What the papers say
Maybe, just maybe, Steve Bruce and Newcastle United might not be heading for divorce after all. Perhaps the home manager’s bravery in offering 19-year-old Matty Longstaff his Premier League debut, alongside his older brother Sean in central midfield, will one day be regarded as a watershed.
Whatever the future holds the Longstaff family will never forget the day tears tumbled down Matty’s cheeks after he scored a wonderful second-half winning goal to simultaneously relieve the growing tension on Bruce and increase the pressure on Ole Gunnar Solskjær.Continue reading...
- Minute-by-minute report from the game at St James’ Park
- Bruce gets Ferguson’s advice before Manchester United’s visit
- ‘It’s a different era’: Solskjær admits United have lost fear factor
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org | Tweet @JohnBrewin_
And Ole laments that we’re not in the 1990s any more, worse luck.
Fergie remains a favoured hotline.
Steve Bruce has made the promised changes and gives Matthew Longstaff his debut alongside big brother Sean. Emil Krafth, Paul Dummett, Issac Hayden, Yoshinori Muto and Christian Atsu have been dropped. Longstaff the younger, Ciaran Clark, Allan Saint-Maximim, Jetro Willems and DeAndre Yedlin are given a go.
It all looks a bit League Cup, to be quite honest. For both teams.
Even allowing for Newcastle’s problems this season, that is not a very strong Manchester United team. Far from it, in fact. Two defenders playing out of position, no Paul Pogba, the enigmatic Fred in midfield and an attack that is youthful yet not exactly dynamic.
Newcastle: Dubravka, Clark, Schar, Lascelles, Willems, Yedlin, S Longstaff, M Longstaff, Saint-Maximin, Almiron, Joelinton.
The fans loathe the owner and are not sure of the manager, even though he professes to be one of them, a long-standing lover of their club. The football is turgid, and goals are hard to find. Yes, take your pick of which of Newcastle United and Manchester United that refers to. The cap fits both of them. The days when this was one of the grandest fixtures in the Premier League have receded as far as Alan Shearer’s hairline. Steve Bruce was club captain of Manchester United when this pairing met in March 1996 and Ole Gunnar Solskjær was just a glint in the eye of Alex Ferguson’s scouting department. Today’s managers were never Old Trafford colleagues, with Bruce shipped out in the 1996 summer the ‘little Norwegian’, as he became known, arrived in Manchester. They are, though, both favourite sons of Fergie and both have admitted to seeking advice from the grand old man.
Their teams have much to improve on. Newcastle’s 5-0 pummelling at Leicester was relegation writ large. For Manchester United, Monday’s draw with Arsenal was perhaps the lowest-amped match ever between another pair of fallen giants while that 0-0 draw with AZ Alkmaar was the football equivalent of being locked in a room with only a long read on protein shakes for company.
And so a classic cannot be expected but then again, this is the best league in the world.
Kick-off: 4.30pm BST
• ‘I always ring Sir Alex for a bit of advice now and again’
A week of soul-searching has led Steve Bruce to seek counsel from his former Manchester United manager and mentor, Sir Alex Ferguson. Bruce hopes his struggling Newcastle side can recover from last Sunday’s 5-0 humiliation at Leicester by beating the club for whom he once shone at centre-half.
Sunday’s meeting of the two Uniteds at St James’ Park may well be a pale shadow of the tight match won 1-0 by Ferguson’s team courtesy of an Eric Cantona goal during the 1995-96 title race but the Newcastle manager’s job security could hinge on an improved performance.Continue reading...
The days when Newcastle challenged Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United at the top of the Premier League under Kevin Keegan and Sir Bobby Robson are long gone. If Manchester United’s decline has been less dramatic, it is currently causing considerable consternation west of the Pennines. Steve Bruce’s Newcastle are in an infinitely worse mess though and must try to atone for last Sunday’s 5-0 reverse at Leicester. Can one of Ferguson’s stalwart centre-halves turn the tide on his native Tyneside? Louise Taylor
Sunday 4.30pm Sky Sports Premier LeagueContinue reading...
The Manchester United manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjær, said his side 'haven't been good enough' as they aim to put their dismal recent form behind them with a Premier League game against second-from-bottom Newcastle on Sunday.
Solskjær was speaking after United's lacklustre 0-0 draw at AZ Alkmaar in the Europa League on Thursday – he also has to address his team's indifferent league form, which has left them languishing 10th in the table, with only two wins this season.Continue reading...
Newcastle boss Steve Bruce is facing his old club at a perfect time. They haven’t been this bad since he was in their defence
When Ole Gunnar Solskjær was appointed Manchester United manager, he wanted to emulate some of Alex Ferguson’s achievements in the job. But mirroring the start of the 1989-90 campaign was probably low down on his list. United’s disappointing 1-1 draw with Arsenal at Old Trafford on Monday night left the club with just nine points from as many matches in the league this season, making this their worst start to a campaign for 30 years. The last time they began a season so badly – in 1989-90, when they only picked up seven points in their first nine games – Fergie time seemed to be running out.
