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17 Jul 2014 12:31:37
Eds, with Gundogan looking like he will return from injury next month, is there any likelyhood of an attempt to bring him in to partner Herrera?

He seems like an ideal partner, clever and a good passer who likes to sit a bit deeper than Herrera, where he could protect the back four when Herrera goes forward.


{Ed002's Note - No.}

1.) 17 Jul 2014 20:37:19
Said with such hope-crushing finality ;)

Oh well, thanks for the answer anyway ed.

2.) 17 Jul 2014 20:38:43
I was honestly hoping that our interest in Nigel "Kung fu" de Jong would be higher than it appears to be, first time poster btw guys and oddly I don't have any connections or sources at old Trafford or carrington, don't live next to rooney and I don't look after Nicky butts Nan's cats when she goes to the seaside for the weekend, so everything I say will be opinion based :)

3.) It would be good for us to have a pool of top class box to box midfielders to sign from. At the moment it seems we have had an interest in Enzo Perez (who I thought was very good in the world cup semi&final, ) and of course Vidal.

If we add a few more to that list, we might find prices dropping as their respective clubs realise they don't have the power to hold us to ransom. The possibility of a deal being struck increases the wider we are spread our net.

Gundogen is in that bracket and is a good target for me. U have to wander though will he be the same player with all those injuries he sustained? Its hard to say unless they let us do a medical on him before agreeing a fee.

4.) We just signed Herrera, so I would think a more defensive option as both short term cover and long term replacement for Carrick would be more of a concern than another b2b.

5.) Im not exactly sure, but I think Van Gaal's system accomodates 2 of these sorts of players. We have been trying to sign Vidal afterall, having already signed Herrera.

I think there's a deep playmaker, responsible for closing down in front of the back 4. His job is to be a defensive midfielder when out of possession, and a ball playing midfielder when in possession.
I think Herrera will fill that role.

Then there is a box to box player, who plays a very simple game. One two's always making themselves available for passes, - going up and down the pitch. De Jong was doing that role in the Netherlands team. If we get a world class player in this role, I think their responsability might be upgraded a bit. I think Vidal might have been targeted to play this role.

The third midfielder is an attacking midfielder and I think one of Rooney or Mata will play there. That was the reason we dropped out of the race for Toni Kroos if i'm not mistaken.

The Vidal speculation might have just been fiction, so I may be wrong, but I think we are still in the market for one of these box to box players.

6.) I still wouldn't mind seeing Carvalho coming into our midfield. He looks like a very good option in front of the back 4. Reads the game well and his quick distribution would be ideal for players like Herrera and Mata. The only problem is the reported 37 mil price tag.

7.) Herrera isn't a defensive midfielder though. He's more like a box to box player, and he definitely likes to come forward from central midfield and get involved in attacks. He's definitely also got the energy to get up and down the pitch.

At Bilbao he mainly played as a kind of box-to-box playmaker although he's also spent periods playing further up behind the striker as a number 10, but he's not as good there.

8.) Personally I'm expecting Carrick or a new defensive mid hanging back and moving the ball around, Herrera or Vidal (if we get him) as box-to-box, Mata behind the striker/s

9.) I only know what a poster on here explained about 6 weeks ago with respect to LVG's tactics. You may have seen the post aswell. He followed Dutch football for many years and seemed to know a lot about Van Gaal's system, which was explained in a long post.

When we signed Herrera I assumed he looked like a box to box player too, but after watching him I noticed his 2 main strengths seemed to be creativity and an ability to win possession. Even though he played higher up, his qualities will be wasted if he plays what the post described as a "limited" box to box position, in which the player makes himself available for passes and plays short one two's in triangles. There was also a deeper central midfield position according to the post, that required a creative player to do a lot of running off the ball, and to create when in possession.

Vidal is not a creative player. He dosen't play longer passes, through passes, or dictate tempo like a Xavi/Scholes. If it is true we are interested in Vidal, he would surely have to take the "limited, " box to box position, but would probably be given some freedom to be more expansive, given his ability. I would imagine that would involve him bursting into the box to score goals, and taking long shots when there are opportunties. that's the exact role he is currently playing at Juventus. He will not play as a deep creative player if he arrives.

