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Team: Manchester United

Where from: Bristol

Favourite player: Ole Gunner Solskjear

Best team moment: Champions league final 1999

Interests: Manchester United duh. lol

Timezone: (GMT) Western Europe Time, London, Lisbon, Casablanca

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Shappy's rumours posts with other poster's replies to Shappy's rumours posts


03 Feb 2017 14:43:44
What do people make of the rumour this morning that along with Rooney that Martial maybe sold to raise funds for Griezmann?

Things don't seem quite right with Martial this season, he doesn't seem to have the trust of Jose, he has had an unsettled life off the pitch. He was unhappy about losing the No.9 shirt, and his agent was making noises about going to Sevilla on loan.

Our interest in Griezmann seems pretty solid, and the questoon was if he signed who would miss out?

Martial looks a prime candidate for being the one to miss out so maybe the club will look to move him on. Would be sad to see him go as he has so much potential.


1.) 03 Feb 2017 15:40:16
If the reports are true that he refused to warm up before the hull game and his attitude stinks then I think we should get rid regardless of how talented he is.

Plenty more players that would jump at the chance to be in his position.

2.) 03 Feb 2017 15:59:17
I can see them both going Shappy, not sure if that is "too raise funds" but it's a nicer way of putting it than "no longer good enough and not professional/ mature enough", to be honest if we expect to be at the top there are about 10 players that need to be replaced with superior ones. Too many of our players have gotten away with simply plodding along for too long and a few others are not progressing or coming to the end of their careers/ effectiveness.

I could list them, but it would be one hell of a long list, more messy than ever when you look at each player in our squad and ask "are they good enough to be a regular starter in a title winning team"? .

3.) 03 Feb 2017 16:03:58
If griezmann comes in someone will have to move on and i think it could be martial .
I don't think rooney going would be tied in to griezmann and i don't think united need to sell to buy .

4.) 03 Feb 2017 16:31:02
If he refuses to try harder it is consistently unprofessional regarding his place in the squad then, after being given a fair chance to improve, he needs to move in. Shane, as very talented.

However, media loves to create mischief with United stories, so hopefully it's something that Mouribgo can successfully address.

5.) 03 Feb 2017 16:31:36
Martial is lazy when he hasn't got the ball. There is no movement from him. He just stands there with his shoulders slumped looking fed up, his body language is awful. I think this is why Jose states he has to do more to earn his place.

6.) 03 Feb 2017 16:43:44
Dave, I'm not sure that's true. Mourinho is a team man and he wouldn't stand for that kind of attitude. Its disrespectful to your team mates and creates a bad atmosphere.

I can see why people might consider Martial sulky, he does have a very sullen look about him. He rarely smiles even when he scores.

I think if he really was like that then we might have heard something about it before rather than the press waiting until Mourinho drops him to suddenly start telling the world what he was like.

Beast, will you ever be happy? Were you ever happy with the team? So are you suggesting that DDG is the only player you'd keep? Beyond that we need a whole new 21/ 22 players to build a good squad? A little bit of an over reaction isn't? I'm starting tk think that you would be saying the same things if you were a fan of any other club in the world, everything is being done wrong in your opinion.

Jred, I don't think the club needs to sell to buy, but the wages could be an issue. Martial being sold would help balance the books considering how much Griezmann would cost and the fact that we would probably look to bring in another 3-4 players as well as Greizmann. That could well be close to 200m being spent. We would probably need to recoupe around 100m of that, which means we would need at least one big sale. I think Rooney leaving is more about freeing up the wages rather than any fee we would recieve.

{Ed007's Note - Wazza will get a bumper new contract extension before the summer ;-)

7.) 03 Feb 2017 16:51:03
Hi shaps. I really hope martial will be kept, many sources have claimed he wants to stay and is happy. I think he has gotten better and obviously things happened in the summer that unsettled his person.

I would actually move on ibra to be honest, it would allow a front 4 of martial, rash, griezmann and miki. Much more pace and flexibility. I really like ibra but feel that 1 year was enough and hopefully some of the younger players have learned from him.

8.) 03 Feb 2017 17:11:21
I'd love to know who reported it dave. It's not the first time this season that he hasn't warmed up.

Is this like the story last week where he supposedly didn't go to training? That was a load of crap.

9.) 03 Feb 2017 17:33:59
I said last week, all of sudden everything that happens will be down to martial's attitude. People jump on a comment and then it snow balls.

10.) 03 Feb 2017 17:52:27
Shappy - Well I'm not happy scrapping for 4th place every year mate, so yeah the squad needs a cull. If I were in charge which is what I think you are asking, then the only ones I would keep for the starting 11 (most of our team are squad players at best) .

DDG, Jones, Bailly, Miki, Herrera (on the edge) - none of the rest would make it in my first team. If they pulled their fingers out then Shaw, Martial, Pogba and Ibra would potentially. All the rest of them can go as far as I'm concerned. Players like Rojo, Valencia, Carrick, do well but they should be squad players at best now.

So yeah, I'm not very happy, because too many people beat around the bush. Whinge about not being positive, but if you take a step back it's pretty messy. We need 4-5 top signings and being suitable if Jose isn't going to change how we play.

11.) 03 Feb 2017 19:52:59
Beast would it be possible for you to produce a squad list that you would expect us to have as our current one is so clearly lacking (please be some what realistic)

12.) 03 Feb 2017 20:02:51
Martial was miserable and moody last year but he was playing well so we just accepted it. Now his form has dropped its become a big issue. Only those inside the club know how big an attitude he has but you're either a team player or you're not. If he is let's keep him, if not let's sell him.

13.) 03 Feb 2017 20:28:03
Coleman RB, Rose LB, Vidal CM, Griezzman 2nd striker, wingers are tricky, but I would push Valencia up and give Martial/ Miki a chance to shine with better players on the left or right, they can tuck in well and support the strikers with full backs flying forward. I'd stick with Ibra with 4-4-2. Then hunt for wingers in the next window if necessary.

Those are 4 key signings in the summer I'd make, £175m-£200m. Let go of Mata, Darmian, Shaw, Fellaini, Lingard, Rooney - probably recoup £80-£100m from those, wages would even themselves out roughly.

14.) 03 Feb 2017 20:52:30
Beast, the change from Sir Alex was always going to be tricky, watch Arsenal struggle when Wenger moves on.

