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This has been a record transfer window. The amount of money spent by clubs is likely to pass the £1 billion mark, if it hasn’t already done so while I have been writing this article.

The two biggest spenders are, arguably, the two with the most money. They can spend obscene amounts on players without batting an eyelid. The fact that they occasionally have to sell players to “balance the books” is actually an accounting exercise and isn’t strictly a necessity, particularly now that the Financial Fair Play rules have been relaxed or binned, I’m not sure which is correct. Read the rest of this entry »

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(Marcus Rashford shows Cameron Borthwick-Jackson how many fans are at the game)

Since taking the manager’s job at Old Trafford Jose Mourinho has overseen the winning of the Community Shield and two wins out of two games in the Premier League.

Players who have been conspicuous by their absence include a few of the younger members who had some game time last season because Louis van Gaal had a lot of injuries and no experienced cover.

When, for example, Luke Shaw was injured in the Champion’s League, there was no ready made experienced replacement. Wayne Rooney’s continued decline meant that Anthony Martial was given many more games than he would have been had there been an older player waiting for his chance. Read the rest of this entry »

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(“Never mind Wazza, those yanks will soon pick up the scouse lingo!”)

I have not written a piece about Wayne Rooney for a while. This is not because there has been nothing to write about, there always is with him. Whether he is holding the club to ransom, condescendingly telling the fans he has nothing to prove or just plain playing badly, there is always something.

The problem is that it becomes boring after a while and loyal readers get fed up with articles about the same person.

However, it is about time to remind the world of his existence which, unfortunately, still lies with Manchester United. Read the rest of this entry »

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(Stats that prove the English Premier League is at least twice as hard as the French Ligue 1)

Who will score the most goals? Zlatan appears to be the less selfish of the two and has already said that it doesn’t matter who scores as long as United win. I am sure Agüero shares this sentiment although he is unlikely to voice it and, in fairness, can appear to be quite greedy when anywhere close to the eighteen yard area.

To date Manchester City have scored six goals in the Premier League and five in the Champion’s League. Of these eleven goals Agüero has been responsible for six of them and has even found time to miss two penalties in a game where he went on to score a hat-trick! So he has scored 55% of all his team’s goals so far. Read the rest of this entry »

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When David Moyes was appointed Manchester United manager to follow in the footsteps of the great Sir Alex Ferguson, everybody at Old Trafford, including the most important people, the fans, were prepared to give him a chance.

He was christened “The Chosen One” because, in a deed which seemed very unlikely, it was said that Fergie had chosen him as his successor. The reason it was unlikely is that a club like Manchester United does not allow one man to make decisions which affect the whole future of the club and it’s employees. Read the rest of this entry »

Another question which may be asked in lieu of the title is; does anybody care? After all these are very highly paid individuals, they will be sold to another club at some stage and they will remain very highly paid individuals.

Maybe it is more a question of pride and respect or the lack of it when it comes to a manager’s treatment of his players, in which case the money is not an issue.

Last season it was Victor Valdes at Manchester United who was ostracised for his behaviour. In his case Louis van Gaal had decided that Valdes had acted against his and the club’s interest by not wanting to turn out for the reserves. This was never fully cleared up as Valdes always said that he had never refused to play for them. Whatever the truth of the matter the result was that Valdes spent almost two seasons on the naughty step and was banned from being anywhere near the first team before running down his contract and moving to Middlesbrough. Read the rest of this entry »

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In contrast Louis van Gaal strengthened the midfield by finalising the purchase of Ander Herrera and buying Daley Blind, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Memphis Depay and Morgan Schneiderlin. These players were to add to Michael Carrick, Jesse Lingard, Adnan Januzaj, Marouane Fellaini and Juan Mata and anybody else I may have missed.

He also bought a full back, Matteo Darmian who, at the time, seemed a good acquisition as he was the Italian national team’s full back, a teenager called Anthony Martial who will probably turn out to be the best buy of the van Gaal era, Marcos Rojo and he rubber stamped the purchase of Luke Shaw although it is likely that any incoming manager would have done the same. Read the rest of this entry »

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He was born in Yerevan, capital of Armenia, in 1989. When Henrikh was seven years old his father died of a brain tumour at the age of 33.

Football certainly played a prominent part in his family life as his dad has been a striker for FC Ararat Yerevan during the 1980’s, his mother is the head of the national team department in the Armenian football federation and his sister, Monica, works at UEFA headquarters.

In the early 1990’s the family moved to France to escape the Armenian mafia, where Henrikh played for ASOA Valence and helped them gain promotion to Ligue 2. The club no longer exists. Read the rest of this entry »

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Despite his name Zlatan Ibrahimović is Swedish. His father was from Bijeljina in Bosnia and his mother from Prkos in Croatia. They met, however, in Sweden after both emigrating there a few years earlier.

When Zlatan was six they gave him a pair of football boots and, apart from a short time when he was fifteen, he has never looked back!

Fast forward to 1996 when he joined Malmo and stayed with them until 2001, experiencing relegation, promotion and little else, although it was during his time there that Arsene Wenger tried, unsuccessfully, to sign him for Arsenal. Read the rest of this entry »

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Before joining Manchester United few people in England had heard of Eric Bailly. A 22 year old defender from the Ivory Coast, he was bought from Villarreal for a bargain €30 million. This bargain was not as impressive as the one Villarreal received when they bought him from his first club, Espanyol. They paid a mere €5.7 million and so made a profit of €24.3 million, not too shabby a deal for them!

He made his debut for the Ivory Coast national team in 2015, in a friendly against Nigeria. He then went on to represent his country at the Africa Cup of Nations where he played in all six games, culminating in winning the trophy. Read the rest of this entry »