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16 Jul 2018 17:10:51
Does anybody know why Sanchez isn't on the US tour?


1.) 16 Jul 2018 17:31:43
Extra rest I'd presume, he needs it.

2.) 16 Jul 2018 17:33:06
Just read it was a problem with his visa. And that he may be granted a waiver. Make of that what you will.

3.) 16 Jul 2018 18:09:24
It's because of his 16 month suspended jail sentence in Spain.

4.) 16 Jul 2018 18:48:20
Thanks guys.

5.) 16 Jul 2018 19:07:42
16 month jail sentence in Spain for tax fraud and US authorities don't allow entry.



08 Jul 2018 10:49:32
Morning guys,

I think it's been a very good World Cup from a Utd perspective. Pogba, Lindelof, Lingard and Lukaku have all arguably been standout performers for their countries and made significant contributions. Fellaini came on and rescued Belgium from the brink. He was probably the best player against England and was excellent against Brazil. Young has been solid. Rashford came on and changed the game against Tunisia. He showed amazing maturity and composure to stick his penalty away.

I think it demonstrates we've got a very good squad and importantly most of our players are young, they are still learning and improving. Their experience at the WC will be invaluable and we should reap the rewards with the renewed confidence they will bring into next season.

I'm excited by the signing of Fred and hope he can bring the energy and intensity to release Pogba. I think we must accept now that Pogba is a unique player. He won't dictate the play or set the tempo. He can often get caught sleeping defensively. He can surrender possession too easily at times but some of his passing and vision is out of this world. He isn't always involved but he never hides and he always tries to make things happen. He's never safe playing easy or ineffective sideways or backwards passes. He's a fantastic player burdened by unrealistic expectations in a world where he's expected to defend like Kante, pass like Scholes and attack like Zidane.

Special praise must be afforded to Jesse Lingard. His movement, intelligence and work rate has never been in question but now he's added a goal threat and end product to his game. Is there a more improved player in world football right now? Surely his form warrants a run of games at No 10 rather than being shunted out on the right when he often struggles to impact the game.

I can't help feeling that this could be a pivotal few months in the career of Luke Shaw. With Young out of the picture at the WC then surely he will be afforded a run of games during preseason and he may even start the season as our first choice left back. He needs to make the most of this opportunity, he won't get a better chance to show why we spent so much money to sign him.

I think we've got a lot to feel optimistic about going into next season. It won't be easy but we've got a chance.


1.) 08 Jul 2018 13:47:41
Lindelof has been brilliant most times I’ve seen him for Sweden, he was phenomenal against Italy in the play off.
I think he was beginning to settle towards the end of the season and turned in some good performances.



04 Jul 2018 21:21:45
Not Utd related but I just wanted to add my opinion to the England debate. I know it's easy to talk with the benefit of hindsight but I thought England we're fortunate last night and are lucky to find themselves in the last 16.

What I admired in the first couple of games was Southgate's bravery in deploying only one holding midfielder and allowing the freedom for Lingard, Ali and Sterling to interchange position's and run beyond Kane. All three possess excellent movement and are also very good technical players and we finally looked free of the rigid, static and ponderous football we've all become accustomed to watching England over the years.

Last night I was happy with the team selection and think we dominated the game without being outstanding. Columbia hardly threatened and I think for the most part we looked composed and in control. I thought Ali looked slightly off the pace after returning from injury and Sterling was on the periphery of the game like he has been for much of the tournament. The movement was good and we had got into some good attacking positions however we struggled at times with our final pass.

My main point in this, with the game delicately balanced going into the final 20 minutes I just think Southgate made the cardinal sin of trying to see the game out. His subs for the first time were negative and the introduction of Dier and Vardy impeded the team rather than helped it. Dier's distribution in midfield was poor and we started making sideways and backwards passes. The fluid, dynamic movement stopped and the familiar rigid, static England returned. Seemingly paralysed by fear and riddled with doubt Kane dropped dangerously deep to accommodate Vardy and this just encouraged us to play longer balls into the channels for Vardy to chase and surrender possession.

Loftus Cheek and Rashford had impacted and added fresh impetus against Tunisia and Southgate should have continued to be bold. Even the best teams are capable of conceding late goals when the stakes are high and margins fine but when Columbia equalised we had surrendered the initiative, lost our attacking intent and for the first period of extra time we could barely string two passes together and it looked like penalties would be our best option. To their credit we improved in the second period of extra time but not enough to win the game. By making defensive substitutions and changing the dynamic of the team when the equaliser arrived we simply weren't equipped for extra time and the game was always likely to be decided by the lottery of a penalty shootout.

