Tag Archives: phil jones

THE LOWDOWN: Man United Linked with Another Championship Youngster, Stoke’s Nathan Collins – Could He Cut It at Old Trafford

Ahead of what will hopefully be a busy summer window for Manchester United. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looks eager to bolster his side with young talent.

Recommended by Darren Fletcher, United look set to make a move for 18-year-old Irishman and Stoke City centre half Nathan Collins. With the terrible performances of Phil Jones and Chris Smalling of late, it seems apparent another centre back is necessary.

Still failing to replace Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand so many seasons on, United have been left with a void at the back. With Victor Lindelof showing signs of promise, Solskjaer is desperate for a fixed term partnership at the back. Therefore, what the manager can learn from his predecessors’ mistakes, is that to not sign short term players for long term problems.

At just 18-years-old, the Irish defender Collins has shown great potential during his time at the Potters. Although perhaps he may not be just ready to play week in week out at United at the moment, signing young talent will certainly be a step in the right direction for the Red Devils, as they look to build a solid foundation for the future.

Perhaps Collins could be the first signing of what will be the rebuild of an ageing and lacklustre Man United team. With Mason Greenwood, Angel Gomes and others making their moves into the first-team, Solskjaer looks apparent to favour youth. With an unmotivated team that should be ripped apart this transfer window, hungry youngsters like Collins will have the opportunity to prove themselves on the big stage and hopefully re-ignite the United Way.

Man United fans are you excited at the news of Nathan Collins possibly arriving?

THE LOWDOWN: Who is Kalidou Koulibaly and What Can He Bring to Man United

Kalidou Koulibaly has established himself as one of the best centre-backs around in recent season with his impressive performances with Napoli.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer needs major defensive reinforcements this summer, as it’s been widely reported on. A defensive pairing of Chris Smalling and Phil Jones doesn’t frighten many attackers, and success is built from the back with a decent foundation – As well the Norwegian knows.

In what is going to be a defining window at Old Trafford, a high class and strong defender is going to be high on the priority list.

Looking across Europe, in what is going to be a tight market, they’re not going to be many that are much better than the Senegalese international. With Napoli knowing this and slapping a reported record fee of 150m on his head, despite his 63m rating by Transfermarkt.

The 27-year-old has a strong passing game amongst other attributes, which would be perfect for Solskjaer’s plan of turning defence into attack with his own brand of attacking football. Carlo Ancelotti recently described the defender as one of the best in the world, so his talent is there for all to see and is no wonder United are trying to get him signed up as soon as possible.

He would also come with a wealth of experience under his belt having played Champions League football and featured in a very exciting Napoli side in Serie A.

The Red Devils can not gamble on a defender with potential, they have that already in Victor Lindelof. Solskjaer needs a player that can bring the Swede on, potentially pairing him up with Koulibaly who is entering his peak years could be a stroke of genius if Ole can pull it off.

Man United fans, what do you make of Koulibaly – would he welcomed addition to Old Trafford?

Solskjaer Sees Just How Big a Job He Has at Man United, After Dreadful End To The Season

Well, the Premier League season as finally come to a close, it was a nail-biting season for some fans, and it came down to the last game to decide who became Premier League champions.

However, if you’re a Manchester United fan, like myself there was nothing to celebrate, in fact, it was a dreadful season, to say the least. After witnessing an utter shambles in the last match of the season at Old Trafford against relegated Cardiff City, it’s clear to see that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has a massive rebuilding job on his hands.

The team needs a massive clear out, there’s a lot of deadwood within that Manchester United team, from back to front, and there are players within the first team that aren’t quite good enough. The defence is shocking, three of the defenders who played in our last game were terrible, Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Ashley Young have simply not been good enough and Ole needs to move them on, recruiting a right back and a centre back to partner Victor Lindelof.

Then there’s the midfield…Paul Pogba gets a lot of stick off the fans which I’ve heard first hand myself. Yes, he’s been inconsistent but it’s not entirely his fault. In my opinion and many Manchester United fans will probably disagree with me, Pogba is a talent but he needs good players around him.

Unfortunately, with Ander Herrera leaving on a free, he hasn’t got good players around him, and I don’t feel Pogba can carry a team on his own.

Just look at our neighbours Manchester City, their midfield consists of four very good players. I want Pogba to stay put and for Ole to build the team around him, recruit one or two creative midfielders to help Pogba and to take the pressure off him.

Scott McTominay isn’t good enough to play in the first team, and Nemanja Matic is defensive, Fred and Andreas Pereira need to step up to the plate.  With Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial upfront and the likes of Mason Greenwood coming through the ranks, if these three starts firing then the attack isn’t too bad, although I’d move Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez on and cash in on them.

The other factor is that the players aren’t fit enough to play the style of football Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants his players to play. There looked burnt out, so first and foremost Ole needs to get the players fitness up to standards where they can maintain fast and attacking football.

Solskjaer will no doubt need to replace departing and departed players such as Herrera and possibly Juan Mata, with rumours circulating about Pogba’s future, Ole may need to replace him.

