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Manchester United vs West Brom Match Preview

Even though it might not seem like it, these are the games where we can see if teams deserve success, and with Manchester United without 6 key players, 3 being starting midfielders, we then see a problem United have to overcome. United can survive without Fellaini, we can survive with Rooney, we can cope without Pogba, but we struggle without Herrera. The only starting midfielder we have in reality is Carrick, and no matter how much i want to see Blind or Fosu in defensive midfield, i just don’t see it, mainly because of the injuries we have in defense as well. Blind will be needed in defense, but Fosu has a chance, albeat a small chance, it could be his chance to prove to Mourinho he should be considered as an important first team player. It’s a shame we have to play West Brom at this time, because any other day, I’d say United would easily win this. But because of West Brom’s strength at set pieces and 4 of our taller players unable to play, we have a problem. We saw last weekend how brilliant West Brom are at set pieces, so United need to be aware and have our best players on those taller players like McAuley and Dawson.

Even though we might falter in defense, the final third is where we’ll shine. We have most of our forward players available for this game, and they’ll be very important. Last time we played the baggies, we used Lingard’s pace and width to hurt their back four, and it’ll have to be the same strategy. If we play Mata for his intelligence on one side, Lingard or Mhikitaryan for their pace in attacking midfield and right midfield respectively. There will never be a day when i say United will lose, so I’ll go for the win. But barely.

Prediction: Manchester United 2:1 West Brom

The future is looking bright! – Problems at Manchester United that Jose Mourinho has fixed

Mourinho has not been at the club for even a year yet, but it is important to not some of the changes he has made to the way Manchester United plays and in some aspects is ran. I will be ranking these in order of importance and to finish I’ll even say the problems i believe Jose needs to fix after this season, because this season is only the start. There is still plenty of work to do.

Style of play

This actually wasn’t too important on my list, because I knew as soon as Van Gaal left this would definitely improve, and it definitely has. Pogba and Mhikitaryian are the signings that embody this change of style, to a more entertaining way of playing, with players taking risks and and ignoring the amount of possession and only trying to make the most of the amount we have. During Van Gaal’s reign as manager, we always saw 2 defensive midfielders, making us look so static and very passive. Even in the smaller games we saw the likes of Schweinsteiger and Carrick playing together, two players that aren’t exactly the most daring. But under Mourinho this has changed. Against the bigger teams we will be more passive, to ensure we don’t drop points and they do. But against the smaller teams, we play an exciting and free forming 4-3-3. We are having a go now, trying harder to break teams down and especially, entertain the fans. So far there haven’t been any sightings of fans falling asleep during games, so definitely a sign of improvement!

Trophies

United only won one trophy during the three years after Ferguson left. So Mourinho had a huge responsibility to remind the world why we are the biggest club in the world by gaining the trophies to show it, and Mourinho has started very brightly. He has already won as many trophies as Louis Van Gaal and David Moyes win during their times as manager. It has been seen in the past that Mourinho likes to use the League Cup as a moral boost for the players, to give them the desire and motivation to continue, and to give some players the winning feeling, and at this moment, it’s for the Europa League, a trophy that can easily be won, given the lower quality of teams and the squad depth United has. So let’s give Mourinho his third trophy, giving him a pretty solid start as Manchester United manager.

Goals

This to me was more important than style, because under Ferguson, we weren’t always this perfect 4-4-2, some games United won based on some effective counter attacks, but what those teams had was clinical strikers. Even though i cannot fault Zlatan’s countless goals, he hasn’t been perfect. When he doesn’t score, we usually do not win games. He has became our team when he plays, playing as the vocal point for the team and the main output of goals. There is nothing wrong with relying on him. He is paid to score goals. But my problem comes when he has an occasional off day, and no other players contribute. The arrival of Mhikitaryan and the form of Pogba has helped out, but more still needs to be done. Even though it is a massive improvement from last season, with more chances being created, we still need to put that ball in the back of the net if we ever want to win this league.

