What the papers say

Manchester United welcome plans to regenerate area around Old Trafford

What the papers say - Fri, 02/16/2024 - 20:37
  • Club backs Trafford Council’s renewal of Wharfside area
  • ‘This vision is exciting,’ says United COO Collette Roche

Manchester United have described plans to regenerate the Wharfside area around Old Trafford as “tremendously exciting”, with the club viewing this development as potentially having synergy with their own plans regarding the stadium.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the incoming 25% owner, is intent on either building a new ground for United on the same land or revamping the current site. The plans to regenerate the wider area, a Trafford Council initiative, were backed by Collette Roche, United’s chief operating officer. “This vision for Trafford Wharfside is tremendously exciting and we are proud to be supporting Trafford Council with their ambitious plans for an area with such huge potential,” she said.

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Ashworth and Wilcox the next pieces in jigsaw of new Manchester United

What the papers say - Fri, 02/16/2024 - 17:00

Jim Ratcliffe’s rebuild is slowly taking shape although he still has work to acquire Newcastle and Southampton targets

The new Manchester United are starting to take shape off the pitch under the guidance of Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Ineos. An obvious strategy has been lacking in recent years and implementing one will be key to success on the pitch. Omar Berrada will arrive as chief executive in the summer and talks are ongoing to add Dan Ashworth as sporting director and Jason Wilcox as technical director.

Ratcliffe was clear about what he wanted from a chief executive and made Berrada the top target. The Frenchman’s credentials are impeccable: 12 years working across town at City Football Group (CFG) after time at Barcelona. For years Berrada has been earmarked by professional sports organisations as a potential company leader. NFL franchises were among those interested.

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Eddie Howe fears Dan Ashworth could take Newcastle secrets to Old Trafford

What the papers say - Fri, 02/16/2024 - 15:20
  • Manchester United want to take sporting director Ashworth
  • He is ‘privy to a lot of intelligence and information’, Howe says

Eddie Howe is worried Dan Ashworth may furnish Manchester United with inside information about Newcastle United’s transfer plans, key personnel and tactical secrets.

The Old Trafford club are keen to poach Newcastle’s sporting director and it appears Ashworth wants to leave. But with compensation to be resolved and no deal in place, he continues to, among other things, attend recruitment meetings with scouts.

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Manchester United court Southampton director of football Jason Wilcox

What the papers say - Thu, 02/15/2024 - 17:31
  • Ineos aim for new management team to transform club
  • Newcastle’s Dan Ashworth is top of list for sporting director

Manchester United are making strides in reshaping their football department, with Southampton’s Jason Wilcox high on the list of ­people they want to bring in.

After the announcement last month that Manchester City’s chief football operations manager, Omar Berrada, will move to United this summer, the new minority owner, Ineos, has begun work on hiring a management team to try to ­transform the club after a period of decline. Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the Ineos chairman, is keen to support Berrada by allowing him to make a number of appointments to key positions in the football department.

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Manchester United face battle to lure Dan Ashworth from Newcastle

What the papers say - Wed, 02/14/2024 - 14:31
  • Club want Ashworth to be head of football at Old Trafford
  • Newcastle sporting director has been happy at St James’

Manchester United face a fight to prise Dan Ashworth away from ­Newcastle and make him their new head of football due to his ­loyalty to the Tyneside club, though the 52-year-old is attracted by the ­challenge of transforming United’s fortunes.

Ashworth joined Newcastle two years ago as sporting director and remains committed to the role, as well as feeling a particularly strong bond with the club. While he is understood not to be motivated by money, Ashworth, who has also worked as the Football Association’s director of elite development, fully appreciates United’s status and being part of the project to re-energise the club is of interest to him.

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Jim Ratcliffe given all-clear by Premier League over Manchester United shares

What the papers say - Tue, 02/13/2024 - 15:42
  • League confirms Ratcliffe passed owners’ and directors’ test
  • FA expected to follow Premier League’s example next week

Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s 25% purchase of Manchester United has been ratified by the Premier League and, though the Football Association is yet to complete its part of the process, this is considered a formality.

Any new owner or director of a Premier League club has to pass the governing body’s owners’ and directors’ test.

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

What the papers say - Mon, 02/12/2024 - 08:00

Hammers count the cost, Wilder ditches the maths while Elliott and Sarr are providing the numbers that matter

The academies of Manchester United and Chelsea have a decent reputation for bringing through highly talented and technical players. Anthony Elanga and Callum Hudson-Odoi both got a taste of Premier League football with their first clubs but for various reasons were allowed to leave in the summer to join Nottingham Forest. Aged 21 and 23, respectively, the duo have time on their side. Against Newcastle Elanga’s pace was a constant danger, helping him kick dust into Dan Burn’s face as he sprinted beyond the full-back, who had no answer to the Swede’s pace. Hudson-Odoi’s threat comes from cutting in from the left, which brought him his goal on Saturday. Nuno Espírito Santo was eager to bring in a winger in January, acquiring Gio Reyna, another 21-year-old, from Borussia Dortmund because he thinks counterattacking football could be key to Forest’s success. Will Unwin

