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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


11 Dec 2017 11:30:02
I like many of you am hurting today, getting beat never sits easily. However, it is especially painful when it comes against City and in the circumstances, although not conclusive it probably means we are out of the title race. I know it is only December, but I can't see this City side dropping 12 points more than ourselves between now and May.

I do think we need a bit of perspective though. I have never been one to wallow in self pity, it simply doesn't help.

A lot has been made about missing Pogba, and I can't argue with that. He is our most talented outfield player and I feel the team has been built around him to a certain extent which makes it harder for the team when he is missing.
However, I am surprised no one has considered we were without our first choice centre back pairing. Bailly and Jones were the foundations of our team early on this season. The only time this season we have dropped points with those two as our starting centre backs was the 2-2 draw with Stoke. Other than that single result we have won every game those two have started.

When we consider that for all of City's attacking might, for all their possession they won due to two defensive mistakes from us. Maybe if Bailly and Jones had been on the pitch those mistakes wouldn't have happened and we might be looking at a different result.

I've seen posts lamenting City having a plan, of a potential City dominance ect ect. We had a plan, it was ripped up and thrown out because our fans didn't have any patience. We can't complain we don't have a plan when it was our own actions which caused the plan to be thrown out. I think this would be the part where my mum would say I made my bed now I have to lay in it. Yes our actions can change things, but that doesn't always mean for the better.

That said, I think we are in a much better situation now then we would have been if we had stuck to that plan. In fact I don't think there is all that much wrong at the club. I think the biggest threat to our club is ourselves to be honest.

Cold hard facts, played 24, won 19, drawn 2 lost 3. I'll let that sink in.

Of the three we lost, one was to Basel in strange circumstances where we dominated but just couldn't get the ball across the line then they nicked one. It happens and it didn't stop us topping our UCL group easily in the end.

We lost to Huddersfield which was the one that stands out, sometimes that can happen against newly promoted sides. They worked their socks off last season to get promoted and play in these big games, it's kind of obvious they are going to work that bit harder in these games. We were complacent. It happens, and it has happened to nearly every team that has lifted the title. If City go on to win the title this year they will lose a game somewhere where no one would expect them to lose. That is the main reason why the EPL is so loved around the world, and why our clubs earn so much money.

The other defeat came at the hands of City. Now this is hard to accept, but we might just be seeing something special happen across the city. Now I don't think they will have an unbeaten season, but Pep has them playing the best football in the league, man for man they have the strongest squad in the league, and they have the financial power to compete with any club in the world on both transfer fees and wages.

However, they won't be forever. As we have found out recently these things come in cycles. Liverpool were the top dogs for two decades, then we were for the next two. Maybe City will be there or thereabouts for the next two decades. Pep though will not, much has been made of Mourinho not lasting longer than 3 years at a club, but Pep is no better. His methods are intense and over a period of 3-4 years his players get burned out by it. His final season a both Barcelona and Bayern weren't as good as his previous ones. Maybe he will stay a little longer at City, but we will just have to rise to the challenge.

We finished 6th the year before Mourinho took over having won an FA cup for the first time in a decade. In Mourinho's first year he started to rebuild, we only finished 5th but we won the League cup and the Europa league. That's three trophies in two years. That is progress, and looking at our form this year 19 wins and 2 draws out of 24 games suggests we are going to finish higher than 5th this year. We may yet still win the trophy, we are still in three cup competitions after all.

None of us look at our current side and consider it the finished article, yet when we look at City's there isn't much more you could do to make it stronger. Nearly everyone on the site accepts we need new full backs, that we are missing a creative wide player and we don't' have enough strength in depth in midfield. So it shouldn't be all that surprising that we got beaten by a side who currently are much stronger than us.

Let's learn from this defeat, let's get behind the team.


1.) 11 Dec 2017 11:41:06
And the Chelsea game makes it 4.

2.) 11 Dec 2017 11:42:27
Great post shappy.

3.) 11 Dec 2017 11:47:01
City had a back 4 of walker a past it kompany a pretty average otamendi and not exactly a star in delph.

A front 3 of sterling how much stick has that lad got on this site, a 21 year old sane and a 20 year old Jesus.
Hats of tho they have them 3 playing to there potential .
2 young lads from a different culture playing out there skin.

And that is a big thing imo how many of the city players are playing to or above there potential .
United are doing well this season but there are a few underperforming.

Not sure city would look quite the same with an injury to Silva or kdb. Hopefully we find out soon ( not a bad one tho )

4.) 11 Dec 2017 11:57:55
Oh yeah we lost to the defending champions in their backyard.

The point I'm trying to make is that the world hasn't ended, City will not be awarded the next 20 league titles because they beat us in one game.

