Sep 19 2016

Manchester United 1-3 Watford: Red Devils’ player ratings

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Nirvana churned out ‘Smells like Teen Spirit’, but the influx of world class superstars like Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba, Henrikh Mkhitaryan along with manager Jose Mourinho, which was supposed to give Manchester United ‘Nirvana’, has furnished something excruciatingly different over the course of last week.

Three defeats in a row in all competitions, a jeremiad Wayne Rooney with Capoue emitting the French perfume instead of Pogba and Anthony Martial becoming a silhouette of wannabe Angel Di Maria with personal life turmoil and faking confidence in United, capped with Watford’s win over the Red Devils after 30 years, was embarrassing.

Mourinho’s stars over system policy, non-existent United midfield, sloppiness, lack of intent, lack of pace, tendency to lose possession easily- were the harbingers of United’s downfall. Mourinho needs to sort his midfield to feed the ball to the likes of Ibrahimovic. After the first half strike of Capoue gave the yellow Hornets lead at the south of Vicarage road, United’s Marcus Rshford equalized at the 62nd, but the 83rd minute strike from Zuniga and 95th minute penalty from Deeney sealed the match in the home side’s favour.

Take a look at how each players fared

De Gea 6– Made a great save in the first half, followed by another regulation save. Conceded at both near and far posts. Almost morphed into his 2011 self as balls rifled past him.

Valencia 5– Average. Was subbed off. Took way too long to put a cross in. Atleast should beat the first man with his crosses.

Smalling 5– In his first league start, was all over the place. Had a terrible mix-up with De Gea in the first half to allow Ighalo to score a sitter, which the Watford striker inexplicably missed.

Bailly 4-Mess at the back. A culprit in conceding the penalty that Watford scored from. Not a Baresi or Nesta, which some touted the defender to be. Tried to volley from 40 yards.

Shaw 6– Only shining light of United defence. Drove the ball well and operated okay down the flank.

Pogba 5– Can you blame United if they take Juventus to court for allegedly selling a Chinese personation of Pogba? On a serious note, amidst all the hyped four hairstyle changes and dab dances, the man is not delivering. £89million doesn’t get you the insane pass Pogba delivered to the referee. Hit the bar from 40 yards and attempted another long-ranger from 35 yards which missed the net by 35 yards ironically. ‘Goals & Assists of Pogba for Manchester United’ Youtube compilation video is still at least how many years old? Tetralogy. Trying to emulate Henderson or Xhaka pile-drivers maybe. Made a good tackle though. Just a stat- Watford Squad & Stadium = £63million and  Paul Pogba = £89 million.

Fellaini 5.5– Excellent in the first half as won balls, made tackles,but was  poor in the second. First touch and composure were pathetic, conceded the penalty. Gave a decent cross to Ibrahimovic. The defensive holding midfielder was woefully out of position in Watford’s goal as he was nowhere to be seen near Capoue and Zuniga.

Rashford 7– Sensational awareness and ability to score United’s equalizer. With the goal, became United’s highest scorer in 2016 with ten goals. Rashford has now been involved in nine goals in 14 Premier League games for Man United. 

Rooney 3- Had a stinker. Rooney ruined United’s play and  Continuously broke up United game  and fed Watford players the ball all game, as he lost possession easily. Was booked, argued with the referee.

Martial 4– Lost the ball in the build up of Capoue’s goal but was foul. Was pathetic. Head injury cut short his game time.

Ibrahimovic 6.5 – Wasted chances. Not too many movements. At 41st, 43 rd minute and later in the second half, forced Watford keeper and defender on toes. But his run and assist for Rashford goal was top-notch. Cherry picker.

Substitutes: Young 5(on for Martial, at 38 mins), Mata 5 (on for Valencia, at 60 mins) 


Sep 17 2016

Mourinho explains why Manchester United star is struggling, tells how to overcome it

Paul Pogba

£89 million is a hell of a record transfer fee which Manchester United paid for Paul Pogba to secure his services from Juventus. Is that baggage of the mint playing at the back of the midfielder’s mind everytime he steps onto the field in the Red Devils shirt?

United manager Jose Mourinho certainly thinks so as he has told his star midfielder to forget about the price tag, the Frenchman has come with, to improve display on the field.

Pogba is yet to register a goal or assist for the Red Devils. United lost the Manchester Derby in Premier League, followed by another defeat to Feyenoord in the UEFA Europa League. The 23-year-old was poor in both the matches and the player has failed to justify his transfer price till now.

Mourinho has said that he has ”full of trust” on Pogba and the Portuguese manager added that he had told Pogba to inadvertently neglect the world record transfer fee. “The world-record player is always a question, but I want Paul to forget that,” said United manager.

