The Roar
The Roar

Steven McBain

Roar Guru

Joined August 2013







Retired Scots oil trader, Chelsea fan and sometime sports blogger.



Thanks so much Xeno. You are spot on in that the piece identifies the issue but not necessarily the ideal solution.
I was chatting to a friend who’s a season ticket holder last night and he was in agreement that a change is needed also.
It is possible that TS could play in a back four with quick players around him.
Possibly a ‘double pivot’ of Lavia and Caicedo could actually offer him more cover in that instance.
Thanks again mate.

Is three a crowd for Pochettino's fledgling Chelsea?

Cheers Nick, I didn’t see the PSG game last night but I heard Verratti was excellent!?

I think if anyone wants to criticise Fergie for anything then letting Pogba get so hacked off and leave must be the biggest blunder towards the end. He was always so wonderful at giving young players a chance yet he’s let an absolute weapon of a midfielder leave there………..

Could Manchester United's 'blip' become something bigger?

I think with Mourinho, he’s obviously won the CL twice and in fairness to him with pretty unfashionable teams in Porto and Inter when the Italian clubs were already seemingly on the wane.

With Chelsea and Real he has struggled a bit in Europe since and I feel with him that he’s lost a bit of an edge in European terms. His tactics were working wonderfully for him for a while but teams are fathoming it out now and fighting fire with fire.

If ‘Nickoldschool’ reads this I’d love to know what he thought about PSG winning last night, am sure he’s delighted!

I didn’t see it but sounds like they turned it into a scrap and came out on top. Mourinho’s made a career on destroying and stopping teams play but now PSG and Atletico last season have sussed that out.

He needs to adapt if Chelsea are going to challenge in the CL again………

Could Manchester United's 'blip' become something bigger?

Johnno completely agree with you on Fergie and his European record. But for 2 mad minutes against Bayern and a John Terry slip, he’d have never won the CL, completely agree mate.

If you look at the two CLs he won, I don’t think anyone could say United were the best team in the tournament that year, or at least never the dominant one in the same way that a Barca or AC or a Bayern has done it. 100% agree with you.

Domestically I think however he without parallel. That to me was far more about buying the right players and motivating them and giving them the platform and freedom to act.

I think you do have a point in that as his transfer budget reduced he bought his fair share of turkeys later on.

Could Manchester United's 'blip' become something bigger?

Johnno cheers for the read mate.

The point I was trying to make about the transfers was that United have been spending relatively less (until last Summer) versus their revenues – because more money is flowing out of the club.

With FFP, United should still be well placed as the criteria for FFP dictates the status quo. City have been fined and penalised for breaking those rules as an example, as were PSG.

United pre the Glazers regularly broke the British transfer record but even with the Ronaldo money they rarely seriously splashed the cash after buying Rooney. Obviously last Summer was different after the shock of not making the CL.

I don’t think United’s situation is Van Gaal’s fault at all (and don’t think or at least hope I said that!?) but I do think he’s doing a slightly ‘odd’ job with the team tactically.

I think in Ferguson’s latter years he was simply papering over cracks. The Glazers gave him an entirely free reign and in return he made do with what he could.

To me, the purchase of RVP was an entirely selfish one by Ferguson however. He spent 24M to ensure he went out on a high and with City not on top. Yes they won the league but he broke one of his cardinal rules of buying a player with no resale value in the latter stages of his career.

I can’t say I agree with you about Ferguson not necessarily doing well with a lesser club. At Aberdeen he destroyed the Glaswegian duopoly and won a European trophy. United whilst rich were a mess when he took over and I don’t think anyone can say he didn’t do magnificently.

Redknapp I feel is an absolute charlatan. Spurs tripped over their shoelaces so many times when he was there and they finished pretty much where they do every year under whichever manager. Spurs had sold Berbatov a month before Redknapp showed up also.

Again, cheers for the read though, good to have a proper debate!

Could Manchester United's 'blip' become something bigger?

Brick, I’ve been to a couple games at the New Den also. Let’s just say it’s as intimidating for the home team as it is for the away I reckon!!

Thanks for reading the piece mate.

Tim Cahill: A man for the big moments

Sheek, nice article and one of these pieces that always fuels debate. Coupla questions mate…..

When you looked at the respective teams was it on pure contribution or balance to the team? I’ve always been a huge Brett Emerton fan as an example and think he would bring a great balance to your first team.

