CURTIS WOODHOUSE: LVG’s reign at United has been a shambles
To put it bluntly, I am not a fan of Louis van Gaal and his reign at United has been a total shambles.
They’ve signed a load of players and shipped about the same number out and can you say they have a better side now than when he took over? No.
Maybe LVG did a good job at some clubs in the past, but he hasn’t impressed me since taking over from David Moyes.
Watching this United team is incredibly dull. They have no tempo to their game whatsoever and from an entertainment perspective they are awful to watch.
I think the way United have been run since Sir Alex Ferguson retired is just highlighting was a legendary manager he really was.
To win the league time-after-time, especially with the squads he had towards the end of his tenure, just shows how special he was.
A lot has been written in recent days about their transfer activity and at the time of going to print it looked like they were going to sign French striker Anthony Martial from Monaco.
He’s a player I really do rate, I’ve seen him play a few times and he has good movement, pace and gets in behind well.
But for £36million or whatever the fee is, I’d want a tried and tested player signing on, not a lad I am taking a punt on becoming great in the future.
I think United could be set for a period in the wilderness.
They look so far off winning or even challenging for the title.
They’ll be lucky to finish in the top four this season too.
Every club has peaks and troughs though and maybe United are set for a baron period.
Manchester City are looking very strong and can comfortably afford to spend £150million a year strengthening, Chelsea may have started the season poorly but will recover and Arsenal are in a strong financial position as well.
The way United handled the David De Gea transfer saga was nothing short of embarrassing as well.
If a player came to me and told me he wants to leave, your only job then is to get the best price for him.
To then tell him he’s not allowed to leave but leave him out of the squad is baffling.
Then to try and rush through a deal at the last minute only to see it miss the deadline is crazy.
There’s been a lot of talk of the transfer window being shut before the season starts and I have to say I agree 100%.
You build a squad and work on tactics etc only for a bigger club to come along and cherry pick your best players.
Everton’s Roberto Martinez was complaining about Chelsea’s pursuit of John Stones, but then he raided Barnsley for Mason Holgate, so it depends on the way you look at it.
I also firmly believe clubs should also have a window where they can’t sack a manager for 12 months.
It’s becoming a joke watching managers come and go all the time, and the worst thing about it is that it’s stifling the progress of young players.
Managers have to think short term to get results, so they can’t give the 17 or 18-year-old who has been impressing for the under-21s a go.
What these young players need is the chance to impress and the managers need more time to be able to plan for the longer term, which they simply aren’t given at the moment.
Something needs to be done about it.
COMEBACK IS ALWAYS ON MY MIND ...
One of the saddest sights in sport for me is seeing some of the best boxers of past generations making comebacks to pay their bills.
We saw this with Shane Mosley rolled back the years to knock out old foe Ricardo Mayorga over the weekend.
I couldn’t say a bad word about Mosley, he was a great champion and unfortunately he’s run into money problems and had to make a comeback to pay some of his bills.
If you can tell me of another way to earn hundreds of thousands legally in one night I’d love to hear it.
It’s just so sad to see.
Look at the likes of Iron Mike Tyson getting knocked out by Kevin McBride and Danny Williams.
These guys wouldn’t have laid a glove on him five or 10 years earlier, but what was Tyson to do? We all have bills to pay, if fighting is the only way for him to claw some money back then why wouldn’t he do it?
I’m going through a similar thing in my life at the moment.
Boxing is such a tough sport to walk away from.
We all have massive egos on us and we are all fighting men, so we are bound to think we can beat the current crop of fighters lacing up their gloves.
Every weekend there’s a boxing show on the TV I’m online and looking at the rankings and contemplating a comeback.
Looking at the domestic rankings, Dave Ryan is up there and I have already beaten him before, so do I think about coming back? Yes, of course I do.
Don’t tell my mrs, but if the money was right I could never say never again – I’d have to consider it.
Boxing very rarely ends well though.
Fairytale endings only really occur in the Rocky movies and you usually end up packing in when there’s nothing left in the tank or on your backside on the canvas.
If you could just get in the ring and fight I’d still be at it now, I love fighting and I’d do it 24 hours a day if I could.
It’s the dieting, training, graft and discipline that made me walk away.
I can’t see that changing any time soon, but like I said, never say never.
YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED ...
Ian Johnson: Who is the hardest player you ever played with or against?
That’s an easy one - without a doubt it was Sunderland’s Kevin Ball.
I played against him when I was quite young and he scared the hell out of me.
He would actually dare me to go and get the ball and then go right through me.
He was terrifying to play against.
Andy Bloomfield: I am growing impatient with Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers. Do you rate him and would you sack him?
No I wouldn’t sack him, definitely not.
I rate Brendan Rodgers as a manager and I believe he deserves this season to try and turn things around.
Any team who loses the likes of Luis Suarez, Raheem Sterling and Steven Gerrard are likely to have period of poor results.
You could level the criticism that he hasn’t replaced those players very well, but to get them close to the title was a great achievement so he deserves time.
It is a big season for him, but Liverpool have been mediocre for about 25 years anyway so nothing has changed there.
Ken Patterson: If somebody made a film about your life, who would you like to play the lead role?
Easy one again .... Me.
I get asked that all the time - Nobody would do the role justice more than me playing it myself.
I have the swagger and looks of a Denzel Washington anyway so why not?
Tweet your questions for Curtis to @Howell_rm