- December 30, 2016
30th December 2016. By Edward Stratmann.
When Anthony Martial finished his hugely positive first season of English Premier League football roughly six months ago, most would've predicted there'd be no chance that he might be leaving Manchester United by January 2017.
But fast forward to now, however, and it would appear a very real possibility that the man who scored a eye catching 17 goals last campaign could be on his way out. Since Jose Mourinho took over in the summer, Martial, who joined the club in a whopping deal worth £58 million back in September 2015, just hasn't managed to gain the complete trust of the typically robust Mourinho.
The Portuguese boss has told the 21-year-old he wants him to work harder and earn his spot, urging the player to be patient with his methods. "Anthony is very, very young. People forget that and last season Manchester United played completely differently. He was basically playing up front," Mourinho explained.
- December 26, 2016
26th December 2016. By Edward Stratmann.
The fact it's taken Phil Jones over five years to make his 150th appearance for Manchester United, a feat he achieved on the weekend vs West Bromwich Albion, speaks volumes towards what a toll injury has had on his time at Old Trafford.
The man who Sir Alex Ferguson signed and believed would develop into one of the finest footballers England's seen, which hasn't quite eventuated just yet, marked the occasion fittingly by putting in a tremendously accomplished shift, full of upside and essentially bereft of weakness.
Alongside his new partner in crime, Marcos Rojo, a duo that's been integral in United's impressive seven match unbeaten streak, Jones' most pertinent task was to limit the effectiveness of Baggies big man, Salomon Rondon.
Through a combination of matching his adversary strength-wise, in the air and by implementing some intelligent stopping methods, Jones did exactly that. Being able to compete with the big,
- December 21, 2016
21st December 2016. By Ryan Baldi.
Despite still being sixth in the Premier League table, Manchester United appear to have reconciled their high performance levels with the kind of results they feel they have deserved in recent weeks.
Throughout the Red Devils run of disappointing outcomes with draw after draw, and narrow leads thrown away almost weekly Jose Mourinho insisted that his side were playing well and that their results would soon turn around.
And he was right, the win over Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford earlier this month has been followed up by back-to-back away victories against Crystal Palace and West Bromwich Albion. United's league position has not improved in this time, but they have narrowed the gap to the Champions League qualification places, dragging themselves right back into the running for a top four finish.
- November 23, 2016
23rd November 2016. By Ryan Baldi.
Lying sixth in the table with 19 points from 12 games, nine points off league leaders Chelsea and six behind fourth-placed Arsenal, it's hardly been an ideal start to the season for Jose Mourinho's Manchester United.
The Red Devils are currently five points and one league position worse off than they were at this stage of the previous campaign under the much maligned, and since departed, Louis van Gaal.
With executive vice chairman Ed Woodward confirming last week that if United are to miss out on Champions League qualification again this term, they stand to lose as much as £20 million from their lucrative Adidas sponsorship deal.
So the pressure is very much on Mourinho to turns things around.
But, despite recent results, the Portuguese coach has got the Old Trafford outfit moving in the right direction.
The former Chelsea boss was evidently disappointed to have thrown away a lead against
- October 17, 2016
17th October 2016. By Edward Stratmann.
Many questions were raised whether Eric Bailly was ready for the impending challenge that awaited him when he joined Manchester United from Villarreal in the summer.
While he'd proven during his time in Spain with Espanyol and the Yellow Submarines that he had all the qualities to be a top class central defender, there was still an undeniable rawness to his game. The common belief was that he might be making the step up in class too soon and that he would've been better served staying in Spain a little longer to further develop his craft.
But, with less than 50 La Liga games under his belt, Bailly felt ready to take on the challenge and grasp his incredible opportunity to fulfill a childhood dream. "It was my dream since being a child to play for one of the biggest clubs in the world and now I'm here. I'm going to take
- September 07, 2016
7th September 2016. By Ryan Baldi.
The first Manchester derby of the season will take place on Saturday afternoon (10 September), and with all the changes that have gone on within the city's two footballing mega powers this summer, it stands to be the most box office encounter ever staged between the two clubs.
