Tag Archives: Man Utd

“Pure Class” Fans Heap Praise On Manchester United Midfielder After Stellar Show Against Leicester

Manchester United capitalised on Arsenal and Liverpool dropping points on Saturday with a solid 3-0 win against Leicester City at the King Power Stadium. The result means the gap between the Red Devils and the top four is now down to just two points.

The game got off to a sluggish start, with neither side really testing the opposition in the opening stages. However, two quick-fire goals on the stroke of half-time from Henrik Mkhitaryan and Zlatan Ibrahimovic before a clincher from Juan Mata ensured that United ended their run of three consecutive draws in the Premier League.

After 41 minutes of frustration, Mourinho opted for a change of tactics, moving Mkhitaryan away from the left wing, where he was placed to accommodate Rashford and Ibrahimovic, and into a more central role. It worked a treat for the Red Devils, who quickly starting turning up the gears following the change.

Mkhitaryan provided the moment of quality to open up the game for Mourinho’s side, beating Robert Huth to the ball just inside the Leicester half before running through on goal and slotting past Kasper Schmeichel. The Armenian midfielder then turned creator for United’s third, playing a wonderful one-two with Juan Mata before the Spaniard steered in at the near post.

Here’s how twitter reacted to Mkhitaryan’s display. Do you agree?

It’s crazy to think that just two months ago, the midfielder was being cast aside, much like Anthony Martial at present. Following a poor performance in the Manchester derby in September, Mkhitaryan has responded exceptionally from his early-season exile and his performance against Leicester typified just how far he has come.

Since being given another chance by Mourinho,  Mkhitaryan has started 12 games, scoring five goals in the process. Moving into the number 10 spot has caused a significant rise in his performances and against Leicester he looked like United’s greatest threat – a stark contrast from his early season woes.

Scoring just 36 goals, the side are the lowest scorers of any of the big six – 10 goals behind Spurs, but Mourinho may have found a solution with Mkhitaryan providing the side with an extra edge and zip to their play from the middle of the park.

Despite getting off to a rocky start at Manchester United, Mkhitaryan has shown his quality in recent weeks, injecting a much greater attacking impetus into the side. Fans will be hoping to see more of the same from the 28-year-old as Mourinho’s side look to keep up the pressure on the top four and try and secure Champions League football for next season.

Man Utd Fans Say Midfielder ‘Needs To Play More’ After Influential Performance vs. Wigan

Manchester United fans were extremely happy with one midfielder’s performance against Wigan on Sunday afternoon.

Mourinho’s men strolled into the last 16 of the FA Cup with a comfortable 4-0 home win.

The German international was famously sent to the reserves by Jose Mourinho who had concerns about his fitness and overall quality. But the midfielder has come back with a bang, scoring and assisting in the game against Wigan.

He boasted a 93% pass accuracy rate, with 111 passes and 131 touches overall, a lot more than any other player on the pitch. Playing in the holding midfield role, Bastian dictated the play, impressing in his short and long passing with 5 of his 6 attempted long balls finding the target.

Defensively he made a respectable 3 tackles and 3 interceptions. Going forward he didn’t offer much throughout, but crucially provided an assist and scored an acrobatic goal.

This type of display will have reassured fans who previously could see a dependence on Michael Carrick in midfield. But Schweinsteiger is of a similar ilk and if managed correctly, the 30+ duo could effectively share that role and be the platform for United’s more attack-minded midfielders to flourish.

It is this type of midfielder that Manchester United need to ensure they always have in the team. For all the quality that they have within the squad, balance plays a huge part in how a team performs and they need a midfield conductor, like Schweinsteiger to provide that balance. For all the skill and flash Pogba offers, he does not give you that authority and reliability on the ball in deep areas. Schweinsteiger or Carrick appear the perfect foil to enable Pogba to play his best football.

Here’s some of the reaction to his performance from Twitter.

My concern would be that whilst he performed very well in this fixture, is he capable of such quality performances against bigger and better teams? His drawbacks are his slowness and lack of mobility and these were never going to be exposed against a team like Wigan. The Germans performance has done enough to make Mourinho take notice though, and he could now expect a longer run in the first eleven.

He is though, of a different ilk to the other United midfielders and his presence is certainly beneficial in some scenarios, especially when Carrick is missing. My worry would be that with so many months out the team and squad, will he be physically ready to play in the Premier League? Time will tell, if Jose gives him a chance.

‘Absolutely Terrible’ Manchester United Fans React To Forward’s Performance vs. Stoke

Manchester United continued their unbeaten run on Saturday afternoon, but only thanks to a very late Wayne Rooney goal. Still, 1 point will not have been want Jose Mourinho was looking for from this fixture. 

A lot of Manchester United players were not at their best in this fixture, but one player who caused serious frustration was summer signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Zlatan seriously struggled all afternoon. Stoke more than matched his physicality and then there wasn’t much more the Swede could give. He was slow on and off the ball and was wasteful in his finishing.

Let’s take a look at some statistics. Shocking in possession, the big Swede completed just 61.9% of his attempted passes. He only made 50 touches in the game, which will be far less than Mourinho would want and expect from his focal point in attack.

He was frustrating in attack, having just 1 shot which did not week the target and getting caught offside 3 times! He completed 0 dribbles successfully and had 3 unsuccessful touches, which was more than any other Manchester United player.

Here’s some of the reaction to Zlatan’s performance on Twitter. It’s safe to say the United fans were far from satisfied with what they saw.

Personally, I think that although Zlatan has been scoring a lot of goals lately, Manchester United perform better as a team when he is not in the lineup.

He obviously is a goal threat at all times due to his height, strength and experience. When United inevitably resort to a more long ball tactic, he is ideal. But it hasn’t worked too much this season. With young and talented forward like Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford on the bench, I can’t help but think that Jose should freshen things up in attack. It’s almost like United are attempting to build their team around a 35-year-old Zlatan Ibrahimovic, which is not wise. Rashford and Martial are the future of the clubs attack and they are nothing like Zlatan, completely different players that would form a completely different attack.

‘Superb Performance’ Liverpool Fans Heap Praise On Defender After His Performance vs. Manchester United

The news that Nathaniel Clyne was ruled out against Manchester United due to a rib injury sustained against Southampton in midweek definitely shook several Liverpool fans. Clyne has been one of the most consistent figures for Klopp’s side so far this season, and his absence was thought to be a real blow for the Reds in such an important fixture.

As a result, Trent Alexander Arnold was handed his first Premier League appearance for Liverpool, thrown in at the deep end by his manager. Many thought he’d sink and struggle against the pace and trickery of United’s Anthony Martial, but the 18-year-old stood firm throughout the match to do himself, and his manager proud.

Alexander Arnold made three key tackles in the match, and showed a calm and collected presence despite the magnitude of the fixture. It was never going to be an easy task for the youngster but apart from a few wayward passes, he handled the occasion superbly and showed just what a bright future he has at Liverpool.

A look at his defensive statistics help highlight how well he did. Up against Anthony Martial, many thought the youngster would struggle and be easily beaten but he managed 8 clearances, 3 tackles and 2 interceptions – he also committed 0 fouls. That’s very impressive considering who he was up against and the occasion itself would have gotten to many other young players.

Liverpool fans have been quick to praise the defender, who could see more chances at first team action in the coming games if Clyne is sidelined for an extended period of time. He certainly didn’t harm his case today.

Here’s how Twitter reacted to Alexander-Arnold’s performance. Do you agree with these thoughts?

When you consider it was his first Premier League appearance for the club, and the fact that he is only 18 years of age, Arnold’s performance was exemplary. He took a while to settle into the match, initially struggling with the pace of Martial, but he produced what was needed of him.

He wasn’t shying away from tackles, and he didn’t show the fear or nerves of a player making his Premier League bow – that in itself says a lot about his quality.

Few players can come into a side on such a big occasion and do a job, especially an 18 year old. Hats off to Trent Alexander Arnold for putting in a stellar performance for Liverpool. The future looks bright.

Manchester United Fans Criticise ‘Woeful’ Midfielder For Poor Display vs. Liverpool

Manchester United snatched a late draw against Liverpool in a game which truly lacked quality throughout. 

Despite the millions of pounds of talent on display, both teams failed to conjure up much inspiration in the final third and it was a scrappy game. Manchester United had a £90million midfielder in their team, but he failed to make any sort of difference and in fact was perhaps one of the worst players on the field on the day.

The hugely poor moment for him was when he handballed inside the area to gift Liverpool a 1st half advantage. After that he did very little to redeem himself with passes going astray frequently.

