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UNITEDRANT

Henrikh Mkhitaryan, mirroring United’s story

December 9, 2016 Tags: Opinion 1 comment
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For a while it appeared that Henrikh Mkhitarayan’s Manchester United career would never get beyond the “what if?” stage. The Armenian seemed destined for an ignominious exit, with José Mourinho unimpressed. Yet, the summer signing from Borussia Dortmund is now in the team, making a second Premier League start against Everton, months after that fateful début against Manchester City in September.  Then came that spectacular goal in Ukraine on Thursday. It may be too soon to start celebrating, but there are signs that the tide is slowly turning in Mkhitarayan’s favour. Can he can finally light up Old Trafford? One hopes – and for a long time to come.

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Frustrating Reds look to build on Cup success

December 3, 2016 Tags: , Matches 11 comments
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It’s official – Manchester United has made the leap from chronically depressing to mind-bogglingly frustrating. In what feels like a cruel joke, José Mourinho’s side is now, in many ways, the antithesis of Louis van Gaal’s uninspiring outfit, but for the rather large caveat of being unable to find the net. That will have to change with the Reds at Everton this weekend.

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Carrick successor should be United’s priority in January window

December 2, 2016 Tags: Opinion 20 comments
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It has been a season of inconsistency, a fact highlighted by José Mourinho’s indecision when it comes to his starting team. Case in point, Mourinho has named the same line up in consecutive matches just once this season, at home to Southampton followed by the trip to Hull City. While injuries can disrupt team selection, Manchester United lies 15th on the ‘injury league table’ this season. In truth, it is far more likely reason that constant tinkering is the result of Mourinho not knowing his best side. But one point of consistent excellence this season has been Michael Carrick.

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United Rant Presents: The Paul Pogba Vine Theory

November 30, 2016 Tags: , , Opinion 15 comments
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Social media is an amazing tool for sports. Twitter allows for instant reactions, enabling  fanbases of all clubs to unite, or clash, in one giant community. Increasingly, video is proving a critical part of the interaction: Twitter video and Vine, which was popular until its demise. But the impact of video clips has undoubtedly had an impact on the football bubble. Not always in a positive way.

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Rant Cast 286 – no medicine but hope

November 29, 2016 Tags: Rant Cast 6 comments
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What to make of Manchester United? Handsome victory over Feyenoord in the Europa League followed by yet another deeply frustrating home draw with West Ham in the Premier League. The domestic result leaves United 11 points behind the league leaders, with qualification for next season’s Champions League all but a rapidly fading dream.

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The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

November 28, 2016 Tags: , Opinion 8 comments
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There’s a lot to be said about Manchester United’s current plight. For all the so-called dominance on the pitch, results aren’t coming José Mourinho’s way. Increasingly the Europa League looks like United’s best route to Champions League football next season. In common with Thursday’s victory, United’s best results this season have come with Michael Carrick in the team. So how can Mourinho extract the most from his ageing midfielder?

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Reds chase goals as struggling West Ham visit Old Trafford

November 26, 2016 Tags: , Opinion 7 comments
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As results go, Manchester United’s victory over Dutch side Feyenoord was certainly overdue. José Mourinho’s side found its shooting boots along with some electrifying performances in a 4-0 victory that leaves the Reds close to qualification for the Europa League knockout stages. United scored more than once for the first time in three home games to break an unfortunate record. Could it spark a much-needed revival?

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Reds discover shooting boots, now Ibra must justify place

November 25, 2016 Tags: , , , Opinion 3 comments
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Perhaps the most shocking data point from Manchester United’s last three Premier League home games is the more than 70 shots taken for just two goals scored. United 1-1 Stoke City, United 0-0 Burnley and United 1-1 Arsenal all carried a good deal of frustration. The six points lost in draws where United should have won might just be critical by May and could have taken José Mourinho’s side to just three points behind leaders Chelsea. It wasn’t so and for the most part the blames lies with the Reds’ inability to turn chances into goals. Not so on Thursday, with United vibrant in attack and efficient in scoring four against Feyenoord. The question is whether United can sustain the level of performance when the serious business of domestic football resumes this weekend?

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Reds face Feyenoord in ‘must win’ Europa League fixture, unsure whether players or manager really care

November 24, 2016 Tags: , Matches No comments
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Four points – the difference between Manchester United’s elimination from this season’s Europa League and the humiliation of having to play in Europe’s second tier competition past the New Year. José Mourinho’s side could collect three of the four points required to qualify from Group A on Thursday night with Feyenoord visiting Old Trafford. The real question, of course, is whether any of the players are really up for it?

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