Merry Christmas! Send your mails to theeditor@football365.com


Manchester United are the real deal…
Manchester United are actually really very very good!

Having been a football fan for a very long time, i feel like I finally understood a few truths about the great game in the last few weeks.

1) Winning is all that matters. How you win doesn’t matter a jot. I used to think that results like the 3-2 win at Brighton where Brighton hit the woodwork 5 times was a sign of a lucky team. Yet the reality is that in that match United managed to recover from a 1-0 deficit and the disappointment of being hauled back to 2-2 with few minutes left to play to still win. Teams that find ways to win when they are not playing well are not lucky – they possess something else entirely.

2) the first 80 mins of matches are nowhere near as important as the last 10 mins. I used to think late winners were lucky. Now I realize that in the last 10 minutes when the stakes are the highest, the best teams in terms of mentality and skill level come to the fore and deliver time and time again. It has even helped me make my peace with that Aguerooooooo moment! Beating Newcastle, Brighton and Southampton with goals in the last 5 minutes is not a stick to beat United with, but rather evidence of their winning quality.

3) i used to think that you can’t keep relying on last minute winners. Again this is just not true. You can and in fact its probably the best time to win because there is no time for a come back.

4) winning from a losing position is harder than from a neutral position. While this is obvious – i am raising the point because Manchester United won 5 consecutive away premier League matches and every single one from losing positions. Again rather than using this as evidence of how bad they are – it is greater evidence of their quality.

But but they were bad enough to fall behind in all those games you challenge back. Yes that is undoubtedly true. Falling behind in a football match is around the same as going a break down in a tennis match. Great players will recover and go on to win the set probably 8 or 9/10 times. When people say it can’t keep happening – it is a lot more likely that the great tennis player/ great football team will stop falling behind and needing to recover rather than actually recovering if they do keep falling behind.

5) things can change incredibly quickly. Leicester went to nearly relegated to champions. United went from champions to 7th under the Moyesiah. The argument that United cannot win the league this year because the gap of a gazillion points last season is too much to make up is complete nonsense. While it is always spouted out innocently and as part of a deeper analysis – it should be taken with a pinch of salt.

Man utd probably will not win the league this year and might not even be runners up. However make no mistake. Based on the evidence so far – ot will not be because of how bad we are but rather because of the quality of whatever team manages to outperform what we have been doing since the arrival of mighty Bruno!
Mustafa. Man U fan, London (we still exist despite the glory days being a distant memory!)


Net spend w*nkery…
So, slightly irritated by Ferg, Cork and his morning mail.

Interestingly, OGS is somehow to be blamed for pre-OGS spending on square, rectangular, and triangular pegs that failed to fit in round edged holes. Setting aside the absurdity that OGS should be held accountable for the poor decisions made prior to his arrival by Moyes, LVG, Mourinho, Ed Woodward, and Matt Judge – bashing him over the head with 5 years’ worth of transfer spending prior to his arrival to then say “oh, he should be winning, sure, look at the players he’s got”, is honestly bollox. Many of the players referenced have largely seen off at least 2 previous managers, some 3 due to their sheer ineptitude, and inability of “better” managers to get a tune out of them.

It’s not OGS’ fault that Woodward sought out the vanity projects that were Pogba, and Sanchez. By and large Pogba has played better under OGS than he ever did under Mourinho (not that this would have been very difficult). Just because he cost a lot doesn’t mean OGS is obliged to actually use him from the off, or even at all, in any game. He wasn’t OGS’ signing, and he doesn’t necessarily fit what it is OGS is trying to do. Sanchez, again not OGS’ call, that’s on Mourinho/Woodward vanity too. OGS in reality was the manager who oversaw something of a correction in that mistake in getting a 40%-50% reduction in his staggering wages. Contracts are not negotiated by OGS, so it seems somewhat unfair to blame him for the fact Woodward/Judge dished out tasty treats to DDG, Phil Jones, Chris Stalling, etc… when in the case of Smalling/Jones neither were wanted.

Anyway, I’ve digressed seriously from the point of my email – which is that net spend is the height of wankery. It’s a meaningless measure unless viewed as a percentage of a club’s overall revenue for a given period. The greater the revenue the bigger the spend should be, surely. Assuming that the point of a football club generating income is that it’s intended to improve football matters – obviously, in some cases this isn’t so (sorry, Newcastle). Manchester United’s revenue since 2017 according to their investor report up to the end of 2019/2020 season has been £3.264 billion (in 3 years). The net transfer spending in that same time period according to Transfermarkt was £315.58 million. £457.09 million spent vs. £141.51 brought in through transfer fees. I’m no genius, but that transfer spend is roughly 10% of the club’s revenue over those 3 years (it’s actually closer to 9.5%, but I rounded up). When you view the net spend as a percentage of revenue it’s hardly earth shattering stuff. Club makes money, lots of money, rather than store it all in a bank where they’ll lose money on their savings at current interest rates, they spend some of it, or reinvest in tangible assets (well they would be tangible if Woodward/Judge could actually ever sell said assets for more than they cost). Wow, I for one am astonished! I’m not entirely sure what Ferg actually thinks they should do with the commercial revenues they make, but I’d be curious to know? Should United save it all in a big safe in Switzerland, or spend it on some charitable endeavour beyond whatever it is they already do, or should they follow the Newcastle model and spend nothing beyond dividends to owners, and loan repayments.

