Tag Archives: champions league

3 players, that need to step up and impress in pre-season for Man City – Agree?

The Manchester City starting 11 could look slightly different next season if these three players hit the mark in pre-season.

Manchester City was all but a Champions League away from a clean sweep of trophies last season. However, winning the Champions League is no small feat, and Man City have a lot of adjustments to make to ensure domestic and European success.

Despite having the strongest squad in English football, the individuals within the team have a lot more to show for themselves.

Guardiola’s tactical prowess has resulted in an abundance of success for him at Barcelona, Bayern Munich, and Manchester City. However, his man management skills will truly be tested in the upcoming season.

For those who don’t support Man City, their capabilities of winning every competition they are a part of is a scary thought. Here are three players that could make your nightmares a reality if they step up to the plate next season…

Oleksandr Zinchenko

In the 18/19 campaign, Zinchenko featured in 29 games across all competitions. The 22-year-old Ukranian has begun to gain trust from the manager and even provided 5 assists from the left-back position. Should the more established Benjamin Mendy have a season of full fitness, the left-back spot could see some fantastic competition. According to the Evening Standard, Man City are confident that Mendy can maintain his fitness throughout next season.

Gabriel Jesus

With Sergio Aguero turning 32 in the upcoming season. The 22-year-old Brazilian has stepped up his game and started emulating the figures his fellow South American reaches on a season by season basis. Although 21 goals and 6 assists in 47 appearances last season is a fantastic achievement, he is capable of much more. The striker has 16 goals in 29 games for his national side.

Leroy Sane

According to reports, Sane is keen on joining Bayern Munich. However, the 23-year-old German winger could offer buckets of quality and pace to the Manchester City side, if he can just break through to the starting 11. Guardiola must have his reasons for the lack of game time given to one of the world’s hottest prospects. But if this hurdle can be overcome, we could see a brand new Leroy Sane in the sky blue strip next season.

Man Utd have 2 reasons why they should go for Chelsea midfielder

There are rumours of a transfer race for Chelsea midfielder, Tiémoué Bakayoko and Manchester United are one team named as being interested.

Today at the Football Manc Cave, we are looking at reasons why Man United should advance on signing him.

The 24-year-old has found himself in an unlikely transfer race with Arsenal, Man United and PSG all monitoring him in the hope to get his signature. He’s had a shaky start in his career, especially at Chelsea as he found himself in a couple of red card situations. As you can imagine, that didn’t leave the best impression on the fans and other teams.

The Frenchman spent last season on loan at AC Milan after his disappointing spell at Stamford Bridge. It was there where Bakayoko improved which explains the sudden development of interest. The ex-Monaco player is now in pre-season training and being watched by new Chelsea manager, Frank Lampard.

So if he does decide that a change would do him good, why should Ole Gunnar Solskjaer go all out for him?

He Will Give It His All

This might be an obvious statement to make. All footballers who want to make it should be putting 100% effort in. However, not only will he be determined to get appearances, but he will also want to prove his improving form.

When he played for Monaco in the 2016/17 season, in an interview, he revealed how he had been suffering from a knee injury. He had been having problems since 2015, although he only addressed the issue in 2017. He said, “people don’t know but throughout the whole of last season, I suffered because of my knee. I had to grit my teeth in every match.” Now that he appears to be over this, I’m sure he’ll give it his all even more.

Champions League

Man United missed out on qualifying for Champions League football at the end of last season. Fans will be hoping for a better campaign this football season that sees the Red Devil’s end up back where they belong. If they do, Bakayoko is no stranger to the competition. He was with Monaco since 2014 and in the 2016/17 season, he contributed to their Ligue 1 title win.

As an individual, he was then named in the 2016/17 UEFA Champions League squad of the season before he joined Chelsea for £40 million. Let’s just hope he wants to be a part of a Man United side that wants to fight to be a part of Champions League football, rather than being put off by the fact they won’t be playing it next season.

Man City Women will be getting 2 things from their new signing

Birmingham City defender, Aofie Mannion has joined Manchester City Women on a 2-year deal. Today the Football Manc Cave looks at what she will bring to Nick Cushings’ side.

The 23-year-old is one of the most highly regarded young defenders. After 6 years at Birmingham, she has now joined Man City and will take the number 2 shirt.

A lot of the Man City women are just arriving back from France where they had semifinal heartache once again. Those girls will have to pick themselves up and get stuck in ahead of their opening fixture with Manchester United, which I am very excited to announce will be played at the Etihad Stadium.

