I enjoyed Richard Williams’ excellent piece about my older brother Barry Hines’ football novel The Blinder (Sport, 26 March), and I can confirm Barry did play for Barnsley A team. He also played one game for Barnsley reserves – away from home against Stoke. His only memory of that game was being booed by the Stoke fans for a reckless tackle. Barry did not have a trial for Manchester United, as suggested in Williams’ piece, but he was invited to take part in one. I was 11 when a United scout, who wore an overcoat and trilby, knocked on our door, and I recall how my pride turned to dismay when Barry turned down the offer of a trial because he wanted to become a PE teacher. When he taught in London, Barry played semi-professional football for Crawley Town before he returned to teach in Yorkshire, where he played for Stocksbridge, the former team of the Leicester and England player Jamie Vardy.Richard HinesSheffield • It would be a fitting tribute to Barry … [Read more...] about When Manchester United knocked on Barry Hines’ door
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After winning 14 of his 19 games in charge as caretaker manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has only won five in 17 since taking the permanent job. The momentum is gone, the fear factor has evaporated - quite simply, Manchester United aren't very good. The club's descent from title challengers to Europa League maybes has been painful for United fans to watch and recent performances have done little to suggest this is a team capable of achieving anything more than the bare minimum. More worrying is what does the minimum even look like for 2019/20 Manchester United? Why are they worse than last season? Why Manchester United have struggled this season Jose Mourinho was fully aware of how limited his squad... … [Read more...] about They spent £140 million in the summer so why are Manchester United even worse than last season?
Manchester United have been dealt a severe blow ahead of Monday’s game against Arsenal with Paul Pogba a doubt with a recurrence of an ankle injury. Pogba had been out for three weeks with a twisted right ankle suffered against Southampton and was rushed back for Wednesday’s Carabao Cup penalty shoot-out win over Rochdale at Old Trafford. But the decision appears to have backfired, with the France midfielder taking a blow to the ankle against Rochdale and now at risk of missing the visit of Arsenal next week. Pogba did not attend a bonding night out with some of his United team-mates in Manchester after the Rochdale match as a result of his swollen ankle and now faces a race against time to be fit for Arsenal. United are also likely to be without the injured forward pairing of Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial. Luke Shaw, the left back, has returned to training after a hamstring injury but the game is expected to come too soon for him. United are currently 8th in the … [Read more...] about Manchester United dealt blow with Paul Pogba an injury doubt for Monday’s match with Arsenal
Youthful inexperience must no longer be a defence for Manchester United Manchester United succumbed in front of the Gallowgate End but while this was another public execution it is becoming a slow painful death for them. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer almost lost his footing as he left the sodden St James Park pitch after yet another slip up by his team who now sit just two points outside the relegation places. To put that further in perspective they are, after just eight games, a stunning and wholly unacceptable 15 points behind the Premier League leaders Liverpool who, after the international break, are their next opponents at Old Trafford. It could not be more miserable. It could not be more bereft of ideas or dispiriting which was probably also the sense shared by the Newcastle fans as they poured into a dank, wet stadium in what has been a dismal campaign for them so far but left with songs resonating around this proud old hill-top cathedral. What a difference a game makes. What a … [Read more...] about Newcastle’s Matty Longstaff hits winner on Premier League debut as Manchester United’s ‘unacceptable’ start to the season continues
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has reminded Manchester United fans there is no point constantly harking back to the club’s glory years of the 1990s as he looks to a completely new generation of players to build a brighter future. United’s supporters went through their full repertoire of songs hailing the heroes of the past as United laboured to a goalless draw against AZ Alkmaar without mustering a single shot on target. It was not a deliberate snub to those currently playing for the club, but rather another sub-conscious reference to the fact United used to be so much better than this. Whether that had an impact on Solskjaer – who continues to enjoy the full backing of the vast majority of supporters despite a difficult start to the season – is unclear, but when asked why his team were no longer feared, at home or in Europe, the Norwegian made a pointed reference to the successful United teams he played in. United have tried to buy themselves time by … [Read more...] about Ole Gunnar Solskjaer warns Manchester United fans they cannot keep living in the 1990s