Swansea 0-4 Manchester United.

What a win for United today! Same result as last weekend but a different type of performance in my opinion. Not blistering in the 1st half but we still went into the break with a 1 goal lead.

The 2nd half was cagey and we had to wait a while for the all-important 2nd goal, before we ran away with it. Swansea showed some promise going forward but we hit them with 10 minutes to go to!

Phil Jones


For me, Phil Jones was MOTM! He and Bailly played well together in pre-season and they’ve definetly carried that into the season. I’m praying that Jones can stay fit this campaign because he’s looking great right now. He kept their forwards quiet and was unlucky to not get a goal for himself in the 1st half!

Paul Pogba

Paul Pogba has 4 goals in his last 5 appearances for United.

In 2 games, Pogba’s scored 2 goals and got himself an assist. We all said that this season had to be a big one for him and if his start is anything to go by, it will be! Pogba could have been sent off in the 1st half and the referee made the correct decision to not show him a 2nd yellow. He put in a very mature performance in the 2nd half, he wasn’t reckless and stuck to what he does best – making chances! A beautiful finish to make it 3 for United topped off another good performance from the main man.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan 

Mkhitaryan has 4 assists in 2 Premier League games this season.

I thought Mkhitaryan was quite quiet vs Swansea but he still had a big impact on the final result with 2 assists. Sky gave him MOTM, which I disagree with but got to give him credit for his key involvement in goals so far this season – 4 assists already! He only got 1 in the Premier League last season, so a big improvement already.


Anthony Martial

Despite only playing 25 minutes, Anthony Martial already has 2 goals and 1 assist this season.

So happy for Martial! Another goal from coming off the bench. I hate it when I see people saying Mourinho doesn’t rate Marital. Why would he not rate one of the brightest young players in football? Jose knows what he is doing. I think what he’s done is a clever way of giving Anthony more confidence after a poor season. Jose’s put Martial on towards the end of games when the opposition are tired and he’s taken his chance big time. I wonder when he’ll be played from the start?

Marcus Rashford


Another start for Rashford today but like last weekend, no goal, which is a shame for him because he has played well in both games but been subbed off on both occasions. He should keep his head up though because as I mentioned, he has played well and if he keeps going like this he will score soon I am sure. Looks like it’s going to be Rashford vs Martial for that LW spot this season! No doubt that competitiveness will spur each of them on.

2 games, 2 wins, no goals conceded and 8 goals scored. Perfect way to start the season! Shows last week wasn’t just a one off and has set a standard. We want this every week, lads! Bring on Leicester next week.

Advertisements

Manchester United 4-0 West Ham: Talking points.

I’m not exaggerating here, that was probably the most fun I’ve had watching Manchester United for a while. Perfect performance from the team! From defence to attack, the lads did themselves proud. Here are some talking points from the game:

Nemanja Matic

Matic’s game by numbers vs. West Ham: 100% take-ons completed, 86% pass accuracy, 7 take-ons, 4 aerial duels won, 2 blocks.

Matic was top class today. Before he joined the club, I think most United fans would recognise him as a good defensive midfielder. That is very true, but my goodness he was that and much, much more vs West Ham! Matic didn’t just sit back and stay in his own half, he helped to create moves and chances with the rest of the team. He was heavily influential in our goals today, which isn’t something a lot of ‘defensive’ players do. Matic made those crucial interceptions to start attacks, as well as the perfect passes to cut through West Ham. He was a joy to watch today, showing off his calmness on the ball. I couldn’t believe some of the skills that guy was pulling off. Top performance, Nemanja!
Phil Jones


Unfortunately, Phil Jones has been plagued with injury since joining Manchester United. There have been promising matches from him, but also reckless challenges and poor performances. Today, was one of his good days for sure! I thought Jones was brilliant against West Ham. He showed the right amount of aggression to show their forwards they’d be in for a tough game but was also good on the ball today. Jones was looking to play the early ball to Matic on plenty of occasions to start up attacks, which was great to see! Hopefully Jones can stay fit as he looked solid alongside Bailly today.