You can't have 27 years of one manager and expect a smooth transistion.

Personally I feel a squad is made up of many different players of different levels of talent, fight and personality.

The kind of player you seem to want is a Roy Keane type fighter, but a squad of 25 Keanes would tear itself apart.

Even the most successful squads have bit part players, guys who might not have the same quality as the others but offer something different.

I think on the whole our squad is pretty decent. We are still three or four players away from having a first team capable of functioning as fluidly as Mourinho would like.

I feel the real issue with our team is still the balance at the back. I think we lack real quality full backs, I inclued Valencia and Shaw in that. Shaw has potential, but bar a handful of games at the start of last season we haven't seen him come close to reaching it. Valencia has been a stand out performer this season, but is 31 years old and still his delivery from the flank is erractic and he still gets caught out defensively at times.

I feel the other areas we stuggle is top class holding midfielder, Carrick is well into his twilight years and can't cover as much ground as he used to, and still for me hasn't shaken off the safety first passing of the LvG era. I also feel we need a long term partner for Bailly, someone who can play the ball out of defence quickly and accurately.

I think we are well covered in the goalkeeping department.

I think Blind, Smalling, Jones and Rojo are decent squad defenders. Tuanzebe, TFM and CBJ offer hope for the future.

I think we need a true defensive midfielder, but beyond that Pogba, Herrera, Blind and Fellaini offer good options. Carrick and Schweinsteiger offer experience, and I like the look of both TFM and Andreas Pereira as young options coming though. Its a good balance.

I think for the most part our forward options look very good. In the long term we will need a replacement for Rooney/ Ibrahimovic as a central striking option. And depending on the development of Martial, Rashford and Lingard maybe another option, possibly someone more like a true wide man rather than a striker playing wide or a No.10 shunted out wide.

We have a lot of very good young players, Bailly, Shaw, Tuanzebe, TFM, Pereira, Lingard, Martial and Rashford.
We need to see how these players develop before we can right any of them off.

I don't think the squad is that far off a really top one to be honest.

15.) 03 Feb 2017 21:22:59
Agree with a lot of that mate. Trouble is we aren't playing to the strengths of our squad and we have too many squad players, or players that put in a lot of 6/ 7 out 10 performances but not too many regularly putting in the 8/ 9 out of 10's.

We have a lot of passengers, waiting for somebody to do something, too happy to leave it to the next guy and do the easy thing. Ironically the two magical players we signed are the biggest passengers of the bunch. We need 2 or 3 players with that drive an urgency, that will encourage the rest of the team to work, run off the ball, not always think safety first.

We aren't far away, but 4-5-1 is a bad formation because it's a balancer, teams like Hull, Stoke can match up and it's hard to break them down. 4-4-2, will mean it upsets those teams, opens us up but means they have to attack and that leaves space.

We need to be a bit cleverer and a bit more energetic. But we need to replace some of those squad players with top class players in their position, too many average players.

16.) 03 Feb 2017 21:37:02
I think our forward line is one of our biggest issues they can't score and struggle to hold onto the ball or be the first line of defence. Just way too many slow old average players. We lack real quality throughout the team. If we all picked our favourite team from Europe assuming we were still in it we wouldn't have a player in it. ( maybe a keeper) That's criminal for the richest club on the planet.

17.) 04 Feb 2017 12:36:29
We don't need to raise funds. That's Woodys job an he's good at it.

Young, Rooney, Darmian, rojo could all be off come summer. Bastian probably as well.

If Griezmann comes in he'd be first choice with zlatan maybe taking a back seat.

18.) 06 Feb 2017 20:08:45
Agree with a lot of that and players are only running on 6/ 10 apart from bailly, Herrera, Jones, Miki and rojo which you lot want axed? Is he not good to have as cover?

We need a vote here too see how many believe griezmann will make it at UTD and not turn into another Forlan.

AG fits well into the way AM play. We do not play like AM and I think it will take AG a season to play well.

19.) 08 Feb 2017 19:20:01
AG is probably one of the only players in world football who can hold a candle to Messi and ronaldo.

I am quite sure he would be able to fit into any team, he is that good.



26 May 2016 10:33:08
I hope there is some substance in this Manolas rumour. For me he is probably about the best option open to us. Strong, quick, great in the air, excellent reader of the game. A no nonsense type defender but one with good technique and a communicator and leader at the back.

He is the kind of centre back we can pair with anyone and he'll work well with them.

I'd still want to see someone else come in, Varane, Marquinhos, Stones or Bartra would work well with Manolas.

In fact for someone like Stones who has a mistake in him, and who needs to improve the defensive side of his game having a player such as Manolas alongside him and Mourinho on the touchline could be the making of him. I've been wary of Stones as I don't think he would improve our defence atm, but if he was brought in alongside Manolas then it could work well.


1.) 26 May 2016 12:15:01
Two CBs are a priority. Signing just one would leave us at risk. I really rate Varane but to sign an English player in Stones is very tempting.

Although if Roshaun Williams and Tuazenbe get promoted and play some games this season that would be an added bonus.

2.) 26 May 2016 12:34:52
I think TFM could also be played at CB under Mourinho. I'd be quite happy to sign Manolas and Bartra a could of lads in their mid twenties to leave space for the likes of TFM, Williams and Tuazenbe to fullfil the roles of talented young players.

I wouldn't be gutted if we signed Stones or Marquinhos, but given their ages it would make it far more difficult for the young CB's coming through as players like Stones or Marqunihos are only a couple of years older than them.

3.) 26 May 2016 12:47:31
For manolas just read otamendi.

4.) 26 May 2016 13:27:27
Agree Manolas is one of the best options available. Mainly because he's one of the only options who compliments what we currently have. His qualities blend well with Smalling's. Shaw, Manolas, Smalling and hopefully a rejuvenated Darmian has the making of a top back line. But agree that an extra centre back would be even better.



11 Sep 2015 14:12:13
I think people get too hung up over player contracts.

Yes it is excellent news that DDG has signed a new deal, why? Because it now means he will probably play most of our games this season, and with him being one of if not the best keeper in the world atm it certainly makes our team stronger.

The length of a players contract has very little baring on how long a player will stay at a club. Think of it like this 90% of player moves involve a player who is under contract, only around 10% of players see out the full duration of their contracts.