Since joining the club from Aberdeen in November 1986, Alex Ferguson had done little to suggest that he would be the man to knock Liverpool off their perch. If anything, he needed to worry about losing his own position. He was backed heavily in the transfer market over the summer months in 1989, with Neil Webb, Mike Phelan, Gary Pallister, Paul Ince and Danny Wallace all joining the club, and the pressure was mounting.Continue reading...
• Paul Pogba likely to sit out Sunday’s game at Newcastle
The good news for Manchester United supporters is that Ole Gunnar Solskjær has admitted that things have moved on since his glory days as a player. The United manager has frequently been accused of living in the past, but when it was suggested after the tame showing against AZ Alkmaar that his side have completely lost the fear factor of old, Solskjær was powerless to disagree.
“We are not in the 1990s now – it’s a different era, a different group that we are building,” Soskjaer said. “We know there are going to be ups and downs but I’m ready to see these boys blossom. There’s not many clubs of our stature that play the young players that we do. We give them a chance to come through and I’m sure some of them will go on to be part of a successful team.”Continue reading...
Brendan Rodgers returns to Anfield, Spurs offer opponents too much space and Bournemouth have Arsenal in their sights
Brendan Rodgers returns to Anfield on Saturday, sensing an opportunity to end his former club’s perfect Premier League start. Last season, a much less adventurous Leicester side got a point at Liverpool, triggering a costly spell of self-doubt for Jürgen Klopp’s title chasers. There has been virtually no sign of weakness from the Reds in the league this term, but Salzburg’s dramatic Champions League fightback may have shown Rodgers the way forward. Andrew Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold made surging infield runs against Salzburg, a tactic that helped Liverpool race into a three-goal lead as Robertson scored. As the game changed, the hosts were left exposed in wide areas as their opponents poured forward. Leicester will be a threat on the counter and have plenty of pace and craft on the flanks, not least through their own full-back pairing of Ben Chilwell and Ricardo Pereira. Rodgers’ side are dangerous opponents, and Klopp will hope the reliable Joël Matip is available to slot back into central defence. NM
Related: Sign up to The Fiver email
Twitter: follow us at @guardian_sportContinue reading...
Ole Gunnar Solskjær is still looking for his first away win as Manchester United’s permanent manager. Newcastle on Sunday would seem an inviting opportunity but Solskjær is going to have to alter his team and his tactics from this limp showing to have any hope of beating even such demoralised opponents as Steve Bruce’s side.
This was just as presentable a chance to turn a corner, yet a United side sorely lacking in ambition and creativity were unable to take it, merely adapting to Alkmaar’s level and in the end being quite fortunate to escape with a draw.Continue reading...
- Arsenal, Celtic and Rangers also in group action
- Live scoreboard! Follow all of the latest goals and games
- And you can email Rob with all your thoughts
Besiktas v Wolves team news
Besiktas (4-3-3) Karius; Douglas, Vida, Uysal, Pedro Rebocho; Tokoz, Elneny, Ljajic; Lens, Yalcin, Nkoudou.
Subs: Roco, Mehmet Nayir, Ozyakup, Hutchinson, Gonul, Erkin, Yuvakuran.
AZ Alkmaar v Man Utd team news
The young left-back Brandon Williams makes his first start for United, while Mason Greenwood is up front.
Young Boys v Rangers team news
Young Boys (4-4-2) Ballmoos; Janko, Sorensen, Zesiger, Garcia; Fassnacht, Aebischer, Lustenberger, Gaudino; Assale, Nsame.
Subs: Wolfli, Petignat, Ngamaleu, Burgy, Mambimbi, Lotomba, Schupbach.
Hello. You’ll not believe this, but there’s more football on tonight. Yep, it’s time for Matchday 2 of the Europa League, with 24 games in all. It’s too early to talk of must-win game for anyone, though Wolves could do with at least a draw in Turkey after their disappointing defeat to Braga in the opening game. And Manchester United would like to win in the Netherlands to take a bit of heat off Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, whose pitiful inability to instantly turn someone else’s sow’s ear into a silk purse has been exposed.
The storm damage to Alkmaar’s home ground means the match will be played on a synthetic pitch at ADO Den Haag’s ground. Alkmaar are a good side, only one point behind Ajax and PSV in the Eredivisie, and are generously priced to win this game. We’ll have team news for all the 5.55pm kick-offs any minute now.Continue reading...
