Manchester United Rumours Member Posts


Shappy's Profile

Current Avatar:
Shappy's Avatar
Correct Score Competition:

Not entered
Correct Score Competition
Flat Out Racing:

Not played Flat Out Racing

No Profile Picture uploaded

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

Shappy's Posts and Other Poster's Replies To Shappy's Posts



To Shappy's last 5 rumours posts


To Shappy's last 5 banter posts


To Shappy's last 5 rumour replies


To Shappy's last 5 banter replies


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


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.}



10 Oct 2017 08:12:11
Wales not making the World cup must highlight the issue with signing Bale.

If Bale was fit for Wales' key games they would be in the play offs right now no doubt.

Could someone really spend 100m plus on a player who just can't stay fit. Seems ridiculous to me.


1.) 10 Oct 2017 10:11:28
To be fair, wales were in a tough group. Look at argentina; Kun, Messi, Higuain, Di Maria, Dybala etc. If all these are struggling to make a difference for Argentina then i doubt that just Bale will be the difference in their qualification. Personal opinion though.

2.) 10 Oct 2017 12:21:59
Bale is quite injury prone. I’d rather go for Griezmann.

3.) 10 Oct 2017 12:43:05
Said it at the time. When you need Bale he's injured. He's their key player yet missed crucial games. Argentina is a different matter.

4.) 10 Oct 2017 13:08:07
Bale played 7 international games last year .
And was a big reason Wales got to the semi finals of the euros the year before .
But he did miss the Ireland game.

5.) 10 Oct 2017 13:16:30
Apparently Griezmann is not too hot too.
Perhaps we should be careful who we want when we are spending that kind of money unless Jose really has the confidence they will play great and not injured too often.

6.) 10 Oct 2017 13:34:00
Unfortunately Bale reminds me of Ronaldo carrying his team in the early years but the issue with Bale is his constant injuries.

I think he will struggle to hit top form now or he won't last long at the top.



23 Sep 2017 11:28:23
So what are people's opinions on Victor Lindelof and the start he has made to his United career?

I saw him several times for Benfica and he looked solid every time, strong in the tackle, quick to recover, very good and getting a last ditch tackle in, his ability to play the ball out from the back was very good.

Which is what makes his start to life at Old Trafford so puzzling. He should have given away at least two or three penalties with poorly timed last ditch tackles already in only a couple of games. His positioning has let him down on several occasions and his passing has been unusually wayward.

Is it nerves? Is it just adjustment to a faster paced more physical league? Or was the small number of games I've seen him play for Benfica not enough to give a true reflection of his ability?

Now I fully accept that having only seen him play for Benfica on four or five occasions that isn't enough to get a full grasp of his ability. But I would expect that the club had him scouted far more than a handful of times, and by scouts far better placed to make a judgement on him as a footballer than me. The club signed him, so obviously they feel he has the ability to play for the club.

So is it nerves or is it him taking time to adjust to a new team, new country and new league?

Probably a bit of both, the awkward thing for me though is that to over come your nerves and to adjust to a new league you have to play. You won't learn how the league works from the bench, nor will you overcome your nerves by only playing occasionally, if anything the pressure to perform on the few chances you do get are likely to make you more nervous.
When Vidic and Evra struggled in thier first season Sir Alex stilled played them in nearly every game to allow them to adjust and acclimatise to the league and the club.

I think Lindelof needs more games if he is to fullfil his potential at the club, but I feel that he might do better from playing as Valencia's understudy. He has played many times at RB and he is less likely to make a goal conceding mistake at RB than CB while also allowing him to adjust to the league and get used to playing for us.

What do you guys think?


1.) 23 Sep 2017 11:58:24
Haven't seen enough of him but he looks nervous .
Had a few shakey moments even against Burton. A lot of cbs have come to the EPL and struggled .
Still only young big move for him and has time on his side.

2.) 23 Sep 2017 11:58:52
Looked a litle shaky at times, but isn't that expected from a cb? He is still young for a cb, has never played with any of the other players and still learning Mourinhos system ( very very different than Benfica playstyle) new tougher league. Atleast he is vocal at the back, yelling at the players around him when they don't do their job. I think him and Bailly can be a great cb pair. Hope i'm wrong though and he flops hard :D.

3.) 23 Sep 2017 12:19:35
Good assesment jred. Shappy you say you can't really learn from training but miki did. The epl is so different from the all the other european leagues its like playing a totally different sport. So it takes some a little longer to adjust. Miki vidic evra all suffererd other like bailly and stam fit in straight away
I expect him to play a decent part for the team in the 2nd half of the season. He was extensively scouted for 18 months so i would imagine this was always the planned programme for him.

4.) 23 Sep 2017 12:30:43
When rojo comes back fit and firing hopefully, do you think he would start with bailly? Or is bailly and jones our best pertnership?

On lindleof, he's only 22 i think so plenty of time to settle in, not everyone can settle like bailly did.

5.) 23 Sep 2017 12:41:10
Depends on Jones, if he stays fit and continues in this form he plays.