Secondly, I appreciate you are going 4-3-3 as opposed to a 4-4-2 but no place for Stan Lazaradis or Robbie Slater? Both very respected players in my book. Maybe time to name a few subs at least………..!

Plenty of food for thought and good matter to chew over. Congrats on the upcoming milestone!

Sheek's best Socceroos XI (1967-present)

Well he’s certainly good enough still to notch a few goals I would reckon mate!

Tim Cahill: A man for the big moments

Britesparke, thanks firstly for reading the piece, always appreciated.

Unless I’m wrong I think he has said that he won’t play for Australia at the next WC and given he’d be 39 at the next Asia Cup I think it’s safe to say for the most of us we won’t see him on the biggest stages again.

I know little about Shanghai’s footballing status I have to admit, is there any prospect of Asian Champions League for him?

Anyhow, cracking player and I’ll miss not seeing him play regularly. Thanks again for reading mate.

Tim Cahill: A man for the big moments

Editor – any chance I could get this moved across to the football section please!?

Vas cheers for reading the piece and the sentiments!

Tim Cahill: A man for the big moments

Nick I tend to agree with you as I often do. If you start going through the list you simply end up striking all the potentials off. I was reading another piece saying the only two clubs that could actually afford it would be Real or United, no one else can get near it as they don’t have the revenues. He’s basically impossible to transfer which is I’m sure as Barca intended it.

I think if United were an Adidas team and not on Nike you may see some legs to the story but that’s a non starter as they with Nike. Real I just don’t think Messi himself would countenance and I don’t think Chelsea even with help from Adidas could make it work under FFP.

I think he’ll see out his best years at Barca and then if the MLS is still going and getting stronger you could see Adidas pushing him towards the Galaxy but that would surely be 5 years and beyond from here.

Would Barcelona ever sell Lionel Messi?

So you don’t reckon he’s going to turn up at QPR then!?

Would Barcelona ever sell Lionel Messi?

William I agree it’s highly unlikely. As I mentioned above he’s almost impossible to actually transfer. I know Luis Figo found his way to Real but I honestly couldn’t see it happening with Messi although it would be fascinating to watch it play out!

Am presuming he wouldn’t want to play in Ligue Une which really just leaves you with the Premiership. I’d presume we could include City in the list of suitors (although granted their revenues aren’t as high as the others (yet).

I don’t see that Chelsea can afford it given their income so only really leaves United assuming they’re back on course to return to the Champions League. Presumably they’d have to sell before they could buy however………..

I honestly think that even if anyone wanted to put it together, with FFP it simply doesn’t work…….

Would Barcelona ever sell Lionel Messi?

Luis thanks for the insight and thanks for reading the article. Do you think that would be at all viable for any of those guys? Would presumably require huge private funding from somewhere?

Would Barcelona ever sell Lionel Messi?

I’ve also just realised I experienced mild brain fade and missed off some of the notes I had scribbled down prior.

I left out the paragraph regarding Barca’s transfer ban meaning that if they were to sell Messi right now they can’t do anything in terms of ‘re-stocking’ for the time being which renders the whole thing even more improbable.

My apologies, I clearly need my wife to start pre-editing things prior to submission!

Would Barcelona ever sell Lionel Messi?

PM that’s the thing. I think in the era of FFP he’s almost ‘untransferable’ and Barca have probably done a lot to ensure that. I was attempting to address that by looking at the commercial angle, shirt sales etc but I honestly have no idea of the sums involved. Although am sure there’s a few people with calculators and spreadsheets out…….

Would Barcelona ever sell Lionel Messi?

DT, where I would get suspicious is if I heard stories linking him with either Melbourne City or New York City……… as then you know he’s definitely going to Manchester!!!

Cheers for reading the piece mate.

Would Barcelona ever sell Lionel Messi?

Steve it’s all a bit of maneouvering on Messi’s part probably with a clear and designed end – to strengthen his position at Barca.

The fact that his wife adding Chelsea on instagram constitutes a story tells you more about society today than it does about where he wants to play football.

I was listening to Sid Lowe’s take on it this morning and he strongly suggests this is Messi flexing his muscles within the club as you suggest also and that he’ll be a Barca player next season still.

Cheers for reading the piece.

