… Yesterday Fellaini looks an even bigger clown with that bandage on his big melon. ha ha
the Martial Art
I would say watching us last year was “sad” i dont think people can really argue with that especially when you saw us playing with 6 defenders at middlesbrough!
things HAVE to improve this year, especially with matic now on board i am fully expecting Jose to release the shackles….we cannot continue playing the way we did last year.
Will that happen? I think it may in certain games, however i cant see things changing when we play the top 5 sides.
Hard to argue these points. Mourinho is not getting the best out the wingers because he turns them in to fullbacks.
It’s not due to luck that we have scored less goals than Bournemouth, it’s due to the manager’s ‘defend first’ tactics and mind set. I wonder what Fergie really thinks of this Utd team. It’s one thing to be beaten by probably the best team on the planet, but if your grand tactical master plan at 2-0 down is to throw on Fellaini, the United way has been well and truly obliterated.
Love him or hate him, Fergies teams always played on the front foot, attacked the opposition, and never set out to avoid defeat. Under Mourinho, I see no creativity, no team spirit and worst of all, no goals. This season will be a war of attrition. Grinding out 1-0 wins at Old Trafford against lesser opponents, and parking the bus against the top five hoping for a draw or break away goal. It’s not going to be pretty and it’s certainly not going to be entertaining, it might be effective. But it is not the United that won trophies with a swagger.
Mourinho hasn’t got a clue about attacking football thank the Lord I don’t have to suffer that rubbish would rather go shopping with the mother in law!
the Martial Art
According to premier league.com Utd had the 4th highest number of shots on goal @ 591 and scored 54! That’s a less than 10% conversion rate. I think the players are to blame for not putting the ball away. Utd were also top of the big chances missed table with 50.
To use the Bournemouth comparison, they scored 55 from 452 shots (12%) and missed 31 big chances. If Utd had the same conversion rate as Bournemouth they’d have scored 71 goals. So considering big chances missed and the conversion rate I think the players need to finish more of the chances.
The reason so many teams get away so easily by parking the bus against us is that our attackers are A) usually very isolated, making it easy to double up on them and B) often too far from goal as their first object is to track back. We don’t have proper wingers but the likes of Rashford, Martial and Mikhitaryan have the potential to offer threat as wide forwards. Instead they’re virtually being deployed as wing-backs, which makes it impossible for them to hurt teams on the counter.
The problem is that Mourinho clearly doesn’t trust his defence and wants to rectify that by getting as many players as humanly possible behind the ball. Lindelof may turn out to be a great long term signing but he’ll struggle this season, I feel, and was NOT what we needed now. We needed steel and experience at the back and seeing that we won’t acquire that this summer I don’t see Mourinho changing his approach…a long season lies ahead, I think we’ll do better than last season but there won’t be much to get excited about as things stand.
We need to get away from having both Matic AND Herrera in a 3 man midfield except in the toughest of matches when a more pragmatic approach is called for. I would bring Mkhitaryan into a more central attacking midfield position (he is just wasted out wide) to provide more goals and assists and to replace Herrera,who just isn’t up to that sort of a role.
Couldn’t agree with you more. Now that I think of it, I am starting to see that Herrera should actually be replaced by Renato Sanches. Even Pereria, Mkhitaryan or Mata could be played there to give us more penetrating forward passes against the lower sides.
Herrera is one of my favourites though and he tends to adapt into positions. I think that either way we also should be looking squarely at Pogba to provide the attacking impetus and guile down the middle – no excuses for him now.
The thing is with herrara you need to think about what he actually offers as a midfielder. People love him because he tackles, gets stuck in and genuinely seems like a passionate guy.
But does he score goals? No. Assist? Not really. Passing? Mainly side way and any sort of pressure he tends to give the ball away.
Defensively he is ok but tends to give away silly needless fouls. So what does he actually offer as midfielder?
‘Chelsea’s season depends on Morata and Batshuayi’
I think our season will depend on how well Morata or Bats fills Costa’s role. Like him or not, Costa scored a lot of goals and some of them were very important goals that won points for us. Against Arsenal, our defense look ok, our defensive midfield with Cesc there was a weak point, but our attacking midfield look jaded and striker(s) did not look impressive.
I hope that Morata and Michy will start scoring goals for us. But otherwise, if they both fail to adapt, we’ll end up low in the table (probably 4th or 5th?). It’s gonna be a tight and competitive season unlike last season.
In our friendlies Morata has hardly played and Bakayoko hasn’t had any minutes either. When these 2 are in our first 11 we will look stronger (at least with Bakayoko).
