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Jose Mourinho's Manchester United send you to sleep, Pogba should save emoji until he's real deal Featured

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Published in England Premier League
Wednesday, 31 May 2017 11:27

Former Old Trafford defender Paul Parker feels Jose Mourinho's Manchester United side are still well short of what is expected of them despite their Europa League triumph against Ajax in Stockholm.

If there is one English side who are capable of doing okay in the Champions League next season, you would probably say it is Manchester United.

Simply because Jose Mourinho sets up not to lose. Even though over two legs, you would have to bring a pillow with you to watch it.

United would be the most difficult team to beat from the Premier League, but that doesn't mean it is enjoyable. Is it in the best traditions of United's history? Certainly not.
Winning the Europa League has taken the pressure off the manager.

When Rafael Benitez won the same tournament with Chelsea in 2013, Mourinho wasn’t too nice about it. He was very critical of it.

He also said Ajax shouldn’t be in the Europa League because they played in the Champions League this season.

Well, in theory he should not go into the Champions League because he’s won the Europa League.
His gamble on one match to make or break the season has paid off. In gambling, a lot of people live that way, but they normally die that way too.

United are in the Champions League. Mourinho should be happy because Chelsea, Tottenham, Manchester City and Liverpool are in there. He now can’t accuse other teams of getting advantages in rest periods during the season.

It’s all worked out because other teams will be playing a similar amount of games. But at United, you can’t keep looking for excuses.

For many, many years before Jose Mourinho arrived, United coped with the Champions League, Premier League, FA Cup and League Cup. They coped because that is what United are built for.

As a club, they build their season to compete on all fronts. They should be equipped to do that, and that’s what Mourinho must do.

" There can be no excuses about being tired because the top five teams are in the same boat, and every club wants to amongst them."
They all want to play 60 plus games because that tends to mean success in your season. The more games you play, the more opportunity you have to win things.

Everyone will be looking to Mourinho to win the Premier League. Manchester United need a league title five years after Sir Alex Ferguson won the last one.
The last two seasons have been very poor. You are judged on where you finish in the league. Are Mourinho's side any better than Louis van Gaal's? No.

Finishing sixth isn’t good enough for United, certainly not 24 points behind the champions. They must be able to make up that points difference. Trying to win the league by winning games is always going to be better than going out not to lose.

That is the tradition of the club set by men like Fergie. When United are playing cagey, you are relying on individuals. That’s when it becomes worrying.

We have to remember football is a team game. It is easy to destroy, but the hardest thing in football is to create.

You can’t keep being dependent on players to keep doing things when they are being asked to be secondary defenders and make up 60 yards to join an attack

United need to go out and realise that they are respected because they are United. Everybody is ready for that attacking wave to come forward when you are playing United.

Not sitting back watching, and thinking the tide has gone out.
Paul Pogba sums up United's problems. He is not a holding midfielder. So much has been taken away from his game. I think he’s tried too hard to impress this season after that world record £89m price tag.

He’s been having too many touches of the ball which isn’t really in his nature. He’s also been giving away silly fouls because people are working harder against him.

He hasn’t had the greatest of seasons. Expectations are high. United have got to kick on, Mourinho has to kick on and Pogba's got to kick on. He can do what he wants with his Twitter emoji, dancing and his hair when he is part of a United side that are the real deal.

There is no point marketing yourself if you are not delivering on what you are good at
It is time for Mourinho to deliver a Premier League challenge.

He escaped a lot of flak by winning one game in Stockholm. He won't get away with it again.

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    The most-recent deal De Gea signed in 2015, just days after a proposed £29million move to Real Madrid fell through, runs out next year, although United hold an option to extend that by a further 12 months.

    Mourinho regards activating that clause as a foregone conclusion, but also anticipates United offering the 27-year-old fresh terms to ward off any renewed interest from Madrid and ensure he remains at Old Trafford into his 30s.

    De Gea joined United in 2011 and has been arguably the club's most impressive player in the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era.
    "The option, it's obvious that we're not going to let the option disappear," Mourinho said.

    "A goalkeeper like he is and obviously a club that wants to be better and better and better, we are not going to let that year option go away.

    "But obviously we are going to try (for a new deal).

    "Mr (Ed) Woodward is not on holiday. He barely has holidays. Of course he's going to try to give him a contract that keeps him here for much longer than that option that of course we are going to execute.

    "I just trust the board and the work they do. I don't negotiate players, I don't discuss numbers and contracts. I just say what is obvious. Anyone of you would say the same - David is to keep."
    Mourinho may stand aside when it comes to contract negotiations, but he has once again been at the heart of another managerial spat at the start of 2018.

    His row with Antonio Conte has seen both bosses trade insults, with Mourinho claiming on Friday he had now been left feeling "contempt".

    Mourinho has also taken swipes at the likes of Arsene Wenger, Jurgen Klopp and Rafael Benitez in the past, but claims he garners no joy from doing so.

    "I don't enjoy (them)," The United boss added.

    "When I start (them) I take the responsibilities of that and I've started (them) many times.

    "When I don't start it's quite funny for me to see other people on the other side acting like victims when they're not the victims. But, really, I don't enjoy. That's why for me (the row with Conte) is over."

    Mourinho then pointedly made a reference to how he repaired his relationship with Claudio Ranieri.
    When Ranieri was sacked by Leicester in 2017, Mourinho wore the initials 'CR' on his top at a press conference, a move Conte recently suggested made him look "fake".

    "Sometimes it's my fault; sometimes it's other managers' fault," Mourinho added of his arguments.

    "In my case, when I think it's my fault and I should behave in a different way, I'm the first one to apologise, like I did with Ranieri when I had the chance.