DDG may leave next summer or the summer after that or the one after that. Only two things are certain.
One he will leave at some point, be it either in his prime, the twilight of his career or through retirement.
And two him having a deal with the club means he will be available to play for thr club this season.
Beyond that who knows. Ultimately when he leaves we will look for a replacement. And hopefully it will he someone as good or even better than him.

And for those who say it was all about the money? Probably, isn't the money one of the biggest factors in your career?

But on a serious note, I think he is happy in Manchester, but has a girlfriend who would benefit from having her more famous boyfriend with her on social events in Spain, and an agent who wants to make money.

As it stands he will earn more money and based on his performances he probably deserves it, and he will probably stay at the club for a few more years.

Now let's just sit back and appreciate the fact we have one of the best keepers in the world playing for us. let's enjoy it.


1.) 11 Sep 2015 14:28:55
i don't buy in to all the family stuff i just think like a lot of players he wanted to play for madrid.
that looks to be of the cards so he has took the cash and stopped at united.

great news for us

2.) 11 Sep 2015 15:28:47
Jred, from what I heard his family thought it better he stay in Manchester considering the circus that goes on in Madrid.
I think it was his girlfriend and maybe his agent who seemed most keen on his moving to Madrid.

I also think Madrid have been trying everything they can to clear themselves from any blame over the collapse of his move so as to make sure they didn't burn any bridges knowing that it was possible he would sign a new deal. I expect now he has signed a new deal Madrid will become very quiet over his non move.

3.) 11 Sep 2015 18:44:10
Well done Shappy, couldn't agree more (other than the bit about deserving the money. No one deserves that amount of money, especially for playing a game. It's not exactly saving lives or advancing humanity. )

But yes you're right, let's enjoy that he's staying and accept that he will probably be gone in the next season or two. Wise words mate.

4.) 11 Sep 2015 20:18:05
Have to disagree with ihatefootball's opinion on players deserving the amount of money they get paid. When you look at the massive amounts the teams are earning through apparel and jersey sales, ticket sales, concessions, Champions League- the players deserve every penny they can get. Nobody pays to watch us kick about on the weekends. They pay to watch the best players in the world at their jobs.

When you hear about players like Messi paying a sick childs medical bills how can you find a complaint with how much they earn?

{Ed007's Note - Aye, it's not every sick kid that can get a football club to pay for private 'treatments'.}

5.) 11 Sep 2015 22:28:03
Maybe I am attributing ill motives to RM, but it seemed to me that their tactic was to maximise the chance that they could sign de Gea for free in 2016. They have failed. I congratulate the powers that be in Utd for standing firm.
So, what abut Monaco? I have yet to see any report that the total fee for Martial is not extortionate. They will need a replacement. Why not make sure that the price that they pay is also excessive? When they identify the replacement, put in a higher bid , but graciously allow them to better it (or not). Make good use of Utd's financial muscle.
Red Setter

6.) 11 Sep 2015 23:01:45
I'm sorry??? You what??? You agree that players should get paid £200,000 a week for kicking a ball around some grass? Best at their job in the world maybe but at kicking a ball round a field. It is DISGUSTING the amount of money they are paid. Can you not put it into perspective? Get a grip!

{Ed007's Note - You can't blame the players, what do you expect them to say? 'Here never mind that £100k a week plus appearance money, goal scoring bonus and image rights, give me £2k a week and a leased Ford Focus?'
Blame Sly TV for the mess football is in, we expect the players to work as hard as some guy sitting welding all day and putting a hard shift in, why shouldn't they do what the welder does and weld where he gets paid the most.
I really can't lay the blame at the crazy wages going around on players, it's the people providing the money and the people distributing it that need to look at it.
Years ago the clubs held all the power but now it's swung to the players calling the shots, what we need to find is a happy medium but sadly I think it's went too far now and that's never going to happen.
For anyone over 30, football is never going to be the same or as enjoyable ever again for us, and that breaks my heart.}

7.) 12 Sep 2015 06:17:47
Ihatefootball- i do understand your point. If you think of it in its basic terms as just a game with grown men out in a field kicking a ball then it's absolutely rediculous. The reality is football is a business and they are the star attractions in an industry that generates billions.

In any business you have to spend in order to have a competitive advantage over your competition and I'm proud to support the club and am thrilled they are investing back in the team to buy or keep some of the worlds best players. Without De Gea we probably wouldn't be in the Champions League which is worth millions to the club.

Ed007 I'd love to find a happy medium, but as long as club profits continue to raise then I'd imagine player wages will as well.

{Ed002's Note - There are constraints within FFP in respect of the wages.}

8.) 12 Sep 2015 08:59:34
Rumours in Spain that there is a release clause for 50 million in the contract.

9.) 15 Sep 2015 12:57:49
He signed a contract out of respect but there will be a clause in the contract that if real madrid put in such an such amount then he goes. let's not get hard ons over it



02 Oct 2014 07:18:58
Looks like we are about to make a key new signing.

Welcome Matt Radcliffe.


1.) He is very good mates with Luke Shaw, who has been feeling a little homesick since his move, hopefully it will help him settle as well as helping deal with injuries.

2.) Could be one of the best signings of the summer if he can reduce the injury list



02 Jun 2014 21:03:31
There seems to be some confusion as the kind of midfielders we are likely to be after under van Gaal, people seem shocked at the idea that van Gaal wouldn't want players such as Kroos or Fabregas. But you need to consider his system and the way he wants to play.

van Gaal's midfield always consist of three players, they fit into three roles. The number 6 who is the brain the thinker, he dictates the tempo of the game and will be the deepest midfielder thus giving him more space to view and decide on the right pass at the right time.
A number 8 who is the energy and power, this is the player who drives up and down the field and makes themselves available for passes at all times.
Then we have the number 10 who is the creative outlet in the final third.

Now we have several players who can play the number 10 role, Mata, Rooney, Kagawa and Powell.

So we will be looking for a number 6 and 8. Kroos could play the number 6 role but he doesn't have the engine for the number 8, ultimately he is best suited to a number 10 role which we have many players for. The same could be said for Fabregas he is best as a number 10 and there for probably isn't quite right.

I think the Schweinstieger is the best player available for the number 6 role, but if he isn't available then Clasie is a very good younger cheaper option. Other options would be Verratti or Xhaka.

The best player for the number 8 role is Vidal and would be everyones first choice. van Gaal favours Strootman but seeing as he is unlikely to be available then other options could be Witsel, Schneiderlin or Song.

