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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


22 May 2018 11:31:03
How is a managers inability to manage so many players the players fault and not the managers.

Falling out with everyone, looking to sell some of our best players.

Can we afford to just buy and sell 10+ players every summer because the manager has fallen out with them.


1.) 22 May 2018 12:39:07
I totally agree happy. Ed002 has suggested Jose does not want to be here, that he misses his family (which is understandable) . I think we should call it quits with Jose.

The German red bull team play football in the right way, they developed youth and their manager may be open to a new opportunity, I would suggest he would be a better fit.

I know people will say we need stability, but Jose ripping apart the team, casting aside our young talents and bringing the pensioner brigade will not help us in the medium to long term.

We need to get back to our heritage and move on from Jose. Wasting £200m transfer budget and losing martial is a bridge too far for me.

2.) 22 May 2018 13:00:34
Pretty nonplussed as to whether jose stays or goes. Have huge admiration and respect for what he's done as a manager but he really looks like he doesn't want to be here.

Might be a case of one more year and then bring in pochetino or allegri to take the team forwards.

If that is to be the case though then surely the board would have to step in and stop jose selling players like martial, bailly and shaw in the knowledge that they could potentially be revitalised under a new manager.

3.) 22 May 2018 13:21:51
I wouldn't mind seeing Mourinho go. It is more than how the season has gone on paper, finishing second is decent, it is rather the mood around the club. The way we went down in the Champions League and the FA Cup. along with Mourinho's attitude, has left a sour taste. He is arrogant and always blames someone else when we fall short.

4.) 22 May 2018 13:45:25
So get rid of another manager hire someone new it sounds so easy.

That would be what 4 managers in 5 years.

It's embarrassing.

A club brought up on values and tradition yet first sign of struggle we wield the axe for a 3rd time.

Not even struggle we've finished on our highest points total. Highest finish in how long.

The football may not be fast attacking and all out magical every week. but there has been spells of it. It's consistancy that's let us down not Jose.

But come on. is there not a point where we stop and think you know what. it's not that bad yeah a few tweaks here and there

It's getting on borderline embarrasing how the majority are reacting.

We don't want a reputation of sacking managers constantly.

5.) 22 May 2018 13:58:39
Who has he blamed by the way? The groundsman? The waterboy? The ticket counter agent? don't think so. He has blamed the players and he has every right to do it given how they have been playing. Its not Jose's fault if they can't complete a 5 yard pass. People actually need to get their heads out of Football Manager's ass and live in the reality. Sack one manager, get another one in. You are happy then but may be i won't be so i will call for his head. Then we get another in.

6.) 22 May 2018 13:59:33
bolger the club's values and tradition include playing attacking football and giving kids a chance, the manager can't abide by either of those but let's create arbitrary values and traditions that somehow include giving manager more time to ruin the team and bore us to death while not winning anything substantial after spending 300mn+ in 2 years.

7.) 22 May 2018 14:00:53
You are right bolger, having four managers in five years is not ideal. But you have to remember we hired jose mourinho as a short term fix, he's spent a maximum of three years at previous clubs.

Surely the club should have a plan considering he's been here two years and if he stays longer than next season he will be in unusual territory and allowing to make wholesale changes to the squad would be unwise if he's not here to see the team through for a long period.

8.) 22 May 2018 17:02:34
common sense,

the player who has played the most matches since jose has took over is rashford,

and he's given other kids a chances.

we won 2 trophies last season come runner up and lost in a final this season playing this dross football.

where has he ruined the team, he took over a team that was worse than we have now, less competitive than we are now.

its like moon said further up, plenty of people clash in jobs, he's the manager not your friend he's been hired to do a job and he's doing exactly that.

weather its pretty or ugly he's getting the job done more so than not.

9.) 22 May 2018 17:32:51
Beast - Backing the manager? how about not supporting his family being threatened on a weekly basis which has forced him to close his social accounts.

I think Mourinho is bigger than the club? not at all. I can appreciate when somebody is working 20 hour days however. And I can stand up to our own establishment when the criticism is going overboard.

I'm not sure why I'm bitter? exactly. I am a huge Van Gaal fan, he's had a phenomenal career and although it didn't work out here, let's not forget that he himself offered his resignation because of the behaviour of the fans.

Lets also not forget that Allegri decided not to manage the great Manchester United because of our fans' abuse.

I wanted Van Gaal to work out an awful lot, as you would have seen in my posts from back in the day I was lucky enough to meet some close friends of Van Gaal's and discuss what he'd be like with them.

