Author Archives: Danny Brierley

Solskjaer Sees Just How Big a Job He Has at Man United, After Dreadful End To The Season

Well, the Premier League season as finally come to a close, it was a nail-biting season for some fans, and it came down to the last game to decide who became Premier League champions.

However, if you’re a Manchester United fan, like myself there was nothing to celebrate, in fact, it was a dreadful season, to say the least. After witnessing an utter shambles in the last match of the season at Old Trafford against relegated Cardiff City, it’s clear to see that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has a massive rebuilding job on his hands.

The team needs a massive clear out, there’s a lot of deadwood within that Manchester United team, from back to front, and there are players within the first team that aren’t quite good enough. The defence is shocking, three of the defenders who played in our last game were terrible, Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Ashley Young have simply not been good enough and Ole needs to move them on, recruiting a right back and a centre back to partner Victor Lindelof.

Then there’s the midfield…Paul Pogba gets a lot of stick off the fans which I’ve heard first hand myself. Yes, he’s been inconsistent but it’s not entirely his fault. In my opinion and many Manchester United fans will probably disagree with me, Pogba is a talent but he needs good players around him.

Unfortunately, with Ander Herrera leaving on a free, he hasn’t got good players around him, and I don’t feel Pogba can carry a team on his own.

Just look at our neighbours Manchester City, their midfield consists of four very good players. I want Pogba to stay put and for Ole to build the team around him, recruit one or two creative midfielders to help Pogba and to take the pressure off him.

Scott McTominay isn’t good enough to play in the first team, and Nemanja Matic is defensive, Fred and Andreas Pereira need to step up to the plate.  With Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial upfront and the likes of Mason Greenwood coming through the ranks, if these three starts firing then the attack isn’t too bad, although I’d move Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez on and cash in on them.

The other factor is that the players aren’t fit enough to play the style of football Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants his players to play. There looked burnt out, so first and foremost Ole needs to get the players fitness up to standards where they can maintain fast and attacking football.

Solskjaer will no doubt need to replace departing and departed players such as Herrera and possibly Juan Mata, with rumours circulating about Pogba’s future, Ole may need to replace him.

There’s no doubting that the job Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as got is a massive job, and from what I witnessed at Old Trafford on the final game of the season the rebuilding process is going to take three years. I’m just hoping that the hierarchy at Manchester United stick with Ole, and back him by not becoming a club where we sack are managers willy nilly.

Furthermore, I also worry with Ed Woodward in charge at the club, that Manchester United will never progress. The only way that will happen is if Ed Woodward is sacked, and again I can’t see that happening unless the Saudi Arabia royal family buy the club. Then maybe they will sack Ed Woodward… but one can only dream.

Three Young Man United Players Solskjaer Should Give Minutes Too Against Cardiff City

Well, the Premier League season is nearing the end, with just one more game to play, and for a few teams, their last game could define there season.

Unfortunately, this won’t be the case for Manchester United, they’ve already missed out on a Champions League spot, and it’s certain they’ll finish 5th or 6th in the league. Manchester United will be welcoming Cardiff City to Old Trafford on the last day of the season, with Cardiff already been relegated, they to have nothing to play for, and both teams are simply going through the motions.

With that in mind I’m hoping Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will give some of the youngsters a run out. Manchester United have a history of playing, and developing youngsters through the academy, and the fans have already had a glimpse of a few of the up and coming academy youngsters. Three of them being Angel Gomes, Tahith Chong, and Mason Greenwood. During the Red Devils recent player of the year awards, English striker Greenwood was awarded the Jimmy Murphy Youth Team trophy, before Dutch forward Chong took home the Denzil Haroun Reserve Team prize.

Tahith Chong

It’s difficult to make the transition from the exciting prospect of the academy to first team player, but the head coach of the academy, Nicky Butt as suggested that Tahith Chong is one of several young players at the club who have the required work ethic to achieve that ambition.

Nicky Butt on Tahith Chong, “I remember when he signed a few years ago, speaking to his parents, looking them in the eyes and saying I genuinely believe there is a way into the first team for you.”

The young rapid Dutch forward made his first-team debut back in January in a cup tie against Reading, he’s since registered four outings for the first team, one being in the Champions League against PSG.

Mason Greenwood

Mason Greenwood began his career as a midfielder but has since evolved into a centre forward, he’s good with both feet and is rapid, and a very exciting player to watch. Clayton Blackmore said on Mason Greenwood “He’s great on the ball and very good with both feet. He’s the first person I’ve seen that takes penalties and free-kicks with his wrong foot. I’ve never come across anyone like that!”

Angel Gomes

Then there is Angel Gomes, the very talented 5ft 3in, attacking midfielder. The 18-year-old as composure, great dribbling skills and is creative, his playing style has been compared to that of Ronaldinho. Even though Gomes is very small in size he sees the game seconds before others, and just like Paul Scholes, Gomes as the ability to dictate a game with his intelligence.

