Football, bloody hell!

aliteneleven's picture

Wasn't expecting that this morning.

Who's next for the hot seat?

1 user has voted.



simultaneous postings....tell you what I will put my contribution here and kill my blog post.

There is no doubt he is the most successful premiership-age manager. Is he the best though? I would still nominate Bob Paisley actually. SO, who is going to replace him? I notice that The Times is running with a story that says talks between Chelsea and The Chosen One have stalled. Mmmmm, I wonder.

only a one-eyed scouser would tell you different.

Who could argue with 2 European Cups in 26 years at the self-styled 'World's Biggest Club'?

Premier League: 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013; FA Cup: 1990, 1994, 1996, 1999, 2004; League Cup: 1992, 2006, 2009, 2010; Uefa Champions League: 1999, 2008; Fifa Club World Cup: 2008; Uefa Super Cup: 1992; Uefa Cup Winners Cup: 1991; Inter-Continental Cup: 1999; FA Charity/Community Shield: 1990 (shared), 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011

Hardly a trophy. His record is superb in the league (the best), for other trophies he is average (compared to the greats).

I'm glad we agree.

... that Ferguson's Champions League record is poor - and I'm sure he's more disappointed than anyone. In his defence, I will say that the CL is very hard to win. I think he knows that he is not going to be able to build a team for next season that will match the strength of some of the other European giants.

That as a special tribute the Utd fans are planning a round of applause in the 98th minute of their next home match.

Just put that up on FaceBook, and credited your good self.

They've already sorted his retirement present:

A carriage clock with 6 extra minutes.

1. His family
2. The players
3. The board
4. The club owners
5. The fans

"To the fans, thank you. The support you have provided over the years has been truly humbling. It has been an honour and an enormous privilege to have had the opportunity to lead your club and I have treasured my time as manager of Manchester United."

Is there anything he could have said that wouldn't have been criticised?

I wasn't criticising, just thought that the order was interesting. Thought he was right in thanking his wife first, and thought it was interesting that he singled out Bobby Charlton.

was the one who recommended pursuing him and, more importantly, was the one who stood by him in the early years when success was proving elusive.

that Mourinho's not the right man for United.

Mourinho is too disruptive, too paranoid, too narcissistic and, worst of all, his teams, in the main, play boring football.

Also: very poor record on youth development, tends to leave after. 2-3 years and very hard to imagine him working "under" Ferguson once he joins the board.

It's surely going to be Moyes, although I bet they went hard for Pep.

And who wouldn't? Fnarr.

It would never happen ,but Benetiz is free and looking for an opportunity to stick it to mourinho. That would be quite funny.

He'd do a good job. But it'd never happen, for political reasons.

26 years is a helluva run. Sounds like he will still be at United though, which might make things hard for the next guy. I wonder if he has considered the Scotland job? Expectations are at a low point - he might enjoy the (relative) lack of pressure.

when they had some decent players. Wasn't a success. Don't think he'll want to revisit that old terrain.

He is a grumpy arse. He is only magnanimous to the people he likes which is a real shame.

Good manager certainly though. Up with the best if not the very best.

Ian Dowie is trending on Twitter!!!

They can't can they!

You got a call from a mysterious stranger with a strong Italian accent, and you've gone and got the ginger Mourinho on a five -year deal. Splendid.

That made me spit coffee on the keyboard.

Isn't Dean Saunders looking for a new gig?

As a Liverpool fan it pains me to say but what he as achieved is phenomenal and will unlikely be equaled or bettered.
I think the repercussions will be worse for Everton if the bookies are correct and David Moyes takes his place. You would expect Baines and Fellaini wouldn't be far behind him and with Neville retiring, an aging squad and little money at the club it could be a difficult time.

Also does Moyes in mean Rooney out considering their previous acrimonious relationship?

does seem to have become a bit marginalised at Utd in recent times. There's a rumour of a move to Bayern. Wherever he is next season I see his future as a pivotal midfielder.

won't go to Bayern. PSG are reportedly interested though.

he understands his strengths & recognises his potential as a creative midfielder (an area United to sort out first). Remeber, Rooney was just a child at Everton.