So atleast my judgement on a manager is based on actual personal evidence.

Van Gaal had us close to playing some good stuff, we really weren't far away. You've only got to look at his last year for that. We performed relatively well IMO. not as bad as most make out.

Just like not winning the Mickey Mouse Cup V2.0 isn't a reason to cry.

I'll take a 2nd place finish after a 7th, 4th, 6th and 5th placed finish any time of the week.

Maybe it's because I'm not wearing red tinted specs? maybe it's because Getafe are my club and I don't have the same 'passion' you all do.

But a lot of you don't realise that whether you mean to do it or not you're doing more harm than good to the club.

Perhaps the levels of abuse Rashford, Martial, Jones, Smalling, Shaw, Young, and so on have endured on social media is the reason they don't give a toss about playing for the fans anymore.

If you can't see our fanbase is driving away everything that made us great then I've got a feeling you're going to hate the next few years.

10.) 22 May 2018 18:05:58
Yeah, I'd hate to turn into Real Madrid the way they go through managers. Someone should point out to them where they're going wrong. After another Champions League final.



16 May 2018 13:31:33
Mumbles, let me start by thanking you for writing an interesting and thought-provoking post in such an eloquent way. I enjoyed reading it. I was sadly far too busy yesterday to reply in a manner worthy of your post.

I'll start off with the biggest issue I have with your post. Football and romance are so entwined that they cannot and must not be separated.
Indulge me for one second and ask yourself why you watch football? Why you watch United? What memories come to mind?
I bet all of them are romantic either beautiful moments in our history or moments that brought a tear to your eye.

I watch football for the love of it, how does that have nothing to do with romance?

We want United to improve to bring back moments like Giggs's FA cup goal against Arsenal, like winning the UCL in the last moment against Bayern, like trashing Arsenal 8-2 or Roma 7-1. Rooney's overhead goal against City, or when we beat the Scousers.

If you take the love, passion and romance away from every fan then football loses all its worth.

If tradition and ethos mean nothing then let's rename Sir Matt Busby Way with a brand and receive some money, let's rename the stadium, let's rename the stands, let's stop remembering the flowers of Manchester, let's close the club museum and let us be rid of the academy.

For me there is no point in winning anything unless we win it the United way. Why support United if you don't support the very fabric which makes the club what it is?

Forget who did what I'll give you a choice of two scenarios and let's see honestly which one you would prefer.

Scenario 1, your team plays poor, boring football all season, you finish 2nd 19 points behind the winners having never challenged for the title. However, you have a FA cup final to look forward to.


Scenario 2, your teams plays some fantastic fast free flowing football blowing many teams away. Real edge of your seat stuff, however, they are a poor in defence and concede a few silly goals meaning you finish 4th having never really challenged for the title. However, your offensive style has allowed you to blow everyone away in Europe and you have a UCL final to look forward to.

Forget who had which season can you honestly say you would prefer scenario 1?

At the end of the day one team out of 20 wins the league, the other 19 have only their teams performances to satisfy them.

Are you satisfied?

As for next season, I don't see many of our young players being given a chance. McTominay was only played by Jose to prove a point to Pogba. Let's wait and see how many games he starts next season, or if he even gets a cup final place. Shaw and Martial are likely to be gone next season. We are trying to tie Fellaini down to a new deal and are looking at signing at least one maybe two players who play in McTominay's position. Pereira, TFM, Mitchell and Tuanzebe are all likely to be loaned out or sold except for TFM who might get a role as third choice RB behind the 33-year-old Valencia and the 34-year-old Young. So, I don't see the youth being given a chance. Even when we have some excellent young players at the moment.

When we consider style, I find it completely bazar when people say we need to get the results before the performances. Since when did anyone play poorly to get the result?

You work on performances and as you improve your performances your results should improve. If your aim is to win the title and you do so playing poorly then what motivation is there to improve those performances?

Pep spent a whole season try to teach his players to play a certain way, over time they improved their performance and now they are smashing records.

Jose has now spent two years chasing results and we are still 19 points behind the league winners.

As for the some of the less favourable actions of Sir Alex, no one can really defend them. However, he did buy into the values of the club, he did give youth a chance, he did try and play in the right way, and more often than not he got it right. He also smiled and enjoyed being here.

Jose has been a great manager, but he just isn't the right fit for our club in my opinion. Others disagree and that's fine. Only time will tell how Jose will be remembered.

