Monthly Archives: August 2019

Lack of Leadership at Manchester United

Manchester United have managed to make huge leaps forward with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as their manager. They are hungrier, younger, and fitter than previous seasons. However, it took Paul Pogba a single missed penalty to highlight how far this club still needs to go before they are ready to face the elite clubs of the Premier League once again.

Manchester United vs Wolves

In all honesty, a 1-1 draw at Molineux against the Wolves after being defeated 2-1 in the FA Cup and the Premier League last season can be seen as progress for Manchester United. However, there is still a distinct lack of leadership and experience in the young team of Solskjaer with an average age of only 24 years, making United the most inexperienced team in the Premier League at the moment. Due to this, Paul Pogba managed to miss his fourth penalty since the beginning of the previous season, with Rui Patricio blocking the shot during the 67th minute of the game.

A mere eight days ago, Marcus Rashford managed to score from the same spot at Old Trafford during their incredible 4-0 victory over Chelsea in the opening weekend of the Premier League. The successful penalty has assisted Rashford to maintain his 100% record when it comes to penalties for both club and country and has managed to take several pressure kicks during that time for state and club. However, during their spell against the Wolves, Paul Pogba decided to brush him to the side and take the shot himself because he won the penalty kick after Conor Coady fouled him.

Lack of Experience in the Team

If the Manchester United squad were packed with experienced characters and players that were strong enough to intervene, Paul Pogba would have been instructed to walk away, leaving the penalty to Marcus Rashford, especially when you take into account his excellent record when it comes to penalty kicks. Unfortunately, the squad did not have a Rio Ferdinand, Gary Neville, Eric Cantona, or Roy Keane in the mix, and no one on the current team had the guts to step up and take the penalty shot for Pogba.

The post-match explanation from Solskjaer on the penalty incident only made things worse, which indicated Manchester United’s lack of principles on the pitch at times. According to the manager, both Rashford and Pogba are the penalty takers for the club, so that means that even he is unable to decide which player should be considered the number 1 penalty shooter and who should be considered the second. The manager leaves the decision up to them at the end of the day, which causes loads of unnecessary confusion on the pitch when a penalty needs to be taken.

Manchester United was unable to control the tempo of the game due to lack of experience, and this is something that needs to be rectified before they face a much stronger and elite team down the road.

Liverpool Wins UEFA Super Cup Against Chelsea

It was 43 minutes after midnight when Adrian managed to save the penalty shot from Tammy Abraham to claim the UEFA Super Cup for the Reds. Thirty minutes later, Jordan Henderson and his team lifted the prestigious cup to mark the second European trophy for Liverpool in just three months. It was a remarkable match for both Chelsea as runners-up and Liverpool as the victorious team of the evening.

Winning is undoubtedly a very intoxicating feeling and to see Jurgen Klopp and his team sprint to Adrian at the Vodafone Park after his remarkable save just highlights how much a win means for the Reds. They appeared just as delighted as they did in Madrid after claiming the Champions League trophy against Tottenham Hotspur. However, after the dust settled in this incredible 5-4 penalty shootout victory against Chelsea, Liverpool is starting to realize the exact cost for their recent success.

Liverpool’s Next Match

There’s no denying that the 2019/20 Premier League season is going to be a demanding, challenging, and long road before they reach the finish line. If Liverpool is interested in building on their Champions League victory and finally end a three-decade wait for the glorious Premier League title in May 2020, they will face an even greater battle than the previous season where they nearly claimed the title from Manchester City.

They will first need to recover both their mental and physical fitness in time for the 3:00 pm match against Southampton on Saturday after enduring a 4-hour journey back home to England on Thursday. Chelsea, who managed to restore their pride and showcased unbelievable talent after their 4-0 defeat against Manchester United, will not play their next match until Sunday where they will also be on home turf against Leicester as opposed to travelling once again like Liverpool.

Klopp Needs to Find a Way

Winning the Champions League is only a taste of what Liverpool needs to deliver this season to remain victorious. The Reds didn’t have an easy road last season by any means. However, Liverpool only played a total of 52 games in all competitions. The team didn’t advance in the Carabao Cup and were taken out by Wolves in the FA Cup. This season they have already missed out on the Community Shield against Manchester City and needs to participate in the FIFA Club World Cup before 2020 is on our doorstep. This involves two matches and an 8-hour trip to Qatar and back.

Manchester City placed a total of 61 matches to claim their domestic treble, and the Reds will probably play around 60 games at least this season unless they endure similar draws or losses in their local competitions as they did last year. This will be a tough season for Klopp and his team, especially when you consider the additional energy that each team member needs to give this season to stay afloat. Let’s hope they have what it takes.