I’ve no idea what Liverpool’s revenue was over that 3 year period, or City’s either. Suffice to say it was less than United’s though, likely by a relatively large amount, particularly in the case of City (and their pretend sponsorship agreements). I’ll let you look that up in your own time Ferg, I’m sure at Christmas with lock down here in Ireland, you’ve little else to do, and looking at your own club’s finance might be a better use of your time than throwing out wankery net spend stats minus any context.

And for those harping on about net spend still (I thought this was an Arsenal thing, from the mid-Wenger era, until this morning), it doesn’t really matter without the context of revenue. Imagine in an ideal world where United hadn’t been bought in a leveraged takeover, by a bunch of yank leaches, how much they could be spending on transfers, without having to service Glazer debts.

Finally, it’s worth mentioning that Coutinho accounted for £130.5 million of Liverpool’s £249.5 million in transfer fees over the past 3 years. That’s 52% of Liverpool’s transfer income in that time. Strip out one lucky transfer, to an incredibly incompetent and desperate Barcelona and suddenly that net spend doesn’t look quite so pretty. You’re suddenly looking at a £210 million net spend rather than £80.5 million, which is £105 million less than United’s (£315 million vs. £210 million) for the same period. Given disparity in revenue that looks pretty reasonable. So one freakishly bad transfer on the part of arguably the worst board in Barcelona’s history doesn’t make Liverpool some bastion of virtue in terms of spending, is what I’m essentially trying to say.

Enjoy your Christmas all!
Donough, Dublin/Carlow (no Carlow in lock down), waiting for 2020 to end & get vaccinated!


Jolly well done lads, your. Xmas with a PL boss article is almost as funny as Ferg, Cork throwing out useless “net spend” and then telling us to look at how “cheap” his marvelous new willy is.

Have a good xmas Ferg, don’t spend the whole day thinking about us Freds the Reds.
N.V.M. (New Year is when the real party be poppin anyway)


Ferg from Cork, reckons that because Ole has expensive players, he has been backed up? There is a nuance here that I believe he is missing. Being backed backed means, the manager has identified holes and also identified players he wants to fill those holes.  Most teams that aren’t winning teams probably have 5 or 6 positions that need upgrading. It’s very hard to fill up 5 positions, so if a manager gets 3 or 4 of the players he asked for, I think most would consider that being backed.I will take Lampard as example 1 of backed, to the point of it being ridiculous. He had issues with defense, they went and got him a defender and goalkeeper, that have properly solidified the defense.  He had light weight, potential attack, they went and got him a prolific goal scorer, an attacking midfielder,  and dynamic winger.

That is proper backing. Other managers who I think had a window of proper backing, Klopp 2018, and Pep window 2017,  and 2018. 2019 they had that investigation so I think they tried not to over spend. But he has been properly backed.

On to Ole, he got a defender and a right back, the holes that existed after season one were, defensive midfielder,  right winger, left back and striker. They have solved only one position and have half solved the other with Cavani. Those are the clear holes we see. Man U players in general are paid a lot of money. I believe as a team they pay the most amount to a team. The argument that Ole Solskjaer has Phil Jones on the bench for £150k has little merit, and I don’t think it counts as merit. So that said, I still think, Ole not backed, Arteta half backed, and Lampard fully backed. And that’s how I’ll judge their seasons.
Dave(Its why they are 3 judges in boxing, not everything appears the same to everyone), Somewhere


Ferg from Cork uses the net spend argument to ‘prove’ Ole has been backed by the club and if I was a Pool fan I would probably be using the same argument. But I think you need to look at where both Klopp and Ole started from before making those sort of statements. Klopp joined a Liverpool team containing a lot of world class players that needed a few additions to challenge for the title. I don’t think you could say the same for Ole. In fact I’ve read plenty of mails from Liverpool fans over the past few years stating that there wasn’t a single United player that would get into either Liverpool or City’s teams, and I think many United fans would have agreed. United needed a complete rebuild. The owners have spent money and bought players for some of the positions needed, but definitely not enough to mount a serious title challenge.

