Could it be the day that José Mourinho finally makes the big selection decision on everybody’s mind? The one involving captain Wayne Rooney and the bench. After all, Rooney’s performances this season, for the last three, have suggested a once great player on the wane. That burst of speed, surety of touch, and goalscoring prowess: all gone. His value to the team: vastly diminished.
What a difference a week makes. The impressive summer and good start to the season brought an inevitable return to Manchester United’s old hubris. Supporters got carried away with their new found confidence. How José Mourinho’s team has brought fans back down to Earth.
Three defeats in succession and the talk of “crisis” now hangs over Old Trafford. How quickly José Mourinho’s Manchester United honeymoon has ended. The warm glow of a successful summer transfer window and solid start to the new campaign is now obliterated after losses to Manchester City, Feyenoord and Watford in the past week. It is as if the last three seasons hadn’t been enough; the circus is now once again in full swing. Yet, the fundamentals that had United supporters feeling confident back in August remain – and Rant has 10 actions that could help Mourinho turn around the slump…
After the joy and optimism of August, Manchester United have crashed into September like some sort of thing crashing into a thing it definitely should not have crashed into. Ed and Paul convene to reluctantly discuss three defeats on the bounce for Jose Mourinho’s men. The subject of Wayne Rooney inevitably comes up, as does chat about Pep out tactic-ing Jose, the abject defeat at Feyenoord and the omnishambles at Watford. In a profoundly against type turn of events, Ed is pretty upbeat whilst Paul is generally miserable about the whole affair.
There are listener questions, music chat on the Patreon bonus content and a very special playout track from one of the very first Friends of the Rant Cast, Awate.
Rant Cast has survived on your donations for the past seven years. If you are interested in supporting the show, and accessing some cool rewards, check out the Patreon crowdfunding page. Talk to us on Twitter: Paul – @UtdRantCast, Ed – @UnitedRant. Rant Cast is produced by Tom Jenkins – TEEJSOUND / @Teejsound
“Exclusive! Water is wet! Grass is green! The world is round!” Statements of a similar ilk greeted the news that Phil Jones has suffered yet another injury. This time around the Manchester United defender is out with a knee injury that will see the Lancastrian sidelined for a month. Yet another setback for Jones who is struggling to salvage his Old Trafford career. The defender’s injury history has become a sick joke. The real question becomes: when does the laughter stop?
Patience is a virtue, they say. Not simply waiting, but the ability to maintain a positive attitude throughout. This can be tough for footballers. Sitting on the bench watching your teammates play is no mean feat for men made of equal parts ego and talent. Top players believe in the very best of their abilities, and it is hard for them to take being told to “take a seat.”
Derby week is done, with round one taken by United’s noisy neighbours as the world’s gaze focused on Manchester for the season’s most anticipated match. Manchester City won a tough battle 2-1, with an electric opening period enough to secure Pep Guardiola victory at Old Trafford.
On the surface José Mourinho and Pep Guardiola appear to be polar opposites; the brash Portuguese man of war against the Catalan revolutionary, the pragmatist versus the visionary, the provocateur of “anti-football” dancing with the purveyor of “tiki-taka.”
With the derby coming up, we decided to record a little bonus episode, chatting with Bleacher Report’s Manchester City Correspondent and Manchester Evening News journalist Rob Pollard about the City perspective on the game. We talk Pep, obviously, and in spite of Paul’s best efforts to keep the City love in to a minimum, Rob waxes lyrical about the career of Yaya Toure. Rob is very fair minded on United and has interesting things to say about the rivalry from a City perspective and working on a Sports Desk at the global epicentre of football.
Another international week, another series of pointless World Cup qualifiers. Another crap England performance? Oh yeah! Injuries? You betchya! Players knackered after tens of thousands of miles on a plane. Sure thing! But at least there’s the derby to look forward to…