Romelu Lukaku

Romelu Lukaku scored on his Premier League debut for Manchester United.

Welcome to the Theatre of Dreams, Romelu Lukaku! 2 goals on his league debut for Manchester United. Rom didn’t look out of place whatsoever and got himself right up against the opposition CB’s to cause trouble. I’m not going to say he was amazing or whatever today because it’s not like he lit the place up with rabona’s every 10 minutes and 30 yard volleys but that’s not what he has to do. That’s not his job. His job is to put the ball in the back of the net and he did just that! Lukaku was clinical with his chances and long may it continue. Two great goals from the big man!


Anthony Martial

Anthony Martial bagged himself a goal and an assist.

I was disappointed when I saw Martial wasn’t starting the game, but boy did he make an impact when he came on. There are lots of rumours about Mourinho not rating Martial (which I think are obviously false), so what better way to show your worth than to bag a goal and assist in just around 10 minutes on the pitch? He couldn’t have done more. I was impressed in pre-season with his desire to take on fullbacks again rather than just taking the easy option of passing it sideways and he showed it again today! Martial knew Zabaleta was on a yellow card and he’d have a great chance at getting past him and he did it with ease. He gets the ball and he goes with it and that’s what I want to see more often! I love Martial and hope he has a good season.

Overall, it was a top display from the lads and I hope we continue this exciting style of play for the season ahead! Keep giving Rom the chances and he will get goals guaranteed.

Still a long way to go but what a way to start the season…

Real Madrid 2-1 Manchester United: Not quite there…yet! 

Tonight was our first game of the season and it ended in defeat. Of course I’m disappointed we couldn’t add another European trophy to our collection, but at the end of the day it wouldn’t mean that much. Real Madrid are probably the best team in the world and we put up a good fight.

Real Madrid won the UEFA Super Cup for the 2nd season in a row.
I saw a lot of people yesterday expecting us to turn over Real but it didn’t make sense to me. I got a lot of stick for saying “I don’t think we’ll win,” and I still think I was right to say that. All I ask of the players in games such as this, when we are clear underdogs, is to try hard and do their best and I think we did show a lot of grit and determination today! If you think we are going to stroll through a game like this when we are clearly at completely different levels, quality wise, then you are setting yourself up for disappointment! 

United improved a lot in the 2nd half but it wasn’t enough to win the trophy.

Despite Real’s quality, we still managed to a create a lot of chances which is promising. The less-so encouraging thing is that we missed a lot of them. Seemed like the same old story tonight, making good opportunities but being unable to convert. Real missed their own chances, but had we scored our own the game could’ve easily been level. 

Romelu Lukaku bagged himself a goal on his competitive debut for Manchester United.

That’s why I still don’t think we’re good enough to win the league yet, we don’t have the quality right now to get us to that next level. For me, our only world class outfield player is Pogba and even he was poor tonight! Many of our other players have the potential to be world class, but they aren’t there yet. We are a Gareth Bale away…

All 3 of our summer signings started vs Real Madrid.

MOTM for me tonight was Nemanja Matic. Brilliant performance! The guy can pick a pass out but at the same time he is a brilliant defender covering for our other players. Not afraid to get stuck in and he does it so well. Looks like he’s going to turn out to be a good signing! Remember, he hasn’t been had a full pre-season! His first competitive game for Manchester United and it was against the European Champions and he played 90 minutes.

Nemanja Matic won 100% of his attempted tackles vs Real Madrid.

Got to remember also that it’s still only our first game of the season, so no way are we going to be at our best in this game. There are positives and negatives to take and the Premier League season begins on Sunday! Let’s hope we get off to a good start. Come on United! 

Nemanja Matic: Perfect fit?

Manchester United confirmed today that Nemanja Matic has joined on a three-year contract. According to Press Association, the fee for the Serbian midfielder is £35m + £5m in add-ons.

