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04 Jun 2024 14:03:39
Hello Eds,
Can you kindly shed some light on these rumors.
Is Goncalo Inacio a main target for us and is he an alternative to Branthwaite or are both wanted.
After reports of a rejected bid for Joao Neves for a reported amount of 51mil, can Utd afford to bid higher considering financial constraints and the need for other signings? Or will someone like Hjulmand be considered instead of Neves?
Is Frankie de Jong one of the main names considered to replace Casemiro at utd?

mbd

{Ed002's Note - Goncalo Inacio (CB) Watched by scouts from a number of PL sides, including Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United, with each declaring an interest. Sporting will not be keen to do business with Liverpool although the club could potentially arrange to pay his full Release Clause in a single payment and force the situation if the player is interested - and that seems a strong possibility. The other sides to declare an interest are Newcastle and PSG, but PSG have a plan over another player but it is looking unlikely he will join - so Inacio might become the focus. Real Madrid offer a wildcard option. Sporting would rather not sell and are looking to a further new contract and an increased release clause. Newcastle have held talks with Sporting in order to be able to speak directly to the player and to understand if there is flexibility in the payment schedule – but there isn't. Arsenal interest would have departed with the signing of Timber although it has returned with the injury to Timber and impending departures. They are actively seeking talks with Sporting. The player has also been offered to Chelsea by his agent when discussing another player, but they have preferred options for a long-term Silva replacement although do have an interest in Inacio's CB partner Diomande. Arsenal have made a tentative offer that has been rejected. The player's agent has also said that Inacio is open to a move to Manchester United and they may push depending on departures, but he is not first choice.
Jarrad Branthwaite (CB) Everton want a new contract but Spurs, Manchester United and Newcastle have an interest. Ancelotti has spoken to Solari about him and scouts were sent to watch him against Newcastle, but Solari is not convinced that English players settle well on the continent. Manchester United will likely need a complete rebuild at CB with departures in the summer and so he will likely be an option. Spurs have a need for a CB. Newcastle has a compelling need to add one or two younger CBs. A wildcard would be Manchester City.
Joao Neves (DM/CM) Discussed with Chelsea when meeting over another player as they were seeking a replacement for Loftus-Cheek. Potential Casemiro replacement for Manchester United. Huge buy out clause and Benfica will not look to sell but recognise there will be growing interest and will insist that the buy out clause is met. Liverpool and Manchetser City have sent scouts. Versatile but falls over easily. I expect Manchester United to push even having a first offer rejected.
Matthijs de Ligt (CB) Player was happier with Tuchel as coach but changes make his future less clear. In the unlikely event that ten Hag is still at Manchester United he may well be interested but he would not be top of the list at all. Bayern have no interest in selling although they are persisting in chasing another CB themselves. He is not a Casemiro alternative.
Joao Neves (DM/CM) Discussed with Chelsea when meeting over another player as they were seeking a replacement for Loftus-Cheek. Potential Casemiro replacement for Manchester United. Huge buy out clause and Benfica will not look to sell but recognise there will be growing interest and will insist that the buy out clause is met in full. Liverpool and Manchetser City have sent scouts. Versatile but falls over easily. I expect Manchester United to push even having a first offer rejected.
Morten Hjulmand (DM/CM) Arrived from Lecce in the summer of 2023 - not available unless an offer that meets his huge release clause is made - and even then the player may not be interested in a move so soon after joining. Arsenal are looking at Elneny and Jorginho leaving as Free Agents in the summer and have sent scouts. He is also seen as an option for Manchester United but currently not first choice. Spurs interest has gone. Barcelona may propose some horse trading. Will stay where he is for now.}


1.) 04 Jun 2024 14:21:20
Thanks ED002.


2.) 04 Jun 2024 15:09:08
Wow, so much info, Much appreciated Ed. !
Did you mean De jong is not a Casemiro alternative?

{Ed002's Note - Sorry. Frenkie de Jong (CM/DM) Barcelona will look for a new contract with reduced wages else he will be sold in the summer with possible interest remaining from Manchester United if ten Hag stays. PSG have spoken with his agent and additionally his agent has raised his availability with Chelsea whist discussing another player and with Arsenal - but beither is interested and the wages are huge.}


3.) 04 Jun 2024 16:31:35
Does anyone remember who our first choice CB target is? I remember Ed mentions we have Goncalo Inacio, Jarrad Branthwaite, Trevor Chalobah and Antonio Silva as our CB targets but I can't seem to remember who our first choice is.
I think it was Antonio Silva but I could be wrong.

{Ed002's Note - Inacio, Silva (but hugely expensive) or Gleison Bremer.}


4.) 04 Jun 2024 16:39:45
Wow! Ed002 does it again. Thanks Ed!