Currently they have a better team and are playing better football. We need to rise to the challenge.

5.) 11 Dec 2017 12:09:57
Jred, there starting back four yesterday wasn’t their strongest, both Stones and Mendy would be first choice if fit.

Kompany although like you say is past his best, was once regarded as the best centre back in the league. He might not have the pace or fitness he once had, but I doubt he has forgotten how to defend.

Otamendi is a solid if unspectacular defender. I feel there is a shortage of world class defenders atm, with all of the best ones yet to reach their potential. In a world where Ramos is considered one of the best CB’s in the world Otamendi isn’t a poor one.

I expect City to sign a centre back and a holding midfielder in the summer to replace Otamendi/ Kompany and Fernandinho as first choice. But that is the only areas they really could strengthen.

Were as we to compete with the best teams in the world need a couple of full backs, a consistent creative wide player and some top level competition/ cover in midfield.

There is a gap in quality between our squad and City’s. So we need to up our game if we are to compete with them. However we can hardly say our team is a wreck. We are comfortable second to a team that has had to put in a record breaking start to the season to be head of us. So it's far from doom and gloom.

6.) 11 Dec 2017 12:10:05
Great post Shappy 👌
I am sure nobody likes to lose but City played well and if we got it wrong then we got it wrong. That said, we are not doing too bad and we can only get better.

7.) 11 Dec 2017 12:19:15
Agree with all of that Shappy. City are a bit good at the moment and contrary to popular belief yesterday they did not put us to the sword - they scored a couple of scrappy goals. DDG was pretty untroubled, his two saves were relatively standard compared to last week's Herculean efforts.

8.) 11 Dec 2017 12:26:31
Mendy has done nothing in the epl and was taken apart by the scouse so the jury is still out .
I'm a fan of stones but just like sterling he has taken a huge amount of stick on the site .

But they don't need to strengthen the likes of stones or sterling players who only a few month ago where considered overrated and not that good by many on the site because they are playing well .

Fernadinho has been outstanding under pep is he a more gifted player than matic or Herrera? Not sure but he is playing better .

Would we need a wide player if we could get the best out of rash and martial like city are out of sterling and sane .

In fact would we lack creativity if we got the best out of pogba Mata or Miki.

Can't help but think the biggest difference to the 2 squads is 1 is really playing to it's potential.

9.) 11 Dec 2017 17:49:20
Great place post shappy, as always.

Very good point about Baily n Jones, nearly all of us had forgotten about em!



03 Nov 2017 17:14:31
Me and a mate were having a discussion the other day about Jose's flirtation with PSG.

Other than PSG which I think would be a good fit for Jose (a team that is so superior in their league that you can win at a canter and focus on the UCL), but beyond that where is he to go in club football?

He has probably well and truly burned his bridges at Chelsea, City probably wouldn't hire him, nor would Arsenal. Would he go to Liverpool? They probably wouldn't take him now he has managed us, and after his run ins with Rafa I don't think the Liverpool faithful would have been too pleased with him before he managed us. Real won't have him back and Barcelona certainly wouldn't hire him, so that rules out Spain and top clubs in England. Would he go back to Italy? from what I heard he didn't enjoy his time much in Italy and he has burned his bridges at Inter. I don't see Bayern looking at Jose, he just doesn't fit the kind of managers they go for. Besides I think its obvious they have their eye on Julian Nagelsmann as a long term option. How soon they choose to go for him could be the question. Which only leaves PSG as an option for a top club in one of Europe's top five leagues. I don't see him going back to manage in Portugal. So for Jose it might be PSG or bust when he eventually parts ways with ourselves.

Or is it, with the looming international break a thought crossed my mind, would Jose make a good international manager? His pragmatic style and his history with cup competitions is excellent, I think he has won at least one cup in every year of his managerial career. If not then it certainly feels like he has, when at Chelsea he would win the league cup or FA cup nearly every year. He has won 12 cups, to his 9 league titles. That isn't including his 5 community shield or equivalents he has won as well. If you include those as knock out cup competitions then he has won 17 cups. Personally I don't count them, but either way his style certainly seems to pay off in knock out cup competitions. So from that point of view international football should suit him well. Where he might struggle is with him being a control freak how would he feel about not managing his players on a day to day basis.

It might be something he will have to get used to if he wants to extend his career too much further.


1.) 03 Nov 2017 19:18:01
Have had this discussion before and i had him. down at some point as portugal manager.

But i tbought italy before that.

2.) 03 Nov 2017 19:33:31
I think it will be PSG although I wouldn’t be surprised if they went for Potch, also I can see Bayern being ideal for Mourinho before pep their team was huge and althletic.

