All posts by Mark

Football has always been my passion, a passion fueled by my late Grandfather whose love for the game was impossible not to share. I grew up with stories of Duncan Edwards and the Busby Babes, who my Granddad had seen first hand, and it was there my interest in the greatest football story ever told began. From the tragedy of the Busby Babes to the resurrection through Best, Law and Charlton. Then back in to obscurity for a quarter of a century until a certain Sir Alex Ferguson rolled in to town. Once you learn the history of the club it's hard not to fall in love with it. And for that I'll always be grateful to my Pops.

Pogba To Quit Manchester United? Latest Transfer News

Transfer News
By: Vishnu Anandraj

As Manchester United’s focus turns from the disappointing season to the transfer window, credible news about Manchester United will be few and far between. But when players, executives and credible outlets speak, they can sometimes reveal exciting news for Manchester United fans heading into the summer.

Samuel Umtiti Contract Update
Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has spoken on Samuel Umtiti future with the Catalans. He has said that Barcelona are keen to keep the French superstar, but will not change their wage structure in the process. Various Spanish outlets have stated that negotiations have slowed because of Umtiti high wage demands. Manchester United have shown to be willing to pay big wages to their players, and a center back of the quality of Umtiti is much needed for the Red Devils. This is one to continue to keep an eye, but if he doesn’t sign a contract, Manchester United looks to be at the front of the cue to sign the Frenchman.

(Picture: dailymail.com)

Fellaini to AC Milan
Gianluca DiMarzio, the highly acclaimed Italian journalist, has reported big news on Marouane Fellaini. He quoted AC Milan’s sporting director in saying “Fellaini? He could be an important player. In fact, he is an important player. We know that he is not renewing his contract with Manchester United, but it is difficult to say if we have closed it.” Such clear words coming from a person of high authority is rare, but is almost definitive proof that Fellaini will leave. If Mourinho didn’t publicly praise the Belgian so much, more United fans would surely be more confident in the departure of the Belgian.

Pogba Transfer Update
Paul Pogba spoke about his links to PSG, and the Manchester Evening News quoted him in saying “I cannot look far. I’m sure, contractually, to stay at Manchester United.” While this shuts down any links to him in the near future, it doesn’t suggest that he is happy at the club and feels his future is long term at the club. Pogba could be another short term player like Matic, Sanchez, Young, Herrera and Valencia; not because of his age but because of his attitude. Mixed feelings for United fans after the Frenchman’s comments.

Talisca Transfer Off
On Liverpool’s website, the Besiktas boss was quoted in saying ” ‘Talisca was already gone at the winter break,’ ” Gunes said after their last game of the season against Sivasspor, in which they won 5-1 with Talisca on the scoresheet. ‘I’m sorry that he won’t be with us any longer. I wish he could stay for his sake and ours. He already had a deal in place.’” Later on in the article, they quoted him in saying “he might be rivals with Cenk Tosun.” Tosun recently signed for Everton in the January transfer window, making Talisca a likely target for Liverpool. The fact that it is also on the official website of the club speaks volume to the legitimacy of the deal. This could be a blessing in disguise for Manchester United, because many fans agree he was not the quality of player good enough to make our midfield significantly better. It also suggests that the board are attempting to sign a higher quality of player instead of bargain buys.

That’s all for this week, but news will surely continue to come in about the Red Devils’ transfer dealings.

 

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United Stand Season Review Awards

Manchester United Season Review Awards

We want YOU! The United Stand is THE Manchester United channel that’s all about the fans, so what better way to have a season review show than to have one totally based around your opinion?

Below you’ll find a number of different polls you can cast your vote in. From best performance of the year to the most improved player, from flop of the season to best goal of the season. We’ve got every category covered and the main thing is your vote will influence who ends up winning the most important awards in Manchester United’s season.

So cast your votes below and join us LIVE at 8pm GMT on Sunday 20th May – click here for the link to link to the show – for the only Manchester United Awards show that matters.

So GET VOTING NOW!

