Tag Archives: liverpool

It’s only Fulham…

“It’s only Fulham”

It was inevitable really. Lose and further fuel would’ve been added to the rumblings to remove Mourinho from the post of Manchester United manager. A draw would’ve returned the same result. Scrape a win and it would’ve been unacceptable. Batter them and ‘it’s only Fulham’. Continue reading It’s only Fulham…

Man Utd battling with rivals for Christian Pulisic

Manchester United are monitoring the situation of Borussia Dortmund star Christian Pulisic as manager Jose Mourinho ponders a move for the American in the summer, according to a report on the Daily Mail.

Pulisic has made a name for himself in the German Bundesliga by putting in some phenomenal performances which have seen his value increase drastically.

United are willing to challenge fellow Premier League club Liverpool for the youngster as well as Bayern Munich, who are also interested in securing his services.

Christian Pulisic is wanted by a number of clubs. (picture: goal.com)
Christian Pulisic is wanted by a number of clubs. (picture: goal.com)

If United are to submit an offer, it is likely to be in the region of £40m but Dortmund are keen to keep hold of the 19-year-old.

However, with the signing of Alexis Sanchez, United have incredible depth in attack so it may be difficult to fit Pulisic into the team. Pulisic currently has a contract with Dortmund until 2020 and the German club are eager to get him to extend his deal.

Pulisic has played 81 times for the German club and has managed to find the back of the net 11 times. He is well-known for his ball control and dribbling, as well as his lightning pace on the counter-attack.

Should United submit a bid for him?

Would you like to see him at United?

Let us know in the comments below and on social media!

 

Mourinho attended Sweden playoff to scout Emil Forsberg

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho was present to witness Sweden defeat Italy in the first leg of the 2018 World Cup playoff, but the Daily Mail have revealed that the Portuguese was keeping a close eye on attacking midfielder Emil Forsberg.

The RB Leipzig attacker put in an eye-catching performance in the first leg and picked up the Man of the Match award as he helped his side to a narrow 1-0 victory.

His movement on and off the ball has attracted Mourinho, who is looking for a player to operate just behind forward Romelu Lukaku to provide him with the service he needs.

Forsberg could be that man. The 26-year-old created an incredible 94 chances in the German Bundesliga last season as Leipzig finished second in the table.

Emil Forsberg has been one of RB Leipzig's most influential players over the past 2 seasons. (picture: independent.co.uk)
Emil Forsberg has been one of RB Leipzig’s most influential players over the past 2 seasons. (picture: independent.co.uk)

His forward passing is also highly accurate, with the Swede clocking up a 79% pass accuracy showing that he rarely misplaces a pass.

The form of Armenian Henrikh Mkhitaryan has visibly dropped, which has had a detrimental effect on Lukaku’s scoring chances with the Belgian hardly getting any goalscoring opportunities in the past couple of weeks.

Forsberg can also operate on the wing and has been capped 32 times for his country. Mourinho is now contemplating a move for him in January but if Leipzig don’t agree to this then he will wait till the summer to make his move.

Leipzig have already agreed to offload Naby Keita to Liverpool and could lose more players by the end of the season, including Forsberg.

Do you think Mourinho should try to sign Forsberg?

Let us know in the comments and on social media!

Mourinho livid at Martinez over Lukaku selection

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is furious with Belgium manager Roberto Martinez for using Romelu Lukaku as a late substitute in their meaningless final World Cup qualifying group game against Cyprus, according to a report on the Independent.

Lukaku came on and managed to find the back of the net but Mourinho was far from pleased to see his star striker on the pitch just four days before the crucial clash against rivals Liverpool at Anfield.

Lukaku missed the earlier Belgium match with a slight ankle problem but the medical staff passed him fit for the Cyprus game. Martinez brought him on even though Belgium had already qualified for the World Cup.

