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??
Jose Mourinho is facing a potential problem with Romelu Lukaku that could undermine Manchester United’s season.
Despite an amazing start to the season by Lukaku the question Mourinho must answer is how do United cope without Lukaku? Injury is one potential issue but a more sensible scenario is what Mourinho does when Lukaku needs a rest? With seven games coming up in 22 days, encompassing Premier League, Champions Leauge and League cup, it would be unwise to think Lukaku will play in all of those ties. Otherwise injury really will be a factor. But how does Mourinho replace the enigma that is Lukaku?
Rashford and Martial are the obvious choices but with both young talents providing such threat and consistency down the flanks will Mourinho want to mess with a winning formula? In addition, neither Rashford or Martial are Lukaku. Both offer the pace and directness but neither come close in the power stakes. Lukaku is a bully that occupies centre backs and forces them back. Taking that out of the side diminishes the space the likes of Pogba and Mkhitaryan are thriving on at the moment thanks to Lukaku.
So how does Mourinho solve the Lukaku dilemma? In the long term Zlatan provides the power, in the short term United will have to find another way.
Discover what ways United fans desire and a potential youth option ready to stake his claim in a United shirt on Our United Stand Call In on YouTube on the link below.
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!
Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf have suggested that United boss Louis van Gaal has been assured that he will remain in charge beyond this season.
It’s reported that the Dutchman will also be granted spending money in the region of £80m with Everton’s Romelu Lukaku a prime target, and he will not come cheap.
As with 90% of reports, or rumours out there, we should take them all with a pinch of salt. Especially this one.
For a start, this news comes off the back of reports that Van Gaal has had a big say in the China tour preparations and that Jose Mourinho is considering Valencia as another option; so the timing would be right for an article like this to surface. Reports like these tend to get published in batches, if you will.
For example, as soon as Jose Mourinho was sacked he was immediately linked with the United job. Shortly after there were rumours about big money contracts being ‘pre-agreed’ between him and United. Then as soon as United put a couple of good results together we saw news that Van Gaal would be staying and following those reports we saw news coming out of Jose considering other options. You see the pattern, right? The same is happening here. News comes out that Van Gaal is involved in tour prep and then shortly after… this.
One important thing to note about all these rumours is that all the information comes from “sources” who can never be named. Or if they can be named, they can’t be backed up with any quotes. It’s all, highly likely, false rumours.
Aside from that, United will need at least double the amount suggested to turn them into title contenders again. £80m would buy them one player with a bit of change or two average players (when considering the inflating transfer fees) at best. There are several positions in which United need to strengthen and £80m just wouldn’t be enough.
So I strongly believe this is yet another rumour we can brush aside and not get worked up about.
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.