Tag Archives: schneiderlin

GUEST BLOG: Who will partner Pogba in the middle?

We all know that Mourinho is aware of certain issues that our current squad suffers. These problems have caused him to dive head first into the transfer window yet trying not to ruin our reputation of promoting the youth.

We all know that as a club we are interested in pulling back one of our former youth products in Paul Pogba. As we are spending such a big fee on one central midfielder it is likely that Mourinho will chose a current squad member to partner alongside him; yes there are many possibilities but I would like to make note of the more realistic options.

I think it is only fair to take into account that most United fans would prefer Pogba to play in the number 10 role, but given our current squad, the likes of Rooney, Mkhitaryan and Mata would be the most likely favourites to take this role.

This therefore makes it seem wiser to stick Pogba behind the attackers and act as a more box-to-box midfielder, but not being too scared to express himself every now and then when it comes to banging in goals from outside the box!

I have lined up 5 candidates to take on this role and they will be mentioned chronologically in squad numbers.

Carrick

Straight away we can’t ignore the fact that he is a club legend, he is no Roy Keane or Paul Scholes in the midfield, but you have to credit him with what he has offered us for the past years at the club.

carrick (Picture: manutd.com)
Carrick has been an important player for United (Picture: manutd.com)

As I am sure you’ve gathered I do like Carrick, however does this mean he deserves to start? Quite simply, no. Many of you will disagree on me with this one but it is my opinion.

I love Carrick, he really is the beating heart of the locker room, but you can’t ignore the fact that he is on the decline (no disrespect intended).

This means that we need to find a way to shift him out of the starting line-up as soon as we can – he is incapable of controlling the midfield how he used to so we need to look deeper into our squad to find a suitable replacement; which I feel Van Gaal failed to achieve.

Just to make it clear. This doesn’t mean that I don’t want him to start; I believe Pogba could learn a lot from him, but I don’t think we can afford to start him as regularly like last season.

Herrera

What’s there to say? I don’t think anyone dislikes the guy, he’s always eager to get up the pitch and create chances and score goals.

Ander Herrera celebrates his winning goal against Arsenal (Picture: mirror.co.uk)
Ander Herrera still needs to prove himself (Picture: mirror.co.uk)

The trouble is that Herrera will struggle to find a place next to Pogba as they play very similar roles; if Pogba was at the number 10 spot then I’d have him in behind without hesitation. However, it isn’t quite that simple.

I am confident that we won’t offload him this summer as he can be a vital squad player for that midfield role, but Pogba will not budge for him no matter the circumstance.

Herrera was restrained by Van Gaal for a long time and is unlucky that we need a world class midfielder in our squad – I strongly believe that if he was given the proper chances under Van Gaal’s reign then Mourniho wouldn’t be looking to purchase a new player.

Fellaini

I hate his style of play! and his attitude on the pitch! He is not and won’t ever be a true Man Utd player! Glad I was able to get that out of my system.

Mirror.co.uk
Marouane Fellaini may survive a cull this summer (Picture: Mirror.co.uk)

Anyway, he is still a shocking player yet he’s still given game time. Mourinho might believe that Fellaini can be a useful tool for his midfield, with his height and excellent chest control of the ball; besides that though he offers nothing to the squad.

His involvement in the team thus so far under Mourinho could possibly mean a few things. One could be that he is being given game time to attract interest from other clubs. Another could be that Mourinho is just testing what he has available.

Although it seems the most likely is that Mourinho is actually considering keeping him as most likely a squad player – which saddens us all.

Realistically though, I think Mourinho will struggle to get him out even if he wanted to, due to the amount of money paid for him in the first place, the lack of skill he has and the simple fact that this could be the last big club Fellaini gets to play for, so he might insist to stay.

Ultimately though he is far from being the player we need to partner Pogba.

Schneiderlin

Unfortunately given last year’s circumstances, Schneiderlin was held back a considerable amount at Old Trafford. Beforehand he was sensational for Southampton which is why he was one of our best signings at the time.

It’s clear that the two would probably fit alongside each other perfectly like Yin and Yang. Both having their own individual roles but not being able to perform without the other’s effort. I think they will make the perfect duo and it helps that they share the same nationality.

However I am going to lay in a slight twist. Given the current size of our squad, we need to sell certain people and I think that Schneiderlin won’t be able to perform the same with this much competition, which is why I think he should go out on loan to a strong mid-table Premier League team, unless Mourinho can guarantee him decent game time.

