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Solskjaer and Jesse Lingard have redeemed themselves

Jesse Lingard and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Jesse Lingard have combined to redeem themselves after they both played a part in the defeat to Young Boys.

While Mark Noble could have dramatically tied the score with just seconds to go, the West Ham skipper had his penalty saved by David De Gea to round off what was a dramatic match.

Solskjaer and Lingard will be delighted after the midweek drama they experienced themselves and after criticising Ole for his substitutions, he got it bang-on on Sunday.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

I’ll gloss over the fact that Man Utd were overrun by West Ham in midfield as Paul Pogba, Bruno Fernandes, Scott McTominay and Fred failed to control the game.

This put the away side under a great deal of pressure and had it not been for Lingard’s fantastic goal and a huge slice of luck to see David De Gea deny Noble’s penalty, the Red Devils might have returned to Manchester with a solitary point.

But we cannot crucify Ole based on hypotheticals and after his poor substitutions midweek, I must now praise him for more effective use of Jesse Lingard.

My complaint was that he was brought on as United’s focal point in attack but as a player that likes to come short to receive the ball it left them bunched up in the middle of the park and allowed Young Boys to squeeze them high up the pitch and resulted in Lingard’s fateful pass to Theoson Siebathceu.

Theoson Siebathceu

However, Lingard brightened the game against his former loan side and after assisting Young Boys for their winner, he played a much more positive role for Man Utd and his delightful curling effort was exactly what Ole would have been wanting.

What’s now blatantly clear – and hopefully Ole has taken notice – is that Lingard needs runners in front of him. Either to make space for him to shoot or to create chances for and while he is likely to remain a super-sub, there’s no better coach in the Premier League to learn about how to win games from the bench than Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Manchester United need to find balance in the middle of the park if they’re going to win games comfortably and without the dramatics of recent results otherwise we will need to strap in and prepare for rollercoaster games like Sunday’s win over West Ham to repeat themselves.

My major concern for Utd is that it’s not a sustainable way to challenge for the title and with Liverpool and Chelsea winning games with ease, they will be difficult to keep up with at the current pace.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is to blame for Manchester United’s 1-2 defeat vs. Young Boys

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is to blame for Manchester United’s defeat in Switzerland – not Aaron Wan Bissaka.

When the Englishman was dismissed for what I will admit was a forceful challenge, the game was turned on its head but with a 1-0 lead, United should have had enough to see out a win over the home side.

Yet, every change – or lack thereof – from Ole strengthened the argument that he’s not good enough to manage a group of players as talented as this crop of United talent.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

While I was very impressed with the tactics in place when Ole’s United took Leeds United apart on the opening day of the season, Marcelo Bielsa’s side played into his hands and clearly haven’t learnt their lessons from last season.

Against Young Boys, Man Utd got off to the perfect start with their Portuguese duo Bruno Fernandes and Cristiano Ronaldo linking up.

However, a red card for Wan-Bissaka which might seem harsh is technically the perfect response from the referee in line with new regulations from UEFA.

Yet, Ole needs to shoulder the blame for his negative reaction to the red card as Manchester United should not be losing to Young Boys even with 10 men in an away game.

Wan Bissaka

His first mistake was to take Jadon Sancho, a goal threat, off for Diogo Dalot and settle into a negative formation which allowed David Wagner’s side to bombard United for the rest of the game.

This meant that Ronaldo was the only attacking player on the pitch with any real kind of pace but at 36, he’s not able to make endless sprints into the channels like he may have been able to do 8 years ago.

Sancho should have stayed on and van de Beek should have made way for Dalot which would have allowed for Ronaldo to have more attacking support.

The second mistake that Ole made was to take Ronaldo off for Jesse Lingard and not Mason Greenwood. The latter is a more natural attacker and would have given the Red Devils an out ball while Lingard offered Ole nothing more than a short pass and allowed Young Boys to squeeze United high up the pitch until the end of the game.

Ole might not have been able to predict the tragic outcome but Lingard’s hospital pass which Theoson Siebathceu converted in the 95th minute would not have been made had Greenwood been introduced instead as he would have been higher up the pitch and would have helped United get on the front foot in search of their own winner.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s return is amazing news for the Premier League


Having Cristiano Ronaldo back in the Premier League has increased the excitement factor and should make this one of the most thrilling title races in years.