I could see us signing Clasie and Song but the confusion that most will fall under is expecting Song to play the defensive role, and it will be Clasie who would be the deepest midfielder with Song providing the vertical drive in the middle with one of Mata Kagawa or Rooney playing as the highest midfielder on the pitch.

He will also more than likely want two wingers as his system has a lot of emphasis on the wide players and with only Januzaj and possibly Lingard who he will consider good enough then more proven wingers may be needed to rotate.

Konoplyanka looks like a target hopefully we can get him and maybe Di Maria, although other options could be Sanchez, Depay, Firmino, Fischer or Griezmann.

van Gaal is persuaded more by the ability of a player to fit into his system and tactics than what their name is.


{Ed002's Note - Good job Shappy and worthy of the front page.}

1.) 02 Jun 2014 21:25:21
Strootman and Vidal would be perfect. Highly unlikely we'd get Vidal though, and Strootman is injured.

2.) JK, wouldn't it be Strootman or Vidal? That was kind of the whole point of the post :)

3.) This is a great post, explained alot. At first I am angry and confused as to why we didn't go all in for players like Kroos, Carvalho and now Cesc. Was tired of seeing how our midfield gets overrun by everyone!

4.) Great post Shappy!

5.) 02 Jun 2014 22:09:42
great post

6.) Quality post shapps. All made sense to me. Nothing more annoying than the "why aren't United in for so and so" type posts - hopefully this puts some of them into context.

7.) Very good analysis and I hope the club is thinking along similar lines. I'm a little concerned about the apparent lack movement forward with new players but hope things are going ahead behind the scenes and all will become clear shortly. If not we may struggle as our direct competitors are stregthening from a position of superiority.

8.) 02 Jun 2014 22:32:59
Brilliant post and really made me look at the players we are linked with n why we're turning away players we've been linked with for a while? Cesc n kroos are worldies but not what we need when we have them positions covered! I was getting a little disheartened before reading that post n looking at what we have rather than what's available? I'm sure lvg has a plan and I'm more confident to follow his plans than I was with Dave?

9.) Great post Shappy as always. Just one quarrel with it, I believe LVG will give Nani a chance to show what he can do in a new system. The system he employs uses inverted winger who like to cut in and shot or look for a killer pass.

10.) Great post shappy, always look forward to your posts as I feel I learn something new each time!

11.) Shappy, superb job. This post has kept me sane amonst some of the terrible posts I'm reading at the minute. I 100% Agree on Shweinsteiger, he is exactly what we need for that deep lying role. And at the likely price he'd come, he would be perfect, if that is an issue. Mind you, Fresh! has exclusively reported that we have £200m to spend, so cost isn't a factor :-)

I really hope the Ed's will consider a new page for posts such as this one, a filtered page, of non crap!

12.) A very similar story came out the day Lvg apparently pulled the plug on Kroos and really highlighted his footballing philosophy and his need for the right player no matter how young/old or infamous they were. He's not interested in big names just the right guy that fits his system perfectly.

If I can find the link I will paste it if the eds allow but really clears up and paints it as a clear as day what Shappy has touched the surface with. It also goes through his team formation what he expects in each role and then the so called people we get linked with and gives you a fair idea if that player fits that system.

Right away you can discredit a lot of player rumours as frankly they won't fit into his system.

Good post btw and hopefully will put people's minds at rest. Lvg knows who he needs so give him time.

13.) Brilliant post shappy it is like a breath of fresh air reading this.Recently a lot of posts seem to be written for the sake of it.
This gives us all a clear insight in to the way LVG thinks and operates and the reasons for him not wanting certain players like Kross etc.Again well done!

14.) Ok, long term reader, first time poster. I see what you are saying. But regardless of Van Gaal's 'system' we have been in need of a top quality center mid for years now. Kroos is 24 years old. He is one of the most technically gifted center mids in the world right now and we could have had him. FOR 20 MILL!! Stop thinking about the system so much. Van Gaal is not the type of manager to stick around for a long period of time (look at his record), so to be worrying about the system he is trying to implement is frankly stupid. Implementing a system takes years. Supposedly we have turned away one of the best center mids in the world and that is seriously worrying. Toni Kroos is what our midfield has been crying out for for some time now, and f**k the system we could have had him. It's just worrying to see a player as perfect as him be looked over just down to a 'system'.

Hate all you want. I have my opinion.

15.) Great post Shappy, always helpful for the slightly less knowledgeable on managers takes on systems to have this set out.
Sydney, whilst I expect we won't get Strootman and Vidal I think both would work together, .I am sure I read that Strootman asvthey 6 role in the Dutch team and is seen as a clever thinking player with good passing given the additional time. Would also mean we have a very strong centre with those 2.
On the 10 role, does van gaal expect any defensive support as this is Mata downfall and could see him sold, .I love him and he would be the best link for the midfield and attack. I think Nani may get a new lease of life under van gaal. just my thoughts.

16.) Good Post Shappy. I see what you're saying that Kroos is best as a 10 but he can still play as a 6 better that most people. He plays that role for Germany a lot and does it well. He has all the attributes of an excellent deeply lying playmaker and his ability to play as a 10 is only a bonus.

17.) Deaddobbin, I don't believe the rumours that LvG isn't interested in Kroos. I think it's just a case of us not being able to agree a fee with Bayern Munich.

But LvG does implement a system and he will do next season at MU. I wouldn't rule out Schweinsteiger. Hopefully MU can convince him to join. We will see.

18.) Deaddobin,

I think you totally missed the point of the post there! LvG will not just buy a 'name' he looks to fill a gap in his 'system'. That was the whole point.

you say he's not guna be around long term, perhaps not but he will be setting our long term plans over the next 2/3 seasons. If we don't trust his methods then he should never have been given the job. Thankfully most if us do trust him, most notably those within the club.

Oh and I don't believe he turned down Kroos anyway and I certainly don't believe we could have got him for £20m if at all.

19.) What a great post well done Shappy there's nothing in that to disagree with really, with all the cock up last year I think United have kept quiet this year and "ITK"'s have stepped in to fill the void.
Sadly we will have to wait and see after the World Cup to find out who we can really go for and get

20.) Shappy is just what we need ;)
Quality. As always.

