Posts Tagged ‘Sunderland’

FA Cup 1904

 (The nearest there was to an interactive wall-chart in 1904! The numbers on the colours correspond to the number of the team wearing them and there are some interesting names amongst the previous winners. The winners that year were…..Manchester City!)

The FA Cup may not be quite as glamorous as it used to be but it is still a trophy that the top clubs want to win.

An appearance at Wembley nowadays is no reward for reaching the final. After all, drawing Tottenham Hotspur away will have the same outcome this season, as will reaching the semi-final and it is this devaluation of the national stadium which has been a major contributor to the FA Cup losing much of it’s gloss. (more…)

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Tomorrow night sees the return to Champion’s League action of Manchester United and Chelsea. What is required and how will they approach their games?

Basel 1849 v Manchester United 680

This is a game from which Manchester United only require one point, that would be enough to guarantee qualification to the knockout stages.

It is, however, a dangerous game playing for a draw and Mourinho is well known for setting up his teams, particularly in European away games, not to lose. (more…)

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So Wayne Rooney travelled to the ground on his own to watch the game against Sunderland. Apparently he “felt something” in training which wasn’t his wallet and either he or José Mourinho decided he wasn’t fit to play. It doesn’t really matter because United look a far better balanced team without him in it.

The major problem when he is included, apart from the fact that he isn’t good enough to merit a place, is that too many other players have to move position to accommodate him. (more…)

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A quarter-ish way through the season and things are, unfortunately for some, beginning to take shape.

Draws at home did not help the cause of either Manchester United or Tottenham Hotspur.

United should have beaten Burnley by three or four goals but their failure in front of goal may yet prove that Zlatan Ibrahimović was not the signing which should have been prioritised during the recent transfer window. (more…)

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Why is it that a new manager coming into a club can often achieve excellent results with exactly the same players who were responsible for the previous manager being fired?

On the flip side of that, why is it that a new manager coming into a club can often achieve nothing with the same players or even after adding a few of his own?

The answers to these questions are not as complicated as you might think. (more…)

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The operative word here is “inherited” as any player can be deemed surplus to requirements by a new coach and, as long as he is new, he will be forgiven virtually anything he does with the team.

A perfect example is Pep Guardiola and his decisions at Manchester City. He has, no doubt, ruffled a few feathers. That is no surprise, Guardiola always ruffles feathers.

Joe Hart has gone out on loan to Torino having been replaced by a shorter Chilean version who, according to Pep, can play football. (more…)

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(Marcus Rashford shows Cameron Borthwick-Jackson how many fans are at the game)

Since taking the manager’s job at Old Trafford Jose Mourinho has overseen the winning of the Community Shield and two wins out of two games in the Premier League.

Players who have been conspicuous by their absence include a few of the younger members who had some game time last season because Louis van Gaal had a lot of injuries and no experienced cover.

When, for example, Luke Shaw was injured in the Champion’s League, there was no ready made experienced replacement. Wayne Rooney’s continued decline meant that Anthony Martial was given many more games than he would have been had there been an older player waiting for his chance. (more…)

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(Stats that prove the English Premier League is at least twice as hard as the French Ligue 1)

Who will score the most goals? Zlatan appears to be the less selfish of the two and has already said that it doesn’t matter who scores as long as United win. I am sure Agüero shares this sentiment although he is unlikely to voice it and, in fairness, can appear to be quite greedy when anywhere close to the eighteen yard area.

To date Manchester City have scored six goals in the Premier League and five in the Champion’s League. Of these eleven goals Agüero has been responsible for six of them and has even found time to miss two penalties in a game where he went on to score a hat-trick! So he has scored 55% of all his team’s goals so far. (more…)

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Despite a long injury list and a manager who has only been with the club for three weeks, Sunderland were rather unfortunate not to take a point from the Etihad. It isn’t that they really deserved anything from the game, it’s just that City hardly ran away with it.

Whilst it is true that City were also without players as new signings Leroy Sané and Ilkay Gundogan were both injured, it is also true to say that City have never missed these two players before, so shouldn’t do so now. They were bought to add something to the team not take something away when they don’t play! They were also without Vincent Kompany, as usual, and Nicolas Otamendi, so John Stones made his debut alongside new centre back Aleksander Kolarov. (more…)

guardiola-vs-mourinho

The squad strengths are similar. The fame and reputations of the two managers are similar. In fact, there are so many similarities between the two teams this season that it is very difficult to say that one is better than the other and even more difficult to say which one that is.

Manchester City have a world class goalkeeper prone to the occasional mistake. United also have a world class goalkeeper who makes less mistakes so United have the edge here. (more…)