Fellaini partner

Manchester United Growth Slows while Rivals Accelerate

2020.08.25 18:02 sauce_murica Manchester United Growth Slows while Rivals Accelerate

Manchester United remain a global behemoth. With annual revenues in excess of £627m, [1] United is one of the most valuable clubs on the face of the planet. [1] However, as will be explained hereafter, the case can be made that United's status as one of the world's biggest clubs appears to be slipping.
In 2018, Ed Woodward famously stated to investors that "[p]laying performance doesn't really have a meaningful impact on what we can do on the commercial side of the business." [1]
There is some truth to this sentiment. From 2009 - 2019, the club's finances have grown significantly. [1] [2] In 2009, the club's commercial revenue was approximately 66 million. By 2019, that figure had more than quadrupled to 275 million. [1] [2] The club likewise benefited from the Premier League's own boon in popularity. From 2009 to 2019, TV revenues grew from 98 million to 241 million. [1] In total, from 2009 - 2019, matchday revenue decreased from 41% of the revenue base, to 19%. One of the results of this can be seen during COVID. While other clubs scrambled to secure finances, furloughing staff and cutting wages, United has to date been able to survive without such significant cuts. [1]
However, if a deeper look is taken into these figures, combined with the relative growth of similarly-situated clubs, cracks begin to appear in Woodward's "results don't matter" assertion. For example, as illustrated here, the club's on-again off-again relationship with the Champion's League has seen a drastic reduction in gate and TV revenue from the infamous Tuesday/Wednesday night matches:
Looking at it differently, as of 2014, by some conservative estimates the cost of United missing out on CL football was approximately the cost of one Marouane Fellaini. [1] [2] By 2019, the figure was estimated by the club at around £65million (which figure excludes any potential reduction in the Adidas sponsorship deal). [1] Simply put, the cost of missing out on the sport's elite competition has grown alongside the expansion of the sport itself.
Comparing United's Growth Relative to That of Our Rivals
As recently as 2016, United's revenue growth continued to outpace rivals. [1] [2] [3] However, as years have gone by, that gap has shrunk. From 2017-2018, Liverpool's revenue growth increased nearly 100m, up to £455m from £364m --- taking them from 5th highest to 3rd highest in the league. [1] City's revenues likewise increased from £473m to £500m (2nd highest in the league). [1]
Thus, while United's revenue increased from £515m in 2016 to £590m in 2018, City's increased from £392m to £500m, and Liverpool's increased from £302m to £455m *within the span of two years. [1] [2] This change is highlighted in the following chart:
Club 2016 Revenue 2018 Revenue Growth % Difference
Manchester United £515m £590m £75m 15%
Manchester City £392m £500m £108m 28%
Liverpool £302m £455m £153m 51%
As for commercial revenue alone (an area United is often touted as being the best), the following chart highlights the relative growth of commercial revenue by comparing United to its biggest European counterparts: https://cdn.theathletic.com/app/uploads/2020/05/25080041/revenue-compares.png
As can be seen, over time United's closest rivals appear to be closing the gap on United's claim as one of, if not the, biggest clubs in world football. With that in mind - let's take a closer look at how United has expanded its global reach since the Glazer takeover in 2005.
A change in the club's branding/commercialization approach
Glazer acquired Manchester United in 2005. At the time of the takeover, "United's income of 171.5 million pounds ($323.8m) for the 2003-04 season kept them top of the list [of richest clubs] for the eighth year in a row." [1] Simply put: Glazer inherited a behemoth at the top of the footballing world.
Upon buying the club, the Glazer contingent reportedly met with staff, and according to a former executive indicated:
“They said, ‘Look, we’ve bought this club because we saw an opportunity.' They never came with, ‘We are fans of the club forever and always will be’. They didn’t claim to be anything other than businessmen and they are very good at what they do.” [1]
The change in tactic upon Glazer arrival allegedly prompted United Chairman Sir Roy Gardner and non-executive directors Ian Much and Jim O'Neill to offer their resignations. [1]
Concerns have been raised since regarding the manner by which the Glazer family extended MUFC's reach / image / branding. Edward Freedman served as managing director of the club's merchandising from 1992-97. [1] During his time at United, he took the club's merchandising operation "from a turnover of £1.2 million in 1992 to £28 million when he left five years later." [1] His work with Tottenham, and then United, was significant enough to merit BBC including him in their documentary titled "The Men That Changed Football." [1]
Asked to speak regarding the Glazers' work with United's continued expansion, Freedman responded:
“They haven’t got a clue what a brand is. It’s a very clever money-making move for them to get those deals. However, I’m sorry to say that, as far as enhancing Manchester United, it doesn’t work.” [1]
Freedman's ire related to the manner in which the club worked to increase the reach of its branding efforts. Freedman's aimed to maintain United's status as a "premium brand" and expand the club's reach by working with select, "high profile" branding partners (a la a Rolex or Porsche). Instead, Freedman's ire was drawn by the club choosing, after he left, to sign onto multiple, "lower-quality" partners. The result of this change in branding strategy can be seen through the years. For example:
Mr. Potato
Tomato Juice
X Men - Apocalypse
Independence Day - Resurgence
Yanmar
Tyres
Chevrolet's Dab University
Others in the footballing world have taken issue with how the increased commercial efforts impacted the players:
One high-profile agent privately complained that the club was “obsessed with commercialism” and “one big money-making machine”. After arriving back in the early hours following a match at West Ham, some stars were required to drive mini kids’ Chevrolets in a sponsored stunt the next day instead of resting. [1]
As for Freedman's thoughts on United's approach to branding expansion, he stated “I really can’t deal with it. We were offered all that long ago and never would accept any of it. Not for all the money in the world. Then, of course, the people who understood the brand left and people came in who saw only the recompense of taking money. But taking money for things that aren’t compatible with your brand will eventually ruin your brand. That’s what I can see them doing. The whole charisma, the whole glory of Manchester United, seems to have gone.” [1]
Freedman was not alone in this concern. In April 2007, Lee Daley (a reported lifelong United supporter), left Saatchi & Saatchi UK to become United's group commercial director. [1] He resigned four months later, with one source claiming he quickly became disillusioned at becoming "a glorified sponsorship sales manager." [1]
And although United's sponsorship efforts have resulted in some successes, including what was, at the time, one of the most profitable kit sponsorship of all time, [1] those successes have not always been well-received:
On the commercial side, the shirt sponsorship struck with Chevrolet, worth £450 million over seven seasons, was a major success. But the deal will not be renewed past 2021 and the person responsible for the deal at General Motors, Joel Ewanick, was dismissed soon after its announcement in 2012, with a spokesman saying he had “failed to meet the expectations the company has of an employee”. [1] [2]
Although some have lauded the Glazers' "industrialization/branding efforts" at United, and other clubs have since copied the process, others are more critical - claiming that United's continued growth and success has resulted more from the continued growth of the Premier League than from Glazer ingenuity.
“The step-change in television income, which came out of nowhere and could not have possibly been projected in a business plan, helped them massively.” In the UK alone, Premier League rights rose from £1.024 billion to £1.706 billion in 2007 and reached £5.136 billion in 2016. [1]
Other sources insist the Glazers did project such an increase, based upon their prior experience with US sports, including their ownership of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. [1]
Not all of the Glazers' initial plans came to fruition. For example, the Glazers reportedly initially planned to increase revenues through higher matchday costs. [1] In 2006 documents, it was outlined that the cost of matchday tickets to attend games at Old Trafford was "undervalued" despite increased pricing, on average, by 12.5% in their first season at the helm. [1] The Glazer plan envisaged a further 36% increase in matchday costs prior to the start of the 2012-13 season. [1] However, that plan was not borne into action, which is one reason matchday revenues have stayed level.
Social Media The Claimed Expansion of the Supporter-Base
Alongside the club's expanding commercial revenues, the club has repeatedly touted its expanding supporter-base to shareholders as a measure of the club's off-field success. In 2013, United claimed to shareholders that it had "659 million" supporters. [1] Stated differently, United claimed that, as of 2010, approximately 1 out of every 10 human beings on the planet supported United.
To reach that figure, United hired Kantar, a market research company, who polled 54,000 adults in 39 countries in the summer of 2011. Most questions were answered online. [1] The figures were then extrapolated to produce a number for each of those countries, with that information then extrapolated to cover the rest of the world, "taking into account such things as the popularity of football in these countries, and whether players born in them had played for Manchester United in the past." Kantar director Richard Brinkman claimed he "would back my figures and argue [they are accurate] to within a 1% margin of error." [1]
The claim drew plenty of detractors. For example, Nick Harris, editor of sports finance website SportingIntelligence.com, noted at the time that:
"In five years, purportedly, Manchester United's following has gone from 333 million, or thereabouts, to 659 million. So almost a doubling of people following Manchester United in five years. This is eyebrow-raising stuff!" [1]
Mr. Harris likewise questioned other Kantar claims, such as the suggestion "that more than 30% of South Korea's total population of 49 million were followers of Manchester United." [1] Especially in light of the live viewing figures for United in the country, at the time, registering less than one million people. [1]
By 2019, United reported to investors claiming to have 1.1 billion fans. [1] Stated differently - from 2013 to 2019, United claimed to have gone from "1 in 10" people worldwide supporting United, to "1 in 7."
The survey for the 2019 report was once more completed by Kantar.
United's Pattern of Spending Aiming for the Top - or Aiming for Top 4?
No one would argue that United do not spend. Alongside being one of the top earning clubs in world football, United are also one of the top spending clubs. United are not shrinking violets in the transfer market - with one of the highest net spends over the last decade. [1] [2]
However, United last won the Premier League in 2013 under Sir Alex Ferguson. Since that time, United have spent over £1.015 billion on player purchases. [1] [2] But breaking down the pattern of when/how that money is spent, supports the theory that United's ownership may no longer be aiming to compete at the top, but rather aiming to land itself in that coveted "top 4/CL qualifying finisher":
Year Transfers Out Total Receivables Transfers In Total Expenditures Net Spend
'05-'06 2 £6.5m 5 £26.72m (-) £20m
'06-'07 5 £15m 1 £23m (-) £7.5m
07-08 6 £39m 7 £87m (-) £48m
08-09 3 £6m 3 £38m (-) £32m
09-10 5 £87m 3 £23m (+) £64m
10-11 3 £14.5m 4 £24.5m (-) £10m
11-12 4 £11.5m 3 £52m (-) £40.5m
12-13 3 £8m 6 £64m (-) £56m
13-14 (Moyes) 1 £1.5m 2 £64m (-) £62.5m
14-15 (LvG) 9 (2 loan fees) £41m 7 (1 loan fee) £163.5m (-) £122.5m
15-16 (LvG) 8 £85m 5 £130m (-) £45m
16-17 (Mourinho) 5 £40m 4 £155m (-) £115m
17-18 (Mourinho) 3 (1 loan fee) £38m 4 £166m (-) £128m
18-19 (Mourinho) 3 £25.5m 3 £69m (-) £43.5m
19-20 (Solskjaer) 4 (1 loan fee) £60m 4 £179m (-) £119m
Source - (note: Transfermarkt defaults to US currency when viewed in the US. Since I began this exercise for my own edification, all currency values were initially recorded here in US dollars. I have since converted them to pounds using Google's currency converter --- but, as as a result, the numbers may not be exact. They are, however, consistent.)
Correlation between league finish and spending the following year?
PL Finish Net Spend Following Year
2013: 1st - £63m
2014: 7th - £122m
2015: 4th - £45m
2016: 5th - £115m
2017: 6th - £128m
2018: 2nd - £43.5m
2019: 6th - £119m
2020: 3rd ???
Conclusions/Opinion
  1. Glazer acquired United at a time when it stood at/near the top of world football. Since acquiring United, the gap between United and its rivals has shrunk - both on and off the pitch.
  2. Although United have spent significantly since Sir Alex's retirement, based upon the patterns associated with when/how those funds are spent - the argument can be made that United may have changed their aim from looking to win the league and compete at the top, to aiming to make top 4 and qualify for the Champion's League.
Only time will tell if these patterns are true patterns, or coincidences given the cyclical nature of football, and how difficult it is to remain at the top of world football for extended periods of time.
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2020.08.25 17:06 sauce_murica Green and Gold Part 4 A closer look at United's Finances - Where Has the Money Been Spent?

Manchester United remain a global behemoth. With annual revenues in excess of £627m, [1] United is one of the most valuable clubs on the face of the planet. [1]
As explained in prior G&G installments, in purchasing United, the Glazer family loaded United with heavy debts. [1] The evolution of that debt over time has caused some to question how United are spending their money. For example, by June 2010, those debts had escalated to over £784m. [1] The infamous payment-in-kind loans were quietly repaid in 2010. At that same time, the cash earned from Ronaldo's sale (and the Aon shirt deal) was reportedly used to repay a significant portion of the bonds issued in February 2010. [1] In August 2012, half of the club's IPO proceeds were used for debt reduction, with the other half heading to Glazers. [1]
In total, this led to a bond debt reduction from 509m in June 2010, to 360m as of September 2012 --- resulting in some reputable sources to question whether it was "very possible that debt is virtually eliminated in the next few years." [1]
That has not come to pass. This entry into our Green & Gold Series takes aim at the following question: United remains one of the biggest and most profitable clubs in world football, with some of the largest revenues around. Where has the money gone?
We can do things others can only dream of Are United a Growing Giant or a Shrinking Violet?
In 2018, Ed Woodward famously stated to investors that "[p]laying performance doesn't really have a meaningful impact on what we can do on the commercial side of the business." [1]
There is some truth to this sentiment. From 2009 - 2019, the club's finances have grown significantly. [1] [2] In 2009, the club's commercial revenue was approximately 66 million. By 2019, that figure had more than quadrupled to 275 million. [1] [2] The club likewise benefited from the Premier League's own boon in popularity. From 2009 to 2019, TV revenues grew from 98 million to 241 million. [1] In total, from 2009 - 2019, matchday revenue decreased from 41% of the revenue base, to 19%. One of the results of this can be seen during COVID. While other clubs scrambled to secure finances, furloughing staff and cutting wages, United has to date been able to survive without such significant cuts. [1]
However, if a deeper look is taken into these figures, combined with the relative growth of similarly-situated clubs, cracks begin to appear in Woodward's "results don't matter" assertion. For example, as illustrated here, the club's on-again off-again relationship with the Champion's League has seen a drastic reduction in gate and TV revenue from the infamous Tuesday/Wednesday night matches:
Looking at it differently, as of 2014, by some conservative estimates the cost of missing out on CL football was approximately the cost of one Marouane Fellaini. [1] [2] By 2019, the figure was estimated by the club at around £65million (which figure excludes any potential reduction in the Adidas sponsorship deal). [1] Simply put, the cost of missing out on the sport's elite competition has grown alongside the expansion of the sport itself.
Comparing United's Growth Relative to That of Our Rivals
As recently as 2016, United's revenue growth continued to outpace rivals. [1] [2] [3] However, as years have gone by, that gap has shrunk. From 2017-2018, Liverpool's revenue growth increased nearly 100m, up to £455m from £364m --- taking them from 5th highest to 3rd highest in the league. [1] City's revenues likewise increased from £473m to £500m (2nd highest in the league). [1]
Thus, while United's revenue increased from £515m in 2016 to £590m in 2018, City's increased from £392m to £500m, and Liverpool's increased from £302m to £455m *within the span of two years. [1] [2] This change is highlighted in the following chart:
Club 2016 Revenue 2018 Revenue Growth % Difference
Manchester United £515m £590m £75m 15%
Manchester City £392m £500m £108m 28%
Liverpool £302m £455m £153m 51%
As for commercial revenue alone (an area United is often touted as being the best), the following chart highlights the relative growth of commercial revenue by comparing United to its biggest European counterparts: https://cdn.theathletic.com/app/uploads/2020/05/25080041/revenue-compares.png
As can be seen, over time United's closest rivals appear to be closing the gap on United's claim as one of, if not the, biggest clubs in world football. With that in mind - let's take a closer look at how United has expanded its global reach since the Glazer takeover in 2005.
A change in the club's branding/commercialization approach
Glazer acquired Manchester United in 2005. At the time of the takeover, "United's income of 171.5 million pounds ($323.8m) for the 2003-04 season kept them top of the list [of richest clubs] for the eighth year in a row." [1] Simply put: Glazer inherited a behemoth at the top of the footballing world.
Upon buying the club, the Glazer contingent reportedly met with staff, and according to a former executive indicated:
“They said, ‘Look, we’ve bought this club because we saw an opportunity.' They never came with, ‘We are fans of the club forever and always will be’. They didn’t claim to be anything other than businessmen and they are very good at what they do.” [1]
The change in tactic upon Glazer arrival allegedly prompted United Chairman Sir Roy Gardner and non-executive directors Ian Much and Jim O'Neill to offer their resignations. [1]
Concerns have been raised since regarding the manner by which the Glazer family extended MUFC's reach / image / branding. Edward Freedman served as managing director of the club's merchandising from 1992-97. [1] During his time at United, he took the club's merchandising operation "from a turnover of £1.2 million in 1992 to £28 million when he left five years later." [1] His work with Tottenham, and then United, was significant enough to merit BBC including him in their documentary titled "The Men That Changed Football." [1]
Asked to speak regarding the Glazers' work with United's continued expansion, Freedman responded:
“They haven’t got a clue what a brand is. It’s a very clever money-making move for them to get those deals. However, I’m sorry to say that, as far as enhancing Manchester United, it doesn’t work.” [1]
Freedman's ire related to the manner in which the club worked to increase the reach of its branding efforts. Freedman's aimed to maintain United's status as a "premium brand" and expand the club's reach by working with select, "high profile" branding partners (a la a Rolex or Porsche). Instead, Freedman's ire was drawn by the club choosing, after he left, to sign onto multiple, "lower-quality" partners. The result of this change in branding strategy can be seen through the years. For example:
Mr. Potato
Tomato Juice
X Men - Apocalypse
Independence Day - Resurgence
Yanmar
Tyres
Chevrolet's Dab University
Others in the footballing world have taken issue with how the increased commercial efforts impacted the players:
One high-profile agent privately complained that the club was “obsessed with commercialism” and “one big money-making machine”. After arriving back in the early hours following a match at West Ham, some stars were required to drive mini kids’ Chevrolets in a sponsored stunt the next day instead of resting. [1]
As for Freedman's thoughts on United's approach to branding expansion, he stated “I really can’t deal with it. We were offered all that long ago and never would accept any of it. Not for all the money in the world. Then, of course, the people who understood the brand left and people came in who saw only the recompense of taking money. But taking money for things that aren’t compatible with your brand will eventually ruin your brand. That’s what I can see them doing. The whole charisma, the whole glory of Manchester United, seems to have gone.” [1]
Freedman was not alone in this concern. In April 2007, Lee Daley (a reported lifelong United supporter), left Saatchi & Saatchi UK to become United's group commercial director. [1] He resigned four months later, with one source claiming he quickly became disillusioned at becoming "a glorified sponsorship sales manager." [1]
And although United's sponsorship efforts have resulted in some successes, including what was, at the time, one of the most profitable kit sponsorship of all time, [1] those successes have not always been well-received:
On the commercial side, the shirt sponsorship struck with Chevrolet, worth £450 million over seven seasons, was a major success. But the deal will not be renewed past 2021 and the person responsible for the deal at General Motors, Joel Ewanick, was dismissed soon after its announcement in 2012, with a spokesman saying he had “failed to meet the expectations the company has of an employee”. [1] [2]
Although some have lauded the Glazers' "industrialization/branding efforts" at United, and other clubs have since copied the process, others are more critical - claiming that United's continued growth and success has resulted more from the continued growth of the Premier League than from Glazer ingenuity.
“The step-change in television income, which came out of nowhere and could not have possibly been projected in a business plan, helped them massively.” In the UK alone, Premier League rights rose from £1.024 billion to £1.706 billion in 2007 and reached £5.136 billion in 2016. [1]
Other sources insist the Glazers did project such an increase, based upon their prior experience with US sports, including their ownership of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. [1]
Not all of the Glazers' initial plans came to fruition. For example, the Glazers reportedly initially planned to increase revenues through higher matchday costs. [1] In 2006 documents, it was outlined that the cost of matchday tickets to attend games at Old Trafford was "undervalued" despite increased pricing, on average, by 12.5% in their first season at the helm. [1] The Glazer plan envisaged a further 36% increase in matchday costs prior to the start of the 2012-13 season. [1] However, that plan was not borne into action, which is one reason matchday revenues have stayed level.
Social Media The Claimed Expansion of the Supporter-Base
Alongside the club's expanding commercial revenues, the club has repeatedly touted its expanding supporter-base to shareholders as a measure of the club's off-field success. In 2013, United claimed to shareholders that it had "659 million" supporters. [1] Stated differently, United claimed that, as of 2010, approximately 1 out of every 10 human beings on the planet supported United.
To reach that figure, United hired Kantar, a market research company, who polled 54,000 adults in 39 countries in the summer of 2011. Most questions were answered online. [1] The figures were then extrapolated to produce a number for each of those countries, with that information then extrapolated to cover the rest of the world, "taking into account such things as the popularity of football in these countries, and whether players born in them had played for Manchester United in the past." Kantar director Richard Brinkman claimed he "would back my figures and argue [they are accurate] to within a 1% margin of error." [1]
The claim drew plenty of detractors. For example, Nick Harris, editor of sports finance website SportingIntelligence.com, noted at the time that:
"In five years, purportedly, Manchester United's following has gone from 333 million, or thereabouts, to 659 million. So almost a doubling of people following Manchester United in five years. This is eyebrow-raising stuff!" [1]
Mr. Harris likewise questioned other Kantar claims, such as the suggestion "that more than 30% of South Korea's total population of 49 million were followers of Manchester United." [1] Especially in light of the live viewing figures for United in the country, at the time, registering less than one million people. [1]
By 2019, United reported to investors claiming to have 1.1 billion fans. [1] Stated differently - from 2013 to 2019, United claimed to have gone from "1 in 10" people worldwide supporting United, to "1 in 7."
The survey for the 2019 report was once more completed by Kantar.
We're Man United and We'll Spend What We Want
Alongside being one of the top earning clubs in world football, United are also one of the top spending clubs. As discussed previously, [1] United are not shrinking violets in the transfer market - with one of the highest net spends over the last decade. [1] [2]
Let's take a closer look at where United, under Glazer ownership, has spent those funds.
Player Signings
United last won the Premier League in 2013 under Sir Alex Ferguson. Since that time, United have spent over £1.015 billion on player purchases. [1] [2] But let's break that down a bit further. First, let's take a look at what that billion has gotten us:
Year Signed Manager Player Position Cost
2020 Solskjaer Bruno Fernandes Mid £49.50m
2019 Solskjaer Harry Maguire CB £78.30m
2019 Solskjaer Aaron Wan Bissaka RB £49.50m
2019 Solskjaer Daniel James RW £15.30m
2018 Mourinho Fred CM £53.10m
2018 Mourinho Dalot RB £19.80m
2018 Mourinho Lee Grant GK £1.53m
2017 Mourinho Romelu Lukaku ST £76.23m
2017 Mourinho Nemanja Matic CM £40.23m
2017 Mourinho Victor Lindelof CB £31.50m
2017 Mourinho Alexis Sanchez ST Mkhitaryan
2016 Mourinho Paul Pogba CM £94.50m
2016 Mourinho Henrikh Mkhitaryan RW £37.80m
2016 Mourinho Eric Bailly CB £34.20m
2015 van Gaal Anthony Martial LW/ST £54.00m
2015 van Gaal Morgan Schneiderlin CM £31.50m
2015 van Gaal Memphis Depay LW £30.60m
2015 van Gaal Matteo Darmian RB £16.20m
2015 van Gaal Bastian Schweinsteiger CM £8.10m
2014 van Gaal Angel di Maria LW £67.50m
2014 van Gaal Luke Shaw LB £33.75m
2014 van Gaal Ander Herrera CM £32.40m
2014 van Gaal Marcos Rojo LB/CB £18.00m
2014 van Gaal Daley Blind LB/CB £15.75m
2014 van Gaal Falcao ST £6.84m (loan fee)
2014 van Gaal Vanja Milinkovic-Savic GK £1.58m
2013 Moyes Juan Mata RW/CM £40.26m
2013 Moyes Marouane Fellaini CM £29.16m
All figures in this thread are taken from Transfermarkt.
Prior to that, from 2005-2012, Sir Alex spent a total of £362.8m. Accordingly, from 2005 to date, under Glazer ownership United has spent £1.3778 billion on player acquisitions.
Player Sales
Year Player Transfer Fee
2005 Phil Neville £4.77m
2005 Kleberson £2.34m
2006 Ruud van Nistelrooy £13.50m
2006 David Jones £1.35m
2006 Jonathan Sepctor £675,000
2006 David Bellion £450,000
2006 Luke Steele £225,000
2007 Gabriel Heinze £10.8m
2007 Giuseppe Rossi £9m
2007 Alan Smith £8.1m 
2007 Kieran Richardson £7.38m
2007 Tim Howard £3.78m
2007 Phil Bardsley £2.7m
2008 Gerard Pique £4.5m
2008 Chris Eagles £1.35m
2008 Mikael Silvestre £855,000
2009 Cristiano Ronaldo £84.60m
2009 Frazier Campbell £3.69m
2009 Manucho £2.48m
2009 Lee Martin £2.03m
2009 Danny Simpson £779,000
2010 Zoran Tosic £8.55m
2010 Ben Foster £6.3m
2011 John O'Shea £4.05m
2011 Gabriel Obertan £3.06m
2011 Mama Diouf £1.62m
2011 Wes Brown £1.35m
2011 Danny Drinkwater £810,000
2011 Darron Gibson £540,000
2011 Jue Dudgeon £86,000
2012 Dimitar Berbatov £4.50m
2012 Ji-sung Park £2.79m
2012 Ritchie De Laet £1.13m
2014 Danny Welbeck £18.00m
2014 Shinji Kagawa £7.20m
2014 Alexander Buttner £4.95m
2014 Wilfried Zaha £3.42m
2014 Chicharito £2.70m (loan fee)
2014 Bebe £2.70m
2014 Michael Keane £2.30m
2014 Patrice Evra £1.71m
2015 Angel di Maria £56.70m
2015 Chicharito £10.80m
2015 Jonny Evans £7.47m
2015 Robin van Persie £5.85m
2015 Nani £5.40m
2015 Rafael £2.88m
2015 Angelo Henriquez £1.50m
2015 Reece James £1.26m
2016 Morgan Schneiderlin £20.70m
2016 Memphis Depay £14.40m
2016 Paddy McNair £4.73m
2016 Tyler Blackett £1.62m
2016 Will Keane £1.08m
2017 Henrikh Mkhitaryan Sanchez
2017 Adnan Januzaj £7.65m
2017 Andreas Pereira £2.70m (loan fee)
2018 Daley Blind £14.40m
2018 Sam Johnstone £6.62m
2018 Marouane Fellaini £6.48m
2019 Romelu Lukaku £66.60m
2019 Chris Smalling £2.70m (loan fee)
2019 Matteo Darmian £2.23m
2019 Ashley Young £1.53m
In total, United has recovered £488.42m (plus one Alexis Sanchez) from player sales/loans.
Accordingly, under Glazer ownership, Manchester United has a total net spend of £889.38m.

