Tell me about your team’s pre-season, I’m interested
Optimism going into the new season:
Tell me about your team’s pre-season, I’m interested
Optimism going into the new season:
Transfers In: Daka (27m), Soumare (18m), Bertrand (free), Vestergaard (undisclosed but probs 13-16m)
Excellent business, could still do with a right winger (might be on the way) and another centre back, but we’ve done well. Daka looks to be a perfect Vardy replacement, Soumare looks the business and I thought Bertrand would mainly be great to replace Fuchs and Morgan as the elder statesman in defence, but he’s sparkled in pre-season and looks a cracking free transfer. We also have Barnes and Ricardo back from long term injury (they feel like new signings guys, and Dewsbury-Hall back from loan and looking a real prospect.
Transfers Out: Ghezzal (2.5m), Under (loan ended) and long term players Morgan, Fuchs and James
Ghezzal was never going to make it. Lost 10m on him, oof. I’d expect Praet to go too, sad to see a player of his quality go but don’t know where he’d fit in. Touch wood we haven’t lost any big players, first season I can remember that happening. All in all, a pretty stunning window.
Friendlies: Early losses against Burton and Wycombe and a draw against QPR while we regained fitness, then we destroyed Villareal in the first 60 mins of our match, then they destroyed Fofana’s leg but we held on for the win. We were hugely impressive in that first hour. Beat Man City in the Community Shield, which is a proper trophy, you’re just jealous.
Optimism going into the new season: High. Think top 4 is even harder to get into than it has been, but we’ve definitely improved too and now finally have squad depth so it could happen, but I’d be v v happy with 5th again. Would love to see us in the latter stages of the Europa or the League Cup. Can’t write us off for any competition we’re in, still feels insane to say such things but we live in strange times.
Other: I love crisps
Transfers In: Leif Davis Loan (me neither), Marcones Free
Transfers Out: Surridge, Begovic
Friendlies: some Spanish farmers league, Chelsea, can’t remember
Optimism going into the new season: Low/medium
We have a lot of injuries already to first team. Maybe 8 out at the moment. At least it is a chance to see some of the kids get a game.
We really need a GK and a striker (maybe 2).
Will be weaker than last season by some margin, but need to push for promotion to avoid financial catastrophe.
At the moment it feels like the owner is every now and then saying the right things regarding promotion, but also just selling players and not buying anyone, reports he wants out, which is fair enough tbh
Other: This week some highly thought of academy lad we wanted to sign left us after 5 or so years to join Southampton who had rejected him when he was a youngster. Except he went for a trial and Southampton said they didn’t want him. So now he doesn’t have a club. Hahaha
Transfers In: Jordan Thorniley (Blackpool, loan), Gavin Whyte (Cardiff City, loan), Nathan Holland (West Ham United, loan), Steve Seddon (Birmingham City), Billy Bodin (Preston North End, free), Ryan Williams (Portsmouth, free), Marcus McGuane (Nottingham Forest).
Really good business I think - really happy to see McGuane sign a permanent, and Steve Seddon is an upgrade on Josh Ruffels at this level. Real quality loans in Gavin Whyte and Nathan Holland, and we’ve seen them both before at Oxford and they’ve been quality so if they’ve even improved further then that is pretty great all round. I think we need a centre back and left-back cover still, but there’s still time and I don’t think we’re done yet.
Transfers Out: Sean Clare (Charlton Athletic), Kyran Lofthouse (Woking), Rob Atkinson (Bristol City), Josh Ruffels (Huddersfield Town, free).
Josh was always going to go, given the Championship interest. Interested to see if he can make the step up. It’s sad but I think we’ve upgraded him for L1. I was disappointed to see Rob Atkinson go as well because I thought we’d have been able to keep him for another season, but I hear the money was 3m or something silly so we can’t really turn that down. He will be excellent in the Champ, and I can see a future for him in the Premier League as well.
Friendlies: A bit Covid-hit, but a few against fairly local non-league, a weird simultaneous double-header against Peterborough, and a spicy defeat to Bristol Rovers. Not a lot to tell tbh. We have also started the season with a draw to Cambridge and beating Burton in the Carabao.
Optimism going into the new season: Our squad is the best it’s been for years, I think - but equally League 1 is the hardest it’s been for years so I will be really pleasantly surprised if we make the playoffs. I think we’ll give it a right good go though.
Other: Interesting to see what happens with a) the ownership - there is some restructuring and a former chairman of Inter is expected to gain majority share, and b) the stadium situation, which needs resolution very soon. Hope it all settles and doesn’t become a distraction.
Couldn’t really have been much worse tbh.
Transfers In: Buendia, Ings, Bailey, Ashley Young and Tuanzebe (loan)
All good signings who will help the team. Feel like we need a new CM (although Sanson should push on) but we have some needed depth
Transfers Out: can’t think of anyone
Friendlies: won them all I think
Optimism going into the new season: high. A front 4 of Ings, Watkins, Bailey and Buendia is really sexy, and with Traore/El Ghazi/Trez as well, could be some great football ahead. Losing Terrt and O’Kelly as assistants are blows but we still have The Bard. Hope we get to see some youth players kick on too but promising times ahead. Mings will be captain and he’s a much better leader
Other: Cars and Girls by Prefab Sprout is a big tune
Transfers In: Gil, Gollini, Romero - very happy with that so far. Hope Romero is the real deal but think we need to look at ideal partners for him. Like most fans I’d hope Rodon gets a chance, but imagine it’ll be Sanchez or Dier initially. Still need a right back - Tomiyasu might eventually happen, but also we’ve been linked with the excellently named Dodo from Shakhtar.