I think if England are to progress and improve as a team not just in this tournament but moving forward Southgate must continue to be brave and play the type of football that has restored some national pride and reinvigorated the country. Now is the time to be bold, the whole country is behind this new young and exciting England team. Forget the ghosts of the past and blaze your own trail. Take control of your own destiny, be positive, recognise this opportunity and try not to leave it all on the lottery of another penalty shootout.


1.) 04 Jul 2018 22:38:33
I said a similar thing last night that the substitutions were too negative. Colombia offered next to nothing going forward and bringing on rashford and Loftus Cheek would have finished them off. Especially with Mina limping with a groin injury.

However, if I am totally honest I don’t give a damn how we win, as long as we do. The feel good factor around this england team at the moment is something I have never experienced before. Don’t see why we cannot just enjoy it and bask in the hope that football will be coming home.

2.) 04 Jul 2018 23:06:40
True mate, I think Southgate has been a fresh of breath air but last night I think he just fell into the trap of trying to see out a tight game against a team that had offered next to nothing. When they scored I didn't think we had much to offer in extra time and if he'd been more positive with his substitutions I think we would have beaten them in extra time or could even have scored a second before they equalised. Penalties are a stooge and I must admit I thought it was curtains. Having said that I've read we've been practicing hard and even employed psychologists so maybe he was comfortable letting the game drift towards penalties. It has always amazed me that previous managers have largely ignored the importance of penalties and done very little preparation. I'll accept the argument that you can't adequately recreate the pressure but if your confident in your technique and adopt the right mental approach then surely your chances of success are much higher. I'm glad he got his rewards and it's unlikely most teams will go far in the competition without having to win a penalty shootout. Roll on Saturday and what a great summer it's been enjoying the World Cup and fine weather whilst we wait for the real business to start come August plus it's a welcome distraction from all the tedious transfer patter.



26 May 2018 15:20:23
Afternoon Boys, to try and distract us from the game this afternoon from all the players we've been linked with who do you realistically expect us to sign and why?

From what I've read these are the players I think we'll target (note these are the players I think we'll buy not necessarily the ones I'd chose personally or the ones I think we need) .

CB - I think we'll want another CB and Alderweireld looks the early favourite. Dealing with Spurs is notoriously difficult so I expect this one to go to the wire. Outside of this I expect Umtiti to sign another contract at Barca. I wouldn't rule out an offer to Real Madrid for Varane should negotiations with Spurs drag on.

LB - Sandro looks the early favourite but talk of a new contract and inflated transfer fee may price us out of a move. I remember us being strongly linked with Aaron Martin from Espanyol, I think he's liked by Mourinho and maybe this would be the more realistic target.

CM - It would appear a deal for Fred is almost done. I think our interest may end here especially if Fellaini signs another contract.

RW - William, liked by Mourinho but transfer fee may be prove problematic considering his age. Bale rumours may resurface depending on how he performs tonight. Woodward favourite but injuries and inflated fee makes this unlikely.

Outside of that I don't realistically see many other targets. I don't expect a high number of incoming players to arrive unless the Club choose to move on the likes of Martial, Mata or maybe even Herrera when replacements will be needed.

I fully expect Darmian, Blind and possibly Shaw to be sold over the summer.

What do you all think?


1.) 26 May 2018 15:58:36
We're linked with some lad from Real Betis today as well. I think we need 2 midfielders either way. We have Matic, Pogba, Herrera and McTominay. Matic needs cover/ rotation. Pogba flatters to deceive. Herrera is a good squad option and McTominay is just a youngster. We need 2 more in there. Look at City's options.

2.) 26 May 2018 16:01:53
I'm reading a few reports of Milinkovic-Savic but only if we can offload pogba.

3.) 26 May 2018 16:15:46
Cb - Alderweireld
Lb - Sandro
Rb - sidibe
Cdm/ cm - Fabinho and Fred (would love Milinkovic savic instead of Fabinho)

Shaw (sadly)

Martial (fingers crossed)

4.) 26 May 2018 16:19:32
Only two clubs could afford Pobga. Madrid will most likely be looking to buy in other areas and may need to sell first. And PSG are also after Savic too.

5.) 26 May 2018 16:46:41
RW is the most important for me to sort out, would be happy with either Bale or Willian

LB would be Sandro hope its true that a deal is close

MID Apparently we are close to deals with Savic, Fabinho and Fred would take all them and Fabinho can play right back too

I think Blind, Darmian, Shaw and Fellaini will be out the door

Martial I think will not be going anywhere.

6.) 26 May 2018 17:34:21
Alex Sandro

7.) 26 May 2018 17:47:47
Didn't think it would be long before the name Bale cropped up
It's a NEVER from me for the same reasons as the last 2 summers, too expensive too injury prone and will soon be too old as well.

