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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


17 Aug 2017 12:36:49
I find it strange and hard to understand that even after our best performance/ result in probably 4 years that people still find something to be negative about.

We played well, we won well. Then our main opposition didn't play well and several got a poor result to boot.

Yet we have people scrapping the barrel for a negative.

Oh what if Lukaku gets injured?
Well I guess we'll have to make do.

Zlatan got injured last season at a key time. And we won a European trophy without him.

Lukaku's style of play is much more similar to that of Rashford and Martial than Zlatan's. With the team set up for that kind of striker hopefully if Lukaku was to succumb to injury to team will be better placed to deal with it as the team won't have to change style so much.

But that's kind of besides to point, every team suffers injuries. How badly they effect that team will depend on which player it is injured and how they are able to cope with it.

If Real Madrid lost Ronaldo, or Kroos or Modric then would they not suffer?

If Barcelona lost Messi, Suarez or Busquets would they not struggle either?

If Bayern were to lost Lewandowski, Neuer or Hummels?

Chelsea are very reliant on Courtois, Hazard and Kante?

Arsenal have Ozil, Sanchez and Koscielny.

Liverpool Mane, Coutinho and Henderson.

City, Silva, De Bruyne and Fernandinho.

Every team has key players who if they got injured it would have a serious effect on the team.

If that is the only negative we can find about our club at the moment then we are clearly in great shape.


1.) 17 Aug 2017 13:04:30
Shappy, you are right, everyone gets injuries. We got our fair share last year, so I think people are rightly paranoid about it.
For me, I think we played brilliantly on Sunday and won convincingly and with style. But I can't help thinking that we are lacking a Left Back and a Winger of quality.
If we were to buy Alexis Sanchez, then we will win the league and my frustration at the moment is that the club and Mourinho has bought some excellent players and we really are looking the Real deal, but with Sanchez in the team, we will have another goal scoring threat which we seriously lack should Lukaku gets injured.

2.) 17 Aug 2017 13:14:23
Like Jose I still think we are a goal scoring wide forward short at the top level and a full back.

3.) 17 Aug 2017 16:41:49
Every team has at least one of two positions that could do with strengthening. Real Madrid could do with a world class GK and a back up striker. Barcelona could do with some quality defenders, have they had many in the last ten years even half as good as Puyol?

Yet they still won titles.

Yes we could do with a top level LB, more depth at RB and a world class wide forward.

Will those positions cost us a title? Time will tell. But atm we are winning and winning convincingly. Let's just be happy for a week.

4.) 17 Aug 2017 18:00:56
I depends on your mind set shappy. I've no problem with anybody pointing out areas that can be improved upon that's not being negative.
It does not mean those supporters don't support the team we have. Recruitment in any business is the key to success. Do it well and you will succeed. Jose does it well i trust him to do what's best with the funds available. i'm looking forward to the window closing and then we know where we stand.

5.) 17 Aug 2017 20:45:36
I have the same opinion as Schmid, buy a Sanchez or Bale and it brings goals and takes us to another level.

I would feel that failure to bring that level of player in would be Glazernomics at play again.



14 Aug 2017 11:00:51
What on earth was that? Where is the real Manchester United I know and love?

Where was the possession?

The sideways passing?

The only shooting if your inside the 6 yard box and it's an open goal?

Louis van Gaal would be appalled. How is this quick, incisive, entertaining football ever going to win us anything?

I mean for god's sake how am I supposed to have my Sunday afternoon nap when United play such thrilling football.

Bring back the pointless posshession.


1.) 14 Aug 2017 11:23:53
Know how you feel, I switched was watching on Tv and switched off after 92 minutes in disgust.

2.) 14 Aug 2017 12:06:16
Lol you guys 😂.

3.) 14 Aug 2017 11:34:26
One of the first Sunday games I managed to keep my eyes open for the full 90 minutes.

There's been too many times where I've nodded off. unsure if that's the football or the late night drinking the night before though.

Long may it continue!

4.) 14 Aug 2017 12:41:57
Ha ha ha nice post Shappy but be careful what you wish for pal 😂

I remember a LGV team absolutely dismantling Liverpool at Anfield a couple of years ago playing some of the best football we'd seen in years so I'm wary of getting carried away just yet! We've witnessed a few false dawns recently but this feels different. Bring on next weekend!

5.) 14 Aug 2017 14:20:14
Moon is boycotting the page until we start averaging 70% posseshion again.



11 Aug 2017 17:09:20
The perfect finish to the transfer window would be Aurier, Rose and Alexis Sanchez. We would have strengthened all our weaknesses while also weakening 4 rivals in Chelsea, Arsenal, Spurs and Everton.

Come on Eddy boy make me happy. Lol.


{Ed004's Note - Would be a fantastic end to the window but I don't think we have even shown an interest in Sanchez}

1.) 12 Aug 2017 01:47:55
Maybe this is one for ed002? To many of us Utd fans, Sanchez seems a no brainer.

