Tag Archives: ed woodward

Man Utd’s Transfer window: Is Solskjaer doomed before the season starts?

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United are doomed before the season has even started. Here is why.

Since landing the job on a permanent basis, Solskjaer has pledged to ‘rebuild’ this Man Utd squad. He also assured the fans that he ‘will be successful’ and will be ‘ruthless’ with his squad.

Despite these promises, very little has changed. Two players have exited, Ander Herrera (the club’s second-best midfielder) and Romelu Lukaku (the club’s most prolific goalscorer). Could these two really have been who Solskjaer meant when he said we ‘wouldn’t see’ some of these players again? Surely not.

There are both positives and negatives to come out of this transfer window. Naturally, we’ll start with the negatives…

Negatives

So, with the Reds losing a striker and a midfielder. Who have they brought in to replace them? Two defenders from lower clubs and a winger from Swansea. Fantastic business, no?

Given the benefit of the doubt, Solskjaer will likely not have purposely lied to the fans. More so, the board have once again let a manager down.

During the uproar of fan concern and protest against the ‘higher-ups’ in the clubs, we saw leaks about promising players such as Paulo Dybala, Bruno Fernandes and Christian Eriksen, all of which did not materialise.

As it stands, with ins and outs, Man Utd have a transfer window net spend of £70million. Man Utd needed to invest upwards of £200million to have a fighting chance at winning anything this season.

This is the biggest and richest club in English football with the weakest squad, fans have seen in well over 20 years. The same club that has promised a rebuild and success to the fans. Once again, let down.

Solskjaer has said that he would only want players who are keen to play for Man Utd, hence why deals with big players fell through. As Man Utd is ultimately a step-down from Juventus and even Tottenham, as of current circumstances.

However, last season Solskjaer also stated that big names are eager to join his team. Whilst their only acquisitions were players from Leicester City, Crystal Palace and Swansea City. Despite this, the signings made do look promising…

Positives

The introduction of Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Harry Maguire have turned a laughing stock of defence, into one of the most elite defences in the Premier League. To this, hats off.

Wan-Bissaka has proven in pre-season to be practically unbeatable and will be a huge upgrade from Ashley Young. Who despite his best efforts, is not cut out for challenging for titles.

With Harry Maguire, fans know what they’re getting. A solid, English, Premier League proven defender whose mistakes are few and far between. A huge upgrade on Eric Bailly, who is always injured. Phil Jones, who tends to forget which side he plays for. And Chris Smalling, who’s decent performances are one in ten.

Daniel James gives some insight into the future projections of Man Utd. The fact they have any at all will be good news for fans.

Overall?

Drastic. Football games are won and lost in the midfield. Manchester United have a Paul Pogba who doesn’t want to be there. Andreas Pereira who is set to be Man Utd’s next 27-year-old ‘youth prospect’ and Scott McTominay who is a fantastic footballer, but totally unproven in the red jersey. There is also Fred and Matic who practically do nothing but give the ball away.

It will be a tough season for Man Utd. But remember, it most likely isn’t the fault of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. It is evident that he loves the club. The best-case scenario would be for the amazing youth talents to come through and show the rest how it’s done.

Fans will have to do their bit and support through thick and thin. As most of the Man Utd squad can’t be trusted to perform, the fans should remain consistently supportive throughout the season. If not for the club, then for every moment of glory that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has given them in the years gone by.

Man Utd injury forces Woodward’s transfer hand

Eric Bailly is injured once again, but there may be some silver lining to this sad story for Man United.

Man Utd’s Ivorian defender Eric Bailly suffered a knee injury in their pre-season match again Spurs. In an attempt to block the goal from a cutting-inside Son Heung-min, Bailly found himself hitting the ground on several occasions in a matter of second, due to the South Korean ‘fake shooting’ inside the box. The attack amounted to nothing, but Bailly’s season could have been over in that moment.

Bailly’s knee injury has been a recurring problem since he joined from Villareal in 2016. According to Man Utd fans, Bailly is regarded as their second-best centre-back, behind the recently in-form Victor Lindelof.

In the three years that Bailly has been at Old Trafford, he has only made 50 Premier League appearances. This is an average of less than 17 PL appearances per season. There is no doubt about his talent, but his injuries make him too unreliable for a team trying to win trophies again.

The silver lining

Man Utd has been in talks with Leicester City’s Harry Maguire. In typical Man Utd fashion, the deal has been prolonged in an attempt to lower the price as much as possible.