Today’s tell-all is asking the president of Finland a question
The Juventus manager, Maurizio Sarri, has decided his midfield is missing a key ingredient in the pint-sized French enforcer N’Golo Kanté and has instructed the vice-president, Pavel Nedved, to pull out all the stops to lure the Chelsea midfielder to Turin. With more than three years left on his contract, the midfielder is unlikely to come cheap and will probably cost north of £70m if Chelsea are to even bother entertaining the notion of letting him go.Continue reading...
• Pogba not a definite starter against Newcastle at weekend
Ole Gunnar Solskjær would not confirm whether or not Paul Pogba will return to the Manchester United squad for the Premier League game at Newcastle on Sunday, though he did admit that the chief reason he has stayed at home for the Europa League match on Thursday night is fears over AZ Alkmaar’s synthetic surface.
Strictly speaking the artificial pitch in question belongs to Den Haag – the game is at a borrowed venue because of storm damage at Alkmaar’s own ground – but Solskjær is something of an expert on artificial turf and confessed he would not have risked the player anyway.Continue reading...
• Former Juventus manager keen on move to Old Trafford
• Allegri attending Tottenham v Bayern Munich match
Massimiliano Allegri has been learning English as the former Juventus and Milan manager targets a new role in the Premier League, with the Italian understood to be keen on taking over from Ole Gunnar Solskjær should Manchester United sack the Norwegian.Continue reading...
Everywhere you turned, there were the memories. In the tunnel, there was Roy Keane telling Patrick Vieira he’d see him out there. By the touchline there was Gary Neville kicking José Antonio Reyes. Just outside the penalty area, there was Martin Keown jostling Ruud van Nistelrooy. Remember? Remember how every man knew when we reached out to claim the throne? Remember when we were kings?
Those pre-Abramovich days when this was the biggest game in English football seem a long time ago now, two decades gone with atrocious haste. Manchester United and Arsenal aren’t even the best sides in their respective cities any more and on nights like Monday it was impossible not to wonder how long it will take them to get back to where they were, whether they ever will get back.Continue reading...
• Unai Emery supportive of Granit Xhaka after United goal
Ole Gunnar Solskjær insisted he was still confident of Manchester United having a successful year after a 1-1 draw with Arsenal condemned the 20-times Premier League champions to their worst start to a season for 30 years.
United’s tally of nine points from their opening seven fixtures is the first time since the 1989-90 season they have not reached double figures but Solskjær argued that his team’s performances had merited a better return – and he took a swipe at the media who, he believes, have exaggerated their problems.Continue reading...
Are you not entertained? Actually. Now you mention it: not so much. On a rain-sodden night at Old Trafford the Premier League dished up the usual ration of bread and circuses.
This was like a tribute night off the main Vegas strip, two grizzled old A-listers crooning out the same old standardsContinue reading...
Such is life for the modern Manchester United the first point to make is that their supporters no longer need to check the bottom half of the Premier League table to find their team.
This result lifts them from 11th to 10th, just above the jagged line. It still isn’t where they want to be – but Arsenal did enough, ultimately, to warrant a point from a thud-and-blunder evening that demonstrated how far these old rivals have to go before they can harbour realistic title ambitions. On this evidence, it is going to be a long way back. Scott McTominay did score a peach of a goal for United but, last season included, the difficult truth for Ole Gunnar Solskjær is that his team have not managed more than one goal in 11 of their last 12 league fixtures.Continue reading...
David de Gea Had little to do in the first half until double save kept contest level before United’s opener. 7Continue reading...
- Updates from the 8pm BST kick-off at Old Trafford
- Football Weekly: the podders on the weekend action
- Email John or tweet him with your thoughts
30 min: And another. It’s Pépé this time. It’s hopeless but it still counts. He’s in a decent amount of space on the corner of the United box but wangs his effort way over the bar.
29 min: What’s this? A SHOT! Pereira skitters forward, angling his run in from the right and getting defenders backpeddling. David Luiz is beaten with aplomb but his shot from the edge of the box is smartly stopped by Leno.
27 min: Rashford joins Chambers in the book after sliding in slightly wildly on Sokratis.
25 min: The good news is that the rain seems to have eased a touch. I’m not sure we can blame the weather for the lack of goalmouth action but we’ve got to lay the responsibility somewhere …
24 min: Pepe completely wastes a free-kick on the left, looping the ball miserably out of play.
23 min: Halfway through the first half and neither keeper has had to make a save. In fact, no one has had a shot yet. Not a one.
22 min: Leno gathers James’s low cross after a nice but of work from McTominay in midfield.
20 min: Players from both sides surround Kevin Friend: Arsenal players want Lingard booked for pulling back Pepe; United’s are eager to point out that their should’ve been a handball against Guendouzi just prior to Pepe’s break. Neither set of players seem particularly satisfied by Friend’s response.
18 min: Tuanzebe calmly and confidently deals with a dangerous through-ball under pressure. He’s started well.
