All posts by Paul Gardiner

Webmaster, Writer, Editor and Podcast host for The United Stand. An avid Manchester United supporter since I can remember.

GUEST BLOG: Diego Simeone a possible successor to LVG

Atletico Madrid Manager Diego Simeone is currently being linked with Manchester United if Louis Van Gaal gets the sack. This man is arguably one of the greatest managers in Europe. His win rate as a coach is 55.1%, his draws being 22.3% and his losses only 22.6%.

He usually plays a 4-4-2 formation which Alex Ferguson has used back in the day when he was managing the Red Devils. However do not get your hopes up yet because the Argentinian man has been linked with the likes of Chelsea as well, who are performing shockingly in the Premier League this season. In my opinion I would love to see Diego at this club turning things around and playing attacking football which we would love to watch again.

Another interesting fact is that Diego Simone has never managed a team in the Premier League and if he comes to Manchester United and starts his English management career there I think he would win a lot of trophies and sign key players. Manchester United really do need a new manager because most United fans are sick and tired of Louis van Gaal’s philosophy. In my opinion I think Diego Simeone is a much better manager than van Gaal even if van Gaal has won a champions league and Simone hasn’t.

We have also been linked with Antoine Greizmann so this could possibly mean if Diego Simeone comes to Manchester United he could indeed bring the French goal scorer along with him as the Red Devils could do with a striker right now. Other key players at Atletico Madrid such as Diego Godin who we have been linked with in the past could come to old Trafford and also a Spanish youngster named Oliver Torres who has been labeled as the next Xavi Hernandez.

Tell me what you think in the comments below!

By Shakhai
Follow me on Twitter: @Shakhai

GUEST BLOG: Moura? Lacazette? Possible future targets

Believe it or not, Louis Van Gaal has a solid reputation amongst the footballing world. This transpires into a great advantage for Manchester United. Whether you like the man or not, you can’t deny that he has done very well to attract players of the highest quality to our club. Bastian Schweinsteiger has been the most recent example of this theory and even the rather naïve signing of Angel Di Maria last season.

Could you imagine David Moyes attracting this calibre of talent? Whilst it is one of the few positives that one can draw from our manager, it is a very important one as well as one which may prove to be very useful during the foreseeable future.

With the January transfer window upon us, it is customary that Manchester United should have very ambitious targets. The Daily Mail have valued our transfer budget at £100 million plus (obviously the largest in the Premier League). Surely, that’s enough to solve the problems of any club. In my opinion the two main positions that need to be strengthened are the right-wing and striker roles. Additionally, money could be spent on a new left-back with both Marcos Rojo and Luke Shaw injured or even a new centre-back in order to add stability to the back four. This is a detailed list of the players that I think we should be targeting in January.

Lucas Moura – PSG (£40 million)

The Brazilian international is the perfect solution to our right-wing problem. He offers pace to burn and some phenomenal skill to accompany it. Ever since the arrival of Angel Di Maria to the French side, Moura has been sidelined which has led to him being unhappy at the club in recent months. However, his price tag is quite large and questions must be asked about whether he will shine under Van Gaal’s philosophy. At only 23 years of age, he already has over 30 international caps and has played 90 games for PSG scoring a total of 56 goals for club and country. He looks the perfect combination of youth and experience and will add a lot of flair to the current United side. However, it may be difficult to attract a player of Moura’s calibre from a team still competing in the Champions League to one which is not.

Felipe Anderson – Lazio (£35 million)

Perhaps a more realistic January target, Felipe Anderson is also a Brazilian winger who can play anywhere across the front three. He will also solve the right-wing problem as well as provide depth in the final third. At the age of only 22, he may turn out to be a very solid long term investment. Much like Moura, he offers vast speed in attack as well as great creativity on the flanks. This transfer is more likely to happen as Lazio are too out of the Champions League, but once again questions must be asked about whether Anderson will blossom under LVG’s style of play.

