Tag Archives: wales

3 reasons why 15m signing is fast becoming a shrewd bit of business by Man Utd

After arriving from Swansea for only £15million, fans spoke of Daniel James as a substitute player who would merely be ‘one to watch’. Four games into the Premier League and James is the only one people are watching in the Man Utd squad…

Daniel James has 3 goals in 4 Premier League games for the Red Devils, with two of them being stunning strikes that the likes of Marcus Rashford or Raheem Sterling would receive ample amounts of praise for scoring. He also scored a similar goal off the left-hand side for Wales in their 1-0 win over Belarus.

Onwards and upwards

Not only is the young Welshman tucking goals away, but his unmatched pace provides options for Man Utd, which they haven’t had in recent years. As his confidence and skill continue to grow, his final third production of shots and crosses will only increase, adding to the danger of Man Utd’s threat.

A lot to learn in little time

The 21-year-old Welshman will have a tough season ahead of him, though. With Man Utd having a bottom-half of the table midfield, particularly in the absence of Paul Pogba, chances to pick out the winger will be few and far between. This means that we will see the best of him, Rashford and Martial when Man Utd have a strong midfield.

Showing up the others

However, in the meantime, James will be compared to Rashford and Martial who are both earning over £200k per week but offering significantly less to the squad than James is doing. This will increase the criticism for the rest of the lads who are under-performing, giving Solskjaer more of an idea of who is cut out for the job at hand.

For a £15million signing to defy the odds and become the Reds’ most prolific and outstanding player, in a time where they lack quality and threat. This alone makes the little Welsh speed-machine the steal of the season. Or even, the steal of Man Utd’s recent transfer history.

Man Utd’s stand out player in the opening month of the Premier League, agree?

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad lacks depth and quality. This has been evident, if not proven, by their last three fixtures where the side was unable to get a win.

Whilst there are players of quality in the side, such as Paul Pogba, David De Gea, Marcus Rashford, Victor Lindelof, Fred and Anthony Martial, each of these players have under-performed be it the fault of their own, the tactics or the lack of quality in teammates.

However, three players have stood out for Man Utd so far this season, and each of them shares one thing in common…

Solskjaer’s Signings

Harry Maguire (£80m), Aaron Wan-Bissaka (£50m) and Daniel James (£15m) have undoubtedly been the beacons of hope in Man Utd’s squad this season.

The three of them are the only contenders for Man Utd’s Player of the Month, which says a lot about the rest of the squad.

Each of them were signed this summer by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Despite his tactics and decision making being questionable, his ability to bring in good talent and let go of ‘deadwood’ has been second to none in Man Utd’s history. Perhaps the position of Director of Football would be better suited to him!

Daniel James

Daniel James was Solskjaer’s first signing, coming from Swansea, the Welshman was heavily promoted by Ryan Giggs, who played a big part of his move to Old Trafford.

Upon his arrival, and during pre-season, Daniel James received non-toxic criticism regarding his role at the club. Fans were convinced that James would be a ‘super-sub’ or a prospect for the future.

Proving them wrong, Daniel James has started three of four games, bagging himself three very well taken goals. James is Man Utd’s top scorer in the season so far.

Furthermore, he has been the most dangerous player for Man Utd going forward. Against Southampton, he was robbed of two or three assists due to Marcus Rashford being unable to take his chances.

It appears that the little Welshman is showing up his under-performing teammates, as he earns considerably less on a weekly basis.

OPINION: Wigan Athletic should give Owen Evans a chance – agree?

Owen Evans has signed a new two-year contract at Wigan Athletic, which will see him extend his five-year stay at Latics until at least the summer of 2021.

The youngster has had a number of loan spells in recent years, featured for Wales’ U21’s side and was called up to their senior squad for training camps prior to Wales’ summer internationals.

Now is his time. Evans could’ve left this summer and got first-team football in League One or Two pretty easily, so it’s not just Wigan showing faith in him, he’s shown loyalty to the club, too. He’s bided his time, worked hard with goalkeeping coach Nick Colgan, learnt the trade and gained experience on loan, let’s see what he’s made of next season.

