Are Shakhtar pulling Arsenal and Chelsea’s pants down over Mykhaylo Mudryk?

The Mailbox urges Arsenal and Chelsea to be on their guard over a relatively untested talent. Also: Potter; Weghorst; and Liverpool fans queue up to defend a linesman.

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Potter in a pickle
There are dips in form and then there are more embarrassing longer term runs where little seems to go right. Chelsea’s current predicament, however, indicates a deeper malaise.

In a very short space of time, Graham Potter has gone from being a savior to something less than “still finding his feet”. To have a squad of this quality still floundering in mid-table is an indictment of his leadership from him and we simply should be expecting better.

But today’s FA Cup capitulation to Manchester City marks a new low in performance, as Chelsea were effectively pinned in their own half for long periods and failed to mount any threat. That has to be down to the manager who seems to be at a loss to know how to turn things around.

It looks to me like Graham Potter has a very short time to turn things around; at the moment his team appears to be rudderless and adrift.
Mark Lysaght

Mudryk with?
I am spying a rinse here over the valuation of a young and relatively inexperienced player from a fairly minor league.

I have seen little of Mudryk or his country’s league but would expect the standard to be beneath 10 other European leagues even if he is a standout player in it. I cannot imagine taking a player from the Serb, Scottish or maybe Polish league for 80-90m just because they had a few good Champ league games against other group fodder. There is not a race for this lad and the idea that a club with a strong pro Putin history like Chelsea should be acceptable for the Ukrainian crown jewel seems wrong on many levels. Wingers are notoriously fickle on form, surely Arsenal can pay a fee and load it with add ons based on success. Both Grealish and Antony came from more established leagues and were much better known and established players. Appreciate I have randomly offended numerous countries here but trust the tenet is understood.
Ted Bythesea

Read more: Manchester United manufacture of the ‘Antony scale’ leaves Arsenal with Mudryk dilemma

Hot Haaland take
Am I the only one who thinks City look better without Haaland?
Warren (just stirring the pot)

Weghorst will do
Ian Watson’s piece on Weghorst had an enticing title but missed some key points that let it down. Here’s what I was expecting to see in the ‘makes sense’ column. (1) Ten Haag will not have months to bed Weghorst in – more like days. So a Dutch player with whom a cultural match eases the process makes a lot of sense. Ten Haag has presumably run his eye over Weghorst earlier. (2) Given the players at his disposal, Weghorst provides a very different option – and just as the Netherlands did, throwing a 6 foot 6 player on for the last 20 mins can prove to be quite an effective strategy. If nothing else, defenses that drop deep to nullify Rashford and the pace of United’s other attackers will have a very different challenge. (3) Ten Haag’s transfer business has, by recent United benchmarks, been stunning. Casemiro, Eriksen, Malacia, Martinez, and Antony are all first team players – you can quibble about Malacia’s potential or Antony’s cost, but no doubting their contribution to United’s trajectory. Surely we should give him credit for having a plan and working towards it. It might even involve a front man who can hold the ball up with his back to goal to bring others in – a la Giroud.

Happy to help.
Ved Sen (MUFC)

Forever falling upwards
Everyone in the mailbox will know that person at work. Absolute rubbish at their job, but great at interviews. They get promoted far above their means. It’s very annoying.

Oh Martinez is about to be named Portugal manager. Huh.
Will CFC

VAR-ce
Just a quick one on the VAR issue we’ve just seen at Anfield.

Why are they relying on one camera plonked on the half way line to determine offsides? They say there’s no camera evidence to verify the decision so what on earth have they done here ? I’m absolutely baffled.

The only way to get this right is to have a pitchside camera surely? How hard is it I really don’t know does anyone have any actual insight here or are we just left to guess the FA’s decision making process….
Gibbo (MUFC down-under)

…There’s clearly a lot of outrage about the Liverpool Wolves game, including calls of “conspiracy“. So let’s get this straight:

1) The Salah goal stood because, according to the laws of football, he was not offside. The law may seem ludicrous, and I agree it is, but the correct decision was given according to that law.

2) VAR did not give Toti offside, the Linesman (Assistant Referee) did. Just like old times before VAR. This is what happens. Referees and there assistants make mistakes. VAR couldn’t overrule It because it didn’t have the right angle, but without VAR the goal would still have been disallowed.

It’s ok to be angry about football but please direct your ire correctly.

Thank you
Rob

…Let’s get this straight, Liverpool were terrible yesterday and have been for most of the season and Wolves should have won.

But let’s clear up the VAR decisions for the numbers that write in without understanding the offside rules:

Salah’s goal was ONSIDE because it came off the defender who deliberately attempted to head the ball away, thus playing Salah onside.
If he hadn’t tried to head the ball away, Salah indeed would have been offside.

The Wolves goal was disallowed as the ball went back to the player who took the corner kick, who was coming back from an offside position when receiving and crossing the ball which then led to the “goal”.
The assistant ref saw this and raised his flag to signal offside. VAR agreed and the goal was disallowed.

Before writing in and complaining please read the rules of football.
Neil LFC, USA

…Just love how idiots post without finding things out first… it’s really, really, really simple… there was a player that took the corner, another wolves player headed the ball back & the corner taker ran back from an offside position to then pass the ball to a wolves player… it’s nothing to do with anything that then happened in the area or the player that “scored”. Var for some unknown reason didn’t have the angles to confirm the linesman’s decision & therefore they have to stick with the onfield decision of offside. Just remember the complaints over this about var not working the next time you complain about a hairline offside or a goal being disallowed because it brushed someone’s arm & var spends 5 minutes analyzing it before making their decision.
Marcel

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