Tag Archives: Harry Maguire

The form of Man Utd’s two attackers will prove the difference against Wolves, agree?

Solskjaer’s Man Utd will be looking to avoid a repeat of last season where the Reds failed to beat Wolves and lost twice at Molineux.

After winning every single game of pre-season, the Red Devils marched on into the Premier League season with a 4-0 victory at Old Trafford over top four competitors Chelsea.

Solskaer’s team selection spoke volumes by dropping Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Nemanja Matic from the starting eleven. Having five academy graduates in the starting eleven and two on the bench tells you what direction Ole is steering the club in. The risk was worth the reward as the Reds thumped a very naive Chelsea.

Will Solskjaer go back to relying on experienced players or allow this winning formula to develop?

Man Utd

Most fans will want to see a very similar eleven walkout on Monday at Molineux. Scott McTominay is quickly becoming a fan favourite, covering more ground on the pitch than any other player against Chelsea and playing a large role in the slick passing from the back, he could be the answer to Man Utd’s midfield mayhem.

Pereira’s position of the interchanging attacking midfielder/right-winger appears to be up for grabs. The Brazilian failed to impact the game on the ball but impressed with high-pressing and an assist for Anthony Martial.

The defence of Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw is looking like one of the best defences in English football. Chelsea managed to find themselves in some good positions. However, this may well be a result of the defence being brand new.

Anthony Martial is becoming much more instinctive as a number 9. He is more aggressive, vocal and attentive than ever before as he leads from the front. Having Marcus Rashford in and around him, challenging for that number 9 spot, Man Utd fans could see a lot of goals this season.

Wolves

Wolverhampton Wanderers recently won a two-legged Europa League qualifier 8-0 on aggregate against Pyunik. But when the final 4-0 win takes place four days before a big game against Man Utd, it might not bode too well.

Top players such as Diego Jota and Leander Dendoncker amongst others featured in the victory and could get exposed by a very fit Man Utd come the Monday fixture.

On the flip side, Wolves are a team full of confidence. Alongside Everton and Leicester, Wolves are a team looking to put pressure on the top six. Beating Man Utd at home would be a good way for Wolves to show the league that they mean business.

Prediction

Solskjaer is likely to go in a similar direction as he did against Chelsea. It appears he has given his side an identity and a philosophy to follow. His apparent trust in youth has allowed for the starting eleven to be stronger and more exciting, with two forwards who are eager to score.

Wolves could pick up a point against a less than clinical Man Utd. But the retrains of the Europa League will likely impact the squad and Solskjaer as ensured that his squad are one of the fittest in the league.

A 1-1 or a 2-1 victory for Man Utd would be safe judgement. Wolves will hold out for a draw, or a win if they find themselves 1-0 up. But the form of Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial will definitely prove to be a challenge for Wolves.

Deserved: Two reasons why Man Utd are right to extend centre-backs stay

Swedish outlet Sportbladet reports new contract for Victor Lindelof, taking him to 2025 with Man Utd.

The partnership between Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire in Man Utd’s 4-0 victory over Chelsea was something Red Devils haven’t seen in years. Their defensive solidarity allows for the Reds to play the ball out from the back. The team can now attack with confidence as they trust the defensive barracks behind them.

Maguire signed a contract with Man Utd until 2025, with the option of extending a further year. Victor Lindelof, according to reports, is also being offered a contract until 2025. Coincidence? I think not.

The Football Manc Cave bring you 2 reasons why Victor Lindelof signing a new contract is essential to Man Utd’s future…

The perfect match

Maguire and Lindelof against Chelsea

Since Lindelof’s arrival at Man Utd, he has been playing alongside Chris Smalling and Phil Jones on the majority of occasions. Two defenders who were completely dropped from the squad on the opening day this season.

Partnered with Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof’s deficiency (aerial dominance) is covered.

Maguire acts as the rock of the defence, whilst Lindelof is slightly more nimble and can pull off last-ditch tackles and keep up with pacey attackers.

The way the newly wedded partners Maguire and Lindelof behaved, conducted and commanded the game against Chelsea was nothing short of outstanding. Solskjaer has landed himself one of the best defences in the league, especially with Aaron Wan-Bissaka in the mix.

Do one, Barca!

Reports over summer suggested Barcelona were interested in Victor Lindelof. Upon his arrival, the Swede struggled with the physicality of the Premier League. At this time, he would have been a perfect fit for Barcelona.

Lindelof’s quality suggests that he still is. However, the ‘Iceman’ has worked on his physicality, as well as aerial dominance and other areas he lacked in. This made him the first choice centre back for both Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Although the defender is not seen in the limelight, shouting and raving about his love for the club, his determination to improve himself and his weakness demonstrates that he is the perfect fit for Man Utd.

