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Erik Ten Hag to Manchester United – Destined for failure or light at the end of the tunnel?

So.. Manchester United are close to appointing Erik ten Hag as their next manager after they verbally agreed on a three-year-contract for the Dutch coach to take over at Old Trafford.

The current Ajax boss seems to have won the race to become the man to replace Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on a permanent basis, taking over from Ralf Rangnick at the end of the season.

He pipped the likes of Mauricio Pochettino, Brendan Rodgers, Luis Enrique and others to the role if reports are to be believed and fans are delighted at the steps taken to get him in.



There is no doubting that Ten Hag is a great coach. He has built two excellent Ajax sides with an attractive style of football, young players and competed well in Europe too.

But there are doubts around his appointment that people seem to be either overlooking or downright ignoring.

The level of competition in Holland is not that high. Yes his team blew the competition out of the park in recent seasons, but much like PSG that’s kind of what they’re supposed to do.

Performances in Europe are great too, but I would bet large sums of money that United fans wouldn’t want Unai Emery anywhere near Old Trafford’s home dugout and his side have done well in Europe too.

Ten Hag has also never had to deal with the pressures and the egos of dealing with top players and reputations before.

Having the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Raphael Varane and Paul Pogba in the changing room can often see decisions questioned, naturally, because these players have won things at the very highest level before.

Dealing with those problems will be new to him, and it’s undoubtedly a gamble to bring him in.

But in the same breath, and in his defence, there was no sure-fire appointment for United this time around.

In the past there seemed to be an ideal candidate every time and not bringing them in was seen as silly. Van Gaal was brought in to build a style and blood young players.

He did it, but too slowly and far too pragmatically and when Jose Mourinho became available, the United board couldn’t help themselves.

He was brought in to win immediately and while he is the last Reds manager to win a trophy of any kind, he was detrimental to the development of the team and arguably took the club backwards.

Solskjaer was never cut out for the permanent job and was given the role because of a purple patch of form while he was the interim boss. There was a bit of progress, because he cleared the club of plenty of deadwood and recruited relatively well, but he never had the coaching abilities to compete.

With Ten Hag United are now restarting that process.

They have an incredible conveyor belt of talent coming through the academy right now. Shola Shoretire, Hannibal Mejbri, James Garner, Ethan Laird, Alejandro Garnacho, Zidane Iqbal and Alvaro Fernandez are all on the brink of senior football.

The first-team still has players that are under-25 who are already involved like Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, Dean Henderson and Diogo Dalot that Ten Hag can improve and develop.

But United, the club and the fans, must have patience. There is no overnight recipe for success anymore. It doesn’t matter who gets signed or sold, the team needs time to develop.

The coach must be given time to implement his style and ideas, weed out the players who don’t fit in, improve those who do and be backed to compete at the highest level.

While Jurgen Klopp, Thomas Tuchel and Pep Guardiola are all in the Premier League with their super-squads it will be incredibly hard for Manchester United to close the gap on them and compete regularly.

But they can close the gap and they will get there, with time and the right decisions being made.

Ten Hag has been given a chance to do that, with a three-year contract and an option for a fourth, but it can go one of two ways.

Either Ten Hag gets the time and trust to complete the process, which he has shown he is capable of doing while at Ajax, or the club demand immediate success and fail to realise the scale and size of the problems they face.

Ten Hag is a great appointment on paper, but football isn’t played on paper. Unless the board fix up and sort the club out, then Ten Hag will just be added to the ever-growing list of disappointments at Old Trafford in recent years.

Fernando Santos’ lack of planning will cost Portugal a place in Qatar 2022

The European World Cup qualifier playoffs are finally upon us and that means we’ll find out which one of, if any, of Portugal or Italy will make it to Qatar at the end of the year.

Both teams failed to qualify through their groups, with a last minute defeat to Serbia costing Portugal their place, and now they’ve been placed on the same playoff path.

They’ll now take on Turkey, while Italy face North Macedonia and the winners face each other next week to finalise their place. But I’m willing to bet it won’t be my beloved Portugal at the end of it all.



News came out this week after coach Fernando Santos announced his squad that there are big issues.