Romelu Lukaku scored for Belgium against Cyprus in the closing minutes. (picture: dailystar.co.uk)
Romelu Lukaku scored for Belgium against Cyprus in the closing minutes. (picture: dailystar.co.uk)

Mourinho will be relieved to know that Lukaku finished the game without picking up an injury but this is the second time that Martinez has risked a Man United player during this international break.

Marouane Fellaini was also not 100% fit but Martinez selected him, only to see the towering Belgian leave the pitch early after picking up an injury which is likely to keep him sidelined for a few weeks.

I strongly believe that Martinez had no need to bring on Lukaku, although the goal will give the front-man some confidence, this was an opportunity for a young player to earn a cap for his country.

Plus, it isn’t like Lukaku is short on confidence. The striker has netted seven times in the Premier League for United so far this season and will be hoping to add to his tally at Anfield on Saturday.

Is Mourinho right to be angry?

Let us know in the comments below or on social media!

How close are Manchester United to Premier League glory?

Manchester United enjoyed a successful pre-season over the course of July and the beginning of August. They managed to claim six wins out of seven despite coming up against the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Manchester City. More importantly though, they managed to create good chances and finish them off (including an excellent counter-attack against Sampdoria).

One of the main problems last season was killing teams off. This problem seems to have been sorted though with the arrival of Romelu Lukaku. The extra years experience that Rashford has gained also looks to be paying off as he looked sharp throughout the summer and will hopefully contribute more goals this term. Furthermore, the signing of Nemanja Matic makes players like Pogba and Mkhitaryan more confident knowing that they have defensive cover. This allows them to get further up the pitch.

With one problem solved, what else do Manchester United need to do to lift the league title? Well, while a marquee signing such as Gareth Bale would certainly help them towards success, balance down the left hand side of the pitch is crucial. This is what sparked Mourinho’s interest in Inter’s Ivan Perisic. However, as the transfer window rumbles on, chances of Manchester United getting their key target are fading. Therefore, United may need to look elsewhere for a player capable of filling the left wing-back role. Someone like Alex Sandro, perhaps?

Apart from the need of balance, United look to be heading into the new season feeling fairly confident and looking a lot more dangerous. There is also reason to believe that United are more prepared than their biggest Premier League rivals this term. If we look at Liverpool’s pre-season preparation, then yes, they may have won a trophy, but are they stronger than last season? While they have made the same amount of signings as Manchester United, the signings aren’t quite on the same level. Furthermore, if Coutinho does leave for Barcelona then they will be significantly weaker than last year.

Additionally, Arsenal have signed Lacazette, a striker that previously played in the top French division, Ligue 1. The former Lyon player will also need time to adjust to the demands and physicality of the Premier League. Then, there’s Chelsea, who will need to juggle Champions League and Premier League this term, and there are question marks over whether their squad has the depth to handle both. Tottenham Hotspur are also slightly weaker than last season. This is due to the loss of Kyle Walker to Manchester City and the fact that they haven’t made any signings as of yet. Then, lastly, there’s Manchester city who have spent huge money on trying to fix their defence. Whether this has worked remains to be seen, but all signings will need time to get onto the same level as one another.

So compared to Manchester United’s rivals, they are not as far away from Premier League glory as some may think.

What are your thoughts? Do you think Manchester United can return to Premier League glory this year? Share your opinion in the comments below or with The United Stand on Twitter!

Mourinho masterclass mutes Liverpool

Jose Mourinho masterminded a silencing of Liverpool and Anfield while Ander Herrera showed why he should be one of the first names on the team sheet. Just two of the topics discussed by host Paul Gardiner and guests Ashley and Jamie.

Lingard talks Liverpool, with Liverpool

Manchester United winger Jesse Lingard has admitted to discussing the north-west derby while on international duty with England.

Lingard, 23, was picked by England boss Gareth Southgate to be a part of the England squad versus Slovenia, along with Manchester United teammates Wayne Rooney, Marcus Rashford and Chris Smalling, while Daniel Sturridge and Jordan Henderson represented Liverpool.

