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21 Jun 2020 02:42:48
Hi Ed's- cheers for the site as always. Was wondering if there was any news about a new Henderson contract?

Been linked with Chelsea today and sounds like a classic plea for a new deal.

Thanks!

LaBamba

{Ed002's Note - I really don't know about contracts.}


1.) 21 Jun 2020 18:01:29
Probably linked because Chelsea would be interested in buying him if possible. Have you seen Kepa? :-P

Obviously (and sadly for us Chelsea fans), it won't ever happen as I doubt your club would be dumb enough to sell him. But it might be more than just a contract thing. He's a very good GK already, and we need one.


 

 

11 Apr 2020 13:47:11
Fabrizio Romano has reported that Pogba is the primary transfer target for Juventus this year. If Pogba were to leave in the summer who would be looking to bring in for the midfield?

For me I would go all out for Saul, he would be exactly what we need and flexible across the midfield positions.

LaBamba

1.) 11 Apr 2020 15:12:29
I think you need to look at what we have and assess the situation from there.

Without looking at lads like Garner and Levitt from the academy we have would have 6 midfielders if Pogba leaves.

Matic and TFM as holding/ defensive midfielders.

Fred and McTominay as energetic box to box midfielders.

And Bruno and Andreas Pereira as creative midfielders.

Now when we look at those 6 options the thing I notice most is if Bruno is out injured we seriously lack creativity.

The second thing I notice is that our defensive midfielders are either unproven and potentially not good enough, or aging and lacking consistency over a season.

Saul is an interesting player, he tends to play as the energetic box to box player or as a defensive player at Atletico.

Personally I think we need someone more creative as we would be one injury to Bruno away from lacking creativity again.

{Ed004's Note - I think a lot depends on if we move Pogba on. I'm not sure if Juve will be able to afford him this summer and if Madrid actually really want him. Regardless if he stays or not I would target a defensive midfielder to take over from Matic - so Zakaria or Partay as first choices.

If pogba goes I think he needs replaced and my top two targets would be Saul or SMS. Not sure who would suit us better but we would definitely need to replace him. Ideally, we could move Andreas and Lingard on this summer. Garner could do with a years loan and then replace Matic the following season. Would leave us with Matic + Zakaria as the holding players with Pogba, Fred, Bruno and Scott competing for 2 spots/maybe 3 if we play a diamond some games}


2.) 11 Apr 2020 16:12:39
A defensive midfielder will be essential this year with Matic unable sustain a long period in the team.

I have to say I would live to see Pogba and Bruno play in the same team, whether that's realistic or not is another question.

{Ed004's Note - Yeah I think defensive midfield has to be the priority. On a separate note- I would only want Grealish if he is coming in to replace Lingard, Andreas and maybe Mata's contribution. We are weakening if he is coming to replace Pogbas}


3.) 11 Apr 2020 16:14:51
We will look st grealish imo.


4.) 11 Apr 2020 17:12:44
How is TFM an option?

Lad is finished at the club, and is nowhere near the level required, even as backup.

{Ed004's Note - I would be surprised if TFM made another appearance at the club}


5.) 11 Apr 2020 19:11:34
TFM only down as an option as the club have recently extended his contract by a year. Seems an odd move if he isn't going to be given a chance at least.

For me the dream signings would be Sancho, Rice and Cantwell, along with Ighalo signing permanently. Allowing Pogba, Lingard, TFM and Andreas Pereira to leave from midfield along with Jones, Rojo and Smalling from defence. While Sanchez out the door would be the icing on the cake.

Three players with great potential, tick the homegrown box and would give us a real platform to build from.


