What the papers say

Ten Hag must hope to invoke spirit of 1990 with FA Cup win over Liverpool

What the papers say - Fri, 03/15/2024 - 20:00

Claiming trophy can no longer save a career but a convincing Manchester United display would generate owners’ goodwill

Remember the days when the FA Cup could save a manager? Remember specifically 1990, when the assumption was that, after eight league games without a win, Alex Ferguson would be sacked by Manchester United if they went out of the FA Cup in the third round against Nottingham Forest, and how, with a grimly dogged performance, they won with a second-half Mark Robins goal?

That goal is a key moment in the legend of Ferguson at United. After three unconvincing years, he had splashed out £7.5m on five signings the previous summer and had been facing fan protests as the likes of George Best and Emlyn Hughes called for his head. That season they lost 5-1 to Manchester City, when such things were all but unthinkable. For a couple of home games attendances dipped below 35,000. That was the winter of the “Three years of excuses and it’s still crap. Ta ra Fergie” banner at Old Trafford, when the frustration of more than two decades without a league title really began to be felt.

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Ten Hag adamant that Manchester United will not sell Rashford in summer

What the papers say - Fri, 03/15/2024 - 15:57
  • Forward has been linked with a move to Paris Saint-Germain
  • ‘We didn’t re-sign him for five years to sell him,’ says Ten Hag

Erik ten Hag says Manchester United have no intention of selling Marcus Rashford this summer. The forward signeda new five-year deal after hitting 30 goals last season but has scored only seven times in a poor campaign for all connected to the club.

Rashford was linked with a move to Paris Saint-Germain again this week, which could provide United with a huge windfall at a time of Premier League profit and sustainability considerations. It would represent pure profit because he is a homegrown player but Ten Hag says financial benefits are outweighed by the player’s importance to the future.

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Premier League and FA Cup quarter-finals: what to look out for this weekend

What the papers say - Fri, 03/15/2024 - 00:00

It’s an eight-game lineup, with places at Wembley up for grabs and a quartet of top-flight matches too

Gary O’Neil conceded his decision to start Pedro Neto against Fulham backfired, with the Portuguese winger set to miss Wolves’ FA Cup date with Coventry on Saturday after aggravating a hamstring problem. Jean-Ricner Bellegarde is also a doubt with a knee injury sustained in the same game, so opportunities could arise for those on the periphery. Nathan Fraser, a 19-year-old forward, made his full debut last time out. Noha Lemina, the 18-year-old brother of the midfielder Mario and who was on the bench against Fulham, could get his first minutes in old gold while the 18-year-old striker Leon Chiwome – tipped for a bright future last year in our Next Generation series – is another untried option. The 20-year-old midfielder Tawanda Chirewa could also feature but O’Neil, with last week’s big calls fresh in the memory, will be careful not to be too bold given what is at stake. Ben Fisher

Wolves v Coventry, FA Cup, Saturday 12.15pm (all times GMT)

Burnley v Brentford, Premier League, Saturday 3pm

Luton v Nottingham Forest, Premier League, Saturday 3pm

Fulham v Tottenham, Premier League, Saturday 5.30pm

Manchester City v Newcastle, FA Cup, Saturday 5.30pm

Chelsea v Leicester City, FA Cup, Sunday 12.45pm

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Manchester United fans angry as youth players cited in reasons for taking seats

What the papers say - Thu, 03/14/2024 - 10:54
  • Fans in Sir Bobby Charlton Stand being moved next season
  • United say young players will benefit from sitting there

A fan group has expressed displeasure after Manchester United cited youth players’ development among the reasons for moving their seats at Old Trafford. South Stand United was formed after supporters in block S122 of the Sir Bobby Charlton Stand were informed their regular seats would be unavailable next season.

The group says it is planning to protest at Sunday’s FA Cup quarter-final against Liverpool and has been irked by United’s chief operating officer, Collette Roche, saying the location could help young players’ development. “We believe, especially for our younger players, that having a side view of the action is optimal to their development and future performance, and being located close to the suite they access is also important,” Roche said in a letter seen by the PA news agency.