When the rumours about this transfer began, I’m going to be honest, I wasn’t overly excited but I’ve changed my mind over time. I’m now very happy with this signing as we desperately needed someone who can play his position and he has proven his value during his time at Chelsea by winning 2 Premier League titles in the last 3 seasons. In 14/15 Jose played him in a 4-2-3-1 and under Conte last season he played in a 3-4-3. Mourinho has used 4 and 3 defenders at the back in different games this pre-season, so the fact that he has experience and can excel in both systems is a great plus.

Nemanja Matic registered more Premier League assists (7) in 2016/17 than any Manchester United player.
 As a strong and tall defensive midfielder, it’s clear that Matic will improve us defensively. In addition to this though, he will also make us better going forward as Paul Pogba will finally be able to play with the reigns off him a bit. Of course Pogba will still have to work hard and get about the pitch but with Matic covering behind he won’t have to do as much of a defensive job. Matic could prove to be one hell of a signing, as Pogba at his full capability is scary…

No midfielder has made more tackles + interceptions combined than Nemanja Matic (540) in the Premier League since January 2014.

It’s a great testament to Nemanja Matic as a person that Mourinho decided to pursue him this summer. Towards the end of his Chelsea tenure in which he was heartlessly sacked, Jose criticised his Chelsea players and said that he felt his work had been betrayed. It was clear the players had stopped playing for him but for Mourinho to go back and sign Matic even after he was part of that dark patch for Jose at Chelsea, says a lot about Nemanja as a person. He trusts him and believes in him, which every player needs! Just from seeing their quotes today, it is clear they have a good relationship.

Matic becomes the 13th player to have worked under Jose Mourinho at more than one club.
 When a player signs for Manchester United, one thing that is always emphasised by the media and fans is the fee. In this transfer window, £35m sounds like a good deal in my opinion – he has won the Premier League twice and played nearly every game in last season’s title triumph. Matic turns 29 tomorrow but still, I believe, he will turn out to be money well spent. Look at Carrick, he’s 36 now and is still crucial to us. Playing in the same role, Matic still has a lot of years ahead of him.

Matic has won more tackles (201) in the Premier League since 2014/15 than any Chelsea or Manchester United midfielder.
 What I really love about this signing is how determined Nemanja was to sign for us. Chelsea wanted to ship him off abroad but Matic pushed for a move to United. As Jose said, the deal wouldn’t have been possible if Matic hadn’t made his desire to join us very clear and I’m so glad he did. Says a lot that even after winning the Premier League last season, he still felt he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to join Manchester United. That’s just brilliant – love it! He’s a player that wants to be here and is desperate to win. 

Welcome to Manchester United, Nemanja Matic! 

Romelu Lukaku: United bound?

As a Manchester United fan, it feels like an eternity since we had any significant transfer news being reported by a credible source. However, that all changed today! BBC Sport reported earlier today that Manchester United had agreed a fee of £75m with Everton for the transfer of Romelu Lukaku. Of course it’s not a done deal, but the BBC reporting the transfer means it’s serious. Interest in Alvaro Morata has reportedly been dropped and the club are looking to complete the transfer for Lukaku before the end of the week so he can come on the tour to the USA. 

Only Harry Kane scored more goals in the Premier League last season than Romelu Lukaku.

Romeu Lukaku is a proven Premier League goalscorer. He’ll score goals, that’s guaranteed. That goal scoring habit is something we could definitely benfit from having in our team. Last season, our Premier League campaign suffered due to our inability to kill off the league’s ‘lesser’ sides at home and the recruitment of Lukaku could prove to be the difference next season. The guy is Everton’s top scorer in Premier League history, scored 24 goals last season and has already scored 85 times in the Premier League at just 24 years old.

No player scored more clear-cut goalscoring opportunities in the Premier League last season than Romelu Lukaku (18). [WhoScored]

Despite this, I’m still slightly sceptical over the potential signing. Apart from the hattrick he scored in Sir Alex’s final game, I don’t really remember him shining too much against us. What sticks out is the amount of chances he missed in the FA Cup semi-final in 2016. Also, I’ve got the feeling  Morata would work better for build up play etc and help other players such as Rashford, Martial, Mkhitaryan, Mata etc to score more goals whereas Lukaku could end up being like Ibrahimovic scoring a lot of goals himself but at the expense of the style of play and variety in goal scorers. Those are my only concerns though. I don’t care about the price. As I already mentioned, he’s a proven goalscorer in the Premier League and that is crucial. The football transfer market is bonkers right now anyway! I think this is a safer option than Morata, as Lukaku has done it already in the Premier League. But, is safer better? We’ll have to find out.

