Manchester United fans dissect the current squad with Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Wayne Rooney coming in for criticism, while Liverpool supporters consider playing Daniel Sturridge on the right. Also, more on the draw at Old Trafford on Sunday, the keeper situation at City, Olivier Giroud and Diego Costa.
Breaking it down
My take on the team:
1) OLD – Zlatan, Rooney, Carrick, Valencia, Young, Schweinsteiger – These are over the hill and will be a year older next season. None can be seen as key men in a future title winning team or even first team regulars
2) MEDIOCRE – Rojo, Darmian, Jones, Lingard, Fellaini, Blind – Most would agree these players are either not good enough or are at best squad players.
3) MISFIRING – Hererra Mata Shaw Smalling – There is debate over the quality of these players but its fair to say their peformances have been erratic and none have been convincing enough to made themselves automatic first choice core players
4) YOUNG – Rashford Martial Depay Fosu-Mensah – They have shown glimpses of quality but none has consistently delivered to become regulars. Time will tell if they make it or not but at the moment they cannot be considered key players in a title winning team.
5) MAYBE – Bailly Pogba Mikki – The jury must be out on new signings until they have shown they can CONSISTENTLY deliver. We cannot (yet) assume they will make it.
6) CORE – De Gea – The top class automatic first choice based on consistent performance the way Keane, Scholes, Beckham, Giggs, Ronnie, RvN etc were.
Despite spending 470m and it being 4 years since SAF retired we are far from having rebuilt the team. We have just exchanged on set of uncertainties for another. Before we pinned our hopes on Nani, Welbeck, Kagawa, Cleverly, Zaha etc coming good and looked to an aging RvP for goals. Today we pin our hopes on Martial, Rashford, Depay Mikki etc. coming good and look to aging Zlatan for goals.
The team needs a spine of players who have proven themselves over time at United to be consistent and top quality. And the players then need to be forged into a cohesive team.
Was interesting to see Mourinho’s comments that he didn’t play Shaw against Liverpool as he and Valencia are too attack minded – he wanted the more defensive Darmian. Two things.
Firstly, what ever happened to full backs alternating attacking runs? Secondly, next time Valencia is rested, I’d like to see Shaw at LB and Darmian in his preferred RB. Maybe instead of needing two full backs we only need one well rounded right back (not that I’d be looking to get rid of Valencia altogether, he’s been very good lately)
Sturridge on the right?
Our goal scoring machine is going to have to be fired up again! We’ve not been great lately but at least we should have a 100% fit Coutinho now and hopefully Klopp will play Sturridge instead of Origi. I think Danny has had enough time on the sidelines to not be too precious about where he’s played. I kinda don’t want him played in the centre. For the next match I might go with :
Clyne – Lovren – Matip – Milner
Lallana – Henderson – Wijn
Sturridge – Firmino – Coutinho
I know some of you might wonder why on earth I’d want Sturridge on the right. Well, for one, I think we pressing game and droping deep is more important in the central position but also I want to have Firmino and Coutinho’s interaction set to the way it was when things were going so well. It won’t be the same without Mane but we’re going to have Lallana behind looking to run into space.
Nobody has let in more goals than Swansea and we’re at home so we really should be battering them. I know everyone here is just hoping for the 3 points but we’re looking to get back on track here so I am hoping for a really dominating performance.
City keeper situation
Short memories if this is the worst goalkeeper situation! ???? Dibble, Coton, Immel, Isaksson
For me, Bravo not being great at one on ones doesn’t help, but it’s not the problem. The problem is passing side to side in front of the opposition and having no athletes on the defensive side of the ball without Fernandinho.
mcfc psych, De Gea was a whole lot younger than Bravo who is in his 30s. Coton was a darn good goalkeeper, Immel and Isaakson were both very weak. Coton was also a good coach. There was a good article by Phil Neville who rated Bravo while Neville was working in Spain. He thinks that Bravo has lost confidence and his poor form is adversely affecting the form of the defenders in front of him. they simply can’t trust him. Of course the fact that he can’t speak English means communication is poor between him and the defenders. I have little hope that things will improve while he is the number 1. Reminds me of when Shay Given was eventually replaced by Joe Hart. Time Bravo was dropped. He’s costing us uncertainty and goals.
On a different tack I note that both Leeds and West Brom want Delph on loan. Apparently Guardiola is reluctant to let him go. Be good to see him given a chance to play especially as Gundogan is out for the season and Fernandhino is suspended. I’d give Delph and Kompany a run against Spurs. Delph in for Zabs and Kompany in for either Stones or Otamendi. Caballero or Gunn between the sticks.