Signings

Easily my biggest criticism of the other two managers was their lack of Man United players brought into the club. When I say Manchester United players, i mean players at a high quality, producing high numbers for their club and worthy of a big move to a club at the top. This just wasn’t apparent under Van Gaal and Mourinho, buying players that weren’t up to the Manchester United standard, players like Schneiderlin, an aging Schweinsteiger, Depay and in some aspects, Rojo. These players weren’t up the usual standard we expect to see under Ferguson. But that has definitely improved. Zlatan has been an instant success, saving us throughout the season. He’s also given us a character, something we’ve lacked since the departure of players like Vidic, Ferdinand, Giggsy and Evra. Bailly was a player we desperately needed. We’ve been missing a consistent defender for a long time. Mhikitaryan has given us more creativity and a play who will run at defenders. And Pogba has given us some real quality and risk in that midfield, and more goals in general. Mourinho’s start at United has been excellent when it comes to signing players. There isn’t a single fault with the players he signed. Something i hope doesn’t change in the future.

Other factors Mourinho needs to improve

The most obvious one would be trying to integrate the academy players more. The only other the thing Mourinho needs to improve is the team’s shooting, because that has costed us so many games. 

Absolute Bargains! – Top 5 free transfers of all time

Free transfers are usually there to take younger players leaving an academy or a player coming to the end of their career. They are normally used for squad depth and never for a main starter, but there are some exceptions. Some free transfers can be seen as some phenomenal business from the club buying. But before I start, here are some honourable mentions:

Sami Khedira – Real Madrid to Juventus

Dani Alves – Barcelona to Juventus

James Milner – Manchester City to Liverpool

Henrik Larsson – Celtic to Barcelona

Sol Campbell – Spurs to Arsenal



5. Zlatan Ibrahimovic – PSG to Manchester United

At the time Zlatan Ibrahimovic was on Top of the World. He carried PSG to another league title and became their record goal scorer. And to top that, he said he would only stay if he was given a statue. Classic Zlatan. Ibrahimovic was rumoured to be joining United as soon as the transfer window opened, and there was plenty of criticism. Involving his age, being able to adapt to the league, and only scoring all his goals against so called ‘farmers.’ And turns out all of this criticism was incorrect. At this moment of writing Zlatan has scored 26 goals for Man United. An unbelievable amount for a player who only scored against farmers. The reason he’s on this list over the players on the honourable mentions is because Mourinho brought in a leader, a player who would be able to give plenty on the pitch as well as off the pitch. He’s an experienced player who added a lot to a team that needed a massive boost, after 3 years of underperforming.

4. Paul Pogba – Manchester United to Juventus

The third free transfer involving Juventus is easily their best one. Paul Pogba was a player with high potential, with him being seen as the future for Man United’s midfield, but because of a lack of game time he was getting and the typical manipulation of Mino Riola, Pogba was persuaded to move somewhere else for game time. At Juventus he showed his talents, being heavily involved in the champions league final team. Playing in a very balanced midfield with Pirlo, Marchisio and Vidal, where he was able to show his talents, and eventually being named in the FIFA team of the year back in 2015. This is regarded as Fergie’s biggest mistake. Because 4 years later, Man United came back to buy him, only for a record fee. Giving Juventus a giant profit on the Frenchman.

3. Jay-Jay Okocha – PSG to Bolton Wanderers

Not many people outside of the England will understand this pick but you have to hear me out. Jay-Jay Okocha was at PSG for two years after being signed for £10 million, which at the time was a decent amount of money. But Sam Allardyce, releasing his contract was almost at it’s end, signed the Nigerian on a free, and boy what a signing he was. Bolton not only signed the best dribbler the Premier League has ever seen, they also signed someone who was an expert with the dead ball, something you need when you’re fighting a relegation battle. Okocha saved Bolton by contributing with 14 in 124 games. He helped massively in keeping Bolton in the Premier League. But that’s only the objective reason why he is on this list. Subjectively, he is one of my favourite players of all time. I never saw anyone in the Premier League play with opposing playing with insane trickery, until I saw Jay-Jay Okocha kick a ball. He is on the list for revolutionizing the Premier League, and reminding everyone why it’s called the beautiful game.