Christian Walton has returned to Brighton after being our number one for the last two campaigns. It doesn’t look like he’s returning, so why not give a hungry, young ambitious ‘keeper his long-awaited chance?

Latics fans would certainly support the decision, similarly if Callum Lang started upfront too. Us fans like to see academy players make it to the first-team and do well, they’re one of us.

Wigan isn’t blessed with a sizeable transfer budget, however, maybe a new number one is closer to home than we all think. You don’t always need to spend millions on replacing players, give the young lads a chance, because one thing you can guarantee – they’ll give 110% effort the club. All I’m saying is, give him an opportunity, let us see how good he really is.

The 2 Man Utd wonderkids who could have a major impact on the club’s 19/20 season

Are Manchester United over signing big names as an attempt to claw back to the top of English football?

It’s fair to say that since the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United have signed a gallery of elite footballers. Most of which did not provide what their price tag entailed. Ed Woodward has spent over £700million since 2013, resulting only in minimal success.

However, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at the wheel, it seems a new approach is being taken in order to rebuild the once glorious Manchester United.

Here are 2 Man Utd wonder kids who could feature in the 2019/20 season, and prove vital to their aspirations of a top-four finish…

Mason Greenwood

Towards the end of the 2018/19 season, a lot of hype and excitement was generated around the name Mason Greenwood. He holds the accomplishment of gaining 34 goals and 9 assists in 34 games for Manchester United’s Under 18 squad.

These phenomenal statistics allowed Greenwood to be featured in the famous 3-1 victory at PSG, as well as being the only player in red to be allowed to hold his head high after the team’s poor performance against Cardiff in the last game of the season at Old Trafford.

It is clear that Mason Greenwood is in the mind of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and fans would be outraged if he is left out of the plans during the 2019/20 season.

Daniel James

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first signing for Manchester United came in the form of the 19-year-old Welsh winger Daniel James. Famed for his unbelievable pace, this is reminiscent of a young Ryan Giggs who was an instrumental feature in Manchester United’s old-school, fast-paced counter-attacking format.

Daniel James may not be expected to start in every game of the season. However, having this young, hungry and exceptionally talented speed demon on the bench, could provide Manchester United with the last minute twists and turns that they are famous for.

Man United fans divided on James signing from ‘this project requires patience’ to ‘Look at Real Madrid’s signings’

Fans are divided between excitement and outrage as Manchester United sign Daniel James, whilst the elites of Europe are bolstering up their squads with guaranteed shirt sellers.

Whilst Real Madrid, PSG, Juventus and Barcelona are successfully signing and chasing the likes of Hazard, Griezmann, De Ligt, De Gea and many more of the world’s most elite players. Manchester United’s one signing has been the young Welshman Daniel James from Swansea City for £15million plus £3million in add-ons. Many see this is a positive move which can protect the future of Manchester United, however many others are disappointed in the lack of quality being brought into the club compared to the other billionaire clubs around Europe.

However, not all fans are focusing on the whereabouts of their rivals, as some see Daniel James as a first step in rebuilding a once great Manchester United.

Daniel James brings two missing ingredients to Manchester United

The first signing of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s reign as Manchester United boss has gone through, and it’s 21 Year Old Daniel James from Swansea.

The youngster signed a 5-year deal at Old Trafford and cost the club £15 million pounds, this move comes after very nearly moving to Leeds United of the Championship on deadline day in January.

Despite only having his breakthrough season in 2018-19, Welshman James quickly grew a reputation as one of the top players at Swansea and the man to watch, scoring 5 goals in 38 appearances and assisting many more.

It was only this year that James made his international debut for Wales, scoring on his competitive debut against Slovakia in Group E of Euro 2020 Qualifying. Since his debut, James has gone on to become a regular in the side.

With a club that has a long and storied reputation for developing young talents such as Jesse Lingard, Marcus Rashford and Scott McTominay. James has earned himself a great move in order to keep developing and, get himself to the highest level of world football.

Given that the move is official and all have been announced, we took a look at two things that Manchester United will get from their new signing that perhaps they had been missing…

Pace and Power

We all knew this was coming, and we’ve all seen the videos, the young Welshman is similar to International teammate Gareth Bale. He is lightning quick off the mark and has very good all-round speed. Giving him the ability to be devastating during counter attacks and when running at players.

