Louis van Gaal looks to Bournemouth victory following Europe exit

Posted on December 12, 2015  by Stretford-end  in Bournemouth, Man United, Premier League   1 Comment »
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Louis van Gaal couldn’t watch as his Manchester United side were sent crashing out of Europe

It was never meant to end the way that it did. Manchester United exited the Champions League at the first hurdle, having spent over £90million in the summer on new players – Louis van Gaal was forced, again, to justify his position and reiterate the fact that he believes United are “getting better”. If you witnessed the first half performance against Wolfsburg and how the German side waltzed through the United defence for their second goal – you wouldn’t have though it. Bastian Schweinsteiger, a World Cup winner and a once elegant general of the midfield, looks a player on the decline and was abysmal in the final group game. United travel to the south coast today to take on Bournemouth and will be without Schweinsteiger, who was banned following an incident with Winston Reid in the 0-0 draw with West Ham.

Bournemouth have done wonders under the leadership of Eddie Howe and will play their first league fixture against United ever. Both clubs have met eight times before, with the last tie in the 1988/89 season – a FA Cup 5th round replay. Brian McClair scored the only goal that day and Louis van Gaal will need some of that firepower up top as United look for their first win since beating Watford 2-1 last month. Bournemouth are on a high following the victory over Chelsea last weekend and will no doubt take confidence in the fact that United are now out of the Champions League and could well be another big scalp.

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Manchester United draw 0-0 again – will the philosophy ever work?

Posted on December 06, 2015  by Stretford-end  in Man United, Managers, Premier League, West Ham   1 Comment »
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Anthony Martial fails to find the back of the net against West Ham United

Another afternoon. Another 0-0. Another excuse from the manager. Louis van Gaal saw his Manchester United side fail to score for the sixth time this season, as West Ham United earned a well deserved point at Old Trafford. The visitors had the better of the chances, with David De Gea thwarting Victor Moses – who was through one on one following a poor Daley Blind pass. The Spaniard was also lucky to see Chris Smalling’s attempted clearance smash the post, just before Winston Reid hit the same upright later in the half.

Argentine Mauro Zárate was guilty of missing the best and easiest chance of the match as his outside of the boot strike went well wide having been played in by Andy Carroll. Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial went close in the second half, but it was the same old story as United picked up another goalless draw. Statistics show that United are much tighter at the back and concede fewer goals than last season, however – the visitors were unlucky not to find the back of the net.

United’s manager believes that his side have not got luck on their side at present, which was evident in the amount of chances van Gaal believes his side have squandered. With United apparently cooling any interest on Pep Guardiola, it appears that the Dutchman will be able to finish off his philosophy as we approach the halfway mark of his tenure.

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Slavan Bilic dismisses boring link as United take on West Ham

Posted on December 05, 2015  by Stretford-end  in Man United, Match Previews, Premier League, West Ham   No Comments »
Robin van Persie scores against West Ham United last season
Now departed Robin van Persie scores the opener against West Ham United last season.

Manchester United welcome West Ham to Old Trafford as the hosts look to close the gap on Manchester City at the top of the table. United drew 1-1 last weekend with Leicester City, when a win would have taken Louis van Gaal’s men to the top of the table – but had to settle for a point, with Bastian Schweinsteiger netting his first goal for the club.

The visitors have lost their last two games away from Upton Park, losing 2-0 to Watford and going down 4-1 to rivals Spurs – whilst United are undefeated at home. Wayne Rooney, who has been struggling for form this season, will miss the game through injury. Rooney is currently on 499 appearances for the club and will have to wait a little longer for his milestone.

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Jamie Vardy makes history as Wayne Rooney struggles again

Posted on November 29, 2015  by Stretford-end  in Leicester City, Man United, Match Reports   1 Comment »
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Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea embraces Jamie Vardy at the final whistle

Ruud van Nistelrooy’s record was official broken by Jamie Vardy, as Manchester United drew 1-1 with Leicester City at the King Power stadium. The Dutchman, who was the last player to score a winning goal at Leicester back in 2003, tweeted his respect of the record being broke as both clubs failed to find the winner, which would have sent either club to the top of the table ahead of Manchester City.

Vardy had scored the opener on 24 minutes, following a beautifully crafted left footed pass ball from Christian Fuchs. The home side counter attacked brilliantly from a United corner before Vardy smashed home his eleventh in a row – a unbelievable story for a player who was playing non-league football five years ago. United hit back just before half time with a header from Bastian Schweinsteiger. The German smashed home from a superb corner from Daley Blind, whilst outmuscling Shinji Okazaki in the process.

The tie took a familiar pattern, with Manchester United dominating possession without ever really threatening Kasper Schmeichel in the Leicester City goal. The home side were setup to counter United, and Louis van Gaal looked to nullify the any through balls from the full backs into the channels, by deploying Wayne Rooney and Anthony Martial wide when not in possession – for Juan Mata to press the centre halves. When United in fact won the ball and started a counter, both Rooney and Martial were too far apart to capitalise.

Rooney was taken off due to a injury (according to the manager), to be replaced by Memphis Depay. But the United captain looks a shadow of his former self in all honesty. The result was fair as both sides continue their title challenge into the Christmas period.

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Jamie Vardy looking to torment Manchester United again

Posted on November 28, 2015  by Stretford-end  in Leicester City, Man United, Match Previews   1 Comment »
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Jamie Vardy was a constant threat in the 5-3 victory over United last season

It was an absolute whirlwind of a game. If this was to be the final result on a Football Manager style simulation game, you would have hammered the reset button, folded your arms in disgust and comment on how “unrealistic” this really is. Well, it happened – Manchester United were 3-1 up and coasting before Jamie Vardy morphed in Marco van Basten and pulled United’s trousers well and truly down.