5.) 04 Jun 2024 20:10:04
So Neves is the answer then ?.


6.) 05 Jun 2024 00:00:02
I've not seen too much of him jimbob. Hoping to see him during the euros. I hope we can agree a deal soon having had a bid rejected you'd hope can get back in there quickly to get a feedback agreed, from what I've read he seems to be very highly regarded.
Have you seen much of him?


7.) 05 Jun 2024 02:22:32
Utd know what it’ll take to get Neves, €110m lump sum up front. Not too sure Benfica will have much wiggle room with it given the amount of clubs interested in him. There’s also many clubs interested in Silva so they’ll have a choice of which one they want to sell and it’ll probably be the one they get the highest offer for.


8.) 05 Jun 2024 02:28:48
Unless we make sales before June 30th I can’t see us giving them the amount being quoted.


9.) 05 Jun 2024 08:09:16
Outside of a few internationals and European matches, I haven't extensively watched him. But from what I have seen, he would certainly complement Mainoo and Bruno in a 3 man mid.

As I've previously mentioned, I personally thought we missed a beat with Bellingham, I think from what is out there, Neves is the next best thing. He also is a long term signing, not a short term plug, which is again my preference.


10.) 05 Jun 2024 01:26:47
Thanks for the info Ed!
Have a good day.


11.) 05 Jun 2024 09:01:10
Are these young foreign players really long term though? Saw a comment here Neves / Silva would be the future for next 10 years but these days PortugeseSpanish lads will be off after a couple of years once Barca/ RM come calling- exceptions to it of course.


 

 

22 May 2024 09:59:18
Some chatter i picked up from some muppet heads over the net and sharing for those interested and for those who can shed any light on these .
Jarrad B will be pursued to see ahead of June 30 to see if Everton come to a reasonable fee. Tosin and Todibo strong options. a LCB is not "guaranteed" unless they are viewed as flexible as Branthwaite is, which is one of the reasons he's highly admired. 2CBs still likely, but it could be something like Tosin + Todibo. Together could factor into Maguire's continuity.
Don’t think we’ve quite reached the end of the Bruno saga. Some truth to reports of a Saudi club looking to a deal. His agent shopping him just a bit. Following previous weeks meeting United not looking to move him on but don’t feel that they should give a new contract as of now, despite his agent bringing competing offers from Saudi.

mbd

1.) 22 May 2024 12:43:12
Tosin going Newcastle i think.


2.) 22 May 2024 14:20:07
Personally I'd sell Maguire along with Lindelof. Is rather extend Evans contract for a further year if it meant those two were sold.


3.) 22 May 2024 14:47:02
Jesus is that where we are at now, extending Johnny Evans contract for another year. Come on!


4.) 22 May 2024 18:21:02
Varane is gone, Evans will leave. I'd sell whoever attracts a bigger fee between Maguire and Lindelof. And look to sign two new CBs to play alongside Licha and Kambwala. Would also look to move Luke Shaw to CB permanently as he obviously doesn't have the legs to go up and down the pitch.


5.) 22 May 2024 20:20:58
Why not tosin, todibo ANF branthwaithe
Two going, two more should go and Willy steps up with Licha slotting between CB and LB, when he is fit.

Our CB situation needs action like this, basically a 100-120m overall required. Get something back from Lindelof and Maguire sales, say a net 70-80m spend. Defence sorted for a period, well the centre of.


6.) 23 May 2024 12:37:52
Shaw is an excellent player, if fit. But he never is sadly. I’d be prioritising a replacement for him this summer, as well as 1-2 new CBs. Don’t agree playing Licha there, far more effeftive centrally for the whole team to function with his passing out of defence. Decent stop gap if Malacia isn’t returning any time soon.

We need a regularly fit No6 to come in to supplement or replace Cas, and two forwards.

That’s 6 players - which is the bare minimum - and is a big ask logistically and financially in one window for a club with no CEO or DoF in place, manager likely to be sacked in the coming week, and are notoriously bad at negotiating.


 

 

03 Apr 2024 12:14:00
Hi Eds, any news of us trying to sign Thalys, the Brazilian forward at Palmeiras?

mbd

{Ed002's Note - Thalys (S) Discussed with Chelsea during negotiations over two other players. Barcelona, Spurs, Real Madrid, Manchester City and Manchester United have all sent scouts with Manchester United and Benfica both declaring an interest with Palmeriras.}


1.) 03 Apr 2024 16:45:50
Thanks Ed.
I assume even if we do sign the youngster, he will be sent on loan to develop. Will work permit be an issue?

{Ed002's Note - No the WP will not be an issue and MU do not have the structure to loan out youngsters at this time.}


2.) 03 Apr 2024 21:50:57
Thannks Ed. I was thinking this for years why can't we sign players like Chelsea does when it comes to South American kids.