These three youngsters are the future of Manchester United in my opinion, and I’m hoping Ole Gunnar Solskjaer lets the Old Trafford faithful see what they’re made of.

Man United Should Let Pogba Go For £160m and Go For Dybala – Agree

One more game to play before the Premier League season comes to a close, fast forward 12 months and the same question as resurfaced yet again, a question that I’m sure Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and the Manchester United hierarchy want answering?

…And that question is will Paul Pogba be a Manchester United player next season or, will he be strutting is stuff at the Bernabeu in front of thousands of Real Madrid fans

With Manchester United failing to secure Champions League football next season, it seems this time around, Pogba’s speculated departure seems a reality.

There’s no doubt that Pogba is a very gifted and talented player who wants to win trophies, and of course, play in the Champions League where he can display his talents to the whole of Europe. However, one thing is for sure Pogba won’t be able to do that whilst still at Manchester United.

With his fellow countryman and icon sat at the helm at Real Madrid, Pogba as now turned his attention, and maybe set is heart on playing for Zidane at Real Madrid, and who can blame him because it’s now or never.

I’d like Pogba to stay at Manchester United and help Ole Gunnar Solskjaer rebuild this club, and be in the mix with Manchester City and Liverpool in winning the Premier League title. After all, Pogba is a product of the academy and he said back in 2016 on his return to Old Trafford, that’s he’s come back home. But sadly I think the pulling power of Zidane and Real Madrid is going to be too good to turn down.

If Pogba as got his heart set on going to Real Madrid, I think Manchester United should accept his wishes and let him go because if he wants to go it’s pretty obvious he doesn’t want to play for Manchester United. With that said, the rumoured 160m Manchester United will receive for Pogba will go towards a replacement, and Pogba could have a part to play in helping recruit his replacement in the form of his ex-teammate and good friend, Paulo Dybala.

I’m an admirer of the Dybala and would like to see the Argentinian ply his trade at Old Trafford, so it excites me that Manchester United are supposedly in talks with Juventus over a sensational £85m swoop for the dynamic Argentinian.

The 25-year-old attacking midfielder, is the complete package, with his quick and creative play. This agile player possesses great technical ability, combined with his ability to beat players in one and one situations. Through his speed on the ball and exceptional dribbling skills, he is capable of creating chances for teammates or scoring goals himself.

He is comfortable in dropping deep and playing off other players. He is known for his stamina and hard-working contributions off the ball while helping out defensively. With his back to goal or running at players, there’s no question that Dybala is a handful to the opposing team.

I’m hoping to see Dybala wearing a Manchester United shirt at Old Trafford next season, showing 75,000 Manchester United fans why he was the man to replace Pogba.

Two Replacements For Pogba Should He Leave For Real Madrid

As the season draws to a close, that means one thing, the transfer window is due to be open, and with that, the transfer rumours run rife.

One transfer rumour that has reared its ugly head yet again is that of Paul Pogba’s future at Manchester United. This time United’s talisman has been linked to a potential move to Real Madrid. Manchester United are unwilling to part ways with there star player, and Ed Woodward will not make it easy for Real Madrid but he may be tempted to sell the French World Cup-winning midfielder if, Real Madrid can stump up £160m.

There’s no doubt that Pogba as bags of talent, and is Man Utd’s best player, but his consistency on the pitch continues to let him down. If the inevitable happens and Pogba does jump ship, one thing is for sure Ole Gunner Solskjær will have to replace him.

Two players Ole should be looking at to replace Pogba, ironically have been dubbed the ‘new Paul Pogba’ and the ‘Serbian Paul Pogba’…

Sergej Milinković-Savić

The Serbian as established himself, in the modern sense of the term, as the complete midfielder. The 24-year-old possesses the physicality and height of a defensive midfielder, but also blends his movements and attacking ability of an attacking midfielder. With his height he can also be a target man, these attributes have earned him the name ‘Paul Pogba of Serbia’

Furthermore, he’s also been compared to previous players such as Yaya Toure and Zinedine Zidane. Sergej has been a stand out performer for Lazio for the past couple of seasons, and with four goals and four assists to his name this season, it’s no surprise that he’s caught the eye of other European clubs including Man Utd.

Rated at 67.5m Sergej Milinkovic-Savic could be an ideal replacement for Pogba.

Tanguy Ndombele

France keeps churning out world-class talent, the latest being Tanguy Ndombele. The 22-year-old Lyon midfielder has already been dubbed the ‘new Paul Pogba’. He is physically mature and possesses incredible dribbling skills, which as akin to ex-Spurs player Moussa Dembele. The Lyon man also has raw power and accurate dribbling which is so rare.

