Tag Archives: Mark Goldbridge

Manchester United Players to Blame – The Goldbridge Blog

“We mustn’t lose to Chelsea” was the last sentence from my last blog. Unfortunately Chelsea didn’t just beat Manchester United at the weekend, they annihilated us. I’ve heard some United fans saying the score didn’t reflect the stats and if David Luiz gets a red for his challenge on Fellaini then it’s a different story…. Well if Robert was my mums brother he’d be my uncle. And don’t get me started on stats. For those of you who’ve had the misfortune of playing me online at FIFA you’ll often here me moaning in defeat, “this has not been a four nil game and I’ve deserved something out of it” Well trust me. United’s loss to Chelsea was not one of those scenarios.

Like the derby against City United were very lucky to go in at half time with the score they did. Two nil to Chelsea flattered us and I don’t think anyone would have argued if Chelsea had scored at least one more. We were outclassed, out thought and most surprising and humiliating of all for us fans, outfought. One hundred per cent effort and concentration should be an absolute given for any player fortunate enough to wear a Manchester United shirt. The fact that is now an attribute we desperately require is a sad and damning indication of just how bad United’s current plight is.

Do I blame the manager? No. Do I blame the players? Yes. David Moyes was always the wrong choice as a Manchester United manager and I’ll never entertain any discussion that maybe he wasn’t that bad. To be frank it was like leaving KFC in charge of your chickens. Moyes arrogantly destroyed the structure of the club by dismissing all of the successful backroom staff and then put a cherry on top of the rubble that was the United empire by buying Fellaini – the one purchase that strangely enough is still undermining everything we try to do on the pitch three years later.

Then came Van Gaal. Arrogance and idiocy are a lethal cocktail but Louis had the mix down to a tea. Clueless in his efforts to impress a slow and methodical European style of football on to the fast paced Premier League, Van Gaal drowned in his own nonsense. However, his legacy, like that of Moyes, is one that is damaging the club today. Signings such as Di Maria, Rojo, Darmian, Schneiderlin, Memphis and others have at best been flops and at worst have enabled the club to fall perilously behind our rivals.

Jose Mourinho picks the team and I can’t defend selections such as Fellaini but when you scratch the surface of the problem at United the obvious issue every time is the players.

As a squad it’s not good enough. Like a beached whale, United’s playing squad is bloated, out of it’s depth and going nowhere fast. Yes it would be easy to single out a Fellaini, Rooney or Memphis and lay the blame on individuals, but I think we’re past that. United’s problem is a far greater one and like most major issues in life, it’s a culmination of a number of things.

One, we’ve bought consistently badly over the last three years. The financial cost is sickening but the damage all these signings have had on the club is the weight that’s sinking us. Our squad is top heavy with failed signings. All of us could name five, some of us can comfortably go higher. To have that many failed players taking up squad places, stealing oxygen at United is criminal and it’s a legacy Jose has had to inherit. Add in to that the so called “senior pros” who have presided over the disaster that has been the last three years at Old Trafford and the restoration process moves from difficult to daunting. Rooney, Young, Valencia, Jones, Smalling, Carrick, all senior pros at the club, all on big wages, all part of the last three years of failure and all for differing reasons part of the problem.

So when fans start looking for someone to blame, and after three years blame is the right word, it’s the players where the buck has to stop. Over half our squad is not good enough and that is the job Jose Mourinho faces. There’s no quick fix. It’s going to be a long process. But to blame him for the failings of the last three years is wrong.

How long will it take? How long is a piece of string? The easy solution for Mourinho was to come in, sell half the squad and bring in his own half. But when has that happened in football? This isn’t FIFA, it’s real life. It’s going to take time, maybe two or three transfer windows. But have no illusions, the players have let us down. They earn thousands of pounds a day to live the dream at our club and they are abusing it.

By Mark Goldbridge

Manchester United must beat Chelsea

Manchester United are just an expensive Stoke City, Mourinho is no better than LVG, United parked the bus at Anfield….. The list goes on and all I’ve got to say to the above is let the haters hate.