3.) 04 Apr 2024 15:20:18
Very useful info Ed, much appreciated. I miss the days of the Royal Antwerp connection, perhaps with Ineos we may establish one with Nice . or perhaps its wishful thinking.

{Ed002's Note - Perhaps.}


 

 

17 Jan 2024 10:32:17
Ed002, are united interested in Benfica's youngster duo of Anotnio Silva and J. Neves?

mbd

{Ed002's Note - Antonio Silva (CB) Benfica say that "many scouts" have been to watch the player - perhaps they are looking for someone to pay his €100M buy out clause - a move at that price seems unlikely but PSG and Manchester United are keen and he is first choice for Manchester United next summer. Juventus and Napoli would want a reduction in the asking price to make any move viable. Looked at by Spurs and Manchester City. For Liverpool perhaps a Konate replacement but very unlikely. Discussed with Chelsea during a conversation about another player and perhaps number two on their lengthy list of options but there is a part exchange option.
Joao Neves (DM/CM) Discussed with Chelsea when meeting over another player as they were seeking a replacement for Loftus-Cheek. Potential Casemiro replacement for Manchester United. Huge buy out clause and Benfica will not look to sell but recognise there will be growing interest. Seen as an option for Manchester City to replace Phillips. Versatile but falls over easily.}


1.) 17 Jan 2024 11:28:35
Much appreciated Ed.


 

 

29 Jun 2023 17:16:04
Mount done @55m +add ons 5m .?

mbd

1.) 29 Jun 2023 17:26:33
Seems so. Welcome mason ?.


2.) 29 Jun 2023 17:51:43
Sky Sports reporting this too.


3.) 29 Jun 2023 18:59:15
First bit of business done, rumours Onana (What's my name) will be wrapped up shortly too.

I'm worried about the lack of interest in the fringe players we are trying to move on.


4.) 29 Jun 2023 19:11:44
Congratulations on signing Mason. Like most CFC fans I’m gutted but these things happen in football.

You have signed a top player in my opinion and if played in the right position he will make and score plenty of goals for you over the next few seasons.


5.) 29 Jun 2023 19:32:11
Glad to see the deal done. He's a good player who'll fit well.

We haven't overpaid by as much as I expected too, which is a pleasant surprise. I still think we shouldn't have paid more than £55m, probably a bit less, but I was more than half expecting it to end up around £65-70m with our usual negotiating flair!


6.) 29 Jun 2023 19:39:17
It would seem that ETH was keener on Mount than Ciacedo which suggests he knows exactly what he wants to do with him.


7.) 30 Jun 2023 08:15:58
Defensively we were solid last year if you dismiss the two crazy games against city and liverpool. Offensively is where we struggled to score goals which in big games can change the game.

I think eth knows exactly what he wants and going about it to a plan. Budgets and who is affordable and makes sense is another conversation.


 

 

 

mbd's banter posts with other poster's replies to mbd's banter posts

 

05 Jun 2024 17:47:41
Ed 001, would I be right in saying Kobbie Mainoo and Joao Neves are similar players?
And if so, will playing both of them in the same team (Utd) be tactically smart?

mbd

{Ed001's Note - from what I have seen of Neves, he does seem to be fairly similar in role and style. It can work, but it makes more sense to look for players to compliment Mainoo's skillset with a differing one, imo. It doesn't matter how good a player is, you don't really need two the same. You really want players that mesh to get the best out of them.}


1.) 05 Jun 2024 20:13:18
I wonder if mainoo will replace Bruno eventually and play a little further forward.
I suppose it very much depends on who he is playing for and what system they prefer.
I'm not suggesting a toti type no 10.
It's probably way too early to define where he will end up, I see something in his inter play in tight areas around the box that leads me to think he will develop that side of his game to a high standard.
His longer range passing has not been evident but that can be down to the role he is playing. He should be in no rush to pigeon hole himself just yet.
There are some players I really just like watching in the epl. They have that little something so natural looking and it's all fun and easy.
Mainoo catapulted himself into that list very early on.
Foden rohdri vvd (prime) odengard maddison mcallister Bruno G, are others I like to watch as at times the make things look so easy and that's not easy?.


2.) 05 Jun 2024 21:07:04
I'd disagree, in that Mainoo Neves and Bruno provide a midfield that has all the attributes required, as a collective.
Overlaying all their attributes, they actually are near perfect.
Of course, they have to help together, but my position there is that there is already playing relationships, with Bruno being the link between the two as in Portugal/ United. Another good reason to keep Bruno, and have him assist in bonding Mainoo/ Neves together.


