Opinion

Opinion

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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Captain Courageous: Reds need more than another Roy Race

July 7, 2017 Tags: , , , Opinion 4 comments
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A few years ago, The Blizzard’s Scott Murray had an interesting take on the influence Melchester Rovers’ Roy Race had on the English game. It was bluntly titled “How Roy Race Ruined English Football.” For the uninitiated, Roy Race is the protagonist of the comic Roy of the Rovers, a footballer who could always be relied upon to bail his team out of trouble with last gasp show stopping strikes.

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Pereira’s Predicament

July 4, 2017 Tags: Opinion 9 comments
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With Manchester United’s transfer activity stuck in limbo, somewhere between frustration and anticipation, José Mourinho may yet look towards his returning loanees to breathe some fresh life into his squad. Of the six United players who left the club on a temporary basis last season, it is likely that only one can force his way into Mourinho’s plans for the coming Premier League campaign: Andreas Pereira.

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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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United’s graveyard of potential

June 28, 2017 Tags: , Opinion 8 comments
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There are few things more exciting than watching a youngster showcase sky-high potential. Take Monaco’s latest prodigy, Kylian Mbappé, who injected fresh interest into the Champions League last season – a competition that has become stale in recent years given the domination of the continent’s biggest clubs, including Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Juventus. Young players bring unpredictability and excitement. Few outside France knew of the Frenchman’s talent before he burst onto the scene at the turn of the year. They know him now.

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Adieu Adnan

June 23, 2017 Tags: Opinion 9 comments
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“This is the end, beautiful friend, my only friend, the end” – The Doors.

It’s pretty safe to say that Adnan Januzaj’s United career can be filed in the ‘not quite good enough’ drawer. There’ll be a sense of bitterness, if there isn’t already, that a highly talented academy graduate will be moving on to pastures new, and perhaps a justifiable sense of anger that the Belgian didn’t kick on after his breakthrough season. Yet, perhaps the most appropriate feeling is one of sadness.

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