3.) 03 Nov 2017 19:57:39
England is and option but Perez has said he would like him back at Madrid.

4.) 03 Nov 2017 20:13:33
He bigs up his time at inter a lot as well left on good terms if I remember rightly, was It not moratti who let slip he was off to United.
England job would be prefect for him tho.

5.) 03 Nov 2017 20:30:47
Would you guys like him as rngland manager?

Some fans only want an english manager but we have limited choice if that's how we look at it.

Id like to see him as england manager.

6.) 03 Nov 2017 21:25:40
Rewz, I worry that Pochettino will end up at PSG. Although they really want that elusive UCL win. In that regard Jose is probably a better bet, he certainly has the track record.

Jred, I thought Inter looked into taking legal action when Jose left. I also think Jose likes to keep mentioning his achievements at Inter as it was probably his biggest achievement.

I would like to see Jose as England manager at some point. I think he would do well at it.

7.) 03 Nov 2017 22:54:52
They kissed and made up it was after Jose had dinner with moratti that it was let slip he was off to united .
Moratti has spoke in glowing terms of Jose and vice versa . Very Italian coach imo
Also England would be the typical underdog type team for Jose it's perfect for him.

8.) 04 Nov 2017 07:08:42
If Jose keeps winning, and if he perhaps lightens up a little then there will be no shortage of top clubs happy to take him when he wants to move on.

9.) 04 Nov 2017 09:28:53
I think the worry is who succeeds Jose. Not many contenders around. Everyone says Poch but I can't see it myself.

10.) 04 Nov 2017 11:03:26
I like the Monaco manager as well.



28 Oct 2017 10:25:17
There's a great thread further down the page discussing which manager between Mourinho and Pochettino is currently the better manager. It's an interesting point which I wanted to explore a little. So here's my two cents.

I think comparing Mourinho and Pochettino is a little like comparing Ronaldo and Mbappe, one has been there and won it all, the other is a the start of their journey. So going on that theme who would you rather United sign? Ronaldo who you know will bring a level of success but it won't last long, or do you go for the young hungry guy with it all to prove in Mbappe. He might not ever reach the heights of Ronaldo but he might get close. But he has longevity, and signing him would be a step towards the future rather than a step backwards into the past.

Jose has been a great manager, but even great manager have a sell by date. A point when their methods get worked out and football evolves beyond them. The only exception to this was Sir Alex who used to keep things fresh by regularly changing his backroom staff with younger hungerer guys who are part of the newer evolved football that was emerging. He would embrace their new ideas and allowed them a certain amount of freedom with training and tactics. Certainly towards his final years he was closer to being a director of football than a coach. But that isn't Jose who will never allow anyone else to have any control other than him. Jose will have a sell by date. Just like Wenger, Lippi, LvG and all those managers who were cutting edge in the late 90's but have since moved into the has beens category, still very good managers, but their methods have been studied adapted and football has progressed past them. The weaknesses of Wengers teams now is the same weakness they have always had, but now teams know how to exploit it better and it becomes harder for Wenger to make that way of playing a successful one.

So has Jose been found out? Sadly I think he has, he certainly hasn't show the humility needed to learn from his past mistakes as he keeps making the same mistakes over and over again. He also hasn't changed his style of football. He want's his teams to have the physical advantage, he plays with a tight defence and hits teams on the counter, he wants to keep the game as tight as possible unless this teams have a clear advantage. It is a pragmatic way. There is nothing wrong with that, it has after all brought him one of the largest trophy hauls of any manager in football. But his success invariably means people will study him, look into his method, analyse them and try and unpick them. Some will be successful in that and if they get results against him then others will look to copy those methods that have got the better of Jose. If Jose doesn't adapt he will go down the same route as Wenger and still be trying to succeed with the same brand of football 10 years or more after it got found out.

Pochettino for me represents the future of management, at least for the next 4-5 years maybe as many as 10. He is about to enter his managerial prime. He does in a lot of way remind me of SIr Alex, that doesn't mean he will be anywhere near as successful, or have the longevity. But he does have an affinity for playing good football, entertaining football. He does inspire players go give their absolute maximum and run through brick walls for him. And he does truly trust in youth and gives them a chance to flourish. I read a stat that the majority of players to be given their England debut over the last 3-4 years have been given a chance in club football by Pochettino. There is a question of does he have the winning mentality, but his Spurs team have twice finished 2nd in the most competitive league in the world with far less resources than those teams he is competing with. Spurs would have won the league for the last two seasons if they could afford the kind of strength in depth that we, City or Chelsea enjoy. Where as we have Lukaku, Ibrahimovic, Martial and Rashford vying for the strikers spot they have Kane, Llorente and Janssen (who has since left) . If Spurs could afford to have a second string of the quality of ours they would be going for their third title in a row this season. Jose may have won a great deal, but he has always had the luxury of managing at top clubs in the countries he has been in and had massive financial backing. For me Pochettino will probably win more titles over the next 5-10 years than Jose will.

