All posts by Patrick McCrystal

Freelance writer currently writing for the United Stand.

Pat’s Match Review – Huddersfield 1-1 Man United

Another embarrassing and poor performance by a pathetic and spineless Manchester United squad.

Anyone thinking before this match that Manchester United still had a chance of getting inside the top 4 are deluded and can forget about that dream now as the Red Devils will be playing in the Europa League next season once again.

The players looked lost and didn’t know what to do on the pitch throughout. Playing one of the worst Premier League sides in history and yet cannot win and score only one goal. Marcus Rashford the golden boy loved and adored by many after breaking into the squad a few seasons back has looked petulant for many weeks complaining and throwing his arms in the air when things don’t work out for him. There is a serious attitude problem within this squad and there needs to be a massive clear out in the upcoming summer.

Paul Pogba hit the post twice throughout the game giving sparks of life every ten to fifteen minutes which obviously isn’t good enough; however with better players he would have had a bigger impact. Alexis Sanchez might have/hopefully has played his last game in a Manchester United shirt hobbling down the tunnel in the second half.

David De Gea, who has came under some scrutiny in recent weeks pulled off some decent saves but was left with no chance for the Huddersfield goal due to the non existent back four in front of him and Luke Shaw’s poor attempt at intercepting the assist from Huddersfield goalkeeper Jonas Lössl, his second assist against Manchester United.

Tahith Chong came on from the bench and brought a spark to the game, something the fans have been begging for from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Scott McTominay is the only player in that starting eleven who can hold his head high and say he has performed and put all he has on the line for the club and the badge.

These Manchester United players will get showered at the stadium, get on the bus and joke around and go home and act as if they haven’t just embarrassed themselves and the club once again today. They do not care what happens because a lot of them know they have surpassed their expiration date already at the club.

Preview: PSG vs Manchester United

Wednesday night sees Manchester United travel to Paris to take on Paris Saint-Germain in the second leg of their Champions League fixture in which the Red Devils are currently trailing by two goals.

Marcus Rashford and Romelu Lukaku are expected to both start with Solskjaer set to alter the formation of the side and deploy either Fred or Andreas Pereira in the middle to replace the suspended Paul Pogba.

Manchester United are not expected to win on Wednesday due to the gulf of class shown in the first fixture between the two sides as well as the recent injury crisis that has hit united leaving them missing many first team players.

Solskjaer will hope for a positive performance ahead of a very important few weeks for the club as they travel to The Emirates in a crucial game in the race for top four before heading to Wolves in the quarter- finals of the FA Cup to allow the possibility of silverware this season a reality.

Man United’s Injury News:

Ander Herrera, Nemanja Matic, Anthony Martial, Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata, Phil Jones, Alexis Sanchez and Antonio Valencia will all be missing for the game in Paris due to injury. Whilst Paul Pogba is suspended due to being sent off in the reverse fixture.

PSG Injury News:

The French champions will still be missing Neymar due to his metatarsal injury he suffered earlier in the season, whilst Edinson Cavani is in contention to feature but still may be a doubt.

Man United’s 20-man travelling squad:

Goalkeepers: David De Gea, Lee Grant, Sergio Romero

Defenders: Ashley Young, Luke Shaw, Diogo Dalot, Marcus Rojo, Eric Bailly, Chris Smalling, Victor Lindelof, Brandon Williams.

Midfielders: Scott McTominay, Andreas Pereira, Fred, James Garner, Angel Gomes.

Forwards: Romelu Lukaku, Tahith Chong, Marcus Rashford Mason Greenwood.

Mason Greenwood and Brandon Williams who are both yet to make their senior debut for the club have travelled alongside James Garner and Tahith Chong who have both made their senior debuts in recent weeks. Angel Gomes who made his debut at the end of last season has also travelled in the 20-man squad.