Ed Woodward’s slow negotiations have caused great frustration to the fans over recent years, but especially this summer. However, with Man Utd’s second-best centre-back being spotted in Manchester with a cast on his leg, Woodward may ‘be forced to meet Leicester’s £80million asking price for Harry Maguire’, according to the Mirror.

With Maguire in the squad, the missing piece of Man Utd (a solid defence) will finally be complete. As Solskjaer’s attack during pre-season looks almost complete.

Positives & negatives to one of these 3 potential Man Utd Captains

Solskjaer is seeking a leader of men to walk his Man United team out onto the pitch against Chelsea, but who should it be?

Manchester United’s pre-season tour of Australia and Asia has given fans a lot to be excited by, and this burst of energy is being seen on the pitch. The transfer market, however, is looking to a letdown. It appears Ed Woodward isn’t pulling his weight whilst Solskjaer appears to be moving mountains.

The Norwegian manager will have to assume that he will be playing with the hand he was dealt. Man Utd has added two first-team players to the ranks since their abysmal last season.

Out of the divided Man Utd team, concocted of several different minds, Solskjaer must pick one Captain going into the new season.

Who can lead this mid-table squad to success next season?

David De Gea

Positives

According to reports, Man Utd are close to announcing the extended contract for goalkeeper David De Gea. An old trick to make fans forget that transfers should be happening. However, keeping the best goalkeeper in the world is exciting news. De Gea joined in 2011, and the 28-year-old goalkeeper is certainly looking to get some silverware in his career. If he didn’t believe he could get that with the Reds, he would most definitely have left for Real Madrid or PSG.

Negatives

Although not unheard of, Man Utd might not benefit from a Captain being back there in the sticks. Despite having the worst defence Manchester United have ever had in front of him, it doesn’t take an armband for a goalkeeper to arrange them correctly. Man Utd would get more use out of a Captain who is in the thick of it on the field.

Paul Pogba

Positives

Many agree that Paul Pogba is Man Utd’s only world-class outfield player. Meaning that he can lead by example, particularly with the youth. Other players would feel more obliged to up-their-game whilst being lead by the talent of Paul Pogba. Man Utd players would feel less to work for when being lead by Ashley Young, who despite his hard work, has done very little right in a Red shirt for many years.

Negatives

Despite being their best player, he is also the least consistent. For every one game he bosses, he spends five to ten more lost on the pitch. Luckily for his statistics, he really does show up when he plays. However, Pogba has recently admitted that he wants to leave the club. Unless he fully buys into Solskjaer’s rebuild, he shouldn’t even feature heavily this season, let alone wear the armband.

Juan Mata

Positives

Juan Mata is one of football’s kindest and most generous souls, as well as being up-there with the talent. With five and a half years under his belt at Old Trafford, his contract could allow for up to three more. Mata is clearly devoted to the club, and many of the younger players will look up to him as an international who has dominated world football in his career.

Negatives

In pre-season so far, Solskjaer has implemented a high-pressing, high-intensity and high-work rate ethic into his squad. This is something Juan Mata cannot keep up with, losing a yard of pace in recent years. This could result in poor performances and mistakes from the Spaniard, making his leading by example a difficulty for both club and player.

Two reasons why Man Utd’s Ed Woodward need to get these two over the line ASAP

Manchester United will push for more transfers in the remaining days of the transfer window.

Ed Woodward will remain in the UK in order to finalise deals that Man Utd have been in talks with over recent weeks, according to Evening Standard. This will be the first pre-season tour that Woodward has missed out on since being appointed in 2013.

This decision falls in line with Solskjaer’s recent press conference ahead of the game against Spurs in Shanghai. When asked about ongoing transfers, Ole responded with “It’s very important we get the right ones (transfers) in. So we can’t just, when you hit a hurdle, jump on a different path”.

According to reports, Man Utd are not seeing eye-to-eye with other clubs for the value of their players.

Leicester City is holding out for around 80million for their World Cup semi-finalist Harry Maguire, whilst Man Utd are offering £70million. Likewise, Newcastle expects £50million for Sean Longstaff as Man Utd are looking at offering below £30million.

It is clear that Woodward is intent on obtaining these players. There may be room to get Bruno Fernandes’ signature also but could depend on the future of other players like Paul Pogba.

The history of Man Utd’s transfer market activity shows a club that will pass up fantastic opportunities to save a few pennies.

However, this summer may be different, and here are two reasons for Woodward to get at least two more deals over the line as soon as possible…

Man Utd need the Champions League

For branding and sponsorship purposes, Man Utd have to be a Champions League club. When income is threatened, Woodward tends to pull his socks up. For example, Paul Pogba was brought into the club after Man Utd failed to get Champions League football.