2. Robert Lewandowski – Borussia Dortmund to Bayern Munich

Robert Lewandowski does not need any introduction. The man who showed himself as one of the best strikers around, consistently scoring for Dortmund for 3 years. One when they won the league title and another when they reached the Champions League final. He left under very controversial circumstances, letting his contract running out and deciding to go to Bayern Munich. Where he continued his insane goal scoring form. Bayern signed the best striker in the world, during a time where they needed a striker who would play the Pep way and still score plenty of goals. He can be seen as the main reason why they won the league 2 years ago. Carrying Bayern during a time where they had so many injuries to key players. And his second season where he scored over 30 goals in the Bundesliga. Bayern signed a player who is worth a record amount for nothing. And that just makes the signing even better.

1. Andrea Pirlo

Even though this pick is very unoriginal, it can’t be stressed how brilliant this signing was. Pirlo was at AC Milan for years, becoming one of the best deep line playmakers in the world for years. But as Pirlo began aging, Milan thought he was no longer needed for them, so they didn’t offer him a new contract and let him leave the club, and what a mistake that turned out to be. Juventus decided to sign him to complete their already brilliant midfield. The best way i can describe this is Gigi Buffon describing him as the best signing of all time, although i wouldn’t go that far, i do agree with it being one brilliant signing. He was given a very free role under Antonio Conte, allowing him to be the extra quality, while Pogba, Vidal and Marchisio provide the energy he doesn’t have. Pirlo thrived in that system. Scoring 19 and assisting 35 in 119 games. He is the perfect example of age not being a problem, and he helped guide Juventus to years of success.

5 National Teams with a Bright Future

I usually can’t stand the international break. The games are usually very slow and  do not come near the quality of the premier league and other leagues. So to celebrate football that bores me to death, i will.be listing a few teams that contain a pool of players that will make their respected national teams a threat in the future.

Nigeria 

A bit of an odd choice to start off with. I didn’t want to just talk about the obvious teams that everyone expects to have a bright future, I wanted to include a team that could have a future without many casual fans realising. Nigeria are one of the teams in Africa most football fans know have and now include some top quality talent. One of my favourite ever players, Jay Jay Okocha, was Nigerian. But let’s not look at the past, let’s look at the future. This team includes some talent that play in some top leagues. Players like Alex Iwobi, Ahmed Musa, Wilfred Ndidi and Kelechi Iheanacho, all premier league players, could help guide Nigeria out of the group stages of a world cup or even win an African Cup of Nations. All i can say is the future is looking bright for the African nation.

Portugal

Even though the reminder of Portugal winning the Euros in France last year still bothers me in every sense imaginable, it could help Portugal put more effort and resources into their National set up. Portugal for years has been known for producting top quality talent. With huge names like Ronaldo, Pepe, Andre Gomes and Nani coming from Portuguese clubs. The clubs like Benfica, Porto and Lisbon all have developed some fine talent over the years, and now with their more experienced players coming to the end of their careers, it’s time for the next generation of talent to take over, and boy does it look bright. The world as already seen players like Renato Sanches and Raphael Guerreiro in that Euro winning side. But the world hasn’t seen talent like Andre Silva, the Semedo’s and Bernardo Silva,  and Joao Mario and Andre Gomes only going to improve, Portugal could have a chance of winning more Silverware.

USA

It feels like only yesterday we all saw Tim Howard put on one of the greatest goal keeper performances against Belgium during the 2014 world cup, and that was only the start for the US. For years now, Tim Howard and Clint Dempsey have had a consistent role in the national team set up, being the big stars for that team. But their time is almost over, so it’s time for the future. I already am aware of some stars in Germany like Julian Green and Pulisic, but the MLS itself is the reason why I’ve put them on this list. The MLS is a growing league, not over relying on the older players to go over there anymore. They are growing their own talent and actually making a competitive league, and that will lead to better academies, which will lead to even more US players. It just goes to show that the US could even win a trophy before England will get their second.

