Manchester United Needed Signings, Manchester City Didn’t And Arsenal And Chelsea Need New Managers

Posted: February 2, 2018 in Arsenal, Chelsea, Football, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Opinion, Premier League, Tottenham Hotspur, Transfers
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Having sat through the 2-0 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday night, we couldn’t help reminiscing about the innumerable times we have suggested that Antonio Valencia, an ageing right winger, cannot play right-back because he can’t defend.

We have, also on many occasions, thought exactly the same about Ashley Young, also an ageing right winger, who is now playing at left-back. He too cannot defend.

Chris Smalling is a donkey of a defender who only knows one way of playing. He kicks out in the general direction of the ball and, occasionally, successfully connects. He is constantly caught out of position and frequently gives possession away too easily.

Phil Jones – Often a good defender but too erratic

Phil Jones can be the best defender United have. He can also, just as frequently, be a liability. Whether that be scoring own goals or conceding a penalty, he isn’t too fussy.

So how these players can represent the back four of Manchester United against a team like Tottenham Hotspur is a little beyond the ken of this publication’s feeble mind.

For the last three years David De Gea has been Manchester United ‘Player of the Year’. He has actually made the defenders look a lot better than they really are by being so good. It is, and has long been, time for change.

Goalkeepers, at teams with a good defence, should never win the ‘Player of the Year’ award at their club because they shouldn’t have to work hard enough!

Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof may very well form a solid partnership in future but not just yet. As for Valencia and Young, they should not be the first choice full backs at a club like United.

So who did Mourinho buy during the transfer window? Alexis Sánchez, that’s who! Can he defend? Probably, and probably better than some of the players currently entrusted with the job, but that isn’t why he was bought!

He will turn out to be a great signing and getting him was an opportunity too good to miss, but defenders were needed as well and that fact has been overlooked.

Take a leaf out of City’s book. They sold their ageing full-backs and replaced them with newer models, and they were genuine full-backs, not converted wingers!

The midfield also needs some tinkering but should be fine.

Up front Lukaku needs to show some dramatic improvement. For such a big player he wins about 10% of the high balls put anywhere near him and he is far easier to shake off the ball than Alexis Sánchez who is almost half his size!

He also needs to score more goals against United’s direct rivals.

Hopefully, José Mourinho is aware of all this and that is why he is saying that United will be ready to challenge for everything by the year 2020. Until then, prepare to be disappointed occasionally when he gets it wrong.

At The Etihad…..


Riyad Mahrez – Subject of failed late bids by City

Manchester City bought a centre half they didn’t really need and made an offer or two, or three, or four, for Riyad Mahrez, another player they don’t really need.

Aymeric Laporte joined from Athletic Bilbao but Mahrez stayed at Leicester, much to his annoyance.

The Laporte signing did allow Eliaquim Managala to go to Everton on loan until the end of the season which may or may not earn him a place in the French World Cup squad.

Mahrez’s place in the Algerian squad is pretty safe wherever he plays!

So City now have four centre-backs again, a situation Pep Guradiola seems happy with until another one springs to mind!

Meanwhile, somewhere in London…..


Henrikh Mkhitaryan – Helped to persuade Aubameyang to join Arsenal

Stubborn Old Man has managed to convince Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to join Arsenal from Borussia Dortmund. Either that or his mate, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, convinced him.

Having crashed out of the FA Cup and sitting a distant sixth in the Premier League it should have been a hard sell but Aubameyang seems quite happy to try and emulate Manchester United in Mourinho’s FIRST season, by winning the Carabao Cup and the Europa League in Wenger’s TWENTY-SECOND season.

Arsenal need a new manager, not new players and they need one sooner rather than later. A new contract for Özil and the arrival of the Gabon international would not have prevented them from conceding three goals against Swansea, who are bottom of the table.

Also in London…..


Eden Hazard – Only good player in the recent defeat by Bournemouth

Antonio Conte watched his team perform even worse than Arsenal by losing AT HOME 0-3 to Bournemouth. It was a performance from which only Eden Hazard emerged with any credit.

The manager seems like a dead man walking and it is only a matter of time before the curtain is brought down on his Chelsea career. If he were a boxer the referee would have stopped the fight by now and awarded it to his opponents at the club, whoever they may be.

It’s a pity because, following on from winning the Premier League last season, the watching world was interested to see how the Italian would handle being back in the Champion’s League as an added complication.

The fact of the matter is that he hasn’t handled anything particularly well this season and his misunderstanding of many press questions, stupid though they may have been, has only compounded the difficulty of his situation.

He will leave at the end of the seaon but, in fairness, he could leave now and it may even be to Chelsea’s advantage if he were to do so.

And finally…..

No news is good news after the other two clubs won convincingly in their midweek games.

Liverpool’s win against Huddersfield was convincing, unlike either of their goalkeepers so a new one should still be a priority, but obviously isn’t.

Tottenham beating United just leaves Mauricio Pochettino with the conundrum of how to get his players up for the FA Cup replay against Newport. After that first leg performance, he should have fined every one of them.

Maybe that would help to produce a result in the second game!


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