Pogba completed just 72% of his passes and was dispossessed 3 times. He received a 5.6 match rating on WhoScored, less than any other player on the pitch. Offensively he offered nothing, completing just 1 dribble, 0 key passes and making 0 shots. Defensively he failed to make an interception and completed just 1 tackle. The Frenchman normally prides himself on being effective at both ends of the pitch, but he was shockingly bad defensively and offensively today – certainly an afternoon to forget for the world record transfer signing.

Here’s some reaction to the players performance against Liverpool.

In my opinion, Pogba once again proved that he is in no way worth the £90million Manchester United paid for him. He’s a very good midfielder, don’t get me wrong, but his valuation was ludicrous and considering the amount of bad press the likes of Mesut Ozil have received for bad performances, Pogba deserves every bit of criticism he will get for this lacklustre showing.

Many have suggested Pogba should focus on his football rather than his off the field promotion, and I certainly agree there. The Frenchman spends a lot of time with Adidas and on social media to create more revenue for him and his brand, fair play to him, but the fans just want him to be the best he can on the football pitch, and with all that other activity it cannot be helping him perform his best on the pitch.

To be honest I think Pogba is a good player, maybe even a great player. But after moving for such a large amount of money, he will always be compared to that £90million price tag, and for that amount of money you need to be making the difference in nearly every game, especially big games like today against Liverpool.

Manchester United Linked With £50m Striker: Is He A Better Option Than Griezmann?

Whilst strikers such as, Suarez, Griezmann or Ibrahimovic steal all the headlines, one European goal scorer is sneaking under the radar.

Paulo Dybala is quickly becoming a fan favourite in Juventus. The 23-year-old has scored 23 goals in his 45 games in the Serie A, also making five assists. The Argentinian managed to score 20 Serie A goals faster than THE Juventus legend himself, Del Piero.

But with such a great goal scoring record already, it wouldn’t be long before he attracted attention from other giants in Europe, with Manchester City, Real Madrid and Manchester United all fighting for his signature, according to The Sun.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, despite what he says himself, won’t be able to play forever and will soon have to hang up his boots, which will leave the Red Devils once again needing a proven goal scorer, and it could potentially be Dybala, who will not be sold for under 50 million.

But with Manchester United heavily linked to Antoine Griezmann, would it be wise to ditch the Frenchman and steal Dybala out of Madrid and City’s hands?

I think not, Griezmann has proved himself in the tournaments such as Euro 2016 and has also scored 12 goals in 28 Champions League appearances, and also scoring 51 goals in 91 La Liga appearances, compared to Dybala’s 60 goals in 171 showing that he just has the edge on the Argentinian.

Griezmann may only be two years older than Dybala but he is much more experienced, after playing in huge games such as the Champions League final and the Euro 2016 final. Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic have proved that playing in the biggest games is important for a player, both scoring goals this season when it matters most.

Another advantage of signing Griezmann is that he can fill in at striker, right wing and in the number ten role. It would be a smart decision to sign a player that has played world class in three different positions.

For the cost that you would have to sign either of them, I think the money would be better off going towards bringing Griezmann to Old Trafford, rather than Dybala. Both will be expensive transfers but any teams planning to pay so much for Dybala may be a gamble, but there is no doubt him and Griezmann will be battling against one another for the crown of best striker one day, whoever they play for.

It’s very unlikely that a deal for either of these players would happen in the January window, but when the summer rolls around, it would be worth keeping an eye on both players situations and the cash-rich Manchester United are likely to re-invest more millions into their team.

Defender Left Out Of Squad, Fuels Speculation Of A Transfer To Manchester United or West Ham

It looks as if a former Manchester United fans favourite is on the move, and he might well be going back to his old stomping ground. 

Evra is now 35 and his contract at Juventus is due to expire at the end of the current season, thus allowing foreign clubs to begin negotiations over his signing.

West Ham and Manchester United have been linked with the experienced full-back and with the player now left out of Juventus’ squad, it seems more likely that a move back to England may be on the horizon.

Evra has only made 6 Serie A appearances this season, with the younger Alex Sandro now seemingly the clubs favoured left back option. It is not clear whether Juventus intend to extend Evra’s contract beyond the conclusion of this season and that would allow either West Ham or Manchester United to sign him for free, or pay a small fee in January and get him now.

However, his agent Federico Pastorello played down the chances of the France international departing the Italian champions midseason.

“It’s not certain he will leave Juventus,” Pastorello told Juvenews. “We’ll see what happens over the next few days.”

It’s probably silly to bother looking at Evra’s statistics from this season considering how little he has played, so let’s go back to last season, where he was still a fairly regular presence in the starting eleven.

Making 26 appearances in Serie A, Evra proved that despite his age, he is still a very reliable defender, averaging 1.49 interceptions and 1.53 aerial duels won per 90 last season. He was also influential going forward, as always, completing on average 23.92 forward passes and on 1.01 key passes per 90, a good amount for a full back.

His attacking influence may fade as he continues to age, but the experience and defensive know-how that Evra has is mental and will only get stronger with age. As West Ham’s ship continues to shake, you can see why they would like a player of his ilk and experience in their defence.

For Manchester United, they do not have an established left back at the moment, with Luke Shaw struggling to return to form since his long term injury and Darmian seriously struggling to impress. Marcos Rojo is another option in that position but he is playing a lot better in central defence and I’m sure that Mourinho will be keen to try and keep him in that favoured central role.

If Evra has an offer from both clubs it’ll be interesting to see what decision he makes. At West Ham, he is more likely to play regular football, but his history at Manchester United will surely have a huge impact on his decision. I think if United’s interest is genuine, then Mourinho will be keen to add Evra for his off the pitch contribution as much as anything else.

Manchester United Fans Say Midfielder ‘Needs To Play Every Game’ After Great Performance vs. Reading

It was a comfortable afternoon for Manchester United as they made light work of Championship high-flyers Reading by winning 4-0 at Old Trafford in Saturday’s early kick-off.

There were several standout performers for Manchester United on the day, but one player who received lots of praise from the fans post-match was Anthony Martial, a player who has been used sparingly under Jose Mourinho.

A fans favourite since he signed, many have been bemused as to why he has not played more often, but this performance will have surely done his chances no harm. Originally a striker, Martial has been pushed out to the left wing at United and it looks as if that will be his long term position. He will be competing with Marcus Rashford, a player with similar attributes, strengths and weaknesses and also a player who can play in both his positions.

The only personal issue perhaps for Martial is that even though he scored and played very well, his teammate and competitor for his position, Rashford, scored a brace and continued to impress his manager. Mourinho publicly praised Rashford’s contributions post-match.

Martial took 4 shots, 3 of which hit the target. He was also creative, making 3 key passes. The other aspect to Martial’s game is his physicality, he managed to win 3 aerial duels.

He got on the scoresheet, but that was not Martial’s only contribution. The Frenchman was a menace for the Reading defence all afternoon and certainly will have made Jose Mourinho consider playing him more frequently.

Here’s some of the fans reaction to Martial’s performance. 

Manchester United spent an awful lot of money on Martial, and they cannot forget that. Mourinho needs to ensure he maximises the potential of a player with a huge amount of it. A run out in the FA Cup is nice, but Martial deserves more than that. He has surely earned a regular place in the team, perhaps not from what he’s done under Mourinho (has he had a chance?) but what he did in his first season at the club. What worries me is whether he is going to be given that game time that he deserves at a club that continues to look for external improvements. Henrikh Mkhitaryan was signed in the summer and Antoine Griezmann is reportedly being lined up. If they’ve got the money, you can’t criticise the club for spending it, however when they have young talent like Martial and Rashford, surely developing that duo would be a better idea that continuing to invest?

That’s the view of me, not a United fan. I’d love to hear what United fans think about this, should both Rashford and Martial be featuring more regularly?

Report: Manchester United Have Made An Offer For Serie A Ace, Would He Be A Good Addition?

Manchester United appear to be moving fast in the January transfer window and have already lodged a bid for AC Milan forward M’Baye Niang, according to reports in Italy.

Reports breaking from Italian daily Il Giornale, suggest the Red Devils have made an offer for the 21-year-old as they look to bolster their squad ahead of a crucial second part of the season.

M’Baye Niang is under contract until 2019 so the Italians will be in no desperate need to sell their man, Milan are said to want to keep their prized asset and were hoping he would sign a new contract but reports from Italy said talks over an extension has buffered, despite the Frenchman reportedly willing to renew.

Reports suggest Milan’s takeover by Chinese investors has complicated the renewal, which has left Jose Mourinho with fresh hope for his signature.