In fact, let’s welcome it. Because in reality all that’s happening is a futile attempt to deflect scrutiny of the haters own failings. In the case of Liverpool, that they’ve been exposed as a side lacking imagination and creativity when a side doesn’t give them the space to do what they want. For the press, that their determined effort to undermine our manager and champion the new boys of Pep, Klopp and Conte isn’t gathering pace. And for other rivals it’s plain old fear. Fear that United are within touching distance of every single one of them despite a mediocre start to the season.

What did I think of the Liverpool game? It was a bit like foreplay. There were really positive parts and there were things we could have done better. But it will all be for nothing if we don’t progress south – against Chelsea.

So does that mean the Chelsea game is a must win? I think it’s unfair to put that pressure on a United side that has a pretty horrific record at Stamford Bridge – only two wins in the last sixteen games. Add in to that the media meltdown and hype around Jose’s return and common sense would suggest this isn’t a game Chelsea can afford to lose. But it’s a game United really could do with winning.

Another point and another battling performance with plenty of heart and commitment wouldn’t be a terrible outcome. However, with Arsenal and City both having very winnable home fixtures this weekend even a well earnt point at Stamford Bridge will see us drift to seven points behind the leaders – not an insurmountable amount but still a healthy gap for two major rivals to have at this time of the season.

Without question four points from Liverpool and Chelsea is exactly what United should be targeting if they want to get back amongst the title challengers. Some might say it’s a big ask from arguably our two hardest fixtures of the season but the way the seasons gone so far we need that sort of boost. Two draws whilst not a disaster, isn’t quite enough, especially after the costly two points we let slip at home to Stoke. But football is an odd mistress and there’s a world of difference between another ground out nil nil draw and a six goal thriller where both sides share the points. So to totally dismiss a draw against Chelsea at this stage would be unfair when it very much depends on the circumstances come six o’clock on Sunday evening.

The positive is that I’m sure Jose Mourinho will go with the intention of taking all three points from his old employers. He’s got more than one point to prove to Chelsea and if he can pull it off it would be the perfect catalyst to kick on and have a great season.

What we mustn’t do is lose.

By Mark Goldbridge

New Rio Ferdinand to Captain Manchester United

Next Rio Ferdinand takes Manchester United captaincy

Being labelled the next Rio Ferdinand is a big responsibility for any Manchester United player. Regardless of what some people think of his off field persona there’s no doubting that Ferdinand was the most accomplished English defender of his generation. So to have a Manchester United youth player likened to such a United great is some accolade. The question is, is the boy good enough?

Step forward Axel Tuanzebe. Recently promoted to Manchester United U23’s captain, Tuanzebe is highly thought of within Old Trafford and many fans prediction to be the next United youth product to follow Lingard, Rashford and Fosu-Mensah in to the first team. Even Jose Mourinho singled Tuanzebe out for praise after the Wigan preseason preview. Mourinho was asked why Tuanzebe only came on for the last ten minutes of the game, to which he replied “Everyone within the club knows what Tuanzebe can do. Ten minutes is more than enough. He has a great future”.

Being handed the captaincy of what is in effect Manchester United’s reserve team is a huge achievement in itself. At only 18 years of age, Tuanzebe doesn’t turn 19 until next month, he’s one of the youngest in the U23 side. So to be given the captaincy speaks volumes about his leadership skills and personality. Another huge bonus on top of what is already a very talented footballer.

Lightening fast, strong and athletic, and standing tall at 6 foot, Tuanzebe has all the skills in his locker to develop in to a top class United defender. But it’s his reading of the game and ball distribution that draw parallels with Rio Ferdinand. For a defender, Tuanzebe very rarely goes to ground or makes last ditch tackles. This is because, like Rio in his United prime, Axel’s reading of a game is sensational for one so young.

So remember the name. Axel Tuanzebe, United’s next big youth star.

