Posts Tagged ‘Morgan Schneiderlin’


Many people expect Manchester United to strengthen their squad during the Summer transfer window. It is not, however, just a question of getting numbers in.

Louis van Gaal tried the scatter-gun approach when spending almost £250 million and for that amount United have actually ended up with Anthony Martial, Ander Herrera, Marcos Rojo, Matteo Darmian and Luke Shaw, with the latter two about to be sold as soon as possible. So the outlay has netted just three players who are probably worth a total of £80 million in today’s inflated market. (more…)



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…)


(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…)


The biggest hurdle standing between José Mourinho and a first Premier League title with Manchester United is the quality of his squad. Despite the additions of Paul Pogba, Eric Bailly, Henrikh Mikhitaryan and old man Ibrahimović there are still far too many players who would not get into some of the other top teams.

Starting at the back and the addition of Eric Bailly does not make the United defence watertight. Shaw is fine and will improve with age whereas the other full back position is a problem. (more…)


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…)


(Wayne Rooney finds lots of space as the opposition players know that he will give them the ball back very soon)

How much longer can this be tolerated? At present Rooney seems to be selected because he was, a few years ago, a half decent player. Nothing special, he would come up with the occasional spectacular goal and contribute a little to the team but, as I said, never anything special. He never lived up to the publicity he was given when he joined United as an eighteen-year-old.

He was made captain by Louis van Gaal who was another one who failed to cover himself in glory whilst at United. Van Gaal, apparently, wanted a leader and obviously couldn’t find one otherwise he wouldn’t have selected Rooney.

Fortunately, none of the other players follow Rooney’s example on the pitch as, if they did, they would give the ball away frequently either by poor control or mis-directed passing. (more…)


He doesn’t look the shy, retiring type. Gold lamé backpacks and matching trainers certainly make Paul Pogba stand out in the crowd, even in America. He is also nearly as well known for his hairstyles as his football so what can Manchester United fans expect on the pitch?

Well there will be a few who already know what to expect as he only left the club four years ago having been a youth and reserve team player there. In fact it was his perceived lack of opportunity which resulted in him leaving for Juventus when only nineteen years of age.

Now, unless he suffers a dramatic loss of form, he will be a regular and one of the first, if not the first, names on the teamsheet. He will be able to thumb his nose at Sir Alex Ferguson, the manager responsible for his leaving the club in the first place. This, however would be unlikely as Pogba appears to be bigger than that sort of behaviour. (more…)



Let’s start at the beginning, number one. It would seem that David De Gea is among the top three or four goalkeepers in the world and, as second choice, Mourinho has the Argentina number one in Sergio Romero, so that position seems pretty safe at present.

Action required: None

Next is the right full/wing back position. It is hard to say who is the current number one for this role. Van Gaal brought in Matteo Darmian who was the first choice for Italy. He suffered a loss of form after a bright start and was replaced by Guillermo Varela, then Cameron Borthwick-Jackson and, eventually, Antonio Valencia. Varela’s defending was a little naive at times, BJ is still very young but looks a great prospect and Valencia cannot defend as he frequently proved last season, getting caught out of position on many occasions and failing to play the offside with the rest of the defence. (more…)



A step in the right direction was certainly taken when Manchester United sacked Louis van Gaal and appointed Jose Mourinho.

Employing a world class manager, however, is not the end of the matter. Players need to be brought in and other players need to be shipped out.

At the time of writing, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Eric Bailly have been confirmed and Henrikh Mhkitaryan, whilst not yet confirmed, has also joined. Rumours are rife about other potential arrivals.

As I have stated in a previous post, Ibrahimovic appears to have been signed to generate income more than anything else. His age, failure to score any goals in the Euros and being given a one year contract all point to this as the reason for his being there. Hopefully, as he has probably been promised a starting berth next season, he will chip in with a few goals. (more…)

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal

(Louis adopts the pose which would immediately endear him to the majority of  Manchester United fans!)

He’s a card is old Louis! You have to admire him really. After all, once his fleeting visit to these shores is over, who will fill the void left by his departure? Is there any other self-confessed genius who could step into the role? Well actually, yes there is, there’s Jose Mourinho but that’s another story.

Fresh from snatching a draw from the jaws of victory against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, Louis was immediately looking for scapegoats. Was it HIS team selection? Never! What about HIS tactics? No chance, perish the thought! How about players not following HIS instructions? Now, there’s a possibility. And, if the players don’t follow the manager’s instructions who’s fault is that? The players of course, according to King Louis. He is the manager, he can do no wrong, he can only do right!

Having taken off Marouane Fellaini, who had chugged his way through the game like a Belgian Thomas The Tank Engine and replacing him with Morgan Schneiderlin, the United players set about trying to defend their one goal lead. They did this by the further substitutions of Memphis Depay, on for Lingard and Ander herrera, who came on for Juan Mata.

The substitutions had a very negative effect in that United immediately started giving the ball back to Chelsea as soon as they won it. (more…)