Also we have been without Hazard and he’ll be out for the next 3 or 4 games, when he comes back suddenly our team looks pretty impressive in the Premier League.
Why would we be sending Ruben Loftus-Cheek on loan and pay a lot of money for Barkley? Yes, Barkley played for England but he soon dropped out. Not sure Southgate has actually selected him, might be wrong though.
So now we are happy to take a player who can’t get into the Everton team, don’t get me wrong, I to thought he was going to be some player, but he just doesn’t seem to able to get it right who knows why.
Barkley has lots of experience and has played for England. Ruben Loftus-Cheek seems to think he has made it and does not seem to want to impress during games so cannot break into the first team.
That’s my take on it anyway and feel that the loan for RLC will do him a power of good and could easily be make or break for him at Chelsea. So far, I think he is wasting a golden opportunity…?
Barkley has the potential but has been very hit and miss for 2 possibly 3 years so he needs a change. Could Conte make him into a better player and achieve the potential that was seen all those years ago – no idea but in our current situation I would take him and could see him being the replacement next season for Fabregas
As for RLC – simply fingers crossed that he gets his head in a decent place and has a good loan period with Palace and then comes back a much better player and another who we might see his potential fulfilled
News that Baker is going to Middlesbrough on a 2 year loan is very disturbing, it proves we are not interested in any youth player and are merely using them as cattle fodder, Baker to borough is massive backward step and please don’t try to defend this its an outrage for what is considered one of our best prospects and due for higher honours. I have given up on the youth brigade as its clearly not going to ever happen despite all of them winning trophy after trophy every season.
Did you see Baker in the u21 euros, well I watched every game and believe me going on loan is defo the best choice for him and the club, he was pants, Abraham looked the best of all the players out there for Chelsea, and that included chalobah.
So with Kenedy gone that leaves literally no cover for Alonso. Incerdible desicion! Im not saying Kenedy is a loss but the fact that everyone and their dog is saying we have a thin squad. You think we would hold on to people!
Like I’ve just said. We will then have one less in the squad. Also baker is going on loan. Baka and hazard are injured. How many does that leave can someone work it out? Can we even Fill a bench on saturday if baker and kenedy go before then?
Kennedy to Newcastle could be a good move for him and Chelsea. But the lights of the city might blind him. Either way, his value could go up or down.
Leaves us fantastically short of options despite him not being an option.
Kenedy has never proved himself or established himself in over a couple of seasons now. He had a chance on this pre season tour and bleww it for unrelated football issues. The only thing I find interesting is that we only lent him out and did not sell him
Does that imply that Conte/the board still feel he has something to offer in the future…?
Anyway, he should get some game time which can only help him and if he stays off social media then maybe he will be in with a chance next season.
Already banged this drum, but van Dijk is the perfect defender for us. He is great in the air has very good distribution, knows the Prem, is strong and quick.
Mustafi is a good defender but he isn’t great and makes needless mistakes all the time. Kos again is a good defender but his achilles is going to be a problem. That leaves us with Holding who I do like a lot but still young, Chambers who Wenger doesn’t want although I think he would be good to keep around, Merts – do I even need to give reasons why he shouldn’t be an option and then Gabriel who has been bad or ok. Great dedication but lacks the fundamental skills to be a top defender.
You could easily get rid of 2 of those. make space for Van Djik and Holding can play back up to Kos.
It the real world it makes perfect sense. Personally i think we could sign him. We are a big club and he can achieve CL football with us.
We cannot defend the centre, especially in the air. BUY van Dijk, I don’t care the cost, outbid the others. He’s young, skillful and a good leader. I know he’s not happy about CL, but with work this season in Europa cup, can be there next season.
Pay the money. Sanchez is off, so let’s use the cash. Our defence has been poor for years, set pieces and aerially. My moan for many seasons. This boy could really be the business.
If the carrot is big enough, he’ll take a nibble. Southampton know he’s going, just like Sanchez. They will however, grab a good bag of cash.
I don’t know why the Dutchman is being discussed here. Wenger will not go for him and he does not see another defender as a priority. He will point to the players already here and cite the numbers there as being sufficient.
Just think back to all those seasons when he indicated those who “could” play as a central defensive midfielder- i.e Arteta, Ramsey, Wilshere, Chambers etc although all of these were either always injured or not good enough in that position.
Now with Van Dijk, if you were the player, where would you go if, as is suggested, the following could go for him- Liverpool, City and Chelsea? What do we offer him that the others can’t- not even CL football or massive wages! A non-starter with the geriatric manager of ours still here.