Manchester United Goal Of The Season

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Performance of the Season

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Signing of the Season

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Worst Performance Of The Season

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Outfield Player of The Season

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Let Down Of The Season

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Most Improved Player

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Young Player of The Season

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Fan Favourite Of The Season

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Why have United underperformed this season?

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Where Will United Finish Next Season?

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Mark United's Season Out of Ten

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5 Surprise Midfield Signings for Manchester United

5 Surprise Midfield Signings for Manchester United

It is imperative that Manchester United have to invest in the midfield in order to challenge for a title next season. Amid links to midfielders such as Toni Kroos, Sergej Milinkovic Savic, and Fred, what are some of the other options Manchester United have? Here’s five midfielders that would surprise Manchester United fans, but aid us in our title quest next season.

5. Julian Draxler

 

Age 24
Club PSG
Contract Ends 2021
Height 6’ 2”

 

 

 

Draxler has featured in an ultimately disappointing PSG side this season, playing alongside the likes of Verratti, Mbappe and Neymar, yet failing to win the big prizes the club set out to win. With Neymar and possibly Verratti likely to force a move, Draxler may also be looking to find a way out of the French club this season. Capable of playing on the wing or in midfield, Draxler would be perfect for Manchester United. He’s a top class player who can score, create and add flair to our attack. Draxler will also be 25 in September, the perfect age for our squad. In addition, PSG will have to pay 180 million euros to AS Monaco in order to keep Kylian Mbappe, and they will certainly look to get any money they can to avoid breaking FFP rules. If Manchester United act fast enough, they could sign him for a reasonable price. While we have been tentatively linked to him in the past, this is a player Manchester United could very well sign this season

4. Lucas Torreira

 

Age 22
Club Sampdoria
Contract Ends 2022
Height 5’ 6”

This young Uruguayan midfielder has done exceptionally well for Sampdoria in Serie A this season. A center-defensive midfielder who is similar to Michael Carrick, Torreira excels at transitioning the ball quickly from back to front, using his incredible passing range and astute reading of the game to transition the ball into the final third. Torreira would be an ideal addition to our midfield, as he could rotate with Matic or play in a midfield three with Pogba, giving him license to go forward while also contributing offensively with playmaking from deep. However, he is only 22, and with Mourinho growing impatient with the likes of Rashford and Martial, there is no evidence he will sign such a young player. He’s also contracted until 2022, which would make him fairly expensive for such a young player. But Torreira will almost certainly be snapped up by a bigger club this season, and there is no reason Manchester United shouldn’t be at the front of that cue.

3.Adrien Rabiot

Age 23
Club PSG
Contract Ends 2019
Height 6’ 3”



A talented but somewhat inconsistent midfielder, Frenchman Adrien Rabiot has had a mixed season for PSG. Standing at 6 foot 3, his physicality combined with his technical ability make him a uniquely talented player. His passing, creativity and physicality are all things that Manchester United could benefit from if he were to sign. His contract is up in a years time, so he could be signed for a cheap price in Manchester United act fast enough. As previously mentioned, PSG will be looking to offload players to balance their massive spending of the last few season. While he has struggled for consistency and would be a risk, Rabiot is a player who under the right guidance, could be a great signing for the Red Devils.

 

2.Max Meyer

Age 22
Club FC Schalke 04
Contract Ends 2018
Height 5’ 8”

FC Schalke have had a terrific season in the Bundesliga, finishing second to Bayern Munich and ahead of Borussia Dortmund. At the heart of this campaign has been Max Meyer. He’s creative, skillful and above all, has played for a team that plays similar to Manchester United in some aspects. Schalke defend deep and do not rely on pressing, and try to counter attack often. With a similar defending style at United, Meyer could quite easily adapt to Mourinho’s system and help the team become better on the break. His contract ends this summer, meaning any club could sign him for free. He has been heavily linked to Liverpool, but Manchester United should not sleep on this hot German prospect. 

