Tag Archives: premier league

What Man Utd’s predicted 11 against Leeds Utd could look like

After their 2-0 victory over Perth Glory, Manchester United need to up their game to beat Leeds United on Wednesday.

In the first pre-season game, Solskjaer’s men showed us what they have been working on in the training ground. We saw an incredibly high pressing attack against a Perth defence that often had at least nine or ten players behind the ball.

The link-up play and close control was reminiscent of the incredible winning streak Man United had when Solskjaer first took over. New signings Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka had fantastic debuts, lifting the spirits of the fanbase.

However, Solskjaer opted for two completely different eleven men to feature in each half of the game. This means we still have to see how the Reds fare in a competitive 90 minutes, something Leeds United will certainly offer.

How the lineup against Leeds should look

With the Premier League looming, Solskjaer will be keen on figuring out his strongest eleven. Resulting in a starting eleven that could resemble this…

Manchester United would do well to toy with the idea of having two forward men, both capable of drifting out wide. This would give Jesse Lingard space to move further up the field as he performs best in the number 10 role, adapting to a second striker position when forwards drag defenders out wide.

How the formation can be adapted

This formation is easily transformed into Man Utd’s main formation 4-3-3, and by introducing some exciting substitutions, it would look like this…

A forward three of blistering pace, in front of the creative genius Paul Pogba, who sits alongside high-pressing Lingard, guarded by golden-boy Scott McTominay.

Axel Tuanzebe could replace Victor Lindelof as the ball-playing defender as Man United lack options other than Chris Smalling to provide an aerial threat. At least, until Harry Maguire joins the ranks as reports surface of the transfer being close to completion.

These line ups portray both the quality and versatility of Solskjaer’s set up.

Leeds United placed third in the Championship last season. Narrowly missing out on promotion in the playoffs. Therefore, Leeds can provide a similar type of test that many Premier League level teams will in the upcoming season.

Should Manchester United fail to dominate the match, it could provide a scary insight into what the Red Devils will perform like in Premier League.

Two reasons why Maguire is the answer to Man Utd’s defensive puzzle

Harry Maguire is set to leave the foxes. The Football Manc Cave has two reasons why Leicester City’s loss is Manchester United’s gain.

Harry Maguire is rumoured to be having his medical at Manchester United today, according to Express.

However, ‘Maguire to Man Utd’ is a phrase we have heard for well over a year. The Red Devils’ boardroom failed to secure the deal when Jose Mourinho demanded an improved defence over twelve months ago.

There are obvious reasons why both Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer have desperately sought the services of Harry Maguire.

Here are two of them…

Aerial Protection

Last season, the Englishman scored three goals for Leicester City. A figure that matches his financial competitor Virgil Van Dijk. The Dutchman of Liverpool won 75% of his aerial duels, whilst Maguire won 78%. This statistic is music to Man Utd fans’ ears. With their defensive line having been bullied by dominant attackers since the likes of Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand was protecting the man between the sticks.

Victor Lindelof proved to be Manchester United’s best ball-playing defender, whilst his partner Chris Smalling proved to be a hindrance. The Swede’s one fault, aerial dominance, could be patched up by sticking him alongside World Cup hero Harry Maguire.

Stop passing it backwards!

The Leicester City defender had a passing range of 86% last season, compared to Virgil Van Dijk’s 90%. However, placing Maguire in a better squad could see this statistic soar.

With two defenders that can successfully play the ball out of their own box, we would see a tremendous improvement in the way the Reds move the ball up the field. This will impact both slow build-ups, as well as the old-school counter-attacking football Man Utd, is famed for.

In the recent pre-season game Man Utd vs Perth Glory, new signing Aaron Wan-Bissaka made a fantastic debut, completing 4/4 tackles in his 45 minutes. Next season we may see him partnered with Luke Shaw at full back, with Maguire and Lindelof in between. This would be the most solid Man Utd defence in the last 10 years.

Man Utd joins Man City, Arsenal and Tottenham in the race for 21y/o

Solskjaer is looking at add yet another young talent to his Man United ranks in an attempt to bolster the attacking force next season.