Joao Cancelo and Renato Sanches are suspended for the game against Turkey after too many yellow cards in the qualifying group, while Nelson Semedo, Ruben Neves and Ruben Dias are all out of the squad completely through injury.

Then it was revealed that Pepe, the veteran and world class central defender, has tested positive for COVID-19 and won’t be available against Turkey either, with his availability in a potential final in question too.

That means a likely central defensive pairing of 38-year-old Jose Fonte and defensive midfielder Danilo will be formed to try and carry the team into the World Cup, which screams down horribly upon the reign of Santos as manager.

Yes he won Euro 2016 and it was a magical, magical moment in the team and country’s history. Nobody is disputing that and it correctly earned him credit in the bank with fans and the FA.

But six years on and there has been little to no progression in the squad, while Portugal haven’t progressed past the first knockout round in any of the following tournaments.

They won the UEFA Nations League, but if we’re all being honest, that isn’t a major international honour and will never be considered as such.

The lack of progress under him can be seen just by looking at the squad for this set of games. There was a possibility, before Pepe’s positive test, that Santos could have named the same back five and defensive midfielder for these games as he did in that 2016 Euro’s final.

It’s ghastly and the lack of any youth options in the centre of defence to come through in that time is frightening.

Ruben Dias barely counts, because he was always going to make it. Captain of Benfica at a young age and clearly heads and shoulder above those at his age level, he was fast-tracked and rightly so.

But the likes of Goncalo Inacio, Tiago Djalo and David Carmo have never had a look in. Ezri Konsa is eligible to be called up, but Santos has never even pretended to look into it. He’s just stuck with the players he already knows.

Somehow in 2021, Luis Neto was still getting call ups.

Now, in a situation where it’s likely to be the final World Cup opportunity for the likes of legends like Cristiano Ronaldo, Pepe and Joao Moutinho is relying on players that are below par over-performing or stepping up immediately from a lower level.

Even if they manage to get past a tough Turkey side on Thursday night, that’s surely going to be too much to ask when they inevitably come up against the European champions Italy in the final.

You can’t hope for things at the highest level. Santos has had plenty of chances in the past to blood young defenders in the same way he has midfielders and attackers.

If they now fail to make it to the greatest tournament on the planet for the first time since 1998, then the blame lies squarely on the shoulders of Santos.

Manchester United European woes are the tip of the iceberg

Nine. Nine games. Nine match days. That’s all that’s left of this God forsaken season for Manchester United after they crashed out of the UEFA Champions League at the last 16 stage to Atletico Madrid once again.

Just as a disclaimer, this isn’t me writing this article as a football journalist. This is me writing this as a Manchester United fan and getting all my frustrations out because this club is making all the same mistakes.

It’ll be five years with no trophy at the end of this season and nine years without a league title for the 20-time champions. United are at rock bottom.



First things first, sacking Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was the right thing. But he also absolutely wasn’t the only problem at the club. Those issues start way above him or any other manager’s head.

The thing this club lacks the most is an actual identity. Yes that’s a buzzword right now in modern football, but it’s a fact.

Whenever Manchester City step on the pitch, you know exactly what the role of each and every player on the pitch is. Regardless of personnel, you know what each player in each position is expected to do.

When Liverpool step on the pitch, you know the same thing. Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Chelsea, Inter Milan. All the top sides in the world are in the same boat.

It makes recruitment easy too, because you immediately know which players would suit and which players wouldn’t.

At Manchester United, there is no such luxury. This is a squad banded together by marketing people with a mix of talents and qualities, with the hope that whoever has been given the managerial role at the time can sort it out.

There is no vision. This board survived on the brilliance of Sir Alex Ferguson and the monopoly he had over the Premier League for so long, they thought it would carry over when he left.

This squad needs a total revamp. Not because they’re not good enough, because they are. This group of players, with the right manager, are capable of competing. There is no doubt about that.

But who the right manager is, is impossible to decipher when there is no vision or identity at the club right now.

Take Scott McTominay as an example. It’s well known I’m not his biggest fan, but he’s into his third manager now where he’s one of the first names on the team sheet.