James gives a great option out on the wing, as a player that can turn the game on its head in seconds due to his pace and acceleration. We don’t think that United have had this kind of player for a long time.

Work Ethic

You see it in the media frequently, United players such as Luke Shaw, Paul Pogba and Alexis Sanchez frequently getting criticized for their lack of work, and this is something that you won’t see from James.

There are videos all over the internet of him running the length of the pitch, granted it doesn’t take him long, to help out his team in both attack and defence – hunting down attackers who think they are through on goal from his position out on the wing.

Why Man Utd Women Have a Great Signing on Their Hands in Hayley Ladd

When Manchester United announces the news just over a year ago that they were starting a women’s team, it was an exciting prospect for the club and for women’s football.

At the end of the season, United’s women managed to gain promotion to the Women’s Super League after 18 out of a possible 20 wins. When I found out about the Red’s women’s club forming, I thought it’d be a struggle for them to do well as they were being thrown in at the deep end with a newly formed group of girls. However, against the odds, they managed the promotion. Now that they have, it’s no surprise that they are on the hunt to strengthen their side as they go into a new league.

One of the signings comes from Birmingham City on a free transfer. Hayley Ladd has decided to reject a new contract offer from the blues and, join the promising Manchester side. She’s had a really impressive career so far at the age of 25, and I think she will be a great addition to her new team. United have also done well to get her for free.

She has 54 caps for Wales and in January this year, she received a golden cap in recognition of her 50th international appearance for them. She clearly gained attention internationally from an early stage, as she’s been a part of Wales’ international team since 2011.

Ladd started her career at Arsenal, she has also played for Birmingham and Bristol City which proves her experience in the biggest clubs in women’s football would make her a great addition to United. She could be part of a team that makes a historic move of the newly promoted side can do well in the WSL. Another positive and tactical move for Man United is that Ladd is known as a midfielder, but when she played for Wales on Tuesday against New Zealand, she was placed in defence and the side still managed to win 1-0.

If this is the sort of players that United are bringing in now, by the start of the next season, the reds should have a really strong team to challenge their new league with.

Two Reason’s Why Oldham Athletic Should Go All Out For Shrewsbury Town’s Sam Jones

The EFL Hub on Twitter has revealed that Oldham Athletic are to look at Shrewsbury midfielder, Sam Jones.

The 27-year-old only signed for Shrewsbury Town last season but was only given the chance to play for the club five times. This would suggest that not only are Oldham looking for new signings but, maybe the Welsh international also wants to sign for a club who will actually be able to give him starts. Jones has been around in terms of clubs, he’s played for; Heanor, Alfreton Town, Gateshead and Grimsby before signing for Shrewsbury last year, and he’s managed to bag double-figure goals in most seasons. That’s impressive for a midfielder but since 2014, Jones has been at a different club every season.

So why should Oldham make it their mission to sign him?

Midfielder and Striker For The Price Of One

Jones has got a really impressive goal record behind him. He managed 16 goals for Heanor Town in the one season he was there, 13 goals for Alfreton Town over the 15/16 season, 9 goals for Gateshead when he was there from 2016 to 2017 and another 13 for Grimsby Town in his appearances for the club in 2017/18.

The 27-year-old then moved to Shrewsbury in the same season, managed one goal out of the five appearances he made and even went on to score two more in the 12 appearances he had for Cheltenham. Oldham would have a goal scorer and a strong attacking midfielder all in one man, double-figure goals in nearly every season he’s played as a midfielder sounds really positive.

Being Wanted

As the stats show, Jones isn’t a stranger to moving around. He hasn’t managed a solid stay at a club in years. Since 2014, he’s represented a different team every year. Oldham Athletic could offer the midfielder a lot more starts and the chance to show off his ability.

If the transfer does go ahead then maybe Jones might be looked at internationally again also. He played for Wales Under 19’s but as he approaches 28, he could aim to get some first team caps too.

OPINION: Wigan Athletic’s Shaun Macdonald Could Be The Signing of The Summer For Rotherham Utd

Rotherham United have completed the signing of midfielder Shaun Macdonald, following his release from Wigan.

