Tag Transfers

Tag Transfers

Opportunity and opportunism in Sánchez transfer

January 18, 2018 Tags: , Opinion 10 comments
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It is a classic Ed Woodward deal. Manchester United’s imminent capture of Arsenal winger Alexis Sánchez will bring a world-class star to Old Trafford in a transfer that includes eye-watering sums of money. It is also a deal that, just weeks ago, few on the Red side of Manchester countenanced. Sánchez was off to Manchester City, to join the collection of £50 million full-backs of whom José Mourinho is apparently so jealous. Then City dithered and Woodward stepped in. Far from a long-term plan, the deal for Sánchez highlights the short-term thinking that reverberates through United’s hierarchy. It may also be a game-changer for a team still in need of extra stardust.

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What Mourinho needs in the second half of the season

January 11, 2018 Tags: , Opinion 1 comment
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Despite being a gargantuan 15 points behind likely champions Manchester City, José Mourinho’s team has been on an upward trajectory this season. The Reds are among the top scoring sides in the league, while also ranking near the top for total clean sheets. Mourinho’s men face an abundance of criticism and scrutiny, but it would be foolish to ignore the positives despite City’s lead. Yet, there are opportunities for improvement in each third of the pitch over the second half of the campaign.

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The Bare Minimum

January 3, 2018 Tags: , , , Opinion 2 comments
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José Mourinho should be the perfect manager for Ed Woodward and the Glazers, at least from a PR point of view. In recruiting the Portuguese tactician Manchester United, and Woodward in particular, hired a bona fide super-coach to bring success back to Old Trafford, as well as offering the marketing department a figure around which to build the club brand. Moreover, they appointed a human lightning rod, a character who demands the spotlight and sucks the oxygen of publicity away from everyone else. For owners as reclusive as the Glazers, Mourinho’s appointment ensures that attention is focused exclusively on the manager and not them. Or so they thought.

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Mourinho moans but recruitment not money is where United’s problems lie

December 29, 2017 Tags: , , Opinion 16 comments
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José Mourinho’s assertion that the £300 million he has spent since taking the Manchester United job in 2016 is “not enough” to compete in the Premier League is easy to mock. After all, he has been afford more investment in less than two full seasons than David Moyes or Louis van Gaal before him. More, indeed, than Sir Alex Ferguson over the Scots final few seasons at United. Yet, in the context of Manchester City’s generation of heavy spending, the Portuguese may well be right, though it hardly explains all United’s ills. How the club spends its money is far more of a challenge to bridging the gap to the rampant Blues.

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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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Mourinho’s Pragmaticos

June 21, 2017 Tags: , , Opinion 8 comments
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Some of Manchester United’s more cynical fans let out a sigh of dismay when Cristiano Ronaldo announced that he was no longer happy at Real Madrid, after accusations of tax fraud unsettled the superstar. Few enjoy the tedium of a summer transfer saga, it creates uncertainly, and United fans have been offered false hope too often in recent years. Some fans cling to the bdlief that Ronaldo will once again grace Old Trafford; plenty felt an anxious twang of déjà vu this week.

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Mourinho’s summer strategy takes shape

June 12, 2017 Tags: , Opinion 11 comments
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One down, how many more to go? Victor Lindelöf’s impending arrival, for a fee reportedly in excess of £30 million, is the first of what manager José Mourinho hopes will be at least four summer signings. The quartet will address Manchester United’s most prominent challenges last season: goalscoring, creativity, consistency at the back, and bite in midfield. It is likely to be an expensive summer – and not necessarily one replete with household names if Lindelöf’s capture signals a sensibly pragmatic turn in United’s transfer strategy.

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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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Griezmann factor highlights United’s summer strategy

February 8, 2017 Tags: , Opinion 2 comments
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The transfer rumour machine that surrounds Manchester United can be a frustrating affair. More often than not gossip claiming the imminent arrival at Old Trafford of big names fails to materialised into anything concrete. Since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement the fourth estate has confidently predicted the acquisition of Thiago Alcântara, Cesc Fàbregas, Sergio Ramos, Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo, Thomas Müller and, everyone’s favourite, Nicolás Gaitán. None have ended up gracing the Old Trafford turf. Is Antione Griezmann the latest in a long line, or another record-breaking buy in the making?

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