This weekend’s tricky match away at Fulham is crucial for Manchester United. Erik Ten Hag says his team are on the way up. Things will improve he says. Many United supporters would not agree with that assessment especially after another disastrous performance against Newcastle in the midweek Carabao Cup. Word from inside the dressing room is that the players are fed up with Ten Hag’s ruthless attitude, tough training and bad decisions. The Carabao Cup display highlighted that many players are not performing for the manager and want him gone. The club has lost five of their first ten games, are eighth in the table but more crucially they are 11 points behind leaders Tottenham. After the loss to rivals Manchester City a four-man delegation drove all the way to Glasgow in Scotland to seek advice and wisdom from Sir Alex Ferguson. That is how bad the situation is at Old Trafford. However, a section of the noisy faithful at the Stretford End of Old Trafford still have belief that Ten Hag can turn it around. Word is that Ten Hag has ten games left to convince the United board that he can do the job which many are saying is too big for him. Former Brighton and Chelsea manager Graham Potter is being tipped as Ten Hag’s replacement. The difference in class between United and City last weekend was as wide as the Grand Canyon and Ten Hag has been given time and money but this season has failed to come up with a winning strategic plan. Last year was successful but this year the team has gone miles backwards. As a mark of respect for United legend Sir Bobby Charlton, there was none of the usual anti-Glazer protests last weekend but it is also because many of those same supporters have recognized that Ten Hag is now the problem. It was his decision that world class defender Raphael Verane was left on the bench last weekend and 35-year-old Jonny Evans was tasked with holding the defence together. Ten Hag’s strategy was shown up to be ludicrous when he started Christian Erikson at the centre of midfield with Scott McTominay playing as an attacking midfielder. In the second half of the match McTominay was moved to a defensive midfielder. Ten Hag contradicting himself in front of 75,000 people does not look good.
Partey injured again and out until December
Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta is worried about Thomas Partey and his continuous injury problems. I have been told that the midfielder will be out until December. The last time Thomas started a match was in August but last week he suffered a groin injury in training. Arteta said, “I don’t know how long he will be out but I think it will be weeks.” The Ghanaian became one of Arteta’s most trusted players and he continued, “It’s a big concern because when Thomas is fit and available and has been part of the team we’ve seen the results and the impact he has. He is already pushing my medical staff and wants to return as quickly as possible but we must protect him because he is a critical player for us.” Captain Martin Odegaard has also been suffering with a hip problem and was rested last weekend against Sheffield United. Arsenal travel to Newcastle this weekend and admit they will be in a tough battle.
Postecoglou: You haven’t seen anything yet!
Tottenham coach Ange Postecoglou has angrily denied that his Tottenham team are better without Harry Kane as many people have suggested. However, he admitted that without Kane he has had a chance to create a new Spurs approach which he called a ‘different dynamic’. Without Harry Kane putting the ball into the net week after week, Spurs have scored 22 goals in the PL so far and that is more than Manchester City or Arsenal. However, Postecoglou says we haven’t seen anything yet and there is far more to come from his evolving team. He said this week, “I think our main growth will come in the attacking side of the game. A lot of our movements are still not natural and fluent like we want them to be.”
On Monday night his forward line of Richarlison, Maddison, Kulusevski and Son Heung-Min
will be available to line up at home against a fragile Chelsea team.
Klopp now has two in mind to replace Salah
As I exclusively revealed to you in this column, Liverpool have identified Napoli’s Victor Osimen as their prime target should Mo Salah leave the club however Bayern Munich’s former Manchester City player Leroy Sane has now entered the picture. The Red’s supporters are not convinced Sane can bring the same amount of goals regularly scored by Salah. Saudi club Al-Ittihad have put huge sums of money on the table, approximately £140m, to lure Salah to the middle east. There are two main reasons why supporters think that Sane might not be the right player. First, he will be 28 years of age in January and therefore outside Liverpool’s age recruitment policy. Secondly, he originally turned down a move to Liverpool in favour of Manchester City and that does not sit well with the faithful.
Silva’s reason for staying loyal to Guardiola and City
Bernado Silva has proven over and again that he is a Manchester City man. Rejecting Saudi millions and offers to join Paris Saint-Germain or Barcelona. The reason for such loyalty is his wish to work alongside Pep Guardiola to achieve a fourth unprecedented consecutive Premier League title. That feat has never been achieved before since the Football League was formed back in 1892 – yes, 131 years ago! He said this week, “We heard that four titles in a row has never been done before so we want to try to do that. It is so tough every year, especially when you remember that two of the titles were just a difference of one point and won in the last games of the season. We are going to try to keep going and create history making this team one of the best ever.”
The decision is Sancho’s
Jadon Sancho’s career at Manchester United looks to be nearly at an end as widely reported. He now has a decision to make. Saudi club Al-Shabab have said they will offer a way out for Jadon this January if he cannot end his feud with United coach Erik Ten Hag. The figure being mentioned is £30million which would be a bargain price. Sancho earns approximately £300k a week but that is a figure the Saudi club could match. Al-Shabab’s rival club Al-Ettifaq have already tabled a loan bid for the 23-year-old but that was rejected by United.
Thiago and his family hinting to stay with Chelsea Blues
Thiago Silva gave the clearest indication yet that he is willing to stay and finish his career at Stamford Bridge despite him being linked with a return to his native Brazil at the beginning of this season. His current contract expires next June. The 39 year-old is a key part of Mauricio Pochettino’s strategy and there is no doubt the team performs to a higher level with him in defence. One of the main reasons keeping Thiago at Stamford Bridge is his family who have settled in very well since moving from France. Thiago’s 14 year-old son Isago plays for Chelsea’s Under-14 team and many fans who have seen him play say he is already better than Cucurella and Koulibaly.