All posts by JJamesAylward

Should United have a women’s team?

As society changes businesses must change with them and in most cases are the ones looked at to set the moral standard. Within the world of sports it’s never too far away from discussions of sexism and sometimes places these discussions to the forefront of the public’s attention.

An area which has rumbled on in recent years in Football is the involvement of women within the sport. Last year we had the media storm at Chelsea with Eva Carneiro being sacked and Heather Rabbatts an FA Director threatening to quit if more Females aren’t being represented within the board room setup.

So I can hear you say, but John how is this connected to United? Well as it stands right now we don’t have a Women’s Team who represent our club. Which I will add, currently, only two teams in the English Premier League don’t have a Women’s Team.

So my question is why? At first I did cynically wonder whether the United board given their history of a lack of investing was waiting their time to see how the Women’s game with develop before looking to invest. But given that the league was founded in 1992 prior to their takeover they can’t be the sole ones to blame.

So I also considered what would be different for United than the other teams. We are a bigger worldwide brand and with that comes more challenges that many of the other teams won’t have to consider. A perfect example of this is that our stadium Old Trafford gets used as a venue for many other entertainment facilities in order to bring in additional revenue. So maybe we just wouldn’t be able to schedule in other matches. (I do realise this would be a poor excuse).

I believe the debate needs to be had and an answer from the club to be heard. My own opinion is that the owners don’t believe the outlay they’d need to make in order to set the team would provide enough commercial gain to warrant the investment. I must stress though they have never come out and said this. I could be very wrong.

I’d like to hear your opinions on the matter so drop us a comment in the comment section below.

Why United are the Club for Me – JJamesAylward

With so many different and great Football teams across the country one of the questions I get asked most is why Manchester United? So let me tell you what it was about this particular club that drew me in to becoming a lifelong fan.

When I was younger in my house we’d never have Football on the television unless it was an England game. None of the family liked Football and so would only watch an England game due to some sense of patriotism. I remember my first game I ever watched was the game in which David Beckham scored that free kick against Greece in the 2002 World Cup Qualifiers and my Dad had been complaining the whole game (this hasn’t changed) and then when that goal went in he stood up and clapped.  I immediately asked him who does this guy play for and he told me Manchester United.

It was from there that I started to take an active interest in United, we didn’t have Sky Sports so I’d watch Match of the Day every week avidly waiting for the United highlights.

Supporting United didn’t go down well at school as almost all of the kids in my year were either West Ham or Arsenal Fans. I live in Essex and so almost always get faced with similar statements such as:

“But you don’t live near Manchester so you can’t be a real fan” or “You’re only a glory hunter”.

But what started as a way to gain a Fathers approval had by this point moved in to an awe of everything which United and in particular Sir Alex Ferguson represented. It was a never say die attitude and until that whistle had gone we still have a chance. It was not enough to just win once, you had to then do it again next year. And whilst I hadn’t been watching since his arrival I was always aware I was watching every week a genius of his craft and a manager that would not be forgotten by time.

As I was growing up I was seeing the Superstars of Old Trafford becoming heroes of mine and have left me feeling connected to a club not just steeped in history but feeling a part of a club that has provided me some moments of greatness, madness and prevailing sense to win against any/all odds.

Smalling suffers food poisoning

As we saw the pictures of Mourinho arriving at Manchester Piccadilly to start work early, a different kind of story broke.

A picture emerged on Social Media of United central defender Chris Smalling in a neck brace and laying on a gurney, and for one moment, we all thought the same, ‘PLEASE DON’T BE INJURED.’

Last season Smalling was a standout player in a defence that was almost ever changing due to injuries and with that image in mind United fans were left praying, ‘please don’t let it be serious.’

Further news of the story then started to leak, and at first, we were led to believe that he had been stung by a jellyfish whilst on the last few days of his holiday in Bali; which would just be typical after the luck that the England team had in France last week.

Smalling has been given the all clear

The story caused so much concern among fans that United released an official statement to clarify the situation on their website. They informed us that it was in fact Chris Smalling in the picture, however, the cause of illness was not from a jelly fish sting but because of food poisoning which resulted in him fainting.

He has since been given the all clear and will continue with his vacation in Bali before reporting back to training later in the month.

As mentioned Mourinho has officially started his work with Manchester United today and posted up pictures to his personal Instagram page showing him on holiday with the caption “Always working”. He’ll be expected to have his first press conference on Tuesday 05/07/2016 and discuss in further detail his future plans for Manchester United.

Is Zlatan the Spark for Dominance?

With the arrival of Zlatan being confirmed today via his Instagram post a lot of parallels have been made of the signing, before even kicking a ball, to another enigmatic striker in one, Eric Cantona.

Now to say that he’d reach the same levels as King Eric would be a tall order indeed but they could share one thing in common when their United career is written. And that is that they may be seen as being the difference in the first league title in a baron time.

So let’s look at the stats; last season Zlatan scored in all competitions, 38 goals and had 13 assists which is not only impressive in its own merit but, when I tell you that United as a squad scored 49 goals last season.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has officially signed for Manchester United (Picture:
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has officially signed for Manchester United (Picture:

Now, I can already hear you say, “But John that’s in Ligue 1, anyone can score in that league.” That is a debate for another day. The Swedish talisman has scored 302 league goals in his career and he’ll be among the goals next year.

Zlatan has unwavering confidence

So what does he bring? Not only goals but what I think will be most important for United is that not only will he be able to bring experience to the forward line while passing on knowledge to Wilson/Rashford and others, the main threat he’ll bring is his unwavering confidence he has in himself and what he’ll instill in to this team.

Since Sir Alex left the question can be asked who’s embodied that ‘Never say die’ attitude and show the world why we’re called the Devils. He is arrogant but he has so far showed the world why with his ability and a trophy cabinet many could only dream of.

In Zlatan we have a man who can be the missing spark we need to start a new dawn of dominance for the Red Devils which Cantona did before him. He has always had questions put against him his whole career and he’s always answered his critics. And they’ll mount again until the start of the season, so for now, over to you Zlatan.

United’s Next Chapter

We’re two signings in to the transfer window and after the Euro’s we can expect more to be confirmed. But what do United actually need? I believe we are only a couple signings away from having a highly competitive side capable of making a title push again once more.

If reports are to be believed we are only days away from signing Henrikh Mkhitaryan from Borussia Dortmund with his agent coming out and saying they want the deal to be done and with only a year left on his contract it looks likely. Now if he does come in then he’ll be the right winger/ inside forward that we lacked last year, he both assists and scores. Now I believe that Jose will want two more signings depending on departures and that is another centre back and centre midfielder.

Mourinho wasted no time making his first signing, Eric Bailly (Picture:
Mourinho wasted no time making his first signing, Eric Bailly (Picture:

Now Jose doesn’t often tend to build from the back and prefers a no nonsense centre back and so with this in mind an experienced player would be beneficial. My vote would be for Germany international Benedikt Höwedes or dream signing of Italian star Leonardo Bonucci both would be able to pass on experience to our younger players who would be ready for a first team role in the next two seasons.

So with the defence sorted we should look to bring in a playmaker with an eye for a pass, someone the press have strongly linked us with is Andre Gomes from Valencia. Currently he is away playing with the Portugal national team but he would be able to add a player who has the vision to play a forward pass quickly and use United’s exuberant pace to break defenders hearts quickly. If we were to sign him we’d be able to transition a lot quicker from defence and use our possession more effectively.

It’s too early to ask the question will Jose be a success at United but with a good foundation and an inspired CV the future is looking increasingly bright for the Red side of Manchester.