• IP addresses are NOT logged in this forum so there's no point asking. Members are encouraged to install GOM or HOLA or TUNNELBEAR for an added layer of protection.

    The SEX forum is HERE so please stop asking.

Red Devils 2017-2018

yinyang

Alfrescian (Inf)
Asset
Title chase's over for us:rolleyes:

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho said his side's title hopes are "probably" over because referee Michael Oliver failed to award them a penalty in their 2-1 loss to "lucky" Manchester City.

Pep Guardiola's team stretched their lead at the top of the table to 11 points and became the first team to win 14 successive English top-flight games in a single season.

City took the lead their vast superiority deserved when man-of-the-match David Silva hooked home from close range after confusion at a corner on 42 minutes, only for United to be handed a lifeline in first-half stoppage time when poor defending from Nicolas Otamendi and Fabian Delph allowed Marcus Rashford to steal in for a composed finish.

Otamendi made amends nine minutes after the break when Romelu Lukaku - who had a poor game - lashed at a clearance in the area and the City defender pounced on the rebound to score.

Mourinho's post-match focus centred on an incident in the 79th minute, when Ander Herrera went down in the box under a challenge from Otamendi and was booked for diving.

"My first reaction is I feel sorry for Michael Oliver because he had a very good match but unfortunately he made an important mistake," Mourinho told BBC Match of the Day.

"The result was made with a big penalty not given. That would have been 2-2.

"Michael was unlucky because it was a clear penalty."

Asked whether the title race was over, Mourinho replied: "Probably, yes. Manchester City are a very good team and they are protected by the luck, and the gods of football are behind them."

upload_2017-12-11_10-26-30.gif

Nicolas Otamendi volleyed in the winner for Manchester City to take them 11 points clear of rivals Manchester United
Before Sunday's game, Mourinho had suggested City's players go down too easily - something Guardiola dismissed, along with the Portuguese's assertion United should have had a penalty.

"Last season it was the same - we won here and it was the referee. Today as well," Guardiola said.

"Yesterday he spoke about the referee. We are an honest team. We had 65% ball possession, which means we wanted to play. We came here and did that.

"It's not true that my players go down easily. That is not an argument I believe."

Sunday's result ended United's 40-match unbeaten run at home - which stretched back to City's win here in September 2016.

City, who have dropped only two points in their first 16 league games, had opportunities to extend their lead but it was keeper Ederson who made the decisive late intervention with a miraculous double late save from the luckless Lukaku and substitute Juan Mata.

Is the title race over?

We didn't win because of referee decisions - Guardiola
It is a brave call to declare the title race over in early December - but the statistics and evidence are piling up to suggest the chase is on for second place behind City.

City will effectively have to lose four games while all of their rivals need to keep winning, tough to see with Guardiola's team having won every league match since Everton took a point at Etihad Stadium in the second game of the season.

"We are still in December. If we have 11 points when we play the second derby in April then maybe I will tell you that we have the title," said Guardiola, who was full of praise for his side's performance.

"We won at Old Trafford again, that is why I am the most pleased and of course for the three points," he added. "We played good, with a lot of courage. I'm so satisfied."

The trip to Old Trafford, and the renewal of old rivalries between Guardiola and Mourinho, was the most eagerly awaited game of the season between the two teams at the top of the table and was seen as the acid test of City's apparent infallibility.

Those looking for cracks in the Guardiola armour pointed to City having to secure three wins against Huddersfield Town, Southampton and West Ham United with late, late goals.

If City's confidence had been shaken at all by having to fight for victories, there was no sign here as they played with a composure and positivity that was a level above United.

There can be no doubt City were deserved winners and even showed the street wisdom of champions to run down the clock in the closing seconds, to the fury and frustration of Old Trafford.

The title race may not be over - but there was no escaping the feeling a crucial blow has been inflicted on United and the rest of City's pursuers.

Man of the match - David Silva (Manchester City)
upload_2017-12-11_10-26-30.gif

Manchester City midfielder David Silva scored for the second match in a row and was the game's outstanding performer
Silva may be small in stature but he stood head and shoulders above every other player in the intense heat of this game.

The Spaniard may now be 31 but it is little wonder City were so delighted to secure him on a new contract until 2020.