Lukaku missed a penalty in the 2016 FA Cup semi-final against Manchester United.

Lukaku is also still only 24 years old. He’s got so much time to improve and I’d like to think under Jose Mourinho he could achieve greatness. There’s a fantastic combination regarding Lukaku; he’s already a proven goal scorer but he can also be so much better than he already is. Surely that’s perfect? Genuinely could be one of the best strikers in football very soon so it seems to be a smart buy. 

Lukaku (136) scored more goals by the age of 23 than Ronaldo (110), Suarez (107), Rooney (100) and Ibrahimovic (65) did.

Overall, I’ve got to be pleased with Lukaku joining United if it does happen. He’ll be our main man up front and he’ll have top class players around him. Let’s wait and see over the coming days to see if there is confirmation!

Ander Herrera: Adopted Manc.

 

Herrera was voted by Manchester United fans as the clubs Player of the Season last season. He’d always shown an incredible amount of passion and love when playing in the United shirt but last season he backed up those key traits with immensely improved performances.

4083F57500000578-4520104-image-a-145_1495144873252
Herrera beat Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Antonio Valencia to be the 16/17 Manchester United fans Player of the Year

Ander Herrera found himself a new role under Jose Mourinho last season. He played more defensive and seemed to have more responsibility on his shoulders as by the end of the season he was one of our most important players. I think the performance that epitomises Herrera’s rise is his masterclass vs Chelsea at Old Trafford.

Pogba-Herrera-vs-Chelsea-Apr2017
Herrera vs Chelsea: 43 passes. 5 clearances. 4 interceptions. 4 tackles. 1 assist. 1 goal.

What a performance, what shift! He ran his socks off and tackled anything and everything that moved. Had Hazard in his pocket. The combination of immense passion and incredible determination plus trust in the manager’s tactics resulted in an all round vital shift to propel the team to victory. I was there that day, and whilst the atmosphere was amazing already due to the fans incredible support as per, everything went up a notch because of Herrera. He’s not the captain, but he was shouting and spurring the players on. That’s what every football fan wants to see! The fans feed off the players as much as the players feed off the fans.

40C68A5100000578-0-image-m-10_1495732254487
Herrera made more tackles (5) and more interceptions (4) in the 16/17 Europa League Final than any other player. Also, over the course of the 16/17 Europa League, Herrera won the 2nd most tackles (30).

Whilst Ander Herrera has a great work ethic and passion, he’s also not afraid to do the dirty work which is why he’s such a perfect fit for Mourinho. He’ll take a yellow card when necessary, he’ll make the most of fouls, he’ll waste time and he’ll get on the nerves of opposition fans and players. He has that not so nice guy side to him which can be very important to any team. A lot of the time his overreactions to fouls can be quite annoying in my opinion, but it’s how a lot of players are these days. They’ll do it against us, so you have to do it for your own team sometimes. Jose trusts him and you can see why!

herrera-tugs-firminojpg
No PL player made more interceptions in the oppositions half last season than Ander Herrera.

Another thing that helps Herrera is his relationship with the fans. In a day and age where football players are often criticised for distancing themselves from the fans, how Ander interacts with United supporters is something that should be praised. Herrera get’s it. He understands passion, commitment, love and dedication – attributes that he and Manchester United fans share. It doesn’t matter whether it is a goal he has scored or a team mates goal, but he celebrates it like he’s a fan. He is one of us. An adopted Manc!

Manchester-United-vs-Liverpool-1
Herrera won more tackles (63), made more interceptions (82) and recorded more assists (6) than any other Man United player in the Premier League last season.