21.) Cesc played as the deep lying midfielder for arsenal and was very successful so he would be more than capable of playing there and he has more than enough skill to control a game and if he is available we should go get him as with this apparent £200m+ in the bank money is not an option, he would be a great addition to this very poor current united team

22.) Im glad someone finally broke this down as it seemed a lot of people were not understanding what LVG is trying to do, its really common sense to be fair.
looking at the players we are 'apparently' linked with, where would you play them? How many number 10's do you need in a team? why try playing a number 10 on the wing?
you don't need names to win things, you just need the right balance of players and the correct system.
I also don't see Clasie or Song coming to United.

23.) What an incisive, well written piece. WELL DONE

24.) 03 Jun 2014 13:23:21
I would imagine carvalho would be ideal for the number 8 role if what I've read about him is true and going back to what Ed002 has said we are still interested.

25.) Excellent post - though I hope we don't end up with Song. Just not good enough.

26.) Kroos would of perfect for the 6 role its his best position imo.
Clasie is better further up the park its an important role the the 6 and i'm not sure he would work there in the epl.
I quite like song but he would need a very good player in there with him for the top level.
I also think fabergas could play the deep role, he played it for arsenal quite a lot.
I wouldn't say no to both fabergas and song, with both interchanging between the 6 and 8 role to be honest

27.) Firstly, great post and insight Shappy

Secondly, I tend to agree with deaddobbin in the way that Van Gaal isn't going to be around for more than about 3-4 years max so what are the chances that we are going to find a manager that has the same philosophy and is happy with the same players? If we start to change the whole philosophy of the football club then we will need another overhaul once Van Gaal leaves. This will not be good for us as I can't see us winning the prem in his time with us, so I do fear that it's going to be a long time till we win our next title unfortunately

28.) I agree with Jred. Cesc can play there, whether or not he wants to is another story. Song is meant to be available for just £8m. At that price I would say yes, but the reported £15m is far too much IMO. I have watched Clasie's best bits on YouTube and he seems to play very deep in all of the clips. But I do wonder if he could play there in the EPL. Cleverley has played a similar role at times and when the opposition stay close to him and close him down quick, the ball often goes back to De Gea too often. We will need someone who will burst forward if need be, not panic and pass it back to the keeper. I worry Clasie at MU may be a step too far for him and he may panic like Cleverley when harassed by high pressing forwards from the opposition team. I think MU and LvG would have Kroos, I believe Kroos would join, but I think MU will not pay what BM want for him. MU probably feel because he's on his last year of contract, that he isn't worth £30m+. Who cares if he's got one year left. He's worth the money so pay it.

{Ed005's Note - According to ED2 Barcelona provided Chelsea with a price for Fabregas during a discussion about a Chelsea player they have shown some interest in.}

29.) Bennett, that's why Giggs will takeover and keep the same philosophy. That is the plan. It's a three-year plan with Giggs taking over from LvG.

30.) 005, is that it? Are Chelsea expected to take up the opportunity to sign Cesc? Or is he like 3rd choice? Thanks

{Ed004's Note - Ed002 says that is all there is right now but there are a number of midfield players the club are interested in.}

31.) Syd, you can only hope that Gigg's will maintain the same philosophy but personally I see Gigg's as a more classical 4-4-2 kind of man with slight variations either way so I'm slightly sceptical at the moment However I'd be more than happy if Gigg's was to be moulded towards a 4-3-3 as it is a much more fluid formation in my eyes and seems to be the way forward

I think a better way to go forward is to find players who can adapt and play more than one role. I could see Rooney, Kroos, Gundogan playing in one of the aforementioned roles 6, 8 or 10

32.) Into more than one of the roles*

33.) 03 Jun 2014 23:05:25
Kroos is more of a deep lying playmaker or 'no. 6' as you call it than he is as a number 10. He is much in the mould of Scholesy however, he's much better at tackling. He fits the system, he's one of the best in the world at that role so there is no doubt we are after him, just can't get him for whatever reason that may be. Having said that he's a far more likely signing that Schweinsteiger IMO.

34.) Song is not good enough to play that role. Kroos would be perfect as the deep lying midfielder his passing is second to none and LVG would love him at the club it's Kroos who don't want to join us more like.

35.) Nice post, thanks for the insight into lvg's philosophy.

Based on the hardworking midfielder that makes himself available for passes, and lvg's lack of care for reputation, i'm interested to see how tom cleverly will do. His plus points do fit that role very well.

I think lvg will make things interesting at least. We might see star assets arising from the least likely places if they fit his system.

Thomas muller was a good example. No technical quality but truely brilliant in terms of the overall job he does, off the ball and threading passes. he's a big player now.




Shappy's banter posts with other poster's replies to Shappy's banter posts


18 Jan 2018 13:09:23
I just realised it's all a ruse, there is no way we are going to sign Sanchez. The guy falls well short of Mourinho's 6ft plus policy.

Unless the extra money we are paying is for shin implants to make him taller? lol.


1.) 18 Jan 2018 13:24:24
Stick him on Mata's shoulders, they should just about make 6ft between them.

2.) 18 Jan 2018 14:19:12
That's a good idea, then if Sanchez looks unhappy we can say "What's the Mata with Sanchez? ". lol.

3.) 18 Jan 2018 15:06:49
Post of the week Shappy 😂.

4.) 18 Jan 2018 15:45:57
Hilarious shappy.
I would rather put mata above Sanchez. That would make him quicker.
Just an opinion.

5.) 18 Jan 2018 16:22:20
If someone was advertising for shin implants and didn't call them shinplants I'd be really disappointed.

6.) 18 Jan 2018 18:21:56
Shappy wins post of the month! 🤣🤣.



18 Jan 2018 10:47:05
The Old Trafford megastore has put in a large order for the number 7 and for the letters H Z and A.

This can only mean one thing

Welcome back Wilfried Zaha.

What a great signing.


1.) 18 Jan 2018 10:58:58

2.) 18 Jan 2018 12:14:23
Hans Zimmerman?



14 Jan 2018 13:07:05
I find it funny how many said just six months ago that Sanchez was a mercenary and over rated, and that he wouldn't improve City all that much. Yet now he is the Messiah and the missing link. A player who can carry us to greatness on his own like he has done countless times for Arsenal over the last four years.

The simple fact is Sanchez is a very good player, on his day he is unplayable. But like many players he does struggle with maintaining that absolute highest level he is capable of.