So Where Has the Money Gone?

The Cost of a Takeover & Multiple Re-Financings
The Glazer family acquired United in 2005. United spent more money paying the interest costs associated with the newfound debt than they spent on player acquisitions any year between 2005 - when the club was acquired - and 2013 - when the debt was refinanced. [1] [2] [3]
In 2013, United refinanced their debt. By refinancing, United repaid about half of its outstanding bonds using a new bank loan from Bank of America. [1] By doing so, United reduced the club's interest bill from around £31m per year (pro-forma post the IPO) to around £21m per year. [1]
By the summer of 2015, Manchester United refinanced the club's debt on four separate occasions - the last of which occurred in 2015. [1] In 2015, the club's debt stood at £382m, with total annual interest costs of £20m. [1] The refinancing reduced the cash interest paid.
The amount of interest paid between 2005 and 2015 can be visualized here:
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-pilgsdeAZRc/VWn1gP4bkYI/AAAAAAAAEQw/tButyOPUIlM/s1600/2015%2Brefi%2Btable%2B3.png
Public float profits Glazers
Some have viewed the public float of the club's stock as evidence of a possible future in which the club is sold. To date, reality has not matched this expectation.
The initial public float raked in £150 million in funds. Per some reports, the initial plan was for the Glazers to pocket the full profits from the float, but the NYSE expressed reservations with that plan. [1]. Ultimately, half of the funds was used to pay off some of the club's takeover debt. [1] The remaining half landed in Glazer pockets. [1] [2]
Despite the funds realized from the float, the target price for the shares was $16-20 per share. The price was ultimately set at $14/share. [1] [2]
Hopes that the float would result in greater transparency were likewise short-lived. "Classed as an 'emerging growth' company, [1] United were exempted from having to reveal all their financial data to the market, [1] a position they reinforced by moving company registry from Old Trafford to the Cayman Islands." [1] [2] And by setting different voting rights for Class A and B shares, and retaining the Class B shares, the Glazers were able to retain a 78% ownership interest in the club - and an iron grip on the club's voting rights. [1]
Glazer Profits
Per the most recent financial reports, annual dividends total approximately £84 million. [1] In January, dividends of £11.3 million went to shareholders. [1] The Glazer family currently owns approximately 78% of the club, meaning they split approximately £8.8 million of that equally. [1]
In addition, the Glazers recovered approximately £75 million from the NYSE listing, together with loans to other companies (between 2005-'12), and further share sales. In total, the Glazers have made more than £200m selling slices of their shareholdings to investors. [1]
Upon refinancing the club's debt in 2010, the paperwork submitted revealed the Glazers had, since 2006, been paid £10m in “management and administration fees” and Kassewitz and each of her five brothers had borrowed £1.66m, £10m in total, from the club. [1] The total paid to the board and executive management in 2018-19 was £10.7m, which the accounts do not break down individually. Woodward is paid by a subsidiary company, Manchester United Football Club Ltd; his salary in 2017-18, the most recently published, was £4.152m. [1]
By comparison, in nine years at Liverpool, FSG has put in a net £100m. [1] Meanwhile, since initially purchasing the club in a £790 million leveraged takeover, the Glazers have "personally received close to £200 million from the club." [1]

Conclusion

In total, by some estimates the Glazers' ownership has cost the club £1.5 billion in interest, debt and other outgoing expenses. [1] By comparison, United has spent £1.3778 billion on player acquisitions, and recovered £488.42m from sales/loans, for a net spend of £889.38m. In total, Glazer ownership has cost United £610.6m more than United have spent on player acquisitions from 2005 to date.
Past Green & Gold Installments:
Part One: Who are the Glazers?
Part Two: The Takeover: How did that happen?
Part Three: The Glazer Transfer History - Can Insight be Gleaned regarding our Potential Summer Business?
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2020.08.20 15:13 skywardsword596 [OC] The European Resurrections of Ever Banega

Hi soccer! Ahead of tomorrow's Europa League final I wanted to write this as a little tribute to Ever Banega, who will be playing his last game in European competition for Sevilla against Inter. Please note that as I wanted to focus on his European career, I did not cover a lot of his time in Argentina with Boca and Newell's. Hope you enjoy!
 
It seems fitting that Ever Banega’s final bow in European competition will be in the Europa League. Regardless of the result, and barring a surprise reversal in the future, the 2020 Europa League final will be Banega’s last match ahead of a move to six-time champions Al-Shabab in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He will depart Europe after playing for 3 different Spanish clubs, spending just over a year at Inter Milan, winning 2 Europa Leagues , and a Copa del Rey triumph. But it very nearly didn’t turn out that way...
 
A Crazy Goat’s Valencian welcome
Fresh off of Boca Juniors’ 2007 Libertadores triumph, where he started both legs of the final against Gremio, the 19-year-old, shaggy-haired Banega was Ronald Koeman’s first January signing at Valencia, making his debut as a half-time substitute at Atletico Madrid in a 0-1 defeat.
Valencia wasn’t an ideal scenario. Banega did manage to win a Copa del Rey, assisting Juan Mata in the quarterfinals against Atleti, but Koeman’s tenure was defined by his attempt to clear the veterans out of one of Spain’s biggest clubs (does this sound familiar?) After the Dutchman was sacked for Voro (not for the last time), Banega didn’t make the substitute’s bench until the last two matchweeks.
Banega was far from blameless, either. It wasn’t too long ago that he was one of the Argentina U-20 internationals who celebrated their World Cup win by trashing their hotel and intelligently deciding to video it (other names in that squad, by the way: Sergio Aguero, Angel Di Maria, and Papu Gomez) He had his first encounter with Spanish police only a few weeks into his stint at Valencia, leaping a red light at 3:30 a.m. while over the limit, and his already under-pressure club had to deal with the small matter of a webcam and some indecent exposure from his time at Boca. A TV segment found a fridge full of beer and nothing else, and he managed to short-circuit his Ferrari 458 Toro, setting it on fire.
Valencia decided that their young midfielder would be best served in someone else’s care, and that someone else was Atletico Madrid, who picked up Banega on loan a day after they made it to the Champions League group stages. Banega’s contract contained 2 clauses: an option to buy, and a no-going-out clause.
Unfortunately, clauses had no effect on Banega, whom Atleti insiders would refer to as a cabra loca, a crazy goat. He hit the town five nights in a row, got sent off twice in 5 league games (becoming Atleti’s season leader in red cards), and despite getting more games than he had in Valencia, he became decidedly second-choice behind Paulo Assuncao and Raul Garcia in the Atleti midfield. His Champions League debut was nothing special either - only completing one full game, a goalless draw against Marseille, and not even being named in the squad for Atleti’s round-of-16 elimination at the hands of Porto.
 
The First Resurrection
Banega returned to the Valencia squad, still headed by Koeman’s replacement Unai Emery. Valencia had a series of stars they wanted to keep hold of, including David Silva, David Villa, and Juan Mata, but Banega was not among them. As Sid Lowe put it:
"Forget Madrid and Barcelona and Juventus, the teams that came for Banega were Napoli and Stuttgart and Marseille. And forget €40m, or €20m, or even the €10m buyout clause on his contract. The offers that came for Banega weren't much higher than €8m. Yet when it came to the Argentinian, Valencia decided to say yes."
But the midfielder refused to leave, and his intensity in training, and indeed his first few matches of the 2009-2010 La Liga season, caused Marca columnist Jose Luis Hurtado to declare that Valencia’s wild child “had a facelift - in his brain.” Banega’s return, against his future club Sevilla, saw him tee up Juan Mata’s first goal at the top of the area, before a bursting run through midfield and a slick pass set up Pablo Hernandez for the second. He grabbed his first goal for Valencia, 2 years after signing for them, in a Valencian derby against Villareal, set up by Villa and Silva.
Ever Banega debut goal(apologies for the quality, mid-2000s La Liga clips are hard to find)
In the space of a season, Banega made himself indispensable to the club that wanted him out only a few months before. He became Valencia’s top assist provider, the creative pivot at the base of Emery’s midfield next to Carlos Marchena, and the team finished 3rd with 71 points, something of an achievement when the top 2 were pushing 100.
So what changed? Some credit his girlfriend, whom Lowe described as a “sergeant major,” for getting him to knuckle down. And perhaps he really didn’t want to go to Everton, where Valencia had been trying to offload him on loan. But Banega had his own take:
"This year, I'm starting from scratch," he said. "I arrived at 19 and made mistakes. I wasted two years and have thought about things. Now I hardly ever go out."
It should be noted that this indiscipline never quite left; Banega was reprimanded for showing up drunk to a Valencia training session later on, and only a few months ago was photographed breaking lockdown with a few of his Sevilla teammates to hold a pool party.
Banega’s 2010-2011 season was a little less lustrous; though in fairness, Valencia themselves were a little less lustrous after the departures of Villa and Silva. The club managed to end up with the exact same points total and position as the season before, though following the departures it became Juan Mata’s turn as chief creator, with Banega now partnering Hedwiges Maduro, club legend David Albelda, and new signing Mehmet Topal in midfield. The Argentine missed the start of the season, including Valencia’s opening Champions League matches, with an ankle injury, and his overall contributions were also on the downward from the season before.
Banega would probably like to forget his 2011-2012 season, but unfortunately, the cause of his many absences is the unforgettable stuff of legend among self-inflicted injuries up there with Enrique Romero playing snake charmer and Cani drinking piss. To make a long story short - Banega got run over. By his own car. With no one at the wheel!
In fairness, it looked quite painful, a season-ending tibia-fibula break and ankle fracture, and Valencia duly only told the minimum to the press. But they found out anyways: Banega had forgotten to set the handbrake at the gas station, and when his car ended up rolling, he reacted the only way a young man in the street would when he sees something rolling at him: by attempting to stop it with his foot. At least, unlike Canizares, Banega wouldn’t miss a World Cup for miscontrolling this pass.
No, he would miss it for other reasons. Emery departed, with the ire of Valencia fans at his back, to be replaced by Mauricio Pellegrino, who barely utilized him until matchday 11. It wasn’t until Pellegrino’s replacement, Ernesto Valverde, that Banega was able to perform to levels approaching his 2011 form, and a side featuring Roberto Soldado, Jonas, Sofiane Feghouli, and a young talent named Aly Cissokho managed to claw their way back to 5th place.
But off-field issues began to set in at Los Che. Valverde would not return for the 2013/2014 season, due mostly to issues with the club’s unstable finances, which in turn triggered the resignation of longtime president Manuel Llorente. Successor Miroslav Dukic’s reign sent the club plummeting towards the relegation places. His replacement Juan Antonio Pizzi was able to restore some dignity to Valencia’s season, bringing them to 8th place and the Europa League semifinals, where they fell to eventual champions Sevilla. But Banega would not be there, having returned to his native Rosario to play for Newell’s Old Boys on loan. Banega would miss out on another World Cup, watching from the sidelines as Argentina finished 2nd.
 
Resurging in Seville and European success
Shortly after that international heartbreak, Banega returned to Europe, and more importantly to Unai Emery, whom he credited as the driving factor to move to Seville. The 26-year-old was usually installed in the attacking role his old Valencia teammates Silva and Mata occupied, surrounded by speedy attackers Carlos Bacca, Gerard Deulofeu, and Vitolo and braced by sturdy defensive midfielders Gregorz Krychowiak and Stephane Mbia. With the newfound freedom that this role provided, Banega was able to demonstrate some of his now-trademark plays, such as dropping deep almost to the defensive line to pick up and distribute the ball, and running the midfield as its engine.
Sevilla’s sturdy home record and inconsistent away record led the club to 5th place, while they captured their second consecutive Europa League - and Banega’s first - against Ukrainian side Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk. In the following season, he was not able to impact the Andalucian’s hopes in the Champions League, although he did grab his first goals in the competition, 7 years after his debut, against Gladbach en route to a 3rd placing in the group and a return to the Europa League.
 
Life in Lombardy
Despite claiming his second European title, Banega would not remain at Sevilla beyond the season. President Jose Castro Carmona wanted more progress in Europe, and his choice of manager, Jorge Sampaoli, sanctioned Banega’s departure to Internazionale on a free transfer.
Banega arrived once more to a club in turmoil. Roberto Mancini, who had authorized his arrival, had departed before the season began. Frank de Boer, his replacement, would lead Inter through a torrid Europa League campaign before his early departure and replacement by Stefano Pioli.
For his part, Banega’s adaptation to Italian football wasn’t the worst. Despite a silly second yellow against Juventus, he was able to set up Mauro Icardi’s equalizer before Ivan Perisic grabbed the winner, and he got his own first goal in a defeat to Roma. Both de Boer and Pioli maintained him in the #10 role, again surrounding him with runners in Perisic, Marcelo Brozovic, and Antonio Candreva. Still, his place in the starting XI became less consistent due to the presence of Brozovic and Joao Mario as the season went on, barring a short period where he grabbed 4 goals and 3 assists in 2 thrashings of Cagliari and Atalanta, with the latter being his first career hat-trick.
 
The Third Resurrection in Seville
The homecoming hero was Sevilla’s first signing of the 17/18 season, with compatriot Eduardo Berizzo securing his services for 9 million euros. He made his return to Spain in the best possible way, receiving a second booking after telling the referee exactly what he thought of his first: https://youtu.be/epUTbp6UMyI?t=94
As with Emery, Berizzo opted to use Banega either as an attacking midfielder or as one of the two advanced midfielders in his 4-2-3-1 and 4-1-4-1 systems. However, when Vincenzo Montella took over in December, Banega was moved into a role similar to his old role at Valencia, where he set the tempo next to Steven N’Zonzi, while Franco Vazquez and Pablo Sarabia took his place as advanced creators. Consequently, Banega was not able to register as many goals or assists as he contributed for Emery’s Sevilla, but was able to steady a team that was dealing with the upheavals of a new squad and coach.
Banega did have perhaps his finest hour in the Champions League yet, as Sevilla made it all the way to the quarterfinals. In the round-of-16 match against Manchester United, Banega and N’Zonzi effectively overran Jose Mourinho’s midfield, and the Argentine was involved in the buildup to Wissam Ben Yedder’s goals at Old Trafford.
The Portuguese took some time to deliver some praise in classic indirect style:
“I cannot name them. If I name them their agents will jump with happiness and they will say: ‘Tag, tag, price’, this and that. In Sevilla, there are many players who would play in my team.”
Unfortunately for Banega and Sevilla, they could not deliver on this promise in the following season. Pablo Machin took the reigns at Sevilla but proved unsuited to do so. Despite Banega putting up career-best numbers, with 8 goals and 11 assists in all competitions, Sevilla fell early in the Copa del Rey and Europa League, and were only able to limp to 5th place under Joaquin Caparros. Banega also had his worst season in terms of on-field discipline, picking up 2 yellow-card-accumulations, and 2 sendings-off, the latter of which saw him miss the final 3 games of the season.
 