It’s now in the hands of Mourinho and how long he waits to blood Tuanzebe in the first team?

One suspects it will be sooner rather than later. Because for all the fantastic signings United have made recently, none will be more celebrated than a Mourinho Manchester United youth prospect coming through and silencing the critics.

By Mark Goldbridge

Manchester United’s time to silence the Scousers

CLICK HEREWriting this week’s blog I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t in a very dark and lonely place – and I’m not talking about Liverpool’s trophy room. I’m talking the international break. There’s no doubting the international break is a long hard slog. But unlike Liverpool’s twenty six years without a title win, it will come to an end. So hang in there and stay strong.

Seriously though, my advice is to surround yourself with positive things – short video clips of Slippy G costing the Scousers the title always cheer me up – and the international break will be over before you know it. But it’s Liverpool, as you may have guessed already, who are featuring strongly in my thoughts this week. Like a painful little pimple on the backside they are a constant irritating thought that threatens to erupt in to something far bigger this month. October may not quite be a do or die month for United but if it goes wrong our season will be in serious need of life support.

From the mocking tweet the United Stand twitter account received from the official Liverpool account a few weeks back to the constant goading from giddy Liverpool fans, there’s a growing optimism amongst those red scousers that this is the year they will finally knock us off our perch. And what better way to do that than to beat us at Anfield a week on Monday. Am I concerned? The honest answer has to be yes. I hate losing and I really hate it when United lose to Liverpool. So to come away from Anfield with nothing will be a huge kick in the nuts. And just like a kick in the nuts the pain will linger on for a long time after.

Do I expect us to lose though? That’s the big question. And to that I say a defiant NO! We are Manchester United. Yes we’re going in to a pressure cooker environment. Yes this is the Scousers annual Anfield cup final. And yes I’m sure the referee will be desperate to give the biased media exactly what it wants, penalties to Liverpool and Jose’s head served up on a plate so they can stick the knife in some more. But I said it in the summer and I’ll say it here again. United need to build a siege mentality. We need to start fighting and believing and proving the haters wrong. And what better way to do that than to go to Anfield and win.

Can we do it? Yes. Will we do it? Football is a funny old game and we’ll need more than ability to win there. It only takes a weak referee to undermine a good performance but we must go in to that game standing tall and ready to fight from the off.

Which brings me on to my second Liverpool irritant this week. First of all I want to say a huge thankyou to all of you who voted for us in the Football Blogging Awards because The United Stand has made it to the final in two categories. The final will take place LIVE on YouTube on November 17th from Old Trafford and there’s nothing we’d like more than to be stood up collecting an award and thanking the people who really matter – you the fans. But we’re up against it to be honest. And worst of all we’re up against it from Liverpool accounts. Liverpool accounts twice the size of us who will most likely be crowned winners at Old Trafford…It’s enough to make you throw up.

So if United matters to you, and The United Stand matters to you, please please please take the few seconds to vote on the links below. It’s going to take a huge effort to pull this off but like Mourinho’s United we can do this if we pull together and give it everything we’ve got. Every vote could be crucial so please take the few seconds to cast YOURS! If you’re on Twitter just click the links and tweet the vote tweet in both categories to cast your vote.

Twitter Vote Links
Best Club Account CLICK HERE
Best Fan Channel CLICK HERE

And if you’re not on Twitter please click the website link and cast your vote for us through there – just hit the drop down menus for “Best Football Club Blog” and “Best Video Club Blog” and vote United Stand.

Website Voting Link CLICK HERE


Mark Goldbridge the Forest Fan

They say never feed the troll and by writing the below I guess I’m doing just that. However, there seem to be a few “super reds” determined to spread lies about me, and more importantly destabilise The United Stand, so I thought I’d feed the troll with so much truth it chokes.

It’s a sad state of affairs that it’s always Manchester United fans who are determined to cause trouble and try to shut The United Stand, especially when it’s sole purpose is to be an independent fan channel where fans can really say what they think about the club they love. When we started the channel we never anticipated just how severe the infighting and hate was amongst some United fans. Without doubt we have some of the best football fans in the world but as with any large group there’s a vocal minority determined to ruin it for others.

