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Team: Manchester United

Where from: Bristol

Favourite player: Ole Gunner Solskjear

Best team moment: Champions league final 1999

Interests: Manchester United duh. lol

Timezone: (GMT) Western Europe Time, London, Lisbon, Casablanca

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Shappy's rumours posts with other poster's replies to Shappy's rumours posts


03 Feb 2017 14:43:44
What do people make of the rumour this morning that along with Rooney that Martial maybe sold to raise funds for Griezmann?

Things don't seem quite right with Martial this season, he doesn't seem to have the trust of Jose, he has had an unsettled life off the pitch. He was unhappy about losing the No.9 shirt, and his agent was making noises about going to Sevilla on loan.

Our interest in Griezmann seems pretty solid, and the questoon was if he signed who would miss out?

Martial looks a prime candidate for being the one to miss out so maybe the club will look to move him on. Would be sad to see him go as he has so much potential.


1.) 03 Feb 2017 15:40:16
If the reports are true that he refused to warm up before the hull game and his attitude stinks then I think we should get rid regardless of how talented he is.

Plenty more players that would jump at the chance to be in his position.

2.) 03 Feb 2017 15:59:17
I can see them both going Shappy, not sure if that is "too raise funds" but it's a nicer way of putting it than "no longer good enough and not professional/ mature enough", to be honest if we expect to be at the top there are about 10 players that need to be replaced with superior ones. Too many of our players have gotten away with simply plodding along for too long and a few others are not progressing or coming to the end of their careers/ effectiveness.

I could list them, but it would be one hell of a long list, more messy than ever when you look at each player in our squad and ask "are they good enough to be a regular starter in a title winning team"? .

3.) 03 Feb 2017 16:03:58
If griezmann comes in someone will have to move on and i think it could be martial .
I don't think rooney going would be tied in to griezmann and i don't think united need to sell to buy .

4.) 03 Feb 2017 16:31:02
If he refuses to try harder it is consistently unprofessional regarding his place in the squad then, after being given a fair chance to improve, he needs to move in. Shane, as very talented.

However, media loves to create mischief with United stories, so hopefully it's something that Mouribgo can successfully address.

5.) 03 Feb 2017 16:31:36
Martial is lazy when he hasn't got the ball. There is no movement from him. He just stands there with his shoulders slumped looking fed up, his body language is awful. I think this is why Jose states he has to do more to earn his place.

6.) 03 Feb 2017 16:43:44
Dave, I'm not sure that's true. Mourinho is a team man and he wouldn't stand for that kind of attitude. Its disrespectful to your team mates and creates a bad atmosphere.

I can see why people might consider Martial sulky, he does have a very sullen look about him. He rarely smiles even when he scores.

I think if he really was like that then we might have heard something about it before rather than the press waiting until Mourinho drops him to suddenly start telling the world what he was like.

Beast, will you ever be happy? Were you ever happy with the team? So are you suggesting that DDG is the only player you'd keep? Beyond that we need a whole new 21/ 22 players to build a good squad? A little bit of an over reaction isn't? I'm starting tk think that you would be saying the same things if you were a fan of any other club in the world, everything is being done wrong in your opinion.

Jred, I don't think the club needs to sell to buy, but the wages could be an issue. Martial being sold would help balance the books considering how much Griezmann would cost and the fact that we would probably look to bring in another 3-4 players as well as Greizmann. That could well be close to 200m being spent. We would probably need to recoupe around 100m of that, which means we would need at least one big sale. I think Rooney leaving is more about freeing up the wages rather than any fee we would recieve.

{Ed007's Note - Wazza will get a bumper new contract extension before the summer ;-)

7.) 03 Feb 2017 16:51:03
Hi shaps. I really hope martial will be kept, many sources have claimed he wants to stay and is happy. I think he has gotten better and obviously things happened in the summer that unsettled his person.

I would actually move on ibra to be honest, it would allow a front 4 of martial, rash, griezmann and miki. Much more pace and flexibility. I really like ibra but feel that 1 year was enough and hopefully some of the younger players have learned from him.

8.) 03 Feb 2017 17:11:21
I'd love to know who reported it dave. It's not the first time this season that he hasn't warmed up.

Is this like the story last week where he supposedly didn't go to training? That was a load of crap.

9.) 03 Feb 2017 17:33:59
I said last week, all of sudden everything that happens will be down to martial's attitude. People jump on a comment and then it snow balls.

10.) 03 Feb 2017 17:52:27
Shappy - Well I'm not happy scrapping for 4th place every year mate, so yeah the squad needs a cull. If I were in charge which is what I think you are asking, then the only ones I would keep for the starting 11 (most of our team are squad players at best) .

DDG, Jones, Bailly, Miki, Herrera (on the edge) - none of the rest would make it in my first team. If they pulled their fingers out then Shaw, Martial, Pogba and Ibra would potentially. All the rest of them can go as far as I'm concerned. Players like Rojo, Valencia, Carrick, do well but they should be squad players at best now.

So yeah, I'm not very happy, because too many people beat around the bush. Whinge about not being positive, but if you take a step back it's pretty messy. We need 4-5 top signings and being suitable if Jose isn't going to change how we play.

11.) 03 Feb 2017 19:52:59
Beast would it be possible for you to produce a squad list that you would expect us to have as our current one is so clearly lacking (please be some what realistic)

12.) 03 Feb 2017 20:02:51
Martial was miserable and moody last year but he was playing well so we just accepted it. Now his form has dropped its become a big issue. Only those inside the club know how big an attitude he has but you're either a team player or you're not. If he is let's keep him, if not let's sell him.

13.) 03 Feb 2017 20:28:03
Coleman RB, Rose LB, Vidal CM, Griezzman 2nd striker, wingers are tricky, but I would push Valencia up and give Martial/ Miki a chance to shine with better players on the left or right, they can tuck in well and support the strikers with full backs flying forward. I'd stick with Ibra with 4-4-2. Then hunt for wingers in the next window if necessary.

Those are 4 key signings in the summer I'd make, £175m-£200m. Let go of Mata, Darmian, Shaw, Fellaini, Lingard, Rooney - probably recoup £80-£100m from those, wages would even themselves out roughly.

14.) 03 Feb 2017 20:52:30
Beast, the change from Sir Alex was always going to be tricky, watch Arsenal struggle when Wenger moves on.

You can't have 27 years of one manager and expect a smooth transistion.

Personally I feel a squad is made up of many different players of different levels of talent, fight and personality.

The kind of player you seem to want is a Roy Keane type fighter, but a squad of 25 Keanes would tear itself apart.

Even the most successful squads have bit part players, guys who might not have the same quality as the others but offer something different.

I think on the whole our squad is pretty decent. We are still three or four players away from having a first team capable of functioning as fluidly as Mourinho would like.

I feel the real issue with our team is still the balance at the back. I think we lack real quality full backs, I inclued Valencia and Shaw in that. Shaw has potential, but bar a handful of games at the start of last season we haven't seen him come close to reaching it. Valencia has been a stand out performer this season, but is 31 years old and still his delivery from the flank is erractic and he still gets caught out defensively at times.

I feel the other areas we stuggle is top class holding midfielder, Carrick is well into his twilight years and can't cover as much ground as he used to, and still for me hasn't shaken off the safety first passing of the LvG era. I also feel we need a long term partner for Bailly, someone who can play the ball out of defence quickly and accurately.

I think we are well covered in the goalkeeping department.

I think Blind, Smalling, Jones and Rojo are decent squad defenders. Tuanzebe, TFM and CBJ offer hope for the future.

I think we need a true defensive midfielder, but beyond that Pogba, Herrera, Blind and Fellaini offer good options. Carrick and Schweinsteiger offer experience, and I like the look of both TFM and Andreas Pereira as young options coming though. Its a good balance.

I think for the most part our forward options look very good. In the long term we will need a replacement for Rooney/ Ibrahimovic as a central striking option. And depending on the development of Martial, Rashford and Lingard maybe another option, possibly someone more like a true wide man rather than a striker playing wide or a No.10 shunted out wide.

We have a lot of very good young players, Bailly, Shaw, Tuanzebe, TFM, Pereira, Lingard, Martial and Rashford.
We need to see how these players develop before we can right any of them off.

I don't think the squad is that far off a really top one to be honest.

15.) 03 Feb 2017 21:22:59
Agree with a lot of that mate. Trouble is we aren't playing to the strengths of our squad and we have too many squad players, or players that put in a lot of 6/ 7 out 10 performances but not too many regularly putting in the 8/ 9 out of 10's.

We have a lot of passengers, waiting for somebody to do something, too happy to leave it to the next guy and do the easy thing. Ironically the two magical players we signed are the biggest passengers of the bunch. We need 2 or 3 players with that drive an urgency, that will encourage the rest of the team to work, run off the ball, not always think safety first.