Making him all the more likely to see a renewed contract as a reward, and not as a hurdle in stepping up to a bigger European club.

Solskjaer has instilled a fighting team spirit. Soon, the squad will be drilled in winning everything, every time, just like the old days.

His management kept Paul Pogba committed to the club, so keeping Lindelof should be a breeze.

Did Manchester United Do Enough Business in the Transfer Window?

Cast your mind back to April this year. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has just issued a public apology to the Manchester United fanbase following their 4-0 drubbing at the hands of Everton. More than that, the manager also states that there is plenty of work to do during the summer transfer window, hinting at a complete re-build from the ground up.

That interview left many Man United fans thinking that there would be more than a few transfers to look forward to, both in and out of the club. Yet just three notable deals have been struck to bring in Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Daniel James and, most recently, Harry Maguire. As for the outgoings, Ander Herrera (one of United’s best players last season), Antonio Valencia and Romelu Lukaku were all moved on.

That said, it’s clear that a large part of Solskjaer’s focus now lies in the youth prospects that are gradually coming through the ranks. Could this investment in young talent pay off next season? Let’s take a look at the key areas of the United squad as they currently stand.

Defence

It’s fair to say the Man United defence was in a sorry state last year, with a whopping 54 goals conceded over the course of the season. The club has made significant strides in strengthening their backline, with Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka coming in to replace Phil Jones or Chris Smalling and Ashley Young respectively.

Most fans will be fairly happy with these deals, not to mention the fact that goalkeeper David de Gea looks set to sign a new contract at the club over the coming weeks. Add in Victor Lindelof, Luke Shaw and Axel Tuanzebe to the mix and you’d have to say that a solid defensive unit could be formed out of those players.

Midfield

On paper, the middle of the park is perhaps the biggest area of concern for Manchester United next season. The departure of Ander Herrera to PSG is certainly a blow, and the board didn’t finance a move for a suitable replacement. Some fans still have confidence in the young talent of Scott McTominay and Andreas Pereira to step up alongside Paul Pogba, yet the lack of depth in the squad remains a worry.

There were plenty of rumours flying around regarding potential moves for a centre-mid – particularly Bruno Fernandes and Christian Eriksen – yet they were unable to get a deal done for either, which is probably of little surprise to Man United fans considering the number of top players they have been linked to over the past few seasons. However, their business has done enough to convince the bookies as they are fourth favourites at 11/10 in the football betting to finish in the top four outright markets.

Attack

The departure of Romelu Lukaku and the lack of a replacement means there should be plenty of opportunities for the group of young, talented attackers currently at the club. Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial will play important roles, that’s for sure, whereas up and comers such as Mason Greenwood, Tahith Chong and Daniel James will each get their chance to shine in the first team. They have also have older stars to complement these youngsters: Alexis Sanchez, Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard.

Even so, despite the improvements that have been made over the summer, you’d have to say that the squad still has a fair few holes to fill before they can put a top-four finish beyond doubt. There are still question marks over Ole Gunnar Solskjaer who will be keen to validate his new tactical approach and focus on youth as soon as possible. The first few months will be critical, let’s see how it all turns out!

‘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.

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.

‘I’ll buy Rojo the train ticket to Everton’ Twitter reacts to Man Utd offloading defender

Man Utd could deem Marcos Rojo surplus to requirements in a deadline day transfer to Everton.

Everton has lost Kurt Zouma, Ashley Williams and Phil Jagielka leaving the side desperate for centre-backs. Luckily for them, Man Utd now seven senior defenders in their squad. The Reds reportedly rejected a loan bid for Chris Smalling from Everton, who have now decided to pursue Marcos Rojo on a permanent basis.

It seems Manchester United fans are happy about cutting down on their amount of defender…

When asked about who will big news like Romelu Lukaku’s replacement, this user couldn’t help but bring up the issues with the Man Utd defence. But would prefer to keep Rojo over Smalling.

However, some fans would just get rid of both…

This Tweet sums up Everton’s transfer window deadline day, they may have found a door into getting their centre-back.

Both Everton and Manchester United would benefit from this deal. Solskjaer now has Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof, Axel Tuanzebe, Marcos Rojo, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling in the first team. It is likely for the manager to favour three and have one or two ready to step in for injuries/suspensions.

This would give a reason for Man Utd to offload at least two defenders on deadline day.

Why Man Utd need Spurs ace deal done by the transfer deadline

Man Utd could spend big one last time in this transfer window, as Tottenham want a big fee if they’re selling Eriksen to a rival.

Solskjaer has been gifted a top defence in this transfer window with the additions of Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Harry Maguire. However, Man Utd’s midfield is nowhere near a title-challenging quality.

Reports of Real Madrid attempting a £27.6million plus James Rodriguez for Paul Pogba leave room to wonder if the Frenchman will leave this summer.