3.) 05 Jun 2024 22:35:45
Mainoo and Neves are similar players with similar skill sets. Neves I think is slightly more suited to playing as the holding/ shielding midfielder and Mainoo more as a floating box to box player, yet both are technical players who have great skills and reading/ understanding of the game, they are hard workers with a great attitude. What both of them lack though is physicality. Neither are tall, strong, athletic or particularly quick players.

I agree that we need to add some physicality to our midfield, ideally without losing any technical ability.

I like Neves, he looks a phenomenal talent, but I don't think he's the right profile of player to partner Mainoo.


4.) 05 Jun 2024 23:52:51
Shappy, I agree.
Neves in the DM position
Mainoo in the B2B
Bruno in AM

Neves frees Mainoo up. He plugged the hole in DM this season, but that is not his position.


5.) 06 Jun 2024 10:21:15
Jim, I don't think Neves can play DM, he always has a DM playing alongside him.


6.) 06 Jun 2024 13:20:25
Xavi and Iniesta shared some similarities.
I’d back these lads to figure it out.


7.) 06 Jun 2024 15:48:11
UTD Road yes they did and they had Busquets sitting deep behind them. Same way Kobbie and Bruno need a good DM behind them.
Joao Neves has Palhinha playing that role in Portugal's national team and he has Florentino doing same in Benfica.
As much as I like Neves I also believe we need a good DMF in our team.


8.) 06 Jun 2024 18:43:54
Both Mainoo and Neves require the same thing in a midfield partner, someone who has a bit more physicality and athleticism to pair with their technical quality.

Both Mainoo and Neves can be physically bullied, both are hard workers, and neither shy away from a battle. But ultimately they will come off worse 9 times out of 10 against a player 3-4 inches taller and two stone of muscle heavier.

The problem with having them both play together is the third midfielder will absolutely have to be the muscle and be a tough battling, physically imposing, athletic monster. Which means one of Mainoo or Neves will need to play as the more offensive attacking midfielder. Maybe Mainoo could develop that side of his game, but he looks far more suited to being that facilitating box to box player. Allowing him to make the most of his ability to progress the ball forward by giving him the licence to be where he needs to be during any stage of the game to do so.

The EPL player Mainoo reminds me of most is Fabregas. I remember when he was a young player (17/ 18 years old) and he started to play regularly for Arsenal. Good on the ball, but just a really intelligent reader of the game, wise beyond his years. Mainoo like Fabregas could do a job as a No.10, but playing him that far forward negates many of his best aspects, and limits his ability to impact the game.

Fabregas could and did on many occasions (more as he got older) play as that controlling No.6 with a more defensive No.8 along side him. Yet really he was best when he was the No.8 and he had a more physical midfielder alongside him. At Arsenal that was Gilberto Silva.

I think if we want to see the best of Mainoo then we need to find him a modern equivalent of Gilberto Silva. Someone with the physicality, athleticism and defensive nous to given him the freedom to move where he needs to be to be most effective.

From what I've seen of Joao Neves he isn't that guy. As mentioned above neves has thrived with his version of Gilberto Silva alongside him, be that either Florentino at Benfica or Palhinha for Portugal.

Phenomenal player that Joao Neves is, he doesn't look like the right fit for what we need to partner with Mainoo. When you factor in the price he becomes an extravagant expense that will not bring value for money in terms of improving our team. I could probably find 50 players for half the price that are more suited and as such would improve us more than Neves (despite them being far less talented) .


9.) 06 Jun 2024 23:08:37
All depending of course on the system which is to be implemented and the manager charged with implementing that system by the new DoF.


10.) 06 Jun 2024 23:17:53
Mbd/ shappy, he is a defensive midfielder who has additional attributes to play a bit further forward, if say, a Paulinho is available to allow the team to benefit from his additional attributes.
This is a team sport and the attributes of Bruno, Mainoo and Neves provides a formidable midfield.
Neves has the combative side to his game that people believe we need, he also has the intelligence, as does Mainoo to realise if one or the other is found to be pressing, the other won't go with them and leave a gaping hole.

As someone said, I would trust these two to figure it out between them.


11.) 07 Jun 2024 12:38:57
I understand you Jim, but that was why I started this off with a question to Ed which pretty much confirmed what I thought. Mainoo needs someone to compliment him, not another similar to him.


12.) 08 Jun 2024 11:04:52
Yes, again, they aren't as similar as people are making out.
Neves literally compliments Mainoo and helps him to play to his strengths.