We aren't far away, but 4-5-1 is a bad formation because it's a balancer, teams like Hull, Stoke can match up and it's hard to break them down. 4-4-2, will mean it upsets those teams, opens us up but means they have to attack and that leaves space.

We need to be a bit cleverer and a bit more energetic. But we need to replace some of those squad players with top class players in their position, too many average players.

16.) 03 Feb 2017 21:37:02
I think our forward line is one of our biggest issues they can't score and struggle to hold onto the ball or be the first line of defence. Just way too many slow old average players. We lack real quality throughout the team. If we all picked our favourite team from Europe assuming we were still in it we wouldn't have a player in it. ( maybe a keeper) That's criminal for the richest club on the planet.

17.) 04 Feb 2017 12:36:29
We don't need to raise funds. That's Woodys job an he's good at it.

Young, Rooney, Darmian, rojo could all be off come summer. Bastian probably as well.

If Griezmann comes in he'd be first choice with zlatan maybe taking a back seat.

18.) 06 Feb 2017 20:08:45
Agree with a lot of that and players are only running on 6/ 10 apart from bailly, Herrera, Jones, Miki and rojo which you lot want axed? Is he not good to have as cover?

We need a vote here too see how many believe griezmann will make it at UTD and not turn into another Forlan.

AG fits well into the way AM play. We do not play like AM and I think it will take AG a season to play well.

19.) 08 Feb 2017 19:20:01
AG is probably one of the only players in world football who can hold a candle to Messi and ronaldo.

I am quite sure he would be able to fit into any team, he is that good.



26 May 2016 10:33:08
I hope there is some substance in this Manolas rumour. For me he is probably about the best option open to us. Strong, quick, great in the air, excellent reader of the game. A no nonsense type defender but one with good technique and a communicator and leader at the back.

He is the kind of centre back we can pair with anyone and he'll work well with them.

I'd still want to see someone else come in, Varane, Marquinhos, Stones or Bartra would work well with Manolas.

In fact for someone like Stones who has a mistake in him, and who needs to improve the defensive side of his game having a player such as Manolas alongside him and Mourinho on the touchline could be the making of him. I've been wary of Stones as I don't think he would improve our defence atm, but if he was brought in alongside Manolas then it could work well.


1.) 26 May 2016 12:15:01
Two CBs are a priority. Signing just one would leave us at risk. I really rate Varane but to sign an English player in Stones is very tempting.

Although if Roshaun Williams and Tuazenbe get promoted and play some games this season that would be an added bonus.

2.) 26 May 2016 12:34:52
I think TFM could also be played at CB under Mourinho. I'd be quite happy to sign Manolas and Bartra a could of lads in their mid twenties to leave space for the likes of TFM, Williams and Tuazenbe to fullfil the roles of talented young players.

I wouldn't be gutted if we signed Stones or Marquinhos, but given their ages it would make it far more difficult for the young CB's coming through as players like Stones or Marqunihos are only a couple of years older than them.

3.) 26 May 2016 12:47:31
For manolas just read otamendi.

4.) 26 May 2016 13:27:27
Agree Manolas is one of the best options available. Mainly because he's one of the only options who compliments what we currently have. His qualities blend well with Smalling's. Shaw, Manolas, Smalling and hopefully a rejuvenated Darmian has the making of a top back line. But agree that an extra centre back would be even better.



11 Sep 2015 14:12:13
I think people get too hung up over player contracts.

Yes it is excellent news that DDG has signed a new deal, why? Because it now means he will probably play most of our games this season, and with him being one of if not the best keeper in the world atm it certainly makes our team stronger.

The length of a players contract has very little baring on how long a player will stay at a club. Think of it like this 90% of player moves involve a player who is under contract, only around 10% of players see out the full duration of their contracts.

DDG may leave next summer or the summer after that or the one after that. Only two things are certain.
One he will leave at some point, be it either in his prime, the twilight of his career or through retirement.
And two him having a deal with the club means he will be available to play for thr club this season.
Beyond that who knows. Ultimately when he leaves we will look for a replacement. And hopefully it will he someone as good or even better than him.

And for those who say it was all about the money? Probably, isn't the money one of the biggest factors in your career?

But on a serious note, I think he is happy in Manchester, but has a girlfriend who would benefit from having her more famous boyfriend with her on social events in Spain, and an agent who wants to make money.

As it stands he will earn more money and based on his performances he probably deserves it, and he will probably stay at the club for a few more years.

Now let's just sit back and appreciate the fact we have one of the best keepers in the world playing for us. let's enjoy it.


1.) 11 Sep 2015 14:28:55
i don't buy in to all the family stuff i just think like a lot of players he wanted to play for madrid.
that looks to be of the cards so he has took the cash and stopped at united.

great news for us

2.) 11 Sep 2015 15:28:47
Jred, from what I heard his family thought it better he stay in Manchester considering the circus that goes on in Madrid.
I think it was his girlfriend and maybe his agent who seemed most keen on his moving to Madrid.

I also think Madrid have been trying everything they can to clear themselves from any blame over the collapse of his move so as to make sure they didn't burn any bridges knowing that it was possible he would sign a new deal. I expect now he has signed a new deal Madrid will become very quiet over his non move.

3.) 11 Sep 2015 18:44:10
Well done Shappy, couldn't agree more (other than the bit about deserving the money. No one deserves that amount of money, especially for playing a game. It's not exactly saving lives or advancing humanity. )

But yes you're right, let's enjoy that he's staying and accept that he will probably be gone in the next season or two. Wise words mate.

4.) 11 Sep 2015 20:18:05
Have to disagree with ihatefootball's opinion on players deserving the amount of money they get paid. When you look at the massive amounts the teams are earning through apparel and jersey sales, ticket sales, concessions, Champions League- the players deserve every penny they can get. Nobody pays to watch us kick about on the weekends. They pay to watch the best players in the world at their jobs.

When you hear about players like Messi paying a sick childs medical bills how can you find a complaint with how much they earn?

{Ed007's Note - Aye, it's not every sick kid that can get a football club to pay for private 'treatments'.}

5.) 11 Sep 2015 22:28:03
Maybe I am attributing ill motives to RM, but it seemed to me that their tactic was to maximise the chance that they could sign de Gea for free in 2016. They have failed. I congratulate the powers that be in Utd for standing firm.
So, what abut Monaco? I have yet to see any report that the total fee for Martial is not extortionate. They will need a replacement. Why not make sure that the price that they pay is also excessive? When they identify the replacement, put in a higher bid , but graciously allow them to better it (or not). Make good use of Utd's financial muscle.
Red Setter

6.) 11 Sep 2015 23:01:45
I'm sorry??? You what??? You agree that players should get paid £200,000 a week for kicking a ball around some grass? Best at their job in the world maybe but at kicking a ball round a field. It is DISGUSTING the amount of money they are paid. Can you not put it into perspective? Get a grip!

{Ed007's Note - You can't blame the players, what do you expect them to say? 'Here never mind that £100k a week plus appearance money, goal scoring bonus and image rights, give me £2k a week and a leased Ford Focus?'
Blame Sly TV for the mess football is in, we expect the players to work as hard as some guy sitting welding all day and putting a hard shift in, why shouldn't they do what the welder does and weld where he gets paid the most.
I really can't lay the blame at the crazy wages going around on players, it's the people providing the money and the people distributing it that need to look at it.
Years ago the clubs held all the power but now it's swung to the players calling the shots, what we need to find is a happy medium but sadly I think it's went too far now and that's never going to happen.
For anyone over 30, football is never going to be the same or as enjoyable ever again for us, and that breaks my heart.}

7.) 12 Sep 2015 06:17:47
Ihatefootball- i do understand your point. If you think of it in its basic terms as just a game with grown men out in a field kicking a ball then it's absolutely rediculous. The reality is football is a business and they are the star attractions in an industry that generates billions.

In any business you have to spend in order to have a competitive advantage over your competition and I'm proud to support the club and am thrilled they are investing back in the team to buy or keep some of the worlds best players. Without De Gea we probably wouldn't be in the Champions League which is worth millions to the club.

Ed007 I'd love to find a happy medium, but as long as club profits continue to raise then I'd imagine player wages will as well.

{Ed002's Note - There are constraints within FFP in respect of the wages.}

8.) 12 Sep 2015 08:59:34
Rumours in Spain that there is a release clause for 50 million in the contract.

9.) 15 Sep 2015 12:57:49
He signed a contract out of respect but there will be a clause in the contract that if real madrid put in such an such amount then he goes. let's not get hard ons over it



02 Oct 2014 07:18:58
Looks like we are about to make a key new signing.

Welcome Matt Radcliffe.


