Tag Archives: axel tuanzebe

Ex-midfielder believes Man Utd will see a bottom half finish if they don’t find this key element within the squad

Paul Ince gave his opinion on his former club, Man United this week. He told TalkSport that he thinks Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will finish in the bottom half of the Premier League.

Some Man United fans may disagree with some of what the ex-midfielder had to say. However, I think most will appreciate that he didn’t hold back and spoke on behalf of the fans.

Ince raised his concerns over what is actually going on behind the scenes at Old Trafford. He wants to know what is going on the training ground. The interview allowed him to be honest and get a lot off his chest.


Ince compared the current Man United players to other Premier League giants. While he appreciates that the younger players at Old Trafford are talented and will take time to gel, he also has concerns.

If Frank Lampard’s youngsters at Chelsea are performing well, he doesn’t understand what’s going on with Solskjaer’s men. Liverpool is another team with two young centre backs and they’re coping fine too. Ince wants answers just like fans do.


Paul spoke about Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s post-match interviews. The current manager always talks about how hard the team are working. However, Ince wants to know what they’re actually working on.

The lack of attack, shots and chances created are raising concerns. Fans are wondering what is going on inside training sessions and so is Paul.


The biggest thing he spoke about which I agree with massively was the fact that there’s no leader.

Past leaders at Old Trafford include Roy Keane, Bryan Robson and Steve Bruce. He claims that players like these who are natural-born leaders are a thing of the past.

He compared the current team to the likes of Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs. The standard simply isn’t there. When players like David Beckham came to Old Trafford, he said that all the players would teach you what it was to actually be a Man United player.

Ince doesn’t think this new team have that capability. I think a lot of fans will appreciate that.

Going forward

Instead of just criticising, he actually gave Solskjaer something to work on. That is finding a leader. However, it won’t solve all the problems, but it is a start.

Ince thinks players like Harry Maguire and Axel Tuanzebe need to be grown as leaders. Players like David De Gea have been with the club for around 10 years now but they don’t seem to be frustrated and they should be.

I am not a fan of Manchester United but I agree with every word Ince has said. There’s no main man on the pitch. These players should be angry and wanting more but fans don’t see it. Changes need to happen quickly.

Give them minutes: Man Utd must simply give these 2 youngsters the opportunity to shine tonight

Manchester United take on League One side Rochdale tonight, hoping to book their place in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup.

The Red Devil’s were poor during their 2-0 loss to West Ham United on Sunday, and need a big performance to lift their spirits again, ahead of Monday’s huge game against Arsenal at Old Trafford.

United fans just need something to hang onto, whether it’s a brilliant individual performance a huge win, just anything to lift the mood around the place. Their performance on Sunday was a million miles from the level they need to be at – no quality, fight, closing down and very little positives to note.

Who will Ole Gunnar Solksjaer be hoping can light up Old Trafford tonight?

Mason Greenwood

In my opinion, this kid is going to be a superstar. Just a goal scorer that looks destined to lead their frontline in the near feature. Greenwood has immense confidence for his age, just look watch his goal against F.C. Astana in the Europa League. Another poor United performance, saved by the youngster taking it upon himself to win the game with a great individual goal.

Axel Tuanzebe

A young defender that I think will feature in United’s defence for many years. I think Harry Maguire has settled in reasonably well, however, Victor Lindelof just isn’t a United defender. Not good enough in the air, and just doesn’t fill me with any confidence when watching him.

Tuanzebe was outstanding at Villa last season, both defensively and offensively, in terms of starting attacks from the back. That’s what United are lacking in my opinion, players that can continue waves of attacks by feeding their creative players.

Tuanzebe is comfortably carrying the ball out of defence, finding Paul Pogba in pockets of space for example. He needs to start tonight and show why he should be starting alongside Maguire.

‘Astana are one of the worst sides I’ve ever seen come to Man Utd, and what’s more embarrassing is that we’re not much better than them’

Man Utd invited Astana to the Theatre of Dreams from Kazakhstan, as the newly formed club expected to depart after an embarrassing defeat. Instead, the Red Devils left with an embarrassing victory, only managing to put one goal past the visitors.

Usually, fans will be vocal and vibrant after a European victory. But these circumstances differ. Man Utd fans, who failed to fill the stadium due to a lack of interest in Europa League football, were left with heads hanging low as if they’d suffered defeat.