Germany

Germany’s under 21s already have collected over 1100 appearances in the Bundesliga this season, while England’s under 21s have collected 200 appearances. They have collected the most an under 21 team is in Europe. Do i need to say more? I think I’ll just list some of their young players. Leroy Sane, Joshua Kimmich, Andrea Ter Stegan, Timo Verner, Julian Weigl, Julian Brandt, Max Meyer, Leon Gretska. There you go.

France

France have the exact same case. They have so much depth in their squad at the moment it just seems like it will never end. With Monaco including plenty of young french players, nothing needs to be said about them as well. I just mainly wanted to discuss the first three national teams, because everyone knows Germany and France are always have a next generation.

Champions League Quarter Finals Preview

Besides Leicester, the Champions League has been quite predictable so far. With Barcelona making one of the most remarkable comebacks in football to beat PSG, to Bayern Munich scoring ten in two games against Arsenal. It has already been very predictable. With some very interesting draws being made for the next round of the Champions League, now is a better time than ever to see who will be progressing to the final four.

Bayern Munich vs Real Madrid

This easily has to be the most eventful game. Surrounded by the the student against the teacher, it’s the holders of the trophy against the favourites for it. This fixture is what i thought the final would be, because both teams include a great depth in squad and both contain some world class players that could get into any team. Real Madrid have the advantage of it being the identical team that played last season, giving them the boost of experience of playing with each other, and it’s proven to be the boost it is. From them being top of La Liga and not lost a game at home all season. But Real have consistently getting injury troubles. With the likes of Bale, Casemiro, Pepe and Modric all missing games at one point in the season because of injuries. A big depender on the result of this tie would be how much of Real’s squad will be playing. Bayern on the other hand, don’t have many issues. Even with an out of form Thomas Muller, Bayern are still dominating the Bundesliga and rolled Arsenal over like it was nothing. When watching Bayern aren’t even at 100%, they seem to be playing at 70-80%. The idea of of them at full potential is terrifying. A squad containing world class players like Lahm, Thiago, Alaba and the main man Lewandowski. On paper, this should be a win for Bayern, and having Ancielotti instantly increases their chances. But Real Madrid are too unpredictable, so a late goal from Ramos will never be off the table.

Prediction: Bayern Munich 4-3 Real Madrid on Aggregate

Borussia Dortmund Vs Monaco

This is the game I’m most looking forward for and will definitely be watching. Both of these teams have scored bundles of goals threw their leagues and the Champions League, and knowing this going into the game instantly a must watch. Dortmund haven’t been the force i thought they would be in the league, but in the Champions League they have been flawless, scoring the most goals in the competition so far. The likes of Aubameyang and Dembele have flourished so far, both being some of the stand out players in the competition. Dortmund know how to grind out their away games and how to dominate their home games, making them a tough opponent especially in the Champions League. Monaco on the other hand have learnt their lesson against City on how to close a game down, and they were phenomenal in both legs against Man City. Monaco just have to use their full backs correctly and get as many crosses in the box as usual. Dortmund on the other hand have to take advantage of Monaco’s high line. I’m expecting a high scoring game, but I can see the Germans progressing because of their previous experience in the competition.

Prediction: Borussia Dortmund 7-6 Monaco on Aggregate

Athletico Madrid vs Leicester City

This could be a good fixture for Leicester, or the worst fixture. This all depends on which Athletico turn up. The one that beat Bayern or the one that got beat by a Real Madrid team that didn’t even have some of their best players. Athletico have changed their style over the last few years. From the title winning side that were aggressive, quickly winning the ball back and punishing teams, playing midfielders outside to increase the work rate, to now playing less aggressive players in midfield in Koke and natural wide players such as Carrasco. I prefer their old way. It made them more organised and harder to break down. Now they are easier to break down, and now have turned into more of a form team in some aspects. But they are still strong in the champions league. Oblak keeping 17 cleansheets out of 20 games. And that is going to be Leicester’s biggest worry. Athletico are still very very hard to break down, so Leicester will have to be creative in breaking them down. Leicester have been very good in the last few games and especially against Sevilla, where they showed why you shouldn’t take them lightly. Both teams play a classic 4-4-2 so will be interesting what happens. I do however believe Athletico will progress. But i will be rooting for Leicester through out.

