14.4 C
21.3 C
Thursday, September 28, 2023

Football Daily | Mason Greenwood, Manchester United and a troubling moral vacuum

- Advertisement -

UNITED FRONTSo then, Mason Greenwood. It’s generally agreed that Manchester United came to the right decision, give or take the rumbles of discontent on the usual Social Media Disgraces. It’s just that it looked like they were heading towards the wrong decision, only to double back and make the right decision once it became clear that making the wrong decision would be a very bad thing.A clean break? Not so much. As Greenwood explores other opportunities, reported to be in Turkey and Italy, the club has taken on more than a modicum of reputational damage. The decision, when it eventually came, followed long months of looking anything but decisive. It could be argued that nobody would come out of such a situation well, that there could be no winners but the Greenwood saga also embodied the malaise that has been at the heart of the club for years now.Power loves a vacuum, they say, and one of the reasons Erik ten Hag has been so popular with many fans is that he has behaved like the type of decisive figure none of his post-Alex Ferguson predecessors could ever be. Even self-appointed hard-man José Mourinho retreated to the sanctity of the Lowry Hotel’s room-service menu when it became clear that the situation was non-fixable.The Glazers remain absentee landlords, give or take a private plane lumped on their expenses bill; club suits running the operation are still doing their bidding. All that summer excitement of a battle for power between Qatari royalty and Big Sir Jim Ratcliffe has ebbed into entropy, and deep disappointment for those that wanted something new, which was roughly 100% of the club’s fanbase. Instead, here’s more of the same …Ten Hag, whom certain fans celebrate with the motto of “bald is best”, has attractive alpha-male qualities. His bombing out of Cristiano Ronaldo was a Ferg-esque, Francis Urquhart/Frank Underwood (delete as applicable to age, nationality and subscription) political coup. It looked at one point he’d done the same to the boo-boys’ No 1 target, Harry Maguire. Except he hasn’t yet. Big H remains in the squad, officially part of ETH’s plans.Within the Greenwood tangle, there was the time-honoured idea that players only remain on the books on the manager’s say-so. Yet Ten Hag remained publicly noncommittal, the final decision painted as a collegiate collective including key stakeholders, nobody given individual responsibility.Has the Greenwood affair cast a shadow? United have started their Premier League season like a team still in pre-season mode, wiping their eyes over a buffet breakfast before a match against the MLS All-Stars rather than actual competitive matches against motivated Wolves and Tottenham opposition. Such an overhanging problem can’t have helped but the conclusion of the issue, as unsatisfactorily as it was arrived at, can only be a symptom rather than a cause of the perennial Manchester United malaise.QUOTE OF THE DAY“What we saw was an unacceptable gesture, And the apologies he has given are not enough, I believe they are not adequate. He needs to continue to take steps to clarify what we all saw” – Spain’s prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, offers Luis Rubiales a verbal slap-down after the head of the Spanish FA made a spectacle of himself by planting a kiss on Jenni Hermoso after the World Cup final.We can’t look. Photograph: Noe Llamas/SPP/ShutterstockTIME FOR CHANGE?Newport County manager Graham Coughlan has spoken out against the amount of time being added to matches for time-wasting, but thinks the powers that be won’t give a flying one unless “the Klopps or Guardiolas” start complaining. “They aren’t going to listen to Graham Coughlan at Newport County, but they are putting the players in danger,” he third-personed. Football Daily is listening, Graham! “We’re now nearly into 70 [more] minutes and we’ve only played four [League Two] games, so that’s near enough another game for us. It can’t be healthy.” It’s probably not, Graham, but we have bad news for you: Guardiola and Klopp have both complained long and hard about it already this season. The FA can be as cloth-eared as the best of them when it comes to listening to managers’ concerns, A-list or otherwise. But perhaps the figures Coughlan has brought to the table will lead them to a rethink.RECOMMENDED LOOKINGIt’s David Squires on … joy and pain as Spain reign supreme in the Women’s World Cup final.Yes, Mary! Illustration: David Squires/The Guardian May I be the first of the 1,057 pedants to despair that we will never unsee the photograph of Brian Clough?” — JJ Zucal. Darian Boyd just tried to nick my gag (yesterday’s Football Daily letters). I already won Prizeless Letter o’ the Day for this just over a year ago. Rehashing old jokes a year later and passing them as your own? Are you looking for a career as a Football Daily Hack?” – Grant Taylor. During Arsenal matches, I’ve started muttering ‘Rice, Rice, Baby’ under my breath as I wander around the room” – Guy Robert. Personally, I think the Spurs fans are missing a trick by not singing ‘You Are My Destiny’ by Lionel Richie” – Kev McCready. The Premier League is undoubtedly the best in the world if it takes £1bn to reach 15th in the table after matchday two” – Krishna Moorthy. Send your letters to the.boss@theguardian.com. Today’s winner of our prizeless letter o’ the day is … Kev McCready (for being original).This is an extract from our daily football email … Football Daily. To get the full version, just visit this page and follow the instructions.

- Advertisement -

Related Articles


Latest Articles