Anthony Martial return crucial to improved Manchester United form, says Daniel James

Daniel James has spoken of the influence of Anthony Martial and his own surprise at the amount of game time he has had at Manchester United

Anthony Martial’s return has been crucial to Manchester United’s recent upturn in form, according to team-mate Daniel James.

France forward Martial missed almost two months of action with a thigh injury before returning off the bench late in the 1-1 draw against Liverpool on October 20.

The Red Devils have since won five of their six matches since, with a limp 1-0 loss at Bournemouth the only blot in that run.

Martial, James and Marcus Rashford were in scintillating form as Brighton and Hove Albion were swept aside 3-1 on Sunday, a result that left United seventh heading into the international break.

And James, who turned 22 on Sunday, believes Martial’s influence has been pivotal to the recent improvement.

“Since he’s come back in, we’ve got that focal point,” James said after the Brighton game.

“He’s a great link-up player. He can come short or go in behind. It’s been important for me and for Marcus since he’s come back into the team to get that interlink.

“Since he’s come back, he’s got goals and he’s got assists and he’s been great for us.”

 

James arrived from Championship side Swansea City in a reported £15million deal in June and has taken on a prominent role in the team, appearing in all 12 Premier League fixtures this term.

The Wales winger concedes he did not expect to feature so much but is relishing the opportunity.

“Coming in was always going to be tough and it was going to be different from playing in the Championship,” he added.

“I think I’ve taken it in my stride, tried to calm myself down a bit and think, ‘I’m here for a reason’.

“At the start of the season, I maybe didn’t think I would play as much. Every game I’ve been learning and the gaffer has trusted me and I’ve really enjoyed it.”

 

Reports: Paul Pogba unhappy with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, wants to reunite with former teammates

Reports: Paul Pogba unhappy with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, wants to reunite with former teammates

According to reports from Italy, Manchester United star Paul Pogba is unhappy with his manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and he wants to rejoin his former club Juventus next summer.

It is Daily Mail, who reports via TuttoSport that Pogba is ready to “push for a return” to Juventus next summer. Earlier this summer, he tried in vain to secure a dream move to La Liga giants Real Madrid, despite manager Zinedine Zidane’s interest in signing him.

The 2018 FIFA World Cup winner left Juventus to join Manchester United in 2016, for a then-world record transfer fee of £89million.

And now, another Italian publication Gazzetta Dello Sport claims that the 27-year-old has a poor relationship with his manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Old Trafford.

Gazzetta Dello Sport reports that the relationship between Pogba and Solskjaer is “poor”, amidst strong interest from Juventus.

Meanwhile, Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola also wants the player to shift back to Juventus, and is reportedly confident of convincing the Bianconeri to re-sign him, according to Express.

During this summer, Raiola successfully brokered a deal that saw AFC Ajax star Matthijs de Ligt move to Turin.

At the same time, former United manager David Moyes has warned the club that they must keep Pogba at all costs.

“He is still Manchester United’s best midfielder player,” Moyes told TalkSport, before adding:

“He could probably play for any team in the world, certainly in Europe. He’d get a game for any team.”

Daniel James reveals why Manchester United have suddenly improved form

Manchester United beat Brighton & Hove Albion 3-1 at Old Trafford on Sunday to move to within a point of Arsenal in the Premier League table, and it appears that the Red Devils may be turning a corner.

Since the International break, United have picked up five wins and a draw out of their seven matches, and Daniel James believes the plans of manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer are finally coming together.

“The gaffer [Solskjaer] at the start of the season… it was about moulding us as a team,” James said after the Brighton win.

“As the weeks have gone by, the interplay… We played at Norwich and played at Chelsea, that interplay, creating chances going forward.

“Our best performance of the season” – Solskjaer after Man United beat Brighton

“That high press obviously is a big thing for us. Winning the ball high up and going on the counter and that’s how we got our goals [against Brighton].”

And it is clear that the good form needs to continue if the English giants are to have any chance of making the top four this season.

“Getting those three points going into the international break is massive,” James went on.

