What the papers say

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Updated: 2 hours 2 min ago

Glazers have no plans to sell Manchester United, says Ed Woodward

Sun, 10/20/2019 - 19:02
• Vice-chairman says no offers have been made
• Reports Saudi Arabia’s crown prince has shown interest

Ed Woodward said the Glazers do not wish to sell Manchester United and the owners have received no offers for the club.

There are reports that Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammed bin Salman would like to buy United, but the executive vice-chairman denied there had been any concrete bids.

Related: Liverpool drop first points but Lallana strike denies Manchester United

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Liverpool drop first points but Lallana strike denies Manchester United

Sun, 10/20/2019 - 18:50

By any objective measure, this had felt like an away banker during what was a high-octane build-up. Manchester United, mired in their worst start to a season since 1989-90, had been goal-shy; their confidence seemingly in pieces. Liverpool were supposed to roll up to Old Trafford and extend their 100 per cent Premier League to a record-equalling 18th game.

Ole Gunnar Solskjær, the eternally optimistic United manager, had claimed that “this is the perfect game for us‚“ but, to put it bluntly, nobody believed him. Perhaps they should have done.

Related: Manchester United v Liverpool: Premier League – live!

Related: Glazers have no plans to sell Manchester United, says Ed Woodward

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Manchester United v Liverpool: Premier League – live!

Sun, 10/20/2019 - 17:07

5.07pm BST

Rashford gives United the lead but Liverpool think there was a foul in the build-up!

5.06pm BST

36 min De Gea makes a better save from Firmino’s header, but he’d been flagged offside.

5.05pm BST

34 min De Gea makes a good save from Firmino after a smart break from Liverpool. Matip swept a fine long pass out to Mane on the right. He kept the ball in, charged down the wing and then cut the ball back perfectly for Firmino to strike first time on the run from 15 yards. He didn’t really get hold of it, however, and de Gea plunged to his right to make an ultimately comfortable save.

5.03pm BST

32 min As with Everton yesterday, United’s performance suggests the manager certainly hasn’t lost the dressing-room.

5.00pm BST

31 min Young goes down after taking Henderson’s hand in his face. It was accidental.

4.59pm BST

30 min Henderson’s flat cross is volleyed wide from 12 yards by the stretching Firmino. It was a quarter-chance at best.

4.59pm BST

29 min Wan-Bissaka is having a terrific game. Whatever happens at United in the next few years, and all bets are off, it should be a long time before they need to scout another right-back, never mind 800.

4.58pm BST

28 min A brilliant cross from Wan-Bissaka is serenely cleared by van Dijk at the near post. That was a vital bit of defending.

4.57pm BST

27 min Rashford, on the left, zips away from Henderson and then Matip in the area, only to mistime his attempted cutback towards James. It was a lovely run, though, and he’s looked sharp in the last 10 minutes. United are playing with split strikers, as they did to good effect when Solskjaer was caretaker manager.

4.55pm BST

25 min McTominay takes matters into his hands, marauding forward from midfield before hitting a low shot from 25 yards that is comfortably saved by Alisson. It was a good run but a fairly tame shot.

4.54pm BST

25 min The game is too important to feel boring, but if this was Mansfield v Swindon we’d be calling it a stinker.

4.54pm BST

24 min “Hi Rob,” says Julian Smith. “I stumbled across this today. Great doc about the history of the rivalry between these two great cities and the mutual respect that we hopefully now acknowledge between each other (grudgingly no doubt). We’re closer than either side would now care to admit. Of course, you won’t have a chance to watch while there’s so much action going on but Merseyside/GM reds should appreciate it (even though it’s an LFCTV production).”

It’s interesting that nobody (as far as I’m aware) has written a book about the rivalry. There are plenty, for example, on Barcelona and Real Madrid, though I realise that’s a bigger, broader rivalry.

4.52pm BST

23 min I’d be tempted to switch Mane back to his usual position on the left. Liverpool haven’t really threatened yet, despite looking the calmer, classier side.

4.51pm BST

22 min Young’s corner is punched away by Alisson.

4.51pm BST

21 min Rashford leaves van Dijk on all fours and finds Pereira, whose shot deflects wide for a corner. Young will take it.