Prediction: Athletico Madrid 3-2 Leicester City on Aggregate

Barcelona Vs Juventus

This is a game that might surprise some people. Barcelona were very lucky against PSG, because of the typical biased referee including a Suarez dive, and PSG playing poor in the last 15 minutes. But the comeback was very impressive anyway and should be credited. But Juve are a different team. They have the best defence around and the best striking partnership in Europe, and in my opinion they are favourites. Juventus haven’t lost a game at home so their home game will make the difference. They just need to be strong in their game in the Nou Camp. Which can be done if they prepare correctly. But this should be a win for Juventus, but a team with Messi is always unpredictable. 

Prediction: Juventus 4-3 Barcelona on Aggregate

Chelsea 1-0 Manchester United

Before I talk about the match. I just want to address two things and i feel should be addressed about two players in Manchester United squad

Paul Pogba

Let’s make some things clear about Paul Pogba. Paul Pogba is only 23, he still has plenty of time to mature as a midfielder and the most important thing for him right now is to adapt to the league, and for Mourinho to get the best out of him. Paul Pogba is not going to score and assist in every game. He is a midfielder. They do more than score goals and assist. They control the game and make sure the ball flows through to the final third. And finally, Paul Pogba’s price tag means nothing. Manchester United have paid over a billion to the Glazer’s and no one says a word about that. Money means nothing now. If a club wants a player that will benefit their team, they get them. And that’s what Pogba does. He gives our midfield more movement. It was seen last season how poor our midfield was, and he’s given it more energy and movement.

Chris Smalling

If I could choose a player to get rid of this summer, it would be Chris Smalling. This season he has returned to his typical clumsy self. Last season was a fluke and an illusion. Smalling was seen last season to be a great centre back, even one of the best in the league, and that is simple to explain. Van Gaal played a very cautious style of football, giving Smalling a simple role because of the lack of threat other teams usually posed against us. We also had two defensive midfielders in front of the defence, so we nullified the threat. Smalling never had much to do, and if he made a mistake there would be someone (Daily Blind) there to recover the ball. Daily Blind maked Smalling look like a competent centre half. Anyways, to the game.

The Game

Manchester​ United only had one fit striker for this game, with Zlatan suspended and Martial and Rooney injured. It was up to local lad, Marcus Rashford, and when you look at Chelsea’s defense and style of play, he was perfect for this game. Chelsea can only be beaten by two ways, either by crosses into the box (like Spurs did), or by pure pace, like we were trying to do. Originally Rashford wasn’t going to play because of illness, and watching him play you have to instantly question that claim. Rashford ran a marathon last night, waiting for one of those centre backs to make a mistake and give him the chance to score. You can’t fault Rashford’s effort through out the game. He showed our desire and passion we needed in a game like that. It reminded everyone that Mourinho doesn’t just ignore youth, because we are seeing profession this season under Rashford. The reason I began to talk about Rashford was because he perfectly epitomised the positives of United. The players showed fight, desire and passion for the shirt. I would of been very unhappy if i saw those players roll over and not put up a fight, but I’m not angry at all. We went down with dignity against a team that was much better than us and even going down to 10 men, we still kept it strong at the back and kept patient. Speaking of 10 men, Herrera’s sending off was a disgrace. It only took some great acting from Eden Hazard to persuade the referee Herrera should be given his matching orders. Before that, United were well and truly in the game. But as soon as Mhikitaryan was substituted for Fellaini everyone watching knew the hard work the defence would need to do to keep it 0-0. And for the most part, they did a great job, Rojo, Jones and Valencia especially. Rojo showed that aggression and bite we all love to see from the Argentine. It was clear his role was to try and push Costa the wrong way, literally and mentally. Costa looking angry and frustrated was a once in a lifetime this season. Conte clearly took that side out of him, but Mourinho knew it his anger never left, and only took some aggression from Rojo to get on his bad side. Rojo’s partner in crime, Phil Jones, was another who has an amazing game. Eden Hazard is a difficult player to man mark, and Phil Jones did a great job trying to neutralise the threat. Like I said, Eden Hazard is hard player to mark, because of his constant movement and his quick actions when the ball is near his feet. It was seen what he can do when Smalling ran out to pressure Hazard and was caught out, resulting in Hazard making a run at goal. Phil Jones wasn’t as reckless, which is something I’m not used to saying about the young defender. Valencia had another great game, but this time defensively, mostly that tackle to stop Costa (i think) from having a shot on goal. 