1.James Rodriguez

 

Age 26
Club FC Bayern Munich (Loan from Real Madrid)
Contract Ends 2019 (Loan)
Height 5’ 11”

James Rodriguez would be an unbelievable midfield signing for various reasons. He’s a huge brand worldwide, and would be the perfect player to acquire the number 10 shirt. He’s also a player who doesn’t need much development, and could come straight into the team and make an impact. He’s a leader, not the same kind of leader as Roy Keane, but someone who has passion and leads by example. But above all that, his attributes as a player make him one of the best midfielders in the world. He can play in a midfield two, a midfield three or as an attacking midfielder. His passing range, decision making, vision, skill and crossing make him one of the most complete midfielders in Europe. Additionally, Rodriguez’s dead-ball delivery is exceptional, and with the amount of height we have in our team, he could unlock a whole new dimension to Manchester United’s attack. While he is still on loan at Bayern, the club are still unsure whether to keep him or not. And if Manchester United act quickly, we could have a player that could have a tremendous impact on our title challenge next season.

 

By: Vishnu Anandraj

 

How Manchester United Could Lineup Next Season

Manchester United have undoubtedly had a perplexing season. Jose Mourinho has factually made progression, but has failed to play attractive football and pose a title challenge to Manchester City. These problems come from a lack of identity in the way Manchester United play. Heading into next season, it is vital Manchester United develop a set formation and a set way of playing.

Throughout the season, Jose Mourinho has mainly employed two different formations: the 4-3-3 and the 4-2-3-1, although he has experimented with variants of a 3-4-1-2. Here we see the 4-2-3-1 and the 4-3-3.

 

Consistency in performance level and the quality of football have been lacking with these two formations. This stems from a multitude of different issues.

For one, this both these systems use very little width. Mata, Sanchez and Lingard are all wingers who like to cut inside, playing in central areas regardless of where they start.

Martial and Rashford have started periodically throughout the season, but neither provide natural sources of width on the left and their strengths do not necessarily lie in their ability to cross the ball.

Moreover, our full backs are aged ex-wingers who are on the decline and need to be replaced.

Another problem with both systems is how our two best outfield players, Pogba and Sanchez, constantly get in each other’s way on the left side of the pitch. With Sanchez showing a lack of discipline on the left hand side, Pogba is forced to go deep or go wide in order to make an impact.

Therefore, it’s crucial that we implement a system that can get the best out of Paul Pogba and Alexis Sanchez while also providing us width.

If we analyze the history of Jose Mourinho, he has predominantly used two formations in is career. He used a 4-2-3-1, which we have already seen at Manchester United, and a 4-4-2 with a diamond midfield.

This is the formation that Mourinho used to conquer Europe with Porto, dominate England with Chelsea in his first tenure and with the treble with Inter. While he is an incredibly adaptable manager and used formations such as the 4-3-3 and the 4-2-3-1 at times, his staple was this 4-4-2 diamond.

In this picture, three changes have been made to the starting eleven: Andreas Pereira in midfield, Alex Sandro at left back and Timothy Fosu-Mensah at right back.

This formation, while not currently used in the Premier League, could give Manchester United several advantages.

One, it enables Pogba to play on the left side of a midfield three, giving him licence to make runs forward.

It also enables Sanchez to play centrally, the position most United fans think he should play.

Moreover, Martial and Rashford can play in their preferred position: as a central forward.

However, the one glaring problem with this formation is that is uses minimal width.

And with so many players who are good in the air; Lukaku, Rashford and Pogba to name a few, width and natural crosses are crucial and could unlock a whole new dimension to Manchester United’s attack.

 

 

 

But upon further analysis, we can see how this system can provide Manchester United with the width it needs.

In this picture, we can see how United can attack in possession using the 4-4-2 diamond.

With Lukaku leading the line and occupying the center backs, Martial can drift into the wide and half spaces on the left.

Sanchez can play more centrally and Pogba plays more advanced, and most importantly, Sandro can bomb forward and give us natural width on the left.

However, this causes an imbalance, as the attack is mainly focused on the left.

