Opinion

Opinion

The case against Zlatan’s reintegration

September 28, 2017 Tags: Opinion 16 comments
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Considering football is a team sport, it is curious how the focus has shifted over time from praising the collective to singling out individuals. Greater access to statistics seems to have exacerbated the trend. Player comparison data, award ceremonies and social media keyboard warriors – the debate has moved to one based on individual meritocracy. Yet, while players drift in and out of form during a season, the team that wins the Premier League will probably be the most balanced in the division. Despite football’s narrative focusing less on the collective, it will always be the most important factor in a team’s ascension to glory.

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The Quiet Captain

September 23, 2017 Tags: Opinion 3 comments
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There’s a lot to be said about Antonio Valencia’s blockbusting opening strike against Everton last weekend; the sweetness of the hit, the sheer ferocity of the shot, and the pleasing sound of the ball thumping the back of the net. Perhaps the most noteworthy observation was the understated way the Ecuadorian celebrated his goal.  He simply jogged back and crossed his chest before acknowledging an onrushing Phil Jones. Captain quiet.

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Irresistible Marouane Fellaini

September 19, 2017 Tags: Opinion 3 comments
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Talent and utility are often found in some of the most unexpected places. Cockroaches, for example, are infamously disgusting creatures that cower in the shadows and scuttle out when least expected. Yet, they can also withstand levels of radiation that would kill humans. While the critters may be easily subdued with a quick stomp, it will be the cockroaches that become the dominant earthly species if America and North Korea carry out their recent threats.

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“Monster” Matić already the steal of the summer

September 18, 2017 Tags: Opinion 2 comments
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When Rant called Nemanja Matić “expensive” this summer the rationale was sound. After all, Chelsea had signed a French international replacement, in Tiemoue Bakayoko, who was not only younger, but cheaper as well. This is normally the formula for a reverse in the summer’s prices, with the younger player typically holding and retaining a higher value. It is all in the data. Reader pushback was strong though. The season may be just five games old, but the immediate take is clear: Rant 0 – 1 Audience.

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Tears of the Iron Tulip

September 16, 2017 Tags: Opinion 3 comments
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“So take a good look at my face, you see my smile looks out of place, if you look closer it’s easy to trace, the tracks of my tears.” – Smokey Robinson and the Miracles

Winning the FA Cup should have been a moment of respite for Louis van Gaal. In his final year in charge the Dutchman oversaw an unspectacular campaign at Old Trafford, serving up soporific football and little inspiration, dramatic tumbles in the presence of Mike Dean aside. Even after becoming the first United manager to lift silverware since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement, all the post FA Cup chatter was about the Iron Tulip’s imminent dismissalIndeed, Van Gaal reportedly first got wind of his firing from his wife Truss who had read about it on the BBC Sport website. The Dutchman hadn’t even left Wembley.

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Zla10 – #TheJourneyContinues

August 30, 2017 Tags: Opinion 3 comments
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So, Zlatan Ibrahimovic has re-signed for United and is back to finish what he started! I can’t wait for him to return, umm by the way when is that?

Well, if reports are to be believed he’s looking to play against Tottenham Hotspur when the Londoners visit Old Trafford on 28 October.  To put that into context he suffered serious ligament damage in his right knee against Anderlecht in April and usually the recovery time is nine months to a year.  United’s new number 10 could be playing football six months after sustaining a potential career ending injury.

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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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José’s Season of Redemption

August 14, 2017 Tags: Opinion 3 comments
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Addressing members of the press after Manchester United’s impressive 4-0 win against West Ham United, José Mourinho chose to be more Daedalus than Icarus when responding to questions about his side’s thumping win. If anyone knows about flying too close to the sun it is Mourinho after experiencing a rough departure at Real Madrid and, more painfully, a ruthless sacking during his second tenure at Chelsea.

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