United we stand, divided we fall - By: David Billington | Dailytrust

United we stand, divided we fall

  Anthony Elanga
Anthony Elanga

Erik Ten Hag says he has a “huge” plan to make Manchester United successful again. He is already aware of the problems within the Manchester United dressing room. Some players never trusted, listened to or even respected interim manager Ralf Rangnick and tended to ignore his advice. I have learned that when Rashford and Lingard were teamed together for one match they were given no instructions, game plan or positional play. An insider at the club said, “They didn’t have a clue what they were doing and it wasn’t their fault.” Many players found Anthony Elanga’s regular match appearances and time on the pitch as baffling given his junior status. My understanding is that Ten Hag intends to completely overhaul his defence and there are several players he does not want including Aaron Wan-Bissaka. Crystal Palace are hoping to re-sign him. Cristiano Ronaldo held the dressing room together during Solskjaer’s final weeks in charge but everyone turned on Harry Maguire, blaming him for a series of defeats. Senior players held a crisis meeting between themselves in February and Harry wasn’t even invited. Several players also turned on Bruno Fernandes because he wastes the ball too often and Eric Bailly openly criticised the club for playing Maguire when he clearly “wasn’t good enough.” Many players feel that Jesse Lingard’s spectacular success at West Ham, whilst on loan last season, highlighted what they could also be achieving with another team and several are still looking to leave if Ten Hag does not impress them. As for Alex Ferguson, who sits in the directors’ VIP leather seats, each with a plaque which carries his name, he must be searching for answers as to what has become of his all-conquering United team and finishing sixth with the club’s lowest ever Premier League points total. Ten Hag has his work cut out during the next two months to fix most of the problems at United and the challenge will be a severe test of his ability. United have confirmed that with the exception of Edinson Cavani, who is returning to South America, ten of the players who started against Crystal Palace and watched by Ten Hag  will be staying at the club, they are: David de Gea, Diogo Dalot, Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof, Alex Telles, Fred, Scott McTominay, Hannibal Mejbri, Bruno Fernandes and Anthony Elanga. The new coach will be assessing everyone else over the coming weeks.

City chase Leeds star player

Leeds could be in for quite a fight to keep Kalvin Phillips despite avoiding relegation. Manchester City want him to replace outgoing club captain Fernandinho. The Brazilian was at the Etihad Stadium for nine years. Phillips is basically a holding midfielder however I have learned from Manchester that Pep Guardiola could use him on the right hand side of Rodri. Julian Alvarez, a forward, is joining from Uruguayan club River Plate. Gabriel Jesus has still to make up his mind about staying with City and Arsenal and Tottenham are both watching the situation. There will be no such ambiguity regarding City’s “Player of the Year” Kevin De Bruyne who has three years left on his contract and said after their title win last weekend, “This is where I want to be. They are my family. This team deserves so much credit. It’s time to celebrate.”

Carvalho joins Liverpool

I suppose money always talks but I was surprised that Fulham finally gave way and agreed to let Fabio Carvalho go to Liverpool. Admittedly his current contract ending this summer was a decisive factor and Fabio could have left for nothing. The Reds almost signed the midfielder in January but they just missed the last day deadline.The clubs agreed a deal worth £7.2million. He scored 10 goals in 36 matches and made eight assists during 2021/2.

Well done to Son and Mo

I am truly delighted that Son Heung-min has shared the Golden Boot award with Mo Salah for 2021/22. Son is one of the nicest people you could ever wish to meet and his commitment to Spurs and the joyous way he plays speaks volumes about his character. Son almost won outright before Mo scored with only six minutes remaining in the final match against Wolves. Coach Antonio Conte commented on the Spurs players being delighted for Sonny, “It means that there is a great atmosphere in the dressing room. It means the players are really good people, not only good players. We were good to match today these two targets, to get a place in the Champions League and for Sonny to win the Golden Boot.” All the players celebrated with Son and especially Harry Kane who was clearly delighted for his striking partner. Harry won the award last season.

Sterling attracting attention in Madrid

Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling believes he has not had his fair share of playing time this year. He is now entering the final 12 months of his £350k a week contract and is showing interest in an early approach by Real Madrid. The 27-year-old has never made a secret of his desire to play for a top European club outside the Premier League. Real were beaten by Manchester City in the race to sign Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe is staying with Paris Saint-Germain. The thinking in Madrid is that Raheem could be the answer.

At last Chelsea are able to deal in the transfer market

Thomas Tuchel will receive £200 million from Chelsea’s new owners to spend on players this summer now that the £4.25 billion club takeover has been approved by the British government. The past three months, since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, has seen the club curtailed in any transfer dealings because of sanctions against Roman Abramovich and his close links to Russian President Putin. Because the club were not allowed to renegotiate expiring player contracts they have already lost Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen however the club is now able to offer new contracts to Mason Mount and Reece James.

Conte takes over transfer policy at Tottenham 

When you are a successful manager with a strong personality it is always possible to get what you want from your football club. Antonio Conte is such a coach but at Tottenham it has always been club chairman Daniel Levy who called the shots and he has always controlled the financial side of the Tottenham business with an iron fist. Now, in a complete turnaround he has realized that the only way to keep his talented coach is to give him what he wants. In response Levy has made £150million available for Conte to strengthen his squad and given him control of incoming players. In other words, Conte now controls transfer policy. Conte had made it clear that he would walk away this summer if the club did not match his ambitions but the £150million might not be enough to satisfy his wish list of players now he has taken Tottenham into Champions League football next season. Conte has approved the permanent signings of Dejan Kulusevski and Cristian Romero who have been on loan to Spurs and this will cost £67.5million. Conte also wants another six signings this summer including Inter Milan’s Alessandro Bastoni, who plays on the left side as a centre back and is valued at £54million. Conte is currently taking a holiday in Italy where he is meeting up with Tottenham managing director Fabio Paratici to discuss tactics and players. Club owner billionaire Joe Lewis and Levy have loaned Tottenham money necessary for the transfers through their company ECIS Sports so it is available immediately instead of waiting for bank approval. Conte is taking his team to South Korea for a summer pre-season tour and will play Spanish side Sevilla in Suwon on July 16th.

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