Silva showed again why he deserves to be ranked as a Premier League great, and one of the finest players to play for City.

He had more time on the ball than any other player, the hallmark of class, and always seemed to have more options in possession than any other player.

Silva pounced for City's crucial first goal, held his own in the physical exchanges and even shrugged off a heavy bang to the head in a clash with United's Marcos Rojo.

It was a complete performance from a world-class player.

Mourinho too negative?
City fans stayed in their seats long after the final whistle, delivering a taunt that had echoed around Old Trafford throughout this landmark victory.

"Park The Bus, Park The Bus, Man United…" was the chant that was met with a muted response from the home support, who had seen City show more attacking intent and flair than Mourinho's side could muster.

Until a predictable late charge, this was a strangely muted display from United. Their need for victory was arguably greater than City's as they started the game with an eight-point deficit, but they spent much of the first half on the back foot.

Mourinho's line-up demonstrated attacking intent with the inclusion of Lukaku, Rashford, Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial. United also missed the power and influence of Paul Pogba, suspended after his red card at Arsenal.

It was still a surprise, however, to see City so comprehensively dominant from the opening exchanges and United were barely able to believe their luck that they went in at half-time on level terms.

Lukaku's lack of confidence and touch did not help and there was an element of good fortune about Ederson's late saves - but there was no doubt United did not push hard enough for victory and were second best.

Guardiola's hold over Mourinho - match stats
  • This was just the second time a team has scored more than one goal in the Premier League at Old Trafford against Mourinho's Manchester United (also City in September 2016, 2-1).
  • Mourinho has lost nine matches in all competitions against Guardiola, more than against any other manager.
  • United posted a 35% possession figure, their lowest at Old Trafford in the Premier League since 2003-04 (when Opta started collecting this data).
  • Rashford has been involved in 11 goals in 12 games in all competitions at Old Trafford this season (six goals, five assists), more than any other United player.
  • Otamendi is now the top-scoring defender in the Premier League this season (four goals).
  • Lukaku has scored just five goals in his past 40 Premier League appearances against the 'big six'.
What's next?
United welcome Bournemouth to Old Trafford on Wednesday at 20:00 GMT and are at West Brom on Sunday, 17 December at 14:15.

City travel to Swansea on Wednesday (19:45), before hosting Tottenham on Saturday (17:30).
 

yinyang

Alfrescian (Inf)
Asset
Man Utd: Jose Mourinho may allow Henrikh Mkhitaryan to leave
By Simon Stone
BBC Sport

Henrik Mkhitaryan last featured as a substitute in United's 1-0 win over Brighton on 25 November

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho says "every player has his price", which may pave the way for the January departure of Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

The Armenian playmaker has not started a game since the defeat at Chelsea on 5 November and has not been in the matchday squad for the last four games.

Mkhitaryan became Mourinho's third signing when he joined from Borussia Dortmund for a £30m fee 18 months ago.

But BBC Sport understands there has been a "breakdown of trust".

Speaking before Sunday's trip to West Brom, Mourinho said: "If a player is not happy and brings with the request a number we consider good for us, I would never say no.

"That is my approach as a manager. Every player has a price."

Last January, Mourinho allowed Memphis Depay to join Lyon and Morgan Schneiderlin to move to Everton.

He subsequently released Bastian Schweinsteiger from his contract so he could take up a lucrative offer with Chicago Fire in Major League Soccer.

Defender Luke Shaw is another potential January departure, although the indications have been that the former Southampton player intends to remain at Old Trafford for the rest of the season.

Marouane Fellaini's contract expires at the end of the season and, so far, United's efforts to persuade the Belgian to sign an extension have failed.

However, Mourinho likes the midfielder and selling him is not thought to be an option, particularly as Fellaini knows he can maximise his earnings in the summer if he left for free.
 

Gallego99

Alfrescian
Loyal
Henrikh's form has been patchy. Mou was right to bench him. I would have taken him out a long time ago when he appeared to have lost his concentration and contributed nothing at all offensive or defensive.
IMHO, methinks he cannot make it at OT. United will do well to heed this warning when it comes to Dortmund players. They are not schooled to defend-Kagawa was a good example. It took SAF and the coaching staff a long time to change that attitude. Look elsewhere.
 