None of Europe's elite clubs are interested in him even though he is potentially available on a free. PSG have sniffed around but have dropped short of making a concerted effort to sign him. Real Madrid and Barcelona have no interest neither does Bayern Munich who are about to lose Robben and Ribery so are I need of a player like Sanchez. Yet none of them have come in for him.

Chelsea aren't that interested and now City might be walking away from a deal for him.

Does none of this smell funny to you?


1.) 14 Jan 2018 13:19:40
Clubs mentioned don't want to pay 350000 a week.

2.) 14 Jan 2018 13:30:35
Yes Shappy because the biggest club and the best manager in the world is interested in signing him. No prizes for guessing that i am talking about Manchester United. Its the third post today from you that we shouldn't be after Sanchez. You don't like him much do you?

3.) 14 Jan 2018 13:32:47
Is this a joke Shappy? He is world class and has been one of the best players in the premier since he has been here. The only reason why nobody else is in for him is they don’t want to have to pay what is needed to get him. We complain that we don’t pay what’s needed to be paid like city and then when we do pay up people complain. IF he joins it will be a stunning signing and a statement to the rest of Europe. We are on an upward trajectory, albeit a slow one, and this signing will make us a very attractive proposition for new players in the summer.

4.) 14 Jan 2018 13:24:11
Sanchez really wouldn't improve City much but would definitely improve United. PSG need to comply with FPP for Mbappe next season. Chelsea might be interested if the board is not tight on budget.

5.) 14 Jan 2018 13:27:20
Chelsea not interested because of wages and costs involved, Conte wants him and City have no space for him and costs involved are problem for now.

6.) 14 Jan 2018 13:29:15
PSG and Bayern were put off by wage demand, not being able to afford him doest make them not interested.

7.) 14 Jan 2018 13:48:57
No shappy it smells of lavender a d roses to me. He is miles Beyer than any forward we have I know your not happy so we will listen to you moan at every mistake he makes but I'd suggest the vast majority would like sanchez to sign.
Keep pedalling your fears though its quite amusing.

8.) 14 Jan 2018 13:57:16
Sanchez would be a great signing we have no one even remotely as good in our attacking positions we have as yet unfulfilled potential .

The fact he can also play in the UCL is an added bonus .

When signing a player as a fan I think it's very simple ask yourself wether he would improve the team? Imo opinion the answer is an absolute yes.

9.) 14 Jan 2018 14:31:31
I think it was quite the opposite on this pages 6 months ago, people were saying we should move heaven and earth to get him instead of Griezmann, even though there hadn’t been any links to him since his Udinese days. Being prem proven and not injury prone had most people wanting him over Griezmann or Bale, two players we were heavily linked to.

10.) 14 Jan 2018 14:36:23
He’s world class. And right now we only have DDG in that bracket and Pogba is close. I’m on holiday in Mexico checking my phone for updates every 5 mins! I’d be very happy if we somehow pulled it off.

11.) 14 Jan 2018 14:50:21
Odd post from You shaps. Not sure what smells funny. World class would be a great addition.

12.) 14 Jan 2018 14:53:12
Sorry shappy but i don't remember anybody saying they wouldn't take sanchez IF he was available.

For me he is a must IF he is willing to join us.

13.) 14 Jan 2018 15:34:56
Wasn’t Bayern interested in the summer?

14.) 14 Jan 2018 17:02:50
does that mean nobody else wanted Neymar as only PSG bid that amount?

15.) 14 Jan 2018 17:10:23
I would be interested to see the posts slagging him off 6 months ago, I think most said they wanted him and were surprised we hadn’t put a bid in. You obviously don’t like the player Shappy but that seems strange as he would improve us massively.

16.) 14 Jan 2018 19:22:01
Shappy weren't PSG interested in summer but did not pursue further because they like everyone thought deal to city was done and now with the team they have they don't really need him. Also Barcelona sold him because he and Messi had issues why would they go back and him being a ex Barcelona player and not a big enough name means Perez isn't interested either.

With city and it seems a mix of above and bit of hubris, much like alves deal they thought they had this one on the bag because of pep but as PSG showed earlier and we seem to be doing now city aren't madrid or Barcelona even if they might think so.

Also about him not being consistent enough he has 60 goals and 25 assists in 122 games for Arsenal in epl, that seems consistent enough for me.



14 Jan 2018 10:08:01
I might be part of the minority here but I think I would genuinely prefer us to sign Lucas Moura over Alexis Sanchez.

Firstly, Sanchez will turn 30 at the start of next season. A lot of his game is based around pace and that will start to drop off in a few years time. He might only have 2-3 seasons left as a top player.

Secondly, he prefers to play from the left. We have Martial and Rashford who also prefer to play from that side. We also have Andreas Pereira and Lingard who are more than happy and comfortable playing from the left. However we are short of right sided players. Sanchez would be an upgrade on the options we have for the left, but that doesn't strengthen our main weakness going forward which is a lack of balance with all our attacks coming down the left hand side.

Thirdly, there are question marks over his attitude. Laughing when his team concede, refusing to shake his managers hand when being subbed off and generally sulking and causing a bad atmosphere.

Where as Lucas Moura is 25 and reaching his prime, which will last for 5-6 years at least.
He plays from the right hand side which is the area of attack we need to strengthen most.
There are no reports of him being disruptive or disrespectful even though he has been limited to a handful of sub appearances.
Also if we lack goals from wide players, it should be noted Lucas Moura scored 18 goals last season when played regularly. If we can add a wide player who actually likes to play wide and still add nearly 20 goals a season to our team then that would be perfect in my opinion.

I also think that Sanchez really wants to join City. I would feel a little joy in the beginning of we were able to pinch him from under their noses, but that would fare and eventually especially if he starts sulking like he has at Arsenal I would be left with a bitter taste in my mouth knowing deep down he doesn't really want to play for our club.


1.) 14 Jan 2018 10:28:23
Shappy, don’t be silly. Sanchez is world class, the missing piece, an incredible talent, just what we need, etc etc etc.

I made a point yesterday about his ability to be a real team player, we seem to have a good bunch of lads right now, I think character is as important as talent.

