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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


19 Apr 2018 17:32:48
So in January we went out and took a key player from one of our top six rivals. The 29 year old winger Alexis Sanchez. However, we were also linked with another 29 year old winger from a top six rivals, that being Willian of Chelsea.

Considering everything we know about Alexis struggles to settle, Willian's good relationship with Mourinho and his clear understanding of what Jose wants would it be fair to say that Willian may have been the better player to sign in January?

He likes to play off of the right hand side which is where we are weakest, he also wouldn't have to adapt to Mourinho so would have made a bigger impact sooner, which is what your looking for from a January signing. I have no doubt Alexis is the more talent player, I just feel Willian is a better fit for what Mourinho is trying to accomplish.

So Willian or Sanchez? Who would have been the better signing?


1.) 19 Apr 2018 17:53:07
I don't think anybody could have suspected Sanchez would be this bad. Sanchez is a better player than Willian - most of our top players have been very hit and miss for years I put very little stock in what Jose does with them, we lack consistency everywhere so Willian may have been better but so could Mick the Plumber from the Horse and Jockey - there is a pattern with creative attacking players and our club under these negative managers we seem to hire.

99% of people would pick Sanchez over Willian with all things being equal imo mate - but I think we could have Messi playing for us and he would look rank average most games.

2.) 19 Apr 2018 19:15:37
I have no idea why we signed Sanchez, but I can guess.

1. He was effectively free
2. He is a top class player
3. City wanted him.

However, did we need him or is holding back the development of others; did we have other positions in more need of strengthening?

A strange one to me.

3.) 19 Apr 2018 21:03:30
Sanchez better then all the wingers we have . Infact we don't have a winger anymore.

Our wingers play as fullbacks.

He is better then Rashford and Martial. I just think we shouldve bought him in the summer but by then he woudlve gone to City.

The only player he has effected is Pogba who is no longer the player we rely heavily and isn't the main man anymore.

Sanchez will be so much better next year as he will have a full preseason with us in the summer.

4.) 19 Apr 2018 21:09:12
I think when we got Sanchez 9 out of ten seemed pretty pleased . i'm guessing quite a few thought he would come in from the right and not oust two young lads being quite productive from the left . Granted he played a lot from the left with arsenal but he was no stranger or mug from the right either and our right hand side is far from productive in recent seasons .
At first he was cut some slack because he tried high risk passes but it seemed to snowball to the point even basic passes he's struggled with . He's a good player and tries hard but I can't blame the club, the manager or tactics as none of that explains why he's found even basic things so hard .
Hopefully he will come good soon but at the min no way should rash or martial be behind him in the pecking order to play left side on what we have seen not what we hoped we would see.

5.) 19 Apr 2018 21:12:16
Good post singh.

6.) 19 Apr 2018 21:38:52
You don’t pass up and opportunity when a world class player becomes available. And we stopped him going to city who would have gone up a level with Sanchez in their team. He’s struggled since joining but he hasn’t had a pre season and he is adjusting to a new club, teammates and surrounding. I agree that he shouldn’t play on the left and that has displaced rashford and martial. However, I think we will see the best of Alexis next season. A full pre season and no World Cup with do him the world of good. Form is temporary class is permanent.

7.) 19 Apr 2018 22:06:28
Sanchez is the better player and I think we will see the best of him next year when he settles. January buys always awkward. Willian is a s player I have touted for us before, a Jose type player who works hard and would have settled quicker.
Maybe a try for him in the summer would be a good option.

8.) 19 Apr 2018 22:14:51
Park, so if Neuer becomes available do we sign him?

9.) 19 Apr 2018 22:36:17
Does nobody feel it was more Woodward than Jose wanting him, we know he loves his stellar signings. Maybe he was thinking of the impact RVP had.

10.) 19 Apr 2018 22:43:50
AJH, that’s not the same situation, as we already have a world class keeper. We don’t have any world class attackers.

On the Sanchez thing, he’s been fairly poor, but I don’t think he’s really been any worse than anyone else. The whole team have been diabolical at times.

Tbh, if we had Messi in this team with these tactics and set up he’d probably look crap. Who think Salah would be approaching 40 goals had he moved to us? Be lucky to have 15 I think.

11.) 19 Apr 2018 22:46:35
Martial and Rashford aren't wingers though?