Gallego99

Alfrescian
Loyal
United were lucky to beat West Brom last night. Played with two defensive midfielders at the start and ended up with three DM before the game ended. I guess more learnt his lesson from the Stoke game. No complains here. A win is a win and another 3 points in the bag.
 

Gallego99

Alfrescian
Loyal
The two goals conceded were unnecessary. For a player of Smalling's experience, it looked incredibly silly.
To just stand and allow Mahrez the time and luxury for Vardy to arrive is unbelievably stupid.
Degea needs to come off his line to help defence with the high crosses. Ridiculously silly.
 

Gallego99

Alfrescian
Loyal
Mourinho tells Man Utd board (and then walks out!): I need another £300M

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho says he needs £300 MILLION to get his squad to match Manchester City's.

Mourinho was speaking after their disappointing 2-2 draw with Burnley.

He said in his press conference: "One thing is a big club and another thing is a big football team. They are two different things.

"We are in the second year of trying to rebuild a football team that is not one of the best teams in the world.

"Manchester City buy full-backs for the price of strikers. When you speak about big football clubs, you are speaking about the history of the club."

When it was pointed out United have spent heavily - roughly £300million - since Mourinho took charge in 2016, the Portuguese boss said: "OK, (but) it is not enough. The price for the big clubs is different than for the other clubs.

"The big historical clubs, they are normally punished in the market because of their history."

Mourinho was then asked if he intended to spend big in the January transfer window but left the room before answering.


Read more at http://www.tribalfootball.com/artic...need-another-300m-4213250#ybHBFg6duc6OjHA0.99
 

Gallego99

Alfrescian
Loyal
I honestly hope the board is not stupid enough to give him what he's asking for. It's not just about players but his overly cautious tactics that doesn't sit well with the supporters and players alike.
Just dump him. Get a director of football in. Deterring on the inevitable will not save this club.:mad:
 

Gallego99

Alfrescian
Loyal
Lukaku is a bumbling idiot. He can't seem to do anything right in defence. I've said it for the longest time, opponents are going to capitalize on set pieces. Hmm....the sum of the IQs of both players and manager are well below the norm.
 

yinyang

Alfrescian (Inf)
Asset
Lingard saved some more egg on our red faces :rolleyes: And both Luk and Zlatan had a lousy outing (1 shot??)

Man of the match - Burnley's Ben Mee
_99369912_benmeeclearsofftheline.jpg

Denied United with a brilliant goal-line clearance from Marcus Rashford in the first half and expertly marshalled his side's defence throughout. Along with his central-defensive partner Kevin Long, he made 11 clearances, more than anyone else on the pitch

Jesse Lingard's stoppage-time strike denied Burnley a famous win at Old Trafford but he could not stop Manchester United's fading title hopes from suffering another blow.

Ashley Barnes fired the Clarets ahead after three minutes when Johann Berg Gudmundsson's free-kick was not cleared, and Steven Defour made it 2-0 with a superb 30-yard free-kick into the top corner.

Lingard came off the bench for the second half and quickly reduced the deficit with a clever back-heel finish from an Ashley Young cross.

United had 75% of possession after the break but struggled to turn their pressure into clear chances until the ball broke to Lingard on the edge of the area in the 91st minute, and he fired into the bottom corner.


Romelu Lukaku and Zlatan Ibrahimovic started up front together for the first time, but their partnership only lasted for 45 minutes before Mourinho decided he needed something different up front.

It was Ibrahimovic's first Premier League start of the season and, although he scored his first goal of the campaign in last week's Carabao Cup defeat by Bristol City, he looks well short of his best form after returning from a serious knee ligament injury.

The 36-year-old also lacks pace, something that Lingard injected into the United attack when he was brought on at half-time.

Lukaku's performance was just as underwhelming, however. He managed only effort at goal - a header from near the penalty spot that ended up a long way off target.

The Belgian was kept quiet by the Burnley defence throughout and, if not for Lingard's two moments of magic, the result would have been even more damaging for United.