I never wanted Jose for our manager, I argued that his style is sometimes not great on the eye, I argued that he has a poor record with youth players, and I said he doesn't learn from his mistakes so it will end badly. That being said he is our manager, and currently he hasn't done anything that warrants getting of him. He has lead us to two trophies in his first year and he has us competitive during his second. We should therefore back him until such a point that it is clear he needs removing.


1.) 28 Oct 2017 11:12:21
Very interesting post shappy. I have really enjoyed the debate in the thread down below and it has made me think a lot about both managers as well.

Personally, since the day Jose stepped foot into the premier league back in 2004 I have really wanted him to become our manager. He was a breathe of fresh air with his enthusiasm and he way he would own his press conferences. He was in my eyes the perfect man to take over from Sir Alex. I admired his first Chelsea team who were both physically powerful with the ability to play. Fast forward ten years and with Sir Alex retiring, there was only one man for me to take over. And that was Jose. Now we have endured a terrible 3 years with Moyes and LVG and when Jose was finally appointed I was thrilled. Perhaps naively I thought this was the club that he would really lay down his roots and build some sort of dynasty for the next 6-10 years. But he seems to be a shadow of his former self. For someone who has supposedly coveted and wanted the United job all his career, he surely is not acting like a man who has got his supposed ‘dream’ job. He will win us trophies and like I said I really am I massive fan of his. But there is an heir of right man wrong time - or too little too late about Jose. If he was here straight after Sir Alex it would have been the perfect appointment. We would have won a few leagues and challenged for the European cup.

Now onto Poch. For me he is the best manager in the league as I mentioned down below on the thread. He has built a rock solid defence whilst playing delightful attacking football at a tempo much like the united teams of old. He has done this on a fraction of the budget and his man management skills seem second to none. There is an air of a young Sir Alex with him and his players look like they would run through a brick wall for him. With united’s budget, I think he would do wonders whilst also playing the attacking brand of football that united should be playing. The only thing I think he lacks is that nasty/ ruthless streak that Fergie and Jose had. That is what won them trophies and has kept them hungry. Poch needs a trophy win very soon to show that he can win as opposed to being the bridesmaid again. I would love Poch after Jose and if it is possible then the club have to make it happen. It is the perfect stage for him to show he is one of the best managers in the world and his style of play would be a match made in heaven for us.

2.) 28 Oct 2017 11:16:12
Great write up Shappy. I woould like to agree with it but i just think that its a bit one sided. Like in the first para u compare Ronaldo and Mbappe. Now Mbappe may reach that level but there is also the possibility that he may be Ravel Morrison, Januzaj etc. Similarly for Poch, his style is similar to that of Klopp of fast speed neck break speed football. He has the right tools at his disposal right now. Would his team be the same with Matip in defence? I am yet to see that ruthlesness in him and his team to go over the line. Leicester and Chelsea both had it more than him to win it. He is a brilliant young manager no doubts but he really needs to win something to be even in the same bracket as all the great managers you listed. At one point in time moyes was rated similarly by several top managers including SAF but as soon as he was at a club where winning matters, he didn't have a clue. There are lots of such managers who are really good like Klopp, Koeman et al but you need to be the best to be at a top club.

Hopefully Poch wins something soon and then when we go looking for a Jose replacement, he is at the top of the applicants.

3.) 28 Oct 2017 11:49:17
Big one sided but a good post .
How about Ronaldo continues to be the best in the world mbappe never makes the top grade .

4.) 28 Oct 2017 11:49:53
Shan, you say how would Pochettino cope with having Matip in his defence? Well Lovern is the biggest liability in that Liverpool defence, and yet he was superb in Southampton’s defence under Pochettino. He has taken player’s who were considered talented like Rose and Walker and helped them realise their potential. He has done the same with Davies and Trippier. Eriksen and Alli have grown into players that Real Madrid and Barcelona are looking at. Then there is Harry Kane, a player who was seemingly destined for the exit door and was never considered a top prospect at White Hart Lane at the end of the 2013/ 14 season. In came Pochettino for the 2014/ 15 season who gave him a chance in pre season, he played well and Pochettino saw something in him and gave him a chance, by the end of that season people were asking was he a flash in the pan, but he has continued under his manager guidance in the 2015/ 16 season and in the 2016/ 17 season winning golden boots and play of the year awards along the way. He is now considered one of the best strikers in the world, how much of that is down the the faith Pochettino placed in him?