Fans on Twitter have had their say about the lack of goal-scoring ability in the entire squad.

Performances from individuals have also been assessed. Man Utd fans are displeased with the results and decisions in a game that Man City would have won by five.

Perhaps the players gazing up at the empty stands played a role in the team’s performance. But this is entirely due to the squad themselves, Man Utd fans don’t expect or deserve Europa League football.

But, amongst all the negativity of bad performances, poor recruitment, amateur tactics and amateur competitions, Mason Greenwood was the beacon of hope who grabbed the three points they didn’t necessarily deserve.

Fred, Dalot and Tuanzebe are all players fans want to see do well, and they certainly were the best of a fairly bad bunch on the night. But Man Utd have a lot of work to do to win the Europa League with the side Solskjaer put out against Astana.

Man Utd youngsters hit and miss on a tough night for the fans

Man Utd played in the infamous Europa League on Thursday night football, with a mismatched squad of youth and fringe players. In a very dull, disappointing performance, seeing the inclusion of the young Reds was one of the few positives of the outcome.

Fans have been calling out to see the likes of Axel Tuanzebe, Tahith Chong, Angel Gomes and Mason Greenwood getting more game time, with the first-team squad not appearing to be doing much better,

However, the 1-0 win against Astana from a well taken Mason Greenwood finish was far from enough to prove that they are ready for the first team or Premier League football.

Although Man Utd controlled the game, it was not a convincing performance. Astana had two or three counter-attack opportunities that all looked like they could have been scored.

The Reds had 20 shots to Astana’s 3. Whilst some shots, particularly from Fred and Greenwood, looked absolutely stunning, there is no way Man Utd should only be winning this game by one goal.

Chong’s pace and determination were evident, but his involvement was light. Gomes drifted in and out of the game, but looked totally world-class on the ball. Greenwood got his goal, but his usual ability would have seen him score two or three.

Overall thoughts?

Overall, it appears that there is a reason that the selected team against Astana are not the first team, as they looked disjointed and unimpressive.

Marcus Rashford consistent lack of impact continued in a game he should have probably missed out on. But the 200k per week Premier League star failed to make any contribution whatsoever against the team from Kazakhstan.

Though, Solskjaer said post-match that we will see this team feature a lot this season, meaning these players will get a lot of game time in Europa and the League Cup. This is excellent news for the youngsters, but will they be part of a Champions League run next season?

Man Utd securing defenders long term services could result in a new title-winning back-four

Victor Lindelof endured a bad first season or so at Old Trafford after arriving in summer of 2017. However, he found form, seemingly out of nowhere, and became Man Utd’s most trustworthy defender.

Now, Man Utd want to offer him a £150,000 a week deal to keep the brand new back four together for the next five years…

Last season, Lindelof found form and became a fantastic addition to the Man Utd squad. In a season where Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Ashley Young featured heavily to the frustration of fans, it was Lindelof who got all the praise.

Unfortunately for the Swede, he has had a rocky start to the season with his brand new teammates Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka beside him. His weakness of winning aerial duels has proven to be the bane of an otherwise solid-looking Man Utd defence.

Does Lindelof deserve a new contract?

But is this enough not to renew his contract? This defender was recently approached by Barcelona, who tend to steer away from signing players they do not 100% believe will bring quality.

Other than that, his overall gameplay is actually very good. His distribution and passing abilities helped Man Utd tremendously last season. Now, Man Utd have two centre-backs who can do this with ease. Playing from the back in the modern game is pivotal, and Man Utd have done this superbly on several occasions.

Last season, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones struggled with this, often panicking and losing possession in dangerous areas.

Solskjaer wants this back-four to grow together over the coming years. Should Victor Lindelof and Luke Shaw reach their maximum potential, and Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Harry Maguire continue being fit and of the highest quality, Man Utd’s back four could be the new Gary Neville – Rio Ferdinand- Nemanja Vidic – Patrice Evra.

Next stop, fixing the midfield!

After a total rebuild of the back four and introducing Axel Tuanzebe to the bench is a magnificent start to Solskjaer’s reign. But their major downfall is the midfield. When Pogba’s future is decided, and new midfielders are introduced, Solskjaer will finally have a model of what he will be working with for the foreseeable future.