8.) 26 May 2018 17:58:33
Allan, Van Persie was considered injury prone before he signed for us.

9.) 26 May 2018 18:10:14
Regards Bale it would depend on cost. And a very vigorous medical.

10.) 26 May 2018 18:31:37
If a top CB comes in I can see Jones or Rojo going out as well as darmian, bind, shaw, fellani.

2 outside bets. a decent bid for Mata or Herrera would give jm something to think about. don't think either are 100% secure.

11.) 26 May 2018 18:41:23
‘Very vigorous medical’ mort 😂. Would not like to know what that would include.

12.) 26 May 2018 18:51:06
I did think twice about putting bale down, but he can be devastating and if the right price etc can be agreed couldn’t be worth a gamble in this money mad era, Willian was the other name I was going to put down.
Remember when we was nearly signing Felipe Anderson, how’s he been playing?

13.) 26 May 2018 19:09:44
bit harsh Welsh red devil. he is injury prone but having him put down?

14.) 26 May 2018 19:38:32
Not my cash so don’t care how much players cost. Bale has to be our man and okay him down the right. Martial may have to leave to open up the slot. Sanchez, Lukaku, Bale, Rash and hopefully Martial is quite the front line to pick from.

LB- Rose please
CB- Alderweireld is the best in the league so yes please
RB - not sure, maybe try TFM or Young as rotation?
CM - Fred looks done, Savic I don’t know but seems to be the one we are after.



20 May 2018 18:46:29
Once the dust settles and the disappointment subsides we can reflect on the game in a more rational manner.

The game panned out more or less as I expected. A tense, cagey, unexciting spectacle which was always destined to be won by the odd goal or a penalty shoot out.

In terms of our defensive play I thought we handled them pretty well. I was surprised when they played an extra midfielder which effectively meant we only had Hazard to deal with. De Gea was a spectator for most of the game and they carried very little threat. Such games are often decided by the big players or mistakes and whilst Jones was culpable of some pretty awful defending I'd also have to question the shape of the team that allowed their only attacking treat to the receive the ball on the counter with acres of space to run into. Herrera's positioning must be questioned especially as he was tasked with the job of man marking Hazard or certainly being close to him in the transitions in order to stop the counter attack. Ultimately Hazard produced the games one moment of quality, leaving Jones for dead and expertly converting the penalty.

It's easy to label Jones as the fall guy but after returning from a long injury he didn't quite look match fit in either body or mind. The way Hazard effortlessly accelerated past him was embarrassing and he should never have been afforded so much space to run into. I think Jones is a decent defender but he's still prone to individual mistakes and I've never been convinced that the Jones/ Smalling axis is our best defensive partnership.

Since Sanchez arrived we have lacked penetration and he has played far too deep. He has often congested the midfield occupying Pogba's space and without runners in front of him he's been relatively anonymous. Yesterday was no exception.

What we desperately lack is width, somebody to make the pitch bigger, somebody that can dribble the ball with pace, commit and beat defenders and supply quality crosses into the box for Lukaku. To be honest Martial provides this threat and was our brightest attacking outlet when he came on but he's been marginalised, maligned and cast aside by a manager that seemingly has little patience for young players still learning the game and searching for consistency.

I've read press speculation linking us with a move for William but I think this would be a mistake. He's plays a very similar role to Sanchez, he likes to play inside, often dropping deep to receive the ball, this would congest the midfield even further and complicate Pogba's role in the team even more.

I'm not sure which direction Mourinho is taking us. I don't see an evolution in our style of play and whilst I think his signings have been good in terms of quality there appears to be no forward thinking about how they all fit together.

In hindsight I think Sanchez may turn out to be a poor acquisition, especially if it's at the expense of Martial. What we really needed is a right winger to complete our attack. That's been the problem position all season. If we'd have looked to recruit a really top class right winger, one capable of scoring goals and assisting Lukaku then that would have relieved the burden on the likes of Martial and Rashford, allowed them time to develop meaning their off days would less important as others take up the slack.

I expect more of the same next season. The only way we can judge Mourinho is by his results. We can be encouraged by a better league campaign but finishing 20 points behind City whilst playing some pretty dire stuff certainly isn't enough for the swelling anti Jose brigade to be placated. The success of our season ultimately came down to one game and the means didn't justify the ends. Jose failed to deliver and I think our season can be best described in these three words "must do better".

Wishing you all a great summer, hopefully England can provide us with some much need entertainment (although I won't hold my breath) and we'll see what the summer transfer window and next season brings. All the best.