I’m not naming names – I don’t know most of them – so where their hate and disdain for something that has only ever been an outlet for United fans to share their views comes from I don’t know? But what is clear, is these people are absolutely determined to shut us up. Why? I could speculate and say they have their fingers in other outlets that would benefit from a United fanbase with no United Stand in it? Or maybe they just can’t stand the look of my aids victim face and would like to repeatedly kick my alien head in – just a sprinkle of the torrent of abuse I get from fans of our own club whom I’ve never met, spoken to, or given them reason to dislike me for, other than present a show that talks about the club we all apparently love…..

Which brings me nicely on to one of the main reasons for writing this piece. Apparently I don’t support Manchester United. Some Columbo detective types have been trawling the internet and old tweets – I don’t know whether to be proud or worried that there are actually people out there spending hours of their time researching me but each to their own, some people spend hours every week watching Jeremy Kyle – and they’ve come to the conclusion that I’m a Forest fan….

I say Columbo types but that’s undoubtedly doing a major disservice to the cunning raincoat wearing American sleuth. These so called whistle blowers are actually showing all the investigative skills of Dot Cotton in a coma. Because the harsh reality is that the Forest connection doesn’t come from a fake photoshopped website post from 2014 that I apparently wrote…. it comes from a video where I mentioned quite openly my past connection with the Nottingham based club.

So you admitted you’re a Forest fan Mark? I hear the handful of people who will actually read this article cry – one of which will be my Gran – and that’ll be the Alzheimer’s kicking in. No I’m not a Forest fan. The Forest fan angle is just the twist the haters want to spin to try and discredit The United Stand. To which I’d quickly like to make this point. I’ve always been vocal that The United Stand is the fans channel. Obviously as the presenter I am the main face of the channel as things stand – no pun intended. However, I’ve made no secret of my desire to take a step back in the next couple of years. Like any decent football team it’s important to freshen things up with new talent and leadership and that is the vision for The United Stand. So if these dissenters think that by discrediting me they’ll achieve their true aim of silencing an independent fan channel that’s sole aim has always been to give football fans a voice in a football world dominated by money and greed. They’re in for a shock. The United Stand is here to stay. It’s never been about me and it never will be. So many people have and continue to contribute to making this channel what it is. Some of them you will know and some of them choose to keep their names out of the public eye. But their efforts and dedication to the cause are immense.

“Stop dodging the subject you fraudulent Forest Fan and get to the point!” I hear my Gran cry – the other four readers have given up by this stage. Well the point is this, and I apologise for those who watched the video a few months ago and have heard all this before. I grew up in Nottingham. My Grandfather, from whom my passion for football was born, idolised Duncan Edwards. Not because he was born a Manchester United fan but because in the fifties a side emerged that even in a time before television captured the imagination of a nation. A young side comprising the best youth talent from around the United Kingdom was making history. Because of that innovative, new and exciting approach to football many new United fans around the country were born and many many more would be drawn to the club in the immediate aftermath of the Munich tragedy. Although as my Grandad always said, they would never get to see play the fantastic talents the club lost that fateful day.

I can hand on heart profess that the only reason I support United is because of my Grandad. If he hadn’t been so passionate about the club and how it rose from the ashes of tragedy to greatness there’d have been no influence on me to mould me in to the United fan I am today.
Mark Goldbridge the Forest Fan…

But what a reason to support Manchester United. Some support them because they’re born in Manchester or because they saw a United game and fell in love with the club. Some like Alex, support them because they fell in love with David Bellion – or it might have been Beckham? I support them because my Grandad idolised Duncan Edwards and the Busby Babes.