12.) 19 Apr 2018 23:07:20
AJH that’s obviously not the same situation being that De Gea is world class. I don’t think signing Sanchez was bad but playing him on the left is especially when martial was flying. Jose is paid the big bucks to make it work so he has got to find a way. But getting rid of martial or pogba do fit Sanchez in would be ridiculous.

13.) 19 Apr 2018 23:13:47
Sanchez will come good after a full pre season.

Pogba has the most assists outside of man city’s top 3 in the league but just looks a bit lazy sometimes. Numbers are good.

Both players will be a lot more effective next yr. Pogba with more midfielders around him and Sanchez having bedded in.

Martial I worry about as I love him as a player but I feel he is the one most likely to leave / be sold out of all the press drivel floating about.

14.) 20 Apr 2018 01:26:48
1. He was effectively free. Holy crap.

{Ed0333's Note - Holy crap is right mate you got rid of one old ineffective player on astronomical wages and replaced him with another.

15.) 20 Apr 2018 07:52:55
I think Sanchez will predominantly play from the right next year but have the freedom to roam like mata does now. I think martial and rashford will stay and mata will leave.

16.) 20 Apr 2018 16:51:16
You don't even have to think about that, Shappy. Willian didn't want to leave Chelsea so he was never a realistic option for you :-)



07 Apr 2018 11:24:14
Is anyone really that surprised that Pogba is being touted about by Raiola?

That is what he has done all his career, in the nearly two years Jose has been our manager we have signed four players represented by Raiola and have since move two of those four on.

Pogba and Lukaku are the only two left, Pogba looks like he will only be here a short time and don't be surprised if Raiola looks to move Lukaku to PSG or Real Madrid in a couple of years time.

It's what he does, he earns more money from signing on fees than he does for arranging new contracts. So why would he choose to get his players to sign new deals when he can move them on and earn more than twice as much?

Pogba started the season very well, he was the key player in all the 4-0 wins we had. Then he got injured and our formed dropped off. He came back and was starting to play well again until we signed Sanchez.

Since we signed Sanchez Pogba's form has dropped right off, whether he is upset that someone else is earning more than him or whether he is unhappy because his role in the team has changed I don't know. But that was the catalyst for his drop off in form and effort.

I wonder how much of his discontentment has to do with Raiola who was whispering in his ear before he left for Juventus last time.


1.) 07 Apr 2018 11:56:22
Hasn't Lukaku left raiola to join another agency? We'd be better off cutting all times with the man like Ferguson did.

2.) 07 Apr 2018 13:10:11
I agree entirely shappy the whole thing has come as no surprise to me.

Plus I get the impression that when the going gets tough the pogba gets going he doesn't seem like the type to roll his sleeves up and dig in.

Surely when we started dealing with rioala the club knee this kind of thing could and probably would happen.

Personally I could care less I support the club not the ever revolving door of players that were seeing lately.

3.) 07 Apr 2018 13:39:05
Good luck in getting Real Madrid interested in Lukaku.



06 Apr 2018 09:19:41
For most of this season the left wing spot has been fought for by Rashford and Martial. And on the whole they have done well. They both have 12 goals, and 6/ 7 assists. Which is a good return for two young players who are only playing around half the minutes available due to sharing the role.

Last night me and a mate was discussing them both and trying to decide which one will become the better player.

Martial clearly has more natural talent, his touch and control are better, and his shooting is clinical. He also seems to link better with other strikers (Lukaku in particular) . Where as Rashford seems to enjoy his football much more and seems more willing to work hard and chase the lost causes's. He is also two years younger.

I think it will come down to who is trusted and supported better as to who will more likely become the better footballer.

If it was based purely on talent then Martial wins hands down. However, Mourinho favours hard work and following his tactics which might mean he will favour Rashford. It's a close one.

Who do you guys think will become the better player, Rashford or Martial?


1.) 06 Apr 2018 10:11:42
Martial is the better player imo and will do even better under a different manager .
It raises a question about Mata, everyone seems to like him but I would take rash and martial over him .
Mata is an attacking player that has scored 3 league this season 15 in his last 88 games .

2.) 06 Apr 2018 11:33:03
Raahforda hard work will get him ahead of Martial. Martial has all the talent in the world but he doesn't look like trying too haed in the games he plays.