Would Barcelona ever sell Lionel Messi?

Rick, you’d have to reckon that if someone came along and offered say 200M Euros (that’s double Bale money) then Barca would have to say yes? With FFP it’s unlikely but maybe would have been interesting 2-3 years back if City or PSG had come calling with that kind of loot.

For sure there will be agents and hangers on out there doing lots of sums on the back of fag packets…. Cheers for reading the piece…..

Would Barcelona ever sell Lionel Messi?

Pete, it’s a very good question and impossible to answer I suppose other than for the person himself.

What I do think is that Messi’s ego isn’t too shabby either. As Steve comments above, he is effectively dictating to Barca who should be in charge at both board and manager level.

Am sure his and his wife’s instagram promptings are nothing more than a nudge to the hierarchy but I think that whilst his image is somewhat more benign than Ronaldo’s, I don’t think he’s at all less selfish or single minded.

Cheers for reading the piece mate.

Would Barcelona ever sell Lionel Messi?

Rick I made the point in a previous article that as you say, Ferguson indeed focused very much on attacking. I always felt he was slightly one dimensional tactically in that he didn’t really know how to do anything else. For instance when he tried to integrate Veron (who at the time was a SUPREME deep lying playmaker) and adapt United from a 4-4-2 in Europe, he simply couldn’t do it.

However, what Ferguson did do I feel was recognise that United were very open and responded by consistently signing top class defenders breaking the record in the process for Pallister, Stam and Ferdinand as well as signing guys like Vidic and having Gary Neville to call upon. They also had Roy Keane in front of them.

The key as you said straight up is balance. Cheers for reading the piece.

Has Van Gaal brought progress, or is he just plain hopeless?

Johnno that’s an interesting point you make given I also pointed out that the bulk of his success came in the 90s.

You could take a manager such as George Graham who enjoyed wonderful success with Arsenal and was clearly a good manager. Yet after his ‘bungs’ rehabilitation he increasingly became less relevant at both Leeds and Spurs, his football just seemed archaic.

I’m not so sure you can place LVG in that category yet as he was lauded at the World Cup for his tactics, especially the demolition of (a woeful) Spain.

But again, is this more about his relationship with the press (ala Harry Redknapp) than a reality of his tactical nous?

Definitely worth thinking about mate. Cheers for reading.

Has Van Gaal brought progress, or is he just plain hopeless?

Aladdin, I probably should have tipped more of a nod to the injury situation which is undoubtedly a problem.

I think my issue with United’s defence is I look along the line at Rafael, Jones, Smalling, Evans, Rojo and I’m just not convinced by any of them at the HIGHEST level. I do think Luke Shaw will progress. Smalling for me is not United standard and I don’t know with Phil Jones, he looks a wonderful prospect but at some stage he has to stop getting injured and tie down a position and then we will see.

I actually think their make shift defence with ten men functioned very well at the weekend but with Rojo and Smalling on the pitch, both could easily have been sent off as well as a couple of penalties before we even got to the second half.

I think a lack of tactical cohesion ahead of that defence is pressuring these guys immensely also.

Cheers for reading the piece Aladdin.

Has Van Gaal brought progress, or is he just plain hopeless?

Cheers JB and thanks for taking the time to write such a thoughtful and complete comment. I actually felt a bit unhappy with my article as I didn’t really reach my own conclusion but that’s maybe as it’s just too early too call.

I really have to say I’ve taken to Van Gaal on a personal level but I’m still waiting to see the tactical master at work!

Has Van Gaal brought progress, or is he just plain hopeless?

Melbourne it’s an interesting one. I grew up in Aberdeen in the 80s and Rangers were hopeless for most of it and Celtic were pretty mediocre. It made for a wonderful league with Aberdeen and Dundee United both winning it and Hearts chucking one away on the final day.

I think the overall product in Scotland right now would be bobbins regardless, it’s in a huge trough and you can see Celtic in steep decline now as they get sucked back towards everyone else.

With a weak Rangers, a weak(er) Celtic, who knows if the clubs rebuild properly, concentrate on youth and building from the bottom up, we might end up with a renaissance in Scottish football.

I’m probably talking more out of hope than probability but overall I think this is something that Scottish football needed to go through. Guys like Hibs and Hearts in the 2nd tier also now have been way to complacent also.

Could be a good thing in the long run?

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