It wouldn't surprise me to see Herrera rotated between box to box, and deep midfield, if we are not able to sign Vidal, or the likes of Enzo Perez. If one of the 2 come in, Herrera will have to move to the deeper position, or sit on the bench. I would be surprised if we paid 30m, while expecting to sign another player that will put him on the bench.

10.) He's not disciplined enough.

The guy shielding the back four needs to position himself to intercept or block off passes, slow the opponents play and break the rythm and momentum of attacks. Not rush around chasing balls down and closing players down to put them under pressure and force mistakes.

That's what Fletcher used to do, but he wasn't expected to protect the back 4, that was Hargreaves or Carricks job.

I do know the post you are referring to, but I don't see why the number 8 role has to be a "simple" box-to-box role, unless that's the players he has.

He's used more technical or creative players in that sort of role before. In fact I think I even remember him using Ribiery to bring the ball forward out of central midfield on occasion when he was at Bayern

11.) 18 Jul 2014 09:41:20
I think this is a shout to Shappy on the Van Gaal tactics.
Personally I think Carrick was lined up for the holding roll until Strootman could be brought in.whether his injury changes things I don't know?
Personally I would have a 3 of Strootman, Vidal, Harera. would put doubt on 1 or 2 of Rooney/Mata/Kagawa as I don't see them as part of an attacking 3.
That said if Van gaal adopts the 442 diamond of Liverpool then there is scope to fit them in
Interesting summer ahhead

12.) Your right about Strootman Brad. I think LVG rates him highly because he is a perfect fit for the holding role.

Based on the point Shappy was making, the idea is that the holding role in LVG's system is unusal.

If your a holding playmaker, u will have more industrious players in front for protection, and u will not have defensive responsabilities. Italian sides often do this. Pirlo behind De Rossi and Marchisio.

If you are a defensive midfielder, you clear things up at the back, and feed the ball simply to the attacking players.

LVG's use of the holding player is unusual because they are both the playmaker and the defensive midfielder. U can see why he favours Strootman. I expect to see Carrick in the role, because there is no other position for him, not because it suits him.

LVG wants a player like Strootman in the position, who has athletic qualities and the passing game. I believe Herrera will have been signed to play this role. His game is similar to Strootman. Physical, athletic & great passing ability.

Herrera can play box to box if needed, and Strootman has also spent much of his career as a box to box player. Herrera's best position in the system Shappy highlighted, will be the deep midfield role. Herrera is an obvious choice for that position just as Strootman is. It is also consistent with the idea that Vidal has been targeted for the other Midfield role.

13.) I understand the system, it's more or less what I've been hoping we'd start using for the last few years.

I don't see the similarity between Herrera and strootman though. Strootman is a little slower, and has a better range of passing. Herrera is trickier, and likes to use shorter passing, flicks and one-two's as well as technical dribbling to take defenders out of the game and open space. He's also not as physically strong, although he does still yet stuck in.

Think along the lines of a less developed version of Iniesta, but who has the energy and tenacity to get stuck in defensively as well, and to get up and down the pitch like Roy Keane.

We'll have to wait and see, but if he is shoe-horned into the defensive role I will be very, very surprised, as well as dissapointed. The potential link-up of Herrera and Mata is mouth-watering.

14.) Thome, please properly investigate before making comments. It dosent help people who come on the site to get a better idea about players. I incllude myself in that category. I don't make comments just to fit my personal theories. I watch the players and try to understand what their qualities are. I also read other posts like Shappy's, and take the time to understand the points they are making.

Strootman is either as fast, - and is probably faster, than Herrera. Herrera has good stamina and speed, but Strootman is a genuine athlete.

If you want to get an idea of Strootman's capacity to accelerate watch Strootman 2014 videos on youtube.

If you watch some of these videos, you'll also notice the box to box role Strootman features in. This is a player that LVG converted into his holding role player for the Netherlands, -LVG is a big fan of Strootman as we know and viewed him as a key part of his system in the Dutch national team.