Alexandre Lacazette – Lyon (£45 million)

The Frenchman is a prolific goalscorer having scored over 55 goals in Ligue 1 and will be the perfect striker for Manchester United. He could either be playing alone in the centre forward position or even partner Anthony Martial in a 4-1-3-2 formation. Despite the fact that Lyon are also out of the Champions League, if this deal were to go ahead it will most likely be during the Summer transfer window.

Many other players could also address our lack of depth in the striker role. The likes of Yoshinori Muto and Ayoze Perez have also been heavily linked with Manchester United but their ability is questionable.

Ryan Bertrand – Southampton (£15 million)

The English left-back could be a very good buy for United this January especially after the injuries of both Rojo and Shaw. He offers speed in his position and is Premier League proven. Should the role be strengthened, it’s hard to look past Bertrand as a very suitable target.

By Simon Pavlov
Follow me on Twitter: @Simon0208

GUEST BLOG: Possible striker transfer targets

Written on December 7th, 2015.

It’s been a very boring start for Manchester United this season. LVG’s men have only managed three goals in United’s last six home games, four of those games infamously ending 0-0. It can be argued that the disposal of players like Van Persie, Di Maria and Chicarito Hernandez, who himself has scored 11 goals in his last 10 games for Bayern Leverkusen has led to the reds struggles up front this season. On the other hand, the Red Devils defence this season has been a massive positive especially with Chris Smalling breaking out as one of the world’s best centre-backs. Mike Smalling has also been combining well at the back with ball playing defender, Daley Blind. But when the attack is as poor as it has been, it is hard to have an all round good team performance. But almost halfway through the season United still seem to be lacking that flair the red devils used to bring to the pitch.

The Devils have been lacking a strong, fast and most importantly, a clinical finisher in the heart of attack that possesses composure, physicality and confidence when on the ball. Although Martial possesses all those qualities, at 20, United shouldn’t be putting so much pressure on such a young player who recently arrived from AS Monaco for a fee around £36 million. The majority of our attackers, lack confidence which is seriously hurting our chances of keeping up with Leicester, Arsenal and City. According to ‘Sky Sports’ LVG has been given a whopping £200 million to spend this coming January transfer window. Although, from other reports, it is said to be unlikely he will dip into that budget to bring fresh players into United this January.

Here, we look at players that could bring entertainment and goals back to Old Trafford:

1. Harry Kane – Spurs

A player that hasn’t struggled to find the net this season after a storming debut season last year, scoring 31 goals in 51 games. This season Kane has already started well scoring 10 goals in 19 games. The 22 year old English international, used to the Barclays Premier League and is rated one of the best young talents in the world and reportedly has been looking for a way out of Spurs in pursuit of Champions League football, a factor that United could offer him. He is a fine talent that will only get better in time and would surely be more of a consistent choice than Wayne Rooney.

2. Romelu Lukaku – Everton – Potential Fee: £40 – £60 million

After being in the shadow or his “hero”, Didier Drogba, Romelu Lukaku has become his own player after moving to Everton. Lukaku posses great strength in and around the box and being 6’2, He’s also a massive aerial threat. Having spoken about his desire to play Champions League again, Lukaku would definitely be open to a move to Old Trafford. And Lukaku’s tally of 13 league goals is five better than United forwards Wayne Rooney, Anthony Martial and Memphis Depay combined. And after scoring against Leicester last week Lukaku became only the 9th player to score in seven consecutive Premier League games.

3. Arjen Robben – Bayern – Potential Fee: £25 – £50 million

Quite a bit older than, the two players we’ve just mention, Arjen Robben (31 years old), unlike Kane and Lukaku would bring a wealth of experience and much more quality to United’s performances. It has recently been reported that Robben wants to leave Bayern Munich having struggled for a starting role in Guardiola’s side since returning from injury. United have been linked with a deal, and after reports that Robben has agreed to move to Old Trafford, we say the Red Devils are prepared to offer £49.7m to do business. With United fans desperate to see attack with pace, Robben is definitely one to offer that.