Possible Man United Starting XI:

(www.buildlineup.com)

Possible PSG Starting XI:

(www.buildlineup.com)

 

Preview: Manchester United vs Southampton

Manchester United can move into fourth spot if they get all three points at home to the Saints and Arsenal fail to win against Spurs. Southampton are coming off the back of a big win against relegation bound Fulham and will be eager to get something from the game as they enter a tough run of games .

United will hope to get all three point tomorrow afternoon before their second leg fixture in the Champions League last-16 against PSG midweek, a trip to Arsenal in the league and an away fixture fixture against Wolverhampton Wanderers to earn a place in the FA Cup semi-finals.

Man United’s Injury News:

In-form forward Marcus Rashford could be set to start after coming off the bench on Saturday due to a recent ankle injury which occurred during the North West Derby against Liverpool.

Anthony Martial has also been out injured since the home fixture against PSG however, the chances of the Frenchman starting are slim.

Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard and Ander Herrera are all doubtful as they began recovery sessions on Wednesday. Whilst both Matteo Darmian and Marcos Rojo are available again for Solskjaer.

Man United’s Possible XI:

(www.buildlineup.com)Southampton’s Injury News:

Mario Lemina is out due to an abdominal problem and Hasenhuttl confirmed that Danny Ings had missed training with a hamstring problem and will not feature on Saturday.

Southampton’s Possible Starting XI:

(www.buildlineup.com)

Rom Hits Back with Two! Crystal Palace Match Review

Ole has continued to impress as he remains unbeaten in the league, only dropping two points against Burnley at the end of January. Man United has now recorded eight straight away wins, making Solskjaer the first Manchester United manager in the Premier League to do so. The fans are applauding the Norwegian’s tactical knowledge by getting all three points in a tough away fixture at Selhurst Park with an injury ravaged side.

Someone who has found himself somewhat out of favour is the Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku who netted twice before Ashley Young sealed the deal in the 83′ minute. However, despite scoring twice some fans are unsure of his abilities and question his composure as he continues to miss big open chances game upon game.

Some fans were also disappointed not to see Tahith Chong grace the field as many were expecting him to due to the injuries regarding both Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard. However 17-year-old James Garner came on to make his debut albeit just as a small cameo substitution made on the 90′ minute to replace the Brazilian, Fred. Majority of fans are hoping that Ashley Young, despite scoring late on, will not continue to feature so heavily come next season as many believe in the depth of the squads youth players such as Chong, Dalot and Fosu – Mensah (on loan to Fulham) who can help patrol the right side.

https://www.standard.co.uk/sport/football/crystal-palace-1-man-utd-3-romelu-lukaku-double-united-win-at-selhurst-park-a4078531.html
Ashley young scores late to ensure all three points. [Evening Standard]
The majority of fans are hoping Ole is given the job on a permanent basis as he continues to break records and ensure the club are within a chance of getting top four football come the end of the season; something that looked far out of sight at the time of his arrival.

Ole’s at the wheel, long may it last!

Man United out of Champions League? PSG Match Review

Ole Gunner Solskjær has just recorded his first defeat as Interim Manager of Manchester United and I’m afraid to say the team looked toothless across the pitch.

During the opening few minutes of the match the team looked poised to get something from the game. Pressing and closing down high up the pitch; it was evident the team were given instructions to press high and put veteran goalkeeper ‘Gigi’ Buffon under pressure and quickly close him down. However, as the game went on and PSG gained a foothold in the game and began to dominate, the pressing stopped and the intensity from the squad was not good enough.

Pogba was kept quiet throughout the entire game before his sending off, but especially in the first as Marquinhos was providing a fantastic, specific man marking role; somewhat similar to Herrera’s owning of Hazard a few seasons ago.

https://www.standard.co.uk/sport/football/manchesterunited/man-utd-news-live-solskjaer-press-conference-psg-reaction-pogba-injury-every-word-a4064961.html
Paul Pogba sent off for a second yellow foul on Dani Alves [Evening Standard]

Injury blows for United as both Lingard and Martial both went off injured throughout the night. Jesse Lingard went off in the first half with what looked to be a hamstring injury and was replaced by the highest paid substitute in Alexis Sanchez. In regards to Anthony Martial, the Frenchman was replaced by Juan Mata at the break as he pulled up with what looked like a groin injury around the half hour mark earlier in the game.