3.) 06 Apr 2018 12:12:02
I agree jred, he needs to be given more licence to run at people and attack. He seems a little hamstrung by the lack of movement and numbers when we attack. I'd quite like to see a Martial and Lukaku strike partnership. A 352 set up for me looks like the best way to get most of our best players in their best positions. Or at least it did until we signed Sanchez. Maybe a variant of 442. I just really like the look of some of the link up play between Martial and Lukaku and think we should try and get them playing closer together. Sadly I don't think that will ever happen with Jose.

Singh, I'm a big advocate of hard work. You need to work hard if you want to excel. However, I find it funny how so many people think Martial doesn't work hard. When we look at the average distanced covered per 90 minutes he is 11th out of 24 players so there are at least 13 players "lazier" than him.

Also he keeps getting games under Mourinho a manager, who as Luke Shaw will tell you, won't play you unless you are working hard in training. Which suggests that he is working hard. I think he is just unlucky to have been born with a "resting bitch face", he doesn't smile much and his facial expressions give off the impression he isn't happy or bothered. When if that was really the case he wouldn't be getting games under our current manager.

However, I do think if he was playing in a set up that maximised his ability he would far out shine Rashford.

4.) 06 Apr 2018 12:56:01
I like them both shappy both young fast and skilfull and have done well goals and assists wise despite being in and out the side and moved position regardless of form . Having 3 players martial, rash and lukaku to cover the central and left positions isn't excessive and it would be very useful if rash or martial could make the right side attacker his own spot . A forward line of those 3 looks decent to hit on the break away from home if they don't start from too deep. I see Sanchez as more a breaker down of packed defenses at home when his form returns to what he has shown in the past . We have bags of attacking talent and our goals and assists compare with anyone from the left and centrally but from the right we are getting very little compared to other teams.

5.) 06 Apr 2018 13:10:47
Shappy - I think we're at a period in our history where maybe we don't have the stability or time to wait for players like Rashford and Martial to truly mature and blossom at the Club.

The Premier League is the most competitive it's ever been and make no mistake we're in a constant battle just to finish in the top 4 never mind challenge for the title. At this moment in time we need consistent performers that can deliver week in week out, especially if we want to mount a serious title challenge and I'm not sure either Rashford or Martial are quite at that level just yet.

Both are young supremely talented players with plenty of potential but also still have a lot to learn. The harsh reality of playing at the top Clubs is it's an hard, competitive and unforgiving environment.

I don't care what anybody says neither Rashford or Martial are in the same class as Sanchez. (Not at the moment anyway) . Since Sanchez arrived we've struggled for balance, he's played left, central and on the right, but I think we witnessed in the game against Swansea that he's most effective playing from the left hand side. For me Lingard is finally showing a level of consistency and end product to match his undoubted endeavour and work rate and deserves his position at No 10. Mata provides a nice balance on the right with Lukaku up front. That for me, at this moment in time is our best attacking line up.

Rashford and Martial need to show patience, a commitment to work hard and make an impact when they get their chance. They really need to look at Lingard as an example of this.

I think Rashford as a home grown talent epitomises everything good about our Club. I think he understands what it means to play for Utd and I never get the impression he gives anything less than 100%. I have no doubt about his commitment to the Club and he's playing more than enough games for a player of his age at one of the biggest Clubs in the world.

As for Martial I'm always left with the feeling of wanting more. I rate him highly and think he has huge potential but I'm yet to be fully convinced by him. With Sanchez now added competition whether he's prepared to be patient and wait his chance remains to be seen.

6.) 06 Apr 2018 13:41:59
Age shouldn't come into it .
Sanchez has been poor to be honest so far .
Miki come with a big rep good age etc was poor do Maria came with a big rep big price tag was poor .

Really not sure why people are so obsessed with getting rid of a player like martial, don't think he has done much wrong this season to be honest .

7.) 06 Apr 2018 15:01:26
Agree jred. But then, he doesn't smile enough.

8.) 06 Apr 2018 15:05:51
Danny, I'll have to disagree with you there. I think the moment we turn our back on our identity then we have lost regardless of the result.

Our club has only really been successful for a sustained time when we have had a manager who trusts in youth and gives young players a chance. Both Sir Matt and Sir Alex built their teams and their place in our history with youth as the cornerstone.

people always talk about what benefits an older more experienced player can have on a younger player. Yet no one considered that the youngster could have a positive effect on the older players.

