What the papers say

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Read the latest Manchester United news, transfer rumours, match reports, fixtures and live scores from the Guardian
Updated: 1 hour 21 min ago

Rangnick calls on Manchester United to recruit ‘future top players’ like Haaland

Fri, 04/29/2022 - 13:30
  • Striker is ‘one of those I think the emphasis should be on’
  • Interim manager warns club must offer ‘good reasons’ to join

Ralf Rangnick believes Manchester United’s recruitment policy should target “future top players” such as Erling Haaland, though he called for realism given competition from Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City.

Erik ten Hag will take over as the manager in the close season, when Rangnick’s role is to change from being the interim manager to a consultant who will help identify transfer targets.

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Rangnick to stay at Manchester United even if he becomes Austria’s head coach

Thu, 04/28/2022 - 23:37
  • Rangnick will take up consultancy role regardless of decision
  • Interim manager admits Cristiano Ronaldo’s future is uncertain

Ralf Rangnick is considering becoming Austria’s head coach, with the Manchester United interim manager to continue as a consultant to the club if he accepts.

If the 63-year-old does take the national team job Rangnick could be confirmed in the role this week. After United’s 1-1 draw with Chelsea, he was asked about taking charge of Austria.

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Manchester United 1-1 Chelsea: Premier League – live reaction!

Thu, 04/28/2022 - 22:09

Chelsea were the better side, but Cristiano Ronaldo earned United a point with an equaliser that came immediately after Marcos Alonso’s opener

4 min: Matic brings down Jorginho on the right. A chance for James to swing a free kick into the mixer. United half clear, but Mount takes up possession on the opposite flank. He aims a curler towards the top right but only manages to hit McTominay full in the mush.

2 min: Chelsea hog the ball during the opening exchanges. A few thousand empty seats around Old Trafford at the minute, for aforementioned reasons.

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Manchester United’s Ronaldo pegs back Chelsea amid anti-Glazer unrest

Thu, 04/28/2022 - 21:53

Quite how Manchester United escaped with a point is difficult to explain although, as ever, Cristiano Ronaldo was a part of the answer. Him and David de Gea, whose defiance has been an isolated positive during a horrendous season for the club. Plus a Chelsea team who simply could not finish. It drove Thomas Tuchel to distraction inside his technical area.

It was Ronaldo who pulled down a pass from Nemanja Matic to rifle home moments after Marcos Alonso had opened the scoring for Chelsea on the hour. The London club, so erratic of late, could easily have been four goals up at the interval while they would waste further chances in the second half.

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Manchester United not being in Europe may help Ten Hag, says Ralf Rangnick

Wed, 04/27/2022 - 22:30
  • No European football ‘could be an advantage’ next season
  • Injury-hit United have 14 senior players fit for Chelsea clash

Ralf Rangnick has admitted that if Manchester United fail to qualify for Europe this could be an advantage for Erik ten Hag in his first season as manager.

United are sixth, five points ahead of Wolves, who have a game in hand and are eighth – almost certainly the highest position United would have to finish in for there to be no continental competition next season.

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Paul Pogba’s wasted prime should be a cause for sadness, not scorn | Jonathan Liew

Mon, 04/25/2022 - 18:19

While few would claim Pogba has been a success at Manchester United, his decline reflects the deep dysfunction at the club

That first training session. Has ever a training session been so romanticised and mythologised as Paul Pogba’s first for Juventus in 2012? Is there a training session you would rather have been there to see in the flesh? “He is not real,” Giorgio Chiellini remembers thinking as they watched their new teenage magician at work. “Are they blind in Manchester?” Gigi Buffon exclaimed. “We were just laughing in total disbelief,” Andrea Pirlo later wrote. “That a player with so much obvious quality was able to leave a club the size of Manchester United for free.”

Well, you can write your own joke there. And yet as United prepare to part ways with Pogba for a second time, having spent almost £90m to buy him back, you will find very few at the club who feel even the slightest twinge of regret. “Fuck off,” the United fans roared at him as he was substituted against Norwich last week, six years of bottled frustration finally finding its voice. This will, in all likelihood, be Pogba’s epitaph at United: a profligate indulgence, an expensive failure, a player who can be safely jettisoned with the minimum of fuss.

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To be seen and not heard is keeping fans and viewers in the dark over VAR | Barry Glendenning

Mon, 04/25/2022 - 08:00

The marathon wait for a VAR check at Arsenal could have been tolerable if we could have listened in

During the four minutes and 39 seconds that passed between the ball hitting the back of the net for Arsenal’s disallowed second “goal” against Manchester United on Saturday, the subsequent VAR check and Bukayo Saka wheeling away in celebration after scoring the consolation spot-kick awarded in its place, there was plenty of confusion. On the pitch, in the stands, in households around the country and even in the BT Sport commentary box – nobody except the referee, Craig Pawson, and his assistants seemed quite sure what exactly was going on.

