Showing posts from March, 2020

Youth Review: One word to describe every Academy Graduate this season

Giving the youth a chance is a firm part of Manchester United's culture. The club emphasized on that in December of 2019 by reaching 4,000 consecutive games with an academy graduate in the match day squad. United have since continued to polish that record, and with the likes of Mason Greenwood and Brandon Williams looking very secure within the first-team set up following what we have seen of this season thus far, it looks like that record is safe for years to come.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has given a plethora of youth players their debuts this season as he sent a squad filled with academy players to a Europa League tie in Kazakhstan against Astana after United had already secured their progression into the knockout stages, but there have also been players, such as Greenwood and Williams, who have featured more regularly. So, with that said, let's take a closer look at all of the academy products with five appearances or more this campaign and assess their season's in one wo…

COVID-19 Implications for Individual Clubs

The Coronavirus is still at large and football has been postponed indefinitely in most countries. With the situation being much larger than anyone could estimate, there will be some changes to the season. There are talks that the Champions League may be declared void but it's all speculation at this point. The Euros have confirmed that they will postpone by a year and the competition will go forward in 2021. This gives the domestic leagues some more time to wrap up the season and reduces the load on them. Since this is an unprecedented event, no matter what decision is taken, there will be some who benefit and some who won't. Let's take a look at which result would be most favourable to which club.
Starting from the top of the table - 
Liverpool Liverpool are currently 25 (City have a game in hand) points clear in the table which is also something unprecedented. They have waited almost 31 years for a league title and when it finally looked like things were going their way,…

Has Harry Maguire's Impact been Undervalued?

The debate continues whether the investment in a world record fee believed to be £80 million, for a defender is justified or not. Perhaps it is still too early to form a final definitive opinion. Lets look at some key facts that may help to sway your opinion in either direction. 
Jacob Harry Maguire was born on the 5th of March 1993 in Sheffield. After much speculation of a move to Manchester United for two summers, the transfer was finally completed on 5 August 2019, with Maguire signing a six-year contract with the option for a further year for a record fee of £80 million. He made his United debut in their opening match of the Premier League season, a 4–0 home victory over Chelsea on 11 August 2019 and received the Man of the Match award. On 17 January 2020, he was named as the new club captain by manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær and nine days later, he opened his account and the scoring in a 6–0 FA Cup win against Tranmere Rovers by scoring his first goal for United. He scored his first …

Ins and Outs for Summer 2020

Well it's almost certain that the Premier League will be cancelled if there is no cure or method to contain COVID-19 in the foreseeable future and so I might as well write this article now. With the signing of Bruno Fernandes a desperately needed acquisition for Manchester United and Odion Ighalo seeming to be a stop-gap in the absence of Marcus Rashford and the departures of Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez, Manchester United had a relatively successful January window. While have shown to be good signings for Ole's United this season, it is not enough for Manchester United for next season and not only do they need to sign a few more players to be challenging for a title instead of scrapping for top four, they need to get rid of a series of players too:

Who should leave?
It is clear that some players have shown they are incapable of performing well for Manchester United and the first player on the list is Phil Jones. The now 28 year-old was predicted to be one of the best in t…

What are the best ways to use Mason Greenwood and Daniel James?

The current Manchester United squad can not boast an abundance of wing talent. Even at full strength, the amount of wide options Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has at his disposal is limited. But with that said, the future along the touchlines certainly looks a lot brighter now than it did just six months ago.

United seem to be in active pursuit of a right winger (you know who). Marcus Rashford has just had his best season yet playing out wide (only played until January). And the acquisition of Daniel James along with the emergence of super starlet Mason Greenwood has helped a lot in that department too.

And the last two names are why we're here. There have been questions asked regarding the best ways to utilize James. His blistering pace is not always the answer, particularly against low blocks. With Greenwood, he is inevitably a future frontman for United. But for right now, as his skillset and body continue to develop, he may very well be used out wide for the foreseeable future. So, ho…

Nemanja Matic - Has he done enough to earn his new extension?

