Tag Archives: chelsea

Man Utd can score goals but are one injury away from the inadequacy of last season – Agree?

The dark cloud over Old Trafford appears to be fading. What does Man Utd’s 4-0 thrashing over Lampard mean for the Red Devils as they march on?

No honest Man Utd or Chelsea fan can admit they saw that coming. Despite Chelsea having moments of showing how they can find themselves in dangerous areas, the attacks were always snuffed.

Man Utd and Chelsea are in similar situations, both have a much weaker squad than they have done in the years gone by, both feel they are underachieving and both are managed by a club legend.

This occasion was truly boys versus men. Man Utd allowed Chelsea the arrogance to try and bring the game to the Reds on their home turf, backfiring 4 goals from 5 shots on target. Which leads on to the first key thing we learned from Solskjaer’s 4-0 win…

Clinical United

Romelu Lukaku’s departure from the club left many fans scratching their heads. Where on Earth was Manchester United going to get their goals from?

If Man Utd had just beaten Norwich, Sheffield Utd or Newcastle 4-0, with respect to those clubs, there would still be concern about how Man Utd will cope this season.

However, in a campaign where Man Utd are fighting for 4th place with Chelsea and Arsenal, the Reds have already sent one of them to the bins. With a fairly given penalty buried by Rashford, he continued to show how much bottle he has.

A real number nine goal for Man Utd’s number nine. It saw Man Utd play it out to the wing, whipped in across goal from Pereira and met in front of the net by Anthony Martial to make it 2-0.

Merely seconds later, a beautiful pass behind the Chelsea defence came from a quiet Paul Pogba, controlled and slotted home by Marcus Rashford. Challenging Martial for his striker spot.

Finally, a dream debut for substitute Daniel James. As Pogba drove forward, the Welsh speedster caught up to him on his right-hand side, was played in and buried it home.

Basically, Man Utd can score goals this season.

Ole agrees! Team selection

Man Utd fans worldwide disagree on many things, to the abuse of players, to the ownership to how nice the new strip is. But one thing they all agree on is that Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, and Nemanja Matic are crucial to why Man Utd will fail this season.

Be it silly mistakes, lack of quality or inability to keep up with the new style of play; Solskjaer gave none of them game time today.

It is positive for fans to see their club moving forward, after falling behind for so many years. It appears the concerns of the fans are also the concerns of Solskjaer and all are on the same page with how this Man Utd team should look, behave and perform. Unfortunately, the Reds are merely and injury or two away from having an inadequate squad.

‘Man United played so well. Big question is the sustainability of it’ Man Utd fans not getting to carried away with a 4-0 win over Chelsea

Solskjaer’s dream Premier League start comes in the form of his Man United side thrashing over Frank Lampard’s Chelsea.

Before the league started, Man Utd lost Ander Herrera and Romelu Lukaku. Surely you would expect fewer goals and fewer chances? Not yesterday. Solskjaer’s hard-working and high pressing Red Devils proved to be a nightmare for Lampard and Chelsea.

A fair penalty won and buried by Marcus Rashford saw the Red’s shaky start begin to stabilize. Despite Chelsea coming close to scoring on several occasions, the hard as stone Man Utd defence proved almost impenetrable. With one of the world’s best between the sticks just behind, Chelsea finished on zero.

Clinical, exciting and well-deserved goals also came from the new number 9 Anthony Martial, a second goal for Marcus Rashford, and a Premier League debut goal for the Welshman Daniel James.

Some fans on Twitter may believe the result was just a fluke. But can three well-worked goals, a successful game plan, and a rock-solid defence really have been by chance?

Although Man Utd looked fantastic in most areas in their 4-0 victory over Chelsea, fans are aware that Man Utd must keep it up. The squad is merely an injury away in a crucial position to have severe exploits in the team.

Some fans make the case that enough any other team thrashed Chelsea 4-0 there would be more credit being given.

