Showing posts from 2019

Manchester United vs Tottenham Hotspurs Preview

Manchester United take on Tottenham Hotspurs in our second game of the International Champions Cup (ICC) in Shanghai. After making it three wins out of three by beating Perth Glory and Leeds United in Australia and Inter Milan in Singapore, we head to China to face a familiar side. Having scored 9 goals in three games and conceded none, we should be going into this game with some confidence. Solskjaer has been playing a high pressing game and the players have mentioned how this pre-season has been more rigorous and exhausting than previous ones. This game will be a very good test of how the Premier League might turn out to be because of the quality of our opposition.
This will be Tottenham's second game of pre-season having beaten Juventus 3-2 in Singapore. They recovered from a 2-1 deficit with Kane scoring a brilliant goal from the halfway line in the 93rd minute. Obviously, Spurs will be the favourites going into this game because of the way they ended last season but I feel t…

Manchester United vs Inter Milan Player Ratings

Photo Credit: Evening Standard Going into the game United were 2 from 2 this summer after a routine 2-0 victory over Perth Glory and a 4-0 dismantling of Championship play-off contenders, Leeds United. Moving on to the Asian leg of the World Tour, United looked set to face stiffer opposition as they came up against a strong Inter side in this International Champions Cup game at the Singapore National Stadium. In the build up, the media focus was still on the prospective ins, outs and transfer wheelings and dealings, however Ole and co did a good job of not allowing speculation  to overshadow the occasion.

De Gea made a welcome return to first team action, Pogba started his third consecutive game and new boys James and Wan-Bissaka also kept their places in the starting 11. One notable absentee was Romelu Lukaku, which fuelled speculation that United and Inter are edging closer to a deal to take the prolific Belgian to the San Siro before Serie A kicks off again on 24th August.

Player R…

Manchester United vs Inter Milan Match Analysis

Manchester United beat Inter 1-0 in Singapore on a rather hot and exhausting day. The stadium, despite being on neutral territory, felt like it was being played in Manchester. The crowd raucously cheered every United movement and jeered Inter and their dirty tackles. United started with David De Gea playing behind a back-line of Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Victor Lindelof, Axel Tuanzebe, and Luke Shaw. In midfield we had a double pivot of Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic playing behind Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard, Daniel James, with Anthony Martial playing as the lone striker. This was temporary as Martial, Rashford, and James kept switching positions.  The high press and pace persisted throughout the game as we dominated through the first half (even if we lacked the goals to show for it). James had a couple of half decent chances but he needs to work harder on his finishing abilities and movement in the final third. With that sorted out, we'll have a very good player on our hands.  Our ba…

Juan Mata - The secret to United's attacking success next season?

During our first two games of pre-season in 2019/20 we have seen Juan Mata play a more central role then we have previously watched him for most of his United career. For the past few seasons especially, United fans have gotten accustomed to Manchester United's number 8 playing out of position on the wing, rather than in his preferred central position. And as a result of this Mata effectiveness for Man United has has declined, however if we continue you to use him in a number 10 role we could see his contribution to the team increase significantly.

Whilst playing at number 10 during pre-season we are seeing extremely positive things from Juan Mata and his effect on the attacking output of this new look Manchester United team. This position benefits Mata more than when he plays on the wing as there is less defensive contributions to be made buy a number 10. Additionally, he is able to utilise his best attributes in the number 10 position, which are is close control, pinpoint passi…

Manchester United vs Inter Milan Preview

Manchester United are back; this time in Singapore and up against a slightly stronger side than Leeds and Perth Glory as they face Inter Milan in the International Champions Cup. 
It is very clear that Solskjaer is working on a fluid front three, with Daniel James and Greenwood impressing alongside Rashford. Juan Mata was terrific against Leeds in the number 10 role. Aaron Wan-Bissaka was also excellent against Leeds and looks to be a shrewd signing. Paul Pogba is now seemingly leaning towards staying at Old Trafford, though, and the midfielder's two performances this summer suggest that he is committed to the cause. The same cannot be said for Romelu Lukaku, however, as he (being firmly linked with Inter) is yet to feature this summer due to fitness problems. Inter will be looking to build on their friendly win over last weekend when they take on United in Singapore. The Italian giants are behind when it comes to preparations for the new campaign, but are hungry for a positive r…