“We have a lot of games when we get back, Several cups and obviously the Premier League but we’ve just got to take every game in our stride and believe we can win every game because we’ve got the ability to do so.”

Reports: Manchester United eyeing January move for Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Reports: Manchester United eyeing January move for Zlatan Ibrahimovic

The latest word around the rumour mill is that Manchester United are keen on reuniting with Zlatan Ibrahimovic, amid interest from a few Serie A and La Liga clubs including AC Milan, Atletico Madrid and so on.

It is Mirror who reports that Manchester United may sign Ibrahimovic during the upcoming winter transfer window in January, when he will run out of his current contract with Major League Soccer (MLS) giants LA Galaxy.

With no new contract agreed by him with any team just yet, the 38-year-old Swedish striker is all set to become a free agent – and that will further hike the interest in him, as any club who will sign him will not have to pay off a transfer fee.

Manchester United, meanwhile, are already expected to target a centre-forward in the new year after struggling for goals so far this season. Due to this very reason, Juventus’ veteran forward Mario Mandzukic has also emerged as a key target for the Red Devils over the past few weeks.

Earlier last week, MLS commissioner Don Graber famously claimed that Ibrahimovic is already on his way to AC Milan – which is another one of his former clubs.

“Zlatan is an interesting character. He keeps me very busy and you need this kind of players like what happened with Beckham a few years ago,” Graber told ESPN, before adding:

“He is 38 years old & has now been signed by Milan, one of the biggest clubs in the world.”

The above claim is yet to be verified, and hence it is safe to say that United are still a part of the transfer race for the world-class striker.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer provides worrying injury update on Manchester United star

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer provides worrying injury update on Manchester United star

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has revealed his fears that midfield star Scott McTominay could be out for as long as eight weeks following an ankle injury from Saturday’s Premier League clash against Brighton & Hove Albion.

McTominay suffered a knock to his foot during last week’s Europa League match against Partizan Belgrade, but was declared fit to play – following which he made it into Solskjaer’s starting XI in the Brighton game.

And later, during the third minute of injury time in the second half, Brighton’s Solomon March caught him off the ball, and he had to limp off the pitch in pain.

Mirror reports that McTominay is due to have a scan on Monday to determine the severity of the injury – and during the post-match press conference, Solskjaer said that he hoped the 22-year-old will only be sidelined for a couple of weeks at most.

However, the Norwegian also recalled a similar injury from his own playing days – one which kept him out for eight weeks.

“He went over on his ankle. It’s a painful one,” the Manchester United boss said, before adding:

“I’ve had one and I was out for eight weeks. But then again sometimes you’re back in two weeks, so I don’t know.”

“He’s in for a scan tomorrow, but it looked painful and he’s not one for rolling around.”

As things stand at the moment, McTominay is in doubt for United’s next game, which is against Sheffield United in the Premier League, on 24th November.

Quotes via Mirror.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer singles out Manchester United star for special praise after Brighton & Hove Albion win

Ole Gunner Solskjaer singles out Manchester United star for special praise after Brighton & Hove Albion win

On Sunday, Manchester United beat Brighton & Hove Albion by a scoreline of 3-1, and after the game, the Red Devils’ manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer labelled midfielder Fred as the “catalyst” for what was a much-needed win.

“He [Fred] set us off today with his midfield play, we won the ball, had to get after them,” Solskjaer said, before adding:

“[Davy] Propper and [Dale] Stephens, we couldn’t let them get on the ball and Fred was maybe the catalyst.”

Manchester United moved up to seventh place on the Premier League table thanks to their victory, which was brought to them by goals from Andreas Pereira (17′) and Marcus Rashford (86′) and an own goal from Propper (19′). Lewis Dunk (64′) scored the consolation goal for Brighton.

Meanwhile, Fred – who joined the club last season for £52million – had been getting a lot of stick from fans and pundits alike, for the very slow start to his career at the Old Trafford.

The 26-year-old managed just one goal and one assist in 25 appearances in all competitions during the 2018-19 season, but his recent performances seem to have begun to change Solskjaer’s mind.

Fred has now played the full 90 minutes of Manchester United’s last five Premier League matches, and from the latest words about him by his manager, it can be assumed that he will be getting more game time in the weeks to come.