While fans of Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea were gutted to hear that Ronaldo, one of the greatest footballers of all time, had returned to the league, it’s only upped the ante.

As a Liverpool fan myself, I’m not Ronaldo’s biggest fan but I’m a football fan first and as a lover of the Premier League, it’s great to see the Portuguese back in England.

I’m hoping it ends in tears for him and Manchester United fans as I’ve wasted no time telling my friends but his display in the 4-1 win over Newcastle United suggests a title could finally be on its way to Old Trafford.


Ronaldo scored a brace and while the first goal was a fortunate one due to the rebound from Mason Greenwood’s shot, the second goal came about from his world-class movement, explosive pace and pinpoint finishing.

My only reason to be happy was that I have him in my FPL team and I regret not making him captain even though Mohamed Salah still earned me decent points with his MOTM display at Elland Road against Leeds United.

The interesting thing about Ronaldo returning to England is that at 36, he won’t be able to play every league game while also starting every Champions League game for Manchester United.

He might be a freak of nature as far as his physique is concerned and he’s always been famous for taking very good care of his body but the intensity in England is far different to Italy and Spain.


Yet, with Ronaldo hungry for goals and looking to win a second Balon d’Or with United, he will want to top the goalscoring charts in every competition he plays in.

However, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be more than aware of the risks of overplaying a 36-year-old and so it’s going to be very fascinating to watch the power dynamic between player and manager play out this season.

Ronaldo commands any dressing room he’s in but Ole will need to maintain his position as the leader at United otherwise things will be primed to go horribly wrong if he’s made to look weak in front of a squad now blessed with winners like Raphael Varane.

For the casual Premier League consumer, Ronaldo’s return is the best news the league has received in recent years but for Man Utd’s rivals, it’s bad news…

“I’ll rest when I retire” – Maguire becomes a Centurion

Harry Maguire, Ole Gunnar Solskjær, Manchester United
Maguire made his 100th appearance for Solskjær's Red Devils in a 2-1 victory over Brighton and Hove Albion yesternight. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY LIVE SPORT CENTRE

Harry Maguire made his 100th appearance for Manchester United yesterday evening in a 2-1 win vs Brighton and Hove Albion.

United paid a world record £80 million for Maguire in the summer of 2019 to Leicester City, a price tag that raised many eyebrows at the time. The Englishman, however, has more than established himself as United’s first choice Center-half since signing.

Maguire has played every league game possible since signing, starting 68 out of 68 and keeping 25 clean sheets in the process, the most of any outfield player in that period.

Since his arrival, Maguire has also appeared five times in the Champions League, 12 times in the Europa League, nine times in the FA Cup, and six times in the EFL cup.

Maguire was named captain of the Red Devils at the start of last year, with Solskjær stating that he was impressed by the Englishman’s leadership skills.

“He’s come in and everything about him tells me he is a leader. He’s part of a group that we’ve had, that have been leading this young group.” said the United boss when asked about the decision.

Perhaps Maguire’s fitness levels were a huge factor in that decision. The United skipper is everpresent, rarely missing a game, if ever. The best ability is availability, and Maguire has it in spades.

Harry Maguire, Manchester United
Harry Maguire was the most active footballer in world football for the year 2020, playing a staggering 5105 minutes in all competitions. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY THE UNITED STAND

The English international was the most active player in world football in 2020, playing an astonishing 5105 minutes during the calendar year, a testament to his discipline, durability, and consistency.

When asked about the statistic, and if he would perhaps ask the manager for some more time off, Maguire laughed it off. “I’ll rest when I retire” the United skipper told the official UTD Podcast.

Maguire has had some tough times as the United skipper, but one thing that’s for sure is, good days or bad, he always shows up.

The case for Dean Henderson

Dean Henderson, Luke Shaw, Manchester United.
Dean Henderson made a big save to deny Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the 74th minute as Manchester United beat AC Milan in their UEFA Europa League round of 16 match yesterday evening. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY NEWSBEEZER.