I will believe that Rooney is a viable midfield option when we see him play well there (or even get selected there) in a bona fide big game. Spraying the ball around at Old Trafford against weaker sides who have already had the fight knocked out of them does not mean you're capable of performing in the same area on a permanent basis.

If you're looking for a Utd player who will eventually be converted to play just behind the centre forward/at the front of a midfield three then I think Van Persie is a better bet. He's entering his 30s now, which is generally the point at which an out and out centre forward will start to decline. He's on near on 300k a week for another three years, so he needs to stay in the side (even Rooney earns less) and he has the toolset to play that role. I'm quite certain they'll be looking for a Bergkamp-esque third act from him at some stage.

Utd's interest in Lewandowski speaks to this theory.

As for RVP, I don't see him as that good a feeder, otherwise Wellbeck might have scored more!

United have a balanced squad with lots of youth who will be even better next season. I doubt any of the coaching staff are looking to either leave or retire. The last thing likely to happen is a big ego (sorry... name) manager coming in, with his own people, demanding an open cheque book.
Don't be surprised if they promote from within. My money's still on Moyes though.

But it will be interesting to see how the young players, who Fergie has been talking up incessantly lately, fare under a new regime.

Their best players this season have been Ferdinand, Carrick and van Persie, none of whom are spring chickens. Welbeck has two goals all season and I'm still not sold on Cleverley or Jones, although Jonny Evans is a player and Rafael looks to have stepped up.

The goals will come and he looks a natural in an England shirt.
Big up for De Gea this season. Previous criticisms have been wildly exaggerated IMO.

I think the jury's still out on a forward who scored two goals in a season. Especially if, as is mooted, they sign another centre forward.

I'd hate to see them sell Hernandez. Referring to my post above I'd like to see Rooney move into midfield.

11 years at Everton and not one single trophy. Says it all really.

A team with Everton's budget is lucky to stay in the Prem. Moyes has regularly competed for European places.

He prefers to spend on wages. Fellaini, Neville, Howard, Mirallas and Jelavic are extraordinarily well remunerated. Known as top payers.


Arteta took a £10k a week pay cut to go to Arsenal and Fellaini cost £15m, which is within about £1m of Arsenal's all time transfer record.

That said, it's clear that Moyes has been working within financial constraints, and he's used what money he's had pretty wisely all told. Good manager.

I understand Everton's wage bill is the 8th highest in the premier league. By that measurement, Moyes pretty much punches his weight.

Everton's net spend under Moyes has been less than a million per season. Compare that to Villa (£10m) or Stoke (£8m), let alone the big hitters. In a premier league spending league table for the period, they'd be fourth from bottom. He, like Wenger, has very much punched above his financial weight.

Ten years ago I would be planning a street party. Now the game at the top level has managed to suck out all my love (oo-er) for it - talk about killing the golden goose - it's all I can do to raise the strength to post this.

couldnt have put it better myself, so I wont

trying to develop a catchphrase Burt.

whilst 11 of them will no longer be shouted at by a red nosed Scot.

Whereby the sight of a leather football somehow reminds you of a childhood event when everyone involved in the game wasn't a despicable corrupt money grubbing excresence

A key member of chart topping dance troupe the Black Eyed Peas. She's left the band.

Here's to the good times:

First Maggie dies, now Fergie retires - somewhere there's a scouser with a lamp and one wish left.

Leaving the toffees would be quite a result too - not sure it is worth a wish though.

His comments from last week seem rather more ambiguous in the light of this week's developments.

Next permanent manager

David Moyes
Jose Mourinho
Jurgen Klopp
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Roberto Martínez
Jupp Heynckes
Ryan Giggs
Diego Simeone
Carlo Ancelotti
Gary Neville
Michael Laudrup
Steve Bruce
Carlos Queiroz
Laurent Blanc
Mike Phelan
Brain McClair
Harry Redknapp
Roberto Mancini

No Benitez?
What's the odds on replacing Moyes? I'd have 50p on Carra or Dalglish at 1000 to 1.



"He's certainly gonna be such a big big big hole to try and replace" Classic.

will take place at the home of world football, The Hawthorns.