1.) He is very good mates with Luke Shaw, who has been feeling a little homesick since his move, hopefully it will help him settle as well as helping deal with injuries.

2.) Could be one of the best signings of the summer if he can reduce the injury list



02 Jun 2014 21:03:31
There seems to be some confusion as the kind of midfielders we are likely to be after under van Gaal, people seem shocked at the idea that van Gaal wouldn't want players such as Kroos or Fabregas. But you need to consider his system and the way he wants to play.

van Gaal's midfield always consist of three players, they fit into three roles. The number 6 who is the brain the thinker, he dictates the tempo of the game and will be the deepest midfielder thus giving him more space to view and decide on the right pass at the right time.
A number 8 who is the energy and power, this is the player who drives up and down the field and makes themselves available for passes at all times.
Then we have the number 10 who is the creative outlet in the final third.

Now we have several players who can play the number 10 role, Mata, Rooney, Kagawa and Powell.

So we will be looking for a number 6 and 8. Kroos could play the number 6 role but he doesn't have the engine for the number 8, ultimately he is best suited to a number 10 role which we have many players for. The same could be said for Fabregas he is best as a number 10 and there for probably isn't quite right.

I think the Schweinstieger is the best player available for the number 6 role, but if he isn't available then Clasie is a very good younger cheaper option. Other options would be Verratti or Xhaka.

The best player for the number 8 role is Vidal and would be everyones first choice. van Gaal favours Strootman but seeing as he is unlikely to be available then other options could be Witsel, Schneiderlin or Song.

I could see us signing Clasie and Song but the confusion that most will fall under is expecting Song to play the defensive role, and it will be Clasie who would be the deepest midfielder with Song providing the vertical drive in the middle with one of Mata Kagawa or Rooney playing as the highest midfielder on the pitch.

He will also more than likely want two wingers as his system has a lot of emphasis on the wide players and with only Januzaj and possibly Lingard who he will consider good enough then more proven wingers may be needed to rotate.

Konoplyanka looks like a target hopefully we can get him and maybe Di Maria, although other options could be Sanchez, Depay, Firmino, Fischer or Griezmann.

van Gaal is persuaded more by the ability of a player to fit into his system and tactics than what their name is.


{Ed002's Note - Good job Shappy and worthy of the front page.}

1.) 02 Jun 2014 21:25:21
Strootman and Vidal would be perfect. Highly unlikely we'd get Vidal though, and Strootman is injured.

2.) JK, wouldn't it be Strootman or Vidal? That was kind of the whole point of the post :)

3.) This is a great post, explained alot. At first I am angry and confused as to why we didn't go all in for players like Kroos, Carvalho and now Cesc. Was tired of seeing how our midfield gets overrun by everyone!

4.) Great post Shappy!

5.) 02 Jun 2014 22:09:42
great post

6.) Quality post shapps. All made sense to me. Nothing more annoying than the "why aren't United in for so and so" type posts - hopefully this puts some of them into context.

7.) Very good analysis and I hope the club is thinking along similar lines. I'm a little concerned about the apparent lack movement forward with new players but hope things are going ahead behind the scenes and all will become clear shortly. If not we may struggle as our direct competitors are stregthening from a position of superiority.

8.) 02 Jun 2014 22:32:59
Brilliant post and really made me look at the players we are linked with n why we're turning away players we've been linked with for a while? Cesc n kroos are worldies but not what we need when we have them positions covered! I was getting a little disheartened before reading that post n looking at what we have rather than what's available? I'm sure lvg has a plan and I'm more confident to follow his plans than I was with Dave?

9.) Great post Shappy as always. Just one quarrel with it, I believe LVG will give Nani a chance to show what he can do in a new system. The system he employs uses inverted winger who like to cut in and shot or look for a killer pass.

10.) Great post shappy, always look forward to your posts as I feel I learn something new each time!

11.) Shappy, superb job. This post has kept me sane amonst some of the terrible posts I'm reading at the minute. I 100% Agree on Shweinsteiger, he is exactly what we need for that deep lying role. And at the likely price he'd come, he would be perfect, if that is an issue. Mind you, Fresh! has exclusively reported that we have £200m to spend, so cost isn't a factor :-)

I really hope the Ed's will consider a new page for posts such as this one, a filtered page, of non crap!

12.) A very similar story came out the day Lvg apparently pulled the plug on Kroos and really highlighted his footballing philosophy and his need for the right player no matter how young/old or infamous they were. He's not interested in big names just the right guy that fits his system perfectly.

If I can find the link I will paste it if the eds allow but really clears up and paints it as a clear as day what Shappy has touched the surface with. It also goes through his team formation what he expects in each role and then the so called people we get linked with and gives you a fair idea if that player fits that system.

Right away you can discredit a lot of player rumours as frankly they won't fit into his system.

Good post btw and hopefully will put people's minds at rest. Lvg knows who he needs so give him time.

13.) Brilliant post shappy it is like a breath of fresh air reading this.Recently a lot of posts seem to be written for the sake of it.
This gives us all a clear insight in to the way LVG thinks and operates and the reasons for him not wanting certain players like Kross etc.Again well done!

14.) Ok, long term reader, first time poster. I see what you are saying. But regardless of Van Gaal's 'system' we have been in need of a top quality center mid for years now. Kroos is 24 years old. He is one of the most technically gifted center mids in the world right now and we could have had him. FOR 20 MILL!! Stop thinking about the system so much. Van Gaal is not the type of manager to stick around for a long period of time (look at his record), so to be worrying about the system he is trying to implement is frankly stupid. Implementing a system takes years. Supposedly we have turned away one of the best center mids in the world and that is seriously worrying. Toni Kroos is what our midfield has been crying out for for some time now, and f**k the system we could have had him. It's just worrying to see a player as perfect as him be looked over just down to a 'system'.

Hate all you want. I have my opinion.

15.) Great post Shappy, always helpful for the slightly less knowledgeable on managers takes on systems to have this set out.
Sydney, whilst I expect we won't get Strootman and Vidal I think both would work together, .I am sure I read that Strootman asvthey 6 role in the Dutch team and is seen as a clever thinking player with good passing given the additional time. Would also mean we have a very strong centre with those 2.
On the 10 role, does van gaal expect any defensive support as this is Mata downfall and could see him sold, .I love him and he would be the best link for the midfield and attack. I think Nani may get a new lease of life under van gaal. just my thoughts.

16.) Good Post Shappy. I see what you're saying that Kroos is best as a 10 but he can still play as a 6 better that most people. He plays that role for Germany a lot and does it well. He has all the attributes of an excellent deeply lying playmaker and his ability to play as a 10 is only a bonus.

17.) Deaddobbin, I don't believe the rumours that LvG isn't interested in Kroos. I think it's just a case of us not being able to agree a fee with Bayern Munich.

But LvG does implement a system and he will do next season at MU. I wouldn't rule out Schweinsteiger. Hopefully MU can convince him to join. We will see.

18.) Deaddobin,

I think you totally missed the point of the post there! LvG will not just buy a 'name' he looks to fill a gap in his 'system'. That was the whole point.

you say he's not guna be around long term, perhaps not but he will be setting our long term plans over the next 2/3 seasons. If we don't trust his methods then he should never have been given the job. Thankfully most if us do trust him, most notably those within the club.

Oh and I don't believe he turned down Kroos anyway and I certainly don't believe we could have got him for £20m if at all.

19.) What a great post well done Shappy there's nothing in that to disagree with really, with all the cock up last year I think United have kept quiet this year and "ITK"'s have stepped in to fill the void.
Sadly we will have to wait and see after the World Cup to find out who we can really go for and get

20.) Shappy is just what we need ;)
Quality. As always.

21.) Cesc played as the deep lying midfielder for arsenal and was very successful so he would be more than capable of playing there and he has more than enough skill to control a game and if he is available we should go get him as with this apparent £200m+ in the bank money is not an option, he would be a great addition to this very poor current united team

22.) Im glad someone finally broke this down as it seemed a lot of people were not understanding what LVG is trying to do, its really common sense to be fair.
looking at the players we are 'apparently' linked with, where would you play them? How many number 10's do you need in a team? why try playing a number 10 on the wing?
you don't need names to win things, you just need the right balance of players and the correct system.
I also don't see Clasie or Song coming to United.

23.) What an incisive, well written piece. WELL DONE

24.) 03 Jun 2014 13:23:21
I would imagine carvalho would be ideal for the number 8 role if what I've read about him is true and going back to what Ed002 has said we are still interested.

25.) Excellent post - though I hope we don't end up with Song. Just not good enough.