Now what can Mannion bring to the strong Manchester side?


In her first interview as she signed for the club, she has talked about how she is excited to learn from Steph Houghton and Demi Stokes. This shows that she aspires to be in the same league as the Lionesses.

The defender has been a part of the England youth teams since she was under 15. So she will be hoping to also prove to Phil Neville that she’s worth it. In 2015, she was nominated for PFA player of the year and failed to win the award. However, she has been named in the Team Of The Year in the 2017/18 season and again in 2018/19. I think that proves her aspiration to grow as a player already so she can only get better.

Champions League

Man City women finished 2nd last year in the Women’s Super League and this means they will be playing in the Champions League. I presume that as well as the Women’s Super League, the team will want to do well in the competition as a lot of the girls will want to prove themselves after the World Cup.

Mannion spoke about this in her interview and stated how she had played in the Champions League once before with Birmingham City, but wanted another opportunity and now she’s got it. I hope she proves to be a crucial part of the team.

She will now be playing with some of the biggest names in women’s football, Steph Houghton, Demi Stokes, Karen Bardsley, Ellen White and Jill Scott. My guess is that she will be inspired by them and follow in their footsteps. She’ll be one to watch next season.

2 reasons why Liverpool should let Origi go this summer

Champions League hero, Divock Origi is considering a long-term contract at Liverpool but wants more time on the pitch.

Liverpool fans will remember the incredible contributions the 24-year-old Belgian forward made last season. He scored 2 goals in the incredible comeback against Barcelona in the Champions League semi-final. As well as scoring the winning goal in the final, sealing the deal on Liverpool’s sixth European success.

However, Roberto Firmino made 48 appearances in all competitions last season, whilst Origi made only 21, mainly coming on off the bench. The Football Manc Cave now understand that Jurgen Klopp is keen on offering Origi a long-term contract with the Merseyside Reds.

The 4-3-3 formation with the famous forward three of Mo Salah, Firmino and Sadio Mané, it would be difficult for manager Klopp to promise more play time to Origi with the dominance he has with his current setup.

With this in mind, here are 2 reasons Klopp should let Origi leave this summer…

He could fetch a sweet penny

In 2014, Liverpool signed Origi from French side Lille for just north of £10million, a price he has more than lived up to. Since, he has had his ups and downs on loan spells, one on a return to Lille and another in Germany with Wolfsburg.

After being trusted to perform on the world’s biggest stage against the worlds biggest teams, the asking price for Origi could be easily quadrupled, if not more.

However, with one year left on his contract, Liverpool could see this promising striker walk alone through the exit doors of Anfield for free, after the upcoming 19/20 campaign, should his playing time not increase.

Bring in a bench warmer

It is clear that Origi is itching to get play time, but it would be near impossible to break through with the likes of Firmino in his position.

Firmino will turn 28 in the upcoming season, he could have 3-5 more years of the current form he is in. Meaning Origi would be a second choice striker until he is a similar age to what his Brazilian superior is now.

By selling Origi in the region of £40million, it would allow Klopp to introduce a striker who is happy to sit on the bench and play the role of ‘super-sub’.

Man Utd clear favourites to win Maguire race over Man City

Man City can’t rival the astronomical fee for Harry Maguire, which is fantastic news for rivals Man Utd.

Leicester City is playing hardball. Asking for a higher fee than Liverpool paid for arguably the best defender in English football, Virgil Van Dijk, at £75million.

Football fans are torn in half, some believing that the asking price is unjustified. Others believe modern inflation of the market has resulted in Maguire being worth over £75million.

Being a starting English international, Premier League proven, a fantastic defender and a menace from corners, the asking price seems fair. Many questioned the price of Van Dijk who came from Southampton and he transformed the Liverpool defence.

Manchester City is put off by the fee, having recently spent £63million for midfielder Rodri, previously contracted to Atletico Madrid.

Two outcomes

As it stands, there are two outcomes for Harry Maguire’s immediate future. He will either be a Manchester United man or a Leicester City man come the beginning of the Premier League 19/20 campaign.

According to reports, United recently had a £70million rejected by Leicester, a figure that City aren’t keen on going near. However, the red devils are ready to offer what they need to in order to secure the services of one of the league’s best defenders.

