Nov 25 2016

Zlatan Ibrahimovic: This is what I really think about Wayne Rooney at Man United

Tag: Manchester United News @ 9:30 pm

Zlatan Ibrahimovic: This is what I really think about Wayne Rooney at Man United


Zlatan Ibrahimovic has heaped praise on Wayne Rooney, labelling the 31-year-old as a fantastic person and a perfect player.

The captain impressed Manchester United fans with a commanding performance against Feyenoord on Thursday night, picking up a goal and an assist to wrap up a convincing 4-0 win.

Rooney’s goal – a cooly taken chip in the 35th minute – secured the Englishman’s place as Man United’s all-time leading European goalscorer.

Ibrahimovic, speaking after the game, was quick to shower praise on the 31-year-old.

“First of all as a person he is fantastic. I have [had] the luck to get to know him as a person,” he said.

“As a player, there are no words to say about him because he is the perfect player.

“Everyone knows what he can do and what he has done so I am happy for him that he broke the record.

“When you are a person like that, people are interested and want to know everything. I don’t know what happened – I didn’t even ask him because it’s not important for me.”

Rooney’s performance against Feyenoord was evocative of a happier time in the Englishman’s career. He was faster, more clinical, more energetic, and angry. Angry in the old-fashioned Rooney way, where pent up fury would manifest itself through a rip-roaring performance, as opposed to the current form of angry Rooney, which essentially consists of him shouting expletives at the referee.

The captain clearly felt as if he had a point to prove. This game, you could tell, was significant. Whether such a change of attitude came as a result of recent tabloid noise surrounding his drunken antics is unknown. The prospect of being within touching distance of history – both with the European goalscoring record and all-time goalscoring record – could have also been a motivating factor.

Either way, United fans will hope to see this Rooney more often this season.


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Oct 26 2016

Ander Herrera explains why Man United performed so well in the second half

Tag: Manchester United News @ 10:40 pm

Ander Herrera explains why Man United performed so well in the second half


Ander Herrera has revealed what changed for Manchester United in the second-half against Manchester City in the EFL Cup.

Jose Mourinho’s side claimed a 1-0 victory over Pep Guardiola’s squad as Juan Mata found the only goal of the game at Old Trafford.

The Spaniard was pressing high to win the ball inside Man City’s box and opened up the chance for Mata in the second-half.

Speaking after the game, Herrera explained that Mata’s goal allowed players to remain calm.

“In the first-half it’s always tough as no one wants to lose and there’s tension,” he said.

“In the second-half we were more calm and with Mata scoring the goal it was easier, it’s for the fans and we lost the last derby they were disappointed but now they can be proud.”

Man United looked like a completely different team in the second-half as Luke Shaw came back, despite getting continuously ripped by Jesus Navas in the first-half, a new solid player.

Fans were left furious with Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s first 45 minutes and Jamie Carragher even labelled it as the big Swede’s worst half of his entire career, but he also came back and held the ball up incredibly well.

What clicked it all into place? A Mourinho prep talk perhaps? We’ll never know but whatever did happen seriously changed the outcome of the game as United were terrible throughout the first-half.


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Sep 26 2016

Antonie Griezmann opens up on Atletico Madrid future amid Man United interest

Tag: Manchester United News @ 9:30 pm

Antonie Griezmann opens up on Atletico Madrid future amid Man United interest


French striker Antoine Griezmann has pledged his allegiance to Atletico Madrid and Diego Simeone amid speculation surrounding a potential move to Manchester United next summer.

Griezmann’s decision to part ways with his agent, electing instead to represent himself, served as a possible sign of the 25-year-old’s desire to seek a move away from the Vicente Calderon.

It was also reported by French paper L’Equipe that it was “only a matter of time” before Griezmann comes to Old Trafford.

However the Frenchman, speaking to Spanish radio station Onda Cero, made it clear he is happy at Atletico, as long as Simeone remains at the club.