When Europe’s top clubs such as Arsenal, Man City, Tottenham, Bayern Munich, Monaco and Sevilla are all seeking your signature, you know you’re doing something right.

CSKA Moscow’s 21-year-old Russian striker Fedor Chalov seems to be doing everything right, with Manchester United, also interested in his services.

With 15 goals, Chalov was the top scorer in the Russian Premier League last season. Furthermore, he also had 7 assists to his name. The young talent shows a keen eye for goal partnered with a high level of football IQ.

Why does Solskjaer need him?

Romelu Lukaku openly admitted to seeking a move to Italy’s Inter Milan. This would result in the Red Devils losing between ten and twenty goals in the Premier League next season.

Chalov has scored 27 goals in 65 League games for CSKA Moscow. By putting him in a squad with more quality in the ranks, Chalov could translate and improve his conversion rate in a more advanced competition.

In a Manchester United squad, Chalov would provide competition for current forwards Rashford and Martial. However, the two are pressured to be versatile as they are expected to perform in each of the forward four positions.

Chalov, on the other hand, has 108 career games to his name. 105 of which he featured as a striker, and in 3 he played as a second striker, according to Transfermarkt.

Rashford, Martial and Greenwood are all able to play across the front line of the attack. Manchester United, however, may require someone whose trade is solely to get in the box and score goals, similarly to Lukaku.

Is another young talent the right option for United?

Solskjaer is targeting keen, young, hardworking talent to join his squad. Two of which, Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka, have already been integrated with the squad, exciting fans with their debut.

However, Manchester United will be lacking an experienced and proven striker, should Lukaku exit. Therefore, recruiting a prolific striker who would happily sit on the bench may be a necessity for Solskjaer.

Twitter reacts: ‘Man United signing Harry Maguire is a move that will greatly benefit the club’

Leicester City’s Harry Maguire to Manchester United deal is looking more realistic by the day, and here is what the fans think about it

Social Media and modern football don’t always mix well, as millions upon millions of fans throw their opinions at the wall. Today, The Football Manc Cave will delve into Twitter and pull out some of those fan opinions, which give a general feeling about how people feel about Harry Maguire to Manchester United.

According to reports, Maguire will be fetching £80million for the move from Leicester City, a world-record transfer fee for a defender. Interestingly a similar figure Real Madrid paid for the one and only Cristiano Ronaldo.

A select few are displeased with the huge sum of money for Maguire’s services.

In recent seasons, Manchester United’s defence has been a source of negativity for the red devils. As a result, fans have pointed the finger at the likes of Chris Smalling, Ashley Young and Nemanja Matic as they believe these players are incapable of keeping up with the force of Premier League attackers.

Some fans believe the figure of £80million is far too high for the English centre-back. However, other fans feel that the fee doesn’t matter as Maguire will improve the ever-failing Man Utd defence.

‘£2m is a steal’ Wigan Athletic looking to complete the move for Everton 21y/o

According to the Liverpool Echo, Wigan Athletic are on the verge of completing a deal to sign Everton defender Antonee Robinson on a permanent deal.

Dan from Football Manc Cave looks at whether it’s a good deal for the Latics.

The 21-year-old American international spent last season at the DW Stadium during a season-long loan, in which he made 26 appearances for the club.

Paul Cook was full of praise for Robinson throughout the season and is working hard to sign the left-back and more new faces, ahead of the new campaign which starts on August 3rd.

Admittedly, I wasn’t a massive fan of Robinson in the first part of the season. I remember watching him at Brentford away, Ollie Watkins ran circles around him all day. He looked a rabbit in the headlights, with no defensive abilities at all.

Although he was young and experienced, I thought he’d make a better winger as he’s got electric pace and good delivery into the box.

Injury comeback

The American suffered a leg injury on international duty, since returning he was outstanding. One of our best players in the run-in, without a doubt. He defended much better, read the game well, looked stronger in the tackle and braver to challenge. Just a complete transformation. Maybe I was too quick to judge. However, I think most Wigan fans doubted his defensive capabilities too in the early parts of the season.

It says a lot about his character. The youngster clearly worked hard off the pitch, recognised his frailties and worked to improve his all-around game. Straight away, that’s the sort of players you want at your club. Willing to learn, work hard and improve.