Since his arrival to Serie A, he has gone on to play 64 league games for the Italians scoring eight goals, although he has represented France at youth level, he is yet to make his first-team appearance.

Although he can play the 9 role, he has been deployed on the left-hand side of a 4-3-3 more often which is where his long-term future seems to lay. The Milan attacker often uses his pace to stretch defences and get in behind backlines, an attribute that will attract Jose Mourinho due to his positive style of play.

United are now using a similar formation in the Premier League, and may have an eye on M’Baye Niang for the left-hand side of the front free for rotation purposes. Memphis Depay looks like he could be on the way out, so perhaps Niang is earmarked as a replacement? It’s hard to say which player would be better for United, both are still far from the finished article and I find it hard to beleive that if Mourinho is not willing to give Memphis time, that he would want a player like Niang. Jose does still have options on the left with Mkhitaryan, Lingard, Mata, Rashford and Martial all able to play there.

Although Niang has been playing at the top level for several years, he is still very raw in many aspects, he is yet to master his issues in front of goal and lacks that clinical edge and this shows with the fact he has scored just 0.26 goals per 90 minutes thus far this season. But, he is still young and has shown glimpses of his goal-scoring pedigree in him, which will be another bonus for on-looking potential suitors.

The forward was a target for Everton and Arsenal when he was still playing for Caen, despite turning down England for Italy four years ago, he firmly believes his long-term future is in England as it suits his style of play.

The Red Devils would have a battle on their hands from clubs around Europe if he was made available, with earlier reports suggesting Arsenal, Monaco and Borussia Dortmund are also monitoring his availability closely.

Robbie Savage Names These 2 Manchester United Players In His Team Of The Season So Far

Writing for The Mirror, former footballer Robbie Savage had his say on the team of the season so far. Despite their mediocre performances to date, Jose Mourinho’s men were fairly well represented. 

He seemed to be rather generous to Manchester United, naming two of their players in his eleven. Controversially, he decided that no Liverpool player had made the grade, and that infuriated their fanbase.

Michael Carrick was given the nod in midfield, ahead of the likes of N’Golo Kante and Adam Lallana. The English midfielder has really helped change United’s fortunes in recent weeks, but he has only played around half of his teams games this season – leading many to believe that he hasn’t warranted a space in the team.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic was also selected in the team, which was given a 433 formation, the Swede was placed alongside Alexis Sanchez and Diego Costa in the line up. Liverpool fans felt that Sadio Mane may have been a better fit in the side, especially as Savage had previously suggested that Mane may be the signing of the summer (ahead of Zlatan).

Carrick has no doubt been influential, as has Zlatan, but whilst they have been good, it is understandable that many disagree with them being placed in the team of the season so far. The bemusement of many fans is that Savage only included 1 Arsenal, 0 Liverpool, 0 Tottenham and 2 Manchester City players – all clubs which sit ahead of United in the league currently.

If Carrick and Zlatan continue their good form and help United get closer to the summit of the Premier League then their inclusions will be a bit more understandable, but for now it does seem a little biased to include both.

Kante, Lallana and Mane have all been incredible this season and influential in helping their teams to the top of the Premier League. For me, all three of those players deserve to be in the team ahead of Carrick at this moment in time. Kante has continued his form from his Leicester City days and continues to be an integral part of his team, whilst Lallana has improved tremendously under Jurgen Klopp – he already has 6 Premier League goals and 6 Premier League assists this season, proving that he can be an incredibly productive midfielder.

The team represented with the most players was Chelsea, with Costa, Azpilicueta, Luiz and Hazard all in Savage’s 11 – so even without Kante, Conte’s men have 4 players in the team.

This Manchester United Defender Excelled vs. Everton – But Time To Go For Fellaini?

Manchester United were held to a 1-1 draw at Goodison Park on Sunday as Marouane Fellaini gave away a late penalty. Two players caught the eye for United on the day, but both for very different reasons. 

Marcus Rojo supplied the first big talking point of the game after lunging into a 50/50 challenge with Idrissa Gueye, but was only shown a yellow card by referee Michael Oliver, much to the anger of the Everton players. The first half was dominated by controversial decisions as United players would argue Gareth Barry should have been sent off for two bookings.

After 42 minutes of sloppy play from both sides, the deadlock was finally broken. Anthony Martial supplied a perfect ball for Zlatan Ibrahimovic to chase and lob the ball over the stranded, Stekelenburg. The goal was given by goal line technology after the attempt hit the bar, post and then creeped over the line.

The first piece of action of the second half took place on the 53rd minute when Kevin Mirallas skipped past Rojo with ease and forced a good save from David De Gea, who would have been trying to forget his mid-week slip up against West Ham.

Ander Herrera hit the post with a great effort after some good work from Mkhitaryan on only his second league start for the club.

On the 85th minute, Marouane Fellaini was substituted on, and on the 87th minute, the same man gave away a penalty. The Belgian once again proving why he isn’t up to standards for a side like Manchester United. Leighton Baines kept his nerve and placed the penalty in the bottom corner, which proved to be the final goal in the game.

Phil Jones, hopefully back for good

When Phil Jones joined the club, Sir Alex Ferguson labelled the young man as a future captain of club and country, but the Englishman has been plagued with injury and hasn’t been able to live up to his potential. Back from injury, the centre-back has been extremely impressive and there was no change today. Jones kept Romelu Lukaku quiet for the whole game and made sure he didn’t win anything in the air, which is a tough task against such a physical player. The ex-Blackburn Rovers player was a brick wall and made sure David De Gea was protected. Jones had the confidence to play it out from the back to Michael Carrick instead of hitting it up the field and giving it away.

When managing Chelsea, Mourinho mentored John Terry into the player that he is today and if he can stay fit, I don’t think there is any doubt that he can reach the former England captain’s level.

How long can Fellaini hold onto his Utd Career?

Manchester United fans will not be wanting to see any more of Marouane Fellaini for a good few weeks, that’s if he can survive the January transfer window. The Belgian has never been in the good books of the fans ever since he joined the club and he simply isn’t helping himself. He doesn’t have the quality of the players around him and it sticks out like a sore thumb.

Mourinho put his belief in the midfielder to keep the ball for the final few minutes and add an extra man to the defensive duties, but another stupid mistake led to another draw. Surely it’s time up for Fellaini?

‘Pocketted Pogba’ Twitter Reacts To Everton Midfielder’s Masterclass In Manchester United Draw

Manchester United failed to close a three point gap on the top four this afternoon after drawing 1-1 with Everton at Goodison Park. With Liverpool and Manchester City both dropping points before their clash with the Toffees the Red Devils knew they could close a gap on their rivals but failed to do so again in another draw for Jose Mourinho’s men.

The result leaves Manchester United way away from the top four as any hope for Champions League football keeps slipping away with United continuously dropping points, but the point for Everton, which was certainly deserved will be a relief for Ronald Koeman after losing last week at the St Mary’s Stadium and keeps them within touching distance of United in sixth place.

One man in particular shone for the home side in their well battled draw, that man being summer signing Idrissa Gueye, who was absolutely immense in central midfield helping his side keep the likes of Ander Herrera and Paul Pogba very quiet during the game.

The arrival of the former Aston Villa man went under the radar in the summer but he has been exceptional thus far this season, he has found his feet extremely well in Koeman’s system whilst delivering supreme performances on a consistent basis in recent weeks.

In yet again another excellent performance, he helped his side extremely well defensively winning five tackles during the 90 minutes, more than any other player on the pitch and provided the midfield engine in the middle of the park.

When the impressive Gueye was not helping his side defensively he was pushing forward trying to help his team get something from the game, which evidently paid off with the Senegalese man winning the penalty in the closing stages, after receiving the ball and brushing past Marouane Fellaini after the Belgian brought him down for a stone wall penalty.

The midfielder was at the heart of everything for the Toffees and was oozing confidence, he had a total of 69 touches in the match making 37 completed passes which is impressive in itself.

Gueye was majestic yet again and was involved in a total of 16 duels this afternoon, managing to win an extremely impressive 75% which shows the dominance he possessed, making two interceptions too.

For someone to keep up such high tempo in their play and keep up high stamina levels as Gueye did was impeccable, he was bursting forward showing initiative whilst proving to be a nuisance for United, a player that just would not give them a sniff of the ball.

As expected, there has been humongous praise for Gueye on twitter, with some totally overjoyed with their Man of the Match, so we take a look at how people responded to Everton’s summer signing today.