This could mean that big transfers are yet to happen, the biggest being around £80million for Harry Maguire.

Man Utd’s poor defence against aerial threats was destructive to Solskjaer’s side last season. Evidence of history repeating itself has been seen in the current pre-season as Man Utd look shaky at the back, especially from set-pieces.

Harry Maguire in a red shirt would result in fewer goals at his own end, more goals at the other and a more pleasing and urgent transition from defence to attack.

Integration into squad

Aaron Wan-Bissaka recently brought in for £50million, looks like he’s been a Man Utd player for 5 years. According to StatmanDave on Twitter, Wan-Bissaka has statistics such as 100% crossing accuracy, 7 take-ons completed, 1 assist and 0 times dribbled past in pre-season so far.

Daniel James, although yet to show what potential he has, looks well-fitting for the squad on and off the pitch.

Woodward needs to bring in Solskjaer’s targets ASAP. This will give them more chance of getting used to Man Utd’s new tactics and approach ahead of their biggest season for many years.

Solskjaer to ask Pogba to do a Ronaldo for Man Utd?

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will plead with Paul Pogba to remain at the club for another season according to the Daily Mail this week.

As the quality of Manchester United slowly fades away, the pride and integrity follow suit. In a move reminiscent of Sir Alex Ferguson with Cristiano Ronaldo, Solskjaer is following suit. However, this time around it’s a completely different situation.

Paul Pogba has publicly humiliated his employers after telling a Japanese news source that he is looking to seek a “new challenge” whilst on his Asian tour. His agent Mino Raiola also made several comments about a matter that should have been dealt with in-house.

The World Cup winner is undoubtedly one of the greatest talents of modern football. But following his second spell at the club since 2016, there have merely been glimpses of excellence. Whilst the likes of Man City’s Kevin De Bruyne provides glimpses of excellence every other minute on the pitch.

However, as Ed Woodward reaps the rewards of Pogba being an Adidas ambassador and a major shirt seller. He is set and ready to throw the pride of the club down the gutter to keep an unhappy and under-performing Paul Pogba, in order to maintain relationships with their sponsors.

Round in circles?

A similar case happened many moons ago, back when Manchester United was at the top of world football with Cristiano Ronaldo. He was linked with a move to Real Madrid, but held off for a season whilst Manchester United put plans in place for his replacement; Gabriel Obertan, remember him? Probably not. Obertan currently plays for Erzurumspor in Turkey, the man he was meant to replace is now considered the world’s best footballer at 34 years of age for one of Europe’s most elite clubs; Juventus.

This lacklustre and last-minute approach to planning the future of the club is why Manchester United are now a club fighting for a top 5 position.

Manchester City has recently signed Rodri for £62million, a class midfielder from Atletico Madrid. The planning behind this signing is to replace Fernandinho with him after the next season or two where Fernandinho will still be one of the best midfielders in the league.

Manchester United are still yet to replace Ander Herrara and Fellaini.

Nay, Manchester United are still yet to replace Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic!

What’s the best outcome of this dilemma?

The general consensus is that fans would let Paul Pogba leave. Then use the funds to strengthen the entirety of the squad. Unfortunately for them, fans and chief officers have different goals, success on the pitch and brand names on the shirt, respectively.

In a recent press conference in Australia, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said that Pogba is a ‘professional’ with ‘a heart of gold’, which is a believable statement.

However, Solskjaer also claimed that there is a social media ‘agenda’ against Paul Pogba, which divides opinion as Pogba has been questionable in his methods of seeking a ‘new challenge’. On the other hand, some outlets have falsely reported a fight between the Frenchman and teammate Jesse Lingard, despite the full video showing the two were plainly joking.

Pogba is well within his rights to seek playing time with a more advanced football team. It is best for both parties to split ways, as the number 6 won’t receive a warm welcome from the local fans back in Manchester.

Man City promising youths looking to hook up with former teammate

Man City youth star Philippe Sandler is looking to join his former teammate Vincent Kompany at his new club Anderlecht.

Vincent Kompany left Manchester City as a champion of England this summer. The Football Manc Cave now understand that the Dutchman’s influence at Anderlecht, as lead to conversations of a loan deal with one of the blue’s promising youth.

Philippe Sandler is a Dutch centre-back, much like Kompany. Who is yet to break through at Man City after joining from PEC Zwolle for around £2million in summer 2018.