An older more cynical player coming towards the end of his time, his body aches and he has lost some of that spark of excitement that he had in his youth. Then suddenly this excitable young player with a spring in his step and the exuberance of youth comes bursting onto the pitch playing football for the sheer love of it. That will have a positive effect on that older player no doubt. Plus it will give him a new challenge, maybe keep him at the top of his game for an extra season or two.

We are Manchester United and we have built our history on youthful, fearless offensive football. The kind that can only be played when you have a few young players without fear of failure playing in your side.

We might win a title under Mourinho, but we won't have sustained success under him because he doesn't get what makes our club great. We need those young players in the side, they aren't just our future they are our past and present as well.

9.) 06 Apr 2018 15:14:41
For those who don't feel Rashford and Martial are doing enough, so far this season Rashford has contributed directly to 20 goals (goals and assists) and Martial to 19.

Vardy 20
Morata 19
Mahrez 19
Lacazette 17
Ozil 17
Sanchez 15

So better or equal to a couple of former "best player of the year" winners.

In fact they are only a few more goals/ assists away from matching or surpassing Hazard (21), David Silva (22) and Eriksen (22). Three of the very best players in our league, and players who have significantly more experience.

And they have managed that in a team that is playing poorly, that doesn't attack, and with around half as many minutes on the pitch as those bigger name players.

So just how poorly are they playing? Or is our poor form down to how we set up?

10.) 06 Apr 2018 16:30:04
It's hard for them to perform well when they're as well aware as us that one mistake and their out of the first XI for the next two games. Meanwhile certain players can have absolute stinkers and never get dropped.

11.) 06 Apr 2018 18:15:26
Shappy - I get the point your trying to make and understand the sentiment but in my opinion it's a flawed argument.

Busby and Fergi were both great managers two of the best the game has ever seen but what about all the other years in our history when they weren't at the Club? Mangers with such quality accompanied with both loyalty and longevity only come around once in a generation if your lucky.

We should learn the lessons of the past and we can't afford to stagnate whilst we wait for another Busby or Fergi to come and rescue us again otherwise we might be waiting a very long time. I'd be interested to know Red Man's opinion on this?

I think Jose has answered his critics in relation to blooding youngsters and trusting youth. Martial, Rashford, Mctominay even Tuanzebe and Fosu Mensa have all had good opportunities to play in the first team. It's a complete myth that he hasn't given young players a chance especially at Utd.

We can't afford to drop out of the top 4 and Jose has a very difficult job in rebuilding the team whilst keeping us competitive.

I sense from your posts that you are becoming increasingly disillusioned with Jose without actually coming out and nailing your colours to the mast.

My opinion is that whilst I think both Rashford and Martial are both very talented players they still lack real consistency and I don't think they'd fare any better under a different manager. Sanchez is a better player than both and he should start in his favoured position on the left.

Jose has made mistakes, I've been frustrated at times but I believe in the bigger picture and think we are still moving in the right direction.

We have a proven winner in charge and whilst our football will never be gung ho I truly believe that in time we'll see a much better product.

Maybe it's time to come off that fence and commit one way or the other pal!

12.) 06 Apr 2018 19:16:28
Danny, I believe players should start based on how they perform and not on what they have done previously. This season Sanchez has directly been involved in 15 goals, in around half the time both Rashford and Martial have been involved in 20 and 19 respectively. Why should they sit on the bench? Is Sanchez doing enough to force them there, not in my opinion.

I never wanted Jose, and said as much. I appreciate he is a great manager, but just not right for us. He is a poor fit and by the time he leaves most will consider him a poor choice. However, I will contiune to back until such time that it is clear he is no longer improving things at our club. I will question his decisions especially one's I disagree with. Just because I back someone doesn't mean I will blindly agree with everything they do.

13.) 06 Apr 2018 21:06:08
Stats are tottally irrelevant. There are so many playera in the leagues else where thatbhave scored tons of goals but they wouldn't be good for our league at all.

This is Martials third season, he is a lot matured then you think he is. If he could have a kid and be married at the age of 19 then i am aure he has a good head on him and is old enough to take life seriously whether that ia at home or playing professional football.

The thing with Martial is he isn't going to get a chance as a striker while Mourinho is here. His touch is poor jist look at the number times he hasn't given the ball away. I actually think Rashford has better control and can control the ball better but his finishing is poor as well as his decision making for e. g. when to shoot and when not to.

Where as Martial is not good on the wings and that is the position he is currently being played at.