Lingard scored twice but would have been off the mark earlier if not for a wonderful save from Nick Pope, who denied him from point-blank range before the ball bounced to safety off the crossbar.

http://www.bbc.com/sport/football/42360032
 

yinyang

Alfrescian (Inf)
Asset
Thought this Independent piece pointed right on what's ailing red devils :confused:

5 things we learned as Manchester United scrape draw with Burnley in Boxing Day stunner
The Old Trafford club couldn't complete their comeback after going 2-0 down at home to the Clarets, and had to settle for a point

Manchester United were forced to settle for a last-gasp equaliser at home to Burnley as Jose Mourinho's men continue to fall adrift of league leaders City.

It could have been far worse for the hosts had they not grabbed two comeback goals through substitute Jesse Lingard.

Sean Dyche's men continue to find themselves in the hunt for European football and might be frustrated that they didn't win today after leading 2-0 through Ashley Barnes and Steven Defour.

But what did we learn?

1. United’s inability to defend crosses is becoming a problem
If Leicester’s Harry Maguire last Saturday took advantage of Man United’s weakness defending crosses, Burnley’s Ashley Barnes has repeated it with amazing ease. Two points lost against Leicester and now two more against the Clarets because of the lack of concentration and positioning that is so unusual for a Mourinho team. Too many points lost for a team who aspires to fight for the Premier League title or even the Champions League one.


Burnley celebrate after Ashley Barnes opens the scoring against Manchester United (Getty)
It is even more striking for a team with such height in its squad. In terms of physicality, Man United is one of best teams in Premier and in Europe, so it is unforgivable to have such kind of problems when defending free kicks or corners.

As for Mourinho's usual organisation - what organisation?

2. Mou says goodbye to Premier League title
Manchester United are already 12 points behind their bitter rival Manchester City and Pep Guardiola’s team still have to face Newcastle United this Wednesday, so the gap could reach 15 points.


Jose Mourinho's Manchester United drew with Burnley at Old Trafford (Getty)
With Chelsea winning, they are looking over their shoulder more than chasing down City - and it is now almost certain (if not mathematically) that the title is gone.

The problems shown by Mourinho’s team during the last few games have confirmed that they are not yet ready to fight for the Premier League. The intense summer transfer period seems not to have changed almost anything in terms of way of playing and results, and somehow lucking their way to a Champions League title is now the only real hope for the second half of the season.

3. Burnley’s dream continues edging towards reality

Steven Defour celebrates after scoring a free-kick to put Burnley 2-0 up (Getty)
Burnley’s fans could probably not have dreamed a better start at Old Trafford, as Barnes scored after just three minutes. But the Clarets’ dreams seem to be becoming reality this season.

The team, coached by Sean Dyche, is seventh now in Premier League and continue in the continental chase with 33 points out of 60.

Last season they had 40 points after 38 matches, now 35 after 20. And now comes the winter transfer window. One or two signings could brace Dyche’s squad and propel them into the Europa League - something we never thought we'd never be saying.

4. Too many roosters for the same yard
A Spanish saying to describe a Mancunian problem. Jose Mourinho decided to start both Ibrahimovic and Lukaku, and he will likely not do that again. Playing both strikers, Lukaku was pushed increasingly to the right wing, where his skills were wasted. Moreover, Ibrahimovic's performance was really poor and he was replaced by hero (of sorts) Lingard after the break.

For Mourinho, the introduction of Lingard and Mkhitaryan in the second half completely changed United’s shape and mood. The problem being, by that point it was too late and their uphill struggle produced just a point. Two lumbering centre-forwards getting in each others' way was not a tactic that worked and it shouldn't be repeated.

5. Lingard is still Mou’s joker

Jesse Lingard celebrates equalising for Manchester United in the 2-2 draw with Burnley (Getty)
But there was not only bad news for Man United. England international Jesse Lingard has not been always in Mourinho’s starting line-ups but his performances in recent games - even if only from the bench - have shown him worthy of a starting nod. Against Burnley he scored the two goals they needed, including an amazing backheel, which led United’s fans to dream of a Boxing Day comeback victory.

In addition to his obvious attacking and dribbling skills, Lingard contributes to the team with a great defensive attitude, something rarely seen in some other United players. Perhaps this draw against Burnley has made it clear to Mourinho that Lingard’s presence in the line-up is mandatory if he wants to not drop needless points.

http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/...er-jose-mourinho-premier-league-a8129041.html
 

Gallego99

Alfrescian
Loyal
United had that problem defending crosses ever since Vidic left. Yup they never addressed it cuz none of the center backs in stock is capable of reading crosses let alone leap high with any purpose.
Defending crosses is more than just jumping jacks, it's alot to do with organization at the back. The opponent would have instructed their center back to pressure Lukaku cuz his first touch will present that scoring opportunity.