6.) 23 Sep 2017 12:43:31
Get rid in jan. Cut our losses.

7.) 23 Sep 2017 13:08:23
Bailly and Jones are our best CB's. Lindelof looked small and feeble in the air, slow to turn, uncomfortable on the ball.

Nerves are a lot to do with it and getting used to the way players play can be difficult. He reminded me of Evans under LVG. Got to give him a lot more time, doesn't help having the bewildered Darmian next to you either.

Got to give him time, I don't rate Rojo or Blind and would rather sell those two before Smalling or Lindelof - Rojo can mix it but he sleeps and is hopeless on the ball, does the defensive work well but we need more from a starter at CB for Utd.

8.) 23 Sep 2017 13:12:39
Look at how DDG struggles when he first came here. He needs time adjust to the EPL. Against RM in the super cup he got better as the game went on. It may be a case of thy he’s putting too much pressure on himself to perform. Sit back enjoy and keep it simple.

9.) 23 Sep 2017 13:22:58
IMBS you've got to be kidding 😂😂😂. Cut loss? 😂😂 What loss? Like what the others said, he is young and is still acclimatizing. He is good and still need to learn abt EPL. Didn't Pogba too even when he came back second time? There is no loss I feel.
However if he continues to be lost by end of season I am sure Jose will rough him up. I am quite confident Jose has plans for him. We have many games and he will have plenty of games to play. So cutting loss is out of the question! 😂😂😂.

10.) 23 Sep 2017 14:30:15
I don't think there's an abundance of young strong centre backs at the minute . Spurs and Chelsea seem sorted, city so so, arsenal and Liverpool realy struggling . We had a good defensive record last season now wether people feel that was through good defending or the team being defensive last season is up for debate. I wouldn't panic about lindlehof just yet I'd imagine partnered with bailey was the plan and I don't think that's even happened yet in a competitive game . credit to Jones wouldn't be fair to drop him he's grabbing the chance of first shot at partnering bailey.

11.) 23 Sep 2017 16:49:55
I caught one. I caught one.



10 Sep 2017 10:32:18
Well that was an interesting day. Spurs and Chelsea showed they have what it takes to challenge for the title. The City Vs Liverpool game was an interesting one, I feel up until Mane got sent off Liverpool were the better side even though they were already a goal down. They missed a couple of decent chances which hinted at a lack of belief, that was then highlighted by the way they capitulated once down to 10 men. But City were no where near as superior as the score line suggests. Defensively they were a mess, Mendy and Walker didn't look like they ever intended to try and defend, against a team that will take their chances and try and get at City's defence they will drop points.

Moving on to us and Stoke. A little balance needs to be added into the argument. Yes it was disappointing, and yes we need to beat teams like Stoke to win the title. But Stoke will take points off of several of our rivals for the title at home. It is not an easy stadium to win at. Also we didn't lose and are still top of the league. I think the team was always likely to struggle in this game, it was just after an international break where the baulk of our first team were away with their national sides. So that isn't the best preparation for a game. Also with our return to the UCL three days later I wouldn't be surprised if our players had half an eye on that game, again this is probably exasperated by being away with thier national team. It makes it very hard for our manager to keep our players focused on Stoke instead of Basel if he isn't with them.
That being said I wasn't happy with our shape, I understand why Mourinho might have wanted an extra body in midfield against such a physical team. And I can see why he went for Darmian instead of Blind, for the added defensive strength both aerially and on the floor. But in dropping Blind and Mata we have lost two of our best passers and players who can really help in creating chances. We had no one deep who could see and play a quick ball over the top to have a quick transition. With Mkhitaryan pushed out wide and no number 10 Lukaku became isolated, and less effective. I do feel if we stuck with the same team as in the first three games we might have got and extra couple of points out of the game. But likewise we could have conceded more and lost the game. Ultimately we have to accept that Mourinho is a pragmatist and will on occasion be too pragmatic and that will cost us points from time to time. But on the whole he will win us more points than he loses.

Onwards and upwards though, barring Huddersfield spanking West Ham on Monday night we will start our UCL campaign on Tuesday night top of the league. Personally I can't wait to hear the music and feel the buzz of a UCL game again. I have a really positive feeling about this season. Let's enjoy it.


1.) 10 Sep 2017 10:57:40
We look flat every time we play 3 in the middle.
Far better team when we play with a 10 supporting the striker and pulling the strings .

Teams will take advantage of walker and Mendy if city continue to play like that.

2.) 10 Sep 2017 11:15:42
I agree jred. The way the team has started the 11 mostly pick themselves and should have gone again at Stoke but Jose will live and learn from it.

Miki at 10 is incredible and his pass for Lukaku's goal was sublime.

3.) 10 Sep 2017 11:48:33
Jred, I agree we don't seem as fluid when we play a midfield three. Everyone has their own opinion on it but for me the issue is we don't have a natural midfield playmaker. So when we drop the No.10 we have no one dictating our play. Pogba is more of a box to box midfielder as is Herrera. Matic is a great shield, but is he able to control games with his passing like Carrick or Kroos would do?
The reason I think a lot of people want a midfield three is due to us having three very good midfielders in Matic, Pogba and Herrera. Herrera was most people's player of the year last year, and they don't want to see him dropped this year. But playing him reduces our offensive output unless we were to drop one of Matic or Pogba for him.