Manchester United vs Leeds United Match Analysis

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Making their second trip to the Optus Stadium in Perth after just 4 days, Manchester United defeated Leeds United 4-0 in what was a dominant and very impressive team performance. Ole started two different XI's for each half once again and gave almost every player in the squad a chance to impress and all gained match sharpness and fitness as a result. The only unused player within the named squad was Tuanzebe, with Luke Shaw out nursing a minor injury and Romelu Lukaku not involved as he allegedly pushes through a move away to Inter Milan.
First Half XI: Romero, Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Bailly, Rojo, McTominay, Pogba, Greenwood, Mata, James, Rashford.
Second Half XI: J.Pereira, Dalot, Smalling, Jones, Young, Matic, A.Pereira, Lingard, Gomes, Chong, Martial  
Goals: Greenwood, Rashford, Jones, Martial (pen) Assists: Wan-Bissaka, McTominay, A.Pereira, Chong
Goal Analysis The first goal started with a clever, pinpoint reverse pass from Pogba, playing W…

Manchester United vs Leeds United: Player Ratings

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United’s first half starting XI
Sergio Romero - 7.0 Sergio had a neat and tidy first 45 with some solid goalkeeping, including a crucial save with his feet when United were 1.0 up.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka - 8.0 Another impressive run out from United’s new right-back signing, he was defensively sound snuffing out Leeds attacks down the left and making some crucial blocks and interceptions. He also put in a fine low cross for United’s first.
Victor Lindelof - 7.5 Seems to be the leader in the back four during the first half, he marshalled the back line well, while looking good on the ball.

Eric Bailly - 7.0
He will have been happy to have come through 45 minutes unscathed. He partnered Victor Lindelof well, making some important interceptions. 
Marcos Rojo - 6.5 Shoehorned in to the team today to get some minutes in to his legs, however left back is not really his position and offered the team very little.
Scott McTominay - 7.5 Scott showed great energy as always in United’s midfi…

Manchester United vs Leeds United Preview

Manchester United are set to take on Leeds United in their second preparation fixture tomorrow in what could become a pre-season grudge match between two old rivals. 
United got their tour off to a successful start on Saturday after a solid 2-0 victory against Perth Glory with the goals coming from Marcus Rashford and James Garner. The Red Devils put themselves through their paces, showing off their already impressive fitness levels in the tour opener. 
Leeds have just arrived in Australia for a double header against United and Western Sydney Wanderers. Their head coach, Marcelo Bielsa, elected to take half of his squad to Australia and leave the other half behind in England for extra fitness training. The Whites have already got two pre-season games under their belt, albeit against low-level opposition, meaning they could prove a good test to a United side that is still largely out of rhythm. 
Teams: Manchester United vs Leeds United  KO: 17th July 2019 12:00pm GMT Location: Optus Stadium…

Dani Ceballos Player Analysis - An alternative to Fernandes and Maddison?

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Dani Ceballos is a 22-year-old Spanish central midfielder currently playing for Real Madrid, who recently won the U-21 European Championship with his national side.
His professional career started when he joined Real Betis in the 2013/14 season, before switching to Real Madrid in 2017/18, where he currently remains. He totalled 105 appearances for Betis in addition to 56 for Real Madrid and 35 for Spain (First squad + U-21 sides) respectively. His favoured position is in the '8' role in midfield, further forward than an defensive midfielder but not an out-and-out attacking midfielder. Across all of his starts last season, he started in the centre midfield '8' role in 65% of these matches (13), also playing a few in a more advanced midfield role (5) and 2 as a left forward. 
Ceballos has received a lot of attention since his 'Player of the Tournament' award at the 2017 U-21 European Championships as well his his more recent 2 goals…

Perth Glory vs Manchester United Match Analysis

Image taken from the Evening Standard

Today was the day United got their pre-season underway over in Australia. Fresh from a much needed summer break, United were looking to erase the memory of a disappointing 2018/19 season by putting down a marker against Australian A-League side Perth Glory. Ole will have been keen to use this game to get minutes in to the legs of all of the players in the squad and to build up their fitness ahead of the games coming up against better opposition as we approach the new season. The United manager decided the best way to do this was to field one team in the first half and a different team 11 for the second half.