I am not saying he is not talented, he has a lot of talent but he needs to be playing in his preferred position for him to play to his maximum potential or he could just chin up and work harder at his game at United.

It is totally upto him, this is a professional sport and players are just employees of our club. If they don't perform then they can be replaced with another player that has the desire to play for our club and work hard towards team targets.

Talent alone isn't enough anymore in this world you have to have the brains and be willing to what ever it takes to reach the top in sport or what ever work you are in.

14.) 06 Apr 2018 21:53:08
So you want martial sold? Will you be disappointed if he isn't. Based on what you have put above.

Any time a player is linked wuth leaving the club it amazes me how quickly people start to pick up on every perceived fault .

15.) 06 Apr 2018 21:56:12
Every player shappy mentioned was from the same league as our guys, I think it's a fair point to say martial and rashford who have alternated the role on the left and rarely played together have stats that compare with the best left side forwards that the premiere league has and while covering the left side are just 2 goals behind lukaku with twice the assists and way more likely to score or assist than our right hand side attackers. Martial can give the ball away too easily but on that subject let's me honest Sanchez is by far our worst offender since he arrived.

16.) 06 Apr 2018 23:07:22
I don't want him sold but if we can get a better player that suits the way the manager wants to player then why not.

Players come and go, if he is not happy with his position or game time then for his own same he should leave. There are lots of clubs out there which will be happy to take him.

I have backed him for a long time but as soon as a player isn't happy then i am sorry they shouldn't really be playing at our club against their wish, it just works both ways- club should be happy with the player and the player should be happy playing for our club.

Slate - Sanchez loses the ball quite a lot but i also see him chase balls like no one else in our club, he is constantly chasing every single ball until the last minute which a lot of our players can learn from.

If Pogba can have half of Sanchez's work rate he will be twice a player he is now.

17.) 07 Apr 2018 00:10:34
So what if he doesn't want to leave? Sounds like you want rid to be honest.
Do you want rid of pogba as well?

18.) 07 Apr 2018 00:31:43
Mata is more consistent and effective for the team than both of them in what he does. Tony and Rash are supposed to be goal scorers. Mata contributes so much more.

19.) 07 Apr 2018 06:20:08
Mata is committ d and gives 100% in a position that doesn’t necessarily suit him. It has been a surprise how often he has played given his previous Jose relationsship.

As for Martial and Rashford, they are both incredibly talented. I love Rashford but he hasn’t really progressed this year. He is a great lad, doesn’t seem to have been seduced by bling, a local boy made good. It is up to the Manager / coaches to develop him to his potential (yes I know he has to Di it too) .

It’s a pretty similar story for Martial. As jred says, if he wasn’t working hard in training he wouldn’t get picked. I’d just like to see him work harder in games, it isn’t just a perception, he isn’t active enough for me. A great talent who also needs some help in fulfilling it.

20.) 07 Apr 2018 08:55:52
Fair points ajh I don't think I can argue martial could be more than he has become and could learn from Matas work rate and commitment but they are both attackers and while Mata works harder, martial yields way more without having to work or try as hard . In games against tight defenses Mata and Sanchez are better at breaking that down but in big games where we sit bk and look to hit on the break we could look a bit paceless other than lukaku when attacking without martial or rash .
If the players retiring, out of contract, touted to other teams by agents aswell as lots of bit part players were all to leave the next sharkopod will sound like Richard Burton at the end of Zulu doing the role call.



04 Apr 2018 15:21:26
A sad day that highlights just how brief and precious life is. Ray Wilkins was a gentleman and a fierce competitor showing that you can be both. The world of football will miss him, however those who will feel his loss the most our his friends and family. I hope they can find some comfort in the outpouring of affection that will come from the football family. Rest in peace Butch.




30 Mar 2018 20:17:17
I'm getting a little concerned that there might be something in these Martial to Juventus rumours.

I think he is a massive talent, and one we would be mad to let go.

However, Mourinho has let at least one talented youngster leave every club he has worked at after being unable to get the most out of them.

Lukaku, KDB, Salah, Santon, Balotelli, Morata, Isco.

Some have gone on to have better careers than others, yet the pattern stays the same. Talented young player who Jose won't trust and restricts their playing time, he then signs an older player to take their place resulting in them leaving.

Jose does normally win things with this method, but the short termism of his stays at clubs mean that he soon departs and the club are left wondering about that talented young player they had who is realising their talent somewhere else.