We will give him a fitting send-off by letting his boys win in injury time.

has been timed to coincide with the forthcoming availability of certain other managers ?!

but not for Man U.

I'm sure he's interested and I'd bet Fergie has put a good word in for him but I don't think he is, for want of a better term, 'sexy' enough for their board. He doesn't have big international profile (not that I think it matters) and when this came up in a recent piece (probably in the Guardian) a Utd insider was quoted as saying he didn't have enough European experience nor experience of handling a big budget. I thought the latter point was slightly demeaning, because despite limited funds he has had some biggish deals, but obviously not as big nor as often as SAF.

I think it's Mourinho for Utd, Martinez for Everton and Moyes will fulfill his desire to manage a team in Germany.

From my man 'in the know' (who sits in front of me at the match and knows someone who knows someone) was that Moyes would go to Utd - but as Ferguson's assistant for a year or two, to gain the prerequisite European experience, then to take over in due course.

That I could believe - but Moyes taking over immediately? Not so sure. David Gill has just said:

"He (the next manager) needs the required football experience in terms of domestic and European requirements, so it is a small pool."

That doesn't really sound like Moyes.

The same rumour did agree that Martinez is coming to Everton though.

Sir Alex will be in the director's box and the current staff have massive European experience. Seems like the perfect set-up to me with DM perfectly capable of handing out the half-time bollockings.

Matt Busby 'went upstairs' after retiring, and it apparently made life difficult for his successors. Culminating in relegation. This is apparently the reason why Liverpool insisted on cutting ties with Shankly when he retired.

Imagine if Fergie goes upstairs, and Moyes drops an experienced Man Utd player like Ferdinand or Evra. What will happen? They'll probably run to Fergie.

I don't think that'd cut any ice with Taggart.
He'd have to insist that the manager makes those decisions and wouldn't get involved at that level.

I think he knows better not to interfere.

His huge presencd would be enough to unsettle many managers.

..or whatever the Scousers use as Mersey rhyming slang.

I can't wait to be told about their "great footballing brain".

European Cup Winners Cup 1982/83
European Super Cup 1983/84
Three Championships 1979/80, 1983/84, 1984/85
Four Scottish Cups 1981/82, 1982/83, 1983/84, 1985/86
Scottish League Cup 1985/86

Aberdeen v Bayern Munich, Pittodrie
First leg finished 0-0
Second leg, Bayern went 2-1 up with half an hour to go
Two away goals
The clock ticked down
Last 15 mins, 1-2
Win or bust
McLeish 77mins, Hewitt 78mins
Won 3-2
Beat Real Madrid in the final
The North East of Scotland floated on air

The manager who saw Roy Keane walk on to a pitch to purposely break another player's leg, and watch the Neville's and the rest of his team practise their season-long tactics during a game of surrounding the referee everytime a decision went against them. And Ronaldo bursting into tears everytime someone went near him. Apart from that they weren't bad.

But yes, his habit of bullying officials, both personally and through his players, is definitely the dark side of his legacy.

If Utd now suffer a backlash from officials.

There's no doubt in my mind that Ferguson has had them intimidated for years, and that this has probably been worth half a dozen points a season to Utd.

... and hire a "pop star" to manage. After all its an entertainment business these days.

Here's my suggestions...

John McLoughlin - long meandering passages of play, not many goals scored though, 2 hours of extra time per game
Gary Glitter - Glamorous play with an emphasis on the youth team.
Phil Collins - did do a song about "Match Of The Day", so definitely has the experience. Would be good at drumming the tactics into the team.....
Gerry Rafferty - looking like a dead cert

Any others ?

with United's increasing failure to win the league and, despite the insistence of fans that "next season we'll be up there again!", ultimately not even qualifying for Europe and having to settle for mid-table mediocrity. Bit like Liverpool.

For all our present-day mediocrity, you're still obsessed with us. It's quite sweet really.


man U fans singing "we all hate Leeds scum" on European nights which I also find quite touching. It's better than indifference and at least we haven't been forgotten.

for the FA Cup Final in about 8 years time when the Man Yoo players wear horrible suits.

