Posts Tagged ‘The Champion’s League’

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Never say never. There is a chance that José Mourinho actually does want to manage PSG at some stage of his career, just not yet, it would only make sense if United were to sack him.

What would he achieve? A Champion’s League title in another country? Probably, but is that really the kind of achievement he wants on his CV? Winning trophies at a club who will forever be accused of doing so because of their wealth rather than any managerial ability.

No, Mourinho is far better off at United for the time being. Yes, he has money to spend but, in the Premier League unlike in Ligue 1, that is no guarantee that he will win the title. (more…)

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Manchester City 

Judging by his plea for Manchester City fans to turn up in their thousands for the Champion’s League game against Shakhtar Donetsk, Pep Guardiola is taking the competition very seriously. He has also asked that the Etihad crowd stop booing the Champion’s League music, an act which goes back to when City were fined for contravening FFP regulations, and a plea which may very well fall on deaf ears.

The fans thought the punishment was excessive and a clear case of victimisation which, considering that only City and PSG were fined, and that they were only fined once, is probably true. Here’s the full story if you’re interested. (more…)

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We can’t help but notice that old Arséne, you know the one, French geezer who has had Arsenal in reverse gear for the last few seasons, is slowly losing the plot and has, once again, returned to his obsession with all things Manchester United.

Having decided to award himself a new two year contract when most people wanted him awarded a gold watch and a handshake he has now decided that, from his newly acquired, (and very temporary), position of strength he will make silly comments which will probably come back to bite him. Nothing new there then. (more…)

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Judging by the amount of money with which José Mourinho has been entrusted to buy players during this transfer window, Manchester United seem pretty confident that he is the right man for the job medium to long-term. Bear in mind, he spent around £150 million in the last Summer window and is likely to spend anything between £100 and £200 million this time, maybe even a little more. (more…)

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To be honest, this was a very decent performance by Manchester United. Despite going a goal down in the first half and missing a penalty they played with enough purpose and resolve to score five good goals.

To add to the reasons for slight celebration, two of the goals were scored by Marcus Rashford, making his debut after Anthony Martial had decided that David De Gea shouldn’t have the monopoly on pulling up with an injury just before kick-off. What further added to the feel-good factor was the fact that Memphis Depay was the man-of-the-match.

To continue with the honesty, though, this was always a game that a Manchester United team should expect to win. They are in the Europa League playing teams who weren’t good enough for the Champion’s League. The fact that they have now fallen into this category is their own fault, but they should still be good enough to win it, even though they probably won’t.

Staying with “honesty is the best policy”, the young lads who won the game tonight were not playing because van Gaal gives young lads a chance, no, they were playing because injuries give young lads a chance. (more…)

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What is happening in Manchester? United, if they are not very careful, will continue on their downward slope into total mediocrity, (in some people’s eyes, they are already there)!

City, on the other hand, can afford to throw away the FA Cup in order to be able to win in the Ukraine three days later. Many people think they could have achieved the Champion’s League win without sacrificing the other trophy but, what the heck? This is City. Who cares what the fans want?

What was particularly annoying was that they had been on a very good run in this competition with some good away wins and there was a very real possibility that a stronger City team would have beaten Chelsea.

So, at least if City win the treble, it will not include the FA Cup so wouldn’t be quite the achievement of United in 1999. (more…)

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Manchester United beating Derby County in the FA Cup at the iPro stadium was greeted by fans as a return of decent football.

The fact that Derby County occupy fifth place in the Championship and have lost their previous five games is, to a large extent, irrelevant. As is often said, you can only beat what is put in front of you.

The Cup competitions have a levelling effect. Derby, for one game, could give everything. They didn’t have to worry about dropping points, or whether or not a draw would be a good result, they could just concentrate on trying to win a one-off game of football, (unless there was a replay, of course). The fact that the game was against Manchester United just put the icing on the cake. So really, they were in a no-lose situation. A win would have put the cherry on top of the icing on the cake!

In truth they didn’t play particularly well, a fact emphasised by the scoreline, which was a reasonably fair reflection of the game.

Inevitably, the question will now arise, can Manchester United win the FA Cup?
The short answer is, yes, anybody CAN win the FA Cup. Maybe the question should be WILL they win it? That is the more difficult to answer. (more…)

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Manchester United need to win the FA Cup. Not to keep Louis van Gaal in a job because, if United finish outside of the top four, he will leave as a failure. The reason they need to win it is for their own confidence and self-belief.

If they finish the season empty handed and, as is expected, van Gaal leaves, there will be more doubts than definites and more pessimism than optimism. No Champion’s League football next season, as with last, would not be a total disaster. It would, however, demonstrate how far United have fallen since Sir Alex Ferguson retired.

United have a chance of picking up two trophies this season, (three if you count the Premier League, which they are not good enough to win). They could win the Europa League and maybe should take it seriously as it is another route into the Champion’s League. As already mentioned they should be trying all-out to win the FA Cup. The fans will forgive boring, inept performances if trophies are won, (for a short while anyway). If nothing is won and the performances are not good then expect the fans to get on the player’s backs, after the manager of course.

The problem facing United at present is that they don’t appear to have improved. They scraped into fourth position last season, meaning they had to qualify for the Champion’s League. They were then eliminated very tamely and softly from a relatively easy group, AFTER having spent £258 million on new players! (more…)

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And what’s more folks, it may not happen at all!

Alright, one or two little sticks of dynamite have been set off lately, but they have barely caused a ripple on the perfect surface of The Emirates. A 4-0 defeat to a Southampton team, who can’t beat anybody else, can be laughed off particularly when it is followed by a 2-0 win in the very next game, over a Bournemouth team who aren’t losing at present. Wait a minute! Isn’t that the topsy-turvy Arsenal of old?

Usually, when Arsenal lost a game in the past, particularly by an embarrassing scoreline, it signalled the end of any title challenge. This season they seem to be getting it more right than wrong.

To begin with, they had a good start to the campaign, apart from losing their first home game, which is becoming an annual occurrence.

At one stage, Arsenal were saving their worst form for the cup competitions. (more…)