Author Archives: Ian Foran

If Solskjaer Wants To Bring Back The Fergie Years, Then He Has To Do What Fergie Did With Pogba

After Tuesday night, if Ole Gunnar Solskjaer didn’t know already – United need one hell of a rebuilding job.

The levels between the Red Devils and Barcelona was clearer than the sea in the Maldives. United have been carrying plenty of passengers within the squad for many a year, going back to the Fergie years.

This current squad needs ripping apart to its core. United have plenty of squad players but no stand out first teamers, Paul Pogba on his day is a stand out first team player – however, them days don’t come around to often or consistently enough.

Again, in recent weeks there are murmurings of Pogba’s unrest. It seems very much like, from an outsider looking in, that Pogba has a big say in what goes on.

If his match performances were of a high quality, even 80% of the time, you would give him a little movement to be demanding. Because on his day, Pogba is as good as anyone, he can control a game and turn a game around.

The inconsistency of the French international lets him down massively.

He tends to go missing in a lot of big games, especially when United need him the most. This couldn’t have been more evidential than the match this week against Barca.

No player is bigger than the club, however in an age of social media and followers – Pogba’s huge online presence serves what United need in the marketing department well. I feel it’s one of the reasons he is allowed a little more leeway than others.

Pogba’s been called a virus within the dressing room, sometimes there’s no smoke without fire. He clearly has ambitions of moving on, as he had indicted in a recent interview when openly courting Real Madrid.

There’s is plenty of internet chat about a Hazard/Pogba double swoop by Los Blancos this summer happening, and while Hazard has continued to be Chelsea’s top performer, Pogba again seems to have faded away in recent weeks.

In my personal opinion, if United sell Pogba this summer, on the bigger scale of things – I don’t think he’ll be missed.

They could then add to their transfer warchest and really go all out and get the seven or eight players they need to turn around this club and become a consistent title challenger once again.

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Should Solskjaer add David Neres To His Shopping List This Summer?

Manchester United are plotting a £45 million move for Ajax striker David Neres claims The Sun. The Red Devils were the latest to join the transfer race with some of Europe’s elite clubs such as Arsenal, Chelsea and Everton.

David Neres is a star in the making, a youth product of Brazilian outfit, Sao Paulo, Neres signed for the Amsterdam club in 2017. After making an immediate impact with the reserve side Jong Ajax, the 22-year-old soon was promoted to the main team.

The following season, the Brazilian forward was more effective scoring 14 goals and providing 13 assists in just 32 league appearances. Furthermore, he has been in red hot form this season so far, bagging 12 goals and eight assists across all competitions.

His notable performance came at the Champions League when he scored a goal against the defending champions Real Madrid. Later the Dutch giants were able to eliminate Los Blancos out of the competition in a 4-1 win.

Furthermore, Neres scored a stunning equalizer against Juventus last week in the quarter-finals thus keeping alive his side’s semi-final hopes, who completed the job last night.

Man United were off to an underwhelming start in Premier League this season under Jose Mourinho but dragged themselves back to top-4 four race lately under new manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

The key aspect that went missing with the Red Devils is the lack of attacking prowess up in front, despite Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial’s decent run, United struggled to find a consistent striker.

With Romelu Lukaku’s fluctuating form and Alexis Sanchez becoming injury-prone, the Old Trafford side ran out of options on several occasions. Neres possesses tremendous dribbling skills, agility and attributes which pertain to a typical Brazilian striker.

Moreover, he is much more effective with the counter attacks and precisive passing inside the boxes that makes him a perfect fit for all the top clubs.

Ed Woodward should seriously consider Neres as their next striker to succeed Belgian ace, Lukaku.

Three is the Magic Number as Rooney Helps Salford Ease Past Maidenhead

The last time I visited Moor Lane was for the 2016 Northern Premier play off final against Workington, Salford won 3-2. I remember going in the Moor lane entrance and standing on the hill. Behind the goal all the kids played football while the dads had a cheeky pint or two.

How three years can make a difference to a club. The stadium was impressive, giving the whole place a unrecognisable revamp to what I remember. The crowd had certainly grown and the level of football is far more professional.