6.) 11 Apr 2020 21:23:44
I agree with your list shappy well nearly anyway .
While rice isn't a worldly by any means I think he would bring balance to the squad as if you were able to move them on you could let smalling, Jones, rojo and pogba go and rice would mean you had a fifth option for cb and 4 options for cm .
I agree aswell on sancho and ighalo but I would change Cantwell for grealish . If bruno got an injury or loss of form the other midfielders are not the most creative, plus it's good to have attacking options on the bench for games we need to turn .
I think we would then have the option of again, if we found buyers moving on lingard, peirrera, mata and sanchez and still have 2 for every position .
The problem is with this list is it would be very expensive with only sancho having any certainty of being a starter but we would have a more balanced squad and when injuries, fatigue and loss of form happen, options.


7.) 11 Apr 2020 22:49:44
If he is fit rhen david brookes ar Bournemouth is a player i really like.


8.) 11 Apr 2020 18:39:41
Garner and Laird shouldn't even be in the conversation at this time. Neither could get game time when our midfield was ravaged with injury. TFM as well shouldn't be mentioned in our squad, he has no future with us.

Our squad is at that stage of development were you have to be ruthless. Too many 5/ 6 out of 10 performers in there.

Pereira hasn't done enough and should be sold. Matic was one of our best perfemromers when he came back in from the cold. Hopefully someone who can deputise with him next year.

The Pogba debacle should be sorted once and for all. Let the fella go and be someone else's problem. If we're picking our dream signing it would be Reuben Neves for me.


9.) 12 Apr 2020 00:47:26
Personally think Jack Grealish holds on to the ball to long to play in a counter attacking system. I would rather the club looks elsewhere.


10.) 12 Apr 2020 02:29:07
Maddison. Every time. Going to be a top, top player.


11.) 12 Apr 2020 11:29:57
Slate, I'm not a fan of Grealish, as LaBamba says he holds on to the ball for too long, doesn't seem like a great team player. He also entirely plays either left wing or No.10. Meaning he would be competing with Rashford and Bruno probably two of only 3-4 outfield players who are nailed on to start if fit. I don't see any value in spending 60-70m on a squad player who seems to be a bit of a big time charlie.

In a ideal world I'd love to sign Maddison as Stevie suggests. However, if we are to pursue players like Rice and Sancho they are likely to cost 70-80m and 100-120m each. While I can't see Leicester letting Maddison go for any less than the 80m we paid for Maguire last summer. Which means we would be looking at spending nearly 300m in fees alone, signing on fees and agents fees would likely add another 100m if the 50-60m fees being asked for Sancho alone are anything to go by.

I see the creative midfielder we are looking for is to replace Lingard/ Pereira as the back up squad players who could potentially challenge Bruno centrally, or cover the wide area if needed.

That's why for me Cantwell could be a great option. He is more tactically flexible than Grealish (I watched him against Newcastle, Everton and Arsenal this season lining up on the right and was excellent in all games picking up a few goals and couple of assists on his supposed weaker side) .

Salford, David Brooks looked a player before his injury, but after a whole season out injured he needs games to get back to where he was if he can get back. Many top young players have suffered bad injuries and never recovered their top form. I think he needs at least another season before we consider a move for him.

Mumbles, I agree that Garner, Levitt and Laird should head out on loan next season to play a year at senior level.
I also don't think TFM is good enough, he has stagnated for 3 years. That said the club activated a one year extension clause. So i would imagine the club will give him a run at least.
Matic has often had a great 2 months in most season with us, he struggles to keep that level up over a whole season. That said I'm not sure how many games we will need a specific holding midfielder. But someone like Rice would offer us a longer term option.


12.) 12 Apr 2020 13:00:33
Not sure the TFM contract extension has anything to do with him being involved in match days. Probably more along the lines of the club have invested a fair bit of money in his development and in all likelihood could still get some return if they can shift him before the start of next season.

Wouldn’t be surprised if he was already being hawked off to the highest bidder behind the scenes!


13.) 12 Apr 2020 23:31:30
We need to get rid of Pogba and replace him with Saul or SmS and i would go no where near Grealish.

He isn't what we need and we should rather focus on a too class CM and DM for midfield.

I think Bruno can do everything and anything Grealish can do and he is twice the player Grealish would ever be.