The former Welsh international has signed a two-year deal, and brings a wealth of EFL experience, having represented Swansea City, Bournemouth and Wigan Athletic.

Being a Latics fan, I’ve seen a lot of Macdonald – and this could be a very, very good signing for Rotherham. He suffered a horrific leg break at the back end of the 2016/17 season, unfortunately, he’s rarely featured for us since. Up until that point, he was one of our best players, and I believe other Wigan fans would share that opinion too.

So, what does he bring to the pitch?

Leadership, calmness and quality. Macdonald’s best position is deep lying midfield, he’s a good reader of the game, and has solid distribution. The Welshman plays in a similar role to Fernandinho (Manchester City) and Fabinho (Liverpool). Although he doesn’t steal the headlines very often, he allows the players in front of him to flourish, as he offers that protection behind.

The only thing that worries me slightly about Macdonald, is I question whether he will ever fully recover from his leg break. It was one of the worst injuries I’ve seen for a long time, and I hope the tough-tackling midfielder can regain the confidence and composure he once had.

From a Wigan fan, I think it has the potential to be one of the signings of the summer. If he can play regularly, and get back to playing at the level he was in 2016/17, he will undoubtedly be one of the best midfielders in League One.

Off the pitch, his attitude is fantastic. Despite a number of setbacks during his rehabilitation, Macdonald worked tirelessly to regain his fitness, so hopefully, this is rewarded with a successful season at Rotherham.

Ashton Utd’s Curse of The Green Jersey

International breaks can be a blessing in non-league football and a great opportunity to showcase your team to a wider audience. The Robins’ long trip to the North-East followed their FA Cup win last weekend at Kings Lynn, as they continue to rack up the mileage this season.

It was, however, a weekend to forget for Ashton United, as they fell to a 5-0 defeat at promotion hopefuls Spennymoor Town. It is the 3rd time this season that Ashton have conceded 5 goals, and the third different goalkeeper to be on the receiving end of a tough day at the office.

So where are they going wrong? Or is there more to it…

The first came at home against Brackley, Dave Carnell was the unfortunate goalkeeper on this occasion. He himself only just returning after missing the successful playoff campaign the previous season through injury. He has since left the club following the arrival of Luke Pilling (Loan) from Tranmere. Pilling is a regular in the Wales u21 set up, so a back up was a necessity.

Local lad and serving British Army Soldier, Josh Ollerenshaw was selected for the game against high flyers Chorley who diligently, and deservedly, came away from Hurst Cross with a 5-0 victory. (Josh is currently on deployment in Kenya with his regiment, and is not due to return until the Christmas period.)  A spell of comparative stability followed, Pilling was available and The Robins picked up some precious points along with 2 huge FA Cup wins.

This weekend, Ashton were travelling with yet another goalkeeper (their 5th of the season after an appearance in the cup midweek by young Harry Turner) as the veteran Jan Budtz (Doncaster, Wolves, Hartlepool, Oldham) was drafted in as cover for Pilling who is on international duty.

Another 5 goals conceded.

The stability of any team starts at the back, and the confidence this brings to every player throughout the whole squad is undeniable. Ashton United have been dogged with bad luck in their goalkeeping department for the last 3 seasons. In 2016/2017, the Robins ended up using 9 goalkeepers, including three in 3 games at one stage. Amongst Ashton’s troubles, Grant Shenton broke an arm in Pre-Season, then John Diba-Musanga and George Dorrington were both carried off injured on thier debuts as injuries plagued the No.1 spot throughout the season.

17/18 was not much better, the recurring trend reappeared, Dave Carnell joined the side, before a flurry of injuries forced another 4 players between the sticks, including two appearances for centre-half Aaron Chalmers, when all 3 substitutes had already been made.

Hopefully, the return of Pilling in time for the final FA Cup qualifying round will spur the team onto bigger and better things. The Robins face a trip to Southport on Saturday, where the spoils were shared earlier in the season, and a clean sheet will guarantee them at least a replay in the cup (and a few quid in the coffers), so there will be some keen eyes on the young Welshman at the weekend.