I can’t explain why, most fans aren’t sure why and when you listen to ex-pros or pundits talk about him, they almost never mention his footballing ability when discussing his best attributes.

It’s always ‘passion’, ‘energy’, ‘running’. Never his passing ability, or his ability to break up play, or his positional sense. But it’s almost impossible to criticise the manager for picking him because we have no idea what the team is being asked to do. There is no identity in the team.

At this point, it’s already been a decade of mediocrity. The club can wait a few more years and finally get it right.

They made a good decision bringing in Ralf Rangnick to help sort out the behind the scenes issues, it’s just a shame he needed to have six months in the limelight first before getting to work.

It could be a good thing though. He knows exactly what needs to be done. He knows the club needs a revamp and he knows it starts off the football pitch rather than on it.

First, establish a style. An identity. So that once the managers leave, or players become not good enough anymore it’s easy to identify replacements without having to burn everything down to the ground first.

Second, build a squad to suit. That could take a few years to get the right players in and get the players on the edge out, but it’s doable – especially with the resources the club have.

Thirdly, be consistent and challenge. The squad doesn’t need tonnes of work, but it does need key areas addressing, despite what was seen as a largely successful summer last year with the additions of Raphael Varane, Jadon Sancho and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Until the club make those decisions and take those steps, it doesn’t matter who is in charge. It doesn’t matter how much money you throw at the situation, because the problems trickle down from the top all the way down to the bottom.

This issue is way bigger than being eliminated by Atletico Madrid in the Champions League last 16, and not finishing in the top four in the Premier League.

This is about a complete lack of planning and a complete lack of care at the top of the club.

Never have I been so disconnected from the club I have loved all my life, and the vast majority of fans I know and have spoken to largely feel the same way.

If the people in charge of the club don’t care, why should we? The answer is because the club will be there long after those people, and hopefully we will be too.

When they go, we can get back to loving this club like we once did. But until these issues are addressed properly, it’s no longer a football club but simply another multi-billion pound business.

How long will it take Newcastle to break into the Champions League?

Ever since the Saudi PIF took Newcastle over at the back end of 2021, the question has been when, not if, will they break into the UEFA Champions League?

This season the priority under Eddie Howe was safety, having won just one of their first 20 Premier League games under Howe and previous manager Steve Bruce.

But now unbeaten in eight games, with six wins in that run, the Magpies now sit seven points above the relegation zone and can start planning ahead for their assault on football’s elite.



Many reports have been shared of Newcastle targeting top level players to add to their squad, including the likes of Antonio Rudiger, Kalvin Phillips and even Marcus Rashford.

Bringing in that calibre of talent would undoubtedly accelerate their push towards breaking through the glass ceiling, but how realistic is that? Not very.

The first priority for the Tyneside club is going to be to separate themselves from the clubs at the bottom of the league in order to avoid this same situation next season.

Players like Chris Wood were brought in more to weaken their opposition than strengthen their squad and are unlikely to be starters going into the new season, while there is room to improve almost all other positions.

But they won’t be able to skip stages and go straight to signing top level players because of the money they now have available to them.

The ‘Big Six’ in the Premier League – Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal and Tottenham – all have huge amounts of money available to them also and they won’t stop spending just because Newcastle are going to start.

When Man City got their billions overnight, they had several years of competing in a much weaker league than now before they were able to break that barrier.

They didn’t have FFP regulations to deal with either back then, which is something that the Saudi’s must adhere to.

My prediction for Newcastle to make it into Europe’s elite competition is at least four seasons because of the standard of the big six currently and all the teams in between them too.

They will likely improve year on year, but not everything will go their way. They will miss out on key targets to other clubs, they will lose players to top sides, they’ll have spells where their form is bad and the manager gets changed.

They will get there eventually, I have no doubts, but it will be longer than many are expecting it to be in my eyes.

Ruben Amorim to the world – Sporting CP’s manager looking to take over Europe

Ludicrous, impulsive and straight-up nonsensical were just a portion of the adjectives awaiting Rúben Amorim in light of his appointment as Sporting manager for a whopping €10 million compensation fee, the third highest ever, just two months into his first stint in charge of his first top-flight club, Sporting de Braga.