Herrera is not the same type of player as Iniesta. That is fairly obvious and it is not down to a difference in quality. Iniesta is an out and out attacking midfielder. Herrera is as defensive minded, as he is attacking minded.

Herrera has changed position a lot in the Athletic team. When he plays higher up, he plays right midfield/wing, of a midfield 3. His role is not an as an attacking midfielder in this position. He services forward players, and wins possession.

It is not disimilar to Ji Sung Park in 2006-9, used as a defensive winger to counter Ronaldo's free role on the opposite wing, - or the right midfield position Gennaro Gattuso (a defensive midfielder) used to play for AC Milan.

If you still don't think Herrera can play deeper, something he actually did many times at Athletic, watch the Europa League game highlights of Herrera vs United, at Old Trafford.

Anyone can see these things by watching videos and highlights on youtube, which i'm sure we all do. Before posting comments such as "Herrera is faster than Strootman, " try to remember we are in the 21st century, and can all learn a lot about players with an internet connection.

15.) YouTube videos aren't a great way to judge a player, they tend only to show the best moments. I expect anyone watching a YouTube highlights video of Nani would think they were looking at one of the world's very best players, but we know that's not true. I'm not judging by those, but I'm not just making stuff up to fit my opinion.

I usually watch mostly dutch and German football, in addition to EPL obviously, but ever since I got excited about Herrera (thanks partly to those misleading YouTube videos) last summer, I've tried to watch his games, because I always thought we'd go back in for him, and I've watched him a little over a dozen times this season, as well as watching older games from the season before. I haven't rewatched our games against them from Europe, but I seem to remember Javi Martinez playing the holding role, not Herrera.

I must admit I haven't watched Strootman this season, but in the Netherlands he always struck me as too slow over distances of 30 yards or more, and I worried he'd be too slow getting back and would be left behind by counter attacks if he came here (obviously not a problem if he takes Carricks role). Yes he gets moving quite quickly, that's not the same. Maybe I'm remembering him as slower than he is though, if so, my mistake.

When I mentioned Iniesta, I meant in the way he is happy receiving the ball in tight space, and having the control and technique to play or bring the ball out past his markers. Obviously Herrera is different in many ways, and yes that includes being very capable defensively (although I would dispute his being as defensively minded as he is attack minded).

I know he is capable of playing a defensive role, but he lacks discipline so he gives away too many fouls and leaves gaps by closing down too aggressively, so it's not his best position and he looks far more comfortable pressing and winning the ball higher up the pitch.

I'm not saying he can't play that role, just that it would be a waste of his attacking talent, and others could do it better.

After we payed a significant price for him, I don't want to see him wasted. Anderson was a bright attacking talent when he came to us, but after a few years of being forced into a defensive role he didn't fit he had lost his confidence, picked up too many injuries, seemed to lose interest, and started turning into the chubby party animal we have today.

I don't want the same to happen to Herrera.

16.) If you watch player highlights from individual games, - that is every touch a player has in the course of a match, you will get a good idea of the type of position the player plays and what their qualities are. There are a dozen or so you can watch on Herrera.

I do not watch highlights showing goals and skills.



31 Jan 2014 11:54:22
I've been hearing a lot of chatter this morning about a bid being planned for Guarin, nothing concrete though yet.

Would be an improvement if true.


1.) Personally all my enthusiasm since the Mata deal has gone. Utd had the chance to really push on but for whatever reason have not done so (unless something out of the ordinary happens). personally not sure Guarin long term is what we need but if it is a swap loan with Nani I will take that all day long.
Maybe try and get Otamendi/Garay in to add some Argentinian steel to the defense and then hope for the best!

2.) Guarin would be at least something/someone!

3.) Not sure he's the answer long term either, but he'd be a real improvement on Cleverly. Good option to play alongside Carrick, and he'd be great as third choice, playing backup to Vidal next season.



18 Dec 2013 17:30:06
Copied from beeb:

Sevilla playmaker Ivan Rakitic, who has been linked with a possible January move to Manchester United, Chelsea or Liverpool, expresses frustration with his side's lack of progress. "Such is the nature of our business. I'm in Seville for three years now and in this time many things have changed, " the 25-year-old told Slovakian website Nogomania. "If there is no success, if there are no trophies, frustration grows. Everything has changed."