Boasting 5.65 dribbles per game with an 81.6% completion rate, Ndombele is a natural and dangerous dribbler. The young Frenchman is also an accurate passer of the ball, with 52.22 passes per game at an impressive 89.1% success rate, Ndombele has the ability to cut open sides and manipulate possession, alongside 8.66 successful passes into the final third, Ndombele is a progressive passer.

This is what makes him different to the ex-Spurs man Dembele. Simply put he is a powerhouse, and if he decides to leave Lyon and his homeland and chooses the right move he could set the world alight. With teams such as Man City, Juventus and Spurs keeping tabs on this talented midfielder, Man Utd will have a fight on their hands in securing his signature, but it’s a fight worth taking as Tanguy Ndombele would easily fill the boots of Paul Pogba.

Manchester United Lock Horns With The Old Lady For Ruben Dias Signature

As the season draws to a close, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will already have one eye firmly on the transfer window, where he’ll be looking to strengthen the squad.

One area, in particular, he’ll be looking to rebuild and strengthen is the leaky defence. One person Solskjaer will be looking to recruit is Benfica’s highly rated young prospect Ruben Dias.

However, with Juventus also keeping a close eye on the Portuguese wonder kid, Manchester United will have to battle it out with the Old Lady, who have recently secured their eighth successive Serie A title, to secure Ruben Dias signature.

The 21-year-old defender has been a stand out performer this season for Benfica. Having scored four goals, and two assists in 45 appearances this season for Benfica. It’s no surprise that this young defender is valued at 28m by transfermarkt and, has caught the eye of both Man Utd and Juventus.

Dias is contracted to Benfica until 2023 only having penned a new contract at the start of the season. The defender loves to play a short pass out of the defence, however, his concentration within a game can often let him down. This will get better with age as will his tackling, with Dias prone to fouling often with a little over-eagerness.

The Red Devils may already have the edge with Benfica after, they allowed Victor Lindelof to transfer to the North West last summer under Jose Mourinho. The Swedish centre-back has flourished this year and United fans can start to see a glimpse of what kind of defender he can be, they’ll hopefully be getting the same from Dias.

Juventus are looking to replace ageing defenders, such as Giorgio Chiellini, if Dias decides to go Juventus he’ll be alongside some seasoned defenders who will bring him along. Manchester United need an experienced commanding defender to play alongside Lindelof, but can a Dias/Lindelof partnership work and, has he got the attributes Manchester United need in a defender?

Man United fans what do you think?

TBT My Greatest Match: Man United 3-2 Newcastle 06.10.18

It may have only been last week, however, I would say I witnessed my greatest match so far.

Manchester United we’re hosting Newcastle United. To me this was an important game for United and for Jose, as it was only the day before that it was leaked that Mourinho was going to be axed regardless of the result against Newcastle, so a win was very much needed.

As the players walked out onto the pitch, the atmosphere rose, the noise levels increased, with the fans chanting United United. The game kicked off and straight away I could see Newcastle were ready for this game, the Newcastle players were more energetic and first to every ball, the Manchester United players were sloppy in there passing, giving the ball away and lacked ambition and energy. And then in the 7th minute Kennedy with the ball at his feet, ran at Ashley Young, Young looked like a rabbit caught in the headlights and let Kennedy put the ball on his favoured left foot, where he shoots, placed the ball in the bottom corner of the net, Newcastle were 1-0 up after 7 mins.

The atmosphere began to dampen. Newcastle were winning every ball, passing well, and creating space. Then in the 10th minute, Muto received the ball in the box and was allowed to take four touches then turning and shooting.

For the second time in the game, De Gea was picking the ball out of his net in just 10 short minutes.

Newcastle were 2-0 up, and playing Manchester United off the park, in their own backyard. My heart sank, along with the atmosphere of the United fans. The Newcastle fans were in full voice.

In the 19th minute, Jose hauled off Bailly and replaced him with Juan Mata. Mourinho went with a back three in order to attack more, moving McTominay into central defence – a tactic that baffled me and many more United fans.

Newcastle were dominating, Rashford and Lukaku looked frustrated, Pogba looked angry at the lack of movement, and McTominay looked scared and out of sorts, the half-time whistle couldn’t come quick enough. At halftime, I was in shock at how bad United played, and I couldn’t see a way back?.

The players came out for the second half, McTominay had been substituted and replaced with Fellaini. Straight away I could see the difference, it was like I was watching a different team!

United were fired up, getting first to every ball – Martial was electric, running at players and taking them on. Mata was creating space, and Pogba took a deeper lying role where he was dictating play.