4.50pm BST

21 min United break through Rashford, whose attempted through pass to James is blocked by Matip. It wasn’t a great pass.

4.50pm BST

20 min Andy Robertson’s cross is cleared by Maguire as far as ... Robertson, who storms forward to win the ball himself. I love watching him so much. He’s an elemental force.

4.48pm BST

19 min “It’s coming,” says Mary Waltz. “Liverpool is starting to control the midfield. United is dropping back. United is being reduced to knocking it long and hoping. A Liverpool goal, like Winter, is coming.”


4.47pm BST

17 min Wan-Bissaka plays a good pass into the area for Pereira, whose speculative backheel goes through to Alisson with no United forwards in sight. Gary Neville makes the valid point that James and Rashford have both been pretty static so far.

4.46pm BST

17 min The match is starting to settle into the expected pattern, with Liverpool dominating possession. Marcus Rashford is already starting to look a bit hacked off.

4.45pm BST

15 min Maguire drives a crossfield pass straight out of play. It’s been a good start from United in terms of aggression and endeavour, but not quality in possession.

4.43pm BST

13 min Liverpool are starting to stir as an attacking force. Wijnaldum neatly slips both McTominay and Fred before hitting a low shot from 25 yards that is comfortably saved by de Gea.

4.42pm BST

12 min Pereira leads a promising attack, sees Wan-Bissaka in space on the right ... and then mishits a miserable shot from 25 yards that is claimed by Alisson.

4.40pm BST

10 min Liverpool’s first decent attack. Mane heads the ball down nicely for Firmino, who surges into the area on the left before slicing a half-volley miles wide.

4.39pm BST

9 min A dangerous free-kick from Pereira on the right is supeerbly defended by Robertson at the near post. Had he missed that, Rashford would have had a clear shot from 10 yards.

4.38pm BST

9 min “Afternoon Rob,” says Simon McMahon. “Matt Dony should count his blessings. Maybe being a Liverpool and Wales fan ain’t so bad, when you could be, say, a Dundee United and Scotland fan (wins over San Marino don’t count). Even Gerwyn Price is going further in the darts than Gary Anderson these days. Although one of the year’s more heart-warming stories involves the incomparable Andy Murray, who is currently giving it a right go in the final of the European Open in Antwerp. He’ll lose, but still ...”

4.37pm BST

8 min This has been a really aggressive start from United, summed up by a late shoulder charged by Pereira on van Dijk. Liverpool haven’t got going yet.

4.35pm BST

5 min United are pressing much higher than expected, with Young and Wan-Bissaka playing as genuine wing-backs for now. A decent cross from Young - rocking up on the right in open play for some reason - flashes across goal.

4.33pm BST

3 min I take it back: United are playing a 3-4-1-2, with Pereira closer to the influential Fabinho.

4.32pm BST

2 min Young lobs a good ball down the left to Rashford, who runs at Matip but then picks the wrong option with a nothing cross that is easily cleared.

4.31pm BST

2 min Sadio Mane has started on the right for Liverpool, with Origi on the left. United’s formation looks like a 3-3-2-2, with McTominay deeper than Fred and Pereira.

4.30pm BST

1 min Peep peep! United, in red, kick off from left to right. Liverpool are in white, chasing an 18th consecutive victory.

4.29pm BST

“Jonathan Wilson has a point that United might be looking at Klopp and saying ‘What if?’,” says Peter Oh, ‘but the teamsheet suggests that they looked at Klopp, swallowed dryly and commanded Ole to ‘PUT FIVE AT THE BACK!!!’.”

4.28pm BST

The players emerge to the usual sound of This Is the One by the Stone Roses. It’s time for business.

4.27pm BST

Jose Mourinho, on Sky Sports, has just said “it’s very, very rare that magic tactics win a game”. Everything we know is wrong.

4.25pm BST

Paul Pogba is at Old Trafford, limping around with a walking stick.

4.22pm BST

“I’m currently waiting for a flight from Brasilia to Rio on Gol Airlines before heading home to London on Norwegian Air,” says Chris Hall. “I’m not entirely sure what it all means but with three Brazilians in my team today, even with no Salah, surely a 0-0 isn’t on the cards?”