There’s no doubting that the job Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as got is a massive job, and from what I witnessed at Old Trafford on the final game of the season the rebuilding process is going to take three years. I’m just hoping that the hierarchy at Manchester United stick with Ole, and back him by not becoming a club where we sack are managers willy nilly.

Furthermore, I also worry with Ed Woodward in charge at the club, that Manchester United will never progress. The only way that will happen is if Ed Woodward is sacked, and again I can’t see that happening unless the Saudi Arabia royal family buy the club. Then maybe they will sack Ed Woodward… but one can only dream.

Solskjaer Needs a Good Clear Out This Summer, and These 8 Are In The Firing Line

Another loss last night as further shown up the task Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be dealing with in the summer transfer window. United have gone through four permanent managers since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013.

Poor recruitment and a reluctance to ship out much needed deadwood over the years, has seen United battling for a top four finish each season. Under Fergie, United won 13 titles in his 21 years in the Premier League, however the Red Devils are now entering their sixth season without a title, nevermind coming close.

We’re at a stage now where it’s the players that need changing and wholesale changes will happen this summer.

We take a look at EIGHT potential players that should be out of the Old Trafford exit door, as Solskjaer starts the biggest job of his career…

Lee Grant

Having signed for United under the previous manager in the last summer transfer window, it left everybody scratching their heads. A great move for Grant in the twilight years of his career, but a player who offers nothing to the team and rarely makes the bench.

Phil Jones

Having been at United since 2011, he came with great expectation – a future England Captain, Fergie mentioned. Regardless of his potential back then, through injury and poor form he has never risen to the heights many thought of him. Furthermore, after eight years with the club Jones still doesn’t feel like an assured United defender.

Chris Smalling

Chris Smalling arrived from Fulham the season before Jones in 2010, since then he hasn’t convinced many that he can be a United stalwart in the centre of defence. Smalling has the odd good game here and there but on the whole he makes United fans nervous and never seems fully in control.

Marcos Rojo

While i’m a fan of Rojo, he imply hasn’t been given the playing time under Solskjaer. He isn’t a first team defender and more of a squad player. He’s your typical Argentinian defender, tough and fearless – It’s something United need but he is also very reckless and always a shoe-in for a yellow card.

Matteo Darmian

How the Italian is still at United is beyond me, he has nearly been shipped out in the past few transfer windows but still remains on the books. He got his first start last night in three months, and that was only due to injuries. His contract is up in the summer and would be an easy one to let walk away.

Alexis Sanchez

The Chilean has failed miserably since the move up north from Arsenal. He’s never really got going, and with his huge wages has come in for some flack. With his contract still having three years left to run, it would cost United a fair whack to offload him, they’ll have to take a loss and hope someone will be willing to take a chance on the former Barcelona forward.

Romelu Lukaku

The forward seems to be getting worse since, the Belgian is struggling to hold a place down and when he does get on the pitch it seems he’s forgot how to control a ball never mind find the back of the net. With the emergence of the more consistent Rashford, Lukaku will not be wanting to wait around on the bench to make numbers up, a move to Serie A looks likely.

Paul Pogba

On his day he is one of the best players to watch, however, when United need him he tends to go missing and United fans never know what Pogba is going to turn up. If Pogba wants to be one of the best players in the world and be up there with Messi, Ronaldo and even Hazard, he needs to be more consistent and stop letting his ego take over. Stop worrying over social media followers, and start concentrating on the pitch.

Mourinho Needs To Play This Back Three Tonight With Not Many Options To Hand

Jose Mourinho has taken a lot of stick this season, the United fans are clearly disgruntled by the on-pitch performances and 7th standing in the Premier League. However, the Red Devils have lost only once since the end of September to rivals Man City and twice in all competitions – 1-0 to Juventus.

It’s the draws that have been the downfall to United’s season; Three draws in seven league matches since the beginning of October, and they’re winless in the last three.

So the rampant and highly confident Arsenal will not be a welcomed match at such a critical time ahead of the always manic Christmas period. Mourinho has a host of players out injured at present – with his backline taking a battering…much like this season.

Lindelof, Young, Darmian, Smalling, and Bailly are all out with Shaw and Valencia facing late fitness tests.

So who does the Portuguese boss go with, with the injuries it looks set he’ll continue with his 3-5-2 but without the wingbacks, so a back three of…

LCB: Marcus Rojo

The Argentine defender hasn’t played so far this season and was on the bench against Southampton as he continues his comeback from yet another injury.

On his day, Rojo can be a great defender, however, the handful of games he’s played in the past 12 months will sure to show the match rust he’ll have. Although Mourinho doesn’t really have much choice at the moment except to throw him into the mix.

CB: Phil Jones

Jones played in the last match, making only his second Premier League appearance of the season, third in total.

Jones, like Rojo has been injury prone, but largely impressed under Mourinho’s tenure when he has been match fit. Jose will be hoping to lean on Jones experience to guide this defence through the match.

RCB: Diogo Dalot

Making up the back three is summer signing and highly anticipated Dalot. He impressed in his one and only appearance in the Champions League this season and got a little taste of Premier League football coming on as a sub at weekend.

Between them, the back three have started just three matches this campaign, which is worrying. Therefore, expect a tough night against the Gunners but one that sometimes works out when the team is up against it.