Salford had the midday kick off, knowing a win would put Leyton Orient under pressure hours later. The Maidenhead fans were giving themselves a decent day out in front of the cameras, with them all turning up in fancy dress – a real sea of colour behind the goal.

Within the first 10 minutes Salford scored to spoil the away fans day trip with some decent work down the right from Adam Rooney, playing in Dieseruvwe to slot home.

15 minutes later Salford doubled their lead with Rooney again from the right with his second assist of the game, crossing the ball across the goal to Touray who power home. This caused Salford fans to start to singing ‘Are you watching Orient’ as the Ammies were marching towards the top of the National League.

Salford looked Dominant down their right hand side through Hogan and Wiseman, and it was causing the opposition some trouble.

One minute before half time, following a goalmouth scramble. Salford were awarded a penalty.

Upped stepped Rooney to cap his own glorious first half performance with a cooley taken spot kick, sending the goalkeeper the wrong way.

The home side led comfortably 3-0 and never seemed in danger of letting the lead slip. They seemed to cruise through the second half at a canter, although manager Graham Alexander never stopped demanding more of his players and barking orders all game.

Alexander even had the luxury of bringing off Rooney , who’d had a hand in all three goals.

Personally I feel Salford have it in their locker to go up as Champions with them hitting form at just the right time following a rocky patch at the start of the year. However, with only three games to play and two points behind they need Orient to have a very timely rocky patch of their own.

Final Score 3-0

…And Solskjaer Has Won It!

Every Man United fan knows them words, them words created little goosebumps on your arms, the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end. The glorious night back in 1999, the venue was the Nou Camp, two goals in the injury time three minutes to secure the treble for that unbelievable side. It capped off an incredible couple of week for all players, staff and fans.

Solskjaer has been down 1-0 before in the Catalan’s stadium, we all know the outcome. However, 20 years on and things are very different. United simply don’t have the team of ’99, they are also facing a very good Barcelona side who have a certain Lionel Messi in their side. A Barcelona side who are cantering to the La Liga title and a side who could rest 10 players at weekend.

Ole can certainly draw experience from them type of matches, knowing they have to stay in it until the very end – Look at PSG in the last round, albeit a dubious penalty helped them but they still had to be in the position to force the ref to make the call.

United since then have stuttered their resurgence under the Norwegian, and not looked the same side having only won two in six games.

The players will have a point to prove and, a classic European night in one of the biggest stadiums in the footballing world has to force you to up your game.

Ole needs Rashford, Lukaku, Martial, Pogba and even the invisible Sanchez all to show up tonight. They all need to make a statement, one that could define their season. If United do somehow turn Barca over in their own back yard, let’s hope it doesn’t have the same effect as the PSG game in the last round. Otherwise they’ll be in a posiiton of Champions League or bust.

Furthermore, with a very important transfer window on the horizon, Champions League football is a must has they look to overall the squad.

Every Red Devil will be hoping for a 1999 Nou Camp result. What’s your score predictions Man United fans for tonight?

Curzon Win The Frank Hannah Cup For The First Time Since 1990

Curzon Ashton v Mossley was a final only four years ago, that day Mossley came out on top winning 3-1 on penalties after a 1-1 draw within the 90 minutes.

Today Curzon had the chance to avenge that defeat back in 2015 and win their first Premier Cup since 1990, having been runners up three times (1993, 1996, 2015).

Hyde United’s Ewan Field stadium was the stage for the Frank Hannah Manchester Premier Cup final. The artificial pitch certainly gave both sides a chance to play some decent football.

Early on Deakin found himself in lots of room down the Nash’s right hand side, and looked to cause a lot of problems for the Mossley left back. The game settled into Curzon attack and Mossley defend type of game, and after 20 minutes Ryan Brooke broke free from the defence finding himself 1-1, he checked back to send a shot home far post. The goal was coming as Curzon piled the pressure on.

Mossley started to play with a high line, Curzon cottoned onto this and started to ping balls over the top. However, the Nash’s strikers found themselves offside more than on.

Just before the half time whistle, Mossley made it 1-1 and it certainly got the teams wheels motoring as they turned up the pressure on Curzon who went into the second half wondering how they weren’t in front.