“I am very good at Atleti, with my team-mates, I see that we can achieve important things,” Griezmann said.

“With Simeone I am learning so much. Right now, I do not think about anything other than Atleti. The aim is to continue with Atleti and to see the new stadium.

“I was afraid of Simeone leaving this summer – I need to continue learning from him. I called him and he reassured me. I need to work with Simeone, I need to learn from him and Atleti needs it too.”

Griezmann’s future in Spain appears to hinge on how long Simeone – manager since 2011 – stays at the Vicente Calderon. Atletico’s sturdy, almost tribal approach to scalping results stems from the Argentine’s warrior-like persona, and one imagines that his departure will signal a quick decline in potency.

And despite Simeone’s reassuring words to fans and players concerned about his potential departure, speculation surrounding his future continues to loom, meaning that Griezmann – a tricky, effervescent presence at No.9 – could find himself wearing a United short at some point in the near future.


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Sep 24 2016

Manchester United star provides positive injury update ahead of Leicester clash

Pogba-Martial

Manchester United star Anthony Martial has provided a latest update on his recovery from his injury as the forward has confirmed that he has returned to training on Friday. The 20-year-old picked up an injury in the Red Devils’ 3-1 defeat to Watford at Vicarage Road on 18 September.

The France international missed the 20-time English champions League Cup victory over Northampton Town during the midweek. Martial has already been ruled out for Leicester clash, but the player confirmed he has returned to training.

“Back to training today @ManUtd,” Martial tweeted.

Jose Mourinho’s side will face the Premier League champions at Old Trafford on 24 September. There were reports he would be fit to face Claudio Ranieri’s side after he earlier revealed he is “feeling much better.”

However, the Portuguese tactician has already confirmed the ex-AS Monaco man will not be included in the squad for the clash against the Foxes. In addition to this, the former Real Madrid and Chelsea manager has also explained that Martial is recovering from contusion and not concusion as reported earlier.

“Martial is not available. He is out because of the contusion in the calf and ankle area. I think you know when that happened,” Mourinho said in his pre-match press conference, as quoted by the Manchester Evening News.

The pacey forward arrived at Old Trafford on the deadline day of the last summer transfer window. He impressed in his debut season and his form saw him make it to France squad for the Euro 2016, which they lost to Portugal in the final.

Martial has failed to replicate his last season’s form and is yet to get his name on the scoresheet in any of the competitions he has played under Mourinho.


Sep 19 2016

Retrospection and detailed analysis of Manchester United’s 1-3 defeat to Watford

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Manchester United got mutilated 1-3 by the yellow Hornets, Watford, as the home side vandalized over listless United at Vicarage Road. United’s third straight defeat on the bounce over the course of a week saw the history repeating itself for manager Jose Mourinho after 2002, when his team Porto lost three on the trot (in single season) and back in 2006, when his club Chelsea got defeated in three consecutive matches.

Surely one could have filed a missing person complaint for the non-existent midfield play United had today. The final ball from every United player was  pathetic. Skipper Wayne Rooney was atrocious and looked like a burden playing at central midfield. United missed  the controlling midfield presence of Micheal Carrick, to provide stability in front of the back four and give Paul Pogba freedom to motor forward, which Rooney lacked big time. United needed to keep hold of the ball and composure. The midfield seemed to be marking space or chasing shadows rather than marking Watford players.

So disjointed and slow performance from the Red Devils was on display, with no dominance, no creativity, no tempo, no passion. United fans must got tempted to get into the touchline and pull out the mask of supposedly Mourinho, to unravel Louis Van Gaal a la Mission Impossible. 

United started as if they came  straight from  Amsterdam after wild bender. In the dull, sluggish Rojo of  performance that United churned out, even the throw-ins were shocking.