Schweinsteiger

One of the all time greats of the game, in my opinion he is the perfect choice to be Pogba’s partner in crime.

Bastian Schweinsteiger celebrates his equaliser for Man United (Source: Daily Mail)
Schweinsteiger’s debut season for United was hampered by injuries (Source: Daily Mail)

Schweinsteiger is clearly still capable of pulling off superb performances as shown for Germany this summer. He is a true leader on and off the pitch.

Yes, we are all aware that he is on the decline and gets injured a lot; however he is getting older and something we lack is experience in our squad, which he can deliver.

He wasn’t actually that bad last season before he got injured, also when you take into account that he was playing under Van Gaal.

Mourinho is apparently treating him like he’s a burden according to reports, but he’s more like a gift. He deserves so much more at United which I think most will agree on.

He wouldn’t be a permanent solution to finding a partner for Pogba, but he should certainly be at the top of Mourinho’s list in my opinion.

Thank You for reading. I just wanted to open people’s eyes to viewpoints they may not have considered previously.

Please feel free to leave a comment below in the comment section.

By Evan Beviss

5 Reasons to be excited for the new season

On Friday 27th May, the curtain was finally drawn on an era of stale, nostalgic and underwhelming football. For Friday, 27th May, was the day Jose Mourinho was announced in the media as manager of Manchester United. I take a look at how this appointment and various other goings-on at United give us all plenty of reason to be excited for the new season.

Jose Mourinho will bring back the fear factor

It’s no secret that under David Moyes and Louis van Gaal, the football frustrated, bored and divided the fans. That last point is an important one. A once ‘united’ fan base had become inwardly hostile. Fighting among United fans on social media became commonplace. All, as a result of what was happening (or not) on the pitch and in the dugout.

United boss Louis van Gaal cuts a frustrated figure as his side struggle against Sheffield United (Picture: mirror.co.uk)
Louis van Gaal showing the same emotion most United fans felt during his time as manager (Picture: mirror.co.uk)

Hopefully that time has come and passed with the appointment of “The Special One”. I strongly believe that having arguably the best manager in world football at the biggest football club in the world is a match made in heaven. Jose was made for this job.

In the few weeks that he has been in charge we have already seen lots of changes made; particularly with recruitment. And since his arrival, social media platforms such as Twitter seem a lot more civilised!

Jose has plenty of experience managing at top and has a fantastic CV boasting an impressive trophy collection. He is a no nonsense manager and will no doubt have United back to winning ways in no time. He will make the Theatre of Dreams a fortress once again.

New signings provide a morale boost for fans

Speaking of recruitment. Jose wasted no time in bringing in new faces. His first acquisition was centre back Eric Bailly, signed from Villareal. With Daley Blind – a midfielder by nature – filling a void in the centre of United’s defence during Van Gaal’s tenure, it’s no surprise that this position was the first to be filled.

That’s not to take anything away from Daley Blind. He did a fantastic job but United are light in that department and it was crucial that a natural centre back was recruited.

Eric Bailly’s biggest traits are his strength and great recovery pace. His rapidly growing talent was also noticed by the likes of Manchester City, Barcelona and PSG who were all interested in securing his services.

Mourinho wasted no time making his first signing, Eric Bailly (Picture: express.co.uk)
Mourinho wasted no time making his first signing, Eric Bailly (Picture: express.co.uk)

Following Eric Bailly into Old Trafford was the one and only Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Quite possibly footballs biggest, worst kept transfer secret in recent history! Rumours had been circling for weeks maybe even months regarding his arrival and were further fueled by the silence of all parties involved. Zlatan’s huge grin and lack of denial when asked about a move to United was surely the confirmation we all were looking for!

Not much else needs to be said about Zlatan other than we simply cannot wait to see him pull on a United shirt and wreak havoc in our oppositions defences!

Zlatan Ibrahimovic outside Carrington (Picture: manutd.com)
Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Possibly the worst kept transfer secret in recent history! (Picture: manutd.com)

The most recent signing is attacking midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan. He impressed for Dortmund in the Bundesliga last season scoring 11 goals and creating 82 chances which included 15 assists. Most of his goals and assists last season came from playing as a right winger and this is a position United so desperately needed to fill.

Second chances

Louis van Gaal spent in excess of £250m on players during his time as Manchester United manager yet an overwhelming majority of his signings failed to live up to their own AND the fans’ standards.

