Author Ed

Author Ed

Mourinho may not be ready to unleash United’s shackles

August 5, 2017 Tags: Opinion 7 comments
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There is some truth in a phrase attributed to Albert Einstein: that “we cannot solve problems by using the same kind of thinking that we used to create them.” It is a quote to adorn a thousand memes. And yet, José Mourinho faces the same test in his thinking ahead of the new season. The club has acquired three new faces, but a change of approach is needed if Manchester United is to challenge for the title this season. Will Mourinho revert to the type of last season, where caution won out over endeavour, or change-up in the search for a first Premier League title in five years?

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US tour underlines United’s progress and limitations

July 27, 2017 Tags: , Opinion 14 comments
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José Mourinho’s tired Manchester United squad flew back to England on Thursday, a five game tour of the United States having concluded with a narrow defeat to Barcelona in Washington D.C. That defeat was far from catastrophic, of course, and Mourinho will have confirmed much about his squad’s qualities and weaknesses over the past three weeks. It is the latter that was front of mind as United departed Dulles, bound for Manchester.

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Preview: summer tour 2017

July 15, 2017 Tags: , Opinion 2 comments
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By the time the Manchester United take to the field on Saturday night it will have been just 53 days since José Mourinho’s side beat Ajax to secure the Europa League. That victory earned the Reds a second major trophy of the season and a place in the Champions League. It turned a six out of 10 season into something better, relaxing some of the pressure on Mourinho to end four years of failure since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement. There is much more to do, of course, with Mourinho’s side finishing sixth in the Premier League last season. Improvement is certainly expected, with pre-season critical to ensuring United starts the new campaign on the front foot.

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Rooney leaves with a whimper, to be remembered as one of the best

July 10, 2017 Tags: Opinion 20 comments
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Gary Neville might have said it best: football is a cynical industry, and Manchester United is a cynical club. It’s something about the bravado and thirst for success. Past greats are celebrated, but the club moves on. Better players than Wayne Rooney have left Old Trafford; better loved players too. Gone, not forgotten, but with a focus shifted quickly. The king is dead; long live the king. Yet, history will also record the new Evertonian as one of the finest to have played for the club.

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Reds ready for return as pressure to deal mounts

July 2, 2017 Tags: , , Opinion 19 comments
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Picture the scene. Thursday, 17 December, 2015. Chelsea’s annual Christmas lunch at the club’s Cobham training ground has just concluded. The mood is downbeat. The Blues had lost 2-1 at Leicester City the previous Monday to record a ninth Premier League defeat of the season. José Mourinho’s low-key pre-lunch training session does little to lighten the atmosphere. The manager is sporting a newly shaven head and the stubble of a man too distracted to shave. As the players drift home, chairman Bruce Buck and director Eugene Tenenbaum arrived to sack Mourinho as Chelsea manager for the second time. A brutal assasination.

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Rant Cast 308 – End of Season Review

June 13, 2017 Tags: Rant Cast 5 comments
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It has been three weeks in the making, but here it is – the final Rant Cast of the season. This week Ed & Paul look back on the past 10 months of football. The highs, the lows, the THREE trophies won. As always, there’s the much coveted (not at all coveted) RANT CAST AWARDS: Goal of the Season, Goalkeeper of the Season, Defender of the Season, Midfielder of the Season, Attacker of the Season, and Player of the Season. New this season: Shithousery of the Season!

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Mourinho’s summer strategy takes shape

June 12, 2017 Tags: , Opinion 11 comments
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One down, how many more to go? Victor Lindelöf’s impending arrival, for a fee reportedly in excess of £30 million, is the first of what manager José Mourinho hopes will be at least four summer signings. The quartet will address Manchester United’s most prominent challenges last season: goalscoring, creativity, consistency at the back, and bite in midfield. It is likely to be an expensive summer – and not necessarily one replete with household names if Lindelöf’s capture signals a sensibly pragmatic turn in United’s transfer strategy.

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Rant’s Premier Predictions 2016/17 revisited

June 7, 2017 Tags: Opinion 1 comment
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Each year Rant predicts the season ahead. Manchester United’s performance, the winners, the losers and the individual stars of the campaign. There have been very mixed results over the years. If you want, you can check out predictions and results from 2009 onwards here. The predictions are made without the mathematical models so in vogue and are thus little more than (ill)-educated guesses! Correct predictions in green, incorrect in red.

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Season review and ratings 2016/17

June 2, 2017 Tags: Opinion 12 comments
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Silverware! One, two, three – just like that new manager José Mourinho secured two major trophies and the season-opening Community Shield. Victory over Ajax in the Europa League final upgraded the campaign from disappointing to promising – and with it Mourinho secured just Manchester United’s fifth ever European trophy and passage through to next season’s Champions League. Yet, there’s no hiding the club’s poor finish in the league, and if there’s any measure that truly counts, it’s United’s performance against peers. There is much work to do and plenty of decisions to make over the summer.

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Everything you always wanted to know about Ajax

May 23, 2017 Tags: , Opinion 1 comment
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Wednesday’s Europa League final offers José Mourinho not only the opportunity to salvage Manchester United’s season, but a route back into the Champions League. After four seasons of failure, United cannot afford to miss out on the continent’s élite competition once again. It’s a task easier said than done of course. Mourinho’s side was some way short of making it through the Premier League. So all eyes on Stockholm this week. The opponents: Ajax, a vibrant and youthful side ready to make the step to the next level.

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