As for who should replace him, I'm not sure. There are good candidates out there, its about finding the right fit for the club. Which you aren't really going to know without meeting them.


1.) 16 May 2018 14:08:26
Good post a happy.

2.) 16 May 2018 14:13:11
Good stuff shappy. Top post and sums up my feelings perfectly. But I still don't want jose out, not until we have a well thought out replacement, and if that takes a year or 2 so be it.

I remember that roma game, was my first trip to old Trafford. Not one I'm likely to forget either. Had to pay £130 quid for my ticket off a tout and only got in 2 mins before kick off. Was sat about 15 yards alway from the roma supporters and the atmosphere was electric, although quietened down after that first 20 minutes. That's the kind of memories I have. That game, beckhams half way line goal and the champions league final comeback are exactly what football is about.

3.) 16 May 2018 14:28:31
A good read and well thought out reply to Mumbles, Shappy. However, its all about perspective and how you look at things.

I started watching United in 2000-01 season and have been following them ever since. I have been what some people call the The Spoiled Ones who have only ever witnessed the football played under SAF where we were winning evertyhing and as you say blowing teams away. However, i will also add that i have read a lot of the history of United including how SAF had his team play for the first 5 years of his tenure. Correct me if i am wrong here but wasnt SAF almost sacked for the results and was only saved by an FA cup victory? My point here is that if the greatest of all time SAF took almost half a decade to get his team, to play his way, the United way, why is it so difficult to fathom that Jose might do the same in due course? Why can't we watch patiently on how this part of our history pans out? Sacking him now, wouldn't that do more harm than good.

You might remember that getting Jose through the doors was in some part our own doing. Remember what Ed002 said, its because of the TOXICS that the plan to let LVG complete his tenure and transition to Allegri was shelved? We did this damage (if you want to see it that way) and we would be going the same path again if we sack Jose now.

For what its worth, he has a team full of underachievers (some of which he bought) that have just finished the season only behind arguably the best team in PL history. I agree that the football that was played was painful for 60% of the games but we did have those 40% where we showed what we are actually capable of. You would also remember that Pogba started the season well but was first sent off and then got injured because of which he lost his momentum and so did the team. We all knew what we were getting when we hired Jose, how his teams play, how he sets up and how he handles the media and himself. Its really easy to point out his fallings if you don’t like him but he has also done some good stuff that won't be showed or talked about. If it were me in his position, I would be frustrated on how only negatives are highlighted and I would be doing the same thing that he is i.e fight the media and gloat about my positives. Now, that may not be the right thing to do but that’s the character of the man. He has his ego that is bigger than probably Mt. Everest but we can't question it because he has a CV that gives him the right to do it.

Now, you have given us scenarios of Liverpool and United for comparison- First off what if Liverpool don’t win the final, what do they show off? Will their fans be happy and content or will it be again “Next year would be our year”? They would have not won anything for all the fancy football and would have still finished a good 25 odd points behind the great City team.

As for us, we have a very good chance that we would be lifting the FA cup this weekend but again we might not win the FA cup and that would put a damper on our season for sure but we would still be above the most entertaining football teams in all of Europe.

Jose’s Inter team was probably the most boring team that I have watched but they did beat the great Barcelona and won the UCL that season along with the Serie A, didn’t they? Would any Inter fan come and tell me that they would prefer a free flowing game rather than the trophy. The answer would be NO.

I have said this before and I will repeat myself that trophies and entertainment are not mutually exclusive and can be and ideally should go hand in hand like City did but they did it with a complete team with perfect pieces falling into place. Are we on the same level for our team? Do we have a complete defense? Do we have proper wingers? Square pegs in round holes isn’t that we say?

Jose’s Chelsea played some wonderful football when they started winning things and so did his Real Madrid so for all we know he is capable of playing the way we all want to but we need to give him his tenure/ time to get his team together and if we are still here next season same time discussing the same things then he should be shown the door absolutely and nobody would question it.

As of now, I don’t think is the right time to sack him and he should be backed in the transfer market to the hilt even if he wants a 40 year old player that he thinks can fit his bill.

4.) 16 May 2018 14:35:54
Great post shappy absolutely agree with everything.

5.) 16 May 2018 14:55:45
UA so let me get this straight, you want jose to buy whatever he needs to win now and that includes a 40 year old and give example of inter, who by the way have won feck all since he left given all the oldies he bought and inter were stuck with once mourinho got his trophies. Would inter fans be happier if they didn't win the treble but then didn't dive into mediocrity?