Arguably, the biggest flop of them all is Memphis Depay. He talked the talk but could not walk the walk. We saw flashes of brilliance from him but when you play for Manchester United, consistency is expected.

Memphis Depay (Picture: independent.co.uk)
Memphis has failed to live up to expectations since his arrival from PSV (Picture: independent.co.uk)

Matteo Darmian is another Van Gaal purchase who couldn’t quite reach the level many expected. The Italian right back had a fantastic pre-season with United in the states and it looked as though Rafael Da Silva would quickly be forgotten. However, Darmian’s form declined quickly and he never really got going.

Surprise signing Bastian Schweinsteiger was for me, going to be our best signing of last summer. I watched him play for Germany in the 2014 World Cup and I remember thinking, “This guy is a warrior. I would love him at United”. When he signed I was thrilled. I couldn’t wait to see him play. He had the odd good game but didn’t look like he was up to the job physically. Injuries did not help his cause.

Bastian Schweinsteiger celebrates his equaliser for Man United (Source: Daily Mail)
Schweinsteiger’s debut season for United was hampered by injuries (Source: Daily Mail)

Finally, one of the Premier League’s best central midfielders in the previous two seasons; Morgan Schneiderlin. For me, Morgan was hit and miss for the majority of the season. He was good defensively for the most part, making some important tackles and interceptions, but his ball distribution left a lot to be desired.

Now, I don’t want any of the above mentioned players to leave United this summer. All of them are talented footballers.

Take Memphis, Darmian and Schweinsteiger. Each of these players have attacking responsibilities in each of their positions. Memphis an attacking winger; Darmian a right back who likes to get forward with pace and Schweinsteiger, a box-to-box midfielder who is not afraid to get in amongst the goals.

Each of these players were playing in a very rigid system under Louis van Gaal and were somewhat restricted in their play. Under a new manger in Jose Mourinho, the shackles will be off, players will be allowed to express themselves and hopefully, we’ll see the players they were when at their previous clubs. For this reason we should be excited by these players again.

Youth players WILL feature under Mourinho

One big argument the Jose Mourinho naysayers were using as a reason NOT to employ him, was that he does not give youth a chance. This is 100% myth. Totally untrue. You only have to do a quick Google search to discover a plethora of top class footballers who were given their chance as youngsters by Mourinho.

During his first press conference, the new United boss defended his youth policy and rightly so. He also hinted at Rashford and Ibrahimovic playing together and he also made it clear that he understands the club and it’s history and knows exactly what the club AND fans expect of him. This will include giving youth a chance.

Many will hope to see Andreas Pereira feature in Mourinho's plans (Picture: metro.co.uk)
Many will hope to see Andreas Pereira feature in Mourinho’s plans (Picture: metro.co.uk)

A few names have already been dropped as potential breakthrough players this coming season such as, Axel Tuanzebe and Tyrell Warren.

So I am confident that we will see this proud Manchester United tradition continue.

Is a title charge out of the question?

With the arrival of Ibrahimovic, Bailly, Mkhitaryan and possibly Pogba, United look to have plugged a lot of the gaps that plagued the team in recent seasons. So with that in mind coupled with having a winner in Jose Mourinho as our manager, dare we dream of a title charge in his first season? Stranger things have happened. Look at Leicester City.

Schneiderlin lifts lid on Chelsea teamtalk

Manchester United midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin has revealed what was said during the teamtalk before the Chelsea game at Old Trafford.

Prior to playing Chelsea, Man United had failed to win any of their previous 5 Premier League games and pressure was on the team and the manager, Louis van Gaal, to not only win but also put in a performance.

In an interview with MUTV, Morgan Schneiderlin revealed what was said in the teamtalk before the game. He had this to say:

We talked before the game and said it was a must for us to be aggressive, to be on the front foot and to attack, just for our fans because they deserve to see some attractive football

The France international then went on to say this:

Sometimes we can’t do that for whatever reason but today it was a must for us to be on the front foot. We created some magnificent chances and for everyone in the crowd I think it was a beautiful game.

For us it was a good game as well because Chelsea are a very good team. But it will be a hard night to sleep because we didn’t win.

What more could we have done today? We just need to score one goal and then be able to play around it.

We know that if we can improve on the first part of the season, by scoring more goals and getting back to the strong defensive performances we had before the last few games, then anything can happen.

This isn’t finished. There are five months left, the second part of the season. We must be confident because we are Manchester United, we are one of the biggest teams in the world.

