Tag Archives: Manchester United

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.

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.

Atletico Madrid vs Manchester United – Champions League Last 16 predictions

The Champions League last 16 fixtures are finally upon us after a two month break since the group stages.

In one of the biggest ties of the round, current reigning La Liga champions Atletico Madrid take on Premier League giants Manchester United for a place in the quarter-finals.

Lets take a look at the tie in more detail and make our predictions to see who will progress into the last eight of Europe’s most prestigious cup competition.



Route to Last 16

Atletico Madrid made it through to the knockout stages by the skin of their teeth in a poor group stage by their own standards.

Diego Simeone’s side suffered defeat home and away to Liverpool and they were beaten at home by AC Milan, but a final day win over FC Porto saw them claim the runners-up spot in the group.

They scored seven goals in the six games, conceding eight but crazily there were seven red cards in their group stage games too to show the frustration they carried.

Manchester United overcame a tough start to their group win finish top with a game to spare, despite changing managers during the group stage.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored in all five of his appearances to help United claim wins over Villarreal home and away and Atalanta at Old Trafford but they failed to beat lowly Club Brugge at all.

United scored a total of 11 goals int heir six group games, conceding eight and only managing to keep one clean sheet.

Team news

Atletico Madrid are facing several injury issues with all of Daniel Wass, Matheus Cunha and Yannick Carrasco ruled out of the game, while Thomas Lemar, Koke and Mario Hermoso doubtful.

Simeone was seen in training with a lineup consisting of a back-five, with January signing Reinildo as a centre-back, while Joao Felix and Luis Suarez could start together. Angel Correa is pushing for a start though following his good form.

Ralf Rangnick’s options are much better, with Edinson Cavani expected to be fit following a groin injury that has seen him miss the last few games.

Marcus Rashford has recently found himself on the bench after some poor form, so Anthony Elanga could get a start while Jadon Sancho will look to continue his excellent form. Ronaldo will continue up front.

Breakdown and Prediction

Atletico still have a reputation of being a defensive side with little intention to play attacking football, but that isn’t the case anymore.

The team have kept just three clean sheets since the turn of the year and have lost eight of their last 15 games in all competitions.

Manchester United on the other hand have been struggling with their performances in recent weeks, but the results haven’t taken a massive hit so far under Rangnick.

Across 90 minutes, they’ve lost just once since he became manager in 14 games but they’re yet to win three games in a row in all competitions this season. They won their last two, with a 3-0 win over Brighton and 4-2 win over Leeds.

This game is likely to be tight with both sides relatively low on confidence in their performance, despite the difference in their results.

Home advantage is likely to play a big part in both games, but I do feel that Man United will be able to progress because they have more goals in their team.

Atletico Madrid 0-0 Manchester United
Manchester United 2-1 Atletico Madrid
(Manchester United qualify 2-1 on aggregate)

Chelsea get the better of Manchester United – Third Consecutive Continental Cup still on

On Wednesday night we were treated to one of many in the list of exciting fixtures coming up for all fans of Women’s Football.

The semi-final of the Women’s Continental Cup and the first match up between Chelsea and Manchester United was one that had a lot riding on it for both sides.

Coming into the game United were on a run of seven straight wins and clean sheets in all competitions. Chelsea, having never lost to Manchester United, were attempting to get one step closer to lifting their third consecutive Continental Cup. We knew one of these sides wouldn’t be able to make it to the final and it was Manchester United that once again fell at the hurdle.



When the draw initially came out, United fans worldwide must have been questioning why they’ve had such a torrid time with cup draws.

They met Manchester City in the group stages and after beating them and making it through the group, United were treated to an away tie against Arsenal – a side they had only beaten once in all competitions since the formation of the team in 2018.

Despite this tough quarter-final encounter, the rejuvenated United side took their well-earned confidence and put in a performance that the players and manager Marc Skinner would have been proud of.

They were not only able to play their game against Arsenal, but also able to stifle the chances of the league leaders – limiting Vivienne Miedema’s chances in the box and physically keeping up with the threat of Beth Mead.

This performance was capped off with an Alessia Russo header in the 84th minute and defensive solidarity from the whole team saw them make the semi-final.

For Chelsea, making the semi-final was more of a routine procedure with the Blues having won the trophy in both 2020 and 2021. Their 4-2 win against West Ham saw them make the semi-final again, the only shock to Emma Hayes being who their opponent was.

She made light of the running joke that it’s always a City vs Chelsea semi-final – with the side meeting in eight semi finals over the past seven years alone.