Chelsea played their best eleven and Kante was still their stand out player, like in every game, even scoring against us again. Hazard, even though I’m disgusted by his constant diving, was brilliant on the day, and was the real difference maker for Chelsea. Costa was not great on the day, missing an easy chance, and Willian was very quiet, not having much of an impact. Defensively i still don’t understand how a defense with Gary Cahill is keeping this many clean sheets, but it just shows how great David Luis and Aspeliqueta has been this season.

Even though I’m not happy we lost. I can at least appreciate the right and desire. I hope we see more of this later on under Mourinho. Next stop, Top 4 and a Europa league


Liverpool 3-1 Arsenal Match Review

This game was huge in deciding who out  of these teams will miss out on top four. One team who struggle against the lesser teams but turn up and give 100% against the big clubs, and another who can beat any lesser team but struggle to compete with the top clubs. One club with a manager who is loved by their supporters and another who has split their fanbase in half after so many years with the club. This game just tells the story of both teams brilliantly. So let’s get straight into it.

The first thing to talk about would definitely be Sanchez being left on the bench. It baffles me that any manager would leave their best player on the bench at Anfield. There were rumours of a training ground row but it seems false from what Wenger says and what the players said. So you have to look at this decision tactically. Arsene Wenger said after the game that he picked Giroud and Welbeck because he wanted to use height as his main weapon, but that isn’t how you beat Liverpool. They play a high line in every game so you need pace to hurt them, like what Leicester and Burnley did, so playing Sanchez would of been more beneficial, because Sanchez would of easily chased those balls like Vardy and Gray did. But let’s say height was the way to win this game, why play Iwobi and Oxlade-Chamberlein over Sanchez? It’s became clear over the last couple of seasons that Sanchez can play anywhere on the forward line, so why not play him? He adds so much more than Iwobi and the Ox. (who is much better in central midfield) I’ve tried to clearly show that tactically leaving Sanchez on the bench is idiotic. So it begs the question, why did Wenger do it? I think of out arrogance, he wanted to prove that he didn’t need Sanchez to succeed, after all the rumours spreading that he wants to leave, so by dropping him he wanted to show that he could win without him, but these wasn’t the case. He found out he needs Sanchez badly, and has learned it the hard way. But that wasn’t the only issue Arsenal faced. They had a very lazy midfield in Xhaka and Coquelin, both performed very poorly on the day, especially Xhaka, who took too long on the ball against a high pressing team. Coquelin offered no energy or protection. He goes reminds everyone that he isn’t good enough for a top club, he lacked the edge and intelligence to play there. It was just an all around poor performance by the gunners, who were completely outclassed by Liverpool. Speaking of Liverpool, they were brilliant, and not because Arsenal were poor, because they pressed brilliantly and were lethal with the ball. All of their goals were goals we are used to Liverpool scoring, going down the wing and the other forwards getting space, ready to receive the ball. Mane was excellent as ever, leaving a dreadful Monreal on his own and putting the ball in the back of the net. But the goal they conceeded was also typical Liverpool, not marking Welbeck and Mignolet doing a poor job at protecting the goal.