26.) Kroos would of perfect for the 6 role its his best position imo.
Clasie is better further up the park its an important role the the 6 and i'm not sure he would work there in the epl.
I quite like song but he would need a very good player in there with him for the top level.
I also think fabergas could play the deep role, he played it for arsenal quite a lot.
I wouldn't say no to both fabergas and song, with both interchanging between the 6 and 8 role to be honest

27.) Firstly, great post and insight Shappy

Secondly, I tend to agree with deaddobbin in the way that Van Gaal isn't going to be around for more than about 3-4 years max so what are the chances that we are going to find a manager that has the same philosophy and is happy with the same players? If we start to change the whole philosophy of the football club then we will need another overhaul once Van Gaal leaves. This will not be good for us as I can't see us winning the prem in his time with us, so I do fear that it's going to be a long time till we win our next title unfortunately

28.) I agree with Jred. Cesc can play there, whether or not he wants to is another story. Song is meant to be available for just £8m. At that price I would say yes, but the reported £15m is far too much IMO. I have watched Clasie's best bits on YouTube and he seems to play very deep in all of the clips. But I do wonder if he could play there in the EPL. Cleverley has played a similar role at times and when the opposition stay close to him and close him down quick, the ball often goes back to De Gea too often. We will need someone who will burst forward if need be, not panic and pass it back to the keeper. I worry Clasie at MU may be a step too far for him and he may panic like Cleverley when harassed by high pressing forwards from the opposition team. I think MU and LvG would have Kroos, I believe Kroos would join, but I think MU will not pay what BM want for him. MU probably feel because he's on his last year of contract, that he isn't worth £30m+. Who cares if he's got one year left. He's worth the money so pay it.

{Ed005's Note - According to ED2 Barcelona provided Chelsea with a price for Fabregas during a discussion about a Chelsea player they have shown some interest in.}

29.) Bennett, that's why Giggs will takeover and keep the same philosophy. That is the plan. It's a three-year plan with Giggs taking over from LvG.

30.) 005, is that it? Are Chelsea expected to take up the opportunity to sign Cesc? Or is he like 3rd choice? Thanks

{Ed004's Note - Ed002 says that is all there is right now but there are a number of midfield players the club are interested in.}

31.) Syd, you can only hope that Gigg's will maintain the same philosophy but personally I see Gigg's as a more classical 4-4-2 kind of man with slight variations either way so I'm slightly sceptical at the moment However I'd be more than happy if Gigg's was to be moulded towards a 4-3-3 as it is a much more fluid formation in my eyes and seems to be the way forward

I think a better way to go forward is to find players who can adapt and play more than one role. I could see Rooney, Kroos, Gundogan playing in one of the aforementioned roles 6, 8 or 10

32.) Into more than one of the roles*

33.) 03 Jun 2014 23:05:25
Kroos is more of a deep lying playmaker or 'no. 6' as you call it than he is as a number 10. He is much in the mould of Scholesy however, he's much better at tackling. He fits the system, he's one of the best in the world at that role so there is no doubt we are after him, just can't get him for whatever reason that may be. Having said that he's a far more likely signing that Schweinsteiger IMO.

34.) Song is not good enough to play that role. Kroos would be perfect as the deep lying midfielder his passing is second to none and LVG would love him at the club it's Kroos who don't want to join us more like.

35.) Nice post, thanks for the insight into lvg's philosophy.

Based on the hardworking midfielder that makes himself available for passes, and lvg's lack of care for reputation, i'm interested to see how tom cleverly will do. His plus points do fit that role very well.

I think lvg will make things interesting at least. We might see star assets arising from the least likely places if they fit his system.

Thomas muller was a good example. No technical quality but truely brilliant in terms of the overall job he does, off the ball and threading passes. he's a big player now.




Shappy's banter posts with other poster's replies to Shappy's banter posts


22 Feb 2018 08:18:17
That was awful, hard to watch and just goes so against what I consider a United performance.

Chelsea got a hammering for negative tactics at home to Barcelona but at least Barcelona are a top side.

Yes Sevilla have a good home record, and yes they do sit 5th in La Liga, yet they have a negative goal difference because they struggle to score. So why did we need a backs to the wall park the bus performance against a team that struggles to score?

We made them look good, and despite Mourinho's defensive tactics if it wasn't for another fantastic performance from DDG we would have lost regardless.

A back four of Valencia, Smalling, Lindelof and Young isn't a great back four, so why bank on them playing well when we have great offensive players such as Sanchez, Martial, Lukaku, Mata and Pogba?

Looking at our squad our attack is clearly stronger than our defence, so why not play to our strengths? Rather than to our weaknesses?

Because when we play defensive we limit the impact of our best players while inviting pressure onto our weakest.

I think Mourinho is still a great coach, but one who is clearly on the decline now. Since Sir Alex has retired we have tried three managers who have been around the block a few times, guys who are supposed to know what their doing. Unfortunately I feel that all of them are still trying to implement tactics and styles that brought them success 10-15 years ago. The game has moved on and maybe it's left them behind.

I'm not going to band about names, but our next manager needs to be a younger more progressive manager. Someone who will embrace modern football rather than fight against it.

We probably will sneak through at Old Trafford, and there is a solid chance we will finish top 2 or 3. However, I am finding so hard to watch us at the moment, it's a chore rather than a pleasure. Like visiting an elderly relative who you don't quite know but feel duty bound to do so.

I watch us now because it's my duty as a fan, not because I love it. That's the sad truth.


1.) 22 Feb 2018 08:41:56
Don’t Shappy, you have no idea what your talking about when the likes of Scholes, Rio, and Lampard said it was a good performance.

Not my words, I 100% agree with you.

2.) 22 Feb 2018 08:45:28
Now I've started to feel bad for David De Gea. He deserves to play for a team that is actually in a position to challenge for trophies at this point in his career.

3.) 22 Feb 2018 09:10:53
19 clean sheets .
Our front 3 who are so great and amazing where awful last night.
That where the problem lies but for some reason people just want to point the finger at the same players .

No body wants to say it but I think it's our so called great players that aren't playing well as opposed to our dead wood .
But for some reason if Sanchez pogba matic etc have a bad game it's everyone else's fault .

4.) 22 Feb 2018 09:26:48
jred very little front 3 or even front 20 can do when the manager wants every one defending for 90 mins.

5.) 22 Feb 2018 09:36:13
Sanchez lukaku and Mata didn't have to defend for 90 minutes .
They just didn't play well .

Did Chelsea really get slated? I thought they had a great game against Barcelona. 1 mistake but a very professional performance.

6.) 22 Feb 2018 09:46:09
Should say we played 433 last night look flat (almost) every time we play it .

7.) 22 Feb 2018 10:11:33
Jred - i think youve hit the nail on the head
"No body wants to say it but I think it's our so called great players that aren't playing well as opposed to our dead wood. "

The team hasn't really moved that far on since moyes in terms of playing levels although results have improved. It seems that the idea of chucking big wages and fees doesn't pay off all of the time and we have been probably guilty of addressing the wrong areas of the team/ squad with some of our transfers. Defense : well, 2-3 rotational crocks and 2 transformed wingers, mid: system, out of form superstar and a couple unsure if they'll be at man utd come the summer, then, forwards: again, out of form players playing out of position and we can see the problems. Of course this doent happen all at once or we would be like sunderland but it doesn't help reach the dizzy heights of achievment with quality that we have become accustomed to over the last 2 decades. Galactico type signings are nice when it goes all right but when you haven't got the infastructure to accomodate the egos . well look at the outcome.

8.) 22 Feb 2018 10:14:22
Agree with you there shappy
Jred we look flat every time we play lately.

9.) 22 Feb 2018 10:28:55
jred, very few of our offensive players have managed to consistently play well under Jose Mourinho.

I get the impression that Jose is a great coach at coaching players how to defend and how to be positionally disciplined, yet I can't remember him ever being able to make an offensive player play better.

He tends to tighten up the back then buy offensive players who can win games on their own, he is very conservative and is always worried about the other team scoring more than he is concerned about how his team score.

We don’t seem to have any real offensive plan, other than pass to our forwards and let them deal with it.

I mean do we set up to attack down the wings?

Or do we look to attack through the middle?

Do we pressure teams or counter?

How do we look to create overloads when in possession?

We look to sit deep and tight, we move the ball around slowly and we only play balls over the top to attempt to hit teams on the counter. Which is a slightly flawed approach as our starting striker has many qualities yet his hold up and link up play is probably his weakest attributes.

Which again shows us to be playing to our weaknesses and not our strengths.