“He played in the Euro 2016 final, went on holiday, then had no pre-season. It is normal after the first game he has a little decrease.” ‘Pogba can play where he was playing before in the Premier League or where he did against Feyenoord. I am full of trust because I know he is a good guy with a lot of ambition, so the form will come naturally.”

Pogba has received widespread slaughtering for being anonymous in United’s matches as he has failed to make any significant contribution. But despite poor form, four new hairstyles has raised questions whether the former Juventus man is synonymous to Travis Scott’s Rodeo of all style and no major substance or not.

So, it is a simple story of suggestions that Pogba should shrug off the price tag from his psyche, but not so simple story to tell if you are a certain Lebile Pogba. 


Sep 15 2016

Confirmed XI: Feyenoord v Manchester United, Europa League

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Manchester United take on Feyenoord in their first match of the 2016-17 Europa League clash on Thursday.

Jose Mourinho will take his men to Rotterdam as the Red Devils will be hoping to start the second tier of European competition with a victory. United finished fifth in the Premier League last season and that saw them miss out on the Champions League.

The 20-time English champions will be hoping to return to Europe’s top club competition next season. However, for this campaign they will have to settle for the Europa League.

For the first match, the former Real Madrid and Chelsea manager has decided to rest his captain Wayne Rooney for the clash, along with full-backs Antonio Valencia and Luke Shaw. In addition to this, defender Phil Jones has picked up an injury which will keep him out of action for a month.

United have taken 20 players to Holland and the confirmed lineup for the match is given below:

Feyenoord: Brad Jones, Karsdorp, Botteghin, Heijden, Kongolo, El Ahmadi, Kuyt, Vilhena, Berghuis, Jorgensen, Toornstra

 

Manchester United:  De Gea: Darmian, Bailly, Smalling, Rojo; Schneiderlin, Pogba; Herrera; Mata, Martial; Rashford


Sep 14 2016

Photo: Manchester United players training, travelling squad confirmed for Feyenoord clash

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Manchester United are looking to bounce back from their disappointing defeat at the hands of Manchester City when they take on Feyenoord in the Europa League clash on Thursday.

The Red Devils finished fifth last season, which has seen them settle for second tier club competition this term. They will kick start their Europa League campaign as Jose Mourinho takes his men to Rotterdam for Thursday’s clash.

United have confirmed the 20-man squad for the clash against Feyenoord. The list does not include captain Wayne Rooney, defenders Luke Shaw and Antonio Valencia and summer signing Henrikh Mkhitaryan has also not made it to the travelling squad.

The 20-man squad confirmed is David de Gea, Sergio Romero, Sam Johnstone; Matteo Darmian, Eric Bailly, Daley Blind, Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Marcos Rojo, Chris Smalling; Michael Carrick, Marouane Fellaini, Ander Herrera, Juan Mata, Memphis Depay, Paul Pogba, Morgan Schneiderlin, Ashley Young; Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford.

United lost to City in the Manchester derby and it was their first defeat of the 2016-17 campaign. The players were spotted in the training and the Premier League giants will be looking to put the last defeat behind in the European competition this midweek.

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 blind-mata


Sep 09 2016

Manchester United handed massive injury boost for Manchester City clash

Henrikh Mkhitaryan

Manchester United have been handed a massive injury boost after confirming that the Red Devils do not have any injury worries for the upcoming derby clash against Manchester City.

Pep Guardiola will take his men to Old Trafford on Saturday as the Premier League football returns after the international break. Summer signing Henrikh Mkhitaryan suffered an injury while in action for Armenia against the Czech Republic, while Luke Shaw was withdrawn from England squad.

The former Borussia Dortmund midfielder missed his national’s side World Cup qualifiers and his participation in the derby was doubtful.

In addition to this Antonio Valencia’s participation for the City fixture was doubtful as the full-back was set to return from his time with Ecuador duties just a day before the league tie.

However, the former Real Madrid and Chelsea manager has confirmed he has fully fit squad. Mourinho also suggested that the Armenian international is fit to face their local rivals, but is unlikely to play the full 90 minutes.

“Everybody is available. It’s not the same as if we were here all week and working, resting and not travelling, but there are no injuries and everybody has returned safely and on time for at least one training session. Everybody is ready and wants to play of course,” Mourinho told United’s official website.

“I’m not saying Micki is ready to play 90 minutes but he is ready to help us,” revealed the manager in relation to the Armenia captain, who hurt his thigh while representing his country. “There are no injuries.”


Sep 08 2016

Chief backs Manchester United star to be as good as Arsenal legend

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Manchester United Head of Academy Nickyy Butt believes Marcus Rashford can go on to become as good as Arsenal legend Thierry Henry.