For me Pochettino is now at that level to be considered for a top job at one of the top clubs in world football. Whoever gets him will win titles under him. It is a question of who will plump for him first. The only thing holding him back is his clubs lack of ability/ foresight to invest heavily to build a squad capable of competing and winning on all fronts.

5.) 28 Oct 2017 12:09:39
Forget Poch for a moment, the question for me is whether Jose is yesterday's man and are his best days behind him. I fear they are.

6.) 28 Oct 2017 12:33:15
He has never had to balance the egos of a big squad. He was also lucky with Kane. He bought strikers who failed and he had nothing but a young Harry Kane in the squad left to try.

Big clubs are a massive transition for any promising manager. I'd rather have Jose for now.

7.) 28 Oct 2017 13:40:14
I don't see poch leaving any time soon.

8.) 28 Oct 2017 17:16:07
Morrison and januzaj didn't score 27 goals in a season including champions league he is more than potential mbappe is already a class act he gets into the French squad ahead of martial.

9.) 28 Oct 2017 18:09:35
I think jose is a great manager and needs one more window. People here seem to forget that city, who already had a pretty darn squad have bought 12 players to the tune almost 700 mill since guard iola joined.

We need better options than Darmian, lingard, A left back and more debt in cm as pogba, will never be able to play a whole season without getting injured and evident without him we have dropped off considerably.



16 Oct 2017 10:35:13
I always leave it at least a day or so before commenting on games to allow the emotion time to leave the system. Especially if I'm feeling disappointed by a result.

I was very confident before the game on Saturday, we have been playing well, while Liverpool were suspect defensively.

So a draw and what felt like a poor performance was disappointing in the aftermath.

So first thing first was is a poor performance? It's a funny thing that for most fans performance is linked to result and more importantly expected result. For example if you expect us to win and we don't then there is an automatic assumption that the performance was poor.

For me I think we have a tendency to judge a game by the standards and expectations we have rather than that of the manager, players and club.
If Jose told his players to sit deep, keep it tight, limit the space for Liverpool to attack, while trying to draw them out to create space in behind to launch quick counter attacks then how did the team perform?
I think that is exactly how Mourinho set the team up. He chose to drop Mata for Young. That was a decision based on pace and ability to spring counter attacks.
So did we play well according to how Mourinho set us up? I think we did. The players did everything asked of them bar being able to take chances at the other end. The Lukaku chance stands out. If he puts that shot away we win 1-0 at Anfield and everyone says what a clever tactical performance we put in. Bar one world class save from DDG which came about due to a momentary lapse of concentration from us Liverpool didn't have a sniff.

Now that's not to say that is how I would have wanted us to play, nor was I particularly "entertained" watching it. But every title winning campaign we have ever seen at our club has seen performances like that at least once or twice a season.

If it wasn't for City's scintillating form at the start of the season we would be top and the only unbeaten side in the league. Last season city started like this then ended up third. So let's not aware them the title just yet.

Anyone with half a brain knew that when Mourinho took over we would see some performances like this. Pragmatic defensive tight games particularly away from home against top opposition. So let's not whine about it now. And let's not forget we have put 4 past several opposition already this season, so let's not pretend we are being served up bore draws every week.


1.) 16 Oct 2017 10:54:50
Good post Shappy, like you said we all knew he would do his which is why I am so bothered. If ever there was a time to go after then then it was last weekend. We didn't sit that deep first half and even parts of the second half, you could see the forwards trying to press when Mignolet was taking a goal kick.

I guess I'm just really disappointed with how poorly we played.

2.) 16 Oct 2017 11:08:32

I just as disappointed with how we played. It was Liverpool team that have been very poor defensively with chuckles the clown in between the sticks. You can understand if the first 10-15 minutes were steady to get our feet into the game. It was embrassing. We made Liverpool look good. I could have understood if we had gone to the Etihad and played against City and tried to stop them playing their football. With Liverpool we didn’t even do that.

3.) 16 Oct 2017 11:29:08
When Burnley had more of a go than we did then you see the problem.

4.) 16 Oct 2017 11:43:49
My concern with this approach (other than it being dreadful to watch), is that when you are in a league with only one team in contention for the title, parking the bus is a sensible and pragmatic approach with neither side extending their lead in the league. The problem now is that there are possibly 5 teams who play expansive football and could on their day beat us and finish above us in the league. If we go for parking the bus against all of these teams then we will likely lose 20 points and that allows the other teams to take advantage in the long run.

5.) 16 Oct 2017 12:11:02
9 times out of 10 United Liverpool are crap games .
We always say form goes out the window and are then surprised when form goes out the window .
We all know Jose can be a pragmatic coach and are then surprised when he is .
We have been playing some great stuff of late maybe not silky smooth footy people want but the the strong efficient way Jose plays .

