Tag Archives: Romelu Lukaku

Mata reveals he is fully committed to United

Manchester United playmaker Juan Mata has revealed that he is fully committed to the club and has rubbished talks about him potentially leaving the Red Devils, according to a report on GOAL.

With the addition of Alexis Sanchez to the United squad, it looks like Mata will be the one to be dropped to the bench by manager Jose Mourinho for the remainder of the season.

Juan Mata's contract is expiring at the end of the season. (picture: manutd.com)
Juan Mata’s contract is expiring at the end of the season. (picture: manutd.com)

However, the Spaniard can still expect to be heavily involved with United still challenging in the Premier League, UEFA Champions League and the FA Cup and he himself is remaining positive about the remainder of the season.

He said:

Being part of this club is something very special and I can assure you that I keep enjoying every single game like I did with my debut against Cardiff. I’ll never stop thanking you for your support day after day. Thanks to you, being part of this club is really special.

Mata has been linked with a move back to the Spanish La Liga and with his contract expiring in the summer, his future seems uncertain.

United are yet to offer him a 12-month extension option which is in his contract and could lose him for free but the player himself is eager to continue playing for the club.

Mata has hit form in recent months and has been linking up well alongside Jesse Lingard and Romelu Lukaku, which has been pleasing to see for the United fans.

Moreover, Mata will be itching to play as much as possible to ensure he plays a role for the Spain national team in the upcoming World Cup in Russia.

Three ways United can exploit City

Manchester United take on rivals Manchester City in the Premier League on Sunday at Old Trafford, with the Red Devils knowing that a win will take them only five points behind Pep Guardiola’s men.

City have looked vulnerable in recent weeks, but have continued to pick up crucial wins. Huddersfield Town, Southampton and West Ham United were all unlucky not to gain anything against City but those matches are a source of encouragement for Jose Mourinho.

City showed elements of weakness in those games and if United target these certain areas, then the three points could be won.

1) Set Pieces

It is a well known fact that Manchester City aren’t the best at defending set-pieces and have looked extremely shaky when opposition sides put balls into the box.

United need to have immaculate set-piece deliveries on Sunday and can’t afford any corners or free-kicks failing to beat the first man. Getting a corner against City will be hard enough so when the opportunity arises, the delivery has to be accurate.

Chris Smalling rising to head the ball from a set-piece. (picture: dailymail.co.uk)
Chris Smalling rising to head the ball from a set-piece. (picture: dailymail.co.uk)

Also, besides Vincent Kompany, City don’t have the biggest players, which automatically gives us an advantage. The likes of Chris Smalling, Nemanja Matic and Romelu Lukaku should all feel confident in the air going into this game and of course, there is Marouane Fellaini and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who can also be a nuisance in the air.

City conceded from corners against Huddersfield and West Ham, so it’s their obvious weak spot.

2) Attack their left-side of defence

Losing Benjamin Mendy was a real blow for City. Fabian Delph has covered into the left-back position but when he has come up against good wingers, he’s looked vulnerable. Danilo is also an option to start, but he has struggled to settle in since he moved to City.

Lingard wheels away to celebrate after scoring against Watford. (picture: dailymail.co.uk)
Lingard wheels away to celebrate after scoring against Watford. (picture: dailymail.co.uk)

The likes of Jesse Lingard and Romelu Lukaku need to peel away onto Delph (or Danilo) and run directly at him to get him on the back foot. Lingard should be confident of beating Delph with ease.

Also, Leroy Sane doesn’t have the best record of tracking back and helping out his full-back so if United try to attack down City’s left as much as possible, it could open up an opportunity to score.

3) Nullify De Bruyne

Kevin De Bruyne has the keys to unlock every defence in the Premier League. However, take him out of the picture and City will have a huge creative hole in their side.

United need Ander Herrera or Nemanja Matic to follow the Belgian everywhere he goes. Herrera may be better suited as he has already done the same job on Eden Hazard last season.

Ander Herrera may have a tough task of man-marking Kevin De Bruyne. (picture: football whispers.com)
Ander Herrera may have a tough task of man-marking Kevin De Bruyne. (picture: football whispers.com)

De Bruyne has eight assists in the league but without his creativity, City will find it hard to give service to their strikers and wingers, who thrive off his through balls.

Keep him quiet, which is easier said than done, then we have a great chance of inflicting a first defeat of the season on City.

 

What do you think? How do you think is the best way to exploit City?

Leave a comment below or get in touch 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!

Mourinho’s Big Romelu Lukaku Problem

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.

Reasons for United fans to be optimistic this season

Exciting times are ahead for Manchester United. With the Premier League’s most successful club rightfully back into the Champions League, this season could be the beginning of United re-establishing themselves as one of the dominant forces in English and European football. Fans will now look forward to Tuesday nights against the most elite teams in Europe and with the world class talent that the club have available, it seems that United are back where they belong and are ready to return with a bang!

Another place where United belong is at the top of the Premier League. Since the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United have struggled to genuinely challenging for the title. This could all change this season though if Jose’s second season statistics are anything to go by. During the manager’s second season at Porto, Inter Milan, Chelsea, and Real Madrid he has won the domestic title each time. This impressive record also includes both times he had his second season at Chelsea. So will Jose Mourinho follow his career pattern and win the Premier League with Manchester United this season? Only time will tell.

Mourinho with Europa League trophy (Picture: dailymail.co.uk)
Jose Mourinho holds the Europa League trophy (Picture: dailymail.co.uk)

A huge boost towards completing United’s jump from the sixth place finish of last year to becoming the champions of England is the signing of Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku. One of the main problems from last season was Man United’s inability to finish off countless scoring opportunities. So, Mourinho’s purchase of a proven Premier League striker that scored 25 league goals last season isn’t a bad way to solve this problem.

Furthermore, with Manchester United strengthening by signing Lindelof, Lukaku and Matic, United look a much more dangerous side already. It is not just the new signings that could help make the difference though. Pogba now looks a lot more comfortable expressing himself in the final third of the pitch due to the defensive cover that Nemanja Matic now brings to the team. The recent world-record transfer of Neymar to PSG could also help Paul Pogba impress more this season as the weight of being the world’s most expensive footballer has now been relieved from his shoulders.

Manchester United look set for great things this season and it is definitely an exciting time to be a United fan. Nothing is for certain in football, but the club are surely heading in the right direction. So lets look forward to another entertaining season at the Theatre of Dreams.

What are you most excited about heading into the new season? Will Lukaku and Pogba shine in the Premier League this season? Share your thoughts with The United Stand!