The former France international was instrumental during his time at the north London club and was also impressive for his national side. Butt believes the 18-year-old new Red Devils star can go on to develop to become as good as the ex-Gunners star.

Rashford was given a first team debut by Louis van Gaal earlier in February. He impressed as he finished the previous season on a high, which saw him being included in England’s squad for the European championship. Despite the Three Lions’ disappointing performance in France, the teenager was one of the few bright spots in the tournament.

“Yes. Blistering pace. When Marcus runs at you, you can’t stop him,” Butt told The Times, when he was aksed if he would compare his style to that of Henry.

Butt also went on to suggest that Rashford started out on the wide left and believes he can excel in that position under the guidance of Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford.

“He wasn’t a centre forward as a youngster; he probably developed into that more out of necessity last season than design. He actually was on the left. I believe his best position is off the side,” the former United midfielder explained.

“Until he gets his physicality about him he’s going to find it very hard to play up against some of these centre-halves. It depends how the manager [Jose Mourinho] is going to play; if he plays a Michael Carrick, who can clip balls in for Marcus to run on to, then it’s all different, he can run in behind all day.”


Sep 07 2016

Manchester United star beats Zlatan Ibrahimovic to bag club award

Zlatan Ibrahimovic-Eric Bailly

Manchester United summer signing Eric Bailly has managed to beat  Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Daley Blind to bag the club’s Player of the Month award for August.

The 22-year-old was Jose Mourinho’s first signing at Old Trafford as the central defender completed his switch to Old Trafford from Villarreal. He was followed the former Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain striker to the Premier League.

Ibrahimovic has scored four goals in four matches, which includes a winner in United’s 2-1 victory over Leicester City and a brace against Southampton in the Premier League clash at Old Trafford.

However, the Swedish star failed to beat Bailly after the Ivory Coast international was voted by several fans – via Twitter and United’s official website. Bailly bagged 55 percent of vote and was 18 percent ahead of Ibrahimovic. The Dutch international had 8 percent and was third, behind his centre-back partner and the striker.

A statement on United’s official website read, “Eric Bailly is the convincing winner of Manchester United’s first Player of the Month award for the new season.”

“The Ivory Coast international has made an instant impact at Old Trafford and earned the Man-of-the-Match accolade in three of the Reds’ four games last month, only missing out when Zlatan Ibrahimovic was star man in the 2-0 win over Southampton.

“Thousands of supporters cast their votes on Twitter and ManUtd.com with the 22-year-old beating off competition from fellow summer signing Ibrahimovic (37 per cent) and his defensive partner Daley Blind (8 per cent) to land the trophy with 55 per cent of the overall tally.”


Sep 03 2016

Injury update of Manchester United star prior to Manchester Derby against City

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Manchester United attacking midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan is likely to miss the Manchester Derby of 10th September against Manchester City through injury, going by statement released by Armenian Football Association.

The Armenian international suffered the injury owing to an off the ball collision with Czech Republic defender Marek Suchy, when the two countries locked horns in their international friendly fixture, which saw Armenia getting defeated 3-0 to Czech Republic. Mkhitaryan, who was subbed off immediately after the collision will also miss the tie against Denmark tomorrow.

The statement on Mkhitaryan’s injury update, released by Armenian FA, confirming that the attacking midfielder has suffered a thigh muscle injury, that will require seven to ten days to heal , means the player would be cutting it tight to make it to the much anticipated Manchester Derby.

As reported by Sky Sports, the 27 year old will now return to Carrington to be assessed by United’s medical staff ahead of the big game at Old Trafford on Saturday.

The statement released by the Armenian FA read: ”As reported, senior national team captain Henrikh Mkhitaryan received an injury against Czech Republic and as a result was unable to continue the match.”

“Mkhitaryan has had a medical examination in a clinic in Mlada Boleslav. Unfortunately, the results are not encouraging.”

“Mkhitaryan was found to have an injury in the lower third of the left thigh muscle. Such injuries usually require a week to 10 days to heal, which means that Mkhitaryan will miss the Denmark-Armenia match on September 4.”

Just when Mkhitaryan was getting his match rhythm, his injury diagnosis has made him doubtful for the derby as the player is facing a race against time to get fit. Manchester City will also be without the services of their mercurial striker Sergio Aguero.

Here is Mkhitaryan’s message to the  United fans on his injury

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“My dear fans, I appreciate much that you worry about me, thank you! I’m now back in Manchester for treatment and hope to be fit very soon!” the player tweeted.

“I wish my Arm. teammates a successful start of the #WorldCup2018 campaign. As NT’s Captain, I expect a fighting spirit as always #GoArmenia.” 



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