Therefore, Andreas Pereira will have to perform an unorthodox role in this system, occupying the wide spaces on the right when starting in midfield.

While this could be a midfield signing who can cross, such as Toni Kroos, the important thing is having some source of natural width on the right.

Fosu Mensah or an aged Antonio Valencia playing at right back is not a good source of width, and therefore, a midfielder needs to provide with in this system.

 

 

In addition, Nemanja Matic and Fosu Mensah will perform a crucial role in this system. With Sandro bursting forwards, teams can break fast through the expose left side. This would cause Matic to play more towards the left.

This leaves no players in the center circle area, leaving United somewhat exposed.

This poses a possible problem for this system, but, Fosu Mensah and Antonio Valencia are capable of playing as a defensive midfielder and could easily step into the midfield.

While the addition of Sandro and a midfielder to the lineup would aid in United’s success, the investment in a right back who can go forward could be the solution to United’s problems.

In this scenario, Herrera would play the same role as Matic, covering his full back while still remaining somewhat central.

With two sources of natural width in Sandro and Meunier, this system can be the answer for Manchester United’s identity crisis.

We can get the best out of our top class players while making use of the height of our team with two players who can cross the ball.

Additionally, signings such as Milinkovic Savic and Fabinho could easily be implemented in this system.

Other players in the squad like Lingard, Mata and Mctominay could also be used in this system quite easily.

This formation would take time to implement, as it is quite technical and the players are probably not used to it.

We would also need to invest in another central forward, which we are currently not linked with.

It’s also entirely possible that Mourinho will not believe this can work in the modern Premier League and will stick with a 4-3-3, which could work very well.

But judging from Mourinho’s past and the players we have at United, don’t be surprised if this is the system Mourinho uses to lead Manchester United to a Premier League title.

 

By: Vishnu Anandraj

 

Guardiola Above The Law While Mourinho Suffers

Pep Guardiola is the media’s darling. Exciting football, calm persona, managed some of the biggest clubs in the world and has been kind enough of to come and manage in England. What’s not to like?

Jose Mourinho on the other hand? Arrogant, rude, negative and someone the media thrive on antagonising and demeaning.

Is it right? Is it fair? Of course it isn’t. And Manchester City’s loss to Wigan in the FA Cup just emphasises that fact. Guardiola was petulant at best, acting aggressively on the touchline after Fabian Delph was quite rightly red carded, then continuing that aggression in the tunnel afterwards as he attempted to goad the Wigan manager. Will the FA take any action? It’s doubtful. Would they if it had been Jose Mourinho acting like that? Too right they would.

Mourinho has already been dealt with twice by the authorities in recent times. Once for kicking a water bottle, and twice for literally stepping out of line, as he encroached on the pitch from his technical area. So Mourinho could be forgiven for thinking he is treated differently to Guardiola. The issue is will it change?

Well in defence of Guardiola, whether he’s banned or the media are biased towards him or not it doesn’t change the fact that his team are 16 points clear of Manchester United and it’s only the middle of February. Guardiola, armed with an open chequebook it has to be said because the media won’t, has swept all before him in the league this season and as controller of that chequebook he deserves some credit.

The constant Pep lovein has reached nauseating levels throughout the last few months though. From as early as October we’ve had the media and pundits telling anyone who’s listened that this City side is the best the Premier League has ever produced, which is funny because in previous years we’ve all been well drilled in the saying that the best sides are judged in the runin between Christmas and May….

Of course anyone with a brain always knew this Man City side wasn’t close to being compared to the best of years gone by, and the prove has been in the pudding. This City won’t be “Invicibles” and they won’t be “Treble Winners”. And even if they do go on to win the Champions League, Premier League and League Cup, they’re still not as good as United’s 08 side – who would have been treble winners if it wasn’t for a dodgy referee in the FA Cup match against Bournemouth.

Man City are a decent side and Pep has done a good job. But the way the media hold him up like some sort of miracle worker is becoming tiresome and biased. Miracles happen when water is turned in to wine, miracles don’t happen when a manager is given an unlimited funds and wins the league. And it’s about time the media in general started acting a little bit more fairly with other clubs and viewers.