I still believe that both of these teams will not get top four, based on their inconsistency. But they both will be back next season to fight like the other four teams.

Inter Milan 1-3 Roma 

There were many games this weekend that could have been discussed, like Atalanta defeating a very good Napoli team, Real Madrid coming from behind to beat the Yellow Submarine, Barca playing ugly to gain three points over Athletico, or even PSG destroying their rivals Marseille. But this game between two bitter rivals stood out to me, because what it showed of both teams and what this will do in the long run for both. Roma are the only team left with a chance of catching Juventus, with only 7 points separating both teams, so it is very important for Roma to win these games. Inter started this season very poor under De Boer but are now beginning to look much better under Pioli. 

Even though the scoreline doesn’t show it, this game was very close. Both teams created roughly the same amount of chances, but the big difference was finishing. Even though Roma’s finishing can be questioned, with Salah and Dzeko missing simple chances, they still were able to score more chances and their opponents, who are so reliant on Icardi for all their goals, struggled because Icardi did. Roma didn’t make it hard for Inter to create chances, they made it hard for Icardi to make the most of the opportunities he was given. Fazio and Manolas in particular stood out, they made sure that Icardi barely got a sniff in that first half, constantly having an eye on him every time he moved. But the fact that Icardi did score eventually does show how good of a forward he is. But there should only be one man that should be discussed, and that is the big Belgian Nainggolan. The midfielder had a brilliant game against Roma, bagging two goals, and might I add, two fabulous goals. The freedom he was given just shows the amount of ways Roma can play, either using their pacy wingers in Salah and El Sharawaay, given Nainggolan a free role to cause havoc, or use Dzeko as a target man. It’s just amazing to see a team like Roma with so many options going forward. Roma need to win every game they can, including Juventus, and prey one of the other top teams can cause an upset against the Old lady. Inter on the other hand do not have much else to play for this season. They have to use this season to build, to build on what they already have and improve in areas where they are lacking, mainly in midfield and defence. Gary Medel is not a defender, and should not be played there.

Manchester United vs Southampton EFL Cup Final Review

What a final for a neutral, but frustrating for both teams involved. Man United fans will be happy that we have a player with the quality of Zlatan and Southampton fans will be furious with the linesmen for disallowing a goal, because if that goal was counted then the game would of went a completely different way. Manchester United were awful on the night. There was no fluidity in the midfield, lack of creativity from the wide players, and were dreadful in the back. Marcos Rojo was signed as a CB, not a LB. He lacks the pace, the threat and the energy of a natural full back and makes me question why Daily Blind wasn’t selected to play. Blind might not have the same aggression as Rojo, but he is a far more intelligent footballer and possesses an excellent delivery on him. Rojo’s biggest strength is his aggression and physicality. Bailly might come across as a more threatening player on the pitch, but he isn’t prepared to risk his life to recover the ball, like Rojo. Smalling was also very poor on the day, making many mistakes and being at fault with one of the goals, not keeping his eye on Gabbiadini and leaving Bailly to watch as he finishes the chance. The midfield lacked any tempo and urgency in that first half. Herrera had a very good defensive display but didn’t add enough going forward, expect for his assist for the big Swede. Pogba had a very poor game as well, not putting his stamp on the game as we all wanted him to do, and this isn’t the first time. We all know Pogba will become an amazing footballer, but he needs to make sure his nerves do not take over, and hopefully this will improve over time. Mourinho brought on Carrick to cool down those nerves and add a calm head, but it didn’t help at all. Southampton’s wingers had an amazing game because of the poor our full backs played. Rojo isn’t a left back and they knew that. Nathan Redmond and Cedric had a field day on that right side because of how incompetent Rojo is at left back. But not to take anything away from Southampton, because they were very good. Their fullbacks and wide players were giving great service for Gabbiadini who also had a great game. He is slowly becoming a brilliant signing, giving the Saints a vocal point for the plenty of chances they create. Even though Southampton fans will be happy that their team didn’t role over and out played United on the big stage. But they weren’t as clinical as the winners. Which is what you need to be