4. Alexandre Pato – Potential Fee: £5 – £20 million

A player who tipped to be a world beater, Alexandre Pato, who in the summer revealed Manchester United had made a later offer for him. Ferreira told Globo Esporte “At the moment there are only enquiries, But if a club comes in with an offer of €25m (18.5m), we will let him go, otherwise he will return in January. “Louis van Gaal may be forced to make signings this time around if his team don’t start playing with more fluency. After scoring 15 goals and assisting nine in 2015, Pato is now being linked with a move back to Europe, and would prove a great option for United’s attack.

5. Antoine Griezmann – Potential Fee: £57.3 million

Griezmann has already netted 12 times in 21 games for Atletico, and can play left and right winger for United as well as forward, a position in which United lack great depth in. The highly-rated playmaker has a £57.3m release clause at Atletico which Van Gaal is eager to meet. It has been reported that Antoine is a big supporter of Manchester United and would be willing to move to the Red Devils in January.

By Deji Bada
Follow me on Twitter: @deji_bada
Follow me on Instagram: @dejibada

Man United 2-1 Swansea City | Match report

Man United secure their first win in seven Premier League games as they see off Swansea 2-1 at Old Trafford.

Goals from Anthony Martial and Wayne Rooney earned the red devils the three points, easing pressure on boss, Louis van Gaal.

The first half ended 0-0 with Man United failing to play in the same manner they did against Chelsea. Jeers and groans were heard around the stadium as fans became disgruntled.

However, Man United came out in the second half showing much more intent and Anthony Martial opened the scoring in the 47th minute. Ashley Young whipped in a cross from the right, Wayne Rooney attempted and failed to head the ball but Martial was behind him to head the ball down and past Fabianski.

Martial heads past Swansea's Fabianksi to open the scoring (Picture: Mirror.co.uk)
Martial heads past Swansea’s Fabianksi to open the scoring (Picture: Mirror.co.uk)

United gave a much improved performance in the second half but were unable to extend their lead. Instead Swansea managed to pull level thanks to a goal from Gylfi Sigurdsson in the 71st minute. Swansea sub, Barrow, made easy work of beating Matteo Darmian down the right and hit a cross into the box. The cross found Sigurdsson who looped a header over David de Gea and into the United goal.

Sigurdsson heads over David de Gea to bring Swansea level (Picture: Mirror.co.uk)
Sigurdsson heads over David de Gea to bring Swansea level (Picture: Mirror.co.uk)

It didn’t take long for Man United to take the lead again. This time Rooney providing the goal. The play started with Anthony Martial who ran at the defenders, taking the ball to the byline. Beating the defenders he pulled the ball back across the goal finding Rooney who scored with a clever back-heel flick completely fooling Fabianski.

Rooney scores with clever flick to secure three points (Picture: Mirror.co.uk)
Rooney scores with clever flick to secure three points (Picture: Mirror.co.uk)

Swansea reacted to going a goal down with the introduction of Jefferson Montero and Bafetimbi Gomis. Both players added strength and pace to the Swansea attack.

The Swans almost equalised twice in injury time. In the 92nd minute, Paddy McNair failed to deal with a cross and the ball fell to Ashley Williams who turned the United defender and hit a shot at goal but David de Gea was able to save at full stretch.

In the 95th minute, Swansea were awarded a corner and Fabianski joned the attack. The ball was delivered and it was the Swansea keeper who got his head on it but he couldn’t get it on target much to the relief of the United goal keeper as he could only stand and watch the ball narrowly miss the post.

The win lifts Man United up to 5th in the table, two points behind Spurs who play their game-in-hand tomorrow, away at Everton.

