Manchester United was truly and totally poor at Selhurst Park, earning their 3rd straight 0-0 draw after losing on penalties to Middlesbrough in the midweek. Wayne Rooney continues to miss chances and the base 6 are picking up the right pieces, but there’s nothing more to it! Here’s the weekly update on the rankings.
Manchester United’s midfield masterclass ensured they dominated City, but it turns out playing an entire last 45 in the opposition half at home doesn’t guarantee a goal. Joe Hart denied Chris Smalling from an amazing opportunity, while Jesse Lingard hit the crossbar to keep the game 0-0. Here’s the updates to the United Player Power Rankings.
Note: City played like a little team that wanted to frustrate historical giants in their backyard. They played 3 holding midfielders, and Wilfried Bony was basically a midfielder. Also, Marcos Rojo and Phil Jones haven’t yet played enough games to get onto the list but they were wonderful on the day.
News feeds in Germany, Italy and England erupted with special news regarding Manchester United in the transfer market. Italian papers confirmed Matteo Darmian flying to England, where Louis van Gaal stated in Memphis Depay’s unveiling that Darmian would be arriving at Carrington for a medical. Meanwhile, in Germany, Bild reported an astounding deal involving Manchester United and Bastian Schweinsteiger, also reported by very reliable German sources in the country. Both signings would be amazing for United as they plan an assault on Chelsea at the summit of the Premier League table next year.
An amazing day for United fans begun with Depay’s presser, really an interesting one. Depay was able to sound ambitious and determined without being arrogant as he stated that the club should be able to win trophies and challenge on all fronts. After that, minutes later, Louis Van Gaal confirmed Darmian’s arrival at Old Trafford subject to a medical. It’s fair to say he’s arriving given that medicals can almost never fail (Falcao passed one).
Finally, Bastian Schweinsteiger looks set to come in to Manchester United’s ranks and take the Premier League by storm. The 31 year old will sign a 3 year deal and will cost the Red Devils 14 million. Likely to step in next to Ander Herrera if he comes in now, Bastian Schweinsteiger will provide depth for Michael Carrick and Ander Herrera, should either get injured. His versatility allows him to play in either CDM or CM positions.
Schweinsteiger offers a recovery for all the experience lost with the apparent sale of van Persie, in a position where talent is scarce within the squad. Schweinsteiger showing up to Bayern’s unveiling tomorrow will mean the deal is a lie, so we should know for sure by tomorrow.
Matteo Darmian is also a fantastic, versatile signing. Solving the right back problems is huge for Louis van Gaal as it was the main reason for defensive errors last season. Rafael was the weak link before Antonio Valencia jumped in, though that made it worse. Darmian can also play left back and even centre back, though questions will be asked of his physicality in that position in the EPL. Darmian is tireless and can get from byline to byline. Ideally he’d be a world class crosser for the United tactics but Darmian is still 25 and has time to develop attributes.
A high level cross would solidify his status as one of the best right-backs in the world and maybe even the best given Dani Alves and Zabaleta look ready to decline and Philipp Lahm is playing in midfield. Lining up on the right side of defence, Darmian even compliments the age trend of 24-27 at United, given that in the first XI, David de Gea, Chris Smalling, Marcos Rojo, Daley Blind, Ander Herrera, Angel Di Maria and Juan Mata also fit in.
Louis van Gaal looks set to dip into the market for 2-3 more players. Reports in England by the Guardian and the Metro say that Louis van Gaal wants to sign Morgan Schneiderlin before the team flies out to the US for the preseason tour. Schneiderlin would be a phenomenal addition, as stated in yesterday’s article. He’s developed into a world class player in recent years. In addition, with his addition, United would select between the following for their potential midfield 5: Schneiderlin, Schweinsteiger, Herrera, Marouane Fellaini, Michael Carrick, Mata, Di Maria, Depay, Ashley Young, Adnan Januzaj, Andreas Pereira and Jesse Lingard. That’s 11 able players for 5 positions and worst case Wayne Rooney can be asked to play there.
United will also seemingly splash on a centre-back to fill the numbers. Nicolas Otamendi and Sergio Ramos seem to be the most likely options, probably the former seeing as David de Gea looks ready for one more season at United.
Manchester United is slowly gaining the look of a title winning team. So far, their best XI with Schweinsteiger and Darmian is intriguing.
Entertainment Revisited will continue to provide more updates on the situations of Bastian Schweinsteiger, Morgan Schneiderlin, Nicolas Otamendi, Matteo Darmian and more.
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Today, Barcelona will meet Juventus in the biggest football match of 2015; the Champions League Final. The truth is, the final can only be a casual sporting event and irrelevant in the grand scheme of things for us fans, who feel the urge to spectate this moment. We take for granted that for everyone associated with Barcelona and Juventus, this very Saturday could end up being the pinnacle of their careers. I’d like to focus specifically on the players and managers in light of some great work that’s been done in these two clubs. (more…)
At this point, it is relatively fair to say we have encountered our Top 4 and our title winning team of the 2014-15 EPL season. However, this season England’s Top 4 teams looked relatively off the pace compared to usual. Louis Van Gaal famously said to build a squad capable of being in consistent European contention, the squad must have “2 players capable of playing each position”. Looking at the provisional Top 4, they seem to be quite close to achieving this goal, but there are some places in which each side needs a little spark. (more…)
The Manchester Derby is coming closer and closer, and this time it means a lot in the EPL race. Manchester City will be looking down at Liverpool as they are closer to the Reds than they are to the leaders, Chelsea. Meanwhile, United will be looking to keep up the pace or overtake Arsenal in the leaderboard as the Gunners travel to Turf Moor to play Burnley.
The Derby is a great showing of some of the best talent around, and I’ve built a super-team around which players would make the best combined team (formed in a 4-2-2-2). This is also based on form, so though Yaya Toure, Angel Di Maria, Vincent Kompany, Radamel Falcao, Robin Van Persie and Luke Shaw are fantastic players, they don’t show up in the team for today. (more…)
The Manchester Derby has become a showcase of arguably the best footballing city in the modern world- both City and United have left marks in European and English football in recent years. Though Manchester City has been the dominant side in previous meetings, United is in the better run of form of late- and they look like they’re raring to be unleashed into Old Trafford and capture their 6th win in a row. Manchester City, on the other hand, just lost to Crystal Palace, and will be looking to move out of their recent slump in form. (more…)