Robinson has the potential to be a very good left-back, the pace he has is frightening. Still only 21, he’ll be a starter next season if this deal does go through, and I expect him to just keep on improving. For £2 million, it’s a steal.

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 City’s loan, buy & sell list this transfer window – Agree?

What would be the perfect summer transfer window for the Champions of England Manchester City. The Football Manc Cave takes a look.

It is arguable that the Manchester City squad is close to perfection in the vision of the esteemed manager Pep Guardiola. After a sweep of domestic success last season, Manchester City is only a Champions League away from being considered one of the world’s greatest football teams in modern football.

Today, The Football Manc Cave will provide options for a ‘loan’, a ‘buy’ and a ‘sell’. For what can improve the Man City squad next season and see them lift the mouth-watering Champions League trophy.

Loan

Manchester City has a squad full of talent, experience and quality. This can prevent the development of the youth within Guardiola’s ranks. Talks of Phillippe Sandler being loaned to Vincent Kompany’s Anderlecht are currently in progress, which is a smart move for the blues.

Other players such as Zinchenko and Claudio Gomes should be loaned out to lower-table Premier League or Championship level teams. Who can provide them with a full season of English football. Making them better, stronger and more equipped to handle the pressures of the competition upon their return.

Sell

It’s hard to tell a team of champions that some of their players don’t cut the bill. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean the individuals don’t have the talent to perform at the top level. Leroy Sane, for example, is a fantastic young winger who could potentially clinch a spot in any team in world football. However, he has spent most of his time on the bench under Guardiola, and the 23-year-old is at an important point in his career where he needs first team football.

Buy

Nicolas Otamendi and Eliaquim Mangala are two centre-backs that have gone unnoticed in the Man City squad, due to falling behind Laporte and Stones in the rankings, and both should be sold. John Stones’ dubious performances for England in the Nations League could demonstrate a lack of confidence in important matches. Bringing in a top quality centre-back to push his performances could be key to his development next season, as he currently faces little to no competitions for his centre-back spot.

With the status of Manchester City, they should rightfully be joining the races for the world’s greatest defenders such as Van Dijk for Liverpool, De Ligt rumoured for Juventus, Maguire rumoured for Manchester United. Guardiola should be looking for the likes of Manolas, Skriniar, Sergio Ramos, Koulibaly etc.

Man City need to look at these 2 Sane replacements should he move

Leroy Sane is a quality, young talent who feels as though he deserves more play time at the Etihad, and is, therefore, seeking a move away. But who can Man City replace him within this transfer window?

Sane finished his 18/19 season with 16 goals and 18 assists in 47 appearances across all competitions. He made the majority of marks on games by coming off the bench.

However, Sane doesn’t want to be associated with the ‘super-sub’ status. Despite having a great effect when bringing on his blistering pace against a tired defence towards the end of games.

Bayern Munich is in the race for Leroy Sane, Man City have set their price 100m. Should they obtain his services, they would end their pursuit for young Chelsea man Callum Hudson-Odoi, according to Mirror.

With 100m in the bank. The Citizens could be looking at at least one of the two players below…

Jadon Sancho

Close your ears, Man United fans. Should Sane bring in a £100million budget increase, Manchester City wouldn’t tip-toe around a big money signing the way Manchester United do. As proven by how the blues simply paid the £62million release clause for Rodri from Atletico Madrid.

Sancho is undoubtedly one of the greatest prospects in world football. With Manchester City’s phenomenal business structure, there is no doubt that Sancho is on their radar. This would generate further competition for Sterling and Bernardo Silva, driving Manchester City to have the best wingers in English football, or potentially world football.

Douglas Costa

Costa, the 28-year-old Brazilian winger for Juventus, is a fantastically pacey and dangerous winger. He has been shunned since the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo and has suffered a massive decrease in playing time. Should he replace Leroy Sane as an ‘off-the-bench’ winger at a potentially increased wage, it would make sense for the Brazilian to have little qualms about the deal.

Barcelona eyes up Man Utd centre back, 2 reasons why he has to stay

Manchester United’s Victor Lindelof finds himself on Barcelona’s radar this summer according to the Mundo Deportivo.