    "That's when our relations went from bad to good and from good to very good because I was man enough to apologise."

  • Paul Pogba stars as Manchester United brush aside Stoke

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    And Pogba was instrumental in United’s second goal too. Valencia dispossessed Tymon and found Lukaku, who found Pogba; and his square pass for Anthony Martial was at the perfect pace for him to curl in a trademark and fantastic finish from outside the box.

    Stoke struggled to replicate the same goal threat in the second half, and United’s goal was coming for sometime before it arrived. And that was in the 72nd minute, a break started by Pogba seeing the ball move through Jesse Lingard and Martial before Romelu Lukaku, who had a good game, used skill then power to control a cross, hold off two men, and punish home a finish.

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    9’ - WHAT A GOAL! Manchester United 1-0 Stoke City (Valencia) NOW I HAVE SEEN IT ALL! ANTONIO VALENCIA SCORES A HOWTIZER WITH HIS LEFT FOOT! United actually work the ball really well, Pogba picking up possession on the left, handing off Ireland as he makes his way infield before spreading beautifully with the outside of his foot. Valencia then came inside Tymon, presumably assuming his goal to be safe, only for the unelash of a curling, rising, screeching brute to be uncorked, flying past Butland.

    24’ - Ireland nicks the ball off Pogba, sneaking up from behind, so when he gets the ball back, Pogba boots him in front of the ref. Free-kick Stoke, 35 yards out, and Shaqiri takes it too quickly. Stoke, though, keep United pinned, and when Bauer crosses, De Gea finds himself pinned by Crouch on the far post and can only fumble into the middle. It looks for all the world like Choupo-Moting will score, but Jones flings himself into a terrific block to concede a corner. It's wasted.

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  • Jose Mourinho dismisses talk of leaving Manchester United

    Jose Mourinho insists he has no plans to walk out on Manchester United at the end of the season.

    Reports emerged on Thursday claiming there were fears inside Old Trafford that Mourinho could resign after two seasons.

    However, the United manager has not only rubbished that suggestion but stressed he is keen on extending his deal beyond the three-year contract he initially penned back in 2016.

    "It depends on what you want to know and what you want to speak about," Mourinho said on his future.

    "If you want to speak about some news, I say, 'Garbage'. I don't find a better word to define the talk.

    "If you want to ask me directly, which I suppose you want (to), if I see myself next season in Manchester United, I say I see myself (here). And, as I told when I arrived, I'm going to leave when the club wants me to leave, because I have no intention to leave at all."

    Asked whether he saw himself remaining at United beyond three seasons, he replied: "Yes, I see myself here (after three years), it's just a question of the club, the board the owners, Mr (Ed) Woodward, they are all happy with my contribution and they want me to stay beyond the end of this contract, but I want to stay."
    Mourinho admitted the story, which cited frequent trips back to his family home in London, had troubled him.

    "The worst thing anyone can do to myself, is not to say that I am a bad manager, is not to say that I am under-performing or that I made a mistake in this game or that game, the worst thing someone can do is put one inch of doubt into my professionalism, in my dedication to my club, to my job, to my players," he added.

    "So yes, the garbage news affected me just on this aspect because it's something I don't admit.

    "But again, I repeat I am in the middle of my contract, if I am going to sign a new one or no, of course it depends on the club but my commitment with the club is total and I want to stay."

    His demeanour has come under scrutiny as United have fallen further behind runaway Premier League leaders Manchester City.

    Yet he moved to banish notions he has lost his appetite during a fighting performance.

    "Because I don't behave as a clown on the touchline, it means that I lost my passion," Mourinho argued.

    "I prefer to behave the way I am doing it, much more mature, better for my team and myself, I don't think you have to behave like a crazy guy on the touchline to have that passion.

    "That passion, you see it every day. The way a person is dedicated to his work, not what you do in front of the cameras."

    United face Derby at Old Trafford in the FA Cup on Friday and Mourinho confirmed Sergio Romero will start in goal instead of David De Gea.

    Romelu Lukaku, who was taken off on a stretcher against Southampton last weekend following a clash of heads, is expected to be available along with Marouane Fellaini, who has been missing since November.

  • I'm treated like a murderer, says Marouane Fellaini

    Marouane Fellaini says he thinks he has been treated like a "murderer" during his time in England - and is unsure whether he will stay at Manchester United.

    "They have labelled me an aggressive player, a murderer," he told Belgian website HUMO. "Look, I'm fanatical. The team that wants it the hardest wins but there have been times when I came out as the villain.
    "What should I do if they pull me by the hair? It sounds like a joke, but it really hurts.

    "Last season I was suspended after the derby against City for a headbutt against [Sergio] Aguero. He stepped towards me and then dropped dead. But, no, I get the red.

    "Players often try to provoke me but do you know how many yellow cards I collected last season? Four, in 45 matches. I've never destroyed someone's career."
    United triggered a one-year extension in the 30-year-old's contract at the start of the year, but agreeing a deal beyond the end of the current campaign is proving difficult.

    "They made a proposal, probably another will follow. Whether I will accept it, I do not know. We will see. You cannot arrange something like that in a jiffy," Fellaini added.

    "If Manchester did not want me anymore, they would have said that for a long time."
    Fellaini can begin talks with clubs when the January transfer window opens and could leave for nothing when his current contract expires at the end of the season.

    The Belgian international has discussed his situation with Mourinho but does not expect it to affect his relationship with the manager.

    "We talked about it. The coach is someone who respects the decisions of his players," he said.

    Fellaini, who has played nine league games and scored three goals this season, is currently sidelined with a knee injury.

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