Schneiderlin’s bullish attitude for the second half of the season can be lauded but, there is one part of his speech that may raise questions and/or concerns among United fans. On playing attacking football: “Sometimes we can’t do that for whatever reason but today it was a must for us to be on the front foot.”

Surely it is a must to play attacking football week in week out. That is a trait that United fans across the globe have come to expect. It’s one of the characteristics of the “United way”.

What do you think of Morgan Schneiderlin’s comments? Do you feel that the team are being restricted from playing the free-flowing, attacking football that so many are used to seeing? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

If you would like to read the full article, please visit the Man United website by clicking here.

Watch the Man United V Chelsea highlights by clicking here or watching below.

Everton 0-3 Manchester United | Match Report

Before the game started, many thought it would be a close encounter considering Manchester United’s record at Goodison Park in recent years. But it was not the case as United made sure that they put the result of their last game, against Arsenal, behind them with a comfortable 3-0 victory. Their first victory at Goodison Park since October 29, 2011.

Apart from two Manchester United goals the first half was fairly quiet. United looked comfortable but the game was very open with both teams seeing plenty of the ball.

The first of United’s goals came from Morgan Schneiderlin on 18 minutes. Chris Smalling, on the penalty spot following a corner, chested the ball down into the path of Schneiderlin toward the left side of the box. Schneiderlin then hit the ball first time with some power across a full stretch Tim Howard and into the bottom right corner.

The corner kick that led to the goal was won by an Ander Herrera shot from the edge of the area, which was tipped over the bar by Tim Howard.

Just four minutes later, Herrera popped up again to head home an early Marcos Rojo cross, for Manchester United’s second.

After the second goal Manchester United were beginning to see more possession, keeping control of the game. They probably should have gone three up after Wayne Rooney selflessly played the ball back across the box into Martial, who could only shoot at Tim Howard. Rooney had a great chance to shoot and probably should have, instead of playing in Martial.

Everton had one great chance to pull a goal back just before the break when Ross Barkley shot from a tight angle but was unable to beat David de Gea who punched the ball clear.

The second half begun with Everton putting some pressure on United with Lukaku proving to be a nuisance with his ability to hold the ball. But Phil Jones and Chris Smalling made sure that was all he did.

Lukaku did manage to get a shot off in the 54th minute, but David de Gea once again showcased his lightning-quick reactions by blocking the shot with his outstretched left foot.

Everton’s period of pressure came to an abrupt end on 61 minutes when Ander Herrera found Wayne Rooney with a perfectly weighted through ball. Rooney, one-on-one with Tim Howard, calmly struck the ball in at the near post with Howard going the other way. This was a much needed goal for Wayne.

Wayne Rooney had a chance to get his second 7 minutes later when his run from just past the half way line saw him only manage a tame shot which was easily saved by Tim Howard. However, there were claims that he was being pulled back.

Midway through the second half Everton looked as though they had switched off with several passes going wayward. But United were not able to capitalise on the mistakes.

On the 80th minute Everton were again close to scoring with a Barkley free kick going narrowly over the bar. This would surely have been only a consolation goal.

Throughout the game Chris Smalling proved to be a rock at the back once again with Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo also putting in good shifts. Ander Herrera also showed why he should get more game time with his goal, assist and fantastic off the ball play, creating space for others.

As it stands, Manchester United now sit second with Arsenal playing their game in-hand this evening away at Watford.

Screenshot of current Premier League table showing Manchester United's position
Premier League Table (Source: BBC Football)

What did you think of the game? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

You can also watch the Everton V Manchester United match reaction on The United Stand’s YouTube channel by clicking here or watching below.

Please also visit The United Stand Fan Forum here to discuss the game or start your own discussion.

Everton Team Sheet

Howard
Coleman
Stones
Jagielka
Galloway
McCarthy
Barry
Lennon (Deulofeu – 73′)
Barkley
Naismith (Koné – 45′)
Lukaku

Substitutes

Robles
Koné
Mirallas
Deulofeu
Osman
Funes Mori
Browning

Manchester United Team Sheet

de Gea
Darmian
Smalling
Jones
Rojo
Schneiderlin
Schweinsteiger (Carrick – 74′)
Mata (Lingard – 45′)
Herrera (Fellaini – 81′)
Rooney
Martial

Substitutes

Depay
Carrick
Blind
Fellaini
Lingard
Pereira
Johnstone