Also, praise for Louis van Gaal’s youth development, Newcastle’s many problems, Chelsea’s bright future and how Manchester United can tempt Mauricio Pochettino.
Same old Arsenal…
To a journalist, Arsenal must be the dream team to cover. Once you’ve written four or five different articles about us, that’s it – just keep them on file and re-post as needed.
Just in the last few days, we’ve had ‘Wenger To Spend Big In The Summer’, ‘Wenger Excited About The Youth Players Coming Through’ and now ‘Wilshere Awaits Results Of Police Probe’.
Next time Wenger tells us he’s excited about the next crop of youngsters coming through, I’m going to keep a list of the current youth squad, put it away for a couple of years and then see how many are still at the club and have actually made it into the first team.
In fact, you could turn it into a bit of a game. Get your Gooner mates involved, each of you pick a number, tenner each in the pot and whoever
has zero has the nearest number takes the pot.
You could do the same thing with Jack. Next time the police want to speak to him – and there will be a next time – you could bet on how many times the phrase “the club are exasperated” (or similar) comes up.
Van Gaal deserves credit for youth
So we have Louis van Gaal clinging onto his job using the “facade” of developing youth as a smokescreen.
I had a good think about this general idea that van Gaal has developed youth by luck. I believe that this man has actually done well with the youth. Even when we consider the injury crisis. Whether or not van Gaal planned to have a thin squad to accommodate youth is open to question but in the end we can point to a couple of “types” he has brought through in his couple of years:
The expensive youngsters:
1. Luke Shaw has developed since he arrived as a seemingly lazy, newly rich youngster. van Gaal treated him firmly but in the end, helped to make his transition to the top level he played at before his unfortunate injury. Luke Shaw is now, what I call a Manchester United player – he has assimilated, is talented, and is very young.
2. Anthony Martial is a big, big win for the ideal of Manchester United taking risks on youth. The lad has come in as an unknown entity and hit the ground running. Great spot and great management from van Gaal here.
3. Memphis Depay has been nothing short of a disaster so far. We spent good money on this player and he has failed to nail down a place. I assume this is due to bad management from van Gaal but the theory of blaming van Gaal for Memphis’ failure will really be tested when the next manager comes in.
The academy products:
1. Jesse Lingard has been a prominent figure in the side for a long time now. His talent as a Manchester United first eleven player is questionable plus he is not exactly young anymore but the fact remains that he is a confident, EPL experienced player now.
2. Cameron Borthwick-Jackson has come in and impressed in an injury crisis. We will see how well LvG manages him in the run-in. If he really does trust youth then Rojo should be dropped for CBJ now that he has returned from injury.
3. Tim Fosu Mensah was signed at 16 by LvG and has quickly moved up the ranks and into the first team. This is a resounding victory for LvG. Really, really special player this. He is physically so incredible for his age and plays with a lot of pace, verve, and quality. He could develop into a real worldclass powerhouse midfielder.
4. Marcus Rashford. Good player with a great football brain, movement, pace, and finishing. van Gaal will probably drop him for Rooney soon and I think rightly so, I believe Rashford should be protected and his physique needs work for next season. He has now started 9 games in a row. That’s enough faith shown by van Gaal I think, let him take a step back and work on his game.
5. The rest of the academy players who have been given debuts are non-starters for me. Players like McNair, Blackett and the like have no future at Old Trafford.
6. Januzaj and Pereira pose more questions than answers. I think Januzaj is unprofessional and Pereira is a strange one – no idea there.
I reckon van Gaal is not getting enough credit for the youth work he has done. When you think objectively the man has a case for these young players flourishing under him.
I am sure he is using this youth argument to keep Charlton, Fergie, and the Glazers on his side. This is worrisome because it becoming increasingly probable that van Gaal will stay at the helm and complete his contract.
Future is bright for Chelsea and Man Utd
Just finished watching the Under-21 match between Man U and Chelsea. Both clubs are blessed with young talents. The two academies are doing fantastic work judging from the performance of the two teams. Casey Palmer stood out on our side. It is imperative that pathway to first team must be made available for those make the grade as suggested by Gus Hiddink. The club will ultimately save a fortune on transfer fees.
Newcastle’s problem? Attacking and defending
Pretty sure our defense and attack have been poor…..
A couple of things, first, can anyone explain what has happened to Wijnaldum? Some games he looks like he will be our next Kevin Nolan – pushing forward, popping up in the box and scoring goals. Other times he looks as disinterested as anyone! Not sure what we are asking of him, what does he lack, take away the first Norwich game and what has he really provided us?
Second, yes we need many types of players but SURELY one of our most pressing is someone who can take a bloody set piece!!! When was the last time we scored from a freekick or corner? Who remembers the year we finished fifth when Cabaye, Ba & Ben Arfa were all scoring from free kicks for fun!!
Thirdly, What did everyone think of Darlows game? People keep saying hes young, he needs time – hes 25 isnt he? Not that young…he was hot and cold for me
Man Utd reasons to be cheerful, part three
Interesting that people are now saying that Pochettino might be the ideal manager, whilst others are saying that he’s got a young team at Spurs and he might be more interested in how far he can take them.
That’s all very well, but lets look at the PL situation in a different light.
The three biggest clubs in the PL, from a financial point of view, are UTD, City and Chelsea. All will have new managers next season, all will spend plenty of money.
Throw in Arsenal, who may or may not have a new manager, but will certainly spend big, and Liverpool with a new charismatic manager will definitely buy some quality players.
So of the five clubs mentioned, only 4 can make the top 4, so which club(s) will miss out? Will Leicester be good enough for the top 4 next season, will Spurs continue to improve?
One fact is for sure, next season is going to be a lot more competitive in the PL than this season was. Pochettino might realise that he’s not going to take Spurs much further so could take the opportunity of moving to a bigger club that could make his personal ambitions more achievable.
June onwards will give us a better clue about UTD’s future next season.
Palace ‘the worst football team in the land’
We are currently the worst football team in the land- no league win in 3.5 months!Any other manager would have been sacked by now-the only reason he hasnt been is because of our cup run.He uses every excuse going for not winning.We lack quality in every area of the field.Some of our players like Ward, Sako + Campbell would not get into any other Premiership side. Our goalkeepers are all suspect. We cant even beat 10 men . infact we lost against the 10 men of Liverpool having been 1 nil up!! Norwich are on a great run. They believe they are going to survive. Im sorry but a good result for us on saturday will probably be a draw ..and we need a win. The only thing we have got is great supporters and they will have a key role to play .. some of our players really need to step up to the mark if they care about playing for US in the premiership next season. To say i am nervous about saturdays game is an understatement.