You also say he needs to implement his own style and it is wonderful, it isn't by the way it never was. Except his madrid team which was more down to who he had and how that team functions rather than mourinho. But then also say that mourinho has a style and it isn't pretty but we all knew about it. So which is it? you can't have the cake and eat it too my friend.

You say he has a lot of under achieving players, he has spent 300mn and right now none of his signing can be called a unqualified success like pep can call with jesus or ederson or klopp with salah. Should we really be trusting him with more money.

Liverpool are going to finish below us this season yes, but if you look just at the league, 5 years down the line who would remember this season more fondly us or liverpool? neither won the league but atleast they played marvelous football and that is after selling their best player midfielder. Ours was at times bordering on LVG level football.

6.) 16 May 2018 15:34:05
Good persuasive argument Shappy although I didn't think the scenario's were fair. I'd love Utd to be in the final of the Champions League it's the absolute pinnacle of the game and I'd watch pragmatic stuff all day long if it guaranteed us a place in the final.

Maybe a more appropriate comparison would be that of Spurs. They have a young hungry coach, they play high intensity, attacking football but haven't really achieved anything other than a top 4 finish. Would you swap our season with theirs?

7.) 16 May 2018 15:44:15
OK CSM, so you don't agree with me. Fair enough. Who would you want to take over the helm at OT given that Jose is sacked today. And please be realistic and don't say Pep which won't happen. And also please guarantee me that we won't finish 7th next season with the new coach but absolute champagne football.

8.) 16 May 2018 15:50:13
On his signings- Lukaku, Matic, Zlatan (last season), Bailly are all successes. If you don't see it then nobody can help you. You need to take off that Pep poster from your bedroom and put on some United posters to see our team.

Ederson is a success but yes to cover up you won't say that Claudio Bravo was a failure because that would make Pep look bad. We would talk about Sane but we won't mention Nolito. We would mention Bernardo Silva but we won't mention Zinchenko. Because Pep saint would look bad. Pep has bought an entire new team while you are crying out for 300M? How much did he spend on the new back 5?

9.) 16 May 2018 16:00:57
Jardim would be my first choice actually won a trophy especially when competing with PSG and has shown that he can give kids a chance and play attacking football. The problem with mourinho is he right now gives me the cappello vibe great manager great history blah blah blah but football has evolved mourinho hasn't, something everyone wanting to compare fergie with mourinho forgets, it wasn't his tactical genius or his rigid adherence to a philosophy that made fergie last long and not end up like Wenger it was his ability to adapt mourinho doesn't have it.

There is no guarantee that Jardim succeeds but then what is the guarantee mourinho doesn't have his usual 3rd season meltdown as the list of players thrown under the bus gets too much and players revolt like they did at Chelsea his last job or madrid those before that.

10.) 16 May 2018 16:12:08
Sorry CSM I'm not having that! Would Inter fans be happier if they didn't win the treble? Is this honestly a serious question?

A feat achieved by only a few select Clubs in the history of the game!

What evidence do you have that Mourinho left them with a squad full of geriatrics, a squad good enough to win the treble by the way.

Do you know exactly who he signed or the make up of their squad?

Some misconceptions of Mourinho really need to stop unless they can be backed up by hard facts and evidence.

The fact they've won nothing since only illustrates the pedigree of the man and the magnitude of their achievement.

Just for your info the main players he signed when at Inter were Lucio 31, Diego Malito 30, Samuel Eto 28, Mancini 28, Thiago Motta 27, Wesley Snijder 24, Ricardo Quaresma 24, Sulley Muntari 24 I think they were a couple more but a decent group of players and hardly ready for the nursing home pal.

11.) 16 May 2018 16:14:13
Agree with that Shappy. I just wanted to add to those who moan about players not showing passion and joy in their play, that these things also come with style. Playing with style and knocking 4/ 5 goals past the opposing team breeds confidence, it breeds enjoyment and you can see this confidence and enjoyment in all great teams. I actually believe we were playing that way until Pogba got injured and we went into the Liverpool game with 10 men in front of goal.

It's also interesting to look at the results when Pogba came back 4-1 thrashing of Newcastle, 4-2 against Watford and the 3-1 beating of Arsenal at the Emirates. However sent off, suspended against City, lost to City and then it was just shutting up shop and hoping to score a goal or two in every match; nothing entertaining, bar the second half against City, since.

My point being that when the players have had confidence or licence to roam, the football wasn't that bad, and the results created a sense of anticipation of the next match in which that confidence took be transferred. When the tactics have been to stick to positions, to play it safe, that confidence was lost.