The big screen informed fans a possible offside was being checked and Eddie Nketiah was duly and correctly adjudged to have been guilty: no goal. Afterwards, another check was made on a potential foul on Saka by Alex Telles in the build-up to the disallowed effort. Pawson adjourned to his pitch-side monitor and perhaps under pressure from a crowd whipped into a frenzy by a furiously gesticulating Mikel Arteta, awarded Arsenal a penalty which was duly dispatched by Saka.

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McTominay accuses Manchester United of lacking ‘fundamentals of football’

Sat, 04/23/2022 - 18:03
  • Midfielder says team don’t do ‘the basics’ after loss to Arsenal
  • Ralf Rangnick denies reports of divides in dressing room

Scott McTominay has laid bare the crisis that has overtaken Manchester United, saying there are a “whole load of problems in terms of players, staff, everything higher up”. The midfielder was hugely frustrated after the 3-1 defeat at Arsenal – when United had the chances to have taken something – and accused the team of lacking the “fundamentals of football” including “balls” and belief.

“It is pride on the pitch – give your best, everyone,” he said. “There are a lot of things going on at the minute. When we get back in the dressing room – it’s go home and take a look at yourself in the mirror. You can’t go back to your house and be satisfied with conceding three goals away at Arsenal when we deserved to win the game.

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'It's not very realistic': Rangnick downbeat on top four chances after Arsenal beat United – video

Sat, 04/23/2022 - 17:13

Ralf Rangnick conceded that it will now be difficult for Manchester United to finish in the top four of the Premier League following a 3-1 defeat away to Arsenal. 'It's not very realistic to dream and speak about top four,' he said. His Arsenal counterpart, Mikel Arteta, said he is more hopeful than ever of achieving Champions League football next season. 'It makes me believe we can do it.'

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Manchester United’s slice of Total Non-Football shows Ten Hag’s task | Barney Ronay

Sat, 04/23/2022 - 16:26

Their top-four hopes are all but over as Bukayo Saka helped Arsenal to a 3-1 victory in a fun, slightly delirious game

In the days since Erik ten Hag’s announcement as Manchester United’s next manager the talk has turned, hungrily, to the scale of the task. There is a kind of relish in this. How many years are we talking now? What’s the current bid? I hear five. I hear six. How about 10 years. How about 100 years. How about infinite years.

It is a pointless discussion. Partly because it has no content, nothing but numbers plucked out of the air. Let’s face it, if you’re walking in the wrong direction you’re not going to get there at all. But there is also something deeply facile about hiring a first-team manager as a kind of balm. Fix us. Give us “a culture”. Make us like Ajax, while having none of the structures that make Ajax into Ajax. In many ways, bolting Ten Hag on to this ailing machine is up there with buying a replica shirt in the hope it might turn you into Johan Cruyff.

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Arsenal 3-1 Manchester United: Premier League – as it happened

Sat, 04/23/2022 - 14:57

Another day, another chastening defeat for United, as Arsenal boost their hopes of Champions League qualification

4 min: That was a fine Arsenal move, though Telles should surely have cut out Xhaka’s cross. He was all over the shop.

Arsenal certainly are! Xhaka swings a couple of balls into the United box. United half clear. Xhaka has a third go, from the left. The ball drops to Saka, on the right-hand corner of the six-yard box. Saka aims for the bottom left. De Gea fingertips it out, but only to Tavares, who bundles in from a couple of yards. Oh United.

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Granit Xhaka’s cracker caps Arsenal’s wild win over Manchester United

Sat, 04/23/2022 - 14:51

The game was in the balance, Manchester United pushing hard and threatening an equaliser for 2-2, Arsenal on their heels. Then, in an isolated raid forward by the home team, Granit Xhaka brought his left foot down like a sledgehammer and everything changed.

Bruno Fernandes had just missed a penalty for United. Now he was caught in possession on the edge of his own area by Mohamed Elneny and, when the ball was worked to Xhaka 25 yards out, the Arsenal midfielder had only one thing on his mind. The connection was sweet and the shot screamed past David de Gea.

