Ole’s at the wheel, although the ‘L’ plates are still firmly attached and if any of the backroom staff are his instructor then it is unlikely he will pass the test.

An average ex-player who became a below average manager, Mike Phelan would have to be regarded as the senior figure on the team although quite what he brings to the table given his lack of expertise in anything of relevance is beyond this meagre publication.

He is aided and abetted in his aiding and abetting of the manager by Michael Carrick. Another ex-player but, in his case, a very good one. That’s really where the good news ends. With absolutely no experience of coaching at any level, he was given a job coaching at United, despite the fact that Nicky Butt was already at the club and already had a few years coaching experience.

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After losing at home to Arsenal then away to Basaksehir Manchester United went on to record four wins on the bounce with victories over Everton away, Basaksehir at home, West Bromwich Albion at home and Southampton away.

Performance-wise there were ups and downs. For example, the defeat to Arsenal was poor and the defeat in Istanbul even poorer. The Everton win showed spirit and a determination which had seemed missing in the previous two games but then it was back to a poor showing against West Brom which at least resulted in a win this time.

The Southampton game, apart from a twenty minutes spell when the hosts scored two goals, was an example of how well they can play and how good a player Edinson Cavani is.

But with all these inconsistencies, can United challenge for any of the trophies this season?

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It has been a relatively quiet period in the football world just lately. We have taken advantage of this lull by doing…….absolutely nothing! We haven’t had reports from every international game just to perpetuate the boredom always brought on during an international break. We haven’t invented a few thousand transfer rumours linking every top club with every single player available, or otherwise.

We have just sat back and relaxed whilst not watching England fail to advance in a European competition, (nothing new or exciting about that)!

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The number 7 shirt at Manchester United has been worn by some great players. So what? Exactly the same can be said about almost every number throughout the team particularly back in the sensible days when the team wore the numbers 1 to 11.

The number 10 shirt has been worn by David Herd, Denis Law, George Best, David Beckham and Wayne Rooney, to name but 5. The number 8 shirt has been worn by Denis Law, George Best, Wayne Rooney and now by Juan Mata.

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So Manchester United have paid the agent of Edinson Cavani €10 million to get the deal done. Granted there was no transfer fee as he was a free agent but the fact remains that if they had added that €10 million to their original offer for Jadon Sancho then he would now be a United player. So what was the thought process of Ed Woodward when making this deal?

The answer is pretty simple in that there wasn’t one. This was another panic signing to try and make it look as though the club had achieved something during this transfer window.

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Why was Ole Gunnar Solskjær appointed as Manchester United manager? We’re not talking about when he got the job permanently because everybody knows that was a knee-jerk reaction to a few decent results. Even then the appointment was announced far too early and should have been kept under wraps until the end of the season. No, we mean whose idea was it to bring him back in the first place?

Let’s face it, it was a move which blindsided the vast majority of Manchester United supporters and one which probably came as a big surprise to Solskjær himself.

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Two things stand out from this first weekend of the Premier League season. Firstly, neither Manchester City nor Manchester United featured due to extended, if still shorter than intended, involvement in European competition.

Secondly, by Monday evening, three London clubs had played at home and lost and none of them were beaten by a top six team from last season!

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So Pep can’t win the Champion’s League without Lionel and Lionel, despite years of trying, just can’t seem to find a manager for his once-beloved Barcelona and has decided it is time to leave.

Where on earth could he go? Wait a minute, there will be a vacancy created at Manchester City just as soon as his old boss realises that he really means it this time. Honest injun, no joking, this time it’s for real! 

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three ms

Some of the reasons Manchester United score so many goals, (73 between Martial, Rashford and Greenwood this season), are because the front three are young, hungry and will shoot on sight. They all have a tendency, occasionally, to try and beat too many defenders and all can be greedy, choosing to shoot from near-impossible angles rather than try and find a better placed team mate.

Some of the reasons Manchester United don’t score as many goals as they should are because the front three are young, hungry and will shoot on sight. This “shoot on sight” attitude is fine providing there are no opposition players in the way but, again probably due to youth, the blinkers tend to go on when the goal is sighted. Read the rest of this entry »

cm

Ole welcomes back an important player…..

Chris Smalling has returned to Manchester United after his loan spell at Roma ended. He was loved in the Italian capital, had apparently found his niche there and would have liked to make the move permanent.

Olé Gunnar Solskjær, still at the wheel, looked a tad embarrassed when asked about his defender’s return. He obviously wanted him out of the club as part of his “new broom” policy and was convinced that Smalling would be sold either whilst on loan or at the end of it. Read the rest of this entry »