Posts Tagged ‘Thiago Alcantara’

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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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Challenging at the sharp end of the Champion’s League. Challenging for the Premier League title. Mounting serious attempts at both the FA Cup and Capital One Cup.

These are all answers to the question, “Where would you expect Manchester United to be this season?”

These answers would probably have been a lot closer to the truth had Ed Woodward had the courage to sack Louis van Gaal when it became apparent, to everybody except Woodward, that United’s season was actually going nowhere and that a replacement was required.

This became the case reasonably early in the season. United were out of the Capital One Cup almost as soon as entering it and the Premier League challenge was faltering virtually from day one. Elimination from the Champion’s League at the group stage just heaped more humiliation on a once great club.

Now was the time for Ed Woodward to stand up and be counted. To be a hero in the eyes of the United fans he needed to get rid of van Gaal. What he didn’t need to do was dither. Ed had proven himself remarkably good at dithering. (more…)

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(This is an article I first posted back in August of last year. The reason for republishing this edited version is simple, it is still pretty relevant.)

Well, that ‘s the halfway stage reached with United in fifth place. The expectation after the last spend would have been a little higher, maybe fourth or third, as everybody expected Chelsea and City to be one and two, so a little down on target to date.

Now, all that remains to be done is to strengthen the squad so that the second half of the season culminates in a top four finish.

So let the problems begin. Firstly, everybody who is anybody will be linked with a move to United except the three, now untouchable, at Barcelona, (as eagle-eyed readers will know, since this article, Neymar actually has been linked with United).This, in itself, is a problem. Gone are the days when you merely had to say that you represented Manchester United for the targeted player to immediately pack his bags and instruct his agent to negotiate his departure. (more…)