1.) 21 May 2018 06:12:26
DLIB - I agree, as a team we look lost with no obvious plan to our game, we have so much possession but it's all in safe positions.
For the goal I thought Jones's starting position was poor and once he was squared up it was no contest, Hazard was through.
I think your judgement on Jose's signings is spot on, how many of them can be classed as a success.
With José at the helm I think we can sum up next season now, 'more of the same'. Will it be enough to see him as our manager by the end of the season, only time will tell.




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16 Jul 2018 18:48:20
Thanks guys.




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16 Jul 2018 11:58:22
Morning guys, big thanks to Ed 2 as always for taking the time to do the Sharkopod.

I know many have reservations but the one name that still jumps out for me on that list is Gareth Bale. I assumed with Zidane leaving then Ronaldo being sold to Juventus that Bale would be staying at Madrid but maybe that isn't necessarily the case.

I think we should do everything we can to make this deal happen. I honestly believe a fit Gareth Bale can take us to the next level.

I think Ed said we might need to get creative and I wouldn't be against using Pogba and cash in some kind of deal to get Bale and maybe even Kroos or Varane. I know it sounds like fantasy football and in reality player swaps are rare but every player has a value and maybe some kind of deal could be done.

I really like Pogba but I think he's plays in moments or spells. You get a brilliant cross, pass, dribble or shot then nothing for long periods. Whilst he's a fantastic footballer I'm not sure he influences the game enough to build a team around. His stock will never be higher and if the Club are seriously considering letting him go then perhaps now is the right time. I certainly wouldn't be against allowing Pogba to join Madrid if we would somehow do a deal to bring Bale and Kroos the other way.


{Ed002's Note - Clubs are looking more toward including players, like they do in Italy, as there is simply not the cash around. Manchester United have so far resisted this but may, as you say, need to reconsider their thinking.}



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11 Jul 2018 23:34:35
The dream is over!

The quality just wasn't there in both boxes tonight. Kane and Lingard missed massive chances. Croatia looked calamitous in the first half but we didn't show enough composure or quality to finish them off.

In our own box Walker then Stones we're guilty of ball watching. They both just didn't see their men. They didn't even look.

Southgate failed to react. The threat was in the wide areas. Lingard and Ali just couldn't cover quick enough. The equaliser was coming. He should have changed and plugged the holes with two wide men. Easy to say in hindsight but the best mangers sense danger, understand the ebb and flow of the game and react. I think he got transfixed with the three at the back and maybe lacked the foresight or tactical nous to change it when needed.

Overall It's been a good tournament. We've played well in spells, with imagination and fluidity without really showing the quality with the final pass or finish. We've at least tried to play the right way and haven't embarrassed ourselves.

It's bitterly disappointing and so frustrating because Croatia aren't that good. We made them look so average in that first half but when the big chances come, especially in knockout football you have to put them away.

I think France will run out comfortable winners on Sunday. Mbappe will absolutely terrify them.

Dejan Lovren will now play in a Champions League and World Cup final. Just let that sink in! Football, bloody hell!




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10 Jul 2018 22:14:00
Yeah I agree again Ed!

Ironically we've seen at this WC that he is actually capable of doing it all. He just needs to find some consistency and we need to decide exactly how we want to use him!




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10 Jul 2018 21:46:45
Absolutely completely agree Ed 4. Pogba was a giant tonight. He sacrificed himself for the team, was disciplined and the way he tracked Fellaini into the box was brilliant. I haven't seen him play with so much understanding and maturity before.

I wrote a post the other day where I said Pogba is expected to defend like Kante, pass like Scholes and create like Zidane. It's an impossible task. We want him to be our creative spark but also our defensive rock. It's simply unrealistic, unfair and has shattered his confidence.

In defence of Jose (if there is one) I think he wants more of the Pogba we got tonight. Diligent, disciplined, motivated and hard working. The was a WC semi final and Pogba was prepared to roll his sleeves up for the team in order to achieve his dream. Maybe the problems have arisen when Pogba wants more freedom to express himself in league games yet Jose wants performances like tonight on a weekly basis. I can only imagine Jose eulogising about his performance tonight.

There is no doubt Kante's energy and intensity has helped Pogba and from what I've read I think Fred might just be the key we need bring some balance to the team.


{Ed004's Note - I've just said something similar previously there. Hoping Fred can provide that Kante like energy in midfield beside Pogba. I think our best football has happened when we have had Matic Herrera and Pogba all playing. So hopefully we see a midfield 3 more often this season. I'm not saying Pogba is perfect btw just think the media is overly harsh on him. There'll be no articles on how poor KDB was tonight but if the boots were on the other foot imagine the media reaction if Pogba played like that (for the record think KDB is currently the better player)}