Posts Tagged ‘Antonio Valencia’

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Back in the day there was a popular TV programme called Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased). The general storyline was that a couple of mates teamed up to open a detective agency only for one of the partners, (Marty Hopkirk), to get killed in the first episode.

It then transpires that his ghost will continue to help Geoff Randall to solve crimes and lock up the ungodly. Now here’s the rub. Geoff can actually see and communicate with Marty’s ghost and it doesn’t take too long for him to realise that he is the only person with this ability.

We here at WSA have been getting to know how it feels to be Geoff Randall for the last couple of years. We have been watching Manchester City with interest and have been amazed at how careless, clumsy and just downright poor Raheem Sterling has been. (more…)

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Let’s start by being honest. José Mourinho does and says lots of things with which we disagree. That does not make him a bad manager. In fact, his record of trophies and championships would suggest that he is a very good manager.

His style of football is not to everyone’s liking but it does, in the main, get the job done. Or, at least, it has done until very recently.

Last season he was a mile away from winning the Premier League, as was Pep Guardiola at Manchester City. The reasons, according to the experts, were simple; “old players”, “new manager”, “needs time to settle in” and other such clichés were being bandied around in an attempt to excuse the failure of the two new Manchester residents. (more…)

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This United defence has been living a lie for a long while in that the first time David De Gea has a bad game they are exposed for the average defenders that they really are.

In the game against Palace, De Gea was beaten by a deflected shot by Andros Townsend, who was given far too much time and space on the edge of the area and, in the second half, he was beaten at his near post by Patrick van Aanholt, who took advantage of a quick free kick while United’s “defence” fell into a deep sleep.

The problem is that, if De Gea had saved these two efforts, we would again be talking about a clean sheet for United and lauding another fine defensive performance by them. (more…)

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Antonio Valencia is a survivor if nothing else. He arrived, largely unannounced and with very little fanfare, from Wigan back in 2009 and has seen the “arrival” of four managers and the departure of four managers during his time at Old Trafford! In fairness, the manager experience has happened entirely within the last four years.

Many thought that Valencia would be surplus to requirements as, following the temporary employment of Ryan Giggs, first David Moyes and then Louis van Gaal came through the door, presumably with their own ideas of what they wanted from the team. Their problem was a simple one. It did not appear as though the team was either sure or convinced about what they wanted and, consequently, neither of them kept the chair warm for very long. (more…)

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Manchester United’s problem is scoring goals, or rather, not scoring goals. Their total for the season would be abysmal if Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s tally were to be taken out of the equation.

When United signed the Swede along with Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Paul Pogba, it appeared to go a long way to addressing the goalscoring side of things. The fact that he only signed one defender, Eric Bailly, did not necessarily mean that he was happy with what he had, more that there was a shortage of world class defenders available. (more…)

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Manchester United are among the top four teams in the country, just not according to the league table or their results at Old Trafford.

The league table currently has them in joint fifth position and, at Old Trafford, they have failed to beat Stoke City, Burnley and 10-man Bournemouth to name but three.

Failure to take three points from each of these games is inexcusable and it is difficult to imagine the same happening to Chelsea or Manchester City.

Against Bournemouth, for example, the finishing was woeful. Both Paul Pogba And Zlatan Ibrahimovic were guilty of missing excellent chances with the latter even managing to miss a penalty. (more…)

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When he arrived at Manchester United it seemed fairly obvious where the problems lay.

After two years with Louis van Gaal in charge, the football was stale and boring. One-dimensional with the tendency to try and keep possession without actually going anywhere. The United faithful quite quickly got fed up watching their team passing sideways and backwards then, eventually, either giving the ball away or simply running out of pitch.

The United board or, more particularly, Ed Woodward finally ran out of patience and even an FA Cup win wasn’t enough to earn van Gaal a contract extension. It didn’t help him that José Mourinho was out of work and available and, more to the point, was the popular choice of the majority of United supporters. (more…)

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(José Mourinho has a few things to think about before Sunday’s game with Swansea)

Manchester United have gone from being challengers to strugglers in a few short weeks.

Whether it is more surprising that they actually played well at the start of the season, or that they returned to their abject selves after a very short while is debatable.

What seems to have been missed by Moyes, van Gaal and now Mourinho, is that the United players appear to find it virtually impossible to pass the ball to each other. The amount of times a pass goes straight to an opposition player is now too numerous to be put down to bad luck or just erratic passing. (more…)

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Jesse Lingard back in the United team at the expense of Ashley Young. Talk about bitter sweet. On the one hand, Young being dropped is good news but, on the other, Lingard playing is not good news.

Having finally managed to make the Manchester United management see the error of their ways when continually selecting Wayne Rooney, it is now time for them to see who is Manchester United quality and who isn’t. Neither Young nor Lingard would get into a fully fit Manchester United team and it would not be too disappointing if they were both sold in January. (more…)

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The good news from the first game of the day was that Wayne Rooney remained on the bench. The bad news was the number of chances United failed to convert. At half-time, instead of being 3-0 up and virtually out of sight, it was 0-0 and Stoke remained hopeful of taking something from the game.

All the experts who say that, as long as the chances are being created then the goals will come, are only ever proved correct when the goals come! In the case of Manchester United and the first half of this game, the goals did not come. (more…)