The Lopetegui era
Julen Lopetegui, eager to rebuild some of his reputation following his sacking from both the Spain and Madrid jobs in a calendar year, signed on at Sevilla in the summer of 2019. The club would sell on Wissam Ben Yedder to Monaco and Sarabia to Paris Saint-Germain, but as is life under sporting director Monchi, new blood arrived to partner Banega in midfield, attack, and defense, such as Lucas Ocampos, Joan Jordan, Diego Carlos and Jules Kounde. After an inconsistent beginning, Lopetegui quickly figured out his best team, and the Andalucians became one of the toughest teams to beat in La Liga, returning to the Champions League via the league for the first time since 2017, though Banega will not return for that campaign.
Banega is not the kind of midfielder to astonish you with a dribble or a long range goal, or to lead the goalscoring charts, but watching him run Sevilla’s midfield shows all the talent that led Boca Juniors to declare him the heir to Fernando Gago, that has Unai Emery desperately trying to sign him everywhere he goes, and why both Guardiola and Mourinho have marked him as the opposition man to beat. In Lopetegui’s system, he has license to roam from just in front of the back line to the edge of the opponent’s penalty area, though he tends to favor the left side, where he can combine with Ocampos and Sergio Reguilon, as demonstrated in the match against Roma. A set-piece specialist, he will also be Sevilla’s main threat when they win fouls or corners. No Sevilla player creates more shooting actions per 90, and only 4 La Liga players in general created more this season. And when it comes to passing under pressure, only Jesus Navas outdoes him (both are top 10 in La Liga for this metric).
Ever Banega 19/20 heat map (via SofaScore)
Banega will not imagine a sweeter send-off than a third Europa League. A player whose European career nearly ended before it started by his own doing was able to reform and return to the game’s biggest stages. He might not have reached the heights his Boca midfield predecessors did when they came to Europe, but he has certainly written his name into Spanish football history.
 
Sources (other than linked):
FBref and Transfermarkt for stats
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2019.11.01 17:44 PelleKavaj Young (and not so young) potential targets. Warning Long Post.

So since the summer I’ve put together a list of players that I think could help us in some way. Some we’ve been linked with and some we’ve not.
Remember, alot of these targets I added to the list a long time ago but I’ve tried to update it with stats and so on.
So here we go!
 

RIGHT WINGER

Allan Saint Maximin (22) French 23 year old right winger who’s a great dribbler and loves to take his man on. He had an ok season with OGC Nice before being bought by Newcastle in the summer of 2019. Lacks a bit of end product but can grow with time. Saint Maximin is an entertainer and is fast as hell, if he works on his end product he will be a nightmare to come up against. Newcastle paid 18m for his services and the price could rise if he performs well this season. Highlight reel
 
Moussa Diaby (20) The young french winger can play both on the left and right side. Has been really good for PSG but due to lack of game time moved to Bayer 04 Leverkusen in the summer. Really fast and great dribbler and an eye for a pass Young and promising. Being right footed Diaby isn’t as suited to cutting inside as most other right wingers but can offer a threat from wide with his blistering pace and agility. He has more assists than goals which could point to a more classic type of a winger who crosses rather than going directly for goal. Current value around 15-20m. Highlight reel
 
Malcom (22) Made the wrong move by moving to Barcelona from Bordeaux to early in 2018. Didn’t get the game time he wanted and was probably tempted by playing for Barcelona rather than getting playing time. Was really close to move to Roma but went to Spain in the last minute which could be a bit of a red flag in the mentality aspect. Has a cracking left foot, can score from range and is a really good dribbler. Got all the potential to be a world beater. Plays for Zenit at the moment. Current value is around 40m. Highlight reel
 
Andreas Skov Olsen (19) Danish young talent. Scored 23 goals and registered 4 assists in 34 competitive matches for Nordsjaelland in the danish league in the 18/19 season. Moved to Bologna for 6m in the summer. Skov Olsen is big, fast, strong and tall (187cm). He has really good pace and is a goalscoring winger in the mold of Gareth Bale. One of the most promising talents coming out of Denmark. If he does good in Serie A maybe we could sign him for about 20m next summer. Highlight reel
 
Viktor Tsygankov (21) Ukraine’s got a lot of young talent and Viktor Tsygankov is one of the brightest stars. 18 goals and 10 assists in 33 matches last season for Dinamo Kyiv. He is a left footed right winger who seems to be really clinical for someone so young and playing in his position. Has a great shot on him and got many of his assists from set pieces, something that could help United be more dangerous on free kicks, corners etc. Was named player of the year in the Ukrainian league in the 18/19 season and had one goal less than the golfen bolt winner. United could snatch him up before another team in the big european leagues do. Dinamo Kyiv said no to a 18m bid from Napoli and are said to be wanting around 20-30m. Could prove to be a steal. Highlight reel
 
Federico Chiesa (21) A Fiorentina youth product who has earned himself a place in the starting eleven. Chiesa is one of the brightest young winger coming out of Italy and has become a favourite with the fans of La Viola. The Italian shows great pace, technical ability and passing. He’s slender built which helps him in the dribbling aspect but may cause him some problem against a mor physical opponant. Chiesa has a great workrate and is good at helping out defensively. Italian players may not have the best record at United but Chiesa could be a wonderful option for the right wing. Being the best player of Fiorentina, the club will struggle to keep him for the long term and he is bound to move to a bigger club soon. Price? Maybe around 60m? Highlight reel
 

OFFENSIVE MIDFIELDER

Anderson Talisca (25) 24 goals in 31 matches so far for Goangzhou Evergrande so far for the brazilian midfielder. Was linked with united before moving to China and would be a great addition to the team. Talisca offers a threat from midfield and can be deployed as a forward aswell. With his 191cm he is an aerial threat aswell and could work sort of like A ”plan B” in the Fellaini-way. Having played in China for a while Talisca could be tempted to play in a better league. About 40m could do the trick. Highlight reel
 
Bruno Fernandes (25) We all know about Bruno Fernandes. Scored 20 goals and had 13 assists last season. This season so far he has 4 goals and 4 assists in 6 matches. He offers creativity and goalscoring from midfield, something we for the moment only get from Pogba. Bruno can play as a number 10 in a 4-2-3-1 and as an 8 in a 4-3-3. It’s just ridiculous that no one bought him in the summer. If we can pay 80m for Maguire we absolutely can pay 70m for this man. Highlight reel
 
Kai Haverts (20) 17 goals and 3 assists last season for Bayer 04 Leverkusen. Hailed as the most promising german talent in a long time. Usually plays as a offensive midfielder of centre forward. Seems to be going to Bayern Munich as many other german talents and if United would try to sign him it would cost ALOT. Highlight reel
 
Dani Olmo (21) The spanish young player who many clubs are interested in. 8 goals and 4 assists in 16 starts for Dinamo Zagreb last season. Not quite as impressing stats as many of the names in here but Olmo is clearly to good for the Croatian league. United were linked with him a bit during the summer and many believed him to be a winger. Olmo’s best position is as a cam but he can play on the wings aswell. Got huge potential and Manchester United has a good record with spanish players. Maybe about 40m could make us land Olmo. Highlight reel
 

CENTRAL MIDFIELDER

Amadou Haidara (21) RB Leipzieg seems to find all the best young talent. Haidara was bought as a raplacement to Keita when he moved to Liverpool. He is a mobile and agile midfielder with an eye for a pass. He’s expressed his love for United and that he dreams of playing for the club. Could fit the mold of young promising ”play for the badge”-player that Solskjaer wants. Price could be around 30m. Highlight reel
 
Houssem Aouar (21) Another talent from Lyon’s school of football stars. 7 goals and 7 assists in Ligue 1 last year. Has played the majority of his game as an 8 in a midfield three. Really good ball control, passing and dribbling. When in pressure he has a great ability to dribble out of it. He would make our midfield more creative and more mobile. The price for him would be quite high, I reckon something around 60-70m if he continues to perform the way he does. Highlight reel
 
Fabian Ruiz (23) Fabian seems to be the full package. Tall, strong, great passer, tackler and dribbler with a good shot. He can play as a defensive misfielder aswell as a more offensive one. He plays his best as something in between and would be a great Herrera replacement. Has grown into a great footballer and plays an important part in Napoli’s team. Being just 23 there’s a big chance that he’s gonna be even better. United should snatch him up before he reaches the 100m pricetag. If he continues to develope he will be one of the best allround midfielders in the game. In this market he would probably go for around 70m. Highlight reel
 
Bruno Guimaraes (21) Brazil has got lots of great young talent and Guimaraes plays an important part of Athletico Paranaense’s team. In 2018 he played as the most defensive midfielder in a midfield three but which may contributed to being overlooked due to his more attacking midfield partners. In 2019 though, he has played as a more forward going midfielder and loves to drive through the midfield, sending long balls and through balls to his teammates. Guimaraes could play anywhere in a midfield three and would give United more energy and creativity in midfield. Inter, Milan, Shaktar Donetsk and Chelsea have been sniffing around and the player has a 40m release clause wating to be triggered. Highlight reel
 
Ruslan Malinovsky (26) Being 26 and playing for Atalanta, Malinovsky may strike you as a rather strange option for United. He had 13 goals in 34 starts for KRC Genk last season which maybe doesn’t turn every head but he plays with great intensity and has a cracking shot on him. Malinovsky is also really good at free kicks and would offer a goal threat from range for United, something we’ve lacked for a long time. Could be hit or miss but Malinovsky clearly has something, being bought by One of the best teams in Italy. Maybe not the brightest star on the list but could help United with goalscoring and shithousing. Fee could be around 20-30m if Atalanta chooses to sell after such a short amount of time. Highlight reel
 
Weston McKennie (21) USA has got alot of exciting youngsters. With football beginning to grow in the US more and more players moves to Europe. McKennie plays for FC Schalke and is a fast, physical prescence in midfield. Loves to drive forward and has an eye for a pass. He’s an allrounded midfielder who also is good at tackling and intercepting. McKennie is still young and not the full package but but could prove to be a diamond in the rough. Fee could be around 30-40m. Highlight reel
 
Jean Lucas (21) Lyon have a way of snatching young talent before many else. Jean Lucas was hailed as one of the brigthest stars in the brazilian league before moving to the french club this summer. Great energetic player with good technical ability. Some see him as and 8 and some as a 6. With time he could develop as a either a great defensive midfielder who can dictate play from deep or a box to box midfielder who can carry the ball up field. He’s not that good in the air but has a great long pass on him. Could work as a ”regular” central midfielder aswell as a defensive one. Just moved to Lyon so let’s see what happens, he is worth keeping an eye on. Lyon paid 8m for him and the price will rise. Highlight reel
 

DEFENSIVE MIDFIELDER

Ibrahim Sangare (21) Has played a crucial part in Toulouse’s midfield. The Ivorian is being hailed as the next Yaha Touré. Sangare is a physical beast and is great at tackles and interceptions. Being really tall and strong he is surprisingly good on the ball. He loves to ping trough balls over the oppositions defense and would be a great Matic replacement. Would offer great tackles and interceptions while still being much much more mobile than Matic. He’s been named by Statman dave as a good option for united, watch his video about him for more stats. Could and should be a priority for United next summer and could be ours for about 30-40m. Highlight reel
 
Thomas Partey (26) The most of you probably know about Partey. Has been an important cog in the machinery that is Simeone’s Atletico Madrid. Partey is one of the best in his position but the stats may not show it. He’s always at the right plays and plays a game of both elegance and aggression. Can intercept and tackle really good aswell as having a great pass on him. Would hit the ground running at United and would be a great option for defensive midfield. Would cost a shit amount. Maybe around 60-70m but he would probably be worth it. Highlight reel
 
Sander Berge (21) Tall, strong and pacey defensive midfielder from Norway, playing for KRC Genk. Berge is despite his size really good on the ball and plays a calm and collected game. Being norwegian Solskjaer could have some pull power for Berge who could grow into one of the best in his position. Still young and unpolished but could be a great player at United in time. Maybe needs to play a few years more at a lower level but United could snatch him up before his price increases. Fee could be around 30m. Highlight reel
 
Florentino Luis (20) Portugal has got one of it’s best generations ahead of them. Joao Felix, Cancelo, Semedo, Ruben Neves, Gedson Fernandes to name a few. Florentino Luis plays in defensive midfield for Benfica and has a similar playstyle to Kante. Great energetic tackler and is hailed as the best young defensive midfielder by many. Alot of big clubs have already shown interest in the portuguese youngster, Manchester City and Real Madrid being some of them. United should be all over talent such as Florentino and should snatch him before some other club eventually does, because they will. Reportably has a release clause of 90m which I doubt any club will pay this season. Highlight reel
 
Wilfred Ndidi (22) You know about him. Lots of us have been raging about him this summer. The only player in the league who can challenge AWB in tackles. In his first full season, Ndidi became the Premier League's top tackler after making 138 dispossessions, finishing well ahead of Everton's Idrissa Gueye and former Fox N'Golo Kanté. With Leicester being cunts and asking for lots and lots of money for Maguire I can’t see us getting away cheap. We’d have to pay atleast 70m for the Nigerian’s services but it would be worth it, no doubt. Highlight reel
 
Erick Pulgar (25) The chilean midfielder is playing for Fiorentina and is really great at long passing. He could offer alot of creativity from midfield and could play both in a midfield three aswell as in a more defensive one in a double pivot. His ability to win the ball back is an important facet of his game but he’s started to display more skill and composure to launch attacks, essentially operating as a deep-lying playmaker as opposed to just being a holding midfielder. Would probably be fairly cheap, around 30m could do the trick. Highlight reel
 
Denis Zakaria (22) Zakaria is a defensive minded midfielder standing with a towering 6’2”. He is a great passer of the ball and completed 100% of his passes in the first four matches for Borussia M’Gladbach. The swiss international loves to win back the ball and carry it up the field. He has mentioned Pogba and Viera as role models and with a more defensive minded playstyle he could be a real hit at Manchester United. From deep he could both be a physical prescence and ship long balls up the field. Zakaria has mentioned that he needs to work on his aerial game but he is a hard worker and a true proffesional. Borussia M’Gladbach has started the campaign really good and if Zakaria contiues to perform like this we may have to pay up to 60m for the midfielder. Highlight reel
 

LEFT BACK

Alejandro Grimaldo (24) The La Masia graduate left Barcelona for just 2m and went to Benfica. Grimaldo is a fast, technical and intelligent fullback who also has a great free kick on him. One of his greatest strenghts is the offensive part of the game, overlapping, making intelligent runs in the final third and coming central to invole himself in the play. Grimaldo is one of the best young fullbacks around but could work on the defensive part of the game. Should United be on the lookout for a offensive fullback who loves to overlap and bomb forward with pace and technical ability Grimaldo is the man. Fee could easily be up to 60-70m. Highlight reel
 
Junior Firpo (23) Had a great season with Real Betis last season and moved to Barcelona as a potential replacement to Jordi Alba. Really good offensive but also defensive. Has primarily as a wing back for Betis but is much more defensive minded than someone like Marcelo or Jord Alba. With a height of 184cm he is also very compenent in the air. Time will tell how he’ll play at Barcelona and I doubt he would want to leave in the near future but anything can happen in football and if he becomes available United should be all over him. 18m brought him to Barca. United would have to pay more. Highlight reel
 
Ben Chilwell (22) Leicesiter’s Ben Chilwell is extremely comfortable defensively, and one of his strengths is in defending one-on-one. He gets into good positions and his body shape makes it difficult for the attacker to dribble past him. He prefers to stay in position rather than rush out to make a tackle and his aerial ability is good. He does get caught out of position at times, but boasts good pace to be able to recover. Being young, english and playing for Leicester he would be very pricey. No doubt a great option for left back with Solskjaer seeming to want a core of british players. Maybe 50-60m?? Highlight reel
 
Renan Lodi (21) Moved from brazilian team Athletico Paranaense to Atletico Madrid for 20m. Lodi has been compared to Alex Sandro and Alex Telles. Advancing like a winger when he has the ball and getting all the way back when his side is out of possession, Lodi shows great stamina and workrate. He also has a great cross on him, good technical ability and great attacking skills. Atletico Madrid has a way of snatching up young talent before many other clubs and then selling them for a high price. With Lodi now playing for Atletico United would have to pay up to get him and I doubt Simeone would want to sell in the near future. Highlight reel
 
Aaron Martin (22) Martin is a spanish left back playing for FSV Mainz. Last season he was a consistent performer for Mainz, but it was his the growth in his role as an attacking full-back that was particularly interesting. He makes alot of offensive runs and likes to hug the touchline. In defense he is really strong 1v1 and wants the opposition player to take him on. Aaron Martin is one of the most exciting left backs in Gemrany but he needs to work on his crosses and aerial ability. Mainz have slapped a 40m release clause on the player. Highlight reel
 

STRIKER

Erling Braut Håland (19) About now alot of you already know about Håland. He is one of the brightest emerging strikers in the world. Big, strong and fast, he is a physical beast who seems to have more than enough technical ability on the ball. It is easy to get lost in the goals scored by Håland, 1.77 goals per 90 – and let’s not forget that he scored an incredible 9 goals in one match in the U20 World Cup for Norway. You’d think Håland would be perfect in the use of hold up play but the norwegian usually instead likes to find pockets of space behind the backline and run in to them. With his size and physical frame he becomes extremely hard to stop. Up until now Håland has 18 goals in 12 matches in all competitions for Salzburg. Being norwegian and having played under our manager at Molde, Solkskjaer may have some pull power. Would be expensive, maybe about 50-60m for now? Price will surely rise. Highlight reel
 
Josef Martinez (26) Josef Martinez is a fast and exciting striker in the MLS who are breaking all kinds of records. 19 goals in 21 matches in 2017. 35 goals in 39 matches in 2018 and 27 goals in 30 matches so far in 2019. Martinez is a pure poacher and seems to be at the right place at the right time. When he played in Serie A he didn’t look at all like the player he is now. Today he is in the form of his life and the question remains: can he do well in a better league? Some thinks he can and some thinks he can’t. If United bought him he could be a super sub or a backup striker but no one knows if he could even mirror half of the player he is in MLS. Maybe around 20m could do the trick. Highlight reel
 
Ante Rebic (26) This summer the Croatian moved to AC Milan on loan and has only featured four times for the Italian club. It’s hard to say what his best position is. In the Bundesliga he was part of Frankfurts succesful front three with Jovic and Haller where he played behind the two strikers and for the national team he has played out wide. In this post I’ll put him in the striker category. Either way, he obviously shows alot of flexibility and could be a useful player in Ole’s fluid front three. Rebic is a physical player, very strong and very fast. He is very good 1v1 but he needs to work on his passing. So far he hasn’t cemented a place in the Milan side and only time will tell if he will. Anyway, Rebic is an interesting target who could offer something direct and powerful in United’s attack. Estimated value could be around 40m but it could sway either way depending on how he performs in Italy. Highlight reel
 
Memphis Depay (25) Some may think I’m crazy but I really think Memphis could be a hit at United. Since moving to Lyon, Memphis has grown into a fine football player and looks reborn. Yea, Ligue 1 is not Premier League but since moving to Lyon and ending his first whole season he scored 24 goals and managed 20 assists in the league. In the Euro qualifications for the Netherlands Memphis has scored 6 goals and 6 assists in 5 matches. Last season he had 10 assists and 10 goals in Ligue 1 and so far this season he has 4 goals and 1 assist in 8 games. Memphis has moved into a more central role and seems to flourish. I think that if we give him another chance he can be a great addition to Solskjaer’s pacey team. Highlight reel
 
Victor Osimhen (20) Osimhen is Lille’s Nigerian striker who’s technical and explosive. He is really great at both hold up play and finding pockets of space to run into. With Pepe departing from Lille this season Osimhen has taken up the goalscoring responsibility and he’s done it well. So far he has 7 goals and 2 assists in 10 games. With his 185cm he is an imposing figure and with time he’ll fill out his frame even more. Osimhen seems like a complete forward in the making. If I were to compare him with someone I’d say he’s a bit similar to Aubameyang but with more acceleration than sheer pace. Of course Osimhen is unproven in Ligue 1 and no one knows how he would perform in the Premier League. Let’s see how the season pans out, Osimhen is an interesting prospect nonetheless. Current value around 30m. Highlight reel
 
Timo Werner (23) RB Leipzig’s forward who started playing as a right winger has impressed many. He’s got great pace, dribbling, finishing and seems to have gotten better at link up play with his teammates. Werner’s scoring record has not been good at all for the national team but he’s scored consistently in the Bundesliga for a while now. The energetic and pacey player could be a real hit in Solskjaer’s team. Price would probably be rather high, maybe around 80-90m? Highlight reel
 
Moussa Dembele (23) Was lighting up the Premiership with Celtic a couple of years ago. Moved to Lyon last year for around 20m. This season he has 7 goals in 10 games in Ligue 1. Dembele is versatile man and has been deployed in a 4-3-3 to lead the line but can also been partnered in a two-man attack. Dembélé’s could spearhead an attack with Martial and Rashford either side of him but there’s no reason he couldn’t partner one of them in a 4-4-2 either. After all, he’s much more than just a poacher, even though he’s painted out as one. His work-rate is underrated aswell. He runs the channels and brings others into play. On paper, he’s a perfect No.9. United have money to spend and Lyon will know this. He won’t come cheap but, even at £50million, Dembélé has the potential to make that fee look like a bargaiin. Highlight reel
 