The second half started and both sides had early chances to pinch in front. Mossley having the best chance following a passing move that many Premier League commentators would have been waxing lyrical over.

However, the pattern of play fell into a similar to that of the first half, with Curzon dominant and knowing they had more gears to find should they need it.

Just past the hour mark following great play by the impressive Luke Wall on the left, it was played across for Louis Wardle to shoot and a harsh deflection helped loop the ball over the goalkeeper.

Mossley had chances, however man of the match Wall sealed the trophy with an excellent solo goal down the right side. Intercepting the ball half way within his own half and going on a run which saw him slot the ball home from the corner of the six-yard box.

The 686 in attendance were treated to a good final. One that Mossley can take heart from as they went toe-to-toe with a team two divisions above them. It was simply the difference in levels that made the difference in the end.

Things have looked good under Mark Bradshaw since he took over, and maybe this trophy could be the start of an exciting era going forward for the Nash.


Ole Should Freshen Up the Team With These 3 Fringe Players After 1 win in 5

Some say the wheels are starting to fall off Ole’s reign following one win in the last five matches. A loss to Wolves in both the FA Cup and the Premier League, a defeat to Barcelona and a crucial defeat to Arsenal has left United in sixth.

Against Barcelona the levels were there for all to see with United not registering a shot on target, it maybe highlighted the work Solskjaer’s got to do in the summer transfer market.

A freshen up of the squad is needed not only today but in general, as a much needed revamp should take place this coming window.

Young and Shaw are both out through suspension which will give two players a chance to shine, and with a few injuries peppered throughout the midfield it can serve as a good chance to maybe blood some youngsters or give the fringe players a chance. especially with the return Barcelona keg to come this week coming.

With that in mind, here are three players that should be given the nod today to get the Red Devils top four target back on track…

Diogo Dalot

WIth Ashley Young being out, the player brought in as a long term replacement for then right back regular Antonio Valencia has his chance to cement his spot.

It was clearly evident not only against Barca but for most of the season that Young needs replacing, and Dalot has impressed every time he has been on the pitch.

Marcos Rojo

Although technically Young is Luke Shaw’s back up, United don’t have natural left back within their first team ranks that can serve as a number two to Shaw.

Rojo has played in that position before, and would be the natural choice for Solskjaer. It seems Rojo may be on his way out of the club in the summer revamp, but he can still do a job for United until the end of the season while Shaw serves his Domestic and European bans.

Andreas Pereira

The Brazilian has enjoyed more match time this season, more so under Ole. One of the talents for the future, Pereira could have his chance to show if United need to invest more in the midfield or not with an impressive display against West Ham United today.

Having spent last season out on loan at Valencia, this year should be served as his break out year at United. Especially if he wants to become more than another player who came through the ranks and couldn’t cut the grade at the top when needed.

Rochdale travel to Portsmouth looking to take a step closer to safety

Looking back over the head-to-head meetings between the sides (Stats Via 11v11) the sides have met ten times since 1978. In them matches Rochdale have only managed one win – 2104 – and two draws.

Now in Brian Barry-Murphy’s mind, however much he’d love to win every game, he’d much prefer to take points off the teams in and around them and sacrifice any losses against the likes of Sunderland and Portsmouth.

Nevertheless, the renewed confidence within the squad following only one defeat in his six games in charge, and hoisting themselves out of the League Two relegation zone is there for all to see.

Barry-Murphy has instilled a way to win and got a tune out of a squad of players, who were quite frankly underachieving and under performing under the old regime for most of the season.

An away fixture to a team who have four straight wins under their belt in the league and fighting for a promotion place is not best welcomed. However, Rochdale pushed Sunderland close last week and they can draw experience from that result, alongside the fact they kept a clean sheet in a win mid week in the league since they last played Accrington Stanley back in November.

There are a six points separating 10 places in the league, a couple of wins and Dale could see themselves midtable, however, a couple of losses and they could be back in the relegation zone – it’s that tight.

With games coming up against Southend and Wycombe, who are both on a poor run of results, they are must win matches. So today, even if Dale grab a point it can be seen as a hugely positive result and one that further cements Barry-Murphys amazing turnaround at the club.

Rochdale fans, what do you think the result will be today?

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