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What Man United need now…
It’s true, the performances have improved significantly. But, just for the sake of it and what’s trending in the mailbox these days. I’d like to put out some sugestions that would most likely improve us.

Payet: Wouldn’t it be brilliant to have Payet, Mkhitaryan and Martial behind Ibra?

Blind: I’d like to see him get some game in the centre, like someone mentioned in yesterday’s mailbox, he might end up being Carrick’s replacement. Try him and phase him back into our midfield system.

Depay On Loan: I don’t like the prospect that Memphis might end up rediscovering his form and we are not able to get him back. I still believe in that lad. I believe his dimension of football is not present in any of our current crop. A loan move will benefit Man Utd more at the moment.

Fellaini, Schweinsteiger. Not Schneiderlin: All I’m saying is I’d prefer Schneiderlin to the aforementioned if that’s what it takes. He brings something different into the midfield from Carrick. It might be an interesting plan B as the season goes on.

CB: I think I’m happy with our options at the moment but a new CB (Lindelof) would be plus.
Posova (Fellaini ‘snapped’ in Milan is great) Andrew

Are we seeing the return of the complete midfielder?
There’s been a lot of mails this season on tactical shifts, owing to the different approaches of Klopp, Poch, Guardiola, Mou and especially Conte.

The formations and tactics are changing again due to their influence and philosophies, but I’d like to highlight one thing the league has brought back, true central midfielders.

Ever since the dawn of the 4-2-3-1, especially in Benitez’s early years, midfielders have been one of three types: the deepest positionally- destroyer/anchor man. Think Makalele, Mascherano and others. The one who plays centrally, but doesn’t necessarily move too much vertically through the pitch – the deep-lying playmaker. Alonso, Fabregas or scholes are good examples. The last is your ‘luxury’ player, the attacking midfielder – this could be a goal getter like Sigurdsson/Gerrard/Yaya, or a move refined playmaker – Silva, Mata, Özil.

Obviously players can perform different roles but these are just an example of what the players were tasked with.

Now however there has been a return to the all-action midfielders there used to be in classic 4-4-2s.

Great examples of this in the top teams are Kante, who is doing more than just screening this season, Pogba, whose ability to do everything really well but nothing world class (yet) has necessitated the CM role at United (paired well with another – Herrera), Wijnaldum, who does everything but again goes unappreciated as doesn’t focus on one thing, along with Xhaka who like was recently mentioned in the mailbox, does a bit of everything.

These changes have all happened this season and allow for more tactical flexibility not only in full game plans but in transitional situations and in-game. These players hold control of the tempo not through typical metronomic passing, but through positioning and intent, yet nobody is appreciating them right now (similar to early deep midfielders such as Carrick).

There’s no conclusions to this mail really, except maybe appreciate how much managers at the top level know that they all made these switches this season, and in a season or two we’ll all know how clever there really were (/are).
KC (Pogba regularly a statistical great, but nobody knows why yet)

Here’s how Klopp is different from Jose…
James, Cape Town
asks if Klopp is any different to Mourinho. Hey James, these are the following things that distinguish José from Klopp

– Accusing the opponent manager of visiting the referee during half-time of their game. Due to José’s actions, said referee retired from the game after he received death threats over the issue. Mourinho received a two-match ban so I guess it evened itself out.

– Poking another human being in the eye.

– Personally attacking a fellow manager by calling him a voyeur and a specialist in failure.

– Victimising an employee. Publicly humiliating them for doing their job. Calling said employee the offspring of a *#$&# and eventually leading to the employee leaving the job.

– Allegedly forcing his way into the referees’ room at half time, refusing to leave and then abusing him by shooting from the shoulder of the manager he accused of being a voyeur.

So no James, Klopp hasn’t done everything José has done. Not yet at least.

PS – Taking a team that finished eighth to second by not spending a bomb on players (yeah yeah I’m using net spend) is also what differentiates them both. If you recall Jose took a team that won the league to a relegation fight the following year and is presently managing a team that’s sixth after buying the world’s most expensive footballer having scored one more goal than a side managed by Tony Pulis.
MV, New Delhi

…So there we go again making these very subjective comparisons.

James, Cape Town, claims that there is no difference between Mourinho and Klopp. That it is only because Klopp smiles a lot he ‘gets away’ with doing the very same things Mourinho does. This, at the same time, Football365 shows a report that Mourinho is looking to buy £180m of new talent over the next two transfer windows, after a summer net spend of £151.77m compared to Klopp and a net spend of £0.51m.

