Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has confirmed that Michael Carrick will make a final start in the Red Devils shirt when they host Watford in the final game of the Premier League season. The 36-year-old has largely been a fringe player this term and this has mostly resulted from an irregular heart rhythm for which he underwent an operation earlier in the season.
England international John Stones has admitted that he has had a difficult time with Manchester City since the turn of the year. The centre-back had been a regular for the Citizens during the early part of the campaign, but a hamstring injury during the month of November has hampered his chances of earning a regular spot. Stones has now started in just two of the last nine matches with manager Pep Guardiola sticking with Nicolas Otamendi and skipper Vincent Kompany at the heart of the backline.
Chile international Alexis Sanchez has said that Manchester United are the biggest club in England, and he has joined them in order to win everything. The 29-year-old signed for the Red Devils from Arsenal last month in a straight exchange deal involving Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
Manchester United legend Paul Scholes believes Jose Mourinho should take the decision to axe Alexis Sanchez from the starting line-up after the Chilean put in a poor showing against Sevilla in the Champions League on Tuesday night. The 29-year-old struggled to find a consistency to his play through the game, and he ultimately cut a frustrated figure as the Red Devils bowed of the elite competition by a 2-1 aggregate scoreline.
Sanchez has come under scrutiny from the pundits in recent weeks, and Scholes did not hold on from his criticism on Tuesday after the attacker dropped another average performance in the United shirt. Scholes also appeared to hint that the likes of Anthony Martial and Juan Mata should earn equal opportunities in the starting line-up and Sanchez should be the one to make way owing to his average form.
Arsenal defender Hector Bellerin has revealed that Alexis Sanchez’s demanding mentality did not infuse well with some of his teammates. The Chile international was alleged to have had a confrontation with Laurent Koscielny during the backend of last season, and he had a similar case with other players prior to his winter exit.
Speaking for the Oxford Union, Bellerin admitted that the qualities of Sanchez can never be doubted, but his demands from the players on the playing field often created the difference, he said: “Alexis is an amazing player. One of the best in the Premier League for sure but he is a player who always wants to win. He demands from everyone, sometimes it can be too much. The great thing is he wants to win, to give 100 per cent. This season maybe things weren’t going as well for him but I truly believe he was giving 100 per cent.”
Romelu Lukaku made headlines when he signed for Manchester United for a fee of around £ 70 million, which could rise to up to £ 90 million. He also had an excellent start to his career at Old Trafford after managing several goals in his first few matches. Of late, however, the Belgian international has struggled for goals and has only come up with four in the last 19 matches. He was also criticised for his performances in the games against Manchester City. Jose Mourinho has completely defended his player during this course of form, and his latest explanation is that the striker is tired after having been involved in a lot of matches.
Lukaku has played 1800 minutes of action so far in the Premier league. This is in line with most of the goalkeepers in the league, and it tops the list for most of the outfield players in the lineup. While acknowledging the fact that Lukaku has already played in a lot of games, Mourinho has admitted that he cannot afford to rest of the 24-year-old due to the list of important games coming up for the team. United are already finding themselves 15 points adrift of Manchester City and cannot afford to drop any more points if they are to at least think about winning the league title. Further, there is the pressure from the likes of Chelsea and Liverpool behind them.
Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku has responded to criticism over his recent goalscoring in all competitions. The Belgium international joined the Red Devils from Everton last summer, and he has since cemented a regular spot in the starting line-up.
Lukaku started the campaign in fine fashion with 11 goals in just 10 matches, but the month of October brought no joy as he failed to score in six appearances. Despite his lean streak, Jose Mourinho has recently insisted that the Belgian’s position is ‘untouchable’ and Lukaku has now come forward to answer his critics.
Jose Mourinho has taken Manchester United from securing the 6th spot in his debut season at the helm (and getting that all important Champion’s League spot in what was an underwhelming campaign for the Portuguese coach) to being genuine title contenders. Even though the English Premier League appeared to be very far away from Mourinho, he still managed to lift the EFL Cup, FA Community Shield and the UEFA Europa League in 2016-17.
In a season that is generally considered to be forgettable at least in the standards of Jose Mourinho, the Portuguese coach was still able to add numerous pieces of silverware to his collection and significantly helped in getting Manchester United back to their former elite status that they have been attempting to do for the past years.
Manchester United could reportedly replace Juan Mata with Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil next summer, James Robson has claimed.
The Red Devils have made a strong start to the 2017/18 season, and they are currently tied on points with Manchester City at the top of the table.
Ozil, 28, has less than nine months on his current Arsenal deal, and recent reports have suggested that he could prefer a move to the Red Devils at the end of the campaign. In response to this, Manchester Evening News reporter Robson has suggested that Jose Mourinho could sacrifice Mata in order to reunite with the Germany international.
He said: “I can’t believe Mourinho actually ever got on with him at Real Madrid, but he was highly thought of. He’s also been very good, but as seasons have gone by, it’s become a thing he’s gone missing. For the majority of his time, he’s been one of the few genuinely world-class players around the Premier League. If he’s free that changes everything. Maybe you could sell Juan Mata. I don’t see how you could have Mata, Mkhitaryan and Ozil in the same team. He’s sold Mata once before so maybe if he got Ozil, he’d sell him again.”
Former Manchester United graduate Danny Higginbotham feels Manchester United made a mistake selling the likes of Michael Keane and Jonny Evans during Louis van Gaal’s reign at Old Trafford.
The Dutchman was responsible for overseeing a transition at the Mancunian giants, and this saw the likes of Keane, Evans, Robin van Persie, Angel di Maria, Javier Hernandez and Danny Welbeck shown the exit door.
Whilst United are currently in a good stead under Jose Mourinho, Higginbotham believes United were wrong to offload Keane and Evans as they could have evolved into instrumental players for the club. Keane never got his chance to impress under Van Gaal, and he was loaned out to Burnley in September 2014, before sealing his permanent move a couple of months later.
The England international has since moved on to Everton for around £30m, and he looks set to play a pivotal role in their progress under Ronald Koeman. Meanwhile, Evans was offloaded to Tony Pulis’ West Bromwich Albion back in the summer of 2015, and he has since been identified as one of the most consistent centre-backs in the division.