What the papers say

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Updated: 21 min 38 sec ago

Arsenal keep up title pressure as Trossard sinks Manchester United

Sun, 05/12/2024 - 18:46

The television cut-aways to the ­enclosure housing the Arsenal ­supporters perfectly captured the anxiety. It was not supposed to be like this, not against this ­Manchester United. But the lesser spotted a­cceptable version of Erik ten Hag’s team was on show, fighting for the badge, and Arsenal were made to suffer.

Leandro Trossard scored their goal midway through the first half after a United defensive malfunction – of course it was – but the advantage was slender and everyone knew, most of all Mikel Arteta, that it could take only one moment to rub out.

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Mikel Arteta urges Arsenal to show title belief with win at Manchester United

Sat, 05/11/2024 - 22:30
  • Visitors have won just one of last 16 games at Old Trafford
  • ‘If you want to win league you have to go there and win’

Mikel Arteta has insisted Arsenal possess the belief that they are good enough to win the Premier League title but must prove it by beating Manchester United and ending their poor record at Old Trafford.

Arsenal’s only victory in their past 16 trips to face United came in November 2020 in front of no spectators, while Erik ten Hag’s side won the corresponding fixture last season in what was the only defeat Arteta’s side suffered in their opening 19 matches of the campaign.

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Erik ten Hag hits back at ‘no knowledge’ critics and believes fans back him

Sat, 05/11/2024 - 22:30
  • Manager insists team spirit among his squad remains strong
  • Dutchman has no regrets in taking job after difficult season

Erik ten Hag insists he has supporters’ backing and does not regret taking the Manchester United job despite the team’s underwhelming season.

Eighth-placed United host Arsenal on Sunday having won once in their past seven league matches, including Monday’s 4-0 defeat at Crystal Palace, putting them at risk of missing out on European qualification.

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A dearth of priests suggests the Catholic church should widen recruitment | Julian Coman

Sat, 05/11/2024 - 16:00

It’s no wonder numbers training for the priesthood continue to fall when married men or any woman are still barred

Walking down towards the River Nidd in Knaresborough, the pretty North Yorkshire market town where I grew up, it would be easy to pass by St Mary’s Catholic church without noticing it. Built only two years after the Emancipation Act in 1829, the church was designed to resemble a private house in order not to offend local Protestant sensibilities. Two centuries later, sectarian sentiment is no longer a problem, but the crisis of vocations in the church certainly is.

Back in Knaresborough, over the bank holiday weekend, I was in the Sunday morning congregation to hear Father William pass on sad news. A letter from the bishop of Leeds informed us that when William returns to Ampleforth Abbey, after 12 years’ sterling work, he will not be replaced by a resident priest. Instead, the parish will share one with a church in nearby Harrogate. Inevitably, that will mean fewer masses, and it is hard to imagine that the new man (because, of course, it will be a man), will be able to devote the same level of pastoral care and attention to the town.

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Lack of alternatives could lead to Erik ten Hag staying at Manchester United

Sat, 05/11/2024 - 12:00

As season threatens to implode, Dutchman’s two years at Old Trafford may well give him the edge on potential replacements

Wanted: an elite manager with turning water into wine on his CV, a miracle worker who can somehow transform Manchester United as the club’s lost decade heads for its nadir.

Ten years after David Moyes was sacked 34 games into a six-year contract as United moved towards their lowest Premier League finish of seventh place with 64 points, England’s record 20-time champions will set a new low under Erik ten Hag. Even if – and it’s a big if – the Dutchman’s team beat Arsenal, Newcastle and Brighton in their last three Premier League matches, 63 points is the most they will end this annus horribilis on.

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‘We’re so far away from the title’: Cole and Yorke voice dismay over United

Fri, 05/10/2024 - 20:00
  • Treble-winning forwards express anger at how far club has fallen
  • Yorke says he ‘wouldn’t want to play’ for current side

Dwight Yorke and Andrew Cole have been scathing about their former club Manchester United, saying they used to joke about Arsenal “celebrating fourth place”, yet Erik ten Hag’s team cannot even aspire to that position now.

United host Arsenal on Sunday sitting eighth on 54 points, 13 behind Aston Villa in the final Champions League berth, with only nine points left to play for. At best Ten Hag’s side will finish on 63, United’s lowest tally in the Premier League era. Yorke and Cole enjoyed glittering careers at United, the highlight being the strikers’ key roles in the 1998-99 treble of league, FA Cup and European Cup, the first by an English club, in which they contributed 53 goals between them.

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The ultimate dilemma for United and Spurs fans: what if winning hands your rivals the title?

Fri, 05/10/2024 - 16:50

In Manchester, City’s fiercest rivals can do them a favour. In north London, a Tottenham victory could gift the Gunners the title. Two Guardian writers reflect on the worst of both worlds

So. It’s come down to this. As yet another season peters out in disappointment, Spurs have one last act to play as possible kingmakers while they struggle to hold on to a Europa League place. Excuse me as I try to contain my excitement.

