Author Ed

Author Ed

Reds back in the Champions League: everything you need to know

August 27, 2017 Tags: , , , Opinion No comments
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It has been more than 18 months since Manchester United’s last fixture in the Champions League, a tame 3-2 defeat at VfL Wolfsburg that condemned Louis van Gaal’s prosaic side to a group stage exit. It marked the conclusion of another mediocre season in Europe’s premier competition, a pattern followed from 2011/12 until last year’s Europa League win. With the new campaign comes another shot at the big time, with last Thursday’s the Champions League draw offering up a group stage that most at Old Trafford will accept.

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Mourinho’s tale of two strikers as Reds welcome Leicester

August 26, 2017 Tags: , Opinion 3 comments
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The acquisition had long been flagged, even if the timing of Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s re-signing took many by surprise. Still months away from full fitness and courted by clubs in Europe and the United States, the Swede will return to the Manchester United squad as a back-up and not the main man. That much is reflected in Ibrahimovic’s new wage, which is less than half the amount that he earned last season. Yet, while the striker will not face Leicester City at Old Trafford on Saturday, his presence is already felt.

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Mourinho demands goals as league campaign begins

August 13, 2017 Tags: , Matches 1 comment
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José Mourinho has called on his Manchester United squad to score more goals as the Reds seek to regain the Premier League for the first time since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement. United scored just 54 on the way to sixth place in the league last season. This term, Mourinho wants his team to score more by spreading the burden around, starting with Sunday’s visit to Old Trafford by West Ham United.

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Reds open campaign with Super Cup test

August 8, 2017 Tags: , , Opinion 4 comments
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It’s 77 days since José Mourinho’s Manchester United side lifted the Europa League in Stockholm. Thousands of Reds were suitably inebriated as goals from Paul Pogba and Henrikh Mkhitaryan secured the only major trophy missing from the club’s hefty trophy cabinet. The prize was a place in this season’s Champions League – and a date with Real Madrid to contest the Super Cup in Skopje.

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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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