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2019.10.14 21:07 r3gam A Summary of Summaries - Manchester United's 4Q Report

A Summary of Summaries - Manchester United's 4Q Report
Intro
While doing some casual reading I came across some interesting articles from well versed sources dissecting and summarizing Manchester United's recent 4th quarter financial report.
I thought it'd be interesting to share because I did not see too much discussion on this important tidbit of information and have condensed it as much as possible for easier reading and consumption.
The other reason I'm sharing this is because I'm seeing very frequently repeated arguments that Woodward (+ the Glazer family) is operating the club under optimal financial conditions and leadership, which I do not and have never believed to be the case, based on this report and historically.
Income

https://preview.redd.it/vt3vdj2t0ks31.png?width=768&format=png&auto=webp&s=09a9d6b4c5c592699983b9f44dff8e46a3d30fc3
Matchday
  • The matchday income for Manchester United in 2018/19 was £111 million, impressive by Premier League standards and above that of any other club in that division (whose figures are from 2017/18 as no one else has published results yet).
  • Matchday revenue has remained relatively static since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement wth 2013 matchday revenue standing at £109M.
  • But this is most likely due to United keeping season ticket prices frozen for the eighth year and Old Trafford being sold out every match, so there is little opportunity to increase this income stream unless Old Trafford has its capacity increased.

https://preview.redd.it/0xc1v49nzjs31.jpg?width=717&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=00b04007c483026fad5e395a616e1c02605078a1
https://preview.redd.it/5as4k4elzjs31.jpg?width=768&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=363564337b5af99f62a9d1c038107850554a2ca2
Commercial
  • The strength of United’s commercial strategy is keying in on their global appeal by selling rights to commercial partners in different countries for similar products and services.
  • Commercial revenue was pretty much stable, falling from £276M to £275M (0.4%). Sponsorship revenue remained the same as Manchester United reach what may be a critical mass in sponsors until their next deal cycle. Interestingly, the fall in revenue was down to a decline in merchandise and retail sales, which fell to £102M.
  • Concern that commercial growth has stagnated - £275M in 2019, a £7M (2.6%) growth since 2016.
  • Very few clubs can match United’s global appeal, but the club’s kit deals with Adidas and Chevrolet signed a few years ago effectively locked it into long-term totals and other clubs are starting to catch up.

https://preview.redd.it/fxjk8wsqzjs31.jpg?width=721&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=96ac47b99c2bd38bbaa10c553c1ed43d6d37cefd
Broadcasting
  • Broadcasting revenue was up significantly, rising from £204M to £241M (18%), mainly due to a return to the Champions League and UEFA’s new licensing agreement. This offset the £7M revenue loss Manchester United suffered by finishing 4 places lower in the Premier League.
  • However, Manchester United warned its revenues were set to drop to £560M-£580M this season. After other costs are calculated (interest costs, debt, taxes and amorisation) this figure is expected to hover around £155M-£165M.
  • These falls are due to the team’s failure to qualify for this season’s Champions League and its resulting drop into the lesser Europa League, where only €400M is shared between competing teams rather than €2B.

https://preview.redd.it/w9hfto2pzjs31.jpg?width=715&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=9fbb7d9ddc1aa670782f9d481e63704e640e7d0d
Costs
Wages
  • Increase in players wages of £36M from 2018 (£296M) to 2019 (£332M), this representing a twelve percent increase despite paying fewer win and trophy bonuses than the previous season and experiencing a quieter transfer season. This increase in wages works out as an extra £692k a week.
  • Alexis Sanchez’s contract for the full season, along with new contracts for some other players (Shaw, Smalling, Jones) and Champions League participation bonuses being triggered, were the main drivers of the 12% wage bill increase.
  • The wage bill at United since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013 has increased by 83%, putting the average weekly wage at approximately £160,000 a week.

https://preview.redd.it/dhlafc3eyjs31.png?width=685&format=png&auto=webp&s=1189afb2b4cf719d173f108d37378bd73efc7286

https://preview.redd.it/8isusqdvzjs31.png?width=768&format=png&auto=webp&s=9420202b1c7d701b5f27dbe61fc7abb3470c2864
Amortisation
  • A player’s transfer fee is not charged as an expense immediately, the value of the fee is spread over the contract of the player. So for example, Daniel James signing a five year deal on the backend of a £15M transfer fee will result in a £3M amortisation charge.
  • Amortisation fell from £138M to £129M (7%) on the back of a relatively quiet season by Manchester United standards, with their smallest net transfer spend since 2012.
  • Total squad amortisation for 2019 stood at £129M, over 300% higher than amortisation fees paid in 2013 (£42M), the same year of Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement.
  • Based on 2017/2018 numbers (figures of the most recent 2018/2019 season have yet to be released by the other clubs), this stands 2nd highest in the league despite academy graduates with no cost Rashford, Lingard and McTominay being on the squad.

https://preview.redd.it/l9nspb9yzjs31.png?width=768&format=png&auto=webp&s=8790d131e0e977a70cbd407be66abb9ae89791ff

Must say this is very woeful considering the quality of side we field.
Debt & Interests Costs
  • Every United fan knows that the Glazers borrowed £790 million in 2005 and at the time lenders were very wary about giving the club money so charged interest rates up to 16.25%.
  • Whilst the annual interest expense has fallen to just £22 million last season the total cost since 2005 has now reached £809 million, exceeding the sum originally borrowed.
  • Debt levels also increased to new highs, rising from £496M to £511M (3%), this £15M increase is primarily due to changes in the exchange rate as the dollar strengthens/pound weakens. However net debt has fallen 20% from £254M to £204M (cash reserves stand at £308M).
  • Net interest costs increased from £18M to £23M (27%), this was largely due to the strengthening of the dollar against the pound.

Total Debt of Manchester United if you were to account for cash reserves on hand.

How much Manchester United have paid in interest fees on debt alone since the Glazer takeover
Other
  • £23 million out of profits was paid from the club in the form of dividends to shareholders, United are the only club in the Premier League who make such payments to the Glazer family and hedge funds who own nearly all the shares in the club.
  • Having sacked Jose Mourinho and his entourage during the season, United had to pay off their contracts at a cost of £19.6 million, which took the total cost of getting rid of managers to £40 million since 2013. This is a one-off expense.
Player Trading
  • Manchester United saw three players join and three leave for transfer fees in 18/19. In came Fred (£53M), Dalot (£20M) and Grant £2M for a combined £75M. Out went Blind (£14M), Johnstone (£7M) and Fellaini (£7M) for a combined £28M, leading to a net spend of £48M, down 66% of last year’s net spend of £138M.
  • In cash terms, Manchester United spent £178M on players in 18/19, primarily due to instalments due from previous signings.
  • In contrast Manchester United received £43M, leading to a net cash outflow of £135M, explaining partly why last summer was a lighter year transfer wise for the club.
  • Manchester United are owed £18M in transfer fees, of which £10M is due this year.
  • However, Manchester owe a huge £188M, of which £111M is due this year.
  • This means that net, Manchester United owe clubs £170M, of which £101M is due this year, further showing why the club didn’t back Mourinho last summer with more signings.

Annual expenditure on player transfers

Transfer Net Spend - how much Manchester United have actually spent on transfer in a given window (transfer fees paid - transfer fees received)

transfer debts due that year to other clubs
Profit
  • Operating income for 2019 stood at £50M. But taking into account interest and tax costs Manchester United made a profit of just under £19 million, lower than some other clubs who had the benefits of much larger player sale gains the previous season.

Operating Profit - total earnings before expenses, depreciation and amortization, interest, and taxes are paid.
Net Profit - total earnings after expenses, depreciation and amortization, interest, and taxes are paid.

Sources:
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2019.08.08 19:40 sauce_murica 2019 Summer Transfer Review

Heading into the Window

With each passing year since Sir Alex retired it's become clearer and clearer that United have needed to implement top to bottom changes. After a disappointing 6th place finish to the 2018-19 season, fans hoped the club would address not only the shortcomings of the first team, but the increasingly systemic problems with the club's hierarchy and overall direction.
1. Expectations for the First Team.
The 2018-2019 season showed that United's first team squad lacked balance (and quality), especially in certain key positions: (1) CB, (2) RB; (3) RW; and (4) defensive cover at CM given Matic's increasing age and Herrera's departure. Concerns also revolved around an over-reliance on Paul Pogba as the creative force in attack.
Reasons for optimism about the upcoming window existed. Upon being named permanent manager, Ole stated that "so many players that have been written about and agents who have been in touch to say their players want to come in. Hopefully we get them before pre-season.". Following a significant downturn in form to mark the end of the season, Ole also noted that he "will be successful" here and that some of the existing players "won't be part of that." He went so far as to state that “I can’t talk about individuals now but there’s a chance you’ve seen the last of [some] players," sparking hope that an overhaul was being planned, and multiple "deadwood" players would finally be moved on in an effort to clear surplus wages off the books and to make room for new additions (be it from youth or transfer).
2. Expectations for the Club as a Whole
In addition to the first team, concerns remained regarding the overall direction of the club. Acknowledging the depth of these concerns, the club once more briefed the press that United was searching for a director of football - renewing hopes that a long-term vision for the footballing side of the club would be put in place, and footballing decisions taken away from Ed Woodward.

First team: Ins and Outs

Over the course of the summer, United were linked with more players than could be counted. Ultimately, the club made three first team signings, and let go of three first team players (two released, and one sold).
1. Ins: Daniel James, Aaron Wan Bissaka, and Harry Maguire
The club secured three of its targets. In Aaron Wan Bissaka, the club secured a PL-proven RB with the skills and attributes to potentially hold down the RB position for the next decade. AWB is a considerable upgrade in a position that has seen numerous players try, but fail, to make the position their own. While only time will tell if AWB lives up to expectations, his preseason performance gives hints that his 50m fee could ultimately be viewed as a bargain.
In Daniel James, the club secured a pacy wing-player with good potential. While preseason has shown him to be a raw player, hints of his ability have shown, and give reason to believe he could be a decent acquisition for the future - and in the interim has the potential to wreak havoc against tired defenders as a late substitute.
In Harry Maguire United seem to have filled a glaring hole - both at CB, and in terms of leadership on the pitch. Maguire, a 26 year old english international, stands at six feet, four inches tall (193 cm), and 220 pounds (99.8kg), and has shown considerable strength both physically, and as a vocal leader. He is a considerable set piece weapon given his abilities in the air, and is likewise a good passer who is able to initiate a counter. Maguire is a PL proven CB whose skillset seemingly should pair well with Victor Lindelof, and allow Lindelof to grow into the position (since he will no longer constantly be adjusting to a new CB partner each week). Harry averaged 3.8 aerial duels, 4.9 clearances, and an 85% passing rate last season. Though concerns still exist regarding his speed, and potential recklessness in 1 on 1 situations, Maguire's addition - in conjunction with AWB on the right flank, should serve to secure a leaky defense that conceded far too many goals in 2018-19.
2. Outs: Ander Herrera, Antonio Valencia, and Romelu Lukaku
Although Ole publicly stated that "you've seen the last of some players," by summer's end United have managed to offload three players --- only two of whom it wanted to lose. Though the club welcomed both Lukaku and Valencia's departure, Herrera's departure comes as somewhat of a mixed bag. On one hand, the club's contract offer showed that the club was at least somewhat interested in holding onto the player, so the departure comes as a bit of a disappointment. Ultimately, however, the significant length of the contract offered by PSG, combined with the high wages given by the Parisian club, resulted in a scenario where it was in the best interests of both United and Herrera to part ways. Accordingly, it was a welcome sight to see United opt to let a player leave - rather than continue to distort the club's wage structure in order to retain his services.
Lukaku's departure, although welcomed by both Ole and the majority of fans, gives a glaring example of the club's failure to develop long-term plans. Lukaku signed for United in July 2017 for a reported £75m. Following a very public "chase" for the signature of Morata, United somewhat secretively negotiated the signing of Lukaku on a five-year deal. Following a 27-goal haul across all competitions in his first year for the club, Lukaku's performances took - somewhat of a downturn - after his appearance at the World Cup for Belgium, as did his apparent fitness. Upon OGS' appointment, Lukaku found himself out of favor, and bereft of first team appearances - Ole opting instead to focus the attack around Marcus Rashford. As a result, United have opted to offload the Belgian, in a deal that will reportedly see them take a £15m initial loss..
Further complicating the transfer is the failure to offload Lukaku until just before the close of the domestic window - leaving the club without options to replace the striker - and instead leaving the club to rely upon the services of Rashford, Martial, and the 17-year old Mason Greenwood in attack.
Ultimately, although glaring holes still exist at RW, CM, and potentially FWD (depending upon the form of Marcus Rashford), securing the defense marks a giant step forward to resolving the issues that resulted in a disappointing 6th place finish last season. While losing (and failing to replace) Herrera can be seen as a step backward, Valencia's departure takes nothing away from the first team, and ultimately the ins/outs result in a net positive for United -- although further changes remain absolutely vital if the club in fact wants to compete at the highest level.

Director of Football

No director of football was appointed, and the club's continued pattern of publicly claiming it desires a DOF, but failing to appoint one makes clear that Ed Woodward and the Board do not, at this time, intend on relinquishing power over the footballing decisions being made at the club.

Overhaul of the Youth Setup

The overhaul of the youth setup was a big focus this summer. In stark comparison to years' past, the primary emphasis of United's transfer business seemed to focus on developing younger, more devoted players - beginning with changes to youth management. First, after a disappointing tenure, Sbragia was terminated. Cox and Butt were then promoted, with at least one specific goal being to help assist in the transition of players from youth to the senior squad --- a critical step that's suffered in recent years. This is arguably paying dividends already (as seen by how the club is (a) handling Greenwood right now - keeping him from pressers, etc.; and (b) making McTominay a central figure - in pressers and social media posts - highlighting the pathway from youth to first team).
The club then signed to the U18's:
Player Position Signed From
Guadagno GK Brommapojkarna
Mee GK U16's
Fish Def U16's
Hughes Def U16's
Hardley Def NAC Breda
Gallagher Def U16's
Dodgson Def U16's
Mejia MF Real Zaragoza
Iqbal MF U16's
Wellens MF U16's
Savage MF U16's
Svidersky MF U16's
Hoogewerf FW Ajax
Mejbri FW Monaco
Sotona FW U16's
Emeran FW U16's
United invested over £10million into the signings (though, to be fair, Mejbri alone cost approx. £9million). This marks a significant investment and a bold sign that United intend to refocus the club's attention on developing and promoting youth.

Signs of a Change in Transfer Strategy

Overall, it appears from the confirmed ins/outs that United are putting plans in place to change the club's transfer focus from signing seemingly "ready-made" first team signings in an attempt to 'win now' (e.g., AdM, Falcao, Schweinsteiger, Mkhitaryan, Ibrahimovic, Matic), to instead focus the club's efforts on updating our youth system and creating a more proper structure for development of players / integration into the first team / long-term development of the club's on-pitch performance. In addition, the club has declined potential signings of the type it might be expected to make in the past, including purportedly declining opportunities to sign such high-profile players as Coutinho, Neymar, Bale, and Dybala - due to "huge wage demands, exorbitant agents’ payments and complications around image rights in addition to misgivings about his desire to come to Old Trafford.".
These decisions leave the club with the following "eyes toward youth" depth chart:
Depth Chart [1]
Position Player Age
GK de Gea 28
Henderson 22
LB Shaw 23
Fosu Mensah 21
LCB Maguire 26
Jones 27
RCB Lindelof 24
Tuanzebe 21
RB Wan Bissaka 21
Dalot 20
LW Martial 23
James 21
CM McTominay 22
Pereira 23
Pogba 26
Fred 26
RW Lingard 26
Chong 19
Gomes 19
ST Rashford 21
Greenwood 17
[1] Some players have been moved around a bit in the chart for ease of reading (e.g., Gomes at RW).

Club-wide Focus on Youth / Perception in the Media

Upon making the club's first signing, United unveiled a new slogan: "Youth. Courage. Success." The slogan was fitting - as the three players United ultimately signed to the first team were all on the younger side for their given position (see above). Further, the slogan matched the hefty investments into the youth set up.
This intention to invest/promote youth is further evidenced by the club's promotional efforts. As early as May, the club published interviews with Ole highlighting "youth, transfers, and optimism." This trend continued through the summer, and included preseason match interviews of Daniel James, Angel Gomes, Andreas Pereira, Scott McTominay, and Marcus Rashford, in addition to all access videos including Greenwood, Rashford, Martial & Jones, 8 minute intro. videos of Gomes and Chong, an 8 minute preseason interview of McTominay, training videos specifically featuring Lindelof, Greenwood, AWB, and Garner, a 21 minute featurette of James, Rashford, and Garner, etc.
Talking points from player interviews likewise seem to highlight the club's newfound emphasis on promoting youth.
Finally, as recently as one day before the transfer window closed, United published a Butt interview highlighting that "first team opportunities for the youth will come under Ole."

Questions Remain

  1. United's primary goal this season should be to break back into the Top 4. Doing so should better position the club to secure more high profile targets (e.g., Sancho), and to increase the club's profits/valuation (an overarching Glazer concern). The question therefore remains whether the club's summer work (a) to solidify the defense, and (b) to increase fitness, will be sufficient to finish in the Top 4?
  2. Early in the summer rumors abounded that the club had a limited, "100 million" transfer budget. Ultimately, United spent £150m, and sold Lukaku for a fee that 'could be worth' £74m. Accordingly, was the rumored "100 million" transfer budget accurate and, if so, what implications does this have for future windows?
  3. After a season in which the club (a) publicly reported (after Q3) to expect "total revenues of £615 million to £630 million and adjusted EBITDA of £175 to £190 million for the whole of its fiscal year", (b) recouped approximately £80m from the sale of Lukaku and Fellaini; and (c) finished 6th --- is there any way to defend a total "net transfer spending" in 2019 of £70m?
  4. Does the club's work this summer signal a change in United's overall footballing strategy, or is it another "one-off" summer that will change dramatically again in the near future if United make another managerial change?
  5. Does Cox/Butt's promotion mean we can expect similar efforts to strengthen the youth teams/academy?
  6. Is United's renewed focus on youth a return to the club's roots, or a Glazer scheme to avoid sincere and substantial investment in the first team?

Conclusion/Personal Opinion/TL;DR

United seemingly have reemphasized their desire to bring in younger, hungrier players who want to be at the club. In removing Sbragia, promoting Cox/Butt, and making numerous quality signings for the youth teams, the club has shown an intent to return to its "Class of 92" roots.
While the long-term vision appears to have regained focus, the lack of an overhaul in the first team is troubling. Having failed to offload much in terms of deadwood, and having failed to reinforce United's attack, the optimistic goal for the upcoming season should be Top 4 --- with questions regarding the Board/Glazers' long-term intent still firmly in place.
submitted by sauce_murica to reddevils [link] [comments]


2019.07.20 21:17 forehead_10 Are we really content with this side?

Before I start, I’d like to clear that I’m fully supportive of anyone who wears that badge and is committed, and that’s what support is all about, win or lose I’m united through and through so please don’t get my following words twisted.
We finished 6th last season with this side, with fellaini, Herrera, Valencia (although absent mostly) and lukaku still about, with lukaku most likely going off to inter, we’re not bringing in any striker and with less than 2 weeks till the window closes, it doesn’t look like we’ll replace him, neither have we got another midfielder sorted or a defensive upgrade. We had our worst defensive campaign last season, and yes wan bissakas come in and he’ll definitely tidy things up, but we didn’t just lose or concede because of mistakes on the right side, with lindelof being weak in the air and not having a consistent partner beside him, we’ve not had a defensive leader for years, and this team is crying out for someone like that. We’ve got an ageing team, albeit beneficial for the likes of young blood such as rashford, Greenwood etc but on the other side of the spectrum, matas on his last legs, he’s looked great in pre season and I’m glad he’s being used for the creative outlet he is in that central role, but would he be able to handle the pace of the prem for majority of the season? Same goes for matic, he slows the game down and he’s becoming more erratic as time goes on. The board has failed the club once again. Bruno Fernandes, Harry maguire, maybe a longstaff, along with a striker who’s clinical enough to get us those half chance goals, that our strikers at the moment need to get into their game which I’m sure they will (Greenwood looks able already however it’s too much pressure for someone 17, as well as a 21 year old to do it for a whole season). If we manage to get those additions then we’ve got a completely different side. I understand that this rebuild is gradual but the pressure on the board has died down, every new season we go in with this false hope that’s instilled by keeping clean sheets against beta sides, the football we’re playing looks promising under ole, but do we have the quality to execute it? If we can retain our good players and improve what we have then yeah sure, but realistically, no one wants our deadwood and our board are so reluctant to pay up. As fans, we can’t be content with what we’ve got because we could easily have so much more, this club is run with little ambition from the board, and ole is just a scapegoat for them, we’re not going to turn on a man who will give his all for this team, and there are players in this team who are the same. Please discuss with me your thoughts on this, I’m sure there will be differing opinions but everyone’s entitled, would like to hear
submitted by forehead_10 to ManchesterUnited [link] [comments]


2019.05.29 14:21 BuzzBuzz01 2018/19 Premier League Season in Review: Manchester United [6th]

Manchester United 18/19

# P W D L GF GA GD PTS
6 38 19 9 10 65 54 11 66

Hopes and Overall Grades

Hopes/Predictions at the start of the season?

