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Old 25-05-22, 12:03 PM   #27801
super_xabi
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Cox: Rangnick has never been a top manager – this ‘era’ was a bizarre mistake by United

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 15: Manchester United Head Coach / Manager Ralf Rangnick looks on at the end of the UEFA Champions League Round Of Sixteen Leg Two match between Manchester United and Atletico Madrid at Old Trafford on March 15, 2022 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images)
By Michael Cox
7h ago

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For all Manchester United’s problems since Sir Alex Ferguson retired nine years ago, it has never been as bad as this. United’s final furlong of the season has often offered some level of intrigue: in 2016, they were in the FA Cup final. In 2017 and 2021, they were in Europa League finals. In 2020, they defeated Leicester on the final day to leapfrog them into the top four.

This season, United went into their final game of the season merely hoping to ensure they would finish with a positive goal difference (they didn’t manage it) and avoid dropping into the Europa Conference League, which represents an astonishing underperformance considering United finished second the previous season, then added Cristiano Ronaldo (the greatest goalscorer in international history), Raphael Varane (one of the most decorated centre-backs of the last decade) and Jadon Sancho (the best winger in the Bundesliga). Amazingly, a popular analysis of United’s malaise has been that the players aren’t good enough.

No — the reason is disastrous management. There’s a reason these players all looked better for their previous clubs or their national sides. At a time when rivals have recruited managers previously in charge of clubs such as Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Dortmund, Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus, Chelsea and Inter Milan, Manchester United appointed two men who had most recently been the manager of Molde and the director of football from Lokomotiv Moscow — the type of CVs that might qualify you for an interview at a middling Championship club. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at least steadied the ship as a caretaker manager. Ralf Rangnick has not.

The Rangnick era must be the most peculiar thing that has happened in the history of Manchester United; entrusting the running of the team to a mysterious figure who had essentially given up on management a decade ago. His influence on German football shouldn’t be underestimated, but being a tactical revolutionary and a competent football manager are two very different things. Much was made of Rangnick’s influence on Jurgen Klopp and Thomas Tuchel, but it’s worth examining precisely what they said.

“There was the belief in those days that the defenders follow their strikers wherever they go,” said Tuchel of Rangnick’s legacy. “He was very early a leader in bringing zonal marking and pressing and the line of a back four into German football and still being aggressive. He was one of the pioneers to introduce a 4-4-2 and high pressing. So tactically he is an elite manager with Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp and Antonio Conte.”

But this largely happened in the previous century and is now second nature. It’s largely what Roy Hodgson did in Sweden a couple of decades beforehand. There’s a huge jump to Rangnick being an “elite manager” alongside three coaches who have all won league titles in multiple countries. At the top level of management, Rangnick has won one DFB-Pokal in Germany — so his honours list is comparable to that of Harry Redknapp. Being historically influential doesn’t truly count for anything when it comes to getting results.

And Rangnick’s results speak for themselves: a lower win rate at United than David Moyes. But even more striking has been the lack of improvement in style. Rangnick was heralded as the pressing master, the man who would guide United towards their future proactive approach. Absolutely nothing has changed. In terms of opposition passes per defensive action (PPDA, a decent measure of pressing), United ranked 14th in the league under Solskjaer and 14th under Rangnick. Between mid-February and May, they won just two of their nine league games, both disjointed team performances saved by Ronaldo hat-tricks. It’s tough to imagine a type of football further removed from the cohesive style Rangnick used to speak about in interviews.
(Photo: Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images)

“Cristiano scored a few goals but, again, Cristiano — and I’m not blaming him at all, he did great in those games — but he’s not a pressing monster,” Rangnick complained this week. “He’s not a player — even when he was a young player — he was not a young player who was crying, shouting: ‘Hooray, the other team has got the ball, where can we win balls?’.”

Rangnick seems absolutely baffled that a player might not think, “Hooray, the other team has got the ball.” Top-class players tend to prefer it when their own side have the ball.

Aside from an energetic first half in his opening game — in hindsight, a classic “new manager bounce” — Rangnick didn’t improve Manchester United.