Nightmares are becoming reality for Manchester United fans. Hasan Cetinkaya, Victor Lindelof’s agent, said that “Lindelof is in the orbit of a great European club, but leaving United depends on the English club.”

Barcelona has recently signed Frenkie De Jong, who happens to be under the same agent as Lindelof. According to Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona has made several enquiries about Lindelof, being shown the ‘not for sale’ sign on each occasion.

The Man Utd centre-back partnership had been chopped and changed throughout the season, as both managers looked to find their best defensive set-up, both concluding that a better defender needs to be signed for the club.

In recent weeks, Manchester United have been linked with Barcelona’s Samuel Umtiti, as the reds fight for a new, solid centre-half who they hoped would partner up with Lindelof.

However, it is highly suggested that the most likely outcome will be Harry Maguire to Manchester United, and Umtiti may see himself at PSG involving a swap deal for Neymar, Barca Blaugranes reports.

Most Manchester United would much rather see Lindelof remain at the club for many years. Here is why…

The only top quality centre back

Lindelof was by far the fan favourite defender last season. After scrutiny over the quality of Chris Smalling and Phil Jones, and the injury-prone Eric Bailly. The ‘Ice-Man’ Victor Lindelof showed great improvement throughout the campaign and shone under both Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Jose Mourinho.

Lonely Lindelof needs a long-term partner

Manchester United fans were delighted to hear that Victor Lindelof would finally have a defensive partner who can competently guard David De Gea between the sticks. Unfortunately for them, Barcelona would be a huge upgrade on Manchester United. Should Lindelof push for a move away, and have Maguire step in to replace him, there would still be only one competent defender surrounded other defenders who are not fit to be challenging for titles in the top tier of English football.

Manchester United’s rebuild should be entirely based on an improved defence, something Jose Mourinho fought for since 2017.

Is former Man City striker heading back to the Premier League with West Ham United?

According to The Mirror, former Man City and Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli could be on his way to West Ham.

West Ham have suffered enough this transfer window. Callum Wilson has been a player who The Hammers have kept an eye on all summer and he has now opted to stay at Bournemouth. Maxi Gomez was also a target who has now opted to move to Valencia rather than the Premier League. This summer has also seen the departures of Lucas Pérez, Andy Carroll and Marko Arnautovic.

This leaves West Ham now in need of recruits. The Mirror has reported that Manuel Pellegrini’s side has been offered free agent, Mario Balotelli. The odds have been favouring more and more towards the striker signing for the Hammers over the past few days.

When you look at Balotelli as a footballer, yes, definitely go ahead and sign him. He could be highly beneficial to West Ham and he would deliver as he’s used to the Premier League. However, the club, manager and fans have to consider Mario’s off-pitch reputation.

Man City days

The 28-year-old striker has an impressive form to look back on and I think all football fans remember him especially from his time at Man City. He was at the Manchester side from 2010 to 2013 and in his 54 appearances, he bagged 20 goals. From 2013-2014, he appeared 43 times and scored 26 times for AC Milan which found the interest of Liverpool. Unfortunately, he didn’t have a successful period there and they loaned him back to AC Milan. He only found the back of the net once in 20 games.

The past few years have seen a bit of an improvement as Balotelli spent 3 years with Nice. In 2019, he signed for Marseille where he scored 8 goals in 12 games. Only now, it’s looking like he could be let go for free.

Even though his transfer fee may not cost a penny, his wages probably will stack up so if a fee can be negotiated for the striker to be paid, he should be an exciting signing. Fans have been very divided on the player, as some believe he will be worth it for his football. Quite a few remember the reputation he made for himself and are quite put off.

Off the field

The Italian was known to be in a “training ground bust-up” with the ex-Man City manager, Mancini. Jose Mourinho once described him as ‘unmanageable.’ He drove into a women’s prison for a ‘look around,’ threw darts at a youth player during a training ground ‘prank’. There’s a list of things that have been reported that will probably never be cleared up to whether they’re true or not.

Some West Ham fans are saying that his behaviour has calmed down so he may be able to focus on playing football. However, only this week, The Sun reported that he paid a man £1800 to drive his moped into the sea.

What do you think West Ham fans?

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