Ed, do you know of any interest from utd? If so, would he be available in jan and would he be the central playmaker utd need?


{Ed002's Note - The long term interest in him is from Lazio where he was expected to move in the summer. Personally I do not see him moving in January.}

1.) I remember Rakitic moving to Sevilla for around 4.5 - 5 million a while back, it was around the same time SAF said there was no value in the market. He was still a good player then but more of a poor mans Modric. I'm not convinced he'd be that great for is though for the money being quoted but he is good from set pieces which is something we don't have in abundance either.

2.) Would rather go for Matic to be honest. both are quite pricey



08 Mar 2013 12:37:15
How many of those who said Rooney would leave still stand by that in the wake of SAF's comment this morning?

Or are you going to tell us he's playing mind games?

Get over it Rooney is still the beating heart of the team just look at the effect he had when he came on against Real.


1.) Did you honestly expect him to say anything else.
'He's finished'
'We're desperate to get rid of him'
'Not fit enough'
Would knock millions off his price in one swipe.

2.) He may or may not leave. Do you not remember when SAF said that he wouldn't even sell Madrid a virus, nevermind Ronaldo? Well where is Ronaldo now? Point proven.

3.) I wouldn't expect the manager to say anything different. We have a league title to win.


4.) I also seem to recall a Mr Ferguson saying Beckham wouldn't leave United and that he wouldn't sell Madrid a virus! let's just wait and see what happens come the summer. If he goes he goes the club will go on. If he stays then brilliant!

5.) What effect was that, he missed a sitter from 6 yards. Hernandez would have scored that with his eyes shut.
Was he the heart beat of the team when he came to pure season a stone overweight?
He has shown that he couldn't be professional enough to control his weight let alone the ball!

6.) If you think he's going to come out & say that's it were getting rid of rooney at the end of the season. Than you need to give your head a good shake.

7.) As far as I can recall, Sir Alex never did sell them a virus, just a player who he had already acknowledged would go there sooner or later. he was just trying to get an acceptable price.

Beckham was different due to a major falling out, which clearly hasn't happened here as evident from Rooneys demeanor when they arrived for the Real game.

8.) "Beating Heart beat" How old are you and we obviously were dead on tuesday because he was not playing until the 75 minute.


9.) Ronaldo, beckham van nistilrooy all players in there prime when they left united all to madrid

10.) Ye - we got beat and he missed a sitter

11.) What effect?

How about the one where he fired everyone else up, and drove the team on. He does it all the time and that is why I called him the beating heart of the team.

Rooney epitomizes the determination, drive, passion and unyielding will to win which characterizes utd under SAF. It's what has enabled utd to win so many league titles even when our squad looks weaker than our rivals on paper. It was one of the things Keano brought to the team and so does Rooney. He leads by example and makes the team try harder.

12.) Beckham wasn't in his prime, we moved him on as we had Ronaldo coming in to replace him. It was good business as his value would have declined with every year.

As for Ronaldo, he always wanted to play for REal Madrid so had no choice.

Then as good as Van Nistelrooy was, we weren't exactly at our most successful when he was at United

13.) We got beat and fergy has said this in previous years stam keane Rudd v etc




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13 Jul 2014 00:29:29
So now that the Dutch players are on there way home, which ones are we likely to see following LVG to Manchester?

My money is on Blind as cover for Shaw and midfield, maybe Classie as understudy to Carrick for this season and long term replacement?

Any thoughts guys? Eds?


{Ed004's Note - only two I would consider would be de Virgl and blind. Obviously robben isn't an option. Possibly Strootman in January}

1.) 13 Jul 2014 02:25:34
Would love to see Robben here but its not going to happen

2.) 13 Jul 2014 05:55:40
Yeah. Vrjil also for me

3.) 13 Jul 2014 08:12:38
If we are going to be linked with de Vrij can we at least make sure we start to spell his name. I think the two on this post are the 15th and 16th different spellings of the name so far!

4.) I've been really impressed with De Vrij, very solid at the back. To be fair, so have Vlaar and Martins Indi, although Indi looks like he has a mistake in him - still a little raw. Less impressed with Blind.