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The Big Cigar to Bridgerton: the seven best shows to stream this week

Fri, 05/10/2024 - 07:00

An utterly gripping drama about Black Panther Huey P Newton being smuggled to Cuba, plus Nicola Coughlan finally takes centre stage in the hit Regency romance

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Premier League: 10 things to look out for in this weekend’s football

Fri, 05/10/2024 - 00:00

Tricky trips for Arsenal and Manchester City, a big day at the bottom and auditions for Euro 2024

If Arsenal miss out on the title, one of the games they will look back on will be the 2-1 defeat to Fulham on New Year’s Eve, the last time they were beaten away from home in the league. However, Fulham have a chance to do Arsenal a favour this weekend. Marco Silva’s team host Manchester City in the lunchtime kick-off on Saturday and should not be written off. Fulham are awkward, creative and combative at home. Plenty of reason for Arsenal to be optimistic. Until Erling Haaland completes a first-half hat-trick, that is. Jacob Steinberg

Fulham v Manchester City, Saturday 12.30pm (all times BST)

Bournemouth v Brentford, Saturday 3pm

Everton v Sheffield United, Saturday 3pm

Newcastle v Brighton, Saturday 3pm

Tottenham v Burnley, Saturday 3pm

West Ham v Luton Town, Saturday 3pm

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Ratcliffe cites email traffic in imposing remote work ban at Manchester United

Wed, 05/08/2024 - 13:33
  • He tells staff to work at offices or ‘seek alternative employment’
  • Ratcliffe feels it will boost productivity but some staff bemused

Sir Jim Ratcliffe cited email traffic statistics to Manchester United staff as the basis for a ban on working from home and told them to seek “alternative employment” if they are not willing to come to club premises.

United have had a flexible work-from-home policy since Covid but Ratcliffe signalled an end to this during an all-staff meeting held in person and via video call last week as part of his tour of Old Trafford and the Carrington training base.

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Manchester United do not want Mason Greenwood back, says Getafe president

Wed, 05/08/2024 - 08:26
  • ‘If a good offer comes along, they would want to sell’
  • Getafe keen to keep forward after loan ends in summer

Getafe’s president, Ángel Torres, has said the club hope to keep Mason Greenwood for another season and that he does not expect the forward to return to Manchester United at the end of the campaign.

Greenwood joined Getafe on loan in September after United said they wanted to avoid him becoming a distraction despite criminal charges against him being dropped after allegations, which Greenwood denied, of attempted rape, controlling and coercive behaviour and assault. The Crown Prosecution Service said there was “no longer a realistic prospect of conviction” after key witnesses withdrew their cooperation from the investigation.

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Erik ten Hag’s exit may be near but when will the Manchester United cycle stop? | Jonathan Liew

Tue, 05/07/2024 - 21:01

Change is probably coming with Manchester United playing so badly, so often, but this is a club trapped in constant transition

Erik ten Hag arrived at Manchester United promising to inspire flowing, thrilling transition football. And, you have to say, mission accomplished. You only had to watch Crystal Palace pouring forward at speed on Monday night, or Sheffield United bombing up the pitch at Old Trafford a couple of weeks ago, or indeed Coventry City in the recent FA Cup semi-final. Thanks to Ten Hag, United fans are being treated to sumptuous counterattacking fare on a near-weekly basis, even if – unhappily for Ten Hag’s job prospects – most of it these days seems to be getting played by the opposition.

Yes: it’s an even-numbered year, so we’re discussing whether the Manchester United manager should be sacked. And so to David Moyes (2014), Louis van Gaal (2016), José Mourinho (2018), Ole Gunnar Solskjær (a pandemic-delayed 2021) and Ralf Rangnick (2022) can almost certainly be added Ten Hag (2024), another well-credentialled manager who just didn’t have what it takes to manage a massive club like United. Seriously unlucky! How do they keep ending up with these guys?

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Manchester United staff believe lack of leadership felt in Martínez’s absence

Tue, 05/07/2024 - 16:00
  • Defender has played only 11 games this season owing to injury
  • No change in United plan to decide Ten Hag future after season

Manchester United's coaching staff believe their squad has too few vocal leaders and that the injured Lisandro Martínez has been sorely missed in that regard.

The defender has been unavailable for 37 of United’s 48 games this season owing to foot, knee and calf problems, including Monday’s humiliating 4-0 defeat at Crystal Palace. The Guardian understands Erik ten Hag’s coaching staff have noticed how much quieter the changing room is in Martínez’s absence and believe this had been detrimental to performances and results.