 

 

19 Apr 2024 11:38:48
Hi Ed001, can you give me your opinion on Joao Neves please? I know you probably have a long list of players to do profiles on, I was hoping for a tit bit in the mean time :)

mbd

{Ed001's Note - excellent technique, good range of passing and vision, but lacks a bit of mobility. Quite similar to Mac Allister in a lot of respects.}


1.) 19 Apr 2024 12:19:16
Kind of reminds me a bit of Ander Herrera from when I've watched him. Pretty physical for a small guy and I do think he has good potential, just depends where he goes next.

{Ed001's Note - you know what I was half asleep when I typed that and I realise I was talking about Ruben Neves not Joao Neves. You are closer, he is more workmanlike, good mobility, works hard, puts himself about, good touch and decent passing range. My apologies for the confusion.}


2.) 19 Apr 2024 12:23:36
Thanks pal, so he isn't an out and out DMF more of a CM?

{Ed001's Note - I have to apologise, I was misreading when I typed that, but Joao Neves I would see as more of a CM who can break up play. Like Caicedo, Kante etc, they play better with a deep-lying player alongside them to free them up to get about the pitch. Herrera as Elvis mentions is a good example.}


3.) 19 Apr 2024 13:40:04
His highlights reel is fantastic. but then they all are lol.
A player to watch for sure but I hope we don't blow so much budget on any one player, we need so much.


4.) 19 Apr 2024 15:14:20
No troubles at all Ed001, you are human after all :)

{Ed001's Note - there are a lot of people that would dispute I am human.}


5.) 19 Apr 2024 18:04:02
Herrera isn't small, he is 6 feet tall.

{Ed001's Note - I think slight is what he meant, small as in build rather than height.}


 

 

19 Mar 2024 10:40:03
Thank you for the great update Ed 002. It is much more detailed that what i have been able to gather, so it is very much appreciated.
From what i have read and heard; it appears our main targets are RW, 1-2 midfielders and 1-2 CBs (which of course is a subset of Eds valuable info)
Varane's future seems in the balance a bit. Olise, Branthwaite are names that keep popping up.

We are told usually during this international break there's a fair bit of work done on really nailing down plans for the next steps in recruitment. As between now and May, contacts will be made confirm interests and start talks, get prices and begin approaching the subject.
My only concern in all these targets I see is the lack of a striker, won't that make us over reliant on Hojlund?

mbd

1.) 19 Mar 2024 13:26:43
Feels like we will be looking at HM/ CB/ RW as starters with possible additional players for development/ rotation at CB/ CM/ Striker.
Depending on outgoings could be places up for grabs from the youth set up or more ins.

Can't all be solved in one window so expect the plan to cover 2 summers with winter window any pickups that may come available but would sooner we don't need to do that.


2.) 19 Mar 2024 14:38:41
mbd, I'm fairly sure the club will look to bring in a striker. However, despite the lack of options currently at the club at CF we do have Højlund who is and will be first choice. While we have several other areas in the first 11 that needs to be up graded.

It'd be madness for the club to focus on bringing in a player to sit on the bench over bringing in a player to improve the first 11 and start most weeks.

Therefore, a CB partner for Martinez, a midfield partner for Mainoo and a RW starter to replace Sancho/ Greenwood/ Antony must be the priorities. If Onana leaves then GK becomes an obvious priority as well.

Once those deals are done then we can look at what other areas of the squad need improving. With ST, CM, CB and possibly fullback. All dependent on departures, players available and finances of course.


3.) 19 Mar 2024 15:31:02
It's so hard to know Brad.
So much depends on who leaves and what fees we get.
The eds list is pretty comprehensive but there are so many unknowns.
Can't wait for 31st Aug tbh.


4.) 19 Mar 2024 17:57:55
Why do you think Onana will leave?


5.) 19 Mar 2024 19:22:22
Dodgy, I hope he doesn't but Ed002 said that it's a possibility this summer.


6.) 19 Mar 2024 21:23:50
Shappy,

When did ed002 say that? that's a strange one. I actually like him more and more every passing game now and think he is going to be really good for us in a better team.

There is so much stuff everyday about united and latest being about Greenwood coming back. Hard to make sense of what true and what's just bs.

One thing for sure, we will have a better team/ squad after the summer and let's see what happens.


7.) 19 Mar 2024 22:07:20
I am coming round to Onana but he does faff about with it when he has clear outlets. The frustration was tangible on a number of occasions at the weekend.


8.) 20 Mar 2024 10:03:30
It could be any number of things with Onana. The new people in charge might not rate him. It could be the uncertainty surrounding manager who signed him. Ability of the squad to compete for trophies. Not liking the atmosphere in the dressing room. Or possibly not liking Manchester.

I think he has shown a lot of character in fighting his way back to form. But players leave clubs, so wadda ya going to do huh?


9.) 20 Mar 2024 10:05:10
Onana is improving as the season goes on and I don't think we will see the best of him until next season. The risk is if EtH does leave does the new manager like him.