Jose won't set up and get United playing the way city are but at the same time people keep telling me pep isn't that good a coach?

Jose is a top manager and we look like a Jose team this is what you get with him .

6.) 16 Oct 2017 13:09:31
Great post Shappy you always find a way to bring some perspective to the debate.

7.) 16 Oct 2017 13:33:29
We set up to let Liverpool attack us and then hit them on the break when they commited men forward, give them enough rope to hang themselves so to speak, but Liverpool never commited the number of players forward that we needed for this to happen so they were quite easy to defend against but also very difficult to counter attack against as there were always nunbers around Miki and Lukaku meaning they never got a kick.

Both managers were too cautious in my opinion but both will be content with the point and we move on to easier games with our unbeaten run in tact and an extra point ahead of Arsenal and Chelsea with a big away game out the way.

I disagree that United games against Liverpool are always boring, there have been some classics over the years, but generally they need an early goal to open up the game, if this had happened you would have seen both teams committing more men forward creating more spaces on the counter.

8.) 16 Oct 2017 14:36:05
Man United and Liverpool last games
Quite often over hyped rarely a great game of football to watch imo .

9.) 16 Oct 2017 21:34:04
Good posts gents.

Absorbing for the counter attack for me does not equate to lumping it up to the big lad up top, incidentally one that can't make it stick nor beat a man, not for a team as big and expensive as United.

Playing an overall weaker team in poorer form than you, and catering for their strengths whilst not exploiting their weaknesses, is also not something to admire particularly.

Lastly Sky, in their uniquely irritating way, have ridiculously overhyped the Anfield game for two seasons in a row now and it's ended up a washout. They need to chill out.

10.) 16 Oct 2017 22:11:27
Shappy, you've got to stop being so reasonable and I mean that in all seriousness. Please stop being so accepting of a poor performance by both the manager and the players by suggesting Jose might just have pulled off some tactical masterclass.

Jose complained after the match that we were outnumbered in midfield. Was it a surprise to anyone that they played the three guys in midfield that they did? and hey guess what; they overran the two guys we played in midfield. Who would have thought?

We know Mkhitaryan gets lost in fast intense games. Not surprising he was pretty much non-existent so why pick him?

Then there's just the whole negativity of the tactics. What must the players think when the manager shows he has so little confidence in them to beat what is a pretty average Liverpool team? Not exactly inspiring is it?

You say we shouldn't be surprised by Jose's negative tactics in these sort of games. You might be right but that doesn't mean we have to like it and say it's Ok because it isn't. Sooner rather than later you've got to show your mettle when it really counts; that's the mark of true sporting champions. Not hiding in their shell because it's a little bit difficult this week.

And to top it all, our manager is still living out of a suitcase and all but says he would prefer to work somewhere else. Nice one!

So, I'm sorry Shappy but with the greatest respect I don't go along with your pervertedly rational reasoning that all is ok.

11.) 17 Oct 2017 06:58:17
MancMan meet Beast, Beast meet MancMan.

12.) 17 Oct 2017 08:41:14
Lol AJH. I do find myself often agreeing with the Beast. Where is he by the way? Beast; are you out there?

13.) 17 Oct 2017 09:40:33
Wait until we lose a game ;)

Only joking Beast, you aren't MAZE.



11 Oct 2017 21:07:42
So here we are at the end of a boring international week looking forward to seeing some EPL footy this weekend.

So I thought to mix things up I'd ask which three signings do you expect us to make by next season?

I'll go with Greizmann, Fabinho and Rose.

Who do you guys think?


1.) 11 Oct 2017 21:35:27
Gacinovic is one to watch out for a young Serbian who has been recommended by matic, can play in midfield and on the right wing.
Jose was at the Serbian game against Austria watching him.

2.) 11 Oct 2017 21:49:28
Wouldn't argue with those three signings shappy. They would make us challengers for the champions league. Seems to me that Jose saw Fabinho more as a right back than a defensive midfielder. Brilliant player who can half take a penalty as well.

Personally a massive fan of griezmann in the the bracket of top top players under Ronaldo and messi. If there was even a shred of a chance we could get dybala then he would be my dream signing. Danny rose looks a real possibility if you read what the tabloids are saying. Quality player who would dramatically change our attack and add a new dynamism to the team. I do fear that his injury record is poor though. Wouldn't mind David alaba who looks a bit disinterested at Bayern and could be looking for a new challenge.