James also hammers Klopp for the eighth place, with no gimmes for the injuries, time to get the team going with the game load, etc, while conveniently forgetting that Mourinho’s team was so far in the dumper that he got fired as a result. Oh yeah, and asks how Liverpool will handle Chelsea – I may have missed something but didn’t they already do that?

But the point should be that we want them to be different. We want variety. We want teams to play differently. We don’t want them to be the same. Otherwise the league would become boring. I am not a Chelsea fan nor a lover of Chelsea but I think Conte has been bloody brilliant for the league. As I do Klopp and I am hoping Guardiola will be the same. At least Guardiola has made some contrary suggestions and is willing to speak his mind. Having all these top managers come to these shores is absolutely brilliant and we need to enjoy the positives it brings and stop the whining comparisons.
Paul McDevitt

… I’ve just read James, Cape Town’s email in disbelief.

‘He’s done everything Mourinho has done.’?


Has he eye gouged an opposing team’s official?

Has he thrown a member of his own staff under a bus for doing their job, resulting in a constructive dismissal lawsuit?

One can smile and smile and still be a villain, and Klopp may not be an angel, but he’s no Mourinho. That’s for sure.
Barry, Dublin

Perfect for Arsenal…
Now that his RB Leipzig side have been soundly swept aside by Bayern Munich, has Ralph Hasenhuttl now proven himself the perfect candidate to succeed Arsene Wenger at Arsenal?

Merry Christmas, Gunners!
Alan (The Ghost of Arsenal Failures Yet To Come) – Kilkenny

Suspecting Sterling has no regrets…
Little slow reading the mailbox, so I’m just responding to Garret (LFC Dublin).

No. That’s the answer you’re looking for. By leaving Pool, Sterling has enormously increased his wages, plays alongside (and presumably learns from) De Bruyne, Silva and Aguero and gets to play for Pep Guardiola. After the abuse he’s suffered from Pool fans, ex-Pool players & the media in general (who seemed shocked he could possibly leave us for little-old-twice-Prem-champions Man City) he probably looks at us and thinks “f*ck ‘em).

As for the ’empirical proof’ that Klopp is better at developing potential than Pep, where is it? Did Xavi and Iniesta play better under Rijkaard or Tito Vilanova? Did Pique, Busquets and Pedro suffer from being coached by Pep? I love Klopp as much as the next red, but come on.
Stewart, Chicago LFC

What about Bob?
As an American soccer fan, I fansitedbusred against Bob Bradley taking the Swansea City job. Nothing against Swansea; they are a small market club that enjoyed a reputation, at least through the reign of Michael Laudrup, of playing a tidy passing game – sort of a poor man’s Barca. However, the club’s front office seems to have lost its ability to identify EPL caliber talent: Alfie Mawson is no Ashley Williams, Ayew’s offensive output is greater than that of Routledge, Barrow, Montero, Dyer and Fer combined and Wilf Bony’s goals are sorely missed.

Don’t get me wrong, Bob still has a chance to get Swansea over the goal line but my misgivings relate to the high probability, given the poor squad, that his career in Blighty will end in ridicule. My prediction was, and still is, that, should Bob get fired, his firing alone will not be enough to sate the appetite of those who objected to his hiring in the first place. Instead, he will be (is being) subjected to that all-to-English sport of kicking a fella when he is down.

I suppose Bob should be grateful for being given a chance to coach in England in the first place. After all, England has a global reputation for producing a seemingly never ending line of consummate winners – Nigel Clough, for example. And let’s not forget the those head coaches that represent the height of England’s most notable tactical innovation, those Sons of Reep, names such as Bassett and Beck and, more recently, Allardyce and Dyche. The mere mention of these head coaches conjure images of such aesthetic soccer quality that it makes one’s neck stiff just thinking about them. Finally, let’s not forget the famed English man manager and their infinitely flexible, culturally nuanced team speeches. Even now I can hear Gary Neville’s rousing team talk to “gee up” the “lads” just before their visit to the “Berna-bow”.
Lance S, Atlanta, GA

Who surprisingly still plays for Villa?
His jaw hangs low
His belly is flabby
He’s robbing a living
His name is Gabby
Kevin Walsh, Nollaig Shona Dhuit as Luimneach

Source: http://www.football365.com/news/are-we-seeing-the-return-of-proper-midfielders