He initially insisted on a 4-2-2-2, which clearly didn’t suit his players, then abandoned it quickly. His one shift to a three-man defence, away at Liverpool, featured bringing in Phil Jones for his first start in three months. It proved disastrous within the opening five minutes. Jones unsurprisingly struggled in a high defensive line, lacking the pace to sprint back and cut out Mohamed Salah’s assist for Luis Diaz’s opener…

… and then found himself dragged out of the defence as Salah added the second.

Rangnick reverted to a back four at half-time, and Jones was hauled off and did not start again. It was disastrous tactically and even worse in terms of man-management.

He also played Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba as, essentially, forwards in a 4-4-2 against Manchester City and found that his deeper midfield duo were overrun. Kevin De Bruyne found oceans of space for the opener.

The defensive shape hasn’t improved. At times, particularly in a 1-1 home draw to Chelsea, United were more open than they ever were under Solskjaer. The front four pressed…

… and the other six stood off.

The space in midfield afforded to Chelsea was incredible for any manager, let alone one whose primary intention is creating a cohesive pressing unit.

Rangnick arrived with minimal pedigree as a manager. His achievement in taking up Hoffenheim and establishing them in the Bundesliga was clearly impressive, perhaps comparable to what Sam Allardyce did at Bolton Wanderers. Hoffenheim, though, operate outside German football’s traditional financial constraints. The same, in a different manner, goes for RB Leipzig. That is the main reason they rose from nowhere into the Champions League and while Rangnick’s behind-the-scenes work may have been a contributory factor, it’s still hardly great preparation for actually managing Manchester United.

Ultimately, a huge red flag was that, in the decade before Manchester United appointed Rangnick, he had been appointed as a manager twice. The people who appointed him were Ralf Rangnick and Ralf Rangnick. He had been linked with other clubs, certainly, but there’s perhaps a reason none actually appointed him. It was extremely odd that links with Chelsea and AC Milan were put forward as a reason why Rangnick should be taken seriously.

Chelsea looked elsewhere, with Tuchel offering experience of coaching big clubs and big players. Milan were castigated for short-termism when abandoning their plan to appoint Rangnick and sticking with Stefano Pioli on the basis that he was doing a good job. But why not? Seeing results on the pitch is more convincing than being entertaining on The Coaches’ Voice. Paolo Maldini, the club’s technical director, was appalled by Rangnick’s conduct. “Before learning Italian, he should learn the concept of respect,” he said.

Sure enough, both clubs went on to better things: Chelsea became champions of the world and Milan have completed a remarkable turnaround to win Serie A. If there’s a lesson from these tales, it’s to avoid Rangnick — particularly in the case of Milan, where he seemed to be insisting on a grand role that involved him acting as an old-school British-style general manager, almost coach and director of football combined.
Pioli has won Serie A this season with Milan (Photo: Danilo Di Giovanni/Getty Images)

This is where those branding Rangnick as “modern” made the least sense. He is perhaps the last manager in Europe who demands control of everything; he speaks about the importance of a director of football and yet can’t work out whether or not he is one. In that sense, Rangnick was distinctly old-school and yet was still described as “modern”, presumably because he was modern two decades beforehand.

The most ludicrous thing about this is that everyone acknowledged the structure at Manchester United was already deeply confused, yet many believed that involving Rangnick would help. Let’s break this down: Rangnick had been working as a long-term director of football but was appointed as a short-term coach (strange in itself), given some level of influence over who would be his successor (even stranger), although he threatened to appoint himself (still following?) and then would be retained as some form of consultant, although his actual role was never revealed, was probably never worked out, and possibly will not even exist (let’s move on).

The major error in all this is the refusal to acknowledge that football management is fundamentally about dealing with players, with people. You prove your capability by managing week in, week out. Dealing with the setbacks, working with individuals, keeping team spirit high and acting as the figurehead. Klopp and Guardiola are revolutionary tacticians but also excellent leaders, and they’ve proved it near-constantly over the last decade. So have several others, not on Klopp and Guardiola’s level, but far more qualified than Rangnick.