Well, three of the last six league games have ended goalless. It’s not beyond the realms, especially with United playing an 5-3-0-0-0-0-2 formation. But I’d expect Liverpool to win maybe 2-0 or 3-0. It’s not like you’re on Golless Airlines, is it.

4.20pm BST

“I really, really did not enjoy this morning, Rob,” says our Wales/Liverpool fandom correspondent Matt Dony. “The rugby took several years off my life expectancy. I’m very keen for this afternoon to be less tight and less stressful. Five or six early Liverpool goals to settle the nerves would be useful.”

Surely this morning was a reminder me that late victories are all the preceding misery?

4.16pm BST

Axel Tuanzebe has been injured in the warm-up. Marcos Rojo replaces him and Phil Jones moves to the bench. This is the revised team news.

Manchester United (possible 5-3-2) de Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Rojo, Young; Fred, McTominay, Pereira; James, Rashford.
Substitutes: Romero, Ro Jones, Williams, Garner, Mata, Greenwood, Martial.

3.34pm BST

Some pre-match reading

Related: Manchester United must be tempted to look at Jürgen Klopp and wonder: what if? | Jonathan Wilson

Related: Jürgen Klopp dismisses ‘insulting’ coverage of Manchester United’s travails

Related: Debt £511m but dividends galore: the Glazers’ legacy at Manchester United | David Conn

3.34pm BST

David de Gea is fit for Manchester United, while Aaron Wan-Bissaka returns in what looks like a back five. Anthony Martial is on the bench. United could also play with a diamond, with Axel Tuanzebe in midfield and Andreas Pereira on Fabinho.

Liverpool are without Mo Salah, who is injured, so Divock Origi comes in. Alisson returns to the starting line-up.

2.08pm BST

Hello. Manchester United v Liverpool is a fixture so big it deserves its own Blackadder simile. And this one feels even bigger than usual. The context of today’s match can be summarised by a number and a football season.

The number is 18. If Liverpool win today, they will equal Manchester City’s English record of 18 consecutive league wins, and move three points closer to finally adding to their 18 league titles.

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Solskjær optimistic Manchester United youngsters can end slump

Sat, 10/19/2019 - 22:30
Manager is confident his side can start winning – preferably starting against Liverpool – and wants his players to take risks

Far from being dismayed by Manchester United’s worst start to a season in three decades coinciding with Liverpool’s best, Ole Gunnar Solskjær came out with fighting talk that bordered on the provocative as he prepared for Sunday’s north-west derby at Old Trafford.

A draw would deny Liverpool a record-equalling 18th consecutive top-flight victory and in the circumstances most United supporters would probably be happy enough with a point against the leaders, though Solskjær insists his side will be going for a win.

Related: Manchester United job is not too big for me, says Ole Gunnar Solskjær

Related: Manchester United’s recruitment has been dysfunctional, admits Ed Woodward

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Manchester United must be tempted to look at Jürgen Klopp and wonder: what if? | Jonathan Wilson

Sat, 10/19/2019 - 20:00

Ole Gunnar Solskjær, having leapt several steps of the managerial ladder, does not have a preferred style and it shows

O n this weekend four years ago, Jürgen Klopp got off the bus at White Hart Lane before his first game as Liverpool manager to an extraordinary clamour. Fans packed the street outside the car park just to see him, and journalists packed the opposite pavement just to see them. The sense of excitement and expectation was palpable – and it has been justified. Liverpool have undergone a remarkable transformation since.

Liverpool went into that fixture 10th in the Premier League table; they go into Sunday’s game at Old Trafford as league leaders and European champions. Of Klopp’s 18-man match-day squad four years ago, three – James Milner, Adam Lallana and Divock Origi –are still at the club. There has been a radical overhaul of personnel and playing style.