Regardless, the feeling inside the Man Utd camp will be extremely positive after this great result. It proves that the business made has benefitted the squad and that Solskjaer’s philosophies and strategies are proving successful. But most importantly, that Man Utd are improving from last season.

If Man Utd play this 11, they will ease past Chelsea

Now that the transfer window has closed, The Football Manc Cave has predicted Manchester United’s starting line up for the season.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team start the season on Sunday the 11th of August and they’ll face Chelsea at 4.30pm.

The transfer window is now closed and one of the biggest talking points of the summer has been Harry Maguire. He’s joined Man United for a record-breaking fee. Aaron Wan-Bissaka has also joined the club and should have an impact on the squad going forward.

With that in mind, here’s the squad I’ve predicted…

Clearly, De Gea will open the line-up. Harry Maguire should then get his first start for the club to see how he’s blended in with the reds. Wan-Bissaka should also be started ahead of other options and be joined by Luke Shaw and Chris Smalling.

Despite Pogba’s future being questioned all summer, he’s ended up staying with the reds and should start this weekend with Scott McTominay accompanying him.

These two should then have the support of Rashford, Lingard and Daniel James. Martial should then be solo upfront. The formation could be changed, however, I do think this line up will be pretty similar to what Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will pick.

Having new signing start is a risk, however, it’s the first game of the season and a chance to see how these players have gelled together and how they’ll cope.

Moses, the god of Wigan Athletic’s transfer deadline day signings

With transfer deadline day approaching. Dan, from The Football Manc Cave, looks back on Wigan Athletic’s best deadline day signing.

Looking for this brought back nightmares. Rewind to January 31st 2017. Warren Joyce as gaffer. Eight, yes eight signings on deadline day. Not one of them is still at the club 18 months later, which tells you everything you need to know.

They included Omar Bogle, the lad that scored against us on Saturday for Cardiff City, we won 3-2, though. Gabriel Obertan, that was hard to type. Alex Bruce. I’ll stop there, too painful to think about.

I’m scarred for life now on deadline day, thankfully we’ve done a lot of good business already. I can see a couple more signings coming in if they didn’t – I’d be happy going into the rest of the season with our current squad. It’s already stronger than last seasons.

Deadline day deal

So, have we had any success on deadline day…a panic buy that actually paid off? The one that stuck out to me. One of my favourite Latics players – Victor Moses.

He signed from Crystal Palace in January 2010. That makes me feel old. How the mighty fall ey. We were a Premier League side then, and despite a number of clubs being offered to Moses because Palace entered administration, he opted to sign for us.

The youngster was tipped to be the ‘next big thing’ and delivered for us. Positive, quick, exciting to watch. I thoroughly enjoyed watching Moses and for £2.5 million, he turned out to be a steal. In typical Wigan fashion, we sold him to Chelsea for around £9 million in the summer of 2012.

Let’s have a quiet deadline day please Wigan, no selling our best players, no signing Leon Clarke and certainly don’t ring up Gabriel Obertan – ever again.

Two things we have learnt from Man Utd’s preseason

Man Utd won every game of their pre-season, and have seen some success in the transfer window. What is Man Utd looking like going into the start of the season?

Although performances have been up and down during Man Utd’s preseason, they came away victorious on every occasion. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has put his tactics and ethics in place as the Reds march on high up the field, defending from the front and working hard.

There are many obvious improvements when you compare the new Man Utd to the Man Utd of the last 6 years. The two that give Solskjaer the best chances of success are…

Man Utd have a much better squad this season

The addition of Aaron Wan-Bissaka has given Solskjaer a right-back who is Premier League winning quality. Last season for Crystal Palace and during pre-season for Man Utd, he consistently shows off his tackling, dribbling, defensive and attacking skills. Flawless. So far.

Daniel James is promising, adding pace, movement and creativity to the squad. With a more creative midfield behind him, the Welshman’s runs will be picked out more often. Then we can see how he handles putting it in the net.