More United-Liverpool fall-out
The very first time I saw Liverpool play was in an FA Cup replay against Preston at OT in 1963. At the time Liverpool were in the 2nd Division.
They were aweful and unimaginative then and nothing much has changed over the past 60 odd years. In fact the number of games I’ve seen and really enjoyed in which Liverpool were involved I could count on one hand.
Never ever forget the most boring FA Cup final EVER involved Liverpool and Leeds in 1965.
Klipperty Klopp seems destined to carry on the ‘proud’ Liverpool tradition.
Sorting fact from fiction
Exactly 999, none of us know.. so the seemingly natural reaction on here is to call him a turncoat and assume he is holding us to ransom? No. Chelsea are better than that and should be loyal until it is proven he is pushing for a move. Conte was insistent he is not lying, I trust him. It just stinks of sensationalist journalism in silly season. The only facts are that he wanted to go last year and was left out of the squad for a game when our manager declared him injured. Another fact is his statement 2 weeks ago when he said he rates Conte and is happy now. Can that much really change in 2 weeks? Hazard rumours have been ongoing for years. He is still here.
Bpylon; yes he wanted to return to Atleti. So did Felipe and Griezmann has shown reluctance to leave until Simeone said he would be going at the end of this year. Clearly is a tight bond there as you would expect after the amazing feat of winning the league and a guy like Simeone.
For me it doesn’t necessarily mean Costa is destined leave whatever happens come summer. I could also remind you Aguero and Sanchez speak very little English too and they have stuck around, its a south american thing. Tevez was the same.
As for turning on Brazil, we are english and will never understand it. The only thing I can think of is he has played in Spain since he was 14.
The most likely explanation is wanting a bigger contract now a offer has come in. With regard to being left out, Conte said you’re not fit. He thought he was and wanted to play = argument. A good thing he wants to play through injury, unlike say Danny Sturridge.
Have to say that I am more on the side of Super Frankie
I agree that these days loyalty is rare and that money is a significant factor (who on here would not swap jobs if you were getting double or treble your current salary…?), however, I also feel that Costa was unsettled last year due to Jose
Why he did not leave is a mystery as he clearly wanted out after such a lousy season. I am assuming that it was down primarily to Conte that he decided to stay. This season Costa has been a revelation not only in terms of goals but also in terms of his attitude and application on the pitch and has moved past the confrontation issues that dogged him so much last season
For me, that is down to good man management but also because the player is happy in himself and where he is playing – he is enjoying life again which always makes “work” much easier in any walk of life
I have no idea as to the real background but I also prefer to believe what Conte said after the game. Of course Costa trained on his own as the rest of the team were off until today and if as a player you are looking to get back in the team then you do put in those extra hours of training if you are able to prove your commitment and fitness to the manager
While I cannot deny there may be more to these China rumours I am more inclined to think that this is more of an agenda to undermine the team as a whole and our (so far) dominance of the EPL this season…?
Do Gunners fans underappreciate Giroud?
This thread and the criticism of Giroud by certain posters after all that he’s done this season proves that Giroud is by far the most under appreciated player to have ever played for the club.
They say Giroud should not be in the first team, yet fail to completely ignore the fact we’ll get nowhere else with others simply because we don’t have a world class striker.
Wenger tried Sanchez there, who failed against bigger teams so that can go out of the window.Welbeck is too injury prone and let’s be honest not world that unfortunately does leave only us with giroud.Listen,if you want to blame anyone blame wenger for still not signing someone good until then and especially after recent performances Giroud has every right to get the starting nod ahead of everyone else.
I too would like a striker with pace upfront and someone who could run in beyond, but there simple cannot be a case for Giroud to be dropped atleast at this moment of time especially after the failed experiments yet again this season!
Not sure where he has been criticised. He is under appreciated at all, he loved at this club, all fans love giroud but not all are blind to his limitations. Is he good enough to lead the line fo a full season? well last season confirms he isnt, so NO. Is he really the type of striker we need in our system? No, he lacks mobility and ability to open up a defence like Sanchez can.
Do we look better with Sanchez up top? yes most certainly. Not all players can perfrom against every club in every game. Whilst sanchez may have failed in 1 or 2 games playing as a lone front man. Giroud has had far more worse games and we as a team have looked worse.
Giroud went 17 games without a goal last season, 17 games in row with no goal. yet you call Sanchez a failed experiment??? sure by that logic Giroud is a failed experiment??
Giroud is going through his purple patch at the moment and it has come at a good time given the injuries throughout the midfield, but i will still have him playing from the bench. Giroud problem is and always will be motivation. He gets comfortable too quickly with starting in the team, same goes for wally, Ramsey, and Ox. So to have him play from the bench against Burnley wouldnt be a bad thing, Burnley at home.