Errors and decision making all over the pitch by the Red Devils were just wrong. Serious lack of pace and initiative in midfield and forward line  were  killing the flow. With Zlatan Ibrahimovic  and Rooney, two 30+ players, the pace was shambolic. Players did not seem to actually know what type of football they are supposed to be playing? 

After each & every minute of  play you can start  see more flaws. The holding midfielder got the ball ,sees that there is no one to pass the ball  to. Tries audacious  pass. That  Goes out. This pattern got repeat all game like ”Live, Die, Repeat” of Sci-fi flick ”Edge of Tomorrow”. Like a pot of soup for amala joint in Africa, the elements  of United’s game didn’t sync.

United lost the ball, possession so cheaply, couldn’t put more then two or  three passes together. The match was a major throwback to Van Gaal era as they were as frustrating as the past three  seasons. Mourinho need to sort out his best starting 11, best formation to eradicate the  confusion of Moyes and the monotony  of Van Gaal. There were far too many sideward passing and they didn’t go for the jugular vein when they should have had.

United attack was very narrow as Marcus Rashford and Ashley Young both were  playing inside, needed more width. The  attacking play was awful, the decision making in the final third was miserable, looked clueless going forward. Ibrahimovic wasted chances too. How many touches does  he  want? Under 10 kids  are drilled in “Control, Look, Pass” mould, which look in better mould than the aging superstar. The front six were  immobile and the three up top were standing absolutely still. Is Ibrahimovic another Van Persie in the making?

The Goals and the impacts:

Stage was set for Frenchmen like Pogba and Martial, but another Frenchman Capoue scored Watford’s opener in the 34th minute. Decent build up goal. Ibrahimovic immediately forced Watford keeper and defence into red alert with his 41st and 43 rd minute efforts.

After the one-hour mark, Marcus Rashford came to the rescue at  62nd minute, to become the highest scorer for United in 2016, sublime finish after an Ibrahimovic ball came off a Watford defender. The Swedish got the assist for what was United’s 800th away goal in the Premier League in his 800th professional club appearance.

The goal was triggered because Ibrahimovic made a run, movement was the key for the cherry picker. The Red Devils were actually doing something with the possession finally after the equalizer. Held  possession on the attack and kept the ball,needed to up the pace though.

But as Zuniga ended Neymar’s world cup campaign, he ended United’s comeback hopes into smoke as the super sub scored within 50 seconds of coming on, at 83rd. Pereyra came up with a great cutback to get the assist, as United trailed again as  they got  ripped open in defence by the pull back again.

Watford’s third goal was the final nail in the coffin as Deeney converted from the spot at 94th minute after Fellini gave  away a penalty, pulling down Zuniga after Bailly fails to deal with the threat.

Mourinho’s mistakes: Maybe United players looked like that they had watched illegal streams of  Gazza hobbling at Old Trafford but Mourinho got it wrong. He shoehorned Rooney in the line-up with disrupted the whole rhythm. It was Interesting that Rashford’s on the left and Martial on the right. Herrera and  Mata were mostly on the bench, when United needed creativity and to unlock.

Mourinho needs to pick a team with speed and intent on scoring. Pace and movement is a key. The gaffer need to be ruthless enough  to show Pogballs and drop Rooney and mould a new free-flowing team. Maybe just  play in a 4-1-4-1 formation with  Carrick  playing CDM on his own and Pogba with freedom.

A big-money  playmaker who has to drop into holding midfield and play square balls to the full backs, is just not done. In the match, United went from a counter attack of 3 on 3 to a a situation of 6 on 8- such was the lack of planning.

The  tailored approach to forwards’ immobility by putting wide men on and the short-termism by Mourinho is getting bared. Against progressively weaker opponents, three submissions on trot, speaks of something.

Tactically the players didn’t seem to know where they’re meant to play, looked like individuals and not on the same wave length frequency.  Whether he would  draft in Schweinsteiger from the wilderness to solve midfield woes, is up to him.


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

mourinho

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



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