  • Top 4 were my hopes. City is still City, and Liverpool made more targeted improvements than us in the summer, so Champions League spots were the goal.
  • I wanted a top four and maybe a top 3 finish in the table. Our squad was good enough to finish second last season and we kept all our key players.
  • After the 2nd place finish and getting Dalot and Fred in quickly, I was quietly optimistic about competing for the title with some more transfers in. By the end of the window I was just hoping for another top 4 finish with no more transfers in and the Mourinho drama kicking up

Season Grade + Review

  • C Mourinho was absolutely miserable. Watching United play was depressing, and his antics were somehow worse. Ole coming in was a mixed bag but the initial results made it fun to watch United again. Had the opportunity to finish Top 4 but pissed it away down the stretch.
  • D Shite start, good middle, shite end. It was like a Oreo except for replace the chocolate with a bag of feces. Only positive tbh was the integration of youth, Greenwood, Chong, McTominay, Garner, Gomes were all around the squad constantly, promising.
  • D I’m hesitant to say F just because we did have positives and it’s not like we got relegated. Really disappointing overall though.

Manager Grade + Review

José Mourinho

  • C- His tactics and his views on the club management were good, the problem is that he burned virtually every bridge he had and it led to a steep downward spiral.
  • D Terrible tactics, using the same players over and over again despite them being terrible, dropping our key player for his ego, setting up defensively at home against every team. Only good thing he did this season was the Juventus result.
  • F Abysmal, 26 points from 17 games. Losses to Brighton and West Ham, draws against Palace and Southampton, shaky wins against Leicester, Newcastle, Bournemouth, and Watford. Liverpool finally did him in when we showed we didn’t belong on the same pitch as them.

Ole Gunnar Solskjær

  • B Unreal start. Did everything right, tactics were amazing, showed unreal tactical flexibility which I’ve never seen from Jose, LVG or Moyes, entertaining football. His high tempo football clashed with our players playing slow tempo football under our previous 3 managers so it resulted in fitness issues which imo was the key component of our downfall. Tactics have been mostly spot on but he shows a unwillingness to drop certain players (Rashford being the main one)
  • B- 32 points from his first 12 games in the league, beat Arsenal and Chelsea in the FA Cup, and that wonderful night in Paris. The season collapsed after that, taking 8 points from 9 games to close and losing to Wolves in the FA Cup. 6 more points against Wolves(L), Everton(L), Huddersfield (D), and Cardiff (L) would have qualified us for the CL.
  • B- I think his tactics are typically pretty good and he obviously understands what the fans want. I honestly think it’s too early to truly give him a grade, we’ll see what happens with a full summer plus transfers

The XI

Best/Most Used XI + Tactics

 de Gea Young Lindelöf Smalling Shaw Herrera Matić Pogba Lingard Rashford Martial 
Truth be told it was a rare occasion when our tactics didn’t change from one week to the next, but our most popular one was probably 4-3-3
We chopped and changed things so often that I don’t think you can really say we had a most used tactic. Our best run came using either a 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-1-2 depending on opposition. Only players who had nailed down starting spots throughout the season were DDG, Shaw, Lindelof, and Young (as we had no other options).
McTominay, Lukaku, Sánchez, Fred, Jones all featured a lot too.

Best/Worst Match and Goal of the Season

Best Match of the Season: Cardiff City 1-5 Manchester United

  • The best match has to be 3-1 in Paris My personal favourite game was the 5-1 thrashing of Cardiff, though. After so much Mourinho negativity, it was nice to enjoy a United game again.
  • Ole's first game, We were flying high, attacking, and felt like a United team again.

Worst Match of the Season: Several

Liverpool 3-1 Manchester United
  • Absolutely gutless performance across the board. Allowed more shots in one game than Liverpool had in both against Huddersfield (and only 1 less than both against Fulham)
    In Mourinho's last game for United, Liverpool outshot United 36 to 6 with 11 shots on target to 2 to go along with only 35% possession for United
Everton 4-0 Manchester United
  • Needed a win to stay in the Top 4 race. Laid a massive egg.
Huddersfield 1-1 Manchester United
  • Not even close, the 1-1 Huddersfield. Drawing to the bottom of the table team, disastrous. Just scored a shite goal and they scored and we didn’t even try and go for the winner, players gave up.

Goal of the Season: A. Pereira vs SOU 53'

What a scorcher. Unreal goal
Honourable mentions to the Martial against Cardiff, beautiful one touch football after a spell of domination

Season Awards

  • Goalkeeper of the Season: David de Gea
    He had a bad ending but I actually don’t think he had a bad season. He had the best game in a United shirt against Spurs, unreal against Juventus and West Ham and made a string of other unreal saves to keep us in games. I think he’s gone in the summer and it went to his head.
    Made a lot of mistakes, but there’s really no one else to give this to.
    Spain's #1 made an unusually high number of mistakes this season. With 4, de Gea has the second most errors leading to goals in the league
  • Defender of the Season: Victor Lindelöf
    Been great, he can play as the left centre back or right centre back and also right back. Fantastic passer of the ball, good at reading the game, brave, good discipline. Can’t ask for more. Him and Shaw were the only ones who showed up under Mourinho.
    Great on the ball and did well defensively. Desperately needs a better partner than what we have
  • Midfielder of the Season: Paul Pogba
    For all the times he does go missing, he’s still our best outfield player.
    Herrera had a good spell, as did Matic and McTominay had some monstrous performances but throughout the second half of the season Pogba has been the most consistent player, contrary to popular belief. He’s gotten good in defence too although he still picks up silly yellows (PSG at home for example). Only problem is his work rate.
    Even without his scoring run he’s our best outfield player. Tries so hard to make things happen and the team is often just not on the same page
    United's top goal contributor, the opinion on Pogba is an interesting one among the fanbase. The Frenchman got himself 13 goals and 9 assists, 7 of those goals being penalties (second only behind Milovojevic's 10)
  • Forward of the Season: Marcus Rashford
    Can I pick Greenwood for his youth performances? Probably Rashford, and that’s sad considering how terrible he’s been for the last few months. Martial had about 7 good games throughout the season, Sanchez is Sanchez and Lukaku has fucked up more attacks then I can count. Lingard is a system player and is technically shite. Mata doesn’t suit the style of play at all, and is so slow, but been good against teams who sit back (and played well against Chelsea).
    No one really. Probably a toss up between Rashford and Lukaku although both were disappointing in patches
    Given the keys to the #9 when Ole came in, Rashford has great potential to lead the line for years to come.
    Feels like almost ages since the local teenager got inserted into the Starting XI at the last minute against Midtjylland in the Europa League where he grabbed a brace. The 21 year old got himself 10 goals and 6 assists in 33 games in the league this season. Also adding 5 goals and 4 assists in all other competitions, including the decisive penalty in Paris causing limbs in the away end.
  • Signing of the Season: Diogo Dalot (£19.40 million)
    To be fair he’s the only real choice. A solid RB for a youngster, don’t really know if he’s the long term answer but played more/better than our other signings (Fred, Grant)
    Looks promising but is very iffy defensively. Honestly wouldn’t mind him take the Bale route and just transition fully to a winger
    On Fred: Fred is in my opinion is a fantastic player but his confidence has been shattered early on and he hasn’t kicked on. Had a few good games (PSG away and Barca at home) but has been underwhelming.
  • U-23 Player of the Season: Luke Shaw
    Our player of the year, a consistent defender, one of the few areas we don’t need to address in the summer. You pretty much know what you’re going to get when he steps on the pitch.
    Scott McTominay also really came into his stride when we needed him and is looking like he could be a mainstay in the squad. Has all the qualities to be a solid little player
    NOTE: Rashford for his goals, also Shaw is 23 so does this count? I think it does
  • Disappointment of the Season: Literally Everything Imaginable
    • Fred?
    • Sánchez?
    • Pogba?
    • Martial? I thought around January he’d kick on and make a late claim for the player of the season but he’s stagnated so much since signing a new contract and has been one of our worst players since.
    • Mourinho Drama?
    • SOOO many awful results
    • Player mentalities?
    • Ed Woodward and a lack of direction from the board?
    • Ole's run after being signed permanently?
    • Not finishing Top 4? To be fair, when Mourinho said finishing second with this squad was the greatest accomplishment of his career, he might’ve been right.

Other

Shocking Moment of the Season: Comeback vs PSG and Mourinho ACTUALLY getting sacked

  • For specifically the last minute penalty: Thought we were out of it even with the early goal. Was exciting and hilarious, but the Barca games showed we aren’t ready for a deeper CL run anyways
  • On Mourinho: It had gone on for so long it felt like the other shoe would never drop.
    Also going into the season still having not replaced Gary Neville, despite him retiring nearly a decade ago. Ashley Young and Chris Smalling starting was shocking.

Heading into Next Season....

  • Get Sánchez off the books, even if we have to subsidize his wages to make it happen.
  • Build a cohesive squad. Find young talent in areas of need. Buying Sánchez, a left side attacking player whose best years were behind him, in a position where Martial and Rashford were already playing, and paying him the highest wages in the squad, is the epitome of our poor transfer strategy over the last 6 years.
  • Decide the futures of De Gea, Pogba, and Lukaku. If they’re staying, build with them. If not, sell them. If rumors are true they’re worth a combined £250 million.
  • A DIRECTOR OF FOOTBALL
  • Areas of need
    • GK if De Gea goes (Cillessen?, or Romero could just take it tbh)
    • CB partner for Lindelof (Koulibaly/ de Ligt is the distant dream)
    • Starting RB (Wan-Bissaka? IIRC he's allegedly said he's staying at Palace to get another year under his belt, Pep is probably gonna snatch him up in summer 2020)
    • DM to replace Matic and can actually run (Ndidi?)
    • CM to replace Herrera (Ndombele?)
    • CM to replace Pogba if he goes
    • RW to replace the gaping whole we’ve had for years. (Sancho?, though IIRC it's been confirmed he's staying another year at Dortmund)
    We have a lot of work to do. Ole might need to clean house and hit the reset button to build something new

Previous Reviews

submitted by BuzzBuzz01 to soccer [link] [comments]


2018.12.31 16:29 LeonKlaus An (amateur) overview of our current squad, and transfer targets

Happy New Year fellow Red Devils!!!
This may be redundant, but as excited as I am about the recent performances, we really need strengthening in order to compete, and aim for the top 4.
I am going to go over our current squad strength (including some loans / U23s / u18s talents), positions that need improvement / offloading, some targets and the probability for these signings. This is just my own personal opinion, and I will not be going in-depth about anything. You can find more analysis from CrebTheBerc such as this one:
https://www.reddit.com/reddevils/comments/a5upg4/statistical_analysis_right_winge

Squad Strength:

GK: De Gea / Romero / Grant
LB: Shaw / Young
CB: Lindelof / Jones / Smalling / Bailly / Rojo
RB: Dalot / Darmian / Valencia
DM: Matic / McTominay
CM: Pogba / Herrera / Fellaini / Fred
RW: Lingard
AM: Mata / A. Pereira
LW: Martial / Sanchez
ST: Rashford / Lukaku
Let me clarify that I am just putting them in positions and not in a XI, therefore you see both DM and AM. I did not separate RCB / LCB and RCM / LCM either. We will need at least two quality players for each position.
Some of the notable loans / young guns are:
Jose Pereira (GK), Tuanzebe (CB), Fosu-Mensah (CB), Garner (CB), Borthwick-Jackson (CB), Mitchell (LB), Gomes (LW), Chong (RW), Greenwood (ST)
Unfortunately, I do not think that these guys are ready yet.

Potential Outs

IMO, we will need firstly a RW (or even 2, as both Mata and Lingard are more of a AM, even though I hope that we can see more of Lukaku / Alexis at RW for more information), then a CB and after that a RB. We certainly can do with better backups on LB / DM / AM (even if we do not play AM that much).
For depth, we should not let go of anyone this January. In the summer, we should say goodbye to:
Rojo: Regularly injured, inconsistent, rash. Bleeds Red tho.
Valencia: Current captain, we have let former veterans go when they were better than Valencia.
Darmian: Poor guy. His melancholic look really pains me as I really wanted him to succeed here. Good backup, but for his sake should be sold.
McTominay: Should be loaned out. I do not think he is anything special.

Potential Ins:

Now, let’s go over some of the targets: (Spoiler: We are not signing this January)
RW:
Thauvin: Unfavorable experience in EPL with Newcastle. Affordable, have a killer left foot. I doubt Marseille will let him go in January though. French connexion.
Nicolas Pepe – Lille: A potentially cheaper, but riskier signing. A bit lanky. He did just emerge to the scene in Ligue 1.
Lozano – PSV: A right-footed winger. Potentially more suitable as a LW. Not there yet imo.
Brandt / Bailey – Leverkusen: Currently not doing well, though hopefully a change in manager will change that. Brandt is better, but Bailey is more likely to leave imo.
• Honorable mentions: Bernardeschi – Juventus, Pulisic – Dortmund, T. Hazard - Monchengladbach, Chiesa - Fiorentina
CB:
Skriniar – Inter: / Koulibaly – Napoli: Recently signed long-term contracts. I hate to say it, I do not see them coming in the near future.
Alderweireld – Spurs: Rumored 25 million release clause. An experienced center back that we absolutely needs right now.
Ake – Bournemouth: A young and good CB. Really liked him this season.
Tah – Leverkusen: Struggling with Leverkusen. A key player for them, but might be available.
Maguire – Leicester: A bit too costly imo. Very good CB. English home-grown player.
Rugani / Benatia – Juventus: Potentially on the cheap having been deprived of game time. I am personally not a fan of Rugani, but Benatia can be an alternative for Alderweireld.
• Honorable mentions: Stark – Hertha, Milenkovic – Fiorentina, Mandi - Betis
RB:
Wan-Bissaka – Crystal Palace: Promising guy. Would we need 2 youngsters competing with each other though? I don’t think so.
Pereira – Leicester: Really grown to the Premier League in recent months. My hope is on this one.
Meunier – PSG: A better option, but also of higher wage. I sincerely doubt we can get him from PSG.
• Honorable mentions: Mukiele – Leipzig, Kaderabek – Hoffenheim, Doherty – Wolves
DM:
Ndombele – Lyon: Not really a DM, but energetic and can easily put in a shift. Potentially a French partner for Pogba higher up the pitch?
Gomes – Everton: On loan from Barcelona, performing well and can be cheap. A younger, but still experienced option.
Ndidi – Leicester: A bit raw, but developing well. Can be mentored under Matic.
• Honorable mentions: Sanson – Marseille, Tousart - Lyon, Ascacibar – Stuttgart, Gbamin – Mainz, Brozovic - Inter
LB:
Alex Telles – Porto: Flying high with Porto, but struggle at Inter before. Currently better than Shaw, but I wish for Shaw to be the main guy.
Digne – Everton / Rose – Spurs:: Will they accept being backup?
Roussillon – Wolfsburg:: Doing well with Wolfsburg right now. Was signed cheap for a rumoured fee of 5 million Euro.
Jonny – Wolves: On loan from Atletico Madrid. With Hernandez likely gone, I think he will be back to his club.
• Honorable mentions: Max – Augsburg, Plattenhardt - Hertha, Lukaku - Lazio
AM:
Ziyech - Ajax: This guy is a real deal. Can play in central, attacking or right wing. More suitable at AM, being a creator, potentially a faster Mata. Will not come cheap.
Sarabia – Sevilla: Cheap release clause (rumoured 22 mil. Euro). Pretty well-rounded.
Aouar – Lyon: Young with a bag of potential. Seems really down-to-earth too. French connexion.
• Honorable mentions: Fornals – Villareal, Maddison – Leicester, Lamela – Spurs, Havertz - Leverkusen
Having covered all, here is the potential squad comes summer windows:
GK: De Gea / Romero
LB: Shaw / Young
CB: Lindelof / Alderweireld/ Jones / Smalling / Bailly
RB: Pereira / Dalot
DM: Matic / Gomes
CM: Pogba / Herrera / Fellaini / Fred
RW: Thauvin / Lingard
AM: Mata / A. Pereira
LW: Martial / Sanchez
ST: Rashford / Lukaku
So what do you guys think? Maybe you have different opinions to mine, or different targets? Let me know in the comment section below! (I am sounding like YouTubers now…)
submitted by LeonKlaus to reddevils [link] [comments]


2018.12.21 08:03 Gokul13T Delegation of Football Decisions ftom Woodward is necessary now

Manchester United are deal-making factory hone wrong,they need bigger changes than sacking Jose Mourinho
Telegraph article by Paul Hayward
Manchester United should be taught in business schools around the world as a cautionary tale about what happens when you replace an identity with a brand, and turn something that lifts the heart into a power play that pains the soul.
In their glory years, United were a spectacle, a treat for the eyes, a grand parade that was ultimately about the football, the drama: a point Sir Alex Ferguson was always keen to impress on David Beckham when he became famous far beyond Old Trafford. United were a hive of energy and enthusiasm. They were a cult. They always laid on a show. That restlessness and showmanship were the beacon in a metropolis now dominated by Manchester City.
And now, you watch United because you have to, or you support the opposing club, or for schadenfreude. You lurch away from the television screen mystified, listless, asking how you could have spent those two hours more productively. You see demoralised players with no pattern of play or conviction. Marouane Fellaini tries a shot and knocks a steward in a high-viz jacket off his stool – by the corner flag. United are feeble, aimless, going through the motions while the rest of the elite disappear over the hill.
Until his sacking after the miserable defeat at Liverpool, you had to endure the daily tedium of Mourinho’s politicking, his self-absorption. Amid all the great questions of our age, football woke to ask itself, “What has Mourinho said today,” as if his obvious resentment towards the Old Trafford board possessed great political or philosophical depth, when it was really just a bad marriage waiting to be put out of its misery.
String everything together from Ferguson’s retirement after a 5-5 draw at West Brom (even his final scoreline told a story) to United’s inability to tolerate Mourinho for another minute and you see a great football club enfeebled, a deal-making factory gone wrong. One bad decision leads to the next because the people making the footballing decisions are either unqualified to make them or making them for the wrong reasons: for commerce, rather than football.
The managerial sequence has been this: David Moyes was appointed as a Ferguson mini-me because the star names on United’s list were unavailable. So they hired a coach who was due for a promotion but made the mistake of trying to Evertonise a Champions League operation, and paid the price when the players disengaged. Next came a didactic European A-lister from another era (Louis van Gaal) who attempted to make United a slow possession-based side while also making questionable signings.
With two wrong turns, what do you do? Hire a disputatious ‘proven winner’ to get the trophies rolling back in. A proven winner with a history of conflicts with owners and directors but not much interest in academies and youngsters: the lifeblood of the Matt Busby and Ferguson eras. In mitigation, Mourinho won the two lesser trophies in his first campaign – the League Cup and Europa League – and cajoled an average (by their standards) team into second place in the league in May, all the while picking on individual players publicly, resisting the appointment of a sporting director who would have counter-balanced Ed Woodward’s influence over transfers, and turning the first XI into a cure for insomnia. Predictably, the immediate post-sacking hoo-ha revolved around Mourinho’s ‘personality’ and how he marginalised and emasculated Paul Pogba. Who could fail to be captivated by a feud between a narcissistic manager and an exiled £90 million World Cup winner? These quasi father-son dynamics are compelling, especially when the player has Instagram and Twitter accounts to provide a gnomic running commentary, and the manager’s minder is super-agent Jorge Mendes, no beginner in the art of news management (see his statement about Mourinho being happy at United, which translated as – ‘you’d have to sack me, and show me the money.’)
But beyond this orgiastic analysis of personalties clashing, and Mourinho trying to protect his own reputation with relentlessly planted barbs and moans, the United power game has a darker, deeper significance. The Mourinho saga was about the only thing United had to sell, because the football sure as hell wasn’t attracting new acolytes in Los Angeles or Laos. No longer serious players in the Premier League - and the opponent everyone wanted in the Champions League round of 16 – United have reached a critical juncture in their history. Do they want to go back to being a football club with a productive youth policy, the right people in the right jobs, good recruitment and much less subservience to agents, or would they rather wait for the Glazers to sweat every drop from the brand and then move on to their next leveraged buy-out?
If the point of owning something is to earn tens of millions in dividends, salaries and share sales, as the Glazers have, while a banker (Woodward) runs the club, and the commercial department are charged with signing deals with any tyre or “paint partner” with a pulse, then the football side becomes a mere sideshow, and signs of Alexis Sanchez’s decline at Arsenal are ignored in favour of a £500,000 a week deal that sticks two finger up to Manchester City.
Everything is reactive, made up on the hoof, because the football culture of the club has been dispensed with. In theory the owners could give the club back to football, install a proper structure and restore the primacy of the playing side. Or they could just hire a new bloke in the summer, send Woodward a magnum for making the balance sheet look so good and wait for a sovereign wealth fund to take it off their hands. Place your bets.
Edit : in the title 'from' is incorrect, due to slip of my finger. Link of the article: https://premium.telegraph.co.uk/newslettearticle4/manchester-united-are-a-deal-making-factory-gone-wrong-they-need-bigger-changes-than-sacking-jose-mourinho/
submitted by Gokul13T to reddevils [link] [comments]


2018.11.29 13:49 Skullsnax Pogba as a number 10?