Man United beat Swansea City to move up to 5th (Picture: bbc.co.uk)
Man United beat Swansea City to move up to 5th (Picture: bbc.co.uk)

What did you think about the game? Are you happy with the teams performance? Do you feel the team deserved the victory? We would love to know your thoughts. Please, feel free to leave a comment below.

You can also watch the Man United V Swansea match reaction on The United Stand’s YouTube channel by clicking here. Or by watching below.

Man United Team Sheet

01 de Gea
18 Young (McNair – 78′)
04 Jones (Darmian – 45′)
12 Smalling
17 Blind
28 Schneiderlin
31 Schweinsteiger
08 Mata
21 Herrera (Carrick – 91′)
09 Martial
10 Rooney

Substitutes

07 Depay
16 Carrick
20 Romero
27 Fellaini
33 McNair
36 Darmian
44 Pereira

Swansea Team Sheet

01 Fabianski
22 Rangel
33 Fernandez
06 Williams
03 Taylor
24 Cork
07 Britton (Barrow – 62′)
04 Ki Sung-yueng
15 Routledge (Montero – 82′)
10 Ayew (Gomis – 82′)
23 Sigurdsson

Substitutes

02 Amat
13 Nordfeldt
18 Gomis
20 Montero
21 Grimes
26 Naughton
58 Barrow

GUEST BLOG: Mourinho and Rodriguez the right options for United

Some very interesting news about Jose Mourinho has recently broken out. Mourinho has told Real Madrid he is not interested in returning to the club, opening the door for him to take over at Manchester United, according to Spanish newspaper Diario Sportclaim.

In my opinion, Mourinho was the right option for united because he has the ability to get results and also gets the big name players into the club. However I feel Mourinho will obviously be tempted to take over at Real Madrid, despite the coming reports, as Madrid really have a well built squad.

As of now, three players have been spotted by manchester united: Goncalo Guedes, Felipe Anderson and James Rodriguez; James Rodriguez being our main target. I don’t think Madrid will let James go so easily as they are in a vulnerable position now and don’t look strong enough to win La Liga. However we do have a good chance of signing him if we use money and Ed Woodward, as usual, has a trick up his sleeve.

Goncalo Guedes in action for Benfica (Picture: foxsports.com)
Goncalo Guedes in action for Benfica (Picture: foxsports.com)

Reports are also coming in that Madrid are going to swoop in for David de Gea which makes it yet another summer transfer saga repeat. Felipe Anderson is gifted and has great technical ability and will be a great addition to our squad. Goncalo Guedes, dubbed ‘the new Ronaldo’, is also a talented young teen; on the contrary he is inconsistent.

This January transfer window is going to be very interesting and vital. Louis van Gaal will be desperate to keep the fans content and strengthen his squad with some talented players. Hoping for the best. As of now James Rodriguez would be a dream transfer and we should get a good left back.

By Anmol Suratkal

GUEST BLOG: Nani – the winger who promised so much but delivered so little

When Nani arrived at Old Trafford in the summer of 2007, comparisons were already being made to then team mate Cristiano Ronaldo and with many respects it was easy to see why, Bags of potential, Young, had plenty of tricks in the locker, was from the same club in Sporting Lisbon and was even the same nationality. All was set for Nani to really make a name for himself in world football, Unfortunately this didn’t happen.

In his 7 year stay at the ‘Theatre of Dreams’, Nani failed to live up to expectations, not even getting close to the achievements set By Cristiano Ronaldo during his stay at the club, as he finally called time upon his Manchester United career by completing a move to Fenerbache last summer.

By no means was his career at Manchester United a complete disaster or anything close to him being labelled a flop as such, it was that we expected so much more. In Nani there was a potential Ballon D’or Winner. If he wanted it as badly as we wanted, he would have done it. Inconsistency was the key issue, from one week making the Arsenal defender’s look like school boys at the Emirates in 2010, lobbing the ball over Almunia to getting subbed off early in games, there was no consistency.