Related: Manchester United job is not too big for me, says Ole Gunnar Solskjær

Related: Manchester United should have been careful what they wished for | Eni Aluko

Related: Manchester United’s recruitment has been dysfunctional, admits Ed Woodward

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Manchester United v Liverpool: match preview

Sat, 10/19/2019 - 09:00

After eight games Ole Gunnar Solskjær is in crisis-management mode as his plunging Manchester Unitedside have left him feeling the pressure. If results go the wrong way United could be in the relegation zone by Sunday evening with the manager’s job prospects looking grim. The flip side is that victory over the league leaders could be the springboard to turn fortunes around. Jamie Jackson

Sunday 4.30pm Sky Sports Premier League

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Jürgen Klopp dismisses ‘insulting’ coverage of Manchester United’s travails

Fri, 10/18/2019 - 22:30
• Liverpool overwhelming favourites to win at Old Trafford
• ‘People are trying to create it as a banana skin’, manager says

Jürgen Klopp believes Liverpool’s visit to Manchester United has been hyped as a potential banana skin for the Premier League leaders to provoke a show of defiance from Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s side.

Liverpool are 15 points clear of their old rivals with only eight matches played and can equal Manchester City’s Premier League record of 18 successive victories on Sunday. Klopp, however, claims it is insulting to dismiss United as a “nobody” while Danny Mills’ combined XI featuring only Liverpool players, the overwhelming odds on his team to win at Old Trafford and the negativity surrounding Solskjær are designed purely to motivate the struggling hosts. “People are trying to create it as a banana skin,” said Klopp, who has not won at Old Trafford as Liverpool manager.

Related: Crystal Palace and the knack: how the Eagles became Man City’s bogey team | Ben Fisher

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Manchester United job is not too big for me, says Solskjær

Fri, 10/18/2019 - 14:54

• I’m confident in what we’re trying to do, manager adds
• United wracked by injuries as they prepare for Liverpool’s visit

After a quip about a packed media room being “noisy”, Ole Gunnar Solskjær was asked whether being Manchester United manager was too much for him.

His side have nine points from eight league matches before Liverpool’s visit on Sunday, so the question addressed a sizeable issue. Solskjær’s response was to laugh. “No, I’ve never felt it’s too big for me,” he said. “I’m confident in what we’re trying to do and I’m confident in my staff. The coaching and what’s happening here every single day, I’ve been so impressed. The improvement is there to see for us but it’s about results: start winning games, start scoring goals. We need to create more chances because at the back we’ve looked solid.

Related: Ole Gunnar Solskjær needs more time and respect at Manchester United | Rob Smyth

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Premier League: 10 things to look out for this weekend

Fri, 10/18/2019 - 00:48

A crunch clash at Old Trafford, Palace tackle vulnerable champions and could West Ham do for Marco Silva?

The last time Liverpool visited Old Trafford, they met a United side struggling with injuries – even before three players were forced off during the first half. But, though Liverpool were three points clear at the top, they played as though the goalless draw they eventually achieved was an acceptable result. In the event, Manchester City pipped them to the title by a point, and though that required a phenomenal run of 14 straight wins, had Liverpool embraced the pressure and played with their usual intensity in that game they would now be champions of England, not into their 30th season without a league title. On Sunday, Liverpool will arrive able to wear and excuse any slip-up: they are eight points clear at the top, while United, who are not quite as abhorrently awful as they’ve looked recently, will have some key players back from injury and should be up for the fight. Even so, Liverpool would be foolish to entertain those thoughts. They have one foot on City’s throat and the other aimed at United’s solar plexus; allowing them to escape instead of kicking them when they’re down would be a significant oversight with potentially significant repercussions. Playing safe is not always the safe option. DH

Twitter: follow us at @guardian_sport

Related: Liverpool fans fuming over Amazon's 8pm Boxing Day fixture change

Related: Leicester’s Brendan Rodgers defends James Maddison over casino visit

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Manchester United’s recruitment has been dysfunctional, admits Ed Woodward

Thu, 10/17/2019 - 23:17
• Chief executive says ‘non-experts’ not deciding football policy
• Woodward confirms belief in Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s abilities

Ed Woodward believes the perception he and other non-experts are making decisions over football policy at Manchester United is “insulting”, though the executive vice-chairman admits recruitment strategy was dysfunctional in the wake of Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement.