Shaw looks certain to follow that route, how much success he has once he leaves is debatable though with several managers highlighting off field issues with him.

Martial on the other hand is actually being rather successful even without his managers full backing. With Sanchez signed though as his clear replacement and first choice for the left hand side there is a question mark about how much longer he will stay at the club.

Juventus seem to be the real contenders. If we are to lose him and I would have to see that happen then we need to at least soften the blow. Maybe a deal that sees Dybala move to us with Martial going the other way.

Its not what I would want, but it's better than losing a great young player and seeing nothing but cash come in the other way.


{Ed025's Note - it would be martial and £50m for dybala shappy..

1.) 30 Mar 2018 22:38:01
Shaw is off the pace most times he pulls on the shirt and its disapointing because he has the abilty to be brilliant.

Fact is he has played for us for 4 years and never really been able to make the left back spot his own and progress.

So is it the 3 managers fault who he's played under or him?

Young on the other hand shows his commitment week in week out in a new position and still some people down like him.

I would put money on Luke Shaw not being at a top club when he's 32 like Ashley Young.

Martial goes into the same bracket for me and needs to do more good though he is.

2.) 31 Mar 2018 06:22:04
We have Lukaku and Marcus Rashford as number nines, and of course Marcus can play right and left, but Marcus is a striker, " Mourinho said.

"Alexis [Sanchez] can play as a striker, [Anthony] Martial can play as a striker, so without having another Lukaku, we have three more players that can play as a nine.

"If we don't have Lukaku for different reasons, we can change systems and play with two and give more mobility to, for example, Marcus and Martial together, Marcus and Alexis together, so we are not going to go for another number nine. "Jose

I don't think we will see much change up top this summer.

3.) 31 Mar 2018 13:17:39
Agree totally Chorlton. In 4 years I have watched Shaw really play to his ability only twice - both were before his injury.




Shappy's rumour replies


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11 Apr 2018 21:52:37
Mawson is a far better player than Maguire. Although neither are good enough for us.




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11 Apr 2018 16:31:49
Eric, I believe both Salah and De Bruyne left Chelsea for more playing time, in fact for any playing time as he wouldn't pick them.

Are you suggesting that Jose doesn't get to pick the team?

Jose may not have activity tried to sell them, but he didn't give them a chance. So they had to leave to further their careers.

No one is saying Martial, Shaw and Rashford want to leave United because they have it in Manchester, not is anyone saying they are being forced out by Jose. Merely Jose doesn't trust young players, he doesn't progress them as he doesn't create an environment for them to flourish. He would rather sign older players because Jose doesn't think about next season or the future of the club he is working for, he only cares about this season and how many trophies he can win for Jose Mourinho.

That is why he is a short term manager, and unless he wins the title next season he won't be our manager by the start of the 2019/ 20 season.


{Ed002's Note - No it was not really the situation with either player, it was more complex than that.}



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11 Apr 2018 14:45:16
The main complaints about Martial is he doesn't track back, he is inconsistent, he loses the ball often and he should when things don't go his way.

Obviously the people voicing these complaints either haven't been United fans that long or they have very short memories.

All of the above could have been leveled at a 21 year old Ronaldo.

Sulks if he doesn't get the ball, inconsistent, doesn't track back, loses the ball.

Very short memories.




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11 Apr 2018 11:41:23
Perisic is a decent player, who has had a couple of seasons of good form. But as CSM points out he is performing at currently around the same level as Martial. However, Martial has potential to get better whereas, Perisic will only decline.

However, Perisic plays predominantly on the left, Martial supposedly isn't happy because Sanchez has taken his place. Rashford supposedly isn't happy because he isn't starting as many games as he would like and he too has predominantly played on the left for Jose.

So we have three players two of which are talented young players who all predominantly play on the left.

Lingard has stepped up this year, and Mata remains consistent, we then have Angel Gomes and Chong in particular knocking on the door.

So why do people think that if Martial leaves he will be replaced?

If he leaves we probably won't see anyone come in to replace him. Sanchez has already done that.

Jose wants at least one full back, preferably two. A centre back despite already signing two and having a super talented Tuanzebe coming through. And at least one if not two midfielders again having already signing two, and having McTominay, TFM and Andreas Pereira trying to break through.

The forward positions are bottom of the list and we will only likely see another forward join after 4-5 other players who are higher priority. Which means we won't be signing one.

