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Author Archive for Jamie Jackson

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How Manchester United can be improved to compete with the elite | Jamie Jackson

The triumph over Ajax ensured qualification for the Champions League. So what should José Mourinho do to make United credible challengers next season?

How the manager recruits in the transfer window will be key and the priority is a top-class goalscorer. Antoine Griezmann got 27 goals for Atlético Madrid this season. Everton’s Romelu Lukaku scored 25 in the Premier League. Ideally the manager would like both: Lukaku to be the spearhead in the mould of a Didier Drogba at Chelsea or Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and Griezmann to play off him – or Marcus Rashford – as Mourinho has reservations about Jesse Lingard, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Anthony Martial. In midfield, Michael Carrick is 36 in July so support is required for Ander Herrera, Paul Pogba and Marouane Fellaini. Another centre-back may also be on the list as this season Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Eric Bailly and Marcos Rojo were hardly ever available at the same time because of a variety of injuries. Daley Blind performed well in the position in the Europa League final but the sense is one of Smalling and Jones may leave.

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Juan Mata: José Mourinho is the man to take Manchester United back to the top

• United face Ajax on Wednesday evening in the Europa League final
• Mata says he wants to stay at the club beyond contract expiry in 2018

Juan Mata believes Manchester United finally have the right manager in José Mourinho, with the Spain international hopeful a new era of success can be kick-started by winning the Europa League.

United face Ajax in Wednesday’s final in Stockholm. If Mourinho’s side win they will claim their second trophy of the season, following the EFL Cup, as well as qualifying for the Champions League next season.

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Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney may miss out on Old Trafford send-off

• Wayne Rooney could leave Manchester United without home farewell
• Paul Pogba to feature in youthful team against Crystal Palace

Wayne Rooney may have no Old Trafford send-off to his 13-year Manchester United career after José Mourinho stated the captain will probably not feature in Sunday’s final home game against Crystal Palace.

Rooney’s future at the club is in doubt as the 31-year-old may depart in the summer. If so United’s record goal-scorer and longest serving player, having joined in August 2004, would end a stellar period at the club with no chance of saying goodbye to the home crowd.

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Barcelona and Bayern Munich would have sacked me, says Pep Guardiola

• Manchester City manager says he would have lost his job by now at old clubs
• Guardiola rejects idea that some Premier League teams are on ‘holiday’

Pep Guardiola has admitted Barcelona and Bayern Munich would have sacked him if he had achieved similar results to those of his disappointing first season at Manchester City.

Guardiola won the Spanish and German titles in his first seasons at both Barça and Bayern but can finish no higher than third with City. He will end the campaign without a trophy after City were eliminated from the Champions League last 16, two stages earlier than last season when Manuel Pellegrini was in charge. Guardiola’s team host West Bromwich Albion on Tuesday night knowing wins against Tony Pulis’s side and at Watford on the final day will enable City to finish third.

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Barcelona and Bayern Munich would have sacked me, says Pep Guardiola

• Manchester City manager says he would have lost his job by now at old clubs
• Guardiola rejects idea that some Premier League teams are on ‘holiday’

Pep Guardiola has admitted Barcelona and Bayern Munich would have sacked him if he had achieved similar results to those of his disappointing first season at Manchester City.

Guardiola won the Spanish and German titles in his first seasons at both Barça and Bayern but can finish no higher than third with City. He will end the campaign without a trophy after City were eliminated from the Champions League last 16, two stages earlier than last season when Manuel Pellegrini was in charge. Guardiola’s team host West Bromwich Albion on Tuesday night knowing wins against Tony Pulis’s side and at Watford on the final day will enable City to finish third.

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Manchester City to offer Yaya Touré new deal to extend stay at Etihad

• 34-year-old Ivorian would feature in eighth season at City if he accepts deal
• Outgoing defender Zabaleta to be honoured following West Bromwich match

Yaya Touré is likely to be offered a new contract by Manchester City, though the club is unsure if he will accept. The midfielder, who turned 34 on Saturday, is currently employed on terms that expire in the close season. Yet after fighting his way back into Pep Guardiola’s first-team plans it is understood the manager and Txiki Begiristain, City’s sporting director, think Touré should be given the chance to extend his stay.

If the Ivorian accepts he will play into an eighth year at City, having joined from Barcelona for £24m in 2010. Earlier in the season Guardiola excluded Touré due to comments made by his agent, Dimitri Seluk, about the Catalan manager. However, he was reinstated after Touré apologised in November; since then he has made 28 appearances and scored six times.

