What the papers say

Arnold must make right choice to take United out of post-Ferguson era | Jamie Jackson

What the papers say - Thu, 01/06/2022 - 20:00

Manchester United’s next CEO has to avoid the head-hunting mistakes which scuppered Ed Woodward’s Old Trafford tenure

If Richard Arnold studies the history of Ed Woodward, his soon-to-be predecessor as Manchester United’s most powerful executive, he will comprehend how the close season may be the sole chance to make his tenure a success.

Nine summers ago Woodward appointed David Moyes as United manager after Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement and never truly recovered. Moyes lasted 34 Premier League games of a six-year contract before being sacked and Woodward’s failed search for the right manager extended across the next seven years, as Louis van Gaal, José Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjær came and went without delivering a 21st title, before an interim manager, Ralf Rangnick, was brought in to allow the club to regroup.

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Manchester United: Richard Arnold to replace Ed Woodward as CEO on 1 February

What the papers say - Thu, 01/06/2022 - 12:00
  • Arnold steps up from role as United’s managing director
  • Woodward has been executive vice-chairman since 2013

Ed Woodward will step down as Manchester United’s executive vice-chairman on 1 February, with Richard Arnold, the group managing director, to replace him as the club’s CEO.

Woodward announced last April he would leave his role in the wake of United’s joining of the failed European Super League, though he did not offer a date. Thursday’s news formalises his departure and ends nearly nine turbulent years as United’s most powerful executive, Woodward having superseded David Gill in May 2013.

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The Fiver | Manchester United tribute act Manchester United are in a deep funk

What the papers say - Tue, 01/04/2022 - 16:02

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The Fiver was in a state of suspended animation during the Christmas break, a bit like Percy Pig but in reverse. But now we’re back, baby! And we’re back, baby, just in time to report that everything is pretty much exactly the same as it was before. Manchester City are still a shoo-in for the league. Norwich remain near-certainties to go down. And the stuff being served up at Old Trafford would make a Goodison season-ticket holder reconsider complaining about the fare Rafa’s slopping in front of them. Context, you see. There’s always somebody worse off than you.

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Wolves wreck it for Ralf and are Barcelona back? – Football Weekly

What the papers say - Tue, 01/04/2022 - 14:31

Max Rushden is joined by Barry Glendenning, Paul MacInnes, Lars Sivertsen and Sid Lowe as Ralf Rangnick loses his first Manchester United game

Rate, review, share on Apple Podcasts, Soundcloud, Audioboom, Mixcloud, Acast and Stitcher, and join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and email.

On the podcast today; Wolves beat Manchester United at Old Trafford for the first time in 40 years – the panel discuss whether he has been able to implement change and why Jadon Sancho continues to struggle to adjust.

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Manchester United failed ‘individually and collectively’, says Ralf Rangnick

What the papers say - Mon, 01/03/2022 - 21:17
  • Manager hits out after home defeat by Wolves
  • Luke Shaw questions unity of senior players

Ralf Rangnick hit out at Manchester United for their individual and collective failure during a 1-0 defeat against Wolves on Monday night, with the interim manager admitting he cannot guarantee a top-four finish, while Luke Shaw questioned the unity of senior players.

United’s first defeat in the German’s sixth match in charge meant the visitors broke a 42-year sequence without a league win at United due to João Moutinho’s 82nd-minute winner. While it lifted Bruno Lage’s side to eighth, United are only a place higher, four points behind Arsenal in the final Champions League spot. Rangnick said: “We didn’t play well at all individually or collectively. Today we showed similar problems the team had three or four weeks ago before I arrived. It is not an easy job to develop a DNA with and without the ball.”

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Manchester United 0-1 Wolves: Premier League – as it happened

What the papers say - Mon, 01/03/2022 - 19:54

Joao Moutinho scored the only goal of the game at Old Trafford, where the home side were as out of sorts as at any other time this season

1 min: Wolves get the ball rolling courtersy of Raul Jiminez, looking for their first win at Old Trafford for 40 years. Crikey!

Not long now: Conor Coady leads Wolves out and the visitors are followed moments later by Cristiano Ronaldo and his Manchester United teammates. Both sets of players line up either side of Mike Dean and his match officials, and kick-off at Old Trafford is just seconds away.

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Moutinho’s strike earns Wolves deserved victory against insipid United

What the papers say - Mon, 01/03/2022 - 19:46

Manchester United appear to be a work not in progress but regression. Ralf Rangnick is overseeing a team who set out with a structure against Crystal Palace, his first game in charge, but have since slid slowly backwards.

João Moutinho’s sweet 82nd-minute volley handed Wolves a first league win at Old Trafford since 1980 while starting an inquest into where United are headed under an interim manager whose two main tenets seem to have gone awol.