The Lions’ club president, Frederico Varandas, and his camp were quick to remind critics of the last managerial gamble Sporting passed on – a relatively well-known individual by the name of José Mourinho – adding that the value forked out for Amorim would be nothing compared to money placed back into the coffers through player development and future sales.

For Sporting fans, promised a return to the glory days for so long, the vision in place seemed farfetched for a club who had not only gone 18 years without tasting Primeira Liga success, but had also seen their quality in numbers gutted by the mayhem that ensued in 2018 with widespread contract terminations, as the task to build on an uneven foundation rested on Amorim’s shoulders.



Against the better judgement of the doubters, however, of which there were, of course, plenty, what Amorim has been able to do in the green half of Lisbon since the bold move has been nothing short of miraculous, marking him out as one of the biggest up-and-coming commodities in the managerial industry.

Perhaps aided by a mid-season arrival at Sporting in early 2020, the then 35-year-old was quick to adhere to the historical connection the club has with its own academy by blooding youth, introducing a lot of the younger faces to the multi-faceted 3-4-3 formation he’s sworn by since arriving at the pinnacle of Portuguese football.

The results improved slowly and surely under the manager’s command and the eventual rise in prominence of Matheus Nunes, Nuno Mendes and Gonçalo Inácio, among others, served as the guiding light for what Amorim was looking to build.

Fresh doubts were cast during the following summer, with Sporting committing considerable funds to land the likes of Pedro Gonçalves and Nuno Santos, on top of others who had previously failed to inspire at previous clubs, such as Pedro Porro and the more experienced Antonio Adán and Zouhair Feddal.

Sporting Lisbon's Uruguayan defender Sebastian Coates takes part in a training session at Cristiano Ronaldo Academy training ground in Alcochete near...

But as Pedro Gonçalves banged in the goals and ex-La Liga trio, Adán, Feddal and Porro formed part of an almost impenetrable defence, pushing its side up the table, it quickly became visible that what Amorim was cooking had clearly showed signs of bubbling.

The youthfulness of the squad continued the catch the eye as the onlookers quizzed Sporting’s manager, right throughout the season, how long such young heads could keep their title-winning form going.

Never one to pile on the pressure, Amorim was always and continues to be very measured with his words, disarming each and every press conference with rational and insightful dialogue.

He’s a grand protector of his players and in that, some may say, lies the key ingredient to his recent managerial success of late.

The rapport between player and manager is close-knit, with the fresh-faced coach often seen cracking a joke with his pupils at training and on the sidelines. That camaraderie extends itself throughout the entire squad, amongst the players, many of which are meant to be rivalling each other for the same position in Amorim’s plans.

Pablo Sarabia of Sporting CP celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal during the Liga Bwin match between Sporting CP and FC Famalicao at...

With Sporting’s future stars, already fuelled by the prospect of causing an impression at such a young age, being nurtured by the importance of work ethic and togetherness, the club was able to achieve what the wealth of Benfica and the experience of FC Porto could not in 2021, bringing to a close a dispiriting cycle of 19 years without the evasive Primeira Liga title.

This season, with greater expectations attached to the precedent set, Amorim & co. are hoping to go back-to-back as they tussle with Porto at the midpoint of the season.

In the meantime, the former Portugal international has made inroads on the European stage too, where they made it out of the UEFA Champions League group for the first time since 2008, with a date against Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City set up for the last round of 16.

The match-up presents a platform for João Palhinha and Pedro Gonçalves, among many others, to increase the number of suitors already onto the noise emanating from Alvalade, but you can bet much of the attention will also coming knocking for the 37-year-old manager, particularly if the current title holder manages to pull off a shock against ‘the Citizens’.

Ruben Amorim the manager of Sporting CP reacts during the Liga Portugal Bwin match between FC Porto and Sporting CP at Estadio do Dragao on February...

Whoever it is that comes calling will have to part way with €30 million, as per Amorim’s release clause, running across a deal that expires in 2024.