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When Manchester United beat Liverpool on the way to FA Cup glory

What the papers say - Thu, 03/14/2024 - 10:25

Bryan Robson scored the best goal of his career as United knocked Liverpool out of the Cup at Maine Road in 1985

By Steven Pye for That 1980s Sports Blog

Bryan Robson earned the nickname Captain Marvel by putting his body on the line for club and country in the 1980s. He inspired those around him and dragged every inch out of his ability for Manchester United and England. “I have been fortunate to work with some exceptionally gifted footballers, many of them magical, world-class talents,” said Ron Atkinson in Andy Mitten’s book We’re The Famous Man United. “But Robbo, without a doubt, is the finest, the greatest, the most rounded and accomplished footballer I have ever worked with.”

After managing Robson at West Brom, Atkinson brought him to Old Trafford for a British club record fee of £1.5m in 1981. By the start of the 1982-83 season, the midfielder had been promoted to the United captaincy.

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

What the papers say - Mon, 03/11/2024 - 08:00

Liverpool youngster handles Haaland, Thomas Frank should face a kinder ride and another Luton fairytale

This was a phenomenal Liverpool performance, and the quality and consistency of the players’ decision-making – except, perhaps, in front of goal – was extraordinary. It is almost insulting to the collective to single out any individual for credit and Jarell Quansah was certainly not seeking any when he told Sky after the game that he “didn’t have the perfect game but I’m striving to be good”. There was one obvious mistake from him, when he surrendered the ball toJulián Álvarez in the 57th minute with a goal very nearly the result but beyond that moment he was strikingly assured. A couple of highlights: controlling Erling Haaland’s run in the 35th minute and dancing through a few challenges in the 80th before sending in a low shot that was palmed away – demonstrations of his calmness and bravery. Quansah has played 24 times this season, enough to feel part of the group, but before this game his Premier League starts had come against Luton, Burnley, Crystal Palace and Wolves. For him to produce such an assured display in a game of this importance is testament to his character and another demonstration of Jürgen Klopp’s almost peerless man-management. Simon Burnton

Match report: Liverpool 1-1 Manchester City

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Fernandes and Rashford on the spot to steer Manchester United past Everton

What the papers say - Sat, 03/09/2024 - 17:50

In November’s reverse fixture, Alejandro Garnacho flew into the Goodison Park air to beat Jordan Pickford with a searing scissor kick that kickstarted a 3-0 victory. On Saturday afternoon, the winger made patsies of the defenders James Tarkowski and Ben Godfrey to claim the penalties that gave Manchester United a precious three points.

The spot-kicks were scored by Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford, which “they decided between themselves on the pitch”, Erik ten Hag explained.

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Manchester United v Everton: Premier League – live

What the papers say - Sat, 03/09/2024 - 11:48
  • Updates from the 12.30pm GMT kick-off at Old Trafford
  • Get in touch! Send your thoughts in an email to Will

Erik ten Hag speaks: “You need movement behind, how do we get that, it was to come from our striker, he has to make the movement behind. But we also need movement in behind from others. It has to work out. How do we get that movement in behind? How do we get box occupation. We have to control their counters, and we must keep the ball to not give them set-plays. They are very good at it. We have to win. We have to win every game. It’s like our way of life. It doesn’t change anything in our approach.”

Old Trafford needs a bit of work.

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Manchester United get Lord Coe to lead taskforce on new stadium project

What the papers say - Fri, 03/08/2024 - 17:06
  • Plan is to explore regeneration and how to fund ground
  • Gary Neville and Andy Burnham also included on taskforce

Manchester United have announced the creation of an Old Trafford regeneration taskforce that will explore the building of a new state-of-the-art stadium, including how to finance a project that the club accepts it cannot undertake alone.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe, United’s largest individual shareholder, wants to construct a home for the club on the site where Old Trafford stands. Sebastian Coe will chair the taskforce, which has a remit to regenerate the area and seek strategic partnerships. Other members include Gary Neville, the former United captain, and Andy Burnham, the mayor of Greater Manchester.

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Ten Hag: Manchester United could easily have 14 more wins but for injuries

What the papers say - Fri, 03/08/2024 - 14:48
  • Manager has 61 victories from 100 matches at United
  • ‘No team can deal with so many injuries,’ Ten Hag says

Erik ten Hag has claimed Manchester United “could easily” have won another 14 matches during his time as manager but for injuries.

