Author Ed

Author Ed

Rant Cast 303 – Special, Again

April 19, 2017 Tags: Rant Cast 1 comment
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What a game, what an approach, what a result! José Mourinho’s ‘tactical masterclass’ in United’s defeat of Chelsea at Old Trafford was, perhaps, the manager’s finest performance as Old Trafford boss. Victory puts United back in the frame for Champions League qualification and buys Mourinho significant credit for the months ahead.

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Mourinho reimagines his past to revitalise Reds’ future

April 16, 2017 Tags: , Opinion 12 comments
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It was archetypal José Mourinho. On Sunday, the Portuguese manager found the perfect tactical riposte to the champions elect at Old Trafford. His Manchester United side emerged victorious after nullifying Chelsea in impressive fashion. Not that Mourinho’s team was on the defensive in victory against Antonio Conte’s side on Sunday. Far from it. The Portuguese manager reimagined his natural and historical inclination towards destructive football in his finest performance as United manager to date.

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Anderlecht in the path of United’s Europa League mission

April 12, 2017 Tags: , Matches No comments
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Which is the greater priority: finishing inside the Premier League’s top four or winning the Europa League? With each comes Champions League qualification, although only victory in Europe’s second tier competition brings with it silverware. Certainly, the regularly dropped points in the Premier League this season has placed greater emphasis on European competition. The latest side in United’s path – Belgian league leaders Anderlecht.

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Rant Cast 302 – The David Moyes Disappreciation Society

April 11, 2017 Tags: Rant Cast 3 comments
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Manchester United came, Manchester United saw, Manchester United stuck it to David Moyes on Wearside. So, it wasn’t the finest performance, but after two draws at Old Trafford in the past week, three points offer a great fillip to the Reds’ hopes of making the Champions League

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The pattern that Mourinho cannot break

April 6, 2017 Tags: , Opinion 26 comments
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Has Manchester United manager José Mourinho regressed into his bad cop routine just a little too early? The pattern is familiar, the one in which Dirty Harry challenges his punk players to try their luck. Just one more time. It begins with key players being ostracised in an increasingly public fashion, as if to distract from on-the-pitch failings, and ends with Mourinho leaving his post ignominiously, player power having won. Chelsea, Real Madrid, and Chelsea again. Bad cop gone bad. The red flags are many at Old Trafford as well. In the course of a week Mourinho launched into an astonishing and public attack on his creative players, before throwing youthful defender Luke Shaw under a lengthy bus. Yet, for all the concerns raised by Mourinho the man manager this week it is another pattern that is troubling the Portuguese coach most – the inability of his team to win games at Old Trafford. It will probably cost the club a place in next season’s Champions League.

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Threadbare Reds face West Brom as battle for top four reaches critical juncture

April 1, 2017 Tags: , Opinion 5 comments
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Relief, at last, from the many long nights of international boredom. The real stuff happens this weekend, with José Mourinho’s Manchester United in Premier League action against West Bromwich Albion on Saturday. Such is the malaise surrounding FIFA’s lengthy two-year World Cup qualification process that the nation awaits the Premier League’s return, save for Arsenal supporters, for whom a meaningless friendly between Andora and Vanuatu is merciful respite from the soul crushing misery of their reality.

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

March 24, 2017 Tags: , Opinion 21 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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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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