Maguire is needed

Manchester United conceded 54 goals last season in the Premier League, the most in the top 9. Which explains why Solskjaer is keen on bolstering the back line. Following the signing of the best right-back according to defensive statistics.

With a back line of Luke Shaw, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka. Manchester United would have a competent defence for the first time since we saw the partnership of Ferdinand and Vidic.

Rumours have it that Maguire favours the move to Man City, due to the success of Guardiola’s Citizens. They have a much more exciting future than Manchester United, being involved in the Champions League and will be chasing the league title for years to come. The future of Manchester United is very uncertain, as they play Europa League football under the inexperienced Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Forget Ake, Man City should be going for one of these 2 defenders instead

Manchester City is prepared to pay £40million for Dutch international Nathan Ake. Here at the Football Manc Cave think there are better options for Pep and his team?

24-year-old Ake currently plays for Bournemouth and is a highly thought of talent in English football. He joined the southern club from another southern club, Chelsea, in 2017 for around £23million after spending a season on loan with the club originally.

With the loss of Vincent Kompany at Manchester City, alongside the abysmal display in the Nations League from John Stones. It appears likely that the Citizens are in need of one or two world-class centre-backs.

There is no doubt that Nathan Ake is a class defender in the Premier League, having 117 games experience in the competition. But is he what Man City need to win the league for the third time in a row, and challenge for the Champions League next season?

Potentially. However, some would say that Ake isn’t the level of quality (yet) to be part of a squad aiming for the treble of trophies.

So, here are two alternatives for Man City to put their £40million towards…

Sergio Ramos

Ramos will turn 34 towards the end of next season, but would no doubt be one of the best defenders in the Premier League. He is also a renowned European Champion, winning the Champions League with Real Madrid 4 times.

He would give Man City the Champions League quality they need to progress further than they have in recent years. At 33 years old and two years left on his contract with Real Madrid, Man City could steal Ramos for two or three seasons and clinch a Champions League before the end of his service.

Michael Keane

It’s not unheard of for ex-Manchester United players to join Man City after being dismissed by their former club. The likes of Owen Hargreaves, Carlos Tevez and Peter Schmeichel have all made the move.

Michael Keane, similar to Ake, has 120 Premier League appearances but has been a starting feature for a very impressive Everton side. Keane would provide more quality selections for the back line of Manchester City, and the 26-year-old would cost around £30million.

Levy splashes the cash: What are Tottenham Hotspur getting in Ndombele?

Tottenham made a club record signing when they brought in Tanguy Ndombele this week but what are they getting for their money?

Ndombele signed a deal with Spurs for £55 million and it’s also said there could be just short of £10 million worth of fees in add-ons. Chairman of the club, Daniel Levy has a reputation for being a tough negotiator when it comes to transfers and he didn’t lay off with this one. It’s been said that Levy ‘wouldn’t let the midfielder leave the training ground’ until a deal agreement was made. This may seem a bit full on, but it’s a clever tactic to stop other teams having the chance to talk to him.

Apparently, Lyon initially asked for £70 million but Levy managed to renegotiate. Even though he got a reduction in price, this still makes the French midfielder the highest amount that the chairman has spent on a player.

It is clear that Spurs need a refresh in their team as they’ve gone without signing players while their new stadium was under construction. Now that they’ve managed to make a signing, fans are at ease and excited about seeing the midfielder in action.

Ndombele is 22 years old and started his career at Amien. He broke into their first team in 2016 after being in their B team for 2 years. He then went on loan in 2017 to Lyon, he made 32 appearances before signing for them permanently in 2018. After 33 games last season, he’s now gained interest from other clubs and Tottenham have won the battle.

At 22, he’s already got enough experience to compete with teams in the top tier of football, and one of Spurs’ main competition for titles is City. The French midfielder already knows what it’s like to play against them as he took part in the Champions League last year. His young age should make him value for money as they should get quite a few years out of him. I hope he will be worth the money and be great for Tottenham going forward.

TO-DO LIST: Man City must tick of these 3 things before the season starts – Agree?

Guardiola’s Manchester City isn’t perfect, yet.

Manchester City enjoyed four trophies last season after clinching the Premier League title, the FA Cup, the Carabao Cup and the Community Shield. However, something is missing; a European title.

Achieving Champions League success will be of top priority to Manchester City, having been the only trophy they have missed out on previous years. It is rumoured that the likes of Liverpool and City are only interested in making minor alterations to their top-notch squads this summer.