For me it's a good thing, when you have several great options for one area of the pitch it pushes players to play at their peak. Would Keane and Scholes had played as well as they did every week if they didn't have Nicky Butt breathing down their necks? Maybe, maybe not. But either way that competition and quality in depth helped us win many titles.

4.) 10 Sep 2017 12:27:06
Great post shappy. I agree with you it's a conundrum for the manager as Herrera is a fantastic player who was key last year in increasing our tempo of our play. But having a midfield three does hinder our offensive creativity and shifts miki out to the right where is half the player he is behind the ten. I think if we want to play a midfield three, we would have to look at a back three in the big games but again that could be a risk. It is great to have these options but I would like us to go with two wingers away from home in the tougher games so that we can punish teams on the counter. With rash and martial either side of lukaku with a midfield three of Herrera pogba matic would allow to break quicker and would pose more of a threat to opposition fullbacks than putting miki on the right. Miki is our most creative player and a very good no 10 but often struggles out wide and loses the ball too much.




Shappy's rumour replies


Click To View This Thread

31 Aug 2017 14:26:22
Good player, but no better than what we have. Pass, and wait for Greizmann for me.




Click To View This Thread

24 Aug 2017 06:55:02
I thought he rented and the owner was trying to sell the house. I suspect he is probably moving out as the place is in the process of being sold.




Click To View This Thread

21 Aug 2017 11:26:02
I would be disappointed to see him leave, but he is behind Pogba, Matic, Herrera, Carrick and Fellaini in midfield. An it looks like we might play most of the games this season with a No.10 which leaves only two creeper midfield positions available. Of which he is 6th choice.

I would like to keep him and play him in rotation for one of the wide roles. You could have Rashford/ Martial for the left, Mata/ Mkhitaryan for the No.10 and Pereira/ Lingard for the right.




Click To View This Thread

12 Aug 2017 11:36:14
Why not? Mendes hasn't flogged is a player for a while. Lol.




Click To View This Thread

09 Aug 2017 20:46:29
Spot on Redcon.





Shappy's banter replies


Click To View This Thread

17 Oct 2017 19:22:53
Is Mkhitaryan the new Nani? Fantastic on his day, but lacks consistency.




Click To View This Thread

17 Oct 2017 16:48:28
I haven't Ed001 to he honest. But I'll look him up when I get a chance. I recently went back into education, the going atm is pretty intense. Lol.


{Ed001's Note - here is the website save you having to search for it.}



Click To View This Thread

17 Oct 2017 10:00:06
I started along the path a few years ago. But as Ed001 has pointed out cost soon becomes a problem. It cost me £140 for my level one (but I had to take a week off work to complete it, which as I was self employed at the time cost me a weeks earnings) . My level two cost me £340 plus two weeks wages. Although both courses were interesting for different reasons neither really imparted much tactical or coaching knowledge to you. They focused on your ability to deliver a coaching session, safe guarding, first aid and the "FA's vision for football". They want kids to enjoy football as that is why we struggle to produce top quality players apparently.
The issue is to climb further up the ladder you really need to start considering your UEFA B license, UEFA A license then you FIFA pro license. The UEFA B license will set you back by over £5000. Then the others cost more again. So unless you have loads of spare cash kicking about, or you get sponsored by a club then you won't be able to get them.

For me this is the real issue with football in England. For comparison we have just under 3000 people in this country with one of the top three licenses, and we have around about 120 professional football clubs. Were these people exclusively work. In the Netherlands they have less than 45 professional club yet they have over 18000 people with one of the top three licenses. But in the Netherlands many of these highly qualified people work at grass roots level. So you can imagine the difference in standard in coaching the kids receive at grass roots level.

If the FA instead of spending millions on the almost pointless St George's park put the money towards subsidising coaching qualification cost then maybe we would start producing some quality players.


{Ed001's Note - have you heard of Mark Bennet Shapps? Performance Development Systems is his company. He is someone who is well worth listening to if you haven't. His ideas of coaching are spot on, teach kids to think for themselves and the best coaches make themselves redundant. I urge anyone interested in getting into coaching to look him up and take the time to listen to what he has to say. He does coach mentoring as well. Before anyone asks, I have no connection to the guy at all, he is not sponsoring me, I have never spoken to him or met him, just read a lot of articles and heard him speak on a number of podcasts and he is very impressive.}



Click To View This Thread

13 Oct 2017 13:32:42
I'm going with 3-1 to United. I just think we are in better form. Without Mane your front line looks significantly less dynamic. Add to that Coutinho and Firminho will have travelled back from Brazil less than 48 hours before the fixture. Salah could be a bit or a miss, depending on world cup qualification hangover. Add to that Liverpool's biggest weakness is set pieces and that has been a strength of ours this season I think we will win it. But with this fixture you can never tell.




Click To View This Thread

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.}