16 min: James again runs at Chambers but this time his touch is too loose and the Arsenal man can deal with the situation. Pretty clear what United’s plan is at the moment – get the ball to Daniel James and ask him to run at the Arsenal defence.
14 min: Kolasinac charges forward into space and looks to curl a pass into the danger area. He does … but his teammates aren’t on the same wavelength and De Gea can collect with little bother.
12 min: McTominay and Pogba are getting the better of Arsenal’s midfield trio thus far.
10 min: Chambers goes into Kevin Friend’s Big Book Of Very Naughty Boys for a pulling back Daniel James. It’s 2-0 to the United winger so far.
9 min: … slung deep to Maguire, who wins the header but Rashford can’t bring the loose ball under his spell.
8 min: James gets a chance to run at Chambers and gets the better of his man. David Luiz blocks the low cross – corner to United …
6 min: It’s been a bit of a scrappy start, with United enjoying most of the ball but things all a little untidy.
5 min: … which comes to nothing.
4 min: Xhaka takes a quick free-kick looking long for Chambers flying forward. Tuanzebe nods behind for an Arsenal corner …
2 min: The rain continues to hammer down at Old Trafford. Guendouzi gives away the first free-kick of the evening with a trip on McTominay.
1 min: Interestingly Tuanzebe has started at left-back for United, with Ashley Young switching to the right.
Peep! Off we go then. Arsenal, in yellow, get us under way.
The players are in the tunnel … handshakes, hugs and smiles seem to be the order of the day rather than angry words and jabbing fingers. Ashley Young and Arsenal’s newly-confimed full-time captain Granit Xhaka lead the teams out.
A bit of pre-match Ole: “It’s two good attacking teams. We have to stamp our authority on the game. Getting the first goal is always important in these games.”
Roy Keane is on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football for the first time. He’s been reminiscing about his rivalry with Patrick Vieira and some of those classic Arsenal-Manchester United meetings – and he’s been great in all honesty. He’s much better on these topics than he is in Old-Man-Shouts-At-Cloud mode.
I should point out as I made an error in the team lineups earlier: Maitland-Niles is not suspended; he’s on the bench having served his one-match ban in midweek.
A bit of pre-match stattage: Bukayo Saka, at 18 years and 25 days old, is the youngest player ever to start in this fixture in the (apologies) “Premier League era”. Axel Tuanzebe, meanwhile, hasn’t started a game for Manchester United since May 2017.
Ozil might quickly become the hill Emery lives or dies on. Start him in PL; rest him from EL to keep him fresh for PL; drop him from PL and make him skipper for Carabao; drop him for PL again. Just doesn't add up at all.
A bit of pre-match Unai. He’s asked about the absence of Mesut Ozil. “Not today!” he says of the Germany midfielder, which is as goos an answer as any I suppose.
Weather watch: it’s hammering it down at Old Trafford.
Manchester United (4-2-3-1): De Gea; Tuanzebe, Lindelof, Maguire, Young; McTominay, Pogba; Andreas Pereira, Lingard, James; Rashford. Subs: Romero, Rojo, Williams, Fred, Mata, Matic, Greenwood.
Arsenal (4-3-3): Leno; Chambers, Sokratis, David Luiz, Kolasinac; Guendouzi, Xhaka, Torreira; Pepe, Aubameyang, Saka. Subs: Martinez, Maitland-Niles, Holding, Ceballos, Willock, Nelson, Martinelli
A bit of pre-match reading:
Here’s Jonathan Wilson on the malaise at Manchester United: “It may be that a squad this piecemeal, patched together from the remnants of four very different managers’ inclinations under a board that has demonstrated little in the way of football expertise, makes the act of management almost impossible …”
Hello all. And welcome to what could be a wet and wild night in Manchester and this clash between perhaps the two most interesting teams in the Premier League right now.
Of course, being interesting isn’t necessarily a good thing. There are strains of fungal infection that are presumably extremely interesting (to some) but that doesn’t mean you want to get intimately involved with them. Or follow their progress through thick and thin over nine months.Continue reading...
This fixture used to revolve around the likes of Vieira, Keane and Keown as both sides have work to do to be title contenders
It caused a flutter of interest last week when Arsène Wenger was quoted referring to the manager’s position at Manchester United as a “dream job”. He had apparently outlined his old foes’ failings in some detail while admitting “I have ideas” when it comes to any potential vacancy at Old Trafford. As it happened, Wenger had made no such comments during a broadcast interview in which his actual observations were considerably more moderate. Somebody had completely made them up and, in a parable for these times, undue haste in places that should know better ensured the nonsense quickly spread.
The rush to inform the world that the former Arsenal manager had dangled vaguely provocative remarks in relation to United told of something else, too. Where there would once have been a queue of protagonists capable of fanning the flames before this fixture, the most expedient way to set pulses racing before Monday night’s meeting was to stir controversy through voices from the past.Continue reading...