14.) 13 Apr 2020 08:28:54
There is a lot of TFM bashing going on. He had an injury this season which kept him out for a long time. He has never had a chance in his preferred DM position. He only ever played as a right back in the first team, for Van dull. We should buy another DM and play Matic as back up for another year. TFM should go out on loan this season, where he is guaranteed to get game time. Then reassess it in January, (or whenever mid season is next year! )


 

 

30 Mar 2020 00:12:25
During this football quiet period, I was just wondering if anyone who watches the academy had seen any future players who could be brought into the first team over the next few seasons?

I was curious to know who are the standouts who could follow in mctominay, Greenwood and William's footsteps?

LaBamba

1.) 30 Mar 2020 06:26:44
From the u18s the standouts from what I've watched would be Hannibal Mejbri, Hoogewerf and Mengi, Elanga and sotona also look standouts in that age group. In the u23s I still think Garner will step up and now Chong has signed a new deal maybe a loan next season will be best for him. Maybe a player who doesn't get mentioned much who could get a chance would be Aliou Traore and also Ethan Laird, obviously not all those will make it but they have been standouts in their age groups, hope this helps.


2.) 30 Mar 2020 17:02:07
Elanga is one to keep an eye in.


3.) 30 Mar 2020 22:45:48
Thanks for sharing. It will be interesting to see how they manage to bring these players through going forward. The club seems reluctant to allow loans which you would think would be the only way to give some of these players game time going forward. For example ahead of Hoogewerf is greenwood, rashford and ighalo. Youd think as the team gets stronger the loan system will have to be utilised.


4.) 31 Mar 2020 08:16:12
Mejbri looks an interesting one from what I have seen. Talented mercurial and inventive. Next season we should see him emerge if he keeps developing.


 

 

19 Jan 2020 19:46:46
That's a striker and a midfielder needed now. Though the result wasn't awful these were all missing pieces we could see in the summer. Lucky to have got this far without these gaps being exposed. The board need to make signings this winter.

LaBamba

1.) 19 Jan 2020 21:03:22
Soumare - Fernandes- Dembele.


 

 

03 Jan 2020 10:08:53
Watched Dean Henderson against Liverpool and as always was very impressed. Currently with De gea underperforming I was wondering how many would like to see him in the starting 11 / squad next year? If not what's the best way to manage him into the squad going forward?

For me he is the future england number 1 and I think it would be terrible if De gea long term contact got in the way of him being merged into the united squad. At the same time I wouldn't want to bring him back from sheffield if he's not going to get minutes and prevent his progression.

LaBamba

1.) 03 Jan 2020 10:26:38
Good keeper i made that shout about England last season he is streets ahead of pickford.
Ddg won't be going anywhere on his contract 300k a week.
That's why we are stuck with martial too. Nobody else in the world would pay them that sort of money.


2.) 03 Jan 2020 10:27:52
I agree. I thought we should have sold DDG last summer and made Romero our number 1.

Henderson gets a season of PL with Sheffield. Let Ro. ero and Henderson fight for the #1 spot the following summer.

DDG is being paid a lot of money aswell for a GK who hasn't been in form.

Dont get me wrong, he has been a world class go, but his performances over the last year, don't justify a new contract on the wages he is getting.

But, it is what it is.


3.) 03 Jan 2020 13:04:23
Get proper center backs in the team nd u will see De Gea back in top form. I think he has had enough with saving the team time and time again.


4.) 03 Jan 2020 13:15:48
Singh ddg is still a top keeper imo but his form had been dodgy for club and country for 18 months or so.
I agree those in front for both club and country are not great.


5.) 03 Jan 2020 13:50:51
Hendo has to be in the squad next year for sure either as a 1 or a 2.


6.) 03 Jan 2020 15:47:26
I have said previously that DDG has been on a whole other level in terms of shot stopping to any other keeper in the world.

However, recently that ability has dropped slightly.