So a serious question to Ferg (or anyone else). If your team has the money to invest, and players are still needed, would you want that money to be spent on the final pieces of the jigsaw, or would you be happy to see that money instead go to line the pockets of your already ridiculously wealthy owners?
With the money United have spent I can completely understand why fans of other clubs would look at United fans and call them entitled for demanding the club carry on spending. But as a United fan who has watched the Glazers use the club as their own piggy bank, of course I want that money reinvested in the club itself. If, even after all the money already invested, we need another CB and right winger to be challenging for titles (something that became pretty obvious last season), then yes I do think that not investing in those positions last summer is the club not backing Ole.

Ferg makes the point that when Van Dijk got injured Klopp just got on with it without ‘whining’. Firstly, this isn’t about Ole whining, it’s about the fans complaining. Secondly, Klopp didn’t have a choice, the transfer window had closed, so of course he just got on with it. Had the transfer window been open who knows what would have happened (and may still happen in January).
Andy Flint, Brighton



I’d take Dele Alli at Liverpool
Hi f365

Recently wrote in to say dele was being sold up the river by Jose at spurs but it was all right because they were winning

Now… not so much.

Just think it’s pathetic how he’s been treated.

Dele could literally walk into Liverpool / city / Bayern/ chelsea/ PSG midfield. He is that special.

Dele has to go out on loan in January or else he misses the euros. It’s that simple.

I’d take him at Liverpool, imagine Henderson thiago dele midfield behind mo, bobby and mane.
Ade ( 20 and 7 are on the way ) Guildford


Merry Christmas & Gooner boxers…
Merry Christmas Everyone.

I thought it might be an idea to pass on some seasonal greetings with a little bit of comedy. So…here are my top five ranked Arsenal players as boxers.

Lllllet’s get ready toooooo rrrrumble…

5:  Sead Kolasinac

He should be higher I hear you cry!  Well…he has more power than any other boxer on the list, and a superior KO% than all of them too.  However, his footwork needs development and his stamina is poor.  If an opponent can survive the early onslaught, the “Bosnian Bomber” can be exposed in the latter stages of a fight.

4:  Sokratis Papastathopolous

A wily old warrior, with a lot of ring craft and a master of the dark arts, who knows what to do to win a fight.  However, his best days are behind him.  Won the “fight of the decade” when he somehow got up off the canvas four times in the first three rounds to stop Kolasinac in the 11th round.

3:  Kieran Tierney

The shortest boxer on the list with the shortest reach too.  However, underestimate him at your peril.  His Southpaw stance provides complications for his opponents and his punch resistance and durability is remarkable.  Has mastered the art of arriving under the jab of the opponent to deliver crunching body punches that are crippling.  Rumour has it he trains for his bouts by running marathons in the Siberian snow wearing nothing but speedos.

2:  David Luiz

How is he so high I hear you cry?  Well, he’s won more titles than every other boxer on this list.  However, despite being in the fight game so long and having the best CV, he is still susceptible to moments of madness, and leaving his chin exposed.  And when that happens, he gets caught and it’s lights out.  In his last fight, he was knocked out in the fourth round by the new kid on the block…

1:  Ainsley Maitland Niles

Well.  He has it all.  He has the athleticism, the power, the speed, the mobility, the punch resistance, durability and the technical quality.  And that isn’t all.  His main attribute is his versatility.  No matter what is happening in a fight, he can switch tactics and carry out any instruction his cornerman gives him.  Rumour has it Diego Simeone is so excited by him wants to train him in Spain.

Meanwhile, Mesut Ozil is sat at home, constantly tweeting his love and affection for the Bosnian brother who rescued him when he was a distressed damsel a couple of years ago.  He watches all his fights, but if they go past Round 6, he’ll sometimes lack the stomach to watch the remainder of the action and switch off.
Naz, Gooner. (If this gets printed, I’ll do another one for Premier League Managers)


Merry Christmas to all of you at F365. Charge your glasses and fill your bellies.


Super duper computer…
unfairly describes the league predicting Supercomputer as “just a person working out some averages with a calculator”.

Poppycock; they’re probably using Excel.
Aidan Lfc (have a great Christmas and New Year everyone)


Poch to PSG
My ‘break’ from a stressful job is a Tier 4 lockdown.
I can’t see my family at Xmas.
I just caught Coronavirus.

But the news of Poch going to PSG and not to United really hurts.
Allen (Turns out 2020 can still get worse)


So if one fell swoop by PSG, the totally unnecessary Pochettino sword hanging over Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s head is gone.

As the man himself would say….”Fantastic”!!
Zee (staying in the title race as long as possible should be the goal for now)



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