Is it time for OGS to change his Man Utd gameplan

Man Utd’s high-pressure, counter-attacking format has only resulted in two wins so far in the Premier League. Coupled with certain players lacking form and confidence, it may be time to shuffle his deck…

Premier League sides have quickly figured out a system to get at least one point against Man Utd; a compact defence. Wolves, Palace and Southampton all defended in a similar manner and Man Utd completely lacked the quality to pick them apart.

This means that Solskjaer and his coaching staff need to implement and perfect a ‘Plan B’, and they need to do it fast.

Furthermore, some players in the starting eleven are too out of form to risk playing in such big games. The following players should be replaced, as they either need a break or a reality check…

Victor Lindelof

Victor Lindelof recently described his national performance against Norway as ‘horrible’. As well as being the cause of some of the goals conceded this season. His form and confidence are at an all-time low. This could result in Axel Tuanzebe finally making an appearance, and could serve as a defensive lifeline should he perform to the best of his ability.

Jesse Lingard

Similarly, Jesse Lingard has been under heavy scrutiny. He has failed to score or assist in the Premier League during 2019 and is invisible and ineffective in a majority of his appearances. Listening to the fans by replacing him with Angel Gomes will excite them beyond caring much for the final result, as most admit they expect very little from the club this season.

Marcus Rashford

If you think that’s enough of berating Man Utd’s starting eleven, you’re wrong. Marcus Rashford has been off the pace since the end of Solskjaer’s unbeaten run after being appointed as caretaker manager. The Englishman played as a number 9 against Southampton and robbed Daniel James of two or three assists by not having the pedigree to sink the ball into the net.

Daniel James performs better than Rashford off the left-hand side, and Mason Greenwood and Anthony Martial are much more natural number nines than he is.

So where does this leave the academy graduate going forward?

Should Man Utd opt for the same lineup and tactical approach, it is fair to say that the Reds will yet again drop points on their own turf.

Man Utd should seriously consider selling these 2 players in January

Speaking of selling players is a touchy subject at Old Trafford, as the squad depth and squad quality are at an all-time low. But there are two players in particular who should be moved on as soon as possible…

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has done a fantastic job at moving players away from the club. Some have made way for youth, such as Chris Smalling moving away and Axel Tuanzebe sitting on the bench. Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez leaving have allowed Mason Greenwood and Tahith Chong to see glimpses of action already.

Some have been moved on or demoted from the first team simply due to their lack of quality. Such as Ashley Young, Nemanja Matic and Phil Jones. Including Matteo Darmian who has returned to Italy.

Regarding this, here are two players who should be moved on in January…

Nemanja Matic

Matic, 31, has been a fantastic servant in the Premier League for both Chelsea and Man Utd. However, in recent months, his lack of energy has been detrimental to Man Utd’s transition from defence to attack. They look much better without him in the squad.

Moving on Matic would bring in some funds, as well as leaving a place on the bench for Fred or the young prospect James Garner.

Phil Jones/Marcos Rojo

Man Utd still has six senior centre backs despite Chris Smalling’s loan move to Roma. Upon Eric Bailly’s return from injury, he will most likely make the bench alongside Axel Tuanzebe, who should not be dropped under any circumstances this season.

This leaves Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo as the fringe players. Should they be unhappy with the occasional League Cup or Europa League appearance, they would be best off exiting the club as soon as possible, in order to introduce youth players into that fringe player role.

Forget Bailly: Man Utd should look at these 2 replacements with Italian giants circling

Solskjaer has opted to promote 21-year-old Axel Tuanzebe to the bench after Eric Bailly’s pre-season injury. However, should an injury occur to Harry Maguire or Victor Lindelof, there will be a lot of pressure on the youngster who is unproven in handling such circumstances…

Upon Bailly’s return, it is assumed that he will make it back to the bench as Man Utd’s third-choice centre-back. However, the Ivorian defender has reportedly been of interest to the Italians Juventus.

Should Bailly opt to leave the club to fulfil a similar role in Serie A, Man Utd need to look at replacements. Although Solskjaer enjoys relying on his youth, it is not enough defensive firepower to achieve a top-four finish.