Match report: Nottingham Forest 2-3 Newcastle United

Match report: West Ham 0-6 Arsenal

Match report: Aston Villa 1-2 Manchester United

Match report: Manchester City 2-0 Everton

Match report: Liverpool 3-1 Burnley

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Aston Villa 1-2 Manchester United: Premier League – as it happened

What the papers say - Sun, 02/11/2024 - 18:45

Scott McTominay’s late goal divided a tight contest as United closed the gap in the chase for the Champions League

2 min: Dalot comes across to stop a galloping Jacob Ramsey, who is a popular selection as a local lad and talented player.

1 min: Away we go, with boos from the home fans for United having the ball. Big chant of Villa Villa. Archibald Leitch’s old stadium makes a lot of noise when it’s buzzing. How much Archie is left is another issue.

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Scott McTominay earns Manchester United vital late victory at AstonVilla

What the papers say - Sun, 02/11/2024 - 18:43

On evenings such as these Erik ten Hag must feel he has the golden touch. It was not without a by now customary spot of bother but Manchester United racked up a fourth successive win for the first time this season, the substitute Scott McTominay’s powerful late header helping them to cut the gap to the top four to six points.

Presumably the main question on the lips of fans and the thing whirring around Ten Hag’s head is: why did it take so long to get into this groove?

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Ten Hag expects Mainoo to ‘learn a lot’ from Casemiro at Manchester United

What the papers say - Sat, 02/10/2024 - 22:30
  • United have won every game the two have been paired in
  • ‘Kobbie is very coachable,’ says Manchester United manager

Erik ten Hag believes playing alongside Casemiro will help the Manchester United midfielder Kobbie Mainoo to reach his full potential. Sunday’s visit to Aston Villa is set to be the fourth consecutive time the two have started in tandem since the Brazilian returned from injury against Newport.

United have won every game when the duo have been paired together, bringing greater solidity to midfield, but it has taken time for the selection stars to align at Old Trafford. Mainoo missed the first three months of the season with an ankle injury, while Casemiro was absent on his return because of a hamstring problem, meaning they teamed up for the first time only in late January.

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Gary Neville says he suspected past Champions League sides of doping during his career – video

What the papers say - Fri, 02/09/2024 - 14:34

Gary Neville and Roy Keane have said they suspected some of the opponents they faced with Manchester United in the Champions League of doping and presume Italian teams were not always clean. Neville told the Stick To Football podcast: 'There are a couple that stick in my mind … I think there were a few teams that we played against that weren’t clean. We thought it at the time.' Gary Neville was speaking on the Stick to Football podcast, brought to you by Sky Bet.


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Premier League: 10 things to look out for this weekend

What the papers say - Fri, 02/09/2024 - 00:00

Manchester City spy the summit, Burnley must be wary of a wounded Liverpool and Luton seek (relative) safety

The good news for Manchester City is that Liverpool’s 3-1 defeat at Arsenal last Sunday and their early kick-off on Saturday means Pep Guardiola’s side have the chance to go top of the Premier League for the first time since September, for a couple of hours at least. The bad news for Liverpool and the other title contenders is that City look back to their best, with everyone fit and firing. City have 11 victories and one draw from their last 12 matches in all competitions. Sean Dyche and Everton, who arrive at the Etihad in the relegation zone, could be in for a torrid 90 minutes. Jamie Jackson

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

Fulham v Bournemouth, Saturday 3pm

Liverpool v Burnley, Saturday 3pm

Luton v Sheffield United, Saturday 3pm

Tottenham v Brighton, Saturday 3pm

Wolves v Brentford, Saturday 3pm

Nottingham Forest v Newcastle, Saturday 5.30pm

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Gary Neville and Roy Keane suspected past Champions League sides of doping

What the papers say - Thu, 02/08/2024 - 18:50
  • Former Manchester United captains both mention Italian teams
  • Keane: ‘They looked like they’d not even played a match’

Gary Neville and Roy Keane have accused some of the opponents they faced with Manchester United in the Champions League of doping and suspect Italian teams were not always clean.

Neville and Keane, former United captains, played in the tournament from the 1993-94 season until 2010 and 2005 respectively.

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Erik ten Hag stands by decision to keep Lisandro Martínez on before injury

What the papers say - Thu, 02/08/2024 - 15:28
  • Manchester United suffered knee injury against West Ham
  • Ten Hag seeks consistency from Garnacho, Mainoo and Højlund

Erik ten Hag has denied that Lisandro Martínez aggravated the knee problem that has ruled him out for at least two months by playing on against West Ham, with Manchester United’s manager saying it can be a “grey area” to make the correct decision regarding injuries.

Martínez was hurt during the second half of Sunday’s 3-0 win at Old Trafford. After receiving treatment the defender re-entered the contest but broke down again almost straight away and was taken off.