As you can see, the Everton faithful are over the moon with his performance today and some already want him to be awarded the player of the season. Gueye has been influential for Koeman this season and he is repaying the faith he showed to bring him to Merseyside in the summer, if Everton’s dream of European football is to become a reality, they will be relying on this man to stay fit and firing in that midfield.

Ratings: How Manchester United’s Players Rated In 1-1 Draw vs. Everton

Manchester United once again failed to pick up three points this weekend and it will be a cause of frustration for many United fans. We take a look at how their players performed in the 1-1 draw with Everton. 

David De Gea – 7.5

Made a few crucial saves to ensure the three points went back to Old Trafford in a good performance.

Antonio Valencia – 6

As always, was an outlet going forward and was excellent defensively too against a dangerous Kevin Mirallas.

Phil Jones – 6

Since his return, he has been solid in the United defence and was once again impressive today against Lukaku, was solid in tackles and in the air and is giving Mourinho a headache for when Bailly is deemed fit to play.

Marcos Rojo – 6

Firstly, he should not have lasted the whole game and should have been sent off for an appalling challenge on Gueye, but apart from his horror challenge was very strong at the back for United and has surprisingly improved in recent weeks.

Matteo Darmian – 3

Darmian, for me, is woeful and proved to be woeful again today. He struggled tremendously defensively and doesn’t offer anything going forward, it must be a matter of time before Blind and Shaw take his spot.

Michael Carrick – 6.5

Finally, Mourinho has integrated Carrick into the starting XI and he is yet to disappoint, his intelligence and passing in the middle of the park is superb. Perhaps in January, with Carrick’s age in mind, Mourinho may be looking for a player of his ilk to take over at some stage, or at least share the burden. Jon Obi Mikel has been linked

Ander Herrera – 6

Herrera, who slotted alongside Carrick, was impressive again today, apart from his short pass to Rojo (which could have cost his team to lose a man) he was very good in the midfield and as always was bursting forward.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan – 8

Well, who thought this Armenian was so special, well, everyone did bar Mourinho. But, finally he has seen sense, when Henrikh is on the ball anything can happen, he was at the heart of everything good for United again today and was a headache for Everton all afternoon after another immense showing.

Paul Pogba – 4

The Frenchman struggled to make an impact throughout the 90 minutes and was wasteful in possession, Mourinho has yet to get the best out of Pogba but will need their most expensive signing ever to pick up in these types of games, he was not quick enough on the ball and struggled to make an impact, a poor showing.

Anthony Martial – 6

Firstly, lets touch on his exquisite assist for Ibra, it was a superb pass with sublime technique. He had a brilliant battle against Coleman, a 50:50 duel which was very pleasing on the eye for viewers.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic – 6.5

Apart from his wonderful goal to open the scoring, Ibra found himself dropping far too deep (again) to collect the ball, he did not offer too much after he opened the scoring. It’s not the first time that has been the case and Mourinho may have to pluck up the courage to remove Zlatan from the attack to improve the overall performance of his team. 

Subs

Marcus Rashford – N/A

Had little impact in the closing stages of the game.

Marouane Fellaini – 0

Woeful, embarrassing, disgrace. A few words to describe his laughable cameo, gave away a penalty after being on for 3 minutes in his 100th appearance for the club, turning out to be a disastrous one.

Report: Manchester United Lining Up January Deal For Chelsea Midfielder – Is It A Good Idea?

We are coming up to the festive period and that means one thing… silly season is back! And so are the rumours. Throughout this period we will be monitoring the rumours and adding our unique analysis to the stories that catch our eye. 

Jon Obi Mikel to Manchester United? That’s the claim from The Sun who earlier this week claimed an ‘Exclusive’ and said that Mourinho is aiming to raid his former club with an ‘incredible cut-price deal’ January. 

Mikel is the forgotten man at Chelsea as with Matic and Kante excelling in the central roles, there’s no real space for the Nigerian in the team. It’s very believable that the player would be open to a move away from a club where his opportunities have been so restricted this season.

But would Jose Mourinho want him? The former Blues boss used Mikel sparingly during his time at the club, but certainly more regularly than Conte and I would imagine that Mikel would be open to a reunion with his old manager.

It is no secret that United have been most impressive this season when playing with Michael Carrick at the base of the midfield. But aged 35, the Englishman struggles to play regularly and the club cannot afford to be reliant on him. Mikel is of a similar ilk, perhaps less perfect in possession and more proactive defensively. He might be somewhere between Carrick and Fellaini, both of whom Mourinho is a fan. The Portuguese manager also said that he’d love to have Carrick ? years younger. Aged 29, Mikel is 6 years younger than Carrick and that may mean he has the extra durability to be relied upon. 

Of course United nearly signed Mikel ahead of Chelsea when he first came to England, so, despite all the change at the club since then, there is a long standing admiration of the player, even though he has failed to reach the heights many expected.

Despite that Mikel is a seasoned international with 78 caps and having played regularly in the Premier League for some years now (more than 200 games for Chelsea in his 10 year spell), he would certainly bring something to the United squad.

Considering he would be competing with the likes of Carrick and Fellaini, I thought I’d take a look at the stats and compare the trio. 

What do you want from a defensive midfielder / deep lying playmaker? The 5 areas we chose to analyse were pass completion, interceptions, tackles won, aerial duels won and total forward passes. We opted to use the statistics from last season to use a larger data set. Mikel leads the way in two of these areas with an impressive pass completion rate of 90%, Carrick is 2nd with 86% and Fellaini last with 83%. Mikel also wins the most tackles on average with 1.86 per 90, Fellaini is not far behind on 1.52 and Carrick last on 1.23. In the 3 areas Mikel is not 1st, he is 2nd! With 1.61 interceptions per 90, 0.85 aerial duels and 40.91 forward passes per 90.

Mourinho has spent millions on the likes of Paul Pogba already so maybe it is a low key signing like this that United need to compliment their squad. I’m not saying that Mikel would get into the starting eleven, but in a January market where options are not aplenty, Mourinho may have to look for shrewd additions like these to add to the quality and depth in his squad. 

Fans Call For This Defender To ‘Never Play For Manchester United Again’ After West Ham Draw

Manchester United hosted West Ham on Sunday afternoon in a game they had to really win to keep pace with their title rivals after Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester City all ground out wins at the weekend. 

It wasn’t the case though and it started so terribly for the home side when Sakho headed in from a Payet cross just 90 seconds into the game. United did equalise from a Ibrahimovic header but there were no more goals in what proved to be United’s fourth consecutive draw at home in the league. One player who stood out for Man Utd on the day was defender Matteo Darmian – but not for playing well.

Darmian was widely praised in his debut season for Manchester United but since then he has really struggled in the Premier League. The fans were not happy at all with his performance on Sunday and it seems the defender has lost his way, with some fans even calling for him not to play for the club again.

West Ham winger Antonio had the beating of Darmian all night. The English midfielder excelled over the Italian both defensively and offensively and the United mans crossing was a cause for particular frustration from the United faithful. Here’s some statistics to back up these thoughts: Darmian was pretty ineffective defensively, making 0 interceptions, 0 blocks and just 3 tackles. Going forward he wasn’t much better, completing 0 dribbles, making 0 key passes, 0 through balls and 0 accurate crosses. Those statistics make for pretty grim reading for the defender and this was certainly not a case of where statistics didn’t tell the whole story because they told the exact story – Darmian was completely useless on the day.

Why is he starting ahead of Luke Shaw after a series of poor performances? This is just one of an artillery of questions that the United fans are now asking. Here’s how the fans reacted on Twitter to his performance.

Manchester United now sit a massive 11 points behind league leaders Chelsea, and with the likes of Manchester City, Liverpool and even Arsenal also hitting form lately, it may not be unreasonable to already write Mourinho’s men off in the title race. Just 13 games in that is a pretty horrific performance from Mourinho and United. Something needs to change quickly and whilst I don’t for one second place all the blame on Darmian, he certainly appears to be one of a number of problems currently at the club.

‘He’s Better Than Ozil’ Fans On Twitter Praise Manchester United Midfielder After Arsenal Match

Manchester United were perhaps a shade unfortunate not to take the 3 points against Arsenal in yesterday’s early kick off. Juan Mata opened the scoring and his overall performance earned him many plaudits. 

Mata was influential in helping United control the game for most of the 90 minutes. His cool finish helped United turn that pressure into a goal just after half time, although United conceded a 90th minute equaliser after the Spaniard was subbed off.