I'm still wondering why Jose bought that player. He was never at the right place at the right time last night.
 

Gallego99

Alfrescian
Loyal
Lingard had a good night coming off the bench. I wouldn't go so far to make it mandatory for his inclusion to the first eleven. The long standing problem with Jose is tactics and the other-David De Gea!!
 

yinyang

Alfrescian (Inf)
Asset
1st half season's status report (plus rest EPL teams)
http://www.bbc.com/sport/football/42394030


Manchester United, 2nd
Manager Jose Mourinho would have been hoping to be closer to a title challenge after his £75m summer outlay on Romelu Lukaku - but while both the striker and Manchester United have performed perfectly creditably, they have paled in Manchester City's shadow.

They have felt the loss of Paul Pogba to injury and suspension for key games and have disappointed in crucial fixtures at Liverpool and home to Manchester City.

Their qualification for the Champions League knockout stage was impressive, but their league campaign is threatening to be an anti-climax.

Team rating: 7/10

Manager: Managing United has often appeared to be a joyless experience for Mourinho this season and the old caution got the better of him at Anfield and at home to Manchester City.

Will probably still win a trophy. And there is no question the embarrassing Carabao Cup loss at Bristol City will be a blow to Mourinho and United as he has always made this tournament a target. He will have seen it as a chance to strike a blow at Manchester City, now the chance has gone.
 

Gallego99

Alfrescian
Loyal
Man Utd legend Scholes: Pogba just strolling - and it's Mourinho's fault

Manchester United legend Paul Scholes has taken aim at Paul Pogba after another disappointing performance against Southampton.

United dropped to third place after the 0-0 draw.

Speaking on BT Sport, he said: “Where is the Paul Pogba we saw at Juventus? He was all over the pitch, he was battling, he was tackling, he was sprinting to people, he was scoring goals from 25 yards out.

“He is just strolling through games."

Scholes added: “Pogba doesn't look fit. I wonder whether he is training properly.

“He does not look like a player who will win you games and that is what you pay £90m for.

“No-one in England should be getting near him, but he is being asked to do a role he is not comfortable in.

“You have to say the manager has to take responsibility for that.

“Is the manager sending them out not playing the way they want to play? I don't know."


Read more at http://www.tribalfootball.com/artic...-mourinho-s-fault-4213799#vieWxjCT5Fyo2WHJ.99
 

Gallego99

Alfrescian
Loyal
The problem I suspect is with the manager. Mou is trying to micromanage team play and that is the root of the problem.

DeGea finally came off his line to help with defending. He should learn to command that area if United are to finish top 4.

There were many players who were off the mark. Matic look lethargic and slow. The ones who were guilty of an effortless performance were:

1. Henrikh- It is my sanguine hope that that will be his last performance in United colors. He should have been taken off in the first half after repeated aimless crosses made on the left flank. His body language suggest that he doesn't want to play.

2.Luke Shaw-Just banish the player and wait for the transfer window to open next month or the summer.

3.Lindelof- His gf is making a mill over games during X'mas and New Year. If he can't ditch this girl, then it's best he leaves. Otherwise you can never get the best from him.

This team lacks balance. Too many central defenders,DM. It's devoid of any creative midfield spark and the strikers we have a deplorable lot. With 300 million spent, we're back to where we started.:mad:
 

yinyang

Alfrescian (Inf)
Asset
Will Roon put the nail in the coffin tonight? What a 3 draw rot :eek:

TEAM NEWS
Everton will monitor midfielders James McCarthy and Yannick Bolasie.

Both have only recently returned to fitness and may struggle to start twice in the space of three days.

Romelu Lukaku will miss Manchester United's next two games after suffering a head injury against Southampton.

Fellow forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic is out for a month with a knee problem, while Michael Carrick, Marouane Fellaini and Eric Bailly all remain sidelined.

Chris Smalling, Antonio Valencia and Matteo Darmian are doubts for Monday's game, while Ashley Young is set to begin a three-match ban after being charged with violent conduct by the Football Association.