12.) 16 May 2018 16:20:21
We played some good stuff at the start of the season .
City kept the pressure on tho and mourhino reverted to type.

13.) 16 May 2018 16:21:38
DLIB, I chose the comparison with Liverpool as both teams haven't competed for the title and both have made it to a cup final.

If we lose the cup final and end the season trophyless would you then swap Spurs season for ours?

14.) 16 May 2018 16:44:51
DLIB before mourinho arrived inter's worst finish was 5th in 2000-01 since mourinho their best finish is 2nd the next season after mourinho and since then they have finished in top 4 only twice, mourinho won them the CL and that was a great achivement but they were winning serie A and Coppa Italia before mourinho arrived. I am not blaming mourinho for their struggles just pointing out what happens when you trust him explicitly and let him sign whoever he wants unlike Chelsea or madrid where there was someone above him who made the decisions.

As you pointed out his signings, just look at their ages except for muntari, sniejder and that dud quaresma by the time he left most were in 30's and that hurt them badly. Mourinho has a history of selling young talent to get his win now toys, bonucci, lukaku, kdb and most likely martial will join the list.

15.) 16 May 2018 17:00:43
Shappy - Sorry mate I wasn't been critical and understand your point.

Even in we lose the cup final I'd still take our season over Spurs pal.

16.) 16 May 2018 17:10:30
2nd or 4th. Apart from a few extra quid, and some bragging rights over your mates, does it really matter that much nowadays?

17.) 16 May 2018 17:15:52
CSM - Fair enough pal I don't know enough about Inter to get into a serious debate but I think his signings were pretty good to be honest.

Ok some of them were pushing 30 but most were good experienced internationals that could still give good service to the Club. I accept you might not get any money back on some of them.

It's all about opinions pal that's why I like reading this site everyday. Some really good stuff on here on both sides of the fence.

18.) 16 May 2018 18:52:56
2 bald men arguing over a comb.



05 May 2018 10:20:08
I can't believe the huge upset over losing a game that is more or less irrelevant.

We will almost definitely finish second, but really what is the difference between finishing second or third?

I've read people saying things like play for the shirt/ pride. But do we really think players play for the shirt of a club that is based on the other side of the world to where their from and where they have that connection. Of course not. There are exceptions, but most players are playing for money or glory. How much money or glory was on the line last night? None to very little.

The other argument I see being raised is trying to play yourself into the cup final team.

To this I say do you really think Jose Mourinho is likely to change who he is planning to pick for any reason other than for an injury?

If Martial or Rashford played the game of their lives last night do you really think Jose would then decided to drop Sanchez or Lukaku (if fit) from his planned final line up?

Or if Darmian had his best game for the club he would displace Valencia?

If we know it then the players know it.

Last night was a game where Jose wanted to protect certain players for the cup final, and where he thought he could place a few squad players in the shop window ready for the summer. It was a game that ment next to nothing to us, and garenteed survival for Brighton.

As for Jose's comments about not being able to motivate them for the game. I find them very odd. Why declare that you are unable to do the job your paid very well for?

If Jose truly is unable to motivate those players then maybe he needs to have a long hard look at how he manages teams. No manager should ever be unable to get a performance out of his players, if he can't then he has created an atmosphere where the players won't respond to him. That only ever ends in a departure for the manager.


1.) 05 May 2018 10:57:15
Shappy, do you really think people are bothered by that one game, or is it a pattern of such listless performances that people are commenting on, of which this one game was only an example?

2.) 05 May 2018 11:21:02
RWWD, there seems a disproportionate fallout to a game that means very little compared to the fallout from poor performances earlier in the season.

The team has had one such performance every month since October. And yes it's costing us points. However, I see little to be made from having such fallout about it now. The title is gone, the season is all but finished.

Was last nights performance really any worse than others we have had this season?

3.) 05 May 2018 11:33:27
Whilst I agree there is nothing to play for shappy, this is not an isolated performance. It has happened far too many times and every time it has happened it has always been a case where the opposition has outfought, out desired and out worked us. That is unacceptable. The players should never lose a game because the opposition wanted it more.

These last few games may be irrelevant but it is an opportunity to build momentum and a winning mentality to take into next season. Last year city built up a run at the end of last season and brought that form and mentality into this season. We should be treating these all as cup finals and building a winning mentality. I am not one of those who wants the manager out because i do not think that is necessarily the most productive option. But if he left I would not lose much sleep. There are players in this squad who are not united level or have right mentality to be at our club. Until they have gone we will be no closer to winning the league. Very important summer ahead.

