Posts

Showing posts from 2019

The Pros and Cons of Dani Alves

Image
Since Dani Alves announced via Instagram that he was leaving Paris Saint Germain speculation has been rife over where he'll play his trade next season, and inevitably Old Trafford has been mooted as a possible destination. Manchester United need to strengthen at right-back, even the dogs in the street know that (hence the well-publicised, protracted negotiations with Crystal Palace for the signature of  Aaron Wan-Bissaka). Therefore the apparent availability of a world class full-back should definitely be scrutinised by the club's hierarchy.  
For those unsure of his pedigree, here's a recap of the Brazil captain's domestic highlights since moving to Europe in 2002:

Sevilla
Copa del Rey x 1Supercopa de España x 1UEFA Cup x 2UEFA Super Cup x 1BarcelonaLa Liga x 6Copa del Rey x 4SuperCopa de España x 4 UEFA Champions League x 3UEFA Super Cup x 3FIFA World Club Cup x 3 JuventusSerie A x 1Coppa Italie x 1Paris Saint GermainLigue 1 x 2Coupe de France x 1 Coupe de la Ligue x 1T…

Is James Rodriguez finally Manchester United bound?

Image
It seems that every transfer window since 2015, James Rodriguez has been linked with a move to Manchester United after the rises of Isco and Asensio have pushed the Colombian away from the starting XI. In a search for consistent first team football, he sealed a two-year loan deal to Bayern Munich in the summer of 2017 and gave Munich the option to purchase him from Los Blancos for a fee of around £36m. However, Rodriguez requested for Bayern not to exercise this clause and has returned to Real Madrid, seeking other options. While reports indicate PSG, Napoli and Chinese clubs are all interested in the World Cup 2014 Golden Boot winner, Manchester United may reignite their long-term interest in the Colombian in their aim to rebuild the squad after such an awful season. Here's all you need to know about Rodriguez:

Fact File: Name: James Rodriguez DOB: 12/07/1991 (27 years old) Nationality: Colombian Current Club: Real Madrid
Stats in all competitions (from transfermarkt.co.uk): Porto: 2010…

Roy Keane - The Story so far and What Next?

Image
Photo Credit: Talksport.com
Nottingham Forest FC announced today (23rd June 2019) that former Red Devil, Roy Keane, had left the club after a six month stint as assistant manager, working alongside Martin O'Neil. Keane's decision was based on his desire to pursue a full managerial role having not sat in the manager's chair since 2011. The announcement was made at this time in order to avoid pre-season preparation disruption. He described his experience working with O'Neil as "one of my greatest in football, both as a player and coach". 
What has he done since retiring from playing? Having accumulated 480 total appearances for Manchester United between the years of 1993 and 2005 in addition to 29 and 154 for Cobh Ramblers and Nottingham Forest respectively, Keane finished his playing career in the 2005/06 season, appearing on 13 occasions for Celtic.

Since then, the Irishman has spent some of his time working as a TV pundit for both ITV and Sky Sports, most n…

Was giving Juan Mata a new contract the right call?

Image
Photo Credit: 90min.com
On the 19th June 2019, Manchester United officially confirmed that Juan Mata had signed a new contract with the club, keeping him at Old Trafford until the summer of 2021. Mata was signed in the January transfer window of 2014 by former manager David Moyes and since then has made 161 Premier League appearances for the Red Devils. Let's take a look at our No.8:
Juan Mata's  Manchester United Record in the Premier League: 2013/14 - 15 apps, 6 goals, 6 assists 2014/15 - 33 apps, 9 goals, 4 assists 2015/16 - 38 apps, 6 goals, 5 assists 2016/17 - 25 apps, 6 goals, 3 assists 2017/18 - 28 apps, 3 goals, 5 assists 2018/19 - 22 apps, 3 goals, 2 assists
2018/19 Premier League Goals + Assists Goals - Newcastle (H), Fulham (H), Chelsea (H) Assists - Leicester (H), Fulham (H) The club have clearly decided that the Spaniard is "Juan that Matas" to them greatly and will not be part of Solskjaer's supposed 'summer clearout' but rather, part of the…

#GlazerOut: Why this is a good campaign and a step in the right direction

Image
Last season was a disaster and Manchester United fans are frustrated. Sadly, the board from what is going on thinks otherwise. After a mediocre season, we expect that as we head into the pre-season tour, 3-4 signings should have already been made. 
We have seen online trends like #UnfollowManchesterUnited and #GlazersOut becoming more and more popular. We even saw a petition to have the under performing players currently at the club leave. Although some people will laugh at such saying that we have no control over the Glazers' business, I am here to show you that yes, these online movements are a step in the right direction to force these people out of the club.
Naturally, when a business fails to follow through with promises, customers, employees and partners are more likely to question the truthfulness of all the organisation's current and future messages. Regaining trust can be difficult and time-consuming. Mistrust expressed by word of mouth and through social media can take…

Is Adrien Rabiot the right man to replace Ander Herrera?

Image
Manchester United’s summer recruitment strategy is all about getting as much bang for each buck spent, which is why the signing of Daniel James and the impending signing Aaron Wan-Bissaka has been prudently negotiated prior to pen meeting paper.
The shrewd approach shown by the Red Devils has inevitably linked them with the enigmatic talent of 24-year-old Adrien Rabiot. The Paris Saint-Germain midfielder, similar to his Manchester United counter-part, Ander Herrera, will be a free agent this summer after the expiration of his contract. With Ander Herrera already released by Manchester United and set to sign a contract with the French champions, it has been rumoured Adrien Rabiot, whose PSG contract officially expires on the first of July, maybe heading the other way.
So, who is potentially getting the better player?
Rabiot, who as a kid had a stint at cross-city rivals Manchester City, is a product of PSG's youth system and has been a mainstay in the first team since his debut in 201…

Dylan Levitt: A future United midfielder?