It kinda amazes me that we haven’t seen this more often, considering we’ve played some of our best football with Pogba in this position.
I’m thinking the 4-0 wins early last season where he picked up a lot of goals and assists.
Or the second half of the Manchester Derby where Pogba was moved to a 10, and he clawed the game back for us.
I could kinda understand why we didn’t play this all the time, because Mourinho wants more mobility and faster transition from the bottom of midfield, so Pogba is put there. But now we have Fred, Herrera, Pereira who can all do that.
It fixes so many issues too. Pogba can be more creative and afford to lose the ball if he’s got two more defensive midfielders behind him. Rather than trying to be creative from deep, where he normally loses the ball and sets an attack straight at our back 4.
Lukaku/Rashford aren’t as isolated because they have an attacking partner in the middle.
I saw Mourinho putting Fellaini in this position against Young Boys, or when we’re chasing games and his physicality helps. He put Lingard in this position a lot last season and he was our most influential player when we set up that way. But neither of them have the ability of Pogba. So I don’t understand why we don’t try Pogba there more often?
submitted by Skullsnax to ManchesterUnited [link] [comments]


2018.10.06 03:29 MosF94 A Guide to Every <= £5.5m Midfielder & Forward

Carrying on from my thread on bargain-basement goalkeepers and defenders from the other day (https://www.reddit.com/FantasyPL/comments/9l3kgw/a_guide_to_every_44m_goalkeeper_defende), here I'll be looking at midfield/attacking enablers. I've gone for a slightly different format, ordered by team, because the number of cheap midfielders in the game is ridiculously high (Leicester alone have 12 midfielders priced <= £5.5m), and opted for £5.5m as the upper limit because it's just below the value of the popular (rightly so) cheap picks like Fraser, Gudmundsson, Ings and Jimenez. There are probably (definitely) even more non-options to sift through than last time, so particular players of interest (for whatever reasons) will be bolded, so if you're short on time, skip to those. And like last time, if I've got anything wrong, please let me know!
ARSENAL
In midfield: Xhaka (£5.3m) will grab a couple of bangers and assists from corners a season, but will blank much more frequently and get loads of yellows, so he's a poor option, as ever. Iwobi (£5.5m) has decent returns (1 goal, 2 assists) from his limited minutes so far, but barring injuries won't play enough to be worth serious consideration. Guendouzi (£4.5m) has lost his place to Torreira (£4.9m), who is too defensive to be enticing, though should strengthen Arsenal's defence through his presence. Maitland-Niles (£4.4m) was playing at left-back before he got injured, and is unlikely to play many minutes when everyone's fit. Elneny (£4.3m) is interesting insofar as he's one of only 3 midfielders currently priced at £4.3m, but hasn't played a single minute yet, so would only be worth considering if you're Wildcarding, have 5 playable defenders but need that extra £0.1m to get the squad you want...
Up front: N/A
BOURNEMOUTH
In midfield: Brooks (£5.0m) is an intriguing option - I saw him play a lot for my team (Sheffield United) last year, and he's extremely talented: a great dribbler, great technique, good creativity: but he's still quite raw, has already missed a few big chances this season, and may be about to lose his place to the returning Stanislas, so I wouldn't recommend buying him at present, but he's one for the watchlist for sure. Lerma (£4.5m) looks to be nailed, but offers little going forward (the penalty assist last week was quite flukey) and is a yellow card magnet - 3 in 4 starts this season, 16(!) in 25 games for Levante last year. Surman (£4.8m) and Gosling (£4.9m) won't play enough to be worth their prices, while Lewis Cook (£4.8m) should be starting alongside Lerma, and is a talented deep-lying playmaker, but offers little from an FPL perspective. Pugh (£4.4m) has yet to feature, and probably won't play much throughout the season. Ibe (£5.1m) has barely played and appears to be out of favour.
Up front: Mousset (£5.0m) features sporadically, and only plays a handful of minutes when he does
BRIGHTON
In midfield: Knockaert (£5.5m) is an exciting option who's been hyped a fair bit recently; he's already got 3 assists, compared to 1 last season, scored a lovely goal against Spurs, has spoken about his battle with depression last year and how much better he's feeling now, and he looks very lively - I do worry, when Jahanbakhsh, Izquierdo and Gross are fit/up to speed, to what extent they'll be splitting minutes, but for now he looks like a very good pick. March (£5.0m) has started every match so far, but offers fewer attacking returns and is likely to lose his spot sooner or later. Propper (£4.9m) has started every game so far, and chipped in with a few assists last year, but there are better options at his price. Bissouma (£4.8m) looks like quite a lively player, but lacking in end product and perhaps isn't attacking enough to be an FPL option. Stephens (£4.4m) is interesting, because he's one of (if not the) most nailed £4.4m options, can grab the occasional assist (3 last year) and is on the way (-85% and counting according to fplstatistics) to dropping to £4.3m. He's currently struggling with an injury, but when fit he's pretty much the perfect enabler. Kayal (£4.4m) is his back-up.
Up front: Locadia (£5.4m) tends to come off the bench, and doesn't offer a great deal of goal-threat when he does. Andone (£5.0m), on the other hand, could become an exciting option - he's been injured and is only now returning, so hasn't played and PL football yet, but should provide tough competition for Glenn Murray. He scored 12 goals for Deportivo in his first season in La Liga (faring less well last year in a poor team), is a real handful for defenders, and should suit Brighton's style of play. Not someone to bring in until he gets regular starts, which could be a while with Murray having scored an impressive 5 goals in 8 games, but he's one of very few forwards at his price with the potential to score a decent number of goals this season - if he starts to start.
BURNLEY
In midfield: Lennon (£5.0m) has played every minute so far this season, and got a great double return in GW6, but I don't expect him to get many returns throughout the season; his FPL pedigree isn't great, Burnley's fixtures turn pretty grim pretty soon, and he may soon lose his place to Brady (£5.4m), who looked lively before injury curtailed his season last year, and may become a decent differential once he's back to full fitness, though he's more likely to provide assists than goals. Westwood (£4.5m) is one of the highest scoring £4.5ms, bagging 2 assists in his last 2 games, and could be a tempting option, but I suspect he'll lose his place in the coming weeks to the returning Defour (£5.4m), who is himself too defensive-minded to provide anything close to decent FPL value. Cork (£4.8m) was good value last year, but is too expensive for this year for his very limited attacking potential. Hendrick (£5.4m) will get the occasional attacking return, but not enough to justify his price. McNeil (£4.5m) probably won't get many minutes.
Up front: Vokes (£5.3m) has started the last 3 games and grabbed a goal vs Cardiff, but with Wood, Barnes and Vydra also at the club there is no guarantee that this will continue, so he's probably too much of a gamble at his price
CARDIFF
In midfield: Camarasa (£4.5m) has started the last 6 matches, 3 in centre-mid and 3 on the wing, and has grabbed a goal against Arsenal; he isn't an overly attacking player, but is a bit more creative and playing in a more advanced role than most players at his price. Murphy (£4.8m) is a more natural winger and a more likely goal-threat (grabbing 7 goals for Norwich last season), and should see more starts after his goal vs Burnley - though I'd want to see him playing more consistent minutes before considering bringing him in. Ward (£4.5m), as an OOP striker, is a popular option, with a bigger upside than any other player in his price-bracket; however, there's also the risk in any given week of him only playing a handful of minutes. If you're looking for reliable 2-pointers, I'd avoid him. If you're willing to take the risk of fairly frequent 1-pointers and the occasional 0 for the chance of a 7-pointer 3 or 4 times a season, then he's your man. Ralls (£4.8m) looks a more reliable pick, scoring 7 goals with 4 assists last season, taking many of Cardiff's set-pieces and only missing 12 minutes to date, but has yet to record a single goal or assist this season. Hoilett (£5.2m) also performed impressively last season, with 9 goals and 11 assists, but has yet to demonstrate this quality in the PL. Arter (£4.9m) is too prone to yellow cards and not prone enough to attacking returns. Paterson (£5.2m) also scored plenty of goals (10) in the Championship, but he's another one who's yet to step up, and has struggled for consistent minutes. Mendez-Laing (£4.8m) is out for another month or so with an injury, while Damour (£4.4m) and Harris (£4.5m) have yet to feature. Neither has the injured Gunnarson (£4.4m), who is close to dropping to £4.3m, but has been a regular starter in the Championship when fit, with just a hint of goal-threat about him too; if he does drop, and if he does start when he's fit, he'll be the best £4.3m mid that we have.
Up front: Zohore (£4.8m) has been criticised by Warnock, player far fewer minutes than were expected of him, and not looked up to the PL. Madine (£4.5m) has played even fewer minutes, though not as few as the £4.4m strikers, so that's a small plus. Reid (£5.3m) had a great season for Bristol City last year, grabbing 19 goals and 7 assists, and is probably the most likely of Cardiff's strikers to find his feet in the PL eventually, but he's yet to score and didn't feature at all against Burnley, so he's one to watch from a distance for now.
CHELSEA
In midfield: Jorginho (£5.1m) would be a great option if players scored a point for every 50 passes completed, but they don't, and he doesn't offer much goal-threat or assist-threat playing as deep as he does, so he's a poor pick. Kante (£5.0m) is more interesting; he hasn't got any attacking returns since GW1, and the box-to-box role Sarri has deployed him in doesn't suit him perfectly, but it looks like he'll continue to play in a slightly more advanced role than Jorg, and if he can adapt well to this more offensive role, he could be a decent option - I'm not saying he could do a Yaya Toure, but perhaps he could become a 4/5 goals and 4/5 assists a season player, which would provide pretty good value at his price - his quick free-kick through-ball to Hazard against Liverpool was a positive sign. Loftus-Cheek (£5.2m) isn't playing enough to be worth consideration, unfortunately, but could be an exciting option if another PL team loans him in January. Drinkwater (£4.8m) hasn't played yet and doesn't look likely to, and Ampadu (£4.4m) has not been trusted with PL football yet. The same applies to Hudson-Odoi (£4.3m), one of only 3 midfielders at his price, and the closest to dropping to £4.2m (though still a long way away) - if he does drop again, and he may do before Christmas, he'd be the stand-alone cheapest of all midfielders; if this was combined with a loan move to a lower-half side in January where he'd be getting regular minutes (and we all know Chelsea love a loan), he could become an excellent option.
Up front: N/A
CRYSTAL PALACE
In midfield: McArthur (£4.8m) has scored 5 goals in each of his last 2 seasons, but seems to be playing fairly deep this season and may face competition for his place from Kouyate (£4.8m), who is himself too defensive a player to consider. Kaikai (£4.4m) has managed a grand total of 3 points over the last 3 seasons, one in each, which is kind of impressive in a way but definitely not somebody you want in your squad. Puncheon (£4.3m) may actually be a good option for his price; he hasn't played any PL football since he did his ACL in January, but he's been back in the squad for the last couple of weeks and played 90 minutes in the League Cup. I wouldn't expect him to be starting games, and ACLs are extremely tough injuries to recover from, but he's the club captain, still only 31, and may get a fair few minutes from the bench as the season wears on.
Up front: Wickham (£4.9m) is long-term injured, and isn't prolific even when he's fit. Sorloth (£4.9m) was expected to feature more this season, but has yet to start a game, despite Benteke missing 3 games through injury, as Jordan Ayew has been preferred.
EVERTON
In midfield: Gueye (£4.9m) is a sure starter when fit, but his price is too steep for a defensive mid. Davies (£5.3m) is a more creative player, but not a huge attacking threat and unsure of starts. Schneiderlin (£4.4m) also isn't sure enough of starts to be a tempting option, especially with Andre Gomes (£5.4m) likely to start when he recovers from injury - he too doesn't offer enough of an attacking threat for his price (there seems to be a pattern emerging here...) McCarthy (£4.4m) is long-term injured, Baningime (£4.4m) won't play many minutes, and nor will Dowell (£4.5m). Lookman (£5.1m) did really well on loan at RB Leipzig last season, and I was hoping he'd get plenty of minutes this year and prove a bit of a bargain, but he's barely featured so far, and a lot would have to change for him to become an option.
Up front: Niasse (£5.2m) only features sporadically, and always from the bench. Calvert-Lewin (£5.4m) has started the last 4 games, but isn't a great finisher and is unlikely to keep his spot in the mid-to-long-term.
FULHAM
In midfield: Seri (£5.5m) looks like a decent pick primarily because of he's a bit of a bonus-point magnet - his baseline BPS is really good even when he doesn't get an assist/goal (he got 2 bonus points in the 1-1 draw with Watford without contributing to a goal), and he's got 1 goal and 1 assist so far, which is fine but not great - but in his best season with Nice, he got 7 goals and 9 assists, which is very similar to Gross's numbers from last year, who is another player with that ability to get bonus points without goal contributions, and we know how highly he scored last year - so Seri too might score better in FPL than his returns would suggest. Cairney (£4.8m) is another exciting option, and perhaps will play in a slightly more attacking role than Seri, when he returns from injury shortly; 6 goals and 5 assists in the Championship last year, 13(!) goals and 10 assists the previous year - if he has a good season, 4/5 goals and 4/5 assists isn't out of the question, which would be very good value at his price. Zambo-Anguissa (£4.4m), Johansen (£5.2m) and McDonald (£4.4m) have been battling to lock-down a spot, and I expect Zambo to win out, long-term, as the 3rd man in Fulham's midfield - if he does, he'll be a solid if unspectacular option at his price. Ayite (£4.4m) is a very attacking player (unusual at this price bracket) but unlikely to get enough minutes to be reliable - Kebano (£4.4m) is injured, but will be even further down the pecking-order when fit. Cisse (£4.4m) has yet to feature, and I don't expect that to change in the near future.
Up front: Kamara (£4.4m) hasn't played since GW2, and only has a place in any squad if you're playing 352/442 and have no interest in ever playing with 3 up-front (that's a big issue with 2-striker formations, that it's tough to find a reliable 3rd striker that costs <=£4.5m and can reliably score you 1/2 points if needed, whereas there are plenty of midfielders who can fulfil this role). Vietto (£5.5m) has started the last 5 games and raked up an impressive 3 assists, but the price still seems a bit steep for a reverse-OOP wingeinside-forward who has yet to score a goal.
HUDDERSFIELD
In midfield: Billing (£4.5m) has started every game and grabbed a goal, making him a popular, and pretty decent, option - however, he does like a yellow card, and it's unlikely (as a defensive mid) that he scores many more goals this season. Hogg (£4.4m) plays a similar role, but is less assured of starting, while Williams (£4.5m) and Bacuna (£4.4m), have yet to feature. Mooy (£5.3m) is a genuinely good, creative player, but he plays too deep to get many attacking returns. None of Pritchard (£4.8m), van la Parra (£4.8m), Sabiri (£4.5m), Sobhi (£4.8m), Diakhaby (£4.7m) have been able to nail down an AM/winger spot in the team, and until someone does, none of them are viable (even by Huddersfield standards).
Up front: Quaner (£4.4m), perhaps the least technically proficient attacking player in the league, has yet to feature after last season's heroics, and like Kamara only has a place in any squad if you're playing 352/442 and have no interest in ever playing with 3 up-front. In his limited minutes, Kachunga (£4.9m) has played as a reverse-OOP winger. Depoitre (£5.2m) actually managed a relatively decent 6 goals last season, but Wagner's inability to decide whether he prefers him or Mounier makes him unreliable even as bench fodder.
LEICESTER
In midfield: Gray (£5.5m), currently injured until after the international break, usually starts when fit, and is a lively, direct player, but is lacking in end product and consistency - he's worth watching though, because if he can find those 2 things he could be a good differential. Mendy (£4.5m) has started the last 6 games and grabbed a flukey assist for a Maddison free-kick - he won't get many attacking returns, but his consistent minutes in a team with good fixtures that is improving defensively make him a solid option at his price. Old favourite Albrighton (£5.3m) has played fewer minutes this season, and is not at present a viable budget option. Ndidi (£4.9m) is too expensive for a primarily defensive player. Adrien Silva (£4.9m) has seen his minutes dwindle into nothing. Ghezzal (£5.3m) has yet to nail down a starting spot, and may take a while to settle. Amartey (£4.5m) has played a lot of minutes as a reverse-OOP right-back, but when Pereira has adjusted to the PL I expect him to shift back to right-back and Amartey to be dropped. Iborra (£4.8m) has played very few minutes, James (£4.4m) is long-term injured and Diabate (£4.7m) and Choudhury (£4.4m) have yet to feature.
Up front: Okazaki (£5.3m) is aging, and has barely featured this season
LIVERPOOL
In midfield: Wijnaldum (£5.5m) has started every game so far, and grabbed a goal, but his role in Liverpool's team isn't particularly attacking - he scored 1 goal with 2 assists last year, which pales in comparison to his returns from previous seasons, and this season he's unlikely to score many more. Henderson (£5.3m) plays in an even more defence-focused role and hasn't been as consistent starter as you might expect so far this season.
Up front: Solanke (£4.8m) hasn't played yet, is unlikely to play much, and hasn't impressed much when he has played.
MAN CITY
In midfield: Fernandinho (£5.4m) got decent returns last season (5 goals, 4 assists), but he looks to have started regressing slightly and his increased price makes him an unappealing option. Foden (£4.7m) is unlikely to feature enough to be worth considering (maybe next year), Diaz (£4.8m) will feature even less, and when Zinchenko (£4.8m) features it will probably be as a reverse-OOP left-back.
Up-front: N/A
MAN UNITED
In midfield: Fellaini (£5.0m) - it feels ugly recommending Fellaini as a potentially decent FPL pick, though probably no more ugly than it feels for Utd fans to watch their team hoof it up to him as their only plan to get back into a game they're losing... But that's what could make him a decent pick; I'm unconvinced that he'll be a long-term starter (he has started the last 4, and played 90 in all of them), but if he is, the combination of regular minutes with his aerial goal-threat (4 goals last season in 611 minutes, 11 goals in his best season for Everton) could make him a viable option - unlikely, perhaps, but possible. Matic (£5.0m) should be a much more guaranteed starter, though lacks the goal-threat to be an interesting option, while Herrera (£5.0m) lacks both goal threat and likelihood of starting, as do Pereira (£4.7m) and McTominay (£4.4m), although the latter did start against West Ham.
Up front: N/A
NEWCASTLE
In midfield: Diame (£5.0m) and Shelvey (£5.4m) are the first-choice centre-mid pairing, and neither offer the likelihood of very many attacking returns. Kenedy (£4.9m) was hotly tipped for a good season back in August, but has since floundered, putting in his best performance of the season as a reverse-OOP left-back against Leicester; still, there's a decent chance Kenedy returns to the wing, turns it around and starts to deliver once Newcastle's great run of fixtures starts in GW9, so keep an eye on him. Murphy (£4.9m) and Atsu (£5.2m) are rotation options at a push, as is Ki Sung-Yueng (£4.8m). Hayden (£4.4m) is a card-magnet and will only play against big teams to solidify the midfield, while Longstaff (£4.5m) is unlikely to play at all.
Up front: Joselu (£5.0m) has played a lot of minutes so far, and has managed to score 2 goals with decent headed finishes. However, even if he's the cheapest starting striker in the league, the fact remains that he is not a good player, and Rondon will surely be taking his place one he overcomes his niggle.
SOUTHAMPTON
In midfield: Hojbjerg (£4.5m) is the standout midfielder in his price-bracket. He doesn't have a great history of goalscoring, so expecting him to repeat his exploits from a couple of weeks ago with any sort of frequency is probably unrealistic. However, he is getting in some good positions and showing more attacking intent than you might expect from a £4.5m player, and seems to have solidified himself as the partner of Lemina (£5.0m), who perhaps has less attacking threat at a higher price. Redmond (£5.3m) hasn't quite lived up to his New Henry moniker (understatement of the millennium...), has frustrated a lot of FPL players in the past, and has yet to record a goal or assist this year - however, he has looked lively, playing every minute of every game, and he's the kind of player that, once he gets one goal, could go on a bit of a hot-streak after a boost in confidence, so I wouldn't dismiss him outright. Romeu (£4.4m) is only likely to play against the big teams to solidify the midfield. Ward-Prowse (£5.2m) and Davis (£4.7m) have barely featured and appear to be out of favour. Armstrong (£5.2m) is still settling into the PL and has yet to find a role that suits him in the Saints' team.
Up front: Long (£4.8m) has played plenty of minutes, but as per the last couple of seasons looks about as far from prolific as it's possible for a striker to be...
SPURS
In midfield: Dier (£4.8m) and Dembele (£4.9m) are the first choice pairing, but neither are too defensively-minded to be FPL options. Winks (£5.5m) is a more creative player, but is unlikely to play enough, or in an advanced enough role, to be worth his price. Sissoko (£4.9m) won't play much, and is rarely good when he does. Wanyama (£4.9m) has been injured a lot over the last season, hopefully for Spurs' sake he regains his place in their midfield soon, but he won't get many FPL returns even if he does, except for his annual banger or two. Amos (£4.4m) and Nkoudou (£4.9m) won't feature at all often
Up front: N/A
WATFORD
In midfield: Hughes (£5.0m) is a very good option; 60+ minutes in every match so far, 1 goal, 1 assist, and he usually looks quite lively. The big question for Hughes is whether he keeps his spot, or is moved to the centre (which could benefit him, being his natural position), when Deulofeu (£5.4m) returns and (presumably) plays primarily on the right-wing. Deulofeu could himself be a good differential - he looked good on loan last season before he was stricken by injury, and bagged 2 goals & 9 assists in under 1400 minutes during his best season with Everton. Capoue (£5.0m) has played every minute so far, but his price is too steep for a holding midfielder, especially when he could lose his place to Chalobah (£4.5m) in the nearish future. Cleverley (£5.0m) is out for a while with an achilles injury, Sema (£4.8m) is an occasional sub and nothing more, at present, while Quina (£4.4m) is still young and unlikely to see much PL football this season.
Up front: Okaka (£5.0m) has yet to feature this season. Success (£4.5m) has featured in every game this season, off the bench for between 1 and 20 minutes, making him the best out of a motley bunch of £4.5m forwards in this year's game. Despite scoring a couple of goals, Gray hasn't been overly impressive, so can Success steal his spot at some point this season? Maybe he can - and then he really would be good value
WEST HAM
In midfield: Noble (£4.9m) looks a surprisingly decent option - he's already got 2 assists, playing in a slightly more advanced role than in recent years, with 2 more defensive midfielders alongside him, and is probably on penalties. Though when Wilshere (£4.9m) returns, he may take up this more advanced role in the midfield 3; a lot has been made of how West Ham have improved since Wilshere's been out, which is true, but is more to do with Pellegrini switching to a more balanced formation with more midfield stability than anything Jack had been doing wrong - playing as the most advanced and creative of a midfield 3 may well be the position to finally see Wilshere thrive; if he can stay free from injury, of course. If Obiang (£4.4m) can keep his place in the midfield 3 he looks like a good option at his price - though, if I owned him, I would worry that he may be the one to make way when Wilshere returns (assuming Wilshere does eventually find his way back into the starting XI). Masuaku (£4.4m) is another good budget-enabler, despite playing as a reverse-OOP left-back - he seems to be strongly favoured over Cresswell by Pellegrini, though there may be some rotation throughout the season. Snodgrass (£5.4m) won't start frequently enough to be worth consideration, Carlos Sanchez (£4.5m) is probably out injured for the season, and youngster Diangana (£4.5m) is unlikely to feature much.
Up-front: Big Andy Carroll (£5.4m) is still injured, and very likely to keep up his remarkable record of failing to play more than 1500 minutes since the 12/13 season. When he plays, he can be really dangerous, but he doesn't play nearly often enough to be a viable option.
WOLVES
In midfield: Moutinho (£5.5m) and Neves (£5.2m) is a great real-life centre-mid combo, but for FPL, they aren't great options at all. You'll get a couple of screamers from both of them across a season, a couple of assists each too, but not much more than that; their real strength lies in dictating and spreading the ball. Costa (£4.9m) has started every game, but is always subbed off early, and has yet to deliver an attacking return - it's a bit like the Pedro/Willian situation at Chelsea - whoever comes off the bench and is running at a tired defence seems to be the likelier to grab attacking returns - and the man who comes on for Costa is usually/always Traore (£5.5m) - not someone I'd recommend bringing in now, because he isn't playing enough minutes, and he's notoriously unpredictable/lacking in end product, but he's so dangerous, and his decision making improved a lot under Tony Pulis at Middlesborough last year. If he can work on the consistency of his delivery and his finishing, he could become an incredible option, but it's too early to be confident of this happening. Cavaleiro (£5.3m) played a similar "super-sub" role against Southampton last week, scoring with his first touch of the season, but I expect Traore to outperform him more often than not. Youngster Gibbs-White (£4.4m) will only appear sporadically off the bench, while Dendoncker (£4.4m) may eventually steal Bennett's spot as Wolves right-sided centre-back, but that's unlikely to happen while Wolves continue to be very defensively solid.
Up front: it's been a long time since Bonatini (£4.9m) scored a league goal, and I wouldn't bet on him scoring anytime soon - I doubt Jimenez has any worries about keeping his starting spot.
That's your lot, thanks for reading (if you read it all, I'll be impressed!), and I hope there's some helpful info in there among the copious dismissals of copious terrible options... TL/DR: there are barely any good striking options <= £5.5m, while in midfield, there may be quite a few decent options...
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2018.08.23 16:05 CrebTheBerc [Post Match Analysis] Brighton 3-1 Manchester United