Which means now people are starting to judge him on other areas of goalkeeping that he used to get a bit of a pass on.

Can he command his area? Can he collect high balls, how good is his distribution?

He hasn't deterioration in any of these areas, the issue for him is his other worldly shot stopping has come back down to the level of mere mortals.

Three years ago DDG would concede a goal due to giving the ball away, or failing to collect a cross or organise his defence. However, he was also making three or four saves a game he had no right to make. Which masked the occasional mistakes.

The question is will he get back to that level? I don't think so. Shot stopping heavily relies on reflexes, something that will be the first thing to decline in a goalkeepers arsenal.

DDG turns 30 this year, normally not an issue for a goalkeeper. Yet that is around the age Casillias started to decline. A similar goalkeeper who had excellent shot stopping ability but lacked in other areas.

If Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid or PSG come in for DDG this summer the club has to seriously consider accepting the bid.

DDG will never likely recover his form to his previous level. The idea that a poor defence in front of him to be at fault is nonsensical in my opinion, unless you rate Smalling, Jones and Rojo who have been the guys in front of him for the best part of the last 5 years.

If we can get a more rounded keeper, like Henderson looks to be then we might be in a better position in 2-3 years time.


7.) 03 Jan 2020 18:06:34
We quite simply keeping on making the same mistakes- pay big wages and when players form starts to decline (usually not long after signing, in some cases before! ) we can't get them moved on due to wages and the inept policies of wanting large fees as well. DDG should have had his arse kicked out the door 2 year back as should have others, rooney twice, jones, rojo fellaini, lingard etc etc. Not against performance related increases but what have the majority achieved? You can't lay all the blame at the players as they would be stupid to turn it down but the agents know exactly who to target for extra thousands.


8.) 03 Jan 2020 19:22:02
It's a classic example of how the club is badly managed. We have a more than decent, well experienced no 2 keeper in Romero and Henderson coming to the point where he needs to be playing regularly.

DDG is on the wane and we could have cashed him in for £50 Mill, but no; he's given a new bumper contract on a wage which means he can never be moved on.

So now we are left with the headache of what to do with Henderson. Loan him out for the next 4 years until de Geas contract is up?


9.) 03 Jan 2020 20:07:11
Couldn't agree more MancMan. Ddg is nowhere near as good as people make out. Quite the opposite, he's central to the problems we have defensively at present. He's awful at commanding his area, useless at coming out for crosses, terrible at distribution and starting attacks, and non existent at communication with the defenders. This puts our defence under pressure all the time and slows our counter attacking options. I would've sold him 2 years ago to be honest. Romero and Henderson are excellent options.


10.) 04 Jan 2020 01:09:44
I will be interested to see how they manage to bring Henderson into the squad. Have a feeling it will be similarly to what we are seeing with William's and Shaw. Will take a while for the penny to drop and the club will be reluctant not to play one of its biggest earners. Realistically both shaw and de gea are underperforming and need a spell out of the squad/ to be moved on next season (after the more critical transfers have been made. Though I did read an article in the athletic which suggested united were planning to bring 4 in this window which made me laugh. The only thing the clubs current structure could bring 4 of in during a transfer window is sponsors) .


 

 

 

LaBamba's rumour replies

 

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06 Jun 2020 03:05:32
Not to fussed. He tends to occupy the same spaces as rashford from what I've read. Additionally ighalo provides the necessary cover in the short term.

LaBamba

 

 

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27 Mar 2020 19:10:12
Sancho will be essential as that would be the first out and out winger the club has had in nearly a decade.

CDM to come in, Zakaria seems to be the name touted.

Ighalo was signed as a short term fix and that's how it should stay. Mertens available on a free and would provide great support to the front three.