If we'd won the match, people would now reminisce about the Spice Boys' chutzpah. Unfortunately, we were shite.

than the suits. And Liverpool were shite.


for the next great generation. He knew that the current crop are not on the same level as previous teams and leave now on a high. He's done what he aimed for for, to knock Liverpool off their perch and knows that he would have been unlikely to get anywhere near winning the Champions League. He's had a fantastic domestic record, but helped by the utter fecklessness of the opposition. When Wenger's Arsenal and Mourinho's Chelsea were in their pomp, he was largely 2nd best. His European record with Man Utd is not that remarkable and I am sure he will have regrets about that after blaming the referees. I will not miss his bullying nor the way he used roughhouse tactics when it suited him and then moaned about it when others did unto him. I met him once and was charm personified, a real football man and enjoyed talking about Leeds United and how he looked forward going to Elland Road (probably because he always won there !) and he went up in my estimation when he attended Billy Bremner's funeral. That showed how big and generous he could be as a man, just wished he didn't have to appear some bloody unpleasant most of the time.

Getting this last title is realistically the best way of finishing he has; would they have have done so well with another manager? Next season will only be harder, so throw in the hip op and it makes sense.

I'd like to think the result from his first game in charge at MU had some significance - they lost 2-0 to Oxford Utd. I don't think I'll be worrying too much about them targeting Chris Wilder, though.

Moyes seems a hell of a risk on the face of it. But if the back-room staff stay and he's willing to be, er, advised to begin with, maybe that mitigates it.

Great manager, great football man, but the moaning and bullying became more pronounced as the years went by.

I prefer to remember his 1999 side. They were probably the best club team this country has ever produced. They needed a little bit of luck for the treble (the pen miss in the FA cup semi and that ridiculous final couple of minutes in the champs league final having been comprehensively outplayed), but they earned it. That midfield was sublime.

I think either are in with a good chance.
I really can't see Jose getting the job, he's going back to Chelsea.

I fondly remember Bobby Robson's Ipswich era when a small club took on the big boys. I see that sort of potential in a Laudrup-led Swansea. The Premiership needs a team like that.

with this. The way Swansea have risen from the depths and in a sustainable way playing good football deserves to be rewarded and I would hope Laudrup stays as well. I think they are a lesson for a lot of clubs, large and small.

Think how we Tractor Boys feel...

I, too, hope Laudrup stays at Swansea - for the reason you cite, and in fond memory of my favourite teacher, a big Swans fan, who died just before Xmas 2011.

Apparently they are saying Moyes will be confirmed within 24 hours.

... that the next manager is already a done deal. That said, I've no idea who it will be - but I'm sure the intention is for him (or her) to be there for the long term.

(so that makes me an expert, obviously): So, momentous news comes out of The Swamp? What - the stadium kat dies or something?

Our default position is to deny any knowledge about what goes on in that prawn-y Mordor - even its existence if we can get away with that...

Second in the league and FA Cup runners-up is a good season.

expected some positive publicity, everyone's talking about United. Accidental timing?

And they're called the Bitter Blues, any idea why?

It's usually the Red Prawns who apply the name. I think they get jealous that we don't get jealous of their odd, few trophies.
FA Cup final and confirmed 2nd in the Prwmiership? Sorted!

We once played Macclesfield Town. In the league, for Goater's sake...

Jose was approached before Xmas and said yes. Everything else including the Chelsea stuff is a smokescreen.

a bold statement.

Klopp would be perfect.

Manchester United and Borussia Dortmund are very different beasts. It's not clear whether Klopp's methods would translate so well outside that particular environment. (He's said as much himself.)

Based on him being young and charismatic, successful in Germany and Europe. Attractive style of football and the only one on the list, if I was one of the players, I would be excited about.

but I still slightly preferred Frank O'Farrell.

The Glazers balking at £35m to release Jose from his Madrid contract and £90m so Ronaldo can come back to Old Trafford. Darren Ferguson just seen boarding a helicopter in Peterborough.

Ferguson will still have a role at the club, and no way will he sit back and let his successor get on with it.

To me that is just pure hagiography, but I expect little else from that arch-sycophant Taylor. David Conn's piece is much better, but then he is a much better writer. A proper journalist.