By spending a year alongside his former teammate and the new player-manager at Anderlecht. Kompany can pass on his buckets of knowledge and experience to the 22-year-old. Making him ready to challenge for Kompany’s vacant centre-back role upon his return.

Future planning

Over recent years, since the influence of the Middle-Eastern billionaires, Manchester City has carefully allocated their staff and budget which has helped them build the foundations of a world-conquering squad.

Making moves such as sending their youth on loan to work alongside old teammates is the type of intricate planning for the future which demonstrates the professionalism and positive projections of the club. Manchester United’s Ed Woodward should be taking notes.

Man City will be desperate to emulate the services provided by Kompany during his eleven-year spell with the club. The 33-year-old defender lived through the transitional period of the Manchester club, and will fully understand the culture and demands of being a part of it. Meaning we could see Sandler return to the side as a fully fledged defender ready to prove himself in the Premier League.

The 22-year-old Sandler currently has 76 career appearances under his belt, but we could see that figure soar beyond 100 after a season in the Netherlands. Upon his return, we could see him slowly integrated into the first team squad as we have seen with the likes of Phil Foden and Oleksandr Zinchenko.

Is 50m for a British squad player a sign of the times as Man Utd’s transfer strategy continues

Another British talent finds his way onto Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s radar.

So far this summer, Solskjaer has brought in the Welshman Daniel James and the Englishman Aaron Wan-Bissaka. Now reports of the Scotsman John McGinn are surfacing as Man Utd are rumoured to have offered £50million for the Aston Villa midfielder. Perhaps Jonny Evans could re-sign, to complete their British Isle swoop.

John McGinn signed for Aston Villa from Scottish side Hibs in the summer of 2018 for a fee of around £2.8million. He impressed Villa with his record of 17 goals and 29 assists in 136 games for his old side, which is a decent statistic for a central midfielder.

Fast-forward by only one year, and McGinn is now worth twenty times more. He played 44 games for Villa last season where he grabbed 7 goals and 10 assists, playing a key role in the centre of their midfield and helping his side achieve promotion to the Premier League.

McGinn could step in as a squad rotation player, allowing Solskjaer to have a quality midfield regardless of bookings, injuries or lack of form.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is dealing with his star man Paul Pogba seeking an exit from the club and is shortlisting replacements. The likes of Tielemans, Eriksen and Declan Rice have been on the radar as potential suitors, and we could see several midfielders put on Man Utd shirts in the next few weeks depending on World Cup winner Paul Pogba’s decision.

Many United fans question the desire of the club, as no big name signings are looking realistic to the Red Devils. However, the recruitment strategy seems vastly different to previous years, as promising talents are being given the time and effort before players who will simply sell shirts but not provide much for the club, like Alexis Sanchez. Alternatively, perhaps Ed Woodward isn’t prepared to be giving out big wages.

Wan-Bissaka done, now time for Man Utd to wrap up Sporting Lisbon ace

We are one Man Utd Twitter post away from seeing Wan-Bissaka in a red shirt, next up: Bruno Fernandes.

According to reports, Wan-Bissaka will shortly be announced as a Manchester United player, after Crystal Palace accept a bid in the £50million region.

We have seen the poor negotiation tactics from the Man Utd board as this deal has taken several weeks, if not months, to complete. With Manchester United beginning pre-season in two weeks time, deals must be done quickly to ensure a successful start to the season.

Manchester United still need to bring in a centre-back, a centre-midfielder and a right-winger in order to separate them from clubs battling for the sixth position in the Premier League. Should Pogba and Lukaku part from the club, another central-midfielder and a striker would be necessary also; a total of five further signings, six including Fernandes, that need to be completed as soon as possible.

Should Manchester United successfully establish a confident and consistent defence partnered with ferocious and passionate attacking players. We could see remnants of what made the Red Devils one of the world’s most feared, and revered football teams in world football under Sir Alex Ferguson.

Bruno Fernandes currently plays for Sporting Lisbon, where he achieved 32 goals and 18 assists in his 2018/19 campaign with the Portuguese giants. This 24-year-old attacking-midfielder could transform Manchester United’s inability to pick out their forward man and sink the ball into the back of the net.

Manchester United managers have been made promises by Ed Woodward in the past and have been let down, the most extreme example being with Jose Mourinho. By the start of the 19/20 campaign, we will see if Woodward has finally realised that his approach to the club over the past years, has been a huge betrayal and embarrassment to the kings of English football.

Bruno Fernandes has reportedly caught the eyes of Spurs and Liverpool also, who can offer him one thing that United cannot; Champions League Football.

