Showing posts with label Sir Dave Brailsford. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sir Dave Brailsford. Show all posts

Grim midseason update as INEOS finally step in

INEOS group led by boyhood Manchester United fan, Sir Jim Ratcliffe has finally reached agreement with Glazer family to acquire 25% of the club and control the footballing operations. This protracted saga that began in November, 2022 will conclude finally when the Premier League approves of this transaction early next year. It will mean Sir Dave Brailsford and Jean-Claude Blanc overseeing the entire football structure including the much-maligned recruitment department. Brailsford the 'marginal gains' guru will coach the entire coaching staff on his CORE principles and Blanc will lead football operations with his previous experience at Juventus and PSG. C for commitment will probably mean fans won't have to hold 'play like you mean it' banner hereafter.

Populous group the global design agency who've developed Tottenham Hotspur stadium and Legends group have come out with a plan to build a new stadium next to the present iconic Old Trafford by utilizing the vast space surrounding it. This will mean United will not need to play their home games elsewhere but could continue playing their home games at Old Trafford while work on new stadium commences. Also Jean-Claude Blanc spearheaded the first club owned stadium in Italy by converting Stadio Delli Alpi to Allianz Stadium, a modern and sophisticated UEFA accredited level 4 arena. INEOS had promised $300 million investment into infrastructure on the deal getting ratified but Old Trafford redevelopment will need in excess of $1 billion! Will refurbishment and expansion of existing facilities be way to balance in view of global geopolitical turmoil and keep the heritage?

Manchester United's form has been utterly inconsistent to say the least. Erik ten Hag tries to blend his ideas and when struck goes back to counter-attacking style epitomised under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. This approach has meant United still do not have an identifiable style of play. Especially this season its more of the later that has made even fans question the tactics of the gaffer. Dismal loss away to West Ham, worst performance of the season in 0-3 home loss to Bournemouth, losses to Newcastle, Man City, Crystal Palace, Brighton & Hove Albion, Arsenal and Tottenham that's a whopping 8 defeats in 19 games with negative goal difference of -4 and 11 points behind leaders. Bournemouth won for the first time in their history at Old Trafford, United have now lost 4 consecutive Premier League games to Brighton, lost 5 of opening 10 games, are some of the damning indictments of the performances this season.

United finished creditable third last season and qualified for the Champions' League. They were paired with favourites Bayern Munich, Galatasary and Copenhagen. Least expectation was to finish behind Bayern and fight for 2nd spot. Lost in Munich despite scoring 3 goals, lost at home to Galatasary, squandered the lead in Istanbul, blew up in Copenhagen to a partisan fantastic crowd supporting the home team vigorously to finish bottom of the group! Incredibly sloppy and poor. Scoring 12 goals is no consolation while conceding 15. Harry Kane won Man of the Match awards in both games to remind United of composure they still lack in their play and scoring goals. Lindelof-Martinez combination started 1st match, Maguire-Varane started two matches while Lindelof-Varane 1, Lindelof-Maguire 1, Maguire-Evans 1 match each i.e., 5 pairings in 6 matches! Varane was absent from first team from September till Liverpool league game for which club captain Bruno Fernandes was suspended, an inexcusable mistake. In the group stage Rasmus Hojlund was the top scorer in Europe with 5 goals which bears testimony to his undoubted skills.

Scott McTominay was reintroduced as an attacking midfielder and he grabbed two late goals against Brentford to win the match at Old Trafford. That put more stress of defense who had men in short numbers in front of them to protect. Amrabat who joined at the very end of transfer window had not been playing for Fiorentina while waiting for the move to his boyhood club. Major injury to Licha Martinez and Malacia, minor ones to Mainoo, Shaw, Mount, Casemiro, Rashford, Maguire, Martial, operation to Lindelof, Sancho out of the squad due to indiscipline have all meant United kept changing players. Add to those three major facts: main player of last year Casemiro's loss of form, 30-goals man Rashford hit a drought and new goal-keeper Onana taking time to settle down while conceding few errors.

Belatedly Erik ten Hag might have realised that its better to bred youth instead of rotating the same squad with little improvement. That has led to more chances for Garnacho, Mainoo, Mejbri, Kambwala in the first team. Team that started that astonishing comeback game at home to Aston Villa was: Onana, Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Evans, Dalot, Mainoo, Eriksen, Garnacho, Fernandes, Rashford, Hojlund. Erik ten Hag, Harry Maguire, Alejandro Garnacho have won the manager, player and goal of the month awards from Premier League. Best home game thus far was the 2-0 win over Chelsea. Given the players that the gaffer wanted clearly its old boy Johnny Evans has been the player of the season so far and Diogo Dalot put in most outfield minutes while captain Bruno Fernandes has crossed 100 mark for creating chances. Despite media reports of Erik ten Hag losing the dressing room, team battled to 0-0 draw at Anfield where they had lost 7-0 last season. Out of Europe and only FA Cup to contend with apart from the league, should give the manager ample time to improve the players individually and the team consequently. Happy new year!

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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