Speaking to MUTV, Lingard said:

“Of course we spoke about it and both sets of players know that it’ll be an intense game.

“I played there last season and it was a massive feeling to be part of the celebrations for Wayne’s winning goal.

“Liverpool have been in good form so far and have scored a lot of goals, which is something we need to be wary of. It’ll be tough because they’ve got a lot talent in their group, but we know we’ve got talent in our own ranks.

“We’ll be pushing to win the game as it’s always good to get one over your rivals.”

The Liverpool V Manchester United derby is just around the corner and Lingard is correct, it will indeed be an intense match and I am sure that we will see goals from both teams.

However, I do believe that Jesse Lingard should NOT be in the starting line-up if we are to win at Liverpool. Click here to read how I think we can beat Liverpool and who I think should play.

And if you haven’t already, click here to listen to our Liverpool V Manchester United podcast special.

How do you think United will fare at Anfield? Do you think Lingard should start the match? Let us know what you think in the comment section below.

How Man United can beat Liverpool

On Monday 17th October, at 8pm, one of the worlds fiercest football rivalries continues. It’s Liverpool V Man United, the Klopp V Mourinho edition.

As it stands in the league Liverpool currently sit above United in 4th and share the top spot with Manchester City in terms of goals scored. But in a game like this one, these and any other stats, simply do not matter.

The Merseyside clubs fans will be buoyant following their positive start to the season, and will no doubt provide a boisterous and hostile atmosphere around Anfield. But you can bet your bottom dollar that United’s travelling fans will, as always, make their voices heard as United look to crash the party.

The question is, though, how can Man United come out on top?

fight fire with fire

The answer: United must fight fire with fire.

As I mentioned above, Liverpool are joint top scorers in the Premier League this season with 18 goals scored in 7 games.

Liverpool boss, Jurgen Klopp, has turned his team into work horses with every player consistently giving 110% for a full 90 minutes. You only have to look at the times in which they score their goals and who is scoring them to see the evidence.

Just as many of Liverpool’s goals are coming in the second half as they are in the first, and the goals are being shared by the majority of their forwards. Coutinho, Firminho and Milner all have 4 goals and Lallana and Mane have 3.

Whilst Liverpool boast an impressive goal scoring record, the same cannot be said for their defence. Of the current top 10 teams in the league, Liverpool’s defence have conceded the most (10).

This is an area that Man United must expose in order to win the game.

We know that Liverpool will come out guns blazing. So sitting back, soaking up the pressure then hitting them on the break (which is a tactic I fear we will use) will be too risky. It will allow Liverpool to not only dominate, but dictate the tempo of the game. And with their current goal scoring rate, I wouldn’t bet against them scoring a goal or two.

It is imperative that United take a hold on the game early on. Every player needs to put in a shift. We need to play high up the pitch, move the ball around quickly and play our football in their half.

When they have possession, we need to put them under pressure, close them down quickly, afford them little time forcing them into making errors.

If we can do all of that and create chances like we did against Stoke, we’ll pull their defence apart and score 2 or 3 of our own.

Man United’s winning team

To sink Liverpool we will need pace, strength and above all, passion. And here is the team that I feel will provide just that:

GK – De Gea
RB – Valencia
CB – Bailly
CB – Smalling
LB – Shaw
CM – Herrera
CM – Pogba
RW – Rashford
AM – Mata
LW – Martial
FW – Ibrahimovic

Valencia, Shaw, Martial and Rashford will provide plenty of pace on the wings to make life difficult for the likes of Mane and Coutinho while the midfield trio of Herrera, Pogba and Mata, between them, will provide the passion and strength.

So that’s what I think it will take to beat Liverpool in their own back yard. Do you agree? If not, how would you like to see United approach the game? Would you pick a different starting XI? Give me your thoughts in the comment section below.

If you haven’t already, check out The United Stand’s Liverpool V Man United podcast special.