He has a unique style that can look ugly when it goes wrong which does not help and he has been playing in a system with players that do not suit his best atributes.

I am looking forward to next season when we will hopefully have another CB comfortable on the ball, Martinez back from injury and a settled back 4 with Dalot/ Shaw. Alongside that a developing Mainoo who is comfortable playing out from the base of midfield. We will then see the benefit of his ball playing atributes alongside him being more comfotable with the premier league.


 

 

02 Jan 2024 09:58:51
Eds and fellow posters, I have very little faith left in EtH, I still believe he would/ should be let to see the season out. But is appear to be that he always has only one game plan and hardly if ever does he vary his tactics. Is the English game and being Utd's Manager above EtH capabilities? Is there some bigger picture I am not seeing?
I know we have had injuries and EtH has hardly had his full compliment of signings to work with but nonetheless, I see some performances and feel that out U21s would have done better.

mbd

1.) 02 Jan 2024 10:51:21
I'm not sure at all that our u21s would have done better and I think that is a ridiculous statement.


2.) 02 Jan 2024 10:52:26
I'm finding it hard to judge ETH at all. He's made mistakes but he inherited a terribly constructed squad full of players of poor technique and, in some cases, worse attitudes. He also had almost no support structure around him. Add to that the motherload of an injury crisis and I'm going to cut him slack. I'd like to see him at least see out the season and evaluate then.


3.) 02 Jan 2024 10:57:16
I feel he's perhaps underestimated the task at hand and made some dodgy transfer recommendations (not his fault a few were signed at the prices they were) .
It's been refreshing to see someone come in and put the put down and deal with a few issues. I don't think these players walk over him as they have others.
I'm not convinced he has it in him, but he's very highly regarded by top managers and feel it would be unfair to dismiss him right now as he deserves the season to show what he can do once all these players return as I don't think he's had the luxury of fielding his strongest team once yet.


4.) 02 Jan 2024 11:35:38
That Wolves game first day of the season is still probably the most concerning game for me lol, we had our full team out after a strong pre season and conceded like 30 shots and loads of clear cut chances.

People talk about if we get all our players fit we will see a real ten haag team but i just don't see it.


5.) 02 Jan 2024 11:49:40
Tumbleweed I don't think it is ridiculous especially since 2 of our best players are 18 and 19 - Mainoo and Garnacho respectively.
Like I said above, SOME performanes .


6.) 02 Jan 2024 12:13:18
The under 21’s may not have performed better but would potentially have tried harder and shown more desire.


7.) 02 Jan 2024 12:58:57
And got relegated keefy.


8.) 02 Jan 2024 14:36:20
I think it's nearly impossible to draw any conclusions from this season beyond how poor in quality, fragile and disjointed our squad is.

EtH was between very good and excellent last season. He came into a club that needed rebuilding, had just had their worst ever EPL finish, with standards and expectations on the floor. He then raised standards and got us back competing for trophies, making two finals and winning our first silverware in 6 years.

The one really big and glaring error he has made was the signing of Antony, who despite showing he has talent, seems totally incapable of turning that into performances. The frustrating thing with Antony isn't that he doesn't have the ability, we see him beat players only to turn back rather than drive into the space he's created. It seems more like poor decision making or perhaps a lack of confidence. He does however, fulfil the managers orders, he stays wide, works hard for the team, presses well. It is just on the ball that he just can't seem to get it right.

He has had to deal with a litany of problems, from the Greenwood situation, to the Ronaldo throwing his toys out the pram, to a mid-season world cup, to Sancho needing time away, and the continued uncertainty caused by the potential sale of the club likely impacting the dressing room as well as hindering his ability to plan for the medium term. Yet he has handled every single one of those things with grace and an assured hand with a level of authority, taking them in his stride and steadying the ship each time. Very few managers would have or could have handled all of that half as well as he has.

He even managed to steer the club through a media storm a month or so ago, where it seemed that the media smelt blood in the water and went all in on him in the same way that saw the end of Moyes, LvG, Jose and Ole. Yet EtH seemed to navigate through that. The rumours of the dressing room turning on him, and it all falling apart. Yet here we are now and none of that seems true, or if it was he has sorted it.

Has he been perfect and made no mistakes? No of course not. But then no manager is. SAF made plenty of mistakes throughout his time at the club. We can only really judge EtH fairly on last season, as this season he has had to deal with an unprecedented number of injuries and been left without most of his key players for much of the season. As mentioned the big obvious mistake was the signing of Antony, who for whatever reason just hasn't worked out. He's made a few tactical errors, particularity last season while he was working out and getting to know his new players, what they can and can't do and which of his preferred tactics are and are not viable with these players. We saw after the first two games last season for example a clear shift in how DDG was being asked to play out from the back. There are numerous examples of where EtH has tried something for it not to work and for him to change and adapt.