Quotes via Express.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer backs Harry Maguire as long-term Man United captain

Harry Maguire captained Manchester United on Sunday and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer suggests he could hold that position permanently.

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer backed Harry Maguire to be the club’s captain in the long-term after wearing the armband in Sunday’s 3-1 defeat of Brighton and Hove Albion.

United cruised to a comfortable victory at Old Trafford against Brighton, with the visitors arguably lucky to avoid losing by a crushing scoreline.

Maguire led the team out as captain and put in a generally commanding display at the back, as he continues to look a solid acquisition following his reported £80million switch from Leicester City.

The centre-back was captain in the absence of Ashley Young, though Solskjaer suggested Maguire could potentially get even more familiar with the position in years to come.

“Harry has come in and been excellent in the dressing room and on the pitch,” Solskjaer told reporters.

“He can be a long-term captain.”

 

The one dampener on United’s win was a late ankle injury suffered by Scott McTominay, as he appeared to roll his foot and was left in agony.

While he was able to hobble off the pitch aided by United’s medical staff, after the match he was carried away on a stretcher.

But Solskjaer was unable to offer much of an update on his condition aside from being set for scans on Monday.

“He went over on his ankle,” said Solskjaer. “It’s a painful one sometimes.

“I’ve had one, I was out for eight weeks but then again sometimes you have one and you’re back in two weeks. I don’t know.

“He’s in for a scan tomorrow and then we’ll have to see, with the ice there. But it looked painful – Scotty’s not one for rolling around.

“He didn’t really roll around, because that’s probably the sign he’s injured. All the players that keep rolling aren’t injured.”

 

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer backs Harry Maguire as long-term Manchester United captain

Harry Maguire captained Manchester United on Sunday and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer suggests he could hold that position permanently

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer backed Harry Maguire to be the club’s captain in the long-term after wearing the armband in Sunday’s 3-1 defeat of Brighton and Hove Albion.

United cruised to a comfortable victory at Old Trafford against Brighton, with the visitors arguably lucky to avoid losing by a crushing scoreline.

Maguire led the team out as captain and put in a generally commanding display at the back, as he continues to look a solid acquisition following his reported £80million switch from Leicester City.

The centre-back was captain in the absence of Ashley Young, though Solskjaer suggested Maguire could potentially get even more familiar with the position in years to come.

“Harry has come in and been excellent in the dressing room and on the pitch,” Solskjaer told reporters.

“He can be a long-term captain.”

 

The one dampener on United’s win was a late ankle injury suffered by Scott McTominay, as he appeared to roll his foot and was left in agony.

While he was able to hobble off the pitch aided by United’s medical staff, after the match he was carried away on a stretcher.

But Solskjaer was unable to offer much of an update on his condition aside from being set for scans on Monday.

“He went over on his ankle,” said Solskjaer. “It’s a painful one sometimes.

“I’ve had one, I was out for eight weeks but then again sometimes you have one and you’re back in two weeks. I don’t know.

“He’s in for a scan tomorrow and then we’ll have to see, with the ice there. But it looked painful – Scotty’s not one for rolling around.

“He didn’t really roll around, because that’s probably the sign he’s injured. All the players that keep rolling aren’t injured.”

 

We could have scored eight – Daniel James and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer impressed by Manchester United’s vibrant attack

Manchester United beat Brighton and Hove Albion 3-1 on Sunday, though Daniel James and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer think it should have been more

Daniel James was impressed with Manchester United’s vibrant attack in Sunday’s 3-1 win and was adamant they could have scored eight on another day.

United were massively disappointing in the 1-0 defeat at Bournemouth last weekend, struggling to trouble their hosts’ backline.

But it was a completely different story in the Europa League on Thursday as they beat Partizan Belgrade 3-0 and again shone during the visit of Brighton three days later.

Andreas Pereira’s deflected effort and a Davy Propper own goal were decisive early on and, although Lewis Dunk pulled one back, Marcus Rashford sealed the points.