4.) 05 May 2018 12:16:41
I think you have hit the nail on the head Shappy, there has been one of those performances every month since October, I. e. no improvement. If Jose is a truely world class coach he should have eradicated these sub par performances by now. We have not beat any of the promoted sides away this season. That should not happen.

As fans I think we are entitled to see improvement/ progress or we will see the likes of Liverpool over take us and nobody on here wants to see that. Nobody can argue that Liverpool are improving, we don’t seem to be. Lucky for us Chelsea and Arsenal have been poor this season.

5.) 05 May 2018 13:07:40
Almost every week Huggy, last night's performance was typical Utd. Opposition keeper barely tested, passes not making it over small distances, no wave length between players, reluctance to run off the ball, no clear strategy, people hiding - it was the same against Arsenal, West Brom, even the first half against City was identical to this BHA game.

Next year we need a massive change in philosophy and personnel or as you say we will be caught and will slip further behind City.

Even at the start of the season our performances were like this, but in the 5-10 mins where we actually attack we were able to be clinical and gloss over the actual performance with a convincing win on paper.

6.) 05 May 2018 14:46:48
Lack of passion shown yesterday is a sign of the rot that has set in. Not one of those fringe players showed that they deserved a place on the bench.

Players need to step up big time next game or the final will be lost before a ball is kicked.

7.) 05 May 2018 14:59:15
There's a world cup coming up. I would imagine lots of players are scared of picking up an injury especially over a nothing game like last night's.

8.) 05 May 2018 15:41:39
For a lot of games this season it has been like watching a team that plays poorly but strings a few results together to stay up. It is unanimously realised that last nite wasnt a must win or a semi final blah, blah but it still doesn't explain the lack of drive, passion and effort when pulling on a jersey for one of europes biggest clubs whilst being affordered a lifestyle that even lottery winners envy. There is no excuse for last nite and as mentioned, at least 1 performance a month: not JM biggest fan but he can only put the team out when maybe he would be better either knocking them out or getting them out.

9.) 05 May 2018 15:42:42
haha, half of them need to be worrying for their place at the World Cup the way they have been performing. Sod the fans, the employer paying their wages, the prestige of the club, let's take it easy now we have done an Arsenal and qualified for CL - it hasn't taken long for the club to lose everything it once stood for.

Let's see how easy Man City take their game tomorrow and they don't have an Fa Cup final to keep sharp for.

10.) 05 May 2018 18:00:31
Lads we’ve beaten all of the top six this year, now do we credit Mourinho with the comeback against city? You can’t just credit the players when its good and not the manager. So I think there is a severe issue with the mentality of some players. Yesterday it was quite clear that the players look half arsed, and didn’t care.
Just on a side note, why the heck do Juventus want Darmian, he’s one of the worst players I’ve seen in a United shirt, has the physical presence of a 12 year old.

11.) 05 May 2018 17:54:21
Losing always matters. Of course last night's game had little "value" but losing still hurts.



30 Apr 2018 15:47:45
Couple of quick points.

Firstly, what is the logic behind Sanchez being better next season other than he can't possibly get much worst?

I see things like once he has a good preseason behind him or after a rest in the summer he'll be better, of course those arguments are counter intuitive. Why?

He had a good preseason with Arsenal last summer, as well as a rest. He is established in the EPL so doesn't have to acclimatise to the league. He will be 30 next season so well in his peak years, so is unlikely to become a better player now.

There was two arguments for signing Sanchez in January.

Firstly, to stop city signing him. Which is a pretty poor reason to be honest. We should be foucusing on ourselves not others.

Secondly, it was worth going into the notoriously poor winter market as Sanchez would be able to make an immediate impact as he knows the league.

So with hindsight we can see we got that one wrong. So why are people so sure he will improve next season?

My second point is about the player who has been most affected by the Sanchez signing. Of course I'm talking about Anthony Martial.

Everyone accepts that Lukaku has had a good first season at our club. He has started nearly all the games playing in his favourite position as a central striker, he has had all the best chances fall to him and he has 16 EPL goals for all of that. Yet, when we consider Martial most will say he has had an indifferent season at best, many claim he has been poor. He has had to play most of the season wide left, a position many don't feel is his best position. He has also played less than half the number of minutes that Lukaku has for us this season. Yet playing less time, in a position that isn't his best and one which limits the goalscoring chances that will come his way he has managed to score 9 goals in the EPL.

