Author Ed

Author Ed

Van Gaal’s rotten transfer legacy: 13 players, five departures and lots of questions

March 24, 2017 Tags: , Opinion 18 comments
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Bastian Schweinsteiger’s long-proposed move to Chicago Fire was finally completed this week, with the German heading Stateside ahead of the new MLS season. The World Cup winner left with a classy parting message to Manchester United fans and seemingly no bitterness, despite what has been a difficult and unproductive 18 months at Old Trafford. Schweinsteiger’s departure means that five of Louis van Gaal’s 10 signings as United manager have now left the club. Of those who remain perhaps only two can be considered successful, each with caveats attached. It is a truly rotten legacy.

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Rant Cast 300 – Europa or bust

March 21, 2017 Tags: Rant Cast 3 comments
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After a two-week break, Ed & Paul look back on United’s past few games – against Bournemouth, Rostov, Chelsea and Middlesbrough. It has been a turbulent fortnight, with United now out of the FA Cup, out of sixth place in the league and one step further forward in the Europa League.

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Shattered Reds face Middlesbrough test

March 18, 2017 Tags: , Opinion 5 comments
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As weeks go, Manchester United’s was certainly mixed. FA Cup defeat to Chelsea on Monday came amid the controversy of Ander Herrera’s dismissal and Antonio Conte’s accusation of Red-flavoured anti-football. The former was certainly unfortunate, the latter misleading. Then, on Thursday, José Mourinho’s side eased into the Europa League quarter-final in unspectacular fashion, albeit in the process of losing world-record signing Paul Pogba to injury. Mourinho believes a heavy schedule is catching up on the club. It could get worse before it gets better.

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On referees and fake news

March 14, 2017 Tags: , , Opinion 10 comments
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The pattern is familiar: a high profile game, a hotly debated decision, pundits grasping loosely for facts in an opinionated world, and irate supporters venting frustration across social media. It was no different on Monday night, as referee Michael Oliver booked Ander Herrera twice inside 35 minutes at Stamford Bridge, in one moment ruining both the spectacle and Manchester United’s chances of retaining the FA Cup. To many United supporters Oliver’s performance was an aberration; to most others, a delight.

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Reds head into the unknown in pursuit of Europa glory

March 8, 2017 Tags: , Matches 4 comments
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What once was Manchester United’s fourth priority this season is now rapidly climbing in importance. The Europa League may be the tournament of losers and failures, but victory in the final on 24 May in Stockholm comes with the prize of Champions League football next season. The Reds may need it, especially after José Mourinho’s side dropped yet more points at home last weekend. Fourth place or better is now out of United’s hands.

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Zlat ban will frustrate player and manager, yet both could benefit

March 6, 2017 Tags: , Opinion 14 comments
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Zlatan Ibrahimovic will miss three Manchester United games after taking pointed retribution against Tyrone Mings at the weekend. The Swede’s swinging elbow was missed by referee Kevin Friend, but an FA panel found inevitable guilt in the 35-year-old’s violence. Yet, while the striker’s 26 goals in all competitions have been vital to United’s cause this season, there may be greater benefit from an enforced leave of absence.

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Rooney on the brink, we’ve been here before, but now it’s a matter of time

February 22, 2017 Tags: Opinion 6 comments
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To go, or not to go that is now the question. From the moment Jose Mourinho called time on Wayne Rooney’s special privileges at Manchester United the clock began ticking on the Scouser’s Old Trafford career. The inevitable is nigh. Now the club, although not publicly, is pushing Rooney towards a more rapid exit than previously imagined. China calls; will Rooney pick up?

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Retro revivalists Saint-Étienne kick off Reds cup charge

February 14, 2017 Tags: , Opinion 5 comments
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Three cup competitions, four games, 10 days. Manchester United’s Premier League campaign is on hold until March, with José Mourinho’s team focusing on the Europa League last-32, FA Cup fifth round, and the EFL Cup final for the rest of February. It promises to be a fascinating series of games that may culminate in Mourinho’s first silverware as United manager. First, however, is a tie with AS Saint-Étienne, the one-time grandee of French football, now fallen on leaner times.

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Rant Cast 297 – on obscure European sides from the 1970s

February 14, 2017 Tags: Rant Cast 2 comments
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The last time Manchester United faced Saint-Etienne the Red Army had a penchant for smashing up European cities and the Cup Winners Cup was still a thing. The glory days, the 1970s. Time has moved on and although Reds will behave far better at Old Trafford on Thursday and in France next week, the club is still participating in second rate European tournaments. Plus ça change

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Mourinho wary of “defensive” Watford as Reds aim to boost Old Trafford returns

February 11, 2017 Tags: , Opinion 5 comments
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When Watford’s favourite son, the late Graham Taylor, brought his team to Old Trafford for a League Cup Third Round tie in 1978 the Hornets left the Rainy City with a 2-1 victory. The goals, both from Luther Blissett, handed Watford the club’s only win on the red side of Manchester. Back in September, the contemporary version also beat United, this time at Vicarage Road. The calamitous 3-1 defeat for the Reds concluded a series of three reverses on the bounce for José Mourinho’s outfit. Neither United nor the Portuguese manager can accept a similar outcome as Watford visits Old Trafford on Saturday.

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