Robin van Persie scores for Manchester United at Swansea
Manchester United host the first game of the 2014/15 Premier League season and welcome Swansea City in what is a return fixture of the opening match last season. United got off to a flyer, hitting four past Swansea in what was David Moyes domestic debut. That was as good as it got for the Scot, who didn’t get to see the end of the season following his sacking in the April of this year.
Now, Manchester United have a new man in charge. A proven winner who has lifted league titles in Holland, Spain and Germany. Can he add and English Championship to his CV? If he is to – it all kicks off against Swansea City at 12:45.
We caught up with Jules, who blogs over at www.swanfc.com, who answered a few questions on Michael Laudrup, players heading off to Qatar and what on earth happened to Michu?! You can follows Jules and Swan FC on Twitter @swansfc.
1) Now the dust has firmly settled, what are you thoughts on the sacking of Michael Laudrup?
I was pleased that he left the club. If anything he probably should have left during the previous summer. There had always been rumours that he didn’t get on with certain players and/or the Directors and it was plain to see these relationships becoming increasingly strained. After winning the Capital One Cup he seemed to give up and his motivational coaching was lacking.
2) How disappointed are you in the decline of Michu? What are your thoughts on his loan move and why did he struggle last season?
I’m not surprised at all that he has left the club. He was a Laudrup signing and as you have witnessed nearly all the Laudrup signings have now gone. Again, I heard rumours that he was adamant he wouldn’t play for the Swans again way back in February and when he did make some appearances after the departure of the Dane it was plain to see he really didn’t want to be here. It is a shame though as I suspect few players have had the impact on the Premier League like he did in recent years.
3) Are you happy with Garry Monk as your manager and what are your thoughts on his performance towards the end of last season?
Initially yes, and it suited the club, players and fans to install him until the ned of the season. Everyone could clearly see he made an instant impact on the players. They seemed more up for the cause and much happier (well most of them were). However, appointing him long term in the Premier League is a massive risk and while many will compare his appointment to previous managers as Martinez and Rodgers, they were in lower leagues. This is the toughest league in the World.
4) Where will you finish this season?
I believe the Swans have made some great signings and the squad is arguably stronger than last year. Whether the tactical know-how is there remains to be seen. On ability I would suggest 10th but at this point in time I would take 17th.
5) What have you made of the appointment of Louis van Gaal?
Fantastic appointment. A larger than life character which a club as big as Manchester United needs. Tactically superb and this was evident during the World Cup in Brazil. I like how he reads the game and how he is confident enough to change tactics significantly to adjust the team accordingly during a match.
6) Do you think David Moyes was treated harshly last season or did he have to go?
Possibly, but he should never have been appointed as manager in the first place. I met David Moyes briefly outside Villa Park a couple of seasons ago. He came to watch Aston Villa v Swansea with his father. He, like my friend and I arrived late. He seemed a really nice guy. But I think Man Utd was a club too big for him. However, I think he deserves another chance in the Premier League.
7) Will Leon Britton surpass the appearances of Wilfred Milne (Swansea City’s record appearance holder)? He is currently 180 game behind.
Great question! He’s currently injured so I doubt you will him in action on Saturday. Yes why not? He’s rarely injured, looks after himself and has a great work-ethic on the pitch. That would be a great reward for a loyal servant. Apparently he only left the Swans (to go to Sheffield Utd) because of the then Manager Paulo Sousa who didn’t want him in the squad.
8) Where will Manchester United finish this season?
Got to be looking at top 4 this season. I think Liverpool and Man City will be weaker this year. However I am expecting Chelsea to be stronger alongside Arsenal. I’ll go for third.
9) What will the score be on Saturday?
Before last Saturday’s friendly against Villarreal I would have believed we may have scraped a draw. However, after the disappointing performance it could be a very disappointing 4-0 win for United.
10) What do you make of Chico Flores and Pablo Hernandez leaving the club for Qatar?
Going for the money! Two talented players so why go to a league that is at the level of football? If they were looking for a new challenge abroad the US MLS league would have been a more acceptable switch! Disappointing!