• Why Does Jose Mourinho Want To Keep Marouane Fellaini?

    Despite reports linking him with a move away from Manchester United, Marouane Fellaini is staying put this summer. Why? Because Jose Mourinho still considers him a vital member of his squad. “It is easier for Galatasaray to get me than to get Marouane,” he said of the Turkish club’s reported interest in the Belgian. “He is too important to me.” But what exactly does Mourinho see in Fellaini to consider him such a vital part of his plans, especially with the more reliable Nemanja Matic having arrived from Chelsea? Well, despite the Serbian’s move north, United’s cupboard of central midfielders remains little more stocked than Old Mother Hubbard’s. While Matic, Paul Pogba and Ander Herrera are the likely starters in the middle of the park, the only other natural backups are Michael Carrick and Timothy Fosu-Mensah, who can both expect their playing time to be limited by their years of birth, with the former now too old to play every match and the latter still inexperienced at his raw age of 19. Throw an injury and suspension or two into the mix, or the need to rotate ahead of Champions League nights, and Mourinho’s options would all of a sudden be very limited. While it’s true that he has defenders he could shift forward or attacking midfielders he could ask to drop deeper, there is a clear benefit to keeping Fellaini as one further central option. ...

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  • Michael Carrick’s Testimonial Is Last Chance To Appreciate His Quiet Excellence

    On Sunday, Michael Carrick's testimonial will take place at Old Trafford, marking his more-than-a-decade of service to Manchester United. Testimonials, of course, once served as a boost to the retirement package of players who had given a club the best years of their lives for considerably less remuneration than their equivalents receive in 21st Century Premier League football. Nowadays they instead serve as a chance for players to raise some money for causes close to their heart, have a kickabout with old mates and for fans to sing their appreciation of their heroes as they approach the end of their careers. ...

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  • Martin Jol: The Kick-Start Tottenham Needed

    To the regular, Tottenham’s resurgence is a product of newfound buoyancy borne out of Harry Redknapp and built upon by now-coach Mauricio Pochettino. The club has a history of sparkling excitement, but there have been times in which the fans have had little to be proud of. Martin Jol, in 2004, starting to build the foundations for a modern era Tottenham Hotspur. Yes, there have been significant stumbling blocks and hurdles yet, in their current state, Spurs fans have much to thank the Dutchman for. ...

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  • Michael Carrick Is No Longer Irreplaceable At Manchester United

      Michael Carrick has been an important cog at United for a really long time now. For quite a lot of that time, he was the Red Devils' best midfielder as Sir Alex Ferguson steadfastly refused to strengthen the centre of the park, preferring to hope that Anderson somehow came good, or that Tom Cleverley would one day be the player it looked for a sliver of time that he might become. ...

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  • Ander Herrera Beginning To Flower At Manchester United

      Ander Herrera is in the news at Manchester United. When asked about his contract situation—his current deal expires in 2019—Manchester Evening News report that he said "I have nothing to talk about. Of course, if they want to talk with me, I will be very happy to do that. But so far, nothing." ...

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  • Anthony Martial and Other Troubling Themes at Manchester United

      It is odd to think that a 0-0 draw at home could be more painful than a 4-0 defeat at the home of a theoretical Premier League title rival, but in truth, Wednesday night's draw with Hull City at Old Trafford was harder to take than Manchester United's utter collapse at Stamford Bridge in October. ...

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  • Tactics Explained: What Is A Regista?

    Alex Stewart and Joe Devine explain the role of the regista, it's history, tactical evolution, and modern application. Featuring Andrea Pirlo, Michael Carrick and Xabi Alonso, all the way back to where it all began with Charlie Roberts at Manchester United in the early 1900s. ...

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  • Daley Blind Should Be Michael Carrick’s Manchester United Replacement

    Jose Mourinho has the option to herald a new dawn of control and tempo in the Premier League; he can disrupt the perpetuated norm that a central-defensive-midfielder should be imposing and combative. Mourinho should look to Daley Blind to ease Manchester United’s worries surrounding the replacement of the ageing Michael Carrick – in doing so, Mourinho would rebel against the physically imposing nature of central midfield play. ...

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  • A Midfield Three Works Best For Paul Pogba, Jose Mourinho and Manchester United

    One of the hot topics of Manchester United’s season so far has been how best to set up their midfield. Upon his arrival at Old Trafford, Jose Mourinho ostracised Bastian Schweinsteiger and welcomed Paul Pogba before struggling to find a winning formula from the midfielders available to him. Persisting with a 4-2-3-1 formation, he experimented with Marouane Fellaini and Ander Herrera alongside Pogba, who initially received criticism for his performances. ...

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  • Michael Carrick Has Been A Victim Of His Calm At Manchester United

    When Mark Anthony was asked to speak at the funeral of Julius Caesar in Shakespeare's telling of the tale, he had to pretend he was not going to eulogise the fallen leader. "Friends, Romans, Countrymen, lend me your ears," is the line everybody knows. What comes next is "I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him." Mark Anthony is lying. By the end of the speech it becomes abundantly clear he is, in fact, there to praise Caesar. ...

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