Opinion

Opinion

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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Ajax v United: Kasper Dolberg – The Boy’s Dane Good

May 20, 2017 Tags: , , Opinion 2 comments
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Over the years Ajax Amsterdam has made a habit of housing Danish football’s finest talents. The famous red and white jersey has been graced by the presence of Søren Lerby, Frank Arnesen, Jan Mølby, Jesper Olsen, and more recently Christian Eriksen. Following in illustrious footsteps is Kasper Dolberg, the newly crowned winner of this season’s Johan Cruyff Award. In part one of a multi-part preview of the Europa League final, Rant looks at Ajax’ blonde danger man.

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Stuck in the middle with Mou

May 17, 2017 Tags: Opinion 5 comments
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Make no mistake, Manchester United’s Premier League season will end in disappointment, no matter the scoreline against Crystal Palace at the weekend. At the start of the campaign this was a team touted to challenge for the Premier League title having acquired stellar names over the summer: Zlatan Ibrahimović, Paul Pogba and Henrikh Mkhitaryan. That’s not to mention Eric Bailly, who has turned out to be one of the consistent bright points in a frustrating season. Add José Mourinho, the man who should have succeeded Sir Alex Ferguson, and everybody assumed the club would challenge for top honours.

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Rant’s manifesto to turn United around

May 16, 2017 Tags: Opinion 9 comments
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It is a team is stumbling towards the season’s end, the Premier League is a long forgotten dream, and the campaign will conclude successfully only if the Reds emerge victorious in next week’s Europa League final. There is glory, Champions League qualification, and tens of millions in revenue at stake. Yet, whatever the outcome of the Stockholm final few can conclude that José Mourinho has delivered on the promise offered last summer. It’s going to be a C plus season, with yet another a rethink in store over the break.

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United out to spoil Spurs’ party as season’s end draws near

May 13, 2017 Tags: , Opinion 5 comments
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After 118 years Tottenham Hotspur prepares to say goodbye to White Hart Lane. The century has not aged the old ground well, with Spurs’ facilities outdated and other clubs moving ahead. It is testament to Mauricio Pochettino’s talent as a manager that he has taken the Lillywhites to second on the Premier League’s sixth largest budget. José Mourinho might typically be out to spoil the party, but with the Manchester United manager has long since prioritised winning the Europa League. It might not be a scratch team on Sunday, but it is likely to be far from full strength.

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Mourinho must improve squad management to move United forward

May 10, 2017 Tags: Opinion 5 comments
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Perhaps, in private, José Mourinho will admit that Manchester United’s performance at Arsenal last Sunday was one of relentless mediocrity. In public, of course, he said something very different, defending his players and bemoaning a heavy schedule. Yet, United remained competitive against Arsenal for no more than 15 minutes at the Emirates. Then the home side took charge, with two quick goals securing the points for a beleaguered Arsene Wenger. It was a performance that should stimulate plenty of scrutiny about the manager’s approach this season – not least in his management of a squad that contains a mix of players too shattered to be effective and those too rusty to impress.

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Mourinho bets season on Europa semi as Reds face Celta

May 4, 2017 Tags: , Opinion 1 comment
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There was little excuse for Manchester United’s performance last Sunday as José Mourinho’s side slipped to yet another home draw, this time against Swansea City. Yet, for an increasingly unpredictable manager, finger-pointing was once again the order of the day as the Reds’ top-four hopes took a potentially terminal blow. There is room for improvement, with Mourinho taking his injury-hit squad to Spain on Thursday to face Celta Vigo in the Europa League semi-final. In a decidedly mixed campaign, the sweetener of more silverware remains.

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Everything you always wanted to know about Celta Vigo (but almost certainly couldn’t be bothered to ask)

May 3, 2017 Tags: , Opinion No comments
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When Manchester United drew Celta Vigo in the Europa League semi-final it had fans looking at Wikipedia, checking Whoscored for data, and reaching for the long-lost Galician guide books. Celta may not be one of La Liga’s giants, nor doing particularly well this season, but it is a team that has dispatched some decent quality opposition in this year’s competition. Celta is also the club that stands between United and a date in Stockholm at the end of May – and possible Champions League qualification.

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De Gea’s Long Goodbye

April 29, 2017 Tags: Opinion 15 comments
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Legend goes that a broken fax machine was all that kept David De Gea from his purported dream move to Real Madrid back in 2015. The detailed account is, naturally, slightly more complex with documents being sent right at the very end of the transfer window and in the end not being processed through FIFA channels in time. Both clubs played the blame game before De Gea, surprisingly, signed a four-year deal. Now he may finally be on his way.

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