Surprises And No Surprises As The Premiership Returns At Manchester United

It was apparently odds on that Manchester United would sign at least one new player as the transfer season came to a close, or to use the more modern phrase “slammed shut”. Jose Mourinho only a few days before had said in his televised interview he had given a list of five players to the CO Ed Woodward some time ago. Now he added he would like two but he would be happy with one. In the end apart from an untried youthful defender, an ageing goalkeeper and a Brazilian midfielder with the unlikely name “Fred”, there were no other major recruits.

Whatever goes on at boardroom level that the fans are not privy to, reading between the lines, it seems Mourinho’s choice of buying ready-made stars has now come to an end. In truth, the idea of buying another centre back when there are five at the club seems a bit odd. So Mourinho has to do the best with what he has in this squad at least till January.

In their opening game against Leicester City, last Friday night United huffed and puffed and just about got over the line against a determined team 2-1.
Awarded a penalty if the early minutes Paul Pogba, who has his own narrative going on at the moment, attacked the ball in the style of a man trying to walk up a down escalator, before placing it firmly in the net putting United 1-0 up.

Luke Shaw who has endured a couple of seasons of personal highs and lows but mainly lows scored his first ever goal in the Premiership in the second half. In the end, his goal won the match as Jamie Vardy headed in for Leicester, from a curling cross which hit the post, in injury time. It must have seemed strange for the travelling Leicester City supporters to see Vardy only on the substitutes bench at the kickoff.

Mourinho in his press conference after the match explained that because of the World Cup and the subsequent lack of training due to late holidays some of his players were not ready. Pogba however, he said, “was a monster” to last as long as he did according to Mourinho at least.

Interestingly David DeGea who had returned from the World Cup showed once again on a couple of occasions why he should be classed as the finest goalkeeper in the world. He left the blunders he sometimes shows when he plays for his national team, Spain, on the field in Russia.

For a brief moment on Friday night Manchester United sat proudly on top of the Premiership table. Of course, it did not last long with rivals Manchester City, Liverpool, Tottenham and Chelsea all winning over the weekend. The consensus from football pundits is that at the end of the season City and Liverpool will finish ahead of United while some ‘experts’ predict United will finish out of the top four.

Predictions can make fools of us all and after one game nothing is set in stone. However, Mourinho is a serial winner and while he may not have gotten the recruits he craved a few months ago he still has an ocean of talent to pick from. Whether he has the way of it all to win the Premiership after finishing second last season is open to debate. If anyone can do it, he can, whether he will it is too early to call.

jim mcveney

Bailly the Beast

In this weeks Talking Manchester United podcast, Paul, Ash and guest Andrew, look back at the game against Leicester City, each giving their thoughts on the performance of the team and individual players such as Pogba and Bailly.

The guys also give their opinions on the rumoured, potential appointment of a Director of Football.

A preview of Sunday’s game at Brighton is also on the agenda.

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/

The Season Ahead

The boys are back! And for the first Talking Manchester United podcast episode of the 2018/2019 season, Paul and Ash give their thoughts on United’s preseason tour (including last nights game against Bayern Munich).

But, more importantly, the guys preview Friday’s game against Leicester City as well as giving their hopes and predictions for the season ahead.

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/

 

Jose Mourinho To Enter His Third Season At Manchester United: Is It Now Or Never?

In America right now Jose Mourinho and Manchester United are playing friendly games and slowly building up to the start of the 2018/2019 Premier League season.

United, Mourinho and their opponents, Leicester City, have the honour (if that is the right term because of television demands) to kick off the new season a day before all the other Premiership teams, on Friday 10th August 8: 00 pm at Old Trafford. Mourinho, however, does not come across at the moment as someone happy in his job and it could be argued there are extenuating circumstances for this.

Firstly for the first two friendly matches in America, the United squad was a mix of first team, reserves and youth players on the fringe of their careers. With some of Mourinho’s major players/ stars having extended late holidays after their excursions in the FIFA World Cup.

Secondly, with the transfer season in the UK closing the day before the Premiership season kicks-off, Thursday 9th August, there is a sense of urgency around strengthening the present United squad. However having already added three new recruits to the United roster you might think Mourinho would be happy. The new recruits it could be argued are hardly marquee signings destined to get the supporters pulses racing.

Of the three new men the Brazilian ‘Fred’ is the most high profile, but as he was an unused substitute for Brazil in the World Cup, his signing seems hardly overwhelming. He may in time fulfil the Michael Carrick role but as yet the jury must be out. Rumours persist of specific new signings destined to come to the club, the most interesting being the approaches for England’s centre-back Harry McGuire and Chelsea’s Willian, but as yet there is nothing concrete with either of these speculations. Given then the situation, in one sense Mourinho”s demeanour is very understandable, however, there is also the personal ‘X-factor’ to throw into the current situation.