So by all means wish a super talented young player away, but don't cry when he isn't replaced and he goes on to become a star else where. Just like Lukaku, De Bruyne and Salah did after Mourinho wasted their potential.




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04 Apr 2018 12:31:31
Ed001, I said either competitive OR physical.
In Tierney's case I believe the SPL to be physical but certainly not competitive. When playing for Celtic in the SPL a player is a defender in name only, they will rarely ever have to defend. So I feel he will need to move to a more competitive league to fully reach his potential. In that sense until he has he could be considered a bit of a risk. Although personally I think he would do very well.

Aaron Martin has had one very good season in a league which is neither competitive nor physical.

Seesengon I will admit I ballsed that one up, I originally wrote about him in a separate paragraph then decided as he also fitted the young and not tested profile shared by both Teirney and Martin I thought I'd just squeeze him into that paragraph. I do agree with you that the championship is probably as physical and competitive as any league in the world.

With Sessegnon though I feel long term he will make a similar move forward to the wing like Bale rather than continue to play LB.


{Ed001's Note - Sessegnon already has and has said so publicly. Not long term, now. He is a wide midfielder first and foremost now.}




Shappy's banter replies


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26 Apr 2018 17:38:37
Singh, I don't think we NEED a new centre back. If a world class option becomes available such as Alderweireld for example then we should explore it as an option. However, for me a new CB is a long way down the list for three reasons.

Firstly, I am a big fan of Tuanzebe and feel he should start to have a role in the team on a regular basis.

Secondly, we have 5 first CB's in Bailly, Lindelof, Rojo, Jones and Smalling. Plus the aforementioned Tuanzebe along with players such as Blind and TFM who can cover there. Meaning we have 8 players for two positions. We will need to shift quite a few of them before we need to bring someone else in.

And finally, and probably the most relevant point. There are very few great CB's around atm. So spending a king's ransom ona player probably only marginally better than what we have, and in a position where teamwork, understanding and communication are as important as ability I see little to be gained from spending such a huge sum.

I've mentioned Alderweireld, but beyond him we are looking at players either past their best (Godin), not good enough/ overrated (Hummels) or young talent that might be good enough but they are still learning such as Upamecano. In which case I would rather give Tuanzebe a chance.




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26 Apr 2018 13:57:17
Sailor, I feel our squad is missing two elements to be complete.

The first is better more consistent full backs. Players who are solid defensively but offer an extra offensive dimension when teams sit deep.

The second is we struggle to control games against to top teams. We've had a mixed bag of results against the other top 6 contenders. We lack a player who can sit in the middle and control the tempo of the game, speeding it up when we need a goal or slowing it down when we need to take the sting out of the game.

If we can solve both issues for next season I expect a strong title challenge.




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25 Apr 2018 12:32:26
Latest press reports state that Real Madrid, Barcelona, PSG and Juventus are all interested in signing the totally useless, never going to be world class Anthony Martial. Obviously, clearly he has many big name admirers who think he is worth buying.

As for Mourinho's mistakes with Salah and De Bruyne, neither of them were playing under him at Chelsea, so neither really had a chance.

However, Martial has been given games at United all be it limited in number and regularly substituted when he has played. Despite the limited number of minutes and clear mistrust from the manager he has managed to be our second highest scorer this year.

Just imagine what he would achieve if the managed backed him and played him regularly we might have had two players with 20+ goals, he'll we might have even challenged City for the title with an extra 10 goals or so.




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23 Apr 2018 09:03:29
I don't pay a huge amount of attention to what players say when being interviewed. It's a staged environment and as such they are acting.

How often have we seen a player say one thing only to find out later that it was a lie. Like Ronaldo saying he was happy at United while trying to engineering a move to Real Madrid. If he was that happy they why leave?

Of course there is the other issue that for a large number of players during an interview they are often talking in their second language and therefore mistakes and misinterpretation can play a part.

But for the most part it's staged, they aren't speaking from the heart but from a script.

For all intents and purposes you might as well believe what is said in films more than what comes out of a footballers mouth.




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20 Apr 2018 20:41:45
I'd forgotten about Romero being a Raiola client. Although there has been speculation he is keen to move on to get regular playing time. And to be honest I don't blame him. He has to be one of the best if not the best second choice keeper in world football. He is far too good to be a back up. I wouldn't be gutter if he left, I have high hopes of Joel Pereira. I would be happy for him to be our second choice.