But that was just the tip of the iceberg in terms of United’s dominance, as Rashford went on to miss another couple of presentable chances, while James, Anthony Martial, Brandon Williams and Fred all went close in the latter stages.

 

“The high press paid off, that’s what we have been about all season, playing with energy right from the start,” he said.

“We were a little bit edgy when they scored and it was good to score again on the break, but we could have scored also seven or eight goals.”

Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, whose side are seventh in the Premier League table, echoed that sentiment, reserving special praise for Martial and Williams, who was making his first top-flight start.

“We should have scored many more goals,” Solskjaer told BBC Sport. “It was an excellent performance from the lads, when you see them going forward it is a joy to watch.

“Anthony Martial did not get a goal, but he was outstanding. Brandon Williams was excellent too, he has had some good games already and he seems he wants to be out there and enjoy himself.

“The table does not really matter at the moment: we need to keep improving and keep winning games and see where it takes us.”

 

Fans slam Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for starting Manchester United star, he responds with goal

Fans slam Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for starting Manchester United star, he responds with goal

Manchester United fans slammed manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for his decision to name out-of-form Andreas Pereira as a part of his starting eleven, ahead of their Premier League clash against Brighton and Hove Albion.

And how did Pereira respond? By scoring Manchester United’s opening goal in the game!

Earlier during the day, Solskjaer received a lot of stick for starting the Brazilian, as mentioned above.

“Genuinely lost as to how Pereira continues to get in the starting line up. He offers absolutely nothing,” a Red Devils fan tweeted.

While another added: “See that Ole’s ‘Pereira blindspot’ is still there then.”

“Why is Pereira still starting?!!” A third supporter asked.

“Looking at the line-up, my worry is the midfield, the way Fred, McTominay, Pereira played against Bournemouth was so terrible, Ole should’ve tried at least to bringing in Mata,” another fan explained, while a fifth guy added: “The common fact that we field a midfield trio of Fred, McTom and Pereira every week is utterly embarrassing.”

Take a look at more tweets right here:

And then, in the seventeenth minute of the match, the unthinkable happened – as the 23-year-old opened the scoring for Manchester United.

Watch his goal below:

But fans still did not favour him:

What do you think of Andreas Pereira, his role in Solskjaer’s side and the goal today? Let us know in the comments below.

Reports: Manchester United ready to sign former star for £70million

Reports: Manchester United ready to sign former star for £70million

The latest word around the rumour mill is that Premier League giants Manchester United are ready to agree to a £70million move for signing Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha in January.

According to The Sun, as reported by Express, Manchester United’s representatives have chosen to target Zaha because they feel he is “older and wiser than before”. In case you did not know, the 27-year-old was formerly a Red Devils star, before the club chose to offload him to Crystal Palace in 2015, for a measly transfer fee of just €3.8million.

Zaha played just four matches for Manchester United in the two years he was at the club, but at Palace, he has turned into a huge sensation – having scored 53 goals and provided 67 assists in 336 matches so far.

And now, the English news agencies have claimed that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and co are determined to sign a right winger when the transfer window reopens in January, and that they are keen on re-signing Zaha.

The Ivorian international himself had expressed interest to leave the Eagles earlier this summer, and also made Arsenal his priority destination.

But an asking price of £100million kept him out of reach of the Gunners, who eventually signed Nicolas Pepe.

Express reports that Manchester United are now hopeful they can re-sign the winger in January, as his asking price has gone down to £70million.

Crystal Palace is yet to make a final decision regarding the transfer.

Ryan Giggs compares Manchester United youngster to Cristiano Ronaldo

Ryan Giggs compares Manchester United youngster to Cristiano Ronaldo

Ahead of their upcoming Premier League clash against Brighton and Hove Albion, Manchester United’s young star Daniel James has been compared to Cristiano Ronaldo – by none other than club legend Ryan Giggs.

According to Manchester Evening News, Daniel James has been fouled 27 times in the Premier League this season so far, and only five other players in the top flight have been fouled more than the former Swansea City ace.

And Ryan Giggs hence praised James for his resilience in the face of rough treatment.