Rashford was replaced by Sanchez, Jose had used all his subs so this was a last throw of the dice. With 20 left to play, United won a free kick just outside the box. Mata and Sanchez both stood over it, the lad sat next to me said ‘Mata bottom corner’ – Mata with his left foot, curls the ball over the wall into the bottom right-hand corner, the United fans erupted, belief began to creep back into my head, and all I could hear was UNITED UNITED ringing around the stadium.

Newcastle then began to sit back, United smelt blood and pressed. I could sense there was another goal coming, the lad I was sat next to, kept saying ‘we are going to win this 4-2 because Newcastle will tire’.

Martial receives the ball, runs at the defenders, passes the ball to Pogba, who plays a fancy lay off for Martial, he shoots, and the ball is in the back of the Newcastle net in full view of the Stretford end, and once again the fans erupt with joy, the atmosphere is electric, the Newcastle fans have gone quiet.

Jose Mourinho’s name is being sung by the United fans. I’m stunned I can’t believe it’s 2-2 and how different United have played in the second half. United players were more energetic and wanted the game more. The passing was good and they were creating space, the addition of Mata was a game changer.

The clock was ticking, I was on the edge of my seat thinking ‘could we really win this game?’ but on the other hand, I was content with the draw.

The 90th minute, Young crossed the ball, Martial jumped for the ball, but just behind him was Sanchez who rose up and headed the ball into the back of the net. I jumped out of my seat with every other United fan, I was in disbelief, and overwhelmed with joy.

Jose Mourinho’s name once again rung out. The final whistle was blown, and instead of the players being booed like they were at half time, the players were applauded as they walked off. I had just witnessed an amazing game, it was like watching United when Fergie was in the dugout, the days when United fought back. I thought I’d never witness games like that again at Old Trafford, as I walked out of the ground with a smile on my face, I thought to myself I have indeed just witnessed the United of old, UNITED UNITED.

Mourinho’s Front Three Should Look Like This Tonight – Agreed?

Manchester United welcome Valencia to Old Trafford this evening, in there second Champions League game.

With recently having back to back defeats, it’s a must-win game for Mourinho and his men. At United Mourinho has done nothing unexpected and set the team out in a 4-2-3-1 and occasionally 4-3-3. The Portuguese boss needs his team to be firing on all cylinders, especially the front three.

With the dark clouds circling, and seem to be getting darker by the day. A win against Valencia would give the team as a whole, a little breathing space – possibly even change the current momentum in the Premier League.

There have been many calls for ‘attack, attack, attack’ in recent times and with a front three like below. It would make a statement from the start, especially with Pogba sitting behind.

Do you agree…

RW Marcus Rashford

If you look at it from a defenders perspective, Rashford gives them those legs and sheer pace in behind. He runs behind defences and makes them look over there shoulder, it’s a scary thought for the defenders.

Furthermore, after making an impact against West Ham on Saturday, he will look to build on his own momentum.

CF Romelu Lukaku

Similar to Rashford, he has the pace and guile to scare defences. He’s a natural goalscorer and it’s a time at Old Trafford for him to step up to the plate and show how he can carry the team forward.

LW Anthony Martial

The Frenchman with his skilful runs can dazzle defenders at times, and in the past few weeks, he’s shown glimpses of the first season Martial under LVG.

He has all the talent, and alongside Lukaku it’s time to shine for the United cause.

As a fan I want to see Martial, Lukaku and Rashford together on the pitch as a front three.

There’s pace, drive and desire to get goals as well between them.


Man Utd Will Get Back on Track if José Opts For Martial Over Sanchez, Here’s Why…

Manchester United have endured their worst start to a season since 1993. But could Jose turn things around if he opts for Martial over Sanchez?.

Firstly, I think Sanchez was a political buy, to stop Manchester City requiring the Chileans services, I don’t think he was on the list of players Mourinho wanted to buy.

There is no denying that Sanchez is a good player, he was scoring nearly every game at Arsenal, but he’s failed to perform at the same levels at Manchester United.

Due to the arrival of Sanchez, Martial has dropped down the pecking order. Martial has proved he is a talent at Manchester United, he’s shown he can perform in big games, and score goals. Whereas Sanchez as yet to prove he is a key player for Manchester United.

Martial’s stats last season speak volumes and show how much of a key player he is for Manchester United. He scored 9 goals in 18 premier league starts and 12 substitute appearances, Martial averages 0.51 goals per 90 mins, whereas Sanchez has only managed 2 goals per 0.17 per 90 mins.

Martial is a key player, with his speed and skilful dribbling, he is a danger to any defender he comes up against. Sanchez as a tendency to give the ball away too many times, although he as good vision for a forward through ball it doesn’t always pay off.

Both Martial and Sanchez are good players in there own right, but I think Martial brings more to the team than Sanchez does, Martial is already an established player within the team, and Jose should give the nod to Martial over Sanchez, and if he does then I think Manchester United could kick-start their season.