Posts Tagged ‘Manchester City’

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The stage is almost set. The cast and directors are almost ready. The only delay is because of money. As per usual a “big” game has been moved to Monday night. The argument put forward is so that is doesn’t clash with any other games, which live TV games in the UK are not allowed to do anyway, but also that it is played on a day when there are no other games at all with which to compete. (more…)

If you were this man,

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Would you be happy to see your goalscoring records taken from you by this man?

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No? I didn’t think so. There is an injustice about the whole thing which makes it seem so totally surreal.

One of the two is about to celebrate 60 years since making his Manchester United debut, the other one isn’t. One is universally liked and respected, the other one isn’t.

Sir Bobby, of course, was and will be the first to congratulate Rooney both for the England record he has already achieved and the Manchester United one which, if he continues to be as bad as he has been for the last few years, he may not achieve. We live in hope! Privately, I would be very surprised if Charlton is happy with this situation. (more…)

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How consistent is José Mourinho? More to the point, how consistent can he become?

The general impression is that manager of Manchester United is one of the jobs he has always wanted. Depending upon which is your rag of choice, when he was overlooked by United in favour of David Moyes, he either cried, along with a few million fans, or he wasn’t bothered because he had already decided to go back to Chelsea. (more…)

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In the not too distant past, José Mourinho would have poured scorn on this competition. He always saw it as a tournament for losers, as a punishment for not being good enough in your own league and, therefore, confined to the basement of European football to compete with teams whose names are difficult to pronounce from countries which are difficult to find.

This was a view shared, strangely enough, by his great friend and hero Sir Alex Ferguson whose own journey into the Europa League was a one-time experience and very short-lived. (more…)

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He has been ever-present this season, he has been consistent and is doing everything asked of him. Which one of Manchester United’s superstars are we talking about? Why, Marouane Fellaini of course.

It is probably a little unfair to use the word renaissance, as he never really became a bad player, he was just never a very good one. He is proving to be of some worth to United now though, a situation unseen by certain blinkered supporters who were never prepared to give him a chance. He has also managed to stay in the Belgian national team along with some world class players, so he’s not that bad. (more…)

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(Jose ponders selling the entire squad and starting again!)

The real difference between Manchester United and the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona can be seen when the clubs mention that some of their players may be allowed to leave. The press immediately begin speculating which players those may be and then start linking them to different clubs around Europe.

For example, there were mutterings that Isco was surplus to requirements at Real Madrid. He was reported to be of interest to Manchester City. Then it was James Rodriquez, who is still not certain to stay. He is linked with Manchester United, amongst others. Raphael Varane has also been mentioned in the same breath as United.

Barcelona sold Thiago Alcantara to Bayern Munich and Pedro to Chelsea. In fact, Thiago was linked with United for a while but, by this time, Ed was in “full dithering mode” so they missed out on him. There was never any doubt that, when the availability of these players became public knowledge, they would go to big clubs. (more…)

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The straightforward, down-to-earth answer to the above question is: Yes, he is ridiculously expensive and nobody should be spending that amount of money on one player. As Jürgen Klopp mentioned, at least three top class players could be brought in to strengthen a team for that sort of money. Also, the knock-on effect for other clubs is frightening, particularly the smaller clubs.

The true answer is: No, United will recover the money in a relatively short space of time, effectively meaning that he will have cost nothing. In fact, I read a short while ago that advance orders for Pogba shirts totalled somewhere in the region of £72 million, so not much more is required to achieve a complete refund! (more…)

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He has already said it. If we concentrate solely on each other in this league, then somebody else will win it. It was OK in Spain as there were only usually two clubs competing for the title, so it was good to have some mind games. These are the words, more or less, of Jose Mourinho shortly after taking over at Manchester United.

Who he is trying to convince is rather a mystery. Is it the fans? I doubt it. Most fans will tell you that they love a few mind games. United supporters were always in their element when Fergie was giving it large about some manager or another.

Also, in the not too distant past, Jose himself was known for having a slight dig at opposing managers. Spats with Arsene Wenger and Rafa Benitez readily come to mind. (more…)

 

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(Bournemouth through the ages)

Having been promoted to the Premier League for the start of last season Bournemouth, who are sponsored by the Mansion Group, the company also responsible for the sponsorship of Crystal Palace football team and many other brands and boasting, as part of it’s large group, Mansion Casino, began as though they yearned for a return to the shallower water that is the Championship.

However, their manager Eddie Howe, was having none of it. He managed to turn things around and they finished their first ever season in the top flight with a very creditable 16th place, (any finish above 18th in your first season is creditable).

Buoyed by this relative success they set their sights on a pre-season tour to the USA in another diversion from the norm. (more…)

 

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What does Wayne Rooney have on the plus side of his account with United?

He is the clubs leading all-time goalscorer. He is the captain of United as well as of England, although the impression is that both appointments were made due to a massive shortage of suitable candidates. He has been a decent player for a few seasons whilst never reaching the heights thought possible when he first appeared for Everton. That’s about it!

Unless I am missing something glaringly obvious then Rooney hasn’t actually contributed massively to United’s success over the years. That isn’t to say that he hasn’t contributed at all, he has, just not to the extent that some people, himself included, would have us believe. (more…)