The figure has served as a repellent for interested teams during a time of absolute focus on the project at hand from the former Portugal international, but Sporting know they won’t be able to hold onto their poster boy for too long.

The club fortunate enough to reel him in will be acquiring the latest in a line of promising Portuguese managers – dubbed the leader of the new school and, still, the heir to Mourinho’s throne.

Unlike the former Chelsea and Inter boss, however, Amorim’s foundations stem from a great sense of modesty, respect and general correctness. He’s an adaptable figure who’s rallying cries touch numerous types of characters and make Sporting the thriving family-like ambience it is today.

It’s this clear vision and approach that’s enabled Amorim’s teams to dream and excel, decorating a CV that becomes more and more attractive to his suitors by the week.

Tuesday night, against City, holds the power of fast-forwarding the inevitable – presenting Amorim to the world.

How does the Luis Diaz signing impact Mohamed Salah future at Liverpool?

Liverpool were up to their usual tricks during the January transfer window, swooping in late and quickly to secure a top target.

After Tottenham made a bid for Porto’s Colombian star Luis Diaz, Jurgen Klopp made the decision to move early for a player he had identified as a key target for the summer window.

They swooped in, secured a deal worth a total of £50m and they now have a brand new weapon in their attack to unleash on the second half of the Premier League season.



But as soon as the deal was confirmed and announced, many fans began to wonder what that meant for the future of superstar Mo Salah, whose current contract expires at the end of next season.

The future of Salah has been a conversation for a while, with both parties publicly stating their wish to continue their relationship.

However with reports that the Egyptian is requesting a record wage for the club, it has been met with resistance from the board.

As Salah approaches his 30th birthday, it’s only natural that he wants a big payday in his final big contract. But on top of that, his performances since moving to Anfield mean that he feels he should be earning on par with the other best players in the world. He’s not wrong.

Mohamed Salah of Liverpool celebrates after scoring his sides first goal during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final Second Leg match between...

But further to Salah, the contracts of Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino also expire next summer and it’s more likely that their places in the team are under threat from Diaz’s arrival than Salah’s.

My personal expectation is that the two parties will find a compromise and thrash out a deal that sees Salah stay at the club as their highest-paid player ever, before eventually riding off into the sunset in a few years when he’s past his peak.

But for Mane, many have seen his influence diminish in recent years and he won’t have nearly as much leverage when it comes to demanding a big contract at his age.

Firmino is in the most danger, having already lost his place in the team to Diogo Jota and finding that he’s not as important as he once was in a red shirt.

Luis Diaz of FC Porto runs with the ball during the UEFA Champions League group B match between Liverpool FC and FC Porto at Anfield on November 24,...

Add to all that the fact that Diaz is a right-footed winger who likes to cut in from the left, he could quite easily play in the same team as Salah and provide a terrifying attacking threat for Klopp and Liverpool.

While Liverpool fans are focused on potentially losing one of the best attackers to ever don the shirt and represent the club, they should probably be worried about losing the other two attackers that made up part of their famous trio.

If Salah ends up agreeing terms as many expect him to eventually do, that leaves less in the budget to renew Mane and Firmino’s deals and with a ready-made replacement already in the squad it seems more likely one of those will leave in the summer.

Frank Lampard can get the best out of Donny and Dele after deadline day deals at Everton

Deadline day was the best day in a long time if you’re an Everton fan, as they completed two big signings and announced a new manager.

After a two week search with plenty of rumours and fan protests, the club finally settled on Frank Lampard as their new manager with the official announcement coming on Monday lunchtime.

Quickly followed was confirmation that Manchester United midfielder Donny Van de Beek has completed a loan move until the end of the season, before the surprising news that Dele Alli had joined on a permanent move from Tottenham



It’s no surprise that Lampard played a big part in both players making the move to Goodison Park, considering both play in a fairly similar way to the way he did during his playing career.

As part of a midfield three or the most advanced in a two, Lampard made a career of arriving late in the box and scoring goals. He racked up striker numbers, and to this day is still the all-time top scorer in Chelsea history as well as the highest scoring midfielder in Premier League history.

