Showing posts with label Omar Berrada. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Omar Berrada. Show all posts

Garnacho, Hojlund, Mainoo

INEOS chairman Sir Jim Ratcliffe not only met with all staff and players but also fans forum and community groups to stress the same message which was in their subsequent statement "determined to put football and performance on the pitch at the heart of everything we do". This clearly meant they want to do what they mean. Sir Jim also attended the events to mark the 66th anniversary of Munich air disaster on 6th February alongside Sir Alex Ferguson. This in itself has been a huge departure as Glazers never did attend the event the response to which defines what United are all about. This affirms INEOS understanding of what matters most to Manchester United fans.

The announcement of Omar Berrada as United's new CEO took everyone by surprise. Industry experts agree it's a great appointment of someone thought very highly in the City group hierarchy and as a possible successor to Ferran Soriano. Prior to this United were all about leaks to press including the team-sheet but this operation was done discreetly and decision made very soon without wasting time. It is the most challenging job in world football right now. Berrada is expected to join United in the summer and might have a say in who becomes the director of football. Dan Ashworth, Julian Ward, Paul Mitchell, Dougie Freedman are thought to be considered. Meanwhile Sam Williams returns to United as Lead Scout for 17s to 21s from Ipswich.

In calendar year 2024 United are unbeaten. Seen off minnows in Wigan and Newport County in FA Cup, drew with Tottenham, beat Wolves and West Ham in the process scoring 15 goals conceding 7. Unsurprisingly it coincided with the return of defensive lynchpin Licha Martinez from long term injury. But he again sustained an injury in the game versus West Ham and will be out for about 8 weeks. Not only did Licha return from long term absence but also Casemiro, Luke Shaw and Kobbie Mainoo. That's four first team starters and the poor bench strength was clearly exposed for first half of the season. United aren't yet controlling games with specific patterns of play and haven't displayed enough intelligence to switch from one pattern to another by reading the opposition during the games like how Champion's do. Nor have they stopped conceding easy set pieces.  

Silver-lining that fans were waiting for occurred in the match against West Ham after Garnacho scored and raced toward the advertising board behind the goal post and sat, to be joined by Rasmus Hojlund and Kobbie Mainoo on either side. The image of young United players coming together to score and celebrate went viral eliciting eulogies from everyone. It lifted the mood and fill the hearts instantly. United could not make any signings in the January window owing to FFP rules, now called PSR. Their summer transfers were made possible by a fire sale of academy graduates like Elanga, Kovar, Mengi, Zidane, Savage etc as their unwanted first team players did not evoke any response from even the lower leagues. Now the same academy players in Garnacho and Mainoo are saving the dire season.

Rasmus Hojlund by his sheer industry and skill managed to be top scorer in Europe in Champions' League qualifying rounds but found going tough in Premier League mainly due to lack of service from his team-mates. After 1027 minutes without a goal, he showed great awareness and generated enough pace to beat the Aston Villa keeper to clinch the winner. His tenacity reminds me of my favourite player Mark 'Sparky' Hughes. He has scored 4 goals and created 2 assists in last 4 games. He like Sir Jim Ratcliffe is a boyhood United fan and scoring at Stretford End would have made his dream come true.

One of the reasons for the change was that Erik ten Hag finally dropped Anthony after his goal and assist against Newport and moved Garnacho from left to right wing as Rashford was not enjoying playing there. Rashford has been fined for another transgression which made him to miss the game at Newport and was quickly integrated for Wolves game after he apologized. By including Omari Forson in the squad who got the assist for Kobbie Mainoo's winner at Wolves and plays at left wing was a clear signal from Erik ten Hag that Manchester United will march on regardless of anyone's reputation. In the immediate manging with Licha Martinez's absence will be crucial to maintain the momentum as United aim to reduce the 9-point deficit from final the Champions' League spot.

Garnacho, Hojlund, Mainoo

INEOS chairman Sir Jim Ratcliffe not only met with all staff and players but also fans forum and community groups to stress the same message...

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