What is going on??

Those of you that follow me (not many I know) will know that I have been very much in the ‘Mourinho-In’ camp for some time. Whilst many, including our very own Mark Goldbridge, have pitched up tents over in the ‘out’ camp, I have remained across in my field, like an old man at Glastonbury a week after the festival has finished. Continue reading What is going on??

Is a Zlatan return a good thing?

“To some at United, it is not a coincidence that disharmony within the squad has become an issue since Ibrahimovic moved away.”

The above quote, published by Mark Ogden, will no doubt attract criticism and ridicule on social media but is it really that far wide of the mark? Continue reading Is a Zlatan return a good thing?

A Hair-Raising Performance

In this weeks Talking Manchester United podcast Paul and Ash, look back at the game against Watford, giving their thoughts on the performance of the team and individual players such as Marouane Fellaini and Paul Pogba.

The guys also preview the upcoming games against BSC Young Boys in the Champions League opener and Wolves.

And sticking to tradition, the guys also read out and discuss your tweets to ensure you remain involved!

The podcast can be found here on the website, Youtube and on almost any other Android and Apple podcast app. So be sure to listen and subscribe! And where you can, leave the guys a comment!

VanCam links:

https://www.youtube.com/user/ashy07
https://www.facebook.com/KevsVanCam/

Watford Awaits

In this weeks Talking Manchester United podcast Paul and Ash give a brief preview of the upcoming Premier League fixture against Watford. As part of their preview the guys will give their starting line-up predictions as well as discussing who they think should start.

And sticking to tradition, the guys also read out and discuss your tweets to ensure you remain involved!

The podcast can be found here on the website, Youtube and on almost any other Android and Apple podcast app. So be sure to listen and subscribe! And where you can, leave the guys a comment!

VanCam links:

https://www.youtube.com/user/ashy07
https://www.facebook.com/KevsVanCam/

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

Rom’s Revival

In this weeks Talking Manchester United podcast Paul and Ash, look back at the game against Burnley, giving their thoughts on the performance of the team and individual players such as Romelu Lukaku and Luke Shaw.

And sticking to tradition, the guys also read out and discuss your tweets to ensure you remain involved!

The podcast can be found here on the website, Youtube and on almost any other Android and Apple podcast app. So be sure to listen and subscribe! And where you can, leave the guys a comment!

VanCam links:

https://www.youtube.com/user/ashy07
https://www.facebook.com/KevsVanCam/

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.

 

Jose Mourinho, Part Of The Problem Or Part Of The Solution?

Back in what some Manchester United supporters would call their ‘Golden Age’ when Sir Alex Ferguson ruled the roost there was a certain process when it came to pre-match press conferences. Usually the day before the game Ferguson would greet the press at Old Trafford with a certain banter, then speak about the coming game, then give his thoughts, take questions and disappear.

It would be remiss of me to say that Ferguson’s press conferences were always an uplifting experience for the journalists. At times Ferguson was the pit bull you crossed the street to avoid and if he took a dislike to a reporter, the reporter could find himself barred from the press briefing for a week, or a month or even longer. Ferguson, like the proverbial elephant, never forgot a wrong or a slight to his team or his character or his family.

Fast forward through the David Moyes and Louis Van Gaal era’s, now it is Jose Mourinho’s turn to command the press conferences and in which, for the moment anyway, he resembles a man who would rather be somewhere else entirely. The pre-season tour for Mourinho had been a summer of sulk and misery which the manager has now seemingly taken into the Premier League.

Without a doubt, It has been a really, really bad week for Manchester United and Mourinho. Since their last game, a shambolic loss at Brighton a week ago, the media has been divided about Mourinho’s future at the club. Most of the celebrity media pundits have pronounced the end for Mourinho sooner rather than later, with only the odd voice eg. Neil Custis of the Sun, expressing a balanced argument in Mourinho’s defence. So with the storm clouds gathering, Manchester United faced their third game of the new Premiership season at Old Trafford on Monday night, 27th August against Tottenham.

Mourinho sprang a surprise by playing Chris Smalling and Phil Jones and Ander Herrara in a back three allowing Luke Shaw and Anthony Valencia to play as wing backs in more advanced positions. For the most part, United had a good first 45 minutes surviving a good penalty shout when Jones brought down Lucas Moura clearly in the box. Spurs however benefited when Romalu Lukaku rounded the goalkeeper at the other end and shot wide of an open net.

In the second half United play resembles the shambolic mess they had produced at Brighton the week before. Once Harry Kane had headed in from a corner to put Spurs 1-0 up the doubts and insecurities came back to the United players. A bad mistake by Herrara allowing Christian Eriksen to be onside was punished when his cross was guided in by Moura.

Shortly after Dele Alli should have put Spurs 3-0 ahead after another defensive mistake by Victor Lindelöf. However, it was not too long before a clumsy tackle by Smalling allowed Moura to once again break free and slot the ball home to make it 3-0. Manchester United have now played 3 matches and lost 2 of them very badly.

In a show of defiance or solidarity depending on your point of view, Mourinho made a point of standing in front of the Stretford End for over a minute clapping them for their support. In the press conference afterwards, Mourinho seemingly was so annoyed with the questions asked that he stormed out demanding more ‘respect’ for the achievements and work he has done, not only at United but in football in general. It may well have been a classic Mourinho gesture to deflect criticism from his underachieving team but I doubt that.

Manchester United’s next match is away at Burnley on Sunday 2nd September. This game now seems to have become the latest one Mourinho cannot afford to lose if he is to keep his job. Mourinho may be helped somewhat in that respect because Burnley play Thursday night in the Europa League and may on Sunday be suffering from fatigue.

On Friday Mourinho faces the press once again to discuss the Burnley match but it might take other directions considering how the last one finished up. There is no doubt that there are serious issues at Manchester United on and off the field of play at the moment, however, whether Mourinho is part of the problem or part of the solution, only time will tell.

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