United host Everton on Saturday without 10 first-team players, after consecutive Premier League defeats by Fulham and Manchester City. Everton are without a victory in 10 league games and if they pull off a shock at Old Trafford it would be another blow to Ten Hag as he attempts to impress the new minority owner, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, regardless of player availability.

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Premier League: 10 things to look out for this weekend

What the papers say - Fri, 03/08/2024 - 00:01

First host second in a seismic Anfield collision, while there’s another big battle as fourth entertain fifth at Villa

Bruno Fernandes lamented that last week’s Manchester derby defeat came down to “individual quality from the players of City”. Difficult to argue with, but the most frustrating part of United’s loss was the failure to commit for the full 90 minutes. At 2-1 down even some senior players had their heads down and appeared to show a lack of effort in the final 15 minutes. Never mind individual quality, that in itself is unforgivable. And that attitude only drives future opponents on. Jordan Pickford has said he is confident that Everton will outrun Erik ten Hag’s side on Saturday. “For me, I think [with] the intensity and the workrate the lads give out, the running stats. I think we will be able to get after them. We will be able to run all over them.” Yara El-Shaboury

Manchester United v Everton, Saturday 12.30pm (all times GMT)

Crystal Palace v Luton, Saturday 3pm

Bournemouth v Sheffield United, Saturday 3pm

Wolves v Fulham, Saturday 3pm

Arsenal v Brentford, Saturday 5.30pm

Aston Villa v Tottenham, Sunday 1pm

West Ham v Burnley, Sunday 2pm

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Solskjær says some Manchester United players said no to captaincy – video

What the papers say - Thu, 03/07/2024 - 11:23

Ole Gunnar Solskjær has said some Manchester United players did not want to be captain for certain matches while he was the manager. Solskjær, who was in charge from December 2018 to November 2021, described it as 'petty' and displaying 'a lack of ambition' in critical comments about generation Z. 'No one said ‘no’ to being the club captain, it was just for certain games,' Solskjær told the Stick to Football podcast. 'Yes, but they didn’t want to say it themselves, they had other people come up to me and say it. It was disappointing. It’s a different generation, it’s Gen Z. It’s petty and shows a lack of ambition.'

Ole Gunnar Solskjær was speaking on the Stick to Football podcast, brought to you by Sky Bet.” https://twitter.com/WeAreTheOverlap

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Solskjær claims some Manchester United players said no to captaincy

What the papers say - Wed, 03/06/2024 - 16:24
  • Former manager critical of ‘petty’ generation Z
  • He says a lot of players would not do interviews

Ole Gunnar Solskjær has said some Manchester United players did not want to be captain for certain matches while he was the manager.

Solskjær, who was in charge from December 2018 to November 2021, described that as “petty” and displaying “a lack of ambition” in critical comments about generation Z.

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Manchester United want Dougie Freedman as head of recruitment

What the papers say - Tue, 03/05/2024 - 15:36
  • United set to make approach for Crystal Palace sporting director
  • Guéhi, Eze and Olise among Freedman’s signings at Palace

Manchester United are set to make an official approach for Crystal Palace’s sporting director, Dougie Freedman, with the former Scotland striker lined up by Ineos to take over as the head of recruitment.

Freedman, who had a successful spell as Palace’s manager before returning as sporting director in 2017, is understood to have been identified as the ideal candidate to work within the structure being put in place by Sir Jim Ratcliffe at United. The 49-year-old has earned plaudits for his ability to spot emerging talent in the Championship and beyond, having been instrumental in Palace signing Marc Guéhi, Eberechi Eze and Michael Olise, among others.

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Pep Guardiola has revived Barcelona spirit to boost City’s title chances | Jonathan Wilson

What the papers say - Mon, 03/04/2024 - 15:09

Manchester United were no match for City on Sunday. They will face far stiffer tests over the next four weeks

Manchester City, brilliant but oddly vulnerable; Manchester United, a mess but with the odd spark. It was, in the end, a Manchester derby that confirmed what we already knew. And the result is that the title race rolls on to Anfield on Sunday and, after four straight wins apiece in the league, a potentially seismic clash between City and Liverpool.