With this in mind, Solskjaer should be looking for a replacement defender who can step-in for Maguire or Lindelof in games that Axel Tuanzebe might not cope with.

Here are two defenders who would be good options to replace Bailly…

Sergio Ramos

Ramos will be 34 years old next summer. He will soon see much less game time in his career, particularly at national level.

This could inspire the seasoned professional to make a big-money move for the remaining years of his career. With his contract expiring in 2021, his fee could be considerably less than what Bailly with fetch from Juventus.

Having Ramos as a rotational defender for one or two seasons whilst Tuanzebe gains experience would cover a potential weakness in the line-up. Furthermore, his fiery nature, experience and leadership qualities are exactly what this Man Utd side needs.

Leonardo Bonucci

In the same vein, Bonucci, 32, is a seasoned professional who might accept rotational football for a large wage to fulfil a similar role Ramos could, a temporary fix whilst prospect Tuanzebe becomes ready to make an impact.

With Juventus looking to make a large number of transfers, they may be willing to part with this world-class defender in exchange for Eric Bailly.

Man Utd man looking at a longer stay away from Old Trafford, much to the delight of the fans

Solskjaer now has six senior centre-backs at his disposal after sending Chris Smalling on loan to Roma, who is due to return to Old Trafford in summer of 2020.

Roma’s number one centre-back Kostas Manolas took a step up by moving to Napoli this summer. This led to the Italians opting to take Chris Smalling, who was told by Solskjaer that he wouldn’t see much game time with the Reds this season.

Although Solskjaer will welcome the Englishman back after his loan spell, Roma have the option to extend Smalling’s loan by an extra year, depending on his performance.

This will likely result in Chris Smalling not returning to Old Trafford any time soon, and here is why.

Will Chris Smalling ever return to Man Utd?

If Chris Smalling has a fantastic season with Roma, they will opt to keep him for a further season. Seeing Smalling return to Manchester in summer of 2021. This will leave only one year left his contract, and he will be 31 years old by this time.

However, should Smalling have a poor season with Roma, it will hinder his chances of coming back to Old Trafford on a high and being in contention for a spot in the first team or even the bench.

Should Smalling return at 31 years old, he will not see much action on the pitch. The partnership between Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire will be extremely strong by this time and Axel Tuanzebe will be featuring regularly as a rotational defender.

If Marcos Rojo, Phil Jones and Eric Bailly are deemed surplus to requirement, then Chris Smalling may have a chance to return as Man Utd’s fourth-choice centre-back.

Chris Smalling has been deemed by fans as not good enough to be a starter for a top-four side. But he is the third-best defender Man Utd have until Tuanzebe proves his worth.

Another Man Utd on his way out has Solskjaer’s vision starts to pan out

Man Utd is open to letting one of their seven senior defenders leave this summer…

Fans of the Premier League have already had the ups and downs of the transfer window. But clubs in Europe can still purchase players from English clubs until September 2nd. The MEN have reported that Man Utd are willing to let Marcos Rojo leave the club, with the likely destination being Fenerbahce, though other clubs are interested.

Solskjaer has seven senior defenders in his squad. The Norwegian manager, according to his recent team selections, favours Axel Tuanzebe as the substitute defender whilst power couple Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof start the game.

This leaves Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo and the currently injured Eric Bailly left out of the squad entirely.

Is there a plan behind the offloading of players?

By removing Romelu Lukaku, Mason Greenwood has a spot on the bench. Discarding Alexis Sanchez allows Tahith Chong or Angel Gomes to battle for a spot. Reducing the number of defenders gives Axel Tuanzebe the first-team action he deserves.

Solskjaer appears to be offloading players that take up spots for the hungry young talents at the club.

In true Man Utd fashion, they are giving their academy graduates priority over players brought in for a large fee and wage.

Man Utd fans should be extremely excited about the progression of their club. Solskjaer is determined to make his mark on the club and the team.

In the opening week of the Premier League season, Man Utd had the youngest team. Mourinho was heavily criticised for dismissing the youth and playing slow, pragmatic football. Solskjaer’s approach has been the polar opposite.

Before the season began many speculated that Solskjaer’s position as the manager would collapse before Christmas but the recent improvement says otherwise.

Could we be seeing the second coming of the class of ’92? The coming years under Solskjaer’s reign will say it all.

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