Community Shield Indicates Liverpool and Man City Will Once Again Reign Supreme in 2019/20 Premier League

Manchester City and Liverpool, the winners of the opening game at Wembley, showed absolutely no signs of giving up while playing against each other. They looked far more determined than ever before, especially given the fact that they were playing against each other. Each side provided their best performances ahead of the Premier League season, even though this was considered a friendly between the two teams.

The iconic stadium played host to over 77,000 spectators to witness the glorious 1-1 draw which was eventually settled by a 5-4 penalty shootout which went to Manchester City. However, the overall score was nothing when compared to the overall performance and abilities that were displayed by both sides.

Mohamad Salah

The desire from each team to succeed was noticeable if you paid any attention to Mohamad Salah, who only made his return to Liverpool after a postseason break where he only played for 45 minutes against Lyon before participating in this cruelling test against Manchester City. He was continually speeding around defenders, showing fast feet and shrugging off markers to get a total of 10 shots on goal. Two shots managed to hit the post, while another was cleared from the line which is much more than Manchester City could produce.
This was also visible during the 93rd minute when the Egyptian seemed quite satisfied to have claimed victory for Liverpool with a fantastic header, only for an incredible scissor kick on the goal line from Kyle Walker to avert the danger before it went into the back of the net. Those high acrobatics during this friendly encounter tells you everything about the refusal and ruthlessness of Manchester City. The most intense factor of the game didn’t even occur on the field, but in the technical area where the managers were screaming and dictating the play from the sidelines.

Pep Guardiola

The Manchester City manager paced throughout the game in frustration where he furiously pointed to spaces on his side that were not being exploited enough to his liking. He placed his hands over his head in disbelief when his team missed golden opportunities or even when a pass was missed. He was also found leaning against advertising boards after Sterling missed the perfect opportunity when he only needed to beat Allison to score a goal.

Pep Guardiola was so worked up during the match that he even created a red-card situation when Joe Gomez and David Silva challenged the referee for a high ball incident where the defender from Liverpool got to it first. Pep Guardiola was furious with the fourth official, stating that the Liverpool defender went in on his player with dangerous force. He continued with this outcry until he received a yellow card. And this all occurred in a friendly between these two teams, so can you imagine what it will be like in the Premier League season this time around?

What We Learned About Manchester United During the Pre-season

Manchester United are finally back on home soil following a successful pre-season tour to the Far East and Australia. So what exactly did we learn from their pre-season abroad? The team managed by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer ended their glorious summer with a victory 0-1 victory over Kristiansund, a 2-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur, a 2-0 win over Perth Glory, and additional victories against Inter Milan and Leeds United. The Man Utd boss only has one game remaining against Milan before starting his 2019/20 Premier League season against Chelsea on 11 August 2019. Solskjaer also provided a few hints surrounding how his team will look like during the 2019/20 season, and we decided to share some of these hints with you.

Additional Signings Required

The Man Utd manager has been timid when it comes to new signings for the team. He continued to state that the squad is working on a few plans to improve the overall performance. However, things are quite complicated with the situation surrounding Romelu Lukaku. Should he leave before the new season gets underway, Solskjaer needs to replace him quickly to keep the goal tally he wants, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Moussa Dembele, Mauro Icardi, and Paulo Dybala are linked to this improvement.

Anthony Martial Used in the Middle

Anthony Martial initially started his career at United as a central striker under Louis van Gaal but spent the last three years as the left-wing. Most people exacted Marcus Rashford to be the first choice for the club manager as a centre forward, but Martial has been running down the middle for most of the pre-season tour. This makes perfect sense as Martial is a far more natural finisher than Rashford who has more discipline out wide. Hopefully, we will see more of Martial in the middle during the upcoming Premier League season.

Daniel James is Fast

Daniel James has never played in a Premier League match before. However, the player from Swansea has been enjoying a lot of time on the field during the pre-season games which suggest that he will be thrown into the deep end during August. Thankfully, the 21-year-old is going to make quite an impression as he is lightning-fast on the field. He looks like an Olympic sprinter against other players on the ground. He merely needs to work on finishing, but there’s loads of time for that this season.

Jesse Lingard Needs to Step Up

Lingard had a tough summer after a vacation video was posted on social media which received unwanted attention. There are reports that the player is currently keeping his head down at the camp and hasn’t discussed the video with any media outlet as of yet. Lingard needs to focus on the upcoming season and perform like never before to keep his fans and the team happy. HE should spend more time practising and improving instead of making videos where he sings about beans.