Sir Alex Ferguson has insisted that it is not easy for teams like Manchester United to get back into challenging for the title.

Man United are currently on a great run of form in the Premier League. The Red Devils are 10 games unbeaten in the league. This dates back to their 1-0 loss to Arsenal on November 11.

Including in this run have been standout victories over Everton, Leeds United and Aston Villa.


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As United’s form has improved, Liverpool have stumbled in their last few outings. Jurgen Klopp’s men are winless in their last three Premier League games.

They drew back to back games before they lost 1-0 away to Southampton at St Mary’s on Monday night.

This has allowed Man United and others to close in on Liverpool. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are currently joint-top in the league. If they win their game in hand, which is against Burnley, United will move three points clear at the top of the table.

In an interview with the Daily Mail, where he also praised Marcus Rashford and Juan Mata, Sir Alex Ferguson said the Premier League is “difficult” to win currently:

“It’s not an easy road to get back into challenging for the league. It’s a difficult league these days.

 

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Posted in EPL, FA Premier League

Bruno Fernandes has insisted that Manchester United are building something special after their 2-1 victory over Aston Villa.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are in a great run of form of late. Anthony Martial put the Red Devils in front against Villa before Bertrand Traore equalised in the 58th minute.

Just past the hour mark, Fernandes put United back in front from the penalty spot and that was how it remained at the final whistle.


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Man United are now unbeaten in seven games in all competitions. With Liverpool drawing back to back games, Solskjaer’s men have closed in on their rivals.

Liverpool and United are now joint-top of the Premier League with 33 points from 16 games.

Speaking post-match, as cited by the Daily Mail, Fernandes was full of praise for his teammates as their positive form continues:

“We are building something important. We know that. The most important for us is building a team, building a group of players who take care of each other.

“Today it was Eric [Bailly making a stoppage-time block] before it was David [De Gea] saving that ball, in other situations other players, but the main thing is the group has to be together.

“As I sit in the stands in the last two or three minutes, everyone is shouting and hoping not to concede a goal and to take care of the ball. Everyone wants that win and this is what it’s about. We have to build this more and more.

“It was tough but we have to learn from here. Also from the Leicester game [on Boxing Day which ended 2-2] we have to do much better. We have some situations to close the game. You have to close.

“Today Paul was top. The first goal he makes a good skill, he comes off from a player so easily. But we all know the qualities he has, it is not in doubt.

“I hope people are not in doubt on the qualities of Paul because we know he can play, he can help us and he can play really well, and today he did it. He was (involved) in both goals.

“For the penalty, you see one of the best he can do, cover the ball and going away from his player, and he will give more and more and more with the confidence coming game after game.”

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Posted in EPL, FA Premier League

Mikel Arteta has been full of praise for Marcelo Bielsa ahead of this weekend’s game at Elland Road between Leeds and Arsenal.

Bielsa has overhauled the playing style and ideology at Leeds United. He has done a great job as he spearheaded the Whites’ return to the Premier League.

Leeds have made a good impression so far in the top flight. They have been involved in entertaining games against Liverpool and Manchester City.


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They have picked up victories over Fulham, Sheffield United and Aston Villa. But they have recently lost heavily to Leicester City and Crystal Palace.

Arsenal meanwhile have made an inconsistent start to the new season. They sit eleventh, with four wins and four defeats from the opening eight league games.

Last time out they fell to a 3-0 defeat to Aston Villa at the Emirates. Arteta and his team will be desperate to bounce back with a win over Leeds on Sunday.

Arteta recently told the Daily Mail that Pep Guardiola recently informed him about the great qualities Bielsa possesses as a coach:

“All positive and incredible things.

“First his work rate, the number of hours that he puts in, the details, and the people around him to support, help and always evolve his ideas, and then who he is as a person. And that’s all really well respected by everybody that works alongside him.

“He has a unique way of training, of putting things together, and making a team play the way that every single player believes in what they have to do, and even if he’s difficult and challenging they still do it.

