Welcome Jose


The change was imminent, demanding. The targets weren’t met. The football was sleep inducing. The manager defensive and unapologetic. We had to move on. For all the charisma in the press and off the field with his tongue in cheek English, van Gaal failed abysmally in two years.


The numerous injuries that were part of the regimen packed with embalming a uniquely boring defensive possession football with absolute nothing in counter attacking, a season which saw many fans like me around the world tune in to the most boring first 45’s ever this season. Burst of energy in the first ten minutes followed by tepid side and backwards passing.


Records were broken. None went in favor of united. Records of decades, teams who never even had a sniff in the Theatre walked away with first time glory. Midway through the season as Christmas approached, the form was so awful that tolerating van Gaal was turning out to be out of good will and club tradition more than anything.


As Jose walked in today officially realizing a much desired role of his, he brings in a charismatic persona that thrives on victory. Apart from his off field cameos, his endless desire to enjoy success will bring back life into a club of such tradition that seems to be spiralling into an abyss in the last three years. As he rightly quoted, let’s rather not remember the last three years. Let’s remember the Manchester United we know.


LvG out


I was running through the series of events that led to the downfall of Mourinho over the weekend. LvG’s press conference was for the first time, one of apprehension – he just got a trailer of a possible fate. But how contrasting are the two situations?


On one hand we have a manager who with remarkable ease strolled off with the premier league title 7 months ago, who had returned to a club where he is legendary. And yet, over a series of issues, on and off the field, eventually culminating in players conspiring, led to his downfall.  Having had a relegation fighting team to play against at home, immediately after sacking their manager, they couldn’t have asked for a better fixture, as chelsea moved their reluctant bus off the pitch, and attacked. The fans attacked the players as well, and anything but a win was not going to make life easy for any of the players.


Quite the contrary, Manchester United were facing a conundrum they were not familiar even when the team was managed by David Moyes. A team with such prolific names in the frontline, youngsters with potential, were all synchronized to operate in a style of football, that is so unique that it bores everyone from the viewer, the spectator, the refereees, the oppoonents, and eventually now the players themselves.


With central midfield side and backward passing stats having been the highlight of the previous two to three seasons of united, ever since the godly red headed Scholes retired, the question was where was the quality service going to be provided.


The problem as fans like me face is, that is absolutely boring to watch united not conjure a single shot on goal like ever. With no end product, I wonder what is the purpose of this play. What are we trying to prove? Giving opportunity to youngsters is the reason van Gaal cited for selling so many first team united players and loaning the other few available.


His man management has been so awful that with a few key injuries, the team is unable to conjure any form of teamsheet that gels. The backline has been solid for most of the season, but the players employed there has to be questioned.


Pushing back midfielders to defensive duties whilst having youngsters with little experience channeling midfield, coupled with aging stalwarts in the core of attack, united looks sorrier each day.


Watching the game today against Norwich, what was so terribly pissing off was the lack of impetus from the bench when united when 0-2 down. No plan B, absolutely stoned expression. And that is what is transforming on to the pitch. As tepid as it gets, this run of united has to be halted. And if there is any honor left in the higher echelons of united, #LvG should be out.

United snoozefest against PSV

So the first day of the Champions league clash this week, I was really tired and I struggled to keep my eyes open, Bayern were scoring everytime I took a mini nap. It was 4-0 before HT and I decided that’s it, am gonna sleep. Next day since United was playing I made sure I had a good noon nap to remain fresh all throughout the night. Was disappointed HD was not playing the game. But at the end of the 90 minutes, I was glad it wasn’t on HD. The torture in slow motion would havemade me desist even the idea of watching Manchester United play this season.

Knowing that a win at home against PSV would leave us in a good position to move into the last 16 plus the added history of Shaw’s injury, I thought this might be the game where we avenged, at least for Shaw. But quite the contrary. The forward four of Rooney, Martial, Memphis and Lingaard that van Gaal employed were coming from a different patch. Rooney, absolutely awful this season and in the team for reason that only van Gaal understands, back from illness; Martial returning after a foot/ankle injury; Memphis in the side having returned from a goal scoring performance in the previous game. Memphis’ season has been one of those where his one sided game attacking from the left wing, combined by his lack of desire to put in a shift, meant he was dropped and was only called back cause of all the injuries opening him up a slot. With Ashley Young fit and available, I believe he was a much better alternative to Memphis with Darmian also going through a patch.

But the performance was so tepid, with lack of desire that waiting for the torture of 90 min to end was so infuriating that I wished PSV won this game. Had they scored, maybe we would have at least had a change in momentum. The players off the bench, especially Fellaini who is so sparingly used this season, I believe should leave the club to one where he starts everyday.

I hope United get a thrashing at Wolfsburg and to start with get beat by the league leaders this weekend. To see united performing so bad and finishing in top 4 is something I would rather not want. Please play football van Gaal. Enough of this f****osophy!

Manchester United 0-0 Newcastle United Review August 2015

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It started on a good note with Bastian starting the game. The movement off the ball was good. The passing was crisp. The early chance that fell to Rooney was wrongly called offside. When you are down, nothing seems to go your way. Memphis was bright, coming off the midweek European double, but yet again the final ball was left wanting.

Operating Rooney up top and Januzaj behind did not quite workout that well today as Wazza never really looked like hassling and harrying the central defence of Taylor and Coloccini. Taylor for having come into the side after a while, had a quiet calm game. Haider was very impressive with his pace throughout the game, the most prominent fellow in the few forays newcastle had into united’s half.

