New Manchester United interim boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will bring his new side to St James’ Park on the January 2 in what will be his fifth game in charge of the Old Trafford club. Jose Mourinho’s dismissal was the third in the Premier League this season, but is it a stroke of luck for Newcastle United or has it come at the wrong time? Whenever there’s a new manager appointed in the Premier League there’s always a discussion of “honeymoon periods” or the famous “new manager bounce”. But the truth is that not all managers get to experience that. Of the 10 Premier League managers appointed during the season last term, only four of them managed more than 10 points from their first five games. We’ve seen only two managerial changes this season before Mourinho, and just Claudio Ranieri at Fulham had played five or more matches - but they’ve only managed to pick up four points in that time. Last season, of all the mid-season … [Read more...] about Will Newcastle United face a new manager bounce when Manchester United visit St James’ Park?
When manchester united play
It was in Turin on Manchester United's first European Cup tie at Juventus that Alex Ferguson truly gauged how ominous a challenge it was to grasp his footballing Holy Grail. The devices of such lethal cunning must have felt as impossible as Indiana Jones's at the Stadio delle Alpi. For 19 years, United's 1-0 reverse that night in Turin in 1996 stood as their sole opening Champions League group stage defeat. Alen Boksic's winner, a culmination of individual errors that stemmed from a Gary Neville throw-in roughly in line with Juve goalkeeper Angelo Peruzzi's 18-yard box, highlighted the gulf between Ferguson's fledglings and Marcello Lippi's lieutenants. United left themselves too exposed on the counter and the 21-year-old Nicky Butt, tracking Boksic, kept on running as Zinedine Zidane pierced the wonky line of defence. A savvier player would have let Boksic fall into the offside trap. "We lost 1-0 to them in Turin, but it could have been 10-0," Neville later recalled. "It was the … [Read more...] about Jose Mourinho is about to find out which Manchester United players he can trust
When Manchester United welcome Everton to Old Trafford on Sunday, much attention will be on Romelu Lukaku, whose run without scoring could stretch to nine games. It is imperative that Lukaku’s dry spell ends if United’s results are to improve, and Jose Mourinho will hope that the Belgian is some way inspired by coming up against his former club. Though while Lukaku’s lack of goals is a concern, Mourinho may be more worried by the likely absence of another former Everton player. Marouane Fellaini occupies a strange place at Old Trafford. Sometimes celebrated by supporters, more often maligned, the first signing of the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era is often said to typify United’s troubles since the Scot left. The most frequent, catch-all criticism of Fellaini is that he is not ‘a United player’, and rarely – if ever – has the 30-year-old put in a performance of supreme technical quality befitting a place in United’s midfield. But … [Read more...] about Jose Mourinho’s enduring reliance on Marouane Fellaini underlines Manchester United’s bigger problems
When Jose Mourinho was asked why he made six changes to his side when Manchester United faced Tottenham he replied that it was because of the display at Brighton. Fair enough, you might argue. The performance on the South Coast was dire and Mourinho needed to make changes for the home game against Spurs. A change of system was necessary and for the first 45 minutes it looked as though his changes had paid off. But did Mourinho really need to axe so many players from the match day squad? Only two games in to the season and Juan Mata , Andreas Pereira, Eric Bailly and Anthony Martial were all omitted from the match day squad. Not just the starting XI - the squad. The United boss has stopped short of criticising his players in public for now but actions like that speak louder than anything the Portuguese could say. 'Make a mistake and you'll be punished in the next game' is the vibe Mourinho is giving off. At times Victor Lindelof, who was demoted to the bench for the Spurs game, has … [Read more...] about Jose Mourinho needs to adopt a new Manchester United system
If Zinedine Zidane does ever become the Manchester United manager then there is a gem of a photograph to dust off from the Old Trafford archives. Back when the club's Megastore was a Superstore and located just in front of the train line, Zidane took advantage of Juventus' 1996 Champions League group tie to pop in and was photographed paying for a souvenir by an eagle-eyed club snapper. Zidane had played at Old Trafford earlier that year with France against the Czech Republic in Euro '96 when Sir Alex Ferguson clapped eyes on him. Ferguson was concerned a second French forward would unsettle Eric Cantona, so the Scot opted for Karel Poborsky. Zidane joined Champions League winners Juve, who beat United 1-0 in their group stage opener that September. "We lost 1-0 to them in Turin, but it could have been 10-0," Gary Neville later recalled. "It was the biggest battering I've had on a football pitch. They took us to school, boys against men. We didn't have a proper chance in the whole … [Read more...] about What Zinedine Zidane has said about Manchester United