Sorry, I wouldn't know a proper journalist if I tripped over his typewriter!!!

Thanks for pointing me in the right direction.


Was manager for only 9 years :

3 European Cups
1 UEFA Cup
6 Championships (2nd twice)
3 League Cups

(5 Charity Shields, 1 European Super Cup)

Not bad.

... Paisley took over at a club that was already successful. His achievements were fantastic, but he didn't build a club.

Man U were definitely underachieving but they had won the European Cup and had considerable success in the past. Even then they were the biggest English club worldwide. Paisley became manager of an excellent team and took them to a new level while rebuilding the team. He was also a big part of their success under Shanks.

McGuinness, O'Farrell, Tommy Doc, Dave Sexton and Big Ron. I wish I could.

For years and years before Ferguson, Manchester United were the equivalent of Liverpool now: all mouth and no trophies.

Perhaps we should start blood-doping.

He was also given 3 to 4 years to turn it around, something that is impossible these days. I would also point out that the league was more competitive in those days. The disparity in budget between the top sides and the also rans was much smaller.

...of Paisley merely inheriting Shankly's team and not rebuilding it.

Shankly's team was good, but they weren't even the best in England when he left, whereas Paisley built sides which were not only only the best in the country, but the best in Europe. He turned LFC into a truly dominant side by replacing Shankly's signings with his own, better players (indeed, one of the first players he got rid of was Larry Lloyd who subsequently won two European Cups under Brian Clough).

Perhaps the most telling statistic is that of the LFC team from the 1974 FA Cup Final (Shankly's last game in charge), only six were in the team which won the 1977 European Cup.

… is that more than half of Shankly's 1974 FA Cup team were in Paisley's European Cup team three years later...

Statistics™ - proving all kinds of stuff since yon time.

took a broken-down club who were languishing in the old 2nd Division and turned them into one of the great clubs of the century. He transformed a moribund club, laid the foundations for future success, was an exceptional judge of talent, an extraordinary motivator, a shrewd tactician and one of the most charismatic, engaging men football has ever known.

It's clear that whichever era they managed in Ferguson (who I still dislike), Paisley or Shankly would have been good managers at what level simply because of the types of men they were/are, but the differences between then and now make comparing the teams and the leagues they were in impossible to do.

If Shankly had managed now, he'd have had success. In he same way, if Ferguson had managed in Shankly's era, he would too.

1. He had unprecedented success with an unfashionable club.

Most professional leagues are dominated by a handful of powerful clubs, so anyone who can buck their local trend deserves to be considered an exceptional talent. Perhaps you’d have to live in Scotland to appreciate the scale of what Ferguson achieved at Aberdeen in the early eighties. To break into the Celtic-Rangers duopoly was a monumental achievement; to win a European trophy is simply off the scale. It can be argued that Brian Clough, in terms of over-achieving at unfashionable clubs, has a better record than Ferguson. His feats at Nottingham Forest and, to a lesser extent, Derby, were remarkable, but Clough doesn’t score in the other categories.

2. He had success over a sustained period.

Ferguson won promotion with St. Mirren in the mid-seventies and won his first league title with Aberdeen in 1980. 33 years later, he was still winning. Old-timers might mention Bill Struth at Rangers, who managed for 34 years, amassing ten league titles, ten Scottish Cup, two League Cups and various other Glasgow Cups and Merchant Charity Cups. With all due respect, some of these trophies don’t carry a whole lot of weight in historical terms and Struth’s Rangers (like Jock Stein’s all-conquering Celtic in the 60s and 70s) competed in a relatively weak league that is dominated by two teams.

3. He had success with different clubs, in different leagues.

Some managers have great success at one club, but fail to replicate that success elsewhere. Don Revie, for instance, was outstanding at Leeds, but did little of note away from Elland Road. It takes truly exceptional talent to achieve great success in more than one job and Ferguson has been a league champion and a European trophy winner with two teams in two countries. Mourinho has succeeded in Portugal, England, Italy and Spain, while Huddink, Robson, Trappatoni, Herrera and Eriksson (and probably a few others) all have very impressive CVs, but none of them score as convincingly in the other categories.