“Dan [Daniel James] takes a lot of knocks but gets up, gets on with it and demands the ball back,” the Wales coach said, after naming the 22-year-old in his squad for their upcoming Euro 2020 qualifier matches against Azerbaijan and Hungary.

“[Cristiano] Ronaldo, especially earlier on in his career, took a lot of knocks and would still demand the ball. It shows huge bravery.”

“Dan’s a fantastic character and great professional.”

“It was a physical game. You’ve got to stand up for yourself. You’ve got to trust in the referee as well that he protects the players.”

“Over the years forwards have been more and more protected. But we have a few players who receive nasty treatment because of the quality they possess.”

“Manchester United fans like players who like to attack, who gets the fans off their feet – and he’s somebody who does that.”

“With the form that he’s in, he has been outstanding and a constant threat. He’s added goals and assists, which is a wingers’ game. He will get better and better – and I’m pleased for him,” Giggs concluded.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reveals reason why Manchester United need to beat Brighton

Reports: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to sell nine Manchester United stars in January as part of massive squad overhaul

Manchester United take on Brighton and Hove Albion in the Premier League on Sunday, and the Red Devils need to win in order to head back to the top half of the table.

And manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reckons the fans deserve this win more than anyone, and that this will be the focus heading into the game at Old Trafford.

“We need a good result, we want a good result, we are going to give everything we can to get a good result,” Solskjaer said.

Premier League trophy ‘out of reach’ says Solskjaer, who insists United will challenge in cup competitions

“Because I think the fans deserve it and we owe them that.

“They have been backing us through this difficult period and hopefully we can continue the good home form. Liverpool was a good performance, Partizan was a good performance and the fans have been great so we are ready.

“We had five days after Bournemouth to get ready for the game against Partizan and it was two days in between for Brighton, so it was a quicker turnaround but we recovered.

“We have got a good sports science department, good physios, they have good treatments, the players are professional and they look after themselves. Confidence after Thursday night is high.”

A win would take United to within a point of sixth-placed Arsenal, who were beaten 2-0 by Leicester City on Saturday.

Solskjaer: Manchester United won’t rush Greenwood into Premier League starting spot

Manchester United forward Mason Greenwood

Mason Greenwood is not ready to demand a regular place in Manchester United’s starting XI, according to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will resist the temptation to grant Mason Greenwood a regular starting spot despite another fine showing from the teenager.

Greenwood scored one and assisted another as United eased to a 3-0 win over Partizan Belgrade in the Europa League on Thursday.

The 18-year-old forward combined well with Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford in a mature 90-minute performance.

Solskjaer admires Greenwood’s ability but will not easily bow to calls for him to be handed a first Premier League start for the season.

“I think we’re finding the right balance between playing him, resting him and training him,” Solskjaer said.

“He needs to learn the man’s game. He’s gone up from the Under-18s last year, now he’s training with the first team every day and you can’t just turn that switch on and off. You’ve got to perform every day if you’re going to be accepted into a group like this.”

Solskjaer continued: “The DNA of this club, and it’s always been in our philosophy and my philosophy, is to give young players with the right attitude a chance.

“If that takes a couple of years for him to really, really come through, it’s worth it. I’m managing for Man United, I’m not managing for me. I’m managing the best way I think we can get the best out of Mason.

“If he really stamped his authority every single day in training and [had] been the best option he would have played every game.

“But as a young boy you expect ups and downs, and he’s had some downs. I think he’s on the way back up again.”

Martial and Rashford joined Greenwood on the scoresheet against Partizan as United cruised through to the Europa League knockout stages.

While eager to improve the club’s middling Premier League results, Solskjaer accepts the knockout competitions are where the Red Devils can realistically contend for silverware.

“I don’t want to stop winning in cups,” he said.

“We’ve spoken about that before. The Premier League trophy is out of our reach, we’re too far behind the top teams, but any trophy you can get your hands on, we’re going to go for.

“But we need to improve our league form, definitely.”

United have the chance to do that at home to Brighton and Hove Albion on Sunday.

Solskjaer expects Harry Maguire to be fit but Victor Lindelof, who has failed to train this week, is in doubt with a foot problem.