Rangnick, on the other hand, spent the best part of a decade not managing, and that’s why appointing him as first-team manager was one of the oddest things any Premier League club has ever done. The whole thing about Rangnick, the thing that made him such a fascinating story, was that he exerted a major influence on football despite never being a top manager. The final part of that became forgotten but is now clearer than ever.
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Old 25-05-22, 12:04 PM   #27802
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Cox: Rangnick has never been a top manager – this ‘era’ was a bizarre mistake by United

For all Manchester United’s problems since Sir Alex Ferguson retired nine years ago, it has never been as bad as this. United’s final furlong of the season has often offered some level of intrigue: in 2016, they were in the FA Cup final. In 2017 and 2021, they were in Europa League finals. In 2020, they defeated Leicester on the final day to leapfrog them into the top four.

This season, United went into their final game of the season merely hoping to ensure they would finish with a positive goal difference (they didn’t manage it) and avoid dropping into the Europa Conference League, which represents an astonishing underperformance considering United finished second the previous season, then added Cristiano Ronaldo (the greatest goalscorer in international history), Raphael Varane (one of the most decorated centre-backs of the last decade) and Jadon Sancho (the best winger in the Bundesliga). Amazingly, a popular analysis of United’s malaise has been that the players aren’t good enough.

No — the reason is disastrous management. There’s a reason these players all looked better for their previous clubs or their national sides. At a time when rivals have recruited managers previously in charge of clubs such as Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Dortmund, Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus, Chelsea and Inter Milan, Manchester United appointed two men who had most recently been the manager of Molde and the director of football from Lokomotiv Moscow — the type of CVs that might qualify you for an interview at a middling Championship club. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at least steadied the ship as a caretaker manager. Ralf Rangnick has not.

The Rangnick era must be the most peculiar thing that has happened in the history of Manchester United; entrusting the running of the team to a mysterious figure who had essentially given up on management a decade ago. His influence on German football shouldn’t be underestimated, but being a tactical revolutionary and a competent football manager are two very different things. Much was made of Rangnick’s influence on Jurgen Klopp and Thomas Tuchel, but it’s worth examining precisely what they said.

“There was the belief in those days that the defenders follow their strikers wherever they go,” said Tuchel of Rangnick’s legacy. “He was very early a leader in bringing zonal marking and pressing and the line of a back four into German football and still being aggressive. He was one of the pioneers to introduce a 4-4-2 and high pressing. So tactically he is an elite manager with Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp and Antonio Conte.”

But this largely happened in the previous century and is now second nature. It’s largely what Roy Hodgson did in Sweden a couple of decades beforehand. There’s a huge jump to Rangnick being an “elite manager” alongside three coaches who have all won league titles in multiple countries. At the top level of management, Rangnick has won one DFB-Pokal in Germany — so his honours list is comparable to that of Harry Redknapp. Being historically influential doesn’t truly count for anything when it comes to getting results.

And Rangnick’s results speak for themselves: a lower win rate at United than David Moyes. But even more striking has been the lack of improvement in style. Rangnick was heralded as the pressing master, the man who would guide United towards their future proactive approach. Absolutely nothing has changed. In terms of opposition passes per defensive action (PPDA, a decent measure of pressing), United ranked 14th in the league under Solskjaer and 14th under Rangnick. Between mid-February and May, they won just two of their nine league games, both disjointed team performances saved by Ronaldo hat-tricks. It’s tough to imagine a type of football further removed from the cohesive style Rangnick used to speak about in interviews.

“Cristiano scored a few goals but, again, Cristiano — and I’m not blaming him at all, he did great in those games — but he’s not a pressing monster,” Rangnick complained this week. “He’s not a player — even when he was a young player — he was not a young player who was crying, shouting: ‘Hooray, the other team has got the ball, where can we win balls?’.”

Rangnick seems absolutely baffled that a player might not think, “Hooray, the other team has got the ball.” Top-class players tend to prefer it when their own side have the ball.

Aside from an energetic first half in his opening game — in hindsight, a classic “new manager bounce” — Rangnick didn’t improve Manchester United.