Since then, Leicester City have survived, sacked their saviour of a manager, hired the tinkerman and are now sitting pretty at the top of the table. Vardy is now the most prolific striker in the land, notching up 13 goals so far. He is level with former United striker Ruud van Nistelrooy on ten goals scored in a row – one more today, against van Nistelrooy’s former employers, would put him out on his own. It is a remarkable story from a player who was playing in the eighth tier of English football five years ago.

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James Wilson’s loan to Brighton is vital for his development

Posted on November 28, 2015  by nameonthetrophy  in Doron, Guest Writer, Man United, Youth   No Comments »

James Wilson has found his chances at Manchester United pretty limited this season

Guest Author: Doron

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The news of James Wilson’s loan to Brighton was akin to a last minute goal in a game. A quick rewrite was needed to a piece that was pretty much written about how it’s important something happens to him soon so that his career doesn’t start to stall. The premise ultimately remains the same but the loan, a positive move, provides some relief that he remains on the right path.

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United score last gasp winner at Watford to go second

Posted on November 22, 2015  by Stretford-end  in Man United, Premier League, Watford   No Comments »
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Memphis Depay scores Manchester United’s opener against Watford

Author: Mitchell

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Fans of Wayne Rooney should take a second to breathe, as what I’m about to tell you might come as the shock you so eagerly were trying to avoid. Ready for it? Here it comes.

Manchester United put forth one of their best displays of the season and the captain was nowhere near the pitch. That’s right: no Rooney, no worry.

You’d think that a team missing Anthony Martial, Rooney, James Wilson and Marouane Fellaini would struggle against a home side with a reputation for low concession (an average of just over one goal per game) and on stats alone you’d probably chalk up a victory. Tell that to Memphis Depay though, given the forward spot and repaying within ten minutes of the open. A converted penalty from Troy Deeney nearly ruined a hard-fought effort with five minutes to spare, but Bastian Schweinsteiger forcing the ball from a tight angle onto the Watford scorer’s sliding body put the game to bed.

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Watford take on injury hit Manchester United

Posted on November 21, 2015  by Stretford-end  in Man United, Watford   No Comments »
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Odion Ighalo will look to add to his goals tally for Watford against Manchester United

Manchester United last played Watford in the spring of 2007 in a FA Cup semi final. United went on to lose in the final against Chelsea, but were victorious in the league, whilst the fallen semi-finalists waved goodbye to Premier League football. Today, United travel to Vicarage Road without a recognised striker, with both Wayne Rooney and Anthony Martial missing through injury. James Wilson, United’s young striker, is also missing – which could mean a start for Marouane Fellaini up top.

Louis van Gaal has publicly spoken for the first time about the need for Memphis Depay to step up, as his fellow countryman expects more. Depay hasn’t played since the 3-0 defeat away at Arsenal, and with injuries to attacking players – this could well be a great chance for the young winger to make an impact.

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Jesse Lingard gives van Gaal the goal Manchester United needed

Posted on November 08, 2015  by Stretford-end  in Man United, Premier League, WBA   No Comments »
Jesse Lingard scores the opener against WBA
Jesse Lingard opens the scoring for Manchester United against WBA in the 2-0 victory at Old Trafford

As we approach the next international break where there is the inevitable gap of watching domestic football, much has happened since the last break in early October. The 19th minute strike by Alexis Sanchez in the 3-0 defeat away at Arsenal is the last league goal Manchester United have conceded. Paul Scholes has spoken openly regarding the way Louis van Gaal has the side playing these days, whilst Middlesbrough have knocked United out of the League Cup, on penalties – at Old Trafford.

Despite the criticism regarding lack of attacking threat, United continue to push and challenge for some sort of title charge. Yesterday, the defensively minded WBA set up shop with eleven men behind the ball – which explains a lot as to why, before yesterday, they had conceded the fewest away goals in the Premier League. The first half was devoid of any real action, excluding the brilliant control, turn and shot from Anthony Martial. The second half was more open and United fans witnessed Jesse Lingard’s first goal for the club; a beautifully curled shot past the helpless Boaz Myhill in the 52nd minute.

United were lucky not to concede when Saido Berahino missed an absolute sitter from five yards. The unmarked forward, who was a second half substitute, headed high and wide from a Craig Dawson cross. With time running out, the visitors pushed men forward – but it was Anthony Martial who won a penalty for the home side after a through ball by Ander Herrera. The young French forward was brought down by Gareth McAuley, who was dismissed by Mike Dean, having showed great pace to get into a shooting position. Juan Mata slotted home the penalty for United to go 2-0 up and keep the pressure on Manchester City, Arsenal and high flying Leicester City.

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Will Louis van Gaal’s Manchester United score goals against WBA?

Posted on November 07, 2015  by Stretford-end  in Man United, Premier League, WBA   No Comments »
Manchester United lose 1-0 to WBA last season
Manchester United haven’t conceded a goal since the 1-1 draw with CSKA Moscow

The figures do not bode well for an open attacking game at Old Trafford this afternoon. Manchester United haven’t scored a goal in the Premier League since Wayne Rooney’s strike against Everton three weeks ago, whilst WBA have only conceded two goals away from The Hawthorns all season. Looking at the 0-0 draw with Crystal Palace last week, United are struggling to capitalise on the amount of possession the side has during Premier League matches.

This generally applies to games away from Old Trafford – but with WBA’s stingy defence, the 5-5 goal fest in Sir Alex Ferguson’s final is highly unlikely. Louis van Gaal has pleaded for patience with United fans following boos during the CSKA Moscow game in the week – which United won 1-0. Can United pick up in front of goal and pick up three points and seek revenge following the 1-0 defeat to WBA last May?

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