3.) 11 Oct 2017 22:51:43
Shappy i would be delighted with those signings.
Fabhino oozes quality and can play rb and cdm to a very high level.
Rose is somewhat of a risk. Art his best he is the best lb in the epl imo. But he has not played for 9 months and has a poor injury record overall. As i said say his best he is miles better than what we currently have in that position.
Greizman is the player with the potential to bring the team to the next level. He will replace ibra in the squad next season if he comes i'm sure. If we continue with our current shape what position gets the best out of greizman and miki?
Lots to ponder i see those players as great options to strengthen areas where the depth is weak all 3 would improve the squad imo.
3 potential free transfers (if there is such a thing) in the summer of ozil sanchez and cann are 3 great potential signings for our squad too. Although sanchez is probably city or psg bound. Cann is probably juve bound and i suspect ozil will end up in Germany at bayern.

4.) 12 Oct 2017 02:40:50
Mine would be Fabinho (RB), Sergej Milinkovic Savic (CM) and Greizmann (RAM) (I prefer Dybala, but it seems difficult to get him)

5.) 12 Oct 2017 07:15:38
Milinkovic is very highly thought of and sought after. I've seen ed002 sing his praises recently.
Defo a jose type midfield player also.

{Ed001's Note - he was in my list of best central midfielders as well. Real quality that lad.}

6.) 12 Oct 2017 09:19:46
I did ask recently on Serie A soccer page about him ( Sergej Milinkovic), big clubs are intrested per Ed002 and Manutd is one of them if he is available.

{Ed001's Note - they were one of many interested parties in the summer just gone as well.}

7.) 12 Oct 2017 09:55:51
fabinho, milinkovic would be great but I will take a rain check on greizman: NOT because of his ability but I don't think it will happen.
Not sure on rose personally, but Tierney and think we will get a winger who is not widely mentioned as of yet -similar to the martial situation.
in the summer I can see a few outgoings if not sooner shaw, herrera (dont shoot me) and carrick to be let go possibly a cb - smalling?

8.) 12 Oct 2017 09:56:21
He did sign a new contract. Do you see him moving any time soon Ed001?

{Ed001's Note - not if Lazio have anything to do with it, no. Right now he seems happy and they are certainly happy with him. A long way to go before the summer though and a lot can change.}

9.) 12 Oct 2017 10:07:40
Thanks Ed, He seems happy there, its perfect place for his development of which seems to be a bright career.

{Ed001's Note - it does seem to be a good match for now. I can't see him staying there in the long term though, he will want to challenge for the Champions League in the future, I would expect.}

10.) 12 Oct 2017 10:23:37
Its good for now as you say Ed, surely he will play at top club if he keeps working hard as he is real good footballer with everything needed to play at top level.

{Ed001's Note - Lazio would like to be one of the top clubs, but I really cannot see that happening personally.}

11.) 12 Oct 2017 10:26:34
I must admit Milinkovic Savic looks a bit special every time I see him. In theory I would love to see us sign him. My concern would be where would we play him?

Currently we have last season's player of the season Ander Herrera unable to get into the team when everyone is fit as Matic and Pogba are clearly first choice.
Obviously next season with the departure of Carrick and possible departures of Fellaini and Herrera who's contracts are up we will need to add a midfielder or two. The issue with signing a young player with potential is they need to play to grow and develop.
How often would Milinkovic Savic play ahead of either Matic or Pogba?

We have seen both TFM and Pereira leave on loan this season to get game time. Clearly Milinkovic Savic is further along in his development and a better player, but how often is he going to knock a fully fit Pogba out of the line up?
Would he be happy to be a bit part player at our club for a couple of years at least?

Next summer we will I see us needing a couple of top class full backs and a creative wide player who chips in with 15 goals or so from out wide. Then we need strength and depth in midfield, but not really a first choice player.
For that reason I think Milinkovic Savic would be better off either sticking where he is or moving to a club where he will be first choice.

{Ed001's Note - it would be Mkhitaryan and Mata that would be worried for their place if Jose signed him Shaps. While I think Savic is better deeper, Jose apparently likes him further forward.}

12.) 12 Oct 2017 10:35:15
I don't see it myself, but at the moment they have very good squad with good players. Izanghi is doing great job out there.

13.) 12 Oct 2017 13:12:10
Aahh nice insight Ed001 i thought he was more of a deep lying midfielder but Jose must see something in him in terms of attacking attributes.

{Ed001's Note - I would say the same thing, he is very good defensively, but he is often used as an attacking mid by Lazio, so it is a position he is well versed in.}

14.) 12 Oct 2017 13:39:26
Thanks, I am going to watch a few lazio games to look through Mourinhos eyes.

He is a perfect Mourinho type player if he is good at attacking and like you said he is already very good defensively.

What happened to Felipe Anderson has he not progressed as much as one wouldve expected of him.

{Ed001's Note - he is very much a Jose player from what I have saw, he looks tall and strong compared to the opposing players.