Here’s a closer look at the statistics behind Mata’s performance, these help highlight how influential he was, not just during the scoring of the goal. Mata made 36 passes during the game which isn’t a huge amount, but he was successful with 86.1% of his attempted passes. He also attempted 5 crosses and 2 long balls, this shows he was not just attempting short and easy passes. The low amount of passes he made was probably because he was played on the right wing – a position where you are not involved as much in possession.

His defensive game has certainly improved under Mourinho and in big games like this it is important that you defend from the front – this is exactly what Mata did, making 2 interceptions and 3 tackles. Going forward he completed 3 dribbles and attempted 3 shots with 2 of them on target and 1 crucially a goal.

Here’s a sample of how Twitter has reacted to Mata’s performance on Saturday afternoon. 

So is he better than Ozil? As an Arsenal fan I think it would be a bit biased for me to say one way or the other. What I can say is that aside from his goals, Ozil has not been at his best this season whereas Mata has excelled under Mourinho where many thought he may not play at all. The Spaniard has improved the defensive side of his game and he is capable of notching up goals and assists. This is promising for him, but can he really be considered better than Ozil?

Ultimately although Mata had a decent game yesterday, he needs to improve his goal and assist tally to be considered better than Ozil – as that is a good measurement of an attacking midfielder’s quality. The Spaniard only has 4 goals and 1 assist in 16 games this season and people are saying he has had a great season. In comparison people are suggesting Ozil has been poor this season but he has made 3 assists and scored 7 goals in 15 games for Arsenal. What does that tell you about the two players?

Good News? 2 Key Manchester United Strikers Could Miss Arsenal Match

Manchester United already knew they would be without Zlatan Ibrahimovic when they face Arsenal on Saturday, but there is possibly more bad news on the horizon and it may mean that Jose Mourinho has to completely change his attacking approach. 

According to The Telegraph, United could be without another striker on Saturday after Wayne Rooney withdrew from the England squad with what is described as a ‘minor’ injury, although they note that the player will need to be assessed by his club before a decision is made on whether he will face Arsenal in Saturday’s early kick off.

United haven’t been scoring many this season but against Swansea they appeared to finally hit their rhythm with Zlatan up top, scoring two goals and Rooney on the left, assisting all 3 goals.

The absences of Zlatan and potentially Rooney is of course not good news for Manchester United, but what it does do it represent is a chance for some young blood to play.

Marcus Rashford – a player who burst onto the scene with an excellent brace against Arsenal at Old Trafford last season, he is a young player whose opportunities have been very limited so far this season under Jose Mourinho. When he has featured, it has tended to be on the wings as Zlatan’s presence has restricted his game time through the middle.

There’s also Anthony Martial. A player who can play on the left or through the middle, both positions that Rooney and Zlatan played against Swansea and after the club spent so much money on Martial, it is important they find a way to get the best out of him.

A front three including Rashford and Martial is likely to strike fear into Arsenal’s defenders, probably just as much as the presence of Rooney and Zlatan would. Yes the more experienced duo have been there and done it, but the sheer pace and bravery of players like Rashford make them very hard to play against.

Arsenal are likely to line up with Mustafi and Koscielny at the back, a defensive duo that will be hard to break down no matter who United select as their striker. An area where the home side should be looking to target is down the left hand side. With Hector Bellerin set to miss the game through injury, Arsenal will have a weakened right hand side, and a direct, quick player on the left is likely to be the best approach to take. The Gunners are likely to select Carl Jenkinson, a player who when fully fit is not the best and he’s only played a handful of first team minutes since a long term injury early in the year.

So, could Rooney’s absence actually be a good thing? Allowing United to fully exploit the Gunners weak right hand side with the direct options of Martial and / or Rashford.

3 Things Mourinho Needs To Do To Get Manchester United Back In The Title Race

When Jose Mourinho was announced the manager of Manchester United football club, the United faithful straight away started to talk about the big silverware and started to feel their club would rise back to the top again, that is the kind of affect the Portuguese manager can have on your team, with the CV he carries, it was hard not to disagree.

Then come the big summer arrivals, Eric Bailly, Paul Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and forgotten man Henrikh Mkhitaryan. That is when the United faithful really started believing, and when other clubs fans stated to worry.

With a man that has won everything at the helm, and the Bundesliga, Serie A and Ligue 1 players of the year arriving to the Theatre of Dreams in one summer you would have put your house on United at least competing to win the Premier League this season.

But, as can happen in football, things have not gone to plan for United, nor for their manager who is certainly starting to come under some strong criticism from pundits and fans alike. After spending more than £150 million in the summer the bar was raised, for Mourinho to take United out of the shadows which Louis Van Gaal left them in. No Champions League football for the club which once conquered Europe and no self belief within the players you could argue Mourinho had a job on his hands to put the club where they belong, but after spending masses of money there should be no excuses set.

Sitting sixth in the Premier League table, one win in their last five league games and just 16 goals scored in 11 matches thus far this season, we take a look at 3 things Mourinho must address to ensure his club start climbing the table, before it is too late.

1) Find a place for Mkhitaryan the starting XI

When Manchester United were linked with all the players they finally singed in the summer, there was one man that I thought, if they get him they will be unstoppable, and that man was Henrik Mkhitaryan. The Bundesliga player of the year, he is a great attacking midfielder who can play on either flank.

How he is not managing to make the 18 match day squad for the Red Devils is, well, quite baffling. A free-scoring midfielder who bagged himself 19 league goals last term, whilst assisting for fun is not breaking into a United squad that is lacking that touch in the final third.

All in all last season, the Armenian international scored 23 goals and assisted a further 26, which meant he contributed to a goal on 49 separate occasions for BVB, which is simply breathtaking.

With the likes of Ibrahimovic, Martial and Rashford all struggling for consistency in there play and goals drying up on that front, they have a man sitting in the stands that created a total of 136 chances last season, which again shows how majestic he was last season.

Although he did not shine out when he was given a chance, this is not an excuse for him not to make the squad and in fact, he should be the first name on the team sheet each week.

If Mourinho is to get his side scoring goals and becoming a feared team again, the man in charge must accommodate a place in his team for their fantastic summer arrival Mkhitaryan.

Report: Liverpool Could Try To Sign Manchester United Defender

Jose Mourinho has had a tough start to his Manchester United career and comments last week made it all that bit tougher when he blasted both Luke Shaw and Chris Smalling for not playing through pain as the Red Devils beat Swansea 3-1 at the Liberty Stadium in an impressive display.

His recent comments have taken their toll on both players and it seems long term admirers of Luke Shaw, Liverpool are now circling the player after being alerted to the current situation and are ready to pounce if given the go ahead (news via The Mirror).

Former Borussia Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp is believed to be searching for a new left-back after having to make do with versatile midfielder James Milner slotting in at the back for now after abysmal performances from Alberto Moreno.

If United, which is a big if, decided to sell Shaw then Liverpool would reignite their long standing interest in the £29 million rated England International, according to the Daily Mirror.

Ex Southampton team-mate of Shaw, Adam Lallana has publicly stated Jose Mourinho is wrong of his latest blast at Shaw, especially after coming back from the horrific injury he encountered last season.

He said: “He’s a very strong boy. He’s had a horrific leg injury. You don’t come back from that without being mentally and physically strong.”

Shaw has struggled to nail down a starting spot in United’s squad this season after slowly recovering from a injury that could have easily ended the 21-year-old’s career, and after his recent treatment he may find himself down in the pecking order in the United squad.

If things got bad to worse for the England star, and Liverpool did come in for the defender, how would he fit in at Anfield? We take a look.

Jurgen Klopp has already transformed the style of play in which the reds play, in fact, they are playing some of the most beautiful football in the country, scoring goals and creating chances at ease whilst nearly mastering the pressing system in which the German manger is trying to adapt his side too.

Klopp certainly likes his full-backs to join in the attack and that’s why Milner has slotted in so well, he is a player with an engine and has the ability to help out both defensively and offensively whilst remaining above 90% throughout the 90 minutes.

This is why Klopp is no doubt a huge admirer of Shaw, he is a player who loves to attack down the left hand side and is always an outlet for offensive players when on the attack, and being at a young age, he would be able to adapt to the attacking flair that Klopp demands of all his players.

Although Klopp is a pressing, attacking styled manager, he also expects his players to dig deep when the going gets tough and expects his players to be strong and physical, whilst winning their battles which is something Moreno wasn’t able to do consistently. Shaw again is an athlete who would be able to adapt to these demands and fit perfectly into Klopp’s new system at Anfield.

Something that would certainly impress Klopp’s is Shaw’s ability to take on his opponents on the left hand side, he has managed 66.67% take on completion thus far this season which is very impressive, almost as good a stat as some out and out wingers in the league, Liverpool’s James Milner has managed 50%.