Hello! I've done analysis posts on the sub before and I'm continuing with Manchester United vs. Brighton. Please let me know if I've missed anything. This is a bit late as I had a busy week at work, so forgive me for the delay.
EDIT: I messed up the title. I should say 3-2, not 3-1
Stats from whoscored
Lineups
Brighton
Manchester United
Setup and Approach
Brighton and Hove Albion
Brighton lined up in a what was given as a 4-4-1-1 but was much closer to a traditional 4-4-2. Their basic plan was to use their forwards to drift in between the lines to pull a CB so they could isolate the fullbacks 1 on 1 with a winger and then try to get the ball into the wide areas for a cross in, either low or floated. Defensively they held shape well when forced into their own half and pressed United in the middle third to force them back. Once United passed back to DDG, they were happy to hold their shape and force United to come to them. They were extremely hard working and disciplined in defense and almost always had numbers advantage when defending as their wingers and forwards were diligent in tracking back.
They had little to change second half. They had pressed for goals first half and once they had the 2 goal cushion they were happier to sit back and contain United in their own half, then break forward when possible. I'll touch on this later, but again I can't overstate how disciplined and precisely Brighton carried out their game plan.
Manchester United
United setup in a 4-3-3(broadcast I was re-watching gave it as a 4-2-3-1 for some reason) with Pereira as the single pivot. In attack the only plan was give it to Pogba and hope he can pick out a winger. This is United's heat map without any subs and as you can tell very few of the starting 11 got into Brighton's defensive third and it was mostly in the second half. United's right side continued to be a problem as Young often had no where to go as Mata was basically a 10 in attack. United struggled to stretch the defense or get players into the box.
To just jump into the defensive issues, does this look familiar? It's within 2 minutes of the start of the game and is eerily similar to the the first goal. Re-watching the game United's defensive issues were evident from the beginning. Here the ball is entering the final third and almost all of United's midfielders are just jogging back. Here is Martial basically walking near the box instead of creating a 2 v 1 with Shaw. Here is United's shape for the second goal where you have 3 players marking 1 Brighton player and 1 United player marking 2 Brighton players back post, including goal scorer Duffy. Finally, here is United's shape which led to the penalty which involved Bailly getting sucked out wide instead of cutting off the passing lane, which he then tried to rectify with a very risky tackle in the box.
Second half the adjustments led to positive changes. As you can see United had someone at RW who actually stayed wide as well as getting more men forward and in the box. The biggest issue, which I'll touch on later, was execution. United actually created several threatening attacks, but they all fizzled out. Fellaini's introduction also caused problems for Brighton, but again almost nothing came of anything he helped to create.
Key Points
  1. Defensive shape: I know I pointed this out above, but the difference was stark. United had no clearly defined shape and their midfielders and attackers were lax in tracking back. Brighton held their shape excellently and their willingness to track back was a major part of United's struggle to threaten first half.
  2. Execution: Wasn't sure what to call this, but basically everything Brighton did was crisp. Their passing was generally on point(although whoscored says they had a 65% passing rate), their defensive shape was excellent, and they stuck to their game plan with vigor. United's passing(especially in the final third) was generally non threatening, shape was terrible, and what game plan they had was stifled easily due to individual players(like Martial and Mata) and fantastic execution across the board by Brighton
  3. The wingers: Take a look at the heat map for the wingers. I know this doesn't include the subs second half, but the game was really won in the first half and Brighton saw it out well in the second. Brighton's wingers were more involved in basically every area of the field. They tracked back better, got forward better, and were more threatening.
  4. Substitutes
    1. Balogun > Dunk
      1. Forced off through injury, Balogun stepped in and looked like he’d played with the team for years. Great debut for Balogun
    2. Lingard > Pereira
      1. An attempt to get more men forward in support of Lukaku by changing formations. Lingard provided a spark of energy and fight that was missing first half but struggled to get into the game with some sloppy passing and dribbling
    3. Rashford > Mata
      1. Mata left the right wing totally empty and didn’t do enough through the center or defensively to make up for it. Rashford has some bright spots including a nice header to the top of the 6, but was overall unable to affect the game.
    4. Fellaini > Martial
      1. Martial was pretty absent most of the game. Barely tracked back and had only 1 or 2 bright moments in attack. Fella was caused more problems in his first 10 minutes than Martial was pretty much all game
    5. Kayal > Gross
      1. Just to waste time and close out the game. Gross worked very hard all game and I’m sure was tired, but this was too late to have any real effect
    6. Locadia > Murray
      1. Same as the Gross sub, just to time waste
Key Players
  1. Duffy: was an absolute rock in defense and would be here even without his goal. 1 dribble, 2 interceptions, 4 clearances, 2 blocks, and 3 aerial duels won sums up his game.
  2. Murray: Was a constant thorn for United’s defense. His movement and physicality was excellent as was his finish for his goal. For context, he won a game high 6 aerial duels and scored with his only shot of the game. Arguably could have been sent off with 9 fouls, but none of them were overly aggressive or malicious and the rest of his game was fantastic
  3. Pogba: I was a little torn on whether to include Pogba here. The main reason I did is because he was one of the only two players who seemed able to do anything for us in attack. His stats were ok with the most passes(78) and touches(101) for United including 2 key passes, 4 aerial duels won, 4 clearances, but 7 losses of possession and often in bad positions
  4. Shaw: United’s best and most reliable player this game. Best positioning of our defensive line, tried to overlap and provide width, tried to get in Brighton’s box several times as well. 2 tackles, 3 interceptions, 2 clearances, and 1 block round up a solid performance again for Shaw
  5. The rest of Brighton: Balogun, Stephens, Propper, March and pretty much any brighton player could have been put here for this game. The whole team put in a brilliant and cohesive performance
Final Thoughts
Creb's MotM: I'd give it to Duffy. Led the defensive effort brilliantly without his mainstay partner, took his goal extremely well and was overall very good. There are plenty of Brighton players who deserve a shout here though including Propper, Murray, and March
Brighton: I didn't watch their game against watford, but from what I've heard and read this was a night and day performance. They deserve a ton of credit for bouncing back from a pretty abject loss to this kind of complete and cohesive win. Assuming they can keep performing like this I think they'll be comfortably safe and with some luck could maybe challenge for a top half finish.
United: I know this game has been talked about a lot, but after re-watching it I'm pretty willing to write if off. There were several positives to take from the game including Shaw's performance and our ability to create threatening attacks. We were really let down by defensive issues, and Bailly in particular, as well as poor execution at the other end. With some more accurate crossing and passing we could have generated more than 3 shots on target and had a much better chance at getting more out of this game.
submitted by CrebTheBerc to soccer [link] [comments]


2018.02.27 04:57 BelterHaze Is Mourinho Magic?

Jose Mourinho for years has become one of the best managers of all time. What hasn't he won? Where hasn't he won? How hasn't he won it? He's a tactical mastermind who on his day, the best manager in the world (Excluding SAF). Although, recently I had my doubts about Jose, and so did some other Manchester United fans. I heard people talking about him being sacked and although it shouldn't happen, we can' just pooh-pooh fans' opinion, we need to dismiss it with facts and logic. Personally, I was worried Jose was going to do a Chelsea, as in, lose the dressing room, I don't imagine players will want to play defensive, not perform well and then be attacked by not just the fans but also the manager. I was tired of his defensive football, I was tired of his management style, his stubbornness, it's as if he was stuck in the past, "If it worked then it'll work now" like he learnt nothing from his dismissal at Chelsea. But I kept faith in him, and I still do have and if not more faith in him, he was on thin ice with me though personally because of his Plans, his plan A was the same as his plan B and C, repetitive, easily countered defensive football which wasn't getting results really. Lukaku was also failing to impress me, he is up there with the VERY best in the world in regards to FINISHING alone. But at the time (last 4-6 weeks). Thats all he was. A foot. Scoring tap ins etc. had no movement, had no flair, no confidence, no ball control. I think the players suffer a lot due to the system Jose has instilled, and when we played Chelsea, you saw a COMPLETELY different Romelu Lukaku, we saw a COMPLETELY different Paul Pogba. It's not the players, it's the manager. Okay, poor performances aside I'm saying maybe Jose is trying so hard to what he thinks is the best way to play football, to win titles. I don't think he has the players for that system, I feel he has the players for the flair, attacking football. Martial, Rashford, Lukaku, Sanchez, Lingard. Rapid players. Yet Jose who's stubborn is playing them in a rigid, formation in which they have no artistic freedom it's just DON'T concede. Obviously, this changed at Chelsea and don't get me wrong Jose's style is VERY good when used properly with the right players at the right time. I think Jose knows his best team, but not his best system. Honestly, United need overhauling. Say bye to Young, Smalling, Fellaini, Jones etc. Lindelof, really isn't that good. I'll be the first to admit I was wrong when he's rated 89 on Fifa 22 but I don't see it, he looks anaemic. Bailly is class and can be world class, a tall, fast, aggressive CB. Is what we need. We need the partner too him, I don't think Lindelof is that. He's the Swedish Phil Jones, just without glass ankles. Then we move to the midfield, Scott McTominay. Okay, if you're old enough, you're good enough but he's not ready? I didn't think he'd ever be ready, we need at least someone just a shade under the ability of Matic to bolster our midfield. I'm still not confident with Lukaku but I love him. Lukaku - Martial upfront is the way to go, the perfect balance of speed, power and skill. I think Mourinho needs to realise that it can't always be his way or the high way and he is one of the best managers of all time, he'll prove me wrong, I know he will because I have faith in him and the club. This was just a little moan about the frustration, and many other fans have had. In Mourinho we trust! Glory, Glory, Man United.
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2018.02.22 19:05 WhatIfLeague What do you think about Saúl Ñíguez?

Hi guys, as most of you probably know this summer is going to be very important for the rebuilding of Manchester United's defence and midfield. Carrick is retiring, Fellaini appears to be going away, Herrera's situation is not 100% clear and this means there will be incoming transfers of midfielders.
McTominay has been doing very well ever since he broke into the squad but I don't think Mourinho is ready to entrust him with a starter spot given the chance to delve into the transfer market. Andreas Pereira is not the "water carrier" or "destroyer" type of midfielder, I see him more as a Pogba substitute than a partner for him in midfield. What do you think?
Having said all of that, I am wondering who will Mourinho target in the summer and one of the main targets I believe will be Saúl Ñíguez from Atlético Madrid. He has the right profile for the "Carrick" role and is dynamic enough to play in a midfield duo as well as versatile enough to be part of a trio with Matic (or another new midfielder).
I've went one step further and created a FM simulation on the topic, feel free to check it out. I would love to hear your comments on the video as well.
So, what are your thoughts on Saúl? Yey or Ney?
submitted by WhatIfLeague to reddevils [link] [comments]


2018.01.26 19:26 Xualaa Tactics On Our Team and how can we improve

I really hoped we should priotized getting a world class midfielder to partner with Pogba and Matic,, Whenever we used a 2 man midfield, it doesn't matter who our opposition is we always get over run and over press in midfield. I know Mourinho is not really a possession guy and doesnt really liked to press in the middle of the pitch but when we can have one more world class midfielder preferably a box to box midfielder and move Pogba up the field a little more, our play would be so much better not to mention our pressing would be 100 times better.. When we play Pogba and Matic only in midfield, our attacking midfielder always get overrun pressing too much especially since Mourinho liked to press in the side of the field and blocked passing lanes and our winger always cut in... I can't think of one midfielder who could do that job but i really think 433 would be best for us or 352.. And one last thing, I really hoped Fellaini accept the contract extension and wouldn't mind if Zlatan leaves us to free up some wages and buy some proper right winger. I know we just buy sanchez but a guy who is pacey and proper winger who can beat his man and not cut in and had a really good crossing and good end delevering product like a valencia type winger but who can cross and produced dangerous cross in the final box.. In terms of formations, I would prefer 433 instead of 352 since fullbacks are basically wingers nowadays, i would much rather sacrifice one CB instead of Sacrificing Creative or Box to Box Midfielder. The other thing thats frustrates me when we use 4231 is our pressing is soo bad and unorganised ( I know sometimes it has been good). I don't know if its Mourinho prference but when we press we doesnt press as a unit and we just try to block the passing lanes and this really frustrates me because it is really easy for the opposition to over run us. I really hoped we pressed as a whole. For example if the forward is pressing in the left side, our left wing or left back should also be pressing the other guys.. Last year i read that we are one of the least running teams in the league and we doesn't even boss possession that much.. I know Im not a manager at all but i just think this is could really helped our team play and remember, it's just some reddit armchair's manager opinion.. I just wanna hear your thoughts on this.
submitted by Xualaa to reddevils [link] [comments]


2017.12.26 22:40 kosfdko The flaws in our current squad and how to possibly fix them

I will go at this by each position, however this is only my opinion so it shouldn't be taken as fact:
GK: De Gea, Romero, Joel Pereira.
Everything is perfect there, our GK department is the strongest in our squad and arguably one of the best in the entire world. De Gea world class, Romero is Argentina's #1 GK and he would start for majority of PL teams yet he's satisfied on our bench, Pereira our 3rd goalkeeper a very talented youngster who has the potential to be Portugal's future #1.
Sell? Nobody.
CB: Bailly, Jones, Smalling, Lindelöf, Rojo, Tuanzebe
I love Bailly, he's an absolute beast and our first choice CB however sadly he needs surgery for his injury and will be back March next year. I'm indifferent about Jones and Smalling really. Jones is good if he's fit but that's a big if though. Smalling had one good season under LVG and been meh for the rest. Lindelöf looked shaky for his first 4 games but has been good ever since, he looks like a promising kid and currently he looks good in a 3 CB formation, he has superb distribution and very comfortable on the ball, a good passing CB. Rojo was excellent last season however this season he's looked a bit meh since he returned from his ACL injury. I'd give him time though since he just came back from an ACL injury. Tuanzebe is an extremely good and promising youngster, a shame that he isnt playing much since last season vs Arsenal he pretty much had Sanchez in his pocket on his own.
Sell? One of Jones/Smalling, get an experienced CB who is a natural leader and can command the backline, to partner with Bailly. Until Lindelöf is mature enough to nail down that 2nd CB spot on his own. Play Tuanzebe more, in all the early FA cup and league cup rounds for example.
RB: Valencia, Darmian
Now let's get to the juicy part, fullbacks. We only signed what, 2 fullbacks in the past decade or something? From what I can remember at least. And both are pretty average (Shaw is an unfortunate case with his injury problems though). I love Valencia but he's basically a failed United winger converted into a fullback. I mean we bought the guy to be Ronaldo's replacement.. Admittedly he has turned out to be one of the best fullbacks of the league but he still has clear flaws in his game. One being he can't even cross the ball that good. Sorry, but as a fullback that's an essential thing. Darmian has just been a huge disappointment for his entire stint here and it's looking likely he will be sold.
Sell? Darmian for sure. Keep Valencia, even though he has flaws in his game I personally do believe he's good enough to be starting in a title winning team. Buy a young promising RB and rotate him with Valencia. Once Valencia retires then the new RB can take over without struggle since he had been there already for a while.
LB: Young, Shaw, Blind
It's an absolute joke that a club of our size has ASHLEY YOUNG as our starting LB week in week out. Once again, this is a familiar story. Failed United winger who realistically should've left a long time ago is not only still at the club, but he's one of the starting fullbacks. He is decent in attack but seems incompetent defensively, which I can't blame him for. The guy just isn't good in his defensive positioning, he's a winger for fucks sake. Sure he's going through a purple patch right now but how long will that last? He's already old too. Everyone knows how much of a massive disappointment Shaw's career at United has been. Even though he's started a couple games recently I still think he will go. Blind is okay as a squad player but his problem is that he's a jack of all trades, not a specialist in any position. We need more specialists in my opinion and unfortunately that means Blind either needs to make the LB spot his own or go.
Sell? Both Young, Shaw and Blind. be ruthless. Sign 2 new quality LBs, who exactly? Idk don't ask me I'm not a professional scout working for Manchester United. Surely our network of scouts working throughout the entire world must find at least 2 LBs who are good enough to be starting here.
CM: Pogba, Matic, Herrera, Fellaini, McTominay, Carrick
Nothing needs to be said about Pogba and Matic, they are United quality. Herrera has gone from United's player of the season last year to now a shell of his former self. He can't start with Pogba and Matic in a midfield three because Matic does Herrera's job, only thing is he does it better. So Herrera is essentially. Fellaini is an okay plan B but he should not be anything more than that, there has been rumours of him leaving the club anyway. McTominay is a promising kid and he deserves to stay in the rotation for the CM spot, or get loaned out to get some game time. Carrick is a 37 year old with a heart condition who will retire this season.
Sell? Fellaini, Carrick (will retire this season), Herrera. You might think "Why Herrera? He was your player of the season last year and you want to sell him already?" Unless Herrera is willing to be Matic's backup (he's not) there's sadly no place for him in the midfield anymore since Matic does everything Herrera does but better. I really like the look of Milinkovic-Savic, sign him to be our 3rd midfielder and start with a midfield 3 of Pogba --- Matic --- Milinkovic-Savic in games. Sign 2 rotational options for CM who are comfortable on the ball and can defend well, we need the options since in my hypothetical situation Carrick and Fellaini are leaving. Keep McTominay in the rotation.
LW: Rashford, Martial
If you looked at this on paper you would say this is good enough. What if I told you that none of these players are actual wingers? Yes that's right, we're playing 2 strikers as left wingers. We have 0 real wingers in this club which is an absolute joke. You can see what happens when you rely on two 20 year olds, these young players tend to have an inconsistent form. Can a club like us afford that? Not right now, no.
Sell? None of them obviously. Sign one real LW that is good enough for us. If he gets injured we then always have the option of playing Martial or Rashford there.
RW: Mkhitaryan (Lingard? Mata? idk)
This is the biggest joke of all. We are consistently playing two #10s in Mata and Lingard in this position, which has costed us a lot. Mkhitaryan is not good enough.
Sell? Who are you even supposed to sell when we dont have a RW lol? I guess Mkhitaryan kinda is but we will sell him. Sign 2 RWs, once again don't ask me who because I have no idea because I'm not a professional scout. There should be at least 2 RWs in this entire world who are good enough right?
ST: Lukaku, Zlatan, (Rashford, Martial) We have two or four options here depending on how you look at it. Despite the popular opinion I think Lukaku is a good striker and we should give him time, he will become good for us. Zlatan gave us a lot of goals last season but he's nearly 38 now.
Sell? Zlatan (will probably leave or retire)
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2017.12.10 13:56 _cumblast_ Pre Match Thread: Manchester United vs. Manchester City