Hoping all are keeping well and safe during this unprecedented time around the world as football has been placed on hold until further notice. Nemanja Matic has just extended his contract to 2021 after being linked with moves away in January with Inter and Spurs looking to purchase the experienced midfielder but Manchester United clearly wish to keep the Serb at least for another season. Let’s take a look back at the English Premier career of Nemanja Matic, the Serbian professional footballer currently playing as a defensive midfielder for Manchester United. 
Nemanja started his career as an attacking midfielder but shifted to a defensive midfielder and is known for his consistent performances on the pitch and his combative style of play. Matic moved to Chelsea for £1.5 million in 2009 but was used sparingly during his first spell in the summer of 2011, he moved to Benfica is part of a swap deal involving David Luiz. Matić returned to Chelsea in January 2014, for £21 million. He was na…

Goalkeeping Conundrum

With the world at a standstill and football postponed indefinitely, there has been very little to look forward to. Fans are making all sorts of attempts to make up for the lack of football. So here's your dose of football from our end. Today we will be discussing the situation of Manchester United's goalkeepers and how they could be looking going into next season.
Manchester United have 5 first team goalkeepers - David De Gea, Sergio Romero, Lee Grant, Nathan Bishop, Matej Kovar. We also have two goalkeepers on loan - Dean Henderson (Sheffield United) and Joel Castro Pereira (Hearts). The current situation is that David De Gea starts every game in the Premier League with Sergio Romero playing the Europa League and FA Cup games. Lee Grant is living the good life at the club with barely any appearances! Matej Kovar and Nathan Bishop often play the reserves and youth games at the club.
Manchester United have a very peculiar conundrum on their hands, one that we barely ever have.…

LASK vs. Manchester United Match Analysis and Player Ratings

Amidst the doom and gloom caused by the rapidly spreading pandemic of the Coronavirus, Manchester United gave their fans something to cheer about in a five-star, 5-0 dismantling of Austrian LASK in the Round of 16 Europa League first leg.

The Raiffeisen Arena, the European home of the Austrian league leaders, was a ghost town on Thursday. UEFA was forced to take steps in order to protect the players and fans from the viral disease — and as a result — some games were postponed and others were forced to take place 'behind closed doors.'

Team Selection

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made five changes from the derby win on the weekend with the likes of Anthony Martial and Aaron Wan-Bissaka staying behind in Manchester to heal some knocks ahead of an important league game against Spurs on the weekend. Now we know that game may not be played. The Reds were also without Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba, with the latter ever so close to a return to first-team football.

LASK were not only without …

Premier League Suspended - What It Means And It's Implications

The Premier League along with all major leagues in Europe have postponed all football matches until the 4th of April in response to the dangerously spreading Coronavirus. All matches, including our Premier League game against Spurs, our FA Cup game against Norwich City and the second leg of the Europa League game against LASK will be postponed. The new dates and schedule hasn't been released yet and will be made available when there is more control over the pandemic in hand. Thousands have died of the COVID-19 and thousands more are infected. This is a disease that spreads through human contact which makes stadiums a massive red flag. In response to this, the leagues started playing games behind closed doors and avoiding handshakes. However, this virus still found a way to creep into the footballing world. Juventus' Daniele Rugani became the first top-flight footballer to get infected followed by Manolo Gabbiadini. Last night Arsenal confirmed that their manager, Mikel Arteta,…

LASK vs Manchester United Preview

Manchester United go into this game in good spirits after an emphatic Derby Day win extended United's unbeaten run to ten matches, winning eight and scoring 24 goals. They travel to Austria to play the league leaders, LASK in the first leg of the Round of 16 of the Europa League. This game, like many others around Europe, will be played behind closed doors due to the rapid spread of the coronavirus which puts United's next match against Tottenham in doubt as London has the most cases in the UK totalling over 100 at the current time of writing. However all that United are focused on now is LASK and putting in the groundwork for qualification to the next round of the Europa League:

Teams: LASK and Manchester United
Date: Thursday 12th March 2020
KO: 17:55 GMT
Location: Linzer Stadion
Managers: Valerien Ismael and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Referee: Arthur Soares Diaz

Team News: 
Manchester United are of course guaranteed to be without Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba with the latter close to …

Premier League Grades: Matchday 29

A rather goal-starved gameweek with only 19 goals scored in these ten games. However two thrashings occurred with Chelsea battering Everton and Leicester getting revenge on Villa for the Carabao Cup exit and Manchester United looking for their first leage win against Manchester City at home for five years. Of course this article would have been published tomorrow with the Manchester City vs Arsenal game from last week but the match has been postponed due to the coronavirus spreading which is posing a threat to suspend all of world sport. Here are the results:

Liverpool vs Bournemouth 2-1
Wolves vs Brighton 0-0
Crystal Palace vs Watford 1-0
Arsenal vs West Ham 1-0
Southampton vs Newcastle 0-1
Sheffield United vs Norwich 1-0
Burnley vs Tottenham 1-1
Chelsea vs Everton 4-0
Manchester United vs Manchester City 2-0
Leicester City vs Aston Villa 4-0

Here are the grades:

Two class finishes made the difference against a side that Liverpool would normally batter. Gomez was weak against Ca…