Vlahovic or Martinez have both been mentioned heavily but I can’t see that happening unless it was certain that Kane was off.
It does look like we’re spending that money beforehand which is ideal as the Bale money last time made everyone add an extra £10 million on top for players.
Transfers Out: lots of young players that have expired contracts - Roles, Marsh etc - annoyingly Cirkin has left for Sunderland given Sess, Davies and Reguilon are all ahead of him.
Lamela - excellent servant for the club and proper shithouse we’ll need to replace, Alderweireld - likewise, has been excellent but it’s about time.
Hopefully some/all of Sanchez, Sissoko, Aurier, Dier will go as we definitely need to trim down the squad.
Friendlies: unbeaten I think, as much as it was a terrible ideal, coming back to draw with Chelsea and then beating Arsenal comfortably was pretty good.
Optimism going into the new season: medium, higher than with Jose but a lot could change if we lose Kane and are unable to replace him. Fully expecting a cheeky cunt bid from City at the end of the window which I hope Levy has the arsehole to decline.
Other: Kane is a snake and Charlie Kane has a shit office.
Couldn’t give a shit tbh
Transfers IN - Can’t complain really, we still need a top class DM and we won’t get one but Sancho and Varane for the cost of roughly a Grealish or Lukaku is very good and addressed the two most pressing needs
Transfers OUT - Disastrous. There’s a good five or six who have no business still being at United and they’re going nowhere.
Friendlies - Mixed bag really. Got humped by QPR, battered Everton. Saw one of the all-time great volleys in one. Worst element was missing one game due to Covid and the fact that loads of our first team barely played any minutes if any.
Optimism - Relatively high. We won’t win the league but we have no excuses not to be in a race this time around. Would bloody love a trophy and will be very irked if we don’t go all guns blazing for one of the domestic ones at least.
Other- I hope the anti-Glazer sentiment is maintained, the protests last year got them to actually engage with fans for the first time. We need to keep the pressure on.
Was thinking about this today. United are really bad at selling eh.
I thought Phil Jones was staying lmao
We just give all these pricks new contracts all the time but then we’re gonna lose Pogba on a free for the second time after paying £80m to get him back. Idiots.
champions elect, Brentford
Frank Onyeka, Kris Ajer, Yoane Wissa, Myles Peart-Harris
Onyeka looked good in pre-season, box to box midfielder, scored against Valencia, definitely getting sent off at least once this season. Ajer looks promising, if we keep playing a back three then him, Jansson and Pinnock will do me. no idea on Wissa, only signed the other day. MPH looks decent, reckon he’ll get some game time every now and again but is more for the future.
Henrik Dalsgaard, Luke Daniels, Emiliano Marcondes
Henrik was so good for us last season after he came back from injury, but wanted to go back to Denmark so fair enough. Daniels was a solid number 2 but Gunnarsson should be better long term, and Marcondes was good at the back end of last season but probably hadn’t done enough to get a new contract tbf over the last two seasons. glad he got off to a good start at Bournemouth.
Friendlies: drew with Man Utd, lost to West Ham, beat Valencia. not too shabby.
Optimism going into the new season: high. I joke that we’ll win the league but I do think we’ll do alright, stay up and do it reasonably comfortably, and will pull off some good results, as well as losing to like Burnley 1-0 both home and away. mostly just happy to be in the top flight though, never thought I’d see Brentford get there outside of a computer game.
The weird thing is that you could genuinely get a fee for Lingard, Jones and Pereira… even if all you care about is cash (Glazers) it makes sense to sell.
Nobody will match their wages
Ah, true. A lot of big clubs across Europe struggling g with that eh. Wonder when this bubble will burst (or whether it’ll just be a slow and painful deflation)
Arsenal are awful at it too. Although there is some truth to the fact that the sort of Spanish and Italian teams we can usually dump our shit all over are hugely skint this summer and last.
Transfers In: Guehi (£18m) Andersson (£14m), Olise (£8m), Gallagher (loan), Matthews (goalkeeper) free.
Very good signings, although we could do with another right winger, back up left back, striker and perhaps a centre midfielder.
Transfers Out: Townsend (released), van Aanholt (released), Sakho (released), McCarthy (released), Cahill (released), Dann (released), Hennessy (released), Henderson (released).
A lot of released players, but apart from perhaps Townsend and Cahill, the rest hardly ever played anyway. I would have liked to keep Cahill and Townsend, but only on significantly reduced wages. We’ve saved around half a million a week in wages.
Friendlies: Unbeaten, looked really good against Watford last week.
Optimism going into the new season: I’m very optimistic, I’m not being silly and think we’ll finish top half, we’ll probably just about stay up if we do. But the wage bill has been cleared, we’ve made good signings, we’ll try and play nice football, and whatever happens, happens.
We now have a new part owner, who invested £90million for only 18% of the club. Our academy is looking great.
Other: Poor start today, but losing 3-0 to Chelsea was no disgrace, and that was without Andersen or Benteke starting due to fitness, Gallagher couldn’t play due to being on loan, Eze and Olise injured. Once everyone is fit, we’ll hopefully be a different team.