Sergio AgÃ¼ero will be missing, due to a retrospective three-game ban levied on the Argentinian striker for an elbow on West Ham United's Winston Reid in Manchester City's last game; and Manchester United will likely be without attacking midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan, after the Armenian picked up a thigh injury on international duty last week.
But despite City's loss of their star marksman, and regardless of whether United's £26 million summer signing from Borussia Dortmund recovers in time to feature, there will be more than enough star power on show at Old Trafford on Saturday, with narratives
- August 31, 2016
31st August 2016. By Ryan Baldi.
JosÃ© Mourinho has been manager of Manchester United for less than three months, but already the Portuguese tactician has restored a sense of identity to the Red Devils that has been missing for the last three years.
Ever since Sir Alex Ferguson retired at the end of United's title winning 2012-13 season, the Old Trafford club has made a series of missteps that has seen them slip from their position as English football's dominants force, while, little by little, the characteristics that set United have been eroded.
Ferguson's initial replacement was Everton boss David Moyes. At the time, Moyes was seen as a younger version of Ferguson: both men were of hard-working Glaswegian stock, and the way Moyes brought stability and consistency to the Toffees on a shoestring budget demonstrated his managerial acumen.
But Moyes proved to be out of his depth in charge of one of the biggest clubs in the world, and lasted only nine months
- July 06, 2016
6th July 2016. By Ryan Baldi.
Zlatan Ibrahimovi?'s status as a Manchester United player has been confirmed, and opinion is already divided among onlookers.
Many feel that Ibrahimovi?, at 34, is past his best, and that his place in any prospective United line-up would be better off given to a young prospect such as Marcus Rashford. Indeed, to take that point further, plenty of dissenters feel that the former AC Milan and FC Barcelona striker's arrival at Old Trafford will hinder the development of 18-year-old Rashford and 20-year-old Anthony Martial.
The £200,000 per week that Ibrahimovi? will collect next season, would surely be better spent on a younger, longer-term option for the centre-forward position, right?
And surely the player's infamous ego will serve only to be a negative influence in the United dressing room, upsetting the applecart?
Well, no, quite the contrary. In fact, Ibrahimovi?, at this stage of his career, is exactly the striker
- June 29, 2016
29th June 2016. By Ryan Baldi.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan, according to wide-spread media reports, is on the verge of a headline-grabbing switch to Manchester United. The Borussia Dortmund playmaker has one year remaining on his contract with the Bundesliga club and, via his agent Mino Raiola, has agitated for his "dream move" to the 20-time champions of England.
For those who are not avid viewers of German football, the 59-cap Armenian international may be somewhat of an unknown quantity.
But if Mkhitaryan does indeed make the switch to the Theatre of Dreams, he will soon become a household name albeit one that many will struggle to pronounce and fewer still will be able to spell.
Mkhitaryan joined Dortmund from Shakhtar Donetsk in 2013 for €27.5 million a club record fee. During his three year stay in Donetsk, Mkhitaryan had marked himself out as one the most gifted creative midfielders in Europe; he'd guided Shakhtar to domestic title wins in each of his three
- June 10, 2016
10th June 2016. By Ryan Baldi.
In the build-up to a major international tournament, the impact of injuries is often felt, when it comes to squad preparation. This summer's European Championship in France has been no different, with high-profile names such as Germany's Marco Reus and Ilkay GÃ¼ndo?an, and France's RaphaÃ«l Varane and Lassana Diarra, all ruled out through injury.
And over the years, England too have been hampered by some of their top men being hurt. In 2002 the Three Lions lost Gary Neville to injury, while his Manchester United colleague David Beckham faced a race against time to overcome a fractured metatarsal. At the 2006 World Cup in Germany, Wayne Rooney's recovery from his own metatarsal break meant that he wasn't able to play from the start of a match until England's third group game against Sweden.
The same injury had put paid to Rooney's breakout Euro 2004 campaign, exiting the quarter-final tie against Portugal early after having had his foot