Breaking news of Harry joining Man Utd gives Solskjaer one of the best defences in the league. Aaron Wan-Bisakka, best defensive right-back in the country. Harry Maguire, sought after by Man City. Victor Lindelof sought after by Barcelona. And Luke Shaw, Man Utd’s Player of the Season last season.

Someone needs to step up in front of goal

For all the wonderful, interchangeable, fluid and pleasing football, Solskjaer has given us the pleasure of watching, no one can actually score. Not consistently. In Man Utd’s 1-0 win over Kristiansund, the Reds failed to score with 33 shots, 12 on target. The goal came from a questionable penalty in the 92nd minute from Juan Mata.

The pre-season could have seen many more goals for Man Utd than it did. With all the talent they have, someone needs to score 25 goals for the Red Devils this season. Will we see the start of it against Chelsea? Who will it be?

Man Utd should line up with these 2 youngsters in the team against Inter Milan

In Man Utd’s most competitive game of pre-season, these two youngsters definitely deserve an appearance.

Manchester United will take their toughest test of pre-season so far, as they go on to face Inter Milan in Singapore.

In the games against Perth Glory and Leeds United, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has opted for two different elevens in each half. Against Inter, we can expect a game plan a lot more like what Solskjaer will do in the upcoming Premier League but putting out a strong team throughout the game.

However, two youngsters in particular have taken Man United fans by storm in their first two pre-season games. These are the two that will likely feature against Inter Milan…

Daniel James

Before officially signing Daniel James, many Manchester United fans were happy with the signing of this exciting prospect. However, James has unbelievable speed and football intelligence at only 21 years of age. He may well start more games this season than people originally thought.

The Italian league is much more slow-paced than the English leagues, meaning that the presence of Daniel James can exploit Inter’s routine.

Mason Greenwood

Greenwood, 17, scored his first senior goal for Man Utd against Leeds Utd but could have bagged four or five against Perth Glory. His knack for positioning, his tactical awareness, and his maturity in front of goal gives him everything he needs to be a 25 goal a season striker.

Solskjaer admitted that Greenwood has every chance of playing against Chelsea, in the opening day of the Premier League. Therefore, we will likely see him face some tough opponents during pre-season.

With these two youngsters involved, the Manchester United squad could look like this…

Solskjaer likes the fluidity of the forward four, meaning they are interchangeable. It is likely to see them run rampant at the Inter Milan defence, swapping positions mid-game to keep the Italians on their feet.

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.

Everton with an unlikely move for Premier League winning goal-getter

Atletico Madrid man Diego Costa is being considered by Everton as an attempt to prove their eagerness to challenge at the top of English football.

After a dreadful season for one of the world’s most well-known strikers, Diego Costa is likely to leave Atletico Madrid this summer.

Last season, Costa endured an eight-match ban for abuse towards a referee. He has fallen out of favour with staff and teammates and only scored one goal, in his 14 La Liga appearances. Safe to say, both the Spanish national striker and the greatest underdogs in Spanish football, Atletico Madrid, would be happy for the two to part ways.

Everton is seemingly unfazed by Costa’s poor season. As the Brazilian born Spanish international has proven himself at a Premier League standard once before during his spell at Chelsea.

Premier League experience

Costa scored 59 goals in 120 appearances for Chelsea, having two Premier League titles and a League Cup to his name.

Everton looked a solid squad in the 18/19 campaign, losing out the European football by 3 points, finishing 8th behind Wolverhampton Wanderers.

However, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Cenk Tosun are currently the only natural strikers in The Toffees ranks. Which stresses the importance of signing a prolific striker this summer should Everton look to move forward rather than backwards.

Since 2017, Everton has solidly placed either 7th or 8th in the Premier League. This demonstrates that the blues of Merseyside are capable of challenging the top end of the Premier League, and star signings such as Diego Costa could be what they need to prevent the side from stagnating into a mid-table side.