He initially insisted on a 4-2-2-2, which clearly didn’t suit his players, then abandoned it quickly. His one shift to a three-man defence, away at Liverpool, featured bringing in Phil Jones for his first start in three months. It proved disastrous within the opening five minutes. Jones unsurprisingly struggled in a high defensive line, lacking the pace to sprint back and cut out Mohamed Salah’s assist for Luis Diaz’s opener…



… and then found himself dragged out of the defence as Salah added the second



Rangnick reverted to a back four at half-time, and Jones was hauled off and did not start again. It was disastrous tactically and even worse in terms of man-management.

He also played Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba as, essentially, forwards in a 4-4-2 against Manchester City and found that his deeper midfield duo were overrun. Kevin De Bruyne found oceans of space for the opener.



The defensive shape hasn’t improved. At times, particularly in a 1-1 home draw to Chelsea, United were more open than they ever were under Solskjaer. The front four pressed…



… and the other six stood off.



The space in midfield afforded to Chelsea was incredible for any manager, let alone one whose primary intention is creating a cohesive pressing unit.

Rangnick arrived with minimal pedigree as a manager. His achievement in taking up Hoffenheim and establishing them in the Bundesliga was clearly impressive, perhaps comparable to what Sam Allardyce did at Bolton Wanderers. Hoffenheim, though, operate outside German football’s traditional financial constraints. The same, in a different manner, goes for RB Leipzig. That is the main reason they rose from nowhere into the Champions League and while Rangnick’s behind-the-scenes work may have been a contributory factor, it’s still hardly great preparation for actually managing Manchester United.

Ultimately, a huge red flag was that, in the decade before Manchester United appointed Rangnick, he had been appointed as a manager twice. The people who appointed him were Ralf Rangnick and Ralf Rangnick. He had been linked with other clubs, certainly, but there’s perhaps a reason none actually appointed him. It was extremely odd that links with Chelsea and AC Milan were put forward as a reason why Rangnick should be taken seriously.

Chelsea looked elsewhere, with Tuchel offering experience of coaching big clubs and big players. Milan were castigated for short-termism when abandoning their plan to appoint Rangnick and sticking with Stefano Pioli on the basis that he was doing a good job. But why not? Seeing results on the pitch is more convincing than being entertaining on The Coaches’ Voice. Paolo Maldini, the club’s technical director, was appalled by Rangnick’s conduct. “Before learning Italian, he should learn the concept of respect,” he said.

Sure enough, both clubs went on to better things: Chelsea became champions of the world and Milan have completed a remarkable turnaround to win Serie A. If there’s a lesson from these tales, it’s to avoid Rangnick — particularly in the case of Milan, where he seemed to be insisting on a grand role that involved him acting as an old-school British-style general manager, almost coach and director of football combined.

This is where those branding Rangnick as “modern” made the least sense. He is perhaps the last manager in Europe who demands control of everything; he speaks about the importance of a director of football and yet can’t work out whether or not he is one. In that sense, Rangnick was distinctly old-school and yet was still described as “modern”, presumably because he was modern two decades beforehand.

The most ludicrous thing about this is that everyone acknowledged the structure at Manchester United was already deeply confused, yet many believed that involving Rangnick would help. Let’s break this down: Rangnick had been working as a long-term director of football but was appointed as a short-term coach (strange in itself), given some level of influence over who would be his successor (even stranger), although he threatened to appoint himself (still following?) and then would be retained as some form of consultant, although his actual role was never revealed, was probably never worked out, and possibly will not even exist (let’s move on).

The major error in all this is the refusal to acknowledge that football management is fundamentally about dealing with players, with people. You prove your capability by managing week in, week out. Dealing with the setbacks, working with individuals, keeping team spirit high and acting as the figurehead. Klopp and Guardiola are revolutionary tacticians but also excellent leaders, and they’ve proved it near-constantly over the last decade. So have several others, not on Klopp and Guardiola’s level, but far more qualified than Rangnick.

