Hey Sam. Welcome back! It’s been a while!
Manchester United’s resident unhappy man is back to spewing nonsense on the internet. Wednesday morning Sammy wrote this article in the MEN (I’ve linked to it but you really don’t need to click it) oddly titled “Manchester United have started preparing for the next transfer window.” I mean duh, so has everyone.
It shouldn’t come as a shock to you that the article is basically not about that at all. The first five paragraphs are all about Juan Mata, how he arrived in January 2014, has been a good player, and now looks like he may start against Newcastle on Saturday.
You have to get seven paragraphs in before Sam mentions the upcoming transfer window.
Even more hilariously though is Sam tagged the article with the following tweet.
Look. I get it. The news of Project Big Picture earlier this week has everyone mad that football is going to fundamentally change as we’ve known it. It’s no longer the people’s game (it hasn’t been for some time) and will forever reside in the hands of a few billionaire owners. At the forefront of this are United’s billionaire owners who really don’t give a shit about the fans and only care about money.
Well then… it’s not really surprising that they’re trying to pull this move then is it? You really think they care what you think?
Manchester United is a business to them, always has been, always will be. We are powerless to change that because we don’t have the money and until we stop supporting them they have zero reason to change their ways.
The Glazers run the club like a business, something we’ve known for years. I understand Sam is mad that he finally came to this realization years after the rest of us did and will throw garbs in his tweets. That’s all fine.
What follows is a classic Luckhurst article, filled with re-treaded information and zero substance.
Once Luckhurst (finally) gets to the part of the article about outgoings in January all he does is give a rundown of the deadwood in the squad and how they didn’t leave last summer.
He doesn’t ask why they didn’t leave, or offer any type of explanation. Nope, he just blames the club and tries to rile everyone up by painting a picture that no one at the club even tried moving these players out.
That is of course wrong – and it doesn’t even take a lot of journalism to know that.
United tried to sell Jesse Lingard, Diogo Dalot, Andreas Pereira, Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo, and Sergio Romero. That’s a fact. When they couldn’t secure permanent sales for Dalot and Pereira they accepted loans in the hopes that the players would stick at their new clubs and they’d make them permanent next year.
Lingard hired Mino Raiola, a move you only make if you’re trying to move. No one tried to buy him. That’s a failure from the club?
Of course the club is not blameless in all of this. They gave these players large wages and long contracts that they didn’t deserve making them immovable. But never does Sam touches on two facts:
1. You can’t sell something if no one is buying it
2. You can’t sell a player under contract if he doesn’t want to leave
United offered Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo out on free transfers. Estudiantes was interested in bringing Rojo back but he didn’t want to return to Argentina (Per Andy Mitten). Newcastle were interested in Phil Jones but balked at his wage demands.
At that level some of the blame resides on the players. They refused to take a pay cut to leave Old Trafford. But can you really blame them for that?
I mean obviously fans do but think about this from a human perspective for once. Would willingly go work at a less prestigious company and have more responsibilities but receive around a 50 percent wage reduction? And on top of that you’d have to uproot your family in the middle of a pandemic? Would you?
The response is always “if these players were professionals yada yada a bunch of bullshit.” They are professionals, as such they show up to work (training) do their job and then go home. Then the team play a match and they’re not picked.
Do they want to play? Maybe they do. You like to assume they would because being a footballer is your dream. But Phil Jones has lived that dream, he’s been to a World Cup, two of them actually, but he’s never getting back in to the national team picture. He’s now thinking about what comes next in life. His window for earning big wages is not only small, but closing soon. Then what does he do?
Jones’ contract runs for another two years. He’ll be 30 when it expires. A fine age where he can certainly sign on to a bottom half Premier League team for another few years.
So if your Jones and your thinking about your family and long term future what makes more sense? Not playing the next two years but still making £80k/week then signing a two year deal somewhere else to make £20k/week – or signing a three year deal now at about £40k/week and then making that move to £20k/week. It’s pretty simple. So unless Jones was going to be blown away by an offer, why would he leave?
The Sergio Romero saga is a bit different. He’s 33 – not old for a goalkeeper. He’s an international goalkeeper who has played in multiple Copa America finals, a World Cup final, a Europa League final. He’s got an impressive record at United (39 clean sheets in 61 games) – stats that he undoubtedly used in his last round of contract negotiations. He’s a solid commodity. €10 million is a totally fair asking price.
But he’s got ridiculous high wages, which is United’s fault, and he’s not willing to reduce them (his fault). The amount of clubs that can afford those wages is small. The amount of clubs that can afford those wages and pay the €10 million fee is even smaller. So the net Romero is casting is pretty limited. If he reduced his wages that net would be larger but he’s not willing to do that (I don’t blame him for that).
United can’t be blamed for trying to get value out of one of their few players who has any. They can’t let everyone leave for free. That’d be bad long term for the club – both on the football side and the business side. They’re not wrong for wanting a fee for him. Romero isn’t wrong for being mad at them.
He is however refusing to even show up to Carrington so let’s talk about being a professional for a second.
Does Sam mention any of this? Does he even bother explaining it? Nope. He just mentions it to hit his word count, blames the club for not selling them, and goes on about his day.
Thanks for nothing Sam!