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José Mourinho says season will not be failure if Manchester United lose final

• Mourinho insists board happy with his achievements in first season at club
• He accepts outside criticism will come if United lose Europa League final

José Mourinho believes Manchester United’s board would not view the season as a failure if the Europa League is not claimed but the manager would understand if this was the judgement from outside the club.

United reached the final after Thursday’s semi-final second leg 1-1 draw with Celta Vigo at Old Trafford, winning the tie 2-1 on aggregate. If United defeat Ajax in Stockholm on 24 May they will add the one major trophy that has eluded them.

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Romelu Lukaku tops Mourinho’s list of Manchester United transfer targets

• Mourinho wants Everton striker to spearhead United attack
• Old Trafford club face fight with Chelsea to sign the Belgian

José Mourinho has made Romelu Lukaku a prime summer transfer target, with the Manchester United manager instructing his board to try and prise the 23-year-old from Everton in the next window despite Chelsea also retaining a strong interest.

Lukaku has refused to sign a new deal at Goodison Park, stating in March that he wants to harness his potential to become world class. ”You need the platform to show yourself,” he said then, the inference being this cannot be achieved if he remains at Everton.

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Wayne Rooney hints he may have to leave Manchester United in summer

• Former England captain admits lack of first-team football may force move
• Mourinho: focusing on Celta Vigo Europa League semi-final ‘not a gamble’

Wayne Rooney has given the clearest indication yet that his 13-year career at Manchester United will end this summer, with the striker admitting he has to leave Old Trafford to play more.

Rooney has lost his first-choice status this season and has also struggled to make the match-day squads selected by the manager, José Mourinho.

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Wayne Rooney hints he may have to leave Manchester United in summer

• Former England captain admits lack of first-team football may force move
• Mourinho: focusing on Celta Vigo Europa League semi-final ‘not a gamble’

Wayne Rooney has given the clearest indication yet that his 13-year career at Manchester United will end this summer, with the striker admitting he has to leave Old Trafford to play more.

Rooney has lost his first-choice status this season and has also struggled to make the match-day squads selected by the manager, José Mourinho.

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Mourinho defends rotation: ‘We’re not telling Arsenal to beat us 6-0. We’ll fight’

• Manchester United manager defends decision to rest players in Sunday’s game
• Portuguese says there are no problems with Wenger and the two are at ‘peace’

José Mourinho has defended his decision to field a weakened team against Arsenal on Sunday, saying that the Manchester United side he picks will “fight for a result” at the Emirates Stadium.

United, who beat Celta Vigo 1-0 in the first leg of their Europa League semi-final on Thursday, are a place and five points ahead of Arsenal (who have a game in hand) and Mourinho said he is aiming to extend that gap with a win , despite the intention to rest several players.

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Luke Shaw could miss start of next season due to foot ligament injury

• Manchester United left-back suffered injury in 1-1 draw with Swansea
• Scan reveals serious damage at end of stop-start season for 21-year-old

Luke Shaw could miss the start of next season due to the foot injury he suffered in Manchester United’s 1-1 draw with Swansea City on Sunday.

A scan undertaken by the left-back on Tuesday morning revealed serious ligament damage, with it being understood Shaw fears he may not be unable to recover until after the star of the 2017-18 campaign.

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Wayne Rooney may play in midfield for Manchester United against Swansea

• Mourinho says injuries and suspension may force reshuffle
• ‘We have Herrera and Carrick and nothing else’

José Mourinho has admitted Wayne Rooney may have to play in midfield against Swansea City because of Marouane Fellaini’s suspension for headbutting Sergio Agüero in the Manchester derby and Paul Pogba’s continuing absence through injury.

Fellaini was issued a straight red card by Martin Atkinson on 84 minutes at the Etihad Stadium as Manchester City and Manchester United shared a goalless draw. It means he will miss three domestic matches, so in addition to Swansea’s visit on Sunday, he is unavailable for the trips to Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur.

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Pep Guardiola says Manchester City could adapt to Europa League

• City can go third with win over Manchester United on Thursday
• Doubts over David Silva, Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Agüero for derby

Pep Guardiola has said he and Manchester City would be able to adapt to the Europa League next season, though he is still “very optimistic” they will qualify for the Champions League.

City host Manchester United in Thursday night’s derby in fourth spot, a point and a place ahead of José Mourinho’s team. A United victory would push Guardiola’s side into fifth place. The City manager twice won the Champions League in charge of Barcelona and has discussed how much he enjoys competing in it since taking over at the Etihad Stadium.