Image
Dylan Levitt is 18 years old and was born in Bodelwyddan in Wales. Levitt has represented Wales at every age group level in both the under-17’s and under 18’s categories. His preferred position is central midfield and has been described from fellow players and coaches as a ‘classy’ midfield player, a ‘creative schemer’ and someone who is very versatile, from sitting Infront of his defence to playing behind the main striker (Manchestereveningnews.co.uk).
Last season Levitt was a regular for Neil Ryan’s under-18’s side, playing 14 games and impressing with five goals and six assists.
His consistent form for the under-18’s saw him get regular call-ups to Ricky Sbragia’s U23 side, playing nine games for that age group and picking up the one assist.
The young Welshman’s increased U23 game time has come when fellow youngsters like Chong and Garner have been called into Solskjaer’s first team. Levitt’s main breakthrough came at the time when both of them, along with Brandon Williams, travelled …

Problems at the back? Is Diop the answer?

Image
"Congratulations to the scout that found a 21-year-old kid Diop, a monster who dominated in the duels." said a certain Jose Mourinho after his United side slumped to a shock 3-1 defeat away to West Ham United early on in the 2018/19 season.

Whatever one might think of Jose Mourinho, his understanding of the game and his ability to identify a good defender is probably as good as, if not better than anyone else's. A few eyebrows were raised when he claimed that achieving second place with this United squad in the 2017/18 season was probably his best achievement and as well as when he asked for a central defender in the transfer window after being the second-best defensive team in the league and keeping the most number of clean sheets. A sixth-place finish the following season and conceding 54 goals showed us once again that he was right. United are shambles at the back and only a freakishly good season from David de Gea was the reason for the amazing defensive performance…

A closer look at why Wan-Bissaka to United makes sense

Image
As a Manchester United fan, when is the last time you were able to sit back, look at the squad and say that we are set with a solid right back for the next decade? You would have to imagine that in the post-Gary Neville era, the answer for many may be never.

With the transfer window now open, United are in with a chance to perhaps finally secure the services of a man who will be able to nail down that position for years to come...and his name is Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
Unsurprisingly, the young Englishman’s performances in the Premier League last season have attracted interest from the biggest clubs around Europe, but United have been the only club to approach Crystal Palace with concrete offers.
As of today, June 17th, Crystal Palace have rejected United’s latest offer of £50 million, but judging by the frequency of the rumors, it seems as though the teams and the player will come to an agreement sooner rather than later.  Manchester United have had an improved £50m bid rejected by Crystal Pa…

OPINIONS: The Current Manchester United Squad - Keep, Loan Out or Sell?

Image
As Manchester United finished the season sixth place, trophyless and on a winless run of six games in all competitions, it's safe to say that the club is not in a good state and minor successes throughout the six year period since the 20th league title and Sir Alex's retirement have concealed this true rot in the club.

While Sir Alex did make signings that haven't quite lived up to their expectations such as Shinji Kagawa, Phil Jones, Anderson or Bebe, the sheer number of players that have not achieved what was expected of them is far too high for the standards of the biggest club in the world. Many blame the players for not playing for the badge and/or playing for money instead, many blame the managers for not getting the best out of the players and unsuitable philosophies for Manchester United and practically everyone blames Ed Woodward and the Glazers for not bleeding Manchester Red and having a true understanding and passion for this club. Serious changes need to be m…

Bruno Fernandes - The midfielder we need?

Image
Manchester United have once again gotten off their transfer window shopping spree off on a somewhat sombre note. Firstly, by releasing a number of players (among them Ander Herrera and Antonio Valencia) and ensuring that we extend contracts of players who have irked the fans one too many times. Think of the chuckle brothers, Phil Jones and Chris “Mike” Smalling and Ashley Young who needs to find a lower tempo club. Not to mention Instagram influencer, Jesse Lingard who is reportedly set to earn £135,000/week in a new long-term deal. It has also been reported that Juan Mata has been offered a new contract too but it has not been confirmed how much his wages are. But it just shows management’s determination to perform no better than last season in the transfer market, in which the main problems with the team were not addressed.

One signing we have made that seems to be one for now and hopefully many years to come is Daniel James. With his blistering pace having been on show for Swansea…

The Big Mess - A Hierarchical Analysis of Manchester United

Image
The summer transfer window - time for change, time for preparation, time to reset and rebuild. This season, like every other, Manchester United need wholesale changes both on and off the pitch. After a horrid season, there needs to be an intense retrospection at the club. The issues need to be analysed and traced at every step.  The fans are fuming: they have every right to be. Some are adamant that the board needs to change, others believe it's down to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his team of Kieran McKenna, Michael Carrick, and Mick Phelan, whereas the others believe that the players are the ones at fault. No matter what your point of view is, we can all agree that the club needs changes on all fronts. Manchester United's problems are like a hose pipe with holes at a lot of places - closing one gap is not going to change anything. Since Sir Alex Ferguson has left, there have been plenty of gaps not only in the squad, but in the way the club has been running in general. Blame ne…