Browsing Tag

Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Did Daniel Levy Offer To Drive This Guy to the Airport?

Tottenham Hotspur chairman Daniel Levy has a well-earned reputation as a tough negotiator.

Manchester United certainly knows how much of hard ass he can be. The club endured long, protracted negotiations for Michael Carrick in 2006 and Dimitar Berbatov in 2008 — the latter was such an ordeal that Sir Alex Ferguson later said it was more painful than his hip replacement surgery.

In subsequent years, Levy seemingly went out of his way to make sure his players didn’t end up at United, playing hardball for the likes of Gareth Bale, Luka Modric, Eric Dier, and Toby Alderweireld. Just this summer, United abandoned their pursuit of Harry Kane because they figured there was no point getting into a long, drawn-out back-and-forth with Levy, who would probably just squeeze every last drop out of them and then try to get even more.

When it came to loaning out left back Sergio Reguilón, though, Levy barely put up a fight. Heck, if reports are to be believed, Spurs aren’t even getting a loan fee and United can break the deal in January if they wish. United are covering his wages, but at £53,000 a week, he’s not even making as much as Brandon Williams was.

So what happened to Daniel Levy, master negotiator? Did he get played by United’s crack team of brilliant, forward-thinking innovators?

Or was he too busy doing a celebratory dance and high-fiving his fellow executives for getting a rival club to take a completely unwanted player off their hands and cover his wages? If anything, he was probably trying to make sure he didn’t do anything to blow the deal.

So, the fact that Daniel Levy did everything short of pack this guy’s bag for him means we’re getting hosed right?


Who Says The Magic is Gone From Old Trafford?

Erik ten Hag said he wanted to turn Old Trafford into a fortress. Maybe the one he had in mind was the Magic Castle?

How else to explain Manchester United somehow coming away with all three points in their season opener against Wolves? For most of the match, Wolves waltzed through the midfield as if David Copperfield had made Casemiro, Mason Mount and Bruno Fernandes disappear. Mario Lemina and Matheus Cunha looked the second coming of Ronaldo and Rooney, slashing through our defense like a saw going through a woman in a box, helping their team generate multiple chances that, on any other day, would have netted them three-to-five goals at the very least. CBS Sportsline had Wolves’ expected goals at 2.23 compared to 1.46 for United, and even that seemed to flatter the hosts.

United managed to pull a rabbit out of the hat to score the lone goal, as Aaron Wan-Bissaka, of all people, provided a great cross into the box for Raphael Varane to head home. For the much-maligned Wan-Bissaka, it was either a sign of his improvement as a playmaker or some sort of magical intervention that he managed to float such a perfect cross into the box in the first place.

And, of course, there was the penalty no-call on Andre Onana during second-half stoppage time that made us all wonder if the officiating crew had been brainwashed or deceived by a wizard or warlock of some sort. (Or maybe it was Sir Alex Ferguson, who did the old “Fergie Time” gesture during the match which, surely, exerted some sort of influence on the refs, right?). Onana, who otherwise had a great match and made several match-winning stops down the stretch, barreled into Sasa Kalajdzic with such force and strength that the Wolves’ forward could have filed charges for assault and battery. It was such a clear and obvious error — the kind that led to the introduction of VAR in the first place — that it made you question if you had been tricked by some sort of illusion.

In any event, there are plenty of reasons to be concerned. But it’s just one game. And the hallmark of a good team is they find a way to win even when they don’t play well.

And hey, this time last year we were getting beat down by Brighton at home, so I’ll take the magical three points in a heartbeat. Hopefully, we’ll play better this weekend against the Harry Kane-less Spurs. Penn & Teller can play in the midfield, right?

Do you believe in magic? (Do you, do you, do you?)

To Tell The Truth

Ralf Rangnick’s spell as interim manager was a failure.

His tenure in the Manchester United dugout finally came to an end on Sunday after yet another listless effort — this time, losing at Crystal Palace 1-0 in a stadium where they had never lost a Premier League match. A season that began with so much promise and genuine excitement, had turned into such a nightmare that most people just wanted it to end, consequences be damned. That United managed to back into a Europa League place thanks to West Ham losing summed things up pretty well.