Posts Tagged ‘Derby County’


Paul Pogba wants Manchester United to attack teams. He doesn’t think it is acceptable, particularly at Old Trafford, to sit back and play a “we may win with a decent counter-attack, but at least we shouldn’t lose” kind of mentality.

More than 70,000 match-going United fans agree with him every home game. Millions more, plastic and otherwise, also agree with him from the comfort of their armchairs, sofas or local pubs.

In fact, the only person in the world, or so it would seem, who disagrees with him, is José Mourinho. (more…)



Czechoslovakia, Greece, Denmark and Portugal spring to mind as relatively recent winners of the European Championships. None of the four could be considered as serial winners of competitions.

Wales also stayed in the last competition for longer than England and even managed a 3-1 win over Belgium while England couldn’t even scrape a draw with Iceland and exited the tournament in their usual fashion, ie when there was still plenty of it left! (more…)


(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. (more…)


Manchester United simply have to react to the news that Manchester City have signed Pep Guardiola as head coach for the next three years starting in the 2016/17 season.

To muddle through with van Gaal, another old man who is, currently, nowhere near as successful as his equally geriatric counterpart at the Etihad is suicidal nonsense.

City are grabbing the bull by the horns! Manuel Pellegrini could end this season with four trophies. Remembering what happened with Jupp Heynckes at Bayern Munich, he will surely win at least three! It is very unlikely, but it is possible.

Van Gaal will be very lucky if he wins one.

City are replacing an already successful manager with another, younger one. United aren’t even considering replacing their boring, unsuccessful manager yet.

United fans are already fed up with the boring football. They move like waves between cheering a United win, then booing the next insipid performance. After years of success it is hardly surprising that the Old Trafford faithful have turned on van Gaal. They turned on Moyes as well but both were given a fair crack of the whip even if they would both deny it if asked. (more…)


Manchester United beating Derby County in the FA Cup at the iPro stadium was greeted by fans as a return of decent football.

The fact that Derby County occupy fifth place in the Championship and have lost their previous five games is, to a large extent, irrelevant. As is often said, you can only beat what is put in front of you.

The Cup competitions have a levelling effect. Derby, for one game, could give everything. They didn’t have to worry about dropping points, or whether or not a draw would be a good result, they could just concentrate on trying to win a one-off game of football, (unless there was a replay, of course). The fact that the game was against Manchester United just put the icing on the cake. So really, they were in a no-lose situation. A win would have put the cherry on top of the icing on the cake!

In truth they didn’t play particularly well, a fact emphasised by the scoreline, which was a reasonably fair reflection of the game.

Inevitably, the question will now arise, can Manchester United win the FA Cup?
The short answer is, yes, anybody CAN win the FA Cup. Maybe the question should be WILL they win it? That is the more difficult to answer. (more…)


(United’s other scorer, Daley Blind, would have been in this photo but he was out of position!)

Yet another “last game in charge” passes by for Louis van Gaal and he still remains in the Old Trafford hotseat! Mind you, if he doesn’t get sacked after losing games at home he is hardly likely to be removed after a 3-1 win away in the FA Cup.

It is reaching the stage now where nobody knows what he has to do to lose this job. Maybe wear a David Moyes mask, as he managed to lose the job with a better record than the Dutchman! Tonight though, was not going to be the last time the Dutchman was sat in the Manchester United dugout.

Having surrendered places in the Champion’s League, the Capital One Cup and the top four of the Premier League, United, at this precise moment in time, only have the Europa League and FA Cup left to play for. So both take on added importance, particularly as the Europa League winners will be granted entry into the Champion’s League next season. Having said that, the United faithful will take a trophy of any description at present!

Before the game Louis van Gaal had said that he hoped that the players would take their form and confidence from the training ground into the match. The problem with training is that it tends to be concentrated on the next opponents so in this case that would have been Derby County. (more…)


(Rasputin would have been proud of Louis’ survival instincts!)

Grigory Efimovich Rasputin was a Russian peasant, known as the “Mad Monk”, although he only spent three months in a monastery. He claimed he had powers of mystic healing and prediction. Using these powers he somehow contrived to heal the Royal family’s son of haemophilia. This elevated him into being accepted by Tsar Nicholas II and his wife Tsarina Aleksandra as, after four girls, this was their only son and heir who’s life he had saved.

The problem was that it made the other high-powered natives restless. They thought that Rasputin was using his new found influence to run Russia as the Tsarina was a really big fan and hung onto his every word. So they decided to do what was always decided to do back then, they decided to get rid of him.

After poisoning him with potassium cyanide, shooting him three times, (once in the head hitting the brain, once in the chest hitting the stomach and liver and once in the back hitting the kidneys), and beating him with a 2lb dumbell they finally managed to kill him by tying him up and throwing him over a bridge into the nearby river. Even then he only died because the river froze over him while he was unconscious, as they didn’t bother to weigh him down with anything!

2016 will be the one hundredth anniversary of his death so it seems only fitting to say a few words about the reincarnated version of Rasputin, namely Aloysius Paulus Maria van Gaal. (more…)