Now for me the narrative that Lukaku has had a great season and Martial a poor one just doesn't add up. I think Lukaku hs had a very good season, I also think Martial has had a solid season. I feel that if given more chances and in a set up that suits him he could have had a better season that Lukaku. However, that's just my opinion.

Oh and a bonus point. Pogba has 10 assists and 6 goals so far this season. Many feel he is wasting his talent and might never fulfill his potential. In the season that Gerrard turned 25 the same age as Pogba is now he scored 10 and assisted 5. Lampard in the season he turned 25 also scored 10 and assisted 5. So is it fair to say Pogba is wasting his talent or isn't fulfilling it when he has been directly involved in 16 goals so far this season when both Gerrard and Lampard we involved in 15 goals each in a season at the same age Pogba is now?

Sometimes what we expect of a player is always more than they can do. And bare in mind many people agree that Mourinho's tactics are holding certain players back.


1.) 30 Apr 2018 16:33:51
At least if we sell martial we won't have to read your different version of the same thing every week shappy😂😂😂
You don't like sanchez we get that. You think martial will be great we get that.

I'm exact same with fellaini I thin k he is awful but jose likes him.
Managers choice i'm afraid.

Maybe martial does not want to stay.

2.) 30 Apr 2018 18:24:30
Sanchez has a x100 the player Martial is or will be. Apart from sulking right now. He’s great at sulking.

3.) 30 Apr 2018 18:42:16
Lies, damn lies, and statistics Shaps. I think it boils down to personal preference and that dictates how we feel. I don’t like Martial, if anyone is wasting his talent then I think he is. He doesn’t put the effort in, games pass him by, he can pop u with a great goal but then be anonymous again.

I also think Pogba’s numbers flatter him, he has been average in most games and isn’t showing the commitment I would expect.

As for Sanchez, I agree completely and I, ade the same point. There wa son fee and it stopped City getting him. Didn’t make sense to me and still doesn’t. The fact he has been for the most part pants reinforces that.

4.) 30 Apr 2018 20:46:07
Top post Ajh and Ken. If Martial puts the same effort as Sanchez he might do his talent justice. He doesn't have his heart or his head at United and is best to part ways with him if he doesn't want to fight for his place.

5.) 30 Apr 2018 20:47:44
Sanchez will come good, he tries super hard every game and hard work doesn't fail and i also think Pogba has started to adapt but let's hope he continues his form.

6.) 30 Apr 2018 21:12:43
Ken, that's where your wrong. I don't dislike Sanchez, in fact I liked the idea of signing him in January. I thought he would be able to make an instant impact.

My only problem with Sanchez doesn't even come from Sanchez. My problem is why does one player get dropped for a bad game (sometimes dropped after a good one) while other players are allowed to play poorly game after game and never get dropped?

Singh, if I work as hard as Sanchez should I start every week?

7.) 30 Apr 2018 21:23:16
Loll you never know how good you can be until you give it a go. 😂😂.

8.) 30 Apr 2018 21:47:09
Nothing quick about those points Shaps.

9.) 30 Apr 2018 22:10:50
Shappy where would we be if ddg was dropped when he 1st started or evra or vidic when they joined it takes time to adjust.
Sanchez had not been as good as I hoped but he has been at least as good as martial imo and in joses.
Martial does not deserve his place in the managers view.

10.) 30 Apr 2018 22:30:09
Simple fact is Sanchez has earned the right over his career to be picked during a bad spell/ loss of form. Martial hasn’t, and shows no sign of warranting such faith. Quite frankly Martial is one of the laziest/ moodiest players I’ve ever seen in a United shirt.

11.) 30 Apr 2018 23:11:18
Sanchez should improve if the manager signs a proper left back and Pogba does his job properly, (supports at pace rather than admiring his pass or posing for pictures) - it would also be helpful if we didn't play with two holding midfielders so we can commit more men forward. He should improve a lot more if we have a manager change (one who focuses on attack rather than defence) . Otherwise it will be games of moments, no difference between our performance against WBA and yesterday, other than the score - too much is up in the air. Fell victims to it against Sevilla of course. We will win more than we lose, but the games we lose are a lottery because of the style we play.

We have seen many attacking players come to Utd over the past 5 years that have gone backwards - there will be many factors at play but chief among them is our style and reluctance to commit men forward. The flip side is we are relatively solid defensively of course - but how many teams come to attack us? If we maintain the cautious approach I fully expect any creative attacking player to suffer purely based on a lack of options when they have the ball and limited movement around them creating space to operate.