Why Ander Herrera is Man United’s Forgotten Man

Voted Manchester United’s player of the year last season, the fall from grace of Ander Herrera this season has been one that some Man United fans have found hard to fathom? Herrera has endured a mixed career at United, criminally underused by Van Gaal, to first name on the sheet for Mourinho last season, to forgotten man this season. So what’s gone wrong with Herrera? And why is he suddenly such a divisive figure amongst United fans?

The big positive with Herrera is he gets the importance of wearing a Manchester United shirt. In a sentence he gets what Manchester United is all about. Passion, intensity, drive and an appetite to win and play fast football. Herrera at his best is quick across the ground, hard in to the tackle, and has an eye for a defence splitting pass from deep. Not to mention a very good cross when he finds himself out wide on the right. Reading that back, he’s exactly what Manchester United currently need to complete a balanced midfield three with Pogba and Matic.

Jose Mourinho has been reluctant to use Herrera this season though. An ever present last season many predicted that the arrival of Matic would see United move to a more dynamic midfield three, with Pogba free to express his game on the left hand side, Matic holding things centrally from deep, and Herrera the tenacious box to box midfielder on the right with a bit of everything to his game. It’s a combination, that sat here in mid February with Mourinho’s midfield a laughing stock, makes total sense. The question is why has Mourinho ignored it for six months? Or more to the point, why has he ignored Herrera?

Amazingly, Herrera didn’t make his first Premier league start until mid September. Benched throughout the start of the campaign in August, Herrera went from Mourinho’s most trusted player to a bit part bench player. Mourinho wanted to utilise the now exposed and defunct 4231 formation and Matic and Pogba were the 2 Mourinho wanted to use. By the time Mourinho did turn to Herrera it was evident to everyone that Herrera was no longer the player of last season. The dynamism had given way to sluggishness and an odd reluctance to play a forward pass. In short Ander Herrera was no longer the player United fans loved.

With that came the usual, but somewhat unexpected and shortsighted, criticism of Herrera. “Sell him” “He’s useless” were just some of the comments flying around the United fan community, and a player that only a few short months ago had been fundamental to United’s season was suddenly on the scrapheap.

The question still remains why? What has caused Herrera to go from that exciting wears his heart on the sleeve player to one that looks lost on a football pitch? When you look back over the season, even when Pogba was out injured Mourinho regularly opted for Fellaini over Herrera. Limited Fellaini over Herrera who at his best optimises what United should be about! With Mourinho ignoring Herrera’s talents so consistently there can only be one conclusion. Over the summer something happened between Mourinho and Herrera that destroyed their great relationship of last season.

Some say Herrera wanted a move and Mourinho refused it. Others say it’s because Herrera won’t commit to a long term contract and is running it down so he can go for nothing. Both points would lean towards Mourinho being right and refusing to use a player who isn’t committed to the club. The only issue with that is that whenever Herrera has played for United it’s very clear that he loves the place and is totally committed. So what else could be the issue? Could it be as simple as Mourinho decided he wanted to go down a different direction? That he didn’t like the speed and dynamism of Herrera’s midfield play and he wanted taller more simple players like Matic and Fellaini in there? His selections over the season and introduction of another of those types of players in McTominay would add credence to that theory.

Whatever the reason, Herrera is no longer the player he was and that’s a big shame for Manchester United. A midfield three of Pogba, Matic and Herrera at his best would provide United with the perfect balance as they approach the most important part of their season.

Toni Kroos is Manchester United’s Number 1 Summer Target

Toni Kroos is Manchester United’s number one summer transfer target according to Miguel Delaney in the Independent.

There had been rumours circulating last week that Paul Pogba could leave Manchester United for Real Madrid in the summer, but contrary to those reports Mourinho apparently wants to bring Kroos to Old Trafford to play in a midfield three with Pogba and Matic, not to replace Pogba.