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'The worst defeat': Erik ten Hag admits new low for Manchester United – video

Tue, 05/07/2024 - 11:04

Erik ten Hag admitted that Manchester United’s season reached a new low after they were thrashed 4-0 by a rampant Crystal Palace. The result left Ten Hag’s side in eighth place in the Premier League with just three games to play, falling behind Newcastle and Chelsea in the race for European qualification. Ten Hag said: 'It was a team performance that was not correct, making big mistakes. Not following the plan or the script. We have individual mistakes but we should cover each other, we let each other down'

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‘We let each other down’: Ten Hag admits Manchester United at new low

Mon, 05/06/2024 - 23:28
  • United thrashed 4-0 by Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park
  • Dutchman says team ‘underperforming’ and ‘not good enough’

Erik ten Hag admitted that Manchester United’s season reached a new nadir after they were thrashed 4-0 by a rampant Crystal Palace.

Two goals from Michael Olise helped Oliver Glasner’s side record their second-biggest victory ever against United as they followed up their win at Old Trafford in September by completing the double. The result left Ten Hag’s side in eighth place in the league with just three games to play having fallen behind Newcastle and Chelsea in the race for European qualification after their victories at the weekend.

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Crystal Palace 4-0 Manchester United: Premier League – as it happened

Mon, 05/06/2024 - 22:24

Michael Olise struck twice to deepen the sense of gloom around Manchester United and Erik ten Hag

The teams march out, led by Joachim Andersen and Casemiro. Palace are in their usual red and blue, United all in cream. A camera sidles up to Mason Mount, who responds with a smile.

One of Erik ten Hag’s bigger headaches, just behind the state of his defence, is the state of his attack. Fernandes has been his only reliable goalscorer lately, while Harry Maguire and Scott McTominay have got a few too. Without those three, who’s going to find the net? Antony, maybe, on the principle of London buses. Mount, conceivably – he nicked one at Brentford not long ago. But it feels as if Rasmus Højlund and Alejandro Garnacho will have to raise their game.

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Michael Olise works magic for Palace to deepen Manchester United’s misery

Mon, 05/06/2024 - 22:04

If Erik ten Hag’s future at Manchester United remained up for debate then surely this removed any lingering doubts for Sir Jim Ratcliffe. Even amid a season in which his team have lurched from one disaster to another, a scintillating performance from a Crystal Palace side inspired by the magical feet of Michael Olise delivered one of the most embarrassing evenings of the Dutchman’s tenure.

United’s European aspirations for next season may now have to rely on them beating Manchester City in the FA Cup final after two goals from Olise, Jean-Philippe Mateta’s ninth in 11 since the appointment of Oliver Glasner and another from Tyrick Mitchell gave Palace a league double over their opponents for the first time in Premier League history. The scant consolation for Ten Hag was that Palace could not find a fifth to match their record victory over United back in December 1972 after the substitute Odsonne Édouard hit a post late on. For reference, that result led to the sacking of the manager, Frank O’Farrell, three days later.

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Manchester United have met with Jadon Sancho during loan, Erik ten Hag reveals

Sun, 05/05/2024 - 22:30
  • Club officials have held discussions with Sancho in Dortmund
  • Manager may try to resolve dispute with player in close season

Manchester United have met with Jadon Sancho during his loan spell at Borussia Dortmund, with Erik ten Hag revealing his dispute with the forward will be resolved in the close season.

The 24-year-old joined Dortmund in January on a temporary basis having not played for United since August after he fell out with Ten Hag who left him out of the squad for the 3-1 loss at Arsenal in early September.

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Erik ten Hag’s Ming the Merciless act has given United only flashes of glory | Jonathan Wilson

Sat, 05/04/2024 - 20:00

Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Ineos have a big decision to make but will an unlikely FA Cup final win be enough to save the manager?

And so the real business begins. The four months since Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Ineos bought a little over a quarter of Manchester United have been the phoney war. No transfers could be done, so little could be changed on the pitch. The task of Ratcliffe and his advisers was to watch and learn and rejig the executive tier so that when the window opens they are ready to act.

That rejig has been more dramatic than many anticipated. The chief executive, Richard Arnold, and the football director, John Murtough, are just the highest profile departures. Omar Berrada will come in as chief executive from Manchester City when his notice period expires on 13 July while Murtough has effectively been replaced by Jason Wilcox, the new technical director, and Dan Ashworth, who will come in once the terms of his severance from Newcastle have been agreed.

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Manchester United to tighten up checks to avoid misuse of disabled fans’ tickets

Sat, 05/04/2024 - 15:20
  • Concerns aired that tickets were falling into the wrong hands
  • Club to work with United’s Disabled Supporters’ Association

Manchester United are to tighten up identification spot-checks to ensure tickets for disabled fans do not fall into the wrong hands.

The club have stressed that their No 1 priority for disabled supporters is to ensure only the appropriate people enter designated areas after a report in the Daily Mail claimed some fans were guilty of falsely gaining entry into disabled sections to watch matches, particularly away from home.

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