All posts by McCrystal

Blog writer and news reporter for all deals with the club. Worked for Man Utd Updates. Tweet my opinions. Currently writing for @UnitedStandMUFC

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.


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.


Jorginho agent responds to transfer rumours

The 26 year old Brazilian born is a reported target for Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United with rumours that all have scouted the midfielder this season.

Interest in the Italian International is ever-growing with his fine displays in the middle of the field continue to be crucial for Napoli who currently sit at the top of the pile in the Serie A.

Jorginho has two years left in Naples but his agent believes the midfielder would quickly settle in the Premier League but also refused to confirm nor deny a £60 million valuation set by Napoli.

During the international friendly between Italy and Scotland on May 29, 2016 in Malta, Malta.

‘I follow the Premier League. I’m sure Jorginho has the characteristics to play there. He runs more than 13 km every game and he has a great technique. I don’t have a figure in my mind, the price is set by the president.’

Despite this, Joao Santos has admitted there isn’t anything ‘concrete’ at this moment in time but tells the media that ‘It’s normal for top European clubs to keep players of this type on their radars. ‘We’re waiting for May. We hope Napoli can win the league. Then if Napoli wants to renew the contract, we can talk about it.

‘The same if they want to sell Jorginho. There are no official and concrete proposals for him from UK. ‘We are available to deal with [Napoli]. He has become Neapolitan and is in a family. He is a top level player.’

Tournament Apps Mins Goals Assists Yel Red SpG PS% AerialsWon MotM Rating
UEFA Champions League 2 162 1 1 84.9 7.38
Serie A 24 1960 2 4 4 0.6 89.3 0.5 7.10
UEFA Europa League 0(1) 8 92.3 6.42
Coppa Italia 1 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Total / Average 28 2130 3 4 4 0 0.6 89.1 0.5 0 7.09

They just don’t cut it

While Man City continues to impress and dominate every week in the Premier League questions are beginning to be asked of Jose Mourinho and his players; are they good enough to challenge next season? As Man City are set to strengthen to their already world class squad, who are the weak links in the Manchester United squad that the club cannot afford to have next season?

Two of those whom don’t meet the requirements to play for this club are:

Marouane Fellaini

Transfer fee: £27,500,000

Appearances: 94

Goals: 19

Marouane Fellaini has been a controversial signing ever since he walked through the doors of Carrington alongside ‘The Chosen One’ David Moyes.

The Belgium International has been used as a somewhat go to player under José Mourinho’s tenure so far with direct plays and long balls being used as a way back into the game. However, the 6’4 midfielder never has had the skill or the ability to play for a club of Manchester United’s stature.

He was a panic buy from the Scotsman who missed out on targets such as Cesc Fabregas and by doing so over spent for a mid-table wreckless midfielder. Fellaini will always be a liability to the defence with his wreckless challenges and flailing arms. With rumours a new contract is trying to be negotiated for him the Belgian is playing hardball and is demanding a higher salary than what has been offered.


My Verdict: He never has and never will be good enough to play for Manchester United and therefore should be let go in the summer. If Mourinho needs a tall bushy haired midfielder; we have an exciting 6ft tall teenager, Tahith Chong who every fan would rather see step onto the Old Trafford turf alongside the first team.


Ashley Young

Transfer fee: £17,000,000

Appearances: 140

Goals: 16

Ashley Young, bought in his prime in 2011 from Aston Villa by Sir Alex Ferguson he was used sparingly as an in and out left winger. Of late the experienced ex England International has been playing in deeper wing back roles and on either flank.

The transition from right midfield to right back for United skipper Antonio Valencia has been a revelation with the Ecuadorian finding his feet and putting in mammoth performances every week for the past few years, becoming an integral rock in the united defence. However, the transition for Ashley Young has not been quite as smooth. With a few months of fine performances almost solidifying his left back position under Louis Van Gaal delivering fine crosses into the box on either foot making the defence guess was a joy to watch for the small period that he produced it.

But with poor performances being turned out each week the fans are left questioning why Mourinho keeps starting the aging Englishman over the young and exciting Luke Shaw who has bags of potential but is just not been shown the same faith from the manager as is from the fan base.

My Verdict: Ashley Young is now too old and doesn’t have the nohow to play in the left back role. His defensive positioning is terrible and recovery is not good enough. His recent performances remind me of an even worse aging Patrice Evra who just didn’t have the legs to get back anymore. The difference is the fans still love Patrice whereas i don’t fully think Ashley has ever won over the fans at Old Trafford in his seven year stint. He needs to leave and allow Luke Shaw and others such as Joe Riley a chance and let the club grow and get stronger especially in the defensive areas.(Picture:

Preview: Crystal Palace vs Manchester United

With Manchester United visiting, Roy Hodgson’s Palace have got to impress as their run of six games without a win may set to continue with the home side failing to win any of their 17 Premier League meetings with Manchester United (D3, L14) which is a Premier League record for most games against an opponent without winning.

The Eagles will want to put on a good show in front of their home fans after a demoralising late 0-1 home defeat to Tottenham Hotspurs last time out. They will need goals from somewhere as Wilfried Zaha and Christian Benteke’s six league goals between them will not spark their home crowd with confidence going against the leagues most resilient defence.

United Injury News:

United are missing six first team regulars for Monday night’s fixture.