However, it was the other side of Manchester that ended up getting drawn against Chelsea – the one side that United haven’t yet beaten.

The first 20 minutes of the match saw both sides trying to impose themselves. It was clear that United early on were trying not to fall into the traps that they fell into in the league game with playing out from the back.

However, it was once again Pernille Harder who found the goal against United to open the scoring. There had been a few times that she had found joy down the left-hand side, with United willing to concede possession in the middle third.

Harder, after the ball fell into her path, went on mazy run which completely bamboozled the in-form centre-back for Manchester United Aoife Mannion.

She showed total composure to not only take the defender out of the game, but to slot the ball past the United keeper also.

It went from bad to worse for Manchester United after a scramble in the box led to Jessie Fleming making it 2-0 just five minutes later. There were some concerns that United would capitulate from this point onwards – similar to the 6-1 onslaught earlier on in the season.

Though despite being two goals down, one thing that this Manchester United has is heart. That heart and hunger to change a result is something that sets them in good stead for the rest of the season and beyond. They continued to work together and work for one another to carve out an opportunity.

Manager of Chelsea Emma Hayes celebrates after her sides win during the FA Women's Cup Semi-final match between Chelsea and Manchester City at The...

They were rewarded almost immediately for their tenacity, with some great combination play between two United midfielders – Vilde Boa Risa, whose powerful shot overpowered the keeper after a great back-heel set up by Jackie Groenen.

This was the time for United to regroup and ensure that they went into half-time with just a one goal deficit. However, Chelsea soon hit back with a well-timed run from defender Jess Carter. The goal came at the best possible time for Chelsea, who are extremely familiar with holding onto leads and seeing the game out.

United once again tried to impose themselves at the start of the second half but were unable to carve out a clear-cut opportunity. They continued to physically match Chelsea but ultimately the damage was done in the first half, and Chelsea’s quality shone through – specifically Harder.

They have to be commended for how often they make finals, and the ease and comfortability they often do it with. The match once again will act as a learning curve for Manchester United who continue to strive towards being a side who can make finals and be present in the Champions League.

Chelsea will be looking to make this a third consecutive Continental Cup Trophy – and to add more silverware to the ever-growing legacy of Emma Hayes. After countless semi finals together, Chelsea will play Manchester City in the final who saw off Spurs on Thursday. This is the first final between the two of them in eight years and one that they’ll both be keen to win.

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.

What will it take for Donny Van de Beek to get a chance at Manchester United?

Another lacklustre performance from Manchester United under Ralf Rangnick, with the much-spoken about control completely missing from the game.

United crawled to a 1-0 win over Aston Villa on Monday night to progress to the FA Cup fourth round thanks to an early Scott McTominay header.

Villa were the dominant side on the night though, having two goals disallowed by VAR and missing a host of other chances throughout the 90 minutes as United failed to contain them.



Manager Rangnick once again opted for the ‘McFred’ duo in midfield and it started well with Brazilian whipping in a brilliant cross for the Scot to head home the opening goal.

But as the game went on it was clear that the ‘control’ Rangnick so often speaks about was once again missing, as Steven Gerrard’s side repeatedly walked through the middle of the pitch to create chances.

Somehow McTominay was given the man of the match award by BBC commentator Dion Dublin, but his performance was pretty poor even by his own standards.

Donny Van de Beek was brought on to the pitch with around 20 minutes to go as Rangnick changed the system to try and gain some control, and they stemmed the flow of the game in order to see out their victory.

It raised yet another question about the Dutchman’s chances in the side, with just one start to his name since the German’s arrival at the club.

When the team sheet was announced, fans immediately reacted negatively to the fact that he wasn’t in the side.

It seemed as though despite his obvious qualities on the ball in a position that the team are at their weakest, something is happening behind the scenes that means he isn’t being picked.

He wasn’t being called upon if the team were winning, losing or drawing, if performances were good or bad or even if the team was being rotated. So what is the point of him being here.

Add to that the fact that the midfield area is consistently underperforming in their duties on the pitch, and surely he is due a chance?

Donny van de Beek of Manchester United warms up ahead of the Premier League match between Manchester United and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Old...

Rangnick praised the control that Van de Beek brought to the midfield at the end of the game so surely now it’s worth giving him a run in the team?

He can’t be any worse than the current options and if he performs badly, then at least there is a reason for him to not be playing.

The same can be said for Jesse Lingard in the attacking positions, with all of the attackers underperforming and yet someone who has all the attributes that Rangnick waxes lyrical about is sitting on the bench struggling for minutes.

