Posts Tagged ‘Newcastle United’

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The meeting of the two Uniteds at St. James’ Park provided the Manchester one with an opportunity to strengthen their hold on second place while the one from Newcastle was looking to pull away from the bottom three.

The way the game went, an outsider would have been hard pressed to spot which was which and Newcastle ended the match as deserved winners.

Manchester United, in truth, were pretty woeful and if this defence is one of the best in the Premier League it must be because the opposition this season have all been short-sighted. (more…)

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Thanks to Burnley and their annoying habit of winning, the “top six” have once again become the “big six”. Much as we would love to include Sean Dyche’s team in this category we hope that Burnley fans will understand why this is currently an impossibility.

So to the matches this weekend and in the early game, Antonio Conte welcomes Rafa Benitez to Stamford Bridge. (more…)

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Rafa’s still the gaffer, but for how much longer?

We get the impression that, if Rafa Benitez wasn’t so settled in England and had somewhere else to go, then he would be off like a shot. He appears to be staying at Newcastle more because he doesn’t have an alternative than because he wants to.

He has a home in Jesmond and a home on the Wirral and commutes regularly between the two. He is unlikely to get another job in the Premier League with a club as big as Newcastle. Having already managed a big club in Liverpool, and a smaller club in Chelsea the only others left which would fit his particular bill are Mancheter United, Manchester City and Arsenal and even if he wanted any of those jobs he is very, very unlikely to get them. (more…)

 

Following on from yesterday’s piece about what we have learned regarding the four teams from last season’s top six, here is our assessment of the other two who played today.

As is always the case, any of these articles should he taken with a pinch of salt as many freak results can be thrown up on opening day and teams who look like world-beaters at the start of the season can end up being relegated.

There is also the possibility that clubs will add players to their ranks as the transfer window doesn’t close for almost another three weeks. (more…)

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Sir Alex Ferguson retired. David Moyes came in. Hailed as the “Chosen One” he rather quickly became the “Frozen One” as results started to go against him. He also managed to break some unwanted records in his time and the list is as follows:-

1United suffered their first defeat to Newcastle at Old Trafford in 41 years.

2Everton’s victory at Old Trafford confirmed their first league double over the Reds since 1970.

3As a result of that defeat, United had won just one of their 12 meetings with the Premier League’s top eight sides that season. (more…)

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Ronald Koeman must resign himself to the fact that a challenge to break into the top six will probably have to wait until next season. Some wise spending in the Summer transfer window and his astute management should see a more concerted effort from Everton next time out.

He will certainly be expected to improve upon the finishes of Roberto Martinez and David Moyes as he has a sizeable amount of cash available thanks to the new owner, Farhad Moshiri. (more…)

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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…)

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The same may possibly be said about Antonio Conte but, as yet, we don’t know enough about him or his motives to put forward a case one way or the other.

Other older managers such as Arsene Wenger, Sir Alex Ferguson, Sir Bobby Robson and even, to a lesser extent, Manuel Pelligrini, Louis van Gaal and Claudio Ranieri took jobs at clubs where there was a challenge. (more…)

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A month which saw Manchester United start with an undeserved win against Swansea saw them finish with a deserved defeat against Southampton.

In between these two matches they had undeservedly beaten a first division side in the FA Cup, thrown away the lead twice away at Newcastle and undeservedly beaten Liverpool at Anfield.

The only surprising aspect of the month of January is that United won ANY games. Their play, with the possible exception of the game at Newcastle, was abject throughout and it is amazing that anybody should think the pressure on van Gaal has eased.

I have just sat through yet another 90 minutes of unadulterated boredom. I have watched a Southampton player being given the man of the match award at Old Trafford, not because Southampton won, but because no United player would have been in the first ten!

I have watched an abject performance from Jesse Lingard, yet he stayed on the pitch for the full ninety minutes. Juan Mata started on the bench! Would somebody please explain to me how he can be left out yet Fellaini and Lingard can be selected? Don’t tell me it’s tactical, because van Gaal evidently does not know the meaning of the word. (more…)

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(Louis explains why he is not under any pressure despite having spent £258 million and having a record worse than David Moyes)

The source of the above statement is the Daily Mirror, (so it must be true!), and it is based on figures from December, 2015. Here is the article.

So the pressure on van Gaal has eased following a, so far, unbeaten January. Why is this?

The month started with a 2-1 win over Swansea who, quite frankly, were awful until around the 80th minute. They then decided to show a little bit of spirit and, almost immediately, scored an equaliser. Once again this demonstrated that United ‘s defence is not the castle wall that van Gaal seems to think it is. Bear in mind that this game was at Old Trafford and Swansea could well be relegated this season, meaning that this result was hardly a reason for ecstasy among the United faithful.

The next game of January saw the reds welcome Sheffield United to Old Trafford. Two divisions below Manchester United, an easy win was expected and should have been delivered. As it turned out it was a struggle from start to finish and again exposed the weaknesses in van Gaal’s team, but this time in the attacking third. It took a penalty in the 93rd minute to win this one.

After the game van Gaal made no friends by coming up with excuses about the opposition defending with ten men behind the ball, etc., etc. Guess what Louis, better teams than Sheffield United have employed those tactics in the past and Mancheater United have still been able to record some comfortable wins against them! (more…)