Milner though does come out on top with the amount of tackles he has won 1.71 per 90 minutes and forward passes (35.50) compared to Shaw winning 0.68 tackles and (27.50) forward passes.

Another stat which will impress the Merseyside boss is the amount of aerial duels Shaw has won, standing at 6ft 1′ he has managed to win an immense 66.67% aerial duels compared to Milner’s 50%.

For me, Shaw would be an excellent signing for Liverpool, as he would if he was to go to any other Premier League team, but it is very much doubtful that United will give up on their youngster even-though him and the manager have thrown their toys out the pram. Although he is not yet the finished article, and is not starting regular for England it is only a matter of time before he starts challenging more and more for that spot. Yes, if Shaw was transfer listed Klopp would probably personally drive to Manchester himself in bid to tie the deal down, but the rivalry which both clubs possess and the hatred for one another, this deal looks very unlikely to materialise, however much Shaw and Liverpool would make a perfect match.

Why Arsenal Must Make January Bid To Sign This Manchester United Defender

Arsenal have been alerted to the potential availability of two Manchester United defenders according to a report in The Mirror

The two players in question are Chris Smalling and Luke Shaw. Both players had been linked with the Gunners before making their big money moves to United and it would be no surprise to me if it were true that the club were interested. The report suggests that Arsenal would be most interested in Smalling, but I would prefer to see us move for Shaw. The pair appear annoyed by Mourinho’s recent antics:

Jose Mourinho’s anger over Chris Smalling and Luke Shaw has alerted Arsenal and Liverpool.

The Manchester United boss publicly called out the duo for not playing through the pain barrier in the 3-1 win at Swansea, a week ago.

England defender Smalling – and Shaw’s camp – have been less than impressed by Mourinho identifying them in the media.

Arsenal have started the season pretty well, but there are still a few areas of the team that are concerning the fans. One of particular interest is at left back. Arsenal’s Mr.Consistent from the last 2 seasons, Nacho Monreal has been anything but that so far this campaign. Kieran Gibbs is pushing him for a first team spot but the Englishman’s defensive deficiencies are clear for all to see. So with Monreal (30) and Gibbs (now 27) seemingly not good enough to hold that left-back berth in the long term, would the possibly unsettled Shaw be a good investment?

Shaw cost United £30million in 2014 and since then he has spent a lot of time on the treatment table, it remains to be seen exactly how well he will recover from those setbacks.

But aged 21, standing at 6ft 1′ tall and with 6 England caps already to his name, the future certainly looks bright for Shaw. He is a very well-rounded full back with strong offensive and defensive attributes.

Arsenal have been tracking young left backs for some time with the likes of Ben Chilwell linked persistently.

As far as Smalling goes, following the signing of Mustafi we don’t need another first choice central defender, though as Koscielny and Mertesacker near the end of their careers, it might be worth considering. There is also concern over Gabriel Paulista’s ability, but signing a fairly young Smalling (26) would surely be damaging to the careers of young defensive duo Rob Holding and Calum Chambers.

Shaw has been dubbed the new Ashley Cole, and if he can get close to that kind of success then the Gunners would be very lucky to have him. Since Cole left Arsenal have not managed to find a strong replacement for the Englishman and in Shaw they could finally have the right man.

Update: 2 Key Manchester United Players Set To Miss Arsenal Match

Manchester United are set to be without two key players for the visit of Arsenal after the international break. 

The club were already aware that they would be missing Zlatan Ibrahimovic after the Swede picked up a 5th yellow card of the season, but now they have an injury concern of their own.

According to Sky Sports, Chris Smalling has broken his toe in training and the initial prognosis for his injury is 4 weeks. This will come as a big blow to United who will already be without star summer signing Eric Bailly due to injury.

Jose Mourinho appeared to question the pain threshold of both Smalling and Luke Shaw after both didn’t play in the win at Swansea, he said there are players in his squad “for whom a little pain can make a difference”, adding you have to “go to the limit”. This is a questionable public approach to take with his players and it’s certainly not a sustainable one.

But let’s ignore that for a second. Let’s look at how the absentees will affect United on the day. They will come up against an Arsenal side that can be very devastating in attack, although they have been silenced on a few occasions this season. The Gunners do tend however to be most devastating away from home and the match is at Old Trafford. With no Smalling and Bailly United will probably want to give their makeshift defence some protection in midfield, and I’m sure the conservative Mourinho will want to as well.

He could play Paul Pogba as a number 10 which would allow two holding midfielders to protect the back four, these are likely to be Ander Herrera and Maraoune Fellaini, a duo often preferred to Morgan Schneiderlin by Mourinho.

In attack Mourinho has a few options for replacing Zlatan. He could opt for Rashford, a player that made the devastating difference in this fixture last year, or Rooney, a player that played brilliantly against Swansea on the left hand side. A wildcard option is Anthony Martial, who has had to settle for a fringe role under Mourinho so far, but is it his time to shine?

It’ll be interesting to see how Mourinho copes with these two key players unavailable, but he will hope that his good personal record against Arsenal and Manchester United’s great recent home record against the Gunners carries them through this one with a much-needed 3 points.

Manchester United Star Breaks 2 Records With Fantastic Performance vs. Swansea

Manchester United had been in a terrible run of form but on Sunday they managed an impressive 3-1 win over a struggling Swansea side, and there was one particular player who stood out. 

The last Premier League fixture for United was at home to Burnley where they drew 0-0. The result was so poor because of their poor finishing and one of the biggest culprits of this was summer signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic. He had been on a bit of a goal drought in recent weeks but his brace against Swansea has helped change that.

As usual, Zlatan wasn’t overly involved in the game, but when he was he was deadly. He took just two shots and both hit the back of the net. He made 1 key pass and 1 dribble. He was involved perhaps more in the build up than usual though, attempting 6 through balls and being accurate with 4 of them. This helped United build sustained pressure in the Swansea half and ultimately lead to the 3 United goals.

But what will make the headlines is that Zlatan scored both the 25,000th Premier League goal and his personal 400th goal of his career. 400 league goals is, as Zlatan said himself, more than some players play games in their entire careers – it’s a pretty remarkable achievement considering he has always played at the highest level. Scoring the 25,000th Premier League goal also means that he will always be remembered in the history of English football despite his (so far at least) short time in the country.

Hopefully for United fans the records he has broken today and the two goals he has scored means that he will return to his best form.

Here’s how fans have reacted to the Swede’s performance on Twitter.

United will need Zlatan to be playing at this level consistently for them to have any chance of getting into the top 4 this season, let alone winning the league. He isn’t going to run around loads, but he is a clinical finisher, with a fantastic physical presence. The only negative of his performance against Swansea was that he picked up a yellow card and that is his 5th of the season so far, meaning he will have to serve a 1 match suspension. That match will be after the international break at home to Arsenal – a game he would not want to have missed.

Mourinho: Why Mkhitaryan Is Not Playing For Manchester United

With Manchester United playing so poorly, many are wondering why Henrikh Mkhitaryan has not been playing for the team more. 

The Armenian cost the club more than £20million, and was deemed a bargain at the time considering he was named Bundesliga Player of the Season last year – ahead of the likes of Manuel Neuer, Robert Lewandowski, David Alaba and Aubameyang. His talent was there for all to see last season, with the playmaker managing double figures in both Bundesliga goals and assists. But Mourinho thinks he isn’t good enough for the club yet…

“He has to do more. It’s as simple as that. We have big expectations in the club,” Mourinho said, when asked about Mkhitaryan.

Big expectations? Fair. But a lot of the players are not living up to those expectations and I think it is unfair to single out this new signing for criticism – he’s barely had a chance.

“We have big expectations at this club, lots of players for these positions and he has to play better than Mata, Lingard, Martial – he has to play better than them. It’s as simple as that.” Mourinho continued.

Are those three players playing well? Mata has had some good games this season but you cannot say that the other two have been playing at a high level.

“Every manager wants to win matches, every manager in the world wants to play the players that he thinks can help the team more, and I’m no different.”

It’s a fair comment of course, but not in regards to Mkhitaryan. The midfielder was given 29 minutes in the Fenerbahce 2-1 loss, and in that time Manchester United managed to get a goal back. But he hasn’t had a real chance, with just 1 Premier League start and 3 sub apps – tonight was his first Europa League appearance.

On the other side of things – the likes of Paul Pogba are given chance after chance, without doing anything special and Mourinho has never uttered a bad word about him. At the end of the day Mourinho decided to sign Pogba and Mkhitaryan – but he’s treating one too nicely and one horribly – surely something is going on behind the scenes for this to happen?

