Posts Tagged ‘John Stones’


As of the very near future, the football population of Manchester will increase by at least two. John Stones will move the very short distance from Merseyside, assuming that he doesn’t already live in Cheshire, while Paul Pogba will re-locate from Turin in a return to his spiritual home.

There are similarities between the two but only in their situations, not in their football talents.

Stones is 22 years of age and, being English, has undoubtedly cost Manchester City a premium for this fact alone. He is not yet the finished article and was wanted by Chelsea and, reportedly, Manchester United, but he preferred to remain in the North West with City, showing a remarkable amount of common sense for one so young. (more…)



The result may have been a resounding 5-2 victory for United but Jose Mourinho should be more concerned about the two than he should be happy about the five.

Both the Galatasaray goals came in the first half when the two central defenders were Eric Bailly and Daley Blind. Both goals were very preventable, one coming from a set piece which resulted in a free header from five yards out while the second was well worked although the defensive tackles were conspicuous by their absence, allowing Bruma a free shot from the edge of the area.

However, in fairness to the first half defensive partnership, the fact that United did not concede in the second half, with a different pairing, was more down to their consistent attacks and greater possession than to any good defensive work. (more…)



Looking at the genuine first team choices available to the two managers it is Manchester United who need the likes of Raphael Varane, John Stones or Leonardo Bonucci, more than Manchester City.

Pep can boast the services of Vincent Kompany, Eliaquim Mangala, Nicolas Otamendi and Jason Denayer, all of whom are current picks for their national squads. These, if no further signings are made, would probably be the four centre backs in the squad for next season.

Unfortunately, for City and Kompany, he is very injury prone and unless he can overcome this problem then a new signing will have to be made.

Mangala has never really found the form that convinced City to buy him and has been inconsistent to say the least. He did, however, seem to be coming into a bit of form towards the end of last season. (more…)



(The Jose Mourinho stall at Beijing market proves popular with the locals)

Manchester United and Manchester City flew to China. The idea being that they could take part in the International Champions Cup which would include two games each, one against each other and the remaining one against Borussia Dortmund.

In an eventful week for United they started by being hammered 4-1 by Dortmund before then taking two planes to fly to Beijing, one of which had to make an emergency landing in Tianjin due to bad weather. Quite why the weather was perfectly OK for the other plane to fly the remaining 66 miles or so to Beijing is anybody’s guess, but there you have it.

Next up in the comedy of errors was a Jose Mourinho press conference being held in the open air. This was because the room to be used was deemed as too hot. Obviously, in a massive modern stadium, air conditioning had not been considered necessary. What was ironic was that Pep Guardiola had given his press conference in the same room earlier in the day although, in fairness, he did sweat a lot. (more…)