On joining United from being sacked from Chelsea, Mourinho signed a three-year contract. As he enters his third season in charge he must be aware that there has to be a significant improvement in his results if he is to be around for the start the fourth season.

While finishing second last season, a marked improvement on his first season in the Premiership, United were still so far behind Manchester City it was little short of embarrassing. Add to that an inept display in the FA CUP Final at Wembley last May resulting in losing to his former club Chelsea, and it all meant a season of discontent and discomfort.

It must be argued that when Mourinho took over from Louise VanGaal the club was in a mess. Both Van Gall and the manager before him David Moyes had collaborated to knock the heart of the clubs attacking philosophy, known by many as the ‘United Way’.

Under Mourinho, there has been an undoubted improvement in style and results however United are still short in particular areas. Mourinho’s outbursts and criticisms about some United players have also not gone down well with lots of clubs supporters.

The stakes then for Mourinho, United and the coming Premiership challenge could not be higher, and to an extent are very much tied up to the next few days. If there are no new recruits then Mourinho will have to get more out of the squad than he did last season. If there are new recruits then Mourinho’s job will be to blend them into a more productive unit and hope that as far as the Premiership is concerned, United will be able to challenge Manchester City or the team which sits at the Premiership summit in a more exciting and consistent way.

jim@1211plussubs

Fred ‘delighted’ to join United in 5-year-deal

Manchester United have announced Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Fred as their second signing of the summer. The deal was finally announced by United today, with the Brazilian joining Jose Mourinho’s side on a 5 year deal.

25 year old Fred is currently still at the World Cup with the Brazil squad, but is excited about his future at Old Trafford:

“This is the biggest club in the world and I am delighted to be a part of this amazing team,

To work with Jose Mourinho, who has won so many trophies in his time as a coach, is an opportunity not to be missed.”

United manager Mourinho was pleased about the addition of the Brazilian: “Fred will complement our other midfielders’ qualities, which we need; his creative brain and passing vision will give us another dimension to our game.”

During his time at Shakhtar Donetsk, Fred contributed to three league titles, three Ukrainian cup and triumphs and a further four Ukrainian Super Cups. He joins young Portuguese full-back Diego Dalot at Old Trafford, United’s only other summer signing who signed from Porto in a deal believed to be worth around £20m.

Fred will team up with Mourinho’s other midfield options, including Nemanja Matic, Ander Herrera, Scott Mctominay and Paul Pogba. The United manager will be hoping these midfield options will be able to compete in a potential title challenge with Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City.

Maraoune Fellaini’s future remains uncertain at the club with his contract running out at the end of this month. A contract remains on the table for the Belgian, currently at the World Cup, with Arsenal and AC Milan also linked as potential suitors for the midfielder.

United close in on Porto full-back Diogo Dalot

Manchester United are close to making Portuguese u21 international Diogo Dalot their first summer signing, with United expected to trigger the player’s £17.5m release clause. The deal for Dalot is expected to be finalised in the coming days.

Jose Mourinho believes Dalot can provide competiton for ageing right-back Antonio Valencia, as well as providing back up in the left back position. The 19 year old will replace Matteo Darmian as defensive cover who is set to join Italian Champions Juventus after an unsuccessful spell at Old Trafford. Daley Blind is also likely to leave the club this summer having failed to impress Mourinho last season.

Despite just making six full appearances for Porto last season, Dalot is regarded very highly and has the potential to become one of the world’s best full-backs. He is described as a modern day versatile full-back, who has pace and the ability to deliver a good cross.

This signing raises doubts over Timothy-Fosu Mensah’s future, having spent the season out on loan at Crystal Palace last year. The Dutch defender may have expected to be Antonio Valencia’s understudy for the new campaign but will now have to work even harder to prove his worth to Jose Mourinho.

United are also working on deals to sign Shaktar midfielder Fred and Tottenham defender Toby Alderweireld before the World Cup starts, with the players likely to cost a combined £100m.

 

 

All About You

This weeks podcast will be 100% all about you, the listener!

Paul and Ash will spend the entire episode taking your questions/suggestions left on Twitter over the last few days.

Thanks for Listening!

VanCam links:

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

Season Review!

In this weeks podcast, Paul and Ash will look back at the FA Cup final defeat as well as reviewing United’s season as a whole.

As always, the guys will read out your tweets to ensure you remain involved!

Thanks for listening!

VanCam links:

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

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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