Wijnaldum also looked strong as an action packed box to box, good ball retention, excellent defensive cover but also prepared to drive forward and run past the strikers if necessary.

To be honest, just hope he brings back the real RVP, rather than the imposter who turned up for Davey Moyes last season.

5.) Virgie, blind, indi jamat for me.

6.) For me blind, depay, and then maybe strootman in jan.

I was impressed with de vrij however I would rather us go all out for an established more experienced cb such as hummels, and get jones back on track. I kno a lot of people said he went backwards last year but I think we'd struggle to name a player that didn't last year

7.) I'd rather we leave Indi alone for the time being I personally feel Vlaar and De Vrij were much better.

8.) LvG got a lot more out of that squad than most could have done but as with MOTD or You Tube fever there is often World Cup fever. Players look decent for a few games and some think they are then good enough. We don't need good squad players, we have plenty of those, we need top quality in my opinion in three positions with also an eye on a cover for left back. Out of the Dutch squad, who considerably over achieved, perhaps Robben but his age is against him, not sure about any others.

9.) De Vrij for me would be great, looked very composed and years ahead of his age and would be set for years.
Martins indi is done to Porto I understand and will be announced this week.
I would take jaanmat to push Rafael and Blind as cover for Shaw or holding midfield.
I don't see a mass influx immediately but Maybe some surprises with youngsters with the under 21 manager coming in too.

10.) I would like to see one of blind or indi. Blind because he can offer cover for the left back spot which we will need due to the impending loss of Evra and he is definitely better in midfield than either clevs or fellaini. Or indi because he can play cb and then the left back spot if shaw gets injured

11.) Very impressed with de vriij over the whole tournament quietely got on with his job, had another solid game last night.



02 Sep 2013 21:14:51
Nick Powell has gone to Wigan on loan. Cleverley got good experience there and they play nice passing football, so I reckon it's a good place for him to go.

More importantly, it only leaves us with Carrick, Cleverley, Ando (chronically unfit), Fletch (long term health issues) and Giggs (too old to be played too regularly) for central midfield. Surely this suggests at least one cm target is almost done?


1.) Hopefully Powell will get regular football and will stay fit which is a worry imo.

2.) Yeah Cleverley's experience there done him a world of good eh. He's rotten.

3.) Cleverly looked like a really good player til he had that injury hit season



21 Mar 2013 20:09:00
I was wondering if any eds or anyone else can shed any light on the story about Toure and his contract?

If he does look to move on, how far-fetched would our chances be of signing him?

I would have thought SAF would love to nab one of City's best players, and he would be an instant solution to our cm problem. He has to be one of the best all round midfielders going, good on the ball, can win the ball, physically dominate opposition midfielders and score too. Also great at bursting runs out of midfield.

Personally I'd rather get him than any other cm I can think of, even Iniesta, Fabregas etc. As he'd suit our play better.

Any chance of it happening? {Ed002's Note - No.}




21 Mar 2013 11:47:19
What opinions do you guys have about McCarthy?

Several people mentioned him back in the summer, and from what I've seen since then he looks good on the ball, has good passing and can shoot, as well as decent workrate etc. He's young and could still develop quite a bit.

I haven't seen enough of him to be sure whether he might be worth bringing in or not?

If so, would his price be affected by Wigan going down (assuming they do)?


1.) I'm not sure he ever quite lived up to the hype - he looks a decent all round player but not someone I would have much faith in turning into a top class midfielder. I also think Wigan will want good money for him, so no baragain to be had IMO. I thionk he'll turn out to be a pretty good CM but I'd like us to aim a little higher personally.


2.) Really good player finds space an uses it little dinks all over the park too pushes forward but not enough cause he try's to help out defenders but the lad could be great in a better team an we would get an ok price on him too as we seem to do business wit Wigan often so I would not say no


3.) In my eyes he is someone that a team like Villa could use, not us.

4.) He's about the same quality as Cleverley. Bender, Strootman, Wanyama and co are significantly better.

5.) U mean wayama the star of scotland? leave it out is he better than bender

6.) Wait lol I just noticed the full stop sorry mate

7.) Lol Chris the REDman, I read your post around 4 times and still didn't get it!