Dean Henderson kept another clean sheet yesternight as Manchester United beat AC Milan 1-0 at the San Siro to progress to the quarter-finals of the UEFA Europa League.

The English stopper had a good game as United kept yet another clean sheet. He made a big save on the night to deny Zlatan Ibrahimovic from close quarters as the hosts sought to equalize and take the tie into extra time.

It was the Englishman’s sixth clean sheet in the last seven games, and his 11th overall this season. Henderson is proving himself to be a solid option between the sticks for Solskjær’s men, and the side looks much improved with him in it.

For much of this season, however, Henderson has had to play second fiddle to David De Gea. He’s often had to settle for cup starts and the rare league appearances but has proved himself a worthy candidate for the number one spot with these limited opportunities.

Henderson boasts superior numbers in many statistical metrics than his Spanish counterpart. The Englishman has kept 11 clean sheets in 17 starts for United in all competitions, one more than De Gea has managed in 29 starts for the Red devils.

This puts Henderson’s clean sheet percentage at 64.7% which squashes De Gea’s 34.5% so far this season. The young Englishman also has a much better save percentage, having stopped 82.5% of all shots he’s faced in comparison to De Gea’s 66%, per FBREF.

Dean Henderson, David De Gea, Manchester United.
Henderson (right) boasts superior statistics and has kept more clean sheets than his Spanish goalkeeping counterpart this season. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY FOURFOURTWO.

Many would argue that the quality of opposition Henderson has faced till now has perhaps helped his cause statistically, but it’s not just the numbers that present a case for the young shot-stopper.

The Englishman possesses several intangible qualities that give him an edge over De Gea in goal. He’s a lot braver on the ball and is a lot more willing to come off his line to deal with opposition attacks before they develop.

Henderson is vocal and imposing. He boasts a huge presence even though he stands at just 1.88m tall. He is proactive, preferring to deal with plays before they happen rather than waiting for them to develop.

De Gea in comparison can be very timid and reactive, preferring to allow things to unfold and then dealing with the results. Henderson is also much younger and hungrier and seems discontent with just a number two berth at United.

The Englishman is looking towards international football and being England’s number one at the UEFA Euro 2020. He cannot achieve this without regular playing time and reports suggest that he could look to move his talents elsewhere.

The final decision on which goalkeeper United move forward with ultimately rests with Solskjær and his staff, but as it stands, there is undoubtedly a strong case for Dean Henderson to be that man.

Why Alex Telles is United’s signing of the season

Alex Telles, Manchester United
PARIS, FRANCE - OCTOBER 20: Alex Telles of Manchester United looks on during the UEFA Champions League Group H stage match between Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United at Parc des Princes. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY ASH DONELON/GETTY IMAGES.

Manchester United announced the signing of Alex Telles from FC Porto in a £15.4 million deal that saw the 27-year old sign a four-year contract.

Telles has since gone on to make only seven Premier League appearances for United, six of which were from the start.

His biggest impact, however, has been providing competition for Luke Shaw, who looks like a totally new player since the Brazillian’s arrival.

Luke Shaw has quite simply been sensational.

The Englishman has finally begun to hit the heights United initially expected he would when they coughed up £27 million for him as a teenager back in 2014.

His killer goal in the Manchester derby was a culmination of all the good form Shaw has displayed this season. His powerful running, excellent carrying ability, and improved creativity have all proved to be borderline irreplaceable assets for Solskjær’s men this season.

The United man has been arguably the best full-back in the Premier League this season, a far cry from his injury-stricken, confidence-lacking performances from previous campaigns.

Shaw himself credits Alex Telles’ presence in the United ranks for his good form. Speaking to MUTV, the Englishman said: “I feel really good, credit to Ole for that, for believing in me and pushing me.

“Alex as well, we have a great relationship, he pushes me each day in training and we get on really well.

“It’s nice to have that competition, we push each other to get the best out of ourselves. It’s a positive way for both of us to look at it.”

The signing of Alex Telles has proved to be a brilliant investment for Manchester United, they’ve signed two left-backs for the price of one, and with the form Shaw is in, the Brazilian just might be United’s signing of the season.