“I admire him he’s had a really challenging career, but what he’s managed to do – without winning many many trophies – but put a stamp on the football world is a big merit to him.”

Just about all of the greatest uncapped Premier League players ever were pursued by England. And only four of them were English.

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Posted in EPL, FA Premier League

Manchester United are reported to be ready to move again for Matthijs de Ligt after a difficult first year at Juventus for the Holland centre-back.

The Red Devils were firmly in the hunt for De Ligt last year when he was one of the most in-demand stars of the summer window. Barcelona were also keen but the defender opted to join Juve from Ajax for £67.5million.

However, the 20-year-old has endured a tough debut season in Serie A, failing to hold down a place in Maurizio Sarri’s first-choice XI.

The Daily Mail claims United are monitoring De Ligt’s situation – and Juve may be willing to move the defender on this summer.

United have plenty of options in central defence but Ole Gunner Solskjaer is still short of a top-class partner for Harry Maguire.

De Ligt could also help grease the wheels to move Paul Pogba out of Old Trafford.

The France midfielder is desperate to leave United with Juve and Real Madrid most heavily linked. But Pogba has not started a Premier League match since September and with the coronavirus pandemic causing chaos across European football, it seems unlikely that either Juve or Real would be willing to meet United’s £100million valuation.

But United could be interested in a part-exchange deal, which would be made easier by both players being represented by Mino Raiola.

The F365 Show is on hiatus until the football returns. Subscribe now ready for its glorious comeback. In the meantime, listen to the latest episode of Planet Football’s 2000s podcast, The Broken Metatarsal.

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Posted in EPL, FA Premier League

Tottenham star Harry Winks has been likened by Mauricio Pochettino to Andres Iniesta, but his youth coach sees him more in the mould of Zinedine Zidane.

Comparisons with the now Real Madrid boss are high praise but Russell Small – who coached Winks – made the Tottenham star change position and his aspirations for the 23-year-old have come true.

“When he was a little winger he scored lots of goals, but my idea of playing him in the middle was that he would be more involved and use all his skills much more,” Small told the Daily Mail .

Winks has now become a regular in Tottenham’s midfield and scored his first England goal in Saturday’s 4-0 win in Kosovo.

And the midfielder, who looks a shoo-in for Gareth Southgate’s Euro 2020 squad, has never forgotten the words of wisdom given to him as a youngster.

Small continued: “It made my day to hear him say it’s the best advice he’s been given. If it has stuck in his mind for this long, obviously it was a good decision on my part!

“He took it in his stride. It was already there, that natural ability to read the game and be technically good enough to do what we wanted.

“Mauricio Pochettino has called him ‘Little Iniesta’.

“If there was anyone I would compare him to it would be Zinedine Zidane. The way he could see a pass, short or long, he could go past a player and he scored goals.

“He was average height but very slight. He was physical enough and agile enough to use his skills and keep out the way of stronger players. I can’t remember him having a bad game, he was that consistent at that age. There was nothing you asked him to do that he couldn’t do.”

Winks signed a new five-year deal earlier this year which will keep him at Tottenham until 2024.

 

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Wilfried Zaha has mocked the Daily Mail on social media over a report claiming the Crystal Palace winger was ready to sue his agent over a failed summer move.

Zaha was expected to leave Selhurst Park at the end of last season after helping keep the club in the Premier League during a second stint at the club that lasted five years.

The winger outlined his desire to leave in April and was thought to have held meetings with club chairman Steve Parish over his future.

But Zaha stayed at Palace after neither Arsenal nor Everton could match a valuation that seemed to fluctuate with each week, with £80million reportedly demanded at one point.

And the Daily Mail claimed on Monday evening that Zaha was ‘taking legal action against his agent’ over his ‘failure to secure him a transfer from Crystal Palace last summer’.

However, Zaha moved to deny the allegations on Twitter by laughing them off, he wrote: “do you lot sit and literally wonder what I’m up too then just make up stuff about me.”

 

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Posted in EPL, FA Premier League