I look at our squad and I see a very good squad, not as good as City’s but better than Liverpool’s yet we are currently playing the worst football of the top four and for the first time this season I am worried about the form of those teams below us. I still think we’ll get top four this season, but I feel that is because of how poor Arsenal and Chelsea are playing more than how well we are playing. I can see both Liverpool and Spurs finishing above us and they would being doing so with in my opinion inferior squads, which would suggest that Jose Mourinho is holding this squad back.

10.) 22 Feb 2018 10:49:33
There is no doubt there is more to come from the squad.
But some of the tactical rubbish on here?

11.) 22 Feb 2018 10:53:35
It was just boring, dreary and flat AGAIN.
The best part of the match was when Rashford and Martial came on. They actually got the ball and ran forward and tried to take players on and make things happen.
The more I see of Paul Pogba and his whole body language the more I think he just can't be a**ed putting in a shift.
It wouldn't surprise me one bit if he left the club at the end of the season. (his decision not Jose's)

12.) 22 Feb 2018 10:59:41
Okay jred, so you accept that Mourinho is struggling to get the most out of this squad.

In your opinion what is that?

Are his tactics flawed?

Is he unable to get his ideas across to the players?

Or is he simply unable to inspire them to play at their full potential?

13.) 22 Feb 2018 11:22:52
It's probably a combination of all of them added with a major case of things aren't as bad as many want to make out .
Only city have been better than us this season despite people's opinions and I fully expect us to go through to the quarters of the CL.
After winning 2 not 3 ( don't start me of on that treble crap ) trophies last season .
People only seem to be happy if we win 4.0 and even then not everyone .
Look at my post above 2008 won the CL with Ronald and co . Scored 1 goal or less in 9 out of 13 games .
Not sure what people expected when we got Jose .
Sanchez has thrown the team out a bit no doubt about that but Jose must feel he is good enough to take a step back at the moment if it means taking 2 forward.
But with Sanchez, linders pogba rash and martial will need to change there role and the team as a whole will need to adapt .

14.) 22 Feb 2018 11:45:37
Do we should back a manager who in your opinion is getting his tactics wrong, is unable to get his ideas across to the players and is unable to motivate them?

What is Mourinho getting right?

15.) 22 Feb 2018 12:05:56
Again hyperbole .
2nd in the league would suggest Jose is doing far more right than wrong .

Getting his tactics wrong? Maybe fine tuning.

16.) 22 Feb 2018 12:28:41
We are second in the league due to a good start.

If you discount the first 10 games, then we would be 5th in the league.

If all the teams current form continues to the end of the season then we will finish 4th/ 5th.

We started well, then Pogba got injured and we said our form will return when he does, then it didn't, and we talking about Jose and Pogba falling out. Which to be honest I think there is something in that.

Either way our form has steadily declined since mid October, and Jose doesn't seem to be able to pick it up.

Worryingly this has happened several times with Jose where you see a drop off in form during his second season, with a total implosion in his third. If that happens then we can write off any title talk for next year and possibly the year after while a new manager builds his side. We'll then be 8 years without a league title. I hope Jose turns it around, but I'm not seeing any signs he will.

17.) 22 Feb 2018 12:57:01
Hyperbole again we are second in the league because after 27 games only city have been better.
Why should we discount the last 10 games? Why not 5, 15, 13?
If all teams continue the form they have shown through out the season we will finish 2nd.

18.) 22 Feb 2018 13:52:21
jred it isn't hyperbole, we are 2nd because chelsea and liverpool had a poor start to the season. We had 23 points from first 10 games, the next 17 have got us 33, our play especially since christmas has seen us go from easily 2nd to top 4 dog fight.

If all teams continue their form we might genuinely not even be in top 4, A loss against chelsea will see level on points with Chelsa who are 4th and given who liverpool and tottenham are facing we could be 1 point above 5th. Such a wonderful season it has been after spending 300mn.

19.) 22 Feb 2018 14:30:34
We are 2nd because after 27 games we have more points than any other team bar city .
Why is that so difficult to understand?



21 Feb 2018 08:46:33
This whole should Aguero have been punished thing seems to have split everyone straight down the middle.

I feel he should have been, but in trying to see things from the other perspective I have come up with a thought.

It seems most people defending Aguero have the same argument, he was defending himself and it is a justifiable reaction.

I think most people who have that opinion have so due to putting themselves in the same situation and asking what would they do? They then come to to conclusions that if they would do the same thing then it's justifiable and therefore shouldn't be punished.

However, I still find I disagree with this point of view. Just because you feel justified in an action it doesn't make that action the right one.

A real life example of this was many years ago someone ripped me off at work, there was an argument and this person left. A couple of weeks later I saw his car parked up in a car park and I vandalised it.

I felt justified in my actions, but I had in fact committed a crime. I would like to add this isn't something I would do now, I was young and stupid at the time.

What I'm getting at is that old saying "two wrongs don't make a right".

You might feel Aguero was justified in retaliating, but he brought himself down to that guys level, the correct thing to do was to walk away, take the sting out of the situation then report it to the police. No one has the right to take the law into their own hands no matter how justified you think you are or unfair you think the situation.

Aguero should have been punished.


1.) 21 Feb 2018 09:05:40
Shappy you where bang out of order it's not even in the same ball park pal .

2.) 21 Feb 2018 09:08:32
The difference being, mate, yours was a few weeks later, rather than in the heat of the moment. I still don't believe anyone wouldn't react angrily if someone allegedly spat in their face, and was generally acting aggressively in your space. I still can't see Aguero doing anything more than shrugging the job off him, then being stopped from going after him. I thought he was quite restrained considering the circumstances.

3.) 21 Feb 2018 09:24:35
Personally, I feel Aguero should be punished too. Not to the extent of an Evra or Cantona ban which I have heard it compared to but 3 Match ban. If that had been during the game with another player it is a straight red, 3 match ban. I am also concerned about the message it sends out that if not banned, will players then push the boundaries when confronted by fans? Wigan and City have been punished for their fans behaviour and rightly so and I don't agree that Aguero should have been subjected to that but people bang on about the magic of the cup when smaller clubs beat the elite, pitch invasions are inevitable. So we need a solution, players must get off ASAP, stewards must get to players ASAP, staff must get players off ASAP. It's sad that we are in this situation but it is was it is and any wrong doing during those events should be punished.

As for Guardiola, his behaviour cannot be ignored, I can only imagine what the uproar would have been if that was Jose or Sir Alex.

4.) 21 Feb 2018 09:42:38
Thought I had found the wrong page then, just about all of this first banter page is about Pep, Aguero or City. Can we change it back to Utd please? :-)

5.) 21 Feb 2018 09:53:49
Trying to chase after a fan to return a supposed punch is not self defense, it is attempted retaliation. No grey area here.

6.) 21 Feb 2018 10:00:05
I have watched that incident a couple of times. It's by no means conclusive. It looks like Aguero is assaulted in some way and reacts with more of a backward slap/ brush off than a punch. It's very inconclusive as to what actually occurred. The moron fan, who initiated the incident, looked like he was enjoying himself nonetheless. If anyone should be charged it should be him. I have absolutely no problem with Aguero escaping punishment.

The upshot is that the fans should not be on the field while the players are. The blame therefore rests primarily on Wigan and they should be fined for failure to control their crowd. It's not as though something like this was not 100% foreseeable once Wigan had gone into the lead. The ground staff should have been notified to prepare for, and to try to limit a pitch invasion should the result hold, and to more importantly to protect/ escort the opposition players off the field.

As for the incidents that led to the bad feeling, I have no doubt in my mind that it was exacerbated by a tackle on Aguero that didn't get a card. Having watched that incident, there is no doubt in my mind the Wigan player deliberately/ avoidably followed through with an intent to injure him. A red would not have been out of the way. That made Delph's justifiable red card a touch more bitter.

I'm delighted City lost, but if that had been United I would have felt aggrieved by what went on too.

7.) 21 Feb 2018 10:05:11
This is boring now. He should have been banned but he hasn’t. Let’s move on.

8.) 21 Feb 2018 10:11:41
I'm more than aware of that jred, my point is feeling justified about an action doesn't make it the right reaction.

Nou, I'm aware that there is a difference between doing something in the moment and doing something after you've had time to calm down.

9.) 21 Feb 2018 10:14:05
That sent too soon. My point is the law still considers a crime in the heat of the moment a crime none the less.

I'm not saying his reaction isn't understandable, just that he has taken a swing at a supporter which isn't acceptable and he should be punished for it.

10.) 21 Feb 2018 10:26:15
Was he spat at? No one seems to have any footage. Is the verbal abuse and spitting line - potential legal action being wheeled out by the city media machine.