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Practising to be perfect: an inside look at Manchester City’s youth academy

Before the FA Youth Cup final second leg against Chelsea, City’s coaches and players speak about cutting it at a club with grand ambitions

There is a buzz among Lee Carsley’s players as they prepare for Wednesday night’s FA Youth Cup final second leg against Chelsea at Manchester City’s football academy. Light rain falls as the manager plots how to turn last week’s 1-1 draw into triumph over the Stamford Bridge club at the third attempt, after the team lost out in 2015 and 2016.

Carsley took charge of the Under-18s last summer, when Jason Wilcox was promoted to head of coaching. The former Everton and Republic of Ireland midfielder has guided the team to the Northern Premier League title, while Chelsea claimed the Southern Premier League version and head the national Premier League standings – City trail by five points and sit sixth – and are, according to City’s young captain, Ed Francis, “the best side we’ve played”.

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Practising to be perfect: an inside look at Manchester City’s youth academy

Before the FA Youth Cup final second leg against Chelsea, City’s coaches and players speak about cutting it at a club with grand ambitions

There is a buzz among Lee Carsley’s players as they prepare for Wednesday night’s FA Youth Cup final second leg against Chelsea at Manchester City’s football academy. Light rain falls as the manager plots how to turn last week’s 1-1 draw into triumph over the Stamford Bridge club at the third attempt, after the team lost out in 2015 and 2016.

Carsley took charge of the Under-18s last summer, when Jason Wilcox was promoted to head of coaching. The former Everton and Republic of Ireland midfielder has guided the team to the Northern Premier League title, while Chelsea claimed the Southern Premier League version and head the national Premier League standings – City trail by five points and sit sixth – and are, according to City’s young captain, Ed Francis, “the best side we’ve played”.

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José Mourinho running out of options after latest Manchester United injuries

• Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marcos Rojo could be out for rest of season
• Mourinho admits ‘we are in trouble’ before league game with Burnley

José Mourinho has admitted Manchester United “are in trouble” due to an injury crisis after Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marcos Rojo suffered what are feared to be season-ending injuries in Thursday’s Europa League victory over Anderlecht.

United have been drawn to face Celta Vigo in the semi-finals of the tournament after beating Anderlecht 3-2 on aggregate. Lyon will play Ajax in the other semi. Mourinho, whose side play Burnley in the Premier League tomorrow, said: “We are in trouble. In this moment, Eric Bailly played six matches in a row, and we lost Marcos Rojo, we don’t have [Phil] Jones or [Chris] Smalling, we are in trouble and now we lose Zlatan too.

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Pep Guardiola: Gabriel Jesus in line for Manchester City against Arsenal

• Brazilian expected to play in FA Cup semi-final after return from injury
• Guardiola confirms John Stones will be absent from Wembley

Pep Guardiola has revealed Gabriel Jesus could start Manchester City’s FA Cup semi-final against Arsenal in a return that would be nearly a month earlier than the original prognosis regarding his metatarsal injury suggested.

However, it is understood that, if the Brazilian is in the starting XI at Wembley, it would be a surprise and he may have to settle for a place on the bench.

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Manchester United 2-0 Chelsea: five talking points from Old Trafford | Jamie Jackson

Mourinho puts one over on Conte, Rashford and Lingard offer United vision of post-Ibrahimovic era and Hazard’s lack of hunger whets Spurs’ appetite

At times José Mourinho has been cast as a fading force. Not after this. By the end Antonio Conte stood in rain in the technical area looking clueless. Manchester United’s victory derived from Mourinho’s tactical masterclass with the attacking axis of Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford, and Ander Herrera’s man‑marking of Eden Hazard. It is the ideal boost before the Europa League quarter-final second leg against Anderlecht on Thursday, with the tie poised at 1-1. Before this match Mourinho posited there was “no emotion” in meeting his former club despite two previous defeats and the abuse received during those visits to west London. Do not believe him.

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Manchester United v Chelsea is just one more game, says José Mourinho

• Match against his old club and Premier League leaders ‘no difference for me’
• Chris Smalling and Phil Jones may return in May but Juan Mata out for season

José Mourinho has insisted Manchester United’s meeting with Chelsea on Sunday is just another game, even though he was branded a Judas by his former club’s fans at Stamford Bridge last month, which prompted a retort of “Judas is still No1” in reference to the three league titles he secured as manager there.

That FA Cup quarter-final on 13 March ended in defeat for United and Mourinho also faced hostility during the 4-0 Premier League loss at Chelsea on 23 October. Given this backdrop he was asked what his emotion will be when Antonio Conte’s side visit Old Trafford.

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