Reads

Reads

The case against Zlatan’s reintegration

September 28, 2017 Tags: Reads 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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Reds ditch Playstation football as Mou focuses on CSKA challenge

September 26, 2017 Tags: , Matches 1 comment
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José Mourinho’s tone was typically acerbic in dismissing his team’s “Playstation football” on the Champions League matchday one. Sure, Manchester United comfortably beat FC Basel, the limited Swiss side that is unlikely to make the knockout stages, but Mourinho could focus only on his team’s perceived lack of professionalism. There will be no repeat of the late showboating that marked United’s victory at Old Trafford as Mourinho’s team takes on CSKA in Moscow this week.

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The Quiet Captain

September 23, 2017 Tags: Reads 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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Mourinho banking on in-form forwards to take Reds through testing month

September 22, 2017 Tags: , Matches No comments
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It was only Burton. It was only Burton. It was only Burton. Repeat the mantra. In fact, given Nigel Clough’s decision to rest a number of his first choice players on Wednesday, any judgment about Manchester United’s victory over Burton Albion reserves must be taken with some caution. Still, excitement there was, especially with Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard all outstanding on the night. The Reds are back! Right?

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Irresistible Marouane Fellaini

September 19, 2017 Tags: Reads 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: Reads 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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Rooney remains the story as former Red returns to Old Trafford

September 17, 2017 Tags: , Matches No comments
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José Mourinho is focused first on winning – taking back whatever momentum was lost during Manchester United’s frustration draw at Stoke City last week. The rest of Sunday’s narrative will centre on Wayne Rooney, the erstwhile Red and club record goalscorer, who returns to Old Trafford for the first time as an Everton player. The 31-year-old will enjoy a fine Manchester reception, whatever caveats remain about the player’s history at the club.

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Tears of the Iron Tulip

September 16, 2017 Tags: Reads 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: Reads 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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