Man UtdvsMan City

Competition: Premier League - Matchday 16
Referee: Michael Oliver
Venue: Old Trafford
Date: Sunday, 10 Dec.
Time: 4:30 p.m. (GMT)
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Betting Odds
  • Manchester United: 3.30
  • Draw: 3.40
  • Manchester City: 2.25
PL Table
Club Played +/- Goal Difference Points
1. Man City 15 +36 43
2. Man Utd 15 +26 35
Possible Starting XI
Manchester United
De Gea; Lindelof, Smalling, Rojo; Valencia, Matic, Herrera, Young; Lingard, Martial, Lukaku
Manchester City
Ederson; Walker, Otamendi, Kompany, Delph; De Bruyne, Fernandinho, Silva, Sterling, Aguero, Sane
Team News
Manchester United:
  • Ander Herrera will partner Nemanja Matic in midfielder as Paul Pogba starts his three-game ban this weekend. A late decision will be made on Marouane Fellaini.
  • Jose Mourinho has confirmed Phil Jones and Zlatan Ibrahimovic are available this weekend, but Eric Bailly and Michael Carrick miss out once again.
  • All in all, Herrera and Jones should be the only changes from the side that beat Arsenal 3-1 last weekend.
Manchester City:
  • Pep Guardiola has confirmed David Silva will play in the Manchester derby on Sunday after overcoming an injury scare.
  • Vincent Kompany was not 100% in midweek and remains a doubt, while Fabian Delph was ill and may not be fully fit on Sunday.
  • Other than that, only Benjamin Mendy and John Stones are sidelined for Pep Guardiola this weekend.
  • Sergio Aguero looks likely to start at the weekend after he was given the night off on Wednesday.
Stats
  • After losing four Premier League games in a row against Manchester City, Manchester United have lost just one of their last five derbies against them (W2 D2 L1).
  • No away side has scored more Premier League goals at Old Trafford than Manchester City (27 - level with Chelsea) while only Chelsea (6) have won more games there as the visiting side in the competition than City (5).
  • Manchester United have lost seven of their last 12 league games against their local rivals (W3 D2 L7) – as many as they had lost in their previous 45 in league competition against them (W22 D16 L7).
  • Jose Mourinho’s side are on the longest current unbeaten home run in the Premier League (24 games - W14 D10 L0), with their last such defeat at Old Trafford coming against Manchester City in September 2016 (1-2).
  • Manchester City have now won 13 successive league matches – a joint-record within a single top-flight season, alongside Chelsea (2016-17), Arsenal (2001-02), Preston and Sunderland (both 1891-92).
  • If Pep Guardiola’s side win this match then they will equal the all-time English top-flight league record of 14 consecutive victories; set by Arsenal between February and August 2002.
  • Jose Mourinho has won just four of his 19 managerial meetings with Pep Guardiola in all competitions (W4 D7 L8), with just one of those wins coming in league competition (2-1 with Real Madrid at Barcelona in April 2012).
  • These are the two tightest defences in the Premier League this season, with Manchester United (9) having conceded one goal fewer than Manchester City (10); this despite facing more than double the tally of shots on target (64 v 27).
  • Manchester United’s cumulative xG conceded total in the Premier League this season is 18.79 (8th best), meaning that from the quality of chances they have allowed their opponents, the average side would have conceded 10 goals more than they have done (19 instead of nine).
  • Romelu Lukaku scored in both of Everton’s league matches against Manchester City last season – the only player to have scored in three successive league appearances against a side managed by Pep Guardiola is Diego Forlan (Atletico Madrid vs Barcelona between March 2009 and February 2010).
  • Gabriel Jesus has been directly involved in 21 goals in his 24 Premier League appearances so far in his career (15 goals, six assists).
Form guide
Manchester United: WWWWL
Manchester City: WWWWW
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2017.10.14 09:33 _cumblast_ Pre-Match Thread: Liverpool vs Manchester United

LiverpoolvsUnited

COMPETITION: Premier League - Matchday 8
REFEREE: Atkinson
STADIUM: Anfield, Liverpool
Date: Saturday, 14th of October
Time: 12:30 (BST)
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Betting Odds
  • Liverpool: 2.70
  • Draw: 3.25
  • United: 2.75
PL Table
Club Played +/- Goal Difference Points
2. Man United 7 19 19
7. Liverpool 7 1 12
Possible Starting XI
Liverpool
Mignolet; Alexander-Arnold; Matip, Lovren, Moreno; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Henderson, Can; Salah, Firmino, Coutinho
United
De Gea; Valencia, Bailly, Jones, Young; Matic, Herrera, Mata, Mkhitaryan, Rashford; Lukaku
Team News
Liverpool:
  • Mane is out for six weeks with a hamstring injury sustained during the international break, providing Liverpool with a huge blow.
  • Dejan Lovren continues to struggle with injury and remains a doubt for the home side here, with Ragnar Klavan on standby to step in and partner Joel Matip at the back.
  • With Adam Lallana, Adam Bogan and Nathaniel Clyne all still injured for the home side, few changes are expected to Jurgen Klopp's usual starting XI.Joe Gomez and Trent Alexander-Arnold are in competition to start at right-back with Clyne still sidelined.
Yoonaited:
  • Marouane Fellaini picked up a knee injury during the international break and will be sidelined for three weeks. With Paul Pogba still out with a hamstring injury and Michael Carrick a doubt, Jose Mourinho is short of options in central midfield.
  • Romelu Lukaku played through the pain in Manchester United's 4-0 win over Crystal Palace but was declared fit to play during the international break and came off the bench against Cyprus. He will start here.
  • Injury forced Phil Jones to withdraw from the England squad at the start of the international break and he remains a doubt for the away side this Saturday, while Marcos Rojo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic are long-term absentees.
Form guide
Liverpool: DDLWDD
United: WWWWWW
submitted by _cumblast_ to soccer [link] [comments]


2017.10.13 15:13 _cumblast_ Pre-Match Thread: Liverpool vs Manchester United

COMPETITION: Premier League - Matchday 8
REFEREE: Atkinson
STADIUM: Anfield, Liverpool
Date: Saturday, 14th of October
Time: 12:30 (BST)
soccerstreams Worldwide Channel List
Betting Odds
  • Liverpool: 2.70
  • Draw: 3.25
  • United: 2.75
PL Table
Club Played +/- Goal Difference Points
2. Man United 7 19 19
7. Liverpool 7 1 12
Possible Starting XI
Liverpool
Mignolet; Alexander-Arnold; Matip, Lovren, Moreno; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Henderson, Can; Salah, Firmino, Coutinho
United
De Gea; Valencia, Bailly, Jones, Young; Matic, Herrera, Mata, Mkhitaryan, Rashford; Lukaku
Team News
Liverpool:
  • Mane is out for six weeks with a hamstring injury sustained during the international break, providing Liverpool with a huge blow.
  • Dejan Lovren continues to struggle with injury and remains a doubt for the home side here, with Ragnar Klavan on standby to step in and partner Joel Matip at the back.
  • With Adam Lallana, Adam Bogan and Nathaniel Clyne all still injured for the home side, few changes are expected to Jurgen Klopp's usual starting XI.Joe Gomez and Trent Alexander-Arnold are in competition to start at right-back with Clyne still sidelined.
Yoonaited:
  • Marouane Fellaini picked up a knee injury during the international break and will be sidelined for three weeks. With Paul Pogba still out with a hamstring injury and Michael Carrick a doubt, Jose Mourinho is short of options in central midfield.
  • Romelu Lukaku played through the pain in Manchester United's 4-0 win over Crystal Palace but was declared fit to play during the international break and came off the bench against Cyprus. He will start here.
  • Injury forced Phil Jones to withdraw from the England squad at the start of the international break and he remains a doubt for the away side this Saturday, while Marcos Rojo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic are long-term absentees.
Form guide
Liverpool: DDLWDD
United: WWWWWW
submitted by _cumblast_ to LiverpoolFC [link] [comments]


2017.10.03 18:05 Royjunior BLOG POST

THE ROTATION OPTION
 Good day to all MU lovers and welcome to Redfanblogger. A blog that focuses on one of the biggest football club in the world. The premier league is officially into its third week of the new season and Manchester United, under the management of Jose Mourinho, has played three games without a loss, the best premier league start the club has had in a long time. It’s spectacular the way the club has been playing this season. It’s therefore difficult for the fans to foresee any loss in the club's near future. And that is as a result of the powerful midfield the club currently built up as its defence and arsenal. 
The main issue of concern right now is the Paul Pogba injury sustained during the UEFA champions league group stage clash against FC Basel. No doubt, Pogba has been the heart of Manchester United ever since he signed for the club and so far, in this season, the frenchman statistics has looked something like this:
Goals 5 Goals Per Match 0.17 Goals With Header 2 Goals With Right Foot 2 Goals With Left Foot 1 Penalties Scored 0 Goals From Freekick 0 Shots 92 Shots On Target 32 Shooting Accuracy % 35% Hit Woodwork 6 Big Chances Missed 5
Team Play Assists 4 Passes 2,178 Passes Per Match 72.60 Big Chances Created 7 Crosses 39 Cross Accuracy % 18% Through Balls 28 Accurate Long Balls 162
 With the numbers in the Statistics it’s clear to see why Manchester United is incredibly concerned about pogba’s injury which is currently scheduled to sideline the french man till Late October or early November. Manchester United plans to make a strong challenge in the Premier league and Champions league this season but with Pogba sidelined , it’s hard to see how strong the club can be at the center of the mid field. With the current development mourinho might have no option but to turn to the spaniard Ander Herrera to fill the position and in so doing remind the manager that he has what it takes to be named a starter for more games moving forward in the season. But there is still one question that bothers me, why did the manager field the same player for a long streak of games stretching from last season and did not think of resting the man at all? Not only did playing the same player increase injury risk but the strategy also puts Herrera on an unfair disadvantage of game time. In conclusion, Mourinho has two option, he might choose to play Fellaini and matic in the center with Mikitarian as the cam, Mata and Matial in the wing or Mata can play his natural position in cam and Mikitarian and Matial occupy the wings and Herrera partners with Matic, Fellaini or even Carrick in the center of the pitch for the next two to three months. This from Herrera : 
Herrera told Manchester United’s website: “When I was a kid, I used to watch United games, big teams’ games, and I wanted to be there.  “Now, I have the chance to be there and play for the greatest club in England and one of the greatest in the world. “I just try to enjoy the moment; every day, I wake up I try to say ‘thank you’ to all the people who helped me to be here. I don’t want it to finish – I love what we do.”
This option might not be the most favourite choice for the fans to witness but this strategy will keep the team from losing too many games by the time Paul Pogba returns and from Herera comments above, it seems the spaniard is ready to step in and fill the gap in the midfield. with his skills and experience in the midfield, I have full confidence Herrera can step up to the task.
famboy121 at 06:58 Share 
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2017.07.12 19:46 Rackmo The ManUtd Pre-Season FPL Guide

Welcome back to the madness guys. And welcome the madness to you. The rage of forgetting that the deadine was on a Friday and realising later that night that you've missed it and then smashing the screen of your computer. the rage of missing out on the deadline because you leave it till the last minute leading you to hammering your phone to smithereens and the rage of seeing that the player you took the armband away from last minute going on to score a hattrick and that leading to you throwing your television off of the balcony. What? Pfft no, no, no, no, ....... no, no, no, no this is not at all "speaking from experience" no!
Okay, so down to business. I am here to help you with the players best for FPL purposes from Manchester United.

THE INITIAL FIXTURES

West Ham United (H)
Swansea City (A)
Leicester City (H)
Stoke City(A)
Everton(H)
Southampton(A)
Crystal Palace(H)
Liverpool(A)
Huddersfield Town(A)
Tottenham Hotspurs(H)
Only 2 "big teams" in the first 10 fixtures. You guys are definitely in for an FPL treat. Especially with Lukaku.
Now keep in mind that there is a UEFA Super Cup game against Real Madrid on the 9th of August, 3 days before the season begins.

PLAYERS TO AVOID AT THE START

GOALKEEPERS
  • Sergio Romero (5.0m)
Never taking Dave's spot unless he leaves.
  • Joel Pereira (4.0m)
Third choice. I think that says it all.
DEFENDERS
  • Luke Shaw (5.0m)
He didn't really gain Mourinho's trust after catching up on the previous injury just after the start of the season when it really seemed to be taking off. At that price, he is really the cheapest reliable defender in the team. If he has a good pre-season and Jose is impressed with his performances, he definitely will a one to keep an eye on.
  • Marcos Rojo (5.5m)
I'll include him in the mid-season guide. Don't worry about him till then.
  • Daley Blind (5.5m)
Might play the first game of the season as United have a UEFA Super Cup game to play against Real Madrid 3 days before their first PL game and Mourinho will definitely field the strongest team in that. Other than that, don't really consider him unless one of Lindelof or Bailly get injured before Rojo returns.
  • Matteo Darmian (5.5m)
He played less than half the season as Jose experimented with LBs but then settled for the Italian. He had a decent 9 CSs in around 14 games and 14.x PPM. I didn't really know where to put him after I completed the defenders' write-up but then for the price, you'd be better off getting someone else.
  • Phil Jones (5.0m)
Same case as Daley Blind.
  • Chris Smalling (5.5m)
Same case as Phil Jones but this guy might just be sold before this transfer window ends. Afterall, he's just dead weight and dumb as a doorknob.
  • Axel Tuanzebe (4.0m)
This young lad was a great punt for me for the last 3 GWs for the price. But not really an option now.
  • Timothy Fosu-Mensah (4.5m)
Don't. Just don't. The two footed tackles are bound to get two red cards in one game.
MIDFIELDERS
  • Herrera (5.5m)
First of all he plays as a DM which are always a no-go. And second, he'll just take up a ManUtd spot for not as much points.
  • Anthony Martial (8.0m)
Overpriced just like last season. Not enough PPM to justify getting him. Better options out there.
  • Marouane Fellaini (5.0m)
Avoid this tree. He mostly won't be playing regularly and is a card magnet because his elbows are independent of his brain. Also, he's a DM.
  • Michael Carrick (4.5m)
Although he is the team's new captain, he for sure won't be getting enough minutes. Also, another DM.
  • Jesse Lingard (6.0m)
Again, won't get enough minutes as Mata and Mkhi will be chosen ahead of him and possibly another winger if Mou decides to get one.
  • Ashley Young (5.0m)
Won't get minutes and even if he does, he'll play POO at LB.
  • Scott McTominay (4.5m)
Another young lad and another DM.
FORWARD
  • Marcus Rashford (7.5m)
He only played like half the season and that too as a POO player. Listed as a forward and played as a LM. And for that price, definitely don't get him. Even Josh King seems as a good option here.

THE MAIN PLAYERS TO WATCH

DAVID DE GEA
  • David De Gea (5.5m): Priced the same as last season, arguably the best keeper in the world, is your safest bet in the Man United defence. He has a great CB pairing in front of him and with the crazy saves he makes, you can definitely back him to fill the GK spot like over 35% of the players did last season. Pair him up with a 4m bench fodder and you're good to to for the first few GWs.
DEFENDERS
  • Antonio Valencia (6.5m)
The tank was a decent choice at 5.5m last season but the guys behind the scenes apparently though that he was good enough to bump him up by a million to 6.5m. He had a decent 20.x PPM last season and got a goal and 3 assists, a lot less than expected but the CS points might've been enough. He earned himself 5 yellow cards and 12 clean sheets. He did miss out on a few matches later on in the season because of fatigue and an injury but did enough imo. A bit pricey this year with Spurs and Arsenal defenders being cheaper, ofcourse to be considered once the settle down at Wembley.
  • Eric Bailly (6.0m)
Played most of the last season, this beast and is reasonably priced at 6.0m. Delivered a good 13 CSs in around 22 games. With 19.x PPM last season, he was quite a popular pick when he sealed his spot alongside Rojo. He got 4 YCs so can't exactly be called a "card magnet" which is actually quite good for an aggressive CB.
  • Victor Lindelof (5.5m)
The young Swede is the most interesting choice from the available options. Although new to the PL, Lindelof is a good deal at the price. He is tall so I do expect him to carry an aerial threat if the set-piece takers improve their delivery inside the box. He is also pretty good at taking direct FKs although I don't expect Pogba to give them up. In a Jose Mourinho defence, I would definitely count on this one. He also has a great partner with him in the CB position, Eric Bailly, so expect quite a few cleanies from the pair.
MIDFIELDERS
  • Paul Pogba (8.0m)
The Frenchman has received a drop in the price, not the real, 89 million one, but the FPL price. He used to be available at 8.5m last season but you can get him at a discounted price of 8.0m. No I'm not marketing him. Shut your pie-holes. So, getting back, he earned around 4 points in a game on an average last season and had 14.x PPM. With a clinical finisher like Lukaku in front of him, he sure could be a great option to have in your teams. Plus, he comes with the dabs.
  • Juan Mata (7.0m)
The Spaniard was ManUtd's second highest goal scorer last season, believe it or not. 6 goals and 3 assists in about half of the last season is just above average but for the price this season, I would go with him as there are really less options. But then again, United are aiming for a winger next in the transfer window which might see him lose his spot making him not really nailed on. He did have around 5.5 PP90 and if he somehow manages to keep that up for the entire season, he'll be a bargain. It's almost too easy.
  • Henrikh Mkhitaryan (8.0m)
Now to be honest he didn't really feature all that much in the PL. He didn't have the best start to the season and then when he did actually settle down, he got that injury. After when he came back had a brief spell, he picked up an injury again thanks to Danny Rose. And by the time he was up and ready again it was time to prove the team's worth in the Europa League, in which he was absolutely great. He mostly featured in the European games where he scored 6 goals in 10 appearances. Although the Finals wasn't his best game, he was great overall. Again, with Lukaku upfront, he is an interesting option considering Pogba is at the same price.
FORWARD
  • Rooney Romelu Lukaku (11.5m)
With 221 points last season and a brilliant run of fixtures coming up, the Belgian is almost impossible to not own. At 11.5m he actually seems like a bargain although it will be a tough choice between the premiums this season like Kane, Jesus, Lacazette and ofcouse, you guys' FPL God, Aguero. Although with Costa very likely to leave, it makes the decision a bit easier dare I say. With 25 goals and 6 assists last season, he has cemented his spot in my team. A clinical finisher like him with playmakers like Pogba, Herrera, Mata and Mkhi behind him is, okay I'm running out of ways to avoid the words that are, or mean, "must have". Just get him okay. You'll be happy.
TL;DR
Best picks from the team are Valencia, Bailly, Lindelof, Mkhi, Pogba, Lukaku. And if you like to live dangerously, Mata.
Notes
  • United are trying to sign an out and out winger this transfer window (mainly Perisic) and that might hamper the formation that I assumed while writing this. Mkhi may swap wings, since Perisic plays on the left and Mata coud be rotated. Or Pogba could be moved back to the Pivot role and Mkhi could move to CAM.
  • United are also after a proper DM so that could mean Herrera being given attacking freedom and Pogba's position at CAM could be cemented. Which could also mean Mata could be dropped to the bench instead of the second situation in the point above.
Feel free to let me know if something's wrong or I could format it better.
Thank you for your time.
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