PSG made it 0-1 at 53′ minutes and scored again on the hour mark as both Kimpembe and Mbappe scored for the French champions.

Manchester United looked toothless throughout with Marcus Rashford looking increasingly frustrated with the level of service provided. They barely tested Buffon in goal and will undoubtedly be disappointed by their performance tonight. The game at Old Trafford would’ve been one of the best chances to have beaten the french side as they were without players such as: Neymar, Cavani and Meunier.

Manchester United need to regroup quickly for their FA Cup tie against Chelsea to maintain any ambition of staying in a cup competition as their run in the Champions League looks all but gone. With both Lingard and Martial both potential doubts for that fixture the squad already looks bare in positions and incomings are needed in the summer like they were in the January window but were overlooked instead focusing on extending some dubious players’ contracts.

Champions League Squad Announced

Jose Mourinho has chosen his 25 man ‘A list’ for this years Champions League, one that does not include Marcus Rashford.

Rashford is considered a homegrown player and as he is still under twenty-one years of age he does not need to be registered on the squad list to allow him to take part in this years competition.

Players who are registered in the squad include first team regulars such as: Paul Pogba, Romelu Lukaku and David De Gea. However, new faces also included this season are summer signings Lee Grant, Fred and Diogo Dalot.

Champions League Squad:

Goalkeepers: David De Gea, Sergio Romero, Lee Grant

Defenders: Antonio Valencia, Matteo Darmian, Ashley Young, Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly, Chris Smalling, Phil jones, Diogo Dalot, Marcos Rojo, Luke Shaw

Midfielders: Jesse Lingard, Andreas Pereira, Paul Pogba, Juan Mata, Ander Herrera, Fred, Marouane Fellaini, Scott McTominay, Nemanja Matic

Forwards: Romelu Lukaku, Anthony Martial, Alexis Sanchez

Manchester United Handed Tough Group!

Manchester United have been handed a very tough group in this years Champions League Draw.

Having been in Pot 2 for the draw the three time champions are placed alongside: Juventus, Valencia and BSC Young Boys.

Going off current form Man United may struggle to gain qualification from this group and they need to use this International break wisely and regroup and focus as their league form so far has been embarrassing. The Champions League is a stage for the big stars to shine and perform something that the United players so far have not been doing; players such as Paul Pogba, Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez need to improve and find form quickly if they want their club to progress within this illustrious tournament.

The draw also signals the return of the fan favourite Cristiano Ronaldo as his new side Juventus will travel to Old Trafford once more. Ronaldo, whom only this season moved to the Italian champions for just under £100 million will undoubtedly be excited about the prospect about returning to the club where his global domination began in front of the fans who still hold him close to their heart.

These fixtures could prove vital in the outcome of Jose Mourinho’s job and he will hope they will be a springboard for success and a catalyst of change for the Manchester club.

(Picture:www.skysports.com)

Anthony Martial to sign a new deal?

The Frenchman has been at the club since 2015 making him the then most expensive teenager with a fee possible of rising to £58 million.

Jose Mourinho has sought help from others within his squad opting to cut the 22-year-old winger’s playing time in favour of Manchester’s own Marcus Rashford & 29-year-old Chilean Alexis Sanchez despite their poor and inconsistent form.

Despite Martial being out of favour under Mourinho and there being major speculation over his career  rumours state Manchester United’s preference is to keep him at the club and are intent of making it five more seasons at least.

Martial’s season has already gotten off to a poor start; being fined after his pre-season departure to return from America for the birth of his child and not even being selected for the 3-0 humiliation at Old Trafford on Monday by Spurs.

Many fans are in favour of Martial remaining at the club long-term however many are signalling the end of Mourinhos reign if this is the case.