MOTD COMMENTATOR'S NOTES
Martin Fisher: "Never mind chasing Manchester City for the title - that ship has long since sailed; Manchester United now face a real fight to secure a top-four spot.

"That seemed unlikely when they moved seven points clear of fifth-placed Arsenal with victory at the Emirates just a month ago.

"Three successive draws have the fans worried, while losing the likes of Romelu Lukaku and Zlatan Ibrahimovic has done nothing to improve Jose Mourinho's mood. And don't even mention penalties!

"Sam Allardyce suffered his first defeat as Everton boss at Bournemouth and he wasn't best pleased with their efforts at West Brom on Boxing Day either.

"Rest assured he'll bring in reinforcements during the transfer window, but in the meantime today's script might have Wayne Rooney's fingerprints all over it."

Twitter: @martfisher1

WHAT THE MANAGERS SAY
Everton manager Sam Allardyce: "The lads have done exceptionally well by turning around a leaky team.

"It's four goals [conceded] in nine [league and cup] games, and it's allowed us to escape what was a team threatened with relegation.

"I was brought in because this team was threatened with relegation. Now the players in their response have done absolutely magnificent in turning that around and into a positive situation to be able to move forward.

"But we've just got to keep working at all of that."

MATCH FACTS

Head-to-head
  • Manchester United are unbeaten in the last six league and cup meetings (W4, D2).
  • The Toffees' last win against United was by 3-0 in April 2015 when James McCarthy, John Stones and Kevin Mirallas were on target.
  • However, Everton have only lost one of their last five Premier League home games against the Red Devils, winning three of those matches.
  • Victory would be Manchester United's 35th Premier League win against Everton, a new record for a team against a particular opponent.
Everton
  • The Toffees are unbeaten in their last five Premier League home games, winning four of those fixtures.
  • Their last top-flight defeat at Goodison Park was the 5-2 loss by Arsenal on 22 October.
  • This is Everton's first Premier League home game on New Year's Day since a 2-2 draw with Manchester City in 2003 - each of their last seven games on 1 January have been away.
  • Sam Allardyce has won just one of his last 21 Premier League games against Manchester United (D5, L15).
Manchester United
  • The Reds kept clean sheets in three of their first four Premier League away games this season, but have failed to record a shut-out in their subsequent six matches on the road.
  • Their last top-flight clean sheet away from home came in the 0-0 draw at Liverpool on 14 October.
  • United are unbeaten in five league matches but go into this game on the back of three successive draws. Their only longer run of consecutive Premier League draws was five games in 1992.
  • They could remain winless in five consecutive matches in all competitions for the first time since a run of eight in a row under Louis van Gaal from November to December 2015.
  • Jose Mourinho is unbeaten in his 11 Premier League meetings with Sam Allardyce (W8, D3). Allardyce is the manager he has faced the most in the competition without losing, while Mourinho is the manager Allardyce has faced the most without winning.
 

red amoeba

Alfrescian (Inf)
Asset
The problem I suspect is with the manager. Mou is trying to micromanage team play and that is the root of the problem.

DeGea finally came off his line to help with defending. He should learn to command that area if United are to finish top 4.

There were many players who were off the mark. Matic look lethargic and slow. The ones who were guilty of an effortless performance were:

1. Henrikh- It is my sanguine hope that that will be his last performance in United colors. He should have been taken off in the first half after repeated aimless crosses made on the left flank. His body language suggest that he doesn't want to play.

2.Luke Shaw-Just banish the player and wait for the transfer window to open next month or the summer.

3.Lindelof- His gf is making a mill over games during X'mas and New Year. If he can't ditch this girl, then it's best he leaves. Otherwise you can never get the best from him.

This team lacks balance. Too many central defenders,DM. It's devoid of any creative midfield spark and the strikers we have a deplorable lot. With 300 million spent, we're back to where we started.:mad:
Very apparent that entire team has lost motivation n direction since there is no more hope of catching man c.

Pogba has been missing since he returned from suspension. Matic is slowing down play. He should be replaced by Herrera.

The swashbuckling style at beginning of season is no more. Whatever the fuck has happened. I imagine against Everton, it would be the park the bus game plan.