If I'm honest that is the biggest surprise I've found with him as a manager. Just how willing he is to try something different or change things if it isn't working. While he clearly has a preferred way of playing, he won't try and force it if it's not working and has shown he is adaptable and willing to embrace change. My impression before he signed was that he was more ridged in his philosophy, but it doesn't appear to be that way at all.

It's why I find it funny that some posters have both complained that EtH hasn't imparted a specific style of play, but also complains that he doesn't mix things up and will only play "his" way of playing. Obviously those posters have argued both sides of the coin, either they are not able to read what is happening in a game and therefore cannot tell the difference or they just have an agenda against the manager and will argue black is white if it will reflect poorly on the manager.

He's very clearly tried to get the team playing a specific way, with set patterns of play etc, yet he has also clearly adapted and changed that to try and get the best out of the players he has.

This season it is near pointless trying to analyse anything. We have had by far the worst injuries of any side in the league and the sheer number of injuries, time out players have missed and to who those injuries have effected have made it totally impossible to play any sort of consistent style of play, to any sort of consistent level at any point this season. Simply put there is no manager who could have done better under the circumstances.

I know people don't like hearing it, probably because it means there is no chance to fix it or make it better. People don't want to accept a hard truth so are looking for a fanciful lie which is easier to embrace.

The truth with the injuries is that it won't get better until the injuries subside, which could be months if at all. People don't want to accept that.

It's easier to believe it is the manager who is the problem and if we sack him and replace him (which could happen nearly instantly) that all will be well and things will improve. As if some other manager will click their fingers and turn Maguire in the prime Beckenbauer and McTominay into peak Bryan Robson. It's wishful thinking and utterly misguided. It makes things easier as it gives you a sliver of hope to cling on to. But it is a fools hope at best.

This is us reaping the rewards of over a decade of mismanagement. Of have no clear vision, no plan, just short term, reactionary management. Changing their mind and direction of the club with the wind. It has left us with a disjointed squad that cannot play a clear and distinct style of play due to the vastly different profiles of the players within it. Some suit a sit deep and counter style, others a press high style, some a controlled possession style, while very few are truly good enough to be considered top class even in their preferred style. We simply don't have 11 players suited to any one specific style of play.

Now add to that the massive injuries we are suffering and to key players in how EtH looked to play and started build his side around last season and it becomes obvious why we are so poor this season and struggling to play any style of play with some consistency.

That is why it's pretty much impossible to draw any tangible conclusions about EtH this season.

Will he be here next season? Who knows. However, it seems likely that whoever ends up running the football side of the club will likely want someone who fits their vision. If that isn't EtH then he'll likely be replaced. Likewise the restructuring will likely see a shift in the managers role, responsibilities and impact across the club. Whether that is something EtH wants to accept also casts a question mark over his future.

Either way, the worst case scenario for our club is to be forced into hiring a new manger before the relevant people are in place and have started to make the changes they feel necessary. It seems far more likely that if push comes to shove that another temporary manager be brought in while the behind the scene changes are made. Who that is who knows, it'd likely have to be someone who knows the club and is available to step in immediately. Some one like Solskjaer might be considered, or possibly someone like Fletcher from within the set up (that would also give the the opportunity to move him on in the summer, if he is someone whose position might be lost in the reshuffle) . Again this is unlikely to see an improvement in results/ performances, and at best is a sideways step from EtH.

The best thing we can do as fans now is accept that this season is a complete write off. Top four is the aim, but in reality is probably a long shot and should be considered a bonus if we get it really. We need to allow the new ownership to settle in and get their feet under the table and start making the changes that the club desperately needs. Give them the time to set things up right before they have to start making the big decisions. Give them the time to get the right people in, then give those people chance to see how the land lies before making crucial decisions.

Unfortunately a combination of off the field upheaval and ridiculously bad luck with injuries have shot down any hopes of a good season. We just need to get through it as best we can and look to make relevant changes in the summer.


9.) 02 Jan 2024 14:13:52
Emphasis on SOME Tumbleweed.


10.) 02 Jan 2024 16:24:04
Thanks for the write up Shappy, it is an interesting read. I picked up a couple points I'd like to go over with you if you don't mind.

1. I don't think we have had the worst injury record this season and certainly not by far, Newcastle, Chelsea, Palace, even spurs and brentford are up there as well.

2. As you said 'Just how willing he is to try something different or change things if it isn't working. While he clearly has a preferred way of playing, he won't try and force it if it's not working and has shown he is adaptable and willing to embrace change' . It appears the way he wanted did not work and the change he embraced he seems not to know how or what to do with it. We continuously play 4/ 2/ 3/ 1 regardless of the opponent or even players available and more than half the time it results in disappointment. This worries me.