Second half Mata started floating and playing more central while Januzaj looked to hunt the wing, however, Newcastle kept growing in confidence and were well able to stifle the pressure from United. Memphis had a quiet second half, but the back four for Man Utd continued to impress with both Darmian and Shaw making positive forays forward.

The decision making in the final third was questionable many a times and as a result, the outcome was no real effort on goal. Whilst Mitrovic hit the cross bar in the first, he had a disciplined game trying to keep his physical presence felt all throughout. Smalling did a good job handling him. Good to see Chicharito back playing again in the premier league and he nearly made the most of a fortuitous one on one with Krul but the latter came out better as his feet kept the ball from reaching the net.

Rooney in the meantime continued to cut into a frustrated figure and there is no doubt that the discussion everywhere today would be on who Man Utd needs up front.

Player Ratings:

Romero 7.0

Shaw 7.5

Smalling 7.5

Blind 7.5

Darmian 7.5

Memphis 7.5

Januzaj 7.0

Mata 7.0

Rooney 6.5

Schneiderlin 7.0

Aston Villa 0-1 Manchester United 14 August Review

To see Januzaj getting a start after so long was indeed a pleasant surprise. Considering Memphis didn’t get off to a great debut, giving him the wing seemed the right way as Young made way for him. 
The first 15 min of the game was an indication of what both Sherwood and van Gaal had in mind, solid defensive start, nobody making off the ball forward runs. As a result it was such a drab viewing with the match looking like a training outfit. 

Mata’s vision found Januzaj driving into open space and with a wonderful dummy turning up the villa captain completely before slotting in the far corner with his weaker foot. The celebrations were muted from the young lad, whose future at one point was under question towards the end of last season. 

The full backs were not interested in bombing forward however Amavi the Aston villa full back spurted forward with great pace and had good joy quite a few times one on one with both Darmian and Smalling. 

The goalkeepers were fairly untroubled throughout the game as United struggled to put forth shots on target. 

Wayne Rooney who has such a prolific record against villa didn’t get a sniff as he ran rugged and spent most of the time coming back in a defensive role. Am sure if we see his hotmap he will not be seen even for 25% of the game in the box. 

Memphis still has not impressed me. Blind was not troubled this time either as United keep two clean sheets in a row. 

Player verdict

Romero 7.5

Shaw 8.0

Blind 7.5

Smalling 7.5

Darmian 7.5

Memphis 7.0

Carrick 7.5 

Schneiderlein 7.5

Mata 7.5

Wayne 7.0

Adnan 8.0

Manchester United 1-0 Tottenham Spurs 2015-16


The first game of the season, the early kick off, the money has been thrown in, I was eager just for the ball to start kicking yet again.


Solid start to the game with the first quarter totally in Tottenham’s hands. They had the tempo, looked more slick in possession and united looked a bit dead for pace. Fortuitously Eriksen’s half volley off a wonderfully crafted over the top pass from Kane found its way just over the crossbar. However, an erroneous pass from Bentaleb in the midfield triggered a wonderful three pass break. Unfortunate for Walker who made an effort to clip the ball off the feet of  Wazza before he could pull the trigger, the ball painfully trickled past an outstretched arm of Vorm into the bottom corner.


Using the momentum, United made few more searching forward surges, then the first half slowly petered out.  The stand out player in the first half was Darmian as he looked comfortable on both feet, confident one on one and with good pace to keep the players interested. Romero’s distrubution has been nervy but his shot stopping was unnerving. Schneiderlin’s tackles and strength has been impressive. Not a lot gets through him.


The second half resumed in the same tempo, with both teams playing compact football with short passes. Darmian yet again was live in the box as Spurs threaten off a break from their third of the pitch. Michael carrick made way for Bastian to pair up in midfield with Schneidelin.  Memphis and Wayne are yet to form a formidable link up, Romero has improved his movement and is early to the ball and decisive especially from crosses.


Memphis made way for Herrera. For his debut, playing behind Wayne, he didn’t really get his game going. Herrera added speed to the midfield while Bastian’s fiest earned him a yellow card. Rooney had the opportunity for an overhead spectacular as Darmian stormed down the right wing to cross, but he didn’t connect. The dead ball opportunity fell for Wayne again when Young got clipped outside the box but he flew it too high. Think he needs to be more prepared if he is to be aiming for a 25+ season.


Darmian got to leave ten minutes before the end of the game to a well deserved applause, the best player in the red shirt today. Valencia got caught out twice as he replaced Darmian and clearly it offered Romero to show his ball stopping ability. Smalling has impressed in his new role in the team and apart from a misunderstanding with Romero, which he himself recovered.


Romero does really well in the end to scramble one out of the danger area and to stop a really powerful low strung shot. Manchester united looked nervy in the last few minutes of official time.


Overall, despite the quality of performance, more importantly its the three points.


My overall verdict on the players performance today:

Romero 8.0

Shaw 7.0

Blind 7.0

Smalling 7.5

Damian 8.5

Young 7.5

Schneiderlin 7.5

Carrick 7.0

Mata 7.0

Memphis 6.5

Rooney 7.0

The perfect mood killer on a Super Sunday


Fortuitous, yet packaged with determination, it took only 4 minutes for Toffees to find the back of the net. The midfield was dogged. Man United went back to possession football. The passing was crisp, but time on the ball was limited.


Mc Nair was never my favorite youngster, and he proved today why. Tweaking the playing eleven with substitutions seemed to not make any impact as Everton continued to stop shop, and bully soft #mufc players off the ball. It was the more desire and determination of the Toffees that spoilt them with a scoreline to cherish. Fourth place is one to fight for now!

Happy for Mirallas to find the net, always liked him on the ball, but yet again controversial with the new off side rule.