The majority of Man Utd fans know how to close the gap on their rivals, more than the boardroom

Manchester United are currently at a similar level to Spurs, Chelsea and Arsenal. Here is how they can catch up to Liverpool and Man City before they slip down to Everton, Watford and Leicester.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is an inexperienced manager in one of the most powerful seats in world football, safe to say he has a job on his hands. With arguably the only world-class outfield player in the squad, Paul Pogba, wanting a move away from the most successful football team in English football, Solskjaer’s job becomes even harder.

Unfortunately for Manchester United fans, it seems the majority of them know what’s best for the club, more than the boardroom at Old Trafford do. Many have been calling out for a Director of Football for many years, and Ed Woodward has only recently been reported to be considering options for the position.

The upcoming season could foreshadow the foreseeable future for Manchester United, and certainly Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

So here is a three-point plan the club must adopt, in order to surpass the likes of Spurs and Chelsea and challenge their arch-nemeses Liverpool and City…

Director of Football

Manchester United fans have been calling out for someone who understands the game more than Ed Woodward, to be in charge of who steps out onto the field at Old Trafford. Recent signings such as Di Maria and Alexis Sanchez, amongst others, have proven to be terrible signings for the side in terms of both football and finance.

If Manchester United can correctly recruit the right players, they can build a title challenging side as Manchester City did. With a Director of Football, the club can adopt a certain and solid structure, which would surely translate to better performances on the pitch.

This is not Pogba FC

Football players being above the manager is a real concern in the game. We have heard Unai Emery mention how displeased he was at PSG where Neymar gets what he wants. It is a similar case for Manchester United, as Pogba successfully turned Manchester against the world’s most prolific manager; Jose Mourinho. Manchester United need to develop a hard-working team, emphasis on team. Just like the Sir Alex Ferguson days, where players like David Beckham, Cristiano Ronaldo and even Pogba himself were shown the door if they stepped out of line.

Cut down the dead wood

Most Manchester United fans agree that many players in the club are not good enough to be in the starting 11, for a team who want to challenge for the title. Solskjaer has to stick to his word and be ‘ruthless’ with squad selections next year. Many fans will be sick to the stomach of the likes of Ashley Young, Phil Jones, Matic etc start in more than 20 Premier League games next season. This may require investment to bring in the correct players to take over positions where Manchester United lack quality, meaning that the vastly despised owners of Man Utd need to get into gear and correctly invest in the club.

Two in-house options for Man Utd to West Ham’s Issa Diop

How can Ole Gunnar Solskjaer improve the Man Utd defence without spending big this summer?

If the links between Manchester United and defenders such as De Ligt, Maguire, Koulibaly and Diop hold any weight, it proves that the Manchester United board are desperate to add a world class defender to the mix. However, with Man Utd, they seem to be displeased about the drastic inflation of the price of defenders, as players like Wan-Bissaka and Issa Diop are being bid for and rejected.

It is rumoured that West Ham are looking for a similar price to what Liverpool paid Southampton for Van Dijk; £75million. However, much like with the case of trying to haggle for Aaron Wan-Bissaka, United entertained a swap deal where West Ham enquired about Anthony Martial for Issa Diop, to which Ed Woodward reportedly responded with a £45million bid plus Phil Jones.

It is evident that Manchester United need to massively improve their defence but are not willing to part with the cash.

With this in mind, here are two cheaper alternatives to signing Issa Diop or any other £60million+ defenders…

Axel Tuanzebe

Tuanzebe, 21, has just finished a fantastic loan spell at Aston Villa where he was a huge factor in the club’s promotion to the Premier League, so much so that Villa are desperate to keep hold of him. With Axel Tuanzebe’s future under scrutiny, many Manchester United fans are questioning the ambition of the club by not giving the 21-year-old future star a contract but are happy to give a three-year contract to Juan Mata, a 31-year-old. Many would argue that Tuanzebe is ready for first team football at Man Utd, including the kid himself.

Eric Bailly

When fit, Bailly is a joy to watch. His aggression, energy and ferocity bring nostalgia to United fans who remember United greats from Steve Bruce to Nemanja Vidic.

However, injury setbacks resulted in Bailly never getting a fair run of games to find stability and form, hence the odd mistake here and there. If Bailly and Lindelof can strike up a partnership and remain injury free for most of the season, it could save Man Utd the pain of risky record signing fees whilst still achieving a solid defence to protect the goalkeeper throughout the new season.

« Older Entries