Winning mentality

By bringing in players with a title-winning mentality, as well as the shocking bigger clubs by pulling off a galactico signing. Everton can push to be higher up the table next season, further enticing other quality players to want to play for the club.

Diego Costa is evidently willing to depart from his current club. However, he would demand big wages from Everton should the two clubs agree on terms.

Man United’s starting 11 against Chelsea could look like this – Agree?

Man United fans were disappointed last year with how their team performed and the positioning they had in the Premier League.

This summer has been Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s chance to sign players, and strengthen his squad in preparation for the 2019/20 campaign.

He’s successfully signed Wan Bissaka, Daniel James and managed to get Pereira and Tuanzebe to sign new contracts. There’s a lot of question to a few Man United players’ futures like Pogba and Lukaku. However, we don’t know the decision they have made yet.

So with that in mind, here’s my squad prediction for the Red Devil’s’ opening game.

Sunday the 11th Of August will see the red devils face Chelsea as they kick off their Premier League run. Now that we know a couple of the players that have arrived at Old Trafford, and players who have opted to stay with the club, my starting eleven is purely just a guess at what could be.


A lot have fans have turned on De Gea in recent times, but I’ve still chosen him to be Man United’s shot-stopper. I’ve also gone with Shaw, Lindelof, Bailly and then I’ve gone with newbie Wan Bissaka because he should be given a shot. I presume he will be used straight away to try and strengthen the defence.


I’ve also gone with Fred, McTominay and Pogba. This is presuming that the 26-year-old Frenchman sticks around. There’s a lot of rumours surrounding his departure with most saying his exit is coming soon. Only, I had to make this going off who United have at the minute.


Then up front, aside Rashford and Martial, I’ve had to choose Daniel James. Another newly signed red who I think may be given a chance. The 21-year-old will be highly anticipated by fans who will be eager to see him in action.

Cocu must do these 3 things immediately at Derby County

Derby County has appointed Phillip Cocu as their new manager on a four-year deal, following Frank Lampard’s return to Chelsea.

The former PSV and Fenerbache boss has been without a job since last October, after being sacked by the Turkish club.

Derby identified him as a manager that would carry on that attractive, attacking style that Lampard adopted last season. The Rams were very enjoyable to watch, quick in transition and scored 69 goals last season.

I look at three things that Cocu must do ahead of August 3rd…

Phone Lampard & arrange some loan deals

You could argue that Derby’s three best players last campaign were Fikayo Tomori, Mason Mount and Harry Wilson. All three were loans from Chelsea and Liverpool, because of the Lampard connection.

Without that trio, their side looks bare in terms of real ‘match-winning’ quality. To get promoted out of the Championship, you need two or three top attacking players, that can score 15+ goals each. I imagine Mount and Tomori will be fighting for their place at Stamford Bridge. However, I’m sure Lampard will find a couple of youngsters to help Derby out.

More of the same

Let’s not forget Derby lost narrowly in the play-off final. Lampard wasn’t sacked or failed, losing him isn’t a massive crisis. He’s built the foundations of a very good side. If they sign the right players for the style, they’ll be fine next season. Cocu isn’t walking into a side lacking quality, or without an identity. If Derby plays as they did for the majority of last season, with a few extra signings, they’ll do well. My advice would be, don’t over complicate things. You were brilliant last season, and could quite easily be in the Premier League, don’t make unnecessary drastic changes.

Build the side around Jack Marriott

If there was one criticism of Lampard I had last season, it was his minimal use of Marriott. For me, he’s one of the best strikers in the Championship. A natural goal scorer, fox in the box. He didn’t start in any of the play-off matches, unbelievably. Marriott came off the bench at Elland Road and scored two to help Derby reach the play-off final. Again, he was on the bench. The super sub came on and scored, however, it was too little too late as they lost 2-1. He must be Derby’s number nine next season, he scores for fun.

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