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Ralf Rangnick: Manchester United need ‘open-heart surgery’ to recover

Fri, 04/22/2022 - 22:30
  • ‘It’s not enough to do minor amendments,’ says interim manager
  • Rangnick concedes Paul Pogba unlikely to play for club again

Ralf Rangnick has likened what Manchester United require to open-heart surgery, with the interim manager stating the club can be resuscitated if there is strong leadership in support of Erik ten Hag.

Rangnick, who is due to take up a consultancy role but indicated on Friday he would step away if not wanted by the new manager, has been at Old Trafford for nearly six months. The team are sixth, three points behind fourth-placed Tottenham and fifth-placed Arsenal – who they face on Satur day – having played a game more, and the German is clear what must occur for United to be genuine title contenders again.

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Klopp glad that Gary Neville apologised for praising Manchester United fouls

Fri, 04/22/2022 - 22:30
  • Hannibal Mejbri was booked in 4-0 thrashing by Liverpool
  • Neville praised Manchester United’s for kicking players

Jürgen Klopp has said Gary Neville was right to apologise for wanting Hannibal Mejbri to kick Liverpool players during Manchester United’s chastening defeat at Anfield, insisting: “You cannot sort your own problems by hurting opposition players.”

Neville admitted he “erred on the slightly unprofessional side of commentary” when saying he was proud of the 19-year-old, an 84th-minute substitute in Tuesday’s 4-0 defeat, for fouling Jordan Henderson and Naby Keïta in quick succession, earning a booking for the former and a warning for the latter. The Liverpool manager believes that crossed a line.

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Arteta demands hard-running Arsenal stick to high-energy plan against United

Fri, 04/22/2022 - 22:30
  • Manager says how his team ‘go about the duels’ will be key
  • Arteta targeting players who ‘understand what we try to do’

Mikel Arteta has had plenty of non-negotiables since he took over at Arsenal on a mission to restore the glory days of Arsène Wenger, but there is one, surely, that stands above the rest: the imperative for non-stop running, collective intensity in the press and transitions. “I don’t see the game played in any other way,” the manager said before the showdown with Manchester United at Emirates Stadium on Saturday lunchtime.

It is some years since this was the fixture of the season but it will nonetheless bristle with significance. Arsenal will want to build on Wednesday’s 4-2 win at Chelsea to drive their push for a top-four finish; United are hoping for something, anything, to get back on track after the 4-0 humbling at Liverpool. If United take nothing, their aim of Champions League qualification would probably be dead.

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Helplessness, frustration and fear: the picture of modern Manchester United | David Hytner

Fri, 04/22/2022 - 20:00

Erik ten Hag will inherit the worst Old Trafford team since the late 1980s and has it all to prove in a comprehensive rebuild

“Big place, this,” Sir Alex Ferguson would say as he gazed around Old Trafford in the early days, a sense of awe in those gruff tones. Big job, too. When Ferguson took over from Ron Atkinson as the Manchester United manager in November 1986, the club were fourth from bottom of the old First Division and the culture was all wrong, especially in the playing squad, where there was too much boozing and not enough achieving.

There will doubtless be a moment when the scale of it all hits Erik ten Hag, who was confirmed on Thursday as United’s next permanent manager; he will begin work over the summer, once he has finished the season at Ajax. Because not since Ferguson has an incoming manager found the club at such a low ebb.

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Sports quiz of the week: Fury v Whyte, Ten Hag, Dyche, difficulty and dogs

Fri, 04/22/2022 - 15:27

Who is coughing up? Who was knocked down? Who stuck around?

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Arsenal v Manchester United: match preview

Fri, 04/22/2022 - 14:55

Twenty years ago a clash between Arsenal and Manchester United at this stage of the season would have been framed as a title decider. Things have changed plenty since the heady reigns of Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsène Wenger, however, and Saturday’s early kick-off is reduced to a scuffle to remain in contention for fourth spot. If United – who will be boosted by the return of Cristiano Ronaldo – fail to improve on a dismal run of two wins in seven games their hopes will be virtually over. The picture looks a lot brighter for Arsenal after their victory at Chelsea in midweek and a win for Mikel Arteta’s side would put the pressure firmly back on Tottenham. Stephen Hollis

Saturday 12.30pm BT Sport 1

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'I like his football': Ralf Rangnick backs Erik ten Hag to succeed at Manchester United – video

Fri, 04/22/2022 - 14:22

The Manchester United interim manager, Ralf Rangnick, has said he expects to see 'improvement' under the incoming permanent manager, Erik ten Hag. The German reiterated that the club plans to rebuild in the summer after what has been a disappointing season and added that midfielder Paul Pogba, whose contract expires this summer, is 'unlikely' to feature for Manchester United again this season.

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