Ander Herrera will miss out due to his recent muscle injury , while Daley Blind remains in rehab from an ankle problem which has kept him out of the side for sometime; possibly to the happiness of some fans.

Centre back pairing of Marcos Rojo and Phil Jones are also ruled out with knocks, with

             Fellaini remains sidelined.

Jose confirming that they have not been considered for selection.

Regarding Fellaini, Mourinho explained on Friday: “He’s still a young player, his injury had a little surgery, a minor surgery, and he will be back to play again in a couple of weeks.” Which will give the squad a greater depth in midfield alongside Ander’s return as the United midfield three could begin to strain with the accumulation of matches.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has recently returned back to first team training but will be unlikely to be involved in the fixture despite being confirmed that the Swede is not currently ‘injured’. The experienced striker has reportedly stated that he doesn’t believe he will be of value in his current physical state and will continue to train hard and be back soon.

With Chelsea dropping points and falling to 5th place United could stretch the gap to 9 points with a win tonight and will give them great momentum going into the derby weekend game against on-form Liverpool.

Predicted lineups:

Crystal Palace starting XI:

Hennessey, Wan-Bissaka, Kelly, Delaney, Van Aanholt, McArthur, Milivojevic, Riedewald, Townsend, Benteke, Sorloth

Zaha still out injured and Timothy-Fosu Mensah not allowed to play against parent club.

Man United starting XI:

De Gea, Valencia, Smalling, Lindelof, Shaw, Mctominay, Matic, Pogba, Rashford, Sanchez, Lukaku

Mourinho may be tempted to play Eric Bailly to regain fitness ahead of the Liverpool game on Saturday. Also the right midfield spot could be anyone’s with Martial out, Rashford could be tipped by Jesse Lingard or Juan Mata. 

Sanchez to wait for Debut!

The Chilean winger, Alexis Sanchez, will now have to wait until next Friday to make his debut for Manchester United as his deal continues to be stalled.

The deal has failed to be completed in time to meet the Premier League’s registration deadline if they were wanting him to make his first appearance in what is rumoured to be the number seven jersey in the famous united colours. As well as Sanchez, Henrikh Mkhitaryan will too be unavailable for Arsenal’s 3pm kick-off against Crystal Palace even if the announcement were to come later this day due to the cut off time of midday earlier today.

United fans especially will see this as a massive blow as they were wanting to see their new man make his debut against a tough opposition in Burnley, in a game that he would have made an immediate impact and improved the squad a great deal. Burnley, despite not winning a game in their last seven fixtures are still sitting seventh and pose a real threat against the United defence.

As both showed up for training for their current respective sides this morning, there is a feeling that the spark of this transfer is beginning to dwindle with many fans losing patience and excitement about the announcement. Manchester United fans will be hopeful that their club can announce this deal quickly and in an impressive fashion such as Pogba and Ibrahimović deals alike.

Jesse Lingard with Huge Announcement

On the day the exciting fan favourite Jesse Lingard took over the clubs official Instagram account; the attacking midfielder couldn’t resist joining in on the action and rumours surrounding the impending transfer of Arsenal and Chile winger, Alexis Sanchez.

While in charge of his club’s official account most fans were sure for some antics from the player due to his pranks and jokes seen on other occasions on his own personal Instagram and Snapchat accounts at the cost of his fellow teammates; with many hoping the announcement will come from the player himself.


Lingard couldn’t resist teasing the fans by making it appear that a certain player is there at Carrington training complex ready to complete their medical. By ‘talking to the club doctor’ introducing himself “Morning Doc” followed by “Oh hello, welcome. Are you okay? How are you? I hope you enjoy your time here. Enjoy your medical.” Jesse had a real laugh before training just as expected from the 25 year old.

The Manchester united academy product is known for his upbeat and fun character and has been in the form of his life as he starts to add goals and assists to his performance on a regular basis. But the fan’s are hoping Alexis Sanchez can soon join him, as rumours of a debut on Saturday look more and more likely.

Andreas To Challenge For Spot

José has a tough decision to make for their opening fixture against West Ham United at Old Trafford this Sunday with many great stand out performances during the US Tour.

Andreas Pereira has really gave José a selection headache to make for the opening game. It’s always vital to get off to a winning start in the Premier League and this decision is key as to who you put on that pitch to start the campaign as you need to be confident as a manager that those eleven plus three key possible substitutes later on will do enough to secure the three points.

Will José stay with the more experienced central midfielders of Paul Pogba, Ander Herrera and Nemanja Matic or trust a younger more inexperienced but very tenacious and skillful Brazilian in Pereira?

After a very solid loan spell at Granada last season he was the shining light in a relegated side that should little passion throughout and after impressing the La Liga faithful in Spain, big things are expected this season from him with many United fans hoping he’ll play a big part in the depth of the squad when the team progresses deeper into multiple competitions.

José Mourinho will be without Marcos Rojo, Ashley Young and Luke Shaw who are all still sidelined with injures, with the later two being close to returns after training with the squad the past week.


This weekend could see the Premier League debut’s of all three summer signings in Nemanja Matic, Romelu Lukaku and Victor Lindelof. This season’s opener against West Ham United can be seen live on Sky Sports Super Sunday with kick off at 4pm.

Those who are in with a chance of starting are: Chris Smalling, Andreas Pereira, Michael Carrick, Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford.

Likely Lineup: