How can you solve a problem with Di Maria?

Now please keep reading as the headline is meant to be a pun, but overall it holds a bigger question. Manchester United limped to a lucky draw away against Sunderland after a defeat in the opening game of the season at home to Swansea and it just seems like last seasons form is turning into the regular rather than a one off.

Watching both games United the stark truth is that the players who have played have simply lost confidence in their ability. The passing lacks zip and creativity, the defence is lacking a leader (which is something needed if van Gaal is to continue with the 5-3-2 formation he has used so far) & the midfield is not the creative hub it should be. Now with Di Maria all bit assured to be coming to Old Trafford he can certainly help with the creativity side but what else do the red half of Manchester need? I recently had a conversation with Adamdellboy and said to him at the time United were completing the paperwork for Di Maria hand Real a blank cheque and say ” we also want Varane and Xabi Alonso”. Whilst Adam said that I was dreaming those two players typify the type of players United need.
Varane is the young defensive star who seems to read the game better than players 10 years his senior, he also posses unbelievable strength and has a decent lick of pace. Whilst Xabi Alonso would provide the calming control & passing range that someone like Tom Cleverley could only dream of.

Manchester United will also have new boy Rojo available for the trip to Turf Moor as well as hopefully Di Maria they need to get a grip with this new formation and fast. Rafeal should be looking at coming back into the starting lineup fairly soon having picked up an injury in preseason and van Gaal should be looking at Ajax defender Daley Blind before the window slams shut next Monday. For me looking at the players who may be on their way out Wellbeck seems to have his card marked, Cleverley should have gone last season, Felliani will be spared this window as he is injured but must go in January, also either or maybe both Ashley Young or Antonio Valencia should leave as neither have been anywhere near the level required since their injuries and there are plenty of younger players in the reserve teams that van Gaal should have a look at.

But all that is in an ideal world and football can be anything less than ideal, van Gaal needs to get his philosophy across and also get some of the players in and out that will fit what he needs otherwise it may be a long season for Manchester United and their fans.

Agree or disagree? Let us know the usual ways.



Premier League Week One Review

The Barclays Premier league was back with a bang this weekend, but what have we discovered about the 20 teams involved at this early stage?

We have to start at Old Trafford where the Van Gaal era was expected to start with a comfortable win for Manchester United. Someone clearly forgot to give Swansea a copy of the script, as they created history by walking away with all 3 points. For United it proved that their problems under Moyes very much still exist and more worrying was Van Gaal’s Plan B to hoof it to Fellaini, just like his predecessor’s Plan A!!!

Liverpool laboured to a 2-1 win against an impressive Southampton side who look like they may prove their doubters wrong this season. The Reds appeared to struggle adapting their game without the irreplaceable Luis Suarez, but Kopites will point to the fact their team lost this very same fixture last season. Raheem Sterling was the standout performer for Liverpool and at just 19, this kid is capable of being on of the very best.

Arsenal and Spurs both left it late to secure wins against two sides set to struggle this season in my opinion. Palace are running out of time to find a new manager, whilst West Ham are one of the favourites to be the next team looking for a new manager!!! I’ll be stunned if Big Sam makes it to January. As for the Gunners, although they weren’t at their best, the squad looks quality and they will have an exciting season ahead. Spurs will have to make do with battling for a Europa League spot.

Everton and Leicester played out an entertaining 2-2 draw which could prove to be a decent result for the Toffees as Leicester have an outstanding home record. The two other promoted sides were both defeated on the opening weekend, with Burnley falling 3-1 at home to an imposing Chelsea side. New signings Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas appear to have settled quickly and the Londoners have to be considered favourites for the title. Despite encouraging signs, Burnley lack the quality to survive this season. QPR will be disappointed to lose a winnable home game against Hull and they will have to improve dramatically if they want to remain in the top flight.

Elsewhere Aston Villa recorded a rare away win at Stoke, whilst relegation candidates West Brom and Sunderland slugged it out to a 2-2 draw. The reigning champions Man City won comfortably at Newcastle despite not being at their best, an ominous sign for the rest of the chasing pack.

For all of the great goals and action, the undoubted highlight of the weekend was the introduction of the vanishing foam. My guess is the refs haven’t had enough practice with it yet…….



Our Premier League Predictions


Top 4

1. Chelsea
2. Arsenal
3. Man United
4. Man City

Bottom 3

18. WBA
19. Leicester City
20. Burnley

Player to watch: Alexis Sanchez, Eden Hazard will be top stars this season. Keep an eye on Remy Cabella at Newcastle as a surprise hit.

Young player: A trio of Raheem Sterling, Jordon Ibe and Lazar Markovic would terrify teams. Looking forward to see if Suso can make an impact too. Elsewhere, can Danny Ings score at the top level?

Top scorer: Diego Costa


Ryan Howe

Top 4

1. Chelsea
2. Manchester United
3. Arsenal
4. Manchester City

Bottom 3

18. Hull
19. Burnley
20. Leicester

Player to watch: Juan Mata. He is going to be at the hub of everything creative and will have a big bearing on Uniteds season. Or Bojan

Young Player: Ryan Bertrand. Just think this May be the season he kicks on.

Top Scorer: Romelu Lukaku


Ross Jones

Top 4

1. Chelsea
2. Man City
3. Arsenal
4. Man United

Bottom 3

18. Burnley
19. Aston Villa
20. Leicester

Player To Watch – Eden Hazard – will be decided whether he becomes world class this season.

Young Player – Jordan Ibe – If he gets a chance could be a sprightly show like Sterling for Liverpool.

Top Scorer – Mame Diouf / Bojan Krcic – 35 goals each.


Jade Li

Top 4

1. Chelsea
2. Man city
3. Liverpool
4. Arsenal

Bottom 3

18. Hull
19. Leicester
20. Burnley

Player to watch: Coutinho

Top scorer: Aguero

Young player: Coutinho



Pete Walton

Top 4

1. Man City
2. Chelsea
3.  Man United
4. Liverpool

Bottom 3

18. Hull
19. Southampton
20. Leicester

Player to watch: Going to go with Mata especially under Van Gaal going to be interesting to see him develop this season.

Top Scorer: Sergio Aguero

Young player: Mangala



So what do you think? Agree with us on anything? Or are we barking up the wrong tree? Let us know via our usual lines.