Rangnick, on the other hand, spent the best part of a decade not managing, and that’s why appointing him as first-team manager was one of the oddest things any Premier League club has ever done. The whole thing about Rangnick, the thing that made him such a fascinating story, was that he exerted a major influence on football despite never being a top manager. The final part of that became forgotten but is now clearer than ever.
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Old 25-05-22, 12:28 PM   #27803
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Cheers lads
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Old 25-05-22, 12:50 PM   #27804
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Yeah sorry, couldn't be arsed pasting the pics
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Old 25-05-22, 01:25 PM   #27805
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Surely the bar has now been set low enough where any half decent manger could come in and ‘improve’ the team.
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Old 25-05-22, 01:33 PM   #27806
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The thing with Rangnick and United, is that he's had to try and change their philosophy in the midst of the season, with no time to implement his ideas properly. For me, it's one of the reasons United seemed so disjointed, especially their shape at times. Some players couldn't cope with the running needed to play his system. He might not be top manager, but he's good enough to have been influential so that people highly regard him, including our manager.
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Old 25-05-22, 03:01 PM   #27807
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He was a distinctly average manager trying to fix a broken club. It was never going to work out and it won't for Ten Haag (not as good a manager as he thinks he is) either without fundamental changes at the club.
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Old 25-05-22, 03:19 PM   #27808
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The thing with Rangnick and United, is that he's had to try and change their philosophy in the midst of the season, with no time to implement his ideas properly. For me, it's one of the reasons United seemed so disjointed, especially their shape at times. Some players couldn't cope with the running needed to play his system. He might not be top manager, but he's good enough to have been influential so that people highly regard him, including our manager.
I'm amazed anyone took that much notice of them
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Old 25-05-22, 04:00 PM   #27809
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They have to suck it up for another potentially tough season next if they truly want to back the new manager. He could be a decent appointment, but the jury is out for me Clive. See how they react when they have a tough run of results - will they stick with him? Will the supporters back him when the going is tough.

Cant believe they require an overhaul again
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Old 26-05-22, 02:03 AM   #27810
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They have to suck it up for another potentially tough season next if they truly want to back the new manager. He could be a decent appointment, but the jury is out for me Clive. See how they react when they have a tough run of results - will they stick with him? Will the supporters back him when the going is tough.

Cant believe they require an overhaul again
It's excellent isn't it? What a disastrous season for them, especially after they 'won' the transfer window with many pundits having them challenge for the league

Long may it continue
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Old 26-05-22, 01:41 PM   #27811
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a lot of these pundits are thick as fuck........ some of them had us struggling to get top 4. In relaity we got 3rd the season before where half our team were out for the year!!!
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Old 26-05-22, 02:14 PM   #27812
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Exactly. How they get paid for their opinions is beyond me
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Old 26-05-22, 02:40 PM   #27813
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Wonder how much Den Haag will get to spend? It's not like United know how to do anything else. Throwing money at the problem is their go to and this year will be no different imo.
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Old 26-05-22, 04:29 PM   #27814
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Just saw Carragher call him Eric Ten Months and I think that will be about right
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Old 26-05-22, 06:55 PM   #27815
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Just saw Carragher call him Eric Ten Months and I think that will be about right
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Old 26-05-22, 07:22 PM   #27816
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I'm surprised no one in the media has mentioned or recognised that Ten Haag's predecessor at Ajax, Frank De Boer, who won FOUR straight league titles there, was sacked by Xmas at Crystal Palace!!
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Old 26-05-22, 07:47 PM   #27817
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I'm surprised no one in the media has mentioned or recognised that Ten Haag's predecessor at Ajax, Frank De Boer, who won FOUR straight league titles there, was sacked by Xmas at Crystal Palace!!
They got to keep the Manc fans morale up for a few months at least.
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Old 27-05-22, 01:41 AM   #27818
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Not sure if this has been posted but I genuinely LOL’d


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Old 27-05-22, 04:14 AM   #27819
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Wonder how much Den Haag will get to spend? It's not like United know how to do anything else. Throwing money at the problem is their go to and this year will be no different imo.
Apparently (according to one article I read), his budget is 120m quid before sales, and the tone was general complaint about how small that was (!!)
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Old 02-06-22, 07:29 AM   #27820
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I see they officially announced Pogback’s departure yesterday - I wonder if there has ever been a more expensive flop than him?