Blog: We must not paper over the cracks

It was a big week for United last week which turned out to be a mixed week in terms of results and performances. We took on Liverpool in the second leg of the Europa League round of 16, in which we needed to turn around a 2-0 deficit and then of course there was the highly anticipated Manchester Derby at the “Emptyhad” – although it was pretty full for this game.

It was a week that was important and a week that had the potential to either keep United’s season alive or totally destroy it and I have to be honest, I wasn’t particularly psyched for either game and that is purely down to the football we have been subjected to and the managers team selections. All season we have seen unfathomable team selections and severely mundane football, so you can forgive me for not being enthusiastic, despite who our opponents were and our recent record against the better teams.

The result against Liverpool came as no surprise to me, especially after seeing Fellaini had been picked and that Schweinsteiger and Schneiderlin in particular, were left on the bench. I knew that with the Belgian playing that it would be like playing with 10 men and that we would struggle.

The game itself didn’t turn out as bad as I thought it would be though, however we did lack the desire and passion that you would expect from a Manchester United V Liverpool match. The performance was toothless and I failed to see any real passion or fight on the pitch. This was not acceptable in such a huge game on the Football calendar.

Philippe Coutinho breezes past Carrick and Blind (Picture: mirror.co.uk)
Philippe Coutinho breezes past Carrick and Blind (Picture: mirror.co.uk)

Then of course there were the defensive substitutions; two full backs and a defensive midfielder. In a game where you are chasing three goals, you make attacking changes, right? I know I’m no manager, but come on. Memphis was on the bench so why was he not used? As we have witnessed recently, he is that player who can produce something special. At the very least, he would have added some pace and strength in our attack.

Following the draw against Liverpool at Old Trafford came the victory in the Manchester derby at the Etihad. Again, I could not get excited during the few days building up to this match like I normally would for such a big game. Sure, City were also on a run of substandard form, but United have been so much worse. My hope was lifted a little, however, when I saw that Fellaini wasn’t starting. I liked the prospect of Carrick and Schneiderlin starting with Mata in the number 10 role. Mata hasn’t really been a standout player in recent weeks with goals and assists, but more often than not he is involved in the build up to goals… when we actually score them!

Rashford squares up to Demichelis in the Manchester derby (Picture: mirror.co.uk)
Rashford squares up to Demichelis in the Manchester derby (Picture: mirror.co.uk)

The team selection without Fellaini paid off. It felt like we had another option in midfield. I can’t help but believe that if Fellaini had played it would have been Schneiderlin who would have been left on the bench and Schneiderlin played a role in the build up to the only goal of the game. He and Mata linked up in the midfield then Mata threaded the ball through to Marcus Rashford. The youngster then skipped past an ageing Demichelis and slotted the ball past the England number 1, Joe Hart.

Winning this game gave United yet another glimmer of hope in finishing in the top four, with City – who currently sit fourth – now only one point ahead, although the remaining games each of the top 5/6 teams has tends to suggest that we may struggle to get that top four spot.

What can we take from the two matches?

If we are to take any positives from this week is has to be that with Marcus Rashford in the team our attack looks so much better with added pace, strength and of course, goals! All we need now is for Memphis to start firing and we can be a lethal attacking force again.

Michael Carrick also had two great games this week. His defensive contribution has been vital and his passing ability to instigate attacking moves has been admirable. And let’s not forget Smalling, Blind and de Gea. This trio have been excellent not just in the last week, but all season and are without doubt the reason we are not flirting around mid-table.

Paul’s final thought

We may all be happy that we have beaten City at the Etihad but we simply cannot forget the horror show we were subjected to over the two legs against Liverpool in the Europa League. The performance was disgusting and completely unacceptable against such big rivals. We must not allow ourselves to use the odd victory, like the one over City, to paper over the cracks of our poor season. As fans, some of us are slipping into that frame of mind where we are beginning to accept mediocrity. I have seen it on social media and I am guilty of it myself. This simply cannot happen.

Thank you for reading and enjoy the international break… Who am I kidding? No one enjoys it!