McTominay is suspended for the weekend which would provide another golden opportunity for Van de Beek to get in the team and show if he can provide what nobody else seems to be able to.

If he can’t, then there is literally no point in him being part of the squad and Rangnick should just allow him to leave during the January window.

Jesse Lingard’s decisions leaving him in a rut at Manchester United

Jesse Lingard’s future at Manchester United has been up in the air for the best part of two years, and yet nothing seems to be changing any time soon.

The 29-year-old has been at the club since an infant, coming through the academy at Carrington and making his debut under Louis van Gaal way back in 2014.

His future looked bright, but it just never really took off and for the best part of three seasons the door has been open for the player to leave.



It seemed like he finally got the message last winter, when he joined West Ham United on a six-month loan deal after a severe lack of minutes under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

He was brilliant, scoring nine times in 16 appearances as West Ham made it to the Europa League and everything looked set for him to return on a permanent contract.

But despite just 12 months remaining on his contract, the decision was made for him to stay at the club. The same United side that he couldn’t even get on the bench for six months prior, who had added Jadon Sancho and Cristiano Ronaldo to their attacking ranks, were keeping Lingard again.

Lingard had a bit of a run of form off the bench, scoring the winner against West Ham on his return to the London Stadium and also notching against Newcastle. But since then he saw his minutes deplete again and he rejected a new contract with the club, meaning the expectation was that he’d leave in January.

Jesse Lingard of Manchester United looks on during the UEFA Champions League group F match between Manchester United and BSC Young Boys at Old...

However with Solskjaer getting sacked and Ralf Rangnick coming in, The Athletic are reporting that Lingard will now be staying at Old Trafford for the rest of the season and will only make a decision on his future in the summer – when his contract expires.

Obviously there isn’t much of a sample size under Rangnick, but the chances of him getting greatly improved game time in the second half the season are likely to still be poor.

In a World Cup year, his decision not to push for a move away to get an extra six months of regular football under his belt is just baffling.

There would be plenty of clubs interested in January that would give him regular game time at a high level, but instead he is choosing to stay and fight for his place from the bench with limited opportunities.

Jesse Lingard of Manchester United in action during a first team training session at Carrington Training Ground on December 07, 2021 in Manchester,...

At this point, any loss of form or lack of playing time has lost sympathy among neutrals and United fans. He’s been given ample opportunity to show he is good enough and move away to play elsewhere and he’s done neither.

His career has stalled during his prime years at the club and he’s done nothing to change that. He’s in a rut and he’s stuck there because of his own strange decisions.

Kieran Trippier to Newcastle makes far more sense than Manchester United

It seems as though the January transfer window is moving early as Newcastle are reportedly close to signing Kieran Trippier from Atletico Madrid.

The England international is set to enter the final six months of his deal in the Spanish capital, having helped them to the La Liga title last season.

Newcastle are keen to strengthen their team as they look to avoid relegation following significant investment from their new owners PIF of Saudi Arabia, and Trippier has been identified as a priority target.



The 31-year-old spent the entire summer transfer window being linked with a move to Manchester United, only for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and the club to opt to keep Diogo Dalot instead when Atletico’s asking price was deemed too high.

This season Trippier has struggled for form and Diego Simeone hasn’t picked him regularly. He has started nine La Liga games of a possible 16, while he only started three Champions League group games as they scraped through to the last 16.

Man United’s right-back position is arguably even more up for grabs now than it was in the summer, with a new managerial setup and Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s form poor too. Dalot has stepped in well, but there are still question marks around his long-term future.

If United were still interested, January would surely be the perfect time to move for him. But with their interest now cooled, Newcastle are in prime position and that’s a transfer that makes far more sense.

At Old Trafford, Trippier would’ve been competing for the first-team spot but he isn’t a significant upgrade on either of the current options and it would seem like a bit of a sideways signing for the club.

At St James’ Park though, he walks in as a guaranteed starter when fit and he undoubtedly strengthens them in all areas of their play. He is capable of digging in and playing defensive football if needed, having proved that with Atleti, but he has also got some good offensive attributes.

Kieran Trippier of Club Atletico de Madrid runs to take a corner kick during the UEFA Champions League Group A stage match between Atletico Madrid...

His crossing will be helpful to Callum Wilson and his passing will certainly help to free up Allan Saint-Maximin on counter attacks. The profile is right for what Newcastle want now too; a big improvement but not a long term investment.

It may seem weird for him to throw away Champions League football for a relegation scrap, but with the Magpies reportedly doubling his wages and offering him a route back home to England then it’s a no-brainer.