Nani performs his famous goal celebration (Picture: bbc.co.uk)
Nani performs his famous goal celebration (Picture: bbc.co.uk)
However the early signs were promising. Things could not really have gone much better for Nani as he became a first team regular helping the side go on to win the Premier League and the Champions League in 2008. The evident ability and talent he has in those football boots were there for all to witness as he made a real name for himself and become something of a fan favourite among the United faithful, including me I might add! His “Infamous” somersault celebration was becoming somewhat of a regular occurrence as the season wore on scoring some outrageous goals including a goal of the season contender against Middlesbrough. It was all set for him to and establish himself for Manchester United.

As we entered the second season Nani’s issues in his game began to rise, It was a far cry from his debut season where at times he lit up Old Trafford. He may have received a premier league winners medal at the end of the campaign but his impact on the team was near non existent as he more often than not found himself out of he starting eleven. The only real note coming in a FA Cup encounter with Derby County. He just didn’t look as interested , it wasn’t the same player as we had witnessed the season before.

It wasn’t really until January 2010 where Nani finally made it back into Sir Alex Ferguson’s plans, making a return to the team against Hull City at Old Trafford. If it wasn’t for this performance his exit from Old Trafford would have been a lot earlier in my opinion. Luckily, Nani grabbed this opportunity with both hands and managed to force his way back into the first team even making himself a contender for the clubs player of the season award despite only really playing half of the season.

Nani and Berbatov celebrate a goal (Picture: zimbio.com)
Nani and Berbatov celebrate a goal (Picture: zimbio.com)
His improvement continued into the following season of 2010/2011 were arguably Nani produced his best consistent football for Manchester United. Right from the off it was clear he meant business. It wasn’t just his goals and assists that were impressive, it was his consistent displays. He had finally taken it upon himself to go out there and preform on a consistent level. His partnership with then forward Dimitar Berbatov was particularly impressive at the time. It was like watching poetry take place on a football field. The standout moment coming against Blackburn Rovers at Old Trafford where Nani and Berbatov linked up superbly with each other in a breath taking team move as Nani provided the assist for Berbatov’s goal. Its only a crying shame that this consistency never continued.

The following season’s under Sir Alex Ferguson brought more of the familiar mixed bag with Nani as again inconsistency remained the annoyingly key problem. Time was running out for the Portuguese star at Manchester United, you got the feeling especially after 2011/2012 that Nani’s time at Old Trafford was drawing to a close whether Sir Alex Ferguson remained there or not.

After spending time on loan back at former club Sporting Lisbon back in 2014, His time at Manchester United officially came to an end after he completed a move to Fenerbache last summer. It marked the end of an era between Manchester United supporters and Nani, he made you applaud, he made you cry, but in the end he left you feeling disappointed, so near yet so far.

By Alexander Robert Brian
Follow me on Twitter: @alex_brian92

Will Keane recalled from Preston to bolster attack

Manchester United have recalled Will Keane from his loan spell at Preston in a bid to strengthen their attack.

The red devils have only managed 22 goals so far this season with just 10 of them coming at Old Trafford.

Wayne Rooney and Anthony Martial are the only strikers United have after the departures of Robin van Persie to Fenerbache, Radamel Falcao who’s loan spell was not made permanent, Javier Hernandez to Bayer Leverkusen and James Wilson on loan at Brighton.

Will Keane has scored just twice in 22 games for Championship side, Preston and has only made one appearance for Manchester United as a late substitute in a match against Blackburn in 2011.

When asked about Will Keane being recalled, Preston manager, Simon Grayson, had this to say:

It happened in the last 24 hours or so. United felt they needed an extra body around them.

Obviously it’s disappointing to lose Will. In the last few weeks he’s been finding his feet with us, but that is what happens when you get loan players.

We accept it. We will probably go into the market over the next few days and weeks to bring in reinforcements. Hopefully he will do well for Manchester United.