11.) 21 Feb 2018 10:41:10
I think English Law is pretty clear about this. Under Common Law a person is entitled to use reasonable force in order to defend themselves. This can also include a pre emptive strike to prevent a crime from being committed namely an assault against themselves.

I don't know the full circumstances of the incident but with fans invading the pitch and approaching him in a aggressive manner I don't think it was unreasonable for Aguero to feel threatened, intimidated and believe that he was about to be assaulted. The bottom line is the fans shouldn't have been on the pitch, he was surrounded and Aguero can argue that he was justifiably acting in self defence.

I'm sure the FA have spoken to the referee, the player, reviewed the CCTV and even consulted with the Police.

Would this have been blown out of all proportion if it was another Club? Possibly? But let's get real if this was a Utd player we'd all be defending him to the hilt and I bet not one of us would be criticising him and saying they deserve a ban.

I agree with TOT let's move on now, we've got a massive game tonight. The important questions for me are will Pogba start? Will Bailly start? And what formation will Jose play!

12.) 21 Feb 2018 10:56:01
Good post pal.

13.) 21 Feb 2018 11:11:01
I tried to explain the legal aspect yesterday, Danny, and it seemed to fall on deaf ears. You're spot on, mate.

14.) 21 Feb 2018 13:21:12
No one should retaliate about anything, but the match had just finished and the moron fan spat on Aguero. So I can see why Aguero reacted.
However, a fan at Crystal Palace ran 20 rows to hurl insults and abuse at Cantona and he performed the famous KF kick on him and ended up with 5 month ban and 3 months extra dished out by United. So I would have like the angel-like City Football club to have come out and said while Aguero was defending himself, it is not the reaction we expect from our player. But they have said nothing.
Also, I would have like City to apologize to the Police and security and Wigan staff for their fans behavior at the end and hurling all the boards and other items at them. Again, City have said nothing. Small club, small mentality as I said previously.

15.) 21 Feb 2018 13:48:03
Good post Danny. That is the legal definition hence why no action taken.

Shappy, that OP is a mad post, I don't see the correlation between what aguero did and what you did. Chalk and cheese. Grasping at straws trying to prove a point.

16.) 21 Feb 2018 14:53:31
if only we had VAR!

17.) 21 Feb 2018 15:06:54
one of the worst analogies i've seen, Shappy.



20 Feb 2018 08:32:51
Is it just me or is there always some kind of controversy whenever a Pep teams loses? He or his players react badly, toys are thrown from the pram.

For someone who is supposedly a football purist, he certainly doesn't act with good grace or within the spirit of the game when his team loses.

Apparently his chat with the FA and the Referees was not about seeking some kind of advantage for his team but about protecting all football players.

Well that includes those that play for Wigan and instead of getting aggressive and in the face of officials and the opposition manager he should accept that the attempted tackle from his player was reckless, dangerous and could have seriously injured a player if contact had been made.

It seems Pep is a lovely well mannered football enthusiast when his team are winning, yet we see a very different side to him the moment his team loses, the vail slips and we see maybe the real him for just a moment. Maybe there are other reasons he doesn't stick around for more than 3 years at clubs.

The Aguero incident at the end was different from the Evra and Cantona incidents in that with the Frenchmen they went to the fans and attacked them across the barrier, where as last night the fans had crossed the barrier and confronted the player. Still the player has the responsibility to act in a certain manner and resorted to a violent action in the face of a verbal confrontation, thus escalating the incident. As such he should face a ban, but in the circumstances it shouldn't be as long as those of Cantona and Evra. 3-5 games should be around the right mark. Either way neither Aguero or Delph should be playing in the league cup final, which certainly makes that game far more interesting.


1.) 20 Feb 2018 09:02:05
Liverpool fan in peace, just wanted to see what you boys where saying about that game last night, he is a hypocrite. he can`t whinge about protecting his players or all players and then moan when delph does the same style of tackle it wasn't a red but it was an extremely dangerous tackle that could of seriously hurt the Wigan player the one thing I hate is last night the media where defending everything Man city or Pep, oh he is allowed to react like that oh Aguero is in his right to basically punch a fan, oh the City fans are allowed to rip up Wigans stadium because theirs not enough stewards or police absolutely ridiculous.

2.) 20 Feb 2018 09:31:07
100% agree with you kloppers.

3.) 20 Feb 2018 09:57:40
The media love in will have to end at some point, I remember when Mourinho first came to England. During his first stint at Chelsea he was the media darling. It soon wears off.

If City don’t win the league cup or the UCL then how will the media portray they greatest ever side to play football only winning the league title. Effectively the same achievement at Leicester City a couple of seasons ago.

As for the reaction of the Man City fans, I feel they were showing a small club mentality in having a temper tantrum at the final whistle. Yes the Wigan fans goaded them, but any supporter of any traditional big club will tell you that goes with the territory of being a big club. As a United fan that is what we have been met with every time we lose a game to a supposed “smaller” club. Every time for the last 30 years at least. The same for Liverpool fans, and Arsenal fans, and Chelsea fans over the last decade.

It is something they are going to have to get used to as a new member of the “big” club brigade.

I still think it was a red card, it was dangerous and had he caught a planted leg then the Wigan player would have suffered a serious injury. It was reckless, it was out of control, it was high and it was studs up. Therefore it was dangerous and a red card is the right decision.

Pep wanted to get these kind of challenges out of the game for the protection of the players, so he has to accept his players red card with good grace.

Unfortunately it doesn’t sound like the media love in will end anytime soon though, in the car this morning I subjected myself to talk sport, and on there they were defending Aguero saying he has a right to assault a fan if they invade the pitch, and he surely can’t be banned for that.

They said how the FA have to investigate Wigan for allowing their fans onto the pitch, and how a lack of stewards lead to violence and advertising hoarding being ripped up and thrown at police. They way they said it insinuated that it was Wigan fans causing trouble in the stands and not Man City’s. Nothing mentioned about how the FA will have to investigate Man City for failing to control their fans, nothing about Pep being overly aggressive on the side line and in the tunnel.

So it looks like somehow the media will continue to turn a blind eye to Pep, his players and Man City fans wrongdoing in order to continue singing his praises.

4.) 20 Feb 2018 10:01:36
Spot on Shappy. The way Pep behaves when things don't go his way is just ridiculous.

The media absolutely love him and so do the pundits, and for them, he and his team can never do any wrong. Yesterday's tackle was a bad one. Delph was rightly sent off, whether the ref changed his mind because of players or because of assistance is irrelevant. I can bet a million pounds that the way Wigan's players surrounded the ref after the tackle, city's players would have done the same.

City for the crying and the whining are equally bad when it comes to bad tackles. Fernandinho is no bloody saint, he is guilty of a few bad tackles, whenever City lose the ball.

As far as the pitch invasion goes, then yes, that should not happen, but it's criminal for a player of Aguero's stature to hit a fan.

5.) 20 Feb 2018 12:52:16
He's a fraud and a hypocrite. Is he a football purist? Surely getting your players to make snidy fouls the second they lose possession isn't purism.

6.) 20 Feb 2018 13:37:56
Agree with all the above posts about City and Guardiola. He's a top coach but he comes across like an over indulged, spoilt child, even a little bit deranged. He was the same at Barcelona. Moaned about the way his players were treated, the referees and opposing teams if they didn't play the way he wanted. He had Busquets in his team and as gifted as that Barcelona team was, they play acted and harangued the referees more than any team I can think of.
His behaviour last night was appalling, he should be embarrassed. Good on Wigan for putting his nose out. I hope it's a United v Wigan final now.

7.) 20 Feb 2018 13:40:53
Forget about City! Nobody's interested and that's why they don't get the same media scrutiny as the big Clubs.

Despite playing some of the best football the Premier League has ever seen they still consistently fail to fill their small stadium and most of their fans don't really know how to handle their new success. In some regards it's taken away everything they loved about City which was to hate Utd.

If you speak to most of them they still long to be back in Division 3 so they can gloat about their huge following, loyal support, tall flood lights and their mint kits! They wore their mediocrity on their sleeve like a badge of honour. If Carlsberg did football fans hey.

In the future they may continue to grow their commercial business with their god like manger reinventing football. He might stimulate a new generation of fans and they may fully establish themselves as one of Europe's elite but it won't be the same City we all used to love to hate.

That Club died when they sold their soul to the Arab gold and became a caricature of everything they once despised.

8.) 20 Feb 2018 13:57:05
The press are building Pep up as they do with most and then the fall makes bigger headlines for them.

That tackle was a straight red every day and if it had been against a city player Pep would have wanted further meetings with the FA

The question for me is that given all the furura from Pep about tackles against City did it affect the referees initial feeling about the tackle? . Was there even an inkling in the refs head that it’s City players that need protection not the other way round? Hence why he drew the yellow out of his pocket before the red?