Manchester United v Sheffield: Ole flops Top Spot

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 27: Harry Maguire of Manchester United reacts during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Sheffield United at Old Trafford on January 27, 2021 in Manchester, England. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY LAURENCE GRIFFITHS/GETTY IMAGES.

The directive was clear when Manchester United hosted Sheffield United- Get all three points and stay top of the Premier League table.

The performance from Ole’s side couldn’t be in more contrast to that directive as they conceded an unsurprising early goal courtesy of a Kean Bryan’s flicked header. What was surprising, however, was the way Manchester United responded to the goal.

Team News

The team continued its lacklustre approach as the match wagered on, and although many of the Reds should be duly blamed, the biggest blame has to be Ole’s tactics and team selection.

Manchester United’s Norwegian manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer watches from the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Sheffield United at Old Trafford in Manchester, north-west England, on January 27, 2021. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY TIM KEETON/AFP/GETTY IMAGES.

The United manager stuck with his 4-2-3-1 formation but preferred Axel Tuanzebe to Victor Lindelof, while Eric Baily was rested and Telles started over Shaw. A midfield pivot of Pogba and Matic was used instead of the usual partnering of Fred and Mctominay, while the biggest question mark was the preference of Anthony Martial over Edinson Cavani in the attack.

The Frenchman has not been ‘ice-cold’ in weeks spanning into months and the decision to start him over Cavani was not well received by many.

Last night, no chances were created between Martial and Rashford which was why it was shocking to note that when Ole finally made his first change 25 minutes from time, he chose Mason Greenwood to come off instead of Martial (who was nursing a shoulder knock sustained during the game).

Bruno Fernandes also looked miles off his usual form and has now played the last four straight Premier League games without a goal or an assist. He was favoured ahead of Donny Von De Beek who didn’t get introduced until the 82nd minute alongside Luke Shaw.

However, it was a little too late for Ole’s side as they lost their chance at the top spot and also saw a 13-match unbeaten record in the Premier League ended.

What was Ole thinking?

Perhaps the United boss underrated Sheffield United seeing as they are bottom of the table, or perhaps Ole was relying on the fact that on seven occasions of him in charge at the club, United have come back from losing positions, but that luck ran out against Chris Wilder’s Sheffield side.

What Now?

Now, it’s back to the drawing board for United. The display from the Reds last night epitomizes how they have performed generally under Ole. Abysmal form, good run of goalscoring form and then shock defeats. Ole’s squad let him down, but he did the biggest damage to himself with the line-up and questionable in-game tactics.

Fortunately for the side, there is a weekend fixture against Arsenal and if there is anything Manchester United are known for this season (other than conceding the joint-most goal from corners), it is their comeback style of football.

Could Amad Diallo’s signing mean the end for Dan James?

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 14: Amad Diallo of Manchester United in action during a first team training session at Aon Training Complex on January 14, 2021 in Manchester, England. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY MATTHEW PETERS/MANCHESTER UNITED VIA GETTY IMAGES.

New big money signing Amad Diallo could see Dan James exit Old Trafford as Ole Gunnar Solksjaer aims to challenge for the Premier League title this season.

The January transfer window is only midway through and Manchester United have been busy (as always) with speculations and this time with acquisition as well.

The Red Devils have announced the signing of teenage sensation Amad Diallo for a rumoured fee of £37million and Ole Gunnar Solksjaer hopes this new signing will finally take care of his problems on the right-wing.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – JANUARY 13: Amad Diallo of Manchester United poses for a portrait on his first day at Aon Training Complex on January 13, 2021 in Manchester, England. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY ASH DONELON/MANCHESTER UNITED VIA GETTY IMAGES.

This could mean trouble for Daniel James, however, who started the season in fine fashion, but has run out of form, and seemingly out of Ole’s pecking order.

The 23-year-old ex-Swansea winger made an instant impact at United, scoring three in his first four appearances for the club but that seems like a lifetime ago now.

The Welshman has since then had to make way for the likes of Mason Greenwood, Marcus Rashford and new acquisition Edinson Cavani all ahead of him in Ole’s hierarchy. Even Juan Mata has had more moments in recent months than Dan James.

