Tag Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Tag Zlatan Ibrahimovic

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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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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Mourinho’s summer to do list

June 5, 2017 Tags: , , , , , Opinion 10 comments
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The dust has barely settled on Manchester United’s Europa League victory and already attention is turning towards next season. In some ways that is what the final against Ajax was all about – setting the tone for José Mourinho’s second campaign. United’s League Cup triumph, combined with the only trophy missing from the Old Trafford cabinet just about offset a mediocre sixth-place finish in the Premier League. It allows the manager to look ahead with a degree of security. So what now?

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Zlat ban will frustrate player and manager, yet both could benefit

March 6, 2017 Tags: , Opinion 14 comments
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Zlatan Ibrahimovic will miss three Manchester United games after taking pointed retribution against Tyrone Mings at the weekend. The Swede’s swinging elbow was missed by referee Kevin Friend, but an FA panel found inevitable guilt in the 35-year-old’s violence. Yet, while the striker’s 26 goals in all competitions have been vital to United’s cause this season, there may be greater benefit from an enforced leave of absence.

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The King who would be legend

January 18, 2017 Tags: Opinion 6 comments
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Zlatan Ibrahimović’s equalizer against Liverpool at Old Trafford is a breathtakingly good goal. His sense to take a couple of steps back into a tiny pocket of space thus giving Antonio Valencia a clear target for a cross demonstrated the instincts of a top-class and experienced striker. His header was placed, inch perfect high into the goal. Make no mistake it was not easy to execute. What shouldn’t get lost in the joy and relief of Ibrahimović’s leveler was his reaction to the goal.

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Reds discover shooting boots, now Ibra must justify place

November 25, 2016 Tags: , , , Opinion 3 comments
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Perhaps the most shocking data point from Manchester United’s last three Premier League home games is the more than 70 shots taken for just two goals scored. United 1-1 Stoke City, United 0-0 Burnley and United 1-1 Arsenal all carried a good deal of frustration. The six points lost in draws where United should have won might just be critical by May and could have taken José Mourinho’s side to just three points behind leaders Chelsea. It wasn’t so and for the most part the blames lies with the Reds’ inability to turn chances into goals. Not so on Thursday, with United vibrant in attack and efficient in scoring four against Feyenoord. The question is whether United can sustain the level of performance when the serious business of domestic football resumes this weekend?

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Loyalty be damned: Zlatan is up for the chop

November 1, 2016 Tags: , Opinion 14 comments
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Management, for better or worse, is about making tough decisions. There is a line between loyalty to a player, friend, or employee and what is best for the club. Players, for all of their ephemeral worth, are never more important than the club itself. Whatever is best for the club must prevail. In this spirit, despite José Mourinho’s long-standing relationship with Zlatan Ibrahimović, it may be time for the Portuguese coach to make another big decision.

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Pogba’s rise may necessitate Rooney demise

August 16, 2016 Tags: , , , , , , Opinion 6 comments
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“And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to depart into hell.”

Rant doesn’t often get biblical, but in a summer of tough decisions for Manchester United, it is true that success sometimes necessitates sacrifice. Trimming the fat can be the price of moving forward, making tough calls for the betterment and progression of a club. United might need to address the elephant in the room – Wayne Rooney is the hand that might need to be severed for the body to survive.

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Exploring Manchester United’s new attacking setup

August 8, 2016 Tags: , , , , , , , Opinion 17 comments
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For the first time in what feels like a generation there are plenty of options in Manchester United’s attack. Such was the depth of David Moyes and Louis Van Gaal’s mediocrity that each was an architect of some of the most boring football seen at Old Trafford in decades. It is now José Mourinho’s time and the impression is already strong that he will not stand for it. Fun is returning to the red side of Manchester.

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Ibrahimovic? No thanks!

July 9, 2009 Tags: Opinion 8 comments

The best part of silly season is the speculation. This summer is no different and with United’s apparent bumper transfer kity the rumour mill has been in full swing. Sometimes there is unrealistic hope that United will pull off a mega-deal, such as with tabloid speculation about David Villa. Occasionally, the club is linked with hitherto unheard of ‘wonderkids’ from all parts of the globe, normally being hawked by their agents. Then there’s the best bit – the signings – and there have been three new United players to date, albeit somewhat underwhelming.

But just occasionally there’s a rumour that makes you shudder with fear. Not Liverpool hero Michael Owen moving to Old Trafford, as sickening as that was when it came true. No, worse still is today’s rumour that Sir Alex Ferguson is seriously considering a bid for Inter Milan’s striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

It’s not that the Swede is a bad player. His record is decent. Indeed, he picked up the capocannonieri title as Serie A’s top goalscorer last season with 25 strikes, and bad players don’t do that. Moreover, his performances moved no less a manager than Jose Mourinho to call him “the best player in the world.”

But Mourinho’s assertion was ridiculous – designed more to make headlines than based on reality. At the very top level, when it really matters, Ibrahimovic has normally flattered to deceive. To use a topical parlance, crueller pundits have labelled the striker as little more than a flat-track bully. It’s hard to remember a really big game that Ibrahimovic has won for club or country with a performance his monumental hype justifies. Ibrahimovic’s performance in two Champions League ties against United last season, for example, rarely rose above the average.

Tabloid rumours are not always without cause. The player is certainly looking for a move this summer, although Barcelona has always been Ibrahimovic’s preferred destination. However, with the European Champions only likely make a move if their bid for David Villa falls through, the leaked rumours about United’s apparent interest are given greater context. It would be a huge surprise if Fergie sanctions a bid, especially as it would need to be more £30 million for the forward.

More worrying than his ability, the man himself is particularly unpleasant. Aside from once demanding to be substituted because he couldn’t be bothered (a strop Mourinho gave no credence), perhaps the most abhorrent aspect of Ibrahimovic’s nature is the player huge ego. While the striker is hardly the first – or worst – offender in this department, he is perhaps the least talented player to consider himself the best on the planet. Fergie would do well to steer clear.

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