Why do you think Mourinho doesn't seem interested in moving for him?

{Ed002's Note - He has no interest in the player.}



11 Aug 2017 09:00:09
So the latest rumour is a mooted swap Luke Shaw for Danny Rose. Normally I discount swaps as they rarely happen. But Pochettino has worked with Shaw before, Shaw is a London boy and Spurs like signing young English talent. Where as Mourinho likes EPL proven players at their peak. So a swap actually makes sense for both sides.

I'm torn by the idea. On one side we would be gaining probably the best left back in the league at the peak of his powers, he is English and his signing would weaken a rival. But on the other Shaw has so much potential and being 5 years younger has a lot more longevity.

If we had a good alternative to Shaw in the squad I probably wouldn't want to see this deal happen, but seeing as if Shaw doesn't step up this season we would be very weak in the left back position I would probably go for the swap. Signing Rose would imo make us title favourites as it removes one of our big weaknesses from our side and gives much more balance to the team as a whole.


1.) 11 Aug 2017 09:17:43
Why swap when we could just buy Rose and have both.

Nothing wrong with having two good options at LB.

2.) 11 Aug 2017 09:26:47
Yes dave that is the ideal situation.

But if we have the option of one or the other then i'm now at the stage where Danny Rose is the better option IMO. i'm not a 'shiny new signing' kind of supporter but the left side needs addressing and needs it quickly.

3.) 11 Aug 2017 09:38:51
Shaw's wages are a big stumbling block. Rose was complaining about Spurs's budget wage structure. Shaw is on big wages and would have to take a substantial cut to join them.

4.) 11 Aug 2017 09:40:26
Dave in a perfect world we would have both. But Levy will not be easy to negotiate with and if it became a case of one of the other then I'm leaning towards Rose over Shaw now.

As much as I want Shaw to become the player he has the potential to. It's now a hope rather than an expectation. My head is saying I think Shaw might become another Anderson, potential to be one of the best in the world, but lacks the mentality to fullfil that potential.

5.) 11 Aug 2017 10:31:34
If it has to be one or the other I'd pick Rose any day of the week and twice on a Sunday. I understand why people are torn though as Shaw has the potential to be a worldly. However, sometimes things don't work out at clubs and Shaw has never stayed fit (even without the horrendous broken leg incident) and always been criticised for his attitude. Rose has an arrogance about him that means he can take the pressure of stepping up to a bigger club. I'd go all out for him as he would add some great balance and width to our side as well we being a good defender.

However, having both would be excellent and would surely spell the end for Darmian or Blind?

6.) 11 Aug 2017 10:31:53
That's true Danny, the very fact that if Shaw's wages were to stay the same as they are with us he would instantly become Spurs highest earned by quite some distance maybe highlights why Rose is so unhappy.



10 Aug 2017 10:54:12
Let's move away from who we are and aren't buying this summer and talk about potential tactics that could get the best out of the players we do have.

In an ideal world I would like to see us go with two basic set ups this season. A 442 diamond against lesser teams, with Matic holding Pogba and Herrera roaming and either Mkhitaryan or Mata in the No.10 role with Lukaku and Rashford up front and Martial on the bench to possibly add extra pace and direct running later on in the game.
Then against the bigger teams drop the No.10 and go 352 with the aim of hitting teams on the counter. Both set ups allow to switch to either a 433 or 343 by either moving or subbing the No.10 or by taking off a midfielder for a wide player.

I think with several teams adopting the 3 at the back formation the idea of having a front three is less appealing as there is someone to either man mark each forward or mark the zones these players will be playing in. Having a front two working in a partnership changes things and allows them to find the space between the defenders more easily. I also think that this kind of set up plays to our strength as a squad in the most part. First off we have no natural wingers only strikers and No.10's who get shunted out wide. You will get more out of a player by playing them in their best positions. The only issue with playing this way is the lack of quality we have in the full back positions. If Valencia can recreate his form from last season and Shaw can kick on we have good players, but far have no quality options to rotate with them. In an ideal world we would have signed Mendy and Semedo. But we didn't and they have moved on to other clubs.

Like I said this is how I would like to see us play, but it's not how I expect us to.

I suspect we will see the continuation of 4231/ 433 that Mourinho has deployed almost exclusively throughout his career. For me there are three main issues with this.
1, we lack wingers to give us effective width in either of these systems.
2, we have two of the best young strikers in the game in Rashford and Martial and with Lukaku and the possibility of Zlatan returning there will be very limited chances for them to play in their best position this season if we continue with a one striker system.
3, finally we would still lack the quality in depth at full back with this system. It's not a system that fully covers that lack of depth.

I'm hoping Jose sees that and changes things to a system more similar to what I have suggested. Then we spend the last couple of weeks going all out for Rose/ Bertrand and Fabinho/ Aurier.