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Played 14, won 14: Manchester United Under-18s offer hope of bright future

What the papers say - Thu, 02/08/2024 - 08:00

Perfect league record suggests more academy talent will follow Kobbie Mainoo and Alejandro Garnacho into the first team

A Manchester United team are on a 14‑game winning run. It might sound like a sentence that belongs in a bygone era, but it speaks to a brighter future at Old Trafford. That’s because the team in question are the under‑18s, who have conquered counterparts from Liverpool, Manchester City and elsewhere this season to go 17 points clear at the top of the Under‑18 Premier League North with a perfect record – 42 points from 14 games.

So, as much as this season has been a struggle for the United first team and all associated with it, amid questions over the club’s leadership on the pitch and in the boardroom, one of the world’s grandest academies has quietly gone from strength to strength.

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George Best’s inglorious post-Manchester United career, 50 years on

What the papers say - Thu, 02/08/2024 - 08:00

Half a century after his final match for United at the age of 27, a look at the final years of star’s footballing journey

By Richard Foster for The Football Mine

Just over 50 years ago George Best played his last match for Manchester United. On New Year’s Day 1974, First Division newcomers Queens Park Rangers took on United at Loftus Road. The game featured two goals from a mercurial maverick, including a characteristically mazy dribble past four opposing players before slipping the ball under the keeper. The player in question was not Best, however, but the equally talented and similarly flawed Stan Bowles. QPR’s 3-0 victory, their first ever over United, left the visitors languishing in 20th place and still in the bottom three. The season ended in United’s ignominious relegation to Division Two.

A few weeks later United’s manager Tommy Docherty lost patience with his wayward star after he missed training several more times and he dropped Best for an FA Cup tie against Plymouth Argyle. Best recalled his exchange with Docherty: “I said, ‘Fair enough’. He rabbited on for a bit but to tell you the truth I wasn’t listening. I was thinking, ‘Here we are playing a Third Division side at home and he doesn’t reckon I’m good enough to be in the side’.” It was an inglorious exit for the 27-year-old, who made almost 500 appearances for the club, including the crowning glory of the European Cup final win over Benfica in 1968.

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Manchester United and the future of Old Trafford: key questions answered

What the papers say - Wed, 02/07/2024 - 13:49

With Ineos sources suggesting a new ‘Wembley of the North’ could be in the works, we assess the options

No. Old Trafford is 114 years old and tired with no notable modernisation since Malcolm Glazer bought the club in 2005. Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the incoming 25% owner, wishes to address this. One option is to build a new stadium on the land that surrounds the current one which, according to Ineos sources, could be billed as “the Wembley of the North”.

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Patience and support: how Højlund found his feet at Manchester United

What the papers say - Wed, 02/07/2024 - 08:00

Striker had his doubters after struggling to adapt but he is now more considered in possession and the goals are flowing

By Ben McAleer for WhoScored

In August 2022, Atalanta took a gamble on Rasmus Højlund. The Italian side signed the young Dane from Sturm Graz for a reported €17m. The risk initially appeared miscalculated. Højlund scored on his second league appearance for La Dea but that was to be his only goal in 11 outings for Atalanta after joining.

Any doubts over whether they’d made a mistake on Højlund were quickly put to rest at the turn of the year. The young striker kicked off 2023 with a four-game goal run and ultimately ended the season with nine Serie A goals. For a player that started only20 of 38 Serie A matches, that was a fairly solid return, and enough to convince Manchester United to spend big on him last summer.

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Harry Maguire’s assault case appeal on hold after lawyers’ strike in Greece

What the papers say - Tue, 02/06/2024 - 20:10
  • Manchester United player had hoped to clear name this week
  • Maguire was found guilty after arrest on Mykonos in 2020

The Greek court drama that has haunted Harry Maguire is unlikely to end any time soon after the Manchester United defender learned that hopes of clearing his name over his alleged role in a Mykonos assault case will be put on hold – this time because of a lawyers’ strike in the country.

Maguire had hoped this week to finally overturn the 21-month suspended sentence he received for his purported involvement in a brawl on the island. The 30-year-old was described as being “geared up” for Wednesday’s hearing before an appeals court judge on the Aegean island of Syros. But legal action called by the Greek union of lawyers over new tax measures has meant only emergency cases can be heard.

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Manchester United hope Martínez will return from knee injury at end of March

What the papers say - Mon, 02/05/2024 - 16:48
  • Defender sustained collateral ligament damage in right knee
  • Martínez injured in fourth game back after long spell out

Manchester United hope Lisandro Martínez will be fit to return at the end of March after establishing that the injury which forced the defender off against West Ham was not an ­anterior cruciate ligament tear as feared.

Martínez has sustained an injury to the medial collateral ligament in his right knee and will not require ­surgery. The aim at United is to have him back after next month’s ­international break meaning he will miss at least seven games; that will rise to eight if the team make it to the FA Cup quarter-finals.

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