By that point, Arsenal will have played Brentford at the Emirates next Saturday. Of which there are two things to be said: first that after next weekend there will be 10 games remaining and there haven’t been three sides so tightly bunched at the top at this stage since 2010 (when after 28 games, Chelsea led United by a point with Arsenal two further back). And second, that if this is going to be a classic run-in, it needs the top teams to drop unexpected points, for there to be twists and turns, rather than the sort of procession of wins for the major contenders that characterised 2018-19.

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‘It’s going to be hard’: Fernandes admits to Manchester United top-four doubts

What the papers say - Mon, 03/04/2024 - 15:08
  • City’s ‘individual quality’ was too much, admits United captain
  • United trail fourth-placed Aston Villa by 11 points

Bruno Fernandes admits it is “going to be hard” for Manchester United to qualify for the Champions League after Manchester City’s “individual quality” led to an 11th Premier League loss of the season.

United sit sixth, 11 points off fourth-placed Aston Villa and six points behind Tottenham – who have a game in hand – in fifth spot, which could yet be enough for Champions League qualification. United next play at home to Everton on Saturday.

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

What the papers say - Mon, 03/04/2024 - 08:00

Rashford displays his best and most frustrating qualities while Watkins and Eze lay down Euro 2024 markers

Manchester City are inevitable. It’s the quality that struck such fear into Manchester United in a derby that rarely seemed destined to be anything other than victory for the champions. And that includes the 48 minutes United were a goal ahead. Liverpool and Arsenal could only look on in vain hope, even when Erling Haaland delivered one of the greatest misses in Premier League history. City kept their cool. United’s latest derby humbling reminded there is so much more to Pep Guardiola’s team than the Kevin De Bruyne-Haaland partnership. At 23, it can feel like there are no more worlds to conquer for Phil Foden, the match-winner. And Rodri, who performs the same safety-catch service Sergio Busquets supplied for Guardiola’s Barcelona team, remained switched on in the dying seconds to rob Sofyan Amrabat and set up a cleansing goal for Haaland. United players left the field exhausted by attempting to live with the untouchable. John Brewin

Match report: Manchester City 3-1 Manchester United

‘Absolutely not’: Ten Hag denies United are way behind City

Match report: Nottingham Forest 0-1 Liverpool

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Guardiola hails 'world-class player' Foden while Ten Hag praises United – video

What the papers say - Sun, 03/03/2024 - 22:26

Pep Guardiola praised Phil Foden after he scored twice in Manchester City's 3-1 derby win over Manchester United. Foden led City’s fightback as they trailed 1-0 at half-time thanks to Marcus Rashford’s rasping long-range strike in the eighth minute and a glaring Erling Haaland miss from point-blank range. Foden succeeded where Haaland earlier failed, smashing in a rising drive for the equaliser and then sweeping in a low shot in the 80th minute after Julián Álvarez’s inside pass. 'I always had the feeling he would score goals. Right now, he is winning games," Guardiola said of Foden. Meanwhile, United's manager, Erik ten Hag, insisted that the gap between City and United is not that big and fine margins are the difference between the two squads.

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WSL roundup: Chelsea’s Macario marks debut with goal in win at Leicester

What the papers say - Sun, 03/03/2024 - 21:05
  • Chelsea regain first place after 4-0 victory
  • Manchester United lose ground at top with West Ham draw

A goal from Catarina Macario on her Chelsea debut, and return to action after 20 months out with injury, helped the Women’s Super League champions ease to a 4-0 victory against Leicester at the King Power Stadium.

Chelsea bounced back from defeat against Manchester City by thrashing Willie Kirk’s side, in the process moving top on goal difference.

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Premier League weekend awards: Liverpool’s secret weapon and Pochettino is a problem

What the papers say - Sun, 03/03/2024 - 20:30

From Rashford’s screamer to Chelsea’s struggles, we hand out honors (and dishonors) from the top-flight weekend

Phil Foden is in the middle of the biggest heat check since Mark Ruffalo in Poor Things. He was the best player on the pitch in City’s 3-1 win in the Manchester derby, finishing with two goals, including a now trademark stunner from the edge of the box.

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