Manchester United need productivity and Mkhitaryan is a specialist in that. Last season he created and scored goals for fun – surely Mourinho needs to give him more time in the starting eleven to adjust to the team and English football?

United fans – what do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

 

 

Mourinho Says He Sees Future Of Paul Pogba Not In Midfield, What I Think

Manchester United fans may be a little surprised to hear that Mourinho appears to view world record signing Paul Pogba as a future centre half.

Speaking to Sky Sports Mourinho said: ‘He’s a top player and I think he could be a phenomenal central defender,’

‘With the quality of his pass, with his aerial game, with his agility in such a big body, for his defensive side of the game, coming from the back with the ball, he would be a phenomenal central defender, too. ‘The problem is not the position. The problem is not the tactical system. The problem is, in my opinion, somebody that comes from a different style of football and needs this time to be at his best level in football that is really difficult to play, especially for midfield players.’

In my opinion this is not the right position for Pogba at all. The Frenchman’s best attributes lie in his dynamic midfield play. He’s a central midfielder with good athleticism and a solid mix of defensive and offensive skills. It is clear that his future lies in central midfield, what Mourinho needs to do is firstly find the right midfield partner(s) for him and then help the Frenchman settle and adapt to a more competitive league to where he has competed previously.

In the Serie A, Pogba was playing for a team head and shoulders above the rest, he didn’t need to be as vigilant and disciplined as Mourinho will demand in the Premier League. Mourinho also has to consider that whilst discipline is important in a league where every game is competitive, if he doesn’t allow Pogba to be expressive and expansive with his football, then he’s unlikely to be satisfied at the club in the long term and playing this way will also limit the effectiveness of the player. When you pay £89million for someone, you need to make them the heartbeat of the team. Pogba is a young lad, a very talented player but maybe it’s time people took a step back and realised he isn’t yet world class and he cannot be expected to come in and make a huge difference immediately, let’s forget the price tag.

Mourinho must create the right environment for Pogba to flourish. He’s experimented with a few options, but I’d quite like to see a 4-3-3 with Carrick holding and Pogba and Herrera / Mata ahead. Whilst he his passing is good, he’s not a playmaker, so playing someone reliable on the ball like Carrick behind him would surely be beneficial – we saw that in the Europa League tie.

Pogba is not immune to criticism too. Whilst expectations may have been unrealistically high in his first few months in England, he could be playing better. An example is instead of trying to score from 40 yards five times a game, be intelligent. I can’t help but feel he feels the £89million price tag weighing heavy on his shoulders. The huge hype around his arrival has only increased the pressure on him and he now seems to feel that long range goals are required to justify his move.

‘He’s Miles Better Than Pogba’ Chelsea Fans Delighted With Midfielders Performance vs. Manchester United

Chelsea fans have every reason to be cheerful after their clubs impressive 4-0 win at home to Manchester United on Sunday afternoon. At the heart of the Chelsea team was one player, N’Golo Kante. 

Not only did Kante have a great overall game, but he netted a rare goal, dancing past the United defenders and slotting past De Gea with ease. It was a goal to crown a fabulous performance for the Frenchman.

In Antonio Conte’s early games at the club, Chelsea were struggling to perform and were particularly humiliated at the Emirates Stadium, but since that heavy loss they have reverted to a 3-4-3 formation and since then they have won 3 out of 3 and not conceded a goal. Kante is not the only player who is excelling in this formation, but he is one of many now benefitting from Conte’s shrewd tactical switch.

Before the season started, the only concern about Kante was his lack of playmaking ability. In this game though he completed 88% of his passes. He completed 65 passes in total, that’s more than any other Chelsea player on the day. He attempted 3 long balls and completed 2. Offensively he made 2 key passes and defensively he was as reliable as ever, making 5 interceptions and 2 tackles. In total he was awarded an impressive 8.61 match rating from WhoScored.

Here’s how fans reacted to Kante’s performance on Twitter. The Chelsea fans were pretty pleased as you might imagine. Many opted to compare Kante’s performance to Pogba’s, the former cost less a third of what Pogba did – and after humiliating the United man on the way to scoring the 4th goal, the comparisons were inevitable.

Chelsea will be delighted with how Kante has started his career in London. They probably cannot believe how they managed to sign him from Leicester for so little – especially when they’ve seen today Pogba’s performance, a player who cost so much more. Kante’s impact on a team is very obvious, you can see that by how not only Chelsea are doing well, but how Leicester City are seriously struggling to replace him.

Will Manchester United Fans Forgive Jose Mourinho For ‘Boring’ Football?

Manchester United’s performance on Monday evening has caused a lot of debate. They went to Anfield and met a team bang in form, and they came away with a point. A good result? Of course.

But where do we draw the line? I remember David Moyes calling Liverpool favourites for a tie between the two clubs during his brief spell in charge – it caused outrage. Yes that game was at Old Trafford, but what made people angry was his negative attitude and belittling of the club, the club that prides itself of being the greatest in the world. Has Mourinho, by setting out his team to get a point, not done exactly the same?

Go back to as recent as last season and you will remember Louis van Gaal – he had a spell where the club were getting the results, they were towards the top of the table (higher than where United are currently) but many of the fans were disgruntled at the poor football on display. They wanted to see great football. What we saw on Monday night was far from great and light years from entertainment. In fact, Manchester United had the lowest possession (34%) in their Premier League history – now that is pretty significant.

Many will fairly suggest that this was a one off game where United needed to avoid defeat due to already being behind their main title rivals. But history suggests this is no one off for Mourinho, and he will continue to play with these tactics when he feels necessary, which is pretty often. You can say United got a good result last night, which they did, but if it wasn’t for two marvellous saves from David de Gea it could’ve so easily been a different outcome. United very rarely looked like scoring, it almost seemed as if they did not want too. Is this what United fans really want? It’s not even about the result, it’s that Mourinho had literally no desire to win that game.

A point was deemed a good result, but with the amount of money the club has spent, surely they should be aiming to win every game, especially with a draw meaning United now sit 5 points behind joint league leaders Manchester City and Arsenal. Mourinho has literally had an unlimited budget to bring in who he wants and so far this team only sit 7th in the league.

There’s a long long way to go, 30 games to be precise. I do wonder though, if United don’t win the league and they play football like this – will the fans manage to find more patience than they did for both David Moyes and Louis van Gaal?

I’m not attacking the club, but I’m genuinely interested – Manchester United fans, are you happy with your club being managed in this way in the long term? If it was an unknown manager doing what Mourinho did on Monday, spending the money that Mourinho has in the summer and you were sat in 7th – would you be happy? It’s early days but surely this management style and level is not sustainable for a club like Manchester United.

Report: €15m Manchester United Signing Could Be Set To Leave With Inter Milan Lurking

Italian side Inter Milan are leading the race to sign out of favour Manchester United right-back Matteo Darmian this winter, according to Tuttosport.

Darmian has struggled massively in the last year or so to cement himself a place in the United 11, and is now even further down the pecking order with Jose Mourinho at the helm.

A move back to Italy seems very likely for the Italian international, with Milan Vice-president Javier Zanetti looking to use his strong relationship with United boss Jose Mourinho to try and land a deal for the full-back this winter.

The United man moved to England in 2015 after showing consistent impressive displays in Italy for former club Torino, he cost the Red Devils £13.2 million and has gone on to make 28 appearances for the club in the league scoring just one goal but has failed to impress the new boss leaving himself warming the bench.

Along with Inter, three other Italian clubs are said to be interested in Darmian, including the likes of Juventus, Napoli and Roma, but Inter are said to be in the driving seat and are monitoring the situation very closely. Darmian has struggled for confidence after a run of poor performances in the United team dating back to when Louis Van Gaal was in charge, his poor form continued during the Euro 2016 campaign for Italy after missing the decisive penalty in the Quarter-final defeat to Germany.

The 26-year-old has barely featured this season under new boss Mourinho, with Antonio Valencia slotting in comfortably at the back, a move away could be best for the club and player and a move back to his native country could help him reignite his career.

Inter Milan have had an average start to their Serie A campaign and will no doubt look for reinforcements in the winter with Darmian certainly being an option. Cristian Ansaldi, Davide Santon and Danilo D’Ambrosio have all played at right-back for Inter this season with the latter being a more regular for the position.

We take a look at how Darmian compares with current Inter Milan defender D’Ambrosio.