The scenes at half time were a disgrace and if Jose did that you can’t see anything other than a long ban, the FA, we are watching with interest to see what you do.

9.) 20 Feb 2018 14:00:57
I did like their kits, tho.

10.) 20 Feb 2018 22:40:21
I honestly think that some press are directly paid by City’s owners to do PR for them.

11.) 20 Feb 2018 22:48:13
Pep is just a phoney 😆😆.



16 Feb 2018 18:58:44
There has been a lot of talk over the past couple of weeks about Paul Pogba, Pogba has played some great games for us and he has played some poor ones. Two of which have come in the last few games.

I think Pogba is unfairly assessed by most people, some can't look past his fee, some can't see past the hype and expect miracles, others haven't gotten over him leaving the club before, while the rest just hate United and want to have a pop at us and our players at every half opportunity.

I don't think this talk about his position is right, I think it's just the obvious over simplification that happens all the time in the media.

He isn't tied to one position, tied with a leash pegged into the pitch to stop him moving out of position, at least not physically.

The very nature of a midfielder means they will move around, to try and say Pogba isn't playing well because he isn't playing on the inside left area of the centre of the pitch doesn't actually make any sense.

People will point to the fact that is where he started most often for Juventus and where he played his best games for Juventus. But ask yourself this, when he was scoring goals, creating assists making great runs or carving open teams how often did he do that while standing to the left hand side of the centre circle? Not often is the answer.

The truth is he isn't being held up by the formation but by the tactics. He has played excellent games for us in a 433, a 4231, a 3421 or 343.

To understand the problem you need to understand the player, Pogba is at his best with the ball at his feet taking the game to the opposition in advanced areas. This allows him to create chances with his dribbling, vision and passing or to finish off chances with his finishing which is excellent both close or long range. In order for him to make the most of his skills he needs a far more free role, he needs to be allowed to move about and find spaces, to work out where he can hurt the opposition.

He may be big and strong but he just isn't blessed with the defensive understanding to be effective as a holding midfielder, he needs to be given freedom. This is something that goes against Mourinho's pragmatic view point. He rarely allows any player to have that sort of freedom of defensive duties, let alone someone playing in the heart of the team.

He will struggle to consistently perform to his best while he is being made to play in such a rigid system and while he is expected to attack with one eye on defending. We will see flashes, but if you want to see the best of him you need to let him of the leash.


1.) 16 Feb 2018 19:04:19
Good pozt shappy. He is playing with an anchor round his waist.

2.) 16 Feb 2018 19:14:54
Some can't see past the potential talent the lad has .
He could be 1 off the top 5 in the world at the moment he is not 1 if the top 5 in Manchester.
Done ok this season but nothing more.
3 goal all season is also a shocking return for a player like pogba.

3.) 16 Feb 2018 19:43:14
That's a bit harsh on matic.

4.) 16 Feb 2018 19:50:32
Holding midfielder? What about like Jose says a rampaging box to box?

Maybe he just isn't good enough?



12 Feb 2018 19:08:15
All season people have said we are unbalanced as a team going forward, with Martial and Rashford on the left we have a threat, but nothing on the right.

If we can balance out our front line and have threats from both sides then we would be a more complete and compelling offensive unit. Or at least that was how the logic goes.

So we sign Sanchez a player who admittedly has in recent years played excellently on the left, but has a history of playing equally at a world class level on the right.

Then we play him on the left and remain as unbalanced as before. Where is the logic in that?

People saying Martial will have to adapt on the right, if it was that simple then don't you think Mourinho might have tried that at some point between August and the end of January? Or even at some point last season. The guy has been been here for 18 months and never played Martial on the right once.

Martials trademark is darting in from the left and finishing across the goalkeeper into the far corner. Very similar to Henry back in the day.
Playing him on the right and he can't do that unless he uses his weaker left foot. So now he has to try and beat the keeper at his near post or shoot across goal with his right foot meaning the ball is naturally moving away from goal.

The only reason Mourinho is playing him there is because he wants to play Sanchez on the left and Martials form is too good to drop him.

Of course there is a way to play everyone in their favoured position. If we play 442 diamond then Sanchez plays off the strikers in his favoured role, Lukaku has a strike partnership and Martial is playing more as a striker and is still able to find space in the inside left channel to cut in from.
As a brucey bonus that would require a midfield three which might be to Pogba's benefit.


1.) 12 Feb 2018 19:24:13
No not really, since Jose has been at the club we have played with 1 player player with dribbling and pace almost an inside forward normally the left sided player.
This has normally been Rash or Martial.

On the other side we have played with a player who comes inside plays the 10 role and also links up in midfield. Mata, Linders, Miki. That is now Sanchez role.

Martial should of and on any other day would of had at least 2 goals on Sunday.
The only big difference on Sunday was he never put the ball in the net.

2.) 12 Feb 2018 20:08:05
I agree Shappy, Jose needs to come up with a more creative solution to get the best out of the players he has in our squad.

I like the idea of a 4-4-2 diamond or 4-3-1-2. Maybe it lacks a little bit of width but Martial is great at pulling into that left channel as you've said and to be honest we don't play with much width anyway.

Martial would play higher up the pitch and be relieved of his defensive duties. He wouldn't have to track runners into full back areas where he's never looked comfortable.

Pogba could operate in a 3 man midfield and he could even provide some width at times like he did in his stand out performance at Everton playing from the left.

Sanchez could be given a free role to buzz around the pitch, linking up with Martial and Lukaku.

I think we could have been playing this system even before Sanchez arrived with either Lingard or Mata playing behind the strikers.

I'm a massive Jose fan but even I have to admit he's starting to run out of excuses. It's time to deliver.

If he can't build a successful and exciting team from the likes of De Gea, Bailly, Valencia, Pogba, Matic, Sanchez, Martial, Rashford and Lukaku then there is something seriously wrong. That's without even mentioning the likes of Mata, Herrera, Lingard, Jones, Shaw, Rojo and Lindelof. Make no mistake this is a very talented Utd squad.

Jose's signings in general have been excellent he just needs to find a way of making them all gel now.

3.) 12 Feb 2018 21:25:10
Boys if the players played with a bit of heart, a bit of passion, a bit of aggression, we would do a lot better, to handy they have it to collect a big wage and be pampered
There should be clauses in all their contracts, half the wage if injured, deduct the wage if dropped,
If they lose give a quarter of the wage to charity.
If you play at the big clubs with the big money hurt them where it hurts their pocket,
Run them in to the ground Monday morning
Too much political correctness everywhere now.

4.) 12 Feb 2018 21:53:12
12 is that you, there is a guy with a similar avatar, a similar name and he says completely the opposite. Lol
I can't believe the sense i'm reading.

5.) 12 Feb 2018 22:14:32
Lol Steve. I'm fed up with the way the modern day player is going.

6.) 12 Feb 2018 22:53:57
Leahy, it's not the 80's anymore mate. Footballers aren't working class hero's anymore, and they for the most part live in a bubble with their head up their arse.

However, that is the same for every club not just ours. I used to know Ricky Lambert and when he moved from Bristol Rovers to Southampton they tripled his wages. Both teams were in league 2 at the time, or what used to the old conference back in the day. His wages went from 7k a week to 21k PER WEEK in the forth tier of English football.

Admittedly he was the highest paid player in that league, but to think a player in the forth tier of English football was earning more in one week than the average person earns in a year just goes to show you how far off the scale football has gone.

On the day I found that out I knew the good old game was dead and with it the good old way of playing.

It's no good saying we should dock wages for bad performances or for not making the starting 11. But the truth is you just can't do that. Legally.

How well someone has played or why a manager picks a player is subjective, you can have someone's income open to such levels of change based on subjectivity. Imagine if your boss pulled you to one side and said he wasn't paying you your full wage this week because he thought you hadn't worked as hard as one of your colleagues this week in his opinion.

Plus let's say it wasn't illegal and the club did just that, how long do you think top players will want to play for us when they could just go to another team and not worry whether they'll get their full wages this week.

And ultimately I don't think it makes a huge difference, players work hard if their manager inspires them to do so, players and teams look good if the manager get his tactics right, if he plays players in their best positions, if the manager successfully gets his ideas across to his team in a way they understand and appreciate.

Look at the FA cup or the league cup, lower league teams will always try harder than their EPL counterparts. They will run harder, put more effort in and fight harder. Yet 9 times out of 10 the EPL side come out on top.

Why? Better players, better managers, better training facilities, better sports science departments, better preprations ect ect ect.

Nothing to do with working harder.

7.) 12 Feb 2018 23:45:01
Everything to do with working harder.