If Mou is to go, get ancelotti or throw money to get pochettino.
 

yinyang

Alfrescian (Inf)
Asset
_99430692_pogba_afp_1.jpg
Away Mersey side win 0-2. Pogba's 2 assists got him Man of Match

http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/...hony-martial-jesse-lingard-goal-a8137091.html


Don't be fooled, United still lacking ruthless edge
Having drawn their last three games, United have appeared caught in a rut. With the side seemingly short on desire and passion, the dynamics of the changing room and the players’ relationship with Mourinho have subsequently been called into question.

For the first half at least, it was a similar story tonight. In terms of their forward play, United looked unsure in Everton’s final third, as if they didn’t know whether to play it wide, look for the slick forward pass or try their luck on goal with a long-range shot – as Paul Pogba did many a time. There was a sloppiness to their passing, too, as demonstrated by the usually flawless Nemanja Matic who gave the ball away on a number of occasions. This general dip in form has seen Mourinho thrust under the spotlight and questions asked of whether or not he is capable of getting the best out of his players.

United certainly improved throughout the 45 minutes as they increased their intensity inside Everton's half - and Martial and Lingard certainly showed what the side's best players can do - but if they're to ever to return to the top they need to hit the ground running from the off in these sort of matches. They spurned too many chances and were far too hesitant at times. In all, this was an important step forward but, at the same time, an important learning curve.
 

Gallego99

Alfrescian
Loyal
MOURINHO BLASTS MAN UTD LEGEND SCHOLES FOR POGBA CRITICISM

The Red Devils boss has accused the former England international of being unfairly critical of his team and certain individuals within Old Trafford
Jose Mourinho has slammed Manchester United legend Paul Scholes for his criticism of Paul Pogba and the Red Devils.

Having joined the ranks of former professionals in the punditry game, ex-England international Scholes has refused to let his strong ties to Old Trafford cloud his judgement.

He has been outspoken in his opinions at times, with leading figures at United occasionally incurring his wrath.
Mourinho believes the comments have crossed the line, particularly when it comes to £89 million midfielder Pogba, and he would prefer to see fan favourites being more constructive in their assessment of his methods and those at his disposal.

The Portuguese told reporters after a 2-0 victory over Everton on New Year's Day: "I think the only thing Paul Scholes does is to criticise. I don't think he comments, I think he criticises, which is a different thing.

"But not every one of us has to be phenomenal like he was as a player. He was a phenomenal player, that doesn't mean that we all have to be phenomenal.

"Paul [Pogba] tries to do his best all the time. Sometimes he plays very well, sometimes he plays well and sometimes he doesn't play so well. It's not Paul's fault that he made much more money than Paul Scholes. It's not Paul's fault. It's just the way football is.

"But I think Scholes will be in the history like a phenomenal player, not as a pundit, so I prefer to look at him as a phenomenal player who gave so much to the club that I am proud to represent.

"If Paul one day decides to be a manager I wish that he can be 25 per cent as successful as myself, because 25% of 25 [trophies] is around six. So if he's 25% he'll be quite happy.

"But in my mind Paul Scholes was a phenomenal player, one of the best players I have ever seen playing in midfield, and he gave so much to my club that I only can thank him for that because the prestige of this club is based on people like him."

Scholes’ latest comments on Pogba were made ahead of a comfortable victory for United at Goodison Park — a game in which the France international starred.

He told BT Sport: "Where is the Paul Pogba we saw at Juventus? He was all over the pitch, he was battling, he was tackling, he was sprinting to people, he was scoring goals from 25 yards out.

"He is just strolling through games."

Scholes added: "Pogba doesn't look fit. I wonder whether he is training properly.

"He does not look like a player who will win you games and that is what you pay £90m for.

"No-one in England should be getting near him, but he is being asked to do a role he is not comfortable in.
"You have to say the manager has to take responsibility for that. Is the manager sending them out not playing the way they want to play? I don't know.”

After issuing his response to Scholes, Mourinho added that he considers critical former stars to be disgruntled at having missed out on positions at clubs which held them in such high regard during their playing days.

He said: "I think they would love to be here. They would love to be in the club, and that is not a problem that I can resolve."

http://www.goal.com/en/news/manches...-blasts-red-devils/1unepgukv6es01gtwmidf3vxhk
 
Top