As a defender, your most important job is of course to keep the attack at bay and win your tackles against your opponent. Considering Darmian is so out of favour, his stats on this specific trait show he has done more than enough in that area. Last season, Darmian managed to win 3.23 tackles per 90 minutes which is quite a way ahead of D’Ambrosio who managed just 2.05.

Darmian once again comes out on top with the 6ft man winning 60.61% of his aerial duels, putting him ahead of D’Ambrosio who managed just 47.37%.

Darmian managed 28 games last season which is eight more than D’Ambrosio, but the former once again came out on top on total duels, managing to win 52.12% all in all which puts him just ahead of the Inter Milan man who completed 44.44%. Interceptions and blocks are other key traits to being a solid defender. Darmian once again finds himself in front of D’Ambrosio on 1.96 interceptions with the latter managing 1.49. As for blocks, the Inter Milan man comes out on top for the first time with 0.50 as Darmian is second with 0.09.

The game has come a long way from defenders kicking the ball into row Z; nowadays defenders are moulded to becoming ball players as well as good defenders. Darmian has totalled an impressive 27.13 forward passes per 90 minutes last season with D’Ambrosio just behind on 26.20.

Taking everything into consideration, on paper Darmian looks like he would be a very good coup for an Inter side that must improve and would offer healthy competition to their current full backs. It is very unlikely Manchester United would manage to retain the full fee they paid for the ex-Torino man and would probably take a loss if they were to sell him, but as things stands it makes perfect sense for the club and player to part ways, with a move in January seeming more likely to happen than not.

This is a story Fresh Football will be keeping a close eye on in the coming months so be sure to check back for anymore updates on the Italians future at the theatre of dreams.

5 Arsenal Players Named In The Team Of The Week: Liverpool, Tottenham & Man Utd Players Also Feature

Petr Cech – Arsenal

Although Cech wasn’t worked as much as others over the weekend, his professionalism shown through the whole squad on the Gunners 3-0 win over Chelsea. He made a few fantastic saves in the latter stages of the game with Michy Batshuayi being the best when he was through on goal. His calmness helped his back four massively, and the ex-Chelsea goalkeeper helped the Gunners coast to victory.

Hector Bellerin – Arsenal

Defensively, Bellerin has improved massively in the last 12 months and this once again showed against Chelsea on Saturday. Pedro was through on Arsenal’s goal, but Bellerin took charge and absolutely dismantled his fellow Spaniard for pace and recovered with an excellent tackle.

Bellerin kept Eden Hazard quiet all game, disposed play excellently and made inch perfect tackles whilst grabbing and assist for Theo Walcott’s goal.

Virgil Van Dijk – Southampton

Another solid performance by the Saints rock at the back, since his move to St Mary’s last summer he has been one of the most impressive defenders in England, with another sublime performance against West Ham showing his worth, he defended excellently and bullied Simone Zaza who didn’t get a sniff all game.

Laurent Koscielny – Arsenal

Koscielny must have been itching for revenge on Diego Costa who has often got the better of him, but to the Frenchman’s credit, he dealt excellently with the Chelsea man and was much stronger and determined that the forward for the 90 minutes.

Costa can usually bully his opponents but between Mustafi and Koscielny, Costa was left frustrated after being pocketed by the pair, with the latter getting some sweet revenge on Costa form past performances, Inch perfect display.

Ryan Bertrand – Southampton

Ryan Bertrand has all the tools to become a top left-back and he proved once again why in Saints victory over the Hammers, he was influential going forward as well as tracking back, helping in the build up play before Charlie Austin’s goal. The defender completed three key passes in the 90 minutes which just showed how good he was progressing forward.

Son Heung-min – Tottenham Hotspur

A player that nearly left White Hart Lane this summer is now a key man in Spurs superb form, he has once again made our TOTW with four goals in the last two matches. Son is full of confidence and is now starting to deliver on a consistent bases, he is picking up the ball and driving at defences whilst being a threat in the final third which he showcased once again at the weekend in another fine display.

Paul Pogba – Manchester United

Finally, Paul Pogba puts in a Man-of-the-Match performance in a dominating display over last seasons champions Leicester City. With Rooney dropping out of the side, Pogba was given a more advanced role and the whole team played at a much higher tempo with their main man Pogba able to dictate and control the game at his will, with the Frenchman also netting his first goal for Manchester United in a truly superb performance.

Phillipe Coutinho – Liverpool

Coutinho is another who has been superlative this season, he once again ran the show for his Liverpool side with two assists and one goal against a depleted Hull City side. Liverpool are a very dangerous outfit this season and if their Brazilian maestro can keep up his good work they will certainly fight for the title.

Alex Iwobi – Arsenal

The young Gunner has settled in to this Arsenal team and made the left wing spot his own. He was just as good as the likes of Alexis and Ozil on Saturday, highlighting his raw talent and the lads potential is huge. Aged just 20 and considering how much he has developed in the last 12 months, the sky is well and truly the limit for young Alex. Against Chelsea he tortured Ivanovic at right back, causing many Chelsea fans to call for the Serbian to retire.

Alexis Sanchez – Arsenal

Alexis is thriving in the number 9 role at Arsenal and he had another brilliant game against Chelsea. Hunting down Gary Cahill before giving Arsenal the lead was particularly impressive, but what I liked was his improved link up play. Many had doubted that Arsenal could play without Giroud because Alexis could not link the play as well, that was cetainly not the case.

Sergio Aguero – Manchester City

Back from suspension, Aguero again proved why he is perhaps the best player in the Premier League with an impressive brace against Swansea to ensure City maintained their 100% Premier League record. If this guy stays fit it is hard to see another team winning the league, he is just on another level.

‘They Were Unreal’ Manchester United Fans React To Trio Materclass vs. Leicester City

Manchester United managed to avoid their third straight defeat at home to Leicester City, but did more than just avoid defeat – they took full advantage of a Leicester first-half capitulation to go into the break four goals to the good.

Chris Smalling opened the scoring for United midway through the first half before further goals were added by Juan Mata, Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba before half-time to brush the Premier League Champions aside.

Demarai Gray managed to pull one back for Leicester in the second half with a tremendous strike, leaving David De Gea no chance in the Manchester United goal.

However, this had no serious impact on the game as United enjoyed their second victory of the week following their EFL Cup victory over Northampton. Outstanding performances came from Paul Pogba, Ander Herrera and Juan Mata as United ran riot at Old Trafford.

Manchester United fans took to Twitter to react to these amazing performances from their midfielders.

3 Key Battles That’ll Decide Who Wins In Manchester United vs. Leicester City

It’s sure to be a close game, but here’s three battles that will decide who wins.

1) Ibrahimovic v Morgan

One of Wes Morgan’s priorities when he steps out onto the pitch at Old Trafford will be to keep Zlatan Ibrahimovic quiet for ninety minutes. That is much easier said than done.

The striker has been the subject of some criticism recently, including the strange comment about the former Swedish international being like a ‘cone’. However, on his day, as we have seen already in the Premier League, Ibrahimovic can be the best striker in the country.

Neither player has much pace at all about them, so this battle will be won and lost mainly in the air, and Leicester will not have forgotten the towering header across goal that won Manchester United the Community Shield back in August. Leicester’s centre-back will have his hands full for the entirety of tomorrow’s match-up, there is no doubt about that.

2) Rooney v Drinkwater

Wayne Rooney has put in some pretty average performances over the past few weeks, and is at risk of being dropped by Jose Mourinho. If he starts here, he will be itching to put in a match-winning performance and show the manager as well as the fans why he should be in the side each week.

Danny Drinkwater will be the man handed the task of breaking up the play in midfield, and has done a decent job of that since the sale of N’Golo Kante to Chelsea. He will aim to close down Rooney as quickly as possible before he can supply the strikers.

This will be an interesting battle to watch throughout the ninety minutes and Rooney will for sure have to work hard to find pockets of space in the midfield if Drinkwater does his job well.

3) Shaw v Mahrez

Leicester will have to catch Manchester United on the break, as they did to so many teams so well last season in their title-winning campaign if they are going to take all three points away from Old Trafford on Saturday.

Riyad Mahrez was a huge threat down the right-hand side last season, and he has been again this season. Luke Shaw could well make his return to the left-back position despite recent criticism from Jose Mourinho, and as well as getting involved in the Manchester United attack, the former Saints man will have to keep one eye on the Algerian international who will be a huge threat for Leicester on the counter-attack.

Leicester will have to defend well when they visit Manchester United on Saturday, but if they are clincical and take their chance on the break with the pace of Mahrez and Vardy, then they have a good chance of taking something away from Old Trafford.