Man U Players With Something To Prove

As the Red Devils begin their preseason schedule under their new manager there are a number of stars who must fight for their futures, starting against Wigan on Saturday.

Manchester United begins an exciting new era when the side travels to Wigan on Saturday. But while the start of Jose Mourinho’s reign brings with it new optimism and intrigue, for many first-team players it will represent the need to step up and prove themselves.

The potential debuts of Eric Bailly and Henrikh Mkhitaryan will certainly be the more eye-catching appointments for most United fans at the DW Stadium, but it is the need for existing stars to prove their worth to the new manager which will provide the most significant plot line over the first 90 minutes of Mourinho’s spell with the Red Devils.

It is exactly because United was rammed full of mediocrity last season that Louis van Gaal was shown the door and Mourinho handed his prestigious job – and a large number of the Dutchman’s former allies now find themselves with something significant to prove.

The most obvious name that comes to the fore is that of Juan Mata, who has already been discarded by Mourinho once before in January 2014 at Chelsea following a rocky period for the back-to-back club Player of the Year. On that occasion the Portuguese’s arrival led to Mata’s work rate being thrown into the spotlight, and the Spain international seemed to crumble under the new pressure.

His winter move to Old Trafford that season cost United 37.1 million pounds ($49.7 million) and, while his quality on the ball has left a great impression on many fans at the Theater of Dreams, it is fair to say that question marks regarding Mata’s off-the-ball work rate and desire to seek out possession loom as large as they did at Stamford Bridge three years ago.

Daley Blind might have been the closest thing United had to an ever-present last season with his 56 appearances in 59 games, but he will find himself having to prove to Mourinho that he has an outstanding quality that the new boss cannot do without.

His predominant role under Van Gaal in 2015-16 was that of a stand-in center back, and while the experiment worked to some degree thanks to his clever reading of the game, a lack of pace and defensive instinct saw him exposed too often. Mourinho’s first move in the market this summer was to add Bailly in the spot Blind filled last term, and as such the 26-year-old has something to prove all over again in terms of his value in another position.

“I’m more a manager that likes specialists and not so much the multi-functional players,” said Mourinho at his unveiling, “because I’m very clear in my approach so I need specialists for that.” And since nobody more than Blind has shown his flexibility over the past two years, the Wigan friendly provides him with a challenge to show he can be a firm fixture in one particular position. With Bailly’s arrival and Luke Shaw’s return to fitness, that spot could well be the central midfield role he originally filled when signing for United in 2014.

Beyond Mata and Blind, others also have much to prove. Ander Herrera has dazzled only occasionally in his two years at Old Trafford, and his style does not match with the physical, energetic approach to midfield play which has become synonymous with Mourinho midfields.

Memphis Depay has something more akin to the profile of a player who Mourinho could make good use of, but his performance level over the course of 2015-16 was well short and, as such, he may need to hit the ground running to avoid being moved on. Adnan Januzaj falls under the same category having never truly convinced since his breakthrough campaign under David Moyes, and Jesse Lingard must prove himself all over again now that the likes of Mkhitaryan and Zlatan Ibrahimovic have been added to the forward line.

Andreas Pereira will be fighting for recognition following a spell under Van Gaal which produced zero league starts, and players such as Ashley Young and James Wilson will also need to leave an early impression on their new boss.

As other stars return following their involvement at Euro 2016 there will be more futures to solve, with the likes of Marouane Fellaini, Morgan Schneiderlin, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Matteo Darmian all needing to convince Mourinho that they have a future at Old Trafford, but there are plenty available for action in Wigan on Saturday with cases of their own to present to the Special One.

Will Mata, Blind, Memphis, Januzaj, Lingard et al be a part of Mourinho’s brave new world? We will start to learn the answer at the DW Stadium.



Jose Mourinho won’t stay at Man United for long – Phil Neville

Jose Mourinho will last only two or three years at Manchester United but can bring success back to Old Trafford, according to former Red Devils defender Phil Neville.

Mourinho has agreed a deal to become United’s next manager, sources close to the deal have told ESPN FC, and is expected to be officially confirmed by the club early next week.

This season, United finished fifth in the Premier League and missed out on the Champions League under current boss Louis van Gaal.

United beat Crystal Palace at Wembley on Saturday to win the FA Cup but the victory is not expected to save Van Gaal, who has failed to produce either a Premier League title challenge or brand of football in line with the club’s traditions.

Mourinho was sacked by Chelsea in December after a miserable start to the season. Despite widespread success in his career, the Portuguese has never managed a club for longer than the three years and three months he spent at Chelsea in his first spell.

“I can’t see him staying too long at Man United, maybe two or three years, that seems to be his shelf life at a football club,” Neville told BBC Five Live’s Sportsweek programme.

“When Jose finishes at a club it tends to be a pattern where he falls out with a few players, he gets disgruntled and the team dips.

“It happened at Chelsea, it certainly happened at Real Madrid where there were rumours he fell out with a few players.

“It’s a pattern with Jose, he comes into a club, he gets success but he doesn’t stay for too long.”

United have now failed to finish higher than fourth in any of the three seasons since Sir Alex Ferguson retired.

Mourinho has a proven track record in England, having won the title three times with Chelsea, and Neville believes the former Madrid boss will already have a plan to achieve success again.

“He’s a proven winner, a proven champion. United fans want a team that will challenge for the league title, not a team that finishes seventh or fifth, and Jose is probably the man for the job,” Neville said.

“Knowing Jose as I do, I think he will have done his homework and he’s meticulous in his planning.

“Don’t be surprised if United in the next month, and particularly before the Euros, sign three or four players and when he gets to pre-season he has his squad already in place.

“He knows who he wants and at the start he will demand United sign those players for United to become championship challengers again.”


Man U Man U- FA finals highlights video

A brilliant strike from JESSE LINGARD took MANCHESTER UNITED to their first silverware in almost three years, as the Red Devils triumphed 2-1 over CRYSTAL PALACE in the FA CUP FINAL 2016..

A turgid match was suddenly turned on its head after 78 minutes, when Jason Puncheon struck first for Palace.
The lead was short-lived, however, as Juan Mata drilled home just three minutes later, and Lingard capped 10-man United’s comeback with a memorable effort to give Louis van Gaal his maiden trophy at Old Trafford.

Scores / Goal : Jason Puncheon, Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard
# Man Utd vs C Palace 2-1 All Goal
# Man United vs Crystal Palace 2-1 Highlights
# Manchester United vs Crystal Palace 2-1 All Goal
# Manchester United vs Crystal Palace 2-1 Highlights
# Manchester United vs Crystal Palace Final FA CUP 2016
# Crystal Palace vs Manchester United 1-2 All Goals Highlights