When asked if Will Keane could provide the goals United lack, he said:

It’s a big step up. But he’s played regularly for us, he’s fit, so time will tell.

If you would like to read the full article on the Guardian website, please click here.

Do you think Will Keane is the answer to United’s goal scoring problems? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Rodriguez and Donnarumma on United radar

UPDATE:It has been reported in the Telegraph that the deal is getting closer with United apparently holding talks with the Columbian. Read more here.

According to the The Telegraph, United are ready to swoop for Real Madrid wantaway James Rodriguez.

The £59m rated, Columbian midfielder has failed to impress at the Bernabeu since his arrival after impressing in last years World Cup.

Manchester United are said to be in talks with the player to try and persuade him to join the red devils.

In other news, United are also interested in signing AC Milan’s 16 year old keeper, Gianluigi Donnarumma.

The young goalkeeper made his first team debut at the end of October and has since kept three clean-sheets.

Manchester City are also interested in Donnarumma but it’s thought that United would be favourites for his signature.

United currently have arguably the best goal keeper in the world in David de Gea, but recent reports suggest that he could be on his way to Real Madrid in the summer.

If you would like to read the full article on The Telegraph website, please click here.

See both Rodriguez and Donnarumma in action by clicking their names or watching below.

Antonio Conte emerges as possible LVG replacement

Squawka have reported that Manchester United could make a shock move for Italy coach Antonio Conte in the summer.

It is understood that Conte is not keen on renewing his contract with the Italian national team which expires after the Euro’s in France. This has put many European clubs on alert, including Manchester United.

Conte, 46, has had success as a manager most notably with Juventus. He won three Serie A titles and two Supercoppa Italiana cups with the Italian giants.

However, there would be a disadvantage should Man United employ him in that he has not had any experience playing or managing in England.

Chelsea are also reported to be interested in securing the services of Conte while Roma have already made contact.

If you would like to read the full report on the Squawka website, please click here.

Do you think Conte would be a good fit for Man United? Would you rather have Conte over Jose Mourinho or Pep Guardiola?

Let us know in the comment section below.

Schneiderlin lifts lid on Chelsea teamtalk

Manchester United midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin has revealed what was said during the teamtalk before the Chelsea game at Old Trafford.

Prior to playing Chelsea, Man United had failed to win any of their previous 5 Premier League games and pressure was on the team and the manager, Louis van Gaal, to not only win but also put in a performance.

In an interview with MUTV, Morgan Schneiderlin revealed what was said in the teamtalk before the game. He had this to say:

We talked before the game and said it was a must for us to be aggressive, to be on the front foot and to attack, just for our fans because they deserve to see some attractive football

The France international then went on to say this:

Sometimes we can’t do that for whatever reason but today it was a must for us to be on the front foot. We created some magnificent chances and for everyone in the crowd I think it was a beautiful game.

For us it was a good game as well because Chelsea are a very good team. But it will be a hard night to sleep because we didn’t win.

What more could we have done today? We just need to score one goal and then be able to play around it.

We know that if we can improve on the first part of the season, by scoring more goals and getting back to the strong defensive performances we had before the last few games, then anything can happen.

This isn’t finished. There are five months left, the second part of the season. We must be confident because we are Manchester United, we are one of the biggest teams in the world.

Schneiderlin’s bullish attitude for the second half of the season can be lauded but, there is one part of his speech that may raise questions and/or concerns among United fans. On playing attacking football: “Sometimes we can’t do that for whatever reason but today it was a must for us to be on the front foot.”

Surely it is a must to play attacking football week in week out. That is a trait that United fans across the globe have come to expect. It’s one of the characteristics of the “United way”.

What do you think of Morgan Schneiderlin’s comments? Do you feel that the team are being restricted from playing the free-flowing, attacking football that so many are used to seeing? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

If you would like to read the full article, please visit the Man United website by clicking here.

Watch the Man United V Chelsea highlights by clicking here or watching below.