According to reports, Dan James is currently wanted by four clubs in the Premier League, with loan spell options available at West Brom and Brighton.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – AUGUST 11: Daniel James of Manchester United scores his team’s fourth goal during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Chelsea FC at Old Trafford on August 11, 2019 in Manchester, United Kingdom. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY JULIAN FINNEY/GETTY IMAGES.

While Daniel James has had moments of brilliance this season, he has been fairly inconsistent and has struggled with form. He has demonstrated that he can hit high quality but gets limited playing chances on the field and having to compete with one more player will not be music to his ears.

All the same, seeing as United are in a good position on the table and now being regarded as title contenders, it is likely that Ole will hold on to Dan James, at least until the summer before deciding on the next steps to take.

As things stand though, the addition of Amad Diallo is sure to mean even lesser playing time for Dan James, who Ole Gunnar once called “the best defensive winger in the world.”

Timothy Fosu-Mensah completes Bayer Leverkusen move worth £1.5million

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 02: Timothy Fosu-Mensah of Fulham arrives at the stadium prior to the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Fulham FC at Selhurst Park on February 2, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY CHRISTOPHER LEE/GETTY IMAGES.

Timothy Fosu-Mensah has completed his Bayer Leverkusen move worth £1.5million after rejecting a Manchester United contract earlier this season.

Man Utd Central exclusively reported on the 9th of January that the 23-year-old had agreed on terms with the Bundesliga side and now the move to Leverkusen has been made official.

Today, the German outfit has confirmed on Twitter that they have signed the Dutch centre-back effective immediately.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 30: Timothy Fosu-Mensah of Manchester United in action during a first team training session at Aon Training Complex on December 30, 2019 in Manchester, England. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY ASH DONELON/MANCHESTER UNITED VIA GETTY IMAGES.

The Daily Mail reported in December that Fosu-Mensah had rejected a new contract offer by Manchester United and would seek a move elsewhere in January. We reported last week that he had decided on Bayer Leverkusen even though he preferred a move to Ajax.

He spent eight years of his youth career in Amsterdam before moving to Manchester United where first-team options were limited. In his four years with the senior side, Fosu-Mensah made just 16 appearances.

Still just 23, the midfielder-turn-defender can get his career back on track in the Bundesliga.

Insider claims Manchester United camp confident about winning league title

BURNLEY, ENGLAND - JANUARY 12: Paul Pogba of Manchester United celebrates scoring a goal to make the score 0-1 with his team-mates during the Premier League match between Burnley and Manchester United at Turf Moor on January 12, 2021 in Burnley, United Kingdom. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY MATTHEW PETERS/MANCHESTER UNITED VIA GETTY IMAGES.

There’s still a long way to go this season but one Manchester United insider has told us that the Red Devils are confident about their chances of winning the Premier League for the first time in almost eight years.

Liverpool will play host to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s United and while the current champions are no pushovers, an inside source has told Man Utd Central that the players are confident of their chances to go all the way this season.

A 1-0 win over Burnley sent the Red Devils to the top of the Premier League table ahead of their trip to Anfield on Sunday thanks to a deflected strike from the rejuvenated Paul Pogba.

Manchester United’s French midfielder Paul Pogba celebrates scoring the opening goal during the English Premier League football match between Burnley and Manchester United at Turf Moor in Burnley, north west England on January 12, 2021. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY PETER POWELL/POOL/AFP.

A win at Anfield would send United six points clear of their biggest rivals. It would meaning winning at a ground that has seen Liverpool go unbeaten for 67 games stretching back to a 2-3 defeat against Crystal Palace almost four years ago.

Our source inside the Manchester United camp claims that United feel their free-flowing form will be enough to see them escape defeat at the hands of Liverpool as they eye a 21st league title.

More importantly to United supporters, a league triumph this season means that it will remove any chance that Liverpool could equal their tally of 20 league titles this season.

LIVERPOOL, UNITED KINGDOM – OCTOBER 25: Manchester United fans show off a banner during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Manchester United at Anfield on October 25, 2009 in Liverpool, England. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY MICHAEL REGAN/GETTY IMAGES.

The trip to Anfield is one of the most important clashes between the two sides in the last few years and will be followed up by an FA Cup clash at Old Trafford on the 23rd of January.