Modern Love and The Manchester United Way

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Manchester United under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer appear more of a revelation as time passes by. Last week there were rumblings of the wheels having come off, the extended honeymoon being over but how premature we all were.

Let’s be fair. On the face of it I’m not sure any credible football person really believed post Moyes, VG and Mourinho that Man United were anywhere near a Champions League credible force.

However, what a way to bounce back. Stamford Bridge hasn’t been the best of hunting grounds for the reds even in the Ferguson era yet on Monday night, United cruised through the tie like a classic car on a demonstration circuit through the streets of Monaco. Continue reading

Harry Kane; Not just a target man

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Ever since Harry Kane burst onto the scene, he’s been labelled as a ‘traditional’ English centre-forward. A target man.

You know the type. Strong, aggressive, puts himself about a bit, gets on the end of crosses and decent hold up play.

All the ingredients, in fact, one needs to thrive in what is the most physically demanding football league in the world – the Premier League.

However, such a ‘one dimensional’ description does the Tottenham Hotspur man no real favours. Continue reading

Jose Mourinho hasn’t been ‘special’ for years

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Often known by his self-made moniker of ‘the Special One,’ Jose Mourinho is in danger of being lumped in with all the other Premier League managerial has-beens.

The Portuguese really has been far from ‘special’ for a while now, certainly pre-dating his time at Old Trafford.

But let’s start there. Continue reading

Marcus Rashford has to leave United to further his development

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Whether or not England go on to lift the World Cup title, or go further than the quarter final against Sweden, one thing has become abundantly clear under Gareth Southgate.

His astuteness and nous has seen a number of his young players going out onto the pitch fearless and able to fully express themselves. Not constrained in any way, they’re given the confidence to play their natural game and, where possible, enjoy themselves.

Compare and contrast Marcus Rashford’s demeanour with England to when he’s playing for Manchester United. Continue reading

England show promise – but there are improvements to be made


England’s performance against Tunisia will have given England manager Gareth Southgate plenty to be pleased about, as well as highlight to him some of the apparent issues if the country are to finally make good on their obvious talents in a major tournament.

Here are three main take away points that he will have to consider from a thrilling game in Russia.

Attacking threat and dogged determination

Harry Kane’s last-minute goal also highlighted a team that were willing to keep going until the very end in search of victory. Continue reading

Man United moving for Arnautovic makes sense

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‘Silly season’ is upon us.

That part of the year before the transfer window officially opens when agents are trying to position themselves front and centre.

When players are trying to get a few extra million and extended contracts from their clubs, and managers are sniffing out a bargain or two.

Column inches need to be filled and as a result, it’s not uncommon for the most outrageous rumours to have ‘legs.’

Ultimately, many of those rumours don’t come to fruition, but if enough stories are pumped out, then surely one will end up hitting the mark.

One such rumour doing the rounds at the moment is Manchester United’s apparent willingness to purchase West Ham’s Marko Arnautovic.

Given the rate at which transfer prices have skyrocketed, we can deduce that a minimum of £50m will need to be spent by the Red Devils to even get the Hammers to the negotiating table.

But what’s the likelihood of that happening?

Jose Mourinho knows the player from their time together at Inter, and one would assume the Portuguese has followed the striker’s progress in the recent past.

He’ll also recall that he labelled the Austrian as a ‘child,’ ‘unmanageable’ and ‘Balotelli’s best friend’ when they coincided in Italy.

However, his need for a backup striker for Romelu Lukaku has been evident across the past season.

It seems fairly clear that both Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford are not in Mourinho’s long-term plans and Arnautovic has the advantage of being able to play on either side and as a main striker.

He ticks an awful lot of boxes for what United need at this point.

Goalscoring isn’t his greatest attribute and even though he improved in this aspect of his game under David Moyes, he still averages just one in three.

But Mourinho has others who can ease the burden on that front.

What he doesn’t have is someone of Arnautovic’s stature and work rate to complement Lukaku and save the Belgian from the bouts of tiredness that he’s suffered from in the past 12 months.

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Premier League predictions

Roberto Firmino Liverpool

With this being the last weekend of Premier League action, every sides that will be keen to end their season with a win. Here are our predictions for the upcoming games!

Burnley vs AFC Bournemouth – home win

Burnley have been truly phenomenal this season, securing Europa League action against the odds, and will be hoping this game rounds off a fantastic campaign.

With Nick Pope (12 clean sheets) cutting an inspired figure at times this season, this could well be his last chance to make a late bid to become the England keeper come the summer’s World Cup in Russia. Continue reading