Both Van de Beek and Dele have garnered a reputation as goalscoring midfielders, but are both young enough to develop their game and become even more complete. They believe Lampard can help them with that, but can he?

Most importantly for both players is the promise of regular game time, having been starved of football in recent years at their previous clubs.

There is the chance that he could field a 4-3-3 with both fielded as a number eight, but that leaves the defensive midfielder that he selects likely on an island on their own.

Stylistically there is an issue for Lampard to overcome, but there is a big potential that he will be able to unlock the best of both players to help drag Everton out of their relegation battle.

There is the opportunity to change the way the team plays football, emphasising possession and an attacking style rather than defensive structure like Rafa Benitez did.

If anyone can get them both firing it’s Lampard, but he’s proven to be tactically naive in the past with both Derby and Chelsea at times.

If he is to prove he has made bold improvements and strides forward as a manager in his year out of the game, he needs to get them both playing well together and save Everton from the drop.

The pressure is on, but he’s been backed by the board since day one so he has no excuses.

Arsenal are rewarding mediocrity by giving Mikel Arteta a new contract

It’s been 18 years since Arsenal last won the Premier League title, and they’ve arguably never been further away from it than they are now.

Yet reports suggest that manager Mikel Arteta is to be rewarded with a brand new contract at the Emirates Stadium as he heads towards the final year of his current deal.

But why? What has he done to earn himself a new contract with the club?



The answer, quite simply, is nothing really.

Arteta has brought through Emile Smith Rowe as a first-team regular and regardless of the reason why he brought him into the team, he deserves credit for keeping him and making him a key player.

He’s recruited relatively well too with all of Aaron Ramsdale, Ben White, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Thomas Partey and Martin Odegaard regulars in the side and playing relatively well.

But he’s managed to cause a rift with a multitude of players including William Saliba, Matteo Guendouzi, Nicolas Pepe, Bernd Leno and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. That’s not including the ones he forced to leave the club too on a permanent basis.

He’s also overseen the worst start to a season in Arsenal history, their first season of no European football in over 25 years and they currently sit outside of the top four once again.

Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal reacts during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Burnley at Emirates Stadium on January 23, 2022 in...

They had a decent run in mid-season where it looked like things were going well, and they had a very impressive performance against Man City. But ultimately they lost that game.

They had a solid 0-0 draw at Anfield after going down to ten men. But ultimately, they were eliminated after losing the second leg.

They struggle to score goals on a regular basis, defensively aren’t exactly solid, are nowhere near getting back into title contention and are out of all the cup competitions in January.

Arsene Wenger was forced out for less than that and he was their most successful manager ever. Unai Emery was forced out because he missed out on top four and made the Europa League final, then went on a bad run the following season.

But Arteta is set for a brand spanking new contract and likely a pay-rise to boot.

Arsenal are a club who have lost their vision of being one of the best and have instead become a team just happy to take part. They’ve accepted mediocrity and are now rewarding it.

Marcus Rashford will make you eat your words

It’s been a very tough season so far for Marcus Rashford and Manchester United.

Rashford missed the opening two months of the season after finally putting himself first and undergoing shoulder surgery, while also rehabbing an old ankle injury too.

He returned in decent form, scoring three goals in his first four appearances of the season despite the team being in a terrible place form-wise.



The manager was sacked, United were in a crisis and all eyes were on him to help the Reds climb out of their hole. He couldn’t deliver.

Rashford was still trying to get 100% fit at the time and United were trying to figure things out off the pitch.

In came Ralf Rangnick, who was tasked with getting the best from a top heavy squad at Old Trafford and getting them back on course. He immediately implemented a new formation and United’s struggles continued.

Rashford though looked even more out of place than previously. The joy from his game seemed like it was gone. He was playing in a new role that didn’t suit the team, was visibly frustrated by his and the team’s performances and couldn’t buy a goal for love nor money.

He was dropped from the team in favour of youngster Anthony Elanga, who came in and performed admirably but he lacked that X-factor that a team like Manchester United needs.

Marcus Rashford of Manchester United in action during the Emirates FA Cup Third Round match between Manchester United and Aston Villa at Old Trafford...