1.) 10 Aug 2017 12:07:12
I don't mind the the mouriniho preferred formation but he and we all know it's crying out for an out and out winger!

2.) 10 Aug 2017 12:28:18
More than happy with 4231 with a twist.

3.) 10 Aug 2017 12:30:43
If you are playing with wingers then you need one on each side otherwise it is unbalanced and easy to mark against as you only ever play down one side.

4.) 10 Aug 2017 13:21:00
Many good teams over the years have played with one out and out winger, while the other winger drifts inside, and the fullback overlaps. Messi drifts inside while Alves overlaps. Latest Real version, Isco roams while Carvajal stays high and wide. Bayern as well have done it with Robben and Ribery skilled enough to perform both roles in the same match, sometimes staying wide and sometimes drifting inside.

5.) 10 Aug 2017 13:24:21
Jred, I'm happy with whatever gets results. Although I would like it to be more entertaining than last season if possible.

Rshuttleworth, he does appear to want more creativity and direct running from out wide. In an ideal world that would be a great signing. But I feel we need full backs more. If Shaw doesn't kick in and Valencia gets an injury then we have a serious weakness in the full back areas.

Redknight, it helps to have balance but I wouldn't say you need it. I remember when we had a flying winger in Giggs on one side and Beckham on the other who was a very different type of player. The balance came in they both found a way to have a high output offensively. The great players find a way of beating people even when what they do becomes obvious.

6.) 10 Aug 2017 13:31:56
Don't see 442 to be honest .
Hope we don't.

7.) 10 Aug 2017 15:12:26
Shappy - Great post pal, I agree a 4-4-2 diamond gets the best out of all our players in their preferred positions.

Rashford and Martial get to partner Lukaku up front.

Miki or Mata get to play they preferred role at No 10.

Pogba gets the added protection of a midfield anchor therefore he is freed to be more creative.

Like you've said this formation does lack width but I still feel Valencia is adequate on the right and maybe we should drop our interest in Perisic and look to add an attacking left full back before the window closes.

Sadly I don't think this is going to happen as he hasn't even experimented with this formation during pre season. It will be either 4-3-3, 4-2-3-1 or possibly 3-5-2 in the big games! The big problem with all theses systems is we lack width and our attacking wingers/ forwards or wing backs often get pushed back into full back areas leaving the front man isolated!




Shappy's rumour replies


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




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




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07 Aug 2017 15:06:54
Interesting rumour, I like him. But struggle to see where he fits into our team. Maybe back up in midfield and at right back.




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06 Aug 2017 07:06:52
If we signed Aurier and Bertrand I would be over the moon.




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03 Aug 2017 19:17:29
He's 28, and his game is based on pace. He has muscle and ankle issues. Even as a 21 year old in the EPL he used to have to wear strapping to stop him damaging his muscles. He has 2-3 years left at the top, how much of that he can stay fit for is the real question.

Bare in mind his wages will be in the region of 15m a year. On a four year deal that's another 60m in wages at least. Plus agents fees and the like the whole deal if we got him for 50m would likely cost us around 120-140m. For a player who will likely play 25-30 games a year at best over the next four years, while declining and many of those games he will be working himself back to fitness and form.

If we have to pay 90m then the cost of signing him will be closer to 200m. That's just madness for a player who's best days are behind him.

We got our fingers burned with Hargreaves. Let's not keep signing crocks. Especially ones for 90m.





Shappy's banter replies


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17 Aug 2017 16:41:49
Every team has at least one of two positions that could do with strengthening. Real Madrid could do with a world class GK and a back up striker. Barcelona could do with some quality defenders, have they had many in the last ten years even half as good as Puyol?

Yet they still won titles.

Yes we could do with a top level LB, more depth at RB and a world class wide forward.

Will those positions cost us a title? Time will tell. But atm we are winning and winning convincingly. Let's just be happy for a week.




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17 Aug 2017 16:36:31
Swansea proved a tough nut to crack for Southampton last weekend. I'd be happy with three points anyway we got them.




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17 Aug 2017 16:35:04
If we play 4231 we have four offensive positions. Currently we have Lukaku, Rashford, Martial, Lingard, Mata and Mkhitaryan for those 4 positions. Is 6 players for 4 roles really enough squad depth for a 50-60 game season?

Probably not, that's why I wouldn't be surprised if we saw another winger come in. Lemar looks a good option, glad he gave up on his singing career to focus on football. Maybe there is some justice in the world.




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17 Aug 2017 12:11:51
Good player, slightly injury prone and English. Not sure if he is a significant improvement on what we have, but can see the positives.

Personally I don't think we should move for another attack minded player unless they are in or close to that "world class" bracket.

Bernardo Silva would have been an excellent option and my second choice only behind Greizmann.




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17 Aug 2017 12:14:11
I really like the look of Asensio, looks a real gem. Hopefully Real Madrid treat him well and appreciate him. They have a tendency to overlook their homegrown players.