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Premier League: 10 talking points from the weekend’s action

What the papers say - Mon, 01/03/2022 - 09:14

Arsenal should stay positive, Potter shows Benítez a trick and VAR makes refereeing harder

On the first Sunday of 2021, a first-half Chelsea capitulation against Manchester City hastened Frank Lampard’s exit and deepened a despondent mood. Twelve months on, Liverpool’s two early goals at Stamford Bridge could have induced Groundhog Day feelings. Instead, Thomas Tuchel’s side roared back and showed that, whatever other problems have recently beset the Chelsea manager on and off the field, this is a team that plays for him. Though they did so in a rather un-Tuchel-like manner. The intense atmosphere generated by the Premier League debut of safe standing was met with the kind of front-foot, high-tempo performance more associated with a Jürgen Klopp side. Chelsea were the better team against Liverpool but they will rue the openness at the back that meant they had to settle for another draw which probably ends their title hopes, and more than the much-discussed Romelu Lukaku it is their first-choice full-backs, Ben Chilwell and Reece James, that they are missing most. Tom Davies

Tuchel refuses to guarantee Lukaku return to Chelsea team

Match report: Chelsea 2-2 Liverpool

Match report: Arsenal 1-2 Manchester City

Match report: Watford 0-1 Tottenham

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Football transfer rumours: Trippier, Aubameyang and more to Newcastle?

What the papers say - Mon, 01/03/2022 - 08:34

Today’s fluff was almost perfect but a bit slow to arrive

New year, new Rumour Mill, new Newcastle. At least, that’s the plan, with their new ownership having waited three long months to splash the cash on their plaything.

Among the first to come in looks likely to be Kieran Trippier, scorer of a World Cup semi-final goal for England and a La Liga winner with Atlético Madrid last season. What might attract him to a move to the north east? The word is a previous working relationship with Eddie Howe from their time together at Burnley.

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Rangnick says Edinson Cavani ‘definitely’ staying at Manchester United

What the papers say - Sun, 01/02/2022 - 13:30
  • Uruguayan has been linked with a move to Barcelona in January
  • Interim manager ‘desperately’ keen to keep him at Old Trafford

Ralf Rangnick has told Edinson Cavani that he “desperately” wants the striker to stay at Manchester United and will not allow him to leave in January despite reported interest from Barcelona.

Cavani’s future is in doubt after Cristiano Ronaldo’s signing in the summer. The Portuguese is first-choice striker and United’s top scorer with 14 goals, his most recent coming in Thursday’s 3-1 win over Burnley.

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Manchester United’s Axel Tuanzebe loaned to Napoli to end Aston Villa spell

What the papers say - Sun, 01/02/2022 - 10:57
  • Napoli have paid a €500,000 fee to loan the defender
  • Tuanzebe has featured just six times for Villa this season

Axel Tuanzebe, the Manchester United defender, is set to join Napoli on loan, putting to an end his spell at Aston Villa.

Tuanzebe, 24, was due to spend the season at Villa in his third loan spell at the club but he has been redirected to Serie A, where Napoli will pay a €500,000 fee to loan him until the end of the 2021-22 season.

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Premier League fans’ January transfer window wish lists

What the papers say - Sun, 01/02/2022 - 08:00

Dusan Vlahovic to Spurs? Raphinha to Liverpool? Supporters set out their hopes for the month

After a surprisingly lavish summer it’s hard to see Silent Stan sliding down the chimney with a bag full of swag for a January blowout. But, unless Gabriel Martinelli can be converted into a centre‑forward, it’s asking a lot for the youngsters to keep shouldering the scoring burden – hence the links with Dusan Vlahovic and Mason Greenwood. With players off to the Africa Cup of Nations, we might well need bolstering in midfield, too: Milan’s Franck Kessié, Renato Sanches from Lille and Leipzig’s Tyler Adams are on the radar.

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Manchester United will remain in limbo while uncertainty lingers over Rangnick | Jonathan Wilson

What the papers say - Sat, 01/01/2022 - 20:00

Confusion over the interim manager’s consultancy will not help the technocrat assess how to shape an underachieving squad

A scruffy draw at Newcastle was not the beginning of the end of the Ralf Rangnick era and neither was a disjointed win over Burnley its glorious rebirth. Games against sides in the bottom quarter of the Premier League are not really how Manchester United should be judging themselves – not unless they’re losing them 4-1, in which case it really probably is time for a change.

Optimists, though, perhaps could see signs of progress on Thursday: in Scott McTominay’s energy and drive, in Edinson Cavani’s continued sharpness, in the way Jadon Sancho swooped in from the flank for the second goal and the way Cristiano Ronaldo didn’t wave his arms about quite so frustratedly.