Top 4 most Overrated Players In Europe

There are some players in the world of football that gain more credit than they deserve, usually surrounded by other teammates who gain all the praise, these players have lived off the success of others or have lived off one successful season. Here are 4 players who have done this:

1. Jordi Alba

FIFA players believe Jordi Alba to be a good full back, but that seriously isn’t the case. Alba is very quick, and because of that, it makes people believe he is a good fullback at going forward and defensively. It isn’t true in the slightest. Alba is lucky he had been surrounded with amazing players like Busquets and Iniesta, players who make him look much better than he truly is. Sergi Roberto, a make shift right back, is easily a much better full back than Alba. He has lived off the success of players like Pique, Iniesta and Masherano. He shouldn’t be near a team like Barcelona.

2. Andre Gomes

Andre Gomes is simply here because he was the worst player in that Barcelona team and the worst signing of the summer transfer window. After signings like James Rodriguez and Paul Pogba, I have changed my view on money in football. If a player adds something special to your team no one else can then he is worth any amount of money. Barcelona spent over €60m on a player who doesn’t add anything different to that team. On paper you’d think he’d be there to replace Iniesta, because Iniesta isn’t getting any younger, but Iniesta adds something going forward, Gomes doesn’t, he barely creates a key pass a game compared to the amount Iniesta creates. Is he there to replace Ivan Rakitic? Rakitic is a brilliant midfielder, who offers so much in the final third. He gives Barcelona an extra bite in the opposition box and something on the counter attack. Gomes doesn’t give that either. He isn’t a direct player like Rakitic. So the question is, why did Barca spend so much money on a player that doesn’t fit in their team in any way? And it’s showing. He has been appauling. Both Alba and Gomes were awful against PSG. Just reminding everyone how poor they both are in an otherwise brilliant team.

3. John Stones

I still do not understand why this guy was bought by anyone. I still believe that he will be a great defender and yes he has great passing ability for a defender. But to be a defender you need to defend well, and that’s where he fails. He is the most expensive English player and the 2nd most expensive defender. It shocked me that City actually bought him for so much, an unfinished product that can barely defend. I do sympathise for the lad in some aspects. He is surrounded by incompetent defenders in Gail Clichy and Kolorov. But he isn’t proving me wrong. He still is poor position wise and still doesn’t know when to pass the ball and when to kick it into row Z. Decision making will improve over time but he’s playing under a manager who is against kicking a ball out of play. John Stones was bought for his passing and not for his defending. If he stayed at Everton I do believe Koeman would fix the problem he has. So why is he overrated if I sympathise for him? Well because he is still the starter for his team who can barely defend. Eric Bailly is the same age and he is a real centre back. Sule has signed for Bayern and he looks phenomenal. They are all the same age as John Stones so I do expect better from him. But I do believe he will improve.

4. The England National Team

John Stones will not be mentioned here at all because he plays well for England. But damn people just always hype this team before every tournament and they have always disappointed. The manager can definitely be blamed. Roy Hodgson was awful and should never of been picked. But when Gareth Southgate, the man who got Boro relegated, is just telling me how hard that job must be. The team has definitely got the quality, but it doesn’t play like a team. The best comparison to a team that does play like a team would be Germany. 5 of their best XI were playing together at youth level. The likes of Kroos, Hummels, Khedira and Muller all played together so they could play as a team. England do not do that. They try and fit as many superstars as possible in the team but it doesn’t work like that. You need the players to play well together first and foremost. The likes of Wilshire and Rooney shouldn’t be near that England team. Players like Stones, Dier, Alli and Kane have to play together constantly to understand each other, so it will at least give the team a spine. There also needs to be a relationship between the manager and the youth team. The younger players need to be incorporated in that squad for the future.