2.) 14 Jan 2018 10:41:02
I understand your thinking here Shappy but I think you're right in that you will be in the minority here. He is a top 5 player in the league and I genuinely believe that we would get more impact from 3 years of Sanchez than 5 or 6 from Moura. He is one of the group of players below Messi, Neymar and Ronaldo. We don't have an outfield player who is at that level.

Attitude wise with Sanchez it's hard to argue for someone who may have laughed when his team concedes or doesn't shake his managers hand. However, we have players who have been deemed troublemakers or unprofessional as well and they are still in the squad. They may have not have done things like that in public but undoubtedly there will have been incidents behind the scenes like at any club. To me Sanchez seems to get frustrated with his team mates in the same way Ronaldo does. He wants to win and wants to be the man. For me there is nothing wrong with that and at times over the past few seasons we could have been doing with more of that in our team.

Sanchez played a lot of his time with Barcelona and Udinese on the right as well so if he was deployed there he would be fine.

{Ed004's Note - I am worried about Sanchez's age and the fact he will start to decline but he was easily one of the top 3/5 players in league last season. If he is signed I expect him to either play on the right drifting in centrally where Mata plays or playing through the middle when we play sides lower down the table. Could be a massive boost midway through the season having a genuine world class player join who is more than capable of 20 goals a season}

3.) 14 Jan 2018 10:50:31
Actually shappy I agree with you 100%. One of rashford martial or lingard would likely have to make way for sanchez and I don't see why any of them should. We desperately need a wide right player and moura would fit the bill perfectly imo.
You are now in a minority of 2!

{Ed004's Note - But Sanchez played the majority of the start of his career on the Right? He either played on the right or centrally with Udinese and he played on the right for Barcelona as Messi was deployed in the false 9 position. Additionally he played through the middle a lot last season for Arsenal}

4.) 14 Jan 2018 11:20:14
Sanchez offers more. No one moaned when we brought RVP at the same age.

Sanchez offers flexibility. He can play anywhere up top. Jose likes players adept in more than one position.

If there is a chance, then we have to go for it. If we didnt, we woukd have the usual negativity from some fans asking why we never went for him.

Offer me Sanchez or Bale and I take Sanchez everytime.

5.) 14 Jan 2018 11:21:24
MArtial and rash are far too inconsistent they have had plenty of game time to establish themselves yet neither has, time for a someone who will perform week in and week out for me.

6.) 14 Jan 2018 11:36:01
Can any of you actually see this transfer happening? Hope it does but not getting hopes up.

7.) 14 Jan 2018 11:45:13
I can see the negatives for Sanchez but you would rather have Moura? Really?

The positives far outweigh the negatives on Sanchez for me, I think he’s the type of player to get you off your seat, I’m not getting excited just yet but if a signing was announced I would be so excited to see him in a United shirt.

8.) 14 Jan 2018 11:46:49
Agree nobody moaned at RVP. He’s a top talent Alexis and when he’s happy like apart from the 1 year he’s not been at gunners he is a team player, not many work harder than him from what I’ve seen so I don’t see how he disrupts this harmony, you can’t have too many top talents at a club plus it looks like zlatan hasn’t worked out.

9.) 14 Jan 2018 12:15:46
Shappy you are losing the plot here. Moura over Sanchez is like preferring to eat dog food over steak. Do you enjoy dog food?

10.) 14 Jan 2018 12:34:57
We have some good young players at utd but I think if Sanchez is possible then we have to try, when we play the very top teams in Europe we are simply out gunned at the moment . I'd bet our rivals don't want him to sign for us and he can be a big weapon in big games . It would be ideal if he can play as a right side attacker as he's done it in the past.

11.) 14 Jan 2018 12:51:18
I don’t think Sanchez relies to heavily on pace shappy? He’s not like bale, I think he’s an extremely clever player and that can be seen by his goals and assists when he plays centrally. He’s an intelligent player, who I think would work brilliantly just off lukaku, a truly Top top player.

12.) 14 Jan 2018 19:19:28
Shappy you are getting too caught up in sanchez played recently and where hours plays, rather than how good they are. Moura is basically a better brazilian valencia, if we signed him I doubt he would get in double digits let alone 20 on the other hand sanchez would be the impact player someone who could provide moment of inspiration to turn a draw onto a win something we don't really have in attack right now also he can and has played on right and it will really help both martial and pogba that every time we attack those aren't the only 2 we look at for creating something.



13 Jan 2018 13:27:59
I have a couple of potential issues with this potential Sanchez deal.

First off he isn't as cheap as people make out, 20m upfront plus a player we paid 25m brings the cost around 45m. Then he wants a 10m signing on fee and around 7m bringing the cost to around 62m which isn't really that cheap for a player who'll turn 30 next season and only has 6 months left on his contract.

Secondly I don't think you should sign a player just because he is "cheap" in my mind if you don't think the player is worth the full asking price then you shouldn't be buying them. It's like the crap you buy in the January sales to later regret.
In the current market Sanchez would be worth around 80-90m, if you wouldn't consider him for that much then buying him because he is cheap is a silly thing to do.


1.) 13 Jan 2018 14:41:16
If we’re happy to pay £30m for Lindelof, £30m for Fellaini, £30m for delay, etc I’d happily splash £80m on Sanchez.

2.) 13 Jan 2018 16:19:15
Cant disagree with that stand, if we want the best we have to pay regardless.

3.) 13 Jan 2018 16:27:35
Stand that's fair enough if that's your view.

It's more the people who wouldn't sign him for his true value but feels we should sign a player just because he is considered a bargain in the current market.

4.) 13 Jan 2018 16:31:12
I never have any issue with United and the money they pay to get a player. Doesn't make any odds what they pay.

If you want top notch then you have to pay it.

75 million on lukaku. I'm more than happy to see Sanchez valued at 80 million.

5.) 13 Jan 2018 17:00:29
It’s not our money. It’s the clubs.

Would Sanchez improve us? Yes
Is he world class? Yes
What do we lack? World class players
Is he injury prone? No
Is he short term? Yes
We need short and long term players as well.

6.) 13 Jan 2018 20:02:48
Mad hatter - nailed it.

7.) 13 Jan 2018 20:32:49
Whether or not Sanchez would be a plus in pure football terms is worthy of debate but to spend time conjecturing on his financial value based on wild speculation as to transfer fee, wages, signing bonus, agents fees and the value of a player going the other way, seems to me to be a bit pointless. Leave the money to the clubs. Would he fit in or not?