Mourinho has made it clear in the last few weeks that his priority this summer is a midfielder and has even gone as far as to say there will be no attacking additions, as he focuses solely on midfield and defence.

Kroos would be a stunning signing for Manchester United, considering he’s arguably one of the world’s top midfielders, at the peak of his powers playing for the world’s best side. However, United fans will also be weary of any transfer business involving Real Madrid due to their long held interest in David De Gea. Could United really expect to sign Kroos and retain De Gea?

What is undeniable is that a sea of change is coming to Real Madrid this summer. Whilst they may retain the Champions League and become the first club to win it three years in a row, there’s no escaping the embarrassment of effectively losing the La Liga title to Barcelona with half the season still to go. Madrid will busy in the transfer market this summer as they look to bounce back from that humiliation and Manchester United may see that as a chance to swoop in and sign Kross?

Whether they can or not remains to be seen. Don’t miss our three midfielders Manchester United must sign this summer video here

Mourinho’s BIG Obsession Continues To Fail

Jose Mourinho has an obsession with height. In Matic, Fellaini and McTominay he boasts the three tallest midfielders in the Premier League at 6 foot 4. And it doesn’t end there. Paul Pogba is 6 foot three, Michael Carrick 6 foot 2, and Ander Herrera is no shrinking violet at 6 foot. So why is Mourinho so obsessed with height and is it one of his biggest – pardon the pun – weaknesses?

The short answer – done it again – is yes. Such a strange height obsession is a weakness when the tactics implemented are for a club with the traditions of Manchester United. Manchester United are a club intrinsically linked with fast attacking football and whilst it may be stereotypical, tall players tend to be slow and not as good on the ball as their smaller counterparts.

In fairness, Paul Pogba is an exception to that rule. At 6 foot 3 he’s fast, athletic and displays brilliant close ball control that allows him to dribble and move the ball very quickly. In Paul Pogba, Mourinho has the perfect example of height and the required ability to implement whatever system he’s trying to inflict on Manchester United at the moment. A system that is still up for debate and confusion.

However, in Fellaini, Matic and McTominay, the three tallest midfielders in the league, Mourinho doesn’t have players who are fast or good on the ball. Good players in their own right, they don’t obviously fit the mantra of fast flowing football United fans want to see. Time and time again this season they are bypassed by smaller quicker players who can move the ball, and themselves, quickly between the midfield lines. Time and time again the ball from midfield to attack has been so pedestrian that by the time flair players like Martial and Sanchez get the ball they’re facing an opposition that isn’t stretched and has themselves well organised.

So why does Mourinho stick with this approach? What is the advantage of playing giant midfielders who slow down the play?

Physicality for one. Mourinho likes his team to be physical and there can be no doubting that Fellaini and Matic especially are more than capable of facing up to a physical contest. But what else do they bring? Aerial dominance? You’d think being the tallest midfielders in the league this would be their biggest asset and the sole reason Mourinho loves height so much. Weirdly it’s a false dawn.

Aerial dominance is what Mourinho appears to be going for with his midfielders but the areas this is utilised isn’t where Manchester United fans would even consider warming to this long ball approach – the oppositions penalty box. Manchester United rarely score from corners for one. So this height advantage Fellaini and Matic bring is redundant. Not to mention Pogba, Lukaku at 6 foot 3 and Chris Smalling at 6 foot 4. It’s bordering on inept that Manchester United have such a massive – done it again – height advantage yet they’re so poor at scoring headers.

So if Mourinho is picking all this height and it’s not for scoring goals what’s it for? You got it! Defence.

Mourinho loves the defensive side of football. And with tall midfielders stood in front of his tall centre backs he knows that any team that wants to throw longs balls in to his box is going to struggle to make an impact. Which in theory totally nullifies a way the opposition can attack his team. Of course it totally blunts Manchester United’s midfield as a fast dynamic midfield but when your focus is on not conceding goals fast attacking footballing isn’t the priority.

So there you have it! Mourinho’s height obsession explained. Is it one you agree with? Is it actually that effective? Join the discussion on our YouTube channel where we discuss more about United’s current style of play and whether Mourinho will ever change

Pogba Unhappy at Manchester United!