Edit - Coutinho and Dembele jump to mind right away
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Old 02-06-22, 08:55 AM   #27821
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I see they officially announced Pogback’s departure yesterday - I wonder if there has ever been a more expensive flop than him?

Edit - Coutinho and Dembele jump to mind right away

Neymer is a flop in my eyes.

Cost over €200 and in five seasons the most games he managed in a league season was the 22 he played a part in this season. Three seasons he played less than 20 and in the other he managed an even 20.

Missed a ton of games and on a regular basis developed "injuries" that coincided with him then taking trips to Brazil and other spots for holidays.

Yes he got goals there, but for over 200 million he has been shocking value for money.
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Old 02-06-22, 08:57 AM   #27822
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Neymer is a flop in my eyes.

Cost over €200 and in five seasons the most games he managed in a league season was the 22 he played a part in this season. Three seasons he played less than 20 and in the other he managed an even 20.

Missed a ton of games and on a regular basis developed "injuries" that coincided with him then taking trips to Brazil and other spots for holidays.

Yes he got goals there, but for over 200 million he has been shocking value for money.
I read somewhere that he's been injured on his siblings birthday pretty much every season and has gone back to Brazil every single time....nothing suss in that at all.
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Old 02-06-22, 10:29 AM   #27823
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I read somewhere that he's been injured on his siblings birthday pretty much every season and has gone back to Brazil every single time....nothing suss in that at all.
That’s a well known thing with him - him and his sister seem close!
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Old 02-06-22, 01:37 PM   #27824
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[QUOTE=Irishnev;3788026]That’s a well known thing with him -
him and his sister seem close![/QUOTE]

Links
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Old 03-06-22, 08:47 AM   #27825
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That’s a well known thing with him - him and his sister seem close!
Think we have seen this in the Ray Donovan Series, eh?
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Old 03-06-22, 08:47 AM   #27826
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Or with Borini.
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Old 12-06-22, 11:41 AM   #27828
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Old 12-06-22, 11:43 AM   #27829
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Old 13-06-22, 06:07 PM   #27830
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I'm staggered by how many of their thick as mince fans are believing this moronic Twitter rumour that the FA have annouced Mason Greenwood has been cleared of all charges and will join the pre-season squad.

The FA have annouced it... THE FA! Not the police, not the CPS but the FA have announced he has been cleared of criminal charges. The FA, not MUFC have announced that he will join the pre-season squad. This fucking shite has been trending for 20 hours because the dumb cunts are still rejoicing over it.
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Old 13-06-22, 11:24 PM   #27831
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This is pretty accurate imo.

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Old 14-06-22, 07:34 AM   #27832
RichC
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Gazumping Cardiff for Bale ?
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Old 14-06-22, 06:01 PM   #27833
Charly
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I dont gamble, but they do some funny tweets.

Not many companies would have the balls to alienate potential customers like that.
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Old 23-06-22, 01:37 AM   #27834
Fosterbloke
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I actually want to buy this - I'm crying with laughter!

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Old 23-06-22, 05:33 AM   #27835
SB
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fosterbloke View Post
I actually want to buy this - I'm crying with laughter!

https://twitter.com/AlternativeMUFC/...54455148986368
Hahaha that gold. Love the bit about the grannies outside Waitrose
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Old 23-06-22, 05:58 AM   #27836
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Quote:
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Hahaha that gold. Love the bit about the grannies outside Waitrose

I love the Man Utd defence deeper than a porn star's fanny and probably smells worse. Haha
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Old 23-06-22, 08:21 AM   #27837
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Originally Posted by Fosterbloke View Post
I love the Man Utd defence deeper than a porn star's fanny and probably smells worse. Haha
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Old 23-06-22, 08:47 AM   #27838
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Old 25-06-22, 07:44 PM   #27839
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Old 25-06-22, 10:27 PM   #27840
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Chelsea get rid of Lukaku & bring in fake Ronnie to fill his shoes ? They do love a stop gap approach done there don’t they.
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