David De Gea is set to miss yet another match following interest from Real Madrid
Manchester United will again be without Spanish goalkeeper David De Gea, who will not feature for the club against Newcastle United today. De Gea is being courted by Real Madrid and United manager Louis van Gaal does not feel the keeper is in the right frame of mind to start. The club will be looking to continue its good early season form, having notched up wins against Tottenham Hotspur, Aston Villa and Club Brugge.
United fans will be eager to see a good performance following a week that saw the club lose out on two potential transfers; Pedro, who went to Chelsea from Barcelona, and Otamendi, who went to Manchester City from Valencia. The United boss has also dismissed speculation that he was frustrated by Ed Woodward and lack of transfer activity.
- Newcastle United last beat Manchester United at Old Trafford in December 2013 – winning 1-0
- That win was the first for the club in the Premier League at Old Trafford
- This will be Chris Smalling’s 80th League start for the club
A first start for Bastian Schweinsteiger
Today could see Bastian Schweinsteiger make his first start for the club, having impressed in his three substitute appearances – replacing Michael Carrick in every match. Carrick, who has been a magnificent servant for the club and was a big loss towards the end of last season when he picked up a injury against Manchester City, has struggled with his early season form and his own goal against Club Brugge will not do anything for his confidence. Schweinsteiger should start alongside Morgan Schneiderlin in the centre of midfield
View from the opposition
We have a great view from the opposition with Mark, who writes for The Mag. We discussed whether Manchester United can challenge for the league, that 1995/96 season and if he could field Xi Newcastle United players in one dream team – how would he line up! You can follow the guys at @nufcthemag.
1.Are you happy with your current squad or do you still need to bring in players?
The transfer activity has been a pleasant surprise this summer, in terms of the money spent and bringing in players with potential. However, only QPR conceded more goals in the Premier League last season and the only defender signed is Chancel Mbemba. He looks a decent buy but can’t do the job on his own, with another centre-back and first choice left-back on the wish list of most fans. Years of under-investment means that realistically it will take more than one transfer window to patch up all the holes.
2.Is Steve McLaren the right man for the job? Will he still be there in May?
McClaren has talked a good game since he arrived and fans generally have been impressed with what he has had to say. He has carried himself well but after Pardew and Carver any new man was going to get an easy ride in the early days. Ashley is very unlikely to make changes whatever happens this season so unless McClaren decides himself it isn’t for him, he will still be here. Like all managers the new one (Head Coach!) will be given the backing/benefit of the doubt until what we see on the pitch convinces otherwise.
3.How would you assess your opening two fixtures?
Opening 2-2 draw had bit of everything, came from one down to lead 2-1 late on, only to fade badly in last 15 minutes and lucky to not lose. Wijnaldum was man of the match and showed his pedigree, defence still looked an accident waiting to happen, especially when the ball is crossed in the air. Swansea defeat was shocking and Janmaat sending off helped to deflect a lot of the criticism, it was embarrassing how much better the Welsh club looked.
A point was maybe about what most fans expected from first two matches but the display against Swansea had too much of a look of last season for anybody’s liking. Fans counting on the new signings settling quickly.
“I have the idea you want to separate Ed Woodward with me. Never. Never.”
– Louis van Gaal on Friday
4.What have you made of the developing Manchester United and in particularly Memphis Depay?
A lot of coverage up here on Depay, due to his former teammate landing here. General belief that we may have got the better deal considering Wijnaldum was the Dutch league’s player of the season. Both though look talented players and hopefully it will inspire our former PSV player to produce his best on Saturday. I think Moyes was the fall guy brought in to take the blame for Alex Ferguson’s failure to force the Glazers to invest in top players, the former Everton manager on a hiding to nothing with relatively low transfer spending when he took on the job.
Massive rebuilding job for Van Gaal but has been given a lot of money to do it, lucky to get large part of Di Maria money back and that transfer was very lucky not to get the full treatment from the press last season. Think you have improved but not compared to money spent, major problem is no longer can Man Utd walk in and get best players from elsewhere, as Chelsea and Man City will outmuscle you, never mind Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich who often prove more attractive than English clubs.
5.Can you see United challenging for the title this season?
I can’t see Manchester United OR Newcastle United challenging this season, finishing top four looks success for you unless you pull a brilliant striker and centre-back from somewhere, for starters.
6.Where do you think United need to strengthen?
Think you need to raise a level across a number of positions but certainly the two positions outlined above are essential.
7. Who is the greatest Newcastle player of all time?
Of those I have seen it would be Alan Shearer. In terms of most skill and excitement it would be Beardsley and Gascoigne.
8. What would you do differently if we wound back the clock twenty years and were entering 1995/96?
Appreciate it even more than I did back then! Best quality of football I have ever seen and certainly best entertainment. Yes we didn’t win the title but watching great football/players is at the heart of what being a supporter is all about, especially those who actually go to games. Don’t think Keegan did a lot wrong, Newcastle simply didn’t have a big enough squad to enable him to give certain players a break, such as Les Ferdinand when he stopped scoring.
We finished 15 points ahead of fourth and 7 in front of third that season, which showed the gulf in class between our two clubs and the rest – at that moment in time.
He’s got to be right up there as one of England’s greatest. His record speaks for itself.”
– Steve McClaren on Wayne Rooney
9. What is your top four to finish the season and who will get relegated?
Think between Manchester City and Chelsea for top two, with your council house neighbours finishing top. Arsenal in third and then a fight between Liverpool and Manchester United for fourth, with possibly Spurs and Swansea as a wildcard competing.
For relegation, I think Watford, Sunderland and Bournemouth, although I do see the three promoted clubs all having a right go this time and wouldn’t be surprised if any of the three stayed up.
10. Name your great ever Newcastle United xi?
The greatest NUFC 11 I have seen are: