Manchester United played out a stalemate with arch rivals Liverpool at Old Trafford this weekend with Manchester United welcoming fierce rivals Liverpool on Sunday. Whilst the highly-anticipated fixture was devoid of goal, it was dominated by Injury forced substitution, particularly in the first half of the tie.
The tie produced three first-half substitutions for United, while the reds made one. United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was forced to make tactical switches upon tactical switches in what was one of the biggest challenge to his credentials to steer Manchester United in the long-term.
Rio Ferdinand doesn’t think there is any possibility of Manchester United going anywhere close to the silverware either domestically or in Europe this season. The 40-year old, who featured for Manchester United more than 300 times in the Premiership, rates Manchester City and Liverpool as the two strongest sides in England at the moment.
Ferdinand reckons City will emerge the victorious in the English top tier. It will not be an easy ride for them and they will have to face a tough fight for it, but they eventually will be able to secure the top spot at the end. As far as Europe is concerned, Liverpool has a great chance there and so has City. There is actually the possibility of both these teams locking horns in the final of the tournament, the kind of resources they possess.
The last couple of games in the premiership haven’t been great for Manchester United from the results’ point of view. First of all, they visited the Etihad Stadium ahead of the international break and received an absolute thumping at the hands of City and then they had to remain satisfied with just one point playing at home against a struggling Palace side which had not won any games for the last 9 weeks and was not too far away from the relegation zone.
It was as poor a result for United as they got at City even though it was not a defeat. Playing at home against a side like Palace which has much inferior resources and which doesn’t have any momentum coming into the game and not to be able to win, it’s a seriously poor result.
Jose Mourinho will not face a penalty from the football club, as it has no proof that he swore in Portuguese during Manchester United’s 3-2 win over Newcastle on October 6th. A statement from the FA read: “An accusation of Jose Mourinho for allegedly using language that was abusive and/or abusive and/or incorrect has been found not proved following an independent legislative commission’s hearing today.
“It related to an event at the end of Manchester United against Newcastle United played on October 6, 2018. Written reasons for the decision of the Independent Legislative Commission will be published on time. This decision may be appealed.” The Newcastle match was played with rumors that Mourinho faced chopping regardless of the outcome. After being 2-0 down half past six, United finally won the match 3-2.
The team of Manchester United has spent minimal time in the final third as an opposition in compare to any other Premier League club all through this season. So, we are examining the attacking problems of Jose Mourinho here.
“I had anticipated the Premier League will conclude quickly. But it got to hear from my teammates that this is always the kind of game you get to play against United. United like to keep it slow.”
Barcelona are seeking a replacement for outgoing midfield maestro Andres Iniesta. The La Liga champs are understood to be scouting Tottenham Hotspur’s Christian Eriksen. This summer the priority seems to be the signature of Antoine Griezmann from Atletico Madrid to boost the attack.
The plan for Barca is to get Eriksen to support the weakening midfield compartment after Iniesta moved to Japan to play for Vissel Kobe. The Spaniard is one of the most decorated players in modern football history. He is expected to see off his illustrious career in Japan. Hence, Eriksen is the identified man to fill the void.
The Bolton boss Neil Lennon is of the view that last weekend’s game versus Nottingham Forest should have gone in the favour of his boys as they were on top for almost the entire duration.
According to Lennon, David Vaughan’s opener which took Forest 1-0 up was just a piece of wonder and barring that, it was all Bolton’s game.
Post the game, the press quoted Lennon as saying, “Sometimes, you come across individual brilliances and today I think that was the case, but, to respond in that manner and to level it up at the end, it was just brilliant.”
“If you ask me, I would say we dominated the game and had we been slightly lucky, we would have added three points to our tally. We kept them in check all through. Barring a couple of counter attacks, they couldn’t do anything much.”
“You would like to give some credit to them as well for hanging in there, but, from our point of view, with the effort that we put in today, a win would have been more fitting for us.”
“Watching the game from the sidelines, it was hard to tell it’s the team which is 23 at the moment.” Continue reading
Bolton boss Neil Lennon says that the players should improve their fitness substantially if they are to retain their place in the squad for next season.
The club finished just outside the relegation spots in the 18th place in a very disappointing campaign. Lennon will be leading his players ahead of the final game against Birmingham. It has been highly speculated that his future at the club is under doubt following a disappointing end to the season. Bolton have managed only one win in the last two months. Yet, they have been able to survive as a result of the points taken in the first half of the campaign.
Lennon was appointed midway through the season and the former Celtic boss was hoping to make a huge impact at the club. After having been a serial winner with the Scottish club, Lennon would have been able to easily inspire the players. This, however, has not happened since Lennon has been struggling to get any form of consistency into the Bolton team. A 3-0 defeat against table leaders Bournemouth once again confirmed the decline. If the club are going to challenge for the title next season, it will take a lot of improvement in terms of the squad and its fitness levels according to the manager. Continue reading
Everton boss Roberto Martinez says that defender Leighton Baines has been showing tremendous improvement over the hamstring injury that he suffered during international duty. The England international had to withdraw from the friendly against Scotland after suffering an injury. Hamstring injuries usually take around 3 to 4 weeks to cure, but given the importance of Baines to Everton, it is expected that the Merseyside club may rush him back from injury. After an inconsistent start to the season, Roberto Martinez’ team are undefeated in the last four and will want to continue this form going into the Christmas period.
Everton take on West Ham at Goodison Park as club football returns this weekend. Martinez says that Baines has suffered a hamstring injury, but a minor one. Hence, he has refused to put a date on the return of the defender. Even if he misses the game against West Ham, Everton will be keen to have him back before next weekend given that they face important matches against the likes of Tottenham and Manchester City. Martinez also game an update over the injuries suffered by James McCarthy and Darron Gibson, who were with the Republic of Ireland.
Based on the update, it is looking unlikely that the duo will be involved against West Ham. “Scans revealed he had a grade one hamstring injury. Those injuries depend on the individual and how quickly they can heal. Leighton is responding well to treatment. It is too early to say how long he is going to be out but we remain very positive. James hasn’t been able to train with the team and that is a worry on a Tuesday leading up to a Saturday game. It’s a soft tissue injury, like Leighton Baines has, where you need to take it day by day to see how he recovers,” said Martinez.
Manchester United have made a start that is almost equal to the poor spell enjoyed by David Moyes at a similar stage last season. Fingers have been pointed at Louis van Gaal in the last few weeks. Even though United have had a much better performance throughout the 90 minutes in recent weeks, they still have not been able to get results on a consistent basis. The 2-2 draw with West Brom on Monday night is a perfect example, as United failed to take advantage of their dominance in the match. There could be more bad news in store for the Red Devils as Chelsea visit Old Trafford on Sunday.
Jose Mourinho’s team this season have been the team to beat and they have showed this dominance by establishing a five-point advantage over Manchester City after just eight matches. After having seen City suffer a defeat against West Ham during the week, Mourinho will be looking to extend that advantage into a massive eight points. Van Gaal, though, is looking to spoil the party as he was to put one over his apprentice. He has reacted to the criticism levelled at him in last few weeks by saying that the media have not given him a fair chance.
“Maybe you know that I am always a controversial person and a lot has been written about that, but I (have) an iron shield. It’s been like that since I came to England. Everyone can write or speak about me and I cannot change that. It took a long time for me to understand but I cannot change that. I have learned not to react and to believe in myself, my players and staff. That’s important,” said the United boss ahead of the meeting with Chelsea. He placed Mourinho as one of the best coaches in the world.