Manchester United’s midfield would be far too weak without Pogba, and he would have to be replaced.

Rumours of Man Utd’s interest in Sporting’s Bruno Fernandes made fans ecstatic at the thought of him playing next to Paul Pogba. Is Man Utd’s interest in Tottenham’s Eriksen to replace wantaway Pogba? Or does Solskjaer intend on having him next to Pogba as they fail to sign Bruno Fernandes?

Eriksen signed for Spurs from Ajax in 2013 for a fee of around £12million. A report from the Telegraph said Tottenham Chairman Daniel Levy valued at Eriksen at £130million when English clubs enquired. But European clubs could snap him up for under £50million.

The Dane has been a consistent talent for Tottenham. Last season, he scored 8 and assisted 12 goals in the Premier League. The season before, he scored 10 and assisted 11 goals in the Premier League.

Deadly midfield duo

Having Paul Pogba next to Christian Eriksen would be a duo that could score and create 40 goals between them per Premier League season.

However, it could well be the case that Eriksen replaces Paul Pogba as the only proven midfield talent at Manchester United. So whether it be he partners up Paul Pogba to create one of the best midfield set up in the league or he replaces him, Man Utd would only benefit from signing him up.

Man Utd fans have been furious at the lack of squad rebuilding they felt they we promised before summer. But if they bring in Christian Eriksen or Bruno Fernandes, there would be little complaints. Man Utd would once again be one of the strongest outfits in the league.

Stoke City and Aston Villa go head to head over Man Utd defender

Man United defender, Axel Tuanzebe has gained interest from Stoke City and Aston Villa. According to the Daily Mail, Man United want to keep hold of him.

The offers these clubs are making are expected to be rejected, as Tuanzebe has been put in the first-team plans at Old Trafford ahead of the season.

The 21-year-old is wanted by Stoke, and apparently only on a loan basis as Ryan Shawcross is out with a broken ankle which he picked up in pre-season. This leaves Nathan Jones looking for a replacement.

Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest have also registered their interest as he impressed at Villa Park last season. However, as well as Man United looking likely to reject any bids, the defender is also reluctant to leave his current club as he wants the chance to impress at Old Trafford.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is also prepared to move out one of his defenders after the arrival of Harry Maguire. However, the injury that Eric Bailey has sustained means he doesn’t want to leave himself short of cover options. This also means that Solskjaer needs the 21-year-old to step up to Premier League football.

It’s a fair plan from Man United, as they’ve just spent so much on Maguire that building their own players and making them step up to league football is a sensible option. Hopefully, Tuanzebe can pull through, have a good season, stand out to clubs and push up his fees in case he wants to leave in the future, although right now, he should be given a chance.

Two of Man Utd’s best transfer deadline day signings, agree?

With the transfer deadline looming, here are two brilliant deadline day signings that will keep Man Utd fans hopeful until the final minutes of the window.

Man Utd has massively improved their squad this summer. With a £130million defensive overhaul of Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Harry Maguire, Man Utd have patched up two positions which have held them back for well over 5 years.

Also, Welsh winger Daniel James has proved to be a promising signing for the Reds, a £15million gem.

However, Man Utd fans are calling out for a midfielder. Without Paul Pogba, Man Utd’s best midfielder is the yet to be proven Scott McTominay. Due to the invisible performances of Fred and the inconsistency of quality in Andreas Pereira.

Paul Pogba could leave, get injured, refuse to play or completely lack in form. Which means Man Utd’s midfield would be outplayed by almost any team in the Premier League. They even struggled against Norway’s Kristiansund until Matic left the field and the World Cup-winning Frenchman came on.

So chin up Reds, we could still see this Man Utd team have a fighting chance of top four if they can bag a deadline day deal. Just like they did with these two…

Daley Blind

The Dutchman joined Man Utd on the deadline day of the summer ’14 transfer window. Whilst serving the club for four years, Daley Blind was incredibly underrated during his spell. Able to play full-back, centre-back and around central midfield, Blind saved Man Utd who faced several injuries throughout this period.

Costing the club around £15million from Ajax and returning for a similar fee, Blind was as versatile, hardworking professional who most fans would have loved to see still playing for Man Utd last season.

Wayne Rooney

Possibly the best signing Manchester United ever made. Rooney dedicated his career to Man Utd, through the ups and downs. Being one of the most prolific players to step out onto Old Trafford, it proves that deadline day transfers of this calibre can happen, and aren’t always ‘panic buys’.

Man Utd fans should keep faith that a deadline day transfer could come in to fix the midfield. Even if a player who isn’t at the top of your list arrives, support them. But if Man Utd don’t bring in a midfielder, they may as well kiss goodbye to Champions League football and say hello to a battle for 6th place against Leicester and Wolves.

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