8.) 13 Feb 2018 04:37:08
Shappy - not saying I agree with Leahy12 but surely the point is working hard to the maximum of your ability. That's why the lower teams mostly lose, yes they work hard but they have a limit to their ability which is why they play at that level.
Jamie Vardy is a great example of working hard to the maximum of your ability, without his work rate he wouldn't be anywhere near an England international.

9.) 13 Feb 2018 08:48:52
Leahy, that's just not true.
I'm not a heart surgeon, but if I work really hard on your open heart surgery I'm sure I'll still end up killing you as I don't know what I'm doing or have the required skills.

Hard work is important, but without skill or know how it won't get you very far.

One of the biggest lies we tell our children and was probably told to us is you need to work hard to achieve your goals.

Hard work will probably improve your chances, but the fact is some dreams are impossible no matter how hard you work.

I bet every one on this site at some point wanted to be a footballer, yet how many are? Is that down to a lack of hard work? Or a lack of talent? Or just never being in the right place at the right time?

Are you saying if I work hard enough I will be able to out sprint Usain Bolt?

The hardest working people in society are the working class, yet they have the least.

So hard work isn't everything, privilege plays a part.

Natural ability plays a part.

Opportunity plays a part.

Has no one told Daley Blind he can be as good as Messi if he just works harder?

Valencia is probably our hardest working player we have, yet the guy gets abuse on this site all the time, we hear he isn't good enough, he can't cross, his defending is poor, he isn't a defender.

So is it all about hard work then?

10.) 13 Feb 2018 10:45:14
Ronaldo worked very hard at his game, stayed back after training practising his ball striking. Roy Keane worked hard only ever passed the ball ten yards but drive the team on.
How would us an bolt do in a marathon.
A bit of hard work and passion gives a team that extra bit to win. The will to win.

11.) 13 Feb 2018 11:24:42
First time this season I worry about top 4 on form we are worse than spurs and Liverpool use game against Chelsea next.




Shappy's rumour replies


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21 Feb 2018 08:28:30
I think we need to consider which of the youngsters could possibly step up.

I have high hopes for Tuanzebe so we could in theory not sign a CB and give him a chance. He has never let us down, he has everything to become a top player.

TFM in my opinion should be a midfielder, he could add energy, work rate, strength and defensive solidity to our midfield next season in games where we could do with more defensive cover in midfield. He could also be the long term replacement for Matic and could allow us to rotate more. So again in theory we could save ourselves signing two midfielders by using TFM there.

Or alternatively he could come in and be back up for Valencia and we might not have to sign a RB.

Dimitri Mitchell has had a storming few games in Scotland and looks more than ready for a bigger challenge than Scottish football can offer him. Is he ready to come back and be an understudy to Luke Shaw? Or will Jose want an older more established player to rotate with Shaw?

Andreas Pereira has on occasion looked very good in his two loan spells in Spain, he must be ready for a real shot at stepping up and fighting for a place at our club, I feel it has to be now or never for him.

So we have a youngsters who can cover all the positions Jose would ideally like, and I expect he will have to use one or two of them next season as I don't see the club signing 5 players in the summer. I think we might see three. It it was me I would go with a couple of full backs and a playmaker for midfield.




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19 Feb 2018 08:27:44
I haven't heard of any, but he would be a very astute signing. Young with potential, used to the EPL.

Not the kind of player you want or need in every game, but a great option against certain teams and in certain situations. Probably wouldn't cost the earth either.




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18 Feb 2018 17:22:58
Ed001, if DDG was to leave who in your opinion would be the best option to replace him?


{Ed001's Note - Alisson, he is the one keeper who has the potential to be better than DDG.}



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02 Feb 2018 09:48:19
I agree we have a big squad, and that we need a bit of a clear out at the end of the season. But I think on the whole we have a very good squad, we only need a few more players to make it a great squad.

I think we need a bit of a clear out not so much to make space for new signings but to make space for our talented youngsters currently knocking on the door. We have TFM, Tuanzebe, McTominay and Andreas Pereira with Chong and Gomes who will soon be knocking on the door as well.

We have many solid squad type players who are stopping these lads getting the game time they need.

Carrick has sadly reached the end of the road, Fellaini, Blind, Darmian, Smalling, Rojo. None of these would be seriously missed if they left. A case could even be made for Mata and Herrera who have only seen good performances sporadically this season.

Obviously not all the youngsters will make it, and they aren't ready to be relied upon all the time, but one of the things that makes out Sir Alex as a great was his ability to move players on and create space in the squad for young players coming through. That is why I feel we need a bit of a clear out this summer.




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02 Feb 2018 09:39:34
I wouldn't say that, it depends very much on the tactics of the match and the strengths and weaknesses of the teams involved.

Traditionally Mourinho favours a 4231, he likes to play quick counter attacking football. To achieve this he likes to have a big striker up front who can hold the ball up with a No.10 playing just off him to clean up.

It has been very successful for him. However, the current tactic of pressing high means you need defenders and midfielders who are comfortable in possession and with being harried. Also playing a two man double pivot system makes it even more important that your midfielders are strong defensively and comfortable in possession.

While the high press is a go to tactic a 433 or a 343 is a better formation as it gives you an extra player deeper as an outlet to avoid the press. Against teams such as City, Liverpool and Spurs this should be the best way of countering them.





Shappy's banter replies


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24 Feb 2018 19:48:28
Pogba is having a bad patch, but imo he isn't being played in a manner which suits him best. I agree that he clearly needs to work harder as well.
Compromise is the middle ground, and a top class manager needs to know when he needs to find that middle ground.

Cookyman, I'm surprised your not a fan of Martial, for me he is one of the few players who looks like he could make something happen, even when being played out of position on the left wing. Sure he is a little inconsistent but that is the same for nearly all creative forwards, its the nature of their position. Especially when that player has only recently turned 22.




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24 Feb 2018 19:43:06
We'll see if that stat stays intact after Chelsea, Sevilla and Liverpool come knocking over the next few weeks. If so then maybe we'll see a bit more positivity on here, if we lose all three then expect WW3.




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23 Feb 2018 19:51:32
Tuanzebe is the reason I'm not fussed if we don't sign a CB this summer.

I think this lad can become world class, him and Bailly could form an awesome partnership imo.




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23 Feb 2018 13:50:13
Simon, Pogba has been poor for the past month.
That doesn't mean he isn't our best/ most influential player.

The question should be why is he in poor form? Is it just a natural dip? Is he struggling with injury? Has he been distracted by off field issues? Or has our manager mismanaged him?

Lingard was in the form of his life until Jose started digging out his best mate. Coincidence or knock on effect?

If Jose is picking fights with one of the most popular players in the team does he truly believe that the players won't talk to each other? Is he completely sure that the players will back him over Pogba?

If not then it's a big gamble to take, you risk alienating the majority of the squad and that only ends one way.

For me this is starting to feel like the beginning of the end for Jose.
More and more fans are turning against the kind of football he serves up.
More are getting annoyed with his dower demeanor, his sour press conferences and his strange out bursts.
He doesn't seem happy even after getting a contract extension, maybe living in the Lowery is getting to him.
He is picking fights with fans, with players, with ex players and pundits, with journalists and just about everyone.

We saw this happen in his final six months at Chelsea, both times before he was sacked.

Things look like they might be about to unravel, and Jose looks like the key contributor in his own demise again.




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23 Feb 2018 08:41:06
Red Man, for me I don't think it's the worst result. It was how we went about getting it that is so disappointing.

We only had 6 attempts at goal, we barely ventured out of our own half and when we did we looked like we might get a nose bleed and turned back asap.

If we were up against a powerhouse side I could understand it more. But we were up against a team that has conceded more goals than they have scored this season, a team that has conceded the most goals in the UCL this season.

The worst thing is we didn't even do the sit tight and defend well tactic very well. Chelsea did a similar thing against Barcelona, and they restricted Barcelona to a few chances.

Yet we did it against Sevilla and we restrict them to just the 29 shots on goal. Which is 16 more than they had on average before they played us.

They managed more than twice as many shots as they normally do against a team that was only trying to stop them scoring.

The only reason we aren't 2 or 3 nil down in this tie is a combination of poor finishing on their part and a few world class saves from DDG.

It was probably the worst performance I have seen from us in a long time, although the result wasn't all that bad. Personally I would have preferred a 3-3 draw as at least then we have 3 away goals.

Looking at this squad and the team we were up against it just wasn't a game plan we needed to use.

We now have a pivotal month, lose the Chelsea and they draw equal on points with us, lose to Sevilla and Liverpool and we would be out of the UCL, and probably 4th in the EPL with a manager who seems to be having an issue with our best player.

It's starting to feel very familiar to how Jose normally ends things with a team.