It’s not a competition though and that’s where I believe a lot of this hate comes from. Some of the criticism of The United Stand comes from those who believe they are superior over those of us who aren’t from Manchester and don’t go to games. Personally, I’ve never been in to fan superiority, mainly because it’s total nonsense to suggest a fan from Manchester matters or feels it more than one from Essex or Australia. I agree that nothing compares to watching football live and our match going support, especially the loyal away support, is undoubtedly the best in the country. But to say you’re a better fan because you go to games is ridiculous. I know fans who go to Old Trafford every game simply to wine and dine clients. The reality is it’s what’s in your heart that matters not where you park your backside.

So why after all of the above do some fans say I’m a Forest fan? Because they want to discredit me and by association The United Stand, is the short answer. They took something I openly discussed with our viewers in a video a few months ago and have twisted it to try and bury the channel.

To repeat that truth I spoke in that video a few months ago. I’m from Nottingham, my Mum – a United fan – and Dad – a Chelsea fan – don’t ask – separated when I was seven and on the weekends when I used to go to my Dad’s he started taking me to Forest games. We’d never been before and when he married again I didn’t go again. But for a few years in between we used to go quite regularly. I’ve asked him about this and his explanation was that he knew I loved football and it was something to do when we visited at the weekend. Like I said above, you can’t beat live football and as a young boy I got to see some great players in that couple of years.

Amongst those games I saw the likes of Gazza, Waddle, Hoddle, Lineker live. I got to regular witness one of the greatest manager’s that ever lived in Brian Clough, and I saw some things I never ever want to see again.

The late eighties wasn’t a particularly family friendly environment at football matches, the mood was edgy and quite often there was trouble. Most of the games I went to were at the City ground – Forest ground – but the FA Cup mattered in those days and when it came to an FA Cup quarter final between United and Forest at Old Trafford near my birthday I begged my Dad to take me. He obliged and I experienced a day I’ll never forget. My first visit to Old Traffford. We arrived late because of traffic but the atmosphere, the old Stretford end with the Wonderfuel Gas logo along the top. It was amazing for a young boy to experience and whether you crave the good old days or revel in the fact we’ll never go back to the hooligan culture, I have to say the atmosphere was nothing like we’ll ever see again in football grounds. The edge was slightly taken off the day by a Garry Parker goal for Forest in a one nil win but the bonus was a semi final against Liverpool at Hillsbrough.

I grew up with a few Liverpool fans in my class and even back then my dislike for them ran deep. So the prospect of going and watching Forest knock them out was one I was looking forward to. Of course what I would actually witness from the Forest end of the ground was a tragedy that no football fan will ever be allowed to forget.

People often ask what do I remember of the day and if I’m honest alot of it I try not to, the ground was on lockdown for what felt like a couple of hours afterwards and having front row seats to the horror that was unfolding in front of us was something I’ll never forget. Of course the tragedy is all about the people who lost their lives , their families and the people of Liverpool. But there were thousands of people in the ground that day, many of which weren’t from Liverpool, and I’m sure every single one of them carry round those memories with them to this day.

So that’s my Forest connection. I don’t support them. I was lucky enough to go and watch them for a few years in the late eighties and I don’t regret those opportunities. The last time I went to a Forest game was 1989. I continued to grow up and live in Nottingham until I was nineteen and never once went to watch my local team play again, despite a number of my school friends being Forest fans and going down their most weekends. United were and are my club and that will never change for the reasons stated above.

Let the haters hate. Let them photoshop websites declaring me as something I’m not. Let them produce old tweets from two years ago where I was winding some Forest and Liverpool fans up about how the old European cup between 1970 and 1985 was so easy it was like winning the Auto Windscreens cup. The truth is what is written above.
For those who’ve been asking about the Forest fan comm
ents I hope the above explains it. For those who think I am a Forest fan I look forward to attending the Oscars in February and receiving my award as best Actor. Because to spend the last two years talking as in depth and passionately about United as I have with all of you would take acting skills of epic proportions.

As I always say, I’ll talk United with anyone. I have no issues with anyone. And I certainly don’t spend my live hating on people. Life is too short and hatred clouds your judgement.

Thank as always. Mark Goldbridge