All season most of our players have performed for one game, then vanished the next 2-3 games.

Pogba may have half decent stats but he has been very wasteful and there is a hell of a lot more to a midfielders game than an arbitrary assist/ goal tally. I remain underwhelmed, moments of magic are great, but there has to be more to a key role that he should be fulfilling in the team.

Big fan of Martial myself, but just like all the rest of them he suffers from having moments of magic then long periods of nothingness. We aren't relentless in attacking teams, so every run, chance or attacking situation matters a lot for us - this adds a lot of pressure to the attackers and most of them don't seem to have the character.

A striker / attacker misses a chance it used to be "no worries I'll bag the next one in a minute", nowadays it's "hopefully I get another one this month" - then you have Jose who is a bit schizo when it comes to young players, especially flair players.

We have too many players that do decent jobs but little special. Top teams have 5-6 players regularly at their maximum (if one has a bad game the other guy is having a good one), we are lucky if we have 1-2 players playing at their maximum each game, most of the time it's 6/10 performance.

Valencia and Young are our biggest problem, but because they don't seem to do much wrong (as most teams don't attack them), they get a free-ish pass from the fans. They handicap us so much attacking wise, even when they get in good positions the ball is often recycled backwards or flung in to our one attacker in the box. Massive gaps everywhere, Old Trafford looks twice the size as it used to because our players plod when not in the immediate vicinity of the ball.

12.) 01 May 2018 09:28:39
Evra vidic and ddg were all dropped after they first joined and struggled.

13.) 01 May 2018 13:02:59
So was sanchez but none for a sustained period. Thanks for your input.



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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

A strange one to me.

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

Our wingers play as fullbacks.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




Shappy's rumour replies


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21 May 2018 11:09:16
Replacement for Fellaini as our plan B. Which actually seems to be our plan A. Keep it tight until 70 minutes then throw on someone tall to play the long ball game.




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14 May 2018 17:51:38
GDS, it's the name he goes by every other Saturday night in that club you love in Amsterdam. Lol.




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07 May 2018 06:39:30
For those that blame the players, what is your stance on Moyes and LvG? We have a better squad now than we had under either of them. So were they unfairly dismissed as it was really just the players fault?




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04 May 2018 17:04:13
The Brazilian that Jose was alluding to perhaps?




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28 Apr 2018 21:59:08
Casemiro, Alex Sandro, Fred, Willian, Fabinho, Felipe Anderson, Douglas Costa or indeed Neymar. Of course he could be talking about the return of Andreas Pereira. Lol. It's going to be a long summer.





Shappy's banter replies


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24 May 2018 14:06:50
12daysofhermida, Arnautovic is a solid EPL player. But he isn't top class as seen by him playing his peak years at Stoke and now West Ham.

Would you want him if it meant losing Rashford or Martial?




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24 May 2018 12:40:49
Of course we do, we need a 30+ year old striker to play back up to Lukaku or maybe even replace him in the line up. God forbid giving Rashford or Martial a chance.




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23 May 2018 15:39:14
McKenna will only be partner the managerial set, Mourinho will still pick the team so I doubt we'll see many of them next season. Also Jose wants to bring in 4-5 players ideally with a similar number departing that still means we would have a big squad not giving much room for young lads coming through.

We still have players such as Andreas Pereira, TFM, Mitchel, McTominay and Tuanzebe who are struggling to find a space in the set up. So the younger guys are going to be a long way off the first team imo. I think Chong and Homes particularly will need loans next season to make sure they don't stall in their development.




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23 May 2018 08:42:16
Excellent post, very well written and insightful. It's very interesting to see out situation from the perspective of someone from the outside looking in.

The only thing I would slightly disagree with is that style isn't that important. I think is is vital to our club for far more than just the aesthetics. We have a proud history of giving young players a chance and maintaining having at least one homegrown player in our match day squad for over 80 years. I think the style of play is very important in creating an atmosphere where young players can express themselves without fear, where they can make mistakes and learn from them. Defensive pragmatic football doesn't really allow for this. That is why I feel style of play is so important at our club.

Other than that, there isn't anything I can disagree with. Thank you for taking the time to write that we'll written post.




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22 May 2018 17:58:16
Lukaku was held up as a candidate for out outfield player of the season and one of Mourinho's successful signings by many.

Well until the special one threw him under the bus and blamed him for us losing the FA cup at least. Now he isn't good enough. Lol.