Rashford came off the bench against Brentford to slam his first goal since win over Tottenham in November into the top corner, and then in the following game he came off the bench again to score a 93rd minute winner against West Ham.

There was a smile back on his face, the fans were back on his side and United are winning again. All is right with the world.

This is a player who barring the first five months of his professional career has seriously lacked a proper coach in his life.

Mourinho stifled his growth with his defensive style of play and insistence that he spend most of the game in a wing-back position rather than in attack.

Marcus Rashford of Manchester United celebrates at the full time whistle during the Premier League match between Manchester United and West Ham...

Then came Ole Gunnar Solskjaer who gave him great responsibility within the team, but failed to coach an actual style into the team despite spending three years in charge.

Rangnick came into the team and tried to implement new things hard and fast, and it was just too much for the squad – including Rashford – to deal with immediately.

The talent and ability never went anywhere and with Rangnick singing his praises, it’s clear he just needed a confidence boost. The German will likely bring him back into the starting fold soon enough and he will once again go on to become a key player in the side.

Talent doesn’t disappear overnight, and neither does attitude or commitment change in that time period.

Marcus Rashford of Manchetser United celebrates with team mates (L- during the Premier League match between Brentford and Manchester United at...

Rashford is a United fan who was down when United weren’t playing well, much like the rest of their fans. The difference is that he has a way of helping to change that, and therefore his responsibility bears more weight.

He’s going to grow as this season continues and he’s going to get better and better under actual coaching from Rangnick and whoever is brought in for next season and beyond.

Rashford is without doubt one of the best and most exciting forwards in the country and arguably the continent. He will make you eat your words, just wait and see.

Why Wayne Rooney should ignore Everton interest and stay with Derby

It’s been a long time coming but Rafa Benitez has finally been sacked as Everton manager and the fans couldn’t be happier.

The former Liverpool manager was the most unwanted man on Merseyside after being appointed in the summer, with fans unwilling to accept that he had changed allegiances.

But after six-and-a-half months in charge and just one win in 13 Premier League games, his reign at Goodison Park is no more.



Roberto Martinez has been linked as the number one choice to take over on an interim basis until the end of the season, but The Athletic and Liverpool Echo report that is highly unlikely with the Belgian FA unwilling to release him from his contract early.

The next favourite for the role is the club legend and arguably best ever player Wayne Rooney, who is currently cutting his teeth with Derby in the Championship.

On paper, it’s an easy decision for Rooney. Derby were deducted 21 points earlier this season due to entering administration and breaking FFP rules before he was boss.

Their future is still up in the air, with the club unable to sign anyone and even losing Phil Jagielka this month because the club couldn’t provide any sort of plan to the EFL that they would be able to fulfil every game from now until the end of the season.

Wayne Rooney manager of Derby County during the Sky Bet Championship match between Bristol City and Derby County at Ashton Gate on December 4, 2021...

Compare that to Everton who have a billionaire owner and are desperate to get into Europe once again it seems like an easy decision to make.

But what Rooney has achieved with Derby so far is something far greater than he could possibly achieve at Everton.

Rooney has somehow managed to get Derby off the bottom of the Championship table despite the points deduction and has created a morale in the dressing room and a spirit that has people genuinely believing they could avoid relegation.

If he succeeds, it will arguably be the greatest achievement of his footballing career. If he fails, his stock can only go up with the job he’s done so far despite the circumstances.

Everton fans raise a banner referencing manager, Rafael Benitez during the Premier League match between Norwich City and Everton at Carrow Road on...

If he went to Everton, everything changes. He’ll be expected to lift them from their poor position quickly and if he fails then the money the club have and the ability of his credentials will get questioned.

As it stands Rooney can’t lose. He’s an inexperienced coach in a side that have no right to survive, and yet they have a very real chance of doing so.

He should stay with the Rams and ignore the managerial cemetery that is Goodison Park for now. He will have more opportunities throughout his career and no doubt will be linked with the Everton job at every opportunity.

Wait it out and learn your trade with less pressure at Pride Park, would be my advice to Rooney.