It’s a transfer that actually makes sense, much more than the protracted summer move to Manchester did anyway.

The time is right for Anthony Martial to leave Manchester United

Manchester United are not short of quality attacking options in their squad currently, but that number could drop by one or two in January.

With Cristiano Ronaldo, Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, Mason Greenwood, Edinson Cavani and Bruno Fernandes all vying for starting places, Anthony Martial has found first-team opportunities hard to come by recently.

This has led to his agent publicly announcing that the France international will look to leave the club in January.



This is a player who two seasons ago was the club’s top goalscorer and leading number nine for the whole season as they finished third in the Premier League.

It finally looked to be clicking for him after a thunderous start was somewhat curtailed by Jose Mourinho’s use of him as a substitute, while he was adamant about being a striker and now a left winger.

He was given that chance under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who then brought in Cavani for added competition. Martial didn’t react to that particularly well, scoring just seven goals in a poor season and then United brought in Ronaldo.

Since then, Martial has been a shadow of himself. He has suffered with injury problems in his defence, but that raw ability that struck fear into opposition defences during his first season with the club has completely gone.

He has lost a couple of yards of his pace, he is reluctant to take players on when dribbling, he basically refuses to make runs in-behind the opposition defence and his finishing is nowhere near as reliable as it once was.

He has rightly fallen down the pecking order at the club with the emergence of Greenwood too, which means he just can’t secure a prolonged run in the first-team to get back into tip-top shape anymore.

Martial is now 26-years-old and is entering the prime years of his career. He needs to play regularly and is obviously talented enough to be first-choice at a successful club.

But right here, right now, Manchester United isn’t that club. They have better options than him for their systems, many of whom are younger than him.

Anthony Martial of Manchester United celebrates scoring his sides first goal during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Tottenham...

They have great academy talent coming through too who they will feel can replace him and with time still to run on his contract, they can probably get a pretty good sum of money for a want-away player.

It’s a deal that suits all parties at this point and ultimately is the right decision. If he goes on to be successful elsewhere, United shouldn’t be criticised for his sale, because he’s clearly talented.

For all the qualities he has, he isn’t the best option at Old Trafford now and losing him isn’t really going to put a dent in the squad.

Thanks for the memories Toto, but it’s time to go.

Full redrawn Champions League Last 16 draw – Fixtures and dates

The UEFA Champions League last 16 draw has been re-drawn after a botched attempt on Monday morning, and has thrown up some cracking ties.

At the second attempt of trying, Manchester United were drawn with Spanish champions Atletico Madrid while Real Madrid will take on Paris Saint-Germain in the tie of the round.

Manchester City will face Sporting CP, while Liverpool take on Inter Milan. Chelsea were the winners of the redraw, keeping their original opponents in Ligue 1’s Lille.



The original draw saw Manchester United once again set to face off against Paris Saint-Germain, with Cristiano Ronaldo to go head-to-head with Lionel Messi once again in the tie of the round.

Atletico Madrid were scheduled to take on Bayern Munich in the other mega tie, while the other English sides would have been happy with their draws as Liverpool faced Salzburg, Man City faced Villarreal.

However UEFA accidentally put Manchester United into the pot to be drawn against Villarreal and then they were selected, despite being ineligible to do so having come from the same group.

United then weren’t put into the pot for the potential opponents of Atletico amid the confusion, meaning they could never have been drawn against each other.

The draw will now be re-done at 14:00 UK time after several complaints that the botched draw affected the integrity of the competition going forward.

The fixtures will take place in February, with the first legs taking place on February 15/16 or 22/23 with the second legs taking place on March 8/9 or 15/16. Group winners will play their home game in the second leg.

Full draw and fixture dates:

FC Salzburg vs Bayern Munich – February 16th 2022
Bayern Munich vs FC Salzburg – March 8th 2022

Sporting CP vs Manchester City – February 15th 2022
Manchester City vs Sporting CP – March 9th 2022

SL Benfica vs Ajax – February 23rd 2022
Ajax vs SL Benfica – March 15th 2022

Chelsea vs Lille – February 22nd 2022
Lille vs Chelsea – March 16th 2022

Atletico Madrid vs Manchester United – February 23rd 2022
Manchester United vs Atletico Madrid – March 15th 2022

Villarreal vs Juventus – February 22nd 2022
Juventus vs Villarreal – March 16th 2022

Inter Milan vs Liverpool – February 16th 2022
Liverpool vs Inter Milan – March 8th 2022

Paris Saint-Germain vs Real Madrid – February 15th 2022
Real Madrid vs Paris Saint-Germain – March 9th 2022