Paul Pogba is unhappy at Manchester United and is contemplating his future after the arrival of Alexis Sanchez, according to many reports this morning.

Pogba’s issues allegedly lie around being forced to play in a midfield two and the lack of freedom he now has due to Sanchez being given a free role ahead of him. There’s also mention of Pogba being disgruntled because he feels the team should be built round him and not Sanchez.

Of course the likelihood is that all, or most, of the above is paper talk. Any chance the press get to undermine Manchester United and Jose Mourinho they’ll take it and this Pogba story certainly has that feel to it.

Pogba does operate better on the left side of a midfield three but the fact is Manchester United don’t currently have the players to fit that system. Matic and Pogba are head an shoulders United’s best two midfield options at the moment and until Mourinho strengthens his midfield in the summer Pogba will have to do his bit for the team and work in a midfield two. He certainly has the attributes to do it and as a player who’s been handed the captaincy on occasion this season, he needs to take on that leadership responsibility and work for the team not himself.

As for Alexis Sanchez’s arrival. Pogba will know bringing Sanchez to Manchester United massively increases his chances of playing in a successful side and displaying his true talent. There’s a world of difference in passing the ball and working with Sanchez than there is with a Lingard or Fellaini and Pogba won’t be petty enough to let wages and vanity get in the way of that.

Sanchez is a player with a winning mentality who visibly puts 100% in to every game and that’s been evidenced in the games he’s played for United so far. If Pogba is looking for ways to improve his current poor form a quick look at how Sanchez applies himself every game and keeps his head up even when things are going wrong wouldn’t be a bad start for Pogba.

These players need to remember, it’s not about the name on the back of the shirt, it’s about the badge on the front.

Get More on the Pogba Situation here

Mourinho Pressure Increases After Champions League Nightmare

The pressure on Jose Mourinho to bring a more entertaining brand of football to Manchester United has increased dramatically over the last few days, despite Mourinho’s Man United not even playing.

Impressive results from Tottenham against Turin, Man City against Basel and Liverpool vs Porto, wouldn’t normally be anything more than a minor annoyance to Manchester United fans. However, the method in which those three sides obtained those results has left many Man United fans frustrated. Seeing your rivals win is one thing, seeing them win and playing infinitely better than your side is another.

The reality is, like last season, Manchester United have hit the business end of the season and the football has suddenly become lethargic, slow and results orientated. There has been glimpses of fast flowing football under Mourinho this season but all that seems a distant memory as Mourinho bunkers down to grind out the results in the way only Mourinho can.

As stated above, this should not come as a surprise to those who have monitored Jose Mourinho’s career. More progressive football up until Christmas traditionally makes way for a defensive focused second half of the season where Mourinho looks to conserve energy and grind out those one nil wins. Exactly the same thing happened in the second half of the season Mourinho’s Chelsea won the league and it’s happened numerous times throughout his illustrious career.

The question is can Manchester United fans stomach that sort of playing style when their big rivals Liverpool and Man City are playing such an entertaining and fast brand of football? The answer is an emphatic no!

It’s one thing to be grinding out boring results when you’re challenging for the Premier League title but when you’re 16 points adrift of the scintillating football Man City are playing Mourinho’s dogged football becomes even more irritating. Can he change it? Yes. Will he change it? Probably not. One of Mourinho’s great strengths and weaknesses is his stubbornness in the face of popular opinion. And in the past it was the success he had by going against the grain that afforded him the well earned title of “The Special One”. But in recent times those controversial decisions have gone a little wayward but the stubbornness remains.

Manchester United fans may well demand more entertaining football, the press may continue to undermine Mourinho and say his brand of football belongs in the past, the pressure may increase on Mourinho. But he won’t change. Because Mourinho is the man who motivates himself by proving people wrong.

Can he do it? If the results improve and he wins more trophies he can.

Whatever happens it’s going to be an interesting few months between now and May finding out.