You and some others here have a coaching background, that is why I ask if there is something I am not seeing, because what I see is if plan A doesn't work we are at a loss as to what to do next.


11.) 02 Jan 2024 20:47:07
mbd, other teams have had injury problems, but they're given full allowance for that in the media. Newcastle, especially. Even City were shown a fair amount of leeway when they had one player out for a few weeks. We are cut very little slack for the fact we've had most of our first-choice defence out for a large part of the season, and were forced to pair Jonny and a 19 year old together.


12.) 02 Jan 2024 21:36:09
Never said the results would be better. Just that the effort would be there.


13.) 02 Jan 2024 22:12:04
mbd, I have replied but it's been posted as an article [Manchester United Can't Be Consistent Due To The Injuries] high up the page ?.


14.) 03 Jan 2024 10:22:47
Thanks Shaps reading it now.


15.) 04 Jan 2024 00:31:12
There's a lesson in there somewhere Shappy.


 

 

20 Dec 2023 11:12:51
Eds and fellow posters, not Utd related but have you heard that the MLS is looking at implementing two new rules for the 2024, not sure how true it is though:
1. If a player is being subbed and doesn't leave the field within 10 seconds, the player coming on will be made to wait 60 seconds.
2. If a player suspected of injury remains on the ground for more than 15 seconds, the ref will stop play and have the player attended to. When safe, the player will be moved off pitch and made to wait at least 2 minutes for further evaluation and treatment.

Any thoughts on this?

mbd

{Ed001's Note - they actually sound like good ideas.}


1.) 22 Dec 2023 13:28:16
How does the first one work, if a player is still strolling off the field after 10 seconds, does play start again before the sub can be brought on, so that team are effectively down to 10 for a minimum of 60secs?


 

 

 

mbd's rumour replies

 

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04 Jun 2024 15:09:08
Wow, so much info, Much appreciated Ed. !
Did you mean De jong is not a Casemiro alternative?

mbd

{Ed002's Note - Sorry. Frenkie de Jong (CM/DM) Barcelona will look for a new contract with reduced wages else he will be sold in the summer with possible interest remaining from Manchester United if ten Hag stays. PSG have spoken with his agent and additionally his agent has raised his availability with Chelsea whist discussing another player and with Arsenal - but beither is interested and the wages are huge.}


 

 

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24 May 2024 16:57:36
Jodler, I think you are overrated and not an elite fan. :P.

mbd

 

 

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04 Apr 2024 15:20:18
Very useful info Ed, much appreciated. I miss the days of the Royal Antwerp connection, perhaps with Ineos we may establish one with Nice . or perhaps its wishful thinking.

mbd

{Ed002's Note - Perhaps.}


 

 

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03 Apr 2024 16:45:50
Thanks Ed.
I assume even if we do sign the youngster, he will be sent on loan to develop. Will work permit be an issue?

mbd

{Ed002's Note - No the WP will not be an issue and MU do not have the structure to loan out youngsters at this time.}


 

 

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27 Feb 2024 15:50:10
You may have watched him more closely than I have Ahmad, I saw him last season and thought this kid has a bright future, but he seems to have not only stagnated but even regressed. At present the glimpses i catch are like a poor version of his teammate A. Doucoure. I do hope I am wrong and he is much more what you rate him as than the picture of Fellaini i have in my head :D.

mbd

 

 

 

mbd's banter replies

 

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14 Jun 2024 16:21:57
Just a rejoinder kinda question Ed if you don't mind. We know Berrada will be Utd's CEO, but you did not touch on him in your reply. Can we consider him as a mini Blanc? He does what Blanc does for Ineos but he does it only for utd and reports directly to Blanc?

mbd

{Ed002's Note - No. I would be wary of him.}


 

 

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11 Jun 2024 09:55:05
Ahh one of my fav parts of the site returns . lists!

mbd

{Ed001's Note - I never realised they were so popular to be honest.}


 

 

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07 Jun 2024 15:51:10
Thanks Ed.

mbd

{Ed077's Note - Sorry for the audio issues ?}


 

 

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07 Jun 2024 12:38:57
I understand you Jim, but that was why I started this off with a question to Ed which pretty much confirmed what I thought. Mainoo needs someone to compliment him, not another similar to him.

mbd

 

 

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06 Jun 2024 15:48:11
UTD Road yes they did and they had Busquets sitting deep behind them. Same way Kobbie and Bruno need a good DM behind them.
Joao Neves has Palhinha playing that role in Portugal's national team and he has Florentino doing same in Benfica.
As much as I like Neves I also believe we need a good DMF in our team.

mbd