Posts Tagged ‘Eric Bailly’

Light Red

As promised yesterday, here is the continuation and conclusion of our look at the central defenders who feature the most for the top six Premier League clubs.

We haven’t looked at all the different permutations which are available at the big clubs where they will usually have four centre backs competing for the two places in the team, we have just looked at the two who have started the most games this season for whatever reason.

It should also be remembered that many good centre-backs nowadays can play in more than one position which greatly enhances their value to the team and gives them a better chance of playing. (more…)

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Ronaldo shows that there’s plenty of petulance in the old dog yet

Cristiano Ronaldo is said to favour a move back to Manchester United. Now there’s a surprise! Only days after saying he wanted to stay and play for Real Madrid until he was forty, and that there was no chance he would ever go back to United, he now wants to go back to United, or so we are led to believe.

Tough luck, Cristiano, the world doesn’t work like that. If you wanted to play for Manchester United you should never have left. Now you want Manchester United but they don’t want, or need, you. That ship has sailed. Mind you, if there’s any truth in the rumour whatsoever, you would be welcome back. (more…)

The Final

The main reason Manchester United have never won the Europa League before is because it is a competition in which they have rarely been involved and, when they have been, they haven’t taken it particularly seriously.

Even under it’s previous incarnation as the UEFA Cup, it was a trophy only flirted with on four occasions since Sir Alex Ferguson took over in 1986. On those four occasions they lost to what can only be described as mediocre opponents. (more…)

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Maybe the manager’s expectations weren’t too high. Maybe the fan’s expectations WERE too high. Either way, for Pep Guardiola or José Mourinho, if the season was to end now, then it hasn’t been that bad.

City would qualify for the Champion’s League through their Premier League position and United would qualify for the Europa League because of their EFL Cup triumph and their position in the Premier League. This may not be exactly how the supporters envisaged it at the start of the campaign but it would still represent a decent season for the two. (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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So Manchester United managed to overcome a terrible pitch and a good team and are now in very real danger of reaching the final of the Europa League.

The pitch, at the end of the day, was the same for both teams although Rostov are, obviously, more used to playing on it. It didn’t really make a difference. Providing United, who had the better players, played to their potential then they were always going to be in a position to win the tie over the two legs. (more…)

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Bastian Schweinsteiger has managed to work his way back as far as the bench. Morgan Schneiderlin and Memphis Depay also reached that lofty height and Matteo Darmian has had a reasonable run in the first team, just not in his favoured position. That his best role has been filled by a winger who can’t defend says a lot about Darmian’s future in Mourinho’s team.

Marcos Rojo is almost a regular and Daley Blind flits in and out depending upon the opposition. Luke Shaw is yet to fully recover mentally from his injury and only time will tell if he is going to fulfill his potential and whether or not that will be at United. (more…)

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Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. Well, almost. Mourinho is certainly more like Ferguson than Moyes or van Gaal were. Even taking into account that Moyes is from Glasgow he had little else in common with Ferguson.

Some of the press have been reporting an interview given by Lord Ferg to BBC Sport during which he mentioned how Mourinho has now calmed down on the touchline, pointing out that it was his Latin temperament which was to blame for the occasional outbursts. (more…)

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According to reports in the popular press, (does that mean the Sun and the Star?), José Mourinho has been so impressed with whoever plays in defence that he no longer feels the need to splash the cash on a new defender.

José Fonte may have asked for a transfer from Southampton in the vain hope that it would result in a move to Old Trafford but it isn’t going to happen. He may still get to play for a club with more to offer than the Saints, but it won’t be United. (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…)