First half XI: Romero, Dalot, Tuanzebe, Jones, Young; Andreas, Matic, Chong; Lingard, James, Martial 

Second half XI: Pereira, Wan-Bissaka, Smalling, Rojo, Shaw; McTominay, Pogba, Mata; Gomes, Greenwood, Rashford
United started the game brightly, looking to press their opposition high up the pitch and when in possession moving the ball quickly, es…

Perth Glory vs Manchester United Player Ratings

Manchester United got their pre-season tour off to a cracking start with a comfortable 2-0 win over Perth Glory on Saturday. United fielded two different XI's in each half, in a game which gave the manager and the fans a chance to have a look at all of the players including their fitness levels ahead of a highly anticipated season.
Below are my player ratings for United's pre-season opener: 
Romero - 6
As calm as a day in the office for the Argentine shot stopper, who other than a few routine catches, had virtually nothing to do.

Dalot - 7
The Portuguese wide man did not have enough to do defensively today to show any potential improvements from last season, but looked dangerous as always going forward down that right flank.

Tuanzebe - 7
A very comfortable return to United for the big centre back, showing composure on the ball while also retaining it quickly when pushing up into the middle of the park.

Jones - 7
As is the case for all of the defenders who featured today, United di…

Perth Glory vs Manchester United Preview

Manchester United return to the field after a long summer holiday. Some players were involved with their countries while others were just enjoying quality time off the pitch. The boys are back in training and as of writing this article, we have two signings in Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka. The game against Perth Glory is an opportunity for us to see what Ole Gunner's team will be made up of.
Teams: Perth Glory vs Manchester United KO: 13th July 2019 12:00pm GMT Location: Optus Stadium Managers: Tony Popovic and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Team News Manchester United are without Sanchez who is on holiday, Darmian and Fred are away due to family issues. There are concerns about the fitness of Lukaku and Martial. Other than that, we expect that the rest of the boys will be available for selection. Perth Glory have a few injury concerns ahead of the match, with Chris Ikonomidis, Alex Grant and Dane Ingham out, while Dino Djulbic is still nursing an ACL injury he suffered in the A-League G…

The Curious Case of Andreas Pereira

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Andreas Pereira was signed as a youth player under manager at the time Sir Alex Ferguson in 2011, moving from the PSV Eindhoven youth side to Manchester United. He first appeared for the United first team in the 2014/15 season where he took part in one Premier League game as well as an EFL Cup game. He added another 11 appearances for the Red Devils moving into 2015/16, before loan moves to Granada and Valencia respectively over the following two seasons. He returned to Old Trafford last season and appeared 22 times during the season. Last week, he put pen to paper on a new contract keeping him at United for another 4 years.
There are only 3 things certain in life: death, taxes and Manchester Utd fans discussing Andreas Pereira in pre-season. Over his entire spell at Manchester United, he seems to have been caught in a ever-repeating circular current in which he is taken on the pre-season tour, given time to impress before then not being massively utilised by…

What to look out for during the pre-season tour...

With the amount of talking points surrounding Manchester United this summer so far, it really feels like the season never ended. 
The constant speculation regarding who might leave and who might come in has been exhausting, especially because the amount of business actually being done has been minimal. 
Having waved goodbye to a few players, United reinforced the squad with two promising signings in English right back, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, and Welsh wide man, Daniel James. But despite Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wanting to have his business done before his side jetted off on the pre-season tour beginning in Australia, the new United gaffer will not have the luxury of having his full preferred squad at his disposal for United’s first preparation game against Perth Glory this coming Saturday. 
So, as the United board continue to work on more signings to strengthen the squad ahead of what is shaping up to be an unpredictable season — let’s take a look at what we should pay particular attention to in…