If they could add a centre back such as Upamecano who is young strong and quick, I think you would have a top 3 side there. I feel like we might have to wait another year yet to get a complete side. But the below could be a target:

Henderson - De Gea
Shaw - William's
Maguire - Lindelof
Upamecano - bailly
Bissaka - dalot
Zakaria - Matic
Bruno - Fred
Pogba - Mctominay
Martial - James
Sancho - Greenwood
Rashford - (Mertens? )

That's easily a top 4 side with a chance to work through the champions league.

Leaves Jones, Rojo, Smalling, Pereira and Lingard to find a new club though. Fifa transfer market but a boy can dream.

LaBamba

 

 

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22 Jan 2020 00:23:16
@Salford - no idea what that's based on. The fans just want to see progression as has been promised. As I said at the start of the season we are missing one CAM and one striker / RW. The club has failed to fill those roles. Now those issues are coming to fruition.

I'm not the biggest fan of Solkjaer as a manager, but now is the opportunity for the club to show their intentions. We either purchase players to fill those roles and chase the very attainable fourth spot, or the manager gets held out to dry as there's "no value in the market". I know what my money is on.

LaBamba

 

 

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18 Dec 2018 20:13:07
As someone who watched OGS throughout his time at cardiff (from his appointment, to the relegation and to the subsequent firing while in the championship), I can confirm that he was in my opinion the worst manager we have had in my time as a supporter. Defensively he was woeful, going forward we looked confused and overall we had absolutely no plan. He made selection decisions which absolutely mystified the fans, e. g. playing our best midfielder at left back (more shocking as he was slow and couldn't defend) . Not only were the results bad but his signings were out of their depth and he left the club in a position which we are only just now recovering from. If he does take the united job, it would surprise me if he makes it till May.

LaBamba

 

 

 

LaBamba's banter replies

 

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06 Aug 2020 21:57:36
Hi Ed002 - bit of a surprise read this one, never expected you to review a cardiff player!

As someone who tries to watch him every week his main problem in my opinion is fitness. The reason he doesn't start isn't because managers at cardiff don't rate him (in my opinion he's our best attacking player), but because he hits the ground running from the start and runs out of steam.

If you watched him whilst Albert was there he was brilliant, because Albert would do the graft for the majority of the game and NML would come on for the last 20 mins against tired legs.

Finally proof of the unplayable bit you mentioned was our game against liverpool in the premier league, where TAA got subbed at half time because NML had him on toast.

Either way good read and interesting to get an outsiders opinion on him.

LaBamba

{Ed001's Note - that is not really proof. Trent was just a kid learning the game at that point, he has improved immeasurably since then. Mendez-Laing gave him problems, yes, but so did every winger that attacked him that season. That no longer happens.

I am sorry but I don't believe you on lack of fitness, having watched him a lot, he is not tiring, he just lacks intelligence. Fine to do the same thing over and over against tired legs that are just unable to keep up with him, but when he is up against defenders over 90 minutes, they soon figure him out and shut him out of the game. It is not fitness that causes the running out of steam, it is a lack of ideas on how to do anything different.}


 

 

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30 Jun 2020 02:03:50
Said it for a long time - Messi is papering over some serious cracks in that Barcelona team. Once he retires they will be in serious trouble.

LaBamba

 

 

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25 Jun 2020 13:55:56
Agreed with the above - united really showed a fluidity which I've been waiting for them to develop for seasons now. All three goals came from open play without relying on a set piece which we have been missing so often.

I had one problem with last night and one only - that is that none of the last 5 substitutes were youth players. At that scoreline it would of been a perfect time to bring on a Chong, Garner, Gomes, Mejbri or Mengi.

LaBamba

 

 

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25 Jun 2020 02:20:24
I'm confident by the end of this season people will be keen to see him sign a new contract. The team looks infinitely better with pogba and bruno in it. Add sancho to that and I think we will be top 3-4 and challenging.

LaBamba

 

 

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18 Jun 2020 10:28:11
@DanJames - factcheck.org debunked that conspiracy.

Don't get your news off facebook.

LaBamba

{Ed033's Note - Yes, a much better source of news is UK Column News