I have to be honest, I have never seen anything in him to expect anything from him. Looks a very average player to me when I have watched him. I would have to assume that means he has not progressed, if a lot was expected of him.}

15.) 12 Oct 2017 14:23:35
Yeah i guess the same ed it is just part and parcel of the game that some make it to the top and some dont. Cheers ed have a good day.

{Ed001's Note - and you mate take care.}




Shappy's rumour replies


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02 Dec 2017 10:45:39
I hope so, he's a fantastic talent.


{Ed002's Note - This is old news.}



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28 Nov 2017 16:36:53
James Ducker, mystic bloody Meg. Lol.




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25 Nov 2017 08:11:11
I would let Darmian, Shaw, Fellaini, Smalling, Carrick, Zlatan, Mata and Mkhitaryan all leave. However I would extent Blind's contract and keep him. He offers good squad coverage at CB, LB and CM, and to be honest without ever being spectacular he rarely let's us down.

I would promote Tuanzebe, Andreas Pereira and Scott McTominay.

I would bring in Rose, Meunier, either Milinkovic-Savic or Goretzka, then I wouldn't look for a striker but two creative forwards, my choices would be Lemar and Willian.

GK- DDG, Romero, J. Pereira.
FB- Valencia, Meunier, Rose, Blind, Young.
CB- Bailly, Jones, Rojo, Lindelof, Tuanzebe.
CM- Matic, Pogba, Herrera, Goretzka/ Milinkovic-Savic, McTominay.
AM/ W- Lemar, Willian, Lingard, A. Pereira.
ST- Lukaku, Martial, Rashford.




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24 Nov 2017 15:50:23
And he thinks he is going to play week in week out at PSG? Verratti, Rabiot, Motta and Pastore. Not to mention Draxler and Di Maria can also play in more centrally.




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09 Nov 2017 12:59:59
I'm a little surprised about a LW, I thought Martial and Rashford and doing great there atm. Plus Andreas Pereira likes to play from that side.

I would have thought a RW would be more of an issue. With Mata possibly leaving, Mkhitaryan's form being very inconsistent and Lingard never quite doing enough to fully be considered first choice material.

Also a striker is an interesting one. We have Lukaku, Rashford and Martial who all favour playing as a striker. I expect Zlatan will leave in the summer, but do we really need four strikers for one position?


{Ed002's Note - The club have been chasing Ivan Perisic as a left winger and have a list of other possible LW options in mind.}




Shappy's banter replies


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11 Dec 2017 16:55:14
Ken give it up mate, you have no chance of winning. Ed001 is a Kloppite, you'll run around a lot, attempt to press high and tire long before the end of the match. Where as Ed002 is a true tactician, he'll counter your press with some well placed comfortable on the ball defenders and hit you on the counter, then all guns blazing for the last 15 minutes when your team is out on their feet. I see at least a couple of goals for team Ed002 in the last 10 minutes just to smash home the drubbing. 6-1 to Ed002 I think, and that's being generous to you Kloppites or should that be Klappouts. lol.


{Ed002's Note - We do intend to be cleaning the pipes as they say.}



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11 Dec 2017 16:02:41
Sweet, battle of the kits is on. lol.




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11 Dec 2017 16:01:36
Interesting draw, really happy with our draw. Jose should know plenty about Sevilla having managed in Spain for several years. At this stage of the competition I want us to avoid the tough draws, but at the time you don't want the easiest draw as those are the ones that can trip teams up. Shaktar could have been a tricky tie, lots of travelling and cold whether. Jose returning to Porto has the potential banana skin written all over it. Glad we avoided Real Madrid, Juventus and Bayern though. All in all probably the best draw for us.

I think Chelsea could knock Barcelona out, Messi always struggles against them for some reason. I saw that Juventus have lost their last five knock out ties against English sides. So Spurs have a good chance.

I wouldn't be surprised if we see all the English sides in the quarter finals, or at least four of them. I expect Bayern to beat Besiktas. Roma vs Shakhtar could go either way. And one of Real Madrid or PSG will be knocked out. We could see 3 or even 4 English sides in the Semi's, that would be great for the EPL.




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11 Dec 2017 13:34:19
That might work, or anything that flashes really, especially if its pretty colours. lol.


{Ed001's Note - by the sounds of it, the kit you will be wearing will be pretty colours!}



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11 Dec 2017 12:52:33
Seeing as I'm Ed002's side (and I don't want to be responsible for us not getting any United Sharkopod's during next summer's transfer window), Ed001 your going down pal. lol.


{Ed001's Note - I have a plan for dealing with you Shaps, we are going to distract you by asking for a tactical analysis from you. That should take up a good half hour judging by your posts ;-)