4. He successfully built a number of winning teams over a prolonged period.

He built at least five or six successful team at Man. Utd. Bob Paisley scores highly for his work at Liverpool, as does Jock Stein at Celtic, but again, not to the extent of Sir Furious. Bill Shankly resigned immediately after Liverpool had dismantled Newcastle in an FA Cup final, so Paisley inherited a side that was already very successful. He did a great job and clearly took the club to another level, but his team-building achievements don't match those of Ferguson. Jock Stein worked at a club with massive domestic advantages, playing –to all intents and purposes– in a two-team league, wherein any achievements by the old firm have to be viewed in the context of an extremely lop-sided domestic set-up.

5. He won the trophies

Nothing in the modern era compares with the haul achieved by Ferguson. He won thirteen league titles at Man. Utd, three at Aberdeen, four major European trophies and god knows how many FA Cups and League Cups. It's a frightening total.
Some have suggested that for a club of Manchester United’s stature to have won the Champions League ‘only’ twice is a tad disappointing. Bob Paisley, after all, won three European Cups in five seasons and, since it is the major trophy in club football, there is a case for saying that he was more ‘successful’. But the European Cup in those days (much as it might be difficult for fans of Liverpool, Nottingham Forest, Aston Villa and Celtic to concede) was a knock-out tournament in which two successful rounds (perhaps against part-time Scandinavian or mediocre Eastern European opposition) took you to the quarter-finals. The European Cup was an easier tournament to be successful in than the current Champion’s League. That’s why teams like Malmo, Bruges and Partizan Belgrade could make it to the final. That’s why teams Nottingham Forest, Aston Villa and Steau Bucharest could win it.

It has been claimed that Ferguson was lucky to survive at Manchester United after his first three seasons appeared to lack any obvious signs of progress. He inherited what was, in effect, a glamorous social club that played occasional games of football. He recognised quickly that Ron Atkinson had left behind a talented squad, but knew that he’d have to dismantle not only the team, but the whole culture of the club. That was always going to take time and, if the progress at first appeared to be relatively slow, it now seems clear that Ferguson was far too talented and driven not to have succeeded, one way or another. Some critics have said that he would never have been as successful if he had ended up at, say, a Portsmouth or a Leicester, but all you have to do is look at Aberdeen's record 'pre' and 'post' Ferguson. You don’t need to analyse much more than that.

Some folk have said that Alex Ferguson wouldn't have been successful away from Manchester United, but that is a bit like saying that Roger Federer wouldn't have won the British Open if he had taken up golf instead of tennis. It's entirely hypothetical and pretty close to being pointless. Had he gone to Wolves or Tottenham when he had opportunities in the mid-eighties, he would probably have been successful with them and would eventually have moved on, because Alex Ferguson was born to manage Manchester United.

Well argued, and worth reading. Unusual for the longer posts on here.


Aberdeen is •very• fashionable. Indeed, it is the centre of the known universe.

You can't argue with statistics, Ferguson was very good at managing the Surrey club.

For what it's worth tho', I have little respect for such a pig-headed, unsporting, bullying, boorish twerp, who gradually became a nasty mean-spirited character who believed himself above the rules.

If only he had half the charisma and was a quarter as gentlemanly as his contemporary Sir Bobby Robson, I could find some admiration.

Pep Guardiola.

Ridiculous record and a total gent.

I know it's still early in his career, but he's the one I see most to admire in.

... you or I could probably win something in Spain if we were managing Real Madrid or Barca.

He won everything.

And Barca are not the same without him.

... I was being facetious.

Now I look really po faced!

My proposal for facetious/sarcastic comments: reverse italics. Think on that. Only a matter of time until it catches on.

over everyone else ever. Well, other than a reincarnated Don Revie, who is all too often overlooked in the lists of brilliant managers.

Hated in Yorkshire.
Hated on Merseyside.
Sold his greatest assets for for much less than they were worth.
In the pocket of Americans.
Mardy about Europe.
Messed up in Scotland.
Fell out with Argentinians.
Dismantled the NHS - well, Alfe Inge Haarland.
Used a hairdryer.
Fell out with the BBC.
Corrupt son.
Left a legacy of untalented yes men (Keane, McLaren, Hughes)
We're better off without him.