The following should be Guardiola’s ‘To-Do’ list in order to achieve a full scoop next season, including that mouth-watering Champions League trophy.

Just one big signing?

Adding to the strength of the Manchester City squad with a big Champions League proven name, would not only increase the quality of the squad’s rotation but would also increase their chances in succeeding in Champions League football. Despite the domestic success, this City squad is yet to prove themselves on the European state. Therefore, bringing in a player who thrives off Champions League success could potentially be the finishing touch. Names to spitball could be the likes of Neymar, Sergio Ramos, Dybala, Lewandowski etc.

Lay off the League Cup

Every trophy matters, but Manchester City used immensely quality squads in all competitions last season. However, allowing the youth to play in the Carabao Cup and early stages of the FA cup would be two birds, one stone situation. As the youth get experience, the first team squad would be fitter and fresher to deal with the demands of simultaneous Premier League and Champions League success.

Guardiola effect

The upcoming season may well be Pep Guardiola’s last season with Manchester City, as will be the case for superstar David Silva. It is of great importance that the methodology and culture instilled by the manager are maintained after his departure.

TO-DO LIST: Man Utd must tick of these 3 things before the season starts – Agree?

Manchester United may be close to Liverpool and City on the map but are worlds away in terms of football. What can Solskjaer do pre-season to close the gap on his rivals?

Ole Gunnar Solskaer is in the midst of rebuilding his Manchester United squad, despite the lack of support and enthusiasm from his board.

As opposed to City and Liverpool who merely need minor tweaks to their squad, Manchester United need an ultimate glow up; a complete overhaul.

In terms of preparing for the new season, the majority of Solskjaer’s tasks will involve transfers, amongst other things.

Here are 3 things Solskjaer can do to prepare his team for success next season…

Get the players

Manchester United successfully replaced Valencia and Young by bringing in England’s most promising full-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka. However, the shambolic defence needs a world-class centre-back in order to compete for top four, the likes of Magure and Koulibaly should have whatever they need thrown at them to get them into Manchester United’s suave new strip.

Manchester United also need to apprehensively replace want-away players such as Pogba and Lukaku, therefore two further world-class players are needed to plug the holes that will inevitably appear.


Solskjaer mentioned being ‘ruthless’ in conferences towards the end of the 18/19 campaign, yet disappointing players such as Ashley Young, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Nemanja Matic, Jesse Lingard etc were constantly being played despite a dramatic lack of form.

The term ‘deadwood’ has been thrown around the club by fans over the past season, and it’s time Solskjaer set aside his friendship with players and looked at what is best for his team.

One more preparation season

Man Utd fans are very restless and impatient with the performance of their team since the departure of Sir Alex, they have gone six years without a Premier League title. Next season should be a season where Solskjaer can establish his squad and secure a top 4 finish before applying further amendments to the squad in order to fight for the title the season after.

Revolving door: Man Utd’s 2 in, 2 out before the window shuts

Before the summer transfer window closes, which two players should United get rid of and which two should they sign?

After a disappointing end to last season for the Red Devil’s, it’s clear that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer should be looking to sign a few more players to boost his team. Maybe he should look at a possible move for a couple of United stars who didn’t look promising at the end of last season.

It seems to have proven that it’s a difficult task to get players to sign for United since they missed out on Champions League football. It’s a big factor for big-name footballers and it’s something that’s a put off for a few, such as, Harry Maguire.

I’ve picked out two players that should leave and two that should sign…


Romelu Lukaku

The 26-year-old striker didn’t really have the most inspiring ending to the 2018/19 campaign for United, and he has already shown his interest in a possible move. This suggests to me that if he was to stay with the Manchester club, his heart might not be in it and he wouldn’t perform to his full potential.

Paul Pogba

The midfielder is another who has already mentioned his interest in leaving, which fuelled United fans that his intentions were not with the reds. The 26-year-old has got a lot of fans talking, suggesting that he could and should probably leave before the new season starts if he doesn’t want to be there anymore.


Wissam Ben Yedder

The club has already shown some interest in the striker, and I think they should definitely invest in him. The 28-year-old has had 91 appearances and scored 38 goals for Sevilla since 2016 and if Lukaku was to leave, he would be a great and experienced replacement.

Bruno Fernandes

The Sporting CP midfielder is another player that has sparked interest from English clubs and I think if Pogba was to leave, he would again be a good replacement option. The 26-year-old has had 66 appearances and 31 goals for his current club since 2017.

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