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Manchester United v Wolves: match preview

What the papers say - Sat, 01/01/2022 - 09:00

Can Manchester United start 2022 with their most convincing display yet under Ralf Rangnick when Wolves visit? Thursday’s victory over Burnley was the best performance under the interim manager but still lacked a compelling rhythm that allowed United to govern the contest and it suggested the structural stability the German yearns for is yet to form. Wolves last won at Old Trafford in the league in February 1980 – how they would love to break this sequence. Jamie Jackson

Monday 5.30pm Sky Sports Premier League

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January transfer window: guide to every Premier League club’s plans

What the papers say - Sat, 01/01/2022 - 08:00

A club-by-club guide to transfer budgets and potential targets when the January window opens for reinforcements

Mikel Arteta is eager to fine-tune a squad that looks increasingly capable of a top-four push but may have to wheel and deal. He would like to address a lack of depth in midfield, perhaps using the sale of Ainsley Maitland-Niles to part-fund any signing, while Nicolas Pépé’s future is uncertain so a right-sided forward may be on the agenda. Arsenal need a new long-term option at centre-forward, too, but even if Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is frozen out for good that is likelier to be addressed in the summer. Budget Will be sales-dependent but could reach £30m. Nick Ames

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Bruno Fernandes in danger of being swept away on digital wave of revisionism | Barney Ronay

What the papers say - Fri, 12/31/2021 - 18:30

The Manchester United player began the year as a Ballon d’Or contender but ends it being branded a whinger

On days like these, as the calendar ticks around, as we link hands and sing of our joy at being one notch further on the doomsday clock, it is customary to talk about hopes for the future and life lessons learned from the last 12 months of kicking balls, running around tracks, driving fast cars and all the rest.

Except of course, there are no actual lessons to be learned from professional sport, which is basically lighted shapes moving on a screen, digital celebrity worship, a confusion of desires coopted into a pay-per-view entertainment product.

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Ralf Rangnick happy with reaction after warning players over body language

What the papers say - Thu, 12/30/2021 - 23:50
  • Rangnick was upset with behaviour during Newcastle draw
  • Praise for Scott McTominay against Burnley after fitness doubt

Ralf Rangnick has revealed he warned his players about their body language following Monday’s insipid draw at Newcastle and was satisfied with the response as Manchester United saw off Burnley 3-1.

United drew criticism for visible shows of petulance and a lack of togetherness during the 1-1 result at St James’ Park.

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McTominay and Ronaldo on target as Manchester United ease past Burnley

What the papers say - Thu, 12/30/2021 - 22:17

How Manchester United needed this victory. It derived from one of their games in hand and moves them to 31 points, four behind Arsenal in the final Champions League berth, and was as emphatic as any display so far under Ralf Rangnick.

This does not mean, however, that all is tickety-boo with their play. The win came against a Burnley side who, due to four matches being postponed because of Covid, last played on 12 December and whose sole league victory, over Brentford, came on 30 October. Still absent is an overriding structure that can allow United to govern a game. Under Rangnick, they remain a side of moments: tonight it was enough to claim the three points but this lack of continuity should trouble their caretaker manager, who pointed afterwards to shakiness without the ball.

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Manchester United v Burnley: Premier League – live!

What the papers say - Thu, 12/30/2021 - 19:35

Ralf Rangnick makes six changes from the 1-1 draw at Newcastle. Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Luke Shaw, Eric Bailly, Nemanja Matic, Jadon Sancho and Edinson Cavani replace Diogo Dalot, Alex Telles, Raphael Varane, Fred Fred, Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford. They’re all on the bench apart from Fernandes, who is suspended.

Sean Dyche makes one change from that 0-0 draw with West Ham back in the day. Aaron Lennon replaces Jay Rodriguez, who is not in the squad. In fact Burnley have only named seven substitutes. We don’t know yet whether Lennon will play up front or wide in a five-man midfield.

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‘Not a problem of formation’: Rangnick bemoans Manchester United physicality

What the papers say - Tue, 12/28/2021 - 03:15
  • Interim manager concerned by energy in 1-1 draw at Newcastle
  • Eddie Howe praises Joelinton but sees injury to Callum Wilson

Ralf Rangnick has been known throughout his career for his directness, without ever being a firebrand type of coach, and the Manchester United interim manager played true to form even if his team fell well short of expectation at St James’ Park.

“I didn’t like the performance at all,” he said bluntly after a fortuitous 1-1 draw at Newcastle on Monday night, salvaged by the substitute Edinson Cavani’s second-half equaliser. “We had too many unforced errors when we had the ball.” Rangnick lamented a first-half display in which United teetered on the brink of total ruin, punctuated by Allan Saint-Maximin’s opener.

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