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17 May 2018 15:19:03
This sort of thing drives me nuts. Every time he plays, he is good, and still gets bashed. Yes, he is a little inconsistent, and his defensive positionng could improve, but what do you expect when he hardly gets a game?

It's Mourinho's perogative as manager to decide a player doesn't fit, but some of you lot citing performances as justification just annoys me, because he isn't playing badly at all. And if it's the way he plays which is a problem then the guys being mentioned aren't going to fare any better.




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26 Mar 2018 14:14:47
CSM, that's not really fair, even if he's only started looking like a real top player this season, he's actually been doing well for the last couple of years. He was hardly "anonymous" before December anyway. 8 goals and assists in 17 games, 11 of which he played 30 minutes or less in, may not be setting the league on fire, but it's certainly not "anonymous".

Re: the consistency, I'm inclined to agree with Huggy. He's suffering from the way the team is playing, and would have a much more consistent impact if the runs he makes were picked out a bit more often by players behind him. Now, I'm not saying he's doing everything right, maybe he'd still be a bit inconsistent with players behind him looking for those runs and playing more positive football, but the point is that we don't really know, and I don't think it's fair to judge him too harshly when we don't really know how much of the inconsistency is down to him, and how much is down to the way the teamas a whole is playing.

I would really love to see Herrera used in a more advanced role, ahead of Matic rather than alongside him, where he can look to play the passes that someone like Lingard can feed on. It's too easy to see his great defensive performances last season and forget that he's a great passer of the ball, with an eye for getting team mates in behind the defence.




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10 Jan 2018 11:10:31
hendonred, the discussion was about "most skilled", not "best". They are two very different things, and Nani was more skilled than any of those 5, although I think most would agree they were all better players than him.

I'm not sure he was our most skillful player, but if not, he was certainly close. Absolute magic to watch on his best days, few and far between though they were.

While I'd like it to be someone a bit more consistent, we could do with having a player who can pull that kind of trickery.




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05 Aug 2017 21:53:30
Romero has to be the best second choice keeper around, but I don't think he is good enough to be number 1. Having him as number 1 wouldn't be the end of the world, but we really should have someone at least at Petr Cech's level if not better.




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24 Jul 2017 10:43:08
Playing Herrera deep may allow us to play a true number 10, but it doesn't get the best out of him or Pogba.

Matic would let Herrera and Pogba both play to their strengths, and we would still have the option of moving Herrera back and using Maya or Miki at 10 if needed.

Matic or similar has to be top priority for me too.





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02 Jun 2016 10:47:55
Well, his job doesn't require him to be popular. As long as the players respect his experience, knowledge and drive, it doesn't matter if they go to bed at night dreaming of stabbing him to death with a corner flag.

And If he can impart his mentality on the players, they'll punch above their weight.




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27 May 2016 20:55:50
Ibra won't be able to play every game, not at his age and in a more physical league, and Rashford should get a good amount of game time witbout the pressure of being relied on to be our main goalscorer. He might learn a lot from Ibra too.

Plus Ibra will be with us for a year, maybe two with him gradually phasing out in the second year, so he won't be blocking Rashford and Martial's way for years to come like a younger striker would.

I agree Rashford could probably handle it now, but it's a risk. Bringing in Ibra cuts the risk, and shouldn't slow his development, at least not by much.




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27 May 2016 14:34:52
What? How come I don't get "the 19 hottest celebrity lesbians"?

Instead I get "25 dogs perfectly suited for the elderley" and I'm only 32!

I obviously need to change my browsing habits.




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26 May 2016 15:40:25
His age is what makes him perfect. He won't be able to play every game, and that will give Rashford and Martial chances in that position. He is still a quality player, has a surprising amount of pace for his age, and is the type of player who relies more on intelligent positioning that pace anyway.

I wouldn't be suprised to see him playing at the top level for another 2, maybe 3 years yet, albeit playing fewer games per season.




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26 May 2016 08:55:02
Yeah, it's to get around the image rights issue.

He's going to change his name to Joe Maureen-Yo.