Fergie - the football Thatcher.

So much hate. Sad.

From a neutral standpoint.
He's not dead. There's nowt wrong with the facts.
The only thing to hate about United is the way they insisted that a 71 year old, that has added billions to the club's value and transformed football management, announce his retirement when the NYSE wanted him to.
And still suffer a $60million drop in value.


Only by the half based in Oslo, I would suggest.

Your enemy's enemy, and all that...

Manchester United are the 2nd favourite team of most Evertonians. Which is a bit like applauding some bloke for giving your wife an orgasm because you can't.

I'd make some crack about you lot being the second best team on Merseyside for the past two years, except I have a horrible feeling I won't be saying that again for a very very long time.

But we do have some sort of symbiotic relationship - they take our best talent and we take their, er, 'not best' in return...

Anyway, your analogy is flawed - you're not the 'wife' - you're surely the snotty kid brother left behind in the old family home when we moved on to bigger and better things?


It is, but I nicked it from a Man Utd fan of my acquaintence, so we can blame him. It was what he said to me when I was relishing Barca's victory over them in the European Cup Final!

Anyway, what's this nonsense on the BBC website about ManYoo and Everton 'locked in talks'? What is there to talk about - he's out of contract in a month!

... Utd want to announce him ASAP to stabilise their share price. That would mean reaching some sort of agreement with Everton, I'd assume.

Everton probably want him to agree not to come back for any of their players (i.e. Baines). Fat chance of getting that.

Or maybe there's some transfer business being done as well. Wouldn't put it past Utd to really stick the knife in.

Is he under contract? Apparently he's going to be the No.2. The only thing is, I'm sure he said recently that he wanted to continue playing.

Neville player / coach at United? Make it happen!

both Scholes and Giggs will become part of the United coaching staff. Giggs is already tipped to be the manager after next... that's if he ever hangs up his boots!

I reckon he'll retire to spend more time with his brother's family.

'aven't you.

(Wrong place)

that coming second would have made Liverpool the top lovers in Merseyside. From a male perspective anyway. For the last couple of years at least.

...Heartbreak in the Mark Hughes household as he leaps up to answer his mobile phone only to be asked if he's ever been mis-sold PPI. (Credit to my mate Russ for that one.)

I shall be using that.

... when his phone rings again - but it's not Bill Kenright - it's Bill Oddie (asking if he can have his binoculars back).

On the phone to Hughes otherwise I shall devote my time solely to my second team until he is sacked / quits (on recent form six months or so).

My second team being Chester.

Rooney transfer request in. Bayern or Chelsea, the latter more likely.

Could be nonsense, but interesting times.

my attitude to any player who hands in a transfer request is (no matter who)...
If you don't want to play for Manchester United just fuck off then. Simples.

I think you'd be best off selling him.

He's clearly not reached his potential and, at age 27, appears to be tailing off, if anything. Plus, this is no moment to have people at the club who don't want to be there.

I also think that the notion he can be made into a midfielder has an element of wishful thinking about it. His positional discipline has never been particularly strong and I'm not sure he's mobile enough these days (although his range of passing is good).

I'd be astonished if Chelsea are really considering this - it has the feel of another Torres about it.

Great talent, but a bit of a throwback. Maybe 10-20 years ago, you could get away with being overweight and enjoying a pack of tabs with a few cans, but not now.

One of the reasons Ryan Giggs is still playing when his peers have long retired is that he took care of himself. No alcohol, no smoking, no partying, good diet, yoga...etc Of course he had the luck to avoid serious career-curtailing injuries too.

Players won't last past 30 at the top level without looking after themselves properly. Which is one of the many reasons why Andy "I'll always have a pint 'cause its the way I was brought up" Carroll was a dreadful signing for Liverpool.

... that the statue of Fergie at Old Trafford looks more like David Moyes?

it was supposed to be Regan from The Sweeney.

Second longest serving manager is now Alan Pardue. Brendan Rogers up to 5th (excluding the manager if Cardiff). Strewth.

Thought he would be second.

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