Related: Debt £511m but dividends galore: the Glazers’ legacy at Manchester United | David Conn

Related: Ole Gunnar Solskjær needs more time and respect at Manchester United | Rob Smyth

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Debt of £511m but dividends galore: the Glazers’ legacy at Manchester United | David Conn

Thu, 10/17/2019 - 16:20
John Henry’s FSG has put in a net £100m at Liverpool in nine years but at Manchester United the financial backdrop to their on-field struggles is very different

Through the long years when Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United were amassing trophies and cash, and Liverpool were stagnating in a derelict neighbourhood, Anfield could only dream of today’s reversal of fortunes. Liverpool, rebuilt and rebooted since 2010 under their US investor owners, arrive on Sunday as European champions and Premier League leaders at an Old Trafford groaning under United’s US owners, who have plundered the club and bungled the Ferguson succession.

Liverpool’s owners, John Henry’s Fenway Sports Group, did not fully understand what they were taking on when they bought a club so steeped in history and emotion, but they learned from their early missteps and gradually refurbished Anfield with expertise. United’s owners, the six siblings of the Glazer family, bought the club in their debt‑loading raid in 2005, enjoyed the fruits of Ferguson’s genius but are now on their fourth manager since his 2013 retirement with their former banker Ed Woodward in charge of the club.

Related: The big difference between Manchester United and Liverpool? Leadership | Eni Aluko

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The big difference between Manchester United and Liverpool? Leadership | Eni Aluko

Thu, 10/17/2019 - 11:56

United’s shortsighted approach has left Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s side lacking character – especially compared with Klopp’s team

Liverpool go to Manchester United on Sunday top of the table, nearly eight months since they last dropped a league point, and knowing that another victory could leave United as low as 17th by the end of the weekend. Based on performances this season it is hard to see how this United team can hurt Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool, but perhaps the worst thing about the failure they are experiencing is that I believe they have no choice but to just live with it, for now at least.

By the end of his time in Manchester José Mourinho was making everybody miserable – his players, anyone forced to regularly watch them, and even himself. United were pretty much unbearable before he was sacked last December. But though the Portuguese is not widely associated with free-flowing football there is one thing he guarantees: trophies. In sacking him United effectively announced that some things – particularly a commitment to youth and attacking football – were more important to them than trophies.

Related: Ralf Rangnick: ‘I have to influence areas of development across the whole club’

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Ole Gunnar Solskjær needs more time and respect at Manchester United

Wed, 10/16/2019 - 20:16
The choice is simple: potential long-term success under Solskjær or guaranteed long-term failure under a load of different managers

It has been widely reported, not entirely without glee, that Manchester United have had their worst start to a league season since 1989-90. Plenty of those reports have excluded one not insignificant detail; that the manager of the club back then was Alex Ferguson.

Related: Paul Pogba and David de Gea to miss Manchester United v Liverpool

Solskjær inherited an inadequate, poisonous mess of a squad and now he has a major injury crisis as well

It would be unfair to say there is an anti-Solskjær agenda in the media but there is certainly an anti-Solskjær mood

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Paul Pogba and David de Gea to miss Manchester United v Liverpool

Wed, 10/16/2019 - 19:44
• Spain goalkeeper will have scan on a groin problem
• Pogba has been out of action with a foot injury

Paul Pogba has been ruled out of Manchester United’s Premier League match against Liverpool, with Ole Gunnar Solskjær also expecting David de Gea will be unavailable. The absence of two of key players for Sunday is a sizeable blow as the manager seeks to arrest a form slump in which United have not won in the league for more than a month.

Related: Ole Gunnar Solskjær needs more time and respect at Manchester United

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Premier League: the players whose stats have improved most this season

Wed, 10/16/2019 - 12:37

De Bruyne, Mahrez, McTominay, Traoré, Guendouzi and Matip are, according to our stats, playing much better than last season

By Martin Laurence for WhoScored

With more than a fifth of the Premier League season now behind us, the table is taking shape and players have had time to get back up to speed. Some have done so significantly faster than others and really kicked on compared to their performances last season. Here are six players who have made big improvements on their showings last season.

Related: Premier League: 10 standout statistics from the season so far

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Football transfer rumours: Mario Mandzukic to Manchester United?