Shappy's rumour replies


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19 Jan 2018 09:28:36
Rock the red, on current form I don't see Lingard losing his place to Sanchez.

I think we'll see Pogba and Matic in midfield, with Lukaku up top. Then Sanchez, Lingard and one of Martial or Rashford behind Lukaku.

Lingard is probably one of our most in form players right now.




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18 Jan 2018 13:24:12
Politely is the best way.




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18 Jan 2018 09:34:53
I didn't see that coming. Lol.




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18 Jan 2018 09:34:16
GDS, since Sir Alex retired 5 years ago we have won an FA cup, League cup and the Europa league. As well as a couple of charity shields (which no one really counts) . So we have won three major trophies since Sir Alex retired.

If we can get this Sanchez deal across the line I wouldn't be surprised to see us do well in the UCL. Mourinho will know there is little he can do to win the league now as we need City to lose at least 4 out of their last 15 games to give us a chance.
The UCL doesn't have an out right favourite this year, none of the traditional top teams look unbeatable. Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich have been patchy. Juventus don't look as strong as they did in the last couple of seasons. Chelsea are hit and miss. Liverpool look great going forward but have to be concerned about their defence when they come up against to top side. Spurs are unlikely to get beyond a quarter final unless they get a kind draw.
That leaves us and the two favourites which at this point are PSG and City two teams who have never won it. Admittedly we aren't playing amazing football atm, but we are getting results. Cup competitions are all about results and in my opinion we have the best cup manager in world football.

So I see us as having as much chances as anyone else left in the competition if not more than most. Add Sanchez to that, a player who can win you a tight game with a moment of brilliance, and who has a habit of scoring important cup goals. Then that must improve our chances.




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16 Jan 2018 21:08:42
Yeah, he's not happy with EE spending so much money on Kevin Bacon ads and has found a better deal with Giffgaff. lol.





Shappy's banter replies


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18 Jan 2018 14:19:12
That's a good idea, then if Sanchez looks unhappy we can say "What's the Mata with Sanchez? ". lol.




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16 Jan 2018 10:24:36
He was an excellent player when fit, he is just bitter about how things turned out for him at United.

Understandable if the rumours are true. Apparently when we first tried to sign him and Bayern rebuffed our advances he picked up an injury that ideally required an operation. Bayern wanted to save face with their fans so went down the route of injections instead. The following summer United went back in for him, Bayern knowing he needed an operation sold him. United having spent over a year trying to sign him didn’t want to be left with egg on their face by signing an injured player so they went down the injection route as well. Two years of playing on knees that needed an operation rather than pain killing injections supposedly destroyed his knees and he was never able to fully recover. Like I say these are just the rumours I’ve heard.

Then when his contract was up for renewal the club decided not to offer him a deal, which from the clubs perspective makes sense. Why sign a player to a large contract if he is unlikely to be able to play for you? However, from Hargreaves perspective a club pushed him to have injections rather than the operation which lead to the end of his career and then the club dumped him at the first opportunity.

If that is how things went (and I say if as it is unsubstantiated, although comes from a good source) then is it any wonder why Hargreaves is slightly bitter toward United?




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16 Jan 2018 10:10:26
I thought we played well and got a great result, especially when you consider that Chelsea and City dropped points over the weekend.

I thought defensively we were poor and against a better side or a more in form side we could have been punished for a sloppy defensive performance.

Having both full backs move forward at the same time when we play with a midfield duo where one of which also likes to move forward and can be lax in his defensive duties it is a risk. Mourinho generally prefers only one of his full backs to get forward at any one time.

Having both move forward and one of our two midfielders also leaves only three players covering our defence and makes us susceptible to being hit on the break.

You say both of Ireland’s chances came as he ran off a midfield marker but with them playing three in midfield and us playing two which of our midfielders did you expect to be able to mark two players at once? That is where a full back is supposed to cover.

If you are going to have BOTH full backs move forward at the same time then you need to either have two midfielders sit back to cover them or play a back three with one midfielder sitting. Or just accept that you will be prone to the counter and hope your team can keep the ball so well that the opposition doesn’t have many chances to counter (ala City), or hope your team can outscore your opponents (ala Liverpool) .

A shout out to Pogba, who in my opinion the most important player to his side in the league. Everyone is raving about how De Bruyne is the best player in the league and how he makes City tick, yet Pogba has just as many assists in the league as he does (9), and has managed that in 13 games as opposed to KDB managing 9 assists in 23 league games. Imagine how many more goals and assists Pogba would have at this point if he had been available for those extra 10 games.




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15 Jan 2018 16:14:17
I think we regressed because he was an authoritarian and would lay in to players if they made mistakes. So in the end they stopped taking risks.

Many of us wanted someone who'd give our players a kick up the arse, they did and it didn't work. It's almost like the world and football have moved on from the 80's and you can't get the same reaction out of a modern day player as you would of 30 years ago.

Maybe to succeed in modern day football, with modern day players we need a modern day manager? Just a thought.




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15 Jan 2018 09:13:11
When it comes to his wages they are always going to be higher than usual. He has run his contract down on purpose, that means clubs are able to buy him at a fair cheaper cost than if he had three years still on his contract.

For him to be able to run his contract down he will have had to turn down new offers which will have included a pay rise. It's a calculated gamble, he turned down more money over the last few years so he can make even more now.

Why would a player turn down the chance to make more money just so the club that buys him can save a bit in transfer fees?

Buying a player on a bosman or with only 6 months left on his contract isn't necessarily cheaper, the money just goes to the player and his agent rather than the selling club.

City at the end of the day supposedly agreed a deal last summer with him and his agent which had wages in the region of 300k per week with a 20m signing bonus if he moved on a free or a smaller one if City paid for him last summer.

I think the packages on offer a similar, yes he will probably earn more at United than he would at City, yes if he signs for City in January he will be garenteed to win the title this year, although no one points out that he would win it without being a key player in winning it. I'm sure that winning a title feels different depending on how involved you are in the winning of it.

Recent history doesn't suggest that he'll definitely win more during his time at City than he would at United. We have won three trophies in two years, City have won zip in that time.

Both Jose and Pep have a history of not staying at a club for longer than 3 years, so there is no garentees that either manager would be his boss for more than a year or so.

I don't think there is a lot in it to be honest, what it might come down to is who wants/ needs him most. Because above all things players want to feel needed.