Tue, 10/15/2019 - 09:55

Today’s whispers need to get a new Hive

Mario Mandzukic, without a minute of competitive football since May, is top of Manchester United’s shopping list in January. The Croatian is more out of favour at Juventus than Paul Simon at an Art Garfunkel gig, and seems set to sit on the sidelines until the January transfer window rolls around, having been left out entirely of the Old Lady’s Champions League squad.

United, meanwhile, are woefully short of options up top, with Tony Martial injured, Mason Greenwood a bit, um, green, and Marcus Rashford seemingly doing his best work these days off the left flank. Rumours are rampant that United already have a verbal agreement to sign Mandzukic in January, with the 33-year-old commanding a £9m fee and a £85,000-a-week contract. Ed Woodward always gets what he wants.

Related: Ryan Giggs and Daniel James under fire over actions after head collision

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Liverpool stride out of City’s shadow but can they win from the front? | Paul Wilson

Mon, 10/14/2019 - 16:12

After a perfect Premier League start Jürgen Klopp’s team must adapt to the pressure of holding their nerve while well ahead

When the Premier League resumes at the weekend all eyes will be on Old Trafford to see whether Manchester United can become the first team to take points off Liverpool.

On the face of it such an outcome seems unlikely, even if derbies often have a life of their own. United have been terrible in the last few weeks, leading to fevered speculation over Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s future and the wisdom of appointing him in the first place, while Liverpool have sailed on so serenely that Jürgen Klopp’s team building and tactics are now attracting more attention than Pep Guardiola’s at Manchester City.

Related: Alisson ready for injury return as Liverpool visit Manchester United

Related: Manchester City flirt with defensive dark side as Death Star’s flaws emerge | Jonathan Wilson

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Alisson ready for injury return as Liverpool visit Manchester United

Mon, 10/14/2019 - 12:10
• Goalkeeper has been out with calf injury for nine weeks
• Mohamed Salah is expected to recover from ankle injury

Liverpool will have Alisson available for the visit to Manchester United on Sunday after their first-choice goalkeeper stepped up his recovery from injury during the international break.

Related: Liverpool’s Harvey Elliott banned by FA over video mocking Harry Kane

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Premier League reserves: where kids on £300 a week mix with millionaires

Thu, 10/10/2019 - 10:52

Héctor Bellerín played well for Arsenal Under-23s while returning from injury, but not every big star is a great example

By Gavin Willacy for Playing in the Shadows

Most of the Arsenal Under-23 team will have been unfazed by the thought of playing Liverpool at Meadow Park in Borehamwood in front of a crowd of 358. But a few of them may have been starstruck when they looked around and saw Héctor Bellerín in their defence. Bellerín’s appearance was unusual for two reasons. Star players returning from injury usually play for less than an hour and only do so in reserve games at the club’s own stadium. Bellerín played the full 90 minutes at a local non-league ground, setting up Arsenal’s second equaliser in a 2-2 draw.

Lining up alongside an established international should help the young Arsenal players develop. However, star names often prove as much aggro as they are worth for Under-23s managers. One told me: “We get different first-team players every game and it’s always for the benefit of the first team – not us. I never know who I’m getting until the day before a game, or even later. Put it this way: I never write out my team until I get to the ground! If we’re playing away, unless it’s close or we’re playing at a decent stadium, I assume I won’t get any first-team players. But if we’re at home and there’s no first-team game for a while, I might get half a dozen.”

Related: The Dutch model of developing young footballers: let them sink or swim

Related: 'The public only see the highs': the reality of Premier League youth teams

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Manchester United take safety action after death of fan at Old Trafford

Wed, 10/09/2019 - 12:20

• 80-year-old died from head injuries sustained in 2017
• United say they have acted upon coroner’s recommendations

Manchester United say they have taken steps to improve fan safety following the death of a supporter after a fall at Old Trafford two years ago.

Richard John Whale, 80, died from head injuries sustained after falling down a